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Sample records for actions neural evidence

  1. Neural Basis of Action Understanding: Evidence from Sign Language Aphasia.

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    Rogalsky, Corianne; Raphel, Kristin; Tomkovicz, Vivian; O'Grady, Lucinda; Damasio, Hanna; Bellugi, Ursula; Hickok, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The neural basis of action understanding is a hotly debated issue. The mirror neuron account holds that motor simulation in fronto-parietal circuits is critical to action understanding including speech comprehension, while others emphasize the ventral stream in the temporal lobe. Evidence from speech strongly supports the ventral stream account, but on the other hand, evidence from manual gesture comprehension (e.g., in limb apraxia) has led to contradictory findings. Here we present a lesion analysis of sign language comprehension. Sign language is an excellent model for studying mirror system function in that it bridges the gap between the visual-manual system in which mirror neurons are best characterized and language systems which have represented a theoretical target of mirror neuron research. Twenty-one life long deaf signers with focal cortical lesions performed two tasks: one involving the comprehension of individual signs and the other involving comprehension of signed sentences (commands). Participants' lesions, as indicated on MRI or CT scans, were mapped onto a template brain to explore the relationship between lesion location and sign comprehension measures. Single sign comprehension was not significantly affected by left hemisphere damage. Sentence sign comprehension impairments were associated with left temporal-parietal damage. We found that damage to mirror system related regions in the left frontal lobe were not associated with deficits on either of these comprehension tasks. We conclude that the mirror system is not critically involved in action understanding.

  2. Body-specific motor imagery of hand actions: neural evidence from right- and left-handers

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    Roel M Willems

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available If motor imagery uses neural structures involved in action execution, then the neural correlates of imagining an action should differ between individuals who tend to execute the action differently. Here we report fMRI data showing that motor imagery is influenced by the way people habitually perform motor actions with their particular bodies; that is, motor imagery is ‘body-specific’ (Casasanto, 2009. During mental imagery for complex hand actions, activation of cortical areas involved in motor planning and execution was left-lateralized in right-handers but right-lateralized in left-handers. We conclude that motor imagery involves the generation of an action plan that is grounded in the participant’s motor habits, not just an abstract representation at the level of the action’s goal. People with different patterns of motor experience form correspondingly different neurocognitive representations of imagined actions.

  3. The neural basis of body form and body action agnosia.

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    Moro, Valentina; Urgesi, Cosimo; Pernigo, Simone; Lanteri, Paola; Pazzaglia, Mariella; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2008-10-23

    Visual analysis of faces and nonfacial body stimuli brings about neural activity in different cortical areas. Moreover, processing body form and body action relies on distinct neural substrates. Although brain lesion studies show specific face processing deficits, neuropsychological evidence for defective recognition of nonfacial body parts is lacking. By combining psychophysics studies with lesion-mapping techniques, we found that lesions of ventromedial, occipitotemporal areas induce face and body recognition deficits while lesions involving extrastriate body area seem causatively associated with impaired recognition of body but not of face and object stimuli. We also found that body form and body action recognition deficits can be double dissociated and are causatively associated with lesions to extrastriate body area and ventral premotor cortex, respectively. Our study reports two category-specific visual deficits, called body form and body action agnosia, and highlights their neural underpinnings.

  4. Invariant recognition drives neural representations of action sequences.

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    Andrea Tacchetti

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Recognizing the actions of others from visual stimuli is a crucial aspect of human perception that allows individuals to respond to social cues. Humans are able to discriminate between similar actions despite transformations, like changes in viewpoint or actor, that substantially alter the visual appearance of a scene. This ability to generalize across complex transformations is a hallmark of human visual intelligence. Advances in understanding action recognition at the neural level have not always translated into precise accounts of the computational principles underlying what representations of action sequences are constructed by human visual cortex. Here we test the hypothesis that invariant action discrimination might fill this gap. Recently, the study of artificial systems for static object perception has produced models, Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs, that achieve human level performance in complex discriminative tasks. Within this class, architectures that better support invariant object recognition also produce image representations that better match those implied by human and primate neural data. However, whether these models produce representations of action sequences that support recognition across complex transformations and closely follow neural representations of actions remains unknown. Here we show that spatiotemporal CNNs accurately categorize video stimuli into action classes, and that deliberate model modifications that improve performance on an invariant action recognition task lead to data representations that better match human neural recordings. Our results support our hypothesis that performance on invariant discrimination dictates the neural representations of actions computed in the brain. These results broaden the scope of the invariant recognition framework for understanding visual intelligence from perception of inanimate objects and faces in static images to the study of human perception of action sequences.

  5. Evidence for a neural law of effect.

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    Athalye, Vivek R; Santos, Fernando J; Carmena, Jose M; Costa, Rui M

    2018-03-02

    Thorndike's law of effect states that actions that lead to reinforcements tend to be repeated more often. Accordingly, neural activity patterns leading to reinforcement are also reentered more frequently. Reinforcement relies on dopaminergic activity in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), and animals shape their behavior to receive dopaminergic stimulation. Seeking evidence for a neural law of effect, we found that mice learn to reenter more frequently motor cortical activity patterns that trigger optogenetic VTA self-stimulation. Learning was accompanied by gradual shaping of these patterns, with participating neurons progressively increasing and aligning their covariance to that of the target pattern. Motor cortex patterns that lead to phasic dopaminergic VTA activity are progressively reinforced and shaped, suggesting a mechanism by which animals select and shape actions to reliably achieve reinforcement. Copyright © 2018 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

  6. Neural representations of kinematic laws of motion: evidence for action-perception coupling.

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

    2007-12-18

    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 brain areas subserving motor production, visual motion processing, and action observation functions. Hence, these results strongly support the notion of similar neural coding for motion perception and production. These findings suggest that cortical motion representations are optimally tuned to the kinematic and geometrical invariants characterizing biological actions.

  7. Neural evidence for the intrinsic value of action as motivation for behavior.

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    Miura, Naoki; Tanabe, Hiroki C; Sasaki, Akihiro T; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2017-06-03

    The intrinsic value of an action refers to the inherent sense that experiencing a behavior is enjoyable even if it has no explicit outcome. Previous research has suggested that a common valuation mechanism within the reward network may be responsible for processing the intrinsic value of achieving both the outcome and external rewards. However, how the intrinsic value of action is neurally represented remains unknown. We hypothesized that the intrinsic value of action is determined by an action-outcome contingency indicating the behavior is controllable and that the outcome of the action can be evaluated by this feedback. Consequently, the reward network should be activated, reflecting the generation of the intrinsic value of action. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) investigation of a stopwatch game in which the action-outcome contingency was manipulated. This experiment involved 36 healthy volunteers and four versions of a stopwatch game that manipulated controllability (the feeling that participants were controlling the stopwatch themselves) and outcome (a signal allowing participants to see the result of their action). A free-choice experiment was administered after the fMRI to explore preference levels for each game. The results showed that the stopwatch game with the action-outcome contingency evoked a greater degree of enjoyment because the participants chose this condition over those that lacked such a contingency. The ventral striatum and midbrain were activated only when action-outcome contingency was present. Thus, the intrinsic value of action was represented by an increase in ventral striatal and midbrain activation. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Neural mirroring and social interaction: Motor system involvement during action observation relates to early peer cooperation.

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    Endedijk, H M; Meyer, M; Bekkering, H; Cillessen, A H N; Hunnius, S

    2017-04-01

    Whether we hand over objects to someone, play a team sport, or make music together, social interaction often involves interpersonal action coordination, both during instances of cooperation and entrainment. Neural mirroring is thought to play a crucial role in processing other's actions and is therefore considered important for social interaction. Still, to date, it is unknown whether interindividual differences in neural mirroring play a role in interpersonal coordination during different instances of social interaction. A relation between neural mirroring and interpersonal coordination has particularly relevant implications for early childhood, since successful early interaction with peers is predictive of a more favorable social development. We examined the relation between neural mirroring and children's interpersonal coordination during peer interaction using EEG and longitudinal behavioral data. Results showed that 4-year-old children with higher levels of motor system involvement during action observation (as indicated by lower beta-power) were more successful in early peer cooperation. This is the first evidence for a relation between motor system involvement during action observation and interpersonal coordination during other instances of social interaction. The findings suggest that interindividual differences in neural mirroring are related to interpersonal coordination and thus successful social interaction. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Vicarious motor activation during action perception: beyond correlational evidence

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    Alessio eAvenanti

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurophysiological and imaging studies have shown that seeing the actions of other individuals brings about the vicarious activation of motor regions involved in performing the same actions. While this suggests a simulative mechanism mediating the perception of others’ actions, one cannot use such evidence to make inferences about the functional significance of vicarious activations. Indeed, a central aim in social neuroscience is to comprehend how vicarious activations allow the understanding of other people’s behavior, and this requires to use stimulation or lesion methods to establish causal links from brain activity to cognitive functions. In the present work we review studies investigating the effects of transient manipulations of brain activity or stable lesions in the motor system on individuals’ ability to perceive and understand the actions of others. We conclude there is now compelling evidence that neural activity in the motor system is critical for such cognitive ability. More research using causal methods, however, is needed in order to disclose the limits and the conditions under which vicarious activations are required to perceive and understand actions of others as well as their emotions and somatic feelings.

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

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

    2014-11-05

    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. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Neural Behavior Chain Learning of Mobile Robot Actions

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    Lejla Banjanovic-Mehmedovic

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a visual/motor behavior learning approach, based on neural networks. We propose Behavior Chain Model (BCM in order to create a way of behavior learning. Our behavior-based system evolution task is a mobile robot detecting a target and driving/acting towards it. First, the mapping relations between the image feature domain of the object and the robot action domain are derived. Second, a multilayer neural network for offline learning of the mapping relations is used. This learning structure through neural network training process represents a connection between the visual perceptions and motor sequence of actions in order to grip a target. Last, using behavior learning through a noticed action chain, we can predict mobile robot behavior for a variety of similar tasks in similar environment. Prediction results suggest that the methodology is adequate and could be recognized as an idea for designing different mobile robot behaviour assistance.

  12. Neural theory for the perception of causal actions.

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    Fleischer, Falk; Christensen, Andrea; Caggiano, Vittorio; Thier, Peter; Giese, Martin A

    2012-07-01

    The efficient prediction of the behavior of others requires the recognition of their actions and an understanding of their action goals. In humans, this process is fast and extremely robust, as demonstrated by classical experiments showing that human observers reliably judge causal relationships and attribute interactive social behavior to strongly simplified stimuli consisting of simple moving geometrical shapes. While psychophysical experiments have identified critical visual features that determine the perception of causality and agency from such stimuli, the underlying detailed neural mechanisms remain largely unclear, and it is an open question why humans developed this advanced visual capability at all. We created pairs of naturalistic and abstract stimuli of hand actions that were exactly matched in terms of their motion parameters. We show that varying critical stimulus parameters for both stimulus types leads to very similar modulations of the perception of causality. However, the additional form information about the hand shape and its relationship with the object supports more fine-grained distinctions for the naturalistic stimuli. Moreover, we show that a physiologically plausible model for the recognition of goal-directed hand actions reproduces the observed dependencies of causality perception on critical stimulus parameters. These results support the hypothesis that selectivity for abstract action stimuli might emerge from the same neural mechanisms that underlie the visual processing of natural goal-directed action stimuli. Furthermore, the model proposes specific detailed neural circuits underlying this visual function, which can be evaluated in future experiments.

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

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    Crago, Patrick E; Makowski, Nathaniel S

    2014-10-01

    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. 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. 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. 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 interventions involving motor or sensory stimulation.

  14. Neural correlates related to action observation in expert archers.

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    Kim, Yang-Tae; Seo, Jee-Hye; Song, Hui-Jin; Yoo, Done-Sik; Lee, Hui Joong; Lee, Jongmin; Lee, Gunyoung; Kwon, Eunjin; Kim, Jin Goo; Chang, Yongmin

    2011-10-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that activity of the mirror neuron system is dependent on the observer's motor experience of a given action. It remains unclear, however, whether activity of the mirror neuron system is also associated with the observer's motor experience in sports game. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to investigate differences in activation of the mirror neuron system during action observation between experts and non-archer control subjects. We used video of Western-style archery in which participants were asked to watch the archery movements. Hyperactivation of the premotor and inferior parietal cortex in expert archers relative to non-archer control subjects suggests that the human mirror neuron system could contain and expand representations of the motor repertoire. The fact that dorsomedial prefrontal cortex was more active in expert archers than in non-archer control subjects indicates a spontaneous engagement of theory of mind in experts when watching video of Western-style archery. Compared with the non-archer control subjects, expert archers showed greater activation in the neural system in regions associated with episodic recall from familiar and meaningful information, including the cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and parahippocampal gyrus. The results demonstrate that expertise effects stimulate brain activity not only in the mirror neuron system but also in the neural networks related to theory of mind and episodic memory. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Lifelong learning of human actions with deep neural network self-organization.

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

    2017-12-01

    Lifelong learning is fundamental in autonomous robotics for the acquisition and fine-tuning of knowledge through experience. However, conventional deep neural models for action recognition from videos do not account for lifelong learning but rather learn a batch of training data with a predefined number of action classes and samples. Thus, there is the need to develop learning systems with the ability to incrementally process available perceptual cues and to adapt their responses over time. We propose a self-organizing neural architecture for incrementally learning to classify human actions from video sequences. The architecture comprises growing self-organizing networks equipped with recurrent neurons for processing time-varying patterns. We use a set of hierarchically arranged recurrent networks for the unsupervised learning of action representations with increasingly large spatiotemporal receptive fields. Lifelong learning is achieved in terms of prediction-driven neural dynamics in which the growth and the adaptation of the recurrent networks are driven by their capability to reconstruct temporally ordered input sequences. Experimental results on a classification task using two action benchmark datasets show that our model is competitive with state-of-the-art methods for batch learning also when a significant number of sample labels are missing or corrupted during training sessions. Additional experiments show the ability of our model to adapt to non-stationary input avoiding catastrophic interference. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  16. Comparable mechanisms for action and language: Neural systems behind intentions, goals and means

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    Schie, H.T. van; Toni, I.; Bekkering, H.

    2006-01-01

    In this position paper we explore correspondence between neural systems for language and action starting from recent electrophysiological findings on the roles of posterior and frontal areas in goal-directed grasping actions. The paper compares the perceptual and motor organization for action and

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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...

  18. Neural activation and functional connectivity during motor imagery of bimanual everyday actions.

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    André J Szameitat

    Full Text Available Bimanual actions impose intermanual coordination demands not present during unimanual actions. We investigated the functional neuroanatomical correlates of these coordination demands in motor imagery (MI of everyday actions using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. For this, 17 participants imagined unimanual actions with the left and right hand as well as bimanual actions while undergoing fMRI. A univariate fMRI analysis showed no reliable cortical activations specific to bimanual MI, indicating that intermanual coordination demands in MI are not associated with increased neural processing. A functional connectivity analysis based on psychophysiological interactions (PPI, however, revealed marked increases in connectivity between parietal and premotor areas within and between hemispheres. We conclude that in MI of everyday actions intermanual coordination demands are primarily met by changes in connectivity between areas and only moderately, if at all, by changes in the amount of neural activity. These results are the first characterization of the neuroanatomical correlates of bimanual coordination demands in MI. Our findings support the assumed equivalence of overt and imagined actions and highlight the differences between uni- and bimanual actions. The findings extent our understanding of the motor system and may aid the development of clinical neurorehabilitation approaches based on mental practice.

  19. A neural network model of causative actions

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    Jeremy eLee-Hand

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A common idea in models of action representation is that actions are represented in terms of their perceptual effects (see e.g. Prinz, 1997; Hommel et al., 2001; Sahin et al., 2007; Umilta et al., 2008; Hommel et al., 2013. In this paper we extend existing models of effect-based action representations to account for a novel distinction. Some actions bring about effects that are independent events in their own right: for instance, if John 'smashes' a cup, he brings about the event of 'the cup smashing'. Other actions do not bring about such effects. For instance, if John 'grabs' a cup, this action does not cause the cup to 'do' anything: a grab action has well-defined perceptual effects, but these are not registered by the perceptual system that detects independent events involving external objects in the world. In our model, effect-based actions are implemented in several distinct neural circuits, which are organised into a hierarchy based on the complexity of their associated perceptual effects. The circuit at the top of this hierarchy is responsible for actions that bring about independently perceivable events. This circuit receives input from the perceptual module that recognises arbitrary events taking place in the world, and learns movements that reliably cause such events. We assess our model against existing experimental observations about effect-based motor representations, and make some novel experimental predictions. We also consider the possibility that the 'causative actions' circuit in our model can be identified with a motor pathway reported in other work, specialising in 'functional' actions on manipulable tools (Bub et al., 2008; Binkofski and Buxbaum, 2013.

  20. A neural network model of causative actions.

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    Lee-Hand, Jeremy; Knott, Alistair

    2015-01-01

    A common idea in models of action representation is that actions are represented in terms of their perceptual effects (see e.g., Prinz, 1997; Hommel et al., 2001; Sahin et al., 2007; Umiltà et al., 2008; Hommel, 2013). In this paper we extend existing models of effect-based action representations to account for a novel distinction. Some actions bring about effects that are independent events in their own right: for instance, if John smashes a cup, he brings about the event of the cup smashing. Other actions do not bring about such effects. For instance, if John grabs a cup, this action does not cause the cup to "do" anything: a grab action has well-defined perceptual effects, but these are not registered by the perceptual system that detects independent events involving external objects in the world. In our model, effect-based actions are implemented in several distinct neural circuits, which are organized into a hierarchy based on the complexity of their associated perceptual effects. The circuit at the top of this hierarchy is responsible for actions that bring about independently perceivable events. This circuit receives input from the perceptual module that recognizes arbitrary events taking place in the world, and learns movements that reliably cause such events. We assess our model against existing experimental observations about effect-based motor representations, and make some novel experimental predictions. We also consider the possibility that the "causative actions" circuit in our model can be identified with a motor pathway reported in other work, specializing in "functional" actions on manipulable tools (Bub et al., 2008; Binkofski and Buxbaum, 2013).

  1. Introduction: evidence-based action in humanitarian crises

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    Dijkzeul, D.; Hilhorst, D.; Walker, P.

    2013-01-01

    This introductory paper sets the stage for this special issue of Disasters on evidence-based action in humanitarian crises. It reviews definition(s) of evidence and it examines the different disciplinary and methodological approaches to collecting and analysing evidence. In humanitarian action, the

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

    OpenAIRE

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

  3. Action Potential Modulation of Neural Spin Networks Suggests Possible Role of Spin

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    Hu, H P

    2004-01-01

    In this paper we show that nuclear spin networks in neural membranes are modulated by action potentials through J-coupling, dipolar coupling and chemical shielding tensors and perturbed by microscopically strong and fluctuating internal magnetic fields produced largely by paramagnetic oxygen. We suggest that these spin networks could be involved in brain functions since said modulation inputs information carried by the neural spike trains into them, said perturbation activates various dynamics within them and the combination of the two likely produce stochastic resonance thus synchronizing said dynamics to the neural firings. Although quantum coherence is desirable and may indeed exist, it is not required for these spin networks to serve as the subatomic components for the conventional neural networks.

  4. Neural signal for counteracting pre-action bias in the centromedian thalamic nucleus

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    Takafumi eMinamimoto

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Most of our daily actions are selected and executed involuntarily under familiar situations by the guidance of internal drives, such as motivation. The behavioral tendency or biasing towards one over others reflects the action-selection process in advance of action execution (i.e., pre-action bias. Facing unexpected situations, however, pre-action bias should be withdrawn and replaced by an alternative that is suitable for the situation (i.e., counteracting bias. To understand the neural mechanism for the counteracting process, we studied the neural activity of the thalamic centromedian (CM nucleus in monkeys performing GO-NOGO task with asymmetrical or symmetrical reward conditions. The monkeys reacted to GO signal faster in large-reward condition, indicating behavioral bias toward large reward. In contrast, they responded slowly in small-reward condition, suggesting a conflict between internal drive and external demand. We found that neurons in the CM nucleus exhibited phasic burst discharges after GO and NOGO instructions especially when they were associated with small reward. The small-reward preference was positively correlated with the strength of behavioral bias toward large reward. The small-reward preference disappeared when only NOGO action was requested. The timing of activation predicted the timing of action opposed to bias. These results suggest that CM signals the discrepancy between internal pre-action bias and external demand, and mediates the counteracting process — resetting behavioral bias and leading to execution of opposing action.

  5. Performance monitoring in the medial frontal cortex and related neural networks: From monitoring self actions to understanding others' actions.

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    Ninomiya, Taihei; Noritake, Atsushi; Ullsperger, Markus; Isoda, Masaki

    2018-04-27

    Action is a key channel for interacting with the outer world. As such, the ability to monitor actions and their consequences - regardless as to whether they are self-generated or other-generated - is of crucial importance for adaptive behavior. The medial frontal cortex (MFC) has long been studied as a critical node for performance monitoring in nonsocial contexts. Accumulating evidence suggests that the MFC is involved in a wide range of functions necessary for one's own performance monitoring, including error detection, and monitoring and resolving response conflicts. Recent studies, however, have also pointed to the importance of the MFC in performance monitoring under social conditions, ranging from monitoring and understanding others' actions to reading others' mental states, such as their beliefs and intentions (i.e., mentalizing). Here we review the functional roles of the MFC and related neural networks in performance monitoring in both nonsocial and social contexts, with an emphasis on the emerging field of a social systems neuroscience approach using macaque monkeys as a model system. Future work should determine the way in which the MFC exerts its monitoring function via interactions with other brain regions, such as the superior temporal sulcus in the mentalizing system and the ventral premotor cortex in the mirror system. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

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    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.

  7. Neural and Computational Mechanisms of Action Processing: Interaction between Visual and Motor Representations.

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    Giese, Martin A; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2015-10-07

    Action recognition has received enormous interest in the field of neuroscience over the last two decades. In spite of this interest, the knowledge in terms of fundamental neural mechanisms that provide constraints for underlying computations remains rather limited. This fact stands in contrast with a wide variety of speculative theories about how action recognition might work. This review focuses on new fundamental electrophysiological results in monkeys, which provide constraints for the detailed underlying computations. In addition, we review models for action recognition and processing that have concrete mathematical implementations, as opposed to conceptual models. We think that only such implemented models can be meaningfully linked quantitatively to physiological data and have a potential to narrow down the many possible computational explanations for action recognition. In addition, only concrete implementations allow judging whether postulated computational concepts have a feasible implementation in terms of realistic neural circuits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Learning to Recognize Actions From Limited Training Examples Using a Recurrent Spiking Neural Model

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    Panda, Priyadarshini; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2018-01-01

    A fundamental challenge in machine learning today is to build a model that can learn from few examples. Here, we describe a reservoir based spiking neural model for learning to recognize actions with a limited number of labeled videos. First, we propose a novel encoding, inspired by how microsaccades influence visual perception, to extract spike information from raw video data while preserving the temporal correlation across different frames. Using this encoding, we show that the reservoir generalizes its rich dynamical activity toward signature action/movements enabling it to learn from few training examples. We evaluate our approach on the UCF-101 dataset. Our experiments demonstrate that our proposed reservoir achieves 81.3/87% Top-1/Top-5 accuracy, respectively, on the 101-class data while requiring just 8 video examples per class for training. Our results establish a new benchmark for action recognition from limited video examples for spiking neural models while yielding competitive accuracy with respect to state-of-the-art non-spiking neural models. PMID:29551962

  9. Is There Neural Evidence for an Evidence Accumulation Process in Memory Decisions?

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    van Vugt, Marieke K; Beulen, Marijke A; Taatgen, Niels A

    2016-01-01

    Models of evidence accumulation have been very successful at describing human decision making behavior. Recent years have also seen the first reports of neural correlates of this accumulation process. However, these studies have mostly focused on perceptual decision making tasks, ignoring the role

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

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    Andrew eJahn

    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.

  11. An Inquiry into the Neural Plasticity Underlying Everyday Actions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garrett Tisdale

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available How does the brain change with respect to how we live our daily lives? Modern studies on how specific actions affect the anatomy of the brain have shown that different actions shape the way the brain is oriented. While individual studies might point towards these effects occurring in daily actions, the concept that morphological changes occur throughout the numerous fields of neuroplasticity based on daily actions has yet to become a well established and discussed phenomena. It is the goal of this article to view a few fields of neuroplasticity to answer this overarching question and review brain imaging studies indicating such morphological changes associated with the fields of neuroplasticity and everyday actions. To achieve this goal, a systematic approach revolving around scholarly search engines was used to briefly explore each studied field of interest. In this article, the activities of music production, video game play, and sleep are analyzed indicating such morphological change. These activities show changes to the respective areas of the brain in which the tasks are processed with a trend arising from the amount of time spent performing each action. It is shown from these fields of study that this classification of relating everyday actions to morphological change through neural plasticity does hold validity with respect to experimental studies.

  12. Translating working memory into action: behavioral and neural evidence for using motor representations in encoding visuo-spatial sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langner, Robert; Sternkopf, Melanie A; Kellermann, Tanja S; Grefkes, Christian; Kurth, Florian; Schneider, Frank; Zilles, Karl; Eickhoff, Simon B

    2014-07-01

    The neurobiological organization of action-oriented working memory is not well understood. To elucidate the neural correlates of translating visuo-spatial stimulus sequences into delayed (memory-guided) sequential actions, we measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging while participants encoded sequences of four to seven dots appearing on fingers of a left or right schematic hand. After variable delays, sequences were to be reproduced with the corresponding fingers. Recall became less accurate with longer sequences and was initiated faster after long delays. Across both hands, encoding and recall activated bilateral prefrontal, premotor, superior and inferior parietal regions as well as the basal ganglia, whereas hand-specific activity was found (albeit to a lesser degree during encoding) in contralateral premotor, sensorimotor, and superior parietal cortex. Activation differences after long versus short delays were restricted to motor-related regions, indicating that rehearsal during long delays might have facilitated the conversion of the memorandum into concrete motor programs at recall. Furthermore, basal ganglia activity during encoding selectively predicted correct recall. Taken together, the results suggest that to-be-reproduced visuo-spatial sequences are encoded as prospective action representations (motor intentions), possibly in addition to retrospective sensory codes. Overall, our study supports and extends multi-component models of working memory, highlighting the notion that sensory input can be coded in multiple ways depending on what the memorandum is to be used for. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

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    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.

  16. Attention, biological motion, and action recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, James; Parasuraman, Raja

    2012-01-02

    Interacting with others in the environment requires that we perceive and recognize their movements and actions. Neuroimaging and neuropsychological studies have indicated that a number of brain regions, particularly the superior temporal sulcus, are involved in a number of processes essential for action recognition, including the processing of biological motion and processing the intentions of actions. We review the behavioral and neuroimaging evidence suggesting that while some aspects of action recognition might be rapid and effective, they are not necessarily automatic. Attention is particularly important when visual information about actions is degraded or ambiguous, or if competing information is present. We present evidence indicating that neural responses associated with the processing of biological motion are strongly modulated by attention. In addition, behavioral and neuroimaging evidence shows that drawing inferences from the actions of others is attentionally demanding. The role of attention in action observation has implications for everyday social interactions and workplace applications that depend on observing, understanding and interpreting actions. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Being in two minds: the neural basis of experiencing action crises in personal long-term goals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Marcel; Baur, Volker; Brandstätter, Veronika; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz

    2014-01-01

    Although the successful pursuit of long-term goals constitutes an essential prerequisite to personal development, health, and well-being, little research has been devoted to the understanding of its underlying neural processes. A critical phase in the pursuit of long-term goals is defined as an action crisis, conceptualized as the intra-psychic conflict between further goal pursuit and disengagement from the goal. In the present research, we applied an interdisciplinary (cognitive and neural) approach to the analysis of processes underlying the experience of an action crisis. In Study 1, a longitudinal field study, action crises in personal goals gave rise to an increased and unbiased (re)evaluation of the costs and benefits (i.e., rewards) of the goal. Study 2 was a magnetic resonance imaging study examining resting-state functional connectivity. The extent of experienced action crises was associated with enhanced fronto-accumbal connectivity signifying increased reward-related impact on prefrontal action control. Action crises, furthermore, mediated the relationship between a dispositional measure of effective goal pursuit (action orientation) and fronto-accumbal connectivity. The converging and complementary results from two methodologically different approaches advance the understanding of the neurobiology of personal long-term goals, especially with respect to the role of rewards in the context of goal-related conflicts.

  18. Action identity: evidence from self-recognition, prediction, and coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoblich, Günther; Flach, Rüdiger

    2003-12-01

    Prior research suggests that the action system is responsible for creating an immediate sense of self by determining whether certain sensations and perceptions are the result of one's own actions. In addition, it is assumed that declarative, episodic, or autobiographical memories create a temporally extended sense of self or some form of identity. In the present article, we review recent evidence suggesting that action (procedural) knowledge also forms part of a person's identity, an action identity, so to speak. Experiments that addressed self-recognition of past actions, prediction, and coordination provide ample evidence for this assumption. The phenomena observed in these experiments can be explained by the assumption that observing an action results in the activation of action representations, the more so, when the action observed corresponds to the way in which the observer would produce it.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kana, Rajesh K; Travers, Brittany G

    2012-04-01

    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 representation of the body, motion processing and emotion recognition. Behaviorally, participants demonstrated greater ease in judging the physical actions of the characters compared to judging their emotional states, and participants showed more activation in areas associated with emotion processing in the emotion detection task, whereas they showed more activation in visual, spatial and action-related areas in the physical action task. Gender differences emerged in brain responses, such that men showed greater activation than women in the left dorsal premotor cortex in both tasks. Finally, participants higher in self-reported empathy demonstrated greater activation in areas associated with self-referential processing and emotion interpretation. These results suggest that empathy levels and sex of the participant may affect neural responses to emotional body language.

  20. Neural evidence of motivational conflict between social values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leszkowicz, Emilia; Linden, David E J; Maio, Gregory R; Ihssen, Niklas

    2017-10-01

    Motivational interdependence is an organizing principle in Schwartz's circumplex model of social values, which has received abundant cross-cultural support. We used fMRI to test whether motivational relations between social values predict different brain responses in a situation of choice between values. We hypothesized that differences in brain responses would become evident when the more important value had to be selected in pairs of congruent (e.g., wealth and success) as opposed to incongruent (e.g., curiosity and stability) values as they are described in Schwartz's model, because the former serve mutually facilitating motives, whereas the latter serve mutually inhibiting motives. Consistent with the model, choosing between congruent values led to longer response times and more activation in conflict-related brain regions (e.g., the supplementary motor area, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) than selecting between incongruent values. These results provide novel neural evidence supporting the circumplex model's predictions about motivational interdependence between social values. In particular, our results show that the neural networks underlying social values are organized in a way that allows activation patterns related to motivational similarity between congruent values to be dissociated from those related to incongruent values.

  1. An integrative neural model of social perception, action observation, and theory of mind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Daniel Y.-J.; Rosenblau, Gabriela; Keifer, Cara; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2016-01-01

    In the field of social neuroscience, major branches of research have been instrumental in describing independent components of typical and aberrant social information processing, but the field as a whole lacks a comprehensive model that integrates different branches. We review existing research related to the neural basis of three key neural systems underlying social information processing: social perception, action observation, and theory of mind. We propose an integrative model that unites these three processes and highlights the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which plays a central role in all three systems. Furthermore, we integrate these neural systems with the dual system account of implicit and explicit social information processing. Large-scale meta-analyses based on Neurosynth confirmed that the pSTS is at the intersection of the three neural systems. Resting-state functional connectivity analysis with 1000 subjects confirmed that the pSTS is connected to all other regions in these systems. The findings presented in this review are specifically relevant for psychiatric research especially disorders characterized by social deficits such as autism spectrum disorder. PMID:25660957

  2. Neural evidence that human emotions share core affective properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine D; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Barsalou, Lawrence W

    2013-06-01

    Research on the "emotional brain" remains centered around the idea that emotions like fear, happiness, and sadness result from specialized and distinct neural circuitry. Accumulating behavioral and physiological evidence suggests, instead, that emotions are grounded in core affect--a person's fluctuating level of pleasant or unpleasant arousal. A neuroimaging study revealed that participants' subjective ratings of valence (i.e., pleasure/displeasure) and of arousal evoked by various fear, happiness, and sadness experiences correlated with neural activity in specific brain regions (orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, respectively). We observed these correlations across diverse instances within each emotion category, as well as across instances from all three categories. Consistent with a psychological construction approach to emotion, the results suggest that neural circuitry realizes more basic processes across discrete emotions. The implicated brain regions regulate the body to deal with the world, producing the affective changes at the core of emotions and many other psychological phenomena.

  3. Action Planning and the Timescale of Evidence Accumulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantinos Tsetsos

    Full Text Available Perceptual decisions are based on the temporal integration of sensory evidence for different states of the outside world. The timescale of this integration process varies widely across behavioral contexts and individuals, and it is diagnostic for the underlying neural mechanisms. In many situations, the decision-maker knows the required mapping between perceptual evidence and motor response (henceforth termed "sensory-motor contingency" before decision formation. Here, the integrated evidence can be directly translated into a motor plan and, indeed, neural signatures of the integration process are evident as build-up activity in premotor brain regions. In other situations, however, the sensory-motor contingencies are unknown at the time of decision formation. We used behavioral psychophysics and computational modeling to test if knowledge about sensory-motor contingencies affects the timescale of perceptual evidence integration. We asked human observers to perform the same motion discrimination task, with or without trial-to-trial variations of the mapping between perceptual choice and motor response. When the mapping varied, it was either instructed before or after the stimulus presentation. We quantified the timescale of evidence integration under these different sensory-motor mapping conditions by means of two approaches. First, we analyzed subjects' discrimination threshold as a function of stimulus duration. Second, we fitted a dynamical decision-making model to subjects' choice behavior. The results from both approaches indicated that observers (i integrated motion information for several hundred ms, (ii used a shorter than optimal integration timescale, and (iii used the same integration timescale under all sensory-motor mappings. We conclude that the mechanisms limiting the timescale of perceptual decisions are largely independent from long-term learning (under fixed mapping or rapid acquisition (under variable mapping of sensory

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavelier, D; Achtman, R L; Mani, M; Föcker, J

    2012-05-15

    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, Green, & Bavelier, 2010). The present study used brain imaging to test this hypothesis by comparing attentional network recruitment and distractor processing in action gamers versus non-gamers as attentional demands increased. Moving distractors were found to elicit lesser activation of the visual motion-sensitive area (MT/MST) in gamers as compared to non-gamers, suggestive of a better early filtering of irrelevant information in gamers. As expected, a fronto-parietal network of areas showed greater recruitment as attentional demands increased in non-gamers. In contrast, gamers barely engaged this network as attentional demands increased. This reduced activity in the fronto-parietal network that is hypothesized to control the flexible allocation of top-down attention is compatible with the proposal that action game players may allocate attentional resources more automatically, possibly allowing more efficient early filtering of irrelevant information. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. An integrative neural model of social perception, action observation, and theory of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Daniel Y-J; Rosenblau, Gabriela; Keifer, Cara; Pelphrey, Kevin A

    2015-04-01

    In the field of social neuroscience, major branches of research have been instrumental in describing independent components of typical and aberrant social information processing, but the field as a whole lacks a comprehensive model that integrates different branches. We review existing research related to the neural basis of three key neural systems underlying social information processing: social perception, action observation, and theory of mind. We propose an integrative model that unites these three processes and highlights the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), which plays a central role in all three systems. Furthermore, we integrate these neural systems with the dual system account of implicit and explicit social information processing. Large-scale meta-analyses based on Neurosynth confirmed that the pSTS is at the intersection of the three neural systems. Resting-state functional connectivity analysis with 1000 subjects confirmed that the pSTS is connected to all other regions in these systems. The findings presented in this review are specifically relevant for psychiatric research especially disorders characterized by social deficits such as autism spectrum disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Action prediction in younger versus older adults: neural correlates of motor familiarity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine Diersch

    Full Text Available Generating predictions during action observation is essential for efficient navigation through our social environment. With age, the sensitivity in action prediction declines. In younger adults, the action observation network (AON, consisting of premotor, parietal and occipitotemporal cortices, has been implicated in transforming executed and observed actions into a common code. Much less is known about age-related changes in the neural representation of observed actions. Using fMRI, the present study measured brain activity in younger and older adults during the prediction of temporarily occluded actions (figure skating elements and simple movement exercises. All participants were highly familiar with the movement exercises whereas only some participants were experienced figure skaters. With respect to the AON, the results confirm that this network was preferentially engaged for the more familiar movement exercises. Compared to younger adults, older adults recruited visual regions to perform the task and, additionally, the hippocampus and caudate when the observed actions were familiar to them. Thus, instead of effectively exploiting the sensorimotor matching properties of the AON, older adults seemed to rely predominantly on the visual dynamics of the observed actions to perform the task. Our data further suggest that the caudate played an important role during the prediction of the less familiar figure skating elements in better-performing groups. Together, these findings show that action prediction engages a distributed network in the brain, which is modulated by the content of the observed actions and the age and experience of the observer.

  8. Neural substrates of decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broche-Pérez, Y; Herrera Jiménez, L F; Omar-Martínez, E

    2016-06-01

    Decision-making is the process of selecting a course of action from among 2 or more alternatives by considering the potential outcomes of selecting each option and estimating its consequences in the short, medium and long term. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) has traditionally been considered the key neural structure in decision-making process. However, new studies support the hypothesis that describes a complex neural network including both cortical and subcortical structures. The aim of this review is to summarise evidence on the anatomical structures underlying the decision-making process, considering new findings that support the existence of a complex neural network that gives rise to this complex neuropsychological process. Current evidence shows that the cortical structures involved in decision-making include the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). This process is assisted by subcortical structures including the amygdala, thalamus, and cerebellum. Findings to date show that both cortical and subcortical brain regions contribute to the decision-making process. The neural basis of decision-making is a complex neural network of cortico-cortical and cortico-subcortical connections which includes subareas of the PFC, limbic structures, and the cerebellum. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  9. Erythropoietin reduces neural and cognitive processing of fear in human models of antidepressant drug action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Miskowiak, Kamilla; O'Sullivan, Ursula; Harmer, Catherine J

    2007-01-01

    with reduced attention to fear. Erythropoietin additionally reduced recognition of fearful facial expressions without affecting recognition of other emotional expressions. These actions occurred in the absence of changes in hematological parameters. CONCLUSIONS: The present study demonstrates that Epo directly......) versus saline on the neural processing of happy and fearful faces in 23 healthy volunteers. Facial expression recognition was assessed outside the scanner. RESULTS: One week after administration, Epo reduced neural response to fearful versus neutral faces in the occipito-parietal cortex consistent...... study aimed to explore the effects of Epo on neural and behavioral measures of emotional processing relevant for depression and the effects of conventional antidepressant medication. METHODS: In the present study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore the effects of Epo (40,000 IU...

  10. Action potential influences spatial perception: Evidence for genuine top-down effects on perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Jessica K

    2017-08-01

    The action-specific account of spatial perception asserts that a perceiver's ability to perform an action, such as hitting a softball or walking up a hill, impacts the visual perception of the target object. Although much evidence is consistent with this claim, the evidence has been challenged as to whether perception is truly impacted, as opposed to the responses themselves. These challenges have recently been organized as six pitfalls that provide a framework with which to evaluate the empirical evidence. Four case studies of action-specific effects are offered as evidence that meets the framework's high bar, and thus that demonstrates genuine perceptual effects. That action influences spatial perception is evidence that perceptual and action-related processes are intricately and bidirectionally linked.

  11. Mirroring "meaningful" actions: sensorimotor learning modulates imitation of goal-directed actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catmur, Caroline; Heyes, Cecilia

    2017-06-19

    Imitation is important in the development of social and technological skills throughout the lifespan. Experiments investigating the acquisition and modulation of imitation (and of its proposed neural substrate, the mirror neuron system) have produced evidence that the capacity for imitation depends on associative learning in which connections are formed between sensory and motor representations of actions. However, evidence that the development of imitation depends on associative learning has been found only for non-goal-directed actions. One reason for the lack of research on goal-directed actions is that imitation of such actions is commonly confounded with the tendency to respond in a spatially compatible manner. However, since the most prominent account of mirror neuron function, and hence of imitation, suggests that these cells encode goal-directed actions, it is important to establish whether sensorimotor learning can also modulate imitation of goal-directed actions. Experiment 1 demonstrated that imitation of goal-directed grasping can be measured while controlling for spatial compatibility, and Experiment 2 showed that this imitation effect can be modulated by sensorimotor training. Together these data support the hypothesis that the capacity for behavioural imitation, and the properties of the mirror neuron system, are constructed in the course of development through associative learning.

  12. A comparison of the weights-of-evidence method and probabilistic neural networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singer, Donald A.; Kouda, Ryoichi

    1999-01-01

    The need to integrate large quantities of digital geoscience information to classify locations as mineral deposits or nondeposits has been met by the weights-of-evidence method in many situations. Widespread selection of this method may be more the result of its ease of use and interpretation rather than comparisons with alternative methods. A comparison of the weights-of-evidence method to probabilistic neural networks is performed here with data from Chisel Lake-Andeson Lake, Manitoba, Canada. Each method is designed to estimate the probability of belonging to learned classes where the estimated probabilities are used to classify the unknowns. Using these data, significantly lower classification error rates were observed for the neural network, not only when test and training data were the same (0.02 versus 23%), but also when validation data, not used in any training, were used to test the efficiency of classification (0.7 versus 17%). Despite these data containing too few deposits, these tests of this set of data demonstrate the neural network's ability at making unbiased probability estimates and lower error rates when measured by number of polygons or by the area of land misclassified. For both methods, independent validation tests are required to ensure that estimates are representative of real-world results. Results from the weights-of-evidence method demonstrate a strong bias where most errors are barren areas misclassified as deposits. The weights-of-evidence method is based on Bayes rule, which requires independent variables in order to make unbiased estimates. The chi-square test for independence indicates no significant correlations among the variables in the Chisel Lake–Andeson Lake data. However, the expected number of deposits test clearly demonstrates that these data violate the independence assumption. Other, independent simulations with three variables show that using variables with correlations of 1.0 can double the expected number of deposits

  13. Neural dynamics of learning sound-action associations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam McNamara

    Full Text Available A motor component is pre-requisite to any communicative act as one must inherently move to communicate. To learn to make a communicative act, the brain must be able to dynamically associate arbitrary percepts to the neural substrate underlying the pre-requisite motor activity. We aimed to investigate whether brain regions involved in complex gestures (ventral pre-motor cortex, Brodmann Area 44 were involved in mediating association between novel abstract auditory stimuli and novel gestural movements. In a functional resonance imaging (fMRI study we asked participants to learn associations between previously unrelated novel sounds and meaningless gestures inside the scanner. We use functional connectivity analysis to eliminate the often present confound of 'strategic covert naming' when dealing with BA44 and to rule out effects of non-specific reductions in signal. Brodmann Area 44, a region incorporating Broca's region showed strong, bilateral, negative correlation of BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent response with learning of sound-action associations during data acquisition. Left-inferior-parietal-lobule (l-IPL and bilateral loci in and around visual area V5, right-orbital-frontal-gyrus, right-hippocampus, left-para-hippocampus, right-head-of-caudate, right-insula and left-lingual-gyrus also showed decreases in BOLD response with learning. Concurrent with these decreases in BOLD response, an increasing connectivity between areas of the imaged network as well as the right-middle-frontal-gyrus with rising learning performance was revealed by a psychophysiological interaction (PPI analysis. The increasing connectivity therefore occurs within an increasingly energy efficient network as learning proceeds. Strongest learning related connectivity between regions was found when analysing BA44 and l-IPL seeds. The results clearly show that BA44 and l-IPL is dynamically involved in linking gesture and sound and therefore provides evidence that one of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Neural regions supporting lexical processing of objects and actions: A case series analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bonnie L Breining

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Linking semantic representations to lexical items is an important cognitive process for both producing and comprehending language. Past research has suggested that the bilateral anterior temporal lobes are critical for this process (e.g. Patterson, Nestor, & Rogers, 2007. However, the majority of studies focused on object concepts alone, ignoring actions. The few that considered actions suggest that the temporal poles are not critical for their processing (e.g. Kemmerer et al., 2010. In this case series, we investigated the neural substrates of linking object and action concepts to lexical labels by correlating the volume of defined regions of interest with behavioral performance on picture-word verification and picture naming tasks of individuals with primary progressive aphasia (PPA. PPA is a neurodegenerative condition with heterogeneous neuropathological causes, characterized by increasing language deficits for at least two years in the face of relatively intact cognitive function in other domains (Gorno-Tempini et al., 2011. This population displays appropriate heterogeneity of performance and focal atrophy for investigating the neural substrates involved in lexical semantic processing of objects and actions. Method. Twenty-one individuals with PPA participated in behavioral assessment within six months of high resolution anatomical MRI scans. Behavioral assessments consisted of four tasks: picture-word verification and picture naming of objects and actions. Performance on these assessments was correlated with brain volume measured using atlas-based analysis in twenty regions of interest that are commonly atrophied in PPA and implicated in language processing. Results. Impaired performance for all four tasks significantly correlated with atrophy in the right superior temporal pole, left anterior middle temporal gyrus, and left fusiform gyrus. No regions were identified in which volume correlated with performance for both

  17. The neural basis of human social values: evidence from functional MRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahn, Roland; Moll, Jorge; Paiva, Mirella; Garrido, Griselda; Krueger, Frank; Huey, Edward D; Grafman, Jordan

    2009-02-01

    Social values are composed of social concepts (e.g., "generosity") and context-dependent moral sentiments (e.g., "pride"). The neural basis of this intricate cognitive architecture has not been investigated thus far. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging while subjects imagined their own actions toward another person (self-agency) which either conformed or were counter to a social value and were associated with pride or guilt, respectively. Imagined actions of another person toward the subjects (other-agency) in accordance with or counter to a value were associated with gratitude or indignation/anger. As hypothesized, superior anterior temporal lobe (aTL) activity increased with conceptual detail in all conditions. During self-agency, activity in the anterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex correlated with pride and guilt, whereas activity in the subgenual cingulate solely correlated with guilt. In contrast, indignation/anger activated lateral orbitofrontal-insular cortices. Pride and gratitude additionally evoked mesolimbic and basal forebrain activations. Our results demonstrate that social values emerge from coactivation of stable abstract social conceptual representations in the superior aTL and context-dependent moral sentiments encoded in fronto-mesolimbic regions. This neural architecture may provide the basis of our ability to communicate about the meaning of social values across cultural contexts without limiting our flexibility to adapt their emotional interpretation.

  18. The method of educational assessment affects children's neural processing and performance: behavioural and fMRI Evidence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Steven J.; Burianová, Hana; Calleia, Alysha; Fynes-Clinton, Samuel; Kervin, Lisa; Bokosmaty, Sahar

    2017-08-01

    Standardised educational assessments are now widespread, yet their development has given comparatively more consideration to what to assess than how to optimally assess students' competencies. Existing evidence from behavioural studies with children and neuroscience studies with adults suggest that the method of assessment may affect neural processing and performance, but current evidence remains limited. To investigate the impact of assessment methods on neural processing and performance in young children, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify and quantify the neural correlates during performance across a range of current approaches to standardised spelling assessment. Results indicated that children's test performance declined as the cognitive load of assessment method increased. Activation of neural nodes associated with working memory further suggests that this performance decline may be a consequence of a higher cognitive load, rather than the complexity of the content. These findings provide insights into principles of assessment (re)design, to ensure assessment results are an accurate reflection of students' true levels of competency.

  19. Are individuals with higher psychopathic traits better learners at lying? Behavioural and neural evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, R; Lee, T M C

    2017-07-25

    High psychopathy is characterized by untruthfulness and manipulativeness. However, existing evidence on higher propensity or capacity to lie among non-incarcerated high-psychopathic individuals is equivocal. Of particular importance, no research has investigated whether greater psychopathic tendency is associated with better 'trainability' of lying. An understanding of whether the neurobehavioral processes of lying are modifiable through practice offers significant theoretical and practical implications. By employing a longitudinal design involving university students with varying degrees of psychopathic traits, we successfully demonstrate that the performance speed of lying about face familiarity significantly improved following two sessions of practice, which occurred only among those with higher, but not lower, levels of psychopathic traits. Furthermore, this behavioural improvement associated with higher psychopathic tendency was predicted by a reduction in lying-related neural signals and by functional connectivity changes in the frontoparietal and cerebellum networks. Our findings provide novel and pivotal evidence suggesting that psychopathic traits are the key modulating factors of the plasticity of both behavioural and neural processes underpinning lying. These findings broadly support conceptualization of high-functioning individuals with higher psychopathic traits as having preserved, or arguably superior, functioning in neural networks implicated in cognitive executive processing, but deficiencies in affective neural processes, from a neuroplasticity perspective.

  20. Adult ADHD and working memory: neural evidence of impaired encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Soyeon; Liu, Zhongxu; Glizer, Daniel; Tannock, Rosemary; Woltering, Steven

    2014-08-01

    To investigate neural and behavioural correlates of visual encoding during a working memory (WM) task in young adults with and without Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). A sample of 30 college students currently meeting a diagnosis of ADHD and 25 typically developing students, matched on age and gender, performed a delayed match-to-sample task with low and high memory load conditions. Dense-array electroencephalography was recorded. Specifically, the P3, an event related potential (ERP) associated with WM, was examined because of its relation with attentional allocation during WM. Task performance (accuracy, reaction time) as well as performance on other neuropsychological tasks of WM was analyzed. Neural differences were found between the groups. Specifically, the P3 amplitude was smaller in the ADHD group compared to the comparison group for both load conditions at parietal-occipital sites. Lower scores on behavioural working memory tasks were suggestive of impaired behavioural WM performance in the ADHD group. Findings from this study provide the first evidence of neural differences in the encoding stage of WM in young adults with ADHD, suggesting ineffective allocation of attentional resources involved in encoding of information in WM. These findings, reflecting alternate neural functioning of WM, may explain some of the difficulties related to WM functioning that college students with ADHD report in their every day cognitive functioning. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Signed language and human action processing: evidence for functional constraints on the human mirror-neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather Patterson

    2008-12-01

    In the quest to further understand the neural underpinning of human communication, researchers have turned to studies of naturally occurring signed languages used in Deaf communities. The comparison of the commonalities and differences between spoken and signed languages provides an opportunity to determine core neural systems responsible for linguistic communication independent of the modality in which a language is expressed. The present article examines such studies, and in addition asks what we can learn about human languages by contrasting formal visual-gestural linguistic systems (signed languages) with more general human action perception. To understand visual language perception, it is important to distinguish the demands of general human motion processing from the highly task-dependent demands associated with extracting linguistic meaning from arbitrary, conventionalized gestures. This endeavor is particularly important because theorists have suggested close homologies between perception and production of actions and functions of human language and social communication. We review recent behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropsychological studies that explore dissociations between the processing of human actions and signed languages. These data suggest incomplete overlap between the mirror-neuron systems proposed to mediate human action and language.

  2. Understanding the role of speech production in reading: Evidence for a print-to-speech neural network using graphical analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummine, Jacqueline; Cribben, Ivor; Luu, Connie; Kim, Esther; Bahktiari, Reyhaneh; Georgiou, George; Boliek, Carol A

    2016-05-01

    The neural circuitry associated with language processing is complex and dynamic. Graphical models are useful for studying complex neural networks as this method provides information about unique connectivity between regions within the context of the entire network of interest. Here, the authors explored the neural networks during covert reading to determine the role of feedforward and feedback loops in covert speech production. Brain activity of skilled adult readers was assessed in real word and pseudoword reading tasks with functional MRI (fMRI). The authors provide evidence for activity coherence in the feedforward system (inferior frontal gyrus-supplementary motor area) during real word reading and in the feedback system (supramarginal gyrus-precentral gyrus) during pseudoword reading. Graphical models provided evidence of an extensive, highly connected, neural network when individuals read real words that relied on coordination of the feedforward system. In contrast, when individuals read pseudowords the authors found a limited/restricted network that relied on coordination of the feedback system. Together, these results underscore the importance of considering multiple pathways and articulatory loops during language tasks and provide evidence for a print-to-speech neural network. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  3. A review of evidence of health benefit from artificial neural networks in medical intervention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisboa, P J G

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this review is to assess the evidence of healthcare benefits involving the application of artificial neural networks to the clinical functions of diagnosis, prognosis and survival analysis, in the medical domains of oncology, critical care and cardiovascular medicine. The primary source of publications is PUBMED listings under Randomised Controlled Trials and Clinical Trials. The rĵle of neural networks is introduced within the context of advances in medical decision support arising from parallel developments in statistics and artificial intelligence. This is followed by a survey of published Randomised Controlled Trials and Clinical Trials, leading to recommendations for good practice in the design and evaluation of neural networks for use in medical intervention.

  4. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Pilyoung; Rigo, Paola; Leckman, James F.; Mayes, Linda C.; Cole, Pamela M.; Feldman, Ruth; Swain, James E.

    2015-01-01

    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

  5. The porous boundaries between explicit and implicit memory: behavioral and neural evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dew, Ilana T Z; Cabeza, Roberto

    2011-04-01

    Explicit memory refers to the conscious retrieval of past information or experiences, whereas implicit memory refers to an unintentional or nonconscious form of retrieval. Much of the literature in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience has focused on differences between explicit and implicit memory, and the traditional view is that they rely on distinct brain systems. However, the potential interplay between implicit and explicit memory is not always clear. This review draws from behavioral and functional neuroimaging evidence to evaluate three areas in which implicit and explicit memory may be interrelated. First, we discuss views of familiarity-based recognition in terms of its relationship with implicit memory. Second, we review the challenges of distinguishing between implicit memory and involuntary aware memory, at both behavioral and neural levels. Finally, we examine evidence indicating that implicit and explicit retrieval of relational information may rely on a common neural mechanism. Taken together, these areas indicate that, under certain circumstances, there may be an important and influential relationship between conscious and nonconscious expressions of memory. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  6. Planning music-based amelioration and training in infancy and childhood based on neural evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huotilainen, Minna; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2018-05-04

    Music-based amelioration and training of the developing auditory system has a long tradition, and recent neuroscientific evidence supports using music in this manner. Here, we present the available evidence showing that various music-related activities result in positive changes in brain structure and function, becoming helpful for auditory cognitive processes in everyday life situations for individuals with typical neural development and especially for individuals with hearing, learning, attention, or other deficits that may compromise auditory processing. We also compare different types of music-based training and show how their effects have been investigated with neural methods. Finally, we take a critical position on the multitude of error sources found in amelioration and training studies and on publication bias in the field. We discuss some future improvements of these issues in the field of music-based training and their potential results at the neural and behavioral levels in infants and children for the advancement of the field and for a more complete understanding of the possibilities and significance of the training. © 2018 The Authors. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of New York Academy of Sciences.

  7. The Smoke around Mirror Neurons: Goals as Sociocultural and Emotional Organizers of Perception and Action in Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Immordino-Yang, Mary Helen

    2008-01-01

    From the pragmatists to the neo-Piagetians, development has been understood to involve cycles of perception and action--the internalization of interactions with the world and the construction of skills for acting in the world. From a neurobiological standpoint, new evidence suggests that neural activities related to action and perception converge…

  8. Perception-Action in children with ASD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claes eVon Hofsten

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available How do disturbances to perception and action relate to the deficiencies expressed by children with autism? The ability to predict what is going to happen next is crucial for the construction of all actions and children develop these predictive abilities early in development. Children with autism, however, are deficient in the ability to foresee future events and to plan movements and movement sequences. They are also deficient in the understanding of other people’s actions. This includes communicative actions as they are ultimately based on movements. Today there are two promising neurobiological interpretation of ASD. First, there is strong evidence that the Mirror Neuron System (MNS is impaired. As stated by this hypothesis, action production and action understanding are intimately related. Both these functions rely on predictive models of the sensory consequences of actions and depend on connectivity between the parietal and pre-motor areas. Secondly, action prediction is accomplished through a system that includes a loop from the posterior parietal cortex through the cerebellum and back to the premotor and motor areas of the brain. Impairment of this loop is probably also part of the explanation of the prediction problems in children with ASD. Both the cortico-cerebellar loop and the MNS rely on distant neural connections. There are multiple evidence that such connections are weak in children with autism.

  9. Indian Classical Dance Action Identification and Classification with Convolutional Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. V. V. Kishore

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Extracting and recognizing complex human movements from unconstrained online/offline video sequence is a challenging task in computer vision. This paper proposes the classification of Indian classical dance actions using a powerful artificial intelligence tool: convolutional neural networks (CNN. In this work, human action recognition on Indian classical dance videos is performed on recordings from both offline (controlled recording and online (live performances, YouTube data. The offline data is created with ten different subjects performing 200 familiar dance mudras/poses from different Indian classical dance forms under various background environments. The online dance data is collected from YouTube for ten different subjects. Each dance pose is occupied for 60 frames or images in a video in both the cases. CNN training is performed with 8 different sample sizes, each consisting of multiple sets of subjects. The remaining 2 samples are used for testing the trained CNN. Different CNN architectures were designed and tested with our data to obtain a better accuracy in recognition. We achieved a 93.33% recognition rate compared to other classifier models reported on the same dataset.

  10. DATA MAYHEM VERSUS NIMBLE INFORMATION: TRANSFORMING HECTIC IMAGERY INTELLIGENCE DATA INTO ACTIONABLE INFORMATION USING ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-10-01

    organized intelligence with a comprehensive account of the information derived, validated by intelligence requirements tasking. Third Phase...AU/ACSC/MORALES/AY17 AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLLEGE DISTANCE LEARNING AIR UNIVERSITY DATA MAYHEM VERSUS NIMBLE INFORMATION : TRANSFORMING...HECTIC IMAGERY INTELLIGENCE DATA INTO ACTIONABLE INFORMATION USING ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS by Luis A. Morales, Major, USAF A Research

  11. An Ensemble Deep Convolutional Neural Network Model with Improved D-S Evidence Fusion for Bearing Fault Diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shaobo; Liu, Guokai; Tang, Xianghong; Lu, Jianguang; Hu, Jianjun

    2017-07-28

    Intelligent machine health monitoring and fault diagnosis are becoming increasingly important for modern manufacturing industries. Current fault diagnosis approaches mostly depend on expert-designed features for building prediction models. In this paper, we proposed IDSCNN, a novel bearing fault diagnosis algorithm based on ensemble deep convolutional neural networks and an improved Dempster-Shafer theory based evidence fusion. The convolutional neural networks take the root mean square (RMS) maps from the FFT (Fast Fourier Transformation) features of the vibration signals from two sensors as inputs. The improved D-S evidence theory is implemented via distance matrix from evidences and modified Gini Index. Extensive evaluations of the IDSCNN on the Case Western Reserve Dataset showed that our IDSCNN algorithm can achieve better fault diagnosis performance than existing machine learning methods by fusing complementary or conflicting evidences from different models and sensors and adapting to different load conditions.

  12. Functional Dissociation between Perception and Action Is Evident Early in Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadad, Bat-Sheva; Avidan, Galia; Ganel, Tzvi

    2012-01-01

    The functional distinction between vision for perception and vision for action is well documented in the mature visual system. Ganel and colleagues recently provided direct evidence for this dissociation, showing that while visual processing for perception follows Weber's fundamental law of psychophysics, action violates this law. We tracked the…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Direct real-time neural evidence for task-set inertia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Lisa H; Herron, Jane E; Wilding, Edward L

    2015-03-01

    One influential explanation for the costs incurred when switching between tasks is that they reflect interference arising from completing the previous task-known as task-set inertia. We report a novel approach for assessing task-set inertia in a memory experiment using event-related potentials (ERPs). After a study phase, participants completed a test block in which they switched between a memory task (retrieving information from the study phase) and a perceptual task. These tasks alternated every two trials. An ERP index of the retrieval of study information was evident in the memory task. It was also present on the first trial of the perceptual task but was markedly attenuated on the second. Moreover, this task-irrelevant ERP activity was positively correlated with a behavioral cost associated with switching between tasks. This real-time measure of neural activity thus provides direct evidence of task-set inertia, its duration, and the functional role it plays in switch costs. © The Author(s) 2015.

  15. Weighted score-level feature fusion based on Dempster-Shafer evidence theory for action recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Guoliang; Jia, Songmin; Li, Xiuzhi; Zhang, Xiangyin

    2018-01-01

    The majority of human action recognition methods use multifeature fusion strategy to improve the classification performance, where the contribution of different features for specific action has not been paid enough attention. We present an extendible and universal weighted score-level feature fusion method using the Dempster-Shafer (DS) evidence theory based on the pipeline of bag-of-visual-words. First, the partially distinctive samples in the training set are selected to construct the validation set. Then, local spatiotemporal features and pose features are extracted from these samples to obtain evidence information. The DS evidence theory and the proposed rule of survival of the fittest are employed to achieve evidence combination and calculate optimal weight vectors of every feature type belonging to each action class. Finally, the recognition results are deduced via the weighted summation strategy. The performance of the established recognition framework is evaluated on Penn Action dataset and a subset of the joint-annotated human metabolome database (sub-JHMDB). The experiment results demonstrate that the proposed feature fusion method can adequately exploit the complementarity among multiple features and improve upon most of the state-of-the-art algorithms on Penn Action and sub-JHMDB datasets.

  16. Actionability and Simulation: No Representation without Communication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jerome Arthur Feldman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available .There remains considerable controversy about how the brain operates. This review focuses on brain activity rather than just structure and on concepts of action and actionability rather than truth conditions. Neural Communication is reviewed as a crucial aspect of neural encoding. Consequently, logical inference is superseded by neural simulation. Some remaining mysteries are discussed.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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.

  18. Improved probabilistic inference as a general learning mechanism with action video games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C Shawn; Pouget, Alexandre; Bavelier, Daphne

    2010-09-14

    Action video game play benefits performance in an array of sensory, perceptual, and attentional tasks that go well beyond the specifics of game play [1-9]. That a training regimen may induce improvements in so many different skills is notable because the majority of studies on training-induced learning report improvements on the trained task but limited transfer to other, even closely related, tasks ([10], but see also [11-13]). Here we ask whether improved probabilistic inference may explain such broad transfer. By using a visual perceptual decision making task [14, 15], the present study shows for the first time that action video game experience does indeed improve probabilistic inference. A neural model of this task [16] establishes how changing a single parameter, namely the strength of the connections between the neural layer providing the momentary evidence and the layer integrating the evidence over time, captures improvements in action-gamers behavior. These results were established in a visual, but also in a novel auditory, task, indicating generalization across modalities. Thus, improved probabilistic inference provides a general mechanism for why action video game playing enhances performance in a wide variety of tasks. In addition, this mechanism may serve as a signature of training regimens that are likely to produce transfer of learning. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Getting evidence into action to tackle institutional child abuse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Sarah

    2017-12-01

    The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is an example of a government response to survivors' demands to address the harm they suffered. It is also a major response by a national government to improve child safety in the future. Facing up to child abuse is difficult and in other countries similar inquiries have suffered delays and derailing. This commentary uses an evidence-to-action lens to explore why clear evidence of child sexual abuse may be ignored and side-lined. It argues that where evidence challenges the powerful, is surprising and shocking, or undercuts current institutional and policy arrangements, then that evidence is likely to be ignored, undermined or refuted - all factors which are present in the case of historical institutional child sexual abuse. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Sensorimotor learning biases choice behavior: a learning neural field model for decision making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Klaes

    Full Text Available According to a prominent view of sensorimotor processing in primates, selection and specification of possible actions are not sequential operations. Rather, a decision for an action emerges from competition between different movement plans, which are specified and selected in parallel. For action choices which are based on ambiguous sensory input, the frontoparietal sensorimotor areas are considered part of the common underlying neural substrate for selection and specification of action. These areas have been shown capable of encoding alternative spatial motor goals in parallel during movement planning, and show signatures of competitive value-based selection among these goals. Since the same network is also involved in learning sensorimotor associations, competitive action selection (decision making should not only be driven by the sensory evidence and expected reward in favor of either action, but also by the subject's learning history of different sensorimotor associations. Previous computational models of competitive neural decision making used predefined associations between sensory input and corresponding motor output. Such hard-wiring does not allow modeling of how decisions are influenced by sensorimotor learning or by changing reward contingencies. We present a dynamic neural field model which learns arbitrary sensorimotor associations with a reward-driven Hebbian learning algorithm. We show that the model accurately simulates the dynamics of action selection with different reward contingencies, as observed in monkey cortical recordings, and that it correctly predicted the pattern of choice errors in a control experiment. With our adaptive model we demonstrate how network plasticity, which is required for association learning and adaptation to new reward contingencies, can influence choice behavior. The field model provides an integrated and dynamic account for the operations of sensorimotor integration, working memory and action

  2. Consequences of Converting Graded to Action Potentials upon Neural Information Coding and Energy Efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sengupta, Biswa; Laughlin, Simon Barry; Niven, Jeremy Edward

    2014-01-01

    Information is encoded in neural circuits using both graded and action potentials, converting between them within single neurons and successive processing layers. This conversion is accompanied by information loss and a drop in energy efficiency. We investigate the biophysical causes of this loss of information and efficiency by comparing spiking neuron models, containing stochastic voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels, with generator potential and graded potential models lacking voltage-gated Na+ channels. We identify three causes of information loss in the generator potential that are the by-product of action potential generation: (1) the voltage-gated Na+ channels necessary for action potential generation increase intrinsic noise and (2) introduce non-linearities, and (3) the finite duration of the action potential creates a ‘footprint’ in the generator potential that obscures incoming signals. These three processes reduce information rates by ∼50% in generator potentials, to ∼3 times that of spike trains. Both generator potentials and graded potentials consume almost an order of magnitude less energy per second than spike trains. Because of the lower information rates of generator potentials they are substantially less energy efficient than graded potentials. However, both are an order of magnitude more efficient than spike trains due to the higher energy costs and low information content of spikes, emphasizing that there is a two-fold cost of converting analogue to digital; information loss and cost inflation. PMID:24465197

  3. Neural overlap in processing music and speech

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretz, Isabelle; Vuvan, Dominique; Lagrois, Marie-Élaine; Armony, Jorge L.

    2015-01-01

    Neural overlap in processing music and speech, as measured by the co-activation of brain regions in neuroimaging studies, may suggest that parts of the neural circuitries established for language may have been recycled during evolution for musicality, or vice versa that musicality served as a springboard for language emergence. Such a perspective has important implications for several topics of general interest besides evolutionary origins. For instance, neural overlap is an important premise for the possibility of music training to influence language acquisition and literacy. However, neural overlap in processing music and speech does not entail sharing neural circuitries. Neural separability between music and speech may occur in overlapping brain regions. In this paper, we review the evidence and outline the issues faced in interpreting such neural data, and argue that converging evidence from several methodologies is needed before neural overlap is taken as evidence of sharing. PMID:25646513

  4. Neural overlap in processing music and speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peretz, Isabelle; Vuvan, Dominique; Lagrois, Marie-Élaine; Armony, Jorge L

    2015-03-19

    Neural overlap in processing music and speech, as measured by the co-activation of brain regions in neuroimaging studies, may suggest that parts of the neural circuitries established for language may have been recycled during evolution for musicality, or vice versa that musicality served as a springboard for language emergence. Such a perspective has important implications for several topics of general interest besides evolutionary origins. For instance, neural overlap is an important premise for the possibility of music training to influence language acquisition and literacy. However, neural overlap in processing music and speech does not entail sharing neural circuitries. Neural separability between music and speech may occur in overlapping brain regions. In this paper, we review the evidence and outline the issues faced in interpreting such neural data, and argue that converging evidence from several methodologies is needed before neural overlap is taken as evidence of sharing. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  5. Normative findings of electrically evoked compound action potential measurements using the neural response telemetry of the Nucleus CI24M cochlear implant system.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cafarelli-Dees, D.; Dillier, N.; Lai, W.K.; Wallenberg, E. von; Dijk, B. van; Akdas, F.; Aksit, M.; Batman, C.; Beynon, A.J.; Burdo, S.; Chanal, J.M.; Collet, L.; Conway, M.; Coudert, C.; Craddock, L.; Cullington, H.; Deggouj, N.; Fraysse, B.; Grabel, S.; Kiefer, J.; Kiss, J.G.; Lenarz, T.; Mair, A.; Maune, S.; Muller-Deile, J.; Piron, J.P.; Razza, S.; Tasche, C.; Thai-Van, H.; Toth, F.; Truy, E.; Uziel, A.; Smoorenburg, G.F.

    2005-01-01

    One hundred and forty-seven adult recipients of the Nucleus 24 cochlear implant system, from 13 different European countries, were tested using neural response telemetry to measure the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP), according to a standardised postoperative measurement

  6. The Neural Representation of Goal-Directed Actions and Outcomes in the Ventral Striatum's Olfactory Tubercle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadziola, Marie A.

    2016-01-01

    The ventral striatum is critical for evaluating reward information and the initiation of goal-directed behaviors. The many cellular, afferent, and efferent similarities between the ventral striatum's nucleus accumbens and olfactory tubercle (OT) suggests the distributed involvement of neurons within the ventral striatopallidal complex in motivated behaviors. Although the nucleus accumbens has an established role in representing goal-directed actions and their outcomes, it is not known whether this function is localized within the nucleus accumbens or distributed also within the OT. Answering such a fundamental question will expand our understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying motivated behaviors. Here we address whether the OT encodes natural reinforcers and serves as a substrate for motivational information processing. In recordings from mice engaged in a novel water-motivated instrumental task, we report that OT neurons modulate their firing rate during initiation and progression of the instrumental licking behavior, with some activity being internally generated and preceding the first lick. We further found that as motivational drive decreases throughout a session, the activity of OT neurons is enhanced earlier relative to the behavioral action. Additionally, OT neurons discriminate the types and magnitudes of fluid reinforcers. Together, these data suggest that the processing of reward information and the orchestration of goal-directed behaviors is a global principle of the ventral striatum and have important implications for understanding the neural systems subserving addiction and mood disorders. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Goal-directed behaviors are widespread among animals and underlie complex behaviors ranging from food intake, social behavior, and even pathological conditions, such as gambling and drug addiction. The ventral striatum is a neural system critical for evaluating reward information and the initiation of goal-directed behaviors. Here we

  7. Perception, action, and Roelofs effect: a mere illusion of dissociation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Dassonville

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available A prominent and influential hypothesis of vision suggests the existence of two separate visual systems within the brain, one creating our perception of the world and another guiding our actions within it. The induced Roelofs effect has been described as providing strong evidence for this perception/action dissociation: When a small visual target is surrounded by a large frame positioned so that the frame's center is offset from the observer's midline, the perceived location of the target is shifted in the direction opposite the frame's offset. In spite of this perceptual mislocalization, however, the observer can accurately guide movements to the target location. Thus, perception is prone to the illusion while actions seem immune. Here we demonstrate that the Roelofs illusion is caused by a frame-induced transient distortion of the observer's apparent midline. We further demonstrate that actions guided to targets within this same distorted egocentric reference frame are fully expected to be accurate, since the errors of target localization will exactly cancel the errors of motor guidance. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the various perceptual and motor effects of the induced Roelofs illusion without requiring the existence of separate neural systems for perception and action. Given this, the behavioral dissociation that accompanies the Roelofs effect cannot be considered evidence of a dissociation of perception and action. This indicates a general need to re-evaluate the broad class of evidence purported to support this hypothesized dissociation.

  8. Neural correlates of cognitive dissonance and choice-induced preference change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izuma, Keise; Matsumoto, Madoka; Murayama, Kou; Samejima, Kazuyuki; Sadato, Norihiro; Matsumoto, Kenji

    2010-12-21

    According to many modern economic theories, actions simply reflect an individual's preferences, whereas a psychological phenomenon called "cognitive dissonance" claims that actions can also create preference. Cognitive dissonance theory states that after making a difficult choice between two equally preferred items, the act of rejecting a favorite item induces an uncomfortable feeling (cognitive dissonance), which in turn motivates individuals to change their preferences to match their prior decision (i.e., reducing preference for rejected items). Recently, however, Chen and Risen [Chen K, Risen J (2010) J Pers Soc Psychol 99:573-594] pointed out a serious methodological problem, which casts a doubt on the very existence of this choice-induced preference change as studied over the past 50 y. Here, using a proper control condition and two measures of preferences (self-report and brain activity), we found that the mere act of making a choice can change self-report preference as well as its neural representation (i.e., striatum activity), thus providing strong evidence for choice-induced preference change. Furthermore, our data indicate that the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tracked the degree of cognitive dissonance on a trial-by-trial basis. Our findings provide important insights into the neural basis of how actions can alter an individual's preferences.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. By the sound of it. An ERP investigation of human action sound processing in 7-month-old infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Geangu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence suggests that human adults perceive human action sounds as a distinct category from human vocalizations, environmental, and mechanical sounds, activating different neural networks (Engel et al., 2009; Lewis et al., 2011. Yet, little is known about the development of such specialization. Using event-related potentials (ERP, this study investigated neural correlates of 7-month-olds’ processing of human action (HA sounds in comparison to human vocalizations (HV, environmental (ENV, and mechanical (MEC sounds. Relative to the other categories, HA sounds led to increased positive amplitudes between 470 and 570 ms post-stimulus onset at left anterior temporal locations, while HV led to increased negative amplitudes at the more posterior temporal locations in both hemispheres. Collectively, human produced sounds (HA + HV led to significantly different response profiles compared to non-living sound sources (ENV + MEC at parietal and frontal locations in both hemispheres. Overall, by 7 months of age human action sounds are being differentially processed in the brain, consistent with a dichotomy for processing living versus non-living things. This provides novel evidence regarding the typical categorical processing of socially relevant sounds.

  12. Sensitivity to structure in action sequences: An infant event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monroy, Claire D; Gerson, Sarah A; Domínguez-Martínez, Estefanía; Kaduk, Katharina; Hunnius, Sabine; Reid, Vincent

    2017-05-06

    Infants are sensitive to structure and patterns within continuous streams of sensory input. This sensitivity relies on statistical learning, the ability to detect predictable regularities in spatial and temporal sequences. Recent evidence has shown that infants can detect statistical regularities in action sequences they observe, but little is known about the neural process that give rise to this ability. In the current experiment, we combined electroencephalography (EEG) with eye-tracking to identify electrophysiological markers that indicate whether 8-11-month-old infants detect violations to learned regularities in action sequences, and to relate these markers to behavioral measures of anticipation during learning. In a learning phase, infants observed an actor performing a sequence featuring two deterministic pairs embedded within an otherwise random sequence. Thus, the first action of each pair was predictive of what would occur next. One of the pairs caused an action-effect, whereas the second did not. In a subsequent test phase, infants observed another sequence that included deviant pairs, violating the previously observed action pairs. Event-related potential (ERP) responses were analyzed and compared between the deviant and the original action pairs. Findings reveal that infants demonstrated a greater Negative central (Nc) ERP response to the deviant actions for the pair that caused the action-effect, which was consistent with their visual anticipations during the learning phase. Findings are discussed in terms of the neural and behavioral processes underlying perception and learning of structured action sequences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Active Neural Localization

    OpenAIRE

    Chaplot, Devendra Singh; Parisotto, Emilio; Salakhutdinov, Ruslan

    2018-01-01

    Localization is the problem of estimating the location of an autonomous agent from an observation and a map of the environment. Traditional methods of localization, which filter the belief based on the observations, are sub-optimal in the number of steps required, as they do not decide the actions taken by the agent. We propose "Active Neural Localizer", a fully differentiable neural network that learns to localize accurately and efficiently. The proposed model incorporates ideas of tradition...

  14. Cross-Linguistic Differences in the Neural Representation of Human Language: Evidence from Users of Signed Languages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P.; Lawyer, Laurel A.; Cates, Deborah

    2013-01-01

    Studies of deaf individuals who are users of signed languages have provided profound insight into the neural representation of human language. Case studies of deaf signers who have incurred left- and right-hemisphere damage have shown that left-hemisphere resources are a necessary component of sign language processing. These data suggest that, despite frank differences in the input and output modality of language, core left perisylvian regions universally serve linguistic function. Neuroimaging studies of deaf signers have generally provided support for this claim. However, more fine-tuned studies of linguistic processing in deaf signers are beginning to show evidence of important differences in the representation of signed and spoken languages. In this paper, we provide a critical review of this literature and present compelling evidence for language-specific cortical representations in deaf signers. These data lend support to the claim that the neural representation of language may show substantive cross-linguistic differences. We discuss the theoretical implications of these findings with respect to an emerging understanding of the neurobiology of language. PMID:23293624

  15. Neural Correlates of the False Consensus Effect: Evidence for Motivated Projection and Regulatory Restraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welborn, B Locke; Gunter, Benjamin C; Vezich, I Stephanie; Lieberman, Matthew D

    2017-04-01

    The false consensus effect (FCE), the tendency to project our attitudes and opinions on to others, is a pervasive bias in social reasoning with a range of ramifications for individuals and society. Research in social psychology has suggested that numerous factors (anchoring and adjustment, accessibility, motivated projection, etc.) may contribute to the FCE. In this study, we examine the neural correlates of the FCE and provide evidence that motivated projection plays a significant role. Activity in reward regions (ventromedial pFC and bilateral nucleus accumbens) during consensus estimation was positively associated with bias, whereas activity in right ventrolateral pFC (implicated in emotion regulation) was inversely associated with bias. Activity in reward and regulatory regions accounted for half of the total variation in consensus bias across participants (R 2 = .503). This research complements models of the FCE in social psychology, providing a glimpse into the neural mechanisms underlying this important phenomenon.

  16. The allocation of attention to learning of goal-directed actions: A cognitive neuroscience framework focusing on the basal ganglia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liz eFranz

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The present paper builds on the idea that attention is largely in service of our actions. A framework and model which captures the allocation of attention for learning of goal-directed actions is proposed and developed. This framework highlights an evolutionary model based on the notion that rudimentary brain functions have become embedded into increasingly higher levels of networks which all contribute to adaptive learning. Background literature is presented alongside key evidence based on experimental studies in the so-called ‘split-brain’ (surgically divided cerebral hemispheres with a key focus on bimanual actions. The proposed multilevel cognitive-neural system of attention is built upon key processes of a highly-adaptive basal-ganglia-thalamic-cortical system. Although overlap with other existing findings and models is acknowledged where appropriate, the proposed framework is an original synthesis of cognitive experimental findings with supporting evidence of a neural system and a carefully formulated model of attention. It is the hope that this new synthesis will be informative in fields of cognition and other fields of brain sciences and will lead to new avenues for experimentation across domains.

  17. Body posture modulates action perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmermann, Marius; Toni, Ivan; de Lange, Floris P

    2013-04-03

    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 postural congruency between their own body posture and postures of the observed agents. Behaviorally, predicting action goals is facilitated when the body posture of the observer matches the posture achieved by the observed agent at the end of his action (action's goal posture). Cerebrally, this perceptual postural congruency effect modulates activity in a portion of the left intraparietal sulcus that has previously been shown to be involved in updating neural representations of one's own limb posture during action planning. This intraparietal area showed stronger responses when the goal posture of the observed action did not match the current body posture of the observer. These results add two novel elements to the notion that perceiving actions relies on the same predictive mechanism as planning actions. First, the predictions implemented by this mechanism are based on the current physical configuration of the body. Second, during both action planning and action observation, these predictions pertain to the goal state of the action.

  18. Temporal dynamics and neural architecture of action selection

    OpenAIRE

    Buc Calderon, Cristian

    2016-01-01

    In this thesis we pitted two views of action selection. On the one hand, a traditional view suggesting that action selection emerges from a sequential process whereby perception, cognition and action proceed serially and are subtended by distinct brain areas. On the other hand, an ecological view (formalized in the affordance competition hypothesis) advocating that action selection stems from the parallel implementation of potential action plans. In parallel, the competition between these act...

  19. Neural congruence between intertemporal and interpersonal self-control: Evidence from delay and social discounting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Paul F; Yi, Richard; Spreng, R Nathan; Diana, Rachel A

    2017-11-15

    Behavioral studies using delay and social discounting as indices of self-control and altruism, respectively, have revealed functional similarities between farsighted and social decisions. However, neural evidence for this functional link is lacking. Twenty-five young adults completed a delay and social discounting task during fMRI scanning. A spatiotemporal partial least squares analysis revealed that both forms of discounting were well characterized by a pattern of brain activity in areas comprising frontoparietal control, default, and mesolimbic reward networks. Both forms of discounting appear to draw on common neurocognitive mechanisms, regardless of whether choices involve intertemporal or interpersonal outcomes. We also observed neural profiles differentiating between high and low discounters. High discounters were well characterized by increased medial temporal lobe and limbic activity. In contrast, low discount rates were associated with activity in the medial prefrontal cortex and right temporoparietal junction. This pattern may reflect biological mechanisms underlying behavioral heterogeneity in discount rates. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Binding Action and Emotion in Social Understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferri, Francesca; Ebisch, Sjoerd J. H.; Costantini, Marcello; Salone, Anatolia; Arciero, Giampiero; Mazzola, Viridiana; Ferro, Filippo Maria; Romani, Gian Luca; Gallese, Vittorio

    2013-01-01

    In social life actions are tightly linked with emotions. The integration of affective- and action-related information has to be considered as a fundamental component of appropriate social understanding. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study aimed at investigating whether an emotion (Happiness, Anger or Neutral) dynamically expressed by an observed agent modulates brain activity underlying the perception of his grasping action. As control stimuli, participants observed the same agent either only expressing an emotion or only performing a grasping action. Our results showed that the observation of an action embedded in an emotional context (agent’s facial expression), compared with the observation of the same action embedded in a neutral context, elicits higher neural response at the level of motor frontal cortices, temporal and occipital cortices, bilaterally. Particularly, the dynamic facial expression of anger modulates the re-enactment of a motor representation of the observed action. This is supported by the evidence that observing actions embedded in the context of anger, but not happiness, compared with a neutral context, elicits stronger activity in the bilateral pre-central gyrus and inferior frontal gyrus, besides the pre-supplementary motor area, a region playing a central role in motor control. Angry faces not only seem to modulate the simulation of actions, but may also trigger motor reaction. These findings suggest that emotions exert a modulatory role on action observation in different cortical areas involved in action processing. PMID:23349792

  1. Neural foundations of overt and covert actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simos, Panagiotis G; Kavroulakis, Eleftherios; Maris, Thomas; Papadaki, Efrosini; Boursianis, Themistoklis; Kalaitzakis, Giorgos; Savaki, Helen E

    2017-05-15

    We used fMRI to assess the human brain areas activated for execution, observation and 1st person motor imagery of a visually guided tracing task with the index finger. Voxel-level conjunction analysis revealed several cortical areas activated in common across all three motor conditions, namely, the upper limb representation of the primary motor and somatosensory cortices, the dorsal and ventral premotor, the superior and inferior parietal cortices as well as the posterior part of the superior and middle temporal gyrus including the temporo-parietal junction (TPj) and the extrastriate body area (EBA). Functional connectivity analyses corroborated the notion that a common sensory-motor fronto-parieto-temporal cortical network is engaged for execution, observation, and imagination of the very same action. Taken together these findings are consistent with the more parsimonious account of motor cognition provided by the mental simulation theory rather than the recently revised mirror neuron view Action imagination and observation were each associated with several additional functional connections, which may serve the distinction between overt action and its covert counterparts, and the attribution of action to the correct agent. For example, the central position of the right middle and inferior frontal gyrus in functional connectivity during motor imagery may reflect the suppression of movements during mere imagination of action, and may contribute to the distinction between 'imagined' and 'real' action. Also, the central role of the right EBA in observation, assessed by functional connectivity analysis, may be related to the attribution of action to the 'external agent' as opposed to the 'self'. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Youth Excel: towards a pan-Canadian platform linking evidence and action for prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Barbara L; Manske, Steve; Cameron, Roy

    2011-05-15

    Population-level intervention is required to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. It also promotes health for those living with established risk factors and illness. In this article, the authors describe a vision and approach for continuously improving population-level programs and policies within and beyond the health sector. The vision and approach are anchored in contemporary thinking about what is required to link evidence and action in the field of population and public health. The authors believe that, as a cancer prevention and control community, organizations and practitioners must be able to use the best available evidence to inform action and continually generate evidence that improves prevention policies and programs on an ongoing basis. These imperatives require leaders in policy, practice, and research fields to work together to jointly plan, conduct, and act on relevant evidence. The Propel Center and colleagues are implementing this approach in Youth Excel-a pan-Canadian initiative that brings together national and provincial organizations from health and education sectors and capitalizes on a history of collaboration. The objective of Youth Excel is to build sustainable capacity for knowledge development and exchange that can guide and redirect prevention efforts in a rapidly evolving social environment. This goal is to contribute to creating health-promoting environments and to accelerate progress in preventing cancer and other diseases among youth and young adults and in the wider population. Although prevention is the aim, health-promoting environments also can support health gains for individuals of all ages and with established illness. In addition, the approach Youth Excel is taking to link evidence and action may be applicable to early intervention and treatment components of cancer control. © 2011 American Cancer Society

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  4. Infrared neural stimulation (INS) inhibits electrically evoked neural responses in the deaf white cat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Claus-Peter; Rajguru, Suhrud M.; Robinson, Alan; Young, Hunter K.

    2014-03-01

    Infrared neural stimulation (INS) has been used in the past to evoke neural activity from hearing and partially deaf animals. All the responses were excitatory. In Aplysia californica, Duke and coworkers demonstrated that INS also inhibits neural responses [1], which similar observations were made in the vestibular system [2, 3]. In deaf white cats that have cochleae with largely reduced spiral ganglion neuron counts and a significant degeneration of the organ of Corti, no cochlear compound action potentials could be observed during INS alone. However, the combined electrical and optical stimulation demonstrated inhibitory responses during irradiation with infrared light.

  5. Precursor processes of human self-initiated action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalighinejad, Nima; Schurger, Aaron; Desantis, Andrea; Zmigrod, Leor; Haggard, Patrick

    2018-01-15

    A gradual buildup of electrical potential over motor areas precedes self-initiated movements. Recently, such "readiness potentials" (RPs) were attributed to stochastic fluctuations in neural activity. We developed a new experimental paradigm that operationalized self-initiated actions as endogenous 'skip' responses while waiting for target stimuli in a perceptual decision task. We compared these to a block of trials where participants could not choose when to skip, but were instead instructed to skip. Frequency and timing of motor action were therefore balanced across blocks, so that conditions differed only in how the timing of skip decisions was generated. We reasoned that across-trial variability of EEG could carry as much information about the source of skip decisions as the mean RP. EEG variability decreased more markedly prior to self-initiated compared to externally-triggered skip actions. This convergence suggests a consistent preparatory process prior to self-initiated action. A leaky stochastic accumulator model could reproduce this convergence given the additional assumption of a systematic decrease in input noise prior to self-initiated actions. Our results may provide a novel neurophysiological perspective on the topical debate regarding whether self-initiated actions arise from a deterministic neurocognitive process, or from neural stochasticity. We suggest that the key precursor of self-initiated action may manifest as a reduction in neural noise. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Distributed representations of action sequences in anterior cingulate cortex: A recurrent neural network approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shahnazian, Danesh; Holroyd, Clay B

    2018-02-01

    Anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) has been the subject of intense debate over the past 2 decades, but its specific computational function remains controversial. Here we present a simple computational model of ACC that incorporates distributed representations across a network of interconnected processing units. Based on the proposal that ACC is concerned with the execution of extended, goal-directed action sequences, we trained a recurrent neural network to predict each successive step of several sequences associated with multiple tasks. In keeping with neurophysiological observations from nonhuman animals, the network yields distributed patterns of activity across ACC neurons that track the progression of each sequence, and in keeping with human neuroimaging data, the network produces discrepancy signals when any step of the sequence deviates from the predicted step. These simulations illustrate a novel approach for investigating ACC function.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    To describe the process of implementing evidence-based practice in a clinical nursing setting. Evidence-based practice has become a major issue in nursing, it is insufficiently integrated into daily practice and its implementation is complex. Participatory action research. 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. Data were continuously gathered during a 24-month period from 2010 to 2012, and analysed using an interpretive constant comparative approach. Patients were consulted to incorporate their perspective. A best-practice mode of working was prevalent on the ward. The main barriers to the implementation of evidence-based practice were that nurses had little knowledge of evidence-based practice and a rather negative attitude towards it, and that their English reading proficiency was poor. The main facilitators were that nurses wanted to deliver high-quality care and were enthusiastic and open to innovation. Implementation strategies included a tailored interactive outreach training and the development and implementation of an evidence-based discharge protocol. The academic model of evidence-based practice was adapted. Nurses worked according to the evidence-based practice discharge protocol but barely recorded their activities. Nurses favourably evaluated the participatory action research process. Action research provides an opportunity to empower nurses and to tailor evidence-based practice to the practice context. Applying and implementing evidence-based practice is difficult for front-line nurses with limited evidence-based practice competencies. Adaptation of the academic model of evidence-based practice to a more pragmatic approach seems necessary to introduce evidence-based practice into clinical practice. The use of scientific evidence can be facilitated by using pre-appraised evidence. For clinical practice

  8. Granger causality mapping during joint actions reveals evidence for forward models that could overcome sensory-motor delays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Idil Kokal

    Full Text Available Studies investigating joint actions have suggested a central role for the putative mirror neuron system (pMNS because of the close link between perception and action provided by these brain regions [1], [2], [3]. In contrast, our previous functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI experiment demonstrated that the BOLD response of the pMNS does not suggest that it directly integrates observed and executed actions during joint actions [4]. To test whether the pMNS might contribute indirectly to the integration process by sending information to brain areas responsible for this integration (integration network, here we used Granger causality mapping (GCM [5]. We explored the directional information flow between the anterior sites of the pMNS and previously identified integrative brain regions. We found that the left BA44 sent more information than it received to both the integration network (left thalamus, right middle occipital gyrus and cerebellum and more posterior nodes of the pMNS (BA2. Thus, during joint actions, two anatomically separate networks therefore seem effectively connected and the information flow is predominantly from anterior to posterior areas of the brain. These findings suggest that the pMNS is involved indirectly in joint actions by transforming observed and executed actions into a common code and is part of a generative model that could predict the future somatosensory and visual consequences of observed and executed actions in order to overcome otherwise inevitable neural delays.

  9. Cross-Modal Decoding of Neural Patterns Associated with Working Memory: Evidence for Attention-Based Accounts of Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majerus, Steve; Cowan, Nelson; Péters, Frédéric; Van Calster, Laurens; Phillips, Christophe; Schrouff, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies suggest common neural substrates involved in verbal and visual working memory (WM), interpreted as reflecting shared attention-based, short-term retention mechanisms. We used a machine-learning approach to determine more directly the extent to which common neural patterns characterize retention in verbal WM and visual WM. Verbal WM was assessed via a standard delayed probe recognition task for letter sequences of variable length. Visual WM was assessed via a visual array WM task involving the maintenance of variable amounts of visual information in the focus of attention. We trained a classifier to distinguish neural activation patterns associated with high- and low-visual WM load and tested the ability of this classifier to predict verbal WM load (high-low) from their associated neural activation patterns, and vice versa. We observed significant between-task prediction of load effects during WM maintenance, in posterior parietal and superior frontal regions of the dorsal attention network; in contrast, between-task prediction in sensory processing cortices was restricted to the encoding stage. Furthermore, between-task prediction of load effects was strongest in those participants presenting the highest capacity for the visual WM task. This study provides novel evidence for common, attention-based neural patterns supporting verbal and visual WM. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  10. Neural evidence for description dependent reward processing in the framing effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Rongjun; Zhang, Ping

    2014-01-01

    Human decision making can be influenced by emotionally valenced contexts, known as the framing effect. We used event-related brain potentials to investigate how framing influences the encoding of reward. We found that the feedback related negativity (FRN), which indexes the "worse than expected" negative prediction error in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), was more negative for the negative frame than for the positive frame in the win domain. Consistent with previous findings that the FRN is not sensitive to "better than expected" positive prediction error, the FRN did not differentiate the positive and negative frame in the loss domain. Our results provide neural evidence that the description invariance principle which states that reward representation and decision making are not influenced by how options are presented is violated in the framing effect.

  11. Neural evidence for description dependent reward processing in the framing effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rongjun eYu

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Human decision making can be influenced by emotionally valenced contexts, known as the framing effect. We used event-related brain potentials to investigate how framing influences the encoding of reward. We found that the feedback related negativity (FRN, which indexes the worse than expected negative prediction error in the anterior cingulate cortex, was more negative for the negative frame than for the positive frame in the win domain. Consistent with previous findings that the FRN is not sensitive to better than expected positive prediction error, the FRN did not differentiate the positive and negative frame in the loss domain. Our results provide neural evidence that the description invariance principle which states that reward representation and decision making are not influenced by how options are presented is violated in the framing effect.

  12. Neural processing of race during imitation: self-similarity versus social status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds Losin, Elizabeth A.; Cross, Katy A.; Iacoboni, Marco; Dapretto, Mirella

    2017-01-01

    People preferentially imitate others who are similar to them or have high social status. Such imitative biases are thought to have evolved because they increase the efficiency of cultural acquisition. Here we focused on distinguishing between self-similarity and social status as two candidate mechanisms underlying neural responses to a person’s race during imitation. We used fMRI to measure neural responses when 20 African American (AA) and 20 European American (EA) young adults imitated AA, EA and Chinese American (CA) models and also passively observed their gestures and faces. We found that both AA and EA participants exhibited more activity in lateral fronto-parietal and visual regions when imitating AAs compared to EAs or CAs. These results suggest that racial self-similarity is not likely to modulate neural responses to race during imitation, in contrast with findings from previous neuroimaging studies of face perception and action observation. Furthermore, AA and EA participants associated AAs with lower social status than EAs or CAs, suggesting that the social status associated with different racial groups may instead modulate neural activity during imitation of individuals from those groups. Taken together, these findings suggest that neural responses to race during imitation are driven by socially-learned associations rather than self-similarity. This may reflect the adaptive role of imitation in social learning, where learning from higher-status models can be more beneficial. This study provides neural evidence consistent with evolutionary theories of cultural acquisition. PMID:23813738

  13. The role of BDNF in depression on the basis of its location in the neural circuitry

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hui YU; Zhe-yu CHEN

    2011-01-01

    Depression is one of the most prevalent and life-threatening forms of mental illnesses and the neural circuitry underlying depression remains incompletely understood. Most attention in the field has focused on hippocampal and frontal cortical regions for their roles in depression and antidepressant action. While these regions no doubt play important roles in the mental illness, there is compelling evi-dence that other brain regions are also involved. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is broadly expressed in the developing and adult mammalian brain and has been implicated in development, neural regeneration, synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis. Recently BDNF has been shown to play an important role in the pathophysiology of depression, however there are con-troversial reports about the effects of BDNF on depression. Here, we present an overview of the current knowledge concerning BDNF actions and associated intracellular signaling in hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens (NAc) and amygdala as their rela-tion to depression.

  14. Rare Neural Correlations Implement Robotic Conditioning with Delayed Rewards and Disturbances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soltoggio, Andrea; Lemme, Andre; Reinhart, Felix; Steil, Jochen J.

    2013-01-01

    Neural conditioning associates cues and actions with following rewards. The environments in which robots operate, however, are pervaded by a variety of disturbing stimuli and uncertain timing. In particular, variable reward delays make it difficult to reconstruct which previous actions are responsible for following rewards. Such an uncertainty is handled by biological neural networks, but represents a challenge for computational models, suggesting the lack of a satisfactory theory for robotic neural conditioning. The present study demonstrates the use of rare neural correlations in making correct associations between rewards and previous cues or actions. Rare correlations are functional in selecting sparse synapses to be eligible for later weight updates if a reward occurs. The repetition of this process singles out the associating and reward-triggering pathways, and thereby copes with distal rewards. The neural network displays macro-level classical and operant conditioning, which is demonstrated in an interactive real-life human-robot interaction. The proposed mechanism models realistic conditioning in humans and animals and implements similar behaviors in neuro-robotic platforms. PMID:23565092

  15. Neural correlates of action perception

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Suttrup, J.

    2017-01-01

    When observing others we usually do not require a verbal explanation to understand what they are doing and, in many cases, why they are doing it. Specific brain regions are involved in the processing of observed actions and some of them belong to the motor system, which is mainly involved in the

  16. Power effects on cognitive control: Turning conflict into action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmid, Petra C; Kleiman, Tali; Amodio, David M

    2015-06-01

    Power is known to promote effective goal pursuit, especially when it requires one to overcome distractions or bias. We proposed that this effect involves the ability to engage and implement cognitive control. In Study 1, we demonstrated that power enhances behavioral performance on a response conflict task and that it does so by enhancing controlled processing rather than by reducing automatic processing. In Study 2, we used an event-related potential index of anterior cingulate activity to test whether power effects on control were due to enhanced conflict sensitivity or action implementation. Power did not significantly affect neural sensitivity to conflict; rather, high power was associated with a stronger link between conflict processing and intended action, relative to low power. These findings suggest a new perspective on how social factors can affect controlled processing and offer new evidence regarding the transition between conflict detection and the implementation of action control. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  17. Ideomotor feedback control in a recurrent neural network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galtier, Mathieu

    2015-06-01

    The architecture of a neural network controlling an unknown environment is presented. It is based on a randomly connected recurrent neural network from which both perception and action are simultaneously read and fed back. There are two concurrent learning rules implementing a sort of ideomotor control: (i) perception is learned along the principle that the network should predict reliably its incoming stimuli; (ii) action is learned along the principle that the prediction of the network should match a target time series. The coherent behavior of the neural network in its environment is a consequence of the interaction between the two principles. Numerical simulations show a promising performance of the approach, which can be turned into a local and better "biologically plausible" algorithm.

  18. Distinct prediction errors in mesostriatal circuits of the human brain mediate learning about the values of both states and actions: evidence from high-resolution fMRI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colas, Jaron T; Pauli, Wolfgang M; Larsen, Tobias; Tyszka, J Michael; O'Doherty, John P

    2017-10-01

    Prediction-error signals consistent with formal models of "reinforcement learning" (RL) have repeatedly been found within dopaminergic nuclei of the midbrain and dopaminoceptive areas of the striatum. However, the precise form of the RL algorithms implemented in the human brain is not yet well determined. Here, we created a novel paradigm optimized to dissociate the subtypes of reward-prediction errors that function as the key computational signatures of two distinct classes of RL models-namely, "actor/critic" models and action-value-learning models (e.g., the Q-learning model). The state-value-prediction error (SVPE), which is independent of actions, is a hallmark of the actor/critic architecture, whereas the action-value-prediction error (AVPE) is the distinguishing feature of action-value-learning algorithms. To test for the presence of these prediction-error signals in the brain, we scanned human participants with a high-resolution functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI) protocol optimized to enable measurement of neural activity in the dopaminergic midbrain as well as the striatal areas to which it projects. In keeping with the actor/critic model, the SVPE signal was detected in the substantia nigra. The SVPE was also clearly present in both the ventral striatum and the dorsal striatum. However, alongside these purely state-value-based computations we also found evidence for AVPE signals throughout the striatum. These high-resolution fMRI findings suggest that model-free aspects of reward learning in humans can be explained algorithmically with RL in terms of an actor/critic mechanism operating in parallel with a system for more direct action-value learning.

  19. Rapid neural discrimination of communicative gestures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redcay, Elizabeth; Carlson, Thomas A

    2015-04-01

    Humans are biased toward social interaction. Behaviorally, this bias is evident in the rapid effects that self-relevant communicative signals have on attention and perceptual systems. The processing of communicative cues recruits a wide network of brain regions, including mentalizing systems. Relatively less work, however, has examined the timing of the processing of self-relevant communicative cues. In the present study, we used multivariate pattern analysis (decoding) approach to the analysis of magnetoencephalography (MEG) to study the processing dynamics of social-communicative actions. Twenty-four participants viewed images of a woman performing actions that varied on a continuum of communicative factors including self-relevance (to the participant) and emotional valence, while their brain activity was recorded using MEG. Controlling for low-level visual factors, we found early discrimination of emotional valence (70 ms) and self-relevant communicative signals (100 ms). These data offer neural support for the robust and rapid effects of self-relevant communicative cues on behavior. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Fluctuation-Driven Neural Dynamics Reproduce Drosophila Locomotor Patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Maesani

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The neural mechanisms determining the timing of even simple actions, such as when to walk or rest, are largely mysterious. One intriguing, but untested, hypothesis posits a role for ongoing activity fluctuations in neurons of central action selection circuits that drive animal behavior from moment to moment. To examine how fluctuating activity can contribute to action timing, we paired high-resolution measurements of freely walking Drosophila melanogaster with data-driven neural network modeling and dynamical systems analysis. We generated fluctuation-driven network models whose outputs-locomotor bouts-matched those measured from sensory-deprived Drosophila. From these models, we identified those that could also reproduce a second, unrelated dataset: the complex time-course of odor-evoked walking for genetically diverse Drosophila strains. Dynamical models that best reproduced both Drosophila basal and odor-evoked locomotor patterns exhibited specific characteristics. First, ongoing fluctuations were required. In a stochastic resonance-like manner, these fluctuations allowed neural activity to escape stable equilibria and to exceed a threshold for locomotion. Second, odor-induced shifts of equilibria in these models caused a depression in locomotor frequency following olfactory stimulation. Our models predict that activity fluctuations in action selection circuits cause behavioral output to more closely match sensory drive and may therefore enhance navigation in complex sensory environments. Together these data reveal how simple neural dynamics, when coupled with activity fluctuations, can give rise to complex patterns of animal behavior.

  1. Designing neural networks that process mean values of random variables

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barber, Michael J.; Clark, John W.

    2014-01-01

    We develop a class of neural networks derived from probabilistic models posed in the form of Bayesian networks. Making biologically and technically plausible assumptions about the nature of the probabilistic models to be represented in the networks, we derive neural networks exhibiting standard dynamics that require no training to determine the synaptic weights, that perform accurate calculation of the mean values of the relevant random variables, that can pool multiple sources of evidence, and that deal appropriately with ambivalent, inconsistent, or contradictory evidence. - Highlights: • High-level neural computations are specified by Bayesian belief networks of random variables. • Probability densities of random variables are encoded in activities of populations of neurons. • Top-down algorithm generates specific neural network implementation of given computation. • Resulting “neural belief networks” process mean values of random variables. • Such networks pool multiple sources of evidence and deal properly with inconsistent evidence

  2. Designing neural networks that process mean values of random variables

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barber, Michael J. [AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Innovation Systems Department, 1220 Vienna (Austria); Clark, John W. [Department of Physics and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Centro de Ciências Matemáticas, Universidade de Madeira, 9000-390 Funchal (Portugal)

    2014-06-13

    We develop a class of neural networks derived from probabilistic models posed in the form of Bayesian networks. Making biologically and technically plausible assumptions about the nature of the probabilistic models to be represented in the networks, we derive neural networks exhibiting standard dynamics that require no training to determine the synaptic weights, that perform accurate calculation of the mean values of the relevant random variables, that can pool multiple sources of evidence, and that deal appropriately with ambivalent, inconsistent, or contradictory evidence. - Highlights: • High-level neural computations are specified by Bayesian belief networks of random variables. • Probability densities of random variables are encoded in activities of populations of neurons. • Top-down algorithm generates specific neural network implementation of given computation. • Resulting “neural belief networks” process mean values of random variables. • Such networks pool multiple sources of evidence and deal properly with inconsistent evidence.

  3. Neural evidence for description dependent reward processing in the framing effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Rongjun; Zhang, Ping

    2014-01-01

    Human decision making can be influenced by emotionally valenced contexts, known as the framing effect. We used event-related brain potentials to investigate how framing influences the encoding of reward. We found that the feedback related negativity (FRN), which indexes the “worse than expected” negative prediction error in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), was more negative for the negative frame than for the positive frame in the win domain. Consistent with previous findings that the FRN is not sensitive to “better than expected” positive prediction error, the FRN did not differentiate the positive and negative frame in the loss domain. Our results provide neural evidence that the description invariance principle which states that reward representation and decision making are not influenced by how options are presented is violated in the framing effect. PMID:24733998

  4. Action Categories in Lateral Occipitotemporal Cortex Are Organized Along Sociality and Transitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurm, Moritz F; Caramazza, Alfonso; Lingnau, Angelika

    2017-01-18

    How neural specificity for distinct conceptual knowledge categories arises is central for understanding the organization of semantic memory in the human brain. Although there is a large body of research on the neural processing of distinct object categories, the organization of action categories remains largely unknown. In particular, it is unknown whether different action categories follow a specific topographical organization on the cortical surface analogously to the category-specific organization of object knowledge. Here, we tested whether the neural representation of action knowledge is organized in terms of nonsocial versus social and object-unrelated versus object-related actions (sociality and transitivity, respectively, hereafter). We hypothesized a major distinction of sociality and transitivity along dorsal and ventral lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC), respectively. Using fMRI-based multivoxel pattern analysis, we identified neural representations of action information associated with sociality and transitivity in bilateral LOTC. Representational similarity analysis revealed a dissociation between dorsal and ventral LOTC. We found that action representations in dorsal LOTC are segregated along features of sociality, whereas action representations in ventral LOTC are segregated along features of transitivity. In addition, representations of sociality and transitivity features were found more anteriorly in LOTC than representations of specific subtypes of actions, suggesting a posterior-anterior gradient from concrete to abstract action features. These findings elucidate how the neural representations of perceptually and conceptually diverse actions are organized in distinct subsystems in the LOTC. The lateral occipitotemporal cortex (LOTC) is critically involved in the recognition of objects and actions, but our knowledge about the underlying organizing principles is limited. Here, we discovered a dorsal-ventral distinction of actions in LOTC

  5. Direct detection of a single evoked action potential with MRS in Lumbricus terrestris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poplawsky, Alexander J; Dingledine, Raymond; Hu, Xiaoping P

    2012-01-01

    Functional MRI (fMRI) measures neural activity indirectly by detecting the signal change associated with the hemodynamic response following brain activation. In order to alleviate the temporal and spatial specificity problems associated with fMRI, a number of attempts have been made to detect neural magnetic fields (NMFs) with MRI directly, but have thus far provided conflicting results. In this study, we used MR to detect axonal NMFs in the median giant fiber of the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, by examining the free induction decay (FID) with a sampling interval of 0.32 ms. The earthworm nerve cords were isolated from the vasculature and stimulated at the threshold of action potential generation. FIDs were acquired shortly after the stimulation, and simultaneous field potential recordings identified the presence or absence of single evoked action potentials. FIDs acquired when the stimulus did not evoke an action potential were summed as background. The phase of the background-subtracted FID exhibited a systematic change, with a peak phase difference of (-1.2 ± 0.3) × 10(-5) radians occurring at a time corresponding to the timing of the action potential. In addition, we calculated the possible changes in the FID magnitude and phase caused by a simulated action potential using a volume conductor model. The measured phase difference matched the theoretical prediction well in both amplitude and temporal characteristics. This study provides the first evidence for the direct detection of a magnetic field from an evoked action potential using MR. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  6. The Neural Foundations of Reaction and Action in Aversive Motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campese, Vincent D; Sears, Robert M; Moscarello, Justin M; Diaz-Mataix, Lorenzo; Cain, Christopher K; LeDoux, Joseph E

    2016-01-01

    Much of the early research in aversive learning concerned motivation and reinforcement in avoidance conditioning and related paradigms. When the field transitioned toward the focus on Pavlovian threat conditioning in isolation, this paved the way for the clear understanding of the psychological principles and neural and molecular mechanisms responsible for this type of learning and memory that has unfolded over recent decades. Currently, avoidance conditioning is being revisited, and with what has been learned about associative aversive learning, rapid progress is being made. We review, below, the literature on the neural substrates critical for learning in instrumental active avoidance tasks and conditioned aversive motivation.

  7. Self-reported empathy and neural activity during action imitation and observation in schizophrenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Horan

    2014-01-01

    Conclusions: Although patients with schizophrenia demonstrated largely normal patterns of neural activation across the finger movement and facial expression tasks, they reported decreased self perceived empathy and failed to show the typical relationship between neural activity and self-reported empathy seen in controls. These findings suggest that patients show a disjunction between automatic neural responses to low level social cues and higher level, integrative social cognitive processes involved in self-perceived empathy.

  8. Evolvable Neural Software System

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Early oestrogens in shaping reproductive networks: evidence for a potential organisational role of oestradiol in female brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bakker, J; Brock, O

    2010-07-01

    A central tenet of contemporary theories on mammalian brain and behavioural sexual differentiation is that an organisational action of testosterone, secreted by the male's testes, controls male-typical aspects of brain and behavioural development, whereas no active perinatal sex hormone signalling is required for female-typical sexual differentiation. Furthermore, the available evidence suggests that many, although not all, of the perinatal organisational actions of testosterone on the development of the male brain result from the cellular effects of oestradiol formed via neural aromatisation of testosterone. However, a default developmental programme for the female brain has been criticised. Indeed, we review new results obtained in aromatase knockout mice indicating that oestradiol actively contributes to the differentiation of female-typical aspects of brain and behavioural sexual differentiation. Furthermore, we propose that male-typical neural and behavioural differentiation occurs prenatally in genetic males under the influence of oestradiol, which is avoided in foetal genetic females by the neuroprotective actions of alpha-fetoprotein, whereas female-typical neural and behavioural differentiation normally occurs postnatally in genetic females under the influence of oestradiol that is presumably produced by the ovaries.

  10. Cocaine action on peripheral, non-monoamine neural substrates as a trigger of electroencephalographic desynchronization and electromyographic activation following i.v. administration in freely moving rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnov, M S; Kiyatkin, E A

    2010-01-20

    Many important physiological, behavioral and subjective effects of i.v. cocaine (COC) are exceptionally rapid and transient, suggesting a possible involvement of peripheral neural substrates in their triggering. In the present study, we used high-speed electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic (EMG) recordings (4-s resolution) in freely moving rats to characterize the central electrophysiological effects of i.v. COC at low doses within a self-administration range (0.25-1.0 mg/kg). We found that COC induces rapid, strong, and prolonged desynchronization of cortical EEG (decrease in alpha and increase in beta and gamma activity) and activation of the neck EMG that begin within 2-6 s following the start of a 10-s injection; immediate components of both effects were dose-independent. The rapid effects of COC were mimicked by i.v. COC methiodide (COC-MET), a derivative that cannot cross the blood-brain barrier. At equimolar doses (0.33-1.33 mg/kg), COC-MET had equally fast and strong effects on EEG and EMG total powers, decreasing alpha and increasing beta and gamma activities. Rapid EEG desynchronization and EMG activation was also induced by i.v. procaine, a structurally similar, short-acting local anesthetic with virtually no effects on monoamine uptake; at equipotential doses (1.25-5.0 mg/kg), these effects were weaker and shorter in duration than those of COC. Surprisingly, i.v. saline injection delivered during slow-wave sleep (but not during quiet wakefulness) also induced a transient EEG desynchronization but without changes in EMG and motor activity; these effects were significantly weaker and much shorter than those induced by all tested drugs. These data suggest that in awake animals, i.v. COC induces rapid cortical activation and a subsequent motor response via its action on peripheral non-monoamine neural elements, involving neural transmission via visceral sensory pathways. By providing a rapid neural signal and triggering neural activation, such

  11. Multi-stream CNN: Learning representations based on human-related regions for action recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tu, Zhigang; Xie, Wei; Qin, Qianqing; Poppe, R.W.; Veltkamp, R.C.; Li, Baoxin; Yuan, Junsong

    2018-01-01

    The most successful video-based human action recognition methods rely on feature representations extracted using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs). Inspired by the two-stream network (TS-Net), we propose a multi-stream Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) architecture to recognize human actions. We

  12. Action video game training reduces the Simon Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutchinson, Claire V; Barrett, Doug J K; Nitka, Aleksander; Raynes, Kerry

    2016-04-01

    A number of studies have shown that training on action video games improves various aspects of visual cognition including selective attention and inhibitory control. Here, we demonstrate that action video game play can also reduce the Simon Effect, and, hence, may have the potential to improve response selection during the planning and execution of goal-directed action. Non-game-players were randomly assigned to one of four groups; two trained on a first-person-shooter game (Call of Duty) on either Microsoft Xbox or Nintendo DS, one trained on a visual training game for Nintendo DS, and a control group who received no training. Response times were used to contrast performance before and after training on a behavioral assay designed to manipulate stimulus-response compatibility (the Simon Task). The results revealed significantly faster response times and a reduced cost of stimulus-response incompatibility in the groups trained on the first-person-shooter game. No benefit of training was observed in the control group or the group trained on the visual training game. These findings are consistent with previous evidence that action game play elicits plastic changes in the neural circuits that serve attentional control, and suggest training may facilitate goal-directed action by improving players' ability to resolve conflict during response selection and execution.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Jia; Yu, Liping; Ma, Qingguo

    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 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.

  14. Neural correlates of pantomiming familiar and unfamiliar tools: action semantics versus mechanical problem solving?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vingerhoets, Guy; Vandekerckhove, Elisabeth; Honoré, Pieterjan; Vandemaele, Pieter; Achten, Eric

    2011-06-01

    This study aims to reveal the neural correlates of planning and executing tool use pantomimes and explores the brain's response to pantomiming the use of unfamiliar tools. Sixteen right-handed volunteers planned and executed pantomimes of equally graspable familiar and unfamiliar tools while undergoing fMRI. During the planning of these pantomimes, we found bilateral temporo-occipital and predominantly left hemispheric frontal and parietal activation. The execution of the pantomimes produced additional activation in frontal and sensorimotor regions. In the left posterior parietal region both familiar and unfamiliar tool pantomimes elicit peak activity in the anterior portion of the lateral bank of the intraparietal sulcus--A region associated with the representation of action goals. The cerebral activation during these pantomimes is remarkably similar for familiar and unfamiliar tools, and direct comparisons revealed only few differences. First, the left cuneus is significantly active during the planning of pantomimes of unfamiliar tools, reflecting increased visual processing of the novel objects. Second, executing (but not planning) familiar tool pantomimes showed significant activation on the convex portion of the inferior parietal lobule, a region believed to serve as a repository for skilled object-related gestures. Given the striking similarity in brain activation while pantomiming familiar and unfamiliar tools, we argue that normal subjects use both action semantics and function from structure inferences simultaneously and interactively to give rise to flexible object-to-goal directed behavior. Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  15. Self-reported empathy and neural activity during action imitation and observation in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horan, William P; Iacoboni, Marco; Cross, Katy A; Korb, Alex; Lee, Junghee; Nori, Poorang; Quintana, Javier; Wynn, Jonathan K; Green, Michael F

    2014-01-01

    Although social cognitive impairments are key determinants of functional outcome in schizophrenia their neural bases are poorly understood. This study investigated neural activity during imitation and observation of finger movements and facial expressions in schizophrenia, and their correlates with self-reported empathy. 23 schizophrenia outpatients and 23 healthy controls were studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they imitated, executed, or simply observed finger movements and facial emotional expressions. Between-group activation differences, as well as relationships between activation and self-reported empathy, were evaluated. Both patients and controls similarly activated neural systems previously associated with these tasks. We found no significant between-group differences in task-related activations. There were, however, between-group differences in the correlation between self-reported empathy and right inferior frontal (pars opercularis) activity during observation of facial emotional expressions. As in previous studies, controls demonstrated a positive association between brain activity and empathy scores. In contrast, the pattern in the patient group reflected a negative association between brain activity and empathy. Although patients with schizophrenia demonstrated largely normal patterns of neural activation across the finger movement and facial expression tasks, they reported decreased self perceived empathy and failed to show the typical relationship between neural activity and self-reported empathy seen in controls. These findings suggest that patients show a disjunction between automatic neural responses to low level social cues and higher level, integrative social cognitive processes involved in self-perceived empathy.

  16. Neural activity predicts attitude change in cognitive dissonance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Veen, Vincent; Krug, Marie K; Schooler, Jonathan W; Carter, Cameron S

    2009-11-01

    When our actions conflict with our prior attitudes, we often change our attitudes to be more consistent with our actions. This phenomenon, known as cognitive dissonance, is considered to be one of the most influential theories in psychology. However, the neural basis of this phenomenon is unknown. Using a Solomon four-group design, we scanned participants with functional MRI while they argued that the uncomfortable scanner environment was nevertheless a pleasant experience. We found that cognitive dissonance engaged the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula; furthermore, we found that the activation of these regions tightly predicted participants' subsequent attitude change. These effects were not observed in a control group. Our findings elucidate the neural representation of cognitive dissonance, and support the role of the anterior cingulate cortex in detecting cognitive conflict and the neural prediction of attitude change.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  18. Neural Control of a Tracking Task via Attention-Gated Reinforcement Learning for Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yiwen; Wang, Fang; Xu, Kai; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Zhang, Shaomin; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2015-05-01

    Reinforcement learning (RL)-based brain machine interfaces (BMIs) enable the user to learn from the environment through interactions to complete the task without desired signals, which is promising for clinical applications. Previous studies exploited Q-learning techniques to discriminate neural states into simple directional actions providing the trial initial timing. However, the movements in BMI applications can be quite complicated, and the action timing explicitly shows the intention when to move. The rich actions and the corresponding neural states form a large state-action space, imposing generalization difficulty on Q-learning. In this paper, we propose to adopt attention-gated reinforcement learning (AGREL) as a new learning scheme for BMIs to adaptively decode high-dimensional neural activities into seven distinct movements (directional moves, holdings and resting) due to the efficient weight-updating. We apply AGREL on neural data recorded from M1 of a monkey to directly predict a seven-action set in a time sequence to reconstruct the trajectory of a center-out task. Compared to Q-learning techniques, AGREL could improve the target acquisition rate to 90.16% in average with faster convergence and more stability to follow neural activity over multiple days, indicating the potential to achieve better online decoding performance for more complicated BMI tasks.

  19. Synaptic E-I Balance Underlies Efficient Neural Coding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Shanglin; Yu, Yuguo

    2018-01-01

    Both theoretical and experimental evidence indicate that synaptic excitation and inhibition in the cerebral cortex are well-balanced during the resting state and sensory processing. Here, we briefly summarize the evidence for how neural circuits are adjusted to achieve this balance. Then, we discuss how such excitatory and inhibitory balance shapes stimulus representation and information propagation, two basic functions of neural coding. We also point out the benefit of adopting such a balance during neural coding. We conclude that excitatory and inhibitory balance may be a fundamental mechanism underlying efficient coding.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Scott H; Povinelli, Daniel J

    2012-01-12

    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 intended future actions. Recently, the question of whether similar mechanisms exist in other primates has received growing, but still limited, attention. Here, we present data that bear on this issue from a species that is a natural user of tools, our nearest living relative, the chimpanzee. In experiment 1, a subset of chimpanzees showed a non-significant tendency for their grip preferences to be affected by anticipation of the demands associated with bringing a tool's baited end to their mouths. In experiment 2, chimpanzees' initial grip preferences were consistently affected by anticipation of the forthcoming movements in a task that involves using a tool to extract a food reward. The partial discrepancy between the results of these two studies is attributed to the ability to accurately represent differences between the motor costs associated with executing the two response alternatives available within each task. These findings suggest that chimpanzees are capable of accurately representing the costs of intended future actions, and using those predictions to select movements in the present even in the context of externally directed tool use.

  1. Action recognition is sensitive to the identity of the actor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferstl, Ylva; Bülthoff, Heinrich; de la Rosa, Stephan

    2017-09-01

    Recognizing who is carrying out an action is essential for successful human interaction. The cognitive mechanisms underlying this ability are little understood and have been subject of discussions in embodied approaches to action recognition. Here we examine one solution, that visual action recognition processes are at least partly sensitive to the actor's identity. We investigated the dependency between identity information and action related processes by testing the sensitivity of neural action recognition processes to clothing and facial identity information with a behavioral adaptation paradigm. Our results show that action adaptation effects are in fact modulated by both clothing information and the actor's facial identity. The finding demonstrates that neural processes underlying action recognition are sensitive to identity information (including facial identity) and thereby not exclusively tuned to actions. We suggest that such response properties are useful to help humans in knowing who carried out an action. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Social network size relates to developmental neural sensitivity to biological motion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.A. Kirby

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability to perceive others’ actions and goals from human motion (i.e., biological motion perception is a critical component of social perception and may be linked to the development of real-world social relationships. Adult research demonstrates two key nodes of the brain’s biological motion perception system—amygdala and posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS—are linked to variability in social network properties. The relation between social perception and social network properties, however, has not yet been investigated in middle childhood—a time when individual differences in social experiences and social perception are growing. The aims of this study were to (1 replicate past work showing amygdala and pSTS sensitivity to biological motion in middle childhood; (2 examine age-related changes in the neural sensitivity for biological motion, and (3 determine whether neural sensitivity for biological motion relates to social network characteristics in children. Consistent with past work, we demonstrate a significant relation between social network size and neural sensitivity for biological motion in left pSTS, but do not find age-related change in biological motion perception. This finding offers evidence for the interplay between real-world social experiences and functional brain development and has important implications for understanding disorders of atypical social experience. Keywords: Biological motion, Social networks, Middle childhood, Neural specialization, Brain-behavior relations, pSTS

  3. Dissociable intrinsic functional networks support noun-object and verb-action processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Huichao; Lin, Qixiang; Han, Zaizhu; Li, Hongyu; Song, Luping; Chen, Lingjuan; He, Yong; Bi, Yanchao

    2017-12-01

    The processing mechanism of verbs-actions and nouns-objects is a central topic of language research, with robust evidence for behavioral dissociation. The neural basis for these two major word and/or conceptual classes, however, remains controversial. Two experiments were conducted to study this question from the network perspective. Experiment 1 found that nodes of the same class, obtained through task-evoked brain imaging meta-analyses, were more strongly connected with each other than nodes of different classes during resting-state, forming segregated network modules. Experiment 2 examined the behavioral relevance of these intrinsic networks using data from 88 brain-damaged patients, finding that across patients the relative strength of functional connectivity of the two networks significantly correlated with the noun-object vs. verb-action relative behavioral performances. In summary, we found that verbs-actions and nouns-objects are supported by separable intrinsic functional networks and that the integrity of such networks accounts for the relative noun-object- and verb-action-selective deficits. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Vicariously touching products through observing others' hand actions increases purchasing intention, and the effect of visual perspective in this process: An fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yi; Zang, Xuelian; Chen, Lihan; Assumpção, Leonardo; Li, Hong

    2018-01-01

    The growth of online shopping increases consumers' dependence on vicarious sensory experiences, such as observing others touching products in commercials. However, empirical evidence on whether observing others' sensory experiences increases purchasing intention is still scarce. In the present study, participants observed others interacting with products in the first- or third-person perspective in video clips, and their neural responses were measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We investigated (1) whether and how vicariously touching certain products affected purchasing intention, and the neural correlates of this process; and (2) how visual perspective interacts with vicarious tactility. Vicarious tactile experiences were manipulated by hand actions touching or not touching the products, while the visual perspective was manipulated by showing the hand actions either in first- or third-person perspective. During the fMRI scanning, participants watched the video clips and rated their purchasing intention for each product. The results showed that, observing others touching (vs. not touching) the products increased purchasing intention, with vicarious neural responses found in mirror neuron systems (MNS) and lateral occipital complex (LOC). Moreover, the stronger neural activities in MNS was associated with higher purchasing intention. The effects of visual perspectives were found in left superior parietal lobule (SPL), while the interaction of tactility and visual perspective was shown in precuneus and precuneus-LOC connectivity. The present study provides the first evidence that vicariously touching a given product increased purchasing intention and the neural activities in bilateral MNS, LOC, left SPL and precuneus are involved in this process. Hum Brain Mapp 39:332-343, 2018. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Towards a magnetoresistive platform for neural signal recording

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, P. P.; Gervasoni, G.; Albisetti, E.; D'Ercoli, F.; Monticelli, M.; Moretti, D.; Forte, N.; Rocchi, A.; Ferrari, G.; Baldelli, P.; Sampietro, M.; Benfenati, F.; Bertacco, R.; Petti, D.

    2017-05-01

    A promising strategy to get deeper insight on brain functionalities relies on the investigation of neural activities at the cellular and sub-cellular level. In this framework, methods for recording neuron electrical activity have gained interest over the years. Main technological challenges are associated to finding highly sensitive detection schemes, providing considerable spatial and temporal resolution. Moreover, the possibility to perform non-invasive assays would constitute a noteworthy benefit. In this work, we present a magnetoresistive platform for the detection of the action potential propagation in neural cells. Such platform allows, in perspective, the in vitro recording of neural signals arising from single neurons, neural networks and brain slices.

  6. Immunomodulators in SLE: Clinical evidence and immunologic actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durcan, L; Petri, M

    2016-11-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a potentially fatal autoimmune disease. Current treatment strategies rely heavily on corticosteroids, which are in turn responsible for a significant burden of morbidity, and immunosuppressives which are limited by suboptimal efficacy, increased infections and malignancies. There are significant deficiencies in our immunosuppressive armamentarium, making immunomodulatory therapies crucial, offering the opportunity to prevent disease flare and the subsequent accrual of damage. Currently available immunomodulators include prasterone (synthetic dehydroeipandrosterone), vitamin D, hydroxychloroquine and belimumab. These therapies, acting via numerous cellular and cytokine pathways, have been shown to modify the aberrant immune responses associated with SLE without overt immunosuppression. Vitamin D is important in SLE and supplementation appears to have a positive impact on disease activity particularly proteinuria. Belimumab has specific immunomodulatory properties and is an effective therapy in those with specific serological and clinical characteristics predictive of response. Hydroxychloroquine is a crucial background medication in SLE with actions in many molecular pathways. It has disease specific effects in reducing flare, treating cutaneous disease and inflammatory arthralgias in addition to other effects such as reduced thrombosis, increased longevity, improved lipids, better glycemic control and blood pressure. Dehydroeipandrosterone is also an immunomodulator in SLE which can have positive effects on disease activity and has bone protective properties. This review outlines the immunologic actions of these drugs and the clinical evidence supporting their use. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Energy-efficient neural information processing in individual neurons and neuronal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lianchun; Yu, Yuguo

    2017-11-01

    Brains are composed of networks of an enormous number of neurons interconnected with synapses. Neural information is carried by the electrical signals within neurons and the chemical signals among neurons. Generating these electrical and chemical signals is metabolically expensive. The fundamental issue raised here is whether brains have evolved efficient ways of developing an energy-efficient neural code from the molecular level to the circuit level. Here, we summarize the factors and biophysical mechanisms that could contribute to the energy-efficient neural code for processing input signals. The factors range from ion channel kinetics, body temperature, axonal propagation of action potentials, low-probability release of synaptic neurotransmitters, optimal input and noise, the size of neurons and neuronal clusters, excitation/inhibition balance, coding strategy, cortical wiring, and the organization of functional connectivity. Both experimental and computational evidence suggests that neural systems may use these factors to maximize the efficiency of energy consumption in processing neural signals. Studies indicate that efficient energy utilization may be universal in neuronal systems as an evolutionary consequence of the pressure of limited energy. As a result, neuronal connections may be wired in a highly economical manner to lower energy costs and space. Individual neurons within a network may encode independent stimulus components to allow a minimal number of neurons to represent whole stimulus characteristics efficiently. This basic principle may fundamentally change our view of how billions of neurons organize themselves into complex circuits to operate and generate the most powerful intelligent cognition in nature. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Rituals decrease the neural response to performance failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas M. Hobson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Rituals are found in all types of performance domains, from high-stakes athletics and military to the daily morning preparations of the working family. Yet despite their ubiquity and widespread importance for humans, we know very little of ritual’s causal basis and how (if at all they facilitate goal-directed performance. Here, in a fully pre-registered pre/post experimental design, we examine a candidate proximal mechanism, the error-related negativity (ERN, in testing the prediction that ritual modulates neural performance-monitoring. Participants completed an arbitrary ritual—novel actions repeated at home over one week—followed by an executive function task in the lab during electroencephalographic (EEG recording. Results revealed that relative to pre rounds, participants showed a reduced ERN in the post rounds, after completing the ritual in the lab. Despite a muted ERN, there was no evidence that the reduction in neural monitoring led to performance deficit (nor a performance improvement. Generally, the findings are consistent with the longstanding view that ritual buffers against uncertainty and anxiety. Our results indicate that ritual guides goal-directed performance by regulating the brain’s response to personal failure.

  9. Neural androgen receptors affect the number of surviving new neurones in the adult dentate gyrus of male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swift-Gallant, A; Duarte-Guterman, P; Hamson, D K; Ibrahim, M; Monks, D A; Galea, L A M

    2018-04-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis occurs in many mammalian species. In rats, the survival of new neurones within the hippocampus is modulated by the action of androgen via the androgen receptor (AR); however, it is not known whether this holds true in mice. Furthermore, the evidence is mixed regarding whether androgens act in neural tissue or via peripheral non-neural targets to promote new neurone survival in the hippocampus. We evaluated whether the action of androgen via AR underlies the survival of new neurones in mice, and investigated whether increasing AR selectively in neural tissue would increase new neurone survival in the hippocampus. We used the cre-loxP system to overexpress AR only in neural tissues (Nestin-AR). These males were compared with wild-type males, as well as control males with 1 of the 2 mutations required for overexpression. Mice were gonadectomised and injected with the DNA synthesis marker, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and for 37 days (following BrdU injection), mice were treated with oil or dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Using immunohistochemistry, proliferation (Ki67) and survival (BrdU) of new neurones were both evaluated in the dorsal and ventral dentate gyrus. Dihydrotestosterone treatment increased the survival of new neurones in the entire hippocampus in wild-type mice and control mice that only have 1 of 2 necessary mutations for transgenic expression. However, DHT treatment did not increase the survival of new neurones in mice that overexpressed AR in neural tissue. Cell proliferation (Ki67) and cell death (pyknotic cells) were not affected by DHT treatment in wild-type or transgenic males. These results suggest that androgens act via neural AR to affect hippocampal neurogenesis by promoting cell survival; however, the relationship between androgen dose and new neurone survival is nonlinear. © 2018 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  10. The alcoholic brain: neural bases of impaired reward-based decision-making in alcohol use disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galandra, Caterina; Basso, Gianpaolo; Cappa, Stefano; Canessa, Nicola

    2018-03-01

    Neuroeconomics is providing insights into the neural bases of decision-making in normal and pathological conditions. In the neuropsychiatric domain, this discipline investigates how abnormal functioning of neural systems associated with reward processing and cognitive control promotes different disorders, and whether such evidence may inform treatments. This endeavor is crucial when studying different types of addiction, which share a core promoting mechanism in the imbalance between impulsive subcortical neural signals associated with immediate pleasurable outcomes and inhibitory signals mediated by a prefrontal reflective system. The resulting impairment in behavioral control represents a hallmark of alcohol use disorders (AUDs), a chronic relapsing disorder characterized by excessive alcohol consumption despite devastating consequences. This review aims to summarize available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evidence on reward-related decision-making alterations in AUDs, and to envision possible future research directions. We review functional MRI (fMRI) studies using tasks involving monetary rewards, as well as MRI studies relating decision-making parameters to neurostructural gray- or white-matter metrics. The available data suggest that excessive alcohol exposure affects neural signaling within brain networks underlying adaptive behavioral learning via the implementation of prediction errors. Namely, weaker ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity and altered connectivity between ventral striatum and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex likely underpin a shift from goal-directed to habitual actions which, in turn, might underpin compulsive alcohol consumption and relapsing episodes despite adverse consequences. Overall, these data highlight abnormal fronto-striatal connectivity as a candidate neurobiological marker of impaired choice in AUDs. Further studies are needed, however, to unveil its implications in the multiple facets of decision-making.

  11. Serotonin, neural markers and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfredo eMeneses

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Diverse neuropsychiatric disorders present dysfunctional memory and no effective treatment exits for them; likely as result of the absence of neural markers associated to memory. Neurotransmitter systems and signaling pathways have been implicated in memory and dysfunctional memory; however, their role is poorly understood. Hence, neural markers and cerebral functions and dysfunctions are revised. To our knowledge no previous systematic works have been published addressing these issues. The interactions among behavioral tasks, control groups and molecular changes and/or pharmacological effects are mentioned. Neurotransmitter receptors and signaling pathways, during normal and abnormally functioning memory with an emphasis on the behavioral aspects of memory are revised. With focus on serotonin, since as it is a well characterized neurotransmitter, with multiple pharmacological tools, and well characterized downstream signaling in mammals’ species. 5-HT1A, 5-HT4, 5-HT5, 5-HT6 and 5-HT7 receptors as well as SERT (serotonin transporter seem to be useful neural markers and/or therapeutic targets. Certainly, if the mentioned evidence is replicated, then the translatability from preclinical and clinical studies to neural changes might be confirmed. Hypothesis and theories might provide appropriate limits and perspectives of evidence

  12. Surface electromyographic amplitude does not identify differences in neural drive to synergistic muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Valdes, Eduardo; Negro, Francesco; Falla, Deborah; De Nunzio, Alessandro Marco; Farina, Dario

    2018-04-01

    Surface electromyographic (EMG) signal amplitude is typically used to compare the neural drive to muscles. We experimentally investigated this association by studying the motor unit (MU) behavior and action potentials in the vastus medialis (VM) and vastus lateralis (VL) muscles. Eighteen participants performed isometric knee extensions at four target torques [10, 30, 50, and 70% of the maximum torque (MVC)] while high-density EMG signals were recorded from the VM and VL. The absolute EMG amplitude was greater for VM than VL ( P differences in EMG amplitude can be due to both differences in the neural drive and in the size of the MU action potentials, we indirectly inferred the neural drives received by the two muscles by estimating the synaptic inputs received by the corresponding motor neuron pools. For this purpose, we analyzed the increase in discharge rate from recruitment to target torque for motor units matched by recruitment threshold in the two muscles. This analysis indicated that the two muscles received similar levels of neural drive. Nonetheless, the size of the MU action potentials was greater for VM than VL ( P difference explained most of the differences in EMG amplitude between the two muscles (~63% of explained variance). These results indicate that EMG amplitude, even following normalization, does not reflect the neural drive to synergistic muscles. Moreover, absolute EMG amplitude is mainly explained by the size of MU action potentials. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Electromyographic (EMG) amplitude is widely used to compare indirectly the strength of neural drive received by synergistic muscles. However, there are no studies validating this approach with motor unit data. Here, we compared between-muscles differences in surface EMG amplitude and motor unit behavior. The results clarify the limitations of surface EMG to interpret differences in neural drive between muscles.

  13. A theory of how active behavior stabilises neural activity: Neural gain modulation by closed-loop environmental feedback.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher L Buckley

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available During active behaviours like running, swimming, whisking or sniffing, motor actions shape sensory input and sensory percepts guide future motor commands. Ongoing cycles of sensory and motor processing constitute a closed-loop feedback system which is central to motor control and, it has been argued, for perceptual processes. This closed-loop feedback is mediated by brainwide neural circuits but how the presence of feedback signals impacts on the dynamics and function of neurons is not well understood. Here we present a simple theory suggesting that closed-loop feedback between the brain/body/environment can modulate neural gain and, consequently, change endogenous neural fluctuations and responses to sensory input. We support this theory with modeling and data analysis in two vertebrate systems. First, in a model of rodent whisking we show that negative feedback mediated by whisking vibrissa can suppress coherent neural fluctuations and neural responses to sensory input in the barrel cortex. We argue this suppression provides an appealing account of a brain state transition (a marked change in global brain activity coincident with the onset of whisking in rodents. Moreover, this mechanism suggests a novel signal detection mechanism that selectively accentuates active, rather than passive, whisker touch signals. This mechanism is consistent with a predictive coding strategy that is sensitive to the consequences of motor actions rather than the difference between the predicted and actual sensory input. We further support the theory by re-analysing previously published two-photon data recorded in zebrafish larvae performing closed-loop optomotor behaviour in a virtual swim simulator. We show, as predicted by this theory, that the degree to which each cell contributes in linking sensory and motor signals well explains how much its neural fluctuations are suppressed by closed-loop optomotor behaviour. More generally we argue that our results

  14. A theory of how active behavior stabilises neural activity: Neural gain modulation by closed-loop environmental feedback.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckley, Christopher L; Toyoizumi, Taro

    2018-01-01

    During active behaviours like running, swimming, whisking or sniffing, motor actions shape sensory input and sensory percepts guide future motor commands. Ongoing cycles of sensory and motor processing constitute a closed-loop feedback system which is central to motor control and, it has been argued, for perceptual processes. This closed-loop feedback is mediated by brainwide neural circuits but how the presence of feedback signals impacts on the dynamics and function of neurons is not well understood. Here we present a simple theory suggesting that closed-loop feedback between the brain/body/environment can modulate neural gain and, consequently, change endogenous neural fluctuations and responses to sensory input. We support this theory with modeling and data analysis in two vertebrate systems. First, in a model of rodent whisking we show that negative feedback mediated by whisking vibrissa can suppress coherent neural fluctuations and neural responses to sensory input in the barrel cortex. We argue this suppression provides an appealing account of a brain state transition (a marked change in global brain activity) coincident with the onset of whisking in rodents. Moreover, this mechanism suggests a novel signal detection mechanism that selectively accentuates active, rather than passive, whisker touch signals. This mechanism is consistent with a predictive coding strategy that is sensitive to the consequences of motor actions rather than the difference between the predicted and actual sensory input. We further support the theory by re-analysing previously published two-photon data recorded in zebrafish larvae performing closed-loop optomotor behaviour in a virtual swim simulator. We show, as predicted by this theory, that the degree to which each cell contributes in linking sensory and motor signals well explains how much its neural fluctuations are suppressed by closed-loop optomotor behaviour. More generally we argue that our results demonstrate the dependence

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-06

    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. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357256-08$15.00/0.

  16. Large-scale multielectrode recording and stimulation of neural activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sher, A.; Chichilnisky, E.J.; Dabrowski, W.; Grillo, A.A.; Grivich, M.; Gunning, D.; Hottowy, P.; Kachiguine, S.; Litke, A.M.; Mathieson, K.; Petrusca, D.

    2007-01-01

    Large circuits of neurons are employed by the brain to encode and process information. How this encoding and processing is carried out is one of the central questions in neuroscience. Since individual neurons communicate with each other through electrical signals (action potentials), the recording of neural activity with arrays of extracellular electrodes is uniquely suited for the investigation of this question. Such recordings provide the combination of the best spatial (individual neurons) and temporal (individual action-potentials) resolutions compared to other large-scale imaging methods. Electrical stimulation of neural activity in turn has two very important applications: it enhances our understanding of neural circuits by allowing active interactions with them, and it is a basis for a large variety of neural prosthetic devices. Until recently, the state-of-the-art in neural activity recording systems consisted of several dozen electrodes with inter-electrode spacing ranging from tens to hundreds of microns. Using silicon microstrip detector expertise acquired in the field of high-energy physics, we created a unique neural activity readout and stimulation framework that consists of high-density electrode arrays, multi-channel custom-designed integrated circuits, a data acquisition system, and data-processing software. Using this framework we developed a number of neural readout and stimulation systems: (1) a 512-electrode system for recording the simultaneous activity of as many as hundreds of neurons, (2) a 61-electrode system for electrical stimulation and readout of neural activity in retinas and brain-tissue slices, and (3) a system with telemetry capabilities for recording neural activity in the intact brain of awake, naturally behaving animals. We will report on these systems, their various applications to the field of neurobiology, and novel scientific results obtained with some of them. We will also outline future directions

  17. Vicarious neural processing of outcomes during observational learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisabetta Monfardini

    Full Text Available Learning what behaviour is appropriate in a specific context by observing the actions of others and their outcomes is a key constituent of human cognition, because it saves time and energy and reduces exposure to potentially dangerous situations. Observational learning of associative rules relies on the ability to map the actions of others onto our own, process outcomes, and combine these sources of information. Here, we combined newly developed experimental tasks and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to investigate the neural mechanisms that govern such observational learning. Results show that the neural systems involved in individual trial-and-error learning and in action observation and execution both participate in observational learning. In addition, we identified brain areas that specifically activate for others' incorrect outcomes during learning in the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC, the anterior insula and the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS.

  18. Vicarious neural processing of outcomes during observational learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monfardini, Elisabetta; Gazzola, Valeria; Boussaoud, Driss; Brovelli, Andrea; Keysers, Christian; Wicker, Bruno

    2013-01-01

    Learning what behaviour is appropriate in a specific context by observing the actions of others and their outcomes is a key constituent of human cognition, because it saves time and energy and reduces exposure to potentially dangerous situations. Observational learning of associative rules relies on the ability to map the actions of others onto our own, process outcomes, and combine these sources of information. Here, we combined newly developed experimental tasks and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural mechanisms that govern such observational learning. Results show that the neural systems involved in individual trial-and-error learning and in action observation and execution both participate in observational learning. In addition, we identified brain areas that specifically activate for others' incorrect outcomes during learning in the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC), the anterior insula and the posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS).

  19. Neural dynamics of event segmentation in music: converging evidence for dissociable ventral and dorsal networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sridharan, Devarajan; Levitin, Daniel J; Chafe, Chris H; Berger, Jonathan; Menon, Vinod

    2007-08-02

    The real world presents our sensory systems with a continuous stream of undifferentiated information. Segmentation of this stream at event boundaries is necessary for object identification and feature extraction. Here, we investigate the neural dynamics of event segmentation in entire musical symphonies under natural listening conditions. We isolated time-dependent sequences of brain responses in a 10 s window surrounding transitions between movements of symphonic works. A strikingly right-lateralized network of brain regions showed peak response during the movement transitions when, paradoxically, there was no physical stimulus. Model-dependent and model-free analysis techniques provided converging evidence for activity in two distinct functional networks at the movement transition: a ventral fronto-temporal network associated with detecting salient events, followed in time by a dorsal fronto-parietal network associated with maintaining attention and updating working memory. Our study provides direct experimental evidence for dissociable and causally linked ventral and dorsal networks during event segmentation of ecologically valid auditory stimuli.

  20. Correlation of neural activity with behavioral kinematics reveals distinct sensory encoding and evidence accumulation processes during active tactile sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delis, Ioannis; Dmochowski, Jacek P; Sajda, Paul; Wang, Qi

    2018-03-23

    Many real-world decisions rely on active sensing, a dynamic process for directing our sensors (e.g. eyes or fingers) across a stimulus to maximize information gain. Though ecologically pervasive, limited work has focused on identifying neural correlates of the active sensing process. In tactile perception, we often make decisions about an object/surface by actively exploring its shape/texture. Here we investigate the neural correlates of active tactile decision-making by simultaneously measuring electroencephalography (EEG) and finger kinematics while subjects interrogated a haptic surface to make perceptual judgments. Since sensorimotor behavior underlies decision formation in active sensing tasks, we hypothesized that the neural correlates of decision-related processes would be detectable by relating active sensing to neural activity. Novel brain-behavior correlation analysis revealed that three distinct EEG components, localizing to right-lateralized occipital cortex (LOC), middle frontal gyrus (MFG), and supplementary motor area (SMA), respectively, were coupled with active sensing as their activity significantly correlated with finger kinematics. To probe the functional role of these components, we fit their single-trial-couplings to decision-making performance using a hierarchical-drift-diffusion-model (HDDM), revealing that the LOC modulated the encoding of the tactile stimulus whereas the MFG predicted the rate of information integration towards a choice. Interestingly, the MFG disappeared from components uncovered from control subjects performing active sensing but not required to make perceptual decisions. By uncovering the neural correlates of distinct stimulus encoding and evidence accumulation processes, this study delineated, for the first time, the functional role of cortical areas in active tactile decision-making. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Self-reported empathy and neural activity during action imitation and observation in schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Horan, William P.; Iacoboni, Marco; Cross, Katy A.; Korb, Alex; Lee, Junghee; Nori, Poorang; Quintana, Javier; Wynn, Jonathan K.; Green, Michael F.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction: Although social cognitive impairments are key determinants of functional outcome in schizophrenia their neural bases are poorly understood. This study investigated neural activity during imitation and observation of finger movements and facial expressions in schizophrenia, and their correlates with self-reported empathy. Methods: 23 schizophrenia outpatients and 23 healthy controls were studied with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they imitated, executed, o...

  2. The effect of badminton training on the ability of same-domain action anticipation for adult novices: Evidence from behavior and ERPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ting; Shao, Mengling; Yin, Desheng; Li, Yongjie; Yang, Nan; Yin, Ruru; Leng, Ying; Jin, Hua; Hong, Haixiao

    2017-11-01

    Many transverse studies have found that athletes can better anticipate the outcome of sequential actions belonging to their domain of motor expertise than non-athletes. However, few studies have causally investigated this issue. Using badminton training as an example, the present study attempted to explore whether sports training affected the same-domain action anticipation ability of adult novices and the related neural mechanisms. To address this issue, participants in the training group attended a 12-week badminton training course (1h/time, 3 times/week). Both the training and control groups were asked to view badminton video clips and predict the landing position of a shuttle before and after 12 weeks. Compared to the control group, the training group showed a decrease in the inverse efficiency score, indicating that badminton training did improve trainees' action anticipation ability. Furthermore, the training group produced larger N2 and P3 components of event-related potential after the training. These findings suggest that sport training may affect inhibitory processes and memory encoding during same-domain action anticipation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Social interaction enhances motor resonance for observed human actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogeveen, Jeremy; Obhi, Sukhvinder S

    2012-04-25

    Understanding the neural basis of social behavior has become an important goal for cognitive neuroscience and a key aim is to link neural processes observed in the laboratory to more naturalistic social behaviors in real-world contexts. Although it is accepted that mirror mechanisms contribute to the occurrence of motor resonance (MR) and are common to action execution, observation, and imitation, questions remain about mirror (and MR) involvement in real social behavior and in processing nonhuman actions. To determine whether social interaction primes the MR system, groups of participants engaged or did not engage in a social interaction before observing human or robotic actions. During observation, MR was assessed via motor-evoked potentials elicited with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Compared with participants who did not engage in a prior social interaction, participants who engaged in the social interaction showed a significant increase in MR for human actions. In contrast, social interaction did not increase MR for robot actions. Thus, naturalistic social interaction and laboratory action observation tasks appear to involve common MR mechanisms, and recent experience tunes the system to particular agent types.

  4. Kernel Temporal Differences for Neural Decoding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Jihye; Sanchez Giraldo, Luis G.; Pohlmeyer, Eric A.; Francis, Joseph T.; Sanchez, Justin C.; Príncipe, José C.

    2015-01-01

    We study the feasibility and capability of the kernel temporal difference (KTD)(λ) algorithm for neural decoding. KTD(λ) is an online, kernel-based learning algorithm, which has been introduced to estimate value functions in reinforcement learning. This algorithm combines kernel-based representations with the temporal difference approach to learning. One of our key observations is that by using strictly positive definite kernels, algorithm's convergence can be guaranteed for policy evaluation. The algorithm's nonlinear functional approximation capabilities are shown in both simulations of policy evaluation and neural decoding problems (policy improvement). KTD can handle high-dimensional neural states containing spatial-temporal information at a reasonable computational complexity allowing real-time applications. When the algorithm seeks a proper mapping between a monkey's neural states and desired positions of a computer cursor or a robot arm, in both open-loop and closed-loop experiments, it can effectively learn the neural state to action mapping. Finally, a visualization of the coadaptation process between the decoder and the subject shows the algorithm's capabilities in reinforcement learning brain machine interfaces. PMID:25866504

  5. An fMRI study of perception and action in deaf signers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Kayoko; Rogalsky, Corianne; O'Grady, Lucinda; Hanaumi, Leila; Bellugi, Ursula; Corina, David; Hickok, Gregory

    2016-02-01

    Since the discovery of mirror neurons, there has been a great deal of interest in understanding the relationship between perception and action, and the role of the human mirror system in language comprehension and production. Two questions have dominated research. One concerns the role of Broca's area in speech perception. The other concerns the role of the motor system more broadly in understanding action-related language. The current study investigates both of these questions in a way that bridges research on language with research on manual actions. We studied the neural basis of observing and executing American Sign Language (ASL) object and action signs. In an fMRI experiment, deaf signers produced signs depicting actions and objects as well as observed/comprehended signs of actions and objects. Different patterns of activation were found for observation and execution although with overlap in Broca's area, providing prima facie support for the claim that the motor system participates in language perception. In contrast, we found no evidence that action related signs differentially involved the motor system compared to object related signs. These findings are discussed in the context of lesion studies of sign language execution and observation. In this broader context, we conclude that the activation in Broca's area during ASL observation is not causally related to sign language understanding. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A voltage-sensitive dye-based assay for the identification of differentiated neurons derived from embryonic neural stem cell cultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richardson N Leão

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pluripotent and multipotent stem cells hold great therapeutical promise for the replacement of degenerated tissue in neurological diseases. To fulfill that promise we have to understand the mechanisms underlying the differentiation of multipotent cells into specific types of neurons. Embryonic stem cell (ESC and embryonic neural stem cell (NSC cultures provide a valuable tool to study the processes of neural differentiation, which can be assessed using immunohistochemistry, gene expression, Ca(2+-imaging or electrophysiology. However, indirect methods such as protein and gene analysis cannot provide direct evidence of neuronal functionality. In contrast, direct methods such as electrophysiological techniques are well suited to produce direct evidence of neural functionality but are limited to the study of a few cells on a culture plate. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study we describe a novel method for the detection of action potential-capable neurons differentiated from embryonic NSC cultures using fast voltage-sensitive dyes (VSD. We found that the use of extracellularly applied VSD resulted in a more detailed labeling of cellular processes compared to calcium indicators. In addition, VSD changes in fluorescence translated precisely to action potential kinetics as assessed by the injection of simulated slow and fast sodium currents using the dynamic clamp technique. We further demonstrate the use of a finite element model of the NSC culture cover slip for optimizing electrical stimulation parameters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our method allows for a repeatable fast and accurate stimulation of neurons derived from stem cell cultures to assess their differentiation state, which is capable of monitoring large amounts of cells without harming the overall culture.

  7. Sensory and semantic activations evoked by action attributes of manipulable objects: Evidence from ERPs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Chia-lin; Huang, Hsu-Wen; Federmeier, Kara D.; Buxbaum, Laurel J.

    2018-01-01

    “Two route” theories of object-related action processing posit different temporal activation profiles of grasp-to-move actions (rapidly evoked based on object structure) versus skilled use actions (more slowly activated based on semantic knowledge). We capitalized on the exquisite temporal resolution and multidimensionality of Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) to directly test this hypothesis. Participants viewed manipulable objects (e.g., calculator) preceded by objects sharing either “grasp”, “use”, or no action attributes (e.g., bar of soap, keyboard, earring, respectively), as well as by action-unrelated but taxonomically-related objects (e.g., abacus); participants judged whether the two objects were related. The results showed more positive responses to “grasp-to-move” primed objects than “skilled use” primed objects or unprimed objects starting in the P1 (0–150 ms) time window and continuing onto the subsequent N1 and P2 components (150–300 ms), suggesting that only “grasp-to-move”, but not “skilled use”, actions may facilitate visual attention to object attributes. Furthermore, reliably reduced N400s (300–500 ms), an index of semantic processing, were observed to taxonomically primed and “skilled use” primed objects relative to unprimed objects, suggesting that “skilled use” action attributes are a component of distributed, multimodal semantic representations of objects. Together, our findings provide evidence supporting two-route theories by demonstrating that “grasp-to-move” and “skilled use” actions impact different aspects of object processing and highlight the relationship of “skilled use” information to other aspects of semantic memory. PMID:29183777

  8. The importance of actions and the worth of an object: dissociable neural systems representing core value and economic value

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppin, Géraldine; Schwartz, Sophie; Sander, David

    2012-01-01

    Neuroeconomic research has delineated neural regions involved in the computation of value, referring to a currency for concrete choices and decisions (‘economic value’). Research in psychology and sociology, on the other hand, uses the term ‘value’ to describe motivational constructs that guide choices and behaviors across situations (‘core value’). As a first step towards an integration of these literatures, we compared the neural regions computing economic value and core value. Replicating previous work, economic value computations activated a network centered on medial orbitofrontal cortex. Core value computations activated medial prefrontal cortex, a region involved in the processing of self-relevant information and dorsal striatum, involved in action selection. Core value ratings correlated with activity in precuneus and anterior prefrontal cortex, potentially reflecting the degree to which a core value is perceived as internalized part of one’s self-concept. Distributed activation pattern in insula and ACC allowed differentiating individual core value types. These patterns may represent evaluation profiles reflecting prototypical fundamental concerns expressed in the core value types. Our findings suggest mechanisms by which core values, as motivationally important long-term goals anchored in the self-schema, may have the behavioral power to drive decisions and behaviors in the absence of immediately rewarding behavioral options. PMID:21642352

  9. Introduction to spiking neural networks: Information processing, learning and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponulak, Filip; Kasinski, Andrzej

    2011-01-01

    The concept that neural information is encoded in the firing rate of neurons has been the dominant paradigm in neurobiology for many years. This paradigm has also been adopted by the theory of artificial neural networks. Recent physiological experiments demonstrate, however, that in many parts of the nervous system, neural code is founded on the timing of individual action potentials. This finding has given rise to the emergence of a new class of neural models, called spiking neural networks. In this paper we summarize basic properties of spiking neurons and spiking networks. Our focus is, specifically, on models of spike-based information coding, synaptic plasticity and learning. We also survey real-life applications of spiking models. The paper is meant to be an introduction to spiking neural networks for scientists from various disciplines interested in spike-based neural processing.

  10. On an emotional node: modeling sentiment in graphs of action verbs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Michael Kai; Hansen, Lars Kai

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies have over the past decades established that language is grounded in sensorimotor areas of the brain. Not only action verbs related to face and hand motion but also emotional expressions activate premotor systems in the brain. Hypothesizing that patterns of neural activation...... might be reflected in the latent semantics of words, we apply hierarchical clustering and network graph analysis to quantify the interaction of emotion and motion related action verbs based on two large-scale text corpora. Comparing the word topologies to neural networks we suggest that the co......-activation of associated word forms in the brain resemble the latent semantics of action verbs, which may in turn reflect parameters of force and spatial differentiation underlying action based language....

  11. Topological probability and connection strength induced activity in complex neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Du-Qu, Wei; Bo, Zhang; Dong-Yuan, Qiu; Xiao-Shu, Luo

    2010-01-01

    Recent experimental evidence suggests that some brain activities can be assigned to small-world networks. In this work, we investigate how the topological probability p and connection strength C affect the activities of discrete neural networks with small-world (SW) connections. Network elements are described by two-dimensional map neurons (2DMNs) with the values of parameters at which no activity occurs. It is found that when the value of p is smaller or larger, there are no active neurons in the network, no matter what the value of connection strength is; for a given appropriate connection strength, there is an intermediate range of topological probability where the activity of 2DMN network is induced and enhanced. On the other hand, for a given intermediate topological probability level, there exists an optimal value of connection strength such that the frequency of activity reaches its maximum. The possible mechanism behind the action of topological probability and connection strength is addressed based on the bifurcation method. Furthermore, the effects of noise and transmission delay on the activity of neural network are also studied. (general)

  12. Modelling and evaluating customer loyalty using neural networks: Evidence from startup insurance companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azarnoush Ansari

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study is to investigate the customer–service provider relationship in the insurance industry using artificial neural networks and linear regression. Using a sample of 389 customers from 10 different startup insurance companies, it was found that artificial neural networks are an efficient way to evaluate the factors affecting customer loyalty. The results indicated that customer satisfaction and perceived value are significant predictors of customer loyalty. Additionally, it was found that trust, perceived quality, and empathy have a significant impact on both customer satisfaction and perceived value. The results also showed that customer commitment to service provider is positively associated with customer satisfaction and loyalty. After comparing the performance of linear regression models with artificial neural networks, it was found that the use of neural networks is a better approach for analyzing the customer loyalty, satisfaction, and perceived value. The use of new techniques such as artificial neural networks for analyzing the customer behavior can be particularly beneficial for startup companies who aspire to gain competitive advantage over their strong and well-established rivals.

  13. Additive Feed Forward Control with Neural Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, O.

    1999-01-01

    This paper demonstrates a method to control a non-linear, multivariable, noisy process using trained neural networks. The basis for the method is a trained neural network controller acting as the inverse process model. A training method for obtaining such an inverse process model is applied....... A suitable 'shaped' (low-pass filtered) reference is used to overcome problems with excessive control action when using a controller acting as the inverse process model. The control concept is Additive Feed Forward Control, where the trained neural network controller, acting as the inverse process model......, is placed in a supplementary pure feed-forward path to an existing feedback controller. This concept benefits from the fact, that an existing, traditional designed, feedback controller can be retained without any modifications, and after training the connection of the neural network feed-forward controller...

  14. Creating the document 'Promoting health in schools: from evidence to action'.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Leger, Lawrence; Young, Ian M

    2009-12-01

    Schools across the world have been involved in health promotion and health education for nearly a century. Do school based initiatives make any difference to the education and health outcomes of young people? This article describes the process in developing the document Promoting health in schools: from evidence to action. The document was produced primarily for the Education sector. It develops an argument about why schools should be undertaking health related initiatives. It also highlights major findings from the literature about what is possible to achieve in school health and the circumstances under which the gains will occur. Attention is focused both on the evidence from the education sector, e.g. effective schools, learning and teaching approaches, and from the health sector, e.g. a whole of school or Health Promoting School (HPS) approach, as well as identifying outcomes from topic areas such as mental and emotional health, healthy eating and nutrition, physical activity, hygiene, sexual health and relationships, substance use and misuse.

  15. Exploring the role of neural mirroring in children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruysschaert, Lieselot; Warreyn, Petra; Wiersema, Jan R; Oostra, Ann; Roeyers, Herbert

    2014-04-01

    Investigating the underlying neural mechanisms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has recently been influenced by the discovery of mirror neurons. These neurons, active during both observation and execution of actions, are thought to play a crucial role in imitation and other social-communicative skills that are often impaired in ASD. In the current electroencephalographic study, we investigated mu suppression, indicating neural mirroring in children with ASD between the ages of 24 and 48 months and age-matched typically developing children, during observation of goal-directed actions and non-goal-directed mimicked hand movements, as well as during action execution. Results revealed no significant group differences with significant central mu suppression in the ASD children and control children during both execution and observation of goal-directed actions and during observation of hand movements. Furthermore, no significant correlations between mu suppression on one hand and quality of imitation, age, and social communication questionnaire scores on the other hand were found. These findings challenge the "broken mirror" hypothesis of ASD, suggesting that impaired neural mirroring is not a distinctive feature of ASD. © 2014 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Neural markers of errors as endophenotypes in neuropsychiatric disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dara S Manoach

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Learning from errors is fundamental to adaptive human behavior. It requires detecting errors, evaluating what went wrong, and adjusting behavior accordingly. These dynamic adjustments are at the heart of behavioral flexibility and accumulating evidence suggests that deficient error processing contributes to maladaptively rigid and repetitive behavior in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies reveal highly reliable neural markers of error processing. In this review, we evaluate the evidence that abnormalities in these neural markers can serve as sensitive endophenotypes of neuropsychiatric disorders. We describe the behavioral and neural hallmarks of error processing, their mediation by common genetic polymorphisms, and impairments in schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism spectrum disorders. We conclude that neural markers of errors meet several important criteria as endophenotypes including heritability, established neuroanatomical and neurochemical substrates, association with neuropsychiatric disorders, presence in syndromally-unaffected family members, and evidence of genetic mediation. Understanding the mechanisms of error processing deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders may provide novel neural and behavioral targets for treatment and sensitive surrogate markers of treatment response. Treating error processing deficits may improve functional outcome since error signals provide crucial information for flexible adaptation to changing environments. Given the dearth of effective interventions for cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders, this represents a promising approach.

  17. Neural markers of errors as endophenotypes in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoach, Dara S; Agam, Yigal

    2013-01-01

    Learning from errors is fundamental to adaptive human behavior. It requires detecting errors, evaluating what went wrong, and adjusting behavior accordingly. These dynamic adjustments are at the heart of behavioral flexibility and accumulating evidence suggests that deficient error processing contributes to maladaptively rigid and repetitive behavior in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies reveal highly reliable neural markers of error processing. In this review, we evaluate the evidence that abnormalities in these neural markers can serve as sensitive endophenotypes of neuropsychiatric disorders. We describe the behavioral and neural hallmarks of error processing, their mediation by common genetic polymorphisms, and impairments in schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and autism spectrum disorders. We conclude that neural markers of errors meet several important criteria as endophenotypes including heritability, established neuroanatomical and neurochemical substrates, association with neuropsychiatric disorders, presence in syndromally-unaffected family members, and evidence of genetic mediation. Understanding the mechanisms of error processing deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders may provide novel neural and behavioral targets for treatment and sensitive surrogate markers of treatment response. Treating error processing deficits may improve functional outcome since error signals provide crucial information for flexible adaptation to changing environments. Given the dearth of effective interventions for cognitive deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders, this represents a potentially promising approach.

  18. The neural basis of the imitation drive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanawa, Sugiko; Sugiura, Motoaki; Nozawa, Takayuki; Kotozaki, Yuka; Yomogida, Yukihito; Ihara, Mizuki; Akimoto, Yoritaka; Thyreau, Benjamin; Izumi, Shinichi; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2016-01-01

    Spontaneous imitation is assumed to underlie the acquisition of important skills by infants, including language and social interaction. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to examine the neural basis of 'spontaneously' driven imitation, which has not yet been fully investigated. Healthy participants were presented with movie clips of meaningless bimanual actions and instructed to observe and imitate them during an fMRI scan. The participants were subsequently shown the movie clips again and asked to evaluate the strength of their 'urge to imitate' (Urge) for each action. We searched for cortical areas where the degree of activation positively correlated with Urge scores; significant positive correlations were observed in the right supplementary motor area (SMA) and bilateral midcingulate cortex (MCC) under the imitation condition. These areas were not explained by explicit reasons for imitation or the kinematic characteristics of the actions. Previous studies performed in monkeys and humans have implicated the SMA and MCC/caudal cingulate zone in voluntary actions. This study also confirmed the functional connectivity between Urge and imitation performance using a psychophysiological interaction analysis. Thus, our findings reveal the critical neural components that underlie spontaneous imitation and provide possible reasons why infants imitate spontaneously. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press.

  19. Understanding and imitating unfamiliar actions: distinct underlying mechanisms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana C Carmo

    Full Text Available The human "mirror neuron system" has been proposed to be the neural substrate that underlies understanding and, possibly, imitating actions. However, since the brain activity with mirror properties seems insufficient to provide a good description for imitation of actions outside one's own repertoire, the existence of supplementary processes has been proposed. Moreover, it is unclear whether action observation requires the same neural mechanisms as the explicit access to their meaning. The aim of this study was two-fold as we investigated whether action observation requires different processes depending on 1 whether the ultimate goal is to imitate or understand the presented actions and 2 whether the to-be-imitated actions are familiar or unfamiliar to the subject. Participants were presented with both meaningful familiar actions and meaningless unfamiliar actions that they had to either imitate or discriminate later. Event-related Potentials were used as differences in brain activity could have been masked by the use of other techniques with lower temporal resolution. In the imitation task, a sustained left frontal negativity was more pronounced for meaningless actions than for meaningful ones, starting from an early time-window. Conversely, observing unfamiliar versus familiar actions with the intention of discriminating them led to marked differences over right centro-posterior scalp regions, in both middle and latest time-windows. These findings suggest that action imitation and action understanding may be sustained by dissociable mechanisms: while imitation of unfamiliar actions activates left frontal processes, that are likely to be related to learning mechanisms, action understanding involves dedicated operations which probably require right posterior regions, consistent with their involvement in social interactions.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  1. Neural crest stem cell multipotency requires Foxd3 to maintain neural potential and repress mesenchymal fates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mundell, Nathan A; Labosky, Patricia A

    2011-02-01

    Neural crest (NC) progenitors generate a wide array of cell types, yet molecules controlling NC multipotency and self-renewal and factors mediating cell-intrinsic distinctions between multipotent versus fate-restricted progenitors are poorly understood. Our earlier work demonstrated that Foxd3 is required for maintenance of NC progenitors in the embryo. Here, we show that Foxd3 mediates a fate restriction choice for multipotent NC progenitors with loss of Foxd3 biasing NC toward a mesenchymal fate. Neural derivatives of NC were lost in Foxd3 mutant mouse embryos, whereas abnormally fated NC-derived vascular smooth muscle cells were ectopically located in the aorta. Cranial NC defects were associated with precocious differentiation towards osteoblast and chondrocyte cell fates, and individual mutant NC from different anteroposterior regions underwent fate changes, losing neural and increasing myofibroblast potential. Our results demonstrate that neural potential can be separated from NC multipotency by the action of a single gene, and establish novel parallels between NC and other progenitor populations that depend on this functionally conserved stem cell protein to regulate self-renewal and multipotency.

  2. Decoding natural reach-and-grasp actions from human EEG

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarz, Andreas; Ofner, Patrick; Pereira, Joana; Ioana Sburlea, Andreea; Müller-Putz, Gernot R.

    2018-02-01

    Objective. Despite the high number of degrees of freedom of the human hand, most actions of daily life can be executed incorporating only palmar, pincer and lateral grasp. In this study we attempt to discriminate these three different executed reach-and-grasp actions utilizing their EEG neural correlates. Approach. In a cue-guided experiment, 15 healthy individuals were asked to perform these actions using daily life objects. We recorded 72 trials for each reach-and-grasp condition and from a no-movement condition. Main results. Using low-frequency time domain features from 0.3 to 3 Hz, we achieved binary classification accuracies of 72.4%, STD  ±  5.8% between grasp types, for grasps versus no-movement condition peak performances of 93.5%, STD  ±  4.6% could be reached. In an offline multiclass classification scenario which incorporated not only all reach-and-grasp actions but also the no-movement condition, the highest performance could be reached using a window of 1000 ms for feature extraction. Classification performance peaked at 65.9%, STD  ±  8.1%. Underlying neural correlates of the reach-and-grasp actions, investigated over the primary motor cortex, showed significant differences starting from approximately 800 ms to 1200 ms after the movement onset which is also the same time frame where classification performance reached its maximum. Significance. We could show that it is possible to discriminate three executed reach-and-grasp actions prominent in people’s everyday use from non-invasive EEG. Underlying neural correlates showed significant differences between all tested conditions. These findings will eventually contribute to our attempt of controlling a neuroprosthesis in a natural and intuitive way, which could ultimately benefit motor impaired end users in their daily life actions.

  3. Radioactive fallout and neural tube defects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nejat Akar

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Possible link between radioactivity and the occurrence of neural tube defects is a long lasting debate since the Chernobyl nuclear fallout in 1986. A recent report on the incidence of neural defects in the west coast of USA, following Fukushima disaster, brought another evidence for effect of radioactive fallout on the occurrence of NTD’s. Here a literature review was performed focusing on this special subject.

  4. Impulsive action and impulsive choice across substance and behavioral addictions: cause or consequence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, Jon E; Chamberlain, Samuel R

    2014-11-01

    Substance use disorders are prevalent and debilitating. Certain behavioral syndromes ('behavioral addictions') characterized by repetitive habits, such as gambling disorder, stealing, shopping, and compulsive internet use, may share clinical, co-morbid, and neurobiological parallels with substance addictions. This review considers overlap between substance and behavioral addictions with a particular focus on impulsive action (inability to inhibit motor responses), and impulsive choice (preference for immediate smaller rewards to the detriment of long-term outcomes). We find that acute consumption of drugs with abuse potential is capable of modulating impulsive choice and action, although magnitude and direction of effect appear contingent on baseline function. Many lines of evidence, including findings from meta-analyses, show an association between chronic drug use and elevated impulsive choice and action. In some instances, elevated impulsive choice and action have been found to predate the development of substance use disorders, perhaps signifying their candidacy as objective vulnerability markers. Research in behavioral addictions is preliminary, and has mostly focused on impulsive action, finding this to be elevated versus controls, similar to that seen in chronic substance use disorders. Only a handful of imaging studies has explored the neural correlates of impulsive action and choice across these disorders. Key areas for future research are highlighted along with potential implications in terms of neurobiological models and treatment. In particular, future work should further explore whether the cognitive deficits identified are state or trait in nature: i.e. are evident before addiction perhaps signaling risk; or are a consequence of repetitive engagement in habitual behavior; and effects of novel agents known to modulate these cognitive abilities on various addictive disorders. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Neural-Network-Based Fuzzy Logic Navigation Control for Intelligent Vehicles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahcene Farah

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a Neural-Network-Based Fuzzy logic system for navigation control of intelligent vehicles. First, the use of Neural Networks and Fuzzy Logic to provide intelligent vehicles  with more autonomy and intelligence is discussed. Second, the system  for the obstacle avoidance behavior is developed. Fuzzy Logic improves Neural Networks (NN obstacle avoidance approach by handling imprecision and rule-based approximate reasoning. This system must make the vehicle able, after supervised learning, to achieve two tasks: 1- to make one’s way towards its target by a NN, and 2- to avoid static or dynamic obstacles by a Fuzzy NN capturing the behavior of a human expert. Afterwards, two association phases between each task and the appropriate actions are carried out by Trial and Error learning and their coordination allows to decide the appropriate action. Finally, the simulation results display the generalization and adaptation abilities of the system by testing it in new unexplored environments.

  6. Integrating robotic action with biologic perception: A brain-machine symbiosis theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoudi, Babak

    In patients with motor disability the natural cyclic flow of information between the brain and external environment is disrupted by their limb impairment. Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) aim to provide new communication channels between the brain and environment by direct translation of brain's internal states into actions. For enabling the user in a wide range of daily life activities, the challenge is designing neural decoders that autonomously adapt to different tasks, environments, and to changes in the pattern of neural activity. In this dissertation, a novel decoding framework for BMIs is developed in which a computational agent autonomously learns how to translate neural states into action based on maximization of a measure of shared goal between user and the agent. Since the agent and brain share the same goal, a symbiotic relationship between them will evolve therefore this decoding paradigm is called a Brain-Machine Symbiosis (BMS) framework. A decoding agent was implemented within the BMS framework based on the Actor-Critic method of Reinforcement Learning. The rule of the Actor as a neural decoder was to find mapping between the neural representation of motor states in the primary motor cortex (MI) and robot actions in order to solve reaching tasks. The Actor learned the optimal control policy using an evaluative feedback that was estimated by the Critic directly from the user's neural activity of the Nucleus Accumbens (NAcc). Through a series of computational neuroscience studies in a cohort of rats it was demonstrated that NAcc could provide a useful evaluative feedback by predicting the increase or decrease in the probability of earning reward based on the environmental conditions. Using a closed-loop BMI simulator it was demonstrated the Actor-Critic decoding architecture was able to adapt to different tasks as well as changes in the pattern of neural activity. The custom design of a dual micro-wire array enabled simultaneous implantation of MI and

  7. Learning about goals : development of action perception and action control

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschoor, Stephan Alexander

    2014-01-01

    By using innovative paradigms, the present thesis provides convincing evidence that action-effect learning, and sensorimotor processes in general play a crucial role in the development of action- perception and production in infancy. This finding was further generalized to sequential action.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

  9. The neural basis of the bystander effect--the influence of group size on neural activity when witnessing an emergency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hortensius, Ruud; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2014-06-01

    Naturalistic observation and experimental studies in humans and other primates show that observing an individual in need automatically triggers helping behavior. The aim of the present study is to clarify the neurofunctional basis of social influences on individual helping behavior. We investigate whether when participants witness an emergency, while performing an unrelated color-naming task in an fMRI scanner, the number of bystanders present at the emergency influences neural activity in regions related to action preparation. The results show a decrease in activity with the increase in group size in the left pre- and postcentral gyri and left medial frontal gyrus. In contrast, regions related to visual perception and attention show an increase in activity. These results demonstrate the neural mechanisms of social influence on automatic action preparation that is at the core of helping behavior when witnessing an emergency. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Additive Routes to Action Learning: Layering Experience Shapes Engagement of the Action Observation Network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirsch, Louise P; Cross, Emily S

    2015-12-01

    The way in which we perceive others in action is biased by one's prior experience with an observed action. For example, we can have auditory, visual, or motor experience with actions we observe others perform. How action experience via 1, 2, or all 3 of these modalities shapes action perception remains unclear. Here, we combine pre- and post-training functional magnetic resonance imaging measures with a dance training manipulation to address how building experience (from auditory to audiovisual to audiovisual plus motor) with a complex action shapes subsequent action perception. Results indicate that layering experience across these 3 modalities activates a number of sensorimotor cortical regions associated with the action observation network (AON) in such a way that the more modalities through which one experiences an action, the greater the response is within these AON regions during action perception. Moreover, a correlation between left premotor activity and participants' scores for reproducing an action suggests that the better an observer can perform an observed action, the stronger the neural response is. The findings suggest that the number of modalities through which an observer experiences an action impacts AON activity additively, and that premotor cortical activity might serve as an index of embodiment during action observation. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.

  11. Spike neural models (part I: The Hodgkin-Huxley model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johnson, Melissa G.

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Artificial neural networks, or ANNs, have grown a lot since their inception back in the 1940s. But no matter the changes, one of the most important components of neural networks is still the node, which represents the neuron. Within spiking neural networks, the node is especially important because it contains the functions and properties of neurons that are necessary for their network. One important aspect of neurons is the ionic flow which produces action potentials, or spikes. Forces of diffusion and electrostatic pressure work together with the physical properties of the cell to move ions around changing the cell membrane potential which ultimately produces the action potential. This tutorial reviews the Hodkgin-Huxley model and shows how it simulates the ionic flow of the giant squid axon via four differential equations. The model is implemented in Matlab using Euler's Method to approximate the differential equations. By using Euler's method, an extra parameter is created, the time step. This new parameter needs to be carefully considered or the results of the node may be impaired.

  12. Frequency decoding of periodically timed action potentials through distinct activity patterns in a random neural network

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reichenbach, Tobias; Hudspeth, A J

    2012-01-01

    Frequency discrimination is a fundamental task of the auditory system. The mammalian inner ear, or cochlea, provides a place code in which different frequencies are detected at different spatial locations. However, a temporal code based on spike timing is also available: action potentials evoked in an auditory-nerve fiber by a low-frequency tone occur at a preferred phase of the stimulus—they exhibit phase locking—and thus provide temporal information about the tone's frequency. Humans employ this temporal information for discrimination of low frequencies. How might such temporal information be read out in the brain? Here we employ statistical and numerical methods to demonstrate that recurrent random neural networks in which connections between neurons introduce characteristic time delays, and in which neurons require temporally coinciding inputs for spike initiation, can perform sharp frequency discrimination when stimulated with phase-locked inputs. Although the frequency resolution achieved by such networks is limited by the noise in phase locking, the resolution for realistic values reaches the tiny frequency difference of 0.2% that has been measured in humans. (paper)

  13. Application of a neural network to control a pressurized water reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, C.; Ku, C.C.; Lee, C.S.

    1993-01-01

    A neural network has been trained to control a pressurized water reactor. The inputs of the training pattern are the plant signals, and the outputs are the control rod actions. The training patterns are some kind of lookup table of control action. The table is designed by the heuristic method, which is based on the designer's knowledge of the controlled system and the operation experience. This method has two advantages: The controller's performance does not depend on the mathematical model of the plant, and the controller could be a nonlinear one. The advantages of using neural networks to implement the controller are to save computing time and overcome partial hardware failure

  14. Observing, performing, and understanding actions: revisiting the role of cortical motor areas in processing of action words

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rüschemeyer, S.A.; Ekman, M.; Ackeren, M.J. van; Kilner, J.

    2014-01-01

    Language content and action/perception have been shown to activate common brain areas in previous neuroimaging studies. However, it is unclear whether overlapping cortical activation reflects a common neural source or adjacent, but distinct, sources. We address this issue by using multivoxel pattern

  15. Habits as action sequences: hierarchical action control and changes in outcome value.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dezfouli, Amir; Lingawi, Nura W; Balleine, Bernard W

    2014-11-05

    Goal-directed action involves making high-level choices that are implemented using previously acquired action sequences to attain desired goals. Such a hierarchical schema is necessary for goal-directed actions to be scalable to real-life situations, but results in decision-making that is less flexible than when action sequences are unfolded and the decision-maker deliberates step-by-step over the outcome of each individual action. In particular, from this perspective, the offline revaluation of any outcomes that fall within action sequence boundaries will be invisible to the high-level planner resulting in decisions that are insensitive to such changes. Here, within the context of a two-stage decision-making task, we demonstrate that this property can explain the emergence of habits. Next, we show how this hierarchical account explains the insensitivity of over-trained actions to changes in outcome value. Finally, we provide new data that show that, under extended extinction conditions, habitual behaviour can revert to goal-directed control, presumably as a consequence of decomposing action sequences into single actions. This hierarchical view suggests that the development of action sequences and the insensitivity of actions to changes in outcome value are essentially two sides of the same coin, explaining why these two aspects of automatic behaviour involve a shared neural structure. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  16. The minimalist grammar of action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastra, Katerina; Aloimonos, Yiannis

    2012-01-01

    Language and action have been found to share a common neural basis and in particular a common ‘syntax’, an analogous hierarchical and compositional organization. While language structure analysis has led to the formulation of different grammatical formalisms and associated discriminative or generative computational models, the structure of action is still elusive and so are the related computational models. However, structuring action has important implications on action learning and generalization, in both human cognition research and computation. In this study, we present a biologically inspired generative grammar of action, which employs the structure-building operations and principles of Chomsky's Minimalist Programme as a reference model. In this grammar, action terminals combine hierarchically into temporal sequences of actions of increasing complexity; the actions are bound with the involved tools and affected objects and are governed by certain goals. We show, how the tool role and the affected-object role of an entity within an action drives the derivation of the action syntax in this grammar and controls recursion, merge and move, the latter being mechanisms that manifest themselves not only in human language, but in human action too. PMID:22106430

  17. Preventing neural tube defects in Europe : A missed opportunity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Busby, A; Armstrong, B; Dolk, H; Armstrong, N; Haeusler, M; Berghold, A; Gillerot, Y; Baguette, A; Gjerga, R; Barisic, [No Value; Christiansen, M; Goujard, J; Steinbicker, [No Value; Rosch, C; McDonnell, R; Scarano, G; Calzolari, E; Neville, A; Cocchi, G; Bianca, S; Gatt, M; De Walle, H; Braz, P; Latos-Bielenska, A; Gener, B; Portillor, [No Value; Addor, MC; Abramsky, L; Ritvanen, A; Robert-Gnansia, E; Daltveit, AK; Aneren, G; Olars, B; Edwards, G

    2005-01-01

    Each year, more than 4500 pregnancies in the European Union are affected by neural tube defects (NTD). Unambiguous evidence of the effectiveness of peri conceptional folic acid in preventing the majority of neural tube defects has been available since 1991. We report on trends in the total

  18. Mirror neuron system involvement in empathy: a critical look at the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Amee D; Scheffer, Ingrid E; Wilson, Sarah J

    2011-01-01

    It has been proposed that the human mirror neuron system (MNS) plays an integral role in mediating empathy. In this review, we critically examine evidence from three bodies of research that have been cited as supporting this notion: (1) behavioral studies that have examined the relationship between imitation and empathy, (2) findings from functional neuroimaging studies that report a positive correlation between MNS activation and self-report on an empathy questionnaire, and (3) observations of impaired imitation and empathy in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In addition, we briefly review lesion studies of the neural correlates of imitation and empathy. Current evidence suggests that the MNS is broadly involved in empathy, but at this stage there has been limited consideration of its various forms, including motor, emotional, and cognitive empathy. There are also various forms of imitation, encompassing emotional and non-emotional, automatic, and voluntary actions. We propose that the relationship between imitation and empathy may vary depending on the specific type of each of these abilities. Furthermore, these abilities may be mediated by partially distinct neural networks, which involve the MNS to a variable degree.

  19. Interhemispheric inhibition during mental actions of different complexity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicolas Gueugneau

    Full Text Available Several investigations suggest that actual and mental actions trigger similar neural substrates. Yet, neurophysiological evidences on the nature of interhemispheric interactions during mental movements are still meagre. Here, we asked whether the content of mental images, investigated by task complexity, is finely represented in the inhibitory interactions between the two primary motor cortices (M1s. Subjects' left M1 was stimulated by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS while they were performing actual or mental movements of increasing complexity with their right hand and exerting a maximum isometric force with their left thumb and index. Thus, we simultaneously assessed the corticospinal excitability in the right opponent pollicis muscle (OP and the ipsilateral silent period (iSP in the left OP during actual and mental movements. Corticospinal excitability in right OP increased during actual and mental movements, but task complexity-dependent changes were only observed during actual movements. Interhemispheric motor inhibition in the left OP was similarly modulated by task complexity in both mental and actual movements. Precisely, the duration and the area of the iSP increased with task complexity in both movement conditions. Our findings suggest that mental and actual movements share similar inhibitory neural circuits between the two homologous primary motor cortex areas.

  20. Neural prediction errors reveal a risk-sensitive reinforcement-learning process in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niv, Yael; Edlund, Jeffrey A; Dayan, Peter; O'Doherty, John P

    2012-01-11

    Humans and animals are exquisitely, though idiosyncratically, sensitive to risk or variance in the outcomes of their actions. Economic, psychological, and neural aspects of this are well studied when information about risk is provided explicitly. However, we must normally learn about outcomes from experience, through trial and error. Traditional models of such reinforcement learning focus on learning about the mean reward value of cues and ignore higher order moments such as variance. We used fMRI to test whether the neural correlates of human reinforcement learning are sensitive to experienced risk. Our analysis focused on anatomically delineated regions of a priori interest in the nucleus accumbens, where blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals have been suggested as correlating with quantities derived from reinforcement learning. We first provide unbiased evidence that the raw BOLD signal in these regions corresponds closely to a reward prediction error. We then derive from this signal the learned values of cues that predict rewards of equal mean but different variance and show that these values are indeed modulated by experienced risk. Moreover, a close neurometric-psychometric coupling exists between the fluctuations of the experience-based evaluations of risky options that we measured neurally and the fluctuations in behavioral risk aversion. This suggests that risk sensitivity is integral to human learning, illuminating economic models of choice, neuroscientific models of affective learning, and the workings of the underlying neural mechanisms.

  1. Lithium - an update on the mechanisms of action. Part two: neural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... has a complicated multitude of diverse effects in the human nervous system. This new data is helping us understand the neurobiology of bipolar disorder. The focus of this review will be to distil this new knowledge.This, the second of a two part review will focus principally on neural effects and neuroanatomical substrates.

  2. Human fMRI Reveals That Delayed Action Re-Recruits Visual Perception

    OpenAIRE

    Singhal, Anthony; Monaco, Simona; Kaufman, Liam D.; Culham, Jody C.

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral and neuropsychological research suggests that delayed actions rely on different neural substrates than immediate actions; however, the specific brain areas implicated in the two types of actions remain unknown. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure human brain activation during delayed grasping and reaching. Specifically, we examined activation during visual stimulation and action execution separated by a 18-s delay interval in which subjects had to rememb...

  3. Estimation of neural energy in microelectrode signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaumond, R. P.; Clement, R.; Silva, R.; Sander, D.

    2004-09-01

    We considered the problem of determining the neural contribution to the signal recorded by an intracortical electrode. We developed a linear least-squares approach to determine the energy fraction of a signal attributable to an arbitrary number of autocorrelation-defined signals buried in noise. Application of the method requires estimation of autocorrelation functions Rap(tgr) characterizing the action potential (AP) waveforms and Rn(tgr) characterizing background noise. This method was applied to the analysis of chronically implanted microelectrode signals from motor cortex of rat. We found that neural (AP) energy consisted of a large-signal component which grows linearly with the number of threshold-detected neural events and a small-signal component unrelated to the count of threshold-detected AP signals. The addition of pseudorandom noise to electrode signals demonstrated the algorithm's effectiveness for a wide range of noise-to-signal energy ratios (0.08 to 39). We suggest, therefore, that the method could be of use in providing a measure of neural response in situations where clearly identified spike waveforms cannot be isolated, or in providing an additional 'background' measure of microelectrode neural activity to supplement the traditional AP spike count.

  4. A Demonstration of Evidence-Based Action Research Using Information Dashboard in Introductory Programming Education

    OpenAIRE

    Matsuzawa , Yoshiaki; Tanaka , Yoshiki; Kitani , Tomoya; Sakai , Sanshiro

    2017-01-01

    Part 3: Computer Science Education and Its Future Focus and Development; International audience; In this paper, we demonstrated an evidence-based action research in an introductory programming class with the use of an information dashboard which provides coding metrics to visualize students’ engagement of their assignments. The information dashboard was designed for teachers to improve their classroom teaching using the same coding metrics which was verified in our previous research [9]. The ...

  5. Effects of category-specific costs on neural systems for perceptual decision-making

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fleming, Stephen M; Whiteley, Louise Emma; Hulme, Oliver James

    2010-01-01

    Perceptual judgments are often biased by prospective losses, leading to changes in decision criteria. Little is known about how and where sensory evidence and cost information interact in the brain to influence perceptual categorization. Here we show that prospective losses systematically bias...... functions enact a particular task set that is communicated to visual regions. Across subjects, greater shifts in decision criteria were associated with greater activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Our results support a hypothesis that costs bias an intermediate representation between...... perception and action, expressed via general effects on frontal cortex, and selective effects on extrastriate cortex. These findings indicate that asymmetric costs may affect a neural implementation of perceptual decision making in a similar manner to changes in category expectation, constituting a step...

  6. Connectivity patterns during music listening: Evidence for action-based processing in musicians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alluri, Vinoo; Toiviainen, Petri; Burunat, Iballa; Kliuchko, Marina; Vuust, Peter; Brattico, Elvira

    2017-06-01

    Musical expertise is visible both in the morphology and functionality of the brain. Recent research indicates that functional integration between multi-sensory, somato-motor, default-mode (DMN), and salience (SN) networks of the brain differentiates musicians from non-musicians during resting state. Here, we aimed at determining whether brain networks differentially exchange information in musicians as opposed to non-musicians during naturalistic music listening. Whole-brain graph-theory analyses were performed on participants' fMRI responses. Group-level differences revealed that musicians' primary hubs comprised cerebral and cerebellar sensorimotor regions whereas non-musicians' dominant hubs encompassed DMN-related regions. Community structure analyses of the key hubs revealed greater integration of motor and somatosensory homunculi representing the upper limbs and torso in musicians. Furthermore, musicians who started training at an earlier age exhibited greater centrality in the auditory cortex, and areas related to top-down processes, attention, emotion, somatosensory processing, and non-verbal processing of speech. We here reveal how brain networks organize themselves in a naturalistic music listening situation wherein musicians automatically engage neural networks that are action-based while non-musicians use those that are perception-based to process an incoming auditory stream. Hum Brain Mapp 38:2955-2970, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Putting the public (back) into public health: leadership, evidence and action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    South, J; Connolly, A M; Stansfield, J A; Johnstone, P; Henderson, G; Fenton, K A

    2018-03-13

    There is a strong evidence-based rationale for community capacity building and community empowerment as part of a strategic response to reduce health inequalities. Within the current UK policy context, there are calls for increased public engagement in prevention and local decision-making in order to give people greater control over the conditions that determine health. With reference to the challenges and opportunities within the English public health system, this essay seeks to open debate about what is required to mainstream community-centred approaches and ensure that the public is central to public health. The essay sets out the case for a reorientation of public health practice in order to build impactful action with communities at scale leading to a reduction in the health gap. National frameworks that support local practice are described. Four areas of challenge that could potentially drive an implementation gap are discussed: (i) achieving integration and scale, (ii) effective community mobilization, (iii) evidencing impact and (iv) achieving a shift in power. The essay concludes with a call to action for developing a contemporary public health practice that is rooted in communities and offers local leadership to strengthen local assets, increase community control and reduce health inequalities.

  8. The Neuroscience of Storing and Molding Tool Action Concepts: how plastic is grounded cognition?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.C. Mizelle

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Choosing how to use tools to accomplish a task is a natural and seemingly trivial aspect of our lives, yet engages complex neural mechanisms. Recently, work in healthy populations has led to the idea that tool knowledge is grounded to allow for appropriate recall based on some level of personal history. This grounding has presumed neural loci for tool use, centered on parieto-temporo-frontal areas to fuse perception and action representations into one dynamic system. A challenge for this idea is related to one of its great benefits. For such a system to exist, it must be very plastic, to allow for the introduction of novel tools or concepts of tool use and modification of existing ones. Thus, learning new tool usage (familiar tools in new situations and new tools in familiar situations must involve mapping into this grounded network while marinating existing rules for tool usage. This plasticity may present a challenging breadth of encoding that needs to be optimally stored and accessed. The aim of this work is to explore the challenges of plasticity related to changing or incorporating representations of tool action within the theory of grounded cognition and propose a modular model of tool-object goal related accomplishment. While considering the neuroscience evidence for this approach, we will focus on the requisite plasticity for this system. Further, we will highlight challenges for flexibility and organization of already grounded tool actions and provide thoughts on future research to better evaluate mechanisms of encoding in the theory of grounded cognition.

  9. Radioactive fallout and neural tube defects | Akar | Egyptian Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Possible link between radioactivity and the occurrence of neural tube defects is a long lasting debate since the Chernobyl nuclear fallout in 1986. A recent report on the incidence of neural defects in the west coast of USA, following Fukushima disaster, brought another evidence for effect of radioactive fallout on the ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, BoKyung; Chim, Louise; Blevins, Elizabeth; Knutson, Brian

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. A network approach to response inhibition: dissociating functional connectivity of neural components involved in action restraint and action cancellation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dambacher, F.; Sack, A.T.; Lobbestael, J.; Arntz, A.; Brugman, S.; Schuhmann, T.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to inhibit action tendencies is vital for adaptive human behaviour. Various paradigms are supposed to assess action inhibition and are often used interchangeably. However, these paradigms are based on different conceptualizations (action restraint vs. action cancellation) and the

  12. Modelling and evaluating customer loyalty using neural networks: Evidence from startup insurance companies

    OpenAIRE

    Azarnoush Ansari; Arash Riasi

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the customer–service provider relationship in the insurance industry using artificial neural networks and linear regression. Using a sample of 389 customers from 10 different startup insurance companies, it was found that artificial neural networks are an efficient way to evaluate the factors affecting customer loyalty. The results indicated that customer satisfaction and perceived value are significant predictors of customer loyalty. Additionally, ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  14. Race modulates neural activity during imitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Losin, Elizabeth A. Reynolds; Iacoboni, Marco; Martin, Alia; Cross, Katy A.; Dapretto, Mirella

    2014-01-01

    Imitation plays a central role in the acquisition of culture. People preferentially imitate others who are self-similar, prestigious or successful. Because race can indicate a person's self-similarity or status, race influences whom people imitate. Prior studies of the neural underpinnings of imitation have not considered the effects of race. Here we measured neural activity with fMRI while European American participants imitated meaningless gestures performed by actors of their own race, and two racial outgroups, African American, and Chinese American. Participants also passively observed the actions of these actors and their portraits. Frontal, parietal and occipital areas were differentially activated while participants imitated actors of different races. More activity was present when imitating African Americans than the other racial groups, perhaps reflecting participants' reported lack of experience with and negative attitudes towards this group, or the group's lower perceived social status. This pattern of neural activity was not found when participants passively observed the gestures of the actors or simply looked at their faces. Instead, during face-viewing neural responses were overall greater for own-race individuals, consistent with prior race perception studies not involving imitation. Our findings represent a first step in elucidating neural mechanisms involved in cultural learning, a process that influences almost every aspect of our lives but has thus far received little neuroscientific study. PMID:22062193

  15. Neural entrainment to the rhythmic structure of music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Adam; Kraus, Nina

    2015-02-01

    The neural resonance theory of musical meter explains musical beat tracking as the result of entrainment of neural oscillations to the beat frequency and its higher harmonics. This theory has gained empirical support from experiments using simple, abstract stimuli. However, to date there has been no empirical evidence for a role of neural entrainment in the perception of the beat of ecologically valid music. Here we presented participants with a single pop song with a superimposed bassoon sound. This stimulus was either lined up with the beat of the music or shifted away from the beat by 25% of the average interbeat interval. Both conditions elicited a neural response at the beat frequency. However, although the on-the-beat condition elicited a clear response at the first harmonic of the beat, this frequency was absent in the neural response to the off-the-beat condition. These results support a role for neural entrainment in tracking the metrical structure of real music and show that neural meter tracking can be disrupted by the presentation of contradictory rhythmic cues.

  16. Neural computation and the computational theory of cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piccinini, Gualtiero; Bahar, Sonya

    2013-04-01

    We begin by distinguishing computationalism from a number of other theses that are sometimes conflated with it. We also distinguish between several important kinds of computation: computation in a generic sense, digital computation, and analog computation. Then, we defend a weak version of computationalism-neural processes are computations in the generic sense. After that, we reject on empirical grounds the common assimilation of neural computation to either analog or digital computation, concluding that neural computation is sui generis. Analog computation requires continuous signals; digital computation requires strings of digits. But current neuroscientific evidence indicates that typical neural signals, such as spike trains, are graded like continuous signals but are constituted by discrete functional elements (spikes); thus, typical neural signals are neither continuous signals nor strings of digits. It follows that neural computation is sui generis. Finally, we highlight three important consequences of a proper understanding of neural computation for the theory of cognition. First, understanding neural computation requires a specially designed mathematical theory (or theories) rather than the mathematical theories of analog or digital computation. Second, several popular views about neural computation turn out to be incorrect. Third, computational theories of cognition that rely on non-neural notions of computation ought to be replaced or reinterpreted in terms of neural computation. Copyright © 2012 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  17. Development of teeth in chick embryos after mouse neural crest transplantations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitsiadis, Thimios A; Chéraud, Yvonnick; Sharpe, Paul; Fontaine-Pérus, Josiane

    2003-05-27

    Teeth were lost in birds 70-80 million years ago. Current thinking holds that it is the avian cranial neural crest-derived mesenchyme that has lost odontogenic capacity, whereas the oral epithelium retains the signaling properties required to induce odontogenesis. To investigate the odontogenic capacity of ectomesenchyme, we have used neural tube transplantations from mice to chick embryos to replace the chick neural crest cell populations with mouse neural crest cells. The mouse/chick chimeras obtained show evidence of tooth formation showing that avian oral epithelium is able to induce a nonavian developmental program in mouse neural crest-derived mesenchymal cells.

  18. NMDA Receptor Signaling Is Important for Neural Tube Formation and for Preventing Antiepileptic Drug-Induced Neural Tube Defects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sequerra, Eduardo B; Goyal, Raman; Castro, Patricio A; Levin, Jacqueline B; Borodinsky, Laura N

    2018-05-16

    Failure of neural tube closure leads to neural tube defects (NTDs), which can have serious neurological consequences or be lethal. Use of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) during pregnancy increases the incidence of NTDs in offspring by unknown mechanisms. Here we show that during Xenopus laevis neural tube formation, neural plate cells exhibit spontaneous calcium dynamics that are partially mediated by glutamate signaling. We demonstrate that NMDA receptors are important for the formation of the neural tube and that the loss of their function induces an increase in neural plate cell proliferation and impairs neural cell migration, which result in NTDs. We present evidence that the AED valproic acid perturbs glutamate signaling, leading to NTDs that are rescued with varied efficacy by preventing DNA synthesis, activating NMDA receptors, or recruiting the NMDA receptor target ERK1/2. These findings may prompt mechanistic identification of AEDs that do not interfere with neural tube formation. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural tube defects are one of the most common birth defects. Clinical investigations have determined that the use of antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy increases the incidence of these defects in the offspring by unknown mechanisms. This study discovers that glutamate signaling regulates neural plate cell proliferation and oriented migration and is necessary for neural tube formation. We demonstrate that the widely used antiepileptic drug valproic acid interferes with glutamate signaling and consequently induces neural tube defects, challenging the current hypotheses arguing that they are side effects of this antiepileptic drug that cause the increased incidence of these defects. Understanding the mechanisms of neurotransmitter signaling during neural tube formation may contribute to the identification and development of antiepileptic drugs that are safer during pregnancy. Copyright © 2018 the authors 0270-6474/18/384762-12$15.00/0.

  19. Calcium signaling mediates five types of cell morphological changes to form neural rosettes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hříbková, Hana; Grabiec, Marta; Klemová, Dobromila; Slaninová, Iva; Sun, Yuh-Man

    2018-02-12

    Neural rosette formation is a critical morphogenetic process during neural development, whereby neural stem cells are enclosed in rosette niches to equipoise proliferation and differentiation. How neural rosettes form and provide a regulatory micro-environment remains to be elucidated. We employed the human embryonic stem cell-based neural rosette system to investigate the structural development and function of neural rosettes. Our study shows that neural rosette formation consists of five types of morphological change: intercalation, constriction, polarization, elongation and lumen formation. Ca 2+ signaling plays a pivotal role in the five steps by regulating the actions of the cytoskeletal complexes, actin, myosin II and tubulin during intercalation, constriction and elongation. These, in turn, control the polarizing elements, ZO-1, PARD3 and β-catenin during polarization and lumen production for neural rosette formation. We further demonstrate that the dismantlement of neural rosettes, mediated by the destruction of cytoskeletal elements, promotes neurogenesis and astrogenesis prematurely, indicating that an intact rosette structure is essential for orderly neural development. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. Metabolic neural mapping in neonatal rats

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DiRocco, R.J.; Hall, W.G.

    1981-01-01

    Functional neural mapping by 14 C-deoxyglucose autoradiography in adult rats has shown that increases in neural metabolic rate that are coupled to increased neurophysiological activity are more evident in axon terminals and dendrites than neuron cell bodies. Regions containing architectonically well-defined concentrations of terminals and dendrites (neuropil) have high metabolic rates when the neuropil is physiologically active. In neonatal rats, however, we find that regions containing well-defined groupings of neuron cell bodies have high metabolic rates in 14 C-deoxyglucose autoradiograms. The striking difference between the morphological appearance of 14 C-deoxyglucose autoradiograms obtained from neonatal and adult rats is probably related to developmental changes in morphometric features of differentiating neurons, as well as associated changes in type and locus of neural work performed

  1. Implementing evidence in an onco-haematology nursing unit: a process of change using participatory action research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abad-Corpa, Eva; Delgado-Hito, Pilar; Cabrero-García, Julio; Meseguer-Liza, Cristobal; Zárate-Riscal, Carmen Lourdes; Carrillo-Alcaraz, Andrés; Martínez-Corbalán, José Tomás; Caravaca-Hernández, Amor

    2013-03-01

    To implement evidence in a nursing unit and to gain a better understanding of the experience of change within a participatory action research. Study design of a participatory action research type was use from the constructivist paradigm. The analytical-methodological decisions were inspired by Checkland Flexible Systems for evidence implementation in the nursing unit. The study was carried out between March and November 2007 in the isolation unit section for onco-haematological patients in a tertiary level general university hospital in Spain. Accidental sampling was carried out with the participation of six nurses. Data were collected using five group meetings and individual reflections in participants' dairies. The participant observation technique was also carried out by researchers. Data analysis was carried out by content analysis. The rigorous criteria were used: credibility, confirmability, dependence, transferability and reflexivity. A lack of use of evidence in clinical practice is the main problem. The factors involved were identified (training, values, beliefs, resources and professional autonomy). Their daily practice (complexity in taking decisions, variability, lack of professional autonomy and safety) was compared with an ideal situation (using evidence it will be possible to normalise practice and to work more effectively in teams by increasing safety and professional recognition). It was decided to create five working areas about several clinical topics (mucositis, pain, anxiety, satisfaction, nutritional assessment, nauseas and vomiting, pressure ulcers and catheter-related problems) and seven changes in clinical practice were agreed upon together with 11 implementation strategies. Some reflections were made about the features of the study: the changes produced; the strategies used and how to improve them; the nursing 'subculture'; attitudes towards innovation; and the commitment as participants in the study and as healthcare professionals. The

  2. Neural crest contributions to the lamprey head

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, David W.; Bronner-Fraser, Marianne

    2003-01-01

    The neural crest is a vertebrate-specific cell population that contributes to the facial skeleton and other derivatives. We have performed focal DiI injection into the cranial neural tube of the developing lamprey in order to follow the migratory pathways of discrete groups of cells from origin to destination and to compare neural crest migratory pathways in a basal vertebrate to those of gnathostomes. The results show that the general pathways of cranial neural crest migration are conserved throughout the vertebrates, with cells migrating in streams analogous to the mandibular and hyoid streams. Caudal branchial neural crest cells migrate ventrally as a sheet of cells from the hindbrain and super-pharyngeal region of the neural tube and form a cylinder surrounding a core of mesoderm in each pharyngeal arch, similar to that seen in zebrafish and axolotl. In addition to these similarities, we also uncovered important differences. Migration into the presumptive caudal branchial arches of the lamprey involves both rostral and caudal movements of neural crest cells that have not been described in gnathostomes, suggesting that barriers that constrain rostrocaudal movement of cranial neural crest cells may have arisen after the agnathan/gnathostome split. Accordingly, neural crest cells from a single axial level contributed to multiple arches and there was extensive mixing between populations. There was no apparent filling of neural crest derivatives in a ventral-to-dorsal order, as has been observed in higher vertebrates, nor did we find evidence of a neural crest contribution to cranial sensory ganglia. These results suggest that migratory constraints and additional neural crest derivatives arose later in gnathostome evolution.

  3. A review on cluster estimation methods and their application to neural spike data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, James; Nguyen, Thanh; Cogill, Steven; Bhatti, Asim; Luo, Lingkun; Yang, Samuel; Nahavandi, Saeid

    2018-06-01

    The extracellular action potentials recorded on an electrode result from the collective simultaneous electrophysiological activity of an unknown number of neurons. Identifying and assigning these action potentials to their firing neurons-'spike sorting'-is an indispensable step in studying the function and the response of an individual or ensemble of neurons to certain stimuli. Given the task of neural spike sorting, the determination of the number of clusters (neurons) is arguably the most difficult and challenging issue, due to the existence of background noise and the overlap and interactions among neurons in neighbouring regions. It is not surprising that some researchers still rely on visual inspection by experts to estimate the number of clusters in neural spike sorting. Manual inspection, however, is not suitable to processing the vast, ever-growing amount of neural data. To address this pressing need, in this paper, thirty-three clustering validity indices have been comprehensively reviewed and implemented to determine the number of clusters in neural datasets. To gauge the suitability of the indices to neural spike data, and inform the selection process, we then calculated the indices by applying k-means clustering to twenty widely used synthetic neural datasets and one empirical dataset, and compared the performance of these indices against pre-existing ground truth labels. The results showed that the top five validity indices work consistently well across variations in noise level, both for the synthetic datasets and the real dataset. Using these top performing indices provides strong support for the determination of the number of neural clusters, which is essential in the spike sorting process.

  4. FORECASTING KUALA LUMPUR COMPOSITE INDEX: EVIDENCE OF THE ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORK AND ARIMA

    OpenAIRE

    Sukmana, Raditya; Solihin, Mahmud Iwan

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to use, compare, and analyze two forecasting technique: namelyAuto Regressive Integrated Moving Average(ARIMA) and Artificial NeuralNetwork(ANN) using Kuala Lumpur Composite Index(KLCI) in Malaysia. ArtificialNeural Network is used because of its popularity of capturing the volatility patterns innonlinear time series while ARIMA used since it is a standard method in the forecastingtool. Daily data of Kuala Lumpur Composite Index from 4 January 1999 to 26 September2005...

  5. Forecasting Kuala Lumpur Composite Index: Evidence of the Artificial Neural Network and Arima

    OpenAIRE

    Mahmud Iwan, Raditya Sukmana,

    2007-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to use, compare, and analyze two forecasting technique: namely Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average(ARIMA) and Artificial Neural Network(ANN) using Kuala Lumpur Composite Index(KLCI) in Malaysia. Artificial Neural Network is used because of its popularity of capturing the volatility patterns in nonlinear time series while ARIMA used since it is a standard method in the forecasting tool. Daily data of Kuala Lumpur Composite Index from 4 January 1999 to 26 Septembe...

  6. Wittgenstein running: neural mechanisms of collective intentionality and we-mode.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becchio, Cristina; Bertone, Cesare

    2004-03-01

    In this paper we discuss the problem of the neural conditions of shared attitudes and intentions: which neural mechanisms underlie "we-mode" processes or serve as precursors to such processes? Neurophysiological and neuropsychological evidence suggests that in different areas of the brain neural representations are shared by several individuals. This situation, on the one hand, creates a potential problem for correct attribution. On the other hand, it may provide the conditions for shared attitudes and intentions.

  7. Neural systems for preparatory control of imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Katy A; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Humans have an automatic tendency to imitate others. Previous studies on how we control these tendencies have focused on reactive mechanisms, where inhibition of imitation is implemented after seeing an action. This work suggests that reactive control of imitation draws on at least partially specialized mechanisms. Here, we examine preparatory imitation control, where advance information allows control processes to be employed before an action is observed. Drawing on dual route models from the spatial compatibility literature, we compare control processes using biological and non-biological stimuli to determine whether preparatory imitation control recruits specialized neural systems that are similar to those observed in reactive imitation control. Results indicate that preparatory control involves anterior prefrontal, dorsolateral prefrontal, posterior parietal and early visual cortices regardless of whether automatic responses are evoked by biological (imitative) or non-biological stimuli. These results indicate both that preparatory control of imitation uses general mechanisms, and that preparatory control of imitation draws on different neural systems from reactive imitation control. Based on the regions involved, we hypothesize that preparatory control is implemented through top-down attentional biasing of visual processing.

  8. Decision Making under Uncertainty: A Neural Model based on Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh P N Rao

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available A fundamental problem faced by animals is learning to select actions based on noisy sensory information and incomplete knowledge of the world. It has been suggested that the brain engages in Bayesian inference during perception but how such probabilistic representations are used to select actions has remained unclear. Here we propose a neural model of action selection and decision making based on the theory of partially observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs. Actions are selected based not on a single optimal estimate of state but on the posterior distribution over states (the belief state. We show how such a model provides a unified framework for explaining experimental results in decision making that involve both information gathering and overt actions. The model utilizes temporal difference (TD learning for maximizing expected reward. The resulting neural architecture posits an active role for the neocortex in belief computation while ascribing a role to the basal ganglia in belief representation, value computation, and action selection. When applied to the random dots motion discrimination task, model neurons representing belief exhibit responses similar to those of LIP neurons in primate neocortex. The appropriate threshold for switching from information gathering to overt actions emerges naturally during reward maximization. Additionally, the time course of reward prediction error in the model shares similarities with dopaminergic responses in the basal ganglia during the random dots task. For tasks with a deadline, the model learns a decision making strategy that changes with elapsed time, predicting a collapsing decision threshold consistent with some experimental studies. The model provides a new framework for understanding neural decision making and suggests an important role for interactions between the neocortex and the basal ganglia in learning the mapping between probabilistic sensory representations and actions that maximize

  9. Towards a unifying neural theory of social cognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria; Anders, S; Ende, G; Junghoffer, M; Kissler, J; Wildgruber, D

    2006-01-01

    Humans can effortlessly understand a lot of what is going on in other peoples' minds. Understanding the neural basis of this capacity has proven quite difficult. Since the discovery of mirror neurons, a number of successful experiments have approached the question of how we understand the actions of

  10. A Possible Neural Representation of Mathematical Group Structures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomi, Andrés

    2016-09-01

    Every cognitive activity has a neural representation in the brain. When humans deal with abstract mathematical structures, for instance finite groups, certain patterns of activity are occurring in the brain that constitute their neural representation. A formal neurocognitive theory must account for all the activities developed by our brain and provide a possible neural representation for them. Associative memories are neural network models that have a good chance of achieving a universal representation of cognitive phenomena. In this work, we present a possible neural representation of mathematical group structures based on associative memory models that store finite groups through their Cayley graphs. A context-dependent associative memory stores the transitions between elements of the group when multiplied by each generator of a given presentation of the group. Under a convenient election of the vector basis mapping the elements of the group in the neural activity, the input of a vector corresponding to a generator of the group collapses the context-dependent rectangular matrix into a virtual square permutation matrix that is the matrix representation of the generator. This neural representation corresponds to the regular representation of the group, in which to each element is assigned a permutation matrix. This action of the generator on the memory matrix can also be seen as the dissection of the corresponding monochromatic subgraph of the Cayley graph of the group, and the adjacency matrix of this subgraph is the permutation matrix corresponding to the generator.

  11. Robot soccer action selection based on Q learning

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    This paper researches robot soccer action selection based on Q learning . The robot learn to activate particular behavior given their current situation and reward signal. We adopt neural network to implementations of Q learning for their generalization properties and limited computer memory requirements

  12. Molecular Basis of Paraltyic Neurotoxin Action on Voltage-Sensitive Sodium Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-10-14

    of 9,700 daltons isolated from the coral Goni2oora gy. (1). The toxin enhances neurally mediated contraction of blood vessels and taenia coli of the...sites on the solium channel and to identify the site of GPT action within the structure of the sodium channel protein. 2. Site of Action of Brvyetoxin

  13. Action simulation in hallucination-prone adolescents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarik eDahoun

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Theoretical and empirical accounts suggest that impairments in self-other discrimination processes are likely to promote the expression of hallucinations. However, our understanding of such processes during adolescence is still at an early stage. The present study thus aims 1 to delineate the neural correlates sustaining mental simulation of actions involving self-performed actions (first-person perspective; 1PP and other-performed actions (third-person perspective; 3PP during adolescence 2 to identify atypical activation patterns during 1PP/3PP mental simulation of actions in hallucination-prone adolescents 3 to examine whether differential risk for schizophrenia (clinical vs genetic is also associated with differential impairments in the 1PP/3PP mental simulation of actions during adolescence. Twenty-two typically developing controls (Control group; 6 females, twelve hallucination-prone adolescents (AH group; 7 females and thirteen adolescents with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS group; 4 females were included in the study. During the fMRI task, subjects were presented with a cue (self-other priming cues indicating to perform the task using either a first person perspective (you-1PP or a third person perspective (friend-3PP and then they were asked to mentally simulate actions based on the type of cue. Our results indicated that atypical patterns of cerebral activation, particularly in the key areas of self-other distinction, were found in both groups at risk for auditory hallucinations (AH and 22q11.2DS. More precisely, adolescents in the AH and 22q11.2DS groups presented decreased activations in the parieto-occipital region BA19 during 3PP. This study characterizes the neural correlates of mental imagery for actions during adolescence, and suggests that a differential risk for hallucination-proneness (clinical vs. genetic is associated to similar patterns of atypical activations in key areas sustaining self-other discrimination

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. The neural exploitation hypothesis and its implications for an embodied approach to language and cognition: Insights from the study of action verbs processing and motor disorders in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallese, Vittorio; Cuccio, Valentina

    2018-03-01

    As it is widely known, Parkinson's disease is clinically characterized by motor disorders such as the loss of voluntary movement control, including resting tremor, postural instability, and bradykinesia (Bocanegra et al., 2015; Helmich, Hallett, Deuschl, Toni, & Bloem, 2012; Liu et al., 2006; Rosin, Topka, & Dichgans, 1997). In the last years, many empirical studies (e.g., Bocanegra et al., 2015; Spadacenta et al., 2012) have also shown that the processing of action verbs is selectively impaired in patients affected by this neurodegenerative disorder. In the light of these findings, it has been suggested that Parkinson disorder can be interpreted within an embodied cognition framework (e.g., Bocanegra et al., 2015). The central tenet of any embodied approach to language and cognition is that high order cognitive functions are grounded in the sensory-motor system. With regard to this point, Gallese (2008) proposed the neural exploitation hypothesis to account for, at the phylogenetic level, how key aspects of human language are underpinned by brain mechanisms originally evolved for sensory-motor integration. Glenberg and Gallese (2012) also applied the neural exploitation hypothesis to the ontogenetic level. On the basis of these premises, they developed a theory of language acquisition according to which, sensory-motor mechanisms provide a neurofunctional architecture for the acquisition of language, while retaining their original functions as well. The neural exploitation hypothesis is here applied to interpret the profile of patients affected by Parkinson's disease. It is suggested that action semantic impairments directly tap onto motor disorders. Finally, a discussion of what theory of language is needed to account for the interactions between language and movement disorders is presented. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Female Mice Deficient in Alpha-Fetoprotein Show Female-Typical Neural Responses to Conspecific-Derived Pheromones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brock, O.; Keller, M.; Douhard, Q.; Bakker, J.

    2012-01-01

    The neural mechanisms controlling sexual behavior are sexually differentiated by the perinatal actions of sex steroid hormones. We recently observed using female mice deficient in alpha-fetoprotein (AFP-KO) and which lack the protective actions of AFP against maternal estradiol, that exposure to

  17. New Evidence for the Mechanism of Action of a Type-2 Diabetes Drug Using a Magnetic Bead-Based Automated Biosensing Platform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uddin, Rokon; Nur-E-Habiba; Rena, Graham

    2017-01-01

    The mechanism of action (MOA) of the first line type-2 diabetes drug metformin remains unclear despite its widespread usage. However, recent evidence suggests that the mitochondrial copper (Cu)-binding action of metformin may contribute toward the drug's MOA. Here, we present a novel biosensing...... of metformin's blood-glucose lowering action. In this assay, cysteine-functionalized magnetic beadswere agglutinated in the presence of Cu due to cysteine's Cu-chelation property. Addition of clinically relevant doses of metformin resulted in disaggregation of Cu-bridged bead-clusters, whereas the effect...

  18. Neural systems for guilt from actions affecting self versus others

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morey, Rajendra A.; McCarthy, Gregory; Selgrade, Elizabeth S.; Seth, Srishti; Nasser, Jessica D.; LaBar, Kevin S.

    2012-01-01

    Guilt is a core emotion governing social behavior by promoting compliance with social norms or self-imposed standards. The goal of this study was to contrast guilty responses to actions that affect self versus others, since actions with social consequences are hypothesized to yield greater guilty feelings due to adopting the perspective and subjective emotional experience of others. Sixteen participants were presented with brief hypothetical scenarios in which the participant’s actions resulted in harmful consequences to self (guilt-self) or to others (guilt-other) during functional MRI. Participants felt more intense guilt for guilt-other than guilt-self and guilt-neutral scenarios. Guilt scenarios revealed distinct regions of activity correlated with intensity of guilt, social consequences of actions, and the interaction of guilt by social consequence. Guilt intensity was associated with activation of the dorsomedial PFC, superior frontal gyrus, supramarginal gyrus, and anterior inferior frontal gyrus. Guilt accompanied by social consequences was associated with greater activation than without social consequences in the ventromedial and dorsomedial PFC, precuneus, posterior cingulate, and posterior superior temporal sulcus. Finally, the interaction analysis highlighted select regions that were more strongly correlated with guilt intensity as a function of social consequence, including the left anterior inferior frontal gyrus, left ventromedial PFC, and left anterior inferior parietal cortex. Our results suggest these regions intensify guilt where harm to others may incur a greater social cost. PMID:22230947

  19. SU-8-based microneedles for in vitro neural applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altuna, Ane; Tijero, María; Berganzo, Javier; Salido, Rafa; Fernández, Luis J; Gabriel, Gemma; Guimerá, Anton; Villa, Rosa; Menéndez de la Prida, Liset

    2010-01-01

    This paper presents novel design, fabrication, packaging and the first in vitro neural activity recordings of SU-8-based microneedles. The polymer SU-8 was chosen because it provides excellent features for the fabrication of flexible and thin probes. A microprobe was designed in order to allow a clean insertion and to minimize the damage caused to neural tissue during in vitro applications. In addition, a tetrode is patterned at the tip of the needle to obtain fine-scale measurements of small neuronal populations within a radius of 100 µm. Impedance characterization of the electrodes has been carried out to demonstrate their viability for neural recording. Finally, probes are inserted into 400 µm thick hippocampal slices, and simultaneous action potentials with peak-to-peak amplitudes of 200–250 µV are detected.

  20. A review on cluster estimation methods and their application to neural spike data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, James; Nguyen, Thanh; Cogill, Steven; Bhatti, Asim; Luo, Lingkun; Yang, Samuel; Nahavandi, Saeid

    2018-06-01

    The extracellular action potentials recorded on an electrode result from the collective simultaneous electrophysiological activity of an unknown number of neurons. Identifying and assigning these action potentials to their firing neurons—‘spike sorting’—is an indispensable step in studying the function and the response of an individual or ensemble of neurons to certain stimuli. Given the task of neural spike sorting, the determination of the number of clusters (neurons) is arguably the most difficult and challenging issue, due to the existence of background noise and the overlap and interactions among neurons in neighbouring regions. It is not surprising that some researchers still rely on visual inspection by experts to estimate the number of clusters in neural spike sorting. Manual inspection, however, is not suitable to processing the vast, ever-growing amount of neural data. To address this pressing need, in this paper, thirty-three clustering validity indices have been comprehensively reviewed and implemented to determine the number of clusters in neural datasets. To gauge the suitability of the indices to neural spike data, and inform the selection process, we then calculated the indices by applying k-means clustering to twenty widely used synthetic neural datasets and one empirical dataset, and compared the performance of these indices against pre-existing ground truth labels. The results showed that the top five validity indices work consistently well across variations in noise level, both for the synthetic datasets and the real dataset. Using these top performing indices provides strong support for the determination of the number of neural clusters, which is essential in the spike sorting process.

  1. TRIGA control rod position and reactivity transient Monitoring by Neural Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosa, R.; Palomba, M.; Sepielli, M.

    2008-01-01

    Plant sensors drift or malfunction and operator actions in nuclear reactor control can be supported by sensor on-line monitoring, and data validation through soft-computing process. On-line recalibration can often avoid manual calibration or drifting component replacement. DSP requires prompt response to the modified conditions. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Fuzzy logic ensure: prompt response, link with field measurement and physical system behaviour, data incoming interpretation, and detection of discrepancy for mis-calibration or sensor faults. ANN (Artificial Neural Network) is a system based on the operation of biological neural networks. Although computing is day by day advancing, there are certain tasks that a program made for a common microprocessor is unable to perform. A software implementation of an ANN can be made with Pros and Cons. Pros: A neural network can perform tasks that a linear program can not; When an element of the neural network fails, it can continue without any problem by their parallel nature; A neural network learns and does not need to be reprogrammed; It can be implemented in any application; It can be implemented without any problem. Cons: The architecture of a neural network is different from the architecture of microprocessors therefore needs to be emulated; it requires high processing time for large neural networks; and the neural network needs training to operate. Three possibilities of training exist: Supervised learning: the network is trained providing input and matching output patterns; Unsupervised learning: input patterns are not a priori classified and the system must develop its own representation of the input stimuli; Reinforcement Learning: intermediate form of the above two types of learning, the learning machine does some action on the environment and gets a feedback response from the environment. Two TRIGAN ANN applications are considered: control rod position and fuel temperature. The outcome obtained in this

  2. Anomaly detection in an automated safeguards system using neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whiteson, R.; Howell, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    An automated safeguards system must be able to detect an anomalous event, identify the nature of the event, and recommend a corrective action. Neural networks represent a new way of thinking about basic computational mechanisms for intelligent information processing. In this paper, we discuss the issues involved in applying a neural network model to the first step of this process: anomaly detection in materials accounting systems. We extend our previous model to a 3-tank problem and compare different neural network architectures and algorithms. We evaluate the computational difficulties in training neural networks and explore how certain design principles affect the problems. The issues involved in building a neural network architecture include how the information flows, how the network is trained, how the neurons in a network are connected, how the neurons process information, and how the connections between neurons are modified. Our approach is based on the demonstrated ability of neural networks to model complex, nonlinear, real-time processes. By modeling the normal behavior of the processes, we can predict how a system should be behaving and, therefore, detect when an abnormality occurs

  3. Taurine Induces Proliferation of Neural Stem Cells and Synapse Development in the Developing Mouse Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivaraj, Mattu Chetana; Marcy, Guillaume; Low, Guoliang; Ryu, Jae Ryun; Zhao, Xianfeng; Rosales, Francisco J.; Goh, Eyleen L. K.

    2012-01-01

    Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid present in high concentrations in mammalian tissues. It has been implicated in several processes involving brain development and neurotransmission. However, the role of taurine in hippocampal neurogenesis during brain development is still unknown. Here we show that taurine regulates neural progenitor cell (NPC) proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the developing brain as well as in cultured early postnatal (P5) hippocampal progenitor cells and hippocampal slices derived from P5 mice brains. Taurine increased cell proliferation without having a significant effect on neural differentiation both in cultured P5 NPCs as well as cultured hippocampal slices and in vivo. Expression level analysis of synaptic proteins revealed that taurine increases the expression of Synapsin 1 and PSD 95. We also found that taurine stimulates the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 indicating a possible role of the ERK pathway in mediating the changes that we observed, especially in proliferation. Taken together, our results demonstrate a role for taurine in neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation in developing brain and suggest the involvement of the ERK1/2 pathways in mediating these actions. Our study also shows that taurine influences the levels of proteins associated with synapse development. This is the first evidence showing the effect of taurine on early postnatal neuronal development using a combination of in vitro, ex-vivo and in vivo systems. PMID:22916184

  4. The brain as a "hyper-network": the key role of neural networks as main producers of the integrated brain actions especially via the "broadcasted" neuroconnectomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnati, Luigi F; Marcoli, Manuela; Maura, Guido; Woods, Amina; Guidolin, Diego

    2018-06-01

    Investigations of brain complex integrative actions should consider beside neural networks, glial, extracellular molecular, and fluid channels networks. The present paper proposes that all these networks are assembled into the brain hyper-network that has as fundamental components, the tetra-partite synapses, formed by neural, glial, and extracellular molecular networks. Furthermore, peri-synaptic astrocytic processes by modulating the perviousness of extracellular fluid channels control the signals impinging on the tetra-partite synapses. It has also been surmised that global signalling via astrocytes networks and highly pervasive signals, such as electromagnetic fields (EMFs), allow the appropriate integration of the various networks especially at crucial nodes level, the tetra-partite synapses. As a matter of fact, it has been shown that astrocytes can form gap-junction-coupled syncytia allowing intercellular communication characterised by a rapid and possibly long-distance transfer of signals. As far as the EMFs are concerned, the concept of broadcasted neuroconnectomics (BNC) has been introduced to describe highly pervasive signals involved in resetting the information handling of brain networks at various miniaturisation levels. In other words, BNC creates, thanks to the EMFs, generated especially by neurons, different assemblages among the various networks forming the brain hyper-network. Thus, it is surmised that neuronal networks are the "core components" of the brain hyper-network that has as special "nodes" the multi-facet tetra-partite synapses. Furthermore, it is suggested that investigations on the functional plasticity of multi-partite synapses in response to BNC can be the background for a new understanding and perhaps a new modelling of brain morpho-functional organisation and integrative actions.

  5. Potential Mechanisms and Functions of Intermittent Neural Synchronization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sungwoo Ahn

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Neural synchronization is believed to play an important role in different brain functions. Synchrony in cortical and subcortical circuits is frequently variable in time and not perfect. Few long intervals of desynchronized dynamics may be functionally different from many short desynchronized intervals although the average synchrony may be the same. Recent analysis of imperfect synchrony in different neural systems reported one common feature: neural oscillations may go out of synchrony frequently, but primarily for a short time interval. This study explores potential mechanisms and functional advantages of this short desynchronizations dynamics using computational neuroscience techniques. We show that short desynchronizations are exhibited in coupled neurons if their delayed rectifier potassium current has relatively large values of the voltage-dependent activation time-constant. The delayed activation of potassium current is associated with generation of quickly-rising action potential. This “spikiness” is a very general property of neurons. This may explain why very different neural systems exhibit short desynchronization dynamics. We also show how the distribution of desynchronization durations may be independent of the synchronization strength. Finally, we show that short desynchronization dynamics requires weaker synaptic input to reach a pre-set synchrony level. Thus, this dynamics allows for efficient regulation of synchrony and may promote efficient formation of synchronous neural assemblies.

  6. Non-invasive neural stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, William J.; Sanguinetti, Joseph L.; Fini, Maria; Hool, Nicholas

    2017-05-01

    Neurotechnologies for non-invasively interfacing with neural circuits have been evolving from those capable of sensing neural activity to those capable of restoring and enhancing human brain function. Generally referred to as non-invasive neural stimulation (NINS) methods, these neuromodulation approaches rely on electrical, magnetic, photonic, and acoustic or ultrasonic energy to influence nervous system activity, brain function, and behavior. Evidence that has been surmounting for decades shows that advanced neural engineering of NINS technologies will indeed transform the way humans treat diseases, interact with information, communicate, and learn. The physics underlying the ability of various NINS methods to modulate nervous system activity can be quite different from one another depending on the energy modality used as we briefly discuss. For members of commercial and defense industry sectors that have not traditionally engaged in neuroscience research and development, the science, engineering and technology required to advance NINS methods beyond the state-of-the-art presents tremendous opportunities. Within the past few years alone there have been large increases in global investments made by federal agencies, foundations, private investors and multinational corporations to develop advanced applications of NINS technologies. Driven by these efforts NINS methods and devices have recently been introduced to mass markets via the consumer electronics industry. Further, NINS continues to be explored in a growing number of defense applications focused on enhancing human dimensions. The present paper provides a brief introduction to the field of non-invasive neural stimulation by highlighting some of the more common methods in use or under current development today.

  7. Attentional selection in visual perception, memory and action: a quest for cross-domain integration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Werner X; Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Horstmann, Gernot

    2013-10-19

    For decades, the cognitive and neural sciences have benefitted greatly from a separation of mind and brain into distinct functional domains. The tremendous success of this approach notwithstanding, it is self-evident that such a view is incomplete. Goal-directed behaviour of an organism requires the joint functioning of perception, memory and sensorimotor control. A prime candidate for achieving integration across these functional domains are attentional processes. Consequently, this Theme Issue brings together studies of attentional selection from many fields, both experimental and theoretical, that are united in their quest to find overreaching integrative principles of attention between perception, memory and action. In all domains, attention is understood as combination of competition and priority control ('bias'), with the task as a decisive driving factor to ensure coherent goal-directed behaviour and cognition. Using vision as the predominant model system for attentional selection, many studies of this Theme Issue focus special emphasis on eye movements as a selection process that is both a fundamental action and serves a key function in perception. The Theme Issue spans a wide range of methods, from measuring human behaviour in the real word to recordings of single neurons in the non-human primate brain. We firmly believe that combining such a breadth in approaches is necessary not only for attentional selection, but also to take the next decisive step in all of the cognitive and neural sciences: to understand cognition and behaviour beyond isolated domains.

  8. Attentional selection in visual perception, memory and action: a quest for cross-domain integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, Werner X.; Einhäuser, Wolfgang; Horstmann, Gernot

    2013-01-01

    For decades, the cognitive and neural sciences have benefitted greatly from a separation of mind and brain into distinct functional domains. The tremendous success of this approach notwithstanding, it is self-evident that such a view is incomplete. Goal-directed behaviour of an organism requires the joint functioning of perception, memory and sensorimotor control. A prime candidate for achieving integration across these functional domains are attentional processes. Consequently, this Theme Issue brings together studies of attentional selection from many fields, both experimental and theoretical, that are united in their quest to find overreaching integrative principles of attention between perception, memory and action. In all domains, attention is understood as combination of competition and priority control (‘bias’), with the task as a decisive driving factor to ensure coherent goal-directed behaviour and cognition. Using vision as the predominant model system for attentional selection, many studies of this Theme Issue focus special emphasis on eye movements as a selection process that is both a fundamental action and serves a key function in perception. The Theme Issue spans a wide range of methods, from measuring human behaviour in the real word to recordings of single neurons in the non-human primate brain. We firmly believe that combining such a breadth in approaches is necessary not only for attentional selection, but also to take the next decisive step in all of the cognitive and neural sciences: to understand cognition and behaviour beyond isolated domains. PMID:24018715

  9. Aging differentially affects male and female neural stem cell neurogenic properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay Waldron

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Jay Waldron1, Althea McCourty1, Laurent Lecanu1,21The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada; 2Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, CanadaPurpose: Neural stem cell transplantation as a brain repair strategy is a very promising technology. However, despite many attempts, the clinical success remains very deceiving. Despite clear evidence that sexual dimorphism rules many aspects of human biology, the occurrence of a sex difference in neural stem cell biology is largely understudied. Herein, we propose to determine whether gender is a dimension that drives the fate of neural stem cells through aging. Should it occur, we believe that neural stem cell sexual dimorphism and its variation during aging should be taken into account to refine clinical approaches of brain repair strategies.Methods: Neural stem cells were isolated from the subventricular zone of three- and 20-month-old male and female Long-Evans rats. Expression of the estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ, progesterone receptor, androgen receptor, and glucocorticoid receptor was analyzed and quantified by Western blotting on undifferentiated neural stem cells. A second set of neural stem cells was treated with retinoic acid to trigger differentiation, and the expression of neuronal, astroglial, and oligodendroglial markers was determined using Western blotting.Conclusion: We provided in vitro evidence that the fate of neural stem cells is affected by sex and aging. Indeed, young male neural stem cells mainly expressed markers of neuronal and oligodendroglial fate, whereas young female neural stem cells underwent differentiation towards an astroglial phenotype. Aging resulted in a lessened capacity to express neuron and astrocyte markers. Undifferentiated neural stem cells displayed sexual dimorphism in the expression of steroid receptors, in particular ERα and ERβ, and the expression level of several steroid receptors increased

  10. Behavioural and neural evidence for the impact of fluency context on conscious memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Carlos Alexandre; Mecklinger, Axel; Zimmer, Hubert

    2017-07-01

    It has been recently suggested that fluency may impact recognition memory performance when the fluency context varies from trial-to-trial. Surprisingly, such an effect has proved difficult to detect in the masked priming paradigm, one of the most popular means to increase fluency-based memory judgements. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment in which participants encoded words at study and, at test, performed a recognition memory task within a masked priming procedure. In order to optimise the chances of finding priming effects on recognition memory performance, we used low-frequency words, which have been shown to increase hits relative to false alarms and enhance masked priming effects. Fluency context was manipulated by either mixing primed and unprimed trials [Random context (RC) experiment] or blocking primed and unprimed trials [Blocked context (BC) experiment]. Behaviourally, priming affected high-confidence memory performance only in the RC experiment. This behavioural effect correlated positively with neural priming in several recognition memory regions. Moreover, we observed a functional coupling between the left middle temporal gyrus and the left parietal and posterior cingulate cortices that was greater for primed relative to unprimed words. In contrast, in the BC experiment, despite similar activity in recognition-memory-related regions, we did not find any significant correlations between neural and behavioural priming. Finally, we observed striking differences in the neural correlates of masked priming between the RC and BC experiments not only in location but also in direction of the neural response. Possible implications of these findings are discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Evidence logics with relational evidence

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baltag, Alexandru; Occhipinti, Andrés

    2017-01-01

    We introduce a family of logics for reasoning about relational evidence: evidence that involves an ordering of states in terms of their relative plausibility. We provide sound and complete axiomatizations for the logics. We also present several evidential actions and prove soundness...

  12. Neural Correlates of Racial Ingroup Bias in Observing Computer-Animated Social Encounters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuta Katsumi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite evidence for the role of group membership in the neural correlates of social cognition, the mechanisms associated with processing non-verbal behaviors displayed by racially ingroup vs. outgroup members remain unclear. Here, 20 Caucasian participants underwent fMRI recording while observing social encounters with ingroup and outgroup characters displaying dynamic and static non-verbal behaviors. Dynamic behaviors included approach and avoidance behaviors, preceded or not by a handshake; both dynamic and static behaviors were followed by participants’ ratings. Behaviorally, participants showed bias toward their ingroup members, demonstrated by faster/slower reaction times for evaluating ingroup static/approach behaviors, respectively. At the neural level, despite overall similar responses in the action observation network to ingroup and outgroup encounters, the medial prefrontal cortex showed dissociable activation, possibly reflecting spontaneous processing of ingroup static behaviors and positive evaluations of ingroup approach behaviors. The anterior cingulate and superior frontal cortices also showed sensitivity to race, reflected in coordinated and reduced activation for observing ingroup static behaviors. Finally, the posterior superior temporal sulcus showed uniquely increased activity to observing ingroup handshakes. These findings shed light on the mechanisms of racial ingroup bias in observing social encounters, and have implications for understanding factors related to successful interactions with individuals from diverse backgrounds.

  13. Rodent Zic Genes in Neural Network Wiring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, Eloísa

    2018-01-01

    The formation of the nervous system is a multistep process that yields a mature brain. Failure in any of the steps of this process may cause brain malfunction. In the early stages of embryonic development, neural progenitors quickly proliferate and then, at a specific moment, differentiate into neurons or glia. Once they become postmitotic neurons, they migrate to their final destinations and begin to extend their axons to connect with other neurons, sometimes located in quite distant regions, to establish different neural circuits. During the last decade, it has become evident that Zic genes, in addition to playing important roles in early development (e.g., gastrulation and neural tube closure), are involved in different processes of late brain development, such as neuronal migration, axon guidance, and refinement of axon terminals. ZIC proteins are therefore essential for the proper wiring and connectivity of the brain. In this chapter, we review our current knowledge of the role of Zic genes in the late stages of neural circuit formation.

  14. fMRI evidence for a dual process account of the speed-accuracy tradeoff in decision-making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Ivanoff

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The speed and accuracy of decision-making have a well-known trading relationship: hasty decisions are more prone to errors while careful, accurate judgments take more time. Despite the pervasiveness of this speed-accuracy trade-off (SAT in decision-making, its neural basis is still unknown. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI we show that emphasizing the speed of a perceptual decision at the expense of its accuracy lowers the amount of evidence-related activity in lateral prefrontal cortex. Moreover, this speed-accuracy difference in lateral prefrontal cortex activity correlates with the speed-accuracy difference in the decision criterion metric of signal detection theory. We also show that the same instructions increase baseline activity in a dorso-medial cortical area involved in the internal generation of actions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings suggest that the SAT is neurally implemented by modulating not only the amount of externally-derived sensory evidence used to make a decision, but also the internal urge to make a response. We propose that these processes combine to control the temporal dynamics of the speed-accuracy trade-off in decision-making.

  15. Neural adaptations to electrical stimulation strength training

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hortobagyi, Tibor; Maffiuletti, Nicola A.

    2011-01-01

    This review provides evidence for the hypothesis that electrostimulation strength training (EST) increases the force of a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) through neural adaptations in healthy skeletal muscle. Although electrical stimulation and voluntary effort activate muscle differently, there

  16. Convolutional Neural Networks for Human Activity Recognition Using Body-Worn Sensors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Moya Rueda

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Human activity recognition (HAR is a classification task for recognizing human movements. Methods of HAR are of great interest as they have become tools for measuring occurrences and durations of human actions, which are the basis of smart assistive technologies and manual processes analysis. Recently, deep neural networks have been deployed for HAR in the context of activities of daily living using multichannel time-series. These time-series are acquired from body-worn devices, which are composed of different types of sensors. The deep architectures process these measurements for finding basic and complex features in human corporal movements, and for classifying them into a set of human actions. As the devices are worn at different parts of the human body, we propose a novel deep neural network for HAR. This network handles sequence measurements from different body-worn devices separately. An evaluation of the architecture is performed on three datasets, the Oportunity, Pamap2, and an industrial dataset, outperforming the state-of-the-art. In addition, different network configurations will also be evaluated. We find that applying convolutions per sensor channel and per body-worn device improves the capabilities of convolutional neural network (CNNs.

  17. Is there evidence of learned helplessness in horses?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Carol; Goodwin, Deborah; Heleski, Camie; Randle, Hayley; Waran, Natalie

    2008-01-01

    Learned helplessness is a psychological condition whereby individuals learn that they have no control over unpleasant or harmful conditions, that their actions are futile, and that they are helpless. In a series of experiments in which dogs were exposed to inescapable shocks, this lack of control subsequently interfered with the ability to learn an avoidance task. There is evidence that both neural adaptations and behavioral despair occur in response to uncontrollable aversive experiences in rodents, although this has yet to be demonstrated in other species such as horses. However, certain traditional methods of horse training and some behavioral modification techniques--it has been suggested--may involve aversive conditions over which the horse has little or no control. When training and management procedures are repeatedly unpleasant for the horse and there is no clear association between behavior and outcome, this is likely to interfere with learning and performance-in addition to compromising welfare. This article reviews published literature and anecdotal evidence to explore the possibility that the phenomenon, learned helplessness, occurs in the horse.

  18. Application of neural network technology to setpoint control of a simulated reactor experiment loop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cordes, G.A.; Bryan, S.R.; Powell, R.H.; Chick, D.R.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes the design, implementation, and application of artificial neural networks to achieve temperature and flow rate control for a simulation of a typical experiment loop in the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) located at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). The goal of the project was to research multivariate, nonlinear control using neural networks. A loop simulation code was adapted for the project and used to create a training set and test the neural network controller for comparison with the existing loop controllers. The results for the best neural network design are documented and compared with existing loop controller action. The neural network was shown to be as accurate at loop control as the classical controllers in the operating region represented by the training set. 5 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs

  19. A quantitative overview of biophysical forces impinging on neural function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mueller, Jerel K; Tyler, William J

    2014-01-01

    The fundamentals of neuronal membrane excitability are globally described using the Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model. The HH model, however, does not account for a number of biophysical phenomena associated with action potentials or propagating nerve impulses. Physical mechanisms underlying these processes, such as reversible heat transfer and axonal swelling, have been compartmentalized and separately investigated to reveal neuronal activity is not solely influenced by electrical or biochemical factors. Instead, mechanical forces and thermodynamics also govern neuronal excitability and signaling. To advance our understanding of neuronal function and dysfunction, compartmentalized analyses of electrical, chemical, and mechanical processes need to be revaluated and integrated into more comprehensive theories. The present perspective is intended to provide a broad overview of biophysical forces that can influence neural function, but which have been traditionally underappreciated in neuroscience. Further, several examples where mechanical forces have been shown to exert their actions on nervous system development, signaling, and plasticity are highlighted to underscore their importance in sculpting neural function. By considering the collective actions of biophysical forces influencing neuronal activity, our working models can be expanded and new paradigms can be applied to the investigation and characterization of brain function and dysfunction. (topical review)

  20. The Neural Correlates Underlying Belief Reasoning for Self and for Others: Evidence from ERPs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Qin; Wang, Qi; Li, Peng; Li, Hong

    2016-01-01

    Belief reasoning is typical mental state reasoning in theory of mind (ToM). Although previous studies have explored the neural bases of belief reasoning, the neural correlates of belief reasoning for self and for others are rarely addressed. The decoupling mechanism of distinguishing the mental state of others from one's own is essential for ToM processing. To address the electrophysiological bases underlying the decoupling mechanism, the present event-related potential study compared the time course of neural activities associated with belief reasoning for self and for others when the belief belonging to self was consistent or inconsistent with others. Results showed that during a 450-600 ms period, belief reasoning for self elicited a larger late positive component (LPC) than for others when beliefs were inconsistent with each other. The LPC divergence is assumed to reflect the categorization of agencies in ToM processes.

  1. Human reinforcement learning subdivides structured action spaces by learning effector-specific values

    OpenAIRE

    Gershman, Samuel J.; Pesaran, Bijan; Daw, Nathaniel D.

    2009-01-01

    Humans and animals are endowed with a large number of effectors. Although this enables great behavioral flexibility, it presents an equally formidable reinforcement learning problem of discovering which actions are most valuable, due to the high dimensionality of the action space. An unresolved question is how neural systems for reinforcement learning – such as prediction error signals for action valuation associated with dopamine and the striatum – can cope with this “curse of dimensionality...

  2. Tracing tremor: Neural correlates of essential tremor and its treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buijink, A.W.G.

    2016-01-01

    This thesis focusses on the neural correlates and treatment of the neurological movement disorder essential tremor (ET). ET, one of the most common movement disorders in clinical neurology, is characterized by an action and intention tremor of mainly the hands, hampering daily life activities.

  3. An RNA-binding protein, Qki5, regulates embryonic neural stem cells through pre-mRNA processing in cell adhesion signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayakawa-Yano, Yoshika; Suyama, Satoshi; Nogami, Masahiro; Yugami, Masato; Koya, Ikuko; Furukawa, Takako; Zhou, Li; Abe, Manabu; Sakimura, Kenji; Takebayashi, Hirohide; Nakanishi, Atsushi; Okano, Hideyuki; Yano, Masato

    2017-09-15

    Cell type-specific transcriptomes are enabled by the action of multiple regulators, which are frequently expressed within restricted tissue regions. In the present study, we identify one such regulator, Quaking 5 (Qki5), as an RNA-binding protein (RNABP) that is expressed in early embryonic neural stem cells and subsequently down-regulated during neurogenesis. mRNA sequencing analysis in neural stem cell culture indicates that Qki proteins play supporting roles in the neural stem cell transcriptome and various forms of mRNA processing that may result from regionally restricted expression and subcellular localization. Also, our in utero electroporation gain-of-function study suggests that the nuclear-type Qki isoform Qki5 supports the neural stem cell state. We next performed in vivo transcriptome-wide protein-RNA interaction mapping to search for direct targets of Qki5 and elucidate how Qki5 regulates neural stem cell function. Combined with our transcriptome analysis, this mapping analysis yielded a bona fide map of Qki5-RNA interaction at single-nucleotide resolution, the identification of 892 Qki5 direct target genes, and an accurate Qki5-dependent alternative splicing rule in the developing brain. Last, our target gene list provides the first compelling evidence that Qki5 is associated with specific biological events; namely, cell-cell adhesion. This prediction was confirmed by histological analysis of mice in which Qki proteins were genetically ablated, which revealed disruption of the apical surface of the lateral wall in the developing brain. These data collectively indicate that Qki5 regulates communication between neural stem cells by mediating numerous RNA processing events and suggest new links between splicing regulation and neural stem cell states. © 2017 Hayakawa-Yano et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  4. From proto-mimesis to language: evidence from primatology and social neuroscience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zlatev, Jordan

    2008-01-01

    How can we reconcile the conception of language as a conventional-normative semiotic system with a perception/action-based account of its structure and meaning? And why should linguistic meaning--as opposed to linguistic expression--be so closely related to motor activity and its neural underpinnings, as suggested by recent findings? A conceptual framework and evolutionary scenario building on the concept of bodily mimesis [Zlatev, J., 2005. What's in a schema? Bodily mimesis and the grounding of language. In: Hampe, B. (Ed.), From Perception to Meaning: Image Schemas in Cognitive Linguistics. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, pp. 313-343] imply answers to these questions. The article presents evidence for a particular evolutionary stage model by reviewing recent evidence on the capacity of non-human primates for intersubjectivity, imitation and gestural communication, and from neuroscientific studies of these capacities in monkeys and human subjects. It is argued that "mirror neuron" systems can subserve basic motoric and social capacities, but they need to be considerably extended in order to provide an efficient basis for bodily mimesis, and even more so for language. It is argued that while language may be ultimately "grounded" in perception and action, it is essential not to try to reduce it to them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Efficient Temporal Action Localization in Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Alwassel, Humam

    2018-04-17

    State-of-the-art temporal action detectors inefficiently search the entire video for specific actions. Despite the encouraging progress these methods achieve, it is crucial to design automated approaches that only explore parts of the video which are the most relevant to the actions being searched. To address this need, we propose the new problem of action spotting in videos, which we define as finding a specific action in a video while observing a small portion of that video. Inspired by the observation that humans are extremely efficient and accurate in spotting and finding action instances in a video, we propose Action Search, a novel Recurrent Neural Network approach that mimics the way humans spot actions. Moreover, to address the absence of data recording the behavior of human annotators, we put forward the Human Searches dataset, which compiles the search sequences employed by human annotators spotting actions in the AVA and THUMOS14 datasets. We consider temporal action localization as an application of the action spotting problem. Experiments on the THUMOS14 dataset reveal that our model is not only able to explore the video efficiently (observing on average 17.3% of the video) but it also accurately finds human activities with 30.8% mAP (0.5 tIoU), outperforming state-of-the-art methods

  7. Neural reactivation links unconscious thought to decision-making performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creswell, John David; Bursley, James K; Satpute, Ajay B

    2013-12-01

    Brief periods of unconscious thought (UT) have been shown to improve decision making compared with making an immediate decision (ID). We reveal a neural mechanism for UT in decision making using blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants (N = 33) encoded information on a set of consumer products (e.g. 48 attributes describing four different cars), and we manipulated whether participants (i) consciously thought about this information (conscious thought), (ii) completed a difficult 2-back working memory task (UT) or (iii) made an immediate decision about the consumer products (ID) in a within-subjects blocked design. To differentiate UT neural activity from 2-back working memory neural activity, participants completed an independent 2-back task and this neural activity was subtracted from neural activity occurring during the UT 2-back task. Consistent with a neural reactivation account, we found that the same regions activated during the encoding of complex decision information (right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and left intermediate visual cortex) continued to be activated during a subsequent 2-min UT period. Moreover, neural reactivation in these regions was predictive of subsequent behavioral decision-making performance after the UT period. These results provide initial evidence for post-encoding unconscious neural reactivation in facilitating decision making.

  8. Do neural nets learn statistical laws behind natural language?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuntaro Takahashi

    Full Text Available The performance of deep learning in natural language processing has been spectacular, but the reasons for this success remain unclear because of the inherent complexity of deep learning. This paper provides empirical evidence of its effectiveness and of a limitation of neural networks for language engineering. Precisely, we demonstrate that a neural language model based on long short-term memory (LSTM effectively reproduces Zipf's law and Heaps' law, two representative statistical properties underlying natural language. We discuss the quality of reproducibility and the emergence of Zipf's law and Heaps' law as training progresses. We also point out that the neural language model has a limitation in reproducing long-range correlation, another statistical property of natural language. This understanding could provide a direction for improving the architectures of neural networks.

  9. Dynamics of action potential initiation in the GABAergic thalamic reticular nucleus in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Fabián; Fuentealba, Pablo

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the neural mechanisms of action potential generation is critical to establish the way neural circuits generate and coordinate activity. Accordingly, we investigated the dynamics of action potential initiation in the GABAergic thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) using in vivo intracellular recordings in cats in order to preserve anatomically-intact axo-dendritic distributions and naturally-occurring spatiotemporal patterns of synaptic activity in this structure that regulates the thalamic relay to neocortex. We found a wide operational range of voltage thresholds for action potentials, mostly due to intrinsic voltage-gated conductances and not synaptic activity driven by network oscillations. Varying levels of synchronous synaptic inputs produced fast rates of membrane potential depolarization preceding the action potential onset that were associated with lower thresholds and increased excitability, consistent with TRN neurons performing as coincidence detectors. On the other hand the presence of action potentials preceding any given spike was associated with more depolarized thresholds. The phase-plane trajectory of the action potential showed somato-dendritic propagation, but no obvious axon initial segment component, prominent in other neuronal classes and allegedly responsible for the high onset speed. Overall, our results suggest that TRN neurons could flexibly integrate synaptic inputs to discharge action potentials over wide voltage ranges, and perform as coincidence detectors and temporal integrators, supported by a dynamic action potential threshold.

  10. Infants' Grip Strength Predicts Mu Rhythm Attenuation during Observation of Lifting Actions with Weighted Blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Upshaw, Michaela B.; Bernier, Raphael A.; Sommerville, Jessica A.

    2016-01-01

    Research has established that the body is fundamentally involved in perception: bodily experience influences activation of the shared neural system underlying action perception and production during action observation, and bodily characteristics influence perception of the spatial environment. However, whether bodily characteristics influence…

  11. Normalization as a canonical neural computation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carandini, Matteo; Heeger, David J.

    2012-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that the brain relies on a set of canonical neural computations, repeating them across brain regions and modalities to apply similar operations to different problems. A promising candidate for such a computation is normalization, in which the responses of neurons are divided by a common factor that typically includes the summed activity of a pool of neurons. Normalization was developed to explain responses in the primary visual cortex and is now thought to operate throughout the visual system, and in many other sensory modalities and brain regions. Normalization may underlie operations such as the representation of odours, the modulatory effects of visual attention, the encoding of value and the integration of multisensory information. Its presence in such a diversity of neural systems in multiple species, from invertebrates to mammals, suggests that it serves as a canonical neural computation. PMID:22108672

  12. Action Search: Learning to Search for Human Activities in Untrimmed Videos

    KAUST Repository

    Alwassel, Humam

    2017-06-13

    Traditional approaches for action detection use trimmed data to learn sophisticated action detector models. Although these methods have achieved great success at detecting human actions, we argue that huge information is discarded when ignoring the process, through which this trimmed data is obtained. In this paper, we propose Action Search, a novel approach that mimics the way people annotate activities in video sequences. Using a Recurrent Neural Network, Action Search can efficiently explore a video and determine the time boundaries during which an action occurs. Experiments on the THUMOS14 dataset reveal that our model is not only able to explore the video efficiently but also accurately find human activities, outperforming state-of-the-art methods.

  13. [Folic acid: Primary prevention of neural tube defects. Literature Review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llamas Centeno, M J; Miguélez Lago, C

    2016-03-01

    Neural tube defects (NTD) are the most common congenital malformations of the nervous system, they have a multifactorial etiology, are caused by exposure to chemical, physical or biological toxic agents, factors deficiency, diabetes, obesity, hyperthermia, genetic alterations and unknown causes. Some of these factors are associated with malnutrition by interfering with the folic acid metabolic pathway, the vitamin responsible for neural tube closure. Its deficit produce anomalies that can cause abortions, stillbirths or newborn serious injuries that cause disability, impaired quality of life and require expensive treatments to try to alleviate in some way the alterations produced in the embryo. Folic acid deficiency is considered the ultimate cause of the production of neural tube defects, it is clear the reduction in the incidence of Espina Bifida after administration of folic acid before conception, this leads us to want to further study the action of folic acid and its application in the primary prevention of neural tube defects. More than 40 countries have made the fortification of flour with folate, achieving encouraging data of decrease in the prevalence of neural tube defects. This paper attempts to make a literature review, which clarify the current situation and future of the prevention of neural tube defects.

  14. Action simulation: time course and representational mechanisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Springer, Anne; Parkinson, Jim; Prinz, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    The notion of action simulation refers to the ability to re-enact foreign actions (i.e., actions observed in other individuals). Simulating others' actions implies a mirroring of their activities, based on one's own sensorimotor competencies. Here, we discuss theoretical and experimental approaches to action simulation and the study of its representational underpinnings. One focus of our discussion is on the timing of internal simulation and its relation to the timing of external action, and a paradigm that requires participants to predict the future course of actions that are temporarily occluded from view. We address transitions between perceptual mechanisms (referring to action representation before and after occlusion) and simulation mechanisms (referring to action representation during occlusion). Findings suggest that action simulation runs in real-time; acting on newly created action representations rather than relying on continuous visual extrapolations. A further focus of our discussion pertains to the functional characteristics of the mechanisms involved in predicting other people's actions. We propose that two processes are engaged, dynamic updating and static matching, which may draw on both semantic and motor information. In a concluding section, we discuss these findings in the context of broader theoretical issues related to action and event representation, arguing that a detailed functional analysis of action simulation in cognitive, neural, and computational terms may help to further advance our understanding of action cognition and motor control. PMID:23847563

  15. Readers select a comprehension mode independent of pronoun: Evidence from fMRI during narrative comprehension.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartung, Franziska; Hagoort, Peter; Willems, Roel M

    2017-07-01

    Perspective is a crucial feature for communicating about events. Yet it is unclear how linguistically encoded perspective relates to cognitive perspective taking. Here, we tested the effect of perspective taking with short literary stories. Participants listened to stories with 1st or 3rd person pronouns referring to the protagonist, while undergoing fMRI. When comparing action events with 1st and 3rd person pronouns, we found no evidence for a neural dissociation depending on the pronoun. A split sample approach based on the self-reported experience of perspective taking revealed 3 comprehension preferences. One group showed a strong 1st person preference, another a strong 3rd person preference, while a third group engaged in 1st and 3rd person perspective taking simultaneously. Comparing brain activations of the groups revealed different neural networks. Our results suggest that comprehension is perspective dependent, but not on the perspective suggested by the text, but on the reader's (situational) preference. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. The neural subjective frame: from bodily signals to perceptual consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hyeong-Dong; Tallon-Baudry, Catherine

    2014-05-05

    The report 'I saw the stimulus' operationally defines visual consciousness, but where does the 'I' come from? To account for the subjective dimension of perceptual experience, we introduce the concept of the neural subjective frame. The neural subjective frame would be based on the constantly updated neural maps of the internal state of the body and constitute a neural referential from which first person experience can be created. We propose to root the neural subjective frame in the neural representation of visceral information which is transmitted through multiple anatomical pathways to a number of target sites, including posterior insula, ventral anterior cingulate cortex, amygdala and somatosensory cortex. We review existing experimental evidence showing that the processing of external stimuli can interact with visceral function. The neural subjective frame is a low-level building block of subjective experience which is not explicitly experienced by itself which is necessary but not sufficient for perceptual experience. It could also underlie other types of subjective experiences such as self-consciousness and emotional feelings. Because the neural subjective frame is tightly linked to homeostatic regulations involved in vigilance, it could also make a link between state and content consciousness.

  17. "Cuts in Action": A High-Density EEG Study Investigating the Neural Correlates of Different Editing Techniques in Film.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heimann, Katrin S; Uithol, Sebo; Calbi, Marta; Umiltà, Maria A; Guerra, Michele; Gallese, Vittorio

    2017-08-01

    In spite of their striking differences with real-life perception, films are perceived and understood without effort. Cognitive film theory attributes this to the system of continuity editing, a system of editing guidelines outlining the effect of different cuts and edits on spectators. A major principle in this framework is the 180° rule, a rule recommendation that, to avoid spectators' attention to the editing, two edited shots of the same event or action should not be filmed from angles differing in a way that expectations of spatial continuity are strongly violated. In the present study, we used high-density EEG to explore the neural underpinnings of this rule. In particular, our analysis shows that cuts and edits in general elicit early ERP component indicating the registration of syntactic violations as known from language, music, and action processing. However, continuity edits and cuts-across the line differ from each other regarding later components likely to be indicating the differences in spatial remapping as well as in the degree of conscious awareness of one's own perception. Interestingly, a time-frequency analysis of the occipital alpha rhythm did not support the hypothesis that such differences in processing routes are mainly linked to visual attention. On the contrary, our study found specific modulations of the central mu rhythm ERD as an indicator of sensorimotor activity, suggesting that sensorimotor networks might play an important role. We think that these findings shed new light on current discussions about the role of attention and embodied perception in film perception and should be considered when explaining spectators' different experience of different kinds of cuts. Copyright © 2016 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  18. Neck muscle biomechanics and neural control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fice, Jason Bradley; Siegmund, Gunter P; Blouin, Jean-Sebastien

    2018-04-18

    The mechanics, morphometry, and geometry of our joints, segments and muscles are fundamental biomechanical properties intrinsic to human neural control. The goal of our study was to investigate if the biomechanical actions of individual neck muscles predicts their neural control. Specifically, we compared the moment direction & variability produced by electrical stimulation of a neck muscle (biomechanics) to their preferred activation direction & variability (neural control). Subjects sat upright with their head fixed to a 6-axis load cell and their torso restrained. Indwelling wire electrodes were placed into the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), splenius capitis (SPL), and semispinalis capitis (SSC) muscles. The electrically stimulated direction was defined as the moment direction produced when a current (2-19mA) was passed through each muscle's electrodes. Preferred activation direction was defined as the vector sum of the spatial tuning curve built from RMS EMG when subjects produced isometric moments at 7.5% and 15% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) in 26 3D directions. The spatial tuning curves at 15% MVC were well-defined (unimodal, pbiomechanics but, as activation increases, biomechanical constraints in part dictate the activation of synergistic neck muscles.

  19. Development of an accident diagnosis system using a dynamic neural network for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Seung Jun; Kim, Jong Hyun; Seong, Poong Hyun

    2004-01-01

    In this work, an accident diagnosis system using the dynamic neural network is developed. In order to help the plant operators to quickly identify the problem, perform diagnosis and initiate recovery actions ensuring the safety of the plant, many operator support system and accident diagnosis systems have been developed. Neural networks have been recognized as a good method to implement an accident diagnosis system. However, conventional accident diagnosis systems that used neural networks did not consider a time factor sufficiently. If the neural network could be trained according to time, it is possible to perform more efficient and detailed accidents analysis. Therefore, this work suggests a dynamic neural network which has different features from existing dynamic neural networks. And a simple accident diagnosis system is implemented in order to validate the dynamic neural network. After training of the prototype, several accident diagnoses were performed. The results show that the prototype can detect the accidents correctly with good performances

  20. A Gain-Scheduling PI Control Based on Neural Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania Tronci

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a gain-scheduling design technique that relies upon neural models to approximate plant behaviour. The controller design is based on generic model control (GMC formalisms and linearization of the neural model of the process. As a result, a PI controller action is obtained, where the gain depends on the state of the system and is adapted instantaneously on-line. The algorithm is tested on a nonisothermal continuous stirred tank reactor (CSTR, considering both single-input single-output (SISO and multi-input multi-output (MIMO control problems. Simulation results show that the proposed controller provides satisfactory performance during set-point changes and disturbance rejection.

  1. Differentiation state determines neural effects on microvascular endothelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Muffley, Lara A.; Pan, Shin-Chen; Smith, Andria N.; Ga, Maricar; Hocking, Anne M.; Gibran, Nicole S.

    2012-01-01

    Growing evidence indicates that nerves and capillaries interact paracrinely in uninjured skin and cutaneous wounds. Although mature neurons are the predominant neural cell in the skin, neural progenitor cells have also been detected in uninjured adult skin. The aim of this study was to characterize differential paracrine effects of neural progenitor cells and mature sensory neurons on dermal microvascular endothelial cells. Our results suggest that neural progenitor cells and mature sensory neurons have unique secretory profiles and distinct effects on dermal microvascular endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and nitric oxide production. Neural progenitor cells and dorsal root ganglion neurons secrete different proteins related to angiogenesis. Specific to neural progenitor cells were dipeptidyl peptidase-4, IGFBP-2, pentraxin-3, serpin f1, TIMP-1, TIMP-4 and VEGF. In contrast, endostatin, FGF-1, MCP-1 and thrombospondin-2 were specific to dorsal root ganglion neurons. Microvascular endothelial cell proliferation was inhibited by dorsal root ganglion neurons but unaffected by neural progenitor cells. In contrast, microvascular endothelial cell migration in a scratch wound assay was inhibited by neural progenitor cells and unaffected by dorsal root ganglion neurons. In addition, nitric oxide production by microvascular endothelial cells was increased by dorsal root ganglion neurons but unaffected by neural progenitor cells. -- Highlights: ► Dorsal root ganglion neurons, not neural progenitor cells, regulate microvascular endothelial cell proliferation. ► Neural progenitor cells, not dorsal root ganglion neurons, regulate microvascular endothelial cell migration. ► Neural progenitor cells and dorsal root ganglion neurons do not effect microvascular endothelial tube formation. ► Dorsal root ganglion neurons, not neural progenitor cells, regulate microvascular endothelial cell production of nitric oxide. ► Neural progenitor cells and dorsal root

  2. Eye Gaze Correlates of Motor Impairment in VR Observation of Motor Actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, J; Vourvopoulos, A; Bernardino, A; Bermúdez I Badia, S

    2016-01-01

    This article is part of the Focus Theme of Methods of Information in Medicine on "Methodologies, Models and Algorithms for Patients Rehabilitation". Identify eye gaze correlates of motor impairment in a virtual reality motor observation task in a study with healthy participants and stroke patients. Participants consisted of a group of healthy subjects (N = 20) and a group of stroke survivors (N = 10). Both groups were required to observe a simple reach-and-grab and place-and-release task in a virtual environment. Additionally, healthy subjects were required to observe the task in a normal condition and a constrained movement condition. Eye movements were recorded during the observation task for later analysis. For healthy participants, results showed differences in gaze metrics when comparing the normal and arm-constrained conditions. Differences in gaze metrics were also found when comparing dominant and non-dominant arm for saccades and smooth pursuit events. For stroke patients, results showed longer smooth pursuit segments in action observation when observing the paretic arm, thus providing evidence that the affected circuitry may be activated for eye gaze control during observation of the simulated motor action. This study suggests that neural motor circuits are involved, at multiple levels, in observation of motor actions displayed in a virtual reality environment. Thus, eye tracking combined with action observation tasks in a virtual reality display can be used to monitor motor deficits derived from stroke, and consequently can also be used for rehabilitation of stroke patients.

  3. Working memory in schizophrenia: behavioral and neural evidence for reduced susceptibility to item-specific proactive interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaller, Christoph P; Loosli, Sandra V; Rahm, Benjamin; Gössel, Astrid; Schieting, Stephan; Hornig, Tobias; Hennig, Jürgen; Tebartz van Elst, Ludger; Weiller, Cornelius; Katzev, Michael

    2014-09-15

    Susceptibility to item-specific proactive interference (PI) contributes to interindividual differences in working memory (WM) capacity and complex cognition relying on WM. Although WM deficits are a well-recognized impairment in schizophrenia, the underlying pathophysiological effects on specific WM control functions, such as the ability to resist item-specific PI, remain unknown. Moreover, opposing hypotheses on increased versus reduced PI susceptibility in schizophrenia are both justifiable by the extant literature. To provide first insights into the behavioral and neural correlates of PI-related WM control in schizophrenia, a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment was conducted in a sample of 20 patients and 20 well-matched control subjects. Demands on item-specific PI were experimentally manipulated in a recent-probes task (three runs, 64 trials each) requiring subjects to encode and maintain a set of four target items per trial. Compared with healthy control subjects, schizophrenia patients showed a significantly reduced PI susceptibility in both accuracy and latency measures. Notably, reduced PI susceptibility in schizophrenia was not associated with overall WM impairments and thus constituted an independent phenomenon. In addition, PI-related activations in inferior frontal gyrus and anterior insula, typically assumed to support PI resistance, were reduced in schizophrenia, thus ruling out increased neural efforts as a potential cause of the patients' reduced PI susceptibility. The present study provides first evidence for a diminished vulnerability of schizophrenia patients to item-specific PI, which is presumably a consequence of the patients' more efficient clearing of previously relevant WM traces and the accordingly reduced likelihood for item-specific PI to occur. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Artificial Neural Network Based Mission Planning Mechanism for Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhaoyu; Xu, Rui; Cui, Pingyuan; Zhu, Shengying

    2018-04-01

    The ability to plan and react fast in dynamic space environments is central to intelligent behavior of spacecraft. For space and robotic applications, many planners have been used. But it is difficult to encode the domain knowledge and directly use existing techniques such as heuristic to improve the performance of the application systems. Therefore, regarding planning as an advanced control problem, this paper first proposes an autonomous mission planning and action selection mechanism through a multiple layer perceptron neural network approach to select actions in planning process and improve efficiency. To prove the availability and effectiveness, we use autonomous mission planning problems of the spacecraft, which is a sophisticated system with complex subsystems and constraints as an example. Simulation results have shown that artificial neural networks (ANNs) are usable for planning problems. Compared with the existing planning method in EUROPA, the mechanism using ANNs is more efficient and can guarantee stable performance. Therefore, the mechanism proposed in this paper is more suitable for planning problems of spacecraft that require real time and stability.

  5. Affirmative Action: History and Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrison-Wade, Dorothy F.; Lewis, Chance W.

    2004-01-01

    From its inception, affirmative action policies were created to improve the employment and/or educational opportunities for members of minority groups and women. Even today, however, the debate continues over the future of affirmative action. Proponents offer empirical evidence illustrating that affirmative action has been favorable in aiding…

  6. Sensitivity of the action observation network to physical and observational learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Emily S; Kraemer, David J M; Hamilton, Antonia F de C; Kelley, William M; Grafton, Scott T

    2009-02-01

    Human motor skills can be acquired by observation without the benefit of immediate physical practice. The current study tested if physical rehearsal and observational learning share common neural substrates within an action observation network (AON) including premotor and inferior parietal regions, that is, areas activated both for execution and observation of similar actions. Participants trained for 5 days on dance sequences set to music videos. Each day they physically rehearsed one set of dance sequences ("danced"), and passively watched a different set of sequences ("watched"). Functional magnetic resonance imaging was obtained prior to and immediately following the 5 days of training. After training, a subset of the AON showed a degree of common activity for observational and physical learning. Activity in these premotor and parietal regions was sustained during observation of sequences that were danced or watched, but declined for unfamiliar sequences relative to the pretraining scan session. These imaging data demonstrate the emergence of action resonance processes in the human brain based on observational learning without physical practice and identify commonalities in the neural substrates for physical and observational learning.

  7. Neural mechanisms of oculomotor abnormalities in the infantile strabismus syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Mark M G; Pallus, Adam; Fleuriet, Jérome; Mustari, Michael J; Tarczy-Hornoch, Kristina

    2017-07-01

    Infantile strabismus is characterized by numerous visual and oculomotor abnormalities. Recently nonhuman primate models of infantile strabismus have been established, with characteristics that closely match those observed in human patients. This has made it possible to study the neural basis for visual and oculomotor symptoms in infantile strabismus. In this review, we consider the available evidence for neural abnormalities in structures related to oculomotor pathways ranging from visual cortex to oculomotor nuclei. These studies provide compelling evidence that a disturbance of binocular vision during a sensitive period early in life, whatever the cause, results in a cascade of abnormalities through numerous brain areas involved in visual functions and eye movements. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  8. Effects of category-specific costs on neural systems for perceptual decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleming, Stephen M; Whiteley, Louise; Hulme, Oliver J; Sahani, Maneesh; Dolan, Raymond J

    2010-06-01

    Perceptual judgments are often biased by prospective losses, leading to changes in decision criteria. Little is known about how and where sensory evidence and cost information interact in the brain to influence perceptual categorization. Here we show that prospective losses systematically bias the perception of noisy face-house images. Asymmetries in category-specific cost were associated with enhanced blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal in a frontoparietal network. We observed selective activation of parahippocampal gyrus for changes in category-specific cost in keeping with the hypothesis that loss functions enact a particular task set that is communicated to visual regions. Across subjects, greater shifts in decision criteria were associated with greater activation of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Our results support a hypothesis that costs bias an intermediate representation between perception and action, expressed via general effects on frontal cortex, and selective effects on extrastriate cortex. These findings indicate that asymmetric costs may affect a neural implementation of perceptual decision making in a similar manner to changes in category expectation, constituting a step toward accounting for how prospective losses are flexibly integrated with sensory evidence in the brain.

  9. Event-related potential effects of superior action anticipation in professional badminton players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Hua; Xu, Guiping; Zhang, John X; Gao, Hongwei; Ye, Zuoer; Wang, Pin; Lin, Huiyan; Mo, Lei; Lin, Chong-De

    2011-04-04

    The ability to predict the trajectory of a ball based on the opponent's body kinematics has been shown to be critical to high-performing athletes in many sports. However, little is known about the neural correlates underlying such superior ability in action anticipation. The present event-related potential study compared brain responses from professional badminton players and non-player controls when they watched video clips of badminton games and predicted a ball's landing position. Replicating literature findings, the players made significantly more accurate judgments than the controls and showed better action anticipation. Correspondingly, they showed enlarged amplitudes of two ERP components, a P300 peaking around 350ms post-stimulus with a parietal scalp distribution and a P2 peaking around 250ms with a posterior-occipital distribution. The P300 effect was interpreted to reflect primed access and/or directing of attention to game-related memory representations in the players facilitating their online judgment of related actions. The P2 effect was suggested to reflect some generic learning effects. The results identify clear neural responses that differentiate between different levels of action anticipation associated with sports expertise. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Leptin-dependent neurotoxicity via induction of apoptosis in adult rat neural stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie eSEGURA

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Adipocyte-derived hormone leptin has been recently implicated in the control of neuronal plasticity. To explore whether modulation of adult neurogenesis may contribute to leptin control of neuronal plasticity, we used the neurosphere assay of neural stem cells derived from the adult rat subventricular zone (SVZ. Endogenous expression of specific leptin receptor (ObRb transcripts, as revealed by RT-PCR, is associated with activation of both ERK and STAT-3 pathways via phosphorylation of the critical ERK/STAT-3 amino acid residues upon addition of leptin to neurospheres. Furthermore, leptin triggered withdrawal of neural stem cells from the cell cycle as monitored by Ki67 labelling. This effect was blocked by pharmacological inhibition of ERK activation thus demonstrating that ERK mediates leptin effects on neural stem cell expansion. Leptin-dependent withdrawal of neural stem cells from the cell cycle was associated with increased apoptosis, as detected by TUNEL, which was preceded by cyclin D1 induction. Cyclin D1 was indeed extensively colocalized with TUNEL-positive apoptotic cells. Cyclin-D1 silencing by specific shRNA prevented leptin-induced decrease of the cell number per neurosphere thus pointing to the causal relationship between leptin actions on apoptosis and cyclin D1 induction. Leptin target cells in SVZ neurospheres were identified by double TUNEL/phenotypic marker immunocytofluorescence as differentiating neurons mostly. The inhibition of neural stem cell expansion via ERK/cyclin D1-triggered apoptosis defines novel biological action of leptin which may be involved in adiposity-dependent neurotoxicity.

  11. Distinct neural mechanisms for body form and body motion discriminations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vangeneugden, Joris; Peelen, Marius V; Tadin, Duje; Battelli, Lorella

    2014-01-01

    Actions can be understood based on form cues (e.g., static body posture) as well as motion cues (e.g., gait patterns). A fundamental debate centers on the question of whether the functional and neural mechanisms processing these two types of cues are dissociable. Here, using fMRI, psychophysics, and

  12. High school music classes enhance the neural processing of speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Adam; Krizman, Jennifer; Skoe, Erika; Johnston, Kathleen; Kraus, Nina

    2013-01-01

    Should music be a priority in public education? One argument for teaching music in school is that private music instruction relates to enhanced language abilities and neural function. However, the directionality of this relationship is unclear and it is unknown whether school-based music training can produce these enhancements. Here we show that 2 years of group music classes in high school enhance the neural encoding of speech. To tease apart the relationships between music and neural function, we tested high school students participating in either music or fitness-based training. These groups were matched at the onset of training on neural timing, reading ability, and IQ. Auditory brainstem responses were collected to a synthesized speech sound presented in background noise. After 2 years of training, the neural responses of the music training group were earlier than at pre-training, while the neural timing of students in the fitness training group was unchanged. These results represent the strongest evidence to date that in-school music education can cause enhanced speech encoding. The neural benefits of musical training are, therefore, not limited to expensive private instruction early in childhood but can be elicited by cost-effective group instruction during adolescence.

  13. Efficiency turns the table on neural encoding, decoding and noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deneve, Sophie; Chalk, Matthew

    2016-04-01

    Sensory neurons are usually described with an encoding model, for example, a function that predicts their response from the sensory stimulus using a receptive field (RF) or a tuning curve. However, central to theories of sensory processing is the notion of 'efficient coding'. We argue here that efficient coding implies a completely different neural coding strategy. Instead of a fixed encoding model, neural populations would be described by a fixed decoding model (i.e. a model reconstructing the stimulus from the neural responses). Because the population solves a global optimization problem, individual neurons are variable, but not noisy, and have no truly invariant tuning curve or receptive field. We review recent experimental evidence and implications for neural noise correlations, robustness and adaptation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Chitosan derived co-spheroids of neural stem cells and mesenchymal stem cells for neural regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Hao-Wei; Hsu, Shan-Hui

    2017-10-01

    Chitosan has been considered as candidate biomaterials for neural applications. The effective treatment of neurodegeneration or injury to the central nervous system (CNS) is still in lack nowadays. Adult neural stem cells (NSCs) represents a promising cell source to treat the CNS diseases but they are limited in number. Here, we developed the core-shell spheroids of NSCs (shell) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs, core) by co-culturing cells on the chitosan surface. The NSCs in chitosan derived co-spheroids displayed a higher survival rate than those in NSC homo-spheroids. The direct interaction of NSCs with MSCs in the co-spheroids increased the Notch activity and differentiation tendency of NSCs. Meanwhile, the differentiation potential of MSCs in chitosan derived co-spheroids was significantly enhanced toward neural lineages. Furthermore, NSC homo-spheroids and NSC/MSC co-spheroids derived on chitosan were evaluated for their in vivo efficacy by the embryonic and adult zebrafish brain injury models. The locomotion activity of zebrafish receiving chitosan derived NSC homo-spheroids or NSC/MSC co-spheroids was partially rescued in both models. Meanwhile, the higher survival rate was observed in the group of adult zebrafish implanted with chitosan derived NSC/MSC co-spheroids as compared to NSC homo-spheroids. These evidences indicate that chitosan may provide an extracellular matrix-like environment to drive the interaction and the morphological assembly between NSCs and MSCs and promote their neural differentiation capacities, which can be used for neural regeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Neural Mechanisms of Selective Visual Attention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Tirin; Zirnsak, Marc

    2017-01-03

    Selective visual attention describes the tendency of visual processing to be confined largely to stimuli that are relevant to behavior. It is among the most fundamental of cognitive functions, particularly in humans and other primates for whom vision is the dominant sense. We review recent progress in identifying the neural mechanisms of selective visual attention. We discuss evidence from studies of different varieties of selective attention and examine how these varieties alter the processing of stimuli by neurons within the visual system, current knowledge of their causal basis, and methods for assessing attentional dysfunctions. In addition, we identify some key questions that remain in identifying the neural mechanisms that give rise to the selective processing of visual information.

  16. Building a Knowledge to Action Program in Stroke Rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janzen, Shannon; McIntyre, Amanda; Richardson, Marina; Britt, Eileen; Teasell, Robert

    2016-09-01

    The knowledge to action (KTA) process proposed by Graham et al (2006) is a framework to facilitate the development and application of research evidence into clinical practice. The KTA process consists of the knowledge creation cycle and the action cycle. The Evidence Based Review of Stroke Rehabilitation is a foundational part of the knowledge creation cycle and has helped guide the development of best practice recommendations in stroke. The Rehabilitation Knowledge to Action Project is an audit-feedback process for the clinical implementation of best practice guidelines, which follows the action cycle. The objective of this review was to: (1) contextualize the Evidence Based Review of Stroke Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Knowledge to Action Project within the KTA model and (2) show how this process led to improved evidence-based practice in stroke rehabilitation. Through this process, a single centre was able to change clinical practice and promote a culture that supports the use of evidence-based practices in stroke rehabilitation.

  17. No Evidence That Gratitude Enhances Neural Performance Monitoring or Conflict-Driven Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Blair; He, Frank F H; Inzlicht, Michael

    2015-01-01

    It has recently been suggested that gratitude can benefit self-regulation by reducing impulsivity during economic decision making. We tested if comparable benefits of gratitude are observed for neural performance monitoring and conflict-driven self-control. In a pre-post design, 61 participants were randomly assigned to either a gratitude or happiness condition, and then performed a pre-induction flanker task. Subsequently, participants recalled an autobiographical event where they had felt grateful or happy, followed by a post-induction flanker task. Despite closely following existing protocols, participants in the gratitude condition did not report elevated gratefulness compared to the happy group. In regard to self-control, we found no association between gratitude--operationalized by experimental condition or as a continuous predictor--and any control metric, including flanker interference, post-error adjustments, or neural monitoring (the error-related negativity, ERN). Thus, while gratitude might increase economic patience, such benefits may not generalize to conflict-driven control processes.

  18. Neural plasticity and its initiating conditions in tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, L E

    2018-03-01

    Deafferentation caused by cochlear pathology (which can be hidden from the audiogram) activates forms of neural plasticity in auditory pathways, generating tinnitus and its associated conditions including hyperacusis. This article discusses tinnitus mechanisms and suggests how these mechanisms may relate to those involved in normal auditory information processing. Research findings from animal models of tinnitus and from electromagnetic imaging of tinnitus patients are reviewed which pertain to the role of deafferentation and neural plasticity in tinnitus and hyperacusis. Auditory neurons compensate for deafferentation by increasing their input/output functions (gain) at multiple levels of the auditory system. Forms of homeostatic plasticity are believed to be responsible for this neural change, which increases the spontaneous and driven activity of neurons in central auditory structures in animals expressing behavioral evidence of tinnitus. Another tinnitus correlate, increased neural synchrony among the affected neurons, is forged by spike-timing-dependent neural plasticity in auditory pathways. Slow oscillations generated by bursting thalamic neurons verified in tinnitus animals appear to modulate neural plasticity in the cortex, integrating tinnitus neural activity with information in brain regions supporting memory, emotion, and consciousness which exhibit increased metabolic activity in tinnitus patients. The latter process may be induced by transient auditory events in normal processing but it persists in tinnitus, driven by phantom signals from the auditory pathway. Several tinnitus therapies attempt to suppress tinnitus through plasticity, but repeated sessions will likely be needed to prevent tinnitus activity from returning owing to deafferentation as its initiating condition.

  19. An Integrated Circuit for Simultaneous Extracellular Electrophysiology Recording and Optogenetic Neural Manipulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chang Hao; McCullagh, Elizabeth A; Pun, Sio Hang; Mak, Peng Un; Vai, Mang I; Mak, Pui In; Klug, Achim; Lei, Tim C

    2017-03-01

    The ability to record and to control action potential firing in neuronal circuits is critical to understand how the brain functions. The objective of this study is to develop a monolithic integrated circuit (IC) to record action potentials and simultaneously control action potential firing using optogenetics. A low-noise and high input impedance (or low input capacitance) neural recording amplifier is combined with a high current laser/light-emitting diode (LED) driver in a single IC. The low input capacitance of the amplifier (9.7 pF) was achieved by adding a dedicated unity gain stage optimized for high impedance metal electrodes. The input referred noise of the amplifier is [Formula: see text], which is lower than the estimated thermal noise of the metal electrode. Thus, the action potentials originating from a single neuron can be recorded with a signal-to-noise ratio of at least 6.6. The LED/laser current driver delivers a maximum current of 330 mA, which is adequate for optogenetic control. The functionality of the IC was tested with an anesthetized Mongolian gerbil and auditory stimulated action potentials were recorded from the inferior colliculus. Spontaneous firings of fifth (trigeminal) nerve fibers were also inhibited using the optogenetic protein Halorhodopsin. Moreover, a noise model of the system was derived to guide the design. A single IC to measure and control action potentials using optogenetic proteins is realized so that more complicated behavioral neuroscience research and the translational neural disorder treatments become possible in the future.

  20. Analysis of electrically evoked compound action potential of the auditory nerve in children with bilateral cochlear implants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldas, Fernanda Ferreira; Cardoso, Carolina Costa; Barreto, Monique Antunes de Souza Chelminski; Teixeira, Marina Santos; Hilgenberg, Anacléia Melo da Silva; Serra, Lucieny Silva Martins; Bahmad Junior, Fayez

    2016-01-01

    The cochlear implant device has the capacity to measure the electrically evoked compound action potential of the auditory nerve. The neural response telemetry is used in order to measure the electrically evoked compound action potential of the auditory nerve. To analyze the electrically evoked compound action potential, through the neural response telemetry, in children with bilateral cochlear implants. This is an analytical, prospective, longitudinal, historical cohort study. Six children, aged 1-4 years, with bilateral cochlear implant were assessed at five different intervals during their first year of cochlear implant use. There were significant differences in follow-up time (p=0.0082) and electrode position (p=0.0019) in the T-NRT measure. There was a significant difference in the interaction between time of follow-up and electrode position (p=0.0143) when measuring the N1-P1 wave amplitude between the three electrodes at each time of follow-up. The electrically evoked compound action potential measurement using neural response telemetry in children with bilateral cochlear implants during the first year of follow-up was effective in demonstrating the synchronized bilateral development of the peripheral auditory pathways in the studied population. Copyright © 2015 Associação Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia e Cirurgia Cérvico-Facial. Published by Elsevier Editora Ltda. All rights reserved.

  1. A cell junction pathology of neural stem cells leads to abnormal neurogenesis and hydrocephalus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodríguez, Esteban M; Guerra, María M; Vío, Karin; González, César; Ortloff, Alexander; Bátiz, Luis F; Rodríguez, Sara; Jara, María C; Muñoz, Rosa I; Ortega, Eduardo; Jaque, Jaime; Guerra, Francisco; Sival, Deborah A; den Dunnen, Wilfred F A; Jiménez, Antonio J; Domínguez-Pinos, María D; Pérez-Fígares, José M; McAllister, James P; Johanson, Conrad

    2012-01-01

    Most cells of the developing mammalian brain derive from the ventricular (VZ) and the subventricular (SVZ) zones. The VZ is formed by the multipotent radial glia/neural stem cells (NSCs) while the SVZ harbors the rapidly proliferative neural precursor cells (NPCs). Evidence from human and animal

  2. Warm Body Temperature Facilitates Energy Efficient Cortical Action Potentials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yuguo; Hill, Adam P.; McCormick, David A.

    2012-01-01

    The energy efficiency of neural signal transmission is important not only as a limiting factor in brain architecture, but it also influences the interpretation of functional brain imaging signals. Action potential generation in mammalian, versus invertebrate, axons is remarkably energy efficient. Here we demonstrate that this increase in energy efficiency is due largely to a warmer body temperature. Increases in temperature result in an exponential increase in energy efficiency for single action potentials by increasing the rate of Na+ channel inactivation, resulting in a marked reduction in overlap of the inward Na+, and outward K+, currents and a shortening of action potential duration. This increase in single spike efficiency is, however, counterbalanced by a temperature-dependent decrease in the amplitude and duration of the spike afterhyperpolarization, resulting in a nonlinear increase in the spike firing rate, particularly at temperatures above approximately 35°C. Interestingly, the total energy cost, as measured by the multiplication of total Na+ entry per spike and average firing rate in response to a constant input, reaches a global minimum between 37–42°C. Our results indicate that increases in temperature result in an unexpected increase in energy efficiency, especially near normal body temperature, thus allowing the brain to utilize an energy efficient neural code. PMID:22511855

  3. Warm body temperature facilitates energy efficient cortical action potentials.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuguo Yu

    Full Text Available The energy efficiency of neural signal transmission is important not only as a limiting factor in brain architecture, but it also influences the interpretation of functional brain imaging signals. Action potential generation in mammalian, versus invertebrate, axons is remarkably energy efficient. Here we demonstrate that this increase in energy efficiency is due largely to a warmer body temperature. Increases in temperature result in an exponential increase in energy efficiency for single action potentials by increasing the rate of Na(+ channel inactivation, resulting in a marked reduction in overlap of the inward Na(+, and outward K(+, currents and a shortening of action potential duration. This increase in single spike efficiency is, however, counterbalanced by a temperature-dependent decrease in the amplitude and duration of the spike afterhyperpolarization, resulting in a nonlinear increase in the spike firing rate, particularly at temperatures above approximately 35°C. Interestingly, the total energy cost, as measured by the multiplication of total Na(+ entry per spike and average firing rate in response to a constant input, reaches a global minimum between 37-42°C. Our results indicate that increases in temperature result in an unexpected increase in energy efficiency, especially near normal body temperature, thus allowing the brain to utilize an energy efficient neural code.

  4. Molecular Ultrasound Imaging for the Detection of Neural Inflammation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volz, Kevin R.

    Molecular imaging is a form of nanotechnology that enables the noninvasive examination of biological processes in vivo. Radiopharmaceutical agents are used to selectively target biochemical markers, which permits their detection and evaluation. Early visualization of molecular variations indicative of pathophysiological processes can aid in patient diagnoses and management decisions. Molecular imaging is performed by introducing molecular probes into the body. Molecular probes are often contrast agents that have been nanoengineered to selectively target and tether to molecules, enabling their radiologic identification. Ultrasound contrast agents have been demonstrated as an effective method of detecting perfusion at the tissue level. Through a nanoengineering process, ultrasound contrast agents can be targeted to specific molecules, thereby extending ultrasound's capabilities from the tissue to molecular level. Molecular ultrasound, or targeted contrast enhanced ultrasound (TCEUS), has recently emerged as a popular molecular imaging technique due to its ability to provide real-time anatomical and functional information in the absence of ionizing radiation. However, molecular ultrasound represents a novel form of molecular imaging, and consequently remains largely preclinical. A review of the TCEUS literature revealed multiple preclinical studies demonstrating its success in detecting inflammation in a variety of tissues. Although, a gap was identified in the existing evidence, as TCEUS effectiveness for detection of neural inflammation in the spinal cord was unable to be uncovered. This gap in knowledge, coupled with the profound impacts that this TCEUS application could have clinically, provided rationale for its exploration, and use as contributory evidence for the molecular ultrasound body of literature. An animal model that underwent a contusive spinal cord injury was used to establish preclinical evidence of TCEUS to detect neural inflammation. Imaging was

  5. Automatic gain control of neural coupling during cooperative hand movements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, F A; Dietz, V; Schrafl-Altermatt, M

    2018-04-13

    Cooperative hand movements (e.g. opening a bottle) are controlled by a task-specific neural coupling, reflected in EMG reflex responses contralateral to the stimulation site. In this study the contralateral reflex responses in forearm extensor muscles to ipsilateral ulnar nerve stimulation was analyzed at various resistance and velocities of cooperative hand movements. The size of contralateral reflex responses was closely related to the level of forearm muscle activation required to accomplish the various cooperative hand movement tasks. This indicates an automatic gain control of neural coupling that allows a rapid matching of corrective forces exerted at both sides of an object with the goal 'two hands one action'.

  6. Characterization of Early Cortical Neural Network Development in Multiwell Microelectrode Array Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    We examined the development of neural network activity using microelectrode array (MEA) recordings made in multi-well MEA plates (mwMEAs) over the first 12 days in vitro (DIV). In primary cortical cultures made from postnatal rats, action potential spiking activity was essentiall...

  7. Sensitivity of the Action Observation Network to Physical and Observational Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cross, E.S.; Kraemer, D.J.M.; Hamilton, A.F.D.C.; Kelley, W.M.; Grafton, S.T.

    2009-01-01

    Human motor skills can be acquired by observation without the benefit of immediate physical practice. The current study tested if physical rehearsal and observational learning share common neural substrates within an action observation network (AON) including premotor and inferior parietal regions,

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    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...

  9. Risk of punishment influences discrete and coordinated encoding of reward-guided actions by prefrontal cortex and VTA neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Junchol

    2017-01-01

    Actions motivated by rewards are often associated with risk of punishment. Little is known about the neural representation of punishment risk during reward-seeking behavior. We modeled this circumstance in rats by designing a task where actions were consistently rewarded but probabilistically punished. Spike activity and local field potentials were recorded during task performance simultaneously from VTA and mPFC, two reciprocally connected regions implicated in reward-seeking and aversive behaviors. At the single unit level, we found that ensembles of putative dopamine and non-dopamine VTA neurons and mPFC neurons encode the relationship between action and punishment. At the network level, we found that coherent theta oscillations synchronize VTA and mPFC in a bottom-up direction, effectively phase-modulating the neuronal spike activity in the two regions during punishment-free actions. This synchrony declined as a function of punishment probability, suggesting that during reward-seeking actions, risk of punishment diminishes VTA-driven neural synchrony between the two regions. PMID:29058673

  10. Bodily action penetrates affective perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigutti, Sara; Gerbino, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Fantoni & Gerbino (2014) showed that subtle postural shifts associated with reaching can have a strong hedonic impact and affect how actors experience facial expressions of emotion. Using a novel Motor Action Mood Induction Procedure (MAMIP), they found consistent congruency effects in participants who performed a facial emotion identification task after a sequence of visually-guided reaches: a face perceived as neutral in a baseline condition appeared slightly happy after comfortable actions and slightly angry after uncomfortable actions. However, skeptics about the penetrability of perception (Zeimbekis & Raftopoulos, 2015) would consider such evidence insufficient to demonstrate that observer’s internal states induced by action comfort/discomfort affect perception in a top-down fashion. The action-modulated mood might have produced a back-end memory effect capable of affecting post-perceptual and decision processing, but not front-end perception. Here, we present evidence that performing a facial emotion detection (not identification) task after MAMIP exhibits systematic mood-congruent sensitivity changes, rather than response bias changes attributable to cognitive set shifts; i.e., we show that observer’s internal states induced by bodily action can modulate affective perception. The detection threshold for happiness was lower after fifty comfortable than uncomfortable reaches; while the detection threshold for anger was lower after fifty uncomfortable than comfortable reaches. Action valence induced an overall sensitivity improvement in detecting subtle variations of congruent facial expressions (happiness after positive comfortable actions, anger after negative uncomfortable actions), in the absence of significant response bias shifts. Notably, both comfortable and uncomfortable reaches impact sensitivity in an approximately symmetric way relative to a baseline inaction condition. All of these constitute compelling evidence of a genuine top-down effect on

  11. Bodily action penetrates affective perception

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlo Fantoni

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Fantoni & Gerbino (2014 showed that subtle postural shifts associated with reaching can have a strong hedonic impact and affect how actors experience facial expressions of emotion. Using a novel Motor Action Mood Induction Procedure (MAMIP, they found consistent congruency effects in participants who performed a facial emotion identification task after a sequence of visually-guided reaches: a face perceived as neutral in a baseline condition appeared slightly happy after comfortable actions and slightly angry after uncomfortable actions. However, skeptics about the penetrability of perception (Zeimbekis & Raftopoulos, 2015 would consider such evidence insufficient to demonstrate that observer’s internal states induced by action comfort/discomfort affect perception in a top-down fashion. The action-modulated mood might have produced a back-end memory effect capable of affecting post-perceptual and decision processing, but not front-end perception. Here, we present evidence that performing a facial emotion detection (not identification task after MAMIP exhibits systematic mood-congruent sensitivity changes, rather than response bias changes attributable to cognitive set shifts; i.e., we show that observer’s internal states induced by bodily action can modulate affective perception. The detection threshold for happiness was lower after fifty comfortable than uncomfortable reaches; while the detection threshold for anger was lower after fifty uncomfortable than comfortable reaches. Action valence induced an overall sensitivity improvement in detecting subtle variations of congruent facial expressions (happiness after positive comfortable actions, anger after negative uncomfortable actions, in the absence of significant response bias shifts. Notably, both comfortable and uncomfortable reaches impact sensitivity in an approximately symmetric way relative to a baseline inaction condition. All of these constitute compelling evidence of a genuine top

  12. GDNF facilitates differentiation of the adult dentate gyrus-derived neural precursor cells into astrocytes via STAT3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boku, Shuken; Nakagawa, Shin; Takamura, Naoki; Kato, Akiko; Takebayashi, Minoru; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Omiya, Yuki; Inoue, Takeshi; Kusumi, Ichiro

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •GDNF has no effect on ADP proliferation and apoptosis. •GDNF increases ADP differentiation into astrocyte. •A specific inhibitor of STAT3 decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •STAT3 knockdown by lentiviral shRNA vector also decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •GDNF increases the phosphorylation of STAT3. -- Abstract: While the pro-neurogenic actions of antidepressants in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) are thought to be one of the mechanisms through which antidepressants exert their therapeutic actions, antidepressants do not increase proliferation of neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Because previous studies showed that antidepressants increase the expression and secretion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in C6 glioma cells derived from rat astrocytes and GDNF increases neurogenesis in adult DG in vivo, we investigated the effects of GDNF on the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of cultured neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Data showed that GDNF facilitated the differentiation of neural precursor cells into astrocytes but had no effect on their proliferation or apoptosis. Moreover, GDNF increased the phosphorylation of STAT3, and both a specific inhibitor of STAT3 and lentiviral shRNA for STAT3 decreased their differentiation into astrocytes. Taken together, our findings suggest that GDNF facilitates astrogliogenesis from neural precursor cells in adult DG through activating STAT3 and that this action might indirectly affect neurogenesis

  13. GDNF facilitates differentiation of the adult dentate gyrus-derived neural precursor cells into astrocytes via STAT3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boku, Shuken, E-mail: shuboku@med.hokudai.ac.jp [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan); Nakagawa, Shin [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan); Takamura, Naoki [Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma Co. Ltd., Osaka (Japan); Kato, Akiko [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan); Takebayashi, Minoru [Department of Psychiatry, National Hospital Organization Kure Medical Center, Kure (Japan); Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue [Department of Pharmacology, Hiroshima University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima (Japan); Omiya, Yuki; Inoue, Takeshi; Kusumi, Ichiro [Department of Psychiatry, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo (Japan)

    2013-05-17

    Highlights: •GDNF has no effect on ADP proliferation and apoptosis. •GDNF increases ADP differentiation into astrocyte. •A specific inhibitor of STAT3 decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •STAT3 knockdown by lentiviral shRNA vector also decreases the astrogliogenic effect of GDNF. •GDNF increases the phosphorylation of STAT3. -- Abstract: While the pro-neurogenic actions of antidepressants in the adult hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) are thought to be one of the mechanisms through which antidepressants exert their therapeutic actions, antidepressants do not increase proliferation of neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Because previous studies showed that antidepressants increase the expression and secretion of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) in C6 glioma cells derived from rat astrocytes and GDNF increases neurogenesis in adult DG in vivo, we investigated the effects of GDNF on the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of cultured neural precursor cells derived from the adult DG. Data showed that GDNF facilitated the differentiation of neural precursor cells into astrocytes but had no effect on their proliferation or apoptosis. Moreover, GDNF increased the phosphorylation of STAT3, and both a specific inhibitor of STAT3 and lentiviral shRNA for STAT3 decreased their differentiation into astrocytes. Taken together, our findings suggest that GDNF facilitates astrogliogenesis from neural precursor cells in adult DG through activating STAT3 and that this action might indirectly affect neurogenesis.

  14. Neural Plasticity and Proliferation in the Generation of Antidepressant Effects: Hippocampal Implication

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    Fuencisla Pilar-Cuéllar

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available It is widely accepted that changes underlying depression and antidepressant-like effects involve not only alterations in the levels of neurotransmitters as monoamines and their receptors in the brain, but also structural and functional changes far beyond. During the last two decades, emerging theories are providing new explanations about the neurobiology of depression and the mechanism of action of antidepressant strategies based on cellular changes at the CNS level. The neurotrophic/plasticity hypothesis of depression, proposed more than a decade ago, is now supported by multiple basic and clinical studies focused on the role of intracellular-signalling cascades that govern neural proliferation and plasticity. Herein, we review the state-of-the-art of the changes in these signalling pathways which appear to underlie both depressive disorders and antidepressant actions. We will especially focus on the hippocampal cellularity and plasticity modulation by serotonin, trophic factors as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF through intracellular signalling pathways—cAMP, Wnt/β-catenin, and mTOR. Connecting the classic monoaminergic hypothesis with proliferation/neuroplasticity-related evidence is an appealing and comprehensive attempt for improving our knowledge about the neurobiological events leading to depression and associated to antidepressant therapies.

  15. Neural evidence for reduced apprehensiveness of familiarized stimuli in a mere exposure paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zebrowitz, Leslie A; Zhang, Yi

    2012-07-01

    Mere familiarization with a stimulus increases liking for it or similar stimuli ("mere exposure" effects) as well as perceptual fluency, indexed by the speed and accuracy of categorizing it or similar stimuli ("priming" effects). Candidate mechanisms proposed to explain mere exposure effects include both increased positive affect associated with greater perceptual fluency, and reduced negative affect associated with diminished apprehensiveness of novel stimuli. Although these two mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, it is difficult for behavioral measures to disentangle them, since increased liking or other indices of greater positive affect toward exposed stimuli could result from increases in positive feelings or decreases in negative feelings or both. The present study sought to clarify this issue by building on research showing a dissociation at the neural level in which the lateral orbitofrontal cortex (LOFC) is activated more by negatively valenced than by neutral or positively valenced stimuli, with the reverse effect for medial orbitofrontal cortex (MOFC). Supporting the reduced apprehensiveness hypothesis, we found lower LOFC activation to familiarized faces and objects (repetition suppression). We did not find evidence to support the positive affect hypothesis in increased activation to familiarized stimuli in MOFC or in other parts of the reward circuit that respond more to positively valenced stimuli (repetition enhancement), although enhancement effects were shown in some regions.

  16. Perceptual learning during action video game playing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, C Shawn; Li, Renjie; Bavelier, Daphne

    2010-04-01

    Action video games have been shown to enhance behavioral performance on a wide variety of perceptual tasks, from those that require effective allocation of attentional resources across the visual scene, to those that demand the successful identification of fleetingly presented stimuli. Importantly, these effects have not only been shown in expert action video game players, but a causative link has been established between action video game play and enhanced processing through training studies. Although an account based solely on attention fails to capture the variety of enhancements observed after action game playing, a number of models of perceptual learning are consistent with the observed results, with behavioral modeling favoring the hypothesis that avid video game players are better able to form templates for, or extract the relevant statistics of, the task at hand. This may suggest that the neural site of learning is in areas where information is integrated and actions are selected; yet changes in low-level sensory areas cannot be ruled out. Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.

  17. Automated implementation of rule-based expert systems with neural networks for time-critical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramamoorthy, P. A.; Huang, Song; Govind, Girish

    1991-01-01

    In fault diagnosis, control and real-time monitoring, both timing and accuracy are critical for operators or machines to reach proper solutions or appropriate actions. Expert systems are becoming more popular in the manufacturing community for dealing with such problems. In recent years, neural networks have revived and their applications have spread to many areas of science and engineering. A method of using neural networks to implement rule-based expert systems for time-critical applications is discussed here. This method can convert a given rule-based system into a neural network with fixed weights and thresholds. The rules governing the translation are presented along with some examples. We also present the results of automated machine implementation of such networks from the given rule-base. This significantly simplifies the translation process to neural network expert systems from conventional rule-based systems. Results comparing the performance of the proposed approach based on neural networks vs. the classical approach are given. The possibility of very large scale integration (VLSI) realization of such neural network expert systems is also discussed.

  18. Characterization of the central neural projections to brown, white, and beige adipose tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiedmann, Nicole M; Stefanidis, Aneta; Oldfield, Brian J

    2017-11-01

    The functional recruitment of classic brown adipose tissue (BAT) and inducible brown-like or beige fat is, to a large extent, dependent on intact sympathetic neural input. Whereas the central neural circuits directed specifically to BAT or white adipose tissue (WAT) are well established, there is only a developing insight into the nature of neural inputs common to both fat types. Moreover, there is no clear view of the specific central and peripheral innervation of the browned component of WAT: beige fat. The objective of the present study is to examine the neural input to both BAT and WAT in the same animal and, by exposing different cohorts of rats to either thermoneutral or cold conditions, define changes in central neural organization that will ensure that beige fat is appropriately recruited and modulated after browning of inguinal WAT (iWAT). At thermoneutrality, injection of the neurotropic (pseudorabies) viruses into BAT and WAT demonstrates that there are dedicated axonal projections, as well as collateral axonal branches of command neurons projecting to both types of fat. After cold exposure, central neural circuits directed to iWAT showed evidence of reorganization with a greater representation of command neurons projecting to both brown and beiged WAT in hypothalamic (paraventricular nucleus and lateral hypothalamus) and brainstem (raphe pallidus and locus coeruleus) sites. This shift was driven by a greater number of supraspinal neurons projecting to iWAT under cold conditions. These data provide evidence for a reorganization of the nervous system at the level of neural connectivity following browning of WAT.-Wiedmann, N. M., Stefanidis, A., Oldfield, B. J. Characterization of the central neural projections to brown, white, and beige adipose tissue. © FASEB.

  19. Contributions to muscle force and EMG by combined neural excitation and electrical stimulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crago, Patrick E.; Makowski, Nathaniel S.; Cole, Natalie M.

    2014-10-01

    Objective. Stimulation of muscle for research or clinical interventions is often superimposed on ongoing physiological activity without a quantitative understanding of the impact of the stimulation on the net muscle activity and the physiological response. Experimental studies show that total force during stimulation is less than the sum of the isolated voluntary and stimulated forces, but the occlusion mechanism is not understood. Approach. We develop a model of efferent motor activity elicited by superimposing stimulation during a physiologically activated contraction. The model combines action potential interactions due to collision block, source resetting, and refractory periods with previously published models of physiological motor unit recruitment, rate modulation, force production, and EMG generation in human first dorsal interosseous muscle to investigate the mechanisms and effectiveness of stimulation on the net muscle force and EMG. Main results. Stimulation during a physiological contraction demonstrates partial occlusion of force and the neural component of the EMG, due to action potential interactions in motor units activated by both sources. Depending on neural and stimulation firing rates as well as on force-frequency properties, individual motor unit forces can be greater, smaller, or unchanged by the stimulation. In contrast, voluntary motor unit EMG potentials in simultaneously stimulated motor units show progressive occlusion with increasing stimulus rate. The simulations predict that occlusion would be decreased by a reverse stimulation recruitment order. Significance. The results are consistent with and provide a mechanistic interpretation of previously published experimental evidence of force occlusion. The models also predict two effects that have not been reported previously—voluntary EMG occlusion and the advantages of a proximal stimulation site. This study provides a basis for the rational design of both future experiments and clinical

  20. Bridging existing governance gaps: five evidence-based actions that boards can take to pursue high quality care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leggat, Sandra G; Balding, Cathy

    2017-11-13

    Objective To explore the impact of the organisational quality systems on quality of care in Victorian health services. Methods During 2015 a total of 55 focus groups were conducted with more than 350 managers, clinical staff and board members in eight Victorian health services to explore the effectiveness of health service quality systems. A review of the quality and safety goals and strategies outlined in the strategic and operating plans of the participating health services was also undertaken. Results This paper focuses on the data related to the leadership role of health service boards in ensuring safe, high-quality care. The findings suggest that health service boards are not fully meeting their governance accountability to ensure consistently high-quality care. The data uncovered major clinical governance gaps between stated board and executive aspirations for quality and safety and the implementation of these expectations at point of care. These gaps were further compounded by quality system confusion, over-reliance on compliance, and inadequate staff engagement. Conclusion Based on the existing evidence we propose five specific actions boards can take to close the gaps, thereby supporting improved care for all consumers. What is known about this topic? Effective governance is essential for high-quality healthcare delivery. Boards are required to play an active role in their organisation's pursuit of high quality care. What does this paper add? Recent government reports suggest that Australian health service boards are not fully meeting their governance requirements for high quality, safe care delivery, and our research pinpoints key governance gaps. What are the implications for practitioners? Based on our research findings we outline five evidence-based actions for boards to improve their governance of quality care delivery. These actions focus on an organisational strategy for high-quality care, with the chief executive officer held accountable for

  1. Do not resonate with actions: sentence polarity modulates cortico-spinal excitability during action-related sentence reading.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Tullio Liuzza

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Theories of embodied language suggest that the motor system is differentially called into action when processing motor-related versus abstract content words or sentences. It has been recently shown that processing negative polarity action-related sentences modulates neural activity of premotor and motor cortices. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We sought to determine whether reading negative polarity sentences brought about differential modulation of cortico-spinal motor excitability depending on processing hand-action related or abstract sentences. Facilitatory paired-pulses Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (pp-TMS was applied to the primary motor representation of the right-hand and the recorded amplitude of induced motor-evoked potentials (MEP was used to index M1 activity during passive reading of either hand-action related or abstract content sentences presented in both negative and affirmative polarity. Results showed that the cortico-spinal excitability was affected by sentence polarity only in the hand-action related condition. Indeed, in keeping with previous TMS studies, reading positive polarity, hand action-related sentences suppressed cortico-spinal reactivity. This effect was absent when reading hand action-related negative polarity sentences. Moreover, no modulation of cortico-spinal reactivity was associated with either negative or positive polarity abstract sentences. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that grammatical cues prompting motor negation reduce the cortico-spinal suppression associated with affirmative action sentences reading and thus suggest that motor simulative processes underlying the embodiment may involve even syntactic features of language.

  2. On the Control of Social Approach-Avoidance Behavior: Neural and Endocrine Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaldewaij, Reinoud; Koch, Saskia B J; Volman, Inge; Toni, Ivan; Roelofs, Karin

    The ability to control our automatic action tendencies is crucial for adequate social interactions. Emotional events trigger automatic approach and avoidance tendencies. Although these actions may be generally adaptive, the capacity to override these emotional reactions may be key to flexible behavior during social interaction. The present chapter provides a review of the neuroendocrine mechanisms underlying this ability and their relation to social psychopathologies. Aberrant social behavior, such as observed in social anxiety or psychopathy, is marked by abnormalities in approach-avoidance tendencies and the ability to control them. Key neural regions involved in the regulation of approach-avoidance behavior are the amygdala, widely implicated in automatic emotional processing, and the anterior prefrontal cortex, which exerts control over the amygdala. Hormones, especially testosterone and cortisol, have been shown to affect approach-avoidance behavior and the associated neural mechanisms. The present chapter also discusses ways to directly influence social approach and avoidance behavior and will end with a research agenda to further advance this important research field. Control over approach-avoidance tendencies may serve as an exemplar of emotional action regulation and might have a great value in understanding the underlying mechanisms of the development of affective disorders.

  3. cables1 Is Required for Embryonic Neural Development: Molecular, Cellular, and Behavioral Evidence From the Zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    GROENEWEG, JOLIJN W.; WHITE, YVONNE A.R.; KOKEL, DAVID; PETERSON, RANDALL T.; ZUKERBERG, LAWRENCE R.; BERIN, INNA; RUEDA, BO R.; WOOD, ANTONY W.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY In vitro studies have suggested that the Cables1 gene regulates epithelial cell proliferation, whereas other studies suggest a role in promoting neural differentiation. In efforts to clarify the functions of Cables1 in vivo, we conducted gain- and loss-of-function studies targeting its ortholog (cables1) in the zebrafish embryo. Similar to rodents, zebrafish cables1 mRNA expression is detected most robustly in embryonic neural tissues. Antisense knockdown of cables1 leads to increased numbers of apoptotic cells, particularly in brain tissue, in addition to a distinct behavioral phenotype, characterized by hyperactivity in response to stimulation. Apoptosis and the behavioral abnormality could be rescued by co-expression of a morpholino-resistant cables1 construct. Suppression of p53 expression in cables1 morphants partially rescued both apoptosis and the behavioral phenotype, suggesting that the phenotype of cables1 morphants is due in part to p53-dependent apoptosis. Alterations in the expression patterns of several neural transcription factors were observed in cables1 morphants during early neurulation, suggesting that cables1 is required for early neural differentiation. Ectopic overexpression of cables1 strongly disrupted embryonic morphogenesis, while overexpression of a cables1 mutant lacking the C-terminal cyclin box had little effect, suggesting functional importance of the cyclin box. Lastly, marked reductions in p35, but not Cdk5, were observed in cables1 morphants. Collectively, these data suggest that cables1 is important for neural differentiation during embryogenesis, in a mechanism that likely involves interactions with the Cdk5/p35 kinase pathway. PMID:21268180

  4. Influence of extracellular oscillations on neural communication: a computational perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoran eTiganj

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Neural communication generates oscillations of electric potential in the extracellular medium. In feedback, these oscillations affect the electrochemical processes within the neurons, influencing the timing and the number of action potentials. It is unclear whether this influence should be considered only as noise or it has some functional role in neural communication. Through computer simulations we investigated the effect of various sinusoidal extracellular oscillations on the timing and number of action potentials. Each simulation is based on a multicompartment model of a single neuron, which is stimulated through spatially distributed synaptic activations. A thorough analysis is conducted on a large number of simulations with different models of CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons which are modeled using realistic morphologies and active ion conductances. We demonstrated that the influence of the weak extracellular oscillations, which are commonly present in the brain, is rather stochastic and modest. We found that the stronger fields, which are spontaneously present in the brain only in some particular cases (e.g. during seizures or that can be induced externally, could significantly modulate spike timings.

  5. Computational Model of Primary Visual Cortex Combining Visual Attention for Action Recognition.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Na Shu

    Full Text Available Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1, and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model.

  6. Influence of neural adaptation on dynamics and equilibrium state of neural activities in a ring neural network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takiyama, Ken

    2017-12-01

    How neural adaptation affects neural information processing (i.e. the dynamics and equilibrium state of neural activities) is a central question in computational neuroscience. In my previous works, I analytically clarified the dynamics and equilibrium state of neural activities in a ring-type neural network model that is widely used to model the visual cortex, motor cortex, and several other brain regions. The neural dynamics and the equilibrium state in the neural network model corresponded to a Bayesian computation and statistically optimal multiple information integration, respectively, under a biologically inspired condition. These results were revealed in an analytically tractable manner; however, adaptation effects were not considered. Here, I analytically reveal how the dynamics and equilibrium state of neural activities in a ring neural network are influenced by spike-frequency adaptation (SFA). SFA is an adaptation that causes gradual inhibition of neural activity when a sustained stimulus is applied, and the strength of this inhibition depends on neural activities. I reveal that SFA plays three roles: (1) SFA amplifies the influence of external input in neural dynamics; (2) SFA allows the history of the external input to affect neural dynamics; and (3) the equilibrium state corresponds to the statistically optimal multiple information integration independent of the existence of SFA. In addition, the equilibrium state in a ring neural network model corresponds to the statistically optimal integration of multiple information sources under biologically inspired conditions, independent of the existence of SFA.

  7. Decreased neural precursor cell pool in NADPH oxidase 2-deficiency: From mouse brain to neural differentiation of patient derived iPSC

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zeynab Nayernia

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available There is emerging evidence for the involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS in the regulation of stem cells and cellular differentiation. Absence of the ROS-generating NADPH oxidase NOX2 in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD patients, predominantly manifests as immune deficiency, but has also been associated with decreased cognition. Here, we investigate the role of NOX enzymes in neuronal homeostasis in adult mouse brain and in neural cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC. High levels of NOX2 were found in mouse adult neurogenic regions. In NOX2-deficient mice, neurogenic regions showed diminished redox modifications, as well as decrease in neuroprecursor numbers and in expression of genes involved in neural differentiation including NES, BDNF and OTX2. iPSC from healthy subjects and patients with CGD were used to study the role of NOX2 in human in vitro neuronal development. Expression of NOX2 was low in undifferentiated iPSC, upregulated upon neural induction, and disappeared during neuronal differentiation. In human neurospheres, NOX2 protein and ROS generation were polarized within the inner cell layer of rosette structures. NOX2 deficiency in CGD-iPSCs resulted in an abnormal neural induction in vitro, as revealed by a reduced expression of neuroprogenitor markers (NES, BDNF, OTX2, NRSF/REST, and a decreased generation of mature neurons. Vector-mediated NOX2 expression in NOX2-deficient iPSCs rescued neurogenesis. Taken together, our study provides novel evidence for a regulatory role of NOX2 during early stages of neurogenesis in mouse and human.

  8. Action experience, more than observation, influences mu rhythm desynchronization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin N Cannon

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of mirror neurons in premotor and parietal areas of the macaque monkey, the idea that action and perception may share the same neural code has been of central interest in social, developmental, and cognitive neurosciences. A fundamental question concerns how a putative human mirror neuron system may be tuned to the motor experiences of the individual. The current study tested the hypothesis that prior motor experience modulated the sensorimotor mu and beta rhythms. Specifically, we hypothesized that these sensorimotor rhythms would be more desynchronized after active motor experience compared to passive observation experience. To test our hypothesis, we collected EEG from adult participants during the observation of a relatively novel action: an experimenter used a claw-like tool to pick up a toy. Prior to EEG collection, we trained one group of adults to perform this action with the tool (performers. A second group comprised trained video coders, who only had experience observing the action (observers. Both the performers and the observers had no prior motor and visual experience with the action. A third group of novices was also tested. Performers exhibited the greatest mu rhythm desynchronization in the 8-13 Hz band, particularly in the right hemisphere compared to observers and novices. This study is the first to contrast active tool-use experience and observation experience in the mu rhythm and to show modulation with relatively shorter amounts of experience than prior mirror neuron expertise studies. These findings are discussed with respect to its broader implication as a neural signature for a mechanism of early social learning.

  9. Neural Alterations in Acquired Age-Related Hearing Loss

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    Raksha Anand Mudar

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in older adults. Growing evidence suggests that hearing loss is associated with reduced cognitive functioning and incident dementia. In this mini-review, we briefly examine literature on anatomical and functional alterations in the brains of adults with acquired age-associated hearing loss, which may underlie the cognitive consequences observed in this population, focusing on studies that have used structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and event-related electroencephalography. We discuss structural and functional alterations observed in the temporal and frontal cortices and the limbic system. These neural alterations are discussed in the context of common cause, information-degradation, and sensory-deprivation hypotheses, and we suggest possible rehabilitation strategies. Although we are beginning to learn more about changes in neural architecture and functionality related to age-associated hearing loss, much work remains to be done. Understanding the neural alterations will provide objective markers for early identification of neural consequences of age-associated hearing loss and for evaluating benefits of intervention approaches.

  10. Neurogenesis and Increase in Differentiated Neural Cell Survival via Phosphorylation of Akt1 after Fluoxetine Treatment of Stem Cells

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    Anahita Rahmani

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Fluoxetine (FLX is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI. Its action is possibly through an increase in neural cell survival. The mechanism of improved survival rate of neurons by FLX may relate to the overexpression of some kinases such as Akt protein. Akt1 (a serine/threonine kinase plays a key role in the modulation of cell proliferation and survival. Our study evaluated the effects of FLX on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC fate and Akt1 phosphorylation levels in MSCs. Evaluation tests included reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, western blot, and immunocytochemistry assays. Nestin, MAP-2, and β-tubulin were detected after neurogenesis as neural markers. Ten μM of FLX upregulated phosphorylation of Akt1 protein in induced hEnSC significantly. Also FLX did increase viability of these MSCs. Continuous FLX treatment after neurogenesis elevated the survival rate of differentiated neural cells probably by enhanced induction of Akt1 phosphorylation. This study addresses a novel role of FLX in neurogenesis and differentiated neural cell survival that may contribute to explaining the therapeutic action of fluoxetine in regenerative pharmacology.

  11. Non-Viral Generation of Neural Precursor-like Cells from Adult Human Fibroblasts

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    Maucksch C

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have reported direct reprogramming of human fibroblasts to mature neurons by the introduction of defined neural genes. This technology has potential use in the areas of neurological disease modeling and drug development. However, use of induced neurons for large-scale drug screening and cell-based replacement strategies is limited due to their inability to expand once reprogrammed. We propose it would be more desirable to induce expandable neural precursor cells directly from human fibroblasts. To date several pluripotent and neural transcription factors have been shown to be capable of converting mouse fibroblasts to neural stem/precursor-like cells when delivered by viral vectors. Here we extend these findings and demonstrate that transient ectopic insertion of the transcription factors SOX2 and PAX6 to adult human fibroblasts through use of non-viral plasmid transfection or protein transduction allows the generation of induced neural precursor (iNP colonies expressing a range of neural stem and pro-neural genes. Upon differentiation, iNP cells give rise to neurons exhibiting typical neuronal morphologies and expressing multiple neuronal markers including tyrosine hydroxylase and GAD65/67. Importantly, iNP-derived neurons demonstrate electrophysiological properties of functionally mature neurons with the capacity to generate action potentials. In addition, iNP cells are capable of differentiating into glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP-expressing astrocytes. This study represents a novel virus-free approach for direct reprogramming of human fibroblasts to a neural precursor fate.

  12. EEG source reconstruction evidence for the noun-verb neural dissociation along semantic dimensions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Bin; Dang, Jianwu; Zhang, Gaoyan

    2017-09-17

    One of the long-standing issues in neurolinguistic research is about the neural basis of word representation, concerning whether grammatical classification or semantic difference causes the neural dissociation of brain activity patterns when processing different word categories, especially nouns and verbs. To disentangle this puzzle, four orthogonalized word categories in Chinese: unambiguous nouns (UN), unambiguous verbs (UV), ambiguous words with noun-biased semantics (AN), and ambiguous words with verb-biased semantics (AV) were adopted in an auditory task for recording electroencephalographic (EEG) signals from 128 electrodes on the scalps of twenty-two subjects. With the advanced current density reconstruction (CDR) algorithm and the constraint of standardized low-resolution electromagnetic tomography, the spatiotemporal brain dynamics of word processing were explored with the results that in multiple time periods including P1 (60-90ms), N1 (100-140ms), P200 (150-250ms) and N400 (350-450ms), noun-verb dissociation over the parietal-occipital and frontal-central cortices appeared not only between the UN-UV grammatical classes but also between the grammatically identical but semantically different AN-AV pairs. The apparent semantic dissociation within one grammatical class strongly suggests that the semantic difference rather than grammatical classification could be interpreted as the origin of the noun-verb neural dissociation. Our results also revealed that semantic dissociation occurs from an early stage and repeats in multiple phases, thus supporting a functionally hierarchical word processing mechanism. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. Linking perception, cognition, and action: psychophysical observations and neural network modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Carlos Méndez

    Full Text Available It has been argued that perception, decision making, and movement planning are in reality tightly interwoven brain processes. However, how they are implemented in neural circuits is still a matter of debate. We tested human subjects in a temporal categorization task in which intervals had to be categorized as short or long. Subjects communicated their decision by moving a cursor into one of two possible targets, which appeared separated by different angles from trial to trial. Even though there was a 1 second-long delay between interval presentation and decision communication, categorization difficulty affected subjects' performance, reaction (RT and movement time (MT. In addition, reaction and movement times were also influenced by the distance between the targets. This implies that not only perceptual, but also movement-related considerations were incorporated into the decision process. Therefore, we searched for a model that could use categorization difficulty and target separation to describe subjects' performance, RT, and MT. We developed a network consisting of two mutually inhibiting neural populations, each tuned to one of the possible categories and composed of an accumulation and a memory node. This network sequentially acquired interval information, maintained it in working memory and was then attracted to one of two possible states, corresponding to a categorical decision. It faithfully replicated subjects' RT and MT as a function of categorization difficulty and target distance; it also replicated performance as a function of categorization difficulty. Furthermore, this model was used to make new predictions about the effect of untested durations, target distances and delay durations. To our knowledge, this is the first biologically plausible model that has been proposed to account for decision making and communication by integrating both sensory and motor planning information.

  15. Loop-mirror laser neural network using a fast liquid-crystal display

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mos, E.C.; Schleipen, J.J.H.B.; Waardt, de H.; Khoe, G.D.

    1999-01-01

    In our laser neural network (LNN) all-optical threshold action is obtained by application of controlled optical feedback to a laser diode. Here an extended experimental LNN is presented with as many as 32 neurons and 12 inputs. In the setup we use a fast liquid-crystal display to implement an

  16. Novel perspectives of neural stem cell differentiation: from neurotransmitters to therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trujillo, Cleber A; Schwindt, Telma T; Martins, Antonio H; Alves, Janaína M; Mello, Luiz Eugênio; Ulrich, Henning

    2009-01-01

    In the past years, many reports have described the existence of neural progenitor and stem cells in the adult central nervous system capable of generating new neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. This discovery has overturned the central assumption in the neuroscience field, of no new neurons being originated in the brain after birth and provided the fundaments to understand the molecular basis of neural differentiation and to develop new therapies for neural tissue repair. Although the mechanisms underlying cell fate during neural development are not yet understood, the importance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors and of an appropriate microenvironment is well known. In this context, emerging evidence strongly suggests that glial cells play a key role in controlling multiple steps of neurogenesis. Those cells, of particular radial glia, are important for migration, cell specification, and integration of neurons into a functional neural network. This review aims to present an update in the neurogenesis area and highlight the modulation of neural stem cell differentiation by neurotransmitters, growth factors, and their receptors, with possible applications for cell therapy strategies of neurological disorders.

  17. Functional Specificity and Sex Differences in the Neural Circuits Supporting the Inhibition of Automatic Imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darda, Kohinoor M; Butler, Emily E; Ramsey, Richard

    2018-06-01

    Humans show an involuntary tendency to copy other people's actions. Although automatic imitation builds rapport and affiliation between individuals, we do not copy actions indiscriminately. Instead, copying behaviors are guided by a selection mechanism, which inhibits some actions and prioritizes others. To date, the neural underpinnings of the inhibition of automatic imitation and differences between the sexes in imitation control are not well understood. Previous studies involved small sample sizes and low statistical power, which produced mixed findings regarding the involvement of domain-general and domain-specific neural architectures. Here, we used data from Experiment 1 ( N = 28) to perform a power analysis to determine the sample size required for Experiment 2 ( N = 50; 80% power). Using independent functional localizers and an analysis pipeline that bolsters sensitivity, during imitation control we show clear engagement of the multiple-demand network (domain-general), but no sensitivity in the theory-of-mind network (domain-specific). Weaker effects were observed with regard to sex differences, suggesting that there are more similarities than differences between the sexes in terms of the neural systems engaged during imitation control. In summary, neurocognitive models of imitation require revision to reflect that the inhibition of imitation relies to a greater extent on a domain-general selection system rather than a domain-specific system that supports social cognition.

  18. Serotonergic modulation of reward and punishment: evidence from pharmacological fMRI studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macoveanu, Julian

    2014-03-27

    Until recently, the bulk of research on the human reward system was focused on studying the dopaminergic and opioid neurotransmitter systems. However, extending the initial data from animal studies on reward, recent pharmacological brain imaging studies on human participants bring a new line of evidence on the key role serotonin plays in reward processing. The reviewed research has revealed how central serotonin availability and receptor specific transmission modulates the neural response to both appetitive (rewarding) and aversive (punishing) stimuli in putative reward-related brain regions. Thus, serotonin is suggested to be involved in behavioral control when there is a prospect of reward or punishment. The new findings may have implications in understanding psychiatric disorders such as major depression which is characterized by abnormal serotonergic function and reward-related processing and may also provide a neural correlated for the emotional blunting observed in the clinical treatment of psychiatric disorders with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Given the unique profile of action of each serotonergic receptor subtype, future pharmacological studies may favor receptor specific investigations to complement present research mainly focused on global serotonergic manipulations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A Pause-then-Cancel model of stopping: evidence from basal ganglia neurophysiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Robert; Berke, Joshua D

    2017-04-19

    Many studies have implicated the basal ganglia in the suppression of action impulses ('stopping'). Here, we discuss recent neurophysiological evidence that distinct hypothesized processes involved in action preparation and cancellation can be mapped onto distinct basal ganglia cell types and pathways. We examine how movement-related activity in the striatum is related to a 'Go' process and how going may be modulated by brief epochs of beta oscillations. We then describe how, rather than a unitary 'Stop' process, there appear to be separate, complementary 'Pause' and 'Cancel' mechanisms. We discuss the implications of these stopping subprocesses for the interpretation of the stop-signal reaction time-in particular, some activity that seems too slow to causally contribute to stopping when assuming a single Stop processes may actually be fast enough under a Pause-then-Cancel model. Finally, we suggest that combining complementary neural mechanisms that emphasize speed or accuracy respectively may serve more generally to optimize speed-accuracy trade-offs.This article is part of the themed issue 'Movement suppression: brain mechanisms for stopping and stillness'. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. All-trans retinoic acid promotes neural lineage entry by pluripotent embryonic stem cells via multiple pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fang Bo

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background All-trans retinoic acid (RA is one of the most important morphogens with pleiotropic actions. Its embryonic distribution correlates with neural differentiation in the developing central nervous system. To explore the precise effects of RA on neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs, we detected expression of RA nuclear receptors and RA-metabolizing enzymes in mouse ESCs and investigated the roles of RA in adherent monolayer culture. Results Upon addition of RA, cell differentiation was directed rapidly and exclusively into the neural lineage. Conversely, pharmacological interference with RA signaling suppressed this neural differentiation. Inhibition of fibroblast growth factor (FGF signaling did not suppress significantly neural differentiation in RA-treated cultures. Pharmacological interference with extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK pathway or activation of Wnt pathway effectively blocked the RA-promoted neural specification. ERK phosphorylation was enhanced in RA-treated cultures at the early stage of differentiation. Conclusion RA can promote neural lineage entry by ESCs in adherent monolayer culture systems. This effect depends on RA signaling and its crosstalk with the ERK and Wnt pathways.

  1. Culture-sensitive neural substrates of human cognition: a transcultural neuroimaging approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Shihui; Northoff, Georg

    2008-08-01

    Our brains and minds are shaped by our experiences, which mainly occur in the context of the culture in which we develop and live. Although psychologists have provided abundant evidence for diversity of human cognition and behaviour across cultures, the question of whether the neural correlates of human cognition are also culture-dependent is often not considered by neuroscientists. However, recent transcultural neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that one's cultural background can influence the neural activity that underlies both high- and low-level cognitive functions. The findings provide a novel approach by which to distinguish culture-sensitive from culture-invariant neural mechanisms of human cognition.

  2. Using guitar learning to probe the Action Observation Network's response to visuomotor familiarity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Tom; Aglinskas, Aidas; Cross, Emily S

    2017-08-01

    Watching other people move elicits engagement of a collection of sensorimotor brain regions collectively termed the Action Observation Network (AON). An extensive literature documents more robust AON responses when observing or executing familiar compared to unfamiliar actions, as well as a positive correlation between amplitude of AON response and an observer's familiarity with an observed or executed movement. On the other hand, emerging evidence shows patterns of AON activity counter to these findings, whereby in some circumstances, unfamiliar actions lead to greater AON engagement than familiar actions. In an attempt to reconcile these conflicting findings, some have proposed that the relationship between AON response amplitude and action familiarity is nonlinear in nature. In the present study, we used an elaborate guitar training intervention to probe the relationship between movement familiarity and AON engagement during action execution and action observation tasks. Participants underwent fMRI scanning while executing one set of guitar sequences with a scanner-compatible bass guitar and observing a second set of sequences. Participants then acquired further physical practice or observational experience with half of these stimuli outside the scanner across 3 days. Participants then returned for an identical scanning session, wherein they executed and observed equal numbers of familiar (trained) and unfamiliar (untrained) guitar sequences. Via region of interest analyses, we extracted activity within AON regions engaged during both scanning sessions, and then fit linear, quadratic and cubic regression models to these data. The data best support the cubic regression models, suggesting that the response profile within key sensorimotor brain regions associated with the AON respond to action familiarity in a nonlinear manner. Moreover, by probing the subjective nature of the prediction error signal, we show results consistent with a predictive coding account of

  3. Cognitive deficits caused by prefrontal cortical and hippocampal neural disinhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bast, Tobias; Pezze, Marie; McGarrity, Stephanie

    2017-10-01

    We review recent evidence concerning the significance of inhibitory GABA transmission and of neural disinhibition, that is, deficient GABA transmission, within the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, for clinically relevant cognitive functions. Both regions support important cognitive functions, including attention and memory, and their dysfunction has been implicated in cognitive deficits characterizing neuropsychiatric disorders. GABAergic inhibition shapes cortico-hippocampal neural activity, and, recently, prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition has emerged as a pathophysiological feature of major neuropsychiatric disorders, especially schizophrenia and age-related cognitive decline. Regional neural disinhibition, disrupting spatio-temporal control of neural activity and causing aberrant drive of projections, may disrupt processing within the disinhibited region and efferent regions. Recent studies in rats showed that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition (by local GABA antagonist microinfusion) dysregulates burst firing, which has been associated with important aspects of neural information processing. Using translational tests of clinically relevant cognitive functions, these studies showed that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition disrupts regional cognitive functions (including prefrontal attention and hippocampal memory function). Moreover, hippocampal neural disinhibition disrupted attentional performance, which does not require the hippocampus but requires prefrontal-striatal circuits modulated by the hippocampus. However, some prefrontal and hippocampal functions (including inhibitory response control) are spared by regional disinhibition. We consider conceptual implications of these findings, regarding the distinct relationships of distinct cognitive functions to prefrontal and hippocampal GABA tone and neural activity. Moreover, the findings support the proposition that prefrontal and hippocampal neural disinhibition

  4. Mirror neurons and the social nature of language: the neural exploitation hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallese, Vittorio

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses the relevance of the discovery of mirror neurons in monkeys and of the mirror neuron system in humans to a neuroscientific account of primates' social cognition and its evolution. It is proposed that mirror neurons and the functional mechanism they underpin, embodied simulation, can ground within a unitary neurophysiological explanatory framework important aspects of human social cognition. In particular, the main focus is on language, here conceived according to a neurophenomenological perspective, grounding meaning on the social experience of action. A neurophysiological hypothesis--the "neural exploitation hypothesis"--is introduced to explain how key aspects of human social cognition are underpinned by brain mechanisms originally evolved for sensorimotor integration. It is proposed that these mechanisms were later on adapted as new neurofunctional architecture for thought and language, while retaining their original functions as well. By neural exploitation, social cognition and language can be linked to the experiential domain of action.

  5. A Sliding Mode Control-based on a RBF Neural Network for Deburring Industry Robotic Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Tao, Yong; Zheng, Jiaqi; Lin, Yuanchang

    2016-01-01

    A sliding mode control method based on radial basis function (RBF) neural network is proposed for the deburring of industry robotic systems. First, a dynamic model for deburring the robot system is established. Then, a conventional SMC scheme is introduced for the joint position tracking of robot manipulators. The RBF neural network based sliding mode control (RBFNN-SMC) has the ability to learn uncertain control actions. In the RBFNN-SMC scheme, the adaptive tuning algorithms for network par...

  6. Motivational orientation modulates the neural response to reward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linke, Julia; Kirsch, Peter; King, Andrea V; Gass, Achim; Hennerici, Michael G; Bongers, André; Wessa, Michèle

    2010-02-01

    Motivational orientation defines the source of motivation for an individual to perform a particular action and can either originate from internal desires (e.g., interest) or external compensation (e.g., money). To this end, motivational orientation should influence the way positive or negative feedback is processed during learning situations and this might in turn have an impact on the learning process. In the present study, we thus investigated whether motivational orientation, i.e., extrinsic and intrinsic motivation modulates the neural response to reward and punishment as well as learning from reward and punishment in 33 healthy individuals. To assess neural responses to reward, punishment and learning of reward contingencies we employed a probabilistic reversal learning task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation were assessed with a self-report questionnaire. Rewarding trials fostered activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC) as well as the amygdala and nucleus accumbens, whereas for punishment an increased neural response was observed in the medial and inferior prefrontal cortex, the superior parietal cortex and the insula. High extrinsic motivation was positively correlated to increased neural responses to reward in the ACC, amygdala and putamen, whereas a negative relationship between intrinsic motivation and brain activation in these brain regions was observed. These findings show that motivational orientation indeed modulates the responsiveness to reward delivery in major components of the human reward system and therefore extends previous results showing a significant influence of individual differences in reward-related personality traits on the neural processing of reward. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva eSchoenberger

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schönberger, Eva; Heim, Stefan; Meffert, Elisabeth; Pieperhoff, Peter; da Costa Avelar, Patricia; Huber, Walter; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Grande, Marion

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain imaging studies have improved our knowledge of the neural localization of language functions and the functional reorganization 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 paradigm.

  9. Neural stimulators: A guide to imaging and postoperative appearances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, A.; Shand-Smith, J.; Watkins, L.; McEvoy, A.W.; Elneil, S.; Zrinzo, L.; Davagnanam, I.

    2014-01-01

    Implantable neural stimulators have been developed to aid patients with debilitating neurological conditions that are not amenable to other therapies. The aim of this article is to improve understanding of correct anatomical placement as well as the relevant imaging methods used to assess these devices. Potential complications following their insertion and an overview of the current indications and potential mechanism of action of these devices is provided

  10. Neural Architecture for Feature Binding in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneegans, Sebastian; Bays, Paul M

    2017-04-05

    Binding refers to the operation that groups different features together into objects. We propose a neural architecture for feature binding in visual working memory that employs populations of neurons with conjunction responses. We tested this model using cued recall tasks, in which subjects had to memorize object arrays composed of simple visual features (color, orientation, and location). After a brief delay, one feature of one item was given as a cue, and the observer had to report, on a continuous scale, one or two other features of the cued item. Binding failure in this task is associated with swap errors, in which observers report an item other than the one indicated by the cue. We observed that the probability of swapping two items strongly correlated with the items' similarity in the cue feature dimension, and found a strong correlation between swap errors occurring in spatial and nonspatial report. The neural model explains both swap errors and response variability as results of decoding noisy neural activity, and can account for the behavioral results in quantitative detail. We then used the model to compare alternative mechanisms for binding nonspatial features. We found the behavioral results fully consistent with a model in which nonspatial features are bound exclusively via their shared location, with no indication of direct binding between color and orientation. These results provide evidence for a special role of location in feature binding, and the model explains how this special role could be realized in the neural system. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The problem of feature binding is of central importance in understanding the mechanisms of working memory. How do we remember not only that we saw a red and a round object, but that these features belong together to a single object rather than to different objects in our environment? Here we present evidence for a neural mechanism for feature binding in working memory, based on encoding of visual

  11. Biological neural networks as model systems for designing future parallel processing computers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Muriel D.

    1991-01-01

    One of the more interesting debates of the present day centers on whether human intelligence can be simulated by computer. The author works under the premise that neurons individually are not smart at all. Rather, they are physical units which are impinged upon continuously by other matter that influences the direction of voltage shifts across the units membranes. It is only the action of a great many neurons, billions in the case of the human nervous system, that intelligent behavior emerges. What is required to understand even the simplest neural system is painstaking analysis, bit by bit, of the architecture and the physiological functioning of its various parts. The biological neural network studied, the vestibular utricular and saccular maculas of the inner ear, are among the most simple of the mammalian neural networks to understand and model. While there is still a long way to go to understand even this most simple neural network in sufficient detail for extrapolation to computers and robots, a start was made. Moreover, the insights obtained and the technologies developed help advance the understanding of the more complex neural networks that underlie human intelligence.

  12. Surface-modified microelectrode array with flake nanostructure for neural recording and stimulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Ju-Hyun; Choi, Yang-Kyu [Nano-Oriented Bio-Electronics Lab, Department of Electrical Engineering, College of Information Science and Technology, KAIST, Daejeon 305-701 (Korea, Republic of); Kang, Gyumin; Nam, Yoonkey, E-mail: ynam@kaist.ac.kr, E-mail: ykchoi@ee.kaist.ac.kr [Department of Bio and Brain Engineering, KAIST, KAIST Institute for Nano-Century, Daejeon 305-701 (Korea, Republic of)

    2010-02-26

    A novel microelectrode modification method is reported for neural electrode engineering with a flake nanostructure (nanoflake). The nanoflake-modified electrodes are fabricated by combining conventional lithography and electrochemical deposition to implement a microelectrode array (MEA) on a glass substrate. The unique geometrical properties of nanoflake sharp tips and valleys are studied by optical, electrochemical and electrical methods in order to verify the advantages of using nanoflakes for neural recording devices. The in vitro recording and stimulation of cultured hippocampal neurons are demonstrated on the nanoflake-modified MEA and the clear action potentials are observed due to the nanoflake impedance reduction effect.

  13. The neural basis of event simulation: an FMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yukihito Yomogida

    Full Text Available Event simulation (ES is the situational inference process in which perceived event features such as objects, agents, and actions are associated in the brain to represent the whole situation. ES provides a common basis for various cognitive processes, such as perceptual prediction, situational understanding/prediction, and social cognition (such as mentalizing/trait inference. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to elucidate the neural substrates underlying important subdivisions within ES. First, the study investigated whether ES depends on different neural substrates when it is conducted explicitly and implicitly. Second, the existence of neural substrates specific to the future-prediction component of ES was assessed. Subjects were shown contextually related object pictures implying a situation and performed several picture-word-matching tasks. By varying task goals, subjects were made to infer the implied situation implicitly/explicitly or predict the future consequence of that situation. The results indicate that, whereas implicit ES activated the lateral prefrontal cortex and medial/lateral parietal cortex, explicit ES activated the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and medial/lateral temporal cortex. Additionally, the left temporoparietal junction plays an important role in the future-prediction component of ES. These findings enrich our understanding of the neural substrates of the implicit/explicit/predictive aspects of ES-related cognitive processes.

  14. The relationship between impulsive choice and impulsive action: a cross-species translational study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nienke Broos

    Full Text Available Maladaptive impulsivity is a core symptom in various psychiatric disorders. However, there is only limited evidence available on whether different measures of impulsivity represent largely unrelated aspects or a unitary construct. In a cross-species translational study, thirty rats were trained in impulsive choice (delayed reward task and impulsive action (five-choice serial reaction time task paradigms. The correlation between those measures was assessed during baseline performance and after pharmacological manipulations with the psychostimulant amphetamine and the norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor atomoxetine. In parallel, to validate the animal data, 101 human subjects performed analogous measures of impulsive choice (delay discounting task, DDT and impulsive action (immediate and delayed memory task, IMT/DMT. Moreover, all subjects completed the Stop Signal Task (SST, as an additional measure of impulsive action and filled out the Barratt impulsiveness scale (BIS-11. Correlations between DDT and IMT/DMT were determined and a principal component analysis was performed on all human measures of impulsivity. In both rats and humans measures of impulsive choice and impulsive action did not correlate. In rats the within-subject pharmacological effects of amphetamine and atomoxetine did not correlate between tasks, suggesting distinct underlying neural correlates. Furthermore, in humans, principal component analysis identified three independent factors: (1 self-reported impulsivity (BIS-11; (2 impulsive action (IMT/DMT and SST; (3 impulsive choice (DDT. This is the first study directly comparing aspects of impulsivity using a cross-species translational approach. The present data reveal the non-unitary nature of impulsivity on a behavioral and pharmacological level. Collectively, this warrants a stronger focus on the relative contribution of distinct forms of impulsivity in psychopathology.

  15. Time, Language and Action - A Unified Long-Term Memory Model for Sensory-Motor Chains and Word Schemata

    OpenAIRE

    Chersi, Fabian; Ferro, Marcello; Pezzulo, Giovanni; Pirrelli, Vito

    2011-01-01

    Action and language are known to be organized as closely-related brain subsystems. An Italian CNR project implemented a computational neural model where the ability to form chains of goal-directed actions and chains of linguistic units relies on a unified memory architecture obeying the same organizing principles.

  16. Neural Basis of Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Daeyeol; Seo, Hyojung; Jung, Min Whan

    2012-01-01

    Reinforcement learning is an adaptive process in which an animal utilizes its previous experience to improve the outcomes of future choices. Computational theories of reinforcement learning play a central role in the newly emerging areas of neuroeconomics and decision neuroscience. In this framework, actions are chosen according to their value functions, which describe how much future reward is expected from each action. Value functions can be adjusted not only through reward and penalty, but also by the animal’s knowledge of its current environment. Studies have revealed that a large proportion of the brain is involved in representing and updating value functions and using them to choose an action. However, how the nature of a behavioral task affects the neural mechanisms of reinforcement learning remains incompletely understood. Future studies should uncover the principles by which different computational elements of reinforcement learning are dynamically coordinated across the entire brain. PMID:22462543

  17. Non-neural androgen receptors affect sexual differentiation of brain and behaviour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monks, D A; Swift-Gallant, A

    2018-02-01

    Although gonadal testosterone is the principal endocrine factor that promotes masculine traits in mammals, the development of a male phenotype requires local production of both androgenic and oestrogenic signals within target tissues. Much of our knowledge concerning androgenic components of testosterone signalling in sexual differentiation comes from studies of androgen receptor (Ar) loss of function mutants. Here, we review these studies of loss of Ar function and of AR overexpression either globally or selectively in the nervous system of mice. Global and neural mutations affect socio-sexual behaviour and the neuroanatomy of these mice in a sexually differentiated manner. Some masculine traits are affected by both global and neural mutation, indicative of neural mediation, whereas other masculine traits are affected only by global mutation, indicative of an obligatory non-neural androgen target. These results support a model in which multiple sites of androgen action coordinate to produce masculine phenotypes. Furthermore, AR overexpression does not always have a phenotype opposite to that of loss of Ar function mutants, indicative of a nonlinear relationship between androgen dose and masculine phenotype in some cases. Potential mechanisms of Ar gene function in non-neural targets in producing masculine phenotypes are discussed. © 2017 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  18. Machine learning action parameters in lattice quantum chromodynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanahan, Phiala E.; Trewartha, Daniel; Detmold, William

    2018-05-01

    Numerical lattice quantum chromodynamics studies of the strong interaction are important in many aspects of particle and nuclear physics. Such studies require significant computing resources to undertake. A number of proposed methods promise improved efficiency of lattice calculations, and access to regions of parameter space that are currently computationally intractable, via multi-scale action-matching approaches that necessitate parametric regression of generated lattice datasets. The applicability of machine learning to this regression task is investigated, with deep neural networks found to provide an efficient solution even in cases where approaches such as principal component analysis fail. The high information content and complex symmetries inherent in lattice QCD datasets require custom neural network layers to be introduced and present opportunities for further development.

  19. Neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning: electrophysiological evidence for a two-stage process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamamé, Carlos M; Cosmelli, Diego; Henriquez, Rodrigo; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2011-04-26

    Humans and other animals change the way they perceive the world due to experience. This process has been labeled as perceptual learning, and implies that adult nervous systems can adaptively modify the way in which they process sensory stimulation. However, the mechanisms by which the brain modifies this capacity have not been sufficiently analyzed. We studied the neural mechanisms of human perceptual learning by combining electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings of brain activity and the assessment of psychophysical performance during training in a visual search task. All participants improved their perceptual performance as reflected by an increase in sensitivity (d') and a decrease in reaction time. The EEG signal was acquired throughout the entire experiment revealing amplitude increments, specific and unspecific to the trained stimulus, in event-related potential (ERP) components N2pc and P3 respectively. P3 unspecific modification can be related to context or task-based learning, while N2pc may be reflecting a more specific attentional-related boosting of target detection. Moreover, bell and U-shaped profiles of oscillatory brain activity in gamma (30-60 Hz) and alpha (8-14 Hz) frequency bands may suggest the existence of two phases for learning acquisition, which can be understood as distinctive optimization mechanisms in stimulus processing. We conclude that there are reorganizations in several neural processes that contribute differently to perceptual learning in a visual search task. We propose an integrative model of neural activity reorganization, whereby perceptual learning takes place as a two-stage phenomenon including perceptual, attentional and contextual processes.

  20. Anger in brain and body: the neural and physiological perturbation of decision-making by emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garfinkel, Sarah N; Zorab, Emma; Navaratnam, Nakulan; Engels, Miriam; Mallorquí-Bagué, Núria; Minati, Ludovico; Dowell, Nicholas G; Brosschot, Jos F; Thayer, Julian F; Critchley, Hugo D

    2016-01-01

    Emotion and cognition are dynamically coupled to bodily arousal: the induction of anger, even unconsciously, can reprioritise neural and physiological resources toward action states that bias cognitive processes. Here we examine behavioural, neural and bodily effects of covert anger processing and its influence on cognition, indexed by lexical decision-making. While recording beat-to-beat blood pressure, the words ANGER or RELAX were presented subliminally just prior to rapid word/non-word reaction-time judgements of letter-strings. Subliminal ANGER primes delayed the time taken to reach rapid lexical decisions, relative to RELAX primes. However, individuals with high trait anger were speeded up by subliminal anger primes. ANGER primes increased systolic blood pressure and the magnitude of this increase predicted reaction time prolongation. Within the brain, ANGER trials evoked an enhancement of activity within dorsal pons and an attenuation of activity within visual occipitotemporal and attentional parietal cortices. Activity within periaqueductal grey matter, occipital and parietal regions increased linearly with evoked blood pressure changes, indicating neural substrates through which covert anger impairs semantic decisions, putatively through its expression as visceral arousal. The behavioural and physiological impact of anger states compromises the efficiency of cognitive processing through action-ready changes in autonomic response that skew regional neural activity. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. review of current evidence for folate in the prevention of neural tube ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The incidence of neural tube defects (NTD) among black South. Africans living in urban areas is low compared with reports of _". I\\TTD incidence in rural areasY A NTD incidence of 0.95 per -;:-. 1000 live births was reported in Cape Town,l while an incidence of 0.99 per 1 000 live births was reported in a study performed at ...

  2. Mirror neurons: action observation treatment as a tool in stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franceschini, M; Agosti, M; Cantagallo, A; Sale, P; Mancuso, M; Buccino, G

    2010-12-01

    The observation of actions performed by others activate in an observer the same neural structures (including mirror neurons) as when he/she actually performs the same actions. The aim of the present study was to assess whether action observation treatment may improve upper limb motor impairment in chronic stroke patients. This was an observational study. Patients were recruited by three Italian Centres for Neurorehabilitation between 2006 and 2008. Twenty-eight chronic stroke patients with upper limb impairment have undergone for four weeks, five days a week, a rehabilitation treatment based on observation of video-clips presenting hand daily actions, followed by the imitation of those same actions with the affected limb. Functional evaluation by means of Modified Barthel Index (MBI), Frenchay Arm Test (FAT) and Fugl Meyer (FM) was carried out twice before treatment (BT1 and BT2), at an interval of 15 days, then after treatment (AT1) and finally at a two-month follow-up (AT2). Wilcoxon Signed Rank test was applied to test differences between scores obtained from functional scales before and after treatment (BT1 vs. BT2; BT2 vs. AT1; AT1 vs. AT2). In all scales, scores did not differ when comparing BT1 with BT2. Scores improved significantly in all scales at AT1 as compared to BT2 (MBI, P=0.026; FAT, P=0.005; FM, P=0.001). This improvement was still present at the two-month follow-up as testified by no score difference between AT1 and AT2. Action Observation Treatment may become a useful strategy in the rehabilitation of stroke patients. The present preliminary study suggests that stimulation of neural structures (including mirror neurons), activated when the patients actually perform the same actions as those observed could constitute a good alternative rehabilitative approach in chronic stroke patients.

  3. Conserved gene regulatory module specifies lateral neural borders across bilaterians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongbin; Zhao, Di; Horie, Takeo; Chen, Geng; Bao, Hongcun; Chen, Siyu; Liu, Weihong; Horie, Ryoko; Liang, Tao; Dong, Biyu; Feng, Qianqian; Tao, Qinghua; Liu, Xiao

    2017-08-01

    The lateral neural plate border (NPB), the neural part of the vertebrate neural border, is composed of central nervous system (CNS) progenitors and peripheral nervous system (PNS) progenitors. In invertebrates, PNS progenitors are also juxtaposed to the lateral boundary of the CNS. Whether there are conserved molecular mechanisms determining vertebrate and invertebrate lateral neural borders remains unclear. Using single-cell-resolution gene-expression profiling and genetic analysis, we present evidence that orthologs of the NPB specification module specify the invertebrate lateral neural border, which is composed of CNS and PNS progenitors. First, like in vertebrates, the conserved neuroectoderm lateral border specifier Msx/vab-15 specifies lateral neuroblasts in Caenorhabditis elegans Second, orthologs of the vertebrate NPB specification module ( Msx/vab-15 , Pax3/7/pax-3 , and Zic/ref-2 ) are significantly enriched in worm lateral neuroblasts. In addition, like in other bilaterians, the expression domain of Msx/vab-15 is more lateral than those of Pax3/7/pax-3 and Zic/ref- 2 in C. elegans Third, we show that Msx/vab-15 regulates the development of mechanosensory neurons derived from lateral neural progenitors in multiple invertebrate species, including C. elegans , Drosophila melanogaster , and Ciona intestinalis We also identify a novel lateral neural border specifier, ZNF703/tlp-1 , which functions synergistically with Msx/vab- 15 in both C. elegans and Xenopus laevis These data suggest a common origin of the molecular mechanism specifying lateral neural borders across bilaterians.

  4. Neuroprotective effects of ginsenoside Rg1-induced neural stem cell transplantation on hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying-bo Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Ginsenoside Rg1 is the major pharmacologically active component of ginseng, and is reported to have various therapeutic actions. To determine whether it induces the differentiation of neural stem cells, and whether neural stem cell transplantation after induction has therapeutic effects on hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, we cultured neural stem cells in 10-80 µM ginsenoside Rg1. Immunohistochemistry revealed that of the concentrations tested, 20 mM ginsenoside Rg1 had the greatest differentiation-inducing effect and was the concentration used for subsequent experiments. Whole-cell patch clamp showed that neural stem cells induced by 20 µM ginsenoside Rg1 were more mature than non-induced cells. We then established neonatal rat models of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy using the suture method, and ginsenoside Rg1-induced neural stem cells were transplanted via intracerebroventricular injection. These tests confirmed that neural stem cells induced by ginsenoside had fewer pathological lesions and had a significantly better behavioral capacity than model rats that received saline. Transplanted neural stem cells expressed neuron-specific enolase, and were mainly distributed in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. The present data suggest that ginsenoside Rg1-induced neural stem cells can promote the partial recovery of complicated brain functions in models of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

  5. Expert music performance: cognitive, neural, and developmental bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Rachel M; Zatorre, Robert J; Penhune, Virginia B

    2015-01-01

    In this chapter, we explore what happens in the brain of an expert musician during performance. Understanding expert music performance is interesting to cognitive neuroscientists not only because it tests the limits of human memory and movement, but also because studying expert musicianship can help us understand skilled human behavior in general. In this chapter, we outline important facets of our current understanding of the cognitive and neural basis for music performance, and developmental factors that may underlie musical ability. We address three main questions. (1) What is expert performance? (2) How do musicians achieve expert-level performance? (3) How does expert performance come about? We address the first question by describing musicians' ability to remember, plan, execute, and monitor their performances in order to perform music accurately and expressively. We address the second question by reviewing evidence for possible cognitive and neural mechanisms that may underlie or contribute to expert music performance, including the integration of sound and movement, feedforward and feedback motor control processes, expectancy, and imagery. We further discuss how neural circuits in auditory, motor, parietal, subcortical, and frontal cortex all contribute to different facets of musical expertise. Finally, we address the third question by reviewing evidence for the heritability of musical expertise and for how expertise develops through training and practice. We end by discussing outlooks for future work. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Accelerated DNA Methylation Age: Associations with PTSD and Neural Integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Erika J.; Logue, Mark W.; Hayes, Jasmeet P.; Sadeh, Naomi; Schichman, Steven A.; Stone, Annjanette; Salat, David H.; Milberg, William; McGlinchey, Regina; Miller, Mark W.

    2015-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence suggests that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may accelerate cellular aging and lead to premature morbidity and neurocognitive decline. Methods This study evaluated associations between PTSD and DNA methylation (DNAm) age using recently developed algorithms of cellular age by Horvath (2013) and Hannum et al. (2013). These estimates reflect accelerated aging when they exceed chronological age. We also examined if accelerated cellular age manifested in degraded neural integrity, indexed via diffusion tensor imaging. Results Among 281 male and female veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, DNAm age was strongly related to chronological age (rs ~.88). Lifetime PTSD severity was associated with Hannum DNAm age estimates residualized for chronological age (β = .13, p= .032). Advanced DNAm age was associated with reduced integrity in the genu of the corpus callosum (β = −.17, p= .009) and indirectly linked to poorer working memory performance via this region (indirect β = − .05, p= .029). Horvath DNAm age estimates were not associated with PTSD or neural integrity. Conclusions Results provide novel support for PTSD-related accelerated aging in DNAm and extend the evidence base of known DNAm age correlates to the domains of neural integrity and cognition. PMID:26447678

  7. Neural ECM in laminar organization and connectivity development in healthy and diseased human brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jovanov Milošević, Nataša; Judaš, Miloš; Aronica, Eleonora; Kostovic, Ivica

    2014-01-01

    The neural extracellular matrix (ECM) provides a supportive framework for differentiating cells and their processes and regulates morphogenetic events by spatially and temporally relevant localization of signaling molecules and by direct signaling via receptor and/or coreceptor-mediated action. The

  8. From Knowledge to Action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjelmar, Ulf; Møller, Anne Mette

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, focus has been on the utilisation of research-based knowledge and evidence in social work policy and practice in order to make it more effective. A part of this process has been the launch of knowledge portals to make use of knowledge from research. In this article, we investigate...... how knowledge portals about vulnerable children and youth present knowledge and evidence, and how they try to work as ?knowledge brokers? or intermediaries of evidence. We argue that knowledge portals are not merely channels for dissemination of knowledge. Knowledge portals could be considered as part...... of a greater process of bringing knowledge to action, encompassing the social and organisational contexts of research utilisation. The article concludes by stating that knowledge portals have the potential to be effective instruments in knowledge-to-action processes. The two main challenges, however...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gu, Hua-Guang, E-mail: guhuaguang@tongji.edu.cn [School of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092 (China); Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR (China); Jia, Bing [School of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092 (China); Chen, Guan-Rong [Department of Electronic Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR (China)

    2013-03-15

    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.

  10. Insulin action in the human brain: evidence from neuroimaging studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kullmann, S; Heni, M; Fritsche, A; Preissl, H

    2015-06-01

    Thus far, little is known about the action of insulin in the human brain. Nonetheless, recent advances in modern neuroimaging techniques, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) or magnetoencephalography (MEG), have made it possible to investigate the action of insulin in the brain in humans, providing new insights into the pathogenesis of brain insulin resistance and obesity. Using MEG, the clinical relevance of the action of insulin in the brain was first identified, linking cerebral insulin resistance with peripheral insulin resistance, genetic predisposition and weight loss success in obese adults. Although MEG is a suitable tool for measuring brain activity mainly in cortical areas, fMRI provides high spatial resolution for cortical as well as subcortical regions. Thus, the action of insulin can be detected within all eating behaviour relevant regions, which include regions deeply located within the brain, such as the hypothalamus, midbrain and brainstem, as well as regions within the striatum. In this review, we outline recent advances in the field of neuroimaging aiming to investigate the action of insulin in the human brain using different routes of insulin administration. fMRI studies have shown a significant insulin-induced attenuation predominantly in the occipital and prefrontal cortical regions and the hypothalamus, successfully localising insulin-sensitive brain regions in healthy, mostly normal-weight individuals. However, further studies are needed to localise brain areas affected by insulin resistance in obese individuals, which is an important prerequisite for selectively targeting brain insulin resistance in obesity. © 2015 British Society for Neuroendocrinology.

  11. Oscillatory phase dynamics in neural entrainment underpin illusory percepts of time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, Björn; Henry, Molly J; Grigutsch, Maren; Obleser, Jonas

    2013-10-02

    Neural oscillatory dynamics are a candidate mechanism to steer perception of time and temporal rate change. While oscillator models of time perception are strongly supported by behavioral evidence, a direct link to neural oscillations and oscillatory entrainment has not yet been provided. In addition, it has thus far remained unaddressed how context-induced illusory percepts of time are coded for in oscillator models of time perception. To investigate these questions, we used magnetoencephalography and examined the neural oscillatory dynamics that underpin pitch-induced illusory percepts of temporal rate change. Human participants listened to frequency-modulated sounds that varied over time in both modulation rate and pitch, and judged the direction of rate change (decrease vs increase). Our results demonstrate distinct neural mechanisms of rate perception: Modulation rate changes directly affected listeners' rate percept as well as the exact frequency of the neural oscillation. However, pitch-induced illusory rate changes were unrelated to the exact frequency of the neural responses. The rate change illusion was instead linked to changes in neural phase patterns, which allowed for single-trial decoding of percepts. That is, illusory underestimations or overestimations of perceived rate change were tightly coupled to increased intertrial phase coherence and changes in cerebro-acoustic phase lag. The results provide insight on how illusory percepts of time are coded for by neural oscillatory dynamics.

  12. Anosmin-1 is essential for neural crest and cranial placodes formation in Xenopus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Chang-Joon; Hong, Chang-Soo; Saint-Jeannet, Jean-Pierre

    2018-01-15

    During embryogenesis vertebrates develop a complex craniofacial skeleton associated with sensory organs. These structures are primarily derived from two embryonic cell populations the neural crest and cranial placodes, respectively. Neural crest cells and cranial placodes are specified through the integrated action of several families of signaling molecules, and the subsequent activation of a complex network of transcription factors. Here we describe the expression and function of Anosmin-1 (Anos1), an extracellular matrix protein, during neural crest and cranial placodes development in Xenopus laevis. Anos1 was identified as a target of Pax3 and Zic1, two transcription factors necessary and sufficient to generate neural crest and cranial placodes. Anos1 is expressed in cranial neural crest progenitors at early neurula stage and in cranial placode derivatives later in development. We show that Anos1 function is required for neural crest and sensory organs development in Xenopus, consistent with the defects observed in Kallmann syndrome patients carrying a mutation in ANOS1. These findings indicate that anos1 has a conserved function in the development of craniofacial structures, and indicate that anos1-depleted Xenopus embryos represent a useful model to analyze the pathogenesis of Kallmann syndrome. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  13. A neurally inspired musical instrument classification system based upon the sound onset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newton, Michael J; Smith, Leslie S

    2012-06-01

    Physiological evidence suggests that sound onset detection in the auditory system may be performed by specialized neurons as early as the cochlear nucleus. Psychoacoustic evidence shows that the sound onset can be important for the recognition of musical sounds. Here the sound onset is used in isolation to form tone descriptors for a musical instrument classification task. The task involves 2085 isolated musical tones from the McGill dataset across five instrument categories. A neurally inspired tone descriptor is created using a model of the auditory system's response to sound onset. A gammatone filterbank and spiking onset detectors, built from dynamic synapses and leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, create parallel spike trains that emphasize the sound onset. These are coded as a descriptor called the onset fingerprint. Classification uses a time-domain neural network, the echo state network. Reference strategies, based upon mel-frequency cepstral coefficients, evaluated either over the whole tone or only during the sound onset, provide context to the method. Classification success rates for the neurally-inspired method are around 75%. The cepstral methods perform between 73% and 76%. Further testing with tones from the Iowa MIS collection shows that the neurally inspired method is considerably more robust when tested with data from an unrelated dataset.

  14. Stress, glucocorticoid hormones, and hippocampal neural progenitor cells: implications to mood disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kino, Tomoshige

    2015-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its end-effectors glucocorticoid hormones play central roles in the adaptive response to numerous stressors that can be either internal or external. Thus, this system has a strong impact on the brain hippocampus and its major functions, such as cognition, memory as well as behavior, and mood. The hippocampal area of the adult brain contains neural stem cells or more committed neural progenitor cells, which retain throughout the human life the ability of self-renewal and to differentiate into multiple neural cell lineages, such as neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. Importantly, these characteristic cells contribute significantly to the above-indicated functions of the hippocampus, while various stressors and glucocorticoids influence proliferation, differentiation, and fate of these cells. This review offers an overview of the current understanding on the interactions between the HPA axis/glucocorticoid stress-responsive system and hippocampal neural progenitor cells by focusing on the actions of glucocorticoids. Also addressed is a further discussion on the implications of such interactions to the pathophysiology of mood disorders.

  15. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  16. Neural electrical activity and neural network growth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gafarov, F M

    2018-05-01

    The development of central and peripheral neural system depends in part on the emergence of the correct functional connectivity in its input and output pathways. Now it is generally accepted that molecular factors guide neurons to establish a primary scaffold that undergoes activity-dependent refinement for building a fully functional circuit. However, a number of experimental results obtained recently shows that the neuronal electrical activity plays an important role in the establishing of initial interneuronal connections. Nevertheless, these processes are rather difficult to study experimentally, due to the absence of theoretical description and quantitative parameters for estimation of the neuronal activity influence on growth in neural networks. In this work we propose a general framework for a theoretical description of the activity-dependent neural network growth. The theoretical description incorporates a closed-loop growth model in which the neural activity can affect neurite outgrowth, which in turn can affect neural activity. We carried out the detailed quantitative analysis of spatiotemporal activity patterns and studied the relationship between individual cells and the network as a whole to explore the relationship between developing connectivity and activity patterns. The model, developed in this work will allow us to develop new experimental techniques for studying and quantifying the influence of the neuronal activity on growth processes in neural networks and may lead to a novel techniques for constructing large-scale neural networks by self-organization. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Neural Blockade for Persistent Pain After Breast Cancer Surgery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wijayasinghe, Nelun; Andersen, Kenneth Geving; Kehlet, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    involved in neuropathic pain syndromes or to be used as a treatment in its own right. The purpose of this review was to examine the evidence for neural blockade as a potential diagnostic tool or treatment for persistent pain after breast cancer surgery. In this systematic review, we found only 7 studies (n......Persistent pain after breast cancer surgery is predominantly a neuropathic pain syndrome affecting 25% to 60% of patients and related to injury of the intercostobrachial nerve, intercostal nerves, and other nerves in the region. Neural blockade can be useful for the identification of nerves...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2010-01-01

    . The current study investigates the effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive response to emotional facial expressions in depressed patients. METHOD: Nineteen acutely depressed patients were randomized to receive Epo (40,000 IU) or saline intravenously in a double-blind, parallel-group design. On day 3, we......OBJECTIVE: 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...... assessed neuronal responses to fearful and happy faces using functional magnetic resonance imaging and measured facial expression recognition after the scan. RESULTS: Epo reduced neural response to fearful vs. happy faces in the amygdala and hippocampus, and to fearful faces vs. baseline in superior...

  19. Action Video Game Experience Related to Altered Large-Scale White Matter Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Diankun; Ma, Weiyi; Gong, Jinnan; He, Hui; Dong, Li; Zhang, Dan; Li, Jianfu; Luo, Cheng; Yao, Dezhong

    2017-01-01

    With action video games (AVGs) becoming increasingly popular worldwide, the cognitive benefits of AVG experience have attracted continuous research attention over the past two decades. Research has repeatedly shown that AVG experience can causally enhance cognitive ability and is related to neural plasticity in gray matter and functional networks in the brain. However, the relation between AVG experience and the plasticity of white matter (WM) network still remains unclear. WM network modulates the distribution of action potentials, coordinating the communication between brain regions and acting as the framework of neural networks. And various types of cognitive deficits are usually accompanied by impairments of WM networks. Thus, understanding this relation is essential in assessing the influence of AVG experience on neural plasticity and using AVG experience as an interventional tool for impairments of WM networks. Using graph theory, this study analyzed WM networks in AVG experts and amateurs. Results showed that AVG experience is related to altered WM networks in prefrontal networks, limbic system, and sensorimotor networks, which are related to cognitive control and sensorimotor functions. These results shed new light on the influence of AVG experience on the plasticity of WM networks and suggested the clinical applicability of AVG experience.

  20. Action Video Game Experience Related to Altered Large-Scale White Matter Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diankun Gong

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available With action video games (AVGs becoming increasingly popular worldwide, the cognitive benefits of AVG experience have attracted continuous research attention over the past two decades. Research has repeatedly shown that AVG experience can causally enhance cognitive ability and is related to neural plasticity in gray matter and functional networks in the brain. However, the relation between AVG experience and the plasticity of white matter (WM network still remains unclear. WM network modulates the distribution of action potentials, coordinating the communication between brain regions and acting as the framework of neural networks. And various types of cognitive deficits are usually accompanied by impairments of WM networks. Thus, understanding this relation is essential in assessing the influence of AVG experience on neural plasticity and using AVG experience as an interventional tool for impairments of WM networks. Using graph theory, this study analyzed WM networks in AVG experts and amateurs. Results showed that AVG experience is related to altered WM networks in prefrontal networks, limbic system, and sensorimotor networks, which are related to cognitive control and sensorimotor functions. These results shed new light on the influence of AVG experience on the plasticity of WM networks and suggested the clinical applicability of AVG experience.

  1. Flexible microelectrode array for interfacing with the surface of neural ganglia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperry, Zachariah J.; Na, Kyounghwan; Parizi, Saman S.; Chiel, Hillel J.; Seymour, John; Yoon, Euisik; Bruns, Tim M.

    2018-06-01

    Objective. The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are promising nerve structures for sensory neural interfaces because they provide centralized access to primary afferent cell bodies and spinal reflex circuitry. In order to harness this potential, new electrode technologies are needed which take advantage of the unique properties of DRG, specifically the high density of neural cell bodies at the dorsal surface. Here we report initial in vivo results from the development of a flexible non-penetrating polyimide electrode array interfacing with the surface of ganglia. Approach. Multiple layouts of a 64-channel iridium electrode (420 µm2) array were tested, with pitch as small as 25 µm. The buccal ganglia of invertebrate sea slug Aplysia californica were used to develop handling and recording techniques with ganglionic surface electrode arrays (GSEAs). We also demonstrated the GSEA’s capability to record single- and multi-unit activity from feline lumbosacral DRG related to a variety of sensory inputs, including cutaneous brushing, joint flexion, and bladder pressure. Main results. We recorded action potentials from a variety of Aplysia neurons activated by nerve stimulation, and units were observed firing simultaneously on closely spaced electrode sites. We also recorded single- and multi-unit activity associated with sensory inputs from feline DRG. We utilized spatial oversampling of action potentials on closely-spaced electrode sites to estimate the location of neural sources at between 25 µm and 107 µm below the DRG surface. We also used the high spatial sampling to demonstrate a possible spatial sensory map of one feline’s DRG. We obtained activation of sensory fibers with low-amplitude stimulation through individual or groups of GSEA electrode sites. Significance. Overall, the GSEA has been shown to provide a variety of information types from ganglia neurons and to have significant potential as a tool for neural mapping and interfacing.

  2. Neural and Behavioral Evidence for an Online Resetting Process in Visual Working Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaban, Halely; Luria, Roy

    2017-02-01

    Visual working memory (VWM) guides behavior by holding a set of active representations and modifying them according to changes in the environment. This updating process relies on a unique mapping between each VWM representation and an actual object in the environment. Here, we destroyed this mapping by either presenting a coherent object but then breaking it into independent parts or presenting an object but then abruptly replacing it with a different object. This allowed us to introduce the neural marker and behavioral consequence of an online resetting process in humans' VWM. Across seven experiments, we demonstrate that this resetting process involves abandoning the old VWM contents because they no longer correspond to the objects in the environment. Then, VWM encodes the novel information and reestablishes the correspondence between the new representations and the objects. The resetting process was marked by a unique neural signature: a sharp drop in the amplitude of the electrophysiological index of VWM contents (the contralateral delay activity), presumably indicating the loss of the existent object-to-representation mappings. This marker was missing when an updating process occurred. Moreover, when tracking moving items, VWM failed to detect salient changes in the object's shape when these changes occurred during the resetting process. This happened despite the object being fully visible, presumably because the mapping between the object and a VWM representation was lost. Importantly, we show that resetting, its neural marker, and the behavioral cost it entails, are specific to situations that involve a destruction of the objects-to-representations correspondence. Visual working memory (VWM) maintains task-relevant information in an online state. Previous studies showed that VWM representations are accessed and modified after changes in the environment. Here, we show that this updating process critically depends on an ongoing mapping between the

  3. Human Toddlers’ Attempts to Match Two Simple Behaviors Provide No Evidence for an Inherited, Dedicated Imitation Mechanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Susan S.

    2012-01-01

    Influential theories of imitation have proposed that humans inherit a neural mechanism – an “active intermodal matching “ (AIM) mechanism or a mirror neuron system - that functions from birth to automatically match sensory input from others’ actions to motor programs for performing those same actions, and thus produces imitation. To test these proposals, 160 1- to 2½-year-old toddlers were asked to imitate two simple movements– bending the arm to make an elbow, and moving the bent elbow laterally. Both behaviors were almost certain to be in each child’s repertoire, and the lateral movement was goal-directed (used to hit a plastic cup). Thus, one or both behaviors should have been imitable by toddlers with a functioning AIM or mirror neuron system. Each child saw the two behaviors repeated 18 times, and was encouraged to imitate. Children were also asked to locate their own elbows. Almost no children below age 2 imitated either behavior. Instead, younger children gave clear evidence of a developmental progression, from reproducing only the outcome of the models’ movements (hitting the object), through trying (but failing) to reproduce the model’s arm posture and/or the arm-cup relations they had seen, to accurate imitation of arm bending by age 2 and of both movements by age 2½. Across age levels, almost all children who knew the word ‘elbow’ imitated both behaviors: very few who did not know the word imitated either behavior. The evidence is most consistent with a view of early imitation as the product of a complex system of language, cognitive, social, and motor competencies that develop in infancy. The findings do not rule out a role for an inherited neural mechanism, but they suggest that such a system would not by itself be sufficient to explain imitation at any age. PMID:23251500

  4. Human toddlers' attempts to match two simple behaviors provide no evidence for an inherited, dedicated imitation mechanism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan S Jones

    Full Text Available Influential theories of imitation have proposed that humans inherit a neural mechanism - an "active intermodal matching " (AIM mechanism or a mirror neuron system - that functions from birth to automatically match sensory input from others' actions to motor programs for performing those same actions, and thus produces imitation. To test these proposals, 160 1- to 2½-year-old toddlers were asked to imitate two simple movements- bending the arm to make an elbow, and moving the bent elbow laterally. Both behaviors were almost certain to be in each child's repertoire, and the lateral movement was goal-directed (used to hit a plastic cup. Thus, one or both behaviors should have been imitable by toddlers with a functioning AIM or mirror neuron system. Each child saw the two behaviors repeated 18 times, and was encouraged to imitate. Children were also asked to locate their own elbows. Almost no children below age 2 imitated either behavior. Instead, younger children gave clear evidence of a developmental progression, from reproducing only the outcome of the models' movements (hitting the object, through trying (but failing to reproduce the model's arm posture and/or the arm-cup relations they had seen, to accurate imitation of arm bending by age 2 and of both movements by age 2½. Across age levels, almost all children who knew the word 'elbow' imitated both behaviors: very few who did not know the word imitated either behavior. The evidence is most consistent with a view of early imitation as the product of a complex system of language, cognitive, social, and motor competencies that develop in infancy. The findings do not rule out a role for an inherited neural mechanism, but they suggest that such a system would not by itself be sufficient to explain imitation at any age.

  5. Neural Population Dynamics during Reaching Are Better Explained by a Dynamical System than Representational Tuning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaels, Jonathan A; Dann, Benjamin; Scherberger, Hansjörg

    2016-11-01

    Recent models of movement generation in motor cortex have sought to explain neural activity not as a function of movement parameters, known as representational models, but as a dynamical system acting at the level of the population. Despite evidence supporting this framework, the evaluation of representational models and their integration with dynamical systems is incomplete in the literature. Using a representational velocity-tuning based simulation of center-out reaching, we show that incorporating variable latency offsets between neural activity and kinematics is sufficient to generate rotational dynamics at the level of neural populations, a phenomenon observed in motor cortex. However, we developed a covariance-matched permutation test (CMPT) that reassigns neural data between task conditions independently for each neuron while maintaining overall neuron-to-neuron relationships, revealing that rotations based on the representational model did not uniquely depend on the underlying condition structure. In contrast, rotations based on either a dynamical model or motor cortex data depend on this relationship, providing evidence that the dynamical model more readily explains motor cortex activity. Importantly, implementing a recurrent neural network we demonstrate that both representational tuning properties and rotational dynamics emerge, providing evidence that a dynamical system can reproduce previous findings of representational tuning. Finally, using motor cortex data in combination with the CMPT, we show that results based on small numbers of neurons or conditions should be interpreted cautiously, potentially informing future experimental design. Together, our findings reinforce the view that representational models lack the explanatory power to describe complex aspects of single neuron and population level activity.

  6. Neural Tube Defects, Folic Acid and Methylation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imbard, Apolline; Benoist, Jean-François; Blom, Henk J.

    2013-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common complex congenital malformations resulting from failure of the neural tube closure during embryogenesis. It is established that folic acid supplementation decreases the prevalence of NTDs, which has led to national public health policies regarding folic acid. To date, animal studies have not provided sufficient information to establish the metabolic and/or genomic mechanism(s) underlying human folic acid responsiveness in NTDs. However, several lines of evidence suggest that not only folates but also choline, B12 and methylation metabolisms are involved in NTDs. Decreased B12 vitamin and increased total choline or homocysteine in maternal blood have been shown to be associated with increased NTDs risk. Several polymorphisms of genes involved in these pathways have also been implicated in risk of development of NTDs. This raises the question whether supplementation with B12 vitamin, betaine or other methylation donors in addition to folic acid periconceptional supplementation will further reduce NTD risk. The objective of this article is to review the role of methylation metabolism in the onset of neural tube defects. PMID:24048206

  7. Action Simulation Plays a Critical Role in Deceptive Action Recognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tidoni, Emmanuele; Borgomaneri, Sara; Di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Avenanti, Alessio

    2013-01-01

    The ability to infer deceptive intents from nonverbal behavior is critical for social interactions. By combining single-pulse and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in healthy humans, we provide both correlational and causative evidence that action simulation is actively involved in

  8. The artist emerges: visual art learning alters neural structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Alexander; Alexander, Prescott; Fogelson, Sergey V; Li, Xueting; Lu, Zhengang; Kohler, Peter J; Riley, Enrico; Tse, Peter U; Meng, Ming

    2015-01-15

    How does the brain mediate visual artistic creativity? Here we studied behavioral and neural changes in drawing and painting students compared to students who did not study art. We investigated three aspects of cognition vital to many visual artists: creative cognition, perception, and perception-to-action. We found that the art students became more creative via the reorganization of prefrontal white matter but did not find any significant changes in perceptual ability or related neural activity in the art students relative to the control group. Moreover, the art students improved in their ability to sketch human figures from observation, and multivariate patterns of cortical and cerebellar activity evoked by this drawing task became increasingly separable between art and non-art students. Our findings suggest that the emergence of visual artistic skills is supported by plasticity in neural pathways that enable creative cognition and mediate perceptuomotor integration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Possible Roles of Neural Electron Spin Networks in Memory and Consciousness

    CERN Document Server

    Hu, H P

    2004-01-01

    Spin is the origin of quantum effects in both Bohm and Hestenes quantum formulism and a fundamental quantum process associated with the structure of space-time. Thus, we have recently theorized that spin is the mind-pixel and developed a qualitative model of consciousness based on nuclear spins inside neural membranes and proteins. In this paper, we explore the possibility of unpaired electron spins being the mind-pixels. Besides free O2 and NO, the main sources of unpaired electron spins in neural membranes and proteins are transition metal ions and O2 and NO bound/absorbed to large molecules, free radicals produced through biochemical reactions and excited molecular triplet states induced by fluctuating internal magnetic fields. We show that unpaired electron spin networks inside neural membranes and proteins are modulated by action potentials through exchange and dipolar coupling tensors and spin-orbital coupling and g-factor tensors and perturbed by microscopically strong and fluctuating internal magnetic...

  10. Neural Network on Photodegradation of Octylphenol using Natural and Artificial UV Radiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorentz JÄNTSCHI

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available The present paper comes up with an experimental design meant to point out the factors interferingin octylphenol’s degradation in surface waters under solar radiation, underlining each factor’sinfluence on the process observable (concentration of p-octylphenol. Multiple linear regressionanalysis and artificial neural network (Multi-Layer Perceptron type were applied in order to obtaina mathematical model capable to explain the action of UV-light upon synthetic solutions of OP inultra-pure water (MilliQ type. Neural network proves to be the most efficient method in predictingthe evolution of OP concentration during photodegradation process. Thus, determination in neuralnetwork’s case has almost double value versus the regression analysis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Across time, languages undergo changes in phonetic, syntactic, and semantic dimensions. Social, cognitive, and cultural factors contribute to sound change, a phenomenon in which the phonetics of a language undergo changes over time. Individuals who misperceive and produce speech in a slightly divergent manner (called innovators ) contribute to variability in the society, eventually leading to sound change. However, the cause of variability in these individuals is still unknown. In this study, we examined whether such misperceptions are represented in neural processes of the auditory system. We investigated behavioral, subcortical (via FFR), and cortical (via P300) manifestations of sound change processing in Cantonese, a Chinese language in which several lexical tones are merging. Across the merging categories, we observed a similar gradation of speech perception abilities in both behavior and the brain (subcortical and cortical processes). Further, we also found that behavioral evidence of tone merging correlated with subjects' encoding at the subcortical and cortical levels. These findings indicate that tone-merger categories, that are indicators of sound change in Cantonese, are represented neurophysiologically with high fidelity. Using our results, we speculate that innovators encode speech in a slightly deviant neurophysiological manner, and thus produce speech divergently that eventually spreads across the community and contributes to sound change.

  12. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  13. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

    Full Text Available Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  14. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  15. The neural career of sensory-motor metaphors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desai, Rutvik H; Binder, Jeffrey R; Conant, Lisa L; Mano, Quintino R; Seidenberg, Mark S

    2011-09-01

    The role of sensory-motor systems in conceptual understanding has been controversial. It has been proposed that many abstract concepts are understood metaphorically through concrete sensory-motor domains such as actions. Using fMRI, we compared neural responses with literal action (Lit; The daughter grasped the flowers), metaphoric action (Met; The public grasped the idea), and abstract (Abs; The public understood the idea) sentences of varying familiarity. Both Lit and Met sentences activated the left anterior inferior parietal lobule, an area involved in action planning, with Met sentences also activating a homologous area in the right hemisphere, relative to Abs sentences. Both Met and Abs sentences activated the left superior temporal regions associated with abstract language. Importantly, activation in primary motor and biological motion perception regions was inversely correlated with Lit and Met familiarity. These results support the view that the understanding of metaphoric action retains a link to sensory-motor systems involved in action performance. However, the involvement of sensory-motor systems in metaphor understanding changes through a gradual abstraction process whereby relatively detailed simulations are used for understanding unfamiliar metaphors, and these simulations become less detailed and involve only secondary motor regions as familiarity increases. Consistent with these data, we propose that anterior inferior parietal lobule serves as an interface between sensory-motor and conceptual systems and plays an important role in both domains. The similarity of abstract and metaphoric sentences in the activation of left superior temporal regions suggests that action metaphor understanding is not completely based on sensory-motor simulations but relies also on abstract lexical-semantic codes.

  16. Action Research Empowers School Librarians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robins, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    Successful school library programs occur through careful planning and reflection. This reflective process is improved when it is applied in a systematic way through action research. The action research described in this paper enabled school librarians to reflect based on evidence, using data they had collected. This study presents examples of the…

  17. Primary neural leprosy: systematic review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Antonio Garbino

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The authors proposed a systematic review on the current concepts of primary neural leprosy by consulting the following online databases: MEDLINE, Lilacs/SciELO, and Embase. Selected studies were classified based on the degree of recommendation and levels of scientific evidence according to the “Oxford Centre for Evidence-based Medicine”. The following aspects were reviewed: cutaneous clinical and laboratorial investigations, i.e. skin clinical exam, smears, and biopsy, and Mitsuda's reaction; neurological investigation (anamnesis, electromyography and nerve biopsy; serological investigation and molecular testing, i.e. serological testing for the detection of the phenolic glycolipid 1 (PGL-I and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR; and treatment (classification criteria for the definition of specific treatment, steroid treatment, and cure criteria.

  18. The Theory of Reasoned Action as Parallel Constraint Satisfaction: Towards a Dynamic Computational Model of Health Behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Orr, Mark G.; Thrush, Roxanne; Plaut, David C.

    2013-01-01

    The reasoned action approach, although ubiquitous in health behavior theory (e.g., Theory of Reasoned Action/Planned Behavior), does not adequately address two key dynamical aspects of health behavior: learning and the effect of immediate social context (i.e., social influence). To remedy this, we put forth a computational implementation of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) using artificial-neural networks. Our model re-conceptualized behavioral intention as arising from a dynamic constrain...

  19. A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anders, Silke; de Jong, Roos; Beck, Christian; Haynes, John-Dylan; Ethofer, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Being able to comprehend another person’s intentions and emotions is essential for successful social interaction. However, it is currently unknown whether the human brain possesses a neural mechanism that attracts people to others whose mental states they can easily understand. Here we show that the degree to which a person feels attracted to another person can change while they observe the other’s affective behavior, and that these changes depend on the observer’s confidence in having correctly understood the other’s affective state. At the neural level, changes in interpersonal attraction were predicted by activity in the reward system of the observer’s brain. Importantly, these effects were specific to individual observer–target pairs and could not be explained by a target’s general attractiveness or expressivity. Furthermore, using multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA), we found that neural activity in the reward system of the observer’s brain varied as a function of how well the target’s affective behavior matched the observer’s neural representation of the underlying affective state: The greater the match, the larger the brain’s intrinsic reward signal. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that reward-related neural activity during social encounters signals how well an individual’s “neural vocabulary” is suited to infer another person’s affective state, and that this intrinsic reward might be a source of changes in interpersonal attraction. PMID:27044071

  20. Dysregulation in level of goal and action identification across psychological disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, Edward

    2011-01-01

    Goals, events, and actions can be mentally represented within a hierarchical framework that ranges from more abstract to more concrete levels of identification. A more abstract level of identification involves general, superordinate, and decontextualized mental representations that convey the meaning of goals, events, and actions, “why” an action is performed, and its purpose, ends, and consequences. A more concrete level of identification involves specific and subordinate mental representations that include contextual details of goals, events, and actions, and the specific “how” details of an action. This review considers three lines of evidence for considering that dysregulation of level of goal/action identification may be a transdiagnostic process. First, there is evidence that different levels of identification have distinct functional consequences and that in non-clinical samples level of goal/action identification appears to be regulated in a flexible and adaptive way to match the level of goal/action identification to circumstances. Second, there is evidence that level of goal/action identification causally influences symptoms and processes involved in psychological disorders, including emotional response, repetitive thought, impulsivity, problem solving and procrastination. Third, there is evidence that the level of goal/action identification is biased and/or dysregulated in certain psychological disorders, with a bias towards more abstract identification for negative events in depression, GAD, PTSD, and social anxiety. PMID:20579789

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin N Gurney

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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 timing, dopamine level, and dopamine receptor type. Second, there is a credit assignment problem-action selection signals occur long before the consequent dopamine reinforcement signal. Third, the two types of striatal output neuron have apparently opposite effects on action selection. Whether these factors rule out the interface hypothesis and how they interact to produce reinforcement learning is unknown. We present a computational framework that addresses these challenges. We first predict the expected activity changes over an operant task for both types of action-coding striatal neuron, and show they co-operate to promote action selection in learning and compete to promote action suppression in extinction. Separately, we derive a complete model of dopamine and spike-timing dependent cortico-striatal plasticity from in vitro data. We then show this model produces the predicted activity changes necessary for learning and extinction in an operant task, a remarkable convergence of a bottom-up data-driven plasticity model with the top-down behavioural requirements of learning theory. Moreover, we show the complex dependencies of cortico-striatal plasticity are not only sufficient but necessary for learning and extinction. Validating the model, we show it can account for behavioural data describing extinction, renewal, and reacquisition, and replicate in vitro experimental data on cortico-striatal plasticity. By bridging the levels between the single synapse and

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Capaday, Charles; Ethier, C; Brizzi, L

    2009-01-01

    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......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...... iontophoretically in layers II, III, and V. Some 30-50 neurons within a radius of similar to 250 mu m were thus stained. The functional output of the motor cortical point at which biocytin was injected, and of the surrounding points, was identified by microstimulation and electromyographic recordings. The axonal...

  3. Deep learning in neural networks: an overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidhuber, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, deep artificial neural networks (including recurrent ones) have won numerous contests in pattern recognition and machine learning. This historical survey compactly summarizes relevant work, much of it from the previous millennium. Shallow and Deep Learners are distinguished by the depth of their credit assignment paths, which are chains of possibly learnable, causal links between actions and effects. I review deep supervised learning (also recapitulating the history of backpropagation), unsupervised learning, reinforcement learning & evolutionary computation, and indirect search for short programs encoding deep and large networks.

  4. Thyroid hormone action: Astrocyte-neuron communication.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Beatriz eMorte

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormone action is exerted mainly through regulation of gene expression by binding of T3 to the nuclear receptors. T4 plays an important role as a source of intracellular T3 in the central nervous system via the action of the type 2 deiodinase, expressed in the astrocytes. A model of T3 availability to neural cells has been proposed and validated. The model contemplates that brain T3 has a double origin: a fraction is available directly from the circulation, and another is produced locally from T4 in the astrocytes by type 2 deiodinase. The fetal brain depends almost entirely on the T3 generated locally. The contribution of systemic T3 increases subsequently during development to account for approximately 50% of total brain T3 in the late postnatal and adult stages. In this article we review the experimental data in support of this model, and how the factors affecting T3 availability in the brain, such as deiodinases and transporters, play a decisive role in modulating local thyroid hormone action during development.

  5. State-dependent, bidirectional modulation of neural network activity by endocannabinoids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piet, Richard; Garenne, André; Farrugia, Fanny; Le Masson, Gwendal; Marsicano, Giovanni; Chavis, Pascale; Manzoni, Olivier J

    2011-11-16

    The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) play key roles in the modulation of brain functions. Although actions of eCBs and CB1Rs are well described at the synaptic level, little is known of their modulation of neural activity at the network level. Using microelectrode arrays, we have examined the role of CB1R activation in the modulation of the electrical activity of rat and mice cortical neural networks in vitro. We find that exogenous activation of CB1Rs expressed on glutamatergic neurons decreases the spontaneous activity of cortical neural networks. Moreover, we observe that the net effect of the CB1R antagonist AM251 inversely correlates with the initial level of activity in the network: blocking CB1Rs increases network activity when basal network activity is low, whereas it depresses spontaneous activity when its initial level is high. Our results reveal a complex role of CB1Rs in shaping spontaneous network activity, and suggest that the outcome of endogenous neuromodulation on network function might be state dependent.

  6. Feature-Specific Event-Related Potential Effects to Action- and Sound-Related Verbs during Visual Word Recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popp, Margot; Trumpp, Natalie M; Kiefer, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Grounded cognition theories suggest that conceptual representations essentially depend on modality-specific sensory and motor systems. Feature-specific brain activation across different feature types such as action or audition has been intensively investigated in nouns, while feature-specific conceptual category differences in verbs mainly focused on body part specific effects. The present work aimed at assessing whether feature-specific event-related potential (ERP) differences between action and sound concepts, as previously observed in nouns, can also be found within the word class of verbs. In Experiment 1, participants were visually presented with carefully matched sound and action verbs within a lexical decision task, which provides implicit access to word meaning and minimizes strategic access to semantic word features. Experiment 2 tested whether pre-activating the verb concept in a context phase, in which the verb is presented with a related context noun, modulates subsequent feature-specific action vs. sound verb processing within the lexical decision task. In Experiment 1, ERP analyses revealed a differential ERP polarity pattern for action and sound verbs at parietal and central electrodes similar to previous results in nouns. Pre-activation of the meaning of verbs in the preceding context phase in Experiment 2 resulted in a polarity-reversal of feature-specific ERP effects in the lexical decision task compared with Experiment 1. This parallels analogous earlier findings for primed action and sound related nouns. In line with grounded cognitions theories, our ERP study provides evidence for a differential processing of action and sound verbs similar to earlier observation for concrete nouns. Although the localizational value of ERPs must be viewed with caution, our results indicate that the meaning of verbs is linked to different neural circuits depending on conceptual feature relevance.

  7. A common neural code for perceived and inferred emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skerry, Amy E; Saxe, Rebecca

    2014-11-26

    Although the emotions of other people can often be perceived from overt reactions (e.g., facial or vocal expressions), they can also be inferred from situational information in the absence of observable expressions. How does the human brain make use of these diverse forms of evidence to generate a common representation of a target's emotional state? In the present research, we identify neural patterns that correspond to emotions inferred from contextual information and find that these patterns generalize across different cues from which an emotion can be attributed. Specifically, we use functional neuroimaging to measure neural responses to dynamic facial expressions with positive and negative valence and to short animations in which the valence of a character's emotion could be identified only from the situation. Using multivoxel pattern analysis, we test for regions that contain information about the target's emotional state, identifying representations specific to a single stimulus type and representations that generalize across stimulus types. In regions of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), a classifier trained to discriminate emotional valence for one stimulus (e.g., animated situations) could successfully discriminate valence for the remaining stimulus (e.g., facial expressions), indicating a representation of valence that abstracts away from perceptual features and generalizes across different forms of evidence. Moreover, in a subregion of MPFC, this neural representation generalized to trials involving subjectively experienced emotional events, suggesting partial overlap in neural responses to attributed and experienced emotions. These data provide a step toward understanding how the brain transforms stimulus-bound inputs into abstract representations of emotion. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3315997-12$15.00/0.

  8. Differentiation of neurons from neural precursors generated in floating spheres from embryonic stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forrester Jeff

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neural differentiation of embryonic stem (ES cells is usually achieved by induction of ectoderm in embryoid bodies followed by the enrichment of neuronal progenitors using a variety of factors. Obtaining reproducible percentages of neural cells is difficult and the methods are time consuming. Results Neural progenitors were produced from murine ES cells by a combination of nonadherent conditions and serum starvation. Conversion to neural progenitors was accompanied by downregulation of Oct4 and NANOG and increased expression of nestin. ES cells containing a GFP gene under the control of the Sox1 regulatory regions became fluorescent upon differentiation to neural progenitors, and ES cells with a tau-GFP fusion protein became fluorescent upon further differentiation to neurons. Neurons produced from these cells upregulated mature neuronal markers, or differentiated to glial and oligodendrocyte fates. The neurons gave rise to action potentials that could be recorded after application of fixed currents. Conclusion Neural progenitors were produced from murine ES cells by a novel method that induced neuroectoderm cells by a combination of nonadherent conditions and serum starvation, in contrast to the embryoid body method in which neuroectoderm cells must be selected after formation of all three germ layers.

  9. What Can Psychiatric Disorders Tell Us about Neural Processing of the Self?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Weihua; Luo, Lizhu; Li, Qin; Kendrick, Keith M

    2013-01-01

    Many psychiatric disorders are associated with abnormal self-processing. While these disorders also have a wide-range of complex, and often heterogeneous sets of symptoms involving different cognitive, emotional, and motor domains, an impaired sense of self can contribute to many of these. Research investigating self-processing in healthy subjects has facilitated identification of changes in specific neural circuits which may cause altered self-processing in psychiatric disorders. While there is evidence for altered self-processing in many psychiatric disorders, here we will focus on four of the most studied ones, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder (ASD), major depression, and borderline personality disorder (BPD). We review evidence for dysfunction in two different neural systems implicated in self-processing, namely the cortical midline system (CMS) and the mirror neuron system (MNS), as well as contributions from altered inter-hemispheric connectivity (IHC). We conclude that while abnormalities in frontal-parietal activity and/or connectivity in the CMS are common to all four disorders there is more disruption of integration between frontal and parietal regions resulting in a shift toward parietal control in schizophrenia and ASD which may contribute to the greater severity and delusional aspects of their symptoms. Abnormalities in the MNS and in IHC are also particularly evident in schizophrenia and ASD and may lead to disturbances in sense of agency and the physical self in these two disorders. A better future understanding of how changes in the neural systems sub-serving self-processing contribute to different aspects of symptom abnormality in psychiatric disorders will require that more studies carry out detailed individual assessments of altered self-processing in conjunction with measurements of neural functioning.

  10. Morphological neural networks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ritter, G.X.; Sussner, P. [Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL (United States)

    1996-12-31

    The theory of artificial neural networks has been successfully applied to a wide variety of pattern recognition problems. In this theory, the first step in computing the next state of a neuron or in performing the next layer neural network computation involves the linear operation of multiplying neural values by their synaptic strengths and adding the results. Thresholding usually follows the linear operation in order to provide for nonlinearity of the network. In this paper we introduce a novel class of neural networks, called morphological neural networks, in which the operations of multiplication and addition are replaced by addition and maximum (or minimum), respectively. By taking the maximum (or minimum) of sums instead of the sum of products, morphological network computation is nonlinear before thresholding. As a consequence, the properties of morphological neural networks are drastically different than those of traditional neural network models. In this paper we consider some of these differences and provide some particular examples of morphological neural network.

  11. Training Of Manual Actions Improves Language Understanding of Semantically-Related Action Sentences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matteo eLocatelli

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Conceptual knowledge accessed by language may involve the re-activation of the associated primary sensory-motor processes. Whether these embodied representations are indeed constitutive to conceptual knowledge is hotly debated, particularly since direct evidence that sensory-motor expertise can improve conceptual processing is scarce.In this study, we sought for this crucial piece of evidence, by training naive healthy subjects to perform complex manual actions and by measuring, before and after training, their performance in a semantic language task. 19 participants engaged in 3 weeks of motor training. Each participant was trained in 3 complex manual actions (e.g. origami. Before and after the training period, each subject underwent a series of manual dexterity tests and a semantic language task. The latter consisted of a sentence-picture semantic congruency judgment task, with 6 target congruent sentence-picture pairs (semantically related to the trained manual actions, 6 non-target congruent pairs (semantically unrelated, and 12 filler incongruent pairs.Manual action training induced a significant improvement in all manual dexterity tests, demonstrating the successful acquisition of sensory-motor expertise. In the semantic language task, the reaction times to both target and non-target congruent sentence-image pairs decreased after action training, indicating a more efficient conceptual-semantic processing. Noteworthy, the reaction times for target pairs decreased more than those for non-target pairs, as indicated by the 2x2 interaction. These results were confirmed when controlling for the potential bias of increased frequency of use of target lexical items during manual training.The results of the present study suggest that sensory-motor expertise gained by training of specific manual actions can lead to an improvement of cognitive-linguistic skills related to the specific conceptual-semantic domain associated to the trained actions.

  12. Thought and Action in Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rømer, Thomas Aastrup

    2015-01-01

    In much theory there is a tendency to place thought above action, or the opposite, action over thought. The consequence of the first option is that philosophy or scientific evidence gains the upper hand in educational thinking. The consequence of the second view is that pragmatism and relativism become the dominant features. This article discusses…

  13. Paraconsistent artificial neural networks and Alzheimer disease: A preliminary study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jair Minoro Abe

    Full Text Available Abstract EEG visual analysis has proved useful in aiding AD diagnosis, being indicated in some clinical protocols. However, such analysis is subject to the inherent imprecision of equipment, patient movements, electric registers, and individual variability of physician visual analysis. Objectives: To employ the Paraconsistent Artificial Neural Network to ascertain how to determine the degree of certainty of probable dementia diagnosis. Methods: Ten EEG records from patients with probable Alzheimer disease and ten controls were obtained during the awake state at rest. An EEG background between 8 Hz and 12 Hz was considered the normal pattern for patients, allowing a variance of 0.5 Hz. Results: The PANN was capable of accurately recognizing waves belonging to Alpha band with favorable evidence of 0.30 and contrary evidence of 0.19, while for waves not belonging to the Alpha pattern, an average favorable evidence of 0.19 and contrary evidence of 0.32 was obtained, indicating that PANN was efficient in recognizing Alpha waves in 80% of the cases evaluated in this study. Artificial Neural Networks - ANN - are well suited to tackle problems such as prediction and pattern recognition. The aim of this work was to recognize predetermined EEG patterns by using a new class of ANN, namely the Paraconsistent Artificial Neural Network - PANN, which is capable of handling uncertain, inconsistent and paracomplete information. An architecture is presented to serve as an auxiliary method in diagnosing Alzheimer disease. Conclusions: We believe the results show PANN to be a promising tool to handle EEG analysis, bearing in mind two considerations: the growing interest of experts in visual analysis of EEG, and the ability of PANN to deal directly with imprecise, inconsistent, and paracomplete data, thereby providing a valuable quantitative analysis.

  14. Action representation: crosstalk between semantics and pragmatics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prinz, Wolfgang

    2014-03-01

    Marc Jeannerod pioneered a representational approach to movement and action. In his approach, motor representations provide both, declarative knowledge about action and procedural knowledge for action (action semantics and action pragmatics, respectively). Recent evidence from language comprehension and action simulation supports the claim that action pragmatics and action semantics draw on common representational resources, thus challenging the traditional divide between declarative and procedural action knowledge. To account for these observations, three kinds of theoretical frameworks are discussed: (i) semantics is grounded in pragmatics, (ii) pragmatics is anchored in semantics, and (iii) pragmatics is part and parcel of semantics. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Explaining neural signals in human visual cortex with an associative learning model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Jiefeng; Schmajuk, Nestor; Egner, Tobias

    2012-08-01

    "Predictive coding" models posit a key role for associative learning in visual cognition, viewing perceptual inference as a process of matching (learned) top-down predictions (or expectations) against bottom-up sensory evidence. At the neural level, these models propose that each region along the visual processing hierarchy entails one set of processing units encoding predictions of bottom-up input, and another set computing mismatches (prediction error or surprise) between predictions and evidence. This contrasts with traditional views of visual neurons operating purely as bottom-up feature detectors. In support of the predictive coding hypothesis, a recent human neuroimaging study (Egner, Monti, & Summerfield, 2010) showed that neural population responses to expected and unexpected face and house stimuli in the "fusiform face area" (FFA) could be well-described as a summation of hypothetical face-expectation and -surprise signals, but not by feature detector responses. Here, we used computer simulations to test whether these imaging data could be formally explained within the broader framework of a mathematical neural network model of associative learning (Schmajuk, Gray, & Lam, 1996). Results show that FFA responses could be fit very closely by model variables coding for conditional predictions (and their violations) of stimuli that unconditionally activate the FFA. These data document that neural population signals in the ventral visual stream that deviate from classic feature detection responses can formally be explained by associative prediction and surprise signals.

  16. Neural Networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Patrick I.

    2003-01-01

    Physicists use large detectors to measure particles created in high-energy collisions at particle accelerators. These detectors typically produce signals indicating either where ionization occurs along the path of the particle, or where energy is deposited by the particle. The data produced by these signals is fed into pattern recognition programs to try to identify what particles were produced, and to measure the energy and direction of these particles. Ideally, there are many techniques used in this pattern recognition software. One technique, neural networks, is particularly suitable for identifying what type of particle caused by a set of energy deposits. Neural networks can derive meaning from complicated or imprecise data, extract patterns, and detect trends that are too complex to be noticed by either humans or other computer related processes. To assist in the advancement of this technology, Physicists use a tool kit to experiment with several neural network techniques. The goal of this research is interface a neural network tool kit into Java Analysis Studio (JAS3), an application that allows data to be analyzed from any experiment. As the final result, a physicist will have the ability to train, test, and implement a neural network with the desired output while using JAS3 to analyze the results or output. Before an implementation of a neural network can take place, a firm understanding of what a neural network is and how it works is beneficial. A neural network is an artificial representation of the human brain that tries to simulate the learning process [5]. It is also important to think of the word artificial in that definition as computer programs that use calculations during the learning process. In short, a neural network learns by representative examples. Perhaps the easiest way to describe the way neural networks learn is to explain how the human brain functions. The human brain contains billions of neural cells that are responsible for processing

  17. Neural synchrony in cortical networks: history, concept and current status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Uhlhaas

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Following the discovery of context-dependent synchronization of oscillatory neuronal responses in the visual system, the role of neural synchrony in cortical networks has been expanded to provide a general mechanism for the coordination of distributed neural activity patterns. In the current paper, we present an update of the status of this hypothesis through summarizing recent results from our laboratory that suggest important new insights regarding the mechanisms, function and relevance of this phenomenon. In the first part, we present recent results derived from animal experiments and mathematical simulations that provide novel explanations and mechanisms for zero and nero-zero phase lag synchronization. In the second part, we shall discuss the role of neural synchrony for expectancy during perceptual organization and its role in conscious experience. This will be followed by evidence that indicates that in addition to supporting conscious cognition, neural synchrony is abnormal in major brain disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders. We conclude this paper with suggestions for further research as well as with critical issues that need to be addressed in future studies.

  18. Neural Based Orthogonal Data Fitting The EXIN Neural Networks

    CERN Document Server

    Cirrincione, Giansalvo

    2008-01-01

    Written by three leaders in the field of neural based algorithms, Neural Based Orthogonal Data Fitting proposes several neural networks, all endowed with a complete theory which not only explains their behavior, but also compares them with the existing neural and traditional algorithms. The algorithms are studied from different points of view, including: as a differential geometry problem, as a dynamic problem, as a stochastic problem, and as a numerical problem. All algorithms have also been analyzed on real time problems (large dimensional data matrices) and have shown accurate solutions. Wh

  19. A minimal architecture for joint action

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vesper, Cordula; Butterfill, Stephen; Knoblich, Günther

    2010-01-01

    What kinds of processes and representations make joint action possible? In this paper we suggest a minimal architecture for joint action that focuses on representations, action monitoring and action prediction processes, as well as ways of simplifying coordination. The architecture spells out...... minimal requirements for an individual agent to engage in a joint action. We discuss existing evidence in support of the architecture as well as open questions that remain to be empirically addressed. In addition, we suggest possible interfaces between the minimal architecture and other approaches...... to joint action. The minimal architecture has implications for theorizing about the emergence of joint action, for human-machine interaction, and for understanding how coordination can be facilitated by exploiting relations between multiple agents’ actions and between actions and the environment....

  20. Neural differences between intrinsic reasons for doing versus extrinsic reasons for doing: an fMRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Woogul; Reeve, Johnmarshall; Xue, Yiqun; Xiong, Jinhu

    2012-05-01

    The contemporary neural understanding of motivation is based almost exclusively on the neural mechanisms of incentive motivation. Recognizing this as a limitation, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to pursue the viability of expanding the neural understanding of motivation by initiating a pioneering study of intrinsic motivation by scanning participants' neural activity when they decided to act for intrinsic reasons versus when they decided to act for extrinsic reasons. As expected, intrinsic reasons for acting more recruited insular cortex activity while extrinsic reasons for acting more recruited posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) activity. The results demonstrate that engagement decisions based on intrinsic motivation are more determined by weighing the presence of spontaneous self-satisfactions such as interest and enjoyment while engagement decisions based on extrinsic motivation are more determined by weighing socially-acquired stored values as to whether the environmental incentive is attractive enough to warrant action.

  1. Supramodal and modality-sensitive representations of perceived action categories in the human brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ramsey, R.; Cross, E.S.; Hamilton, A.F.D.C.

    2013-01-01

    Seeing Suzie bite an apple or reading the sentence ‘Suzie munched the apple’ both convey a similar idea. But is there a common neural basis for action comprehension when generated through video or text? The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to address this question.

  2. Distinct neural patterns enable grasp types decoding in monkey dorsal premotor cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hao, Yaoyao; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Controzzi, Marco; Cipriani, Christian; Li, Yue; Li, Juncheng; Zhang, Shaomin; Wang, Yiwen; Chen, Weidong; Chiara Carrozza, Maria; Zheng, Xiaoxiang

    2014-12-01

    Objective. Recent studies have shown that dorsal premotor cortex (PMd), a cortical area in the dorsomedial grasp pathway, is involved in grasp movements. However, the neural ensemble firing property of PMd during grasp movements and the extent to which it can be used for grasp decoding are still unclear. Approach. To address these issues, we used multielectrode arrays to record both spike and local field potential (LFP) signals in PMd in macaque monkeys performing reaching and grasping of one of four differently shaped objects. Main results. Single and population neuronal activity showed distinct patterns during execution of different grip types. Cluster analysis of neural ensemble signals indicated that the grasp related patterns emerged soon (200-300 ms) after the go cue signal, and faded away during the hold period. The timing and duration of the patterns varied depending on the behaviors of individual monkey. Application of support vector machine model to stable activity patterns revealed classification accuracies of 94% and 89% for each of the two monkeys, indicating a robust, decodable grasp pattern encoded in the PMd. Grasp decoding using LFPs, especially the high-frequency bands, also produced high decoding accuracies. Significance. This study is the first to specify the neuronal population encoding of grasp during the time course of grasp. We demonstrate high grasp decoding performance in PMd. These findings, combined with previous evidence for reach related modulation studies, suggest that PMd may play an important role in generation and maintenance of grasp action and may be a suitable locus for brain-machine interface applications.

  3. High school music classes enhance the neural processing of speech

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam eTierney

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Should music be a priority in public education? One argument for teaching music in school is that private music instruction relates to enhanced language abilities and neural function. However, the directionality of this relationship is unclear and it is unknown whether school-based music training can produce these enhancements. Here we show that two years of group music classes in high school enhance the subcortical encoding of speech. To tease apart the relationships between music and neural function, we tested high school students participating in either music or fitness-based training. These groups were matched at the onset of training on neural timing, reading ability, and IQ. Auditory brainstem responses were collected to a synthesized speech sound presented in background noise. After 2 years of training, the subcortical responses of the music training group were earlier than at pretraining, while the neural timing of students in the fitness training group was unchanged. These results represent the strongest evidence to date that in-school music education can cause enhanced speech encoding. The neural benefits of musical training are, therefore, not limited to expensive private instruction early in childhood but can be elicited by cost-effective group instruction during adolescence.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muireann eIrish

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 grey 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

  6. Topical use of sucralfate in epithelial wound healing: clinical evidences and molecular mechanisms of action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masuelli, Laura; Tumino, Giovanni; Turriziani, Mario; Modesti, Andrea; Bei, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Sucralfate is a basic aluminium salt of sucrose octasulphate which was orally employed for prevention and treatment of several gastrointestinal diseases including gastroesophageal reflux, gastric and duodenal ulcer. Recent studies have employed sucralfate as a topical drug for the healing of several types of epithelial wounds such as ulcers, inflammatory dermatitis, mucositis and burn wounds. Epithelial wound healing is a well orchestrated process involving hemostasis, inflammatory reaction, cell proliferation and tissue remodelling which leads to granulation tissue development and filling of the wound space. This report will review clinical evidences on the use of topical sucralfate for the management of epithelial lesions and deal with the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of action of this compound towards the epithelial wound healing process and will also discuss relevant patents.

  7. Action observation and robotic agents: learning and anthropomorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Press, Clare

    2011-05-01

    The 'action observation network' (AON), which is thought to translate observed actions into motor codes required for their execution, is biologically tuned: it responds more to observation of human, than non-human, movement. This biological specificity has been taken to support the hypothesis that the AON underlies various social functions, such as theory of mind and action understanding, and that, when it is active during observation of non-human agents like humanoid robots, it is a sign of ascription of human mental states to these agents. This review will outline evidence for biological tuning in the AON, examining the features which generate it, and concluding that there is evidence for tuning to both the form and kinematic profile of observed movements, and little evidence for tuning to belief about stimulus identity. It will propose that a likely reason for biological tuning is that human actions, relative to non-biological movements, have been observed more frequently while executing corresponding actions. If the associative hypothesis of the AON is correct, and the network indeed supports social functioning, sensorimotor experience with non-human agents may help us to predict, and therefore interpret, their movements. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Goal-directed behaviour and instrumental devaluation: a neural system-level computational model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Mannella

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Devaluation is the key experimental paradigm used to demonstrate the presence of instrumental behaviours guided by goals in mammals. We propose a neural system-level computational model to address the question of which brain mechanisms allow the current value of rewards to control instrumental actions. The model pivots on and shows the computational soundness of the hypothesis for which the internal representation of instrumental manipulanda (e.g., levers activate the representation of rewards (or `action-outcomes', e.g. foods while attributing to them a value which depends on the current internal state of the animal (e.g., satiation for some but not all foods. The model also proposes an initial hypothesis of the integrated system of key brain components supporting this process and allowing the recalled outcomes to bias action selection: (a the sub-system formed by the basolateral amygdala and insular cortex acquiring the manipulanda-outcomes associations and attributing the current value to the outcomes; (b the three basal ganglia-cortical loops selecting respectively goals, associative sensory representations, and actions; (c the cortico-cortical and striato-nigro-striatal neural pathways supporting the selection, and selection learning, of actions based on habits and goals. The model reproduces and integrates the results of different devaluation experiments carried out with control rats and rats with pre- and post-training lesions of the basolateral amygdala, the nucleus accumbens core, the prelimbic cortex, and the dorso-medial striatum. The results support the soundness of the hypotheses of the model and show its capacity to integrate, at the system-level, the operations of the key brain structures underlying devaluation. Based on its hypotheses and predictions, the model also represents an operational framework to support the design and analysis of new experiments on the motivational aspects of goal-directed behaviour.

  9. Evidence of Rapid Modulation by Social Information of Subjective, Physiological, and Neural Responses to Emotional Expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mermillod, Martial; Grynberg, Delphine; Pio-Lopez, Léo; Rychlowska, Magdalena; Beffara, Brice; Harquel, Sylvain; Vermeulen, Nicolas; Niedenthal, Paula M; Dutheil, Frédéric; Droit-Volet, Sylvie

    2017-01-01

    Recent research suggests that conceptual or emotional factors could influence the perceptual processing of stimuli. In this article, we aimed to evaluate the effect of social information (positive, negative, or no information related to the character of the target) on subjective (perceived and felt valence and arousal), physiological (facial mimicry) as well as on neural (P100 and N170) responses to dynamic emotional facial expressions (EFE) that varied from neutral to one of the six basic emotions. Across three studies, the results showed reduced ratings of valence and arousal of EFE associated with incongruent social information (Study 1), increased electromyographical responses (Study 2), and significant modulation of P100 and N170 components (Study 3) when EFE were associated with social (positive and negative) information (vs. no information). These studies revealed that positive or negative social information reduces subjective responses to incongruent EFE and produces a similar neural and physiological boost of the early perceptual processing of EFE irrespective of their congruency. In conclusion, the article suggests that the presence of positive or negative social context modulates early physiological and neural activity preceding subsequent behavior.

  10. Evidence of Rapid Modulation by Social Information of Subjective, Physiological, and Neural Responses to Emotional Expressions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martial Mermillod

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent research suggests that conceptual or emotional factors could influence the perceptual processing of stimuli. In this article, we aimed to evaluate the effect of social information (positive, negative, or no information related to the character of the target on subjective (perceived and felt valence and arousal, physiological (facial mimicry as well as on neural (P100 and N170 responses to dynamic emotional facial expressions (EFE that varied from neutral to one of the six basic emotions. Across three studies, the results showed reduced ratings of valence and arousal of EFE associated with incongruent social information (Study 1, increased electromyographical responses (Study 2, and significant modulation of P100 and N170 components (Study 3 when EFE were associated with social (positive and negative information (vs. no information. These studies revealed that positive or negative social information reduces subjective responses to incongruent EFE and produces a similar neural and physiological boost of the early perceptual processing of EFE irrespective of their congruency. In conclusion, the article suggests that the presence of positive or negative social context modulates early physiological and neural activity preceding subsequent behavior.

  11. A comparative study between the use of artificial neural networks and multiple linear regression for caustic concentration prediction in a stage of alumina production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovanni Leopoldo Rozza

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available With world becoming each day a global village, enterprises continuously seek to optimize their internal processes to hold or improve their competitiveness and make better use of natural resources. In this context, decision support tools are an underlying requirement. Such tools are helpful on predicting operational issues, avoiding cost risings, loss of productivity, work-related accident leaves or environmental disasters. This paper has its focus on the prediction of spent liquor caustic concentration of Bayer process for alumina production. Caustic concentration measuring is essential to keep it at expected levels, otherwise quality issues might arise. The organization requests caustic concentration by chemical analysis laboratory once a day, such information is not enough to issue preventive actions to handle process inefficiencies that will be known only after new measurement on the next day. Thereby, this paper proposes using Multiple Linear Regression and Artificial Neural Networks techniques a mathematical model to predict the spent liquor´s caustic concentration. Hence preventive actions will occur in real time. Such models were built using software tool for numerical computation (MATLAB and a statistical analysis software package (SPSS. The models output (predicted caustic concentration were compared with the real lab data. We found evidence suggesting superior results with use of Artificial Neural Networks over Multiple Linear Regression model. The results demonstrate that replacing laboratorial analysis by the forecasting model to support technical staff on decision making could be feasible.

  12. Bilingualism increases neural response consistency and attentional control: evidence for sensory and cognitive coupling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krizman, Jennifer; Skoe, Erika; Marian, Viorica; Kraus, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Auditory processing is presumed to be influenced by cognitive processes - including attentional control - in a top-down manner. In bilinguals, activation of both languages during daily communication hones inhibitory skills, which subsequently bolster attentional control. We hypothesize that the heightened attentional demands of bilingual communication strengthens connections between cognitive (i.e., attentional control) and auditory processing, leading to greater across-trial consistency in the auditory evoked response (i.e., neural consistency) in bilinguals. To assess this, we collected passively-elicited auditory evoked responses to the syllable [da] in adolescent Spanish-English bilinguals and English monolinguals and separately obtained measures of attentional control and language ability. Bilinguals demonstrated enhanced attentional control and more consistent brainstem and cortical responses. In bilinguals, but not monolinguals, brainstem consistency tracked with language proficiency and attentional control. We interpret these enhancements in neural consistency as the outcome of strengthened attentional control that emerged from experience communicating in two languages. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Exploring the Combination of Dempster-Shafer Theory and Neural Network for Predicting Trust and Distrust

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In social media, trust and distrust among users are important factors in helping users make decisions, dissect information, and receive recommendations. However, the sparsity and imbalance of social relations bring great difficulties and challenges in predicting trust and distrust. Meanwhile, there are numerous inducing factors to determine trust and distrust relations. The relationship among inducing factors may be dependency, independence, and conflicting. Dempster-Shafer theory and neural network are effective and efficient strategies to deal with these difficulties and challenges. In this paper, we study trust and distrust prediction based on the combination of Dempster-Shafer theory and neural network. We firstly analyze the inducing factors about trust and distrust, namely, homophily, status theory, and emotion tendency. Then, we quantify inducing factors of trust and distrust, take these features as evidences, and construct evidence prototype as input nodes of multilayer neural network. Finally, we propose a framework of predicting trust and distrust which uses multilayer neural network to model the implementing process of Dempster-Shafer theory in different hidden layers, aiming to overcome the disadvantage of Dempster-Shafer theory without optimization method. Experimental results on a real-world dataset demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed framework.

  14. Deep Neural Networks Reveal a Gradient in the Complexity of Neural Representations across the Ventral Stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Güçlü, Umut; van Gerven, Marcel A J

    2015-07-08

    Converging evidence suggests that the primate ventral visual pathway encodes increasingly complex stimulus features in downstream areas. We quantitatively show that there indeed exists an explicit gradient for feature complexity in the ventral pathway of the human brain. This was achieved by mapping thousands of stimulus features of increasing complexity across the cortical sheet using a deep neural network. Our approach also revealed a fine-grained functional specialization of downstream areas of the ventral stream. Furthermore, it allowed decoding of representations from human brain activity at an unsurpassed degree of accuracy, confirming the quality of the developed approach. Stimulus features that successfully explained neural responses indicate that population receptive fields were explicitly tuned for object categorization. This provides strong support for the hypothesis that object categorization is a guiding principle in the functional organization of the primate ventral stream. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/3510005-10$15.00/0.

  15. The Neural Mechanisms Underlying Internally and Externally Guided Task Selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orr, Joseph M.; Banich, Marie T.

    2013-01-01

    While some prior work suggests that medial prefrontal cortex (MFC) regions mediate freely chosen actions, other work suggests that the lateral frontal pole (LFP) is responsible for control of abstract, internal goals. The present study uses fMRI to determine whether the voluntary selection of a task in pursuit of an overall goal relies on MFC regions or the LFP. To do so, we used a modified voluntary task switching (VTS) paradigm, in which participants choose an individual task to perform on each trial (i.e., a subgoal), under instructions to perform the tasks equally often and in a random order (i.e. the overall goal). In conjunction, we examined patterns of activation in the face of irrelevant, but task-related external stimuli that might nonetheless influence task selection. While there was some evidence that the MFC was involved in voluntary task selection, we found that the LFP and anterior insula (AI) were crucial to task selection in the pursuit of an overall goal. In addition, activation of the LFP and AI increased in the face of environmental stimuli that might serve as an interfering or conflicting external bias on voluntary task choice. These findings suggest that the LFP supports task selection according to abstract, internal goals, and leaves open the possibility that MFC may guide action selection in situations lacking in such top-down biases. As such, the current study represents a critical step towards understanding the neural underpinnings of how tasks are selected voluntarily to enable an overarching goal. PMID:23994316

  16. Human Inspired Self-developmental Model of Neural Network (HIM): Introducing Content/Form Computing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krajíček, Jiří

    This paper presents cross-disciplinary research between medical/psychological evidence on human abilities and informatics needs to update current models in computer science to support alternative methods for computation and communication. In [10] we have already proposed hypothesis introducing concept of human information model (HIM) as cooperative system. Here we continue on HIM design in detail. In our design, first we introduce Content/Form computing system which is new principle of present methods in evolutionary computing (genetic algorithms, genetic programming). Then we apply this system on HIM (type of artificial neural network) model as basic network self-developmental paradigm. Main inspiration of our natural/human design comes from well known concept of artificial neural networks, medical/psychological evidence and Sheldrake theory of "Nature as Alive" [22].

  17. Optimal neural networks for protein-structure prediction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Head-Gordon, T.; Stillinger, F.H.

    1993-01-01

    The successful application of neural-network algorithms for prediction of protein structure is stymied by three problem areas: the sparsity of the database of known protein structures, poorly devised network architectures which make the input-output mapping opaque, and a global optimization problem in the multiple-minima space of the network variables. We present a simplified polypeptide model residing in two dimensions with only two amino-acid types, A and B, which allows the determination of the global energy structure for all possible sequences of pentamer, hexamer, and heptamer lengths. This model simplicity allows us to compile a complete structural database and to devise neural networks that reproduce the tertiary structure of all sequences with absolute accuracy and with the smallest number of network variables. These optimal networks reveal that the three problem areas are convoluted, but that thoughtful network designs can actually deconvolute these detrimental traits to provide network algorithms that genuinely impact on the ability of the network to generalize or learn the desired mappings. Furthermore, the two-dimensional polypeptide model shows sufficient chemical complexity so that transfer of neural-network technology to more realistic three-dimensional proteins is evident

  18. A Neural Basis for the Acquired Capability for Suicide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gopikrishna Deshpande

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The high rate of fatal suicidal behavior in men is an urgent issue as highlighted in the public eye via news sources and media outlets. In this study, we have attempted to address this issue and understand the neural substrates underlying the gender differences in the rate of fatal suicidal behavior. The Interpersonal-Psychological Theory of Suicide (IPTS has proposed an explanation for the seemingly paradoxical relationship between gender and suicidal behavior, i.e. greater non-fatal suicide attempts by women but higher number of deaths by suicide in men. This theory states that possessing suicidal desire (due to conditions such as depression alone is not sufficient for a lethal suicide attempt. It is imperative for an individual to have acquired the capability for suicide (ACS along with suicidal desire in order to die by suicide. Therefore, higher levels of ACS in men may explain why men are more likely to die by suicide than women, despite being less likely to experience suicidal ideation or depression. In this study, we used activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis to investigate a potential ACS network that involves neural substrates underlying emotional stoicism, sensation seeking, pain tolerance, and fearlessness of death along with a potential depression network that involves neural substrates that underlie clinical depression. Brain regions commonly found in ACS and depression networks for males and females were further used as seeds to obtain regions functionally and structurally connected to them. We found that the male-specific networks were more widespread and diverse than the female-specific ones. Also, while the former involved motor regions such as the premotor cortex and cerebellum, the latter was dominated by limbic regions. This may support the fact that suicidal desire generally leads to fatal/decisive action in males while in females, it manifests as depression, ideation and generally non-fatal actions. The proposed

  19. Action Mechanisms for Social Cognition: Behavioral and Neural Correlates of Developing Theory of Mind

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Lindsay C.; Thorpe, Samuel G.; Cannon, Erin N.; Fox, Nathan A.

    2017-01-01

    Many psychological theories posit foundational links between two fundamental constructs: (1) our ability to produce, perceive, and represent action; and (2) our ability to understand the meaning and motivation behind the action (i.e. Theory of Mind; ToM). This position is contentious, however, and long-standing competing theories of…

  20. Bilingualism provides a neural reserve for aging populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Guidi, Lucia; Borsa, Virginia; Canini, Matteo; Della Rosa, Pasquale A; Parris, Ben A; Weekes, Brendan S

    2015-03-01

    It has been postulated that bilingualism may act as a cognitive reserve and recent behavioral evidence shows that bilinguals are diagnosed with dementia about 4-5 years later compared to monolinguals. In the present study, we investigated the neural basis of these putative protective effects in a group of aging bilinguals as compared to a matched monolingual control group. For this purpose, participants completed the Erikson Flanker task and their performance was correlated to gray matter (GM) volume in order to investigate if cognitive performance predicts GM volume specifically in areas affected by aging. We performed an ex-Gaussian analysis on the resulting RTs and report that aging bilinguals performed better than aging monolinguals on the Flanker task. Bilingualism was overall associated with increased GM in the ACC. Likewise, aging induced effects upon performance correlated only for monolinguals to decreased gray matter in the DLPFC. Taken together, these neural regions might underlie the benefits of bilingualism and act as a neural reserve that protects against the cognitive decline that occurs during aging. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Re-construction of action awareness depends on an internal model of action-outcome timing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenner, Max-Philipp; Bauer, Markus; Machts, Judith; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haggard, Patrick; Dolan, Raymond J

    2014-04-01

    The subjective time of an instrumental action is shifted towards its outcome. This temporal binding effect is partially retrospective, i.e., occurs upon outcome perception. Retrospective binding is thought to reflect post-hoc inference on agency based on sensory evidence of the action - outcome association. However, many previous binding paradigms cannot exclude the possibility that retrospective binding results from bottom-up interference of sensory outcome processing with action awareness and is functionally unrelated to the processing of the action - outcome association. Here, we keep bottom-up interference constant and use a contextual manipulation instead. We demonstrate a shift of subjective action time by its outcome in a context of variable outcome timing. Crucially, this shift is absent when there is no such variability. Thus, retrospective action binding reflects a context-dependent, model-based phenomenon. Such top-down re-construction of action awareness seems to bias agency attribution when outcome predictability is low. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Design of a Closed-Loop, Bidirectional Brain Machine Interface System With Energy Efficient Neural Feature Extraction and PID Control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xilin; Zhang, Milin; Richardson, Andrew G; Lucas, Timothy H; Van der Spiegel, Jan

    2017-08-01

    This paper presents a bidirectional brain machine interface (BMI) microsystem designed for closed-loop neuroscience research, especially experiments in freely behaving animals. The system-on-chip (SoC) consists of 16-channel neural recording front-ends, neural feature extraction units, 16-channel programmable neural stimulator back-ends, in-channel programmable closed-loop controllers, global analog-digital converters (ADC), and peripheral circuits. The proposed neural feature extraction units includes 1) an ultra low-power neural energy extraction unit enabling a 64-step natural logarithmic domain frequency tuning, and 2) a current-mode action potential (AP) detection unit with time-amplitude window discriminator. A programmable proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller has been integrated in each channel enabling a various of closed-loop operations. The implemented ADCs include a 10-bit voltage-mode successive approximation register (SAR) ADC for the digitization of the neural feature outputs and/or local field potential (LFP) outputs, and an 8-bit current-mode SAR ADC for the digitization of the action potential outputs. The multi-mode stimulator can be programmed to perform monopolar or bipolar, symmetrical or asymmetrical charge balanced stimulation with a maximum current of 4 mA in an arbitrary channel configuration. The chip has been fabricated in 0.18 μ m CMOS technology, occupying a silicon area of 3.7 mm 2 . The chip dissipates 56 μW/ch on average. General purpose low-power microcontroller with Bluetooth module are integrated in the system to provide wireless link and SoC configuration. Methods, circuit techniques and system topology proposed in this work can be used in a wide range of relevant neurophysiology research, especially closed-loop BMI experiments.

  3. Neural networks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denby, Bruce; Lindsey, Clark; Lyons, Louis

    1992-01-01

    The 1980s saw a tremendous renewal of interest in 'neural' information processing systems, or 'artificial neural networks', among computer scientists and computational biologists studying cognition. Since then, the growth of interest in neural networks in high energy physics, fueled by the need for new information processing technologies for the next generation of high energy proton colliders, can only be described as explosive

  4. Probabilistic neural network algorithm for using radon emanations as an earthquake precursor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gupta, Dhawal; Shahani, D.T.

    2014-01-01

    The investigation throughout the world in past two decades provides evidence which indicate that significance variation of radon and other soil gases occur in association with major geophysical events such as earthquake. The traditional statistical algorithm includes regression to remove the effect of the meteorological parameters from the raw radon and anomalies are calculated either taking the periodicity in seasonal variations or periodicity computed using Fast Fourier Transform. In case of neural networks the regression step is avoided. A neural network model can be found which can learn the behavior of radon with respect to meteorological parameter in order that changing emission patterns may be adapted to by the model on its own. The output of this neural model is the estimated radon values. This estimated radon value is used to decide whether anomalous behavior of radon has occurred and a valid precursor may be identified. The neural network model developed using Radial Basis function network gave a prediction rate of 87.7%. The same was accompanied by huge false alarms. The present paper deals with improved neural network algorithm using Probabilistic Neural Networks that requires neither an explicit step of regression nor use of any specific period. This neural network model reduces the false alarms to zero and gave same prediction rate as RBF networks. (author)

  5. "Remember Me": Memory and Action in "Hamlet".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Michael Cameron

    1981-01-01

    Examines the relationship between Hamlet's commitments to the past and his failure to translate these commitments into action, as he permits himself to be deflected by preoccupation with the future consequences of his action. Cites supportive evidence from the text. (DMM)

  6. [Sustainable Implementation of Evidence-Based Programmes in Health Promotion: A Theoretical Framework and Concept of Interactive Knowledge to Action].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rütten, A; Wolff, A; Streber, A

    2016-03-01

    This article discusses 2 current issues in the field of public health research: (i) transfer of scientific knowledge into practice and (ii) sustainable implementation of good practice projects. It also supports integration of scientific and practice-based evidence production. Furthermore, it supports utilisation of interactive models that transcend deductive approaches to the process of knowledge transfer. Existing theoretical approaches, pilot studies and thoughtful conceptual considerations are incorporated into a framework showing the interplay of science, politics and prevention practice, which fosters a more sustainable implementation of health promotion programmes. The framework depicts 4 key processes of interaction between science and prevention practice: interactive knowledge to action, capacity building, programme adaptation and adaptation of the implementation context. Ensuring sustainability of health promotion programmes requires a concentrated process of integrating scientific and practice-based evidence production in the context of implementation. Central to the integration process is the approach of interactive knowledge to action, which especially benefits from capacity building processes that facilitate participation and systematic interaction between relevant stakeholders. Intense cooperation also induces a dynamic interaction between multiple actors and components such as health promotion programmes, target groups, relevant organisations and social, cultural and political contexts. The reciprocal adaptation of programmes and key components of the implementation context can foster effectiveness and sustainability of programmes. Sustainable implementation of evidence-based health promotion programmes requires alternatives to recent deductive models of knowledge transfer. Interactive approaches prove to be promising alternatives. Simultaneously, they change the responsibilities of science, policy and public health practice. Existing boundaries

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Evidence for a neural dual-process account for adverse effects of cognitive control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zink, Nicolas; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Colzato, Lorenza; Beste, Christian

    2018-06-09

    Advantageous effects of cognitive control are well-known, but cognitive control may also have adverse effects, for example when it suppresses the implicit processing of stimulus-response (S-R) bindings that could benefit task performance. Yet, the neurophysiological and functional neuroanatomical structures associated with adverse effects of cognitive control are poorly understood. We used an extreme group approach to compare individuals who exhibit adverse effects of cognitive control to individuals who do not by combining event-related potentials (ERPs), source localization, time-frequency analysis and network analysis methods. While neurophysiological correlates of cognitive control (i.e. N2, N450, theta power and theta-mediated neuronal network efficiency) and task-set updating (P3) both reflect control demands and implicit information processing, differences in the degree of adverse cognitive control effects are associated with two independent neural mechanisms: Individuals, who show adverse behavioral effects of cognitive control, show reduced small-world properties and thus reduced efficiency in theta-modulated networks when they fail to effectively process implicit information. In contrast to this, individuals who do not display adverse control effects show enhanced task-set updating mechanism when effectively processing implicit information, which is reflected by the P3 ERP component and associated with the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ, BA 40) and medial frontal gyrus (MFG; BA 8). These findings suggest that implicit S-R contingencies, which benefit response selection without cognitive control, are always 'picked up', but may fail to be integrated with task representations to guide response selection. This provides evidence for a neurophysiological and functional neuroanatomical "dual-process" account of adverse cognitive control effects.

  9. Action simulation plays a critical role in deceptive action recognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tidoni, Emmanuele; Borgomaneri, Sara; di Pellegrino, Giuseppe; Avenanti, Alessio

    2013-01-09

    The ability to infer deceptive intents from nonverbal behavior is critical for social interactions. By combining single-pulse and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in healthy humans, we provide both correlational and causative evidence that action simulation is actively involved in the ability to recognize deceptive body movements. We recorded motor-evoked potentials during a faked-action discrimination (FAD) task: participants watched videos of actors lifting a cube and judged whether the actors were trying to deceive them concerning the real weight of the cube. Seeing faked actions facilitated the observers' motor system more than truthful actions in a body-part-specific manner, suggesting that motor resonance was sensitive to deceptive movements. Furthermore, we found that TMS virtual lesion to the anterior node of the action observation network, namely the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC), reduced perceptual sensitivity in the FAD task. In contrast, no change in FAD task performance was found after virtual lesions to the left temporoparietal junction (control site). Moreover, virtual lesion to the IFC failed to affect performance in a difficulty-matched spatial-control task that did not require processing of spatiotemporal (acceleration) and configurational (limb displacement) features of seen actions, which are critical to detecting deceptive intent in the actions of others. These findings indicate that the human IFC is critical for recognizing deceptive body movements and suggest that FAD relies on the simulation of subtle changes in action kinematics within the motor system.

  10. A neural model for temporal order judgments and their active recalibration: a common mechanism for space and time?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingbo eCai

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available When observers experience a constant delay between their motor actions and sensory feedback, their perception of the temporal order between actions and sensations adapt (Stetson et al., 2006a. We present here a novel neural model that can explain temporal order judgments (TOJs and their recalibration. Our model employs three ubiquitous features of neural systems: 1 information pooling, 2 opponent processing, and 3 synaptic scaling. Specifically, the model proposes that different populations of neurons encode different delays between motor-sensory events, the outputs of these populations feed into rivaling neural populations (encoding before and after, and the activity difference between these populations determines the perceptual judgment. As a consequence of synaptic scaling of input weights, motor acts which are consistently followed by delayed sensory feedback will cause the network to recalibrate its point of subjective simultaneity. The structure of our model raises the possibility that recalibration of TOJs is a temporal analogue to the motion aftereffect. In other words, identical neural mechanisms may be used to make perceptual determinations about both space and time. Our model captures behavioral recalibration results for different numbers of adapting trials and different adapting delays. In line with predictions of the model, we additionally demonstrate that temporal recalibration can last through time, in analogy to storage of the motion aftereffect.

  11. Models of neural networks temporal aspects of coding and information processing in biological systems

    CERN Document Server

    Hemmen, J; Schulten, Klaus

    1994-01-01

    Since the appearance of Vol. 1 of Models of Neural Networks in 1991, the theory of neural nets has focused on two paradigms: information coding through coherent firing of the neurons and functional feedback. Information coding through coherent neuronal firing exploits time as a cardinal degree of freedom. This capacity of a neural network rests on the fact that the neuronal action potential is a short, say 1 ms, spike, localized in space and time. Spatial as well as temporal correlations of activity may represent different states of a network. In particular, temporal correlations of activity may express that neurons process the same "object" of, for example, a visual scene by spiking at the very same time. The traditional description of a neural network through a firing rate, the famous S-shaped curve, presupposes a wide time window of, say, at least 100 ms. It thus fails to exploit the capacity to "bind" sets of coherently firing neurons for the purpose of both scene segmentation and figure-ground segregatio...

  12. Behavioral and neuroimaging evidence for overreliance on habit learning in alcohol-dependent patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sjoerds, Z; de Wit, S; van den Brink, W; Robbins, T W; Beekman, A T F; Penninx, B W J H; Veltman, D J

    2013-12-17

    Substance dependence is characterized by compulsive drug-taking despite negative consequences. Animal research suggests an underlying imbalance between goal-directed and habitual action control with chronic drug use. However, this imbalance, and its associated neurophysiological mechanisms, has not yet been experimentally investigated in human drug abusers. The aim of the present study therefore was to assess the balance between goal-directed and habit-based learning and its neural correlates in abstinent alcohol-dependent (AD) patients. A total of 31 AD patients and 19 age, gender and education matched healthy controls (HC) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during completion of an instrumental learning task designed to study the balance between goal-directed and habit learning. Task performance and task-related blood oxygen level-dependent activations in the brain were compared between AD patients and healthy matched controls. Findings were additionally associated with duration and severity of alcohol dependence. The results of this study provide evidence for an overreliance on stimulus-response habit learning in AD compared with HC, which was accompanied by decreased engagement of brain areas implicated in goal-directed action (ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior putamen) and increased recruitment of brain areas implicated in habit learning (posterior putamen) in AD patients. In conclusion, this is the first human study to provide experimental evidence for a disturbed balance between goal-directed and habitual control by use of an instrumental learning task, and to directly implicate cortical dysfunction to overreliance on inflexible habits in AD patients.

  13. Musicians' Enhanced Neural Differentiation of Speech Sounds Arises Early in Life: Developmental Evidence from Ages 3 to 30

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Understanding intentional actions from observers' viewpoints: A social neuroscience perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isoda, Masaki

    2016-11-01

    When we see others, we also try to 'see' their unobservable states of minds, such as beliefs, desires, and intentions. We carefully monitor others' actions, as we assume that those actions are outward manifestations of their internal states. Actors and observers can have divergent views on the cause of the same actions. Critically, it is often the observers' view that affects important decisions in social life, from deciding the optimal level of cooperation to judging moral responsibility and court's decisions. Thus, the judgment about intentionality and agency in others' actions determines the way in which the observer deals with the actor. The primate brain has two separate neural systems that function in understanding others' actions and intentions. The mirror system is activated by others' visible actions and predicts their physical consequences in goal terms, whereas the mentalizing system is primarily involved in the prediction of others' intentions and upcoming actions regardless of whether others' actions are directly observable or not. The functional roles of the two systems have sometimes been described as mutually independent or even oppositional. I propose a hypothesis that the two systems may collaborate closely for judging the sense of other-agency. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  15. Learning to understand others' actions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia; Kilner, James M

    2011-06-23

    Despite nearly two decades of research on mirror neurons, there is still much debate about what they do. The most enduring hypothesis is that they enable 'action understanding'. However, recent critical reviews have failed to find compelling evidence in favour of this view. Instead, these authors argue that mirror neurons are produced by associative learning and therefore that they cannot contribute to action understanding. The present opinion piece suggests that this argument is flawed. We argue that mirror neurons may both develop through associative learning and contribute to inferences about the actions of others.

  16. High Frequency Deep Brain Stimulation and Neural Rhythms in Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blumenfeld, Zack; Brontë-Stewart, Helen

    2015-12-01

    High frequency (HF) deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an established therapy for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). It effectively treats the cardinal motor signs of PD, including tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity. The most common neural target is the subthalamic nucleus, located within the basal ganglia, the region most acutely affected by PD pathology. Using chronically-implanted DBS electrodes, researchers have been able to record underlying neural rhythms from several nodes in the PD network as well as perturb it using DBS to measure the ensuing neural and behavioral effects, both acutely and over time. In this review, we provide an overview of the PD neural network, focusing on the pathophysiological signals that have been recorded from PD patients as well as the mechanisms underlying the therapeutic benefits of HF DBS. We then discuss evidence for the relationship between specific neural oscillations and symptoms of PD, including the aberrant relationships potentially underlying functional connectivity in PD as well as the use of different frequencies of stimulation to more specifically target certain symptoms. Finally, we briefly describe several current areas of investigation and how the ability to record neural data in ecologically-valid settings may allow researchers to explore the relationship between brain and behavior in an unprecedented manner, culminating in the future automation of neurostimulation therapy for the treatment of a variety of neuropsychiatric diseases.

  17. How necessary is the vasculature in the life of neural stem and progenitor cells? Evidence from evolution, development and the adult nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CHRISTOS eKOUTSAKIS

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Augmenting evidence suggests that such is the functional dependence of neural stem cells (NSCs on the vasculature that they normally reside in perivascular niches. Two examples are the neurovascular and the oligovascular niches of the adult brain, specialized microenvironments where NSCs or oligodendrocyte progenitor cells survive and remain mitotically active in close proximity to blood vessels. In addition, the often observed co-ordination of angiogenesis and neurogenesis led to these processes being described as coupled. Here, we adopt an evo-devo approach to argue that some stages in the life of a NSC, such as specification and commitment, are independent of the vasculature, while stages such as proliferation and migration are largely dependent on blood vessels. We also explore available evidence on the possible involvement of the vasculature in other phenomena such as the diversification of NSCs during evolution and we provide original data on the senescence of NSCs in the subependymal zone stem cell niche. Finally, we will comment on the other side of the story; on how much is the vasculature dependent on NSCs and their progeny.

  18. Impact of the Innate Immune Response in the Actions of Ethanol on the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montesinos, Jorge; Alfonso-Loeches, Silvia; Guerri, Consuelo

    2016-11-01

    The innate immune response in the central nervous system (CNS) participates in both synaptic plasticity and neural damage. Emerging evidence from human and animal studies supports the role of the neuroimmune system response in many actions of ethanol (EtOH) on the CNS. Research studies have shown that alcohol stimulates brain immune cells, microglia, and astrocytes, by activating innate immune receptors Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and NOD-like receptors (inflammasome NLRs) triggering signaling pathways, which culminate in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that lead to neuroinflammation. This review focuses on evidence that indicates the participation of TLRs and the inflammasome NLRs signaling response in many effects of EtOH on the CNS, such as neuroinflammation associated with brain damage, cognitive and behavioral dysfunction, and adolescent brain development alterations. It also reviews findings that indicate the role of TLR4-dependent signaling immune molecules in alcohol consumption, reward, and addiction. The research data suggest that overactivation of TLR4 or NLRs increases pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators to cause neural damage in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus, while modest TLR4 activation, along with the generation of certain cytokines and chemokines in specific brain areas (e.g., amygdala, ventral tegmental area), modulate neurotransmission, alcohol drinking, and alcohol rewards. Elimination of TLR4 and NLRP3 abolishes many neuroimmune effects of EtOH. Despite much progress being made in this area, there are some research gaps and unanswered questions that this review discusses. Finally, potential therapies that target neuroimmune pathways to treat neuropathological and behavioral consequences of alcohol abuse are also evaluated. Copyright © 2016 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  19. Neural Signature of Value-Based Sensorimotor Prioritization in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blangero, Annabelle; Kelly, Simon P

    2017-11-01

    In situations in which impending sensory events demand fast action choices, we must be ready to prioritize higher-value courses of action to avoid missed opportunities. When such a situation first presents itself, stimulus-action contingencies and their relative value must be encoded to establish a value-biased state of preparation for an impending sensorimotor decision. Here, we sought to identify neurophysiological signatures of such processes in the human brain (both female and male). We devised a task requiring fast action choices based on the discrimination of a simple visual cue in which the differently valued sensory alternatives were presented 750-800 ms before as peripheral "targets" that specified the stimulus-action mapping for the upcoming decision. In response to the targets, we identified a discrete, transient, spatially selective signal in the event-related potential (ERP), which scaled with relative value and strongly predicted the degree of behavioral bias in the upcoming decision both across and within subjects. This signal is not compatible with any hitherto known ERP signature of spatial selection and also bears novel distinctions with respect to characterizations of value-sensitive, spatially selective activity found in sensorimotor areas of nonhuman primates. Specifically, a series of follow-up experiments revealed that the signal was reliably invoked regardless of response laterality, response modality, sensory feature, and reward valence. It was absent, however, when the response deadline was relaxed and the strategic need for biasing removed. Therefore, more than passively representing value or salience, the signal appears to play a versatile and active role in adaptive sensorimotor prioritization. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In many situations such as fast-moving sports, we must be ready to act fast in response to sensory events and, in our preparation, prioritize courses of action that lead to greater rewards. Although behavioral effects of

  20. Evidence of nonvagal neural stimulation of canine gastric acid secretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tansy, M F; Probst, S J; Martin, J S

    1975-06-01

    In this study, we confirmed our original findings that central vagus stimulation is significantly associated with a subsequent increase in gastric mucus secretion. Central vagus stimulation following phenoxybenzamine hydrochloride administration was associated significantly with protracted elevations in secretory volume and titratable acid. We were unable to conclude that phenoxybenzamine itself in several pharmacologic dosages was associated with an increase in titratable acid. The acid secretory responses could be abolished by transection of the splanchnic nerves. Electrical stimulation of the peripheral part of the splanchnic nerve following administration of phenoxybenzamine was also associated with significant increases in secretory volume and titrable acidity. These secretory responses were not blocked by atropine but were diminished by burimamide. It is concluded that, in the dog, a largely heretofore unsuspected second neural pathway exists which is capable of influencing gastric acid secretion.

  1. A measurement perspective on affirmative action in U.S. medical education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clarence D. Kreiter

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: The U.S. Supreme Court has recently heard another affirmative action case, and similar programs to promote equitable representation in higher education are being debated and enacted around the world. Understanding the empirical and quantitative research conducted over the last 50 years is important in designing effective and fair initiatives related to affirmative action in medical education. Unfortunately, the quantitative measurement research relevant to affirmative action is poorly documented in the scholarly journals that serve medical education. Methods: This research organizes and documents the measurement literature relevant to enacting affirmative action within the medical school environment, and should be valuable for informing future actions. It provides summaries of those areas where the research evidence is strong and highlights areas where more research evidence is needed. To structure the presentation, 10 topic areas are identified in the form of research questions. Results: Measurement evidence related to these questions is reviewed and summarized to provide evidence-based answers. Conclusions: These answers should provide a useful foundation for making important decisions regarding the use of racial diversity initiatives in medical education.

  2. Is recursion language-specific? Evidence of recursive mechanisms in the structure of intentional action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicari, Giuseppe; Adenzato, Mauro

    2014-05-01

    In their 2002 seminal paper Hauser, Chomsky and Fitch hypothesize that recursion is the only human-specific and language-specific mechanism of the faculty of language. While debate focused primarily on the meaning of recursion in the hypothesis and on the human-specific and syntax-specific character of recursion, the present work focuses on the claim that recursion is language-specific. We argue that there are recursive structures in the domain of motor intentionality by way of extending John R. Searle's analysis of intentional action. We then discuss evidence from cognitive science and neuroscience supporting the claim that motor-intentional recursion is language-independent and suggest some explanatory hypotheses: (1) linguistic recursion is embodied in sensory-motor processing; (2) linguistic and motor-intentional recursions are distinct and mutually independent mechanisms. Finally, we propose some reflections about the epistemic status of HCF as presenting an empirically falsifiable hypothesis, and on the possibility of testing recursion in different cognitive domains. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. DNA methyltransferase mediates dose-dependent stimulation of neural stem cell proliferation by folate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wen; Yu, Min; Luo, Suhui; Liu, Huan; Gao, Yuxia; Wilson, John X; Huang, Guowei

    2013-07-01

    The proliferative response of neural stem cells (NSCs) to folate may play a critical role in the development, function and repair of the central nervous system. It is important to determine the dose-dependent effects of folate in NSC cultures that are potential sources of transplantable cells for therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. To determine the optimal concentration and mechanism of action of folate for stimulation of NSC proliferation in vitro, NSCs were exposed to folic acid or 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) (0-200 μmol/L) for 24, 48 or 72 h. Immunocytochemistry and methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay showed that the optimal concentration of folic acid for NSC proliferation was 20-40 μmol/L. Stimulation of NSC proliferation by folic acid was associated with DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) activation and was attenuated by the DNMT inhibitor zebularine, which implies that folate dose-dependently stimulates NSC proliferation through a DNMT-dependent mechanism. Based on these new findings and previously published evidence, we have identified a mechanism by which folate stimulates NSC growth. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. How awareness changes the relative weights of evidence during human decision-making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Lange, Floris P; van Gaal, Simon; Lamme, Victor A F; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2011-11-01

    Human decisions are based on accumulating evidence over time for different options. Here we ask a simple question: How is the accumulation of evidence affected by the level of awareness of the information? We examined the influence of awareness on decision-making using combined behavioral methods and magneto-encephalography (MEG). Participants were required to make decisions by accumulating evidence over a series of visually presented arrow stimuli whose visibility was modulated by masking. Behavioral results showed that participants could accumulate evidence under both high and low visibility. However, a top-down strategic modulation of the flow of incoming evidence was only present for stimuli with high visibility: once enough evidence had been accrued, participants strategically reduced the impact of new incoming stimuli. Also, decision-making speed and confidence were strongly modulated by the strength of the evidence for high-visible but not low-visible evidence, even though direct priming effects were identical for both types of stimuli. Neural recordings revealed that, while initial perceptual processing was independent of visibility, there was stronger top-down amplification for stimuli with high visibility than low visibility. Furthermore, neural markers of evidence accumulation over occipito-parietal cortex showed a strategic bias only for highly visible sensory information, speeding up processing and reducing neural computations related to the decision process. Our results indicate that the level of awareness of information changes decision-making: while accumulation of evidence already exists under low visibility conditions, high visibility allows evidence to be accumulated up to a higher level, leading to important strategical top-down changes in decision-making. Our results therefore suggest a potential role of awareness in deploying flexible strategies for biasing information acquisition in line with one's expectations and goals.

  5. How awareness changes the relative weights of evidence during human decision-making.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Floris P de Lange

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Human decisions are based on accumulating evidence over time for different options. Here we ask a simple question: How is the accumulation of evidence affected by the level of awareness of the information? We examined the influence of awareness on decision-making using combined behavioral methods and magneto-encephalography (MEG. Participants were required to make decisions by accumulating evidence over a series of visually presented arrow stimuli whose visibility was modulated by masking. Behavioral results showed that participants could accumulate evidence under both high and low visibility. However, a top-down strategic modulation of the flow of incoming evidence was only present for stimuli with high visibility: once enough evidence had been accrued, participants strategically reduced the impact of new incoming stimuli. Also, decision-making speed and confidence were strongly modulated by the strength of the evidence for high-visible but not low-visible evidence, even though direct priming effects were identical for both types of stimuli. Neural recordings revealed that, while initial perceptual processing was independent of visibility, there was stronger top-down amplification for stimuli with high visibility than low visibility. Furthermore, neural markers of evidence accumulation over occipito-parietal cortex showed a strategic bias only for highly visible sensory information, speeding up processing and reducing neural computations related to the decision process. Our results indicate that the level of awareness of information changes decision-making: while accumulation of evidence already exists under low visibility conditions, high visibility allows evidence to be accumulated up to a higher level, leading to important strategical top-down changes in decision-making. Our results therefore suggest a potential role of awareness in deploying flexible strategies for biasing information acquisition in line with one's expectations and goals.

  6. Concepts in context: Processing mental state concepts with internal or external focus involves different neural systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterwijk, Suzanne; Mackey, Scott; Wilson-Mendenhall, Christine; Winkielman, Piotr; Paulus, Martin P.

    2015-01-01

    According to embodied cognition theories concepts are contextually-situated and grounded in neural systems that produce experiential states. This view predicts that processing mental state concepts recruits neural regions associated with different aspects of experience depending on the context in which people understand a concept. This neuroimaging study tested this prediction using a set of sentences that described emotional (e.g., fear, joy) and non-emotional (e.g., thinking, hunger) mental states with internal focus (i.e. focusing on bodily sensations and introspection) or external focus (i.e. focusing on expression and action). Consistent with our predictions, data suggested that the inferior frontal gyrus, a region associated with action representation, was engaged more by external than internal sentences. By contrast, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, a region associated with the generation of internal states, was engaged more by internal emotion sentences than external sentence categories. Similar patterns emerged when we examined the relationship between neural activity and independent ratings of sentence focus. Furthermore, ratings of emotion were associated with activation in the medial prefrontal cortex, whereas ratings of activity were associated with activation in the inferior frontal gyrus. These results suggest that mental state concepts are represented in a dynamic way, using context-relevant interoceptive and sensorimotor resources. PMID:25748274

  7. Reafferent copies of imitated actions in the right superior temporal cortex

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    Iacoboni, Marco; Koski, Lisa M.; Brass, Marcel; Bekkering, Harold; Woods, Roger P.; Dubeau, Marie-Charlotte; Mazziotta, John C.; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2001-01-01

    Imitation is a complex phenomenon, the neural mechanisms of which are still largely unknown. When individuals imitate an action that already is present in their motor repertoire, a mechanism matching the observed action onto an internal motor representation of that action should suffice for the purpose. When one has to copy a new action, however, or to adjust an action present in one's motor repertoire to a different observed action, an additional mechanism is needed that allows the observer to compare the action made by another individual with the sensory consequences of the same action made by himself. Previous experiments have shown that a mechanism that directly matches observed actions on their motor counterparts exists in the premotor cortex of monkeys and humans. Here we report the results of functional magnetic resonance experiments, suggesting that in the superior temporal sulcus, a higher order visual region, there is a sector that becomes active both during hand action observation and during imitation even in the absence of direct vision of the imitator's hand. The motor-related activity is greater during imitation than during control motor tasks. This newly identified region has all the requisites for being the region at which the observed actions, and the reafferent motor-related copies of actions made by the imitator, interact. PMID:11717457

  8. Molecular substrates of action control in cortico-striatal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiflett, Michael W; Balleine, Bernard W

    2011-09-15

    The purpose of this review is to describe the molecular mechanisms in the striatum that mediate reward-based learning and action control during instrumental conditioning. Experiments assessing the neural bases of instrumental conditioning have uncovered functional circuits in the striatum, including dorsal and ventral striatal sub-regions, involved in action-outcome learning, stimulus-response learning, and the motivational control of action by reward-associated cues. Integration of dopamine (DA) and glutamate neurotransmission within these striatal sub-regions is hypothesized to enable learning and action control through its role in shaping synaptic plasticity and cellular excitability. The extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) appears to be particularly important for reward-based learning and action control due to its sensitivity to combined DA and glutamate receptor activation and its involvement in a range of cellular functions. ERK activation in striatal neurons is proposed to have a dual role in both the learning and performance factors that contribute to instrumental conditioning through its regulation of plasticity-related transcription factors and its modulation of intrinsic cellular excitability. Furthermore, perturbation of ERK activation by drugs of abuse may give rise to behavioral disorders such as addiction. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Neural basis of the time window for subjective motor-auditory integration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koichi eToida

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Temporal contiguity between an action and corresponding auditory feedback is crucial to the perception of self-generated sound. However, the neural mechanisms underlying motor–auditory temporal integration are unclear. Here, we conducted four experiments with an oddball paradigm to examine the specific event-related potentials (ERPs elicited by delayed auditory feedback for a self-generated action. The first experiment confirmed that a pitch-deviant auditory stimulus elicits mismatch negativity (MMN and P300, both when it is generated passively and by the participant’s action. In our second and third experiments, we investigated the ERP components elicited by delayed auditory feedback of for a self-generated action. We found that delayed auditory feedback elicited an enhancement of P2 (enhanced-P2 and a N300 component, which were apparently different from the MMN and P300 components observed in the first experiment. We further investigated the sensitivity of the enhanced-P2 and N300 to delay length in our fourth experiment. Strikingly, the amplitude of the N300 increased as a function of the delay length. Additionally, the N300 amplitude was significantly correlated with the conscious detection of the delay (the 50% detection point was around 200 ms, and hence reduction in the feeling of authorship of the sound (the sense of agency. In contrast, the enhanced-P2 was most prominent in short-delay (≤ 200 ms conditions and diminished in long-delay conditions. Our results suggest that different neural mechanisms are employed for the processing of temporally-deviant and pitch-deviant auditory feedback. Additionally, the temporal window for subjective motor–auditory integration is likely about 200 ms, as indicated by these auditory ERP components.

  10. Evidence of the protein content of bovine and human dental pulps by the action of endodontic irrigation solutions through electrophoretic patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María E López

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis let to show the protein content of different tissues. Dental pulp contains connective tissue which is removed during the endodontic treatment. Many studies consider bovine rather than human pulp tissue because of its size. Aim: To evidence the protein content of bovine and human dental pulps and the action of endodontic irrigation solutions through electrophoretic patterns. Materials and Methods: Extracts of human and bovine dental pulps were prepared. Sodium hypochlorite, calcium hydroxide, chlorhexidine and ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid were used as irrigating solutions. Results: Bovine and human pulps have a small difference in two bands of proteins present between 74 kDa and 80 kDa. The denaturizing capacity of sodium hypochlorite and the washing action of calcium hydroxide and chlorhexidine were evidenced. Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid solution was shown to contain proteins continuously during the endodontic root canal washing. Conclusions: Differences in pulp tissues and the action of irrigating solutions on their protein content would help on the understanding of the biological process of the endodontic treatment.

  11. Chemically Induced Reprogramming of Somatic Cells to Pluripotent Stem Cells and Neural Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Dhruba; Jiang, Peng

    2016-02-06

    The ability to generate transplantable neural cells in a large quantity in the laboratory is a critical step in the field of developing stem cell regenerative medicine for neural repair. During the last few years, groundbreaking studies have shown that cell fate of adult somatic cells can be reprogrammed through lineage specific expression of transcription factors (TFs)-and defined culture conditions. This key concept has been used to identify a number of potent small molecules that could enhance the efficiency of reprogramming with TFs. Recently, a growing number of studies have shown that small molecules targeting specific epigenetic and signaling pathways can replace all of the reprogramming TFs. Here, we provide a detailed review of the studies reporting the generation of chemically induced pluripotent stem cells (ciPSCs), neural