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Sample records for brain evolution implications

  1. Energetic and nutritional constraints on infant brain development: implications for brain expansion during human evolution.

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    Cunnane, Stephen C; Crawford, Michael A

    2014-12-01

    The human brain confronts two major challenges during its development: (i) meeting a very high energy requirement, and (ii) reliably accessing an adequate dietary source of specific brain selective nutrients needed for its structure and function. Implicitly, these energetic and nutritional constraints to normal brain development today would also have been constraints on human brain evolution. The energetic constraint was solved in large measure by the evolution in hominins of a unique and significant layer of body fat on the fetus starting during the third trimester of gestation. By providing fatty acids for ketone production that are needed as brain fuel, this fat layer supports the brain's high energy needs well into childhood. This fat layer also contains an important reserve of the brain selective omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), not available in other primates. Foremost amongst the brain selective minerals are iodine and iron, with zinc, copper and selenium also being important. A shore-based diet, i.e., fish, molluscs, crustaceans, frogs, bird's eggs and aquatic plants, provides the richest known dietary sources of brain selective nutrients. Regular access to these foods by the early hominin lineage that evolved into humans would therefore have helped free the nutritional constraint on primate brain development and function. Inadequate dietary supply of brain selective nutrients still has a deleterious impact on human brain development on a global scale today, demonstrating the brain's ongoing vulnerability. The core of the shore-based paradigm of human brain evolution proposes that sustained access by certain groups of early Homo to freshwater and marine food resources would have helped surmount both the nutritional as well as the energetic constraints on mammalian brain development. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. A Hypothesis for the Composition of the Tardigrade Brain and its Implications for Panarthropod Brain Evolution.

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    Smith, Frank W; Bartels, Paul J; Goldstein, Bob

    2017-09-01

    Incredibly disparate brain types are found in Metazoa, which raises the question of how this disparity evolved. Ecdysozoa includes representatives that exhibit ring-like brains-the Cycloneuralia-and representatives that exhibit ganglionic brains-the Panarthropoda (Euarthropoda, Onychophora, and Tardigrada). The evolutionary steps leading to these distinct brain types are unclear. Phylogenomic analyses suggest that the enigmatic Tardigrada is a closely related outgroup of a Euarthropoda + Onychophora clade; as such, the brains of tardigrades may provide insight into the evolution of ecdysozoan brains. Recently, evolutionarily salient questions have arisen regarding the composition of the tardigrade brain. To address these questions, we investigated brain anatomy in four tardigrade species-Hypsibius dujardini, Milnesium n. sp., Echiniscus n. sp., and Batillipes n. sp.-that together span Tardigrada. Our results suggest that general brain morphology is conserved across Tardigrada. Based on our results we present a hypothesis that proposes direct parallels between the tardigrade brain and the segmental trunk ganglia of the tardigrade ventral nervous system. In this hypothesis, brain neuropil nearly circumscribes the tardigrade foregut. We suggest that the tardigrade brain retains aspects of an ancestral cycloneuralian brain, while exhibiting ganglionic structure characteristic of euarthropods and onychophorans. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology.All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Gorilla and Orangutan Brains Conform to the Primate Cellular Scaling Rules: Implications for Human Evolution

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    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Kaas, Jon H.

    2011-01-01

    Gorillas and orangutans are primates at least as large as humans, but their brains amount to about one third of the size of the human brain. This discrepancy has been used as evidence that the human brain is about 3 times larger than it should be for a primate species of its body size. In contrast to the view that the human brain is special in its size, we have suggested that it is the great apes that might have evolved bodies that are unusually large, on the basis of our recent finding that the cellular composition of the human brain matches that expected for a primate brain of its size, making the human brain a linearly scaled-up primate brain in its number of cells. To investigate whether the brain of great apes also conforms to the primate cellular scaling rules identified previously, we determine the numbers of neuronal and other cells that compose the orangutan and gorilla cerebella, use these numbers to calculate the size of the brain and of the cerebral cortex expected for these species, and show that these match the sizes described in the literature. Our results suggest that the brains of great apes also scale linearly in their numbers of neurons like other primate brains, including humans. The conformity of great apes and humans to the linear cellular scaling rules that apply to other primates that diverged earlier in primate evolution indicates that prehistoric Homo species as well as other hominins must have had brains that conformed to the same scaling rules, irrespective of their body size. We then used those scaling rules and published estimated brain volumes for various hominin species to predict the numbers of neurons that composed their brains. We predict that Homo heidelbergensis and Homo neanderthalensis had brains with approximately 80 billion neurons, within the range of variation found in modern Homo sapiens. We propose that while the cellular scaling rules that apply to the primate brain have remained stable in hominin evolution (since they

  4. Reconstructing the ups and downs of primate brain evolution: implications for adaptive hypotheses and Homo floresiensis

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    Barton Robert A

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Brain size is a key adaptive trait. It is often assumed that increasing brain size was a general evolutionary trend in primates, yet recent fossil discoveries have documented brain size decreases in some lineages, raising the question of how general a trend there was for brains to increase in mass over evolutionary time. We present the first systematic phylogenetic analysis designed to answer this question. Results We performed ancestral state reconstructions of three traits (absolute brain mass, absolute body mass, relative brain mass using 37 extant and 23 extinct primate species and three approaches to ancestral state reconstruction: parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo. Both absolute and relative brain mass generally increased over evolutionary time, but body mass did not. Nevertheless both absolute and relative brain mass decreased along several branches. Applying these results to the contentious case of Homo floresiensis, we find a number of scenarios under which the proposed evolution of Homo floresiensis' small brain appears to be consistent with patterns observed along other lineages, dependent on body mass and phylogenetic position. Conclusions Our results confirm that brain expansion began early in primate evolution and show that increases occurred in all major clades. Only in terms of an increase in absolute mass does the human lineage appear particularly striking, with both the rate of proportional change in mass and relative brain size having episodes of greater expansion elsewhere on the primate phylogeny. However, decreases in brain mass also occurred along branches in all major clades, and we conclude that, while selection has acted to enlarge primate brains, in some lineages this trend has been reversed. Further analyses of the phylogenetic position of Homo floresiensis and better body mass estimates are required to confirm the plausibility of the evolution of its small brain

  5. Scaling of brain metabolism with a fixed energy budget per neuron: implications for neuronal activity, plasticity and evolution.

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    Suzana Herculano-Houzel

    Full Text Available It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodents and primates (including humans. The estimated average glucose use per neuron does not correlate with neuronal density in any structure. This suggests that the energy budget of the whole brain per neuron is fixed across species and brain sizes, such that total glucose use by the brain as a whole, by the cerebral cortex and also by the cerebellum alone are linear functions of the number of neurons in the structures across the species (although the average glucose consumption per neuron is at least 10× higher in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum. These results indicate that the apparently remarkable use in humans of 20% of the whole body energy budget by a brain that represents only 2% of body mass is explained simply by its large number of neurons. Because synaptic activity is considered the major determinant of metabolic cost, a conserved energy budget per neuron has several profound implications for synaptic homeostasis and the regulation of firing rates, synaptic plasticity, brain imaging, pathologies, and for brain scaling in evolution.

  6. Metopic suture of Taung (Australopithecus africanus) and its implications for hominin brain evolution.

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    Falk, Dean; Zollikofer, Christoph P E; Morimoto, Naoki; Ponce de León, Marcia S

    2012-05-29

    The type specimen for Australopithecus africanus (Taung) includes a natural endocast that reproduces most of the external morphology of the right cerebral hemisphere and a fragment of fossilized face that articulates with the endocast. Despite the fact that Taung died between 3 and 4 y of age, the endocast reproduces a small triangular-shaped remnant of the anterior fontanelle, from which a clear metopic suture (MS) courses rostrally along the midline [Hrdlička A (1925) Am J Phys Anthropol 8:379-392]. Here we describe and interpret this feature of Taung in light of comparative fossil and actualistic data on the timing of MS closure. In great apes, the MS normally fuses shortly after birth, such that unfused MS similar to Taung's are rare. In humans, however, MS fuses well after birth, and partially or unfused MS are frequent. In gracile fossil adult hominins that lived between ∼3.0 and 1.5 million y ago, MS are also relatively frequent, indicating that the modern human-like pattern of late MS fusion may have become adaptive during early hominin evolution. Selective pressures favoring delayed fusion might have resulted from three aspects of perinatal ontogeny: (i) the difficulty of giving birth to large-headed neonates through birth canals that were reconfigured for bipedalism (the "obstetric dilemma"), (ii) high early postnatal brain growth rates, and (iii) reorganization and expansion of the frontal neocortex. Overall, our data indicate that hominin brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns.

  7. Metopic suture and RUNX2, a key transcription factor in osseous morphogenesis with possible important implications for human brain evolution.

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    Magherini, Stefano; Fiore, Maria Giulia; Chiarelli, Brunetto; Serrao, Antonio; Paternostro, Ferdinando; Morucci, Gabriele; Branca, Jacopo J V; Ruggiero, Marco; Pacini, Stefania

    2015-01-01

    Overall, the comparative data available on the timing of metopic suture closure in present-day and fossil members of human lineage, as well as great apes, seem to indicate that human brain evolution occurred within a complex network of fetopelvic constraints, which required modification of frontal neurocranial ossification patterns, involving delayed fusion of the metopic suture. It is very interesting that the recent sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has revealed signs of positive selection in the modern human variant of the RUNX2 gene, which is known to affect metopic suture fusion in addition to being essential for osteoblast development and proper bone formation. It is possible that an evolutionary change in RUNX2, affecting aspects of the morphology of the upper body and cranium, was of importance in the origin of modern humans. Thus, to contribute to a better understanding of the molecular evolution of this gene probably implicated in human evolution, we performed a comparative bioinformatic analysis of the coding sequences of RUNX2 in Homo sapiens and other non-human Primates. We found amino-acid sequence differences between RUNX2 protein isoforms of Homo sapiens and the other Primates examined, that might have important implications for the timing of metopic suture closure. Further studies are needed to clear the potential distinct developmental roles of different species-specific RUNX2 N-terminal isoforms. Meantime, our bioinformatic analysis, regarding expression of the RUNX2 gene in Homo sapiens and other non-human Primates, has provided a contribution to this important issue of human evolution.

  8. Binocularity and brain evolution in primates

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    Barton, R. A.

    2004-01-01

    Primates are distinguished by frontally directed, highly convergent orbits, which are associated with stereoscopic vision. Although stereoscopic vision requires specialized neural mechanisms, its implications for brain evolution are unknown. Using phylogenetic comparative analysis, I show that evolutionary increases among primate taxa in the degree of orbital convergence correlate with expansion of visual brain structures and, as a consequence, with the overall size of the brain. This pattern...

  9. On the relationships of postcanine tooth size with dietary quality and brain volume in primates: implications for hominin evolution.

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    Jiménez-Arenas, Juan Manuel; Pérez-Claros, Juan Antonio; Aledo, Juan Carlos; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.

  10. On the Relationships of Postcanine Tooth Size with Dietary Quality and Brain Volume in Primates: Implications for Hominin Evolution

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    Juan Manuel Jiménez-Arenas

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates.

  11. On the Relationships of Postcanine Tooth Size with Dietary Quality and Brain Volume in Primates: Implications for Hominin Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Arenas, Juan Manuel; Pérez-Claros, Juan Antonio; Aledo, Juan Carlos; Palmqvist, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Brain volume and cheek-tooth size have traditionally been considered as two traits that show opposite evolutionary trends during the evolution of Homo. As a result, differences in encephalization and molarization among hominins tend to be interpreted in paleobiological grounds, because both traits were presumably linked to the dietary quality of extinct species. Here we show that there is an essential difference between the genus Homo and the living primate species, because postcanine tooth size and brain volume are related to negative allometry in primates and show an inverse relationship in Homo. However, when size effects are removed, the negative relationship between encephalization and molarization holds only for platyrrhines and the genus Homo. In addition, there is no general trend for the relationship between postcanine tooth size and dietary quality among the living primates. If size and phylogeny effects are both removed, this relationship vanishes in many taxonomic groups. As a result, the suggestion that the presence of well-developed postcanine teeth in extinct hominins should be indicative of a poor-quality diet cannot be generalized to all extant and extinct primates. PMID:24592388

  12. Endocast of the Late Triassic (Carnian) dinosaur Saturnalia tupiniquim: implications for the evolution of brain tissue in Sauropodomorpha.

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    Bronzati, Mario; Rauhut, Oliver W M; Bittencourt, Jonathas S; Langer, Max C

    2017-09-20

    The evolutionary history of dinosaurs might date back to the first stages of the Triassic (c. 250-240 Ma), but the oldest unequivocal records of the group come from Late Triassic (Carnian - c. 230 Ma) rocks of South America. Here, we present the first braincase endocast of a Carnian dinosaur, the sauropodomorph Saturnalia tupiniquim, and provide new data regarding the evolution of the floccular and parafloccular lobe of the cerebellum (FFL), which has been extensively discussed in the field of palaeoneurology. Previous studies proposed that the development of a permanent quadrupedal stance was one of the factors leading to the volume reduction of the FFL of sauropods. However, based on the new data for S. tupiniquim we identified a first moment of FFL volume reduction in non-sauropodan Sauropodomorpha, preceding the acquisition of a fully quadrupedal stance. Analysing variations in FFL volume alongside other morphological changes in the group, we suggest that this reduction is potentially related to the adoption of a more restricted herbivore diet. In this context, the FFL of sauropods might represent a vestigial trait, retained in a reduced version from the bipedal and predatory early sauropodomorphs.

  13. BEND3 is involved in the human-specific repression of calreticulin: Implication for the evolution of higher brain functions in human.

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    Aghajanirefah, A; Nguyen, L N; Ohadi, M

    2016-01-15

    Recent emerging evidence indicates that changes in gene expression levels are linked to human evolution. We have previously reported a human-specific nucleotide in the promoter sequence of the calreticulin (CALR) gene at position -220C, which is the site of action of valproic acid. Reversion of this nucleotide to the ancestral A-allele has been detected in patients with degrees of deficit in higher brain cognitive functions. This mutation has since been reported in the 1000 genomes database at an approximate frequency of brain functions. To our knowledge, CALR rs138452745 is the first instance of enormous nucleotide conservation across evolution, except in the human species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Sticky Brain 'Plaques' Implicated in Alzheimer's Again

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    ... fullstory_166550.html Sticky Brain 'Plaques' Implicated in Alzheimer's Again Researchers believe these substances form in early ... in the brain signals an early stage of Alzheimer's disease. It's been known for years that in ...

  15. Brain evolution and human neuropsychology: the inferential brain hypothesis.

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    Koscik, Timothy R; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-05-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. (JINS, 2012, 18, 394-401).

  16. Brain Evolution and Human Neuropsychology: The Inferential Brain Hypothesis

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    Koscik, Timothy R.; Tranel, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    Collaboration between human neuropsychology and comparative neuroscience has generated invaluable contributions to our understanding of human brain evolution and function. Further cross-talk between these disciplines has the potential to continue to revolutionize these fields. Modern neuroimaging methods could be applied in a comparative context, yielding exciting new data with the potential of providing insight into brain evolution. Conversely, incorporating an evolutionary base into the theoretical perspectives from which we approach human neuropsychology could lead to novel hypotheses and testable predictions. In the spirit of these objectives, we present here a new theoretical proposal, the Inferential Brain Hypothesis, whereby the human brain is thought to be characterized by a shift from perceptual processing to inferential computation, particularly within the social realm. This shift is believed to be a driving force for the evolution of the large human cortex. PMID:22459075

  17. We Recognize Ourselves as Being Similar to Others: Implications of the “Social Brain Hypothesis” for the Biological Evolution of the Intuition of Freedom

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    Eckart Voland

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Consistent with and in extension of the “social brain hypothesis,” I discuss the idea that the intuition of free will emerged during the course of primate social evolution. If, as the “social brain hypothesis” alleges, the main selective pressure among primates is on generating social knowledge about one's cooperators and competitors, then it is the knowledge about others and not the knowledge about oneself that is the scarce cognitive resource. It is beneficial to make the others predictable and to form hypotheses about their probable behavioral tendencies. This is done by behavior reading and mind reading and by classifying the recurring stochastic patterns in everyday language as the “will.” Thus, the idea of free will emerged first as a social attribution and not as an introspectively gained insight. The fact that ego applies the idea of freedom also to itself and considers itself to be as free as it considers the social partners to be free, i.e. unpredictable, is in this view a non-selected by-product of social intelligence.

  18. Functional mastery of percussive technology in nut-cracking and stone-flaking actions: experimental comparison and implications for the evolution of the human brain

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    Bril, Blandine; Smaers, Jeroen; Steele, James; Rein, Robert; Nonaka, Tetsushi; Dietrich, Gilles; Biryukova, Elena; Hirata, Satoshi; Roux, Valentine

    2012-01-01

    Various authors have suggested behavioural similarities between tool use in early hominins and chimpanzee nut cracking, where nut cracking might be interpreted as a precursor of more complex stone flaking. In this paper, we bring together and review two separate strands of research on chimpanzee and human tool use and cognitive abilities. Firstly, and in the greatest detail, we review our recent experimental work on behavioural organization and skill acquisition in nut-cracking and stone-knapping tasks, highlighting similarities and differences between the two tasks that may be informative for the interpretation of stone tools in the early archaeological record. Secondly, and more briefly, we outline a model of the comparative neuropsychology of primate tool use and discuss recent descriptive anatomical and statistical analyses of anthropoid primate brain evolution, focusing on cortico-cerebellar systems. By juxtaposing these two strands of research, we are able to identify unsolved problems that can usefully be addressed by future research in each of these two research areas. PMID:22106427

  19. The Molecular Basis of Human Brain Evolution.

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    Enard, Wolfgang

    2016-10-24

    Humans are a remarkable species, especially because of the remarkable properties of their brain. Since the split from the chimpanzee lineage, the human brain has increased three-fold in size and has acquired abilities for vocal learning, language and intense cooperation. To better understand the molecular basis of these changes is of great biological and biomedical interest. However, all the about 16 million fixed genetic changes that occurred during human evolution are fully correlated with all molecular, cellular, anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred during this time. Hence, as humans and chimpanzees cannot be crossed or genetically manipulated, no direct evidence for linking particular genetic and molecular changes to human brain evolution can be obtained. Here, I sketch a framework how indirect evidence can be obtained and review findings related to the molecular basis of human cognition, vocal learning and brain size. In particular, I discuss how a comprehensive comparative approach, leveraging cellular systems and genomic technologies, could inform the evolution of our brain in the future. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. On the Evolution of the Mammalian Brain.

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    Torday, John S; Miller, William B

    2016-01-01

    Hobson and Friston have hypothesized that the brain must actively dissipate heat in order to process information (Hobson et al., 2014). This physiologic trait is functionally homologous with the first instantation of life formed by lipids suspended in water forming micelles- allowing the reduction in entropy (heat dissipation). This circumvents the Second Law of Thermodynamics permitting the transfer of information between living entities, enabling them to perpetually glean information from the environment, that is felt by many to correspond to evolution per se. The next evolutionary milestone was the advent of cholesterol, embedded in the cell membranes of primordial eukaryotes, facilitating metabolism, oxygenation and locomotion, the triadic basis for vertebrate evolution. Lipids were key to homeostatic regulation of calcium, forming calcium channels. Cell membrane cholesterol also fostered metazoan evolution by forming lipid rafts for receptor-mediated cell-cell signaling, the origin of the endocrine system. The eukaryotic cell membrane exapted to all complex physiologic traits, including the lung and brain, which are molecularly homologous through the function of neuregulin, mediating both lung development and myelinization of neurons. That cooption later exapted as endothermy during the water-land transition (Torday, 2015a), perhaps being the functional homolog for brain heat dissipation and conscious/mindful information processing. The skin and brain similarly share molecular homologies through the "skin-brain" hypothesis, giving insight to the cellular-molecular "arc" of consciousness from its unicellular origins to integrated physiology. This perspective on the evolution of the central nervous system clarifies self-organization, reconciling thermodynamic and informational definitions of the underlying biophysical mechanisms, thereby elucidating relations between the predictive capabilities of the brain and self-organizational processes.

  1. On the evolution of the mammalian brain

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    John Steven Torday

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Hobson and Friston have hypothesized that the brain must actively dissipate heat in order to process information (Virtual reality and consciousness inference in dreaming. Front Psychol. 2014 Oct 9;5:1133.. This physiologic trait is functionally homologous with the first instantation of life formed by lipids suspended in water forming micelles- allowing the reduction in entropy (heat dissipation, circumventing the Second Law of Thermodynamics permitting the transfer of information between living entities, enabling them to perpetually glean information from the environment (= evolution. The next evolutionary milestone was the advent of cholesterol, embedded in the cell membranes of primordial eukaryotes, facilitating metabolism, oxygenation and locomotion, the triadic basis for vertebrate evolution. Lipids were key to homeostatic regulation of calcium, forming calcium channels. Cell membrane cholesterol also fostered metazoan evolution by forming lipid rafts for receptor-mediated cell-cell signaling, the origin of the endocrine system. The eukaryotic cell membrane exapted to all complex physiologic traits, including the lung and brain, which are molecularly homologous through the function of neuregulin, mediating both lung development and myelinization of neurons. That cooption later exapted as endothermy during the water-land transition (Torday JS. A Central Theory of Biology. Med Hypotheses. 2015 Jul;85(1:49-57, perhaps being the functional homolog for brain heat dissipation and consciousness/mind. The skin and brain similarly share molecular homologies through the ‘skin-brain’ hypothesis, giving insight to the cellular-molecular ‘arc’ of consciousness from its unicellular origins to integrated physiology. This perspective on the evolution of the central nervous system clarifies self-organization, reconciling thermodynamic and informational definitions of the underlying biophysical mechanisms, thereby elucidating relations between the

  2. [Evolution of human brain and intelligence].

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    Lakatos, László; Janka, Zoltán

    2008-07-30

    The biological evolution, including human evolution is mainly driven by environmental changes. Accidental genetic modifications and their innovative results make the successful adaptation possible. As we know the human evolution started 7-8 million years ago in the African savannah, where upright position and bipedalism were significantly advantageous. The main drive of improving manual actions and tool making could be to obtain more food. Our ancestor got more meat due to more successful hunting, resulting in more caloric intake, more protein and essential fatty acid in the meal. The nervous system uses disproportionally high level of energy, so better quality of food was a basic condition for the evolution of huge human brain. The size of human brain was tripled during 3.5 million years, it increased from the average of 450 cm3 of Australopithecinae to the average of 1350 cm3 of Homo sapiens. A genetic change in the system controlling gene expression could happen about 200 000 years ago, which influenced the development of nervous system, the sensorimotor function and learning ability for motor processes. The appearance and stabilisation of FOXP2 gene structure as feature of modern man coincided with the first presence and quick spread of Homo sapiens on the whole Earth. This genetic modification made opportunity for human language, as the basis of abrupt evolution of human intelligence. The brain region being responsible for human language is the left planum temporale, which is much larger in left hemisphere. This shows the most typical human brain asymmetry. In this case the anatomical asymmetry means a clearly defined functional asymmetry as well, where the brain hemispheres act differently. The preference in using hands, the lateralised using of tools resulted in the brain asymmetry, which is the precondition of human language and intelligence. However, it cannot be held anymore, that only humans make tools, because our closest relatives, the chimpanzees are

  3. The evolution of the brain in Canidae (Mammalia: Carnivora)

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    Lyras, G.A.

    2009-01-01

    Canid brain evolution followed three independent, yet convergent paths. Each of the three canid subfamilies (Hesperocyoninae, Borophaginae and Caninae) started with a simple brain, which gradually became more complicated as the cerebral cortex became larger and more fissured, the cerebellar

  4. Phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the brain-development gene microcephalin (MCPH1 in cetaceans

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    Montgomery Stephen H

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Representatives of Cetacea have the greatest absolute brain size among animals, and the largest relative brain size aside from humans. Despite this, genes implicated in the evolution of large brain size in primates have yet to be surveyed in cetaceans. Results We sequenced ~1240 basepairs of the brain development gene microcephalin (MCPH1 in 38 cetacean species. Alignments of these data and a published complete sequence from Tursiops truncatus with primate MCPH1 were utilized in phylogenetic analyses and to estimate ω (rate of nonsynonymous substitution/rate of synonymous substitution using site and branch models of molecular evolution. We also tested the hypothesis that selection on MCPH1 was correlated with brain size in cetaceans using a continuous regression analysis that accounted for phylogenetic history. Our analyses revealed widespread signals of adaptive evolution in the MCPH1 of Cetacea and in other subclades of Mammalia, however, there was not a significant positive association between ω and brain size within Cetacea. Conclusion In conjunction with a recent study of Primates, we find no evidence to support an association between MCPH1 evolution and the evolution of brain size in highly encephalized mammalian species. Our finding of significant positive selection in MCPH1 may be linked to other functions of the gene.

  5. Evolution of the human brain: changing brain size and the fossil record.

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    Park, Min S; Nguyen, Andrew D; Aryan, Henry E; U, Hoi Sang; Levy, Michael L; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2007-03-01

    Although the study of the human brain is a rapidly developing and expanding science, we must take pause to examine the historical and evolutionary events that helped shape the brain of Homo sapiens. From an examination of the human lineage to a discussion of evolutionary principles, we describe the basic principles and theories behind the evolution of the human brain. Specifically, we examine several theories concerning changes in overall brain size during hominid evolution and relate them to the fossil record. This overview is intended to provide a broad understanding of some of the controversial issues that are currently being debated in the multidisciplinary field of brain evolution research.

  6. Task-Based Cohesive Evolution of Dynamic Brain Networks

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    Davison, Elizabeth

    2014-03-01

    Applications of graph theory to neuroscience have resulted in significant progress towards a mechanistic understanding of the brain. Functional network representation of the brain has linked efficient network structure to psychometric intelligence and altered configurations with disease. Dynamic graphs provide us with tools to further study integral properties of the brain; specifically, the mathematical convention of hyperedges has allowed us to study the brain's cross-linked structure. Hyperedges capture the changes in network structure by identifying groups of brain regions with correlation patterns that change cohesively through time. We performed a hyperedge analysis on functional MRI data from 86 subjects and explored the cohesive evolution properties of their functional brain networks as they performed a series of tasks. Our results establish the hypergraph as a useful measure in understanding functional brain dynamics over tasks and reveal characteristic differences in the co-evolution structure of task-specific networks.

  7. Temporal and spatial evolution of brain network topology during the first two years of life.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Gao

    Full Text Available The mature brain features high wiring efficiency for information transfer. However, the emerging process of such an efficient topology remains elusive. With resting state functional MRI and a large cohort of normal pediatric subjects (n = 147 imaged during a critical time period of brain development, 3 wk- to 2 yr-old, the temporal and spatial evolution of brain network topology is revealed. The brain possesses the small world topology immediately after birth, followed by a remarkable improvement in whole brain wiring efficiency in 1 yr olds and becomes more stable in 2 yr olds. Regional developments of brain wiring efficiency and the evolution of functional hubs suggest differential development trend for primary and higher order cognitive functions during the first two years of life. Simulations of random errors and targeted attacks reveal an age-dependent improvement of resilience. The lower resilience to targeted attack observed in 3 wk old group is likely due to the fact that there are fewer well-established long-distance functional connections at this age whose elimination might have more profound implications in the overall efficiency of information transfer. Overall, our results offer new insights into the temporal and spatial evolution of brain topology during early brain development.

  8. Genetic variability, individuality and the evolution of the mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipp, H P

    1995-12-01

    The neo-Darwinian theory of evolution has difficulty in explaining the rapid evolution of mammalian brain and behavior. I shall argue that the plasticity mechanisms of the brain (i.e., system homeostasis, developmental reorganization, structural adult plasticity, and cognition and learning) have evolved primarily as genetic buffer systems which protect subtle mutations influencing brain structures from natural selection. These buffer systems permit accumulation of genetic variation in the higher system levels of the brain (simply defined as structures with late differentiation), while low-level systems are kept constant by natural selection. The organization of this intrinsic genetic buffering system provides several features facilitating neo-Darwinian evolution: In conclusion, the evolutionary appearance of cognition and intelligence is an ordinary biological mechanism compensating evolutionary drags such as long lifespans and fewer offspring. The concept has heuristic value for identifying gene-brain-behavior relationships and for explaining behavioral consequences of artifical gene deletions.

  9. Evolution of the human brain: design without a designer.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, M.A.; Kaas, John

    2017-01-01

    The evolutionary expansion of the brain is among the most distinctive morphological features of mammals. During the past decades, considerable progress has been made in explaining brain evolution in terms of physical and adaptive principles. The objective of this chapter is to present current

  10. Mind, Brain and Education: A Decade of Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Marc

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the evolution of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE), the field, alongside that of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society (IMBES). The reflections stem mostly from my observations while serving as vice president, president-elect, and president of IMBES during the past 10 years. The article highlights the evolution…

  11. Poverty and Brain Development in Children: Implications for Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dike, Victor E.

    2017-01-01

    Debates on the effect of poverty on brain development in children and its implications for learning have been raging for decades. Research suggests that poverty affects brain development in children and that the implications for learning are more compelling today given the attention the issue has attracted. For instance, studies in the fields of…

  12. Plausible mechanisms for brain structural and size changes in human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blazek, Vladimir; Brùzek, Jaroslav; Casanova, Manuel F

    2011-09-01

    Encephalization has many contexts and implications. On one hand, it is concerned with the transformation of eating habits, social relationships and communication, cognitive skills and the mind. Along with the increase in brain size on the other hand, encephalization is connected with the creation of more complex brain structures, namely in the cerebral cortex. It is imperative to inquire into the mechanisms which are linked with brain growth and to find out which of these mechanisms allow it and determine it. There exist a number of theories for understanding human brain evolution which originate from neurological sciences. These theories are the concept of radial units, minicolumns, mirror neurons, and neurocognitive networks. Over the course of evolution, it is evident that a whole range of changes have taken place in regards to heredity. These changes include new mutations of genes in the microcephalin complex, gene duplications, gene co-expression, and genomic imprinting. This complex study of the growth and reorganization of the brain and the functioning of hereditary factors and their external influences creates an opportunity to consider the implications of cultural evolution and cognitive faculties.

  13. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Branka eHrvoj-Mihic

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species.The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research.

  14. Brain evolution triggers increased diversification of electric fishes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bruce A; Hasan, Saad M; Hollmann, Michael; Miller, Derek B; Harmon, Luke J; Arnegard, Matthew E

    2011-04-29

    Communication can contribute to the evolution of biodiversity by promoting speciation and reinforcing reproductive isolation between existing species. The evolution of species-specific signals depends on the ability of individuals to detect signal variation, which in turn relies on the capability of the brain to process signal information. Here, we show that evolutionary change in a region of the brain devoted to the analysis of communication signals in mormyrid electric fishes improved detection of subtle signal variation and resulted in enhanced rates of signal evolution and species diversification. These results show that neural innovations can drive the diversification of signals and promote speciation.

  15. Microglia priming in the aging brain : Implications for neurodegeneration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Darwin Arulseeli, Divya; Biber, Knut

    2016-01-01

    The primary aim of the thesis “Microglia priming in the aging brain: Implications for neurodegeneration” was to understand microglia phenotypes associated with brain aging and the potential mechanisms for this age-associated change. Microglia in the aging brain assume a hypersensitive

  16. Comparative primate neuroimaging: insights into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-01-01

    Comparative neuroimaging can identify unique features of the human brain and teach us about human brain evolution. Comparisons with chimpanzees, our closest living primate relative, are critical in this endeavor. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been used to compare brain size development, brain structure proportions and brain aging. Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging has been used to compare resting brain glucose metabolism. Functional MRI (fMRI) has been used to compare auditory and visual system pathways, as well as resting-state networks of connectivity. Finally, diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) has been used to compare structural connectivity. Collectively, these methods have revealed human brain specializations with respect to development, cortical organization, connectivity, and aging. These findings inform our knowledge of the evolutionary changes responsible for the special features of the modern human mind.

  17. Ruminant brain ribonucleases: expression and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, W; Confalone, E; Breukelman, H J; Sasso, M P; Jekel, P A; Hodge, E; Furia, A; Beintema, J J

    2001-05-05

    Molecular evolutionary analyses of mammalian ribonucleases have shown that gene duplication events giving rise to three paralogous genes occurred in ruminant ancestors. One of these genes encodes a ribonuclease identified in bovine brain. A peculiar feature of this enzyme and orthologous sequences in other ruminants are C-terminal extensions consisting of 17-27 amino acid residues. Evidence was obtained by Western blot analysis for the presence of brain-type ribonucleases in brain tissue not only of ox, but also of sheep, roe deer and chevrotain (Tragulus javanicus), a member of the earliest diverged taxon of the ruminants. The C-terminal extension of brain-type ribonuclease from giraffe deviates much in sequence from orthologues in other ruminants, due to a change of reading frame. However, the gene encodes a functional enzyme, which could be expressed in heterologous systems. The messenger RNA of bovine brain ribonuclease is not only expressed at a high level in brain tissue but also in lactating mammary gland. The enzyme was isolated and identified from this latter tissue, but was not present in bovine milk, although pancreatic ribonucleases A and B could be isolated from both sources. This suggests different ways of secretion of the two enzyme types, possibly related to structural differences. The sequence of the brain-type RNase from chevrotain suggests that the C-terminal extensions of ruminant brain-type ribonucleases originate from deletions in the ancestral DNA (including a region with stop codons), followed by insertion of a 5-8-fold repeated hexanucleotide sequence, coding for a proline-rich polypeptide.

  18. Human brain evolution and the "Neuroevolutionary Time-depth Principle:" Implications for the Reclassification of fear-circuitry-related traits in DSM-V and for studying resilience to warzone-related posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bracha, H Stefan

    2006-07-01

    The DSM-III, DSM-IV, DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10 have judiciously minimized discussion of etiologies to distance clinical psychiatry from Freudian psychoanalysis. With this goal mostly achieved, discussion of etiological factors should be reintroduced into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V). A research agenda for the DSM-V advocated the "development of a pathophysiologically based classification system". The author critically reviews the neuroevolutionary literature on stress-induced and fear circuitry disorders and related amygdala-driven, species-atypical fear behaviors of clinical severity in adult humans. Over 30 empirically testable/falsifiable predictions are presented. It is noted that in DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10, the classification of stress and fear circuitry disorders is neither mode-of-acquisition-based nor brain-evolution-based. For example, snake phobia (innate) and dog phobia (overconsolidational) are clustered together. Similarly, research on blood-injection-injury-type-specific phobia clusters two fears different in their innateness: 1) an arguably ontogenetic memory-trace-overconsolidation-based fear (hospital phobia) and 2) a hardwired (innate) fear of the sight of one's blood or a sharp object penetrating one's skin. Genetic architecture-charting of fear-circuitry-related traits has been challenging. Various, non-phenotype-based architectures can serve as targets for research. In this article, the author will propose one such alternative genetic architecture. This article was inspired by the following: A) Nesse's "Smoke-Detector Principle", B) the increasing suspicion that the "smooth" rather than "lumpy" distribution of complex psychiatric phenotypes (including fear-circuitry disorders) may in some cases be accounted for by oligogenic (and not necessarily polygenic) transmission, and C) insights from the initial sequence of the chimpanzee genome and comparison with the human genome by the Chimpanzee Sequencing

  19. Modern human brain growth and development. Contribution to brain evolution in hominids

    OpenAIRE

    Ventrice, F

    2011-01-01

    Human phylogenetic history is directly related to brain evolution. But many biologic processes related to the appearance of this complex organ are unknown, mainly due to the fact that it is an organ composed of soft tissue, which is not sensitive to the fossilization processes. Hence, to infer human brain evolution it is essential to study the indirect evidences it leaves in the cranial bones, such as the endocranial size (cranial capacity) and shape. In this sense, the hominid fossil record ...

  20. Evolution of brain-body allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, Masahito; Kotrschal, Alexander; Hayward, Alexander; Buechel, Severine Denise; Zidar, Josefina; Løvlie, Hanne; Kolm, Niclas

    2016-07-01

    Brain size is strongly associated with body size in all vertebrates. This relationship has been hypothesized to be an important constraint on adaptive brain size evolution. The essential assumption behind this idea is that static (i.e., within species) brain-body allometry has low ability to evolve. However, recent studies have reported mixed support for this view. Here, we examine brain-body static allometry in Lake Tanganyika cichlids using a phylogenetic comparative framework. We found considerable variation in the static allometric intercept, which explained the majority of variation in absolute and relative brain size. In contrast, the slope of the brain-body static allometry had relatively low variation, which explained less variation in absolute and relative brain size compared to the intercept and body size. Further examination of the tempo and mode of evolution of static allometric parameters confirmed these observations. Moreover, the estimated evolutionary parameters indicate that the limited observed variation in the static allometric slope could be a result of strong stabilizing selection. Overall, our findings suggest that the brain-body static allometric slope may represent an evolutionary constraint in Lake Tanganyika cichlids. © 2016 The Author(s).

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emiliano eBruner

    2014-04-01

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

  2. Brain-size evolution and sociality in Carnivora

    OpenAIRE

    Finarelli, John A.; Flynn, John J.

    2009-01-01

    Increased encephalization, or larger brain volume relative to body mass, is a repeated theme in vertebrate evolution. Here we present an extensive sampling of relative brain sizes in fossil and extant taxa in the mammalian order Carnivora (cats, dogs, bears, weasels, and their relatives). By using Akaike Information Criterion model selection and endocranial volume and body mass data for 289 species (including 125 fossil taxa), we document clade-specific evolutionary transformations in encepha...

  3. Ruminant brain ribonucleases : expression and evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhao, W; Confalone, E; Breukelman, HJ; Sasso, MP; Jekel, PA; Hodge, E; Furia, A; Beintema, JJ

    2001-01-01

    Molecular evolutionary analyses of mammalian ribonucleases have shown that gene duplication events giving rise to three paralogous genes occurred in ruminant ancestors. One of these genes encodes a ribonuclease identified in bovine brain. A peculiar feature of this enzyme and orthologous sequences

  4. [Survival of the fattest: the key to human brain evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunnane, Stephen C

    2006-01-01

    The circumstances of human brain evolution are of central importance to accounting for human origins, yet are still poorly understood. Human evolution is usually portrayed as having occurred in a hot, dry climate in East Africa where the earliest human ancestors became bipedal and evolved tool-making skills and language while struggling to survive in a wooded or savannah environment. At least three points need to be recognised when constructing concepts of human brain evolution : (1) The human brain cannot develop normally without a reliable supply of several nutrients, notably docosahexaenoic acid, iodine and iron. (2) At term, the human fetus has about 13 % of body weight as fat, a key form of energy insurance supporting brain development that is not found in other primates. (3) The genome of humans and chimpanzees is human brain become so much larger, and how was its present-day nutritional vulnerability circumvented during 5-6 million years of hominid evolution ? The abundant presence of fish bones and shellfish remains in many African hominid fossil sites dating to 2 million years ago implies human ancestors commonly inhabited the shores, but this point is usually overlooked in conceptualizing how the human brain evolved. Shellfish, fish and shore-based animals and plants are the richest dietary sources of the key nutrients needed by the brain. Whether on the shores of lakes, marshes, rivers or the sea, the consumption of most shore-based foods requires no specialized skills or tools. The presence of key brain nutrients and a rich energy supply in shore-based foods would have provided the essential metabolic and nutritional support needed to gradually expand the hominid brain. Abundant availability of these foods also provided the time needed to develop and refine proto-human attributes that subsequently formed the basis of language, culture, tool making and hunting. The presence of body fat in human babies appears to be the product of a long period of

  5. Implications of Music and Brain Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodges, Donald A.

    2000-01-01

    Introduces the issue theme of Music Educators Journal on music and the brain summarizing the articles in this special focus. Offers an overview of neuromusical research and articulates some basic premises derived from the studies focusing on topics such as the resilience of the musical brain and that the musical brain operates at birth. (CMK)

  6. Brain microbleeds: Epidemiology and clinical implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyano, I; Bravo, N; Miranda, J; Gil-Gregorio, P; Olazarán, J

    2016-06-22

    Brain microbleeds (BMB) are haemosiderin deposits contained within macrophages, which are displayed as hypointense images in some T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging sequences. There are still many questions to be answered about the pathophysiology and clinical relevance of BMB. We conducted a literature review of the main epidemiological, clinical, and anatomical pathology studies of BMB performed in the general population, in patients at risk of or already suffering from a vascular disease, and in patients with cognitive impairment. We analysed the prevalence of BMB, risk factors, and potential pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical implications. The prevalence of BMB is highly variable (3%-27% in the general population, 6%-80% in patients with vascular risk factors or vascular disease, and 16%-45% in patients with cognitive impairment). BMB are associated with ageing, Alzheimer disease (AD), and in particular haemorrhagic or ischaemic cerebrovascular disease. The pathological substrate of BMB is either lipohyalinosis (subcortical BMB) or cerebral amyloid angiopathy (lobar BMB). BMB exacerbate cognitive impairment, possibly through cortical-subcortical and intracortical disconnection, and increase the risk of death, mostly due to vascular causes. BMB also increase the risk of cerebral haemorrhage, particularly in patients with multiple lobar BMB (probable erebral amyloid angiopathy). Therefore, anticoagulant treatment may be contraindicated in these patients. In patients with lower risk of bleeding, the new oral anticoagulants and the combination of clinical and magnetic resonance imaging follow-up could be helpful in the decision-making process. Copyright © 2016 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Published by Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. The brain-gut interaction: the conversation and the implications

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Review Article: The brain-gut interaction: the conversation and the implications. 2011;24(3) Supplement. S Afr J Clin Nutr. Prins A, RD (SA), MNutr. Little Company of Mary Medical Centre, Groenkloof, Pretoria. Correspondence to: Arina Prins, e-mail: arina.p@internists.co.za. The brain-gut interaction: the conversation and ...

  8. Spectral properties of the temporal evolution of brain network structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Rong; Zhang, Zhen-Zhen; Ma, Jun; Yang, Yong; Lin, Pan; Wu, Ying

    2015-12-01

    The temporal evolution properties of the brain network are crucial for complex brain processes. In this paper, we investigate the differences in the dynamic brain network during resting and visual stimulation states in a task-positive subnetwork, task-negative subnetwork, and whole-brain network. The dynamic brain network is first constructed from human functional magnetic resonance imaging data based on the sliding window method, and then the eigenvalues corresponding to the network are calculated. We use eigenvalue analysis to analyze the global properties of eigenvalues and the random matrix theory (RMT) method to measure the local properties. For global properties, the shifting of the eigenvalue distribution and the decrease in the largest eigenvalue are linked to visual stimulation in all networks. For local properties, the short-range correlation in eigenvalues as measured by the nearest neighbor spacing distribution is not always sensitive to visual stimulation. However, the long-range correlation in eigenvalues as evaluated by spectral rigidity and number variance not only predicts the universal behavior of the dynamic brain network but also suggests non-consistent changes in different networks. These results demonstrate that the dynamic brain network is more random for the task-positive subnetwork and whole-brain network under visual stimulation but is more regular for the task-negative subnetwork. Our findings provide deeper insight into the importance of spectral properties in the functional brain network, especially the incomparable role of RMT in revealing the intrinsic properties of complex systems.

  9. Evolution of the human brain : when bigger is better

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofman, Michel A

    2014-01-01

    Comparative studies of the brain in mammals suggest that there are general architectural principles governing its growth and evolutionary development. We are beginning to understand the geometric, biophysical and energy constraints that have governed the evolution and functional organization of the

  10. MCPH1: a window into brain development and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeannette eNardelli

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The development of the mammalian cerebral cortex involves a series of mechanisms: from patterning, progenitor cell proliferation and differentiation, to neuronal migration. Many factors influence the development of the cerebral cortex to its normal size and neuronal composition. Of these, the mechanisms that influence the proliferation and differentiation of neural progenitor cells are of particular interest, as they may have the greatest consequence on brain size, not only during development but also in evolution. In this context, causative genes of human autosomal recessive primary microcephaly, such as ASPM and MCPH1, are attractive candidates, as many of them show positive selection during primate evolution. MCPH1 causes microcephaly in mice and humans and is involved in a diverse array of molecular functions beyond brain development, including DNA repair and chromosome condensation. Positive selection of MCPH1 in the primate lineage has led to much insight and discussion of its role in brain size evolution. In this review, we will present an overview of MCPH1 from these multiple angles, and whilst its specific role in brain size regulation during development and evolution remain elusive, the pieces of the puzzle will be discussed with the aim of putting together the full picture of this fascinating gene.

  11. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 29; Issue 3. Human brain evolution, theories of innovation, and lessons from the history of technology. Alfred Gierer. Perspectives Volume 29 Issue 3 September 2004 pp 235-244. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  12. Modeling evolution using the probability of fixation: history and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCandlish, David M; Stoltzfus, Arlin

    2014-09-01

    Many models of evolution calculate the rate of evolution by multiplying the rate at which new mutations originate within a population by a probability of fixation. Here we review the historical origins, contemporary applications, and evolutionary implications of these "origin-fixation" models, which are widely used in evolutionary genetics, molecular evolution, and phylogenetics. Origin-fixation models were first introduced in 1969, in association with an emerging view of "molecular" evolution. Early origin-fixation models were used to calculate an instantaneous rate of evolution across a large number of independently evolving loci; in the 1980s and 1990s, a second wave of origin-fixation models emerged to address a sequence of fixation events at a single locus. Although origin fixation models have been applied to a broad array of problems in contemporary evolutionary research, their rise in popularity has not been accompanied by an increased appreciation of their restrictive assumptions or their distinctive implications. We argue that origin-fixation models constitute a coherent theory of mutation-limited evolution that contrasts sharply with theories of evolution that rely on the presence of standing genetic variation. A major unsolved question in evolutionary biology is the degree to which these models provide an accurate approximation of evolution in natural populations.

  13. The Evolution of Lateralized Brain Circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael C. Corballis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In the vast clade of animals known as the bilateria, cerebral and behavioral asymmetries emerge against the backdrop of bilateral symmetry, with a functional trade-off between the two. Asymmetries can lead to more efficient processing and packaging of internal structures, but at the expense of efficient adaptation to a natural world without systematic left-right bias. Asymmetries may arise through the fissioning of ancestral structures that are largely symmetrical, creating new circuits. In humans these may include asymmetrical adaptations to language and manufacture, and as one or other hemisphere gains dominance for functions that were previously represented bilaterally. This is best illustrated in the evolution of such functions as language and tool manufacture in humans, which may derive from the mirror-neuron system in primates, but similar principles probably apply to the many other asymmetries now evident in a wide range of animals. Asymmetries arise in largely independent manner with multi-genetic sources, rather than as a single over-riding principle.

  14. Role of brain maturation and reproductive history in the evolution of the primate brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sacher, G.A.

    1980-01-01

    All primates conform to a 12% ratio of brain weight to body weight throughout fetal life. This pattern evolved at the beginning of primate evolution, initially as an adaptation to the low energy density of the insect food resource in a strictly arboreal habitat. However, when a wider range of food resources became available, the higher primates retained the 12% trajectory and made it the basis for rapid evolution toward large brain size, which would not have been possible within the restrictions imposed by the 6% brain growth trajectory. The 12% trajectory originally evolved to reduce maternal investment in an energy-poor environment, but became a preadaptation to brain expansion once the energy limitation was overcome by the development of herbivory and frugivory by the higher primates.

  15. Split Brain Theory: Implications for Nurse Educators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Meneses, Mary

    1980-01-01

    Discusses incorporating nontraditional concepts of learning in nursing education. Elements explored include the split brain theory, school design, teaching styles, teacher's role, teaching strategies, adding variety to the curriculum, and modular learning. (CT)

  16. Evolution of Brain Tumor and Stability of Geometric Invariants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Tawbe

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a method to reconstruct and to calculate geometric invariants on brain tumors. The geometric invariants considered in the paper are the volume, the area, the discrete Gauss curvature, and the discrete mean curvature. The volume of a tumor is an important aspect that helps doctors to make a medical diagnosis. And as doctors seek a stable calculation, we propose to prove the stability of some invariants. Finally, we study the evolution of brain tumor as a function of time in two or three years depending on patients with MR images every three or six months.

  17. Human brain evolution: harnessing the genomics (r)evolution to link genes, cognition, and behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konopka, Genevieve; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2010-10-21

    The evolution of the human brain has resulted in numerous specialized features including higher cognitive processes such as language. Knowledge of whole-genome sequence and structural variation via high-throughput sequencing technology provides an unprecedented opportunity to view human evolution at high resolution. However, phenotype discovery is a critical component of these endeavors and the use of nontraditional model organisms will also be critical for piecing together a complete picture. Ultimately, the union of developmental studies of the brain with studies of unique phenotypes in a myriad of species will result in a more thorough model of the groundwork the human brain was built upon. Furthermore, these integrative approaches should provide important insights into human diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Fossils and the Evolution of the Arthropod Brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strausfeld, Nicholas J; Ma, Xiaoya; Edgecombe, Gregory D

    2016-10-24

    The discovery of fossilized brains and ventral nerve cords in lower and mid-Cambrian arthropods has led to crucial insights about the evolution of their central nervous system, the segmental identity of head appendages and the early evolution of eyes and their underlying visual systems. Fundamental ground patterns of lower Cambrian arthropod brains and nervous systems correspond to the ground patterns of brains and nervous systems belonging to three of four major extant panarthropod lineages. These findings demonstrate the evolutionary stability of early neural arrangements over an immense time span. Here, we put these fossil discoveries in the context of evidence from cladistics, as well as developmental and comparative neuroanatomy, which together suggest that despite many evolved modifications of neuropil centers within arthropod brains and ganglia, highly conserved arrangements have been retained. Recent phylogenies of the arthropods, based on fossil and molecular evidence, and estimates of divergence dates, suggest that neural ground patterns characterizing onychophorans, chelicerates and mandibulates are likely to have diverged between the terminal Ediacaran and earliest Cambrian, heralding the exuberant diversification of body forms that account for the Cambrian Explosion. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Brain evolution and development: adaptation, allometry and constraint.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I; Barton, Robert A

    2016-09-14

    Phenotypic traits are products of two processes: evolution and development. But how do these processes combine to produce integrated phenotypes? Comparative studies identify consistent patterns of covariation, or allometries, between brain and body size, and between brain components, indicating the presence of significant constraints limiting independent evolution of separate parts. These constraints are poorly understood, but in principle could be either developmental or functional. The developmental constraints hypothesis suggests that individual components (brain and body size, or individual brain components) tend to evolve together because natural selection operates on relatively simple developmental mechanisms that affect the growth of all parts in a concerted manner. The functional constraints hypothesis suggests that correlated change reflects the action of selection on distributed functional systems connecting the different sub-components, predicting more complex patterns of mosaic change at the level of the functional systems and more complex genetic and developmental mechanisms. These hypotheses are not mutually exclusive but make different predictions. We review recent genetic and neurodevelopmental evidence, concluding that functional rather than developmental constraints are the main cause of the observed patterns. © 2016 The Author(s).

  20. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzawa, Christopher W; Chugani, Harry T; Grossman, Lawrence I; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R; Wildman, Derek E; Sherwood, Chet C; Leonard, William R; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-09-09

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain's glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain-body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body's resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate.

  1. Schizophrenia as a Brain Disease: Implications for Psychologists and Families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Dale L.

    1989-01-01

    The belief that schizophrenia is a brain disease is the consensus among families of persons with mental illness and is supported by the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. This article summarizes implications for psychologists from the following standpoints: (1) etiology; (2) vulnerability; (3) treatment; (4) rehabilitation; (5) assessment;…

  2. Brain Networks Implicated in Seasonal Affective Disorder

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørgaard, Martin; Ganz, Melanie; Svarer, Claus

    2017-01-01

    Background: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a subtype of Major Depressive Disorder characterized by seasonally occurring depression that often presents with atypical vegetative symptoms such as hypersomnia and carbohydrate craving. It has recently been shown that unlike healthy people......, patients with SAD fail to globally downregulate their cerebral serotonin transporter (5-HTT) in winter, and that this effect seemed to be particularly pronounced in female S-carriers of the 5-HTTLPR genotype. The purpose of this study was to identify a 5-HTT brain network that accounts for the adaption...

  3. Genomic divergence and brain evolution: How regulatory DNA influences development of the cerebral cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Debra L

    2016-02-01

    The cerebral cortex controls our most distinguishing higher cognitive functions. Human-specific gene expression differences are abundant in the cerebral cortex, yet we have only begun to understand how these variations impact brain function. This review discusses the current evidence linking non-coding regulatory DNA changes, including enhancers, with neocortical evolution. Functional interrogation using animal models reveals converging roles for our genome in key aspects of cortical development including progenitor cell cycle and neuronal signaling. New technologies, including iPS cells and organoids, offer potential alternatives to modeling evolutionary modifications in a relevant species context. Several diseases rooted in the cerebral cortex uniquely manifest in humans compared to other primates, thus highlighting the importance of understanding human brain differences. Future studies of regulatory loci, including those implicated in disease, will collectively help elucidate key cellular and genetic mechanisms underlying our distinguishing cognitive traits. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Metabolic costs and evolutionary implications of human brain development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzawa, Christopher W.; Chugani, Harry T.; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Lipovich, Leonard; Muzik, Otto; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Sherwood, Chet C.; Leonard, William R.; Lange, Nicholas

    2014-01-01

    The high energetic costs of human brain development have been hypothesized to explain distinctive human traits, including exceptionally slow and protracted preadult growth. Although widely assumed to constrain life-history evolution, the metabolic requirements of the growing human brain are unknown. We combined previously collected PET and MRI data to calculate the human brain’s glucose use from birth to adulthood, which we compare with body growth rate. We evaluate the strength of brain–body metabolic trade-offs using the ratios of brain glucose uptake to the body’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) and daily energy requirements (DER) expressed in glucose-gram equivalents (glucosermr% and glucoseder%). We find that glucosermr% and glucoseder% do not peak at birth (52.5% and 59.8% of RMR, or 35.4% and 38.7% of DER, for males and females, respectively), when relative brain size is largest, but rather in childhood (66.3% and 65.0% of RMR and 43.3% and 43.8% of DER). Body-weight growth (dw/dt) and both glucosermr% and glucoseder% are strongly, inversely related: soon after birth, increases in brain glucose demand are accompanied by proportionate decreases in dw/dt. Ages of peak brain glucose demand and lowest dw/dt co-occur and subsequent developmental declines in brain metabolism are matched by proportionate increases in dw/dt until puberty. The finding that human brain glucose demands peak during childhood, and evidence that brain metabolism and body growth rate covary inversely across development, support the hypothesis that the high costs of human brain development require compensatory slowing of body growth rate. PMID:25157149

  5. Evolution of ASPM is associated with both increases and decreases in brain size in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Mundy, Nicholas I

    2012-03-01

    A fundamental trend during primate evolution has been the expansion of brain size. However, this trend was reversed in the Callitrichidae (marmosets and tamarins), which have secondarily evolved smaller brains associated with a reduction in body size. The recent pursuit of the genetic basis of brain size evolution has largely focused on episodes of brain expansion, but new insights may be gained by investigating episodes of brain size reduction. Previous results suggest two genes (ASPM and CDK5RAP2) associated with microcephaly, a human neurodevelopmental disorder, may have an evolutionary function in primate brain expansion. Here we use new sequences encoding key functional domains from 12 species of callitrichids to show that positive selection has acted on ASPM across callitrichid evolution and the rate of ASPM evolution is significantly negatively correlated with callitrichid brain size, whereas the evolution of CDK5RAP2 shows no correlation with brain size. Our findings strongly suggest that ASPM has a previously unsuspected role in the evolution of small brains in primates. ASPM is therefore intimately linked to both evolutionary increases and decreases in brain size in anthropoids and is a key target for natural selection acting on brain size. © 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  6. Developmental modes and developmental mechanisms can channel brain evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine J Charvet

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Anseriform birds (ducks and geese as well as parrots and songbirds have evolved a disproportionately enlarged telencephalon compared with many other birds. However, parrots and songbirds differ from anseriform birds in their mode of development. Whereas ducks and geese are precocial (e.g., hatchlings feed on their own, parrots and songbirds are altricial (e.g., hatchlings are fed by their parents. We here consider how developmental modes may limit and facilitate specific changes in the mechanisms of brain development. We suggest that altriciality facilitates the evolution of telencephalic expansion by delaying telencephalic neurogenesis. We further hypothesize that delays in telencephalic neurogenesis generate delays in telencephalic maturation, which in turn foster neural adaptations that facilitate learning. Specifically, we propose that delaying telencephalic neurogenesis was a prerequisite for the evolution of neural circuits that allow parrots and songbirds to produce learned vocalizations. Overall, we argue that developmental modes have influenced how some lineages of birds increased the size of their telencephalon and that this, in turn, has influenced subsequent changes in brain circuits and behavior.

  7. Brain-size evolution and sociality in Carnivora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finarelli, John A; Flynn, John J

    2009-06-09

    Increased encephalization, or larger brain volume relative to body mass, is a repeated theme in vertebrate evolution. Here we present an extensive sampling of relative brain sizes in fossil and extant taxa in the mammalian order Carnivora (cats, dogs, bears, weasels, and their relatives). By using Akaike Information Criterion model selection and endocranial volume and body mass data for 289 species (including 125 fossil taxa), we document clade-specific evolutionary transformations in encephalization allometries. These evolutionary transformations include multiple independent encephalization increases and decreases in addition to a remarkably static basal Carnivora allometry that characterizes much of the suborder Feliformia and some taxa in the suborder Caniformia across much of their evolutionary history, emphasizing that complex processes shaped the modern distribution of encephalization across Carnivora. This analysis also permits critical evaluation of the social brain hypothesis (SBH), which predicts a close association between sociality and increased encephalization. Previous analyses based on living species alone appeared to support the SBH with respect to Carnivora, but those results are entirely dependent on data from modern Canidae (dogs). Incorporation of fossil data further reveals that no association exists between sociality and encephalization across Carnivora and that support for sociality as a causal agent of encephalization increase disappears for this clade.

  8. Evolution of brain-computer interfaces: going beyond classic motor physiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuthardt, Eric C.; Schalk, Gerwin; Roland, Jarod; Rouse, Adam; Moran, Daniel W.

    2010-01-01

    The notion that a computer can decode brain signals to infer the intentions of a human and then enact those intentions directly through a machine is becoming a realistic technical possibility. These types of devices are known as brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). The evolution of these neuroprosthetic technologies could have significant implications for patients with motor disabilities by enhancing their ability to interact and communicate with their environment. The cortical physiology most investigated and used for device control has been brain signals from the primary motor cortex. To date, this classic motor physiology has been an effective substrate for demonstrating the potential efficacy of BCI-based control. However, emerging research now stands to further enhance our understanding of the cortical physiology underpinning human intent and provide further signals for more complex brain-derived control. In this review, the authors report the current status of BCIs and detail the emerging research trends that stand to augment clinical applications in the future. PMID:19569892

  9. Positive selection in ASPM is correlated with cerebral cortex evolution across primates but not with whole-brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ali, Farhan; Meier, Rudolf

    2008-11-01

    The rapid increase of brain size is a key event in human evolution. Abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated (ASPM) is discussed as a major candidate gene for explaining the exceptionally large brain in humans but ASPM's role remains controversial. Here we use codon-specific models and a comparative approach to test this candidate gene that was initially identified in Homo-chimp comparisons. We demonstrate that accelerated evolution of ASPM (omega = 4.7) at 16 amino acid sites occurred in 9 primate lineages with major changes in relative cerebral cortex size. However, ASPM's evolution is not correlated with major changes in relative whole-brain or cerebellum sizes. Our results suggest that a single candidate gene such as ASPM can influence a specific component of the brain across large clades through changes in a few amino acid sites. We furthermore illustrate the power of using continuous phenotypic variability across primates to rigorously test candidate genes that have been implicated in the evolution of key human traits.

  10. Immune responses at brain barriers and implications for brain development and neurological function in later life

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen B. Stolp

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available For a long time the brain has been considered an immune-privileged site due to a muted inflammatory response and the presence of protective brain barriers. It is now recognised that neuroinflammation may play an important role in almost all neurological disorders and that the brain barriers may be contributing through either normal immune signalling, or disruption of their basic physiological mechanisms. The distinction between normal function and dysfunction at the barriers is difficult to dissect, partly due to a lack of understanding of normal barrier function and partly because of physiological changes that occur as part of normal development and ageing. Brain barriers consist of a number of interacting structural and physiological elements including tight junctions between adjacent barrier cells and an array of influx and efflux transporters. Despite these protective mechanisms, the capacity for immune-surveillance of the brain is maintained, and there is evidence of inflammatory signalling at the brain barriers that may be an important part of the body’s response to damage or infection. This signalling system appears to change both with normal ageing, and during disease. Changes may affect diapedesis of immune cells and active molecular transfer, or cause rearrangement of the tight junctions and an increase in passive permeability across barrier interfaces. Here we review the many elements that contribute to brain barrier functions and how they respond to inflammation, particularly during development and aging. The implications of inflammation–induced barrier dysfunction for brain development and subsequent neurological function are also discussed.

  11. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalay Kouprina

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Primary microcephaly (MCPH is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  12. Accelerated evolution of the ASPM gene controlling brain size begins prior to human brain expansion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kouprina, Natalay; Pavlicek, Adam; Mochida, Ganeshwaran H; Solomon, Gregory; Gersch, William; Yoon, Young-Ho; Collura, Randall; Ruvolo, Maryellen; Barrett, J Carl; Woods, C Geoffrey; Walsh, Christopher A; Jurka, Jerzy; Larionov, Vladimir

    2004-05-01

    Primary microcephaly (MCPH) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by global reduction in cerebral cortical volume. The microcephalic brain has a volume comparable to that of early hominids, raising the possibility that some MCPH genes may have been evolutionary targets in the expansion of the cerebral cortex in mammals and especially primates. Mutations in ASPM, which encodes the human homologue of a fly protein essential for spindle function, are the most common known cause of MCPH. Here we have isolated large genomic clones containing the complete ASPM gene, including promoter regions and introns, from chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, and rhesus macaque by transformation-associated recombination cloning in yeast. We have sequenced these clones and show that whereas much of the sequence of ASPM is substantially conserved among primates, specific segments are subject to high Ka/Ks ratios (nonsynonymous/synonymous DNA changes) consistent with strong positive selection for evolutionary change. The ASPM gene sequence shows accelerated evolution in the African hominoid clade, and this precedes hominid brain expansion by several million years. Gorilla and human lineages show particularly accelerated evolution in the IQ domain of ASPM. Moreover, ASPM regions under positive selection in primates are also the most highly diverged regions between primates and nonprimate mammals. We report the first direct application of TAR cloning technology to the study of human evolution. Our data suggest that evolutionary selection of specific segments of the ASPM sequence strongly relates to differences in cerebral cortical size.

  13. Reversing brain damage in former NFL players: implications for traumatic brain injury and substance abuse rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amen, Daniel G; Wu, Joseph C; Taylor, Derek; Willeumier, Kristen

    2011-01-01

    Brain injuries are common in professional American football players. Finding effective rehabilitation strategies can have widespread implications not only for retired players but also for patients with traumatic brain injury and substance abuse problems. An open label pragmatic clinical intervention was conducted in an outpatient neuropsychiatric clinic with 30 retired NFL players who demonstrated brain damage and cognitive impairment. The study included weight loss (if appropriate); fish oil (5.6 grams a day); a high-potency multiple vitamin; and a formulated brain enhancement supplement that included nutrients to enhance blood flow (ginkgo and vinpocetine), acetylcholine (acetyl-l-carnitine and huperzine A), and antioxidant activity (alpha-lipoic acid and n-acetyl-cysteine). The trial average was six months. Outcome measures were Microcog Assessment of Cognitive Functioning and brain SPECT imaging. In the retest situation, corrected for practice effect, there were statistically significant increases in scores of attention, memory, reasoning, information processing speed and accuracy on the Microcog. The brain SPECT scans, as a group, showed increased brain perfusion, especially in the prefrontal cortex, parietal lobes, occipital lobes, anterior cingulate gyrus and cerebellum. This study demonstrates that cognitive and cerebral blood flow improvements are possible in this group with multiple interventions.

  14. The evolution of distributed association networks in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buckner, Randy L; Krienen, Fenna M

    2013-12-01

    The human cerebral cortex is vastly expanded relative to other primates and disproportionately occupied by distributed association regions. Here we offer a hypothesis about how association networks evolved their prominence and came to possess circuit properties vital to human cognition. The rapid expansion of the cortical mantle may have untethered large portions of the cortex from strong constraints of molecular gradients and early activity cascades that lead to sensory hierarchies. What fill the gaps between these hierarchies are densely interconnected networks that widely span the cortex and mature late into development. Limitations of the tethering hypothesis are discussed as well as its broad implications for understanding critical features of the human brain as a byproduct of size scaling. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Regional selection of the brain size regulating gene CASC5 provides new insight into human brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Hu, Enzhi; Wang, Zhenbo; Liu, Jiewei; Li, Jin; Li, Ming; Chen, Hua; Yu, Chunshui; Jiang, Tianzi; Su, Bing

    2017-02-01

    Human evolution is marked by a continued enlargement of the brain. Previous studies on human brain evolution focused on identifying sequence divergences of brain size regulating genes between humans and nonhuman primates. However, the evolutionary pattern of the brain size regulating genes during recent human evolution is largely unknown. We conducted a comprehensive analysis of the brain size regulating gene CASC5 and found that in recent human evolution, CASC5 has accumulated many modern human specific amino acid changes, including two fixed changes and six polymorphic changes. Among human populations, 4 of the 6 amino acid polymorphic sites have high frequencies of derived alleles in East Asians, but are rare in Europeans and Africans. We proved that this between-population allelic divergence was caused by regional Darwinian positive selection in East Asians. Further analysis of brain image data of Han Chinese showed significant associations of the amino acid polymorphic sites with gray matter volume. Hence, CASC5 may contribute to the morphological and structural changes of the human brain during recent evolution. The observed between-population divergence of CASC5 variants was driven by natural selection that tends to favor a larger gray matter volume in East Asians.

  16. Rate of evolution in brain-expressed genes in humans and other primates.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hurng-Yi Wang

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Brain-expressed genes are known to evolve slowly in mammals. Nevertheless, since brains of higher primates have evolved rapidly, one might expect acceleration in DNA sequence evolution in their brain-expressed genes. In this study, we carried out full-length cDNA sequencing on the brain transcriptome of an Old World monkey (OWM and then conducted three-way comparisons among (i mouse, OWM, and human, and (ii OWM, chimpanzee, and human. Although brain-expressed genes indeed appear to evolve more rapidly in species with more advanced brains (apes > OWM > mouse, a similar lineage effect is observable for most other genes. The broad inclusion of genes in the reference set to represent the genomic average is therefore critical to this type of analysis. Calibrated against the genomic average, the rate of evolution among brain-expressed genes is probably lower (or at most equal in humans than in chimpanzee and OWM. Interestingly, the trend of slow evolution in coding sequence is no less pronounced among brain-specific genes, vis-à-vis brain-expressed genes in general. The human brain may thus differ from those of our close relatives in two opposite directions: (i faster evolution in gene expression, and (ii a likely slowdown in the evolution of protein sequences. Possible explanations and hypotheses are discussed.

  17. Function and regulation of AUTS2, a gene implicated in autism and human evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nir Oksenberg

    Full Text Available Nucleotide changes in the AUTS2 locus, some of which affect only noncoding regions, are associated with autism and other neurological disorders, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, epilepsy, dyslexia, motor delay, language delay, visual impairment, microcephaly, and alcohol consumption. In addition, AUTS2 contains the most significantly accelerated genomic region differentiating humans from Neanderthals, which is primarily composed of noncoding variants. However, the function and regulation of this gene remain largely unknown. To characterize auts2 function, we knocked it down in zebrafish, leading to a smaller head size, neuronal reduction, and decreased mobility. To characterize AUTS2 regulatory elements, we tested sequences for enhancer activity in zebrafish and mice. We identified 23 functional zebrafish enhancers, 10 of which were active in the brain. Our mouse enhancer assays characterized three mouse brain enhancers that overlap an ASD-associated deletion and four mouse enhancers that reside in regions implicated in human evolution, two of which are active in the brain. Combined, our results show that AUTS2 is important for neurodevelopment and expose candidate enhancer sequences in which nucleotide variation could lead to neurological disease and human-specific traits.

  18. Evolution of oxytocin pathways in the brain of vertebrates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Sophie Knobloch

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The central oxytocin system transformed tremendously during the evolution, thereby adapting to the expanding properties of species. In more basal vertebrates (paraphyletic taxon Anamnia, which includes agnathans, fish and amphibians, magnocellular neurosecretory neurons producing oxytocin, vasopressin and their homologs reside in the wall of the third ventricle of the hypothalamus composing a single hypothalamic structure, the preoptic nucleus. This nucleus further diverged in advanced vertebrates (monophyletic taxon Amniota, which includes reptiles, birds and mammals into the paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei with accessory nuclei between them. The individual magnocellular neurons underwent a process of transformation from primitive uni- or bipolar neurons into highly differentiated neurons. Due to these microanatomical and cytological changes, the ancient release modes of oxytocin into the cerebrospinal fluid were largely replaced by vascular release. However, the most fascinating feature of the progressive transformations of the oxytocin system has been the expansion of oxytocin axonal projections to forebrain regions. In the present review we provide a background on these evolutionary advancements. Furthermore, we draw attention to the non-synaptic axonal release in small and defined brain regions with the aim to clearly distinguish this way of oxytocin action from the classical synaptic transmission on one side and from dendritic release followed by a global diffusion on the other side. Finally, we will summarize the effects of oxytocin and its homologs on pro-social reproductive behaviors in representatives of the phylogenetic tree and will propose anatomically plausible pathways of oxytocin release contributing to these behaviors in basal vertebrates and amniots.

  19. Mapping behavioural evolution onto brain evolution: the strategic roles of conserved organization in individuals and species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finlay, Barbara L; Hinz, Flora; Darlington, Richard B

    2011-07-27

    The pattern of individual variation in brain component structure in pigs, minks and laboratory mice is very similar to variation across species in the same components, at a reduced scale. This conserved pattern of allometric scaling resembles robotic architectures designed to be robust to changes in computing power and task demands, and may reflect the mechanism by which both growing and evolving brains defend basic sensory, motor and homeostatic functions at multiple scales. Conserved scaling rules also have implications for species-specific sensory and social communication systems, motor competencies and cognitive abilities. The role of relative changes in neuron number in the central nervous system in producing species-specific behaviour is thus highly constrained, while changes in the sensory and motor periphery, and in motivational and attentional systems increase in probability as the principal loci producing important changes in functional neuroanatomy between species. By their nature, these loci require renewed attention to development and life history in the initial organization and production of species-specific behavioural abilities.

  20. Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mekel-Bobrov, Nitzan; Gilbert, Sandra L; Evans, Patrick D; Vallender, Eric J; Anderson, Jeffrey R; Hudson, Richard R; Tishkoff, Sarah A; Lahn, Bruce T

    2005-09-09

    The gene ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) is a specific regulator of brain size, and its evolution in the lineage leading to Homo sapiens was driven by strong positive selection. Here, we show that one genetic variant of ASPM in humans arose merely about 5800 years ago and has since swept to high frequency under strong positive selection. These findings, especially the remarkably young age of the positively selected variant, suggest that the human brain is still undergoing rapid adaptive evolution.

  1. Evolution, immunity and the emergence of brain superautoantigens [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Serge Nataf

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available While some autoimmune disorders remain extremely rare, others largely predominate the epidemiology of human autoimmunity. Notably, these include psoriasis, diabetes, vitiligo, thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Thus, despite the quasi-infinite number of "self" antigens that could theoretically trigger autoimmune responses, only a limited set of antigens, referred here as superautoantigens, induce pathogenic adaptive responses. Several lines of evidence reviewed in this paper indicate that, irrespective of the targeted organ (e.g. thyroid, pancreas, joints, brain or skin, a significant proportion of superautoantigens are highly expressed in the synaptic compartment of the central nervous system (CNS. Such an observation applies notably for GAD65, AchR, ribonucleoproteins, heat shock proteins, collagen IV, laminin, tyrosine hydroxylase and the acetylcholinesterase domain of thyroglobulin. It is also argued that cognitive alterations have been described in a number of autoimmune disorders, including psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn's disease and autoimmune thyroiditis. Finally, the present paper points out that a great majority of the "incidental" autoimmune conditions notably triggered by neoplasms, vaccinations or microbial infections are targeting the synaptic or myelin compartments. On this basis, the concept of an immunological homunculus, proposed by Irun Cohen more than 25 years ago, is extended here in a model where physiological autoimmunity against brain superautoantigens confers both: i a crucial evolutionary-determined advantage via cognition-promoting autoimmunity; and ii a major evolutionary-determined vulnerability, leading to the emergence of autoimmune disorders in Homo sapiens. Moreover, in this theoretical framework, the so called co-development/co-evolution model, both the development (at the scale of an individual and evolution (at the scale of species of the antibody and T-cell repertoires

  2. Slip of the tongue: Implications for evolution and language development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrester, Gillian S; Rodriguez, Alina

    2015-08-01

    A prevailing theory regarding the evolution of language implicates a gestural stage prior to the emergence of speech. In support of a transition of human language from a gestural to a vocal system, articulation of the hands and the tongue are underpinned by overlapping left hemisphere dominant neural regions. Behavioral studies demonstrate that human adults perform sympathetic mouth actions in imitative synchrony with manual actions. Additionally, right-handedness for precision manual actions in children has been correlated with the typical development of language, while a lack of hand bias has been associated with psychopathology. It therefore stands to reason that sympathetic mouth actions during fine precision motor action of the hands may be lateralized. We employed a fine-grained behavioral coding paradigm to provide the first investigation of tongue protrusions in typically developing 4-year old children. Tongue protrusions were investigated across a range of cognitive tasks that required varying degrees of manual action: precision motor action, gross motor action and no motor actions. The rate of tongue protrusions was influenced by the motor requirements of the task and tongue protrusions were significantly right-biased for only precision manual motor action (pdevelopment of typically developing children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Ecohydro-geomorphic implications of orographic precipitation on landform evolution using a landscape evolution model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yetemen, O.; Saco, P. M.

    2016-12-01

    Orography induced precipitation and its implications on vegetation dynamics and landscape morphology have long been documented in the literature. However a numerical framework that integrates a range of ecohydrologic and geomorphic processes to explore the coupled ecohydro-geomorphic landscape response of catchments where pronounced orographic precipitation prevails has been missing. In this study, our aim is to realistically represent orographic-precipitation-driven ecohydrologic dynamics in a landscape evolution model (LEM). The model is used to investigate how ecohydro-geomorphic differences caused by differential precipitation patterns on the leeward and windward sides of low-relief landscapes lead to differences in the organization of modelled topography, soil moisture and plant biomass. We use the CHILD LEM equipped with a vegetation dynamics component that explicitly tracks above- and below-ground biomass, and a precipitation forcing component that simulates rainfall as a function of elevation and orientation. The preliminary results of the model show how the competition between an increased shear stress through runoff production and an enhanced resistance force due to denser canopy cover shape the landscape. Moreover, orographic precipitation leads to not only the migration of the divide between leeward and windward slopes but also a change in the concavity of streams. These results clearly demonstrate the strong coupling between landform evolution and climate processes.

  4. Genetic Differences Between Humans and Great Apes -- Implications for the Evolution of Humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varki, Ajit

    2004-06-01

    At the level of individual protein sequences, humans are 97-100% identical to the great apes, our closest evolutionary relatives. The evolution of humans (and of human intelligence) from a common ancestor with the chimpanzee and bonobo involved many steps, influenced by interactions amongst factors of genetic, developmental, ecological, microbial, climatic, behavioral, cultural and social origin. The genetic factors can be approached by direct comparisons of human and great ape genomes, genes and gene products, and by elucidating biochemical and biological consequences of any differences found. We have discovered multiple genetic and biochemical differences between humans and great apes, particularly with respect to a family of cell surface molecules called sialic acids, as well as in the metabolism of thyroid hormones. The hormone differences have potential consequences for human brain development. The differences in sialic acid biology have multiple implications for the human condition, ranging from susceptibility or resistance to microbial pathogens, effects on endogenous receptors in the immune system, and potential effects on placental signaling, expression of oncofetal antigens in cancers, consequences of dietary intake of animal foods, and development of the mammalian brain.

  5. Genetic Differences Between Great Apes and Humans: Implications for Human Evolution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Varki, Ajit (University of California, San Diego)

    2004-03-17

    When considering protein sequences, humans are 99-100% identical to chimpanzees and bonobos, our closest evolutionary relatives. The evolution of humans (and the unique features of our species) from a common ancestor with these great apes involved many steps, influenced by interactions amongst factors of genetic, developmental, ecological, microbial, climatic, behavioral, cultural and social origin. The genetic factors can be approached by direct comparisons of human and great ape genomes, genes and gene products, and by elucidating biochemical and biological consequences of the differences. We have discovered multiple genetic and biochemical differences between humans and great apes, particularly in relationship to a family of cell surface molecules called sialic acids. These differences have implications for the human condition, ranging from susceptibility or resistance to microbial pathogens; effects on endogenous receptors in the immune system; potential effects on placental signaling; the expression of oncofetal antigens in cancers; consequences of dietary intake of animal foods; and the development of the mammalian brain. This talk will provide an overview of these and other genetic differences between humans and great apes, with attention to differences potentially relevant to the evolution of humans.

  6. The Evolution of Human Intelligence and the Coefficient of Additive Genetic Variance in Human Brain Size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Geoffrey F.; Penke, Lars

    2007-01-01

    Most theories of human mental evolution assume that selection favored higher intelligence and larger brains, which should have reduced genetic variance in both. However, adult human intelligence remains highly heritable, and is genetically correlated with brain size. This conflict might be resolved by estimating the coefficient of additive genetic…

  7. Orbital Dynamics, Environmental Heterogeneity, and the Evolution of the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grove, Matt

    2012-01-01

    Many explanations have been proposed for the evolution of our anomalously large brains, including social, ecological, and epiphenomenal hypotheses. Recently, an additional hypothesis has emerged, suggesting that advanced cognition and, by inference, increases in brain size, have been driven over evolutionary time by the need to deal with…

  8. Drug-Resistant Brain Metastases: A Role for Pharmacology, Tumor Evolution, and Too-Late Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stricker, Thomas; Arteaga, Carlos L

    2015-11-01

    Two recent studies report deep molecular profiling of matched brain metastases and primary tumors. In both studies, somatic alterations in the brain metastases were frequently discordant with those in the primary tumor, suggesting divergent evolution at metastatic sites and raising questions about the use of biomarkers in patients in clinical trials with targeted therapies. ©2015 American Association for Cancer Research.

  9. Genetic architecture supports mosaic brain evolution and independent brain-body size regulation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hager, Reinmar; Lu, Lu; Rosen, Glenn D; Williams, Robert W

    2012-01-01

    ... to selection and evolve independent of other parts or overall brain size. However, comparisons among mammals with matched brain weights often reveal greater differences in brain part size, arguing against strong developmental constraints...

  10. Comparative primate neurobiology and the evolution of brain language systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rilling, James K

    2014-10-01

    Human brain specializations supporting language can be identified by comparing human with non-human primate brains. Comparisons with chimpanzees are critical in this endeavor. Human brains are much larger than non-human primate brains, but human language capabilities cannot be entirely explained by brain size. Human brain specializations that potentially support our capacity for language include firstly, wider cortical minicolumns in both Broca's and Wernicke's areas compared with great apes; secondly, leftward asymmetries in Broca's area volume and Wernicke's area minicolumn width that are not found in great apes; and thirdly, arcuate fasciculus projections beyond Wernicke's area to a region of expanded association cortex in the middle and inferior temporal cortex involved in processing word meaning. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Pedogenesis evolution of mine technosols: focus onto organic matter implication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grégoire, Pascaud; Marilyne, Soubrand; Laurent, Lemee; Husseini Amelène, El-Mufleh Al; Marion, Rabiet; Emmanuel, Joussein

    2014-05-01

    Keywords: Mine technosols, pedogenesis, organic matter, environmental impact, pyr-GC-MS Technosols include soils subject to strong anthropogenic pressure and particularly to soil influenced by human transformed materials. In this context, abandoned mine sites contain a large amount of transformed waste materials often enriched with metals and/or metalloids. The natural evolution of technosols (pedogenesis) may induces the change in contaminants behaviour in term of stability of bearing phases, modification of pH oxydo-reduction conditions, organic matter turnover, change in permeability, or influence of vegetation cover. The fate of these elements in the soil can induce major environmental problems (contamination of biosphere and water resource). This will contribute to a limited potential use of these soils, which represent yet a large area around the world. The initial contamination of the parental material suggests that the pedological cover would stabilize the soil; however, the chemical reactivity must be taken in consideration particularly with respect to potential metal leachings. In this case, it is quite important to understand the development of soil in this specific context. Consequently, the global aims of this study are to understand the functioning of mine Technosols focusing onto the organic matter implication in their pedogenesis. Indeed, soil organic matter constitutes an heterogeneous fraction of organic compounds that plays an important role in the fate and the transport of metals and metalloids in soils. Three different soil profiles were collected representative to various mining context (contamination, time, climat), respectively to Pb-Ag, Sn and Au exploitations. Several pedological parameters were determined like CEC, pH, %Corg, %Ntot, C/N ratio, grain size distribution and chemical composition. The evolution of the nature of organic matter in Technosol was studied by elemental analyses and thermochemolysis was realized on the total and

  12. The evolution of the brain, the human nature of cortical circuits and intellectual creativity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier eDeFelipe

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available The tremendous expansion and the differentiation of the neocortex constitute two major events in the evolution of the mammalian brain. The increase in size and complexity of our brains opened the way to a spectacular development of cognitive and mental skills. This expansion during evolution facilitated the addition of archetypical microcircuits, which increased the complexity of the human brain and contributed to its uniqueness. However, fundamental differences even exist between distinct mammalian species. Here, we shall discuss the issue of our humanity from a neurobiological and historical perspective.

  13. Brain size and thermoregulation during the evolution of the genus Homo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naya, Daniel E; Naya, Hugo; Lessa, Enrique P

    2016-01-01

    Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the evolution of an energetically costly brain in the genus Homo. Some of these hypotheses are based on the correlation between climatic factors and brain size recorded for this genus during the last millions of years. In this study, we propose a complementary climatic hypothesis that is based on the mechanistic connection between temperature, thermoregulation, and size of internal organs in endothermic species. We hypothesized that global cooling during the last 3.2 my may have imposed an increased energy expenditure for thermoregulation, which in the case of hominids could represent a driver for the evolution of an expanded brain, or at least, it could imply the relaxation of a negative selection pressure acting upon this costly organ. To test this idea, here we (1) assess variation in the energetic costs of thermoregulation and brain maintenance for the last 3.2 my, and (2) evaluate the relationship between Earth temperature and brain maintenance cost for the same period, taking into account the effects of body mass and fossil age. We found that: (1) the energetic cost associated with brain enlargement represents an important fraction (between 47.5% and 82.5%) of the increase in energy needed for thermoregulation; (2) fossil age is a better predictor of brain maintenance cost than Earth temperature, suggesting that (at least) another factor correlated with time was more relevant than ambient temperature in brain size evolution; and (3) there is a significant negative correlation between the energetic cost of brain and Earth temperature, even after accounting for the effect of body mass and fossil age. Thus, our results expand the current energetic framework for the study of brain size evolution in our lineage by suggesting that a fall in Earth temperature during the last millions of years may have facilitated brain enlargement. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Ammonia Bearing Species on Ceres: Implication on Origin and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Sanctis, M. C.; Ammannito, E.; Raponi, A.; Marchi, S.; Ciarniello, M.; McSween, H. Y., Jr.; McCord, T. B.; Capaccioni, F.; Capria, M. T.; Carrorro, F. G.; Longobardo, A.; Tosi, F.; Fonte, S.; Giardino, M.; Palomba, E.; Magni, G.; Zambon, F.; Pieters, C. M.; McFadden, L. A.; Raymond, C. A.

    2015-12-01

    The Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIR) on board the Dawn spacecraft observed Ceres' surface acquiring spectra since January 2015. Here we report the average Ceres spectrum, including the spectral range previously precluded from telescopic measurements due to telluric atmospheric absorptions. The data indicate that the surface is very dark: average albedo of 0.090 ±0.006 at 0.55 µm, consistent with HST data (Li et al., 2006). Ceres' average spectrum is characterized by a prominent absorption band at 2.7 micron. Weaker absorption bands are observed between 3.05-3.1, 3.3-3.4 and 3.9-4 micron; the visible and near-IR ranges lack prominent bands. We modelled the spectra of Ceres using Hapke theory. Results of the spectral modelling indicate that extensive water ice is not present in surface spectra acquired so far. The best fit is obtained with a mixture of ammoniated phyllosilicates mixed with other clays, Mg-carbonates, and dark material, like magnetite (De Sanctis et al. 2015, submitted). The presence of ammonia bearing materials across the surface has implications for the origin of Ceres and its internal structure and evolution. Higher spatial resolution spectra are being acquired to address the small scale mineralogy across this dwarf planet. References: Li, et al., Photometric analysis of 1 Ceres and surface mapping from HST observations. Icarus 182, 143-160 (2006). De Sanctis et al., Ammoniated phyllosilicates on dwarf planet Ceres reveal an outer solar system origin, Nature submitted, (2015). This work is supported the Italian Space Agencies, NASA, and from the German Space Agency. Support of the Dawn Instrument, Operations, and Science Teams is acknowledged.

  15. The evolution of the female sexual response concept: Treatment implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damjanović Aleksandar

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Sexual dysfunctions have been the most prevalent group of sexual disorders and include a large number of populations of both sexes. The research of sexual behavior and treatment of women with sexual distress arises many questions related to differences in sexual response of men and women. The conceptualization of this response in modern sexology has changed over time. The objective of our paper was to present the changes and evolution of the female’s sexual response concept in a summarized and integrated way, to analyze the expanded and revised definitions of the female sexual response as well as implications and recommendations of new approaches to diagnostics and treatment according to the established changes. The lack of adequate empirical basis of the female sexual response model is a critical question in the literature dealing with this issue. Some articles report that linear models demonstrate more correctly and precisely the sexual response of women with normal sexual functions in relation to women with sexual dysfunction. Modification of this model later resulted in a circular model which more adequately presented the sexual response of women with sexual function disorder than of women with normal sexual function. The nonlinear model of female sexual response constructed by Basson incorporates the value of emotional intimacy, sexual stimulus and satisfaction with the relationship. Female functioning is significantly affected by multiple psychosocial factors such as satisfaction with the relationship, self-image, earlier negative sexual experience, etc. Newly revised, expanded definitions of female sexual dysfunction try to contribute to new knowledge about a highly contextual nature of woman’s sexuality so as to enhance clinical treatment of dysfunctions. The definitions emphasize the evaluation of the context of women’s problematic sexual experiences.

  16. The evolution of the female sexual response concept: treatment implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damjanović, Aleksandar; Duisin, Dragana; Barisić, Jasmina

    2013-01-01

    Sexual dysfunctions have been the most prevalent group of sexual disorders and include a large number of populations of both sexes.The research of sexual behavior and treatment of women with sexual distress arises many questions related to differences in sexual response of men and women. The conceptualization of this response in modern sexology has changed over time.The objective of our paper was to present the changes and evolution of the female's sexual response concept in a summarized and integrated way, to analyze the expanded and revised definitions of the female sexual response as well as implications and recommendations of new approaches to diagnostics and treatment according to the established changes.The lack of adequate empirical basis of the female sexual response model is a critical question in the literature dealing with this issue. Some articles report that linear models demonstrate more correctly and precisely the sexual response of women with normal sexual functions in relation to women with sexual dysfunction. Modification of this model later resulted in a circular model which more adequately presented the sexual response of women with sexual function disorder than of women with normal sexual function.The nonlinear model of female sexual response constructed by Basson incorporates the value of emotional intimacy, sexual stimulus and satisfaction with the relationship. Female functioning is significantly affected by multiple psychosocial factors such as satisfaction with the relationship, self-image, earlier negative sexual experience, etc. Newly revised, expanded definitions of female sexual dysfunction try to contribute to new knowledge about a highly contextual nature of woman's sexuality so as to enhance clinical treatment of dysfunctions.The definitions emphasize the evaluation of the context of women's problematic sexual experiences.

  17. Reconsidering the evolution of brain, cognition and behaviour in birds and mammals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romain eWillemet

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Despite decades of research, some of the most basic issues concerning the extraordinarily complex brains and behaviour of birds and mammals, such as the factors responsible for the diversity of brain size and composition, are still unclear. This is partly due to a number of conceptual and methodological issues. Determining species and group differences in brain composition requires accounting for the presence of taxon-cerebrotypes and the use of precise statistical methods. The role of allometry in determining brain variables should be revised. In particular, bird and mammalian brains appear to have evolved in response to a variety of selective pressures influencing both brain size and composition. Brain and cognition are indeed meta-variables, made up of the variables that are ecologically relevant and evolutionarily selected. External indicators of species differences in cognition and behaviour are limited by the complexity of these differences. Indeed, behavioural differences between species and individuals are caused by cognitive and affective components. Although intra-species variability forms the basis of species evolution, some of the mechanisms underlying individual differences in brain and behaviour appear to differ from those between species. While many issues have persisted over the years because of a lack of appropriate data or methods to test them; several fallacies, particularly those related to the human brain, reflect scientists’ preconceptions. The theoretical framework on the evolution of brain, cognition and behaviour in birds and mammals should be reconsidered with these biases in mind.

  18. Brain structure evolution in a basal vertebrate clade: evidence from phylogenetic comparative analysis of cichlid fishes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolm Niclas

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The vertebrate brain is composed of several interconnected, functionally distinct structures and much debate has surrounded the basic question of how these structures evolve. On the one hand, according to the 'mosaic evolution hypothesis', because of the elevated metabolic cost of brain tissue, selection is expected to target specific structures mediating the cognitive abilities which are being favored. On the other hand, the 'concerted evolution hypothesis' argues that developmental constraints limit such mosaic evolution and instead the size of the entire brain varies in response to selection on any of its constituent parts. To date, analyses of these hypotheses of brain evolution have been limited to mammals and birds; excluding Actinopterygii, the basal and most diverse class of vertebrates. Using a combination of recently developed phylogenetic multivariate allometry analyses and comparative methods that can identify distinct rates of evolution, even in highly correlated traits, we studied brain structure evolution in a highly variable clade of ray-finned fishes; the Tanganyikan cichlids. Results Total brain size explained 86% of the variance in brain structure volume in cichlids, a lower proportion than what has previously been reported for mammals. Brain structures showed variation in pair-wise allometry suggesting some degree of independence in evolutionary changes in size. This result is supported by variation among structures on the strength of their loadings on the principal size axis of the allometric analysis. The rate of evolution analyses generally supported the results of the multivariate allometry analyses, showing variation among several structures in their evolutionary patterns. The olfactory bulbs and hypothalamus were found to evolve faster than other structures while the dorsal medulla presented the slowest evolutionary rate. Conclusion Our results favor a mosaic model of brain evolution, as certain

  19. Toward the Language-Ready Brain: Biological Evolution and Primate Comparisons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arbib, Michael A

    2017-02-01

    The approach to language evolution suggested here focuses on three questions: How did the human brain evolve so that humans can develop, use, and acquire languages? How can the evolutionary quest be informed by studying brain, behavior, and social interaction in monkeys, apes, and humans? How can computational modeling advance these studies? I hypothesize that the brain is language ready in that the earliest humans had protolanguages but not languages (i.e., communication systems endowed with rich and open-ended lexicons and grammars supporting a compositional semantics), and that it took cultural evolution to yield societies (a cultural constructed niche) in which language-ready brains could become language-using brains. The mirror system hypothesis is a well-developed example of this approach, but I offer it here not as a closed theory but as an evolving framework for the development and analysis of conflicting subhypotheses in the hope of their eventual integration. I also stress that computational modeling helps us understand the evolving role of mirror neurons, not in and of themselves, but only in their interaction with systems "beyond the mirror." Because a theory of evolution needs a clear characterization of what it is that evolved, I also outline ideas for research in neurolinguistics to complement studies of the evolution of the language-ready brain. A clear challenge is to go beyond models of speech comprehension to include sign language and models of production, and to link language to visuomotor interaction with the physical and social world.

  20. Art and brain: insights from neuropsychology, biology and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, Dahlia W

    2010-02-01

    Art is a uniquely human activity associated fundamentally with symbolic and abstract cognition. Its practice in human societies throughout the world, coupled with seeming non-functionality, has led to three major brain theories of art. (1) The localized brain regions and pathways theory links art to multiple neural regions. (2) The display of art and its aesthetics theory is tied to the biological motivation of courtship signals and mate selection strategies in animals. (3) The evolutionary theory links the symbolic nature of art to critical pivotal brain changes in Homo sapiens supporting increased development of language and hierarchical social grouping. Collectively, these theories point to art as a multi-process cognition dependent on diverse brain regions and on redundancy in art-related functional representation.

  1. A Mind of Three Minds: Evolution of the Human Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Paul D.

    1978-01-01

    The author examines the evolutionary and neural roots of a triune intelligence comprised of a primal mind, an emotional mind, and a rational mind. A simple brain model and some definitions of unfamiliar behavioral terms are included. (Author/MA)

  2. Ontogenetic Shape Change in the Chicken Brain: Implications for Paleontology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawabe, Soichiro; Matsuda, Seiji; Tsunekawa, Naoki; Endo, Hideki

    2015-01-01

    Paleontologists have investigated brain morphology of extinct birds with little information on post-hatching changes in avian brain morphology. Without the knowledge of ontogenesis, assessing brain morphology in fossil taxa could lead to misinterpretation of the phylogeny or neurosensory development of extinct species. Hence, it is imperative to determine how avian brain morphology changes during post-hatching growth. In this study, chicken brain shape was compared at various developmental stages using three-dimensional (3D) geometric morphometric analysis and the growth rate of brain regions was evaluated to explore post-hatching morphological changes. Microscopic MRI (μMRI) was used to acquire in vivo data from living and post-mortem chicken brains. The telencephalon rotates caudoventrally during growth. This change in shape leads to a relative caudodorsal rotation of the cerebellum and myelencephalon. In addition, all brain regions elongate rostrocaudally and this leads to a more slender brain shape. The growth rates of each brain region were constant and the slopes from the growth formula were parallel. The dominant pattern of ontogenetic shape change corresponded with interspecific shape changes due to increasing brain size. That is, the interspecific and ontogenetic changes in brain shape due to increased size have similar patterns. Although the shape of the brain and each brain region changed considerably, the volume ratio of each brain region did not change. This suggests that the brain can change its shape after completing functional differentiation of the brain regions. Moreover, these results show that consideration of ontogenetic changes in brain shape is necessary for an accurate assessment of brain morphology in paleontological studies.

  3. Ontogenetic Shape Change in the Chicken Brain: Implications for Paleontology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soichiro Kawabe

    Full Text Available Paleontologists have investigated brain morphology of extinct birds with little information on post-hatching changes in avian brain morphology. Without the knowledge of ontogenesis, assessing brain morphology in fossil taxa could lead to misinterpretation of the phylogeny or neurosensory development of extinct species. Hence, it is imperative to determine how avian brain morphology changes during post-hatching growth. In this study, chicken brain shape was compared at various developmental stages using three-dimensional (3D geometric morphometric analysis and the growth rate of brain regions was evaluated to explore post-hatching morphological changes. Microscopic MRI (μMRI was used to acquire in vivo data from living and post-mortem chicken brains. The telencephalon rotates caudoventrally during growth. This change in shape leads to a relative caudodorsal rotation of the cerebellum and myelencephalon. In addition, all brain regions elongate rostrocaudally and this leads to a more slender brain shape. The growth rates of each brain region were constant and the slopes from the growth formula were parallel. The dominant pattern of ontogenetic shape change corresponded with interspecific shape changes due to increasing brain size. That is, the interspecific and ontogenetic changes in brain shape due to increased size have similar patterns. Although the shape of the brain and each brain region changed considerably, the volume ratio of each brain region did not change. This suggests that the brain can change its shape after completing functional differentiation of the brain regions. Moreover, these results show that consideration of ontogenetic changes in brain shape is necessary for an accurate assessment of brain morphology in paleontological studies.

  4. Our Brains are Wired for Morality: Evolution, Development, and Neuroscience

    OpenAIRE

    Decety, Jean; Cowell, Jason M.

    2016-01-01

    Psychological and neuroscience research both tell us that morality, our mental ability to tell right from wrong in our behaviors and the behaviors of others, is a product of evolution. Morality has been passed on through the course of evolution because it helps us to live in large social groups by enhancing our ability to get along and interact with others. “Building blocks” of morality, such as sensing fairness, experiencing empathy, and judging others’ harmful and helpful actions, can be ob...

  5. Evolution of the brain and intelligence in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Gerhard; Dicke, Ursula

    2012-01-01

    Primates are, on average, more intelligent than other mammals, with great apes and finally humans on top. They generally have larger brains and cortices, and because of higher relative cortex volume and neuron packing density (NPD), they have much more cortical neurons than other mammalian taxa with the same brain size. Likewise, information processing capacity is generally higher in primates due to short interneuronal distance and high axonal conduction velocity. Across primate taxa, differences in intelligence correlate best with differences in number of cortical neurons and synapses plus information processing speed. The human brain stands out by having a large cortical volume with relatively high NPD, high conduction velocity, and high cortical parcellation. All aspects of human intelligence are present at least in rudimentary form in nonhuman primates or some mammals or vertebrates except syntactical language. The latter can be regarded as a very potent "intelligence amplifier." Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Genetic basis of brain size evolution in cetaceans: insights from adaptive evolution of seven primary microcephaly (MCPH) genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Shixia; Sun, Xiaohui; Niu, Xu; Zhang, Zepeng; Tian, Ran; Ren, Wenhua; Zhou, Kaiya; Yang, Guang

    2017-08-29

    Cetacean brain size expansion is an enigmatic event in mammalian evolution, yet its genetic basis remains poorly explored. Here, all exons of the seven primary microcephaly (MCPH) genes that play key roles in size regulation during brain development were investigated in representative cetacean lineages. Sequences of MCPH2-7 genes were intact in cetaceans but frameshift mutations and stop codons was identified in MCPH1. Extensive positive selection was identified in four of six intact MCPH genes: WDR62, CDK5RAP2, CEP152, and ASPM. Specially, positive selection at CDK5RAP2 and ASPM were examined along lineages of odontocetes with increased encephalization quotients (EQ) and mysticetes with reduced EQ but at WDR62 only found along odontocete lineages. Interestingly, a positive association between evolutionary rate (ω) and EQ was identified for CDK5RAP2 and ASPM. Furthermore, we tested the binding affinities between Calmodulin (CaM) and ASPM IQ motif in cetaceans because only CaM combined with IQ, can ASPM perform the function in determining brain size. Preliminary function assay showed binding affinities between CaM and IQ motif of the odontocetes with increased EQ was stronger than for the mysticetes with decreased EQ. In addition, evolution rate of ASPM and CDK5RAP2 were significantly related to mean group size (as one measure of social complexity). Our study investigated the genetic basis of cetacean brain size evolution. Significant positive selection was examined along lineages with both increased and decreased EQ at CDK5RAP2 and ASPM, which is well matched with cetacean complex brain size evolution. Evolutionary rate of CDK5RAP2 and ASPM were significantly related to EQ, suggesting that these two genes may have contributed to EQ expansion in cetaceans. This suggestion was further indicated by our preliminary function test that ASPM might be mainly linked to evolutionary increases in EQ. Most strikingly, our results suggested that cetaceans evolved large brains

  7. Brain-Based Education: Its Pedagogical Implications and Research Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laxman, Kumar; Chin, Yap Kueh

    2010-01-01

    The brain, being the organ of learning, must be understood if classrooms are to be places of meaningful learning. Understanding the brain has the potential to alter the foundation of education, transform traditional classrooms to interactive learning environments and promote better instructional approaches amongst teachers. Brain-based education…

  8. Theoretical Implications of Contemporary Brain Science for Japanese EFL Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, John Lloyd

    2015-01-01

    Recent advances in brain science show that adult native Japanese speakers utilize a different balance of language processing routes in the brain as compared to native English speakers. Biologically this represents the remarkable flexibility of the human brain to adapt universal human cognitive processes to fit the specific needs of linguistic and…

  9. Brain Basics: Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications for Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bucko, Richard L.

    1997-01-01

    Brain-based learning may be the most important influence on teaching practice since the first school was founded. This article addresses key brain-research findings, the thinking-skills movement, popular literature on the brain, applications in education (on learning and memory, learning environment, the mind/body connection, music and the arts),…

  10. Comparative Methylome Analyses Identify Epigenetic Regulatory Loci of Human Brain Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendizabal, Isabel; Shi, Lei; Keller, Thomas E; Konopka, Genevieve; Preuss, Todd M; Hsieh, Tzung-Fu; Hu, Enzhi; Zhang, Zhe; Su, Bing; Yi, Soojin V

    2016-11-01

    How do epigenetic modifications change across species and how do these modifications affect evolution? These are fundamental questions at the forefront of our evolutionary epigenomic understanding. Our previous work investigated human and chimpanzee brain methylomes, but it was limited by the lack of outgroup data which is critical for comparative (epi)genomic studies. Here, we compared whole genome DNA methylation maps from brains of humans, chimpanzees and also rhesus macaques (outgroup) to elucidate DNA methylation changes during human brain evolution. Moreover, we validated that our approach is highly robust by further examining 38 human-specific DMRs using targeted deep genomic and bisulfite sequencing in an independent panel of 37 individuals from five primate species. Our unbiased genome-scan identified human brain differentially methylated regions (DMRs), irrespective of their associations with annotated genes. Remarkably, over half of the newly identified DMRs locate in intergenic regions or gene bodies. Nevertheless, their regulatory potential is on par with those of promoter DMRs. An intriguing observation is that DMRs are enriched in active chromatin loops, suggesting human-specific evolutionary remodeling at a higher-order chromatin structure. These findings indicate that there is substantial reprogramming of epigenomic landscapes during human brain evolution involving noncoding regions. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  11. Brain Evolution: The Origins of Social and Cognitive Behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Paul

    1983-01-01

    Argues that common anatomical and functional characteristics exist among the brains of reptiles, mammals, and man--the most significant commonality for educators being social behavior. Illustrates inherited behavior, including behavior observed in classroom and believed to be learned by placing it in context of a model "triune"…

  12. Brain injury with diabetes mellitus: evidence, mechanisms and treatment implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamed, Sherifa A

    2017-04-01

    Diabetes mellitus is a risk for brain injury. Brain injury is associated with acute and chronic hyperglycaemia, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and hypoglycaemic events in diabetic patients. Hyperglycemia is a cause of cognitive deterioration, low intelligent quotient, neurodegeneration, brain aging, brain atrophy and dementia. Areas covered: The current review highlights the experimental, clinical, neuroimaging and neuropathological evidence of brain injury induced by diabetes and its associated metabolic derangements. It also highlights the mechanisms of diabetes-induced brain injury. It seems that the pathogenesis of hyperglycemia-induced brain injury is complex and includes combination of vascular disease, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, apoptosis, reduction of neurotrophic factors, acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activation, neurotransmitters' changes, impairment of brain repair processes, impairment of brain glymphatic system, accumulation of amyloid β and tau phosphorylation and neurodegeneration. The potentials for prevention and treatment are also discussed. Expert commentary: We summarize the risks and the possible mechanisms of DM-induced brain injury and recommend strategies for neuroprotection and neurorestoration. Recently, a number of drugs and substances [in addition to insulin and its mimics] have shown promising potentials against diabetes-induced brain injury. These include: antioxidants, neuroinflammation inhibitors, anti-apoptotics, neurotrophic factors, AChE inhibitors, mitochondrial function modifiers and cell based therapies.

  13. The immune system mediates blood-brain barrier damage; Possible implications for pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric illnesses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    VanderWerf, YD; DeJongste, MJL; terHorst, GJ

    1995-01-01

    The immune system mediates blood-brain barrier damage; possible implications for pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric illnesses. In this investigation the effects of immune activation on the brain are characterized In order to study this, we used a model for chronic immune activation, the myocardial

  14. Development of the Adolescent Brain: Implications for Executive Function and Social Cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Choudhury, Suparna

    2006-01-01

    Adolescence is a time of considerable development at the level of behaviour, cognition and the brain. This article reviews histological and brain imaging studies that have demonstrated specific changes in neural architecture during puberty and adolescence, outlining trajectories of grey and white matter development. The implications of brain…

  15. History and evolution of brain tumor imaging: insights through radiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Mauricio

    2014-11-01

    This review recounts the history of brain tumor diagnosis from antiquity to the present and, indirectly, the history of neuroradiology. Imaging of the brain has from the beginning held an enormous interest because of the inherent difficulty of this endeavor due to the presence of the skull. Because of this, most techniques when newly developed have always been used in neuroradiology and, although some have proved to be inappropriate for this purpose, many were easily incorporated into the specialty. The first major advance in modern neuroimaging was contrast agent-enhanced computed tomography, which permitted accurate anatomic localization of brain tumors and, by virtue of contrast enhancement, malignant ones. The most important advances in neuroimaging occurred with the development of magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted sequences that allowed an indirect estimation of tumor cellularity; this was further refined by the development of perfusion and permeability mapping. From its beginnings with indirect and purely anatomic imaging techniques, neuroradiology now uses a combination of anatomic and physiologic techniques that will play a critical role in biologic tumor imaging and radiologic genomics.

  16. Evolution of brain and culture: the neurological and cognitive journey from Australopithecus to Albert Einstein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falk, Dean

    2016-06-20

    Fossil and comparative primatological evidence suggest that alterations in the development of prehistoric hominin infants kindled three consecutive evolutionary-developmental (evo-devo) trends that, ultimately, paved the way for the evolution of the human brain and cognition. In the earliest trend, infants' development of posture and locomotion became delayed because of anatomical changes that accompanied the prolonged evolution of bipedalism. Because modern humans have inherited these changes, our babies are much slower than other primates to reach developmental milestones such as standing, crawling, and walking. The delay in ancestral babies' physical development eventually precipitated an evolutionary reversal in which they became increasing unable to cling independently to their mothers. For the first time in prehistory, babies were, thus, periodically deprived of direct physical contact with their mothers. This prompted the emergence of a second evo-devo trend in which infants sought contact comfort from caregivers using evolved signals, including new ways of crying that are conserved in modern babies. Such signaling stimulated intense reciprocal interactions between prehistoric mothers and infants that seeded the eventual emergence of motherese and, subsequently, protolanguage. The third trend was for an extreme acceleration in brain growth that began prior to the last trimester of gestation and continued through infants' first postnatal year (early "brain spurt"). Conservation of this trend in modern babies explains why human brains reach adult sizes that are over three times those of chimpanzees. The fossil record of hominin cranial capacities together with comparative neuroanatomical data suggest that, around 3 million years ago, early brain spurts began to facilitate an evolutionary trajectory for increasingly large adult brains in association with neurological reorganization. The prehistoric increase in brain size eventually caused parturition to become

  17. Epigenomic annotation of gene regulatory alterations during evolution of the primate brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermunt, Marit W; Tan, Sander C; Castelijns, Bas; Geeven, Geert; Reinink, Peter; de Bruijn, Ewart; Kondova, Ivanela; Persengiev, Stephan; Bontrop, Ronald; Cuppen, Edwin; de Laat, Wouter; Creyghton, Menno P

    Although genome sequencing has identified numerous noncoding alterations between primate species, which of those are regulatory and potentially relevant to the evolution of the human brain is unclear. Here we annotated cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in the human, rhesus macaque and chimpanzee

  18. From mice to men: the evolution of the large, complex human brain

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2004-12-15

    Dec 15, 2004 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Biosciences; Volume 30; Issue 2. Perspectives: From mice to men: the evolution of the large, complex human brain. Jon H Kaas. Volume 30 Issue 2 March 2005 pp 155-165. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link:

  19. A Video Game for Learning Brain Evolution: A Resource or a Strategy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbosa Gomez, Luisa Fernanda; Bohorquez Sotelo, Maria Cristina; Roja Higuera, Naydu Shirley; Rodriguez Mendoza, Brigitte Julieth

    2016-01-01

    Learning resources are part of the educational process of students. However, how video games act as learning resources in a population that has not selected the virtual formation as their main methodology? The aim of this study was to identify the influence of a video game in the learning process of brain evolution. For this purpose, the opinions…

  20. Software Maintenance and Evolution: The Implication for Software ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PROF. O. E. OSUAGWU

    2013-06-01

    Jun 1, 2013 ... management of software activities. With an increasing use of computers and .... Adaptive Maintenance: Adaptive maintenance involves .... These laws seek to consistently account for observed phenomena regarding the evolution software releases, systems and E-Type applications. [24]. These laws are ...

  1. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang K. L.; Bartsch, Ronny P.; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N.; Ivanov, Plamen Ch.

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  2. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  3. Temporal Organization of the Brain: Neurocognitive Mechanisms and Clinical Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Kim A.

    2004-01-01

    The synchrony between the individual brain and its environment is maintained by a system of internal clocks that together reflect the temporal organization of the organism. Extending the theoretical work of Edelman and others, the temporal organization of the brain is posited as functioning through "'re-entry" and "'temporal tagging"' and binds…

  4. Adolescent Brain Development and Implications for Classroom Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mears, Derrick

    2012-01-01

    Studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to observe the adolescent brain have shown that during adolescence multiple changes are occurring. This can provide a potential explanation for the sporadic and seemingly unpredictable behaviors that appear. It is believed that the brain of an adolescent goes through a profound neurological…

  5. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Implications for Rehabilitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Michael V.

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity allows the central nervous system to learn skills and remember information, to reorganize neuronal networks in response to environmental stimulation, and to recover from brain and spinal cord injuries. Neuronal plasticity is enhanced in the developing brain and it is usually adaptive and beneficial but can also be maladaptive…

  6. Resting state brain networks and their implications in neurodegenerative disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, William S.; Yoo, Kwangsun; Kim, Jinho; Jeong, Yong

    2012-10-01

    Neurons are the basic units of the brain, and form network by connecting via synapses. So far, there have been limited ways to measure the brain networks. Recently, various imaging modalities are widely used for this purpose. In this paper, brain network mapping using resting state fMRI will be introduced with several applications including neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal lobar degeneration and Parkinson's disease. The resting functional connectivity using intrinsic functional connectivity in mouse is useful since we can take advantage of perturbation or stimulation of certain nodes of the network. The study of brain connectivity will open a new era in understanding of brain and diseases thus will be an essential foundation for future research.

  7. The evolution of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis miRNA targeting genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunbin, Konstantin V; Afonnikov, Dmitry A; Kolchanov, Nikolay A; Derevianko, Anatoly P; Rogaev, Eugeny I

    2015-01-01

    As the evolution of miRNA genes has been found to be one of the important factors in formation of the modern type of man, we performed a comparative analysis of the evolution of miRNA genes in two archaic hominines, Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova, and elucidated the expression of their target mRNAs in bain. A comparative analysis of the genomes of primates, including species in the genus Homo, identified a group of miRNA genes having fixed substitutions with important implications for the evolution of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens denisova. The mRNAs targeted by miRNAs with mutations specific for Homo sapiens denisova exhibited enhanced expression during postnatal brain development in modern humans. By contrast, the expression of mRNAs targeted by miRNAs bearing variations specific for Homo sapiens neanderthalensis was shown to be enhanced in prenatal brain development. Our results highlight the importance of changes in miRNA gene sequences in the course of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis evolution. The genetic alterations of miRNAs regulating the spatiotemporal expression of multiple genes in the prenatal and postnatal brain may contribute to the progressive evolution of brain function, which is consistent with the observations of fine technical and typological properties of tools and decorative items reported from archaeological Denisovan sites. The data also suggest that differential spatial-temporal regulation of gene products promoted by the subspecies-specific mutations in the miRNA genes might have occurred in the brains of Homo sapiens denisova and Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, potentially contributing to the cultural differences between these two archaic hominines.

  8. Evolution of the aging brain transcriptome and synaptic regulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M Loerch

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders of aging are characterized by clinical and pathological features that are relatively specific to humans. To obtain greater insight into how brain aging has evolved, we compared age-related gene expression changes in the cortex of humans, rhesus macaques, and mice on a genome-wide scale. A small subset of gene expression changes are conserved in all three species, including robust age-dependent upregulation of the neuroprotective gene apolipoprotein D (APOD and downregulation of the synaptic cAMP signaling gene calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CAMK4. However, analysis of gene ontology and cell type localization shows that humans and rhesus macaques have diverged from mice due to a dramatic increase in age-dependent repression of neuronal genes. Many of these age-regulated neuronal genes are associated with synaptic function. Notably, genes associated with GABA-ergic inhibitory function are robustly age-downregulated in humans but not in mice at the level of both mRNA and protein. Gene downregulation was not associated with overall neuronal or synaptic loss. Thus, repression of neuronal gene expression is a prominent and recently evolved feature of brain aging in humans and rhesus macaques that may alter neural networks and contribute to age-related cognitive changes.

  9. The skull roof tracks the brain during the evolution and development of reptiles including birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabbri, Matteo; Mongiardino Koch, Nicolás; Pritchard, Adam C; Hanson, Michael; Hoffman, Eva; Bever, Gabriel S; Balanoff, Amy M; Morris, Zachary S; Field, Daniel J; Camacho, Jasmin; Rowe, Timothy B; Norell, Mark A; Smith, Roger M; Abzhanov, Arhat; Bhullar, Bhart-Anjan S

    2017-10-01

    Major transformations in brain size and proportions, such as the enlargement of the brain during the evolution of birds, are accompanied by profound modifications to the skull roof. However, the hypothesis of concerted evolution of shape between brain and skull roof over major phylogenetic transitions, and in particular of an ontogenetic relationship between specific regions of the brain and the skull roof, has never been formally tested. We performed 3D morphometric analyses to examine the deep history of brain and skull-roof morphology in Reptilia, focusing on changes during the well-documented transition from early reptiles through archosauromorphs, including nonavian dinosaurs, to birds. Non-avialan taxa cluster tightly together in morphospace, whereas Archaeopteryx and crown birds occupy a separate region. There is a one-to-one correspondence between the forebrain and frontal bone and the midbrain and parietal bone. Furthermore, the position of the forebrain-midbrain boundary correlates significantly with the position of the frontoparietal suture across the phylogenetic breadth of Reptilia and during the ontogeny of individual taxa. Conservation of position and identity in the skull roof is apparent, and there is no support for previous hypotheses that the avian parietal is a transformed postparietal. The correlation and apparent developmental link between regions of the brain and bony skull elements are likely to be ancestral to Tetrapoda and may be fundamental to all of Osteichthyes, coeval with the origin of the dermatocranium.

  10. Origin and Evolution of Planetary Atmospheres Implications for Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Lammer, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    Based on the author’s own work and results obtained by international teams he coordinated, this SpringerBrief offers a concise discussion of the origin and early evolution of atmospheres of terrestrial planets during the active phase of their host stars, as well as of the environmental conditions which are necessary in order for planets like the Earth to obtain N_2-rich atmospheres. Possible thermal and non-thermal atmospheric escape processes are discussed in a comparative way between the planets in the Solar System and exoplanets. Lastly, a hypothesis for how to test and study the discussed atmosphere evolution theories using future UV transit observations of terrestrial exoplanets within the orbits of dwarf stars is presented.

  11. Analysis of ribosomal protein gene structures: implications for intron evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Many spliceosomal introns exist in the eukaryotic nuclear genome. Despite much research, the evolution of spliceosomal introns remains poorly understood. In this paper, we tried to gain insights into intron evolution from a novel perspective by comparing the gene structures of cytoplasmic ribosomal proteins (CRPs and mitochondrial ribosomal proteins (MRPs, which are held to be of archaeal and bacterial origin, respectively. We analyzed 25 homologous pairs of CRP and MRP genes that together had a total of 527 intron positions. We found that all 12 of the intron positions shared by CRP and MRP genes resulted from parallel intron gains and none could be considered to be "conserved," i.e., descendants of the same ancestor. This was supported further by the high frequency of proto-splice sites at these shared positions; proto-splice sites are proposed to be sites for intron insertion. Although we could not definitively disprove that spliceosomal introns were already present in the last universal common ancestor, our results lend more support to the idea that introns were gained late. At least, our results show that MRP genes were intronless at the time of endosymbiosis. The parallel intron gains between CRP and MRP genes accounted for 2.3% of total intron positions, which should provide a reliable estimate for future inferences of intron evolution.

  12. Convergent evolution of complex brains and high intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Gerhard

    2015-12-19

    Within the animal kingdom, complex brains and high intelligence have evolved several to many times independently, e.g. among ecdysozoans in some groups of insects (e.g. blattoid, dipteran, hymenopteran taxa), among lophotrochozoans in octopodid molluscs, among vertebrates in teleosts (e.g. cichlids), corvid and psittacid birds, and cetaceans, elephants and primates. High levels of intelligence are invariantly bound to multimodal centres such as the mushroom bodies in insects, the vertical lobe in octopodids, the pallium in birds and the cerebral cortex in primates, all of which contain highly ordered associative neuronal networks. The driving forces for high intelligence may vary among the mentioned taxa, e.g. needs for spatial learning and foraging strategies in insects and cephalopods, for social learning in cichlids, instrumental learning and spatial orientation in birds and social as well as instrumental learning in primates. © 2015 The Author(s).

  13. Food, mood, and brain health: implications for the modern clinician.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lachance, Laura; Ramsey, Drew

    2015-01-01

    Improved, innovative strategies are needed for the prevention and promotion of recovery from mental illness as these disorders leading cause of disability worldwide. This article will review the evidence linking dietary pattern to brain-based illnesses and provide an overview of the mechanisms that underlie the association between brain health and the food we eat. Considerations for dietary intervention will be discussed including encouraging a shift towards a traditional or whole foods dietary pattern.

  14. Friends with Social Benefits: Host-Microbe Interactions as a Driver of Brain Evolution and Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roman M Stilling

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The tight association of the human body with trillions of colonizing microbes that we observe today is the result of a long evolutionary history. Only very recently have we started to understand how this symbiosis also affects brain function and behaviour. Here in this hypothesis and theory article, we propose how host-microbe associations potentially influenced mammalian brain evolution and development. In particular, we explore the integration of human brain development with evolution, symbiosis, and RNA biology, which together represent a ‘social triangle’ that drives human social behaviour and cognition. We argue that, in order to understand how inter-kingdom communication can affect brain adaptation and plasticity, it is inevitable to consider epigenetic mechanisms as important mediators of genome-microbiome interactions on an individual as well as a transgenerational time scale. Finally, we unite these interpretations with the hologenome theory of evolution. Taken together, we propose a tighter integration of neuroscience fields with host-associated microbiology by taking an evolutionary perspective.

  15. The Bilingual Brain: Human Evolution and Second Language Acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Kirk Hagen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available For the past half-century, psycholinguistic research has concerned itself with two mysteries of human cognition: (1 that children universally acquire a highly abstract, computationally complex set of linguistic rules rapidly and effortlessly, and (2 that second language acquisition (SLA among adults is, conversely, slow, laborious, highly variable, and virtually never results in native fluency. We now have a decent, if approximate, understanding of the biological foundations of first language acquisition, thanks in large part to Lenneberg's (1964, 1984 seminal work on the critical period hypothesis. More recently, the elements of a promising theory of language and evolution have emerged as well (see e.g. Bickerton, 1981, 1990; Leiberman, 1984, 1987. I argue here that the empirical foundations of an evolutionary theory of language are now solid enough to support an account of bilingualism and adult SLA as well. Specifically, I will show that evidence from the environment of evolutionary adaptation of paleolithic humans suggests that for our nomadic ancestors, the ability to master a language early in life was an eminently useful adaptation. However, the ability to acquire another language in adulthood was not, and consequently was not selected for propagation.

  16. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBPLATE FOR EVOLUTION AND DEVELOPMENTAL PLASTICITY OF THE HUMAN BRAIN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MILOS eJUDAS

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  17. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A; Polk, John D

    2013-01-07

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. However, to date, researchers have not explored the possibility that the increases in aerobic capacity and physical activity that occurred during human evolution directly influenced the human brain. Here, we hypothesize that proximate mechanisms linking physical activity and neurobiology in living species may help to explain changes in brain size and cognitive function during human evolution. We review evidence that selection acting on endurance increased baseline neurotrophin and growth factor signalling (compounds responsible for both brain growth and for metabolic regulation during exercise) in some mammals, which in turn led to increased overall brain growth and development. This hypothesis suggests that a significant portion of human neurobiology evolved due to selection acting on features unrelated to cognitive performance.

  18. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raichlen, David A.; Polk, John D.

    2013-01-01

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. However, to date, researchers have not explored the possibility that the increases in aerobic capacity and physical activity that occurred during human evolution directly influenced the human brain. Here, we hypothesize that proximate mechanisms linking physical activity and neurobiology in living species may help to explain changes in brain size and cognitive function during human evolution. We review evidence that selection acting on endurance increased baseline neurotrophin and growth factor signalling (compounds responsible for both brain growth and for metabolic regulation during exercise) in some mammals, which in turn led to increased overall brain growth and development. This hypothesis suggests that a significant portion of human neurobiology evolved due to selection acting on features unrelated to cognitive performance. PMID:23173208

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Aaron M

    2009-04-01

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

  20. Brain CB2 Receptors: Implications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Roche

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Although previously thought of as the peripheral cannabinoid receptor, it is now accepted that the CB2 receptor is expressed in the central nervous system on microglia, astrocytes and subpopulations of neurons. Expression of the CB2 receptor in the brain is significantly lower than that of the CB1 receptor. Conflicting findings have been reported on the neurological effects of pharmacological agents targeting the CB2 receptor under normal conditions. Under inflammatory conditions, CB2 receptor expression in the brain is enhanced and CB2 receptor agonists exhibit potent anti-inflammatory effects. These findings have prompted research into the CB2 receptor as a possible target for the treatment of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Neuroinflammatory alterations are also associated with neuropsychiatric disorders and polymorphisms in the CB2 gene have been reported in depression, eating disorders and schizophrenia. This review will examine the evidence to date for a role of brain CB2 receptors in neuropsychiatric disorders.

  1. Manual praxis in stone tool manufacture: implications for language evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruck, Lana

    2014-12-01

    Alternative functions of the left-hemisphere dominant Broca's region have induced hypotheses regarding the evolutionary parallels between manual praxis and language in humans. Many recent studies on Broca's area reveal several assumptions about the cognitive mechanisms that underlie both functions, including: (1) an accurate, finely controlled body schema, (2) increasing syntactical abilities, particularly for goal-oriented actions, and (3) bilaterality and fronto-parietal connectivity. Although these characteristics are supported by experimental paradigms, many researchers have failed to acknowledge a major line of evidence for the evolutionary development of these traits: stone tools. The neuroscience of stone tool manufacture is a viable proxy for understanding evolutionary aspects of manual praxis and language, and may provide key information for evaluating competing hypotheses on the co-evolution of these cognitive domains in our species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Metabolic Genes within Cyanophage Genomes: Implications for Diversity and Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E-Bin Gao

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Cyanophages, a group of viruses specifically infecting cyanobacteria, are genetically diverse and extensively abundant in water environments. As a result of selective pressure, cyanophages often acquire a range of metabolic genes from host genomes. The host-derived genes make a significant contribution to the ecological success of cyanophages. In this review, we summarize the host-derived metabolic genes, as well as their origin and roles in cyanophage evolution and important host metabolic pathways, such as the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis, the pentose phosphate pathway, nutrient acquisition and nucleotide biosynthesis. We also discuss the suitability of the host-derived metabolic genes as potential diagnostic markers for the detection of genetic diversity of cyanophages in natural environments.

  3. The brain-gut interaction: the conversation and the implications

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    appetite and food intake) and in the gut immune system. In disease, it causes altered brain-gut interactions which may underlie the symptom generation in functional gastrointestinal tract disorders. (FGIDs), and in the pathophysiology of various eating disorders. Routes of communication include: neural, immune system and.

  4. The brain-gut interaction: the conversation and the implications ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bi-directional interactions between the gut and the brain play a role in health and disease. It is involved in glucose homeostasis, satiety and obesity, functional gastrointestinal disorders and possibly in inflammatory disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease. Data is starting to elucidate the conversation between the mini ...

  5. Brain expressed microRNAs implicated in schizophrenia etiology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Thomas; Olsen, Line; Lindow, Morten

    2007-01-01

    Protein encoding genes have long been the major targets for research in schizophrenia genetics. However, with the identification of regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) as important in brain development and function, miRNAs genes have emerged as candidates for schizophrenia-associated genetic factors...

  6. Cholesterol in brain disease: sometimes determinant and frequently implicated

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín, Mauricio G; Pfrieger, Frank; Dotti, Carlos G

    2014-01-01

    Cholesterol is essential for neuronal physiology, both during development and in the adult life: as a major component of cell membranes and precursor of steroid hormones, it contributes to the regulation of ion permeability, cell shape, cell–cell interaction, and transmembrane signaling. Consistently, hereditary diseases with mutations in cholesterol-related genes result in impaired brain function during early life. In addition, defects in brain cholesterol metabolism may contribute to neurological syndromes, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), and Parkinson's disease (PD), and even to the cognitive deficits typical of the old age. In these cases, brain cholesterol defects may be secondary to disease-causing elements and contribute to the functional deficits by altering synaptic functions. In the first part of this review, we will describe hereditary and non-hereditary causes of cholesterol dyshomeostasis and the relationship to brain diseases. In the second part, we will focus on the mechanisms by which perturbation of cholesterol metabolism can affect synaptic function. PMID:25223281

  7. Physiological Studies of the Brain: Implications for Science Teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esler, William K.

    1982-01-01

    Speculates that physiological changes resulting from repeated, long-term stimulation in human and laboratory animal brains are related to short- and long-term memory processes. Describes a physiological-based model which may explain many current learning theory principles and can serve as a foundation for developing new learning theories based on…

  8. Estrogen regulation of microcephaly genes and evolution of brain sexual dimorphism in primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Lei; Lin, Qiang; Su, Bing

    2015-06-30

    Sexual dimorphism in brain size is common among primates, including humans, apes and some Old World monkeys. In these species, the brain size of males is generally larger than that of females. Curiously, this dimorphism has persisted over the course of primate evolution and human origin, but there is no explanation for the underlying genetic controls that have maintained this disparity in brain size. In the present study, we tested the effect of the female hormone (estradiol) on seven genes known to be related to brain size in both humans and nonhuman primates, and we identified half estrogen responsive elements (half EREs) in the promoter regions of four genes (MCPH1, ASPM, CDK5RAP2 and WDR62). Likewise, at sequence level, it appears that these half EREs are generally conserved across primates. Later testing via a reporter gene assay and cell-based endogenous expression measurement revealed that estradiol could significantly suppress the expression of the four affected genes involved in brain size. More intriguingly, when the half EREs were deleted from the promoters, the suppression effect disappeared, suggesting that the half EREs mediate the regulation of estradiol on the brain size genes. We next replicated these experiments using promoter sequences from chimpanzees and rhesus macaques, and observed a similar suppressive effect of estradiol on gene expression, suggesting that this mechanism is conserved among primate species that exhibit brain size dimorphism. Brain size dimorphism among certain primates, including humans, is likely regulated by estrogen through its sex-dependent suppression of brain size genes during development.

  9. Implication of evolution and diversity in arbuscular and ectomycorrhizal symbioses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buscot, François

    2015-01-01

    Being highly sensitive to ecological variations, symbiotic associations should inherently have a limited occurrence in nature. To circumvent this sensitivity and reach their universal distribution, symbioses used three strategies during their evolution, which all generated high biodiversity levels: (i) specialization to a specific environment, (ii) protection of one partner via its internalization into the other, (iii) frequent partner exchange. Mycorrhizal associations follow the 3rd strategy, but also present traits of internalization. As most ancient type, arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) formed by a monophyletic fungal group with reduced species richness did constantly support the mineral nutrition of terrestrial plants and enabled their ecological radiation and actual biodiversity level. In contrast ectomycorrhiza (EM) evolved later and independently within different taxa of fungi able to degrade complex organic plant residues, and the diversity levels of EM fungal and tree partners are balanced. Despite their different origins and diversity levels, AM and EM fungi display similar patterns of diversity dynamics in ecosystems. At each time or succession interval, a few dominant and many rare fungi are recruited by plants roots from a wide reservoir of propagules. However, the dominant fungal partners are frequently replaced in relation to changes in the vegetation or ecological conditions. While the initial establishment of AM and EM fungal communities corresponds to a neutral recruitment, their further succession is rather driven by niche differentiation dynamics. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  10. Endocranial morphology of Microchoerus erinaceus (Euprimates, Tarsiiformes) and early evolution of the Euprimates brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramdarshan, Anusha; Orliac, Maeva J

    2016-01-01

    Innovations in brain structure and increase in brain size relative to body mass are key features of Primates evolutionary history. Surprisingly, the endocranial morphology of early Euprimates is still rather poorly known, and our understanding of early euprimate brain evolution (Eocene epoch) relies on a handful of specimens. In this article, we describe the endocranial cast of the tarsiiform Microchoerus erinaceus from the late Early Eocene of Perrière (Quercy fissure filling, France) based on a virtual reconstruction extracted from CT scan data of the endocranial cavity of the complete, undeformed specimen UM-PRR1771. The endocast of M. erinaceus shows the derived features observed in other Euprimates (e.g. sylvian fissure and temporal lobe), with limited neocortical folding, and a telencephalic flexure comparable to that of extant primates. Comparison with the endocasts of other available late Eocene primates shows that they already exhibited a variety of brain morphologies, highlighting the complex history of the external features of the primate brain, as early as the Eocene. M. erinaceus was a fruit and gum eater considered as nocturnal based on its orbit size. However, its brain showed small olfactory bulbs--smaller than in the coeval diurnal taxa Adapis parisiensis--and a neocorticalization similar to folivorous taxa. These observations contrast with patterns observed in primates today where nocturnal taxa have larger olfactory bulbs than diurnal taxa, and call into question a direct correlation between frugivory and neocorticalization increase in primates. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Development and evolution of brain allometry in wasps (Vespidae): size, ecology and sociality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Sean; Bulova, Susan

    2017-08-01

    We review research on brain development and brain evolution in the wasp family Vespidae. Basic vespid neuroanatomy and some aspects of functional neural circuitry are well-characterized, and genomic tools for exploring brain plasticity are being developed. Although relatively modest in terms of species richness, the Vespidae include species spanning much of the known range of animal social complexity, from solitary nesters to highly eusocial species with some of the largest known colonies and multiple reproductives. Eusocial species differ in behavior and ecology including variation in queen/worker caste differentiation and in diurnal/nocturnal activity. Species differences in overall brain size are strongly associated with brain allometry; relative sizes of visual processing tissues increase at faster rates than antennal processing tissues. The lower relative size of the central-processing mushroom bodies (MB) in eusocial species compared to solitary relatives suggests sociality may relax demands on individual cognitive abilities. However, queens have greater relative MB volumes than their workers, and MB development is positively associated with social dominance status in some species. Fruitful areas for future investigations of adaptive brain investment in the clade include sampling of key overlooked taxa with diverse social structures, and the analysis of neural correlations with ecological divergence in foraging resources and diel activity patterns. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Developments: Implications for Clinical Assessment in Traumatic Brain Injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciccia, Angela Hein; Meulenbroek, Peter; Turkstra, Lyn S.

    2009-01-01

    Adolescence is a time of significant physical, social, and emotional developments, accompanied by changes in cognitive and language skills. Underlying these are significant developments in brain structures and functions including changes in cortical and subcortical gray matter and white matter tracts. Among the brain regions that develop during…

  13. MicroRNAs in brain cholesterol metabolism and their implications for Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoon, Hyejin; Flores, Luis F; Kim, Jungsu

    2016-12-01

    Cholesterol is important for various neuronal functions in the brain. Brain has elaborate regulatory mechanisms to control cholesterol metabolism that are distinct from the mechanisms in periphery. Interestingly, dysregulation of the cholesterol metabolism is strongly associated with a number of neurodegenerative diseases. MicroRNAs are short non-coding RNAs acting as post-transcriptional gene regulators. Recently, several microRNAs are demonstrated to be involved in regulating cholesterol metabolism in the brain. This article reviews the regulatory mechanisms of cellular cholesterol homeostasis in the brain. In addition, we discuss the role of microRNAs in brain cholesterol metabolism and their potential implications for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. This article is part of a special issue entitled: MicroRNAs and lipid/energy metabolism and related diseases edited by Carlos Fernández-Hernando and Yajaira Suárez. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Evolution of the human ASPM gene, a major determinant of brain size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jianzhi

    2003-12-01

    The size of human brain tripled over a period of approximately 2 million years (MY) that ended 0.2-0.4 MY ago. This evolutionary expansion is believed to be important to the emergence of human language and other high-order cognitive functions, yet its genetic basis remains unknown. An evolutionary analysis of genes controlling brain development may shed light on it. ASPM (abnormal spindle-like microcephaly associated) is one of such genes, as nonsense mutations lead to primary microcephaly, a human disease characterized by a 70% reduction in brain size. Here I provide evidence suggesting that human ASPM went through an episode of accelerated sequence evolution by positive Darwinian selection after the split of humans and chimpanzees but before the separation of modern non-Africans from Africans. Because positive selection acts on a gene only when the gene function is altered and the organismal fitness is increased, my results suggest that adaptive functional modifications occurred in human ASPM and that it may be a major genetic component underlying the evolution of the human brain.

  15. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality

    OpenAIRE

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L.; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J.

    2015-01-01

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory rec...

  16. Integrating Brain, Behaviour and Phylogeny to understand the Evolution of Sensory Systems in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas Richard Wylie

    2015-08-01

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

  17. Chemoreceptor Evolution in Hymenoptera and Its Implications for the Evolution of Eusociality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaofan; Rokas, Antonis; Berger, Shelley L; Liebig, Jürgen; Ray, Anandasankar; Zwiebel, Laurence J

    2015-08-12

    Eusocial insects, mostly Hymenoptera, have evolved unique colonial lifestyles that rely on the perception of social context mainly through pheromones, and chemoreceptors are hypothesized to have played important adaptive roles in the evolution of sociality. However, because chemoreceptor repertoires have been characterized in few social insects and their solitary relatives, a comprehensive examination of this hypothesis has not been possible. Here, we annotate ∼3,000 odorant and gustatory receptors in recently sequenced Hymenoptera genomes and systematically compare >4,000 chemoreceptors from 13 hymenopterans, representing one solitary lineage (wasps) and three independently evolved eusocial lineages (ants and two bees). We observe a strong general tendency for chemoreceptors to expand in Hymenoptera, whereas the specifics of gene gains/losses are highly diverse between lineages. We also find more frequent positive selection on chemoreceptors in a facultative eusocial bee and in the common ancestor of ants compared with solitary wasps. Our results suggest that the frequent expansions of chemoreceptors have facilitated the transition to eusociality. Divergent expression patterns of odorant receptors between honeybee and ants further indicate differential roles of chemoreceptors in parallel trajectories of social evolution. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  18. Adolescent risk taking, impulsivity, and brain development: implications for prevention.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romer, Daniel

    2010-04-01

    Individual differences in impulsivity underlie a good deal of the risk taking that is observed during adolescence, and some of the most hazardous forms of this behavior are linked to impulsivity traits that are evident early in development. However, early interventions appear able to reduce the severity and impact of these traits by increasing control over behavior and persistence toward valued goals, such as educational achievement. One form of impulsivity, sensation seeking, rises dramatically during adolescence and increases risks to healthy development. However, a review of the evidence for the hypothesis that limitations in brain development during adolescence restrict the ability to control impulsivity suggests that any such limitations are subtle at best. Instead, it is argued that lack of experience with novel adult behavior poses a much greater risk to adolescents than structural deficits in brain maturation. Continued translational research will help to identify strategies that protect youth as they transition to adulthood. (c) 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Implications of aneuploidy for stem cell biology and brain therapeutics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvie eDevalle

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the cellular basis of neurological disorders have advanced at a slow pace, especially due to the extreme invasiveness of brain biopsying and limitations of cell lines and animal models that have been used. Since the derivation of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs, a novel source of cells for regenerative medicine and disease modeling has become available, holding great potential for the neurology field. However, safety for therapy and accurateness for modeling have been a matter of intense debate, considering that genomic instability, including the gain and loss of chromosomes (aneuploidy, has been repeatedly observed in those cells. Despite the fact that recent reports have described some degree of aneuploidy as being normal during neuronal differentiation and present in healthy human brains, this phenomenon is particularly controversial since it has traditionally been associated with cancer and disabling syndromes. It is therefore necessary to appreciate, to which extent, aneuploid pluripotent stem cells are suitable for regenerative medicine and neurological modeling and also the limits that separate constitutive from disease-related aneuploidy. In this review, recent findings regarding chromosomal instability in PSCs and within the brain will be discussed.

  20. Free radical scavenging by brain homogenate: implication to free radical damage and antioxidant defense in brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mori, A; Liu, J; Wang, X; Kawai, M

    1994-03-01

    To study the mechanisms of free radical-induced brain damage and the antioxidant defense in the brain, we quantified the superoxide and hydroxyl radical scavenging effects of brain homogenate using electron spin resonance spectrometry. Brain homogenate was found to scavenge both superoxide and hydroxyl radicals in concentration-dependent fashion. Heat denaturation significantly decreased these scavenging effects. The ability of brain homogenate to scavenge free radicals implies that brain damage can be induced by free radicals since they are known to react virtually with any type of molecule such as nucleic acids, membrane lipids, and proteins in the brain. On the other hand, some molecules which can be regenerated or repaired after free radical scavenging are considered to be antioxidants which include both enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. Measurement of the decrease in antioxidant activity following heat denaturation suggests that the contribution of enzymatic antioxidants is about 20-40% in scavenging superoxide radicals and about 10-20% in scavenging hydroxyl radicals.

  1. Neurolinguistic Annotated Bibliography (Brain Research and Language Function) with Implications for Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Wesley K.

    This bibliography presents annotations of 91 journal articles, books, chapters in books, and conference papers dating from 1967 to 1984 concerning neurolinguistics, language processing, and educational implications of brain research. The annotated bibliography includes eight items on neuroanatomy and language function; 20 items on neurolinguistics…

  2. Brain Research: Implications for the Education of Exceptional Children. Abstract XV: Research & Resources on Special Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children, Reston, VA.

    The one-page abstract summarizes "Brain Research: Implications for the Education of Exceptional Children," an ERIC Computer Search Reprint containing bibliographic information and abstracts of 115 documents. Citations are described in five sections: learning disabilities, autism, other learning handicaps, assessment techniques, and instructional…

  3. Brain expressed microRNAs implicated in schizophrenia etiology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Thomas; Olsen, Line; Lindow, Morten

    2007-01-01

    Protein encoding genes have long been the major targets for research in schizophrenia genetics. However, with the identification of regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs) as important in brain development and function, miRNAs genes have emerged as candidates for schizophrenia-associated genetic factors....... Indeed, the growing understanding of the regulatory properties and pleiotropic effects that miRNA have on molecular and cellular mechanisms, suggests that alterations in the interactions between miRNAs and their mRNA targets may contribute to phenotypic variation....

  4. Brain expressed microRNAs implicated in schizophrenia etiology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Hansen

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Protein encoding genes have long been the major targets for research in schizophrenia genetics. However, with the identification of regulatory microRNAs (miRNAs as important in brain development and function, miRNAs genes have emerged as candidates for schizophrenia-associated genetic factors. Indeed, the growing understanding of the regulatory properties and pleiotropic effects that miRNA have on molecular and cellular mechanisms, suggests that alterations in the interactions between miRNAs and their mRNA targets may contribute to phenotypic variation. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have studied the association between schizophrenia and genetic variants of miRNA genes associated with brain-expression using a case-control study design on three Scandinavian samples. Eighteen known SNPs within or near brain-expressed miRNAs in three samples (Danish, Swedish and Norwegian: 420/163/257 schizophrenia patients and 1006/177/293 control subjects, were analyzed. Subsequently, joint analysis of the three samples was performed on SNPs showing marginal association. Two SNPs rs17578796 and rs1700 in hsa-mir-206 (mir-206 and hsa-mit-198 (mir-198 showed nominal significant allelic association to schizophrenia in the Danish and Norwegian sample respectively (P = 0.0021 & p = 0.038, of which only rs17578796 was significant in the joint sample. In-silico analysis revealed that 8 of the 15 genes predicted to be regulated by both mir-206 and mir-198, are transcriptional targets or interaction partners of the JUN, ATF2 and TAF1 connected in a tight network. JUN and two of the miRNA targets (CCND2 and PTPN1 in the network have previously been associated with schizophrenia. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We found nominal association between brain-expressed miRNAs and schizophrenia for rs17578796 and rs1700 located in mir-206 and mir-198 respectively. These two miRNAs have a surprising large number (15 of targets in common, eight of which are also connected

  5. Ketones and brain development: Implications for correcting deteriorating brain glucose metabolism during aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nugent Scott

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Brain energy metabolism in Alzheimer’s disease (AD is characterized mainly by temporo-parietal glucose hypometabolism. This pattern has been widely viewed as a consequence of the disease, i.e. deteriorating neuronal function leading to lower demand for glucose. This review will address deteriorating glucose metabolism as a problem specific to glucose and one that precedes AD. Hence, ketones and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA could be an alternative source of energy for the aging brain that could compensate for low brain glucose uptake. MCFA in the form of dietary medium chain triglycerides (MCT have a long history in clinical nutrition and are widely regarded as safe by government regulatory agencies. The importance of ketones in meeting the high energy and anabolic requirements of the infant brain suggest they may be able to contribute in the same way in the aging brain. Clinical studies suggest that ketogenesis from MCT may be able to bypass the increasing risk of insufficient glucose uptake or metabolism in the aging brain sufficiently to have positive effects on cognition.

  6. Brain size evolution in pipefishes and seahorses: the role of feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuboi, M; Lim, A C O; Ooi, B L; Yip, M Y; Chong, V C; Ahnesjö, I; Kolm, N

    2017-01-01

    Brain size varies greatly at all taxonomic levels. Feeding ecology, life history and sexual selection have been proposed as key components in generating contemporary diversity in brain size across vertebrates. Analyses of brain size evolution have, however, been limited to lineages where males predominantly compete for mating and females choose mates. Here, we present the first original data set of brain sizes in pipefishes and seahorses (Syngnathidae) a group in which intense female mating competition occurs in many species. After controlling for the effect of shared ancestry and overall body size, brain size was positively correlated with relative snout length. Moreover, we found that females, on average, had 4.3% heavier brains than males and that polyandrous species demonstrated more pronounced (11.7%) female-biased brain size dimorphism. Our results suggest that adaptations for feeding on mobile prey items and sexual selection in females are important factors in brain size evolution of pipefishes and seahorses. Most importantly, our study supports the idea that sexual selection plays a major role in brain size evolution, regardless of on which sex sexual selection acts stronger. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  7. Enhanced transcription and translation in clay hydrogel and implications for early life evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Dayong; Peng, Songming; Hartman, Mark R.; Gupton-Campolongo, Tiffany; Rice, Edward J.; Chang, Anna Kathryn; Gu, Zi; Lu, G. Q. (Max); Luo, Dan

    2013-01-01

    In most contemporary life forms, the confinement of cell membranes provides localized concentration and protection for biomolecules, leading to efficient biochemical reactions. Similarly, confinement may have also played an important role for prebiotic compartmentalization in early life evolution when the cell membrane had not yet formed. It remains an open question how biochemical reactions developed without the confinement of cell membranes. Here we mimic the confinement function of cells by creating a hydrogel made from geological clay minerals, which provides an efficient confinement environment for biomolecules. We also show that nucleic acids were concentrated in the clay hydrogel and were protected against nuclease, and that transcription and translation reactions were consistently enhanced. Taken together, our results support the importance of localized concentration and protection of biomolecules in early life evolution, and also implicate a clay hydrogel environment for biochemical reactions during early life evolution. PMID:24196527

  8. Microevolutionary, macroevolutionary, ecological and taxonomical implications of punctuational theories of adaptive evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flegr, Jaroslav

    2013-01-16

    Punctuational theories of evolution suggest that adaptive evolution proceeds mostly, or even entirely, in the distinct periods of existence of a particular species. The mechanisms of this punctuated nature of evolution suggested by the various theories differ. Therefore the predictions of particular theories concerning various evolutionary phenomena also differ.Punctuational theories can be subdivided into five classes, which differ in their mechanism and their evolutionary and ecological implications. For example, the transilience model of Templeton (class III), genetic revolution model of Mayr (class IV) or the frozen plasticity theory of Flegr (class V), suggests that adaptive evolution in sexual species is operative shortly after the emergence of a species by peripatric speciation--while it is evolutionary plastic. To a major degree, i.e. throughout 98-99% of their existence, sexual species are evolutionarily frozen (class III) or elastic (class IV and V) on a microevolutionary time scale and evolutionarily frozen on a macroevolutionary time scale and can only wait for extinction, or the highly improbable return of a population segment to the plastic state due to peripatric speciation.The punctuational theories have many evolutionary and ecological implications. Most of these predictions could be tested empirically, and should be analyzed in greater depth theoretically. The punctuational theories offer many new predictions that need to be tested, but also provide explanations for a much broader spectrum of known biological phenomena than classical gradualistic evolutionary theories.

  9. Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Aiguo; Noble, Emily E.; Tyagi, Ethika; Ying, Zhe; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Dietary deficiency of docosahexaenoic acid (C22: 6n-3; DHA) is linked to the neuropathology of several cognitive disorders, including anxiety. DHA, which is essential for brain development and protection, is primarily obtained through the diet or synthesized from dietary precursors, however the conversion efficiency is low. Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), which is a principal component of the spice turmeric, complements the action of DHA in the brain, and this study was performed to determine molecular mechanisms involved. We report that curcumin enhances the synthesis of DHA from its precursor, α-linolenic acid (C18: 3n-3; ALA) and elevates levels of enzymes involved in the synthesis of DHA such as FADS2 and elongase 2 in both liver and brain tissue. Furthermore, in vivo treatment with curcumin and ALA reduced anxiety-like behavior in rodents. Taken together, these data suggest that curcumin enhances DHA synthesis, resulting in elevated brain DHA content. These findings have important implications for human health and the prevention of cognitive disease, particularly for populations eating a plant-based diet or who do not consume fish, a primary source of DHA, since DHA is essential for brain function and its deficiency is implicated in many types of neurological disorders. PMID:25550171

  10. Evidence for the unique function of DHA during the evolution of the modern hominid brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Crawford M.A.

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The African savanna ecosystem of the large mammals and primates was associated with a dramatic decline in relative brain capacity. This reduction happened to be associated with a decline in docosahexaenoic acid (DHA from the food chain. DHA is required for brain structures and growth. The biochemistry implies that the expansion of the human brain required a plentiful source of preformed DHA. The richest source of DHA is the marine food chain while the savannah environment offers very little of it. Consequently H. sapiens could not have evolved on the savannahs. Recent fossil evidence indicates that the lacustrine and marine food chain was being extensively exploited at the time cerebral expansion took place and suggests the alternative that the transition from the archaic to modern humans took place at the land\\\\water interface. Contemporary data on tropical lake shore dwellers reaffirms the above view. Lacustrine habitats provide nutritional support for the vascular system, the development of which would have been a prerequisite for cerebral expansion. Both arachidonic acid (AA and DHA would have been freely available from such habitats providing the double stimulus of preformed acyl components for the developing blood vessels and brain. The w3 docosapentaenoic acid precursor (w3DPA was the major w3 metabolite in the savanna mammals. Despite this abundance, neither it or the corresponding w6DPA were used for the photoreceptor nor the synapse. A substantial difference between DHA and other fatty acids is required to explain this high specificity. Studies on fluidity and other mechanical features of cell membranes have not revealed a difference of such magnitude between even a-linolenic acid (LNA and DHA sufficient to explain the exclusive use of DHA. We suggest that the evolution of the large human brain depended on a rich source of DHA from the land\\\\water interface. We review a number of proposals for the possible influence of DHA on

  11. Ipsilateral motor pathways after stroke: implications for noninvasive brain stimulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynley V Bradnam

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available In humans the two cerebral hemispheres have essential roles in controlling the upper limb. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to the potential importance of ipsilateral descending pathways for functional recovery after stroke, and the use of noninvasive brain stimulation (NBS protocols of the contralesional primary motor cortex (M1. Conventionally NBS is used to suppress contralesional M1, and to attenuate transcallosal inhibition onto the ipsilesional M1. There has been little consideration of the fact that contralesional M1 suppression may also reduce excitability of ipsilateral descending pathways that may be important for paretic upper limb control for some patients. One such ipsilateral pathway is the cortico-reticulo-propriospinal pathway (CRPP. In this review we outline a neurophysiological model to explain how contralesional M1 may gain control of the paretic arm via the CRPP. We conclude that the relative importance of the CRPP for motor control in individual patients must be considered before using NBS to suppress contralesional M1. Neurophysiological, neuroimaging and clinical assessments can assist this decision making and facilitate the translation of NBS into the clinical setting.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, Rae; Kriegsfeld, Lance J

    2014-06-01

    Circadian rhythms are generated by an endogenously organized timing system that drives daily rhythms in behavior, physiology and metabolism. In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is the locus of a master circadian clock. The SCN is synchronized to environmental changes in the light:dark cycle by direct, monosynaptic innervation via the retino-hypothalamic tract. In turn, the SCN coordinates the rhythmic activities of innumerable subordinate clocks in virtually all bodily tissues and organs. The core molecular clockwork is composed of a transcriptional/post-translational feedback loop in which clock genes and their protein products periodically suppress their own transcription. This primary loop connects to downstream output genes by additional, interlocked transcriptional feedback loops to create tissue-specific 'circadian transcriptomes'. Signals from peripheral tissues inform the SCN of the internal state of the organism and the brain's master clock is modified accordingly. A consequence of this hierarchical, multilevel feedback system is that there are ubiquitous effects of circadian timing on genetic and metabolic responses throughout the body. This overview examines landmark studies in the history of the study of circadian timing system, and highlights our current understanding of the operation of circadian clocks with a focus on topics of interest to the neuroscience community. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Molecular evolution of the human SRPX2 gene that causes brain disorders of the Rolandic and Sylvian speech areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levasseur Anthony

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The X-linked SRPX2 gene encodes a Sushi Repeat-containing Protein of unknown function and is mutated in two disorders of the Rolandic/Sylvian speech areas. Since it is linked to defects in the functioning and the development of brain areas for speech production, SRPX2 may thus have participated in the adaptive organization of such brain regions. To address this issue, we have examined the recent molecular evolution of the SRPX2 gene. Results The complete coding region was sequenced in 24 human X chromosomes from worldwide populations and in six representative nonhuman primate species. One single, fixed amino acid change (R75K has been specifically incorporated in human SRPX2 since the human-chimpanzee split. The R75K substitution occurred in the first sushi domain of SRPX2, only three amino acid residues away from a previously reported disease-causing mutation (Y72S. Three-dimensional structural modeling of the first sushi domain revealed that Y72 and K75 are both situated in the hypervariable loop that is usually implicated in protein-protein interactions. The side-chain of residue 75 is exposed, and is located within an unusual and SRPX-specific protruding extension to the hypervariable loop. The analysis of non-synonymous/synonymous substitution rate (Ka/Ks ratio in primates was performed in order to test for positive selection during recent evolution. Using the branch models, the Ka/Ks ratio for the human branch was significantly different (p = 0.027 from that of the other branches. In contrast, the branch-site tests did not reach significance. Genetic analysis was also performed by sequencing 9,908 kilobases (kb of intronic SRPX2 sequences. Despite low nucleotide diversity, neither the HKA (Hudson-Kreitman-Aguadé test nor the Tajima's D test reached significance. Conclusion The R75K human-specific variation occurred in an important functional loop of the first sushi domain of SRPX2, indicating that this evolutionary

  14. Skull Flexure from Blast Waves: A Mechanism for Brain Injury with Implications for Helmet Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moss, W C; King, M J; Blackman, E G

    2009-04-30

    Traumatic brain injury [TBI] has become a signature injury of current military conflicts, with debilitating, costly, and long-lasting effects. Although mechanisms by which head impacts cause TBI have been well-researched, the mechanisms by which blasts cause TBI are not understood. From numerical hydrodynamic simulations, we have discovered that non-lethal blasts can induce sufficient skull flexure to generate potentially damaging loads in the brain, even without a head impact. The possibility that this mechanism may contribute to TBI has implications for injury diagnosis and armor design.

  15. Response to Deep Brain Stimulation in Three Brain Targets with Implications in Mental Disorders: A PET Study in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casquero-Veiga, Marta; Hadar, Ravit; Pascau, Javier; Winter, Christine; Desco, Manuel; Soto-Montenegro, María Luisa

    2016-01-01

    To investigate metabolic changes in brain networks by deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and dorsomedial thalamus (DM) using positron emission tomography (PET) in naïve rats. 43 male Wistar rats underwent stereotactic surgery and concentric bipolar platinum-iridium electrodes were bilaterally implanted into one of the three brain sites. [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxy-glucose-PET (18FDG-PET) and computed tomography (CT) scans were performed at the 7th (without DBS) and 9th day (with DBS) after surgery. Stimulation period matched tracer uptake period. Images were acquired with a small-animal PET-CT scanner. Differences in glucose uptake between groups were assessed with Statistical Parametric Mapping. DBS induced site-specific metabolic changes, although a common increased metabolic activity in the piriform cortex was found for the three brain targets. mPFC-DBS increased metabolic activity in the striatum, temporal and amygdala, and reduced it in the cerebellum, brainstem (BS) and periaqueductal gray matter (PAG). NAcc-DBS increased metabolic activity in the subiculum and olfactory bulb, and decreased it in the BS, PAG, septum and hypothalamus. DM-DBS increased metabolic activity in the striatum, NAcc and thalamus and decreased it in the temporal and cingulate cortex. DBS induced significant changes in 18FDG uptake in brain regions associated with the basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical circuitry. Stimulation of mPFC, NAcc and DM induced different patterns of 18FDG uptake despite interacting with the same circuitries. This may have important implications to DBS research suggesting individualized target selection according to specific neural modulatory requirements.

  16. Mania secondary to focal brain lesions: implications for understanding the functional neuroanatomy of bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satzer, David; Bond, David J

    2016-05-01

    Approximately 3.5 million Americans will experience a manic episode during their lifetimes. The most common causes are psychiatric illnesses such as bipolar I disorder and schizoaffective disorder, but mania can also occur secondary to neurological illnesses, brain injury, or neurosurgical procedures. For this narrative review, we searched Medline for articles on the association of mania with stroke, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders, epilepsy, and neurosurgical interventions. We discuss the epidemiology, features, and treatment of these cases. We also review the anatomy of the lesions, in light of what is known about the neurobiology of bipolar disorder. The prevalence of mania in patients with brain lesions varies widely by condition, from bipolar disorder, and first manic episodes after the age of 40 years. Treatment with antimanic medications, along with specific treatment for the underlying neurologic condition, is typically required. Typical lesion locations fit with current models of bipolar disorder, which implicate hyperactivity of left-hemisphere reward-processing brain areas and hypoactivity of bilateral prefrontal emotion-modulating regions. Lesion studies complement these models by suggesting that right-hemisphere limbic-brain hypoactivity, or a left/right imbalance, may be relevant to the pathophysiology of mania. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Expression Profiling of Autism Candidate Genes during Human Brain Development Implicates Central Immune Signaling Pathways

    OpenAIRE

    Ziats, Mark N.; Rennert, Owen M.

    2011-01-01

    The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) represent a clinically heterogeneous set of conditions with strong hereditary components. Despite substantial efforts to uncover the genetic basis of ASD, the genomic etiology appears complex and a clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying Autism remains elusive. We hypothesized that focusing gene interaction networks on ASD-implicated genes that are highly expressed in the developing brain may reveal core mechanisms that are otherwise obsc...

  18. Pathways of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Utilization: Implications for Brain Function in Neuropsychiatric Health and Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Joanne J.; Green, Pnina; Mann, J. John; Rapoport, Stanley I.; Sublette, M. Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have profound effects on brain development and function. Abnormalities of PUFA status have been implicated in neuropsychiatric diseases such as major depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Pathophysiologic mechanisms could involve not only suboptimal PUFA intake, but also metabolic and genetic abnormalities, defective hepatic metabolism, and problems with diffusion and transport. This article provides an overview of physiologic factors regulating PUFA utilization, highlighting their relevance to neuropsychiatric disease. PMID:25498862

  19. LIS1 and DCX: Implications for Brain Development and Human Disease in Relation to Microtubules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Orly Reiner

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Proper lamination of the cerebral cortex requires the orchestrated motility of neurons from their place of birth to their final destination. Improper neuronal migration may result in a wide range of diseases, including brain malformations, such as lissencephaly, mental retardation, schizophrenia, and autism. Ours and other studies have implicated that microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins play an important role in the regulation of neuronal polarization and neuronal migration. Here, we will review normal processes of brain development and neuronal migration, describe neuronal migration diseases, and will focus on the microtubule-associated functions of LIS1 and DCX, which participate in the regulation of neuronal migration and are involved in the human developmental brain disease, lissencephaly.

  20. Sex differences in brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling: Functions and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yi-Chao; Wang, Shao-Ran; Xu, Xiao-Hong

    2017-01-02

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates diverse processes such as neuronal survival, differentiation, and plasticity. Accumulating evidence suggests that molecular events that direct sexual differentiation of the brain interact with BDNF signaling pathways. This Mini-Review first examines potential hormonal and epigenetic mechanisms through which sex influences BDNF signaling. We then examine how sex-specific regulation of BDNF signaling supports the development and function of sexually dimorphic neural circuits that underlie male-specific genital reflexes in rats and song production in birds. Finally, we discuss the implications of sex differences in BDNF signaling for gender-biased presentation of neurological and psychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Although this Mini-Review focuses on BDNF, we try to convey the general message that sex influences brain functions in complex ways and underscore the requirement for and challenge of expanding research on sex differences in neuroscience. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Conditional N-WASP knockout in mouse brain implicates actin cytoskeleton regulation in hydrocephalus pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Neeraj; Lim, Lee Wei; Tan, Wei Ting; George, Bhawana; Makeyev, Eugene; Thanabalu, Thirumaran

    2014-04-01

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced by the choroid plexus and moved by multi-ciliated ependymal cells through the ventricular system of the vertebrate brain. Defects in the ependymal layer functionality are a common cause of hydrocephalus. N-WASP (Neural-Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome Protein) is a brain-enriched regulator of actin cytoskeleton and N-WASP knockout caused embryonic lethality in mice with neural tube and cardiac abnormalities. To shed light on the role of N-WASP in mouse brain development, we generated N-WASP conditional knockout mouse model N-WASP(fl/fl); Nestin-Cre (NKO-Nes). NKO-Nes mice were born with Mendelian ratios but exhibited reduced growth characteristics compared to their littermates containing functional N-WASP alleles. Importantly, all NKO-Nes mice developed cranial deformities due to excessive CSF accumulation and did not survive past weaning. Coronal brain sections of these animals revealed dilated lateral ventricles, defects in ciliogenesis, loss of ependymal layer integrity, reduced thickness of cerebral cortex and aqueductal stenosis. Immunostaining for N-cadherin suggests that ependymal integrity in NKO-Nes mice is lost as compared to normal morphology in the wild-type controls. Moreover, scanning electron microscopy and immunofluorescence analyses of coronal brain sections with anti-acetylated tubulin antibodies revealed the absence of cilia in ventricular walls of NKO-Nes mice indicative of ciliogenesis defects. N-WASP deficiency does not lead to altered expression of N-WASP regulatory proteins, Fyn and Cdc42, which have been previously implicated in hydrocephalus pathology. Taken together, our results suggest that N-WASP plays a critical role in normal brain development and implicate actin cytoskeleton regulation as a vulnerable axis frequently deregulated in hydrocephalus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  3. The Experimental Study of Bacterial Evolution and Its Implications for the Modern Synthesis of Evolutionary Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Malley, Maureen A

    2017-10-04

    Since the 1940s, microbiologists, biochemists and population geneticists have experimented with the genetic mechanisms of microorganisms in order to investigate evolutionary processes. These evolutionary studies of bacteria and other microorganisms gained some recognition from the standard-bearers of the modern synthesis of evolutionary biology, especially Theodosius Dobzhansky and Ledyard Stebbins. A further period of post-synthesis bacterial evolutionary research occurred between the 1950s and 1980s. These experimental analyses focused on the evolution of population and genetic structure, the adaptive gain of new functions, and the evolutionary consequences of competition dynamics. This large body of research aimed to make evolutionary theory testable and predictive, by giving it mechanistic underpinnings. Although evolutionary microbiologists promoted bacterial experiments as methodologically advantageous and a source of general insight into evolution, they also acknowledged the biological differences of bacteria. My historical overview concludes with reflections on what bacterial evolutionary research achieved in this period, and its implications for the still-developing modern synthesis.

  4. SYNAPTOSOMAL LACTATE DEHYDROGENASE ISOENZYME COMPOSITION IS SHIFTED TOWARD AEROBIC FORMS IN PRIMATE BRAIN EVOLUTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duka, Tetyana; Anderson, Sarah M.; Collins, Zachary; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Ely, John J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Wildman, Derek E.; Goodman, Morris; Grossman, Lawrence I.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2014-01-01

    With the evolution of a relatively large brain size in haplorhine primates (i.e., tarsiers, monkeys, apes and humans), there have been associated changes in the molecular machinery that delivers energy to the neocortex. Here we investigated variation in lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) expression and isoenzyme composition of the neocortex and striatum in primates using quantitative Western blotting and isoenzyme analysis of total homogenates and synaptosomal fractions. Analysis of isoform expression revealed that LDH in the synaptosomal fraction from both forebrain regions shifted towards a predominance of the heart-type, aerobic isoforms, LDHB, among haplorhines as compared to strepsirrhines (i.e., lorises and lemurs), while in total homogenate of neocortex and striatum there was no significant difference in the LDH isoenzyme composition between the primate suborders. The largest increase occurred in synapse-associated LDH-B expression in the neocortex, displaying an especially remarkable elevation in the ratio of LDH-B to LDH-A in humans. The phylogenetic variation in LDH-B to LDH-A ratio was correlated with species typical brain mass, but not encephalization quotient. A significant LDHB increase in the sub-neuronal fraction from haplorhine neocortex and striatum suggests a relatively higher rate of aerobic glycolysis that is linked to synaptosomal mitochondrial metabolism. Our results indicate that there is differential composition of LDH isoenzymes and metabolism in synaptic terminals that evolved in primates to meet increased energy requirements in association with brain enlargement. PMID:24686273

  5. Microevolutionary, macroevolutionary, ecological and taxonomical implications of punctuational theories of adaptive evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flegr Jaroslav

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Punctuational theories of evolution suggest that adaptive evolution proceeds mostly, or even entirely, in the distinct periods of existence of a particular species. The mechanisms of this punctuated nature of evolution suggested by the various theories differ. Therefore the predictions of particular theories concerning various evolutionary phenomena also differ. Punctuational theories can be subdivided into five classes, which differ in their mechanism and their evolutionary and ecological implications. For example, the transilience model of Templeton (class III, genetic revolution model of Mayr (class IV or the frozen plasticity theory of Flegr (class V, suggests that adaptive evolution in sexual species is operative shortly after the emergence of a species by peripatric speciation – while it is evolutionary plastic. To a major degree, i.e. throughout 98-99% of their existence, sexual species are evolutionarily frozen (class III or elastic (class IV and V on a microevolutionary time scale and evolutionarily frozen on a macroevolutionary time scale and can only wait for extinction, or the highly improbable return of a population segment to the plastic state due to peripatric speciation. The punctuational theories have many evolutionary and ecological implications. Most of these predictions could be tested empirically, and should be analyzed in greater depth theoretically. The punctuational theories offer many new predictions that need to be tested, but also provide explanations for a much broader spectrum of known biological phenomena than classical gradualistic evolutionary theories. Reviewers This article was reviewed by Claus Wilke, Pierre Pantarotti and David Penny (nominated by Anthony Poole.

  6. Tactile event-related potentials in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS): Implications for brain-computer interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silvoni, S; Konicar, L; Prats-Sedano, M A; Garcia-Cossio, E; Genna, C; Volpato, C; Cavinato, M; Paggiaro, A; Veser, S; De Massari, D; Birbaumer, N

    2016-01-01

    We investigated neurophysiological brain responses elicited by a tactile event-related potential paradigm in a sample of ALS patients. Underlying cognitive processes and neurophysiological signatures for brain-computer interface (BCI) are addressed. We stimulated the palm of the hand in a group of fourteen ALS patients and a control group of ten healthy participants and recorded electroencephalographic signals in eyes-closed condition. Target and non-target brain responses were analyzed and classified offline. Classification errors served as the basis for neurophysiological brain response sub-grouping. A combined behavioral and quantitative neurophysiological analysis of sub-grouped data showed neither significant between-group differences, nor significant correlations between classification performance and the ALS patients' clinical state. Taking sequential effects of stimuli presentation into account, analyses revealed mean classification errors of 19.4% and 24.3% in healthy participants and ALS patients respectively. Neurophysiological correlates of tactile stimuli presentation are not altered by ALS. Tactile event-related potentials can be used to monitor attention level and task performance in ALS and may constitute a viable basis for future BCIs. Implications for brain-computer interface implementation of the proposed method for patients in critical conditions, such as the late stage of ALS and the (completely) locked-in state, are discussed. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Brain structure correlates of component reading processes: implications for reading disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phinney, Erin; Pennington, Bruce F; Olson, Richard; Filley, Christopher M; Filipek, Pauline A

    2007-08-01

    Brain structures implicated in developmental dyslexia (reading disability - RD) vary greatly across structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies due to methodological differences regarding the definition of RD and the exact measurements of a specific brain structure. The current study attempts to resolve some of those methodological concerns by examining brain volume as it relates to components of proposed RD subtypes. We performed individual regression analyses on total cerebral volume, neocortical volume, subcortical volume, 9 neo-cortical structures and 2 sub-cortical structures. These analyses used three dimensions of reading, phonemic ability (PA), orthographic ability, and rapid naming (RN) ability, while accounting for total cerebral volume, age, and performance IQ (PIQ). Primary analyses included membership to a group (poor reader vs. good reader) in the analysis. The result was a significant interaction between PA and reading ability as it predicts total cerebral volume. Analyses revealed that poor readers lacked a relationship between PA and brain size, but that good readers had a significant positive relationship. This pattern of interaction was not present for the other two reading component factors. These findings bring into question the general belief that individuals with RD are at the low end of a reading ability distribution and do not have a unique disorder. Additional analyses revealed only a few significant relationships between brain size and task performance, most notably a positive correlation between orthographic ability and the angular gyrus (AG), as well as a negative correlation between RN ability and the parietal operculum (PO).

  8. Reorganization of the injured brain: Implications for studies of the neural substrate of cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesper eMogensen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In the search for a neural substrate of cognitive processes, a frequently utilized method is the scrutiny of posttraumatic symptoms exhibited by individuals suffering focal injury to the brain. For instance, the presence or absence of conscious awareness within a particular domain may, combined with knowledge of which regions of the brain have been injured, provide important data in the search for neural correlates of consciousness. Like all studies addressing the consequences of brain injury, however, such research has to face the fact that in most cases, posttraumatic impairments are accompanied by a functional recovery during which symptoms are reduced or eliminated. The apparent contradiction between localization and recovery, respectively, of functions constitutes a problem to almost all aspects of cognitive neuroscience. Several lines of investigation indicate that although the brain remains highly plastic throughout life, the posttraumatic plasticity does not recreate a copy of the neural mechanisms lost to injury. Instead, the uninjured parts of the brain are functionally reorganized in a manner which – in spite of not recreating the basic information processing lost to injury – is able to allow a more or less complete return of the surface phenomena (including manifestations of consciousness originally impaired by the trauma. A novel model (the REF-model of these processes is presented – and some of its implications discussed relative to studies of the neural substrates of cognition and consciousness.

  9. Light enough to travel or wise enough to stay? Brain size evolution and migratory behavior in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincze, Orsolya

    2016-09-01

    Brain size relative to body size is smaller in migratory than in nonmigratory birds. Two mutually nonexclusive hypotheses had been proposed to explain this association. On the one hand, the "energetic trade-off hypothesis" claims that migratory species were selected to have smaller brains because of the interplay between neural tissue volume and migratory flight. On the other hand, the "behavioral flexibility hypothesis" argues that resident species are selected to have higher cognitive capacities, and therefore larger brains, to enable survival in harsh winters, or to deal with environmental seasonality. Here, I test the validity and setting of these two hypotheses using 1466 globally distributed bird species. First, I show that the negative association between migration distance and relative brain size is very robust across species and phylogeny. Second, I provide strong support for the energetic trade-off hypothesis, by showing the validity of the trade-off among long-distance migratory species alone. Third, using resident and short-distance migratory species, I demonstrate that environmental harshness is associated with enlarged relative brain size, therefore arguably better cognition. My study provides the strongest comparative support to date for both the energetic trade-off and the behavioral flexibility hypotheses, and highlights that both mechanisms contribute to brain size evolution, but on different ends of the migratory spectrum. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  10. Fetal, maternal, and placental sources of serotonin and new implications for developmental programming of the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnin, A; Levitt, P

    2011-12-01

    In addition to its role in neurotransmission, embryonic serotonin (5-HT) has been implicated in the regulation of neurodevelopmental processes. For example, we recently showed that a subset of 5-HT1-receptors expressed in the fetal forebrain mediate a serotonergic modulation of thalamocortical axons response to axon guidance cues, both in vitro and in vivo. This influence of 5-HT signaling on fetal brain wiring raised important questions regarding the source of the ligand during pregnancy. Until recently, it was thought that 5-HT sources impacting brain development arose from maternal transport to the fetus, or from raphe neurons in the brainstem of the fetus. Using genetic mouse models, we uncovered previously unknown differences in 5-HT accumulation between the fore- and hindbrain during early and late fetal stages, through an exogenous source of 5-HT. Using additional genetic strategies, a new technology for studying placental biology ex vivo, and direct manipulation of placental neosynthesis, we investigated the nature of this exogenous source and uncovered a placental 5-HT synthetic pathway from a maternal tryptophan precursor, in both mice and humans. These results implicate a new, direct role for placental metabolic pathways in modulating fetal brain development and suggest an important role for maternal-placental-fetal interactions and 5-HT in the fetal programming of adult mental disorders. Copyright © 2011 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Expression profiling of autism candidate genes during human brain development implicates central immune signaling pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark N Ziats

    Full Text Available The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD represent a clinically heterogeneous set of conditions with strong hereditary components. Despite substantial efforts to uncover the genetic basis of ASD, the genomic etiology appears complex and a clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying Autism remains elusive. We hypothesized that focusing gene interaction networks on ASD-implicated genes that are highly expressed in the developing brain may reveal core mechanisms that are otherwise obscured by the genomic heterogeneity of the disorder. Here we report an in silico study of the gene expression profile from ASD-implicated genes in the unaffected developing human brain. By implementing a biologically relevant approach, we identified a subset of highly expressed ASD-candidate genes from which interactome networks were derived. Strikingly, immune signaling through NFκB, Tnf, and Jnk was central to ASD networks at multiple levels of our analysis, and cell-type specific expression suggested glia--in addition to neurons--deserve consideration. This work provides integrated genomic evidence that ASD-implicated genes may converge on central cytokine signaling pathways.

  12. Expression profiling of autism candidate genes during human brain development implicates central immune signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziats, Mark N; Rennert, Owen M

    2011-01-01

    The Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) represent a clinically heterogeneous set of conditions with strong hereditary components. Despite substantial efforts to uncover the genetic basis of ASD, the genomic etiology appears complex and a clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying Autism remains elusive. We hypothesized that focusing gene interaction networks on ASD-implicated genes that are highly expressed in the developing brain may reveal core mechanisms that are otherwise obscured by the genomic heterogeneity of the disorder. Here we report an in silico study of the gene expression profile from ASD-implicated genes in the unaffected developing human brain. By implementing a biologically relevant approach, we identified a subset of highly expressed ASD-candidate genes from which interactome networks were derived. Strikingly, immune signaling through NFκB, Tnf, and Jnk was central to ASD networks at multiple levels of our analysis, and cell-type specific expression suggested glia--in addition to neurons--deserve consideration. This work provides integrated genomic evidence that ASD-implicated genes may converge on central cytokine signaling pathways.

  13. The Co-evolution of Language and the Brain: A Review of Two Contrastive Views (Pinker & Deacon)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Ken Ramshøj

    2001-01-01

    in a larger symbolic computational chain controlled by regions in the frontal parts of the brain. To Deacon, a symbolic learning algorithm drives language acquisition. The increase in size of the human brain in relation to the body may be due to a “cognitive arms race”. Both Pinker and Deacon agree......This article is a review of two contrastive views on the co-evolution of language and the brain – The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker (1994) and The Symbolic Species by Terrence Deacon (1997). As language is a trait unique to mankind it can not be equated with nonlinguistic communication – human...... or nonhuman. This points to a special human brain architecture. Pinker’s claim is that certain areas on the left side of the brain constitute a language organ and that language acquisition is instinctual. To Deacon, however, those areas are non-language-specific computational centers. Moreover, they are parts...

  14. Evolution of the brain: from behavior to consciousness in 3.4 billion years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oró, John J

    2004-06-01

    Once life began as single-cell organisms, evolution favored those able to seek nutrients and avoid risks. Receptors sensed the environment, memory traces were laid, and adaptive responses were made. Environmental stress, at times as dramatic as the collision of an asteroid, resulted in extinctions that favored small predators with dorsal nerve cords and cranially positioned brains. Myelination, and later thermoregulation, led to increasingly efficient neural processing. As somatosensory, visual, and auditory input increased, a neocortex developed containing both sensory and motor neural maps. Hominids, with their free hands, pushed cortical development further and began to make simple stone tools. Tools and increasing cognition allowed procurement of a richer diet that led to a smaller gut, thus freeing more energy for brain expansion. Multimodal association areas, initially developed for processing incoming sensory information, blossomed and began to provide the organism with an awareness of self and environment. Advancements in memory storage and retrieval gave the organism a sense of continuity through time. This developing consciousness eventually left visible traces, which today are dramatically evident on cave walls in France and Spain. We will take this journey from the single cell to human consciousness.

  15. Evolution of brain functions in mammals and LTR retrotransposon-derived genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko-Ishino, Tomoko; Ishino, Fumitoshi

    2016-01-01

    In the human genome, there are approximately 30 LTR retrotransposon-derived genes, such as the sushi-ichi retrotransposon homologues (SIRH) and the paraneoplastic Ma antigen (PNMA) family genes. They are derivatives from the original LTR retrotransposons and each gene seems to have its own unique function. PEG10/SIRH1 as well as PEG11/RTL1/SIRH2 and SIRH7/LDOC1 play essential roles in placenta formation, maintenance of fetal capillaries and the differentiation/maturation of a variety of placental cells, respectively. All of this evidence provides strong support for their contribution to the evolution of viviparity in mammals via their eutherian-specific functions. SIRH11/ZCCHC16 is an X-linked gene that encodes a CCHC type of zinc-finger protein that exhibits high sequence identity to the LTR retrotransposon Gag protein and its deletion causes abnormal behavior related to cognition, including attention, impulsivity and working memory, possibly via the locus coeruleus noradrenaergic system in mice. Therefore, we have suggested that the acquisition of SIRH11/ZCCHC16 was involved in eutherian brain evolution. Interestingly, SIRH11/ZCCHC16 displays lineage-specific structural and putative species-specific functional variations in eutherians, suggesting that it contributed to the diversification of eutherians via increasing evolutionary fitness by these changes.

  16. Bilingualism, brain injury, and recovery: implications for understanding the bilingual and for therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrero, Madelin Z; Golden, Charles J; Espe-Pfeifer, Patricia

    2002-04-01

    Psychologists and other therapists are seeing an increasingly large number of bilingual individuals. Such clients are a special challenge when there has been some type of brain injury or disease because of the seemingly unpredictable effect such disorders may have on language skills, impacting either or both of the client's languages and interfering with internal speech that plays a role in higher cognitive functions such as insight and awareness. While there are many clinical assumptions about which language will show the least impairment or recover the best, such suppositions based on clinical lore are often contradictory. A review of the literature finds that the outcome of brain injury may be influenced by factors such as cerebral representation of a secondary language, method of language acquisition, age of acquisition, premorbid language proficiency, and style of learning in an individual. Neuropsychological concepts that can explain these findings are examined, along with their implications for therapy, and rehabilitation.

  17. Quantitative autoradiography of angiotensin II receptors in brain and kidney: focus on cardiovascular implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gehlert, D.R.; Speth, R.C.; Wamsley, J.K.

    1985-01-01

    Quantitative techniques of receptor autoradiography have been applied to localize (/sup 125/I)-angiotensin II binding sites in brain and kidney. High densities of autoradiographic grains, indicating the presence of angiotensin II receptors, have been localized to several rat brain nuclei including the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus, nucleus of the solitary tract, anterior pituitary, locus coeruleus and several hypothalamic nuclei. Cat thoracic spinal cord exhibited a high density of sites over the intermedio-lateral cell column. In sections of rat kidney, angiotensin II receptors were detected in the glomerulus, vasa recta and ureter. The cardiovascular implications of these results are apparent and relate angiotensin II to hypertensive mechanisms. Thus, angiotensin II represents an endocoid which is involved in control of blood pressure through its effects on peripheral organs as well as the central nervous system.

  18. Novel insights into early neuroanatomical evolution in penguins from the oldest described penguin brain endocast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proffitt, J V; Clarke, J A; Scofield, R P

    2016-08-01

    Digital methodologies for rendering the gross morphology of the brain from X-ray computed tomography data have expanded our current understanding of the origin and evolution of avian neuroanatomy and provided new perspectives on the cognition and behavior of birds in deep time. However, fossil skulls germane to extracting digital endocasts from early stem members of extant avian lineages remain exceptionally rare. Data from early-diverging species of major avian subclades provide key information on ancestral morphologies in Aves and shifts in gross neuroanatomical structure that have occurred within those groups. Here we describe data on the gross morphology of the brain from a mid-to-late Paleocene penguin fossil from New Zealand. This most basal and geochronologically earliest-described endocast from the penguin clade indicates that described neuroanatomical features of early stem penguins, such as lower telencephalic lateral expansion, a relatively wider cerebellum, and lack of cerebellar folding, were present far earlier in penguin history than previously inferred. Limited dorsal expansion of the wulst in the new fossil is a feature seen in outgroup waterbird taxa such as Gaviidae (Loons) and diving Procellariiformes (Shearwaters, Diving Petrels, and allies), indicating that loss of flight may not drastically affect neuroanatomy in diving taxa. Wulst enlargement in the penguin lineage is first seen in the late Eocene, at least 25 million years after loss of flight and cooption of the flight stroke for aquatic diving. Similar to the origin of avian flight, major shifts in gross brain morphology follow, but do not appear to evolve quickly after, acquisition of a novel locomotor mode. Enlargement of the wulst shows a complex pattern across waterbirds, and may be linked to sensory modifications related to prey choice and foraging strategy. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  19. Morphological and pathological evolution of the brain microcirculation in aging and Alzheimer's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesse M Hunter

    Full Text Available Key pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD, including amyloid plaques, cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA and neurofibrillary tangles do not completely account for cognitive impairment, therefore other factors such as cardiovascular and cerebrovascular pathologies, may contribute to AD. In order to elucidate the microvascular changes that contribute to aging and disease, direct neuropathological staining and immunohistochemistry, were used to quantify the structural integrity of the microvasculature and its innervation in three oldest-old cohorts: 1 nonagenarians with AD and a high amyloid plaque load; 2 nonagenarians with no dementia and a high amyloid plaque load; 3 nonagenarians without dementia or amyloid plaques. In addition, a non-demented (ND group (average age 71 years with no amyloid plaques was included for comparison. While gray matter thickness and overall brain mass were reduced in AD compared to ND control groups, overall capillary density was not different. However, degenerated string capillaries were elevated in AD, potentially suggesting greater microvascular "dysfunction" compared to ND groups. Intriguingly, apolipoprotein ε4 carriers had significantly higher string vessel counts relative to non-ε4 carriers. Taken together, these data suggest a concomitant loss of functional capillaries and brain volume in AD subjects. We also demonstrated a trend of decreasing vesicular acetylcholine transporter staining, a marker of cortical cholinergic afferents that contribute to arteriolar vasoregulation, in AD compared to ND control groups, suggesting impaired control of vasodilation in AD subjects. In addition, tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker of noradrenergic vascular innervation, was reduced which may also contribute to a loss of control of vasoconstriction. The data highlight the importance of the brain microcirculation in the pathogenesis and evolution of AD.

  20. Functional divergence of the brain-size regulating gene MCPH1 during primate evolution and the origin of humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background One of the key genes that regulate human brain size, MCPH1 has evolved under strong Darwinian positive selection during the evolution of primates. During this evolution, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences among primates may have caused functional changes that contribute to brain enlargement. Results To test this hypothesis, we used co-immunoprecipitation and reporter gene assays to examine the activating and repressing effects of MCPH1 on a set of its down-stream genes and then compared the functional outcomes of a series of mutant MCPH1 proteins that carry mutations at the human- and great-ape-specific sites. The results demonstrate that the regulatory effects of human MCPH1 and rhesus macaque MCPH1 are different in three of eight down-stream genes tested (p73, cyclinE1 and p14ARF), suggesting a functional divergence of MCPH1 between human and non-human primates. Further analyses of the mutant MCPH1 proteins indicated that most of the human-specific mutations could change the regulatory effects on the down-stream genes. A similar result was also observed for one of the four great-ape-specific mutations. Conclusions Collectively, we propose that during primate evolution in general and human evolution in particular, the divergence of MCPH1 protein sequences under Darwinian positive selection led to functional modifications, providing a possible molecular mechanism of how MCPH1 contributed to brain enlargement during primate evolution and human origin. PMID:23697381

  1. White Matter Correlates of Musical Anhedonia: Implications for Evolution of Music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loui, Psyche; Patterson, Sean; Sachs, Matthew E; Leung, Yvonne; Zeng, Tima; Przysinda, Emily

    2017-01-01

    Recent theoretical advances in the evolution of music posit that affective communication is an evolutionary function of music through which the mind and brain are transformed. A rigorous test of this view should entail examining the neuroanatomical mechanisms for affective communication of music, specifically by comparing individual differences in the general population with a special population who lacks specific affective responses to music. Here we compare white matter connectivity in BW, a case with severe musical anhedonia, with a large sample of control subjects who exhibit normal variability in reward sensitivity to music. We show for the first time that structural connectivity within the reward system can predict individual differences in musical reward in a large population, but specific patterns in connectivity between auditory and reward systems are special in an extreme case of specific musical anhedonia. Results support and extend the Mixed Origins of Music theory by identifying multiple neural pathways through which music might operate as an affective signaling system.

  2. Temporal evolution of brain reorganization under cross-modal training: insights into the functional architecture of encoding and retrieval networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Likova, Lora T.

    2015-03-01

    This study is based on the recent discovery of massive and well-structured cross-modal memory activation generated in the primary visual cortex (V1) of totally blind people as a result of novel training in drawing without any vision (Likova, 2012). This unexpected functional reorganization of primary visual cortex was obtained after undergoing only a week of training by the novel Cognitive-Kinesthetic Method, and was consistent across pilot groups of different categories of visual deprivation: congenitally blind, late-onset blind and blindfolded (Likova, 2014). These findings led us to implicate V1 as the implementation of the theoretical visuo-spatial 'sketchpad' for working memory in the human brain. Since neither the source nor the subsequent 'recipient' of this non-visual memory information in V1 is known, these results raise a number of important questions about the underlying functional organization of the respective encoding and retrieval networks in the brain. To address these questions, an individual totally blind from birth was given a week of Cognitive-Kinesthetic training, accompanied by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) both before and just after training, and again after a two-month consolidation period. The results revealed a remarkable temporal sequence of training-based response reorganization in both the hippocampal complex and the temporal-lobe object processing hierarchy over the prolonged consolidation period. In particular, a pattern of profound learning-based transformations in the hippocampus was strongly reflected in V1, with the retrieval function showing massive growth as result of the Cognitive-Kinesthetic memory training and consolidation, while the initially strong hippocampal response during tactile exploration and encoding became non-existent. Furthermore, after training, an alternating patch structure in the form of a cascade of discrete ventral regions underwent radical transformations to reach complete functional

  3. Receiver bias for exaggerated signals in honeybees and its implications for the evolution of floral displays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naug, Dhruba; Arathi, H S

    2007-12-22

    Mechanistic models of animal signals posit the occurrence of biases on the part of receivers that could be potentially exploited by signallers. Such biases are most obvious when animals are confronted with exaggerated versions of signals they normally encounter. Signalling systems operating in plant-pollinator interactions are among the most highly coevolved, with plants using a variety of floral signals to attract pollinators. A number of observations suggest that pollinators preferentially visit larger floral displays although the benefit of this to either the plant or the pollinator is not always clear. We use a standard dual-choice experimental protocol to show that honeybees display a receiver bias for exaggerated size and colour contrast--two important components of floral signals--even when such signals do not indicate quality. We discuss the implications of this receiver bias for the evolution of floral displays and its possible exploitation by invading alien plants.

  4. The tubulins of animals, plants, fungi and protists implications for metazoan evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Little, Melvyn; Ludueña, Richard F.; Morejohn, Louis C.; Asnes, Clara; Hoffman, Eugene

    1984-03-01

    α-Tubulin subunits from trout (S. gairdneri) sperm tails, sea urchin (S. purpuratus) cilia, protistan alga (C. elongatum) flagella and rose (Paul's Scarlet) cytoplasm have been characterized by limited proteolytic cleavage with the enzymeStaphylococcus aureus protease and electrophoresis of the digestion products on SDS-PAGE. The resulting patterns corresponded to either of two major types representative of animal and non-animal α-tubulins, respectively. A total of 28 α-tubulins have now been characterized by this method. They are classified in this paper according to the type of cleavage pattern generated by the enzymeS. aureus protease. The implications of these results for metazoan evolution are discussed.

  5. Evolution of delayed dispersal and subsequent emergence of helping, with implications for cooperative breeding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Geoff; Korb, Judith

    2017-08-01

    Cooperative breeding occurs when individuals help raise the offspring of others. It is widely accepted that help displayed by cooperative breeders emerged only after individuals' tendency to delay dispersal had become established. We use this idea as a basis for two inclusive-fitness models: one for the evolution of delayed dispersal, and a second for the subsequent emergence of helpful behavior exhibited by non-breeding individuals. We focus on a territorial species in a saturated environment, and allow territories to be inherited by non-breeding individuals who have delayed dispersal. Our first model predicts that increased survivorship and increased fecundity both provide an incentive to non-breeding individuals to delay dispersal, and stay near their natal territory for some period of time. Predictions from the first model can be well understood by ignoring complications arising from competition among relatives. Our second model shows that effects on relatives play a primary role in the advantage of helping. In addition, the second model predicts that increased survivorship and fecundity promote the emergence of help. Together, our models lead us to conclude that the emergence of cooperative-breeding systems is made easier by life-history features associated with high survivorship and fecundity. We discuss the implications of our conclusions for life-history-based hypotheses of cooperative breeding and social evolution. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Evolution of technetium-99m-HMPAO SPECT and brain mapping in a patient presenting with echolalia and palilalia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dierckx, R A; Saerens, J; De Deyn, P P; Verslegers, W; Marien, P; Vandevivere, J

    1991-08-01

    A 78-yr-old woman presented with transient echolalia and palilalia. She had suffered from Parkinson's disease for 2 yr. Routine laboratory examination showed hypotonic hyponatremia, but was otherwise unremarkable. Brain mapping revealed a bifrontal delta focus, more pronounced on the right. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) of the brain with technetium-99m labeled d,l hexamethylpropylene-amine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO), performed during the acute episode showed relative frontoparietal hypoactivity. Brain mapping performed after disappearance of the echolalia and palilalia, which persisted only for 1 day, was normal. By contrast, SPECT findings persisted for more than 3 wk. Features of particular interest in the presented patient are the extensive defects seen on brain SPECT despite the absence of morphologic lesions, the congruent electrophysiologic changes and their temporal relationship with the clinical evolution.

  7. Scattering of Sculpted Light in Intact Brain Tissue, with implications for Optogenetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favre-Bulle, Itia A.; Preece, Daryl; Nieminen, Timo A.; Heap, Lucy A.; Scott, Ethan K.; Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Halina

    2015-06-01

    Optogenetics uses light to control and observe the activity of neurons, often using a focused laser beam. As brain tissue is a scattering medium, beams are distorted and spread with propagation through neural tissue, and the beam’s degradation has important implications in optogenetic experiments. To address this, we present an analysis of scattering and loss of intensity of focused laser beams at different depths within the brains of zebrafish larvae. Our experimental set-up uses a 488 nm laser and a spatial light modulator to focus a diffraction-limited spot of light within the brain. We use a combination of experimental measurements of back-scattered light in live larvae and computational modelling of the scattering to determine the spatial distribution of light. Modelling is performed using the Monte Carlo method, supported by generalised Lorenz-Mie theory in the single-scattering approximation. Scattering in areas rich in cell bodies is compared to that of regions of neuropil to identify the distinct and dramatic contributions that cell nuclei make to scattering. We demonstrate the feasibility of illuminating individual neurons, even in nucleus-rich areas, at depths beyond 100 μm using a spatial light modulator in combination with a standard laser and microscope optics.

  8. Involvement of the mitochondrial benzodiazepine receptor in traumatic brain injury: therapeutic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlodavsky, Eugene; Palzur, Eilam; Soustiel, Jean F

    2014-01-01

    Traumatic brain injuries represent the leading cause of death and morbidity in young adults in western countries, and are responsible for a major social and economical burden. For decades, the mainstay of neurotrauma management has been represented by control of post-traumatic edema. With the emergence of a better understanding of the underlying cellular mechanisms responsible for the generation of secondary brain damage, the hope for the "magic bullet" has prompted the development of novel drugs that have repeatedly failed to significantly improve outcome of head-injured patients. During the past decade, mitochondrial functional and structural impairment has emerged as a pivotal event in the pathway of cell to secondary death. Extensive research has identified a vast range of deleterious signals that are generated and integrated at the mitochondrial level resulting in impairment of major mitochondrial functions such as calcium homeostasis, free radicals generation and detoxification, energy production and neurosteroidogenesis. Mitochondria have therefore emerged as a potential therapeutic target. Within the spectrum of major mitochondrial structural components, the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) has shown important and relevant functions such as steroid synthesis and modulation of the mitochondrial permeability transition that may substantially affect the fate of injured cells. This review summarizes the potential therapeutic implications of TSPO modulation in traumatic brain injury in the view of the current knowledge on this intriguing mitochondrial complex.

  9. Diagnosis and temporal evolution of signs of intracranial hypotension on MRI of the brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forghani, R. [McGill University Health Center, Department of Radiology, Montreal, Que (Canada); Massachusetts General Hospital, Division of Neuroradiology, Boston, MA (United States); Farb, R.I. [University of Toronto, Department of Medical Imaging, Division of Neuroradiology, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2008-12-15

    A comprehensive evaluation of cranial magnetic resonance imagings (MRIs) of 23 patients with intracranial hypotension (IH) was performed, and the evolution of the abnormalities on follow-up MRIs was correlated with the clinical outcome. The MRI report database at the University Health Network in Toronto was searched, and 23 cases of IH were identified between 2001 and 2007. A retrospective review of the MRIs of the brain and the electronic patient chart was performed. A control group of 40 subjects was also selected to complement the analysis of the pituitary gland. A positive venous distention sign (VDS) was observed in 23 out of 23 patients and was the first sign to disappear on early follow-up scans following successful treatment. Pachymeningeal enhancement was seen in 23 out of 23 patients, and pachymeningeal thickening was detectable on unenhanced fluid attenuation inversion recovery (FLAIR) sequences in 17 out of 23 patients (74%). An increase in pituitary size in IH was also demonstrated based on the measured pituitary height and was qualitatively detectable in 12 out of 21 (57%) patients as the protrusion of the pituitary gland above the sella turica (two postpartum patients were excluded from this analysis). Overall, there was good correlation between the imaging findings and clinical outcome following treatment. Accurate diagnosis and follow-up of IH should be possible is some patients on unenhanced MRI of the brain by combining the signs on FLAIR and sagittal T1W images, enabling timely diagnosis in unsuspected cases and avoiding unnecessary administration of gadolinium compounds. In addition, VDS might be useful for early assessment of response to treatment. (orig.)

  10. Implications of prion adaptation and evolution paradigm for human neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, M Enamul; Safar, Jiri G

    2014-01-01

    There is a growing body of evidence indicating that number of human neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, fronto-temporal dementias, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, propagate in the brain via prion-like intercellular induction of protein misfolding. Prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans, the most prevalent being sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD); they self-replicate and spread by converting the cellular form of prion protein (PrP(C)) to a misfolded pathogenic conformer (PrP(Sc)). The extensive phenotypic heterogeneity of human prion diseases is determined by polymorphisms in the prion protein gene, and by prion strain-specific conformation of PrP(Sc). Remarkably, even though informative nucleic acid is absent, prions may undergo rapid adaptation and evolution in cloned cells and upon crossing the species barrier. In the course of our investigation of this process, we isolated distinct populations of PrP(Sc) particles that frequently co-exist in sCJD. The human prion particles replicate independently and undergo competitive selection of those with lower initial conformational stability. Exposed to mutant substrate, the winning PrP(Sc) conformers are subject to further evolution by natural selection of the subpopulation with the highest replication rate due to the lowest stability. Thus, the evolution and adaptation of human prions is enabled by a dynamic collection of distinct populations of particles, whose evolution is governed by the selection of progressively less stable, faster replicating PrP(Sc) conformers. This fundamental biological mechanism may explain the drug resistance that some prions gained after exposure to compounds targeting PrP(Sc). Whether the phenotypic heterogeneity of other neurodegenerative diseases caused by protein misfolding is determined by the spectrum of misfolded conformers (strains) remains to be established. However, the prospect that these conformers may evolve and

  11. Mice selectively bred for high voluntary wheel running have larger midbrains: support for the mosaic model of brain evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, E M; Rezende, E L; Holness, L; Radtke, A; Lee, S K; Obenaus, A; Garland, T

    2013-02-01

    Increased brain size, relative to body mass, is a primary characteristic distinguishing the mammalian lineage. This greater encephalization has come with increased behavioral complexity and, accordingly, it has been suggested that selection on behavioral traits has been a significant factor leading to the evolution of larger whole-brain mass. In addition, brains may evolve in a mosaic fashion, with functional components having some freedom to evolve independently from other components, irrespective of, or in addition to, changes in size of the whole brain. We tested whether long-term selective breeding for high voluntary wheel running in laboratory house mice results in changes in brain size, and whether those changes have occurred in a concerted or mosaic fashion. We measured wet and dry brain mass via dissections and brain volume with ex vivo magnetic resonance imaging of brains that distinguished the caudate-putamen, hippocampus, midbrain, cerebellum and forebrain. Adjusting for body mass as a covariate, mice from the four replicate high-runner (HR) lines had statistically larger non-cerebellar wet and dry brain masses than those from four non-selected control lines, with no differences in cerebellum wet or dry mass or volume. Moreover, the midbrain volume in HR mice was ~13% larger (PHR and control lines. We hypothesize that the enlarged midbrain of HR mice is related to altered neurophysiological function in their dopaminergic system. To our knowledge, this is the first example in which selection for a particular mammalian behavior has been shown to result in a change in size of a specific brain region.

  12. Selectionist models of perceptual and motor systems and implications for functionalist theories of brain function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeke, George N.; Sporns, Olaf

    1990-06-01

    Functionalism is at present widely accepted as a working basis for cognitive science and artificial intelligence. This view holds that psychological phenomena can be adequately described in terms of functional processes carried out in the brain, and that these processes can be understood independently of the detailed structure and mode of development of the brain. In the functionalist view, the brain is analogous to a computer; both can properly be described at the level of symbolic representations and algorithms. However, an analysis of the structure, development, and evolution of the brain makes it highly unlikely that it could be a Turing machine or that brain algorithms could be either acquired by experience in the world or transmitted between generations. An alternative view is that the brain is a selective system in which two different domains of stochastic variation, the world and neural repertoires, become mapped onto each other in an individual, historical manner. Neural systems capable of such mapping can generalize and can deal with novelty in an open-ended environment. Several models have been constructed to test these ideas, including automata of a new kind that can recognize and associate patterns of sensory input by selective mechanisms. In an approach called synthetic neural modelling, the environment, the phenotype, and the nervous system of such an automaton are integrated into a single computer model. One example is Darwin III, a sessile “creature” with an eye and a multi-jointed arm having a sense of touch; its environment consists of simple shapes moving on a featureless background; its nervous system consists of some 50 000 cells of 50 different kinds connected by about 620 000 synaptic junctions. Darwin III can be trained to track moving objects with its eye, to reach out and touch objects with its arm, to categorize objects according to combinations of visual and tactile cues, and to respond in a positive or negative way to such objects

  13. Adrenal Disorders and the Paediatric Brain: Pathophysiological Considerations and Clinical Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincenzo Salpietro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Various neurological and psychiatric manifestations have been recorded in children with adrenal disorders. Based on literature review and on personal case-studies and case-series we focused on the pathophysiological and clinical implications of glucocorticoid-related, mineralcorticoid-related, and catecholamine-related paediatric nervous system involvement. Childhood Cushing syndrome can be associated with long-lasting cognitive deficits and abnormal behaviour, even after resolution of the hypercortisolism. Exposure to excessive replacement of exogenous glucocorticoids in the paediatric age group (e.g., during treatments for adrenal insufficiency has been reported with neurological and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI abnormalities (e.g., delayed myelination and brain atrophy due to potential corticosteroid-related myelin damage in the developing brain and the possible impairment of limbic system ontogenesis. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH, a disorder of unclear pathophysiology characterised by increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF pressure, has been described in children with hypercortisolism, adrenal insufficiency, and hyperaldosteronism, reflecting the potential underlying involvement of the adrenal-brain axis in the regulation of CSF pressure homeostasis. Arterial hypertension caused by paediatric adenomas or tumours of the adrenal cortex or medulla has been associated with various hypertension-related neurological manifestations. The development and maturation of the central nervous system (CNS through childhood is tightly regulated by intrinsic, paracrine, endocrine, and external modulators, and perturbations in any of these factors, including those related to adrenal hormone imbalance, could result in consequences that affect the structure and function of the paediatric brain. Animal experiments and clinical studies demonstrated that the developing (i.e., paediatric CNS seems to be particularly vulnerable to alterations induced by

  14. Brain-gut Axis and Pentadecapeptide BPC 157: Theoretical and Practical Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikiric, Predrag; Seiwerth, Sven; Rucman, Rudolf; Kolenc, Danijela; Vuletic, Lovorka Batelja; Drmic, Domagoj; Grgic, Tihomir; Strbe, Sanja; Zukanovic, Goran; Crvenkovic, Dalibor; Madzarac, Goran; Rukavina, Iva; Sucic, Mario; Baric, Marko; Starcevic, Neven; Krstonijevic, Zoran; Bencic, Martina Lovric; Filipcic, Igor; Rokotov, Dinko Stancic; Vlainic, Josipa

    2016-01-01

    Brain-gut interaction involves, among others, peptidergic growth factors which are native in GI tract and have strong antiulcer potency and thus could from periphery beneficially affect CNS-disorders. We focused on the stable gastric pentadecapeptide BPC 157, an antiulcer peptidergic agent, safe in inflammatory bowel disease trials and now in multiple sclerosis trial, native and stable in human gastric juice. Review of our research on BPC 157 in terms of brain-gut axis. BPC 157 may serve as a novel mediator of Robert's cytoprotection, involved in maintaining of GI mucosa integrity, with no toxic effect. BPC 157 was successful in the therapy of GI tract, periodontitis, liver and pancreas lesions, and in the healing of various tissues and wounds. Stimulated Egr-1 gene, NAB2, FAK-paxillin and JAK-2 pathways are hitherto implicated. Initially corresponding beneficial central influence was seen when BPC 157 was given peripherally and a serotonin release in particular brain areas, mostly nigrostriatal, was changed. BPC 157 modulates serotonergic and dopaminergic systems, beneficially affects various behavioral disturbances that otherwise appeared due to specifically (over)stimulated/damaged neurotransmitters systems. Besides, BPC 157 has neuroprotective effects: protects somatosensory neurons; peripheral nerve regeneration appearent after transection; after traumatic brain injury counteracts the otherwise progressing course, in rat spinal cord compression with tail paralysis, axonal and neuronal necrosis, demyelination, cyst formation and rescues tail function in both short-terms and long-terms; after NSAIDs or insulin overdose or cuprizone encephalopathies were attenuated along with GI, liver and vascular injuries. BPC 157, a gastric peptide, may serve as remedy in various CNS-disorders.

  15. Monomeric and polymeric forms of ependymin: a brain extracellular glycoprotein implicated in memory consolidation processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shashoua, V E

    1988-07-01

    Ependymin, a brain extracellular glycoprotein that appears to be implicated in neural circuit modifications associated with the process of memory consolidation, can rapidly polymerize into fibrous aggregates when the Ca2+ concentration in solution is reduced by the addition of EGTA or by dialysis. Such aggregates, once formed, could not be redissolved in boiling 1% SDS in 6 M urea, acetic acid, saturated aqueous potassium thiocyanate, and trifluoroacetic acid. They were, however, soluble in formic acid. Investigations of the immunological properties of ependymin indicated that various monomers, oligomers and polymers of the molecule with differing carbohydrate contents can be obtained. The polymerization properties of the ependymins may play an important role in their functions in memory consolidation mechanisms.

  16. White Matter Correlates of Musical Anhedonia: Implications for Evolution of Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Psyche Loui

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent theoretical advances in the evolution of music posit that affective communication is an evolutionary function of music through which the mind and brain are transformed. A rigorous test of this view should entail examining the neuroanatomical mechanisms for affective communication of music, specifically by comparing individual differences in the general population with a special population who lacks specific affective responses to music. Here we compare white matter connectivity in BW, a case with severe musical anhedonia, with a large sample of control subjects who exhibit normal variability in reward sensitivity to music. We show for the first time that structural connectivity within the reward system can predict individual differences in musical reward in a large population, but specific patterns in connectivity between auditory and reward systems are special in an extreme case of specific musical anhedonia. Results support and extend the Mixed Origins of Music theory by identifying multiple neural pathways through which music might operate as an affective signaling system.

  17. TNF signaling inhibition in the CNS: implications for normal brain function and neurodegenerative disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tansey Malú G

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF as an immune mediator has long been appreciated but its function in the brain is still unclear. TNF receptor 1 (TNFR1 is expressed in most cell types, and can be activated by binding of either soluble TNF (solTNF or transmembrane TNF (tmTNF, with a preference for solTNF; whereas TNFR2 is expressed primarily by microglia and endothelial cells and is preferentially activated by tmTNF. Elevation of solTNF is a hallmark of acute and chronic neuroinflammation as well as a number of neurodegenerative conditions including ischemic stroke, Alzheimer's (AD, Parkinson's (PD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, and multiple sclerosis (MS. The presence of this potent inflammatory factor at sites of injury implicates it as a mediator of neuronal damage and disease pathogenesis, making TNF an attractive target for therapeutic development to treat acute and chronic neurodegenerative conditions. However, new and old observations from animal models and clinical trials reviewed here suggest solTNF and tmTNF exert different functions under normal and pathological conditions in the CNS. A potential role for TNF in synaptic scaling and hippocampal neurogenesis demonstrated by recent studies suggest additional in-depth mechanistic studies are warranted to delineate the distinct functions of the two TNF ligands in different parts of the brain prior to large-scale development of anti-TNF therapies in the CNS. If inactivation of TNF-dependent inflammation in the brain is warranted by additional pre-clinical studies, selective targeting of TNFR1-mediated signaling while sparing TNFR2 activation may lessen adverse effects of anti-TNF therapies in the CNS.

  18. Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigliocco, Gabriella; Perniss, Pamela; Vinson, David

    2014-01-01

    Our understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language has traditionally been firmly based on spoken Indo-European languages and on language studied as speech or text. However, in face-to-face communication, language is multimodal: speech signals are invariably accompanied by visual information on the face and in manual gestures, and sign languages deploy multiple channels (hands, face and body) in utterance construction. Moreover, the narrow focus on spoken Indo-European languages has entrenched the assumption that language is comprised wholly by an arbitrary system of symbols and rules. However, iconicity (i.e. resemblance between aspects of communicative form and meaning) is also present: speakers use iconic gestures when they speak; many non-Indo-European spoken languages exhibit a substantial amount of iconicity in word forms and, finally, iconicity is the norm, rather than the exception in sign languages. This introduction provides the motivation for taking a multimodal approach to the study of language learning, processing and evolution, and discusses the broad implications of shifting our current dominant approaches and assumptions to encompass multimodal expression in both signed and spoken languages. PMID:25092660

  19. Language as a multimodal phenomenon: implications for language learning, processing and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigliocco, Gabriella; Perniss, Pamela; Vinson, David

    2014-09-19

    Our understanding of the cognitive and neural underpinnings of language has traditionally been firmly based on spoken Indo-European languages and on language studied as speech or text. However, in face-to-face communication, language is multimodal: speech signals are invariably accompanied by visual information on the face and in manual gestures, and sign languages deploy multiple channels (hands, face and body) in utterance construction. Moreover, the narrow focus on spoken Indo-European languages has entrenched the assumption that language is comprised wholly by an arbitrary system of symbols and rules. However, iconicity (i.e. resemblance between aspects of communicative form and meaning) is also present: speakers use iconic gestures when they speak; many non-Indo-European spoken languages exhibit a substantial amount of iconicity in word forms and, finally, iconicity is the norm, rather than the exception in sign languages. This introduction provides the motivation for taking a multimodal approach to the study of language learning, processing and evolution, and discusses the broad implications of shifting our current dominant approaches and assumptions to encompass multimodal expression in both signed and spoken languages. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  20. Computational modeling of bedform evolution in rivers with implications for predictions of flood stage and bed evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Jonathan M.; Shimizu, Yasuyuki; Giri, Sanjay; McDonald, Richard R.

    2010-01-01

    Uncertainties in flood stage prediction and bed evolution in rivers are frequently associated with the evolution of bedforms over a hydrograph. For the case of flood prediction, the evolution of the bedforms may alter the effective bed roughness, so predictions of stage and velocity based on assuming bedforms retain the same size and shape over a hydrograph will be incorrect. These same effects will produce errors in the prediction of the sediment transport and bed evolution, but in this latter case the errors are typically larger, as even small errors in the prediction of bedform form drag can make very large errors in predicting the rates of sediment motion and the associated erosion and deposition. In situations where flows change slowly, it may be possible to use empirical results that relate bedform morphology to roughness and effective form drag to avoid these errors; but in many cases where the bedforms evolve rapidly and are in disequilibrium with the instantaneous flow, these empirical methods cannot be accurately applied. Over the past few years, computational models for bedform development, migration, and adjustment to varying flows have been developed and tested with a variety of laboratory and field data. These models, which are based on detailed multidimensional flow modeling incorporating large eddy simulation, appear to be capable of predicting bedform dimensions during steady flows as well as their time dependence during discharge variations. In the work presented here, models of this type are used to investigate the impacts of bedform on stage and bed evolution in rivers during flood hydrographs. The method is shown to reproduce hysteresis in rating curves as well as other more subtle effects in the shape of flood waves. Techniques for combining the bedform evolution models with larger-scale models for river reach flow, sediment transport, and bed evolution are described and used to show the importance of including dynamic bedform effects in river

  1. The Effect of Time to International Normalized Ratio Reversal on Intracranial Hemorrhage Evolution in Patients With Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, Hans; Rittenhouse, Katelyn; Gross, Brian; Rogers, Frederick B

    The incidence of geriatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasing throughout the United States, with many of these patients taking anticoagulation (AC) medication. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of time to international normalized ratio (INR) reversal on intracranial hemorrhage evolution in TBI patients taking prehospital AC medication. We hypothesized that rapid reversal of INR improves outcomes of head-injured patients taking AC medication. Admissions to a Level II trauma center between February 2011 and December 2013 were reviewed. Patients presenting with an initial INR of 2.0 or more, computed tomographic scan positive for intracranial hemorrhage, and INR reversal to less than 1.5 in hospital were included. Patients with nontraumatic intracranial hemorrhage were excluded. Reversal of INR was achieved using some combination of fresh frozen plasma, prothrombin complex concentrate, and vitamin K. A binary logistic regression model assessed the adjusted impact of rapid INR reversal on intracranial hemorrhage evolution. Significance was defined as p hr was not associated with intracranial hemorrhage evolution; however, reversal of less than 10 hr was found to be associated with a decreased odds ratio for intracranial hemorrhage evolution (p = .043). Rapid reversal of elevated INR levels (hr) may decrease intracranial hemorrhage evolution in TBI patients taking prehospital AC medication.

  2. Testing the aerobic model for the evolution of endothermy: implications of using present correlations to infer past evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nespolo, Roberto F; Roff, Derek A

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of endothermy is one of the most puzzling events in vertebrate evolution, for which several hypotheses have been proposed. The most accepted model is the aerobic model, which assumes the existence of a genetic correlation between resting metabolic rate (RMR) and maximum aerobic capacity (whose standard measure is maximum metabolic rate, MMR). This model posits that directional selection acted on maximum aerobic capacity and resting metabolic rate increased as a correlated response, in turn increasing body temperature. To test this hypothesis we implemented a simple two-trait quantitative genetic model in which RMR and MMR are initially independent of each other and subject to stabilizing selection to two separate optima. We show mutations that arise that affect both traits can lead to the evolution of a genetic correlation between the traits without any significant shifting of the two trait means. Thus, the presence of a genetic correlation between RMR and MMR in living animals provides no support in and of itself for the past elevation of metabolic rate via selection on aerobic capacity. This result calls into question the testability of the hypothesis that RMR increased as a correlated response to directional selection on MMR, in turn increasing body temperature, using quantitative genetics. Given the difficulty in studying ancient physiological processes, we suggest that approaches such as this model are a valuable alternative for analyzing possible mechanisms of endothermy evolution.

  3. Molecular Evidence for Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution of Complex Brains of Cephalopod Molluscs: Insights from Visual Systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshida, M A; Ogura, A; Ikeo, K; Shigeno, S; Moritaki, T; Winters, G C; Kohn, A B; Moroz, L L

    2015-12-01

    Coleoid cephalopods show remarkable evolutionary convergence with vertebrates in their neural organization, including (1) eyes and visual system with optic lobes, (2) specialized parts of the brain controlling learning and memory, such as vertical lobes, and (3) unique vasculature supporting such complexity of the central nervous system. We performed deep sequencing of eye transcriptomes of pygmy squids (Idiosepius paradoxus) and chambered nautiluses (Nautilus pompilius) to decipher the molecular basis of convergent evolution in cephalopods. RNA-seq was complemented by in situ hybridization to localize the expression of selected genes. We found three types of genomic innovations in the evolution of complex brains: (1) recruitment of novel genes into morphogenetic pathways, (2) recombination of various coding and regulatory regions of different genes, often called "evolutionary tinkering" or "co-option", and (3) duplication and divergence of genes. Massive recruitment of novel genes occurred in the evolution of the "camera" eye from nautilus' "pinhole" eye. We also showed that the type-2 co-option of transcription factors played important roles in the evolution of the lens and visual neurons. In summary, the cephalopod convergent morphological evolution of the camera eyes was driven by a mosaic of all types of gene recruitments. In addition, our analysis revealed unexpected variations of squids' opsins, retinochromes, and arrestins, providing more detailed information, valuable for further research on intra-ocular and extra-ocular photoreception of the cephalopods. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Automatic Evolution of Multimodal Behavior with Multi-Brain HyperNEAT

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrum, Jacob; Lehman, Joel; Risi, Sebastian

    2016-01-01

    An important challenge in neuroevolution is to evolve multimodal behavior. Indirect network encodings can potentially answer this challenge. Yet in practice, indirect encodings do not yield effective multimodal controllers. This paper introduces novel multimodal extensions to HyperNEAT, a popular...... indirect encoding. A previous multimodal approach called situational policy geometry assumes that multiple brains benefit from being embedded within an explicit geometric space. However, this paper introduces HyperNEAT extensions for evolving many brains without assuming geometric relationships between...... them. The resulting Multi-Brain HyperNEAT can exploit human-specified task divisions, or can automatically discover when brains should be used, and how many to use. Experiments show that multi-brain approaches are more effective than HyperNEAT without multimodal extensions, and that brains without...

  5. Transdural arterial recruitment to brain arteriovenous malformation: clinical and management implications in a prospective cohort series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bervini, David; Morgan, Michael Kerin; Stoodley, Marcus Andrew; Heller, Gillian Ziona

    2017-07-01

    OBJECTIVE The occurrence of transdural arterial recruitment (TDAR) in association with brain arteriovenous malformation (bAVM) is uncommon, and the reason for TDAR is not understood. The aim of this cohort study was to examine patient and bAVM characteristics associated with TDAR and the implications of TDAR on management. METHODS A prospective surgical database of bAVMs was examined. Cases previously treated elsewhere or incompletely examined by digital subtraction angiography (DSA) assessment were excluded. Three studies of this cohort were performed, as follows: characteristics associated with TDAR, the relationship between TDAR and neurological deficits unassociated with hemorrhage (NDUH), and the impact of TDAR on outcome from surgery. Regression models were performed. RESULTS Of 769 patients with complete DSA who had no previous treatment, 51 (6.6%) were found to have TDAR. The presence of TDAR was associated with increasing age (p cases comparing those with and without NDUH found an association of larger size (6.6 cm [2.9 SD] compared with 4.7 cm [1.8 SD]; p 1) with the following variables: size; location in eloquent brain; deep venous drainage; increasing age; and no presentation with hemorrhage. The presence of TDAR was not associated with an increased risk of complications from surgery. CONCLUSIONS The authors found that TDAR occurs in older patients with larger bAVMs, and that TDAR is also more likely to be associated with bAVMs presenting with NDUH. The likely explanation for the presence of TDAR is a secondary recruitment arising as a consequence of shear stress, rather than a primary vascular supply present from the earliest development of the bAVM.

  6. The Royal Road to Time: How Understanding of the Evolution of Time in the Brain Addresses Memory, Dreaming, Flow, and Other Psychological Phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Peter A

    2015-01-01

    It has been claimed that dreams are the royal road to the unconscious mind. The present work argues that dreams and associated brain states such as memory, attention, flow, and perhaps even consciousness itself arise from diverse conflicts over control of time in the brain. Dreams are the brain's offline efforts to distill projections of the future, while memory represents the vestiges of the past successes and survived failures of those and other conscious projections. Memory thus acts to inform and improve the prediction of possible future states through the use of conscious prospects (planning) and unconscious prospective memory (dreams). When successful, these prospects result in states of flow for conscious planning and déjà vu for its unconscious comparator. In consequence, and contrary to normal expectation, memory is overwhelmingly oriented to deal with the future. Consciousness is the comparable process operating in the present moment. Thus past, present, and future are homeomorphic with the parts of memory (episodic and autobiographical) that recall a personal past, consciousness, and the differing dimensions of prospective memory to plan for future circumstances, respectively. Dreaming (i.e., unconscious prospective memory), has the luxury to run multiple "what if" simulations of many possible futures, essentially offline. I explicate these propositions and their relations to allied constructs such as déjà vu and flow. More generally, I propose that what appear to us as a range of normal psychological experiences are actually manifestations of an ongoing pathological battle for control within the brain. The landscape of this conflict is time. I suggest that there are at least 3 general systems bidding for this control, and in the process of evolution, each system has individually conferred a sequentially increasing survival advantage, but only at the expense of a still incomplete functional integration. Through juxtaposition of these respective brain

  7. Evolution of large body size in abalones (Haliotis): Patterns and implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, J.A.; Lindberg, D.R.; Wray, C.

    2005-01-01

    Kelps and other fleshy macroalgae - dominant reef-inhabiting organisms in cool - seasmay have radiated extensively following late Cenozoic polar cooling, thus triggering a chain of evolutionary change in the trophic ecology of nearshore temperate ecosystems. We explore this hypothesis through an analysis of body size in the abalones (Gastropoda; Haliotidae), a widely distributed group in modern oceans that displays a broad range of body sizes and contains fossil representatives from the late Cretaceous (60-75 Ma). Geographic analysis of maximum shell length in living abalones showed that small-bodied species, while most common in the Tropics, have a cosmopolitan distribution, whereas large-bodied species occur exclusively in cold-water ecosystems dominated by kelps and other macroalgae. The phylogeography of body size evolution in extant abalones was assessed by constructing a molecular phylogeny in a mix of large and small species obtained from different regions of the world. This analysis demonstrates that small body size is the plesiomorphic state and largeness has likely arisen at least twice. Finally, we compiled data on shell length from the fossil record to determine how (slowly or suddenly) and when large body size arose in the abalones. These data indicate that large body size appears suddenly at the Miocene/Pliocene boundary. Our findings support the view that fleshy-algal dominated ecosystems radiated rapidly in the coastal oceans with the onset of the most recent glacial age. We conclude with a discussion of the broader implications of this change. ?? 2005 The Paleontological Society. All rights reserved.

  8. Nutritional contributions of insects to primate diets: implications for primate evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rothman, Jessica M; Raubenheimer, David; Bryer, Margaret A H; Takahashi, Maressa; Gilbert, Christopher C

    2014-06-01

    Insects and other invertebrates form a portion of many living and extinct primate diets. We review the nutritional profiles of insects in comparison with other dietary items, and discuss insect nutrients in relation to the nutritional needs of living primates. We find that insects are incorporated into some primate diets as staple foods whereby they are the majority of food intake. They can also be incorporated as complements to other foods in the diet, providing protein in a diet otherwise dominated by gums and/or fruits, or be incorporated as supplements to likely provide an essential nutrient that is not available in the typical diet. During times when they are very abundant, such as in insect outbreaks, insects can serve as replacements to the usual foods eaten by primates. Nutritionally, insects are high in protein and fat compared with typical dietary items like fruit and vegetation. However, insects are small in size and for larger primates (>1 kg) it is usually nutritionally profitable only to consume insects when they are available in large quantities. In small quantities, they may serve to provide important vitamins and fatty acids typically unavailable in primate diets. In a brief analysis, we found that soft-bodied insects are higher in fat though similar in chitin and protein than hard-bodied insects. In the fossil record, primates can be defined as soft- or hard-bodied insect feeders based on dental morphology. The differences in the nutritional composition of insects may have implications for understanding early primate evolution and ecology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Young children's acceptance of within-species variation: Implications for essentialism and teaching evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmons, Natalie A; Kelemen, Deborah A

    2015-11-01

    Neglecting within-species variation plays a crucial role in students' misconceptions about adaptation by natural selection. Prior research on the development of this propensity suggests that this neglect is due to a strong early-arising essentialist bias to treat species as invariant. Across two studies, we examined the strength of this bias by exploring 5- and 6-year-olds' and 7- and 8-year-olds' assumptions about variation in contexts similar to those used in a recent early educational intervention teaching adaptation. In Study 1, children heard about fictitious animals' physical and behavioral traits and their beneficial functions. They then judged whether all other species members would vary or be invariant on those traits. Across age groups, children showed a marginal essentialist tendency to reject variation. In Study 2, the same method was used, but all references to beneficial trait functions were removed. The 5- and 6-year-olds' responding did not differ from Study 1, but the 7- and 8-year-olds' acceptance of variation increased to above chance rates. Parental religious and evolution beliefs correlated with younger children's responses but not with older children's responses. Together, the findings suggest that under certain facilitative contexts children display greater abilities to represent variation than assumptions of a robust and inflexible essentialist bias would predict. By 7 to 8 years of age, children displayed autonomy from their parents' beliefs and tended to expect variation. However, priming their teleological intuitions undermined their non-essentialist expectations. Theoretical and educational implications are discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Evolution and function of the upper molar talon and its dietary implications in microbats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutzwiller, Sarah C; Hunter, John P

    2015-11-01

    The evolution of mammalian molars has been marked by transitions representing significant changes in shape and function. One such transition is the addition and elaboration of the talon, the distolingual region of the ancestral tribosphenic upper molar of therian mammals and some extinct relatives. This study uses suborder Microchiroptera as a case study to explore the adaptive implications of the expansion of the talon on the tribosphenic molar, specifically focusing on the talon's role in the compression and shear of food during breakdown. Three-dimensional computer renderings of casts of the upper left first molars were created for microbat species of a variety of dietary categories (frugivore, etc.) and physical properties of food (hard and soft). Relief Index (RFI) was measured to estimate the topography and function of the whole tooth and of the talon and trigon (the remaining primitive tribosphenic region) individually, in order to examine 1) how the shape of the whole tooth, trigon, and talon reflects the compromise between their crushing and shearing functions, 2) how whole tooth, trigon, and talon function differs according to diet, and 3) how the presence of the talon affects overall molar function. Results suggest that RFI of both the whole tooth and the trigon varies according to dietary groups, with frugivores having greater crushing function when compared with the other groups. The talon, however, consistently has low RFI (a flatter topography), and its presence lowers the RFI of the whole tooth across all dietary categories, suggesting that the talon is primarily functioning in crushing during food breakdown. The potential benefits of a crushing talon for microbats of various dietary groups are discussed. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Metabolic constraint imposes tradeoff between body size and number of brain neurons in human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Fonseca-Azevedo, Karina; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2012-01-01

    Despite a general trend for larger mammals to have larger brains, humans are the primates with the largest brain and number of neurons, but not the largest body mass. Why are great apes, the largest primates, not also those endowed with the largest brains? Recently, we showed that the energetic cost of the brain is a linear function of its numbers of neurons. Here we show that metabolic limitations that result from the number of hours available for feeding and the low caloric yield of raw foo...

  12. Drosophila as a Developmental Paradigm of Regressive Brain Evolution: Proof of Principle in the Visual System

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Friedrich, Markus

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary developmental biology focuses heavily on the constructive evolution of body plan components, but there are many instances such as parasitism, cave adaptation, or postembryonic growth rate...

  13. Brain-Based Teaching/Learning and Implications for Religious Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Jean Marie

    2002-01-01

    Argues that physical activity and water can increase brain activity, and hence, learning. Findings of neuroscientists regarding the brain can inform educators. Brain-based teaching emphasizes teamwork, cooperative learning, and global responsibility. Argues against gathering information without relevance. Connects brain-based learning concepts to…

  14. Detecting lineage-specific adaptive evolution of brain-expressed genes in human using rhesus macaque as outgroup

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yu, Xiao-Jing; Zheng, Hong-Kun; Wang, Jun

    2006-01-01

    Comparative genetic analysis between human and chimpanzee may detect genetic divergences responsible for human-specific characteristics. Previous studies have identified a series of genes that potentially underwent Darwinian positive selection during human evolution. However, without a closely...... related species as outgroup, it is difficult to identify human-lineage-specific changes, which is critical in delineating the biological uniqueness of humans. In this study, we conducted phylogeny-based analyses of 2633 human brain-expressed genes using rhesus macaque as the outgroup. We identified 47...... candidate genes showing strong evidence of positive selection in the human lineage. Genes with maximal expression in the brain showed a higher evolutionary rate in human than in chimpanzee. We observed that many immune-defense-related genes were under strong positive selection, and this trend was more...

  15. Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunbar, Robin IM

    2007-01-01

    The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis) is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20) add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between the two sexes in the social mechanisms and brain units involved. Female sociality (which is more affiliative) is related most closely to neocortex volume, but male sociality (which is more competitive and combative) is more closely related to subcortical units (notably those associated with emotional responses). Thus different brain units have responded to different selection pressures. PMID:17493267

  16. Male and female brain evolution is subject to contrasting selection pressures in primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dunbar Robin IM

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The claim that differences in brain size across primate species has mainly been driven by the demands of sociality (the "social brain" hypothesis is now widely accepted. Some of the evidence to support this comes from the fact that species that live in large social groups have larger brains, and in particular larger neocortices. Lindenfors and colleagues (BMC Biology 5:20 add significantly to our appreciation of this process by showing that there are striking differences between the two sexes in the social mechanisms and brain units involved. Female sociality (which is more affiliative is related most closely to neocortex volume, but male sociality (which is more competitive and combative is more closely related to subcortical units (notably those associated with emotional responses. Thus different brain units have responded to different selection pressures.

  17. Neuroscience and awareness in the dying human brain: Implications for organ donation practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rady, Mohamed Y; Verheijde, Joseph L

    2016-08-01

    Consciousness has 2 components: wakefulness (arousal) and awareness (perception of the self and the external environment). Functional neuroimaging has identified 2 distinctive functional networks that mediate external awareness of the surrounding environment and internal awareness of the self. Recent studies suggest that awareness is not always associated with wakefulness. There is little clinical research that has specifically focused on determining awareness in the dying phase, after the cessation of systemic circulation. Pana et al (J Crit Care, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrc.2016.04.001) concluded from a retrospective analysis of published human and animal studies that the cessation of clinical brain function and spontaneous electroencephalography activity occurred within 30 seconds of circulatory arrest. They inferred from this that a 5-minute period of cessation of circulation constitutes a valid indicator that awareness has ceased. This aligns with the 5-minute no-touch time after the loss of arterial pulse, the current circulatory standard of death determination in non-heart-beating organ donation. We argue that the capacity for awareness may not be irreversibly lost after a relatively brief period of cessation of systemic circulation, and outline empirical data in support of the claim that awareness without wakefulness may be present. Obviously, if correct, this will have practical and ethical implications on organ donation practices. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter, Ulmschneider

    When we are looking for intelligent life outside the Earth, there is a fundamental question: Assuming that life has formed on an extraterrestrial planet, will it also develop toward intelligence? As this is hotly debated, we will now describe the development of life on Earth in more detail in order to show that there are good reasons why evolution should culminate in intelligent beings.

  19. Visual maps in the adult primate cerebral cortex: some implications for brain development and evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.G.P. Rosa

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the topology of cortical visuotopic maps in adult primates is reviewed, with emphasis on recent studies. The observed visuotopic organisation can be summarised with reference to two basic rules. First, adjacent radial columns in the cortex represent partially overlapping regions of the visual field, irrespective of whether these columns are part of the same or different cortical areas. This primary rule is seldom, if ever, violated. Second, adjacent regions of the visual field tend to be represented in adjacent radial columns of a same area. This rule is not as rigid as the first, as many cortical areas form discontinuous, second-order representations of the visual field. A developmental model based on these physiological observations, and on comparative studies of cortical organisation, is then proposed, in order to explain how a combination of molecular specification steps and activity-driven processes can generate the variety of visuotopic organisations observed in adult cortex.

  20. Brain iron accumulation affects myelin-related molecular systems implicated in a rare neurogenetic disease family with neuropsychiatric features.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidari, M; Johnstone, D M; Bassett, B; Graham, R M; Chua, A C G; House, M J; Collingwood, J F; Bettencourt, C; Houlden, H; Ryten, M; Olynyk, J K; Trinder, D; Milward, E A

    2016-11-01

    The 'neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation' (NBIA) disease family entails movement or cognitive impairment, often with psychiatric features. To understand how iron loading affects the brain, we studied mice with disruption of two iron regulatory genes, hemochromatosis (Hfe) and transferrin receptor 2 (Tfr2). Inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy demonstrated increased iron in the Hfe-/- × Tfr2mut brain (P=0.002, n ≥5/group), primarily localized by Perls' staining to myelinated structures. Western immunoblotting showed increases of the iron storage protein ferritin light polypeptide and microarray and real-time reverse transcription-PCR revealed decreased transcript levels (P0.05). Overlap (P0.05). These results implicate myelin-related systems involved in NBIA neuropathogenesis in early responses to iron loading. This may contribute to behavioral symptoms in NBIA and hemochromatosis and is relevant to patients with abnormal iron status and psychiatric disorders involving myelin abnormalities or resistant to conventional treatments.

  1. Effect of Neuroinflammation on Synaptic Organization and Function in the Developing Brain: Implications for Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amin Mottahedin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The brain is a plastic organ where both the intrinsic CNS milieu and extrinsic cues play important roles in shaping and wiring neural connections. The perinatal period constitutes a critical time in central nervous system development with extensive refinement of neural connections, which are highly sensitive to fetal and neonatal compromise, such as inflammatory challenges. Emerging evidence suggests that inflammatory cells in the brain such as microglia and astrocytes are pivotal in regulating synaptic structure and function. In this article, we will review the role of glia cells in synaptic physiology and pathophysiology, including microglia-mediated elimination of synapses. We propose that activation of the immune system dynamically affects synaptic organization and function in the developing brain. We will discuss the role of neuroinflammation in altered synaptic plasticity following perinatal inflammatory challenges and potential implications for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders.

  2. In vivo bioimpedance measurement of healthy and ischaemic rat brain: implications for stroke imaging using electrical impedance tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowrick, T; Blochet, C; Holder, D

    2015-06-01

    In order to facilitate the imaging of haemorrhagic and ischaemic stroke using frequency difference electrical impedance tomography (EIT), impedance measurements of normal and ischaemic brain, and clotted blood during haemorrhage, were gathered using a four-terminal technique in an in vivo animal model, a first for ischaemic measurements. Differences of 5-10% in impedance were seen between the frequency spectrums of healthy and ischaemic brain, over the frequency range 0-3 kHz, while the spectrum of blood was predominately uniform. The implications of imaging blood/ischaemia in the brain using electrical impedance tomography are discussed, supporting the notion that it will be possible to differentiate stroke from haemorrhage.

  3. Hard X-ray irradiation of cosmic silicate analogs: structural evolution and astrophysical implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavilan, L.; Jäger, C.; Simionovici, A.; Lemaire, J. L.; Sabri, T.; Foy, E.; Yagoubi, S.; Henning, T.; Salomon, D.; Martinez-Criado, G.

    2016-03-01

    Context. Protoplanetary disks, interstellar clouds, and active galactic nuclei contain X-ray-dominated regions. X-rays interact with the dust and gas present in such environments. While a few laboratory X-ray irradiation experiments have been performed on ices, X-ray irradiation experiments on bare cosmic dust analogs have been scarce up to now. Aims: Our goal is to study the effects of hard X-rays on cosmic dust analogs via in situ X-ray diffraction. By using a hard X-ray synchrotron nanobeam, we seek to simulate cumulative X-ray exposure on dust grains during their lifetime in these astrophysical environments and provide an upper limit on the effect of hard X-rays on dust grain structure. Methods: We prepared enstatite (MgSiO3) nanograins, which are analogs to cosmic silicates, via the melting-quenching technique. These amorphous grains were then annealed to obtain polycrystalline grains. These were characterized via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) before irradiation. Powder samples were prepared in X-ray transparent substrates and were irradiated with hard X-rays nanobeams (29.4 keV) provided by beamline ID16B of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble). X-ray diffraction images were recorded in transmission mode, and the ensuing diffractograms were analyzed as a function of the total X-ray exposure time. Results: We detected the amorphization of polycrystalline silicates embedded in an organic matrix after an accumulated X-ray exposure of 6.4 × 1027 eV cm-2. Pure crystalline silicate grains (without resin) do not exhibit amorphization. None of the amorphous silicate samples (pure and embedded in resin) underwent crystallization. We analyze the evolution of the polycrystalline sample embedded in an organic matrix as a function of X-ray exposure. Conclusions: Loss of diffraction peak intensity, peak broadening, and the disappearance of discrete spots and arcs reveal the amorphization

  4. Imaging of Brain Connectivity in Dementia: Clinical Implications for Diagnosis of its Underlying Diseases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    R. Meijboom (Rozanna)

    2017-01-01

    markdownabstractIn this thesis we investigated the use of advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques in identifying subtle brain abnormalities, associating brain abnormalities with disease symptomatology, and improving early (differential) diagnosis in several diseases underlying dementia.

  5. Impact of nutrition on brain development and its neuroprotective implications following preterm birth

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keunen, Kristin; van Elburg, Ruurd M.; van Bel, Frank; Benders, Manon J. N. L.

    2015-01-01

    The impact of nutrition on brain development in preterm infants has been increasingly appreciated. Early postnatal growth and nutrient intake have been demonstrated to influence brain growth and maturation with subsequent effects on neurodevelopment that persist into childhood and adolescence.

  6. Can fat explain the human brain's big bang evolution?-Horrobin's leads for comparative and functional genomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erren, T C; Erren, M

    2004-04-01

    When David Horrobin suggested that phospholipid and fatty acid metabolism played a major role in human evolution, his 'fat utilization hypothesis' unified intriguing work from paleoanthropology, evolutionary biology, genetic and nervous system research in a novel and coherent lipid-related context. Interestingly, unlike most other evolutionary concepts, the hypothesis allows specific predictions which can be empirically tested in the near future. This paper summarizes some of Horrobin's intriguing propositions and suggests as to how approaches of comparative genomics published in Cell, Nature, Science and elsewhere since 1997 may be used to examine his evolutionary hypothesis. Indeed, systematic investigations of the genomic clock in the species' mitochondrial DNA, the Y and autosomal chromosomes as evidence of evolutionary relationships and distinctions can help to scrutinize associated predictions for their validity, namely that key mutations which differentiate us from Neanderthals and from great apes are in the genes coding for proteins which regulate fat metabolism, and particularly the phospholipid metabolism of the synapses of the brain. It is concluded that beyond clues to humans' relationships with living primates and to the Neanderthals' cognitive performance and their disappearance, the suggested molecular clock analyses may provide crucial insights into the biochemical evolution-and means of possible manipulation-of our brain.

  7. The Role of Metaphor in Darwin and the Implications for Teaching Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pramling, Niklas

    2009-01-01

    This article is about the role of metaphor in scientific knowledge formation and reasoning. These issues are studied by means of an example of the theory of evolution through natural selection. The premise is that the theory of evolution contains a set of problems regarding metaphor. A second premise is that these problems have to be handled in…

  8. The hubs of the human connectome are generally implicated in the anatomy of brain disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crossley, Nicolas A; Mechelli, Andrea; Scott, Jessica; Carletti, Francesco; Fox, Peter T; McGuire, Philip; Bullmore, Edward T

    2014-08-01

    Brain networks or 'connectomes' include a minority of highly connected hub nodes that are functionally valuable, because their topological centrality supports integrative processing and adaptive behaviours. Recent studies also suggest that hubs have higher metabolic demands and longer-distance connections than other brain regions, and therefore could be considered biologically costly. Assuming that hubs thus normally combine both high topological value and high biological cost, we predicted that pathological brain lesions would be concentrated in hub regions. To test this general hypothesis, we first identified the hubs of brain anatomical networks estimated from diffusion tensor imaging data on healthy volunteers (n = 56), and showed that computational attacks targeted on hubs disproportionally degraded the efficiency of brain networks compared to random attacks. We then prepared grey matter lesion maps, based on meta-analyses of published magnetic resonance imaging data on more than 20 000 subjects and 26 different brain disorders. Magnetic resonance imaging lesions that were common across all brain disorders were more likely to be located in hubs of the normal brain connectome (P brain disorders had lesions that were significantly more likely to be located in hubs (P human brain networks are more likely to be anatomically abnormal than non-hubs in many (if not all) brain disorders. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain.

  9. The Implications of Brain Research For Learning Strategies and Educational Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lutz, Kathryn A.

    Research involving split-brain patients has shown that the two hemispheres of the brain process information differently. The left side of the brain is more analytical, the right side is more holistic, taking in overall characteristics rather than specific detail. This reserach can be applied to the educational process in several ways. The concepts…

  10. Tidal Dissipation In Rotating Low Mass Stars: Implications For The Orbital Evolution Of Close In Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallet, Florian; Bolmont, Emeline; Mathis, Stéphane; Charbonnel, Corinne; Amard, Louis; Alibert, Yann

    2017-10-01

    Close-in planets represent a large fraction of the population of confirmed exoplanets. To understand the dynamical evolution of these planets, star-planet interactions must be taken into account. In particular, the dependence of the tidal interactions on the structural parameters of the star, its rotation, and its metallicity should be treated in the models. We quantify how the tidal dissipation in the convective envelope of rotating low-mass stars evolves in time. We also investigate the possible consequences of this evolution on planetary orbital evolution. In Gallet et al. (2017) and Bolmont et al. (2017) we generalized the work of Bolmont & Mathis (2016) by following the orbital evolution of close-in planets using the new tidal dissipation predictions for advanced phases of stellar evolution and non-solar metallicity. We find that during the pre-main sequence the evolution of tidal dissipation is controlled by the evolution of the internal structure of the star through the stellar contraction. On the main-sequence tidal dissipation is strongly driven by the evolution of the surface rotation that is impacted by magnetized stellar winds braking. Finally, during the more evolved phases, the tidal dissipation sharply decreases as radiative core retreats in mass and radius towards the red-giant branch. Using an orbital evolution model, we also show that changing the metallicity leads to diUerent orbital evolutions (e.g., planets migrate farther out from an initially fast rotating metal rich star). By using this model, we qualitatively reproduced the observational trends of the population of hot Jupiters with the metallicity of their host stars. However, more work still remain to be do so as to be able to quantitatively fit our results to the observations.

  11. Effects of oxytocin and genetic variants on brain and behaviour: Implications for treatment in schizophrenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartholomeusz, Cali F; Ganella, Eleni P; Labuschagne, Izelle; Bousman, Chad; Pantelis, Christos

    2015-11-01

    Impairments in social cognition and poor social functioning are core features of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. In recent years, there has been a move towards developing new treatment strategies that specifically target social cognitive and social behavioural deficits. Oxytocin (OXT) is one such strategy that has gained increasing attention. There is a strong rationale for studying OXT in psychosis, from both an evolutionary perspective and neurodevelopmental-cognitive model of schizophrenia. Thus, the aim of this review was to critique and examine the observational and clinical oxytocin trial literature in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders. A handful of clinical trials suggest that OXT treatment may be beneficial for remediating social cognitive impairments, psychiatric symptoms, and improving social outcomes. However, inconsistencies exist in this literature, which may be explained by individual differences in the underlying neural response to OXT treatment and/or variation in the oxytocin and oxytocin receptor genes. Therefore, we additionally reviewed the evidence for structural and functional neural intermediate phenotypes in humans that link genetic variants to social behaviour/thinking, and discuss the implications of such interactions in the context of dysfunctional brain networks in schizophrenia. Factors that pose challenges for future OXT clinical research include the impact of age, sex, and ancestry, task-specific effects, bioavailability and pharmacokinetics, as well as neurotransmitter and drug interactions. While initial findings from OXT single dose/clinical trial studies are promising, more interdisciplinary research in both healthy and psychiatric populations is needed before determining whether OXT is a viable treatment option/adjunct for addressing poor illness outcomes in psychotic disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. ABCC9/SUR2 in the brain: implications for hippocampal sclerosis of aging and a potential therapeutic target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Peter T.; Jicha, Gregory A.; Wang, Wang-Xia; Ighodaro, Eseosa; Artiushin, Sergey; Nichols, Colin G.; Fardo, David W.

    2015-01-01

    The ABCC9 gene and its polypeptide product, SUR2, are increasingly implicated in human neurologic disease, including prevalent diseases of the aged brain. SUR2 proteins are a component of the ATP-sensitive potassium (“KATP”) channel, a metabolic sensor for stress and/or hypoxia that has been shown to change in aging. The KATP channel also helps regulate the neurovascular unit. Most brain cell types express SUR2, including neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, vascular smooth muscle, pericytes, and endothelial cells. Thus it is not surprising that ABCC9 gene variants are associated with risk for human brain diseases. For example, Cantu syndrome is a result of ABCC9 mutations; we discuss neurologic manifestations of this genetic syndrome. More common brain disorders linked to ABCC9 gene variants include hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-Aging), sleep disorders, and depression. HS-Aging is a prevalent neurological disease with pathologic features of both neurodegenerative (aberrant TDP-43) and cerebrovascular (arteriolosclerosis) disease. As to potential therapeutic intervention, the human pharmacopeia features both SUR2 agonists and antagonists, so ABCC9/SUR2 may provide a “druggable target”, relevant perhaps to both HS-Aging and Alzheimer’s disease. We conclude that more work is required to better understand the roles of ABCC9/SUR2 in the human brain during health and disease conditions. PMID:26226329

  13. Identification of brain nuclei implicated in cocaine-primed reinstatement of conditioned place preference: a behaviour dissociable from sensitization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robyn Mary Brown

    Full Text Available Relapse prevention represents the primary therapeutic challenge in the treatment of drug addiction. As with humans, drug-seeking behaviour can be precipitated in laboratory animals by exposure to a small dose of the drug (prime. The aim of this study was to identify brain nuclei implicated in the cocaine-primed reinstatement of a conditioned place preference (CPP. Thus, a group of mice were conditioned to cocaine, had this place preference extinguished and were then tested for primed reinstatement of the original place preference. There was no correlation between the extent of drug-seeking upon reinstatement and the extent of behavioural sensitization, the extent of original CPP or the extinction profile of mice, suggesting a dissociation of these components of addictive behaviour with a drug-primed reinstatement. Expression of the protein product of the neuronal activity marker c-fos was assessed in a number of brain regions of mice that exhibited reinstatement (R mice versus those which did not (NR mice. Reinstatement generally conferred greater Fos expression in cortical and limbic structures previously implicated in drug-seeking behaviour, though a number of regions not typically associated with drug-seeking were also activated. In addition, positive correlations were found between neural activation of a number of brain regions and reinstatement behaviour. The most significant result was the activation of the lateral habenula and its positive correlation with reinstatement behaviour. The findings of this study question the relationship between primed reinstatement of a previously extinguished place preference for cocaine and behavioural sensitization. They also implicate activation patterns of discrete brain nuclei as differentiators between reinstating and non-reinstating mice.

  14. Brain intersections of aesthetics and morals: perspectives from biology, neuroscience, and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaidel, D W; Nadal, M

    2011-01-01

    For centuries, only philosophers debated the relationship between aesthetics and morality. Recently, with advances in neuroscience, the debate has moved to include the brain and an evolved neural underpinning linking aesthetic reactions and moral judgment. Biological survival emphasizes mate selection strategies, and the ritual displays have been linked to human aesthetics in the arts, in faces, and in various daily decision making. In parallel, cultural human practices have evolved to emphasize altruism and morality. This article explores the biological background and discusses the neuroscientific evidence for shared brain pathways for aesthetics and morals.

  15. Clinical features of brain metastases in breast cancer: an implication for hippocampal-sparing whole-brain radiation therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu S

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available San-Gang Wu,1,* Jia-Yuan Sun,2,* Qin Tong,3 Feng-Yan Li,2 Zhen-Yu He2 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Xiamen Cancer Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, 2Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center of Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou, 3Department of Radiation Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of University of South China, Hengyang, People’s Republic of China *These authors contributed equally to this work Objective: The objectives of this study were to describe the distribution of brain metastases (BM in breast cancer patients and investigate the risk factors for perihippocampal metastases (PHM. Patients and methods: Retrospective analysis of the clinicopathological characteristics and patterns of BM was performed. Associations between clinicopathological characteristics and PHM (the hippocampus plus 5 mm margin were evaluated using logistic regression analyses. Results: A total of 1,356 brain metastatic lesions were identified in 192 patients. Patients with 1–3 BM, 4–9 BM, and ≥10 BM accounted for 63.0%, 18.8%, and 18.2%, respectively. There were only 7 (3.6% patients with hippocampal metastases (HM and 14 (7.3% patients with PHM. On logistic regression, the number of BM was an independent risk factor for PHM. Patients with ≥10 BM had a significantly higher risk of PHM compared with those with <10 BM. Breast cancer subtype (BCS was not associated with PHM. The number of BM was significantly correlated with various BCSs. Patients with hormone receptor (HR+/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2+, HR-/HER2+, and HR-/HER2- subtypes had a higher probability of ≥10 BM, relative to patients with an HR+/HER2- subtype. Conclusion: Our study suggests that a low incidence of PHM may be acceptable to perform hippocampal-sparing whole-brain radiation therapy for breast cancer patients

  16. Brain, mind and machine: what are the implications of deep brain stimulation for perceptions of personal identity, agency and free will?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipsman, Nir; Glannon, Walter

    2013-11-01

    Brain implants, such as Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), which are designed to improve motor, mood and behavioural pathology, present unique challenges to our understanding of identity, agency and free will. This is because these devices can have visible effects on persons' physical and psychological properties yet are essentially undetectable when operating correctly. They can supplement and compensate for one's inherent abilities and faculties when they are compromised by neuropsychiatric disorders. Further, unlike talk therapy or pharmacological treatments, patients need not 'do' anything for the treatment to take effect. If one accepts, as we argue here, that brain implants are unique among implantable types of devices, then this can have significant implications for what it means to persist as the same person and be the source of one's thoughts and actions. By examining two of the most common indications for DBS in current use, namely in the motor (Parkinson's Disease) and psychiatric (Major Depression) domains, we further argue that although DBS, as it is currently applied, does not necessarily represent a unique threat to personal identity and agency per se, it introduces an unprecedented 'third party' into the debate on these concepts. In this way, DBS can be used as a tool to begin probing, both conceptually and empirically, some of philosophy's most perennial metaphysical questions. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Evolution of the Brain Computing Interface (BCI and Proposed Electroencephalography (EEG Signals Based Authentication Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramzan Qaseem

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available With current advancements in the field of Brain Computer interface it is required to study how it will affect the other technologies currently in use. In this paper, the authors motivate the need of Brain Computing Interface in the era of IoT (Internet of Things, and analyze how BCI in the presence of IoT could have serious privacy breach if not protected by new kind of more secure protocols. Security breach and hacking has been around for a long time but now we are sensitive towards data as our lives depend on it. When everything is interconnected through IoT and considering that we control all interconnected things by means of our brain using BCI (Brain Computer Interface, the meaning of security breach becomes much more sensitive than in the past. This paper describes the old security methods being used for authentication and how they can be compromised. Considering the sensitivity of data in the era of IoT, a new form of authentication is required, which should incorporate BCI rather than usual authentication techniques.

  18. Impact of nutrition on brain development and its neuroprotective implications following preterm birth

    OpenAIRE

    Keunen, Kristin; van Elburg, Ruurd M.; van Bel, Frank; Benders, Manon J. N. L.

    2014-01-01

    The impact of nutrition on brain development in preterm infants has been increasingly appreciated. Early postnatal growth and nutrient intake have been demonstrated to influence brain growth and maturation with subsequent effects on neurodevelopment that persist into childhood and adolescence. Nutrition could also potentially protect against injury. Inflammation and perinatal infection play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of white matter injury, the most common pattern of brain injury in p...

  19. Identifying risk factors for brain metastasis in breast cancer patients: Implication for a vigorous surveillance program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chow, Lorraine; Suen, Dacita; Ma, Kwok Kuen; Kwong, Ava

    2015-10-01

    Brain metastasis occurs in 10-15% of metastatic breast cancer patients and is associated with poor prognosis. This study aims to identify tumor characteristics of primary breast cancer, which are related to brain metastases in Hong Kong Chinese patients. A retrospective study of patients with invasive breast cancer receiving treatment in a university hospital from January 2001 to December 2008 was performed. The clinicopathological factors of patients with brain metastases were analyzed and compared with those who had no brain metastasis. Risk factors for brain metastasis were identified by univariate analysis first and then by multivariate analysis. A total of 912 patients with invasive breast cancer were treated during the study period. Of these, 30 patients were found to have distant metastases to brain. Patients with brain metastases had more breast tumors of higher histological grade (Grade III, 78.9% vs. 30.2%; p = 0.001). Their tumors also had a significantly higher rate of negative estrogen receptors (78.9% vs. 30.2%, p = 0.001). On multivariate analysis, only high tumor grading was found to be predictive of developing brain metastasis. Chinese breast cancer patients with brain metastasis were more likely to have high-grade tumors and negative estrogen receptor status. A more vigorous surveillance program for the central nervous system should be considered for this group of patients. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Taiwan.

  20. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Manger, Paul R.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2014-01-01

    Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining) changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution. PMID:25157220

  1. Brain scaling in mammalian evolution as a consequence of concerted and mosaic changes in numbers of neurons and average neuronal cell size

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Enough species have now been subject to systematic quantitative analysis of the relationship between the morphology and cellular composition of their brain that patterns begin to emerge and shed light on the evolutionary path that led to mammalian brain diversity. Based on an analysis of the shared and clade-specific characteristics of 41 modern mammalian species in 6 clades, and in light of the phylogenetic relationships among them, here we propose that ancestral mammal brains were composed and scaled in their cellular composition like modern afrotherian and glire brains: with an addition of neurons that is accompanied by a decrease in neuronal density and very little modification in glial cell density, implying a significant increase in average neuronal cell size in larger brains, and the allocation of approximately 2 neurons in the cerebral cortex and 8 neurons in the cerebellum for every neuron allocated to the rest of brain. We also propose that in some clades the scaling of different brain structures has diverged away from the common ancestral layout through clade-specific (or clade-defining changes in how average neuronal cell mass relates to numbers of neurons in each structure, and how numbers of neurons are differentially allocated to each structure relative to the number of neurons in the rest of brain. Thus, the evolutionary expansion of mammalian brains has involved both concerted and mosaic patterns of scaling across structures. This is, to our knowledge, the first mechanistic model that explains the generation of brains large and small in mammalian evolution, and it opens up new horizons for seeking the cellular pathways and genes involved in brain evolution.

  2. Implications of fisheries-induced evolution for stock rebuilding and recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enberg, Katja; Jørgensen, Christian; Dunlop, Erin S; Heino, Mikko; Dieckmann, Ulf

    2009-08-01

    Worldwide depletion of fish stocks has led fisheries managers to become increasingly concerned about rebuilding and recovery planning. To succeed, factors affecting recovery dynamics need to be understood, including the role of fisheries-induced evolution. Here we investigate a stock's response to fishing followed by a harvest moratorium by analyzing an individual-based evolutionary model parameterized for Atlantic cod Gadus morhua from its northern range, representative of long-lived, late-maturing species. The model allows evolution of life-history processes including maturation, reproduction, and growth. It also incorporates environmental variability, phenotypic plasticity, and density-dependent feedbacks. Fisheries-induced evolution affects recovery in several ways. The first decades of recovery were dominated by demographic and density-dependent processes. Biomass rebuilding was only lightly influenced by fisheries-induced evolution, whereas other stock characteristics such as maturation age, spawning stock biomass, and recruitment were substantially affected, recovering to new demographic equilibria below their preharvest levels. This is because genetic traits took thousands of years to evolve back to preharvest levels, indicating that natural selection driving recovery of these traits is weaker than fisheries-induced selection was. Our results strengthen the case for proactive management of fisheries-induced evolution, as the restoration of genetic traits altered by fishing is slow and may even be impractical.

  3. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zihlman, Adrienne L.; Bolter, Debra R.

    2015-01-01

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4–5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition. PMID:26034269

  4. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zihlman, Adrienne L; Bolter, Debra R

    2015-06-16

    The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4-5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonobos (Pan paniscus) measured during anatomical dissections and compare the data with Homo sapiens. These comparative data suggest that both females and males (i) increased body fat, (ii) decreased relative muscle mass, (iii) redistributed muscle mass to lower limbs, and (iv) decreased relative mass of skin during human evolution. Comparison of soft tissues between Pan and Homo provides new insights into the function and evolution of body composition.

  5. Brain and cognitive evolution: forms of modularity and functions of mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, David C; Huffman, Kelly J

    2002-09-01

    Genetic and neurobiological research is reviewed as related to controversy over the extent to which neocortical organization and associated cognitive functions are genetically constrained or emerge through patterns of developmental experience. An evolutionary framework that accommodates genetic constraint and experiential modification of brain organization and cognitive function is then proposed. The authors argue that 4 forms of modularity and 3 forms of neural and cognitive plasticity define the relation between genetic constraint and the influence of developmental experience. For humans, the result is the ontogenetic emergence of functional modules in the domains of folk psychology, folk biology, and folk physics. The authors present a taxonomy of these modules and review associated research relating to brain and cognitive plasticity in these domains.

  6. Right brain, left brain in depressive disorders: Clinical and theoretical implications of behavioral, electrophysiological and neuroimaging findings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruder, Gerard E; Stewart, Jonathan W; McGrath, Patrick J

    2017-07-01

    The right and left side of the brain are asymmetric in anatomy and function. We review electrophysiological (EEG and event-related potential), behavioral (dichotic and visual perceptual asymmetry), and neuroimaging (PET, MRI, NIRS) evidence of right-left asymmetry in depressive disorders. Recent electrophysiological and fMRI studies of emotional processing have provided new evidence of altered laterality in depressive disorders. EEG alpha asymmetry and neuroimaging findings at rest and during cognitive or emotional tasks are consistent with reduced left prefrontal activity in depressed patients, which may impair downregulation of amygdala response to negative emotional information. Dichotic listening and visual hemifield findings for non-verbal or emotional processing have revealed abnormal perceptual asymmetry in depressive disorders, and electrophysiological findings have shown reduced right-lateralized responsivity to emotional stimuli in occipitotemporal or parietotemporal cortex. We discuss models of neural networks underlying these alterations. Of clinical relevance, individual differences among depressed patients on measures of right-left brain function are related to diagnostic subtype of depression, comorbidity with anxiety disorders, and clinical response to antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Imaging of Cells and Nanoparticles : Implications for Drug Delivery to the Brain

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stojanov, Katica; Zuhorn, Inge S.; Dierckx, Rudi A. J. O.; de Vries, Erik F. J.

    2012-01-01

    A major challenge in the development of central nervous system drugs is to obtain therapeutic effective drug concentrations inside the brain. Many potentially effective drugs have never reached clinical application because of poor brain penetration. Currently, devices are being developed that may

  8. Doublecortin-like knockdown in the adult mouse brain : implications for neurogenesis, neuroplasticity and behaviour

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saaltink, Dirk-Jan

    2014-01-01

    The results in this thesis showed for the first time doublecortin-like (DCL)-specific expression in the adult mouse brain. Besides the expected regions with the capacity to generate new neurons (hippocampus and olfactory forebrain), DCL expression was found in three novel brain areas namely

  9. Connecting Neurons, Concepts, and People: Brain Development and Its Implications. Preschool Policy Brief. Issue 17

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Ross A.

    2008-01-01

    The past decade has seen an upsurge in public understanding of early brain development. News reports, statements by policymakers, and commercial marketing of products for infants and young children have all contributed to a widespread understanding of the explosive growth of the brain in the early years and that stimulation acts as a catalyst to…

  10. Brain Research, Learning and Emotions: Implications for Education Research, Policy and Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinton, Christina; Miyamoto, Koji; Della-Chiesa, Bruno

    2008-01-01

    Recent advancements in neuroscience heighten its relevance to education. Newly developed imaging technologies enable scientists to peer into the working brain for the first time, providing powerful insights into how we learn. Research reveals that the brain is not a stable and isolated entity, but a dynamic system that is keenly responsive to…

  11. Young Children's Changing Conceptualizations of Brain Function: Implications for Teaching Neuroscience in Early Elementary Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Peter J.; Comalli, Christina E.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: Two exploratory studies explored young children's views of brain function and whether these views can be modified through exposure to a brief classroom intervention. In Study 1, children aged 4-13 years reported that the brain is used for "thinking," although older children were more likely than younger children to…

  12. A role for nautilus in studies of the evolution of brain and behavior

    OpenAIRE

    Crook, Robyn J.; Basil, Jennifer A

    2008-01-01

    Nautilus is an ancient remnant of a largely extinct cephalopod lineage.1 Its status within its clade is the subject of ongoing debate—its morphology, behavior and neuroanatomy may or may not be representative of an ancestral condition, and therefore its value as a model for ancestral cephalopods is uncertain. While the nautilus brain is simpler than that of more derived cephalopods2 (coleoids), it is plausible that this is a secondary simplification related to ecology, and not a precursor to ...

  13. Linking brains and brawn: exercise and the evolution of human neurobiology

    OpenAIRE

    Raichlen, David A.; Polk, John D.

    2013-01-01

    The hunting and gathering lifestyle adopted by human ancestors around 2 Ma required a large increase in aerobic activity. High levels of physical activity altered the shape of the human body, enabling access to new food resources (e.g. animal protein) in a changing environment. Recent experimental work provides strong evidence that both acute bouts of exercise and long-term exercise training increase the size of brain components and improve cognitive performance in humans and other taxa. Howe...

  14. The evolution of sensory and neurosecretory cell types in bilaterian brains

    OpenAIRE

    Teßmar-Raible, Karla Gisela Kristin

    2004-01-01

    This thesis deals with the origin of the photosensory and neurosecretory cell types in the bilaterian brain. As the main experimental system, I used the annelid Platynereis dumerilii. Platynereis is an emerging protostomian model organism that is ideally suited for comparisons with vertebrates because it has retained many ancestral cell types, yet has a relatively simple morphology and mode of development. In the first section, I ...

  15. Substructure evolution of Zircaloy-4 during creep and implications for the Modified Jogged-Screw model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Morrow, B.M., E-mail: morrow@lanl.gov [The Ohio State University, 2041 College Rd., 477 Watts Hall, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States); Los Alamos National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1663, MS G755, Los Alamos, NM 87545 (United States); Kozar, R.W.; Anderson, K.R. [Bettis Laboratory, Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp., West Mifflin, PA 15122 (United States); Mills, M.J., E-mail: millsmj@mse.osu.edu [The Ohio State University, 2041 College Rd., 477 Watts Hall, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)

    2016-05-17

    Several specimens of Zircaloy-4 were creep tested at a single stress-temperature condition, and interrupted at different accumulated strain levels. Substructural observations were performed using bright field scanning transmission electron microscopy (BF STEM). The dislocation substructure was characterized to ascertain how creep strain evolution impacts the Modified Jogged-Screw (MJS) model, which has previously been utilized to predict steady-state strain rates in Zircaloy-4. Special attention was paid to the evolution of individual model parameters with increasing strain. Results of model parameter measurements are reported and discussed, along with possible extensions to the MJS model.

  16. Big brains, small worlds: material culture and the evolution of the mind.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coward, Fiona; Gamble, Clive

    2008-06-12

    New developments in neuroimaging have demonstrated that the basic capacities underpinning human social skills are shared by our closest extant primate relatives. The challenge for archaeologists is to explain how complex human societies evolved from this shared pattern of face-to-face social interaction. We argue that a key process was the gradual incorporation of material culture into social networks over the course of hominin evolution. Here we use three long-term processes in hominin evolution-encephalization, the global human diaspora and sedentism/agriculture-to illustrate how the cultural transmission of material culture allowed the 'scaling up' of face-to-face social interactions to the global societies known today. We conclude that future research by neuroimagers and archaeologists will need to investigate the cognitive mechanisms behind human engagement with material culture as well as other persons.

  17. The rationale driving the evolution of deep brain stimulation to constant-current devices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bronstein, Jeff M; Tagliati, Michele; McIntyre, Cameron; Chen, Robert; Cheung, Tyler; Hargreaves, Eric L; Israel, Zvi; Moffitt, Michael; Montgomery, Erwin B; Stypulkowski, Paul; Shils, Jay; Denison, Timothy; Vitek, Jerrold; Volkman, Jens; Wertheimer, Jeffrey; Okun, Michael S

    2015-02-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is an effective therapy for the treatment of a number of movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. The effectiveness of DBS is dependent on the density and location of stimulation in a given brain area. Adjustments are made to optimize clinical benefits and minimize side effects. Until recently, clinicians would adjust DBS settings using a voltage mode, where the delivered voltage remained constant. More recently, a constant-current mode has become available where the programmer sets the current and the stimulator automatically adjusts the voltage as impedance changes. We held an expert consensus meeting to evaluate the current state of the literature and field on constant-current mode versus voltage mode in clinical brain-related applications. There has been little reporting of the use of constant-current DBS devices in movement and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, as impedance varies considerably between patients and over time, it makes sense that all new devices will likely use constant current. © 2014 International Neuromodulation Society.

  18. Molecular anatomy of the gut-brain axis revealed with transgenic technologies: implications in metabolic research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udit, Swalpa; Gautron, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Neurons residing in the gut-brain axis remain understudied despite their important role in coordinating metabolic functions. This lack of knowledge is observed, in part, because labeling gut-brain axis neurons and their connections using conventional neuroanatomical methods is inherently challenging. This article summarizes genetic approaches that enable the labeling of distinct populations of gut-brain axis neurons in living laboratory rodents. In particular, we review the respective strengths and limitations of currently available genetic and viral approaches that permit the marking of gut-brain axis neurons without the need for antibodies or conventional neurotropic tracers. Finally, we discuss how these methodological advances are progressively transforming the study of the healthy and diseased gut-brain axis in the context of its role in chronic metabolic diseases, including diabetes and obesity. PMID:23914153

  19. Dystrophins, Utrophins, and Associated Scaffolding Complexes: Role in Mammalian Brain and Implications for Therapeutic Strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Perronnet

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Two decades of molecular, cellular, and functional studies considerably increased our understanding of dystrophins function and unveiled the complex etiology of the cognitive deficits in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD, which involves altered expression of several dystrophin-gene products in brain. Dystrophins are normally part of critical cytoskeleton-associated membrane-bound molecular scaffolds involved in the clustering of receptors, ion channels, and signaling proteins that contribute to synapse physiology and blood-brain barrier function. The utrophin gene also drives brain expression of several paralogs proteins, which cellular expression and biological roles remain to be elucidated. Here we review the structural and functional properties of dystrophins and utrophins in brain, the consequences of dystrophins loss-of-function as revealed by numerous studies in mouse models of DMD, and we discuss future challenges and putative therapeutic strategies that may compensate for the cognitive impairment in DMD based on experimental manipulation of dystrophins and/or utrophins brain expression.

  20. High School Biology Teachers' Views on Teaching Evolution: Implications for Science Teacher Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hermann, Ronald S.

    2013-01-01

    In the US, there may be few scientific concepts that students maintain preconceived ideas about as strongly and passionately as they do with regard to evolution. At the confluence of a multitude of social, religious, political, and scientific factors lies the biology teacher. This phenomenological study provides insight into the salient aspects of…

  1. Cypris morphology in the barnacles Ibla and Paralepas (Crustacea: Cirripedia Thoracica) implications for cirripede evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Høeg, Jens T; Achituv, Yair; Chan, Benny K K

    2009-01-01

    We used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to describe cypris morphology in species of the barnacles Ibla and Paralepas, both of which are pivotal in understanding cirripede evolution. In Ibla, we also studied late naupliar stages with video and SEM. Special emphasis was put on the lattice organs...

  2. Conflict and cooperation in eukaryogenesis: implications for the timing of endosymbiosis and the evolution of sex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radzvilavicius, Arunas L; Blackstone, Neil W

    2015-10-06

    Roughly 1.5-2.0 Gya, the eukaryotic cell evolved from an endosymbiosis of an archaeal host and proteobacterial symbionts. The timing of this endosymbiosis relative to the evolution of eukaryotic features remains subject to considerable debate, yet the evolutionary process itself constrains the timing of these events. Endosymbiosis entailed levels-of-selection conflicts, and mechanisms of conflict mediation had to evolve for eukaryogenesis to proceed. The initial mechanisms of conflict mediation (e.g. signalling with calcium and soluble adenylyl cyclase, substrate carriers, adenine nucleotide translocase, uncouplers) led to metabolic homeostasis in the eukaryotic cell. Later mechanisms (e.g. mitochondrial gene loss) contributed to the chimeric eukaryotic genome. These integral features of eukaryotes were derived because of, and therefore subsequent to, endosymbiosis. Perhaps the greatest opportunity for conflict arose with the emergence of eukaryotic sex, involving whole-cell fusion. A simple model demonstrates that competition on the lower level severely hinders the evolution of sex. Cytoplasmic mixing, however, is beneficial for non-cooperative endosymbionts, which could have used their aerobic metabolism to manipulate the life history of the host. While early evolution of sex may have facilitated symbiont acquisition, sex would have also destabilized the subsequent endosymbiosis. More plausibly, the evolution of sex and the true nucleus concluded the transition. © 2015 The Author(s).

  3. Phylogenetic relationships of Amazonian anole lizards (Dactyloa): taxonomic implications, new insights about phenotypic evolution and the timing of diversification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prates, Ivan; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Melo-Sampaio, Paulo Roberto; Carnaval, Ana Carolina

    2015-01-01

    The ecology and evolution of Caribbean anoles are well described, yet little is known about mainland anole species. Lack of phylogenetic information limits our knowledge about species boundaries, morphological evolution, and the biogeography of anoles in South America. To help fill this gap, we provide an updated molecular phylogeny of the Dactyloa (Dactyloidae), with emphasis on the punctata species group. By sampling understudied Amazonian taxa, we (i) assess the phylogenetic placement of the 'odd anole', D. dissimilis; (ii) infer the relationships of the proboscis-bearing D. phyllorhina, testing the hypothesis of independent nasal appendage evolution within the anole radiation; and (iii) examine genetic and dewlap color variation in D. punctata and D. philopunctata. Combining multiple nuclear loci with a review of the fossil record, we also (iv) estimate divergence times within the pleurodont iguanian clade of lizards, including Amazonian representatives of Dactyloa and Norops (Dactyloidae) and of Polychrus (Polychrotidae). We recover the five Dactyloa clades previously referred to as the aequatorialis, heteroderma, latifrons, punctata and roquet species groups, as well as a sixth clade composed of D. dissimilis and the non-Amazonian D. neblinina and D. calimae. We find D. phyllorhina to be nested within the punctata group, suggesting independent evolution of the anole proboscis. We consistently recover D. philopunctata nested within D. punctata, and report limited genetic divergence between distinct dewlap phenotypes. The most recent common ancestor of Dactyloa, Anolis and Norops dates back to the Eocene. Most Amazonian taxa within both Dactyloa and Norops diverged in the Miocene, but some diversification events were as old as the late Eocene and late Oligocene. Amazonian Polychrus diverged in the Pliocene. Our findings have broad implications for anole biogeography, disputing recent suggestions that modern dactyloid genera were present in the Caribbean region

  4. The effects of the laboratory on college students' understanding of evolution: Implications for conceptual change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtman, Lorna Benita

    This study investigated eighty junior and senior college students' understanding of evolutionary biology concepts in lecture-only and lecture-laboratory settings. The evolution lab stressed the processes of evolution, and involved simulations, experiments, discussions, report writing, and reading. Test scores do not reveal everything about the actual process of learning in the laboratory. This study examined conceptual change patterns over a period of one semester using in-depth interviews with eight participants. The study revealed that the lecture-laboratory group performed better than the lecture-only group on certain shared items on the objective examination. The interview participants showed various patterns of conceptual change; that is, holistic (wholesale and cascade), fragmented, and dual constructions. Dual constructions and wholesale conceptual changes were the most common types of conceptual change patterns observed. Laboratory work in evolution allowed students to grapple with their alternative conceptions for abstract evolutionary concepts. They made use of the opportunities for cognitive conflict provided by the lab sessions. Some students adhered to their initial alternative conceptions which constrained the provision of scientific explanations for the biological problems. Examples of alternative conceptions are a young earth, rejection of macroevolution, and Lamarckian conceptions. The belief system of one student strongly influenced her retention of alternative conceptions, although she had done the laboratory course. However, two other students (one a lecture-lab participant) who held similar religious beliefs were able to develop a better understanding of evolution. Strong religious beliefs do not always preclude a good understanding of evolution. This study revealed a direct, positive relationship between students' understanding of evolutionary concepts and their understanding of the nature of science. The observation was true for both lecture

  5. Implications of neurovascular uncoupling in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of brain tumors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pak, Rebecca W; Hadjiabadi, Darian H; Senarathna, Janaka; Agarwal, Shruti; Thakor, Nitish V; Pillai, Jay J; Pathak, Arvind P

    2017-11-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) serves as a critical tool for presurgical mapping of eloquent cortex and changes in neurological function in patients diagnosed with brain tumors. However, the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) contrast mechanism underlying fMRI assumes that neurovascular coupling remains intact during brain tumor progression, and that measured changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) are correlated with neuronal function. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that even low-grade brain tumors can exhibit neurovascular uncoupling (NVU), which can confound interpretation of fMRI data. Therefore, to avoid neurosurgical complications, it is crucial to understand the biophysical basis of NVU and its impact on fMRI. Here we review the physiology of the neurovascular unit, how it is remodeled, and functionally altered by brain cancer cells. We first discuss the latest findings about the components of the neurovascular unit. Next, we synthesize results from preclinical and clinical studies to illustrate how brain tumor induced NVU affects fMRI data interpretation. We examine advances in functional imaging methods that permit the clinical evaluation of brain tumors with NVU. Finally, we discuss how the suppression of anomalous tumor blood vessel formation with antiangiogenic therapies can "normalize" the brain tumor vasculature, and potentially restore neurovascular coupling.

  6. The Future Vocation of Neural Stem Cells: Lineage Commitment in Brain Development and Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Tadashi; Gotoh, Hitoshi; Ono, Katsuhiko

    2017-08-24

    Understanding the fate commitment of neural stem cells is critical to identify the regulatory mechanisms in developing brains. Genetic lineage-tracing has provided a powerful strategy to unveil the heterogeneous nature of stem cells and their descendants. However, recent studies have reported controversial data regarding the heterogeneity of neural stem cells in the developing mouse neocortex, which prevents a decisive conclusion on this issue. Here, we review the progress that has been made using lineage-tracing analyses of the developing neocortex and discuss stem cell heterogeneity from the viewpoint of comparative and evolutionary biology.

  7. Adaptations to vision-for-action in primate brain evolution: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hecht, Erin

    2016-03-01

    As Arbib [1] notes, the two-streams hypothesis [5] has provided a powerful explanatory framework for understanding visual processing. The inferotemporal ventral stream recognizes objects and agents - ;what; one is seeing. The dorsal ;how; or ;where; stream through parietal cortex processes motion, spatial location, and visuo-proprioceptive relationships - ;vision for action.; Hickock and Poeppel's [3] extension of this model to the auditory system raises the question of deeper, multi- or supra-sensory themes in dorsal vs. ventral processing. Petrides and Pandya [10] postulate that the evolution of language may have been influenced by the fact that the dorsal stream terminates in posterior Broca's area (BA44) while the ventral stream terminates in anterior Broca's area (BA45). In an intriguing potential parallel, a recent ALE metanalysis of 54 fMRI studies found that semantic processing is located more anteriorly and superiorly than syntactic processing in Broca's area [13]. But clearly, macaques do not have language, nor other likely pre- or co-adaptations to language, such as complex imitation and tool use. What changed in the brain that enabled these functions to evolve?

  8. Identifying risk factors for brain metastasis in breast cancer patients: Implication for a vigorous surveillance program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorraine Chow

    2015-10-01

    Conclusion: Chinese breast cancer patients with brain metastasis were more likely to have high-grade tumors and negative estrogen receptor status. A more vigorous surveillance program for the central nervous system should be considered for this group of patients.

  9. Intensely Pleasurable Responses to Music Correlate with Activity in Brain Regions Implicated in Reward and Emotion

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Anne J. Blood; Robert J. Zatorre

    2001-01-01

    .... As intensity of these chills increased, cerebral blood flow increases and decreases were observed in brain regions thought to be involved in reward/motivation, emotion, and arousal, including ventral...

  10. The correlated evolution of antipredator defences and brain size in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stankowich, Theodore; Romero, Ashly N

    2017-01-11

    Mammals that possess elaborate antipredator defences such as body armour, spines and quills are usually well protected, intermediate in size, primarily insectivorous and live in simple open environments. The benefits of such defences seem clear and may relax selection on maintaining cognitive abilities that aid in vigilance and predator recognition, and their bearers may accrue extensive production and maintenance costs. Here, in this comparative phylogenetic analysis of measurements of encephalization quotient and morphological defence scores of 647 mammal species representing nearly every order, we found that as lineages evolve stronger defences, they suffer a correlated reduction in encephalization. The only exceptions were those that live in trees-a complex three-dimensional world probably requiring greater cognitive abilities. At the proximate level, because brain tissue is extremely energetically expensive to build, mammals may be trading off spending more on elaborate defences and saving by building less powerful brains. At the ultimate level, having greater defences may also reduce the need for advanced cognitive abilities for constant assessment of environmental predation risk, especially in simple open environments. © 2017 The Author(s).

  11. Radiological distribution of brain metastases and its implication for the hippocampus avoidance in whole brain radiotherapy approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yi-Min; Cai, Gang; Chai, Wei-Min; Xu, Cheng; Cao, Lu; Ou, Dan; Chen, Jia-Yi; Kirova, Youlia M

    2017-11-01

    Hippocampus avoidance in whole brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT) offers the feasibility of less-impaired cognitive function than conventional WBRT. The study aims to assess the radiological distribution of brain metastases (BMs) with relation to the hippocampus and peri-hippocampus region as defined by the RTOG 0933 for better understanding of margin definition in HA-WBRT treatment planning. Consecutive patients with diagnosis of BM from enhanced MRI between March 2011 and July 2016 were analysed. The pre-treatment T1 weighted, T2 weighted, T2 flair, three-dimensional spoiled gradient axial and contrast-enhanced axial cranial MR images of 226 patients are examined. The closest distances between the edge of hippocampus and the margin of tumours on different planes were measured. A total of 226 patients with 1080 visible metastatic sites were reviewed. The origin of the primary tumors was in 72.6% lung (n = 164), in 45 cases (19.9%) breast cancer and in 7.5% other malignancies (n = 17). There were 758 (70.2%) lesions situated beyond the tentorium. The median size of single lesion was 13.9 ± 14.7 mm. Impossible, it seems that more of the patients are with only one lesion, to verify. The hippocampus involvement was found in 3.1% (n = 7, 95% CI 0.01-0.05) within 5 mm, 5.7% (n = 13, 95% CI 0.03-0.09) within 10mm and 8.4% (n = 19, 95% CI 0.05-0.12) within 20 mm. In multivariate analysis, the number 6 BM or higher was found to be an independent risk factor for hippocampal involvement (HI) (OR: 5.2, 5.38 and 3.84 in 5, 10 and 20 mm). This radiological study found that the incidence of hippocampus involvement is low in patients with BM. HA-WBRT can be delivered under the context of complete radiological diagnosis after careful delineation, proper margin definition and individual planning optimization. Advances in knowledge: The incidence of HI in patients with initial diagnosis of BM from solid tumours impacts the radiotherapeutic decision. Our radiological data analysed the

  12. Implications of the plastid genome sequence of typha (typhaceae, poales) for understanding genome evolution in poaceae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guisinger, Mary M; Chumley, Timothy W; Kuehl, Jennifer V; Boore, Jeffrey L; Jansen, Robert K

    2010-02-01

    Plastid genomes of the grasses (Poaceae) are unusual in their organization and rates of sequence evolution. There has been a recent surge in the availability of grass plastid genome sequences, but a comprehensive comparative analysis of genome evolution has not been performed that includes any related families in the Poales. We report on the plastid genome of Typha latifolia, the first non-grass Poales sequenced to date, and we present comparisons of genome organization and sequence evolution within Poales. Our results confirm that grass plastid genomes exhibit acceleration in both genomic rearrangements and nucleotide substitutions. Poaceae have multiple structural rearrangements, including three inversions, three genes losses (accD, ycf1, ycf2), intron losses in two genes (clpP, rpoC1), and expansion of the inverted repeat (IR) into both large and small single-copy regions. These rearrangements are restricted to the Poaceae, and IR expansion into the small single-copy region correlates with the phylogeny of the family. Comparisons of 73 protein-coding genes for 47 angiosperms including nine Poaceae genera confirm that the branch leading to Poaceae has significantly accelerated rates of change relative to other monocots and angiosperms. Furthermore, rates of sequence evolution within grasses are lower, indicating a deceleration during diversification of the family. Overall there is a strong correlation between accelerated rates of genomic rearrangements and nucleotide substitutions in Poaceae, a phenomenon that has been noted recently throughout angiosperms. The cause of the correlation is unknown, but faulty DNA repair has been suggested in other systems including bacterial and animal mitochondrial genomes.

  13. Evolution in nuclear strategy in US and Russia and its implications in arms control

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sokov, N

    2003-07-01

    Today, there is a growing tendency in war-fighting scenarios to include limited use of nuclear weapons. New developments in nuclear policy could be attributed to changes in the international situation like the multiplication of low level conflicts and the threat of terrorism. This paper analyzes the evolution of the Russian nuclear doctrine, the transformation of the US nuclear policy and their consequences on arms control. (J.S.)

  14. HOX genes in the sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes: Implications for the evolution of complex body plans

    OpenAIRE

    Callaerts, Patrick; Lee, Patricia N.; Hartmann, Britta; Farfan, Claudia; Choy, Darrett W. Y.; Ikeo, Kazuho; Fischbach, Karl-Friedrich; Gehring, Walter J.; de Couet, H. Gert

    2002-01-01

    Molluscs display a rich diversity of body plans ranging from the wormlike appearance of aplacophorans to the complex body plan of the cephalopods with highly developed sensory organs, a complex central nervous system, and cognitive abilities unrivaled among the invertebrates. The aim of the current study is to define molecular parameters relevant to the developmental evolution of cephalopods by using the sepiolid squid Euprymna scolopes as a model system. Using PCR-based approaches, we identi...

  15. Catalytic vs. Inhibitory Promiscuity in Cytochrome P450s: Implications for Evolution of New Function

    OpenAIRE

    Foti, Robert S.; Honaker, Mathew; Nath, Abhinav; Pearson, Josh T.; Buttrick, Brian; Isoherranen, Nina; Atkins, William M.

    2011-01-01

    Catalytically promiscuous enzymes are intermediates in the evolution of new function from an existing pool of protein scaffolds. However, promiscuity will only confer an evolutionary advantage if other useful properties are not compromised, or if there is no ‘negative trade-off’ induced by the mutations that yield promiscuity. Therefore, identification and characterization of negative trade-offs incurred during the emergence of promiscuity is required to further develop the evolutionary model...

  16. Effects of Ethanol on Brain Extracellular Matrix: Implications for Alcohol Use Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasek, Amy W

    2016-10-01

    The brain extracellular matrix (ECM) occupies the space between cells and is involved in cell-matrix and cell-cell adhesion. However, in addition to providing structural support to brain tissue, the ECM activates cell signaling and controls synaptic transmission. The expression and activity of brain ECM components are regulated by alcohol exposure. This review will discuss what is currently known about the effects of alcohol on the activity and expression of brain ECM components. An interpretation of how these changes might promote alcohol use disorder (AUD) will be also provided. Ethanol (EtOH) exposure decreases levels of structural proteins involved in the interstitial matrix and basement membrane, with a concomitant increase in proteolytic enzymes that degrade these components. In contrast, EtOH exposure generally increases perineuronal net components. Because the ECM has been shown to regulate both synaptic plasticity and behavioral responses to drugs of abuse, regulation of the brain ECM by alcohol may be relevant to the development of alcoholism. Although investigation of the function of brain ECM in alcohol abuse is still in early stages, a greater understanding of the interplay between ECM and alcohol might lead to novel therapeutic strategies for treating AUD. Copyright © 2016 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  17. Flower morphology and pollinator dynamics in Solanum carolinense (Solanaceae): implications for the evolution of andromonoecy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quesada-Aguilar, Andrea; Kalisz, Susan; Ashman, Tia-Lynn

    2008-08-01

    Flower morphology and pollinator dynamics play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of many breeding systems, including andromonoecy. We used a series of field experiments to test the functional relationship between flower morphology and pollination dynamics (e.g., pollen receipt and export) in Solanum carolinense. We find that long-styled flowers serve primarily as pollen recipients and short-styled flowers as pollen donors, making this the first study to support the male-female interference hypothesis for the evolution of andromonoecy. However, this difference in the primary male or female function of the flowers depends on the pollinator identity. In flowers visited by Bombus impatiens, style length has a positive relationship with pollen deposition and a negative relationship with pollen removal. In contrast, neither morphological nor behavioral traits determine pollen deposition or removal by small halictid bees. We demonstrate that different pollinators could select for different floral morphologies, and thus, our research suggests that pollinator-specific interactions with flower morphology play an important role in the evolution and maintenance of anrdromonoecy.

  18. Intra-Tumor Genetic Heterogeneity in Wilms Tumor: Clonal Evolution and Clinical Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George D. Cresswell

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The evolution of pediatric solid tumors is poorly understood. There is conflicting evidence of intra-tumor genetic homogeneity vs. heterogeneity (ITGH in a small number of studies in pediatric solid tumors. A number of copy number aberrations (CNA are proposed as prognostic biomarkers to stratify patients, for example 1q+ in Wilms tumor (WT; current clinical trials use only one sample per tumor to profile this genetic biomarker. We multisampled 20 WT cases and assessed genome-wide allele-specific CNA and loss of heterozygosity, and inferred tumor evolution, using Illumina CytoSNP12v2.1 arrays, a custom analysis pipeline, and the MEDICC algorithm. We found remarkable diversity of ITGH and evolutionary trajectories in WT. 1q+ is heterogeneous in the majority of tumors with this change, with variable evolutionary timing. We estimate that at least three samples per tumor are needed to detect >95% of cases with 1q+. In contrast, somatic 11p15 LOH is uniformly an early event in WT development. We find evidence of two separate tumor origins in unilateral disease with divergent histology, and in bilateral WT. We also show subclonal changes related to differential response to chemotherapy. Rational trial design to include biomarkers in risk stratification requires tumor multisampling and reliable delineation of ITGH and tumor evolution.

  19. The Dearth of UV-bright Stars in M32: Implications for Stellar Evolution Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sweigart, Allen V.; Kimble, Randy A.; Bowers, Charles W.

    2008-01-01

    Using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, we have obtained deep far ultraviolet images of the compact elliptical galaxy M32. When combined with earlier near-ultraviolet images of the same field, these data enable the construction of an ultraviolet color-magnitude diagram of the hot horizontal branch (HB) population and other hot stars in late phases of stellar evolution. We find few post-asymptotic giant branch (PAGB) stars in the galaxy, implying that these stars either cross the HR diagram more rapidly than expected, and/or that they spend a significant fraction of their time enshrouded in circumstellar material. The predicted luminosity gap between the hot HB and its AGB-Manque (AGBM) progeny is less pronounced than expected, especially when compared to evolutionary tracks with enhanced helium abundances, implying that the presence of hot HB stars in this metal-rich population is not due to (Delta)Y/(Delta)Z greater than or approx. 4. Only a small fraction (approx. 2%) of the HB population is hot enough to produce significant UV emission, yet most of the W emission in this galaxy comes from the hot HB and AGBM stars, implying that PAGB stars are not a significant source of W emission even in those elliptical galaxies with a weak W excess. Subject headings: galaxies: evolution - galaxies: stellar content - galaxies: individual (M32) - stars: evolution - stars: horizontal branch

  20. New genus and species of the extinct aphid family Szelegiewicziidae and their implications for aphid evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegierek, Piotr; Żyła, Dagmara; Homan, Agnieszka; Cai, Chenyang; Huang, Diying

    2017-12-01

    Recently, we are witnessing an increased appreciation for the importance of the fossil record in phylogenetics and testing various evolutionary hypotheses. However, this approach brings many challenges, especially for such a complex group as aphids and requires a thorough morphological analysis of the extinct groups. The extinct aphid family Szelegiewicziidae is supposed to be one of the oviparous lineages in aphid evolution. New material from the rock fossil deposits of Shar Teg (Upper Jurassic of Mongolia), Baissa (Lower Cretaceous of Siberia-Russia), and Burmese amber (Upper Cretaceous of Myanmar) allowed us to undertake a more detailed examination of the morphological features and carry out an analysis of the taxonomical composition and evolution of the family. This led us to the conclusion that evolution of the body plan and wing structure was similar in different, often not closely related groups, probably as a result of convergence. Additionally, we present a description of a new genus and two species ( Tinaphis mongolica Żyła &Wegierek, sp. nov., and Feroorbis burmensis Wegierek & Huang, gen. et sp. nov.) that belong to this family.

  1. Catalytic versus inhibitory promiscuity in cytochrome P450s: implications for evolution of new function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foti, Robert S; Honaker, Mathew; Nath, Abhinav; Pearson, Josh T; Buttrick, Brian; Isoherranen, Nina; Atkins, William M

    2011-04-05

    Catalytically promiscuous enzymes are intermediates in the evolution of new function from an existing pool of protein scaffolds. However, promiscuity will only confer an evolutionary advantage if other useful properties are not compromised or if there is no "negative trade-off" induced by the mutations that yield promiscuity. Therefore, identification and characterization of negative trade-offs incurred during the emergence of promiscuity are required to further develop the evolutionary models and to optimize in vitro evolution. One potential negative trade-off of catalytic promiscuity is increased susceptibility to inhibition, or inhibitory promiscuity. Here we exploit cytochrome P450s (CYPs) as a model protein scaffold that spans a vast range of catalytic promiscuity and apply a quantitative index to determine the relationship between promiscuity of catalysis and promiscuity of inhibition for a series of homologues. The aim of these studies is to begin to identify properties that, in general, correlate with catalytic promiscuity, hypothetically such as inhibitory promiscuity. Interestingly, the data indicate that the potential negative trade-off of inhibitory promiscuity is nearly insignificant because even highly substrate specific CYPs have high inhibitory promiscuity, with little incremental increase in susceptibility to inhibitory interactions as the substrate promiscuity increases across the series of enzymes. In the context of evolution, inhibitory promiscuity is not an obligate negative trade-off for catalytic promiscuity.

  2. Catalytic vs. Inhibitory Promiscuity in Cytochrome P450s: Implications for Evolution of New Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foti, Robert S.; Honaker, Mathew; Nath, Abhinav; Pearson, Josh T.; Buttrick, Brian; Isoherranen, Nina; Atkins, William M.

    2011-01-01

    Catalytically promiscuous enzymes are intermediates in the evolution of new function from an existing pool of protein scaffolds. However, promiscuity will only confer an evolutionary advantage if other useful properties are not compromised, or if there is no ‘negative trade-off’ induced by the mutations that yield promiscuity. Therefore, identification and characterization of negative trade-offs incurred during the emergence of promiscuity is required to further develop the evolutionary models and to optimize in vitro evolution. One potential negative trade-off of catalytic promiscuity is increased susceptibility to inhibition, or inhibitory promiscuity. Here we exploit Cytochrome P450s (CYPs) as a model protein scaffold that spans a vast range of catalytic promiscuity, and apply a quantitative index to determine the relationship between promiscuity of catalysis and promiscuity of inhibition for a series of homologs. The aim of these studies is to begin to identify properties that, in general, correlate with catalytic promiscuity, hypothetically such as inhibitory promiscuity. Interestingly, the data indicate that the potential negative trade-off of inhibitory promiscuity is nearly insignificant because even highly substrate specific CYPs have high inhibitory promiscuity, with little incremental increase in susceptibility to inhibitory interactions as the substrate promiscuity increases across the series of enzymes. In the context of evolution, inhibitory promiscuity is not an obligate negative trade-off of catalytic promiscuity. PMID:21370922

  3. The Pricing Evolution in the Air Transportation Industry. Implication for the Romanian Tourism Sector in the Era of Globalization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreea Marin-Pantelescu

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The globalization process involves the liberalization of the services and the air transportation industry is responsive to this reality. There is a developing tendency for global alliances and strategies in major airline companies. The globalization implies extending service networks in the whole world. Currently we are witnessing lower prices for domestic and foreign airline flights with benefits for the tourists’ business and leisure activities. The last minute offers and early booking prices provide a win-win situation, for the airline companies on one side and for the customers on the other side. The positive online reviews influence people buying decision because customers are more sensitive than ever to the services prices. Under this condition it is very interesting to see the evolution of pricing in the air transportation industry and the implication for the Romanian tourism sector.

  4. Evolution of the structure of tail feathers: implications for the theory of sexual selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aparicio, José Miguel; Bonal, Raúl; Cordero, Pedro J

    2003-02-01

    Bird tails are extraordinarily variable in length and functionality. In some species, males have evolved exaggeratedly long tails as a result of sexual selection. Changes in tail length should be associated with changes in feather structure. The study of the evolution of feather structure in bird tails could give insight to understand the causes and means of evolution in relation to processes of sexual selection. In theory, three possible means of tail length evolution in relation to structural components might be expected: (1) a positive relationship between the increase in length and size of structural components maintaining the mechanical properties of the feather; (2) no relationship; that is, enlarging feather length without changes in the structural components; and (3) a negative relationship; that is, enlarging feather length by reducing structural components. These hypotheses were tested using phylogenetic analyses to examine changes in both degree of exaggeration in tail length and structural characteristics of tail feathers (rachis width and density of barbs) in 36 species, including those dimorphic and nondimorphic in tail length. The degree of sexual dimorphism in tail length was negatively correlated with both rachis width and density of barbs in males but not in females. Reinforcing this result, we found that dimorphism in tail length was negatively associated with dimorphism in tail feather structure (rachis width and density of barbs). These results support the third hypothesis, in which the evolution of long feathers occurs at the expense of making them simpler and therefore less costly to produce. However, we do not know the effects of enfeeblement on the costs of bearing. If the total costs increased, the enfeeblement of feathers could be explained as a reinforcement of the honesty of the signal. Alternatively, if total costs were reduced, the strategy could be explained by cheating processes. The study of female preferences for fragile tail

  5. Snake mitochondrial genomes: phylogenetic relationships and implications of extended taxon sampling for interpretations of mitogenomic evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Background Snake mitochondrial genomes are of great interest in understanding mitogenomic evolution because of gene duplications and rearrangements and the fast evolutionary rate of their genes compared to other vertebrates. Mitochondrial gene sequences have also played an important role in attempts to resolve the contentious phylogenetic relationships of especially the early divergences among alethinophidian snakes. Two recent innovative studies found dramatic gene- and branch-specific relative acceleration in snake protein-coding gene evolution, particularly along internal branches leading to Serpentes and Alethinophidia. It has been hypothesized that some of these rate shifts are temporally (and possibly causally) associated with control region duplication and/or major changes in ecology and anatomy. Results The near-complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of three henophidian snakes were sequenced: Anilius scytale, Rhinophis philippinus, and Charina trivirgata. All three genomes share a duplicated control region and translocated tRNALEU, derived features found in all alethinophidian snakes studied to date. The new sequence data were aligned with mt genome data for 21 other species of snakes and used in phylogenetic analyses. Phylogenetic results agreed with many other studies in recovering several robust clades, including Colubroidea, Caenophidia, and Cylindrophiidae+Uropeltidae. Nodes within Henophidia that have been difficult to resolve robustly in previous analyses remained uncompellingly resolved here. Comparisons of relative rates of evolution of rRNA vs. protein-coding genes were conducted by estimating branch lengths across the tree. Our expanded sampling revealed dramatic acceleration along the branch leading to Typhlopidae, particularly long rRNA terminal branches within Scolecophidia, and that most of the dramatic acceleration in protein-coding gene rate along Serpentes and Alethinophidia branches occurred before Anilius diverged from other

  6. The Evolution of Preemptive Strikes in Israeli Operational Planning and Future Implications for the Cyber Domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-23

    attacks and warfare within the cyber domain.154 Computer hackers use worms, trojan horses , viruses and other malicious codes to infiltrate firewalls...introduction of the Stuxnet virus as a new type of preemptive cyber-weapon will reveal practical implications of the integration of preemptive cyber...itself or act like a virus requiring a user to perform actions, such as clicking on something or opening an email attachment.38 The scope and type of

  7. Further statistical analysis for genome-wide expression evolution in primate brain/liver/fibroblast tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gu Jianying

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In spite of only a 1-2 per cent genomic DNA sequence difference, humans and chimpanzees differ considerably in behaviour and cognition. Affymetrix microarray technology provides a novel approach to addressing a long-term debate on whether the difference between humans and chimpanzees results from the alteration of gene expressions. Here, we used several statistical methods (distance method, two-sample t-tests, regularised t-tests, ANOVA and bootstrapping to detect the differential expression pattern between humans and great apes. Our analysis shows that the pattern we observed before is robust against various statistical methods; that is, the pronounced expression changes occurred on the human lineage after the split from chimpanzees, and that the dramatic brain expression alterations in humans may be mainly driven by a set of genes with increased expression (up-regulated rather than decreased expression (down-regulated.

  8. Imaging sex/gender and autism in the brain: Etiological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lai, Meng-Chuan; Lerch, Jason P; Floris, Dorothea L; Ruigrok, Amber N V; Pohl, Alexa; Lombardo, Michael V; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2017-01-02

    The male preponderance in autism prevalence has brought together the disparate topics of sex/gender and autism research. Two directions of neuroimaging studies on the relationships between sex/gender and autism may inform male-specific risk mechanisms and female-specific protective mechanisms of autism. First, we review how sex/gender moderates autism-related brain changes and how this informs general models of autism etiology. Better-powered human neuroimaging studies suggest that the brain characteristics of autism are qualitatively, rather than simply quantitatively, different between males and females. However, age and comorbidities might substantially moderate the pattern of differences. Second, we review how the relationship between autism-related brain changes (separately in males and females) and normative brain sex/gender differences informs specific etiological-developmental mechanisms. Both human and animal studies converge to indicate that the brain characteristics of autism are partly associated with normative brain sex/gender differences, suggesting convergence or overlap between the mechanisms leading to and modifying the development of autism and the mechanisms underlying sex differentiation and/or gender socialization. Future animal work needs to investigate sex differences in rodent mutants modeling autism-relevant genes and environmental exposures. Future human work needs to address the substantial phenotypic and etiological heterogeneity of autism and to focus on longitudinal neuroimaging studies (from early development) on the developmental trajectories of sex/gender-differential neural characteristics of autism. Combining animal and human work links up the causal chain from etiological factors, brain and physical development, to phenotypes. These together help delineate the different roles of sex and gender in relation to risk vs. protective mechanisms. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. A theory of marks and mind: the effect of notational systems on hominid brain evolution and child development with an emphasis on exchanges between mothers and children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Susan Rich

    2005-01-01

    A model of human language requires a theory of meaningful marks. Humans are the only species who use marks to think. A theory of marks identifies children's scribbles as significant behavior, while hypothesizing the importance of rotational systems to hominid brain evolution. By recognizing the importance of children's scribbles and drawings in developmental terms as well as in evolutionary terms, a marks-based rather than a predominantly speech-based theory of the human brain, language, and consciousness emerges. Combined research in anthropology, primatology, art history, neurology, child development (including research with deaf and blind children), gender studies and literacy suggests the importance of notational systems to human language, revealing the importance of mother/child interactions around marks and sounds to the development of an expressive, communicative, symbolic human brain. An understanding of human language is enriched by identifying marks carved on bone 1.9 million years ago as observational lunar calendar-keeping, pushing proto-literacy back dramatically. Neurologically, children recapitulate the meaningful marks of early hominins when they scribble and draw, reminding us that literacy belongs to humankind's earliest history. Even more than speech, such meaningful marks played - and continue to play - decisive roles in human brain evolution. The hominid brain required a model for integrative, transformative neural transfer. The research strongly suggests that humankind's multiple literacies (art, literature, scientific writing, mathematics and music) depended upon dyadic exchanges between hominid mothers and children, and that this exchange and sharing of visuo-spatial information drove the elaboration of human speech in terms of syntax, grammar and vocabulary. The human brain was spatial before it was linguistic. The child scribbles and draws before it speaks or writes. Children babble and scribble within the first two years of life. Hands

  10. Brain Renin-Angiotensin System and Microglial Polarization: Implications for Aging and Neurodegeneration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose L. Labandeira-Garcia

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Microglia can transform into proinflammatory/classically activated (M1 or anti-inflammatory/alternatively activated (M2 phenotypes following environmental signals related to physiological conditions or brain lesions. An adequate transition from the M1 (proinflammatory to M2 (immunoregulatory phenotype is necessary to counteract brain damage. Several factors involved in microglial polarization have already been identified. However, the effects of the brain renin-angiotensin system (RAS on microglial polarization are less known. It is well known that there is a “classical” circulating RAS; however, a second RAS (local or tissue RAS has been observed in many tissues, including brain. The locally formed angiotensin is involved in local pathological changes of these tissues and modulates immune cells, which are equipped with all the components of the RAS. There are also recent data showing that brain RAS plays a major role in microglial polarization. Level of microglial NADPH-oxidase (Nox activation is a major regulator of the shift between M1/proinflammatory and M2/immunoregulatory microglial phenotypes so that Nox activation promotes the proinflammatory and inhibits the immunoregulatory phenotype. Angiotensin II (Ang II, via its type 1 receptor (AT1, is a major activator of the NADPH-oxidase complex, leading to pro-oxidative and pro-inflammatory effects. However, these effects are counteracted by a RAS opposite arm constituted by Angiotensin II/AT2 receptor signaling and Angiotensin 1–7/Mas receptor (MasR signaling. In addition, activation of prorenin-renin receptors may contribute to activation of the proinflammatory phenotype. Aged brains showed upregulation of AT1 and downregulation of AT2 receptor expression, which may contribute to a pro-oxidative pro-inflammatory state and the increase in neuron vulnerability. Several recent studies have shown interactions between the brain RAS and different factors involved in microglial polarization

  11. Sequence tolerance of the phage lambda PRM promoter: implications for evolution of gene regulatory circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Christine B; Short, Megan D; Little, John W

    2004-12-01

    Much of the gene regulatory circuitry of phage lambda centers on a complex region called the O(R) region. This approximately 100-bp region is densely packed with regulatory sites, including two promoters and three repressor-binding sites. The dense packing of this region is likely to impose severe constraints on its ability to change during evolution, raising the question of how the specific arrangement of sites and their exact sequences could evolve to their present form. Here we ask whether the sequence of a cis-acting site can be widely varied while retaining its function; if it can, evolution could proceed by a larger number of paths. To help address this question, we developed a lambda cloning vector that allowed us to clone fragments spanning the O(R) region. By using this vector, we carried out intensive mutagenesis of the P(RM) promoter, which drives expression of CI repressor and is activated by CI itself. We made a pool of fragments in which 8 of the 12 positions in the -35 and -10 regions were randomized and cloned this pool into the vector, making a pool of P(RM) variant phage. About 10% of the P(RM) variants were able to lysogenize, suggesting that the lambda regulatory circuitry is compatible with a wide range of P(RM) sequences. Analysis of several of these phages indicated a range of behaviors in prophage induction. Several isolates had induction properties similar to those of the wild type, and their promoters resembled the wild type in their responses to CI. We term this property of different sequences allowing roughly equivalent function "sequence tolerance " and discuss its role in the evolution of gene regulatory circuitry.

  12. Coevolution of URAT1 and Uricase during Primate Evolution: Implications for Serum Urate Homeostasis and Gout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Philip K; Farrar, Jennifer E; Gaucher, Eric A; Miner, Jeffrey N

    2016-09-01

    Uric acid is the highly insoluble end-product of purine metabolism in humans. Serum levels exceeding the solubility threshold can trigger formation of urate crystals resulting in gouty arthritis. Uric acid is primarily excreted through the kidneys with 90% reabsorbed back into the bloodstream through the uric acid transporter URAT1. This reabsorption process is essential for the high serum uric acid levels found in humans. We discovered that URAT1 proteins from humans and baboons have higher affinity for uric acid compared with transporters from rats and mice. This difference in transport kinetics of URAT1 orthologs, along with inability of modern apes to oxidize uric acid due to loss of the uricase enzyme, prompted us to ask whether these events occurred concomitantly during primate evolution. Ancestral URAT1 sequences were computationally inferred and ancient transporters were resurrected and assayed, revealing that affinity for uric acid was increased during the evolution of primates. This molecular fine-tuning occurred between the origins of simians and their diversification into New- and Old-World monkey and ape lineages. Remarkably, it was driven in large-part by only a few amino acid replacements within the transporter. This alteration in primate URAT1 coincided with changes in uricase that greatly diminished the enzymatic activity and took place 27-77 Ma. These results suggest that the modifications to URAT1 transporters were potentially adaptive and that maintaining more constant, high levels of serum uric acid may have provided an advantage to our primate ancestors. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  13. The globin gene family of the cephalochordate amphioxus: implications for chordate globin evolution

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    Marden Michael C

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The lancelet amphioxus (Cephalochordata is a close relative of vertebrates and thus may enhance our understanding of vertebrate gene and genome evolution. In this context, the globins are one of the best studied models for gene family evolution. Previous biochemical studies have demonstrated the presence of an intracellular globin in notochord tissue and myotome of amphioxus, but the corresponding gene has not yet been identified. Genomic resources of Branchiostoma floridae now facilitate the identification, experimental confirmation and molecular evolutionary analysis of its globin gene repertoire. Results We show that B. floridae harbors at least fifteen paralogous globin genes, all of which reveal evidence of gene expression. The protein sequences of twelve globins display the conserved characteristics of a functional globin fold. In phylogenetic analyses, the amphioxus globin BflGb4 forms a common clade with vertebrate neuroglobins, indicating the presence of this nerve globin in cephalochordates. Orthology is corroborated by conserved syntenic linkage of BflGb4 and flanking genes. The kinetics of ligand binding of recombinantly expressed BflGb4 reveals that this globin is hexacoordinated with a high oxygen association rate, thus strongly resembling vertebrate neuroglobin. In addition, possible amphioxus orthologs of the vertebrate globin X lineage and of the myoglobin/cytoglobin/hemoglobin lineage can be identified, including one gene as a candidate for being expressed in notochord tissue. Genomic analyses identify conserved synteny between amphioxus globin-containing regions and the vertebrate β-globin locus, possibly arguing against a late transpositional origin of the β-globin cluster in vertebrates. Some amphioxus globin gene structures exhibit minisatellite-like tandem duplications of intron-exon boundaries ("mirages", which may serve to explain the creation of novel intron positions within the globin genes

  14. Importance of initial buoyancy field on evolution of mantle thermal structure: Implications of surface boundary conditions

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    Petar Glišović

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although there has been significant progress in the seismic imaging of mantle heterogeneity, the outstanding issue that remains to be resolved is the unknown distribution of mantle temperature anomalies in the distant geological past that give rise to the present-day anomalies inferred by global tomography models. To address this question, we present 3-D convection models in compressible and self-gravitating mantle initialised by different hypothetical temperature patterns. A notable feature of our forward convection modelling is the use of self-consistent coupling of the motion of surface tectonic plates to the underlying mantle flow, without imposing prescribed surface velocities (i.e., plate-like boundary condition. As an approximation for the surface mechanical conditions before plate tectonics began to operate we employ the no-slip (rigid boundary condition. A rigid boundary condition demonstrates that the initial thermally-dominated structure is preserved, and its geographical location is fixed during the evolution of mantle flow. Considering the impact of different assumed surface boundary conditions (rigid and plate-like on the evolution of thermal heterogeneity in the mantle we suggest that the intrinsic buoyancy of seven superplumes is most-likely resolved in the tomographic images of present-day mantle thermal structure. Our convection simulations with a plate-like boundary condition reveal that the evolution of an initial cold anomaly beneath the Java-Indonesian trench system yields a long-term, stable pattern of thermal heterogeneity in the lowermost mantle that resembles the present-day Large Low Shear Velocity Provinces (LLSVPs, especially below the Pacific. The evolution of subduction zones may be, however, influenced by the mantle-wide flow driven by deeply-rooted and long-lived superplumes since Archean times. These convection models also detect the intrinsic buoyancy of the Perm Anomaly that has been identified as a unique

  15. Body composition in Pan paniscus compared with Homo sapiens has implications for changes during human evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Zihlman, Adrienne L.; Bolter, Debra R.

    2015-01-01

    © 2015, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. The human body has been shaped by natural selection during the past 4-5 million years. Fossils preserve bones and teeth but lack muscle, skin, fat, and organs. To understand the evolution of the human form, information about both soft and hard tissues of our ancestors is needed. Our closest living relatives of the genus Pan provide the best comparative model to those ancestors. Here, we present data on the body composition of 13 bonob...

  16. Following The Cosmic Evolution Of Pristine Gas I: Implications For Milky Way Halo Stars

    OpenAIRE

    Sarmento, Richard; Scannapieco, Evan; Pan, Liubin

    2016-01-01

    We make use of new subgrid model of turbulent mixing to accurately follow the cosmological evolution of the first stars, the mixing of their supernova ejecta, and the impact on the chemical composition of the Galactic Halo. Using the cosmological adaptive mesh refinement code RAMSES, we implement a model for the pollution of pristine gas as described in Pan et al. Tracking the metallicity of Pop III stars with metallicities below a critical value allows us to account for the fraction of Z < Z...

  17. The Effects of Video Games on Cognition and Brain Structure: Potential Implications for Neuropsychiatric Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shams, Tahireh A; Foussias, George; Zawadzki, John A; Marshe, Victoria S; Siddiqui, Ishraq; Müller, Daniel J; Wong, Albert H C

    2015-09-01

    Video games are now a ubiquitous form of entertainment that has occasionally attracted negative attention. Video games have also been used to test cognitive function, as therapeutic interventions for neuropsychiatric disorders, and to explore mechanisms of experience-dependent structural brain changes. Here, we review current research on video games published from January 2011 to April 2014 with a focus on studies relating to mental health, cognition, and brain imaging. Overall, there is evidence that specific types of video games can alter brain structure or improve certain aspects of cognitive functioning. Video games can also be useful as neuropsychological assessment tools. While research in this area is still at a very early stage, there are interesting results that encourage further work in this field, and hold promise for utilizing this technology as a powerful therapeutic and experimental tool.

  18. Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blood, A J; Zatorre, R J

    2001-09-25

    We used positron emission tomography to study neural mechanisms underlying intensely pleasant emotional responses to music. Cerebral blood flow changes were measured in response to subject-selected music that elicited the highly pleasurable experience of "shivers-down-the-spine" or "chills." Subjective reports of chills were accompanied by changes in heart rate, electromyogram, and respiration. As intensity of these chills increased, cerebral blood flow increases and decreases were observed in brain regions thought to be involved in reward/motivation, emotion, and arousal, including ventral striatum, midbrain, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, and ventral medial prefrontal cortex. These brain structures are known to be active in response to other euphoria-inducing stimuli, such as food, sex, and drugs of abuse. This finding links music with biologically relevant, survival-related stimuli via their common recruitment of brain circuitry involved in pleasure and reward.

  19. Consciousness operates beyond the timescale for discerning time intervals: implications for Q-mind theories and analysis of quantum decoherence in brain

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev, Danko

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents in details how the subjective time is constructed by the brain cortex via reading packets of information called "time labels", produced by the right basal ganglia that act as brain timekeeper. Psychophysiological experiments have measured the subjective "time quanta" to be 40 ms and show that consciousness operates beyond that scale - an important result having profound implications for the Q-mind theory. Although in most current mainstream biophysics research on cognitive...

  20. Revalidation of the genus Chiloguembelitria Hofker: Implications for the evolution of early Danian planktonic foraminifera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenillas, Ignacio; Arz, José A.; Gilabert, Vicente

    2017-10-01

    Guembelitria is the only planktonic foraminiferal genus whose survival from the mass extinction event of the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary has been clearly proven. The evolution of Guembelitria after the K/Pg boundary led to the appearance of two guembelitriid lineages in the early Danian: one biserial, represented by Woodringina and culminating in Chiloguembelina, and the other trochospiral, represented by Trochoguembelitria and culminating in Globoconusa. We have re-examined the genus Chiloguembelitria, another guembelitriid descended from Guembelitria and whose taxonomic validity had been questioned, it being considered a junior synonym of the latter. Nevertheless, Chiloguembelitria differs from Guembelitria mainly in the wall texture (pustulate to rugose vs. pore-mounded) and the position of the aperture (umbilical-extraumbilical to extraumbilical vs. umbilical). Chiloguembelitria shares its wall texture with Trochoguembelitria and some of the earliest specimens of Woodringina, suggesting that it played an important role in the evolution of early Danian guembelitriids, as it seems to be the most immediate ancestor of both trochospiral and biserial lineages. Morphological and morphostatistical analyses of Chiloguembelitria discriminate at least five species: Chg. danica, Chg. irregularis, and three new species: Chg. hofkeri, Chg. trilobata and Chg. biseriata.

  1. Implications of an anthropic model of evolution for emergence of complex life and intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, Andrew J

    2008-02-01

    Structurally complex life and intelligence evolved late on Earth; models for the evolution of global temperature suggest that, due to the increasing solar luminosity, the future life span of the (eukaryote) biosphere will be "only" about another billion years, a short time compared to the approximately 4 Ga since life began. A simple stochastic model (Carter, 1983) suggests that this timing might be governed by the necessity to pass a small number, n, of very difficult evolutionary steps, with n Earth's history, and this is consistent with identification of the steps with some of the major transitions in the evolution of life on Earth. A complementary approach, identifying the critical steps with major reorganizations in Earth's biogeochemical cycles, suggests that the Archean-Proterozoic and Proterozoic-Phanerozoic transitions might be identified with critical steps. The success of the model lends support to a "Rare Earth" hypothesis (Ward and Brownlee, 2000): structurally complex life is separated from prokaryotes by several very unlikely steps and, hence, will be much less common than prokaryotes. Intelligence is one further unlikely step, so it is much less common still.

  2. Early Evolution of Earth's Geochemical Cycle and Biosphere: Implications for Mars Exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.; Chang, Sherwood (Technical Monitor)

    1997-01-01

    Carbon (C) has played multiple key roles for life and its environment. C has formed organics, greenhouse gases, aquatic pH buffers, redox buffers, and magmatic constituents affecting plutonism and volcanism. These roles interacted across a network of reservoirs and processes known as the biogeochemical C cycle. Changes in the cycle over geologic time were driven by increasing solar luminosity, declining planetary heat flow, and continental and biological evolution. The early Archean C cycle was dominated by hydrothermal alteration of crustal rocks and by thermal emanations of CO2 and reduced species (eg., H2, Fe(2+) and sulfides). Bioorganic synthesis was achieved by nonphotosynthetic CO2-fixing bacteria (chemoautotrophs) and, possibly, bacteria (organotrophs) utilizing any available nonbiological organic C. Responding both to abundant solar energy and to a longterm decline in thermal sources of chemical energy and reducing power, the blaspheme first developed anoxygenic photosynthesis, then, ultimately, oxygenic photosynthesis. O2-photosynthesis played a central role in transforming the ancient environment and blaspheme to the modem world. The geochemical C cycles of early Earth and Mars were quite similar. The principal differences between the modem C cycles of these planets arose during the later evolution of their heat flows, crusts, atmospheres and, perhaps, their blasphemes.

  3. Modelling the evolution of a comet subsurface: implications for 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Rosenberg, Eric D.; Prialnik, Dina; Besse, Sébastien

    2016-11-01

    Modelling the evolution of comets is a complex task aiming at providing constraints on physical processes and internal properties that are inaccessible to observations, although they could potentially bring key elements to our understanding of the origins of these primitive objects. This field has made a tremendous step forward in the post-Giotto area, owing to detailed space- and ground-based observations, as well as detailed laboratory simulations of comet nuclei. In this paper, we review studies that we believe are significant for interpreting the observations of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the ESA/Rosetta mission, and provide new calculations where needed. These studies hold a strong statistical significance, which is exactly what is needed for this comet with an orbital evolution that cannot be traced back accurately for more than hundreds of years. We show that radial and lateral differentiation may have occurred on 67P's chaotic path to the inner Solar system, and that internal inhomogeneities may result in an erratic activity pattern. Finally, we discuss the origins of circular depressions seen on several comets including 67P, and suggest that they could be considered as evidence of the past processing of subsurface layers.

  4. Time-dependent permeability evolution in compacting volcanic fracture systems and implications for gas overpressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farquharson, Jamie I.; Wadsworth, Fabian B.; Heap, Michael J.; Baud, Patrick

    2017-06-01

    Volcanic eruptions are driven by the ascent of volatile-laden magma. The capacity of a volcano system to outgas these volatiles-its permeability-controls the explosive potential, and fractures at volcanic conduit margins play a crucial role in tempering eruption explosivity by acting as outgassing pathways. However, these fractures are often filled with hot volcanic debris that welds and compacts over time, meaning that these permeable pathways have a finite lifetime. While numerous studies emphasize that permeability evolution is important for regulating pressure in shallow volcanic systems, how and when this occurs remains an outstanding question in volcanology. In this contribution, we show that different pressure evolution regimes can be expected across a range of silicic systems as a function of the width and distribution of fractures in the system, the timescales over which they can outgas (a function of depth and temperature), and the permeability of the host material. We define outgassing, diffusive relaxation, and pressure increase regimes, which are distinguished by comparing the characteristic timescales over which they operate. Moreover, we define a critical permeability threshold, which determines (in concert with characteristic timescales of diffusive mass exchange between the pore and melt phases) whether systems fracture and outgas efficiently, or if a volcano will be prone to pressure increases, incomplete healing, and explosive failure.

  5. Implications of behavioral architecture for the evolution of self-organized division of labor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Duarte

    Full Text Available Division of labor has been studied separately from a proximate self-organization and an ultimate evolutionary perspective. We aim to bring together these two perspectives. So far this has been done by choosing a behavioral mechanism a priori and considering the evolution of the properties of this mechanism. Here we use artificial neural networks to allow for a more open architecture. We study whether emergent division of labor can evolve in two different network architectures; a simple feedforward network, and a more complex network that includes the possibility of self-feedback from previous experiences. We focus on two aspects of division of labor; worker specialization and the ratio of work performed for each task. Colony fitness is maximized by both reducing idleness and achieving a predefined optimal work ratio. Our results indicate that architectural constraints play an important role for the outcome of evolution. With the simplest network, only genetically determined specialization is possible. This imposes several limitations on worker specialization. Moreover, in order to minimize idleness, networks evolve a biased work ratio, even when an unbiased work ratio would be optimal. By adding self-feedback to the network we increase the network's flexibility and worker specialization evolves under a wider parameter range. Optimal work ratios are more easily achieved with the self-feedback network, but still provide a challenge when combined with worker specialization.

  6. Mitochondrial genomes of parasitic arthropods: implications for studies of population genetics and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, R; Barker, S C

    2007-02-01

    Over 39000 species of arthropods parasitize humans, domestic animals and wildlife. Despite their medical, veterinary and economic importance, most aspects of the population genetics and evolution of the vast majority of parasitic arthropods are poorly understood. Mitochondrial genomes are a rich source of markers for studies of population genetics and evolution. These markers include (1) nucleotide sequences of each of the 37 mitochondrial genes and non-coding regions; (2) concatenated nucleotide sequences of 2 or more genes; and (3) genomic features, such as gene duplications, gene rearrangements, and changes in gene content and secondary structures of RNAs. To date, the mitochondrial genomes of over 700 species of multi-cellular animals have been sequenced entirely, however, only 24 of these species are parasitic arthropods. Of the mitochondrial genome markers, only the nucleotide sequences of 4 mitochondrial genes, cox1, cob, rrnS and rrnL, have been well explored in population genetic and evolutionary studies of parasitic arthropods whereas the sequences of the other 33 genes, and various genomic features have not. We review current knowledge of the mitochondrial genomes of parasitic arthropods, summarize applications of mitochondrial genes and genomic features in population genetic and evolutionary studies, and highlight prospects for future research.

  7. Molecular Evolution of the Infrared Sensory Gene TRPA1 in Snakes and Implications for Functional Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Ke; Zhang, Peng

    2011-01-01

    TRPA1 is a calcium ion channel protein recently identified as the infrared receptor in pit organ-containing snakes. Therefore, understanding the molecular evolution of TRPA1 may help to illuminate the origin of “heat vision” in snakes and reveal the molecular mechanism of infrared sensitivity for TRPA1. To this end, we sequenced the infrared sensory gene TRPA1 in 24 snake species, representing nine snake families and multiple non-snake outgroups. We found that TRPA1 is under strong positive selection in the pit-bearing snakes studied, but not in other non-pit snakes and non-snake vertebrates. As a comparison, TRPV1, a gene closely related to TRPA1, was found to be under strong purifying selection in all the species studied, with no difference in the strength of selection between pit-bearing snakes and non-pit snakes. This finding demonstrates that the adaptive evolution of TRPA1 specifically occurred within the pit-bearing snakes and may be related to the functional modification for detecting infrared radiation. In addition, by comparing the TRPA1 protein sequences, we identified 11 amino acid sites that were diverged in pit-bearing snakes but conserved in non-pit snakes and other vertebrates, 21 sites that were diverged only within pit-vipers but conserved in the remaining snakes. These specific amino acid substitutions may be potentially functional important for infrared sensing. PMID:22163322

  8. The First Comprehensive Phylogeny of Coptis (Ranunculaceae and Its Implications for Character Evolution and Classification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kun-Li Xiang

    Full Text Available Coptis (Ranunculaceae contains 15 species and is one of the pharmaceutically most important plant genera in eastern Asia. Understanding of the evolution of morphological characters and phylogenetic relationships within the genus is very limited. Here, we present the first comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of the genus based on two plastid and one nuclear markers. The phylogeny was reconstructed using Bayesian inference, as well as maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood methods. The Swofford-Olsen-Waddell-Hillis and Bayesian tests were used to assess the strength of the conflicts between traditional taxonomic units and those suggested by the phylogenetic inferences. Evolution of morphological characters was inferred using Bayesian method to identify synapomorphies for the infrageneric lineages. Our data recognize two strongly supported clades within Coptis. The first clade contains subgenus Coptis and section Japonocoptis of subgenus Metacoptis, supported by morphological characters, such as traits of the central leaflet base, petal color, and petal shape. The second clade consists of section Japonocoptis of subgenus Metacoptis. Coptis morii is not united with C. quinquefolia, in contrast with the view that C. morii is a synonym of C. quinquefolia. Two varieties of C. chinensis do not cluster together. Coptis groenlandica and C. lutescens are reduced to C. trifolia and C. japonica, respectively. Central leaflet base, sepal shape, and petal blade carry a strong phylogenetic signal in Coptis, while leaf type, sepal and petal color, and petal shape exhibit relatively higher levels of evolutionary flexibility.

  9. Some implications of mass extinction for the evolution of complex life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepkoski, J. J., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Extinction has the destructive effect of eliminating established lineages from an evolutionary system, and the constructive effect of vacating ecospace into which new lineages can evolve. Mass extinctions, which are times of unusually intense extinction, have been consistently followed by major radiations of new lineages. Extraterrestrial impacts associated with extinction events and a periodic recurrence of these events implicates an extraterrestrial forcing mechanism as the ultimate cause of mass extinction. This suggests that the extraplanetary environment has played an important, active role in the development of complex life on earth.

  10. The brain's shared circuits of interpersonal understanding: implications for psychoanalysis and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pally, Regina

    2010-01-01

    Social Neuroscience maintains that human survival depends on interpersonal relations, and that shared circuits evolved to enhance our ability to interact with and understand other people. Shared circuits operate by re-creating the Other’s experience in the same brain regions used for Self experience. The interpersonal understanding made possible by shared circuits is, for the most part, outside conscious awareness and plays a role in the transference-counter transference interaction. The brain mechanisms of shared circuits are presented and clinical vignettes illustrate the use of the concept of shared circuits in the clinical setting.

  11. Deep brain stimulation and ablation for obsessive compulsive disorder: evolution of contemporary indications, targets and techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tierney, Travis S; Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad M; Stanford, Arielle D; Foote, Kelly D; Okun, Michael S

    2014-06-01

    Surgical therapy for treatment-resistant obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) remains an effective option for well-selected patients managed within a multidisciplinary setting. Historically, lesions within the limbic system have been used to control both obsessive thoughts and repetitive compulsions associated with this disease. We discuss classical targets as well as contemporary neuromodulatory approaches that have been shown to provide symptomatic relief. Recently, deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the anterior limb of the internal capsule/ventral striatum received Conformité Européene (CE) mark and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals for treatment of intractable OCD. Remarkably, this is the first such approval for neurosurgical intervention in a strictly psychiatric indication in modern times. This target is discussed in detail along with alternative targets currently being proposed. We close with a discussion of gamma knife capsulotomy, a modality with deep historical roots. Further directions in the surgical treatment of OCD will require better preoperative predictors of postoperative responses, optimal selection of individualized targets, and rigorous reporting of adverse events and standardized outcomes. To meet these challenges, centers must be equipped with a multidisciplinary team and patient-centered approach to ensure adequate screening and follow up of patients with this difficult-to-treat condition.

  12. Implications of Grain Size Evolution for the Effective Stress Exponent in Ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behn, M. D.; Goldsby, D. L.; Hirth, G.

    2016-12-01

    Viscous flow in ice has typically been described by the Glen law—a non-Newtonian, power-law relationship between stress and strain-rate with a stress exponent n 3. The Glen law is attributed to grain-size-insensitive dislocation creep; however, laboratory and field studies demonstrate that deformation in ice is strongly dependent on grain size. This has led to the hypothesis that at sufficiently low stresses, ice flow is controlled by grain boundary sliding [1], which explicitly incorporates the grain-size dependence of ice rheology. Yet, neither dislocation creep (n 4), nor grain boundary sliding (n 1.8), have stress exponents that match the value of n 3 for the Glen law. Thus, although the Glen law provides an approximate description of ice flow in glaciers and ice sheets, its functional form cannot be explained by a single deformation mechanism. Here we seek to understand the origin of the n 3 dependence of the Glen law through a new model for grain-size evolution in ice. In our model, grain size evolves in response to the balance between dynamic recrystallization and grain growth. To simulate these processes we adapt the "wattmeter" [2], originally developed within the solid-Earth community to quantify grain size in crustal and mantle rocks. The wattmeter posits that grain size is controlled by a balance between the mechanical work required for grain growth and dynamic grain size reduction. The evolution of grain size in turn controls the relative contributions of dislocation creep and grain boundary sliding, and thus the effective stress exponent for ice flow. Using this approach, we first benchmark our grain size evolution model on experimental data and then calculate grain size in two end-member scenarios: (1) as a function of depth within an ice-sheet, and (2) across an ice-stream margin. We show that the calculated grain sizes match ice core observations for the interior of ice sheets. Furthermore, owing to the influence of grain size on strain rate, the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Emma S. J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. White Matter Lipids as a Ketogenic Fuel Supply in Aging Female Brain: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren P. Klosinski

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available White matter degeneration is a pathological hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's. Age remains the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's and the prevalence of age-related late onset Alzheimer's is greatest in females. We investigated mechanisms underlying white matter degeneration in an animal model consistent with the sex at greatest Alzheimer's risk. Results of these analyses demonstrated decline in mitochondrial respiration, increased mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production and cytosolic-phospholipase-A2 sphingomyelinase pathway activation during female brain aging. Electron microscopic and lipidomic analyses confirmed myelin degeneration. An increase in fatty acids and mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism machinery was coincident with a rise in brain ketone bodies and decline in plasma ketone bodies. This mechanistic pathway and its chronologically phased activation, links mitochondrial dysfunction early in aging with later age development of white matter degeneration. The catabolism of myelin lipids to generate ketone bodies can be viewed as a systems level adaptive response to address brain fuel and energy demand. Elucidation of the initiating factors and the mechanistic pathway leading to white matter catabolism in the aging female brain provides potential therapeutic targets to prevent and treat demyelinating diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Targeting stages of disease and associated mechanisms will be critical.

  16. Motor Deficits Following Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Implications for School Psychologists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Andrew S.; Moore, Brittney; Rice, Valerie; Decker, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), sometimes referred to as concussion, is one of the most common acquired neurological problems of childhood. When children return to school following mTBI, school psychologists should be actively involved in the determination of neurocognitive and functional deficits for the purpose of designing strength-based…

  17. The Implication of the Brain Insulin Receptor in Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaume Folch

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer’s disease (AD is progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by brain accumulation of the amyloid β peptide (Aβ, which form senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles (NFT and, eventually, neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment. Interestingly, epidemiological studies have described a relationship between type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM and this pathology, being one of the risk factors for the development of AD pathogenesis. Information as it is, it would point out that, impairment in insulin signalling and glucose metabolism, in central as well as peripheral systems, would be one of the reasons for the cognitive decline. Brain insulin resistance, also known as Type 3 diabetes, leads to the increase of Aβ production and TAU phosphorylation, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, protein misfolding, and cognitive impairment, which are all hallmarks of AD. Moreover, given the complexity of interlocking mechanisms found in late onset AD (LOAD pathogenesis, more data is being obtained. Recent evidence showed that Aβ42 generated in the brain would impact negatively on the hypothalamus, accelerating the “peripheral” symptomatology of AD. In this situation, Aβ42 production would induce hypothalamic dysfunction that would favour peripheral hyperglycaemia due to down regulation of the liver insulin receptor. The objective of this review is to discuss the existing evidence supporting the concept that brain insulin resistance and altered glucose metabolism play an important role in pathogenesis of LOAD. Furthermore, we discuss AD treatment approaches targeting insulin signalling using anti-diabetic drugs and mTOR inhibitors.

  18. Brain tumor delineation based on CT and MR imaging. Implications for radiotherapy treatment planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heesters, M A; Wijrdeman, H K; Struikmans, H; Witkamp, T; Moerland, M A

    1993-01-01

    This paper deals with the impact MRI may have on radiotherapy treatment planning of brain tumors. The authors analyzed differences in size and position of treatment fields as indicated by three observers (two radiotherapists and one neuroradiologist) using CT or MR based radiotherapy planning

  19. Tryptophan as an evolutionarily conserved signal to brain serotonin : Molecular evidence and psychiatric implications

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Russo, Sascha; Kema, Ido P.; Bosker, Fokko; Haavik, Jan; Korf, Jakob

    2009-01-01

    The role of serotonin (5-HT) in psychopathology has been investigated for decades. Among others, symptoms of depression, panic, aggression and suicidality have been associated with serotonergic dysfunction. Here we summarize the evidence that low brain 5-HT signals a metabolic imbalance that is

  20. Academic Brain Drain: Impact and Implications for Public Higher Education Quality in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odhiambo, George O.

    2013-01-01

    The flight of human capital is a phenomenon that has been of concern to academics and development practitioners for decades. Unfortunately, there is no systematic record of the number of skilled professionals that many African countries have continued to lose to the developed world. Termed the "brain drain", it represents the loss of…

  1. How does transcranial magnetic stimulation modify neuronal activity in the brain? Implications for studies of cognition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Siebner, Hartwig R; Hartwigsen, Gesa; Kassuba, Tanja

    2009-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) uses a magnetic field to "carry" a short lasting electrical current pulse into the brain where it stimulates neurones, particularly in superficial regions of cerebral cortex. TMS can interfere with cognitive functions in two ways. A high intensity TMS pulse...

  2. Neurobiology of the Adolescent Brain and Behavior: Implications for Substance Use Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casey, B. J.; Jones, Rebecca M.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Adolescence is a developmental period that entails substantial changes in risk-taking behavior and experimentation with alcohol and drugs. Understanding how the brain is changing during this period relative to childhood and adulthood and how these changes vary across individuals are key in predicting risk for later substance abuse and…

  3. New Brain Research on Emotion and Feeling: Dramatic Implications for Music Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimer, Bennett

    2004-01-01

    In this paper, the author concludes that the lesson for music educators is that every musical experience that is offered to students affects their brains, bodies, and feelings. In short, it changes their minds permanently, and, if educators are conscientious, it does so progressively. Such a process is called "learning." That capacity to learn, to…

  4. Brain activity in advantageous and disadvantageous situations: implications for reward/punishment sensitivity in different situations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangheng Dong

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: This study modeled win and lose trials in a simple gambling task to examine the effect of entire win-lose situations (WIN, LOSS, or TIE on single win/lose trials and related neural underpinnings. METHODS: The behavior responses and brain activities of 17 participants were recorded by an MRI scanner while they performed a gambling task. Different conditions were compared to determine the effect of the task on the behavior and brain activity of the participants. Correlations between brain activity and behavior were calculated to support the imaging results. RESULTS: In win trials, LOSS caused less intense posterior cingulate activity than TIE. In lose trials, LOSS caused more intense activity in the right superior temporal gyrus, bilateral superior frontal gyrus, bilateral anterior cingulate, bilateral insula cortex, and left orbitofrontal cortex than WIN and TIE. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of the participants in win trials showed great similarity among different win-lose situations. However, the brain activity and behavior responses of the participants in lose trials indicated that they experienced stronger negative emotion in LOSS. The participants also showed an increased desire to win in LOSS than in WIN or TIE conditions.

  5. Sources and implications of whole-brain fMRI signals in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Jonathan D; Plitt, Mark; Laumann, Timothy O; Martin, Alex

    2017-02-01

    Whole-brain fMRI signals are a subject of intense interest: variance in the global fMRI signal (the spatial mean of all signals in the brain) indexes subject arousal, and psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and autism have been characterized by differences in the global fMRI signal. Further, vigorous debates exist on whether global signals ought to be removed from fMRI data. However, surprisingly little research has focused on the empirical properties of whole-brain fMRI signals. Here we map the spatial and temporal properties of the global signal, individually, in 1000+ fMRI scans. Variance in the global fMRI signal is strongly linked to head motion, to hardware artifacts, and to respiratory patterns and their attendant physiologic changes. Many techniques used to prepare fMRI data for analysis fail to remove these uninteresting kinds of global signal fluctuations. Thus, many studies include, at the time of analysis, prominent global effects of yawns, breathing changes, and head motion, among other signals. Such artifacts will mimic dynamic neural activity and will spuriously alter signal covariance throughout the brain. Methods capable of isolating and removing global artifactual variance while preserving putative "neural" variance are needed; this paper adopts no position on the topic of global signal regression. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  6. Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation after Brain Damage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.; Jones, Theresa A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reviews 10 principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity and considerations in applying them to the damaged brain. Method: Neuroscience research using a variety of models of learning, neurological disease, and trauma are reviewed from the perspective of basic neuroscientists but in a manner intended to be useful for the…

  7. Vitamins and nutrients as primary treatments in experimental brain injury: Clinical implications for nutraceutical therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vonder Haar, Cole; Peterson, Todd C; Martens, Kris M; Hoane, Michael R

    2016-06-01

    With the numerous failures of pharmaceuticals to treat traumatic brain injury in humans, more researchers have become interested in combination therapies. This is largely due to the multimodal nature of damage from injury, which causes excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, edema, neuroinflammation and cell death. Polydrug treatments have the potential to target multiple aspects of the secondary injury cascade, while many previous therapies focused on one particular aspect. Of specific note are vitamins, minerals and nutrients that can be utilized to supplement other therapies. Many of these have low toxicity, are already FDA approved and have minimal interactions with other drugs, making them attractive targets for therapeutics. Over the past 20 years, interest in supplementation and supraphysiologic dosing of nutrients for brain injury has increased and indeed many vitamins and nutrients now have a considerable body of the literature backing their use. Here, we review several of the prominent therapies in the category of nutraceutical treatment for brain injury in experimental models, including vitamins (B2, B3, B6, B9, C, D, E), herbs and traditional medicines (ginseng, Gingko biloba), flavonoids, and other nutrients (magnesium, zinc, carnitine, omega-3 fatty acids). While there is still much work to be done, several of these have strong potential for clinical therapies, particularly with regard to polydrug regimens. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI:Brain injury and recovery. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. White Matter Lipids as a Ketogenic Fuel Supply in Aging Female Brain: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klosinski, Lauren P; Yao, Jia; Yin, Fei; Fonteh, Alfred N; Harrington, Michael G; Christensen, Trace A; Trushina, Eugenia; Brinton, Roberta Diaz

    2015-12-01

    White matter degeneration is a pathological hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's. Age remains the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's and the prevalence of age-related late onset Alzheimer's is greatest in females. We investigated mechanisms underlying white matter degeneration in an animal model consistent with the sex at greatest Alzheimer's risk. Results of these analyses demonstrated decline in mitochondrial respiration, increased mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production and cytosolic-phospholipase-A2 sphingomyelinase pathway activation during female brain aging. Electron microscopic and lipidomic analyses confirmed myelin degeneration. An increase in fatty acids and mitochondrial fatty acid metabolism machinery was coincident with a rise in brain ketone bodies and decline in plasma ketone bodies. This mechanistic pathway and its chronologically phased activation, links mitochondrial dysfunction early in aging with later age development of white matter degeneration. The catabolism of myelin lipids to generate ketone bodies can be viewed as a systems level adaptive response to address brain fuel and energy demand. Elucidation of the initiating factors and the mechanistic pathway leading to white matter catabolism in the aging female brain provides potential therapeutic targets to prevent and treat demyelinating diseases such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Targeting stages of disease and associated mechanisms will be critical.

  9. Implications of astrocytes in mediating the protective effects of Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators upon brain damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George E. Barreto

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs are steroidal or non-steroidal compounds that are already used in clinical practice for the treatment of breast cancer, osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms. While SERMs actions in the breast, bone, and uterus have been well characterized, their actions in the brain are less well understood. Previous works have demonstrated the beneficial effects of SERMs in different chronic neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Parkinson’s disease and Multiple sclerosis, as well as acute degeneration as stroke and traumatic brain injury. Moreover, these compounds exhibit similar protective actions as those of estradiol in the Central Nervous System, overt any secondary effect. For these reasons, in the past few years, there has been a growing interest in the neuroprotective effects exerted directly or indirectly by SERMs in the SNC. In this context, astrocytes play an important role in the maintenance of brain metabolism, and antioxidant support to neurons, thus indicating that better protection of astrocytes are an important asset targeting neuronal protection. Moreover, various clinical and experimental studies have reported that astrocytes are essential for the neuroprotective effects of SERMs during neuronal injuries, as these cells express different estrogen receptors in cell membrane, demonstrating that part of SERMs effects upon injury may be mediated by astrocytes. The present work highlights the current evidence on the protective mechanisms of SERMs, such as tamoxifen and raloxifene, in the SNC, and their modulation of astrocytic properties as promising therapeutic targets during brain damage.

  10. Brain Cancer Stem Cells in Adults and Children: Cell Biology and Therapeutic Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abou-Antoun, Tamara J; Hale, James S; Lathia, Justin D; Dombrowski, Stephen M

    2017-04-01

    Brain tumors represent some of the most malignant cancers in both children and adults. Current treatment options target the majority of tumor cells but do not adequately target self-renewing cancer stem cells (CSCs). CSCs have been reported to resist the most aggressive radiation and chemotherapies, and give rise to recurrent, treatment-resistant secondary malignancies. With advancing technologies, we now have a better understanding of the genetic, epigenetic and molecular signatures and microenvironmental influences which are useful in distinguishing between distinctly different tumor subtypes. As a result, efforts are now underway to identify and target CSCs within various tumor subtypes based on this foundation. This review discusses progress in CSC biology as it relates to targeted therapies which may be uniquely different between pediatric and adult brain tumors. Studies to date suggest that pediatric brain tumors may benefit more from genetic and epigenetic targeted therapies, while combination treatments aimed specifically at multiple molecular pathways may be more effective in treating adult brain tumors which seem to have a greater propensity towards microenvironmental interactions. Ultimately, CSC targeting approaches in combination with current clinical therapies have the potential to be more effective owing to their ability to compromise CSCs maintenance and the mechanisms which underlie their highly aggressive and deadly nature.

  11. The saltiness of the sea breaks DNA in marine invertebrates: possible implications for animal evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dmitrieva, Natalia I; Ferraris, Joan D; Norenburg, Jon L; Burg, Maurice B

    2006-06-01

    More than 97 percent of the world's water is ocean and its average osmolality of 1000 mosmol/kg is much higher than the 300 mosmol/kg found in most of the intercellular fluids of vertebrates. Many marine invertebrates are osmoconformers, meaning that the osmolality of their extracellular fluid is the same as that of seawater. We report here that marine invertebrates from diverse phyla have numerous DNA breaks in their cells while they are exposed to normal seawater containing high NaCl, but that the DNA breaks decrease or disappear when the animals are acclimated to the same water diluted to 300 mosmol/kg. We speculate that, since DNA breaks cause mutations, salinity might have important background effects on the rate and course of evolution.

  12. The Implications of the Working Memory Model for the Evolution of Modern Cognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Wynn

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available What distinguishes the cognition of biologically modern humans from that of more archaic populations such as Neandertals? The norm in paleoanthropology has been to emphasize the role of language and symbolism. But the modern mind is more than just an archaic mind enhanced by symbol use. It also possesses an important problem solving and planning component. In cognitive neuroscience these advanced planning abilities have been extensively investigated through a formal model known as working memory. The working memory model is now well-enough established to provide a powerful lens through which paleoanthropologists can view the fossil and archaeological records. The challenge is methodological. The following essay reviews the controversial hypothesis that a recent enhancement of working memory capacity was the final piece in the evolution of modern cognition.

  13. Implications from Luna 24 sample 24170 to U-Pb evolution in the lunar mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unruh, D. M.; Tatsumoto, M.

    1978-01-01

    The concentrations of U, Th and Pb, as well as the Pb isotopic composition, have been determined for a Luna 24 sample from the Mare Crisium area. A relatively recent disturbance to the U-Pb system during meteorite impact or burial in hot ejecta is suggested by the findings. According to three-stage U-Pb evolution model calculations, the source cumulates of the Luna 24 basalt evolved in a U-238/Pb-204 environment much lower than that of the Apollo mare basalts. A laterally heterogeneous lunar magma ocean, U-Pb fractionation during cumulate formation, and/or lack of KREEP addition to the Luna 24 basalt are also reflected in the calculations.

  14. Mass Balance Evolution of Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, 1980–2100, and Its Implications for Surge Recurrence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Kienholz

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Surge-type Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, has undergone strong retreat since it last surged in 1936–1937. To assess its evolution during the late Twentieth and Twenty-first centuries and determine potential implications for surge likelihood, we run a simplified glacier model over the periods 1980–2015 (hindcasting and 2015–2100 (forecasting. The model is forced by daily temperature and precipitation fields, with downscaled reanalysis data used for the hindcasting. A constant climate scenario and an RCP 8.5 scenario based on the GFDL-CM3 climate model are employed for the forecasting. Debris evolution is accounted for by a debris layer time series derived from satellite imagery (hindcasting and a parametrized debris evolution model (forecasting. A retreat model accounts for the evolution of the glacier geometry. Model calibration, validation and parametrization rely on an extensive set of in situ and remotely sensed observations. To explore uncertainties in our projections, we run the glacier model in a Monte Carlo fashion, varying key model parameters and input data within plausible ranges. Our results for the hindcasting period indicate a negative mass balance trend, caused by atmospheric warming in the summer, precipitation decrease in the winter and surface elevation lowering (climate-elevation feedback, which exceed the moderating effects from increasing debris cover and glacier retreat. Without the 2002 rockslide deposits on Black Rapids' lower reaches, the mass balances would be more negative, by ~20% between the 2003 and 2015 mass-balance years. Despite its retreat, Black Rapids Glacier is substantially out of balance with the current climate. By 2100, ~8% of Black Rapids' 1980 area are projected to vanish under the constant climate scenario and ~73% under the RCP 8.5 scenario. For both scenarios, the remaining glacier portions are out of balance, suggesting continued retreat after 2100. Due to mass starvation, a surge in the Twenty

  15. Mass balance evolution of Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, 1980-2100, and its implications for surge recurrence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kienholz, Christian; Hock, Regine; Truffer, Martin; Bieniek, Peter; Lader, Richard

    2017-07-01

    Surge-type Black Rapids Glacier, Alaska, has undergone strong retreat since it last surged in 1936-37. To assess its evolution during the late 20th and 21st centuries and determine potential implications for surge likelihood, we run a simplified glacier model over the periods 1980-2015 (hindcasting) and 2015-2100 (forecasting). The model is forced by daily temperature and precipitation fields, with downscaled reanalysis data used for the hindcasting. A constant climate scenario and an RCP 8.5 scenario based on the GFDL-CM3 climate model are employed for the forecasting. Debris evolution is accounted for by a debris layer time series derived from satellite imagery (hindcasting) and a parametrized debris evolution model (forecasting). A retreat model accounts for the evolution of the glacier geometry. Model calibration, validation and parametrization rely on an extensive set of in situ and remotely sensed observations. To explore uncertainties in our projections, we run the glacier model in a Monte Carlo fashion, varying key model parameters and input data within plausible ranges. Our results for the hindcasting period indicate a negative mass balance trend, caused by atmospheric warming in the summer, precipitation decrease in the winter and surface elevation lowering (climate-elevation feedback), which exceed the moderating effects from increasing debris cover and glacier retreat. Without the 2002 rockslide deposits on Black Rapids' lower reaches, the mass balances would be more negative, by 20% between the 2003 and 2015 mass-balance years. Despite its retreat, Black Rapids Glacier is substantially out of balance with the current climate. By 2100, 8% of Black Rapids' 1980 area are projected to vanish under the constant climate scenario and 73% under the RCP 8.5 scenario. For both scenarios, the remaining glacier portions are out of balance, suggesting continued retreat after 2100. Due to mass starvation, a surge in the 21st century is unlikely. The projected

  16. Prolonged survival after diagnosis of brain metastasis from breast cancer: contributing factors and treatment implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Yayoi; Aruga, Tomoyuki; Yamashita, Toshinari; Miyamoto, Hiromi; Horiguchi, Kazumi; Kitagawa, Dai; Idera, Nami; Goto, Risa; Kuroi, Katsumasa

    2015-08-01

    The prognosis of breast cancer-derived brain metastasis is poor, but new drugs and recent therapeutic strategies have helped extend survival in patients. Prediction of therapeutic responses and outcomes is not yet possible, however. In a retrospective study, we examined prognostic factors in patients with breast cancer-derived brain metastasis, and we tested the prognostic utility of a breast cancer-specific Graded Prognostic Assessment in these patients. Sixty-three patients diagnosed with brain metastasis from breast cancer treated surgically and adjuvantly were included. We examined clinical variables per primary tumor subtype: ER+/HER2- (luminal), HER2+ (human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2-enriched) or ER-/PR-/HER2- (triple negative). We also categorized patients' breast cancer-specific Graded Prognostic Assessment scores and analyzed post-brain metastasis survival time in relation to these categories. The breast cancers comprised the following subtypes: luminal, n = 18; human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2-enriched, n = 27 and triple-negative, n = 18; median survival per subtype was 11, 37 and 3 months, respectively. Survival of human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2-enriched patients was longer, though not significantly (P = 0.188), than that of luminal patients. Survival of triple-negative patients was significantly short (vs. human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2-enriched patients, P cancer-specific Graded Prognostic Assessment scores reflected disease-free intervals and survival times. Our data indicate that breast cancer-specific Graded Prognostic Assessment-based prediction will be helpful in determining appropriate therapeutic strategies for patients with brain metastasis from breast cancer. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Evolution of organic aerosol mass spectra upon heating: implications for OA phase and partitioning behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cappa, C. D.; Wilson, K. R.

    2011-03-01

    Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) photoionization mass spectrometry has been used to measure the evolution of chemical composition for two distinct organic aerosol types as they are passed through a thermodenuder at different temperatures. The two organic aerosol types considered are primary lubricating oil (LO) aerosol and secondary aerosol from the α-pinene + O3 reaction (αP). The evolution of the VUV mass spectra for the two aerosol types with temperature are observed to differ dramatically. For LO particles, the spectra exhibit distinct changes with temperature in which the lower m/z peaks, corresponding to compounds with higher vapor pressures, disappear more rapidly than the high m/z peaks. In contrast, the αP aerosol spectrum is essentially unchanged by temperature even though the particles experience significant mass loss due to evaporation. The variations in the LO spectra are found to be quantitatively in agreement with expectations from absorptive partitioning theory whereas the αP spectra suggest that the evaporation of αP derived aerosol appears to not be governed by partitioning theory. We postulate that this difference arises from diffusivity within the αP particles being sufficiently slow that they do not exhibit the expected liquid-like behavior and perhaps exist in a glassy state. To reconcile these observations with decades of aerosol growth measurements, which indicate that OA formation is described by equilibrium partitioning, we present a conceptual model wherein the secondary OA is formed and then rapidly converted from an absorbing form to a non-absorbing form. The results suggest that, although OA growth may be describable by equilibrium partitioning theory, the properties of organic aerosol once formed may differ significantly from the properties determined in the equilibrium framework.

  18. Giant buried sediment mounds on the Western Saharan margin (NW Africa): Origin, evolution and paleoceanographic implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Krastel, Sebastian; Alves, Tiago M.; Rebesco, Michele; Georgiopoulou, Aggeliki; Gross, Felix

    2017-04-01

    Newly acquired 2D multi-channel seismic profiles along the Western Sahara margin, offshore NW Africa, reveal three giant, buried sediment mounds separated by broad troughs. These sediment mounds are at least 24 to 37 km-long, 12 to 17 km-wide and up to 1 km in height, showing an elongated geometry with a SE-NW orientation perpendicular to the continental margin. The evolution of the sediment mounds can be divided into three different stages: a) initial growth stage during Middle Eocene, b) main growth stage during Early Miocene and, c) maintenance stage during Middle Miocene. The sediment mounds were initiated on a Middle Eocene regional unconformity documenting a widespread canyon incision. After the Oligocene erosional events, the formation of the sediment mounds was intensified in the Early Miocene under the interaction of turbidity and contour currents. They halted at the Middle/Late Miocene boundary, at a widespread erosional event. Slope failures occurred frequently on the flanks of the sediments mounds and the upper slope, and resulting mass-transport deposits (MTDs) filled the troughs and deposited further downslope. Our analysis is important because the termination of the sediment mounds at the Middle-Late Miocene boundary marked a time interval when major palaeoceanographic changes occurred, and new depositional patterns were established along NW Africa. The identification of the sediment mounds are also ideal recorders for the initiation, intensification and evolution of bottom currents along the Western Saharan margin and further suggest that bottom currents have been capable of affecting slope deposition since the Middle Eocene.

  19. Evolution of organic aerosol mass spectra upon heating: implications for OA phase and partitioning behavior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    UC Davis; Cappa, Christopher D.; Wilson, Kevin R.

    2010-10-28

    Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) photoionization mass spectrometry has been used to measure the evolution of chemical composition for two distinct organic aerosol types as they are passed through a thermodenuder at different temperatures. The two organic aerosol types considered are primary lubricating oil (LO) aerosol and secondary aerosol from the alpha-pinene + O3 reaction (alphaP). The evolution of the VUV mass spectra for the two aerosol types with temperature are observed to differ dramatically. For LO particles, the spectra exhibit distinct changes with temperature in which the lower m/z peaks, corresponding to compounds with higher vapor pressures, disappear more rapidly than the high m/z peaks. In contrast, the alphaP aerosol spectrum is essentially unchanged by temperature even though the particles experience significant mass loss due to evaporation. The variations in the LO spectra are found to be quantitatively in agreement with expectations from absorptive partitioning theory whereas the alphaP spectra suggest that the evaporation of alphaP derived aerosol appears to not be governed by partitioning theory. We postulate that this difference arises from the alphaP particles existing as in a glassy state instead of having the expected liquid-like behavior. To reconcile these observations with decades of aerosol growth measurements, which indicate that OA formation is described by equilibrium partitioning, we present a conceptual model wherein the secondary OA is formed and then rapidly converted from an absorbing form to a non-absorbing form. The results suggest that although OA growth may be describable by equilibrium partitioning theory, the properties of organic aerosol once formed may differ significantly from the properties determined in the equilibrium framework.

  20. A model for damage load and its implications for the evolution of bacterial aging.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Chao

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Deleterious mutations appearing in a population increase in frequency until stopped by natural selection. The ensuing equilibrium creates a stable frequency of deleterious mutations or the mutational load. Here I develop the comparable concept of a damage load, which is caused by harmful non-heritable changes to the phenotype. A damage load also ensues when the increase of damage is opposed by selection. The presence of a damage load favors the evolution of asymmetrical transmission of damage by a mother to her daughters. The asymmetry is beneficial because it increases fitness variance, but it also leads to aging or senescence. A mathematical model based on microbes reveals that a cell lineage dividing symmetrically is immortal if lifetime damage rates do not exceed a threshold. The evolution of asymmetry allows the lineage to persist above the threshold, but the lineage becomes mortal. In microbes with low genomic mutation rates, it is likely that the damage load is much greater than the mutational load. In metazoans with higher genomic mutation rates, the damage and the mutational load could be of the same magnitude. A fit of the model to experimental data shows that Escherichia coli cells experience a damage rate that is below the threshold and are immortal under the conditions examined. The model estimates the asymmetry level of E. coli to be low but sufficient for persisting at higher damage rates. The model also predicts that increasing asymmetry results in diminishing fitness returns, which may explain why the bacterium has not evolved higher asymmetry.

  1. The Evolution of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following Moderate-to-Severe Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alway, Yvette; Gould, Kate Rachel; McKay, Adam; Johnston, Lisa; Ponsford, Jennie

    2016-05-01

    Increasing evidence indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may develop following traumatic brain injury (TBI), despite most patients having no conscious memory of their accident. This prospective study examined the frequency, timing of onset, symptom profile, and trajectory of PTSD and its psychiatric comorbidities during the first 4 years following moderate-to-severe TBI. Participants were 85 individuals (78.8% male) with moderate or severe TBI recruited following admission to acute rehabilitation between 2005 and 2010. Using the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Disorders (SCID-I), participants were evaluated for pre- and post-injury PTSD soon after injury and reassessed at 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 3 years, and 4 years post-injury. Over the first 4 years post-injury, 17.6% developed injury-related PTSD, none of whom had PTSD prior to injury. PTSD onset peaked between 6 and 12 months post-injury. The majority of PTSD cases (66.7%) had a delayed-onset, which for a third was preceded by subsyndromal symptoms in the first 6 months post-injury. PTSD frequency increased over the first year post-injury, remained stable during the second year, and gradually declined thereafter. The majority of subjects with PTSD experienced a chronic symptom course and all developed one or more than one comorbid psychiatric disorder, with mood, other anxiety, and substance-use disorders being the most common. Despite event-related amnesia, post-traumatic stress symptoms, including vivid re-experiencing phenomena, may develop following moderate-to-severe TBI. Onset is typically delayed and symptoms may persist for several years post-injury.

  2. Postradiosurgery hemorrhage rates of arteriovenous malformations of the brain: influencing factors and evolution with time.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkhutik, Vera; Lago, Aida; Tembl, José Ignacio; Vázquez, Juan Francisco; Aparici, Fernando; Mainar, Esperanza; Vázquez, Víctor

    2012-05-01

    The long-term benefit of radiosurgery of brain arteriovenous malformations (AVM), especially nonhemorrhagic cases, is controversial. We calculated hemorrhage rates pre- and posttreatment and analyzed the risk factors for bleeding based on cases followed at our site. One hundred eight patients, age 36 ± 17 years, 56 men. The mean follow-up was 65 ± 44 months (median, 54; interquartile range, 33-94). Most AVMs were small (74.1% <3 cm in diameter); 48.1% were located in an eloquent area, 27.8% had deep drainage, and 39.8% presented with hemorrhage. The annual hemorrhage rate for any undiagnosed AVM was 1.2%, and 3.3% for AVMs with hemorrhagic presentation. Older patients, cortical or subcortical AVMs, and cases with multiple draining veins were less likely to present with bleeding. During the first 36 months postradiosurgery, hemorrhagic AVMs had a rebleeding rate of 2.1%, and a rate of 1.1% from 3 years onwards. Nonhemorrhagic AVMs had a hemorrhage rate of 1.4% during the first 3 years and 0.3% afterward. Arterial hypertension and nidus volume were independent predictors of bleeding after treatment. Mean nidus obliteration time was 37 ± 18 months (median, 32; interquartile range, 25-40), with hemorrhage rate of 1.3% before and 0.6% after obliteration, and 1.9% for AVMs that were not closed at the end of follow-up. Both hemorrhagic and nonhemorrhagic AVMs benefit from radiosurgical therapy, with gradual decrease in their bleeding rates over the years. Albeit small, the risk of hemorrhage persists during the entirety of follow-up, being higher for cases with hemorrhagic presentation and nonobliterated AVM.

  3. Cyclic vomiting syndrome: evolution in our understanding of a brain-gut disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, B U; Balint, J P

    2000-01-01

    Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS) remains a mysterious disorder despite our increasing knowledge since its classic description by Gee in 1882. Its hallmark feature of recurrent, explosive bouts of vomiting punctuating periods of normal health causes substantial medical morbidity (50% of patients require intravenous therapy), as well as significant time lost from school (20 school absences per year) and work. Limited epidemiologic data indicate that CVS may occur more commonly than previously thought, affecting as many as 1.9% of school-aged children. Besides the relentless vomiting, the child usually has pallor (87%), lethargy (91%), anorexia (74%), nausea (72%), and abdominal pain (80%). There is evidence of clinical and physiologic overlap among CVS, abdominal migraine, and migraine headaches. We propose revised criteria for abdominal migraine that include pain as the predominant and consistent symptom, lack of abnormal screening tests, and in retrospect, either subsequent development of migraines or positive response to antimigraine medication. Besides migraines, other etiologic possibilities include mitochondrial DNA mutations, ion channelopathies, excessive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, and heightened autonomic reactivity. The differential diagnosis includes idiopathic CVS (88%); gastrointestinal disorders (7%), including serious surgical disorders (e.g., malrotation); and extraintestinal disorders (5%), including serious surgical (brain stem neoplasm) and metabolic disorders (e.g., fatty acid oxidation disorder). Within the idiopathic group, there may be migraine, Sato's neuroendocrine, mitochondrial, and other subgroups. Treatment includes avoidance of triggers, prophylactic medication, supportive care, abortive medication, and family support. In the future, investigation into mitochondrial DNA mutations, ion channel defects, corticotropin-releasing factor, and serotonin and tachykinin receptor physiology and pharmacology may help discover the

  4. Origins of adult pigmentation: diversity in pigment stem cell lineages and implications for pattern evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parichy, David M; Spiewak, Jessica E

    2015-01-01

    Teleosts comprise about half of all vertebrate species and exhibit an extraordinary diversity of adult pigment patterns that function in shoaling, camouflage, and mate choice and have played important roles in speciation. Here, we review studies that have identified several distinct neural crest lineages, with distinct genetic requirements, that give rise to adult pigment cells in fishes. These lineages include post-embryonic, peripheral nerve-associated stem cells that generate black melanophores and iridescent iridophores, cells derived directly from embryonic neural crest cells that generate yellow-orange xanthophores, and bipotent stem cells that generate both melanophores and xanthophores. This complexity in adult chromatophore lineages has implications for our understanding of adult traits, melanoma, and the evolutionary diversification of pigment cell lineages and patterns. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology after in utero repair of open neural tube defects assessed by MRI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rethmann, Christin; Scheer, Ianina; Kellenberger, Christian Johannes [University Children' s Hospital Zurich, Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Zurich (Switzerland); University of Zurich, The Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Zurich (Switzerland); Children' s Research Center (CRC), Zurich (Switzerland); Meuli, Martin; Mazzone, Luca; Moehrlen, Ueli [University of Zurich, The Zurich Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy, Zurich (Switzerland); Children' s Research Center (CRC), Zurich (Switzerland); University Children' s Hospital Zurich, Department of Pediatric Surgery, Zurich (Switzerland)

    2017-11-15

    To describe characteristics of foetuses undergoing in utero repair of open neural tube defects (ONTD) and assess postoperative evolution of posterior fossa and brain morphology. Analysis of pre- and postoperative foetal as well as neonatal MRI of 27 foetuses who underwent in utero repair of ONTD. Type and level of ONTD, hindbrain configuration, posterior fossa and liquor space dimensions, and detection of associated findings were compared between MRI studies and to age-matched controls. Level of bony spinal defect was defined with exactness of ± one vertebral body. Of surgically confirmed 18 myelomeningoceles (MMC) and 9 myeloschisis (MS), 3 MMC were misdiagnosed as MS due to non-visualisation of a flat membrane on MRI. Hindbrain herniation was more severe in MS than MMC (p < 0.001). After repair, hindbrain herniation resolved in 25/27 cases at 4 weeks and liquor spaces increased. While posterior fossa remained small (p < 0.001), its configuration normalised. Lateral ventricle diameter indexed to cerebral width decreased in 48% and increased in 12% of cases, implying a low rate of progressive obstructive hydrocephalus. Neonatally evident subependymal heterotopias were detected in 33% at preoperative and 50% at postoperative foetal MRI. MRI demonstrates change of Chiari malformation type II (CM-II) features. (orig.)

  6. Rainfall events as landslide triggers - implications for the evolution of the SW-German cuesta landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blöthe, Jan Henrik; Götz, Joachim; Berger, Hannah; Jäger, Daniel

    2017-04-01

    The cuesta landscape of southwestern Germany (Swabian Alb) is characterized by layered sedimentary rocks (Jurassic) of variable strength. Due to this geologic preconditioning, where porous limestone (Malm) is underlain by impermeable claystone (Dogger), and the deeply incised valleys of the Rhine river system, landslides play an important role in the landscape evolution of the region, continually eroding the slopes of the Swabian Alb and displacing the escarpment further backwards. One of the largest (well documented) landslides happened in April 1983, when an estimated volume of 6 x 106 m3 (˜0.5 x 106 m2) was mobilized at the Hirschkopf close to Mössingen, after 1/3 of the mean annual precipitation was delivered in only a few days. The historic record holds further evidence of at least four landslides of similar size (>0.25 x 106 m2) in the past 250 years, most of which have been attributed to high-intensity and/or long-duration precipitation events. During summer 2013, at least eight landslides have been initiated in the vicinity (period before these events was very wet, suggesting that high-intensity and/or long-duration precipitation plays a key role in the evolution of the SW German cuesta landscape. We take this opportunity to a) quantify the volume of material mobilized during the events and b) to estimate the sediment output from the affected catchments. By comparing post-event digital elevation models (DEMs) obtained from UAV/SfM and TLS surveys with a pre-event DEM (ALS), we estimate that at least 2.5 x 106 m3have been mobilized by these landslides, with the largest of them accounting for >1 x 106 m3 of material. Assessing data from more than 20 rainfall stations in the region (<40 km distance) reveals the June 2013 precipitation to exceed the 95th percentile of the past decade by far, in six locations constituting the maximum of the ten-year record. Preliminary results of suspended sediment export that we estimate from sediment-discharge rating curves

  7. Evolution of genomic imprinting with biparental care: implications for Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes.

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    Francisco Ubeda

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The term "imprinted gene" refers to genes whose expression is conditioned by their parental origin. Among theories to unravel the evolution of genomic imprinting, the kinship theory prevails as the most widely accepted, because it sheds light on many aspects of the biology of imprinted genes. While most assumptions underlying this theory have not escaped scrutiny, one remains overlooked: mothers are the only source of parental investment in mammals. But, is it reasonable to assume that fathers' contribution of resources is negligible? It is not in some key mammalian orders including humans. In this research, I generalize the kinship theory of genomic imprinting beyond maternal contribution only. In addition to deriving new conditions for the evolution of imprinting, I have found that the same gene may show the opposite pattern of expression when the investment of one parent relative to the investment of the other changes; the reversion, interestingly, does not require that fathers contribute more resources than mothers. This exciting outcome underscores the intimate connection between the kinship theory and the social structure of the organism considered. Finally, the insight gained from my model enabled me to explain the clinical phenotype of Prader-Willi syndrome. This syndrome is caused by the paternal inheritance of a deletion of the PWS/AS cluster of imprinted genes in human Chromosome 15. As such, children suffering from this syndrome exhibit a striking biphasic phenotype characterized by poor sucking and reduced weight before weaning but by voracious appetite and obesity after weaning. Interest in providing an evolutionary explanation to such phenotype is 2-fold. On the one hand, the kinship theory has been doubted as being able to explain the symptoms of patients with Prader-Willi. On the other hand, the post-weaning symptoms remain as one of the primary concern of pediatricians treating children with Prader-Willi. In this research, I

  8. JC Polyomavirus Abundance and Distribution in Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML Brain Tissue Implicates Myelin Sheath in Intracerebral Dissemination of Infection.

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    Keith A Wharton

    Full Text Available Over half of adults are seropositive for JC polyomavirus (JCV, but rare individuals develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML, a demyelinating JCV infection of the central nervous system. Previously, PML was primarily seen in immunosuppressed patients with AIDS or certain cancers, but it has recently emerged as a drug safety issue through its association with diverse immunomodulatory therapies. To better understand the relationship between the JCV life cycle and PML pathology, we studied autopsy brain tissue from a 70-year-old psoriasis patient on the integrin alpha-L inhibitor efalizumab following a ~2 month clinical course of PML. Sequence analysis of lesional brain tissue identified PML-associated viral mutations in regulatory (non-coding control region DNA, capsid protein VP1, and the regulatory agnoprotein, as well as 9 novel mutations in capsid protein VP2, indicating rampant viral evolution. Nine samples, including three gross PML lesions and normal-appearing adjacent tissues, were characterized by histopathology and subject to quantitative genomic, proteomic, and molecular localization analyses. We observed a striking correlation between the spatial extent of demyelination, axonal destruction, and dispersion of JCV along white matter myelin sheath. Our observations in this case, as well as in a case of PML-like disease in an immunocompromised rhesus macaque, suggest that long-range spread of polyomavirus and axonal destruction in PML might involve extracellular association between virus and the white matter myelin sheath.

  9. JC Polyomavirus Abundance and Distribution in Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) Brain Tissue Implicates Myelin Sheath in Intracerebral Dissemination of Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharton, Keith A; Quigley, Catherine; Themeles, Marian; Dunstan, Robert W; Doyle, Kathryn; Cahir-McFarland, Ellen; Wei, Jing; Buko, Alex; Reid, Carl E; Sun, Chao; Carmillo, Paul; Sur, Gargi; Carulli, John P; Mansfield, Keith G; Westmoreland, Susan V; Staugaitis, Susan M; Fox, Robert J; Meier, Werner; Goelz, Susan E

    2016-01-01

    Over half of adults are seropositive for JC polyomavirus (JCV), but rare individuals develop progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a demyelinating JCV infection of the central nervous system. Previously, PML was primarily seen in immunosuppressed patients with AIDS or certain cancers, but it has recently emerged as a drug safety issue through its association with diverse immunomodulatory therapies. To better understand the relationship between the JCV life cycle and PML pathology, we studied autopsy brain tissue from a 70-year-old psoriasis patient on the integrin alpha-L inhibitor efalizumab following a ~2 month clinical course of PML. Sequence analysis of lesional brain tissue identified PML-associated viral mutations in regulatory (non-coding control region) DNA, capsid protein VP1, and the regulatory agnoprotein, as well as 9 novel mutations in capsid protein VP2, indicating rampant viral evolution. Nine samples, including three gross PML lesions and normal-appearing adjacent tissues, were characterized by histopathology and subject to quantitative genomic, proteomic, and molecular localization analyses. We observed a striking correlation between the spatial extent of demyelination, axonal destruction, and dispersion of JCV along white matter myelin sheath. Our observations in this case, as well as in a case of PML-like disease in an immunocompromised rhesus macaque, suggest that long-range spread of polyomavirus and axonal destruction in PML might involve extracellular association between virus and the white matter myelin sheath.

  10. Cholesterol efflux is differentially regulated in neurons and astrocytes: implications for brain cholesterol homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jing; Zhang, Xiaolu; Kusumo, Handojo; Costa, Lucio G.; Guizzetti, Marina

    2012-01-01

    Disruption of cholesterol homeostasis in the central nervous system (CNS) has been associated with neurological, neurodegenerative, and neurodevelopmental disorders. The CNS is a closed system with regard to cholesterol homeostasis, as cholesterol-delivering lipoproteins from the periphery cannot pass the blood-brain-barrier and enter the brain. Different cell types in the brain have different functions in the regulation of cholesterol homeostasis, with astrocytes producing and releasing apolipoprotein E and lipoproteins, and neurons metabolizing cholesterol to 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol. We present evidence that astrocytes and neurons adopt different mechanisms also in regulating cholesterol efflux. We found that in astrocytes cholesterol efflux is induced by both lipid-free apolipoproteins and lipoproteins, while cholesterol removal from neurons is triggered only by lipoproteins. The main pathway by which apolipoproteins induce cholesterol efflux is through ABCA1. By upregulating ABCA1 levels and by inhibiting its activity and silencing its expression, we show that ABCA1 is involved in cholesterol efflux from astrocytes but not from neurons. Furthermore, our results suggest that ABCG1 is involved in cholesterol efflux to apolipoproteins and lipoproteins from astrocytes but not from neurons, while ABCG4, whose expression is much higher in neurons than astrocytes, is involved in cholesterol efflux from neurons but not astrocytes. These results indicate that different mechanisms regulate cholesterol efflux from neurons and astrocytes, reflecting the different roles that these cell types play in brain cholesterol homeostasis. These results are important in understanding cellular targets of therapeutic drugs under development for the treatments of conditions associated with altered cholesterol homeostasis in the CNS. PMID:23010475

  11. Effects of early life adverse experiences on brain activity: Implications from maternal separation models in rodents

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    Mayumi eNishi

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available During postnatal development, adverse early life experiences can affect the formation of neuronal circuits and exert long-lasting influences on neural function. Many studies have shown that daily repeated MS, an animal model of early life stress, can modulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis and can affect subsequent brain function and emotional behavior during adulthood. However, the molecular basis of the long-lasting effects of early life stress on brain function has not been completely elucidated. In this review, we introduce various cases of MS in rodents and illustrate the alterations in HPA axis activity by focusing on corticosterone (CORT, an end product of the HPA axis in rodents. We then present a characterization of the brain regions affected by various patterns of MS, including repeated MS and single time MS at various stages before weaning, by investigating c-Fos expression, a biological marker of neuronal activity. These CORT and c-Fos studies suggest that repeated early life stress may affect neuronal function in region- and temporal-specific manners, indicating a critical period for habituation to early life stress. Next, we discuss how early life stress can impact behavior, namely by inducing depression, anxiety or eating disorders. Furthermore, alterations in gene expression in adult mice exposed to MS, especially epigenetic changes of DNA methylation, are discussed.

  12. Affective Aspects of Perceived Loss of Control and Potential Implications for Brain-Computer Interfaces

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    Sebastian Grissmann

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Most brain-computer interfaces (BCIs focus on detecting single aspects of user states (e.g., motor imagery in the electroencephalogram (EEG in order to use these aspects as control input for external systems. This communication can be effective, but unaccounted mental processes can interfere with signals used for classification and thereby introduce changes in the signal properties which could potentially impede BCI classification performance. To improve BCI performance, we propose deploying an approach that potentially allows to describe different mental states that could influence BCI performance. To test this approach, we analyzed neural signatures of potential affective states in data collected in a paradigm where the complex user state of perceived loss of control (LOC was induced. In this article, source localization methods were used to identify brain dynamics with source located outside but affecting the signal of interest originating from the primary motor areas, pointing to interfering processes in the brain during natural human-machine interaction. In particular, we found affective correlates which were related to perceived LOC. We conclude that additional context information about the ongoing user state might help to improve the applicability of BCIs to real-world scenarios.

  13. Organics Produced by Irradiation of Frozen and Liquid HCN Solutions: Implications for Chemical Evolution Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colín-García, M.; Negrón-Mendoza, A.; Ramos-Bernal, S.

    2009-04-01

    Hydrogen cyanide (HCN), an important precursor of organic compounds, is widely present in extraterrestrial environments. HCN is also readily synthesized in prebiotic simulation experiments. To gain insight into the radiation chemistry of one of the most important and highly versatile constituents of cometary ices, we examined the behavior of over-irradiated frozen and liquid HCN solutions under ionizing radiation. The samples were exposed to gamma radiation at a dose range from 0 up to 419 kGy. Ultraviolet spectroscopy and gas chromatography were used to follow the process. The analyses confirmed that gamma-ray irradiation of liquid HCN solutions generates several organic products. Many of them are essential to life; we verified the presence of carboxylic acids (some of them members of the Krebs cycle) as well as free amino acids and urea. These are the first studies to reveal the presence of these compounds in experiments performed at low temperatures and bulk irradiation. Organic material was produced even at low temperatures and low radiation doses. This work strongly supports the presumption that, as a parent molecule, HCN played a central essential role in the process of chemical evolution on early Earth, comets, and other extraterrestrial environments.

  14. Genetic diversity in Treponema pallidum: implications for pathogenesis, evolution and molecular diagnostics of syphilis and yaws.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smajs, David; Norris, Steven J; Weinstock, George M

    2012-03-01

    Pathogenic uncultivable treponemes, similar to syphilis-causing Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum, include T. pallidum ssp. pertenue, T. pallidum ssp. endemicum and Treponema carateum, which cause yaws, bejel and pinta, respectively. Genetic analyses of these pathogens revealed striking similarity among these bacteria and also a high degree of similarity to the rabbit pathogen, Treponema paraluiscuniculi, a treponeme not infectious to humans. Genome comparisons between pallidum and non-pallidum treponemes revealed genes with potential involvement in human infectivity, whereas comparisons between pallidum and pertenue treponemes identified genes possibly involved in the high invasivity of syphilis treponemes. Genetic variability within syphilis strains is considered as the basis of syphilis molecular epidemiology with potential to detect more virulent strains, whereas genetic variability within a single strain is related to its ability to elude the immune system of the host. Genome analyses also shed light on treponemal evolution and on chromosomal targets for molecular diagnostics of treponemal infections. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Hybridizations within the Genus Schistosoma: implications for evolution, epidemiology and control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leger, Elsa; Webster, Joanne P

    2017-01-01

    Hybridization of parasites is an emerging public health concern in our changing world. Hybridization and introgression in parasites and pathogens can have major impacts on the host and the epidemiology and evolution of disease. Schistosomiasis is a Neglected Tropical Disease of profound medical and veterinary importance across many parts of the world, with the greatest human burden within sub-Saharan Africa. Here we review how early phenotypic identification and recent confirmation through molecular studies on naturally occurring infections, combined with experimental manipulations, have revealed evidence of viable hybridization and introgressions within and between human and animal schistosome species. Environmental and anthropogenic changes in selective pressures following, for instance, new dam constructions, altered agricultural practices, together with mass drug administration programmes, may all be predicted to further impact the availability of suitable definitive and intermediate hosts for schistosomes. It is therefore imperative to understand the distribution and role of such novel zoonotic hybrid schistosomes on host range, drug efficacy, and hence ultimately transmission potential, if we are to achieve and maintain sustainable control.

  16. Kinematic evolution of the southwestern Arabian continental margin: implications for the origin of the Red Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voggenreiter, W.; Hötzl, H.

    The tectonic and magnetic evolution of the Jizan coastal plain (Tihama Asir) in southwest Arabia was dominated by SW-NE lithospheric extension related to the development of the Red Sea Rift. A well-exposed, isotopically-dated succession of magmatic rocks (Jizan Group volcanics, Tihama Asir Magmatic Complex) allows a kinematic analysis for this part of the Arabian Red Sea margin. A mafic dyke swarm and several generations of roughly NW-trending normal faults characterized the continental rift stage from Oligocene to early Miocene time. Major uplift of the Arabian graben shoulder probably began about 14 Ma ago. By this time, extension and magmatism ceased in the Jizan area and were followed by an approximately 10 Ma interval of tectonic and magmatic quiescence. A second phase of extension began in the Pliocene and facilitated a vast outpouring of alkaliolivine basalts on the coastal plain. The geometry of faulting in the Jizan area supports a Wernicke-type simple-shear mechanism of continental rifting for the southern Arabian continental margin of the Red Sea.

  17. Relationship between weed dormancy and herbicide rotations: implications in resistance evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darmency, Henri; Colbach, Nathalie; Le Corre, Valérie

    2017-10-01

    It is suggested that selection for late germinating seed cohorts is significantly associated with herbicide resistance in some cropping systems. In turn, it is conceivable that rotating herbicide modes of action selects for populations with mutations for increased secondary dormancy, thus partially overcoming the delaying effect of rotation on resistance evolution. Modified seed dormancy could affect management strategies - like herbicide rotation - that are used to prevent or control herbicide resistance. Here, we review the literature for data on seed dormancy and germination dynamics of herbicide-resistant versus susceptible plants. Few studies use plant material with similar genetic backgrounds, so there are few really comparative data. Increased dormancy and delayed germination may co-occur with resistance to ACCase inhibitors, but there is no clear-cut link with resistance to other herbicide classes. Population shifts are due in part to pleiotropic effects of the resistance genes, but interaction with the cropping system is also possible. We provide an example of a model simulation that accounts for genetic diversity in the dormancy trait, and subsequent consequences for various cropping systems. We strongly recommend adding more accurate and detailed mechanistic modelling to the current tools used today to predict the efficiency of prevention and management of herbicide resistance. These models should be validated through long-term experimental designs including mono-herbicide versus chemical rotation in the field. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  18. Seismic Interpretation of the Nam Con Son Basin and its Implication for the Tectonic Evolution

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    Nguyen Quang Tuan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available DOI:10.17014/ijog.3.2.127-137The Nam Con Son Basin covering an area of circa 110,000 km2 is characterized by complex tectonic settings of the basin which has not fully been understood. Multiple faults allowed favourable migration passageways for hydrocarbons to go in and out of traps. Despite a large amount of newly acquired seismic and well data there is no significant update on the tectonic evolution and history of the basin development. In this study, the vast amount of seismic and well data were integrated and reinterpreted to define the key structural events in the Nam Con Son Basin. The results show that the basin has undergone two extentional phases. The first N - S extensional phase terminated at around 30 M.a. forming E - W trending grabens which are complicated by multiple half grabens filled by Lower Oligocene sediments. These grabens were reactivated during the second NW - SE extension (Middle Miocene, that resulted from the progressive propagation of NE-SW listric fault from the middle part of the grabens to the margins, and the large scale building up of roll-over structure. Further to the SW, the faults of the second extentional phase turn to NNE-SSW and ultimately N - S in the SW edge of the basin. Most of the fault systems were inactive by Upper Miocene except for the N - S fault system which is still active until recent time.

  19. Interactions between topographically and thermally forced stationary waves: implications for ice-sheet evolution

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    Johan Liakka

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study examines mutual interactions between stationary waves and ice sheets using a dry atmospheric primitive-equation model coupled to a three-dimensional thermomechanical ice-sheet model. The emphasis is on how non-linear interactions between thermal and topographical forcing of the stationary waves influence the ice-sheet evolution by changing the ablation. Simulations are conducted in which a small ice cap, on an idealised Northern Hemisphere continent, evolves to an equilibrium continental-scale ice sheet. In the absence of stationary waves, the equilibrium ice sheet arrives at symmetric shape with a zonal equatorward margin. In isolation, the topographically induced stationary waves have essentially no impact on the equilibrium features of the ice sheet. The reason is that the temperature anomalies are located far from the equatorward ice margin. When forcing due to thermal cooling is added to the topographical forcing, thermally induced perturbation winds amplify the topographically induced stationary-wave response, which that serves to increase both the equatorward extent and the volume of the ice sheet. Roughly, a 10% increase in the ice volume is reported here. Hence, the present study suggests that the topographically induced stationary-wave response can be substantially enhanced by the high albedo of ice sheets.

  20. Evolution of web site design: implications for medical education on the Internet.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, L F; Chan, B K

    1998-09-01

    Since its inception, the world wide web (WWW) has possessed the potential for becoming a 'watershed' medium for conveying complex, structured information across vast temporal and geographical barriers. In 1995, the MedWorld project (http:(/)/medworld.stanford.edu) was created at the Stanford University School of Medicine in an effort to innovate and explore the design process of creating WWW applications specifically for medical education. Until recently, the evolution of WWW applications has been mainly driven by technological advances in client-server technology, enabling or translating traditional modes of collaborative medical education (e.g. voice, presence, print, motion) into WWW devices and applications. Many of these applications, while technologically advanced, lack focused development of interface and interactivity design, which may enhance learning experiences. WWW applications which incorporate design innovation in parity with advances in client-server technology have been termed, 'third generation' web sites and have the potential to improve the quality of WWW applications designed for medical education. This work describes how the MedWorld project has created a 'third generation' WWW application by utilizing innovation in information, interface and interactivity design to create innovative WWW technology for the medical education arena.

  1. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of present-day Aboriginal Australians and implications for human evolution in Oceania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagle, Nano; Ballantyne, Kaye N; van Oven, Mannis; Tyler-Smith, Chris; Xue, Yali; Wilcox, Stephen; Wilcox, Leah; Turkalov, Rust; van Oorschot, Roland A H; van Holst Pellekaan, Sheila; Schurr, Theodore G; McAllister, Peter; Williams, Lesley; Kayser, Manfred; Mitchell, R John

    2017-03-01

    Aboriginal Australians are one of the more poorly studied populations from the standpoint of human evolution and genetic diversity. Thus, to investigate their genetic diversity, the possible date of their ancestors' arrival and their relationships with neighboring populations, we analyzed mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) diversity in a large sample of Aboriginal Australians. Selected mtDNA single-nucleotide polymorphisms and the hypervariable segment haplotypes were analyzed in 594 Aboriginal Australians drawn from locations across the continent, chiefly from regions not previously sampled. Most (~78%) samples could be assigned to mtDNA haplogroups indigenous to Australia. The indigenous haplogroups were all ancient (with estimated ages >40 000 years) and geographically widespread across the continent. The most common haplogroup was P (44%) followed by S (23%) and M42a (9%). There was some geographic structure at the haplotype level. The estimated ages of the indigenous haplogroups range from 39 000 to 55 000 years, dates that fit well with the estimated date of colonization of Australia based on archeological evidence (~47 000 years ago). The distribution of mtDNA haplogroups in Australia and New Guinea supports the hypothesis that the ancestors of Aboriginal Australians entered Sahul through at least two entry points. The mtDNA data give no support to the hypothesis of secondary gene flow into Australia during the Holocene, but instead suggest long-term isolation of the continent.

  2. The evolution of jumping performance in anurans: morphological correlates and ecological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, F R; Rezende, E L; Grizante, M B; Navas, C A

    2009-05-01

    We investigated the evolution of anuran locomotor performance and its morphological correlates as a function of habitat use and lifestyles. We reanalysed a subset of the data reported by Zug (Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 1978; 276: 1–31) employing phylogenetically explicit statistical methods (n = 56 species), and assembled morphological data on the ratio between hind-limb length and snout-vent length (SVL) from the literature and museum specimens for a large subgroup of the species from the original paper (n = 43 species). Analyses using independent contrasts revealed that classifying anurans into terrestrial, semi-aquatic, and arboreal categories cannot distinguish between the effects of phylogeny and ecological diversification in anuran locomotor performance. However, a more refined classification subdividing terrestrial species into 'fossorials' and 'non-fossorials', and arboreal species into 'open canopy', 'low canopy' and 'high canopy', suggests that part of the variation in locomotor performance and in hind-limb morphology can be attributed to ecological diversification. In particular, fossorial species had significantly lower jumping performances and shorter hind limbs than other species after controlling for SVL, illustrating how the trade-off between burrowing efficiency and jumping performance has resulted in morphological specialization in this group.

  3. Geological structure and evolution of Majorca: Implications for the origin of the Western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sàbat, Francesc; Gelabert, Bernadí; Rodríguez-Perea, Antonio; Giménez, Jordi

    2011-09-01

    The island of Majorca forms part of the NE-SW continental Balearic Promontory, which is surrounded by continental and oceanic extensional basins. Majorca has a basin and range physiography mainly resulting from Late Neogene extension. The basins and ranges strike NE-SW. The structure of the ranges consists of thrust faults and associated folds involving Mesozoic series. Paleogene series are also involved in the compressional structures located in the southeast, whereas a stratigraphic hiatus embracing Late Cretaceous and Paleogene is present in the rest of the island. The age of syncompressive rocks and sediments is Chattian to Aquitanian in the SE Llevant Ranges, Aquitanian to Burdigalian in the Central Ranges and Burdigalian to Langhian in the NW Tramuntana Range. Thus compressive deformation progressed from southeast to northwest. The thrust fault hangingwall displacement is to the northwest and shortening is large (44%). Seismic reflection sections reveal the presence of compressive structures in the substratum of the basins. Moreover, normal faults due to WNW-ESE extension occurred during the Serravallian and Tortonian, producing additional subsidence in the basins. Minor compression could have occurred since the onset of the Pleistocene. Majorca was shortened when the extensional basins surrounding the island originated. Available models for the origin and evolution of extensional basins of the Western Mediterranean do not consider the structure observed in Majorca.

  4. Pollen development in Annona cherimola Mill. (Annonaceae. Implications for the evolution of aggregated pollen

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    Hormaza Jose I

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In most flowering plants, pollen is dispersed as monads. However, aggregated pollen shedding in groups of four or more pollen grains has arisen independently several times during angiosperm evolution. The reasons behind this phenomenon are largely unknown. In this study, we followed pollen development in Annona cherimola, a basal angiosperm species that releases pollen in groups of four, to investigate how pollen ontogeny may explain the rise and establishment of this character. We followed pollen development using immunolocalization and cytochemical characterization of changes occurring from anther differentiation to pollen dehiscence. Results Our results show that, following tetrad formation, a delay in the dissolution of the pollen mother cell wall and tapetal chamber is a key event that holds the four microspores together in a confined tapetal chamber, allowing them to rotate and then bind through the aperture sites through small pectin bridges, followed by joint sporopollenin deposition. Conclusion Pollen grouping could be the result of relatively minor ontogenetic changes beneficial for pollen transfer or/and protection from desiccation. Comparison of these events with those recorded in the recent pollen developmental mutants in Arabidopsis indicates that several failures during tetrad dissolution may convert to a common recurring phenotype that has evolved independently several times, whenever this grouping conferred advantages for pollen transfer.

  5. Pollen development in Annona cherimola Mill. (Annonaceae). Implications for the evolution of aggregated pollen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lora, Jorge; Testillano, Pilar S; Risueño, Maria C; Hormaza, Jose I; Herrero, Maria

    2009-10-29

    In most flowering plants, pollen is dispersed as monads. However, aggregated pollen shedding in groups of four or more pollen grains has arisen independently several times during angiosperm evolution. The reasons behind this phenomenon are largely unknown. In this study, we followed pollen development in Annona cherimola, a basal angiosperm species that releases pollen in groups of four, to investigate how pollen ontogeny may explain the rise and establishment of this character. We followed pollen development using immunolocalization and cytochemical characterization of changes occurring from anther differentiation to pollen dehiscence. Our results show that, following tetrad formation, a delay in the dissolution of the pollen mother cell wall and tapetal chamber is a key event that holds the four microspores together in a confined tapetal chamber, allowing them to rotate and then bind through the aperture sites through small pectin bridges, followed by joint sporopollenin deposition. Pollen grouping could be the result of relatively minor ontogenetic changes beneficial for pollen transfer or/and protection from desiccation. Comparison of these events with those recorded in the recent pollen developmental mutants in Arabidopsis indicates that several failures during tetrad dissolution may convert to a common recurring phenotype that has evolved independently several times, whenever this grouping conferred advantages for pollen transfer.

  6. Blood Mercury Levels of Zebra Finches Are Heritable: Implications for the Evolution of Mercury Resistance.

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    Kenton A Buck

    Full Text Available Mercury is a ubiquitous metal contaminant that negatively impacts reproduction of wildlife and has many other sub-lethal effects. Songbirds are sensitive bioindicators of mercury toxicity and may suffer population declines as a result of mercury pollution. Current predictions of mercury accumulation and biomagnification often overlook possible genetic variation in mercury uptake and elimination within species and the potential for evolution in affected populations. We conducted a study of dietary mercury exposure in a model songbird species, maintaining a breeding population of zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata on standardized diets ranging from 0.0-2.4 μg/g methylmercury. We applied a quantitative genetics approach to examine patterns of variation and heritability of mercury accumulation within dietary treatments using a method of mixed effects modeling known as the 'animal model'. Significant variation in blood mercury accumulation existed within each treatment for birds exposed at the same dietary level; moreover, this variation was highly repeatable for individuals. We observed substantial genetic variation in blood mercury accumulation for birds exposed at intermediate dietary concentrations. Taken together, this is evidence that genetic variation for factors affecting blood mercury accumulation could be acted on by selection. If similar heritability for mercury accumulation exists in wild populations, selection could result in genetic differentiation for populations in contaminated locations, with possible consequences for mercury biomagnification in food webs.

  7. Evolution of predetermined germ cells in vertebrate embryos: implications for macroevolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Andrew D; Drum, Matthew; Bachvarova, Rosemary F; Masi, Thomas; White, Mary E; Crother, Brian I

    2003-01-01

    The germ line is established in animal embryos with the formation of primordial germ cells (PGCs), which give rise to gametes. Therefore, the need to form PGCs can act as a developmental constraint by inhibiting the evolution of embryonic patterning mechanisms that compromise their development. Conversely, events that stabilize the PGCs may liberate these constraints. Two modes of germ cell determination exist in animal embryos: (a) either PGCs are predetermined by the inheritance of germ cell determinants (germ plasm) or (b) PGCs are formed by inducing signals secreted by embryonic tissues (i.e., regulative determination). Surprisingly, among the major extant amphibian lineages, one mechanism is found in urodeles and the other in anurans. In anuran amphibians PGCs are predetermined by germ plasm; in urodele amphibians PGCs are formed by inducing signals. To determine which mechanism is ancestral to the tetrapod lineage and to understand the pattern of inheritance in higher vertebrates, we used a phylogenetic approach to analyze basic morphological processes in both groups and correlated these with mechanisms of germ cell determination. Our results indicate that regulative germ cell determination is a property of embryos retaining ancestral embryological processes, whereas predetermined germ cells are found in embryos with derived morphological traits. These correlations suggest that regulative germ cell formation is an important developmental constraint in vertebrate embryos, acting before the highly conserved pharyngula stage. Moreover, our analysis suggests that germ plasm has evolved independently in several lineages of vertebrate embryos.

  8. Morphine induces expression of platelet-derived growth factor in human brain microvascular endothelial cells: implication for vascular permeability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxiu Wen

    Full Text Available Despite the advent of antiretroviral therapy, complications of HIV-1 infection with concurrent drug abuse are an emerging problem. Morphine, often abused by HIV-infected patients, is known to accelerate neuroinflammation associated with HIV-1 infection. Detailed molecular mechanisms of morphine action however, remain poorly understood. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF has been implicated in a number of pathological conditions, primarily due to its potent mitogenic and permeability effects. Whether morphine exposure results in enhanced vascular permeability in brain endothelial cells, likely via induction of PDGF, remains to be established. In the present study, we demonstrated morphine-mediated induction of PDGF-BB in human brain microvascular endothelial cells, an effect that was abrogated by the opioid receptor antagonist-naltrexone. Pharmacological blockade (cell signaling and loss-of-function (Egr-1 approaches demonstrated the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs, PI3K/Akt and the downstream transcription factor Egr-1 respectively, in morphine-mediated induction of PDGF-BB. Functional significance of increased PDGF-BB manifested as increased breach of the endothelial barrier as evidenced by decreased expression of the tight junction protein ZO-1 in an in vitro model system. Understanding the regulation of PDGF expression may provide insights into the development of potential therapeutic targets for intervention of morphine-mediated neuroinflammation.

  9. Educational Implications of Psychopathology for Brain-Injured Children; Lesley College Annual Graduate Symposium (3rd, Cambridge, Massachusetts, May 13, 1967).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gertz, Boris, Ed.

    The symposium report includes the text of an illustrated lecture given by William M. Cruickshank on "Psychopathology and Implications for Educating Brain-Injured Children." Considered in the lecture are hyperactivity, the needs of hyperative children, and educational setting and curriculum. Panel reactions are provided by E.F. Rabe, a pediatric…

  10. Fish Ecology and Evolution in the World's Oxygen Minimum Zones and Implications of Ocean Deoxygenation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, N D; Levin, L A

    Oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) and oxygen limited zones (OLZs) are important oceanographic features in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Ocean, and are characterized by hypoxic conditions that are physiologically challenging for demersal fish. Thickness, depth of the upper boundary, minimum oxygen levels, local temperatures, and diurnal, seasonal, and interannual oxycline variability differ regionally, with the thickest and shallowest OMZs occurring in the subtropics and tropics. Although most fish are not hypoxia-tolerant, at least 77 demersal fish species from 16 orders have evolved physiological, behavioural, and morphological adaptations that allow them to live under the severely hypoxic, hypercapnic, and at times sulphidic conditions found in OMZs. Tolerance to OMZ conditions has evolved multiple times in multiple groups with no single fish family or genus exploiting all OMZs globally. Severely hypoxic conditions in OMZs lead to decreased demersal fish diversity, but fish density trends are variable and dependent on region-specific thresholds. Some OMZ-adapted fish species are more hypoxia-tolerant than most megafaunal invertebrates and are present even when most invertebrates are excluded. Expansions and contractions of OMZs in the past have affected fish evolution and diversity. Current patterns of ocean warming are leading to ocean deoxygenation, causing the expansion and shoaling of OMZs, which is expected to decrease demersal fish diversity and alter trophic pathways on affected margins. Habitat compression is expected for hypoxia-intolerant species, causing increased susceptibility to overfishing for fisheries species. Demersal fisheries are likely to be negatively impacted overall by the expansion of OMZs in a warming world. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. An inactivated nuclease-like domain in RecC with novel function: implications for evolution

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    Rigden Daniel

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The PD-(D/ExK superfamily, containing a wide variety of other exo- and endonucleases, is a notable example of general function conservation in the face of extreme sequence and structural variation. Almost all members employ a small number of shared conserved residues to bind catalytically essential metal ions and thereby effect DNA cleavage. The crystal structure of the RecBCD prokaryotic DNA repair machinery shows that RecB contains such a nuclease domain at its C-terminus. The RecC C-terminal region was reported as having a novel fold. Results The RecC C-terminal region can be divided into an alpha/beta domain and a smaller alpha-helical bundle domain. Here we show that the alpha/beta domain is homologous to the RecB nuclease domain but lacks the features necessary for catalysis. Instead, the domain has a novel function within the nuclease superfamily – providing a hoop through which single-stranded DNA passes. Comparison with other structures of nuclease domains bound to DNA reveals strikingly different modes of ligand binding. The alpha-helical bundle domain contributes the pin which splits the DNA duplex. Conclusion The demonstrated homology of RecB and RecC shows how evolution acted to produce the present RecBCD complex through aggregation of new domains as well as functional divergence and structural redeployment of existing domains. Distantly homologous nuclease(-like domains bind DNA in highly diverse manners.

  12. Earth--moon evolution: implications for the mechanism of the biological clock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shweiki, D

    2001-04-01

    The geophysical characteristics of the planet Earth dictate the physiological traits of living organisms. Changes in the geophysical conditions over the course of geological time are responsible for major evolutionary changes in life emergence and evolvement. Calendar day length is one of earth's geophysical characteristics which is under a constant, if extremely small, progressive change. This enforces an adjustment of circadian rhythmicity throughout geological time. The calendar day has extended approximately 9 hours in the last 3.5 billion years. Two mechanisms for circadian-rhythm adjustment are suggested: a directional selection mechanism -- an endogenous -- oriented explanation regarding a genetic drift in the population's endogenous oscillation toward a lengthened daily cycle; and an exogenous calibration mechanism - a hypothesis on the existence of a geophysical responsive element which senses a geophysical stimuli and calibrates the inner cellular oscillation in accordance with the length of the calendar day. A distinguishing experiment between the two explanations is suggested and discussed. Circadian rhythm mechanism and the evolution of circadian rhythmicity are tightly connected. Circadian rhythms' evolutionary theories are discussed in light of their contribution to our understanding of the selective pressures being applied throughout geological time and of how, once the clock has been established, it maintains an ongoing adjustment to a continuous change in the length of day.I argue that the exogenous calibration mechanism combines with the endosymbiont coordination theory, together, present an explanation to the path by which the calendar day adjustment was acquired and maintained. This hypothesis suggests a role for gravity cyclic force and for cytoskeleton's components in calendar day adjustment mechanism and circadian rhythm entrainment. Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

  13. Molecular evolution of a-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP-7: implications in comparative PKA compartmentalization

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    Johnson Keven R

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A-Kinase Anchoring Proteins (AKAPs are molecular scaffolding proteins mediating the assembly of multi-protein complexes containing cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA, directing the kinase in discrete subcellular locations. Splice variants from the AKAP7 gene (AKAP15/18 are vital components of neuronal and cardiac phosphatase complexes, ion channels, cardiac Ca2+ handling and renal water transport. Results Shown in evolutionary analyses, the formation of the AKAP7-RI/RII binding domain (required for AKAP/PKA-R interaction corresponds to vertebrate-specific gene duplication events in the PKA-RI/RII subunits. Species analyses of AKAP7 splice variants shows the ancestral AKAP7 splice variant is AKAP7α, while the ancestral long form AKAP7 splice variant is AKAP7γ. Multi-species AKAP7 gene alignments, show the recent formation of AKAP7δ occurs with the loss of native AKAP7γ in rats and basal primates. AKAP7 gene alignments and two dimensional Western analyses indicate that AKAP7γ is produced from an internal translation-start site that is present in the AKAP7δ cDNA of mice and humans but absent in rats. Immunofluorescence analysis of AKAP7 protein localization in both rat and mouse heart suggests AKAP7γ replaces AKAP7δ at the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum in species other than rat. DNA sequencing identified Human AKAP7δ insertion-deletions (indels that promote the production of AKAP7γ instead of AKAP7δ. Conclusions This AKAP7 molecular evolution study shows that these vital scaffolding proteins developed in ancestral vertebrates and that independent mutations in the AKAP7 genes of rodents and early primates has resulted in the recent formation of AKAP7δ, a splice variant of likely lesser importance in humans than currently described.

  14. Cretaceous to miocene palaeogegraphic evolution of Turkey: implications for hydrocarbon potential

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorur, N. [Tubitak Mam, Gebze (Turkey)

    2001-04-01

    The Cretaceous to Miocene palaeogeographic development of Turkey in general reflects the evolution of the various oceanic branches of Neo-Tethys together with interactions between the Laurasian and Gondwanan margins. At the beginning of the Cretaceous, the first-order palacotectonic units which make up present-day Turkey either formed parts of these supercontinents or were isolated continental blocks within the Neo-Tethys. In Aptian to Albian times, north-dipping subduction commenced along the southern margins of these units and resulted in the development of magmatic arcs and arc-related sedimentary basins. Coeval with the start of subduction, large-scale ophiolite abduction occurred on the units' passive margins. Terminal closure of the oceans' branches took place between the latest Cretaceous and the Miocene, forming the Anatolian orogenic collage whose outline defines present-day Turkey. Post-collisional intra-continental convergence continued until the late Miocene and resulted in north-south shortening of the collage. This shortening led to internal imbrication, thrusting and crustal thickening. It forced the Anatolian landmass westwards, away from east Anatolia where there has been continuous north-south compression since the Miocene between Laurasia and the Arabian Platform. Both the continental and the oceanic palaeotectonic units pose significant problems regarding their original geometry, size, depth, extent, contact relations, motion paths, subduction polarity, stratigraphy and timing of formation. Clarification of these issues is essential if the units' original paleogeographic relationships with respect to Neo-Tethys are to be reconstructed. This paper reviews some of these problems with the aid of a number of palinspastic and non-palinspastic maps. These maps are intended to provide a basis for evaluating the hydrocarbon potential of Turkey. (author)

  15. Following the Cosmic Evolution of Pristine Gas. I. Implications for Milky Way Halo Stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarmento, Richard; Scannapieco, Evan; Pan, Liubin

    2017-01-01

    We make use of a new subgrid model of turbulent mixing to accurately follow the cosmological evolution of the first stars, the mixing of their supernova (SN) ejecta, and the impact on the chemical composition of the Galactic Halo. Using the cosmological adaptive mesh refinement code ramses, we implement a model for the pollution of pristine gas as described in Pan et al. Tracking the metallicity of Pop III stars with metallicities below a critical value allows us to account for the fraction of Zmetallicity is well above {Z}{crit}. We demonstrate that such partially mixed regions account for 0.5 to 0.7 of all Pop III stars formed up to z = 5. Additionally, we track the creation and transport of “primordial metals” (PM) generated by Pop III SNe. These neutron-capture deficient metals are taken up by second-generation stars and likely lead to unique abundance signatures characteristic of carbon-enhanced, metal-poor (CEMP-no) stars. As an illustrative example, we associate primordial metals with abundance ratios used by Keller et al. to explain the source of metals in the star SMSS J031300.36-670839.3, finding good agreement with the observed [Fe/H], [C/H], [O/H], and [Mg/Ca] ratios in CEMP-no Milky Way halo stars. Similar future simulations will aid in further constraining the properties of Pop III stars using CEMP observations, as well as improve predictions of the spatial distribution of Pop III stars, as will be explored by the next generation of ground- and space-based telescopes.

  16. A Large Catalog of Multiwavelength GRB Afterglows. I. Color Evolution and Its Physical Implication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Liang; Wang, Yu; Shao, Lang; Wu, Xue-Feng; Huang, Yong-Feng; Zhang, Bing; Ryde, Felix; Yu, Hoi-Fung

    2018-02-01

    The spectrum of gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows can be studied with color indices. Here, we present a large comprehensive catalog of 70 GRBs with multiwavelength optical transient data on which we perform a systematic study to find the temporal evolution of color indices. We categorize them into two samples based on how well the color indices are evaluated. The Golden sample includes 25 bursts mostly observed by GROND, and the Silver sample includes 45 bursts observed by other telescopes. For the Golden sample, we find that 96% of the color indices do not vary over time. However, the color indices do vary during short periods in most bursts. The observed variations are consistent with effects of (i) the cooling frequency crossing the studied energy bands in a wind medium (43%) and in a constant-density medium (30%), (ii) early dust extinction (12%), (iii) transition from reverse-shock to forward-shock emission (5%), or (iv) an emergent SN emission (10%). We also study the evolutionary properties of the mean color indices for different emission episodes. We find that 86% of the color indices in the 70 bursts show constancy between consecutive ones. The color index variations occur mainly during the late GRB–SN bump, the flare, and early reverse-shock emission components. We further perform a statistical analysis of various observational properties and model parameters (spectral index {β }o{CI}, electron spectral indices p CI, etc.) using color indices. Overall, we conclude that ∼90% of colors are constant in time and can be accounted for by the simplest external forward-shock model, while the varying color indices call for more detailed modeling.

  17. Thermal Convection in a Fluid Layer Heated From Below and From Within - Implication for Planetary Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choblet, G.; Parmentier, M.; Sotin, C.

    2002-12-01

    Solid-state thermal convection in terrestrial planets interiors is generated by both volumetric heating (radiogenic elements, secular cooling) and heating from below (cooling of the metallic core). However, the relative importance of plumes emanating from both boundary layers and their interaction is still poorly understood. The aim of the present study is to propose a precise scaling for heat transfer in this heating configuration. Our initial numerical experiments have examined an isoviscous fluid in a Cartesian geometry (both 2D and 3D), since this allows well resolved results to be obtained with modest-scale computation. A relationship assuming that the top and bottom boundary layers are of equal thickness so that the ratio of temperature differences across them varies in a simple way with the fraction of heating from below produces a correct first order scaling. This leads to the prediction that the temperature of the well mixed interior does not vary with the fraction of heat supplied from below. However, in our numerical experiments, horizontally averaged temperature within the well mixed interior for a given amount of heat sources (basal plus internal) varies with the way heat is distributed between the bottom surface and the interior of the layer by an amount that can be significant on scales of interest for planetary evolution. In addition, systematic differences are observed between 2D and 3D numerical experiments ; other variations appear according on the basal heating mode (either flux or temperature can be prescribed). This reflects the dynamics of the interaction of plumes with thermal boundary layers and with each other. We thus propose a more complete scaling based on the influence of a plume on both the boundary layer where it forms and the opposite boundary layer where it produces a stagnation point. This leads to a scaling which predicts that the two boundary layers are of different thickness and allows a more accurate description of temperature

  18. Evolution of Migmatitic Granulite Complexes: implications from Lapland Granulite Belt, Part II: isotopic dating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pekka Tuisku

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available The migmatitic metapelites of the Lapland granulite belt (LGB in the NE part of the Fennoscandian Shield represent an arc-related greywacke basin metamorphosed in the granulite facies. Detrital zircons from migmatitic metapelites are derived from 1.94 - 2.9 Ga old acid source rocks (U-Pb SIMS ages. The clustering of detrital zircon ages between 1.97 and 2.2 Ga is problematic, because abundant felsic crust of this age is absent in the shield. The metasediments are characterized by Sm-Nd model ages of ca. 2.3 Ga. A younger, 1905-1880 Ma population of homogeneous zircons was formed during regional metamorphism. The peak high-grade metamorphism took place at ~1900 Ma and the latest chronological record from subsequent decompression and cooling phase is from ca. 1870 Ma. The norite-enderbite series of the LGB represents arc-magmas, which were intruded into the metasediments at ~1920-1905 Ma ago according to zircon U-Pb ages and were probably an important heat source for metamorphism. Older, zoned zircon grains in a quartz norite vein, initial εNd values of 0 to +1 and the continuous spectrum of LILE enrichment in the enderbite-series probably reflect assimilation of metasediments by magmas. Monazite U-Pb ages of migmatitic metasediments in the range 1906-1910±3 Ma overlap the late stage of enderbite intrusion and growth of early metamorphic zircons. Garnet-whole rock Sm-Nd ages from leucosomes in the range 1880-1886±7 Ma are concurrent with the growth of the youngest metamorphic zircons and probably indicate the crystallization of leucosomes of the influence of a fluid liberated from them. Isotopic and petrologic data reveal that the evolution of Lapland Granulite belt from the erosion of source rocks to the generation of a sedimentary basin, its burial, metamorphism and exhumation took place within ca. 60 Ma.

  19. Role of manganese oxides in peptide synthesis: implication in chemical evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhushan, Brij; Nayak, Arunima; Kamaluddin

    2017-10-01

    During the course of chemical evolution the role of metal oxides may have been very significant in catalysing the polymerization of biomonomers. The peptide bond formation of alanine (ala) and glycine (gly) in the presence of various oxides of manganese were performed for a period of 35 days at three different temperatures 50, 90 and 120°C without applying drying/wetting cycling. The reaction was monitored every week. The products formed were characterized by high-performance liquid chromatography and electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry techniques. Trace amount of oligomers was observed at 50°C. Maximum yield of peptides was found after 35 days at 90°C. It is important to note that very high temperatures of 120°C favoured the formation of diketopiperazine derivatives. Different types of manganese oxides [manganosite (MnO), bixbyite (Mn2O3), hausmannite (Mn3O4) and pyrolusite (MnO2)] were used as catalyst. The MnO catalysed glycine to cyclic (Gly)2, (Gly)2 and (Gly)3, and alanine, to cyclic (Ala)2 and (Ala)2. Mn3O4 also produced the same products but in lesser yield, while Mn2O3 and MnO2 produced cyclic anhydride of glycine and alanine with a trace amount of dimers and trimmers. Manganese of lower oxidation state is much more efficient in propagating the reaction than higher oxidation states. The possible mechanism of these reactions and the relevance of the results for the prebiotic chemistry are discussed.

  20. Molecular phylogenetics of the siphonophora (Cnidaria), with implications for the evolution of functional specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunn, Casey W; Pugh, Philip R; Haddock, Steven H D

    2005-12-01

    Siphonophores are a group of pelagic colonial hydrozoans (Cnidaria) that have long been of general interest because of the division of labor between the polyps and medusae that make up these "superorganisms." These polyps and medusae are each homologous to free living animals but are generated by an incomplete asexual budding process that leaves them physiologically integrated. They are functionally specialized for different tasks and are precisely organized within each colony. The number of functional types of polyps and medusae varies across taxa, and different authors have used this character to construct phylogenies polarized in opposite directions, depending on whether they thought siphonophore evolution proceeded by a reduction or an increase in functional specialization. We have collected taxa across all major groups of siphonophores, many of which are found exclusively in the deep sea, using remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) and by SCUBA diving from ships in the open ocean. We have used 52 siphonophores and four outgroup taxa to estimate the siphonophore phylogeny with molecular data from the nuclear small subunit ribosomal RNA gene (18S) and the mitochondrial large subunit ribosomal RNA gene (16S). Parsimony reconstructions indicate that functionally specialized polyps and medusae have been gained and lost across the phylogeny. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of morphological data suggest that the transition rate for decreased functional specialization is greater than the transition rate for increased functional specialization for three out of the four investigated categories of polyps and medusae. The present analysis also bears on several long-standing questions about siphonophore systematics. It indicates that the cystonects are sister to all other siphonophores, a group that we call the Codonophora. We also find that the Calycophorae are nested within the Physonectae, and that the Brachystelia, a historically recognized grouping of

  1. Evolution of under-pressure in Bravo Dome and its implications for geological carbon storage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhbari, D.; Hesse, M. A.

    2016-12-01

    Geological carbon storage has the potential to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions, if large volumes can be injected. Storage capacity is generally thought to be limited by regional pressure build-up in the subsurface, although natural CO2 reservoirs are commonly under-pressured. To understand the processes that lead to the development of under-pressure we have studied the Bravo Dome natural CO2 reservoir. Pre-production pressures show that Bravo Dome is divided into compartments (Figure a, b, and c) that appear not communicate with each other and the ambient aquifer. While this allows the preservation of under-pressures, it raises question about the emplacement of the reservoir. Noble gas signatures suggest that the reservoir filled from west to east rather than each reservoir being charged individually. Such uni-directional filling is consistent with an eastward decline in pre-production pressure (Figure d). However, this requires that the currently isolated compartments must have been connected during the emplacement. To preserve the overall pressure gradients this connectivity must have been lost relatively quickly after emplacement ended. We suggest that hydraulic fracturing connected the compartments during emplacement and that a pressure drop due to CO2 dissolution helped seal the compartments afterwards. To explore the dynamics, we have developed a numerical model of this fill-fracture-spill-seal process. Initial results suggest that a pressure drop after CO2 emplacement due to continued CO2 dissolution only occurs if the emplacement was very rapid. Understanding the pressure evolution at Bravo Dome is important as Bravo Dome has stored a very large amount of CO2 on millennial time scales, but it does not correspond to the current conception of an ideal storage formation such as Sleipner site in the North Sea, which is laterally open and has high permeability. This demonstrates that successful CO2 storage is possible in a broader range of formations that

  2. The thermal evolution of Chinese central Tianshan and its implications: Insights from multi-method chronometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jiyuan; Chen, Wen; Hodges, Kip V.; Xiao, Wenjiao; Cai, Keda; Yuan, Chao; Sun, Min; Liu, Li-Ping; van Soest, Matthijs C.

    2018-01-01

    The Chinese Tianshan is located in the south of the Central Asian Orogenic Belt and formed during final consumption of the Paleo-Asian Ocean in the late Palaeozoic. In order to further elucidate the tectonic evolution of the Chinese Tianshan, we have established the temperature-time history of granitic rocks from the Chinese Tianshan through a multi-chronological approach that includes U/Pb (zircon), 40Ar/39Ar (biotite and K-feldspar), and (U-Th)/He (zircon and apatite) dating. Our data show that the central Tianshan experienced accelerated cooling during the late Carboniferous- to early Permian. Multiple sequences of complex multiple accretionary, subduction and collisional events could have induced the cooling in the Tianshan Orogenic Belt. The new 40Ar/39Ar and (U-Th)/He data, in combination with thermal history modeling results, reveal that several tectonic reactivation and exhumation episodes affected the Chinese central Tianshan during middle Triassic (245-210 Ma), early Cretaceous (140-100 Ma), late Oligocene-early Miocene (35-20 Ma) and late Miocene (12-9 Ma). The middle Triassic cooling dates was only found in the central Tianshan. Strong uplift and deformation in the Chinese Tianshan has been limited and localized. It have been concentrated in around major fault zone and the foreland thrust belt since the early Cretaceous. The middle Triassic and early Cretaceous exhumation is interpreted as distal effects of the Cimmerian collisions (i.e. the Qiangtang and Kunlun-Qaidam collision and Lhasa-Qiangtang collision) at the southern Eurasian margin. The Cenozoic reactivation and exhumation is interpreted as a far field response to the India-Eurasia collision and represents the beginning of modern mountain building and denudation in the Chinese Tianshan.

  3. Structural Organization of the Laryngeal Motor Cortical Network and Its Implication for Evolution of Speech Production.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Veena; Croxson, Paula L; Simonyan, Kristina

    2016-04-13

    The laryngeal motor cortex (LMC) is essential for the production of learned vocal behaviors because bilateral damage to this area renders humans unable to speak but has no apparent effect on innate vocalizations such as human laughing and crying or monkey calls. Several hypotheses have been put forward attempting to explain the evolutionary changes from monkeys to humans that potentially led to enhanced LMC functionality for finer motor control of speech production. These views, however, remain limited to the position of the larynx area within the motor cortex, as well as its connections with the phonatory brainstem regions responsible for the direct control of laryngeal muscles. Using probabilistic diffusion tractography in healthy humans and rhesus monkeys, we show that, whereas the LMC structural network is largely comparable in both species, the LMC establishes nearly 7-fold stronger connectivity with the somatosensory and inferior parietal cortices in humans than in macaques. These findings suggest that important "hard-wired" components of the human LMC network controlling the laryngeal component of speech motor output evolved from an already existing, similar network in nonhuman primates. However, the evolution of enhanced LMC-parietal connections likely allowed for more complex synchrony of higher-order sensorimotor coordination, proprioceptive and tactile feedback, and modulation of learned voice for speech production. The role of the primary motor cortex in the formation of a comprehensive network controlling speech and language has been long underestimated and poorly studied. Here, we provide comparative and quantitative evidence for the significance of this region in the control of a highly learned and uniquely human behavior: speech production. From the viewpoint of structural network organization, we discuss potential evolutionary advances of enhanced temporoparietal cortical connections with the laryngeal motor cortex in humans compared with nonhuman

  4. Oxidative Alteration of Ferrous Smectites and Implications for the Redox Evolution of Early Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chemtob, Steven M.; Nickerson, Ryan D.; Morris, Richard V.; Agresti, David G.; Catalano, Jeffrey G.

    2017-12-01

    Surface conditions on early Mars were likely anoxic, similar to early Earth, but the timing of the evolution to oxic conditions characteristic of contemporary Mars is unresolved. Ferrous trioctahedral smectites are the thermodynamically predicted products of anoxic basalt weathering, but orbital analyses of Noachian-aged terrains find primarily Fe3+-bearing clay minerals. Rover-based detection of Fe2+-bearing trioctahedral smectites at Gale Crater suggests that ferrous smectites are the unoxidized progenitors of orbitally detected ferric smectites. To assess this pathway, we conducted ambient-temperature oxidative alteration experiments on four synthetic ferrous smectites having molar Fe/(Mg + Fe) from 1.00 to 0.33. Smectite suspension in air-saturated solutions produced incomplete oxidation (24-38% Fe3+/ΣFe). Additional smectite oxidation occurred upon reexposure to air-saturated solutions after anoxic hydrothermal recrystallization, which accelerated cation and charge redistribution in the octahedral sheet. Oxidation was accompanied by contraction of the octahedral sheet (d(060) decreased from 1.53-1.56 Å to 1.52 Å), consistent with a shift toward dioctahedral structure. Ferrous smectite oxidation by aqueous hydrogen peroxide solutions resulted in nearly complete Fe2+ oxidation but also led to partial Fe3+ ejection from the structure, producing nanoparticulate hematite. Reflectance spectra of oxidized smectites were characterized by (Fe3+,Mg)2-OH bands at 2.28-2.30 μm, consistent with oxidative formation of dioctahedral nontronite. Accordingly, ferrous smectites are plausible precursors to observed ferric smectites on Mars, and their presence in late-Noachian sedimentary units suggests that anoxic conditions may have persisted on Mars beyond the Noachian.

  5. The conditions for tool use in primates: implications for the evolution of material culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Schaik, C P; Deaner, R O; Merrill, M Y

    1999-06-01

    In order to identify the conditions that favored the flourishing of primate tool use into hominid technology, we examine inter- and intraspecific variation in manufacture and use of tools in extant nonhuman primates, and develop a model to account for their distribution. We focus on tools used in acquiring food, usually by extraction. Any model for the evolution of the use of feeding tools must explain why tool use is found in only a small subset of primate species, why many of these species use tools much more readily in captivity, why routine reliance on feeding tools is found in only two species of ape, and why there is strong geographic variation within these two species. Because ecological factors alone cannot explain the distribution of tool use in the wild, we develop a model that focuses on social and cognitive factors affecting the invention and transmission of tool-using skills. The model posits that tool use in the wild depends on suitable ecological niches (especially extractive foraging) and the manipulative skills that go with them, a measure of intelligence that enables rapid acquisition of complex skills (through both invention and, more importantly, observational learning), and social tolerance in a gregarious setting (which facilitates both invention and transmission). The manipulative skills component explains the distribution across species of the use of feeding tools, intelligence explains why in the wild only apes are known to make and use feeding tools routinely, and social tolerance explains variation across populations of chimpanzees and orangutans. We conclude that strong mutual tolerance was a key factor in the explosive increase in technology among hominids, probably intricately tied to a lifestyle involving food sharing and tool-based processing or the acquisition of large, shareable food packages. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  6. On the role of emerging voluntary control of vocalization in language evolution. Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coudé, Gino

    2016-03-01

    This comment will be focused on the role of monkey vocal control in the evolution of language. I will essentially reiterate the observations expressed in a commentary [1] about the book ;How the brain got language: the mirror system hypothesis;, written by Arbib [2]. I will hopefully clarify our suggestion that non-human primates vocal communication, in conjunction with gestures, could have had an active role in the emergence of the first voluntary forms of utterances that will later shape protospeech. This suggestion is mainly rooted in neurophysiological data about vocal control in monkey. I will very briefly summarize how neurophysiological data allowed us to suggest a possible role for monkey vocalization in language evolution. We conducted a study [3] in which we recorded from ventral premotor cortex (PMv) of macaques trained to emit vocalizations (i.e. coo-calls). The results showed that the rostro-lateral part of PMv contains neurons that fire during conditioned vocalization. The involvement of PMv in vocalization production was further supported by electrical microstimulation of the cortical sector where some of the vocalization neurons were found. Microstimulation elicited in some cases a combination of jaw, tongue and larynx movements. To us, the evolutionary implications of those results were obvious: a partial voluntary vocal control was already taking place in the primate PMv cortex some 25 million years ago.

  7. Food and Drug Administration warning on anesthesia and brain development: implications for obstetric and fetal surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olutoye, Olutoyin A; Baker, Byron Wycke; Belfort, Michael A; Olutoye, Oluyinka O

    2017-09-06

    There has been growing concern about the detrimental effects of certain anesthetic agents on the developing brain. Preclinical studies in small animal models as well as nonhuman primates suggested loss or death of brain cells and consequent impaired neurocognitive function following anesthetic exposure in neonates and late gestation fetuses. Human studies in this area are limited and currently inconclusive. On Dec. 14, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning regarding impaired brain development in children following exposure to certain anesthetic agents used for general anesthesia, namely the inhalational anesthetics isoflurane, sevoflurane, and desflurane, and the intravenous agents propofol and midazolam, in the third trimester of pregnancy. Furthermore, this warning recommends that health care professionals should balance the benefits of appropriate anesthesia in young children and pregnant women against potential risks, especially for procedures that may last >3 hours or if multiple procedures are required in children dexmedetomidine, when appropriate; (2) minimizing the duration of exposure to inhalational anesthetics for fetal, obstetric, and nonobstetric procedures in the pregnant patient, as much as possible within safe limits; and (3) commencing surgery promptly and limiting the interval between induction of anesthesia and surgery start time will help decrease patient exposure to inhalational agents. While the Food and Drug Administration warning was based on duration and repetitive nature of exposure rather than concentration of inhalational agents, intravenous tocolytics can be considered for intraoperative use, to provide uterine relaxation for fetal surgery, in lieu of high concentrations of inhalational anesthetic agents. Practitioners should consider the type of anesthesia that will be administered and the potential risks when scheduling patients for nonobstetric and fetal surgery. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  8. The impact of stress on the structure of the adolescent brain: Implications for adolescent mental health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, Russell D

    2017-01-01

    Adolescent development is associated with major changes in emotional and cognitive functions, as well as a rise in stress-related psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression. It is also a time of significant maturation of the brain, marked by structural alterations in many limbic and cortical regions. Though many elegant human neuroimaging studies have described the adolescent-related changes in these regions, relatively little is known about these changes in non-human animals. Moreover, both human and non-human data are lacking on how exposure to chronic stress may disrupt this structural maturation. Given the fundamental structure-function relationship in the nervous system, it will be important to understand how these normative and stress-induced structural alterations during adolescence influence psychological function, which in turn can modify future neural development. The purpose of this brief review is to describe the impact of stress on the structure of brain regions that continue to show structural maturation during adolescence and are highly sensitive to the effects of chronic stress exposure. Specifically, this review will focus on the amygdala, hippocampal formation, and prefrontal cortex, particularly from a morphological perspective. As many unanswered questions remain in this area of investigation, potential future lines of research are also discussed. A deeper appreciation of how stress affects adolescent brain development will be needed if we are to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms that mediate the increase in stress-related psychological dysfunctions often observed during this stage of development. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Adolescent plasticity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. The brain renin-angiotensin system: a diversity of functions and implications for CNS diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, John W; Harding, Joseph W

    2013-01-01

    The classic renin-angiotensin system (RAS) was initially described as a hormone system designed to mediate cardiovascular and body water regulation, with angiotensin II as its major effector. The discovery of an independent local brain RAS composed of the necessary functional components (angiotensinogen, peptidases, angiotensins, and specific receptor proteins) significantly expanded the possible physiological and pharmacological functions of this system. This review first describes the enzymatic pathways resulting in active angiotensin ligands and their interaction with AT(1), AT(2), and AT(4) receptor subtypes. Next, we discuss the classic physiologies and behaviors controlled by the RAS including cardiovascular, thirst, and sodium appetite. A final section summarizes non-classic functions and clinical conditions mediated by the brain RAS with focus on memory and Alzheimer's disease. There is no doubt that the brain RAS is an important component in the development of dementia. It also appears to play a role in normal memory consolidation and retrieval. The presently available anti-dementia drugs are proving to be reasonably ineffective, thus alternative treatment approaches must be developed. At the same time, presently available drugs must be tested for their efficacy to treat newly identified syndromes and diseases connected with the RAS. The list of non-classic physiologies and behaviors is ever increasing in both number and scope, attesting to the multidimensional influences of the RAS. Such diversity in function presents a dilemma for both researchers and clinicians. Namely, the blunting of RAS subsystems in the hopes of combating one constellation of underlying causes and disease symptoms may be counter-balanced by unanticipated and unwanted consequences to another RAS subsystem. For example, the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and AT(1) and/or AT(2) receptor blockers have shown great promise in the treatment of cardiovascular related

  10. Dissociative states in dreams and brain chaos: Implications for creative awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petr eBob

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available This article reviews recent findings indicating some common brain processes during dissociative states and dreaming with the aim to outline a perspective that neural chaotic states during dreaming can be closely related to dissociative states that may manifest in dreams scenery. These data are in agreement with various clinical findings that dissociated states can be projected into the dream scenery in REM sleep periods and dreams may represent their specific interactions that may uncover unusual psychological potential of creativity in psychotherapy, art and scientific discoveries.

  11. Rodinian granulites from southern Qiangtang terrane: Implications for tectonic evolution of the Tibetan Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tingyuan Yuan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Bordered by the Longmu Co-Shuang Hu-Lancangjiang suture zone in the north and east, as well as the Bangong Nujiang suture zone in the south and west, the southern Qiangtang terrane is one of the least-studied blocks in the Tibetan region. The early tectonic evolution of the southern Qiangtang terrane has remained a controversy for a long time. Here we report granulites from the Tongka high-grade metamorphic complexes in the southern Qiangtang terrane. The mafic granulites occur as small lenses in the felsic granulites and leucogranites with peak mineral assemblage including garnet (core + diopside + low An plagioclase + quartz. The retrograde assemblage is represented by garnet (rim + pargasite + high An plagioclase + quartz. The fine-grained aggregates of feldspar + garnet + aluminosilicates + rutile around reddish-brown biotite relics in the felsic granulites are interpreted as products of partial melting of biotites. Thermobarometric estimates for the peak assemblages of the mafic rocks are P = 17.5 kbar and T = 811 °C, whereas the retrograde assemblages of the mafic rocks experienced decompression to P = 10.4 kbar, at T = 674 °C. Zircon texture and SIMS U-Pb data reveal that the felsic granulites were derived from Achaean to Proterozoic sedimentary rocks that underwent high-temperature metamorphism and transformation to paragneisses or granitoids at 1100 to 1000 Ma. During 950–900 Ma, the crystalline rocks were further buried deeply to be transformed into the felsic granulites. We therefore interpret the Tongka high-grade metamorphic complexes to be a portion of the Rodinian continental collision belt. Evidently some domains of the Rodinian continental crust were thickened during the Grenville events, similar to the more recent processes in the Himalaya and Tibetan plateau. The Tongka high-grade metamorphic complexes which form the basement of the southern Qiangtang terrane was subsequently disrupted and

  12. Development of somites and their derivatives in amphioxus, and implications for the evolution of vertebrate somites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansfield, Jennifer H; Haller, Edward; Holland, Nicholas D; Brent, Ava E

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate somites are subdivided into lineage compartments, each with distinct cell fates and evolutionary histories. Insights into somite evolution can come from studying amphioxus, the best extant approximation of the chordate ancestor. Amphioxus somites have myotome and non-myotome compartments, but development and fates of the latter are incompletely described. Further, while epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is important for most vertebrate somitic lineages, amphioxus somites generally have been thought to remain entirely epithelial. Here, we examined amphioxus somites and derivatives, as well as extracellular matrix of the axial support system, in a series of developmental stages by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and in situ hybridization for collagen expression. The amphioxus somite differentiates medially into myotome, laterally into the external cell layer (a sub-dermal mesothelium), ventrally into a bud that forms mesothelia of the perivisceral coelom, and ventro-medially into the sclerotome. The sclerotome forms initially as a monolayered cell sheet that migrates between the myotome and the notochord and neural tube; subsequently, this cell sheet becomes double layered and encloses the sclerocoel. Other late developments include formation of the fin box mesothelia from lateral somites and the advent of isolated fibroblasts, likely somite derived, along the myosepta. Throughout development, all cells originating from the non-myotome regions of somites strongly express a fibrillar collagen gene, ColA, and thus likely contribute to extracellular matrix of the dermal and axial connective tissue system. We provide a revised model for the development of amphioxus sclerotome and fin boxes and confirm previous reports of development of the myotome and lateral somite. In addition, while somite derivatives remain almost entirely epithelial, limited de-epithelialization likely converts some somitic cells into fibroblasts of the myosepta and dermis

  13. Patterns and Implications of Gene Gain and Loss in the Evolution of Prochlorococcus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lapidus, Alla; Kettler, Gregory C.; Martiny, Adam C.; Huang, Katherine; Zucker, Jeremy; Coleman, Maureen L.; Rodrigue, Sebastien; Chen, Feng; Lapidus, Alla; Ferriera, Steven; Johnson, Justin; Steglich, Claudia; Church, George M.; Richardson, Paul; Chisholm, Sallie W.

    2007-07-30

    Prochlorococcus is a marine cyanobacterium that numerically dominates the mid-latitude oceans and is the smallest known oxygenic phototroph. Numerous isolatesfrom diverse areas of the world's oceans have been studied and shown to be physiologically and genetically distinct. All isolates described thus far can be assigned to either a tightly clustered high-light (HL)-adapted clade, or a more divergent low-light (LL)-adapted group. The 16S rRNA sequences of the entire Prochlorococcus group differ by at most 3percent, and the four initially published genomes revealed patterns of genetic differentiation that help explain physiological differences among the isolates. Here we describe the genomes of eight newly sequenced isolates and combine them with the first four genomes for a comprehensive analysis of the core (shared by all isolates) and flexible genes of the Prochlorococcus group, and the patterns of loss and gain of the flexible genes over the course of evolution. There are 1,273 genes that represent the core shared by all 12 genomes. They are apparently sufficient, according to metabolic reconstruction, to encode a functional cell. We describe a phylogeny for all 12 isolates by subjecting their complete proteomes to three different phylogenetic analyses. For each non-core gene, we used a maximum parsimony method to estimate which ancestor likely first acquired or lost each gene. Many of the genetic differences among isolates, especially for genes involved in outer membrane synthesis and nutrient transport, are found within the same clade. Nevertheless, we identified some genes defining HL and LL ecotypes, and clades within these broad ecotypes, helping to demonstrate the basis of HL and LL adaptations in Prochlorococcus. Furthermore, our estimates of gene gain events allow us to identify highly variable genomic islands that are not apparent through simple pairwise comparisons. These results emphasize the functional roles, especially those connected to outer

  14. Growth in fossil and extant deer and implications for body size and life history evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolb, Christian; Scheyer, Torsten M; Lister, Adrian M; Azorit, Concepcion; de Vos, John; Schlingemann, Margaretha A J; Rössner, Gertrud E; Monaghan, Nigel T; Sánchez-Villagra, Marcelo R

    2015-02-14

    extended lifespan compared to other deer of similar body size such as Mazama which has a maximum longevity of 12 years in the wild. Comparison with other clades of mammals reveals that changes in size and life history in evolution have occurred in parallel, with various modes of skeletal tissue modification.

  15. Phylogeny of the nematode genus Pristionchus and implications for biodiversity, biogeography and the evolution of hermaphroditism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sommer Ralf J

    2007-07-01

    framework for microevolutionary and biogeographic analyses. An additional major implication of our studies is the use of Pristionchus for nematode biodiversity assessments. While some species are represented by more than 100 isolates, others were found less than four times. Such patterns were observed on all continents and in all phylogenetic clades indicating that species asymmetry is a widespread phenomenon, which can now be further investigated by molecular tools.

  16. Brain imaging studies of the cocaine addict: Implications for reinforcement and addiction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Volkow, N.D.; Fowler, J.S. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)]|[SUNY, Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY (United States). Dept. of Psychiatry

    1995-07-01

    These studies document dopaminergic abnormalities in cocaine abusers. They also suggest a regulatory role of Dopamine (DA) in frontal metabolism. The correlation of striatal D{sub 2} receptor availability with metabolism was strongest for orbital frontal cortex (OFC) cingulate and prefrontal cortices. In cocaine abusers tested during early withdrawal (<1 week) the OFC was found to be hypermetabolic and metabolism in OFC and prefrontal cortices were found to be significantly associated with cocaine craving . Thus, we postulate that repeated and intermittent DA stimulation, as seen during a cocaine binge, activates the prefrontal and OFC cortices increasing the drive to compulsively self-administer cocaine. During cocaine discontinuation and protracted withdrawal and with decreased DA stimulation, these frontal cortical regions become hyponietabolic. Dopaminergic stimulation by a DA-enhancing drug and/or environmental conditioning will reactivate these frontal regions resetting the compulsion to self-administer cocaine and the inability to terminate this behavior. The pharmacokionetic studies with [11C]cocaine are consistent with behavioral and pharmacological studies in animals as well as in vitro studies which have revealed that while the mechanisms for cocaine`s reinforcing properties are complex, they partly involve the brain`s dopamine system and also highlight the importance of cocaine`s pharmacokinetic on its unique reinforcing properties.

  17. The Lateralization of Intrinsic Networks in the Aging Brain Implicates the Effects of Cognitive Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Cheng; Zhang, Xingxing; Cao, Xinyi; Gan, Yulong; Li, Ting; Cheng, Yan; Cao, Weifang; Jiang, Lijuan; Yao, Dezhong; Li, Chunbo

    2016-01-01

    Lateralization of function is an important organization of the human brain. The distribution of intrinsic networks in the resting brain is strongly related to cognitive function, gender and age. In this study, a longitudinal design with 1 year's duration was used to evaluate the cognitive training effects on the lateralization of intrinsic networks among healthy older adults. The subjects were divided into two groups randomly: one with multi-domain cognitive training over 3 months and the other as a wait-list control group. Resting state fMRI data were acquired before training and 1 year after training. We analyzed the functional lateralization in 10 common resting state fMRI networks. We observed statically significant training effects on the lateralization of two important RSNs related to high-level cognition: right- and left- frontoparietal networks (FPNs). The lateralization of the left-FPN was retained especially well in the training group but decreased in the control group. The increased lateralization with aging was observed in the cerebellum network (CereN), in which the lateralization was significantly increased in the control group, although the same change tendency was observed in the training group. These findings indicate that the lateralization of the high-level cognitive intrinsic networks is sensitive to multi-domain cognitive training. This study provides neuroimaging evidence to support the hypothesis that cognitive training should have an advantage in preventing cognitive decline in healthy older adults.

  18. The cultural evolution of language and brain: Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colagè, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    Michael A. Arbib's Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH) [1,2] is among the most elaborate attempts at disentangling the issue of language origin. I will focus on the role that cultural evolution, as distinct from biological (genetic) evolution, may have played in the emergence of ;modern; human language (as contrasted with forms of proto-languages).

  19. Quantifying landscape differences across the Tibetan plateau: Implications for topographic relief evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu-Zeng, J.; Tapponnier, P.; Gaudemer, Y.; Ding, L.

    2008-12-01

    We quantify the bulk topographic characteristics of the Tibet-Qinghai plateau with specific focus on three representative regions: northern, central, and southeastern Tibet. Quantitative landscape information is extracted from Shuttle Radar Topography Mission digital elevation models. We find that the morphology of the Tibetan plateau is nonuniform with systematic regional differences. The northern and central parts of the plateau are characterized by what we suggest to call "positive topography," i.e., a topography in which elevation is positively correlated with relief and mean slope. A major change from the internally drained central part of Tibet to the externally drained part of eastern Tibet is accompanied by a transition from low to high relief and from positive to "negative topography," i.e., a topography where there is an inverse or negative correlation between elevation and relief and between elevation and mean slope. Relief in eastern Tibet is largest along rivers as they cross an ancient, eroded plateau margin at high angle to the major strike-slip faults, the Yalong-Yulong thrust belt, implying strong structural control of regional topography. We propose that the evolution of river systems and drainage efficiency, the ability of rivers to transport sediments out of the orogen, coupled with tectonic uplift, is the simplest mechanism to explain systematic regional differences in Tibetan landscapes. Basin filling due to inefficient drainage played a major role in smoothing out the tectonically generated structural relief. This mode of smoothing started concurrently with tectonic construction of the relief, as most clearly illustrated today in the Qilian Shan-Qaidam region of the northeastern plateau. In the interior of Tibet, further "passive" filling, due to internal drainage only, continued to smooth the local relief millions of years after the cessation of major phases of surface uplift due to crustal shortening. Thus, diachronous beveling at high

  20. Tumor Bed Dynamics After Surgical Resection of Brain Metastases: Implications for Postoperative Radiosurgery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jarvis, Lesley A., E-mail: lesley.a.jarvis@hitchcock.org [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Simmons, Nathan E. [Section of Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Bellerive, Marc [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Erkmen, Kadir [Section of Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Eskey, Clifford J. [Department of Radiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Gladstone, David J. [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Hug, Eugen B. [Procure, New York, New York (United States); Roberts, David W. [Section of Neurosurgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States); Hartford, Alan C. [Section of Radiation Oncology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire (United States)

    2012-11-15

    Purpose: To analyze 2 factors that influence timing of radiosurgery after surgical resection of brain metastases: target volume dynamics and intracranial tumor progression in the interval between surgery and cavity stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Methods and Materials: Three diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were retrospectively analyzed for 41 patients with a total of 43 resected brain metastases: preoperative MRI scan (MRI-1), MRI scan within 24 hours after surgery (MRI-2), and MRI scan for radiosurgery planning, which is generally performed {<=}1 week before SRS (MRI-3). Tumors were contoured on MRI-1 scans, and resection cavities were contoured on MRI-2 and MRI-3 scans. Results: The mean tumor volume before surgery was 14.23 cm{sup 3}, and the mean cavity volume was 8.53 cm{sup 3} immediately after surgery and 8.77 cm{sup 3} before SRS. In the interval between surgery and SRS, 20 cavities (46.5%) were stable in size, defined as a change of {<=}2 cm{sup 3}; 10 cavities (23.3%) collapsed by >2 cm{sup 3}; and 13 cavities (30.2%) increased by >2 cm{sup 3}. The unexpected increase in cavity size was a result of local progression (2 cavities), accumulation of cyst-like fluid or blood (9 cavities), and nonspecific postsurgical changes (2 cavities). Finally, in the interval between surgery and SRS, 5 cavities showed definite local tumor progression, 4 patients had progression elsewhere in the brain, 1 patient had both local progression and progression elsewhere, and 33 patients had stable intracranial disease. Conclusions: In the interval between surgical resection and delivery of SRS, surgical cavities are dynamic in size; however, most cavities do not collapse, and nearly one-third are larger at the time of SRS. These observations support obtaining imaging for radiosurgery planning as close to SRS delivery as possible and suggest that delaying SRS after surgery does not offer the benefit of cavity collapse in most patients. A prospective, multi

  1. Perceptions of communicative competence after traumatic brain injury: implications for ecologically-driven intervention targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannizzaro, Michael; Allen, Elizabeth M; Prelock, Patricia

    2011-12-01

    The present study investigated the relationship between non-verbal behaviours and perceptions of the communication abilities of an individual with anomia secondary to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Thirty-four university students studying Communication Sciences and Disorders were randomly assigned to watch or listen to six short clips of an individual with TBI engaged in conversation. Participants rated the individual on communication parameters from a modified version of the Pragmatic Protocol and four other dependent measures of communicative competence. A significant positive correlation was identified between perceptions of gestures and ratings of overall communicative competence, and between perceptions of hand and arm movements and ratings of overall communicative competence. Participant raters who viewed the individual's movements as inappropriate also rated her overall communication abilities less favourably. This finding highlights individuality in perception of communication competence and the importance of assessing communication partners' perceptions in a client's environment to determine socially relevant treatment goals.

  2. Brain Networks Implicated in Seasonal Affective Disorder: A Neuroimaging PET Study of the Serotonin Transporter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Nørgaard

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD is a subtype of Major Depressive Disorder characterized by seasonally occurring depression that often presents with atypical vegetative symptoms such as hypersomnia and carbohydrate craving. It has recently been shown that unlike healthy people, patients with SAD fail to globally downregulate their cerebral serotonin transporter (5-HTT in winter, and that this effect seemed to be particularly pronounced in female S-carriers of the 5-HTTLPR genotype. The purpose of this study was to identify a 5-HTT brain network that accounts for the adaption to the environmental stressor of winter in females with the short 5-HTTLPR genotype, a specific subgroup previously reported to be at increased risk for developing SAD.Methods: Nineteen females, either S' carriers (LG- and S-carriers without SAD (N = 13, mean age 23.6 ± 3.2 year, range 19–28 or S' carriers with SAD (N = 6, mean age 23.7 ± 2.4, range 21–26 were PET-scanned with [11C]DASB during both summer and winter seasons (asymptomatic and symptomatic phase, 38 scans in total in randomized order, defined as a 12-week interval centered on summer or winter solstice. We used a multivariate Partial Least Squares (PLS approach with NPAIRS split-half cross-validation, to identify and map a whole-brain pattern of 5-HTT levels that distinguished the brains of females without SAD from females suffering from SAD.Results: We identified a pattern of 5-HTT levels, distinguishing females with SAD from those without SAD; it included the right superior frontal gyrus, brainstem, globus pallidus (bilaterally and the left hippocampus. Across seasons, female S' carriers without SAD showed nominally higher 5-HTT levels in these regions compared to female S' carriers with SAD, but the group difference was only significant in the winter. Female S' carriers with SAD, in turn, displayed robustly increased 5-HTT levels in the ventral striatum (bilaterally, right orbitofrontal

  3. Genomic imprinting on the X chromosome: implications for brain and behavioral phenotypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, William

    2010-09-01

    Imprinted genes, in contrast to most mammalian genes, are monoallelically expressed in a parent-of-origin dependent manner. The idiosyncratic expression profile associated with imprinted genes arises from the differential epigenetic marking of the alleles in the paternal and maternal germlines. Although small in number, imprinted genes can profoundly influence key developmental and physiological processes, including those in the brain; work in animal models and in humans has shown that such genes can affect behavioral traits and cognition and may confer vulnerability to common mental illnesses. As a consequence of how the X chromosome is inherited, X-linked imprinting may elicit or indeed attenuate sexually dimorphic phenotypes. Thus, studying X-linked imprinting is likely to provide important general information about the evolutionary and mechanistic underpinnings of imprinting, as well as the molecular processes underlying sex-specific neurobiology and sex-biased vulnerability to psychiatric disorders.

  4. Bite or Brain: Implication of sensorimotor regulation and neuroplasticity in oral rehabilitation procedures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kumar, Abhishek; Kothari, Mohit; Grigoriadis, A

    2018-01-01

    Tooth loss, decreased mass and strength of the masticatory muscles leading to difficulty in chewing have been suggested as important determinants of eating and nutrition in the elderly. To compensate for the loss of teeth, in particular, a majority of the elderly rely on dental prosthesis......-aging population and to summarize the emerging studies on oral motor task performance and measures of cortical neuroplasticity induced by systematic training paradigms in healthy participants. Further, brain imaging studies in patients undergoing or undergone oral rehabilitation procedures will be discussed....... Overall, this information is believed to enhance the understanding and develop better rehabilitative strategies to exploit training-induced cortical neuroplasticity in individuals affected by impaired oral motor coordination and function. Training or relearning of oral motor tasks could be important...

  5. Implications of MMP9 for Blood Brain Barrier Disruption And Hemorrhagic Transformation Following Ischemic Stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renee Jade Turner

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Numerous studies have documented increases in matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs, specifically MMP-9 levels following stroke, with such perturbations associated with disruption of the blood brain barrier (BBB, increased risk of hemorrhagic complications and worsened outcome. Despite this, controversy remains as to which cells release MMP-9 at the normal and pathological BBB, with even less clarity in the context of stroke. This may be further complicated by the influence of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA treatment. The aim of the present review is to examine the relationship between neutrophils, MMP-9 and tPA following ischemic stroke to elucidate which cells are responsible for the increases in MMP-9 and resultant barrier changes and hemorrhage observed following stroke.

  6. Uncoupling N-acetylaspartate from brain pathology: implications for Canavan disease gene therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Jonquieres, Georg; Spencer, Ziggy H T; Rowlands, Benjamin D; Klugmann, Claudia B; Bongers, Andre; Harasta, Anne E; Parley, Kristina E; Cederholm, Jennie; Teahan, Orla; Pickford, Russell; Delerue, Fabien; Ittner, Lars M; Fröhlich, Dominik; McLean, Catriona A; Don, Anthony S; Schneider, Miriam; Housley, Gary D; Rae, Caroline D; Klugmann, Matthias

    2018-01-01

    N-Acetylaspartate (NAA) is the second most abundant organic metabolite in the brain, but its physiological significance remains enigmatic. Toxic NAA accumulation appears to be the key factor for neurological decline in Canavan disease-a fatal neurometabolic disorder caused by deficiency in the NAA-degrading enzyme aspartoacylase. To date clinical outcome of gene replacement therapy for this spongiform leukodystrophy has not met expectations. To identify the target tissue and cells for maximum anticipated treatment benefit, we employed comprehensive phenotyping of novel mouse models to assess cell type-specific consequences of NAA depletion or elevation. We show that NAA-deficiency causes neurological deficits affecting unconscious defensive reactions aimed at protecting the body from external threat. This finding suggests, while NAA reduction is pivotal to treat Canavan disease, abrogating NAA synthesis should be avoided. At the other end of the spectrum, while predicting pathological severity in Canavan disease mice, increased brain NAA levels are not neurotoxic per se. In fact, in transgenic mice overexpressing the NAA synthesising enzyme Nat8l in neurons, supra-physiological NAA levels were uncoupled from neurological deficits. In contrast, elimination of aspartoacylase expression exclusively in oligodendrocytes elicited Canavan disease like pathology. Although conditional aspartoacylase deletion in oligodendrocytes abolished expression in the entire CNS, the remaining aspartoacylase in peripheral organs was sufficient to lower NAA levels, delay disease onset and ameliorate histopathology. However, comparable endpoints of the conditional and complete aspartoacylase knockout indicate that optimal Canavan disease gene replacement therapies should restore aspartoacylase expression in oligodendrocytes. On the basis of these findings we executed an ASPA gene replacement therapy targeting oligodendrocytes in Canavan disease mice resulting in reversal of pre

  7. Trajectories of brain system maturation from childhood to older adulthood: Implications for lifespan cognitive functioning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrican, Raluca; Taylor, Margot J; Grady, Cheryl L

    2017-12-01

    The human brain's intrinsic functional architecture reflects behavioural history and can help elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying age-related cognitive changes. To probe this issue, we used resting state (N = 586) and behavioural (N = 255) data from a lifespan sample and tested the interactions among ten intrinsic neural systems, derived from a well-established whole-brain parcellation. Our results revealed three distinguishable profiles, whose expression strengthened with increasing age and which characterized developmental differences in connectivity within the ten systems, between networks thought to underlie cognitive control and non-control systems, and among the non-control networks. The within-network connectivity profile was typified by decreased connectivity within two external processing networks (auditory/language and ventral attention). The non-control-to-non-control connectivity profile was typified by increased separation between networks involved in external processing, including language (dorsal attention, auditory) and those linked to internally generated cognitions and category learning (default mode, subcortical). Finally, the third connectivity profile was characterized by increased coupling of the three control networks (frontoparietal, salience, cingulo-opercular) with one another and with the remaining systems, particularly the subcortical and the two networks showing declining segregation with age. All three profiles showed significant associations with behavior during young adulthood, although these effects were less discernible during early development (before the age of 21) and degraded during late middle age and older adulthood. An exception to this trend was observed with respect to the within-network connectivity profile, whose "precocious" expression during early development predicted superior cognitive functioning. These findings thus help explain lifespan changes in the quality of mental processes, while also pointing to

  8. The microbiome-gut-brain axis: implications for schizophrenia and antipsychotic induced weight gain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanji, S; Fonseka, T M; Marshe, V S; Sriretnakumar, V; Hahn, M K; Müller, D J

    2018-02-01

    With the emergence of knowledge implicating the human gut microbiome in the development and regulation of several physiological systems, evidence has accumulated to suggest a role for the gut microbiome in psychiatric conditions and drug response. A complex relationship between the enteric nervous system, the gut microbiota and the central nervous system has been described which allows for the microbiota to influence and respond to a variety of behaviors and psychiatric conditions. Additionally, the use of pharmaceuticals may interact with and alter the microbiota to potentially contribute to adverse effects of the drug. The gut microbiota has been described in several psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety, but only a few reports have discussed the role of the microbiome in schizophrenia. The following review examines the evidence surrounding the gut microbiota in behavior and psychiatric illness, the role of the microbiota in schizophrenia and the potential for antipsychotics to alter the gut microbiota and promote adverse metabolic events.

  9. Circadian influences on dopamine circuits of the brain: regulation of striatal rhythms of clock gene expression and implications for psychopathology and disease [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Verwey

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Circadian clock proteins form an autoregulatory feedback loop that is central to the endogenous generation and transmission of daily rhythms in behavior and physiology. Increasingly, circadian rhythms in clock gene expression are being reported in diverse tissues and brain regions that lie outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN, the master circadian clock in mammals. For many of these extra-SCN rhythms, however, the region-specific implications are still emerging. In order to gain important insights into the potential behavioral, physiological, and psychological relevance of these daily oscillations, researchers have begun to focus on describing the neurochemical, hormonal, metabolic, and epigenetic contributions to the regulation of these rhythms. This review will highlight important sites and sources of circadian control within dopaminergic and striatal circuitries of the brain and will discuss potential implications for psychopathology and disease. For example, rhythms in clock gene expression in the dorsal striatum are sensitive to changes in dopamine release, which has potential implications for Parkinson’s disease and drug addiction. Rhythms in the ventral striatum and limbic forebrain are sensitive to psychological and physical stressors, which may have implications for major depressive disorder. Collectively, a rich circadian tapestry has emerged that forces us to expand traditional views and to reconsider the psychopathological, behavioral, and physiological importance of these region-specific rhythms in brain areas that are not immediately linked with the regulation of circadian rhythms.

  10. Evolution of Two Urbanized Estuaries: Environmental Change, Legal Framework, and Implications for Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro J. Pinto

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The San Francisco Bay (CA, USA and the Tagus Estuary (Lisbon, Portugal share striking similarities in terms of morphology and urban development. A finer analysis of development patterns reveals crucial differences in the extent of shoreline alteration and types of land use that now encroach upon natural estuarine habitat. Through historical map analysis and prior stratigraphic and historical research, we reconstruct in GIS environment the evolution of both estuaries over the last millennia and the relative distribution of different classes of land cover. We also discuss the legal frameworks that accompanied this evolution, and how they have influenced the process of wetland reclamation and landfilling. We compared the legal history and synchronous patterns of development by compiling historical mapping information and resorting to GIS analysis to explore spatial patterns over time. This method was useful in isolating events and decisions that were unique to each of the case studies. The Tagus Estuary has experienced disruption of natural environments for over two millennia. Yet, the State has been able to keep estuarine lowlands under public control, even if vast areas have been transformed into farmland. Public control could allow wetland migration with rising seas and restoration efforts. The San Francisco Bay was affected by several decades of elevated sediment loads in the 19th century, which induced rapid wetland expansion, but virtual cutoff of sediment supply by dams in the 20th century now impairs their ability to accrete. Meanwhile, tidal wetlands were subject to extremely fast and poorly regulated development. Artificially filled and/or drained wetlands were transferred to local governments and private landowners, in violation of the Public Trust Doctrine. The transformation of wetlands into salt ponds, industrial zones and even residential neighborhoods created extensive developed areas at or below sea level, which are vulnerable to

  11. Postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery to the resection cavity for large brain metastases: clinical outcomes, predictors of intracranial failure, and implications for optimal patient selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Diane C; Vargo, John A; Wegner, Rodney E; Flickinger, John C; Burton, Steven A; Engh, Johnathan; Amankulor, Nduka; Quinn, Annette E; Ozhasoglu, Cihat; Heron, Dwight E

    2015-02-01

    Postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery for brain metastases potentially offers similar local control rates and fewer long-term neurocognitive sequelae compared to whole brain radiation therapy, although patients remain at risk for distant brain failure (DBF). To describe clinical outcomes of adjuvant stereotactic radiosurgery for large brain metastases and identify predictors of intracranial failure and their implications on optimal patient selection criteria. We performed a retrospective review on 100 large (>3 cm) brain metastases in 99 patients managed by resection followed by postoperative stereotactic radiosurgery to a median dose of 22 Gy (range, 10-28) in 1 to 5 fractions (median, 3). Primary histology was nonsmall cell lung in 40%, breast cancer in 18%, and melanoma in 17%. Forty (40%) patients had uncontrolled systemic disease. With a median follow-up of 12.2 months (range, 0.6-87.4), the 1-year Kaplan-Meier local control was 72%, DBF 64%, and overall survival 55%. Nine patients (9%) developed evidence of radiation injury, and 6 (6%) developed leptomeningeal disease. Uncontrolled systemic disease (P=.03), melanoma histology (P=.04), and increasing number of brain metastases (Pstereotactic radiosurgery to the resection cavity safely and effectively augments local control of large brain metastases. Patients with <4 metastases and controlled systemic disease have significantly lower rates of DBF and are ideal treatment candidates.

  12. Withdrawal properties of a neuroactive steroid: implications for GABA(A) receptor gene regulation in the brain and anxiety behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Sheryl S

    2002-05-01

    Early work in the field established that the 5 alpha-reduced metabolite of progesterone 3 alpha-OH-5 alpha-pregnan-20-one (allopregnanolone or 3 alpha,5 alpha-THP) is a potent positive modulator of the GABA(A) receptor (GABAR), the receptor mediating the effects of the primary inhibitory transmitter in the brain. This steroid acts in a manner similar to sedative drugs, such as the barbiturates, both in terms of potentiating GABA-induced inhibition in vitro and in behavioral assays, by reducing anxiety and seizure susceptibility. Because sedative compounds exhibit withdrawal properties that result in behavioral hyperexcitability, our laboratory has more recently investigated the effect of prolonged application and rapid removal (i.e. 'withdrawal') of this steroid, administered in vivo to female rats. Withdrawal from 3 alpha,5 alpha-THP produces a state of increased anxiety and lowered seizure threshold, similar to withdrawal from other GABA-modulatory drugs such as the benzodiazepines and alcohol. Hormone withdrawal also produced increases in the alpha 4-containing GABAR, an effect correlated with insensitivity of the GABAR to modulation by the benzodiazepine class of tranquilizers, as would normally occur under control conditions. In addition, changes in intrinsic channel properties, including a marked acceleration in the decay rate was also observed as a result of declining levels of 3 alpha,5 alpha-THP. Such a change would result in less inhibitory total current, and the resulting increase in neuronal excitability could then underlie the observed behavioral excitability following hormone withdrawal. These results suggest that actions of this steroid on a traditional transmitter receptor in the brain lead to alterations in GABAR subunit composition that result in changes in the intrinsic channel properties of the receptor and behavioral excitability. These results may have implications for endogenous fluctuations in this hormone which may accompany premenstrual

  13. Conference on Early Mars: Geologic and Hydrologic Evolution, Physical and Chemical Environments, and the Implications for Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clifford, S. M. (Editor); Treiman, A. H. (Editor); Newsom, H. E. (Editor); Farmer, J. D. (Editor)

    1997-01-01

    Topics considered include: Geology alteration and life in an extreme environment; developing a chemical code to identify magnetic biominerals; effect of impacts on early Martin geologic evolution; spectroscopic identification of minerals in Hematite-bearing soils and sediments; exopaleontology and the search for a Fossil record on Mars; geochemical evolution of the crust of Mars; geological evolution of the early earth;solar-wind-induced erosion of the Mars atmosphere. Also included geological evolution of the crust of Mars.

  14. Tracking the Emergence of Host-Specific Simian Immunodeficiency Virus env and nef Populations Reveals nef Early Adaptation and Convergent Evolution in Brain of Naturally Progressing Rhesus Macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamers, Susanna L; Nolan, David J; Rife, Brittany D; Fogel, Gary B; McGrath, Michael S; Burdo, Tricia H; Autissier, Patrick; Williams, Kenneth C; Goodenow, Maureen M; Salemi, Marco

    2015-08-01

    While a clear understanding of the events leading to successful establishment of host-specific viral populations and productive infection in the central nervous system (CNS) has not yet been reached, the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaque provides a powerful model for the study of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) intrahost evolution and neuropathogenesis. The evolution of the gp120 and nef genes, which encode two key proteins required for the establishment and maintenance of infection, was assessed in macaques that were intravenously inoculated with the same viral swarm and allowed to naturally progress to simian AIDS and potential SIV-associated encephalitis (SIVE). Longitudinal plasma samples and immune markers were monitored until terminal illness. Single-genome sequencing was employed to amplify full-length env through nef transcripts from plasma over time and from brain tissues at necropsy. nef sequences diverged from the founder virus faster than gp120 diverged. Host-specific sequence populations were detected in nef (~92 days) before they were detected in gp120 (~182 days). At necropsy, similar brain nef sequences were found in different macaques, indicating convergent evolution, while gp120 brain sequences remained largely host specific. Molecular clock and selection analyses showed weaker clock-like behavior and stronger selection pressure in nef than in gp120, with the strongest nef selection in the macaque with SIVE. Rapid nef diversification, occurring prior to gp120 diversification, indicates that early adaptation of nef in the new host is essential for successful infection. Moreover, the convergent evolution of nef sequences in the CNS suggests a significant role for nef in establishing neurotropic strains. The SIV-infected rhesus macaque model closely resembles HIV-1 immunopathogenesis, neuropathogenesis, and disease progression in humans. Macaques were intravenously infected with identical viral swarms to investigate

  15. Opposite modulation of brain functional networks implicated at low vs. high demand of attention and working memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiansong Xu

    Full Text Available Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI studies indicate that the brain organizes its activity into multiple functional networks (FNs during either resting condition or task-performance. However, the functions of these FNs are not fully understood yet.To investigate the operation of these FNs, spatial independent component analysis (sICA was used to extract FNs from fMRI data acquired from healthy participants performing a visual task with two levels of attention and working memory load. The task-related modulations of extracted FNs were assessed. A group of FNs showed increased activity at low-load conditions and reduced activity at high-load conditions. These FNs together involve the left lateral frontoparietal cortex, insula, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. A second group of FNs showed increased activity at high-load conditions and reduced activity at low-load conditions. These FNs together involve the intraparietal sulcus, frontal eye field, lateral frontoparietal cortex, insula, and dorsal anterior cingulate, bilaterally. Though the two groups of FNs showed opposite task-related modulations, they overlapped extensively at both the lateral and medial frontoparietal cortex and insula. Such an overlap of FNs would not likely be revealed using standard general-linear-model-based analyses.By assessing task-related modulations, this study differentiated the functional roles of overlapping FNs. Several FNs including the left frontoparietal network are implicated in task conditions of low attentional load, while another set of FNs including the dorsal attentional network is implicated in task conditions involving high attentional demands.

  16. Dolphin social intelligence: complex alliance relationships in bottlenose dolphins and a consideration of selective environments for extreme brain size evolution in mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connor, Richard C

    2007-04-29

    Bottlenose dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia, live in a large, unbounded society with a fission-fusion grouping pattern. Potential cognitive demands include the need to develop social strategies involving the recognition of a large number of individuals and their relationships with others. Patterns of alliance affiliation among males may be more complex than are currently known for any non-human, with individuals participating in 2-3 levels of shifting alliances. Males mediate alliance relationships with gentle contact behaviours such as petting, but synchrony also plays an important role in affiliative interactions. In general, selection for social intelligence in the context of shifting alliances will depend on the extent to which there are strategic options and risk. Extreme brain size evolution may have occurred more than once in the toothed whales, reaching peaks in the dolphin family and the sperm whale. All three 'peaks' of large brain size evolution in mammals (odontocetes, humans and elephants) shared a common selective environment: extreme mutual dependence based on external threats from predators or conspecific groups. In this context, social competition, and consequently selection for greater cognitive abilities and large brain size, was intense.

  17. Neuroimaging assessment of early and late neurobiological sequelae of traumatic brain injury: implications for CTE

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    Mark eSundman

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI has been increasingly accepted as a major external risk factor for neurodegenerative morbidity and mortality. Recent evidence indicates that the resultant chronic neurobiological sequelae following head trauma may, at least in part, contribute to a pathologically distinct disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE. The clinical manifestation of CTE is variable, but the symptoms of this progressive disease include impaired memory and cognition, affective disorders (i.e., impulsivity, aggression, depression, suicidality, etc., and diminished motor control. Notably, mounting evidence suggests that the pathology contributing to CTE may be caused by repetitive exposure to subconcussive hits to the head, even in those with no history of a clinically evident head injury. Given the millions of athletes and military personnel with potential exposure to repetitive subconcussive insults and TBI, CTE represents an important public health issue. However, the incidence rates and pathological mechanisms are still largely unknown, primarily due to the fact that there is no in vivo diagnostic tool. The primary objective of this manuscript is to address this limitation and discuss potential neuroimaging modalities that may be capable of diagnosing CTE in vivo through the detection of tau and other known pathological features. Additionally, we will discuss the challenges of TBI research, outline the known pathology of CTE (with an emphasis on Tau, review current neuroimaging modalities to assess the potential routes for in vivo diagnosis, and discuss the future directions of CTE research.

  18. Beyond academic performance: Practice implications for working with students following traumatic brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mealings, Margaret; Douglas, Jacinta; Olver, John

    2017-10-01

    Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) have a key role in supporting educational participation for secondary and tertiary students with traumatic brain injury (TBI). This article aims to (i) explore issues identified by students with TBI that affect educational participation beyond their academic performance, (ii) offer a framework based on research evidence to guide the practice of SLPs and (iii) explore strategies that may expand the traditional roles of SLPs to support students beyond academic performance. Data were drawn from an earlier qualitative research project in which three adolescent males were interviewed about their experiences of returning to education after severe TBI. Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a grounded theory approach. Six themes were identified that had a substantial impact beyond academic performance: poor community awareness of TBI, the invisible nature of TBI, getting back to everyday life, planning to return to education, being accepted and adjusting to long-term changes. Incorporating these factors, a clinical framework is put forward to guide SLPs in developing strategies for promoting positive educational participation. By considering factors beyond academic performance and addressing these in intervention, SLPs may significantly improve the overall educational success and wellbeing of students living with TBI.

  19. New perspectives on the brain lesion approach - implications for theoretical models of human memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irish, Muireann; van Kesteren, Marlieke T R

    2017-11-06

    Human lesion studies represent the cornerstone of modern day neuropsychology and provide an important adjunct to functional neuroimaging methods. The study of human lesion groups with damage to distinct regions of the brain permits the identification of underlying mechanisms and structures not only associated with, but essential for, complex cognitive processes. Here, we consider a recent review by McCormick et al. in which the power of the lesion model approach is elegantly presented with respect to a host of sophisticated cognitive endeavours, including autobiographical memory, future thinking, spatial navigation, and decision-making. By comparing profiles of loss and sparing in hippocampal (HC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) lesion groups, the authors provide new insights into the underlying neuroarchitecture of these diverse cognitive functions. Building on this framework, we consider how vmPFC and HC degeneration, in the context of large-scale network dysfunction in dementia, impacts discrete facets of memory and social cognition. Notably, we find remarkable concordance between the available evidence in dementia and that of the HC and vmPFC lesion literature. We further assess the role of the prefrontal cortex in modulating aspects of spatial navigation and discuss the role of schema-related processing in the service of memory more broadly. Far from being obsolete, we contend that human lesion work occupies a crucial position in cognitive neuroscience and offers an array of exciting areas for future study within this field. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Neutrotoxic effects of fructose administration in rat brain: implications for fructosemia

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    Ernesto A. Macongonde

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Fructose accumulates in tissue and body fluids of patients affected by hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI, a disorder caused by the deficiency of aldolase B. We investigated the effect of acute fructose administration on the biochemical profile and on the activities of the Krebs cycle enzymes in the cerebral cortex of young rats. Rats received a subcutaneous injection of NaCl (0.9 %; control group or fructose solution (5 μmol/g; treated group. Twelve or 24 h after the administration, the animals were euthanized and the cerebral cortices were isolated. Peripheral blood (to obtain the serum and cerebral spinal fluid (CSF from the animals were also collected. It was observed that albumin levels were decreased and cholesterol levels were increased in CSF of animals 12 h after the administration of fructose. In addition, serum lactate levels were increased 12 h after the administration, as compared to control group. Furthermore, malate dehydrogenase activity was increased in cerebral cortex from treated group 24 h after the administration of this carbohydrate. Herein we demonstrate that fructose administration alters biochemical parameters in CSF and serum and bioenergetics parameters in the cerebral cortex. These findings indicate a possible role of fructose on brain alterations found in HFI patients.

  1. Brain response to a humanoid robot in areas implicated in the perception of human emotional gestures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaminade, Thierry; Zecca, Massimiliano; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Takanishi, Atsuo; Frith, Chris D; Micera, Silvestro; Dario, Paolo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Gallese, Vittorio; Umiltà, Maria Alessandra

    2010-07-21

    The humanoid robot WE4-RII was designed to express human emotions in order to improve human-robot interaction. We can read the emotions depicted in its gestures, yet might utilize different neural processes than those used for reading the emotions in human agents. Here, fMRI was used to assess how brain areas activated by the perception of human basic emotions (facial expression of Anger, Joy, Disgust) and silent speech respond to a humanoid robot impersonating the same emotions, while participants were instructed to attend either to the emotion or to the motion depicted. Increased responses to robot compared to human stimuli in the occipital and posterior temporal cortices suggest additional visual processing when perceiving a mechanical anthropomorphic agent. In contrast, activity in cortical areas endowed with mirror properties, like left Broca's area for the perception of speech, and in the processing of emotions like the left anterior insula for the perception of disgust and the orbitofrontal cortex for the perception of anger, is reduced for robot stimuli, suggesting lesser resonance with the mechanical agent. Finally, instructions to explicitly attend to the emotion significantly increased response to robot, but not human facial expressions in the anterior part of the left inferior frontal gyrus, a neural marker of motor resonance. Motor resonance towards a humanoid robot, but not a human, display of facial emotion is increased when attention is directed towards judging emotions. Artificial agents can be used to assess how factors like anthropomorphism affect neural response to the perception of human actions.

  2. Autobiographical memory and hyperassociativity in the dreaming brain: Implications for memory consolidation in sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline L Horton

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper we argue that autobiographical memory activity across sleep and wake can provide insight into the nature of dreaming, and vice versa. Activated memories within the sleeping brain reflect one’s personal life history (autobiography. They can appear in largely fragmentary forms and differ from conventional manifestations of episodic memory. Autobiographical memories in dreams can be sampled from non-REM as well as REM periods, which contain fewer episodic references and become more bizarre across the night. Salient fragmented memory features are activated in sleep and re-bound with fragments not necessarily emerging from the same memory, thus de-contextualising those memories and manifesting as experiences that differ from waking conceptions. The constructive nature of autobiographical recall further encourages synthesis of these hyper-associated images into an episode via recalling and reporting dreams. We use a model of autobiographical memory to account for the activation of memories in dreams as a reflection of sleep-dependent memory consolidation processes. We focus in particular on the hyperassociative nature of autobiographical memory during sleep.

  3. [Deep brain stimulation for addiction, anorexia and compulsion. Rationale, clinical results and ethical implications].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartsch, C; Kuhn, J

    2014-02-01

    As an established treatment for movement disorders, the application of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for psychiatric indications has been investigated for almost 15 years. A CE label (also FDA approval) has recently been obtained for treatment of refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). This article aims at illustrating the current state of DBS in the treatment of refractory OCD. In addition, initial experimental approaches to investigate the potential use of DBS in substance addiction and anorexia nervosa (AN) will also be outlined as both disorders share some common features with OCD. The present review is based on a keyword literature search (PubMed) while taking into account relevant references and own investigations Although the number of clinical trials for treatment of refractory OCD is limited and sample sizes are small, there is some evidence for a substantial improvement, a so-called full response of OCD symptoms under DBS. However, not all patients benefit from the intervention. Regarding substance addiction and AN, data are scarce and are only indicative of a potential benefit at most. Present data regarding the clinical benefits of DBS in OCD are encouraging and open up new avenues for the treatment of therapy refractory patients. However, several aspects, such as mechanisms of action, predictors and long-term side effect profiles, are incomplete or even unknown. In the case of addiction and AN, DBS remains purely experimental, at least for the moment. Hence, clinical trials should remain the gold standard for all three indications.

  4. Being a Woman With Acquired Brain Injury: Challenges and Implications for Practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haag, Halina L; Caringal, Michiko; Sokoloff, Sandra; Kontos, Pia; Yoshida, Karen; Colantonio, Angela

    2016-02-01

    To explore the experiences of women with acquired brain injury (ABI) to gain greater insight into their general and sex- and gender-specific health and well-being concerns, and to identify areas for future research. A qualitative pilot study using interpretive description methodology and a sex-and gender-based analysis of data collected through focus groups. Community. A sample of survivors, and formal and informal caregivers of women with ABI (N=16). Not applicable. Not applicable. Participants identified significant barriers to achieving optimal health and well-being for women survivors of ABI, including a lack of knowledgeable professionals. We identify 3 interrelated themes: (1) experiences shaped by gender norms and roles; (2) experiences influenced by physiological phenomena, including perceived hormone imbalances; and (3) experiences surrounding interpersonal relationships and sexuality. Post-ABI care should include education about the influences of sex and gender on health and well-being. Acknowledging the impact of gendered roles, and the broader sociopolitical context of gender and disability, is important to develop appropriate services and supports after ABI. Incorporating effective communication strategies between patient and health care professional can also be a potent rehabilitation strategy. Copyright © 2016 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Thinking Ahead on Deep Brain Stimulation: An Analysis of the Ethical Implications of a Developing Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johansson, Veronica; Garwicz, Martin; Kanje, Martin; Halldenius, Lena; Schouenborg, Jens

    2014-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a developing technology. New generations of DBS technology are already in the pipeline, yet this particular fact has been largely ignored among ethicists interested in DBS. Focusing only on ethical concerns raised by the current DBS technology is, albeit necessary, not sufficient. Since current bioethical concerns raised by a specific technology could be quite different from the concerns it will raise a couple of years ahead, an ethical analysis should be sensitive to such alterations, or it could end up with results that soon become dated. The goal of this analysis is to address these changing bioethical concerns, to think ahead on upcoming and future DBS concerns both in terms of a changing technology and changing moral attitudes. By employing the distinction between inherent and noninherent bioethical concerns we identify and make explicit the particular limits and potentials for change within each category, respectively, including how present and upcoming bioethical concerns regarding DBS emerge and become obsolete. Many of the currently identified ethical problems with DBS, such as stimulation-induced mania, are a result of suboptimal technology. These challenges could be addressed by technical advances, while for instance perceptions of an altered body image caused by the mere awareness of having an implant may not. Other concerns will not emerge until the technology has become sophisticated enough for new uses to be realized, such as concerns on DBS for enhancement purposes. As a part of the present analysis, concerns regarding authenticity are used as an example.

  6. Iron Speciation in Minerals and Melts at High Pressure: Implications for the Redox Evolution of the Early Mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, K.; Frost, D. J.; McCammon, C. A.; Rubie, D. C.; Boffa Ballaran, T.; Miyajima, N.

    2016-12-01

    During the differentiation of the early Earth, the silicates of the mantle must have been in equilibrium with core-forming metal iron, as indicated by the depletion of siderophile elements from the mantle. Studies of ancient rocks suggest that by at least 3.9 Ga, the upper mantle was 4-5 log units more oxidized than metal saturation implies (Delano 2001). The process(es) by which the mantle was oxidized is unclear, but has implications for the timing of accretion, differentiation, and volatile delivery to the early Earth, as well as evolution of the early atmosphere. One plausible oxidation mechanism is suggested by the tendency of high-pressure silicate minerals to favor Fe3+ over Fe2+ in their structures, even at metal saturation. This preference in the lower mantle mineral bridgmanite has been proposed to drive the disproportionation reaction of FeO to form Fe­2O3 and iron metal (Frost and McCammon 2008). We have performed experiments at the Ru-RuO2 fO2 buffer which show that silicate melts may mirror this behavior and Fe3+ may be stabilized with pressure for a constant fO2; by 21 GPa, the previously observed trend of Fe3+ decreasing with pressure (O'Neill, 2006) reverses and ferric iron content had increased. If this is also the case at lower oxygen fugacities, FeO disproportionation may have occurred at the base of an early magma ocean, establishing a redox gradient similar to what is presumed for the mantle today. Here we report results of further multianvil and diamond anvil cell experiments exploring the plausibility of FeO disproportionation driving mantle oxidation. Experiments investigating Fe speciation in high pressure melts at variable fO2 will be discussed along with results of diamond anvil cell experiments investigating ferric iron content of lower mantle minerals at metal saturation.

  7. The geochemical evolution of syncollisional magmatism and the implications for significant magmatic-hydrothermal lead-zinc mineralization (Gangdese, Tibet)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Jinsheng; Yang, Zhusen; Hou, Zengqian; Liu, Yingchao; Zhao, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Xiong; Zhao, Miao; Ma, Wang

    2017-09-01

    In addition to well-known subduction processes, the collision of two continents also generates abundant ore deposits, as in the case of the Tibetan Plateau, which is the youngest and most spectacular collisional belt on Earth. During the building history of the Gangdese magmatic belt, several magmatic flare-up events developed, however, significant magmatic-hydrothermal lead-zinc mineralization dominantly accompanied the magmatism during the syncollisional period ( 65-41 Ma). Based on integrated geochemical and isotopic data, we provide insights into the genesis and evolution of syncollisional magmas, and their implications for significant magmatic-hydrothermal lead-zinc mineralization. The Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of most syncollisional igneous rocks (87Sr/86Sr = 0.7034-0.7123; εNd(t) = - 9.0 to + 1.8) indicate a mixing origin between mantle-derived basaltic magmas and ancient crustal melts, and fractional crystallization is a fundamental mechanism by which syncollisional magmas evolve towards intermediate to silicic compositions. Most lead-zinc mineralization-related plutons are high silica (76.14% wt.% SiO2 on average), high oxygen fugacity (average ΔFMQ + 2.5) granites with highly evolved chemical signatures [average Eun/Eun* = 0.33, high Rb/Sr (average = 3.9)], and they represent the final products from primary magmas. Due to the contribution of ancient crustal melts to the genesis of mineralization-related parent magmas, the spatial distribution of Pb-Zn deposits within the northern Gangdese magmatic belt is controlled by the lithospheric architecture. In compressional environments, magmas have low evacuation efficiency and long magma chamber lifespan, which is favorable for basaltic parents evolved to high silica granites through sufficient fractional crystallization. This scenario contributes to our understanding of the significant magmatic-hydrothermal lead-zinc mineralization that occurred in the syncollisional period.

  8. Shared brain activity for aesthetic and moral judgments: implications for the Beauty-is-Good stereotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsukiura, Takashi; Cabeza, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    The Beauty-is-Good stereotype refers to the assumption that attractive people possess sociably desirable personalities and higher moral standards. The existence of this bias suggests that the neural mechanisms for judging facial attractiveness and moral goodness overlap. To investigate this idea, we scanned participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they made attractiveness judgments about faces and goodness judgments about hypothetical actions. Activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex increased as a function of both attractiveness and goodness ratings, whereas activity in the insular cortex decreased with both attractiveness and goodness ratings. Within each of these regions, the activations elicited by attractiveness and goodness judgments were strongly correlated with each other, supporting the idea of similar contributions of each region to both judgments. Moreover, activations in orbitofrontal and insular cortices were negatively correlated with each other, suggesting an opposing relationship between these regions during attractiveness and goodness judgments. These findings have implications for understanding the neural mechanisms of the Beauty-is-Good stereotype.

  9. Shared brain activity for aesthetic and moral judgments: implications for the Beauty-is-Good stereotype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabeza, Roberto

    2011-01-01

    The Beauty-is-Good stereotype refers to the assumption that attractive people possess sociably desirable personalities and higher moral standards. The existence of this bias suggests that the neural mechanisms for judging facial attractiveness and moral goodness overlap. To investigate this idea, we scanned participants with functional magnetic resonance imaging while they made attractiveness judgments about faces and goodness judgments about hypothetical actions. Activity in the medial orbitofrontal cortex increased as a function of both attractiveness and goodness ratings, whereas activity in the insular cortex decreased with both attractiveness and goodness ratings. Within each of these regions, the activations elicited by attractiveness and goodness judgments were strongly correlated with each other, supporting the idea of similar contributions of each region to both judgments. Moreover, activations in orbitofrontal and insular cortices were negatively correlated with each other, suggesting an opposing relationship between these regions during attractiveness and goodness judgments. These findings have implications for understanding the neural mechanisms of the Beauty-is-Good stereotype. PMID:20231177

  10. [From brain imaging to good teaching? implicating from neuroscience for research on learning and instruction].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubenrauch, Christa; Krinzinger, Helga; Konrad, Kerstin

    2014-07-01

    Psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence, in particular attention deficit disorder or specific learning disorders like developmental dyslexia and developmental dyscalculia, affect academic performance and learning at school. Recent advances in neuroscientific research have incited an intensive debate both in the general public and in the field of educational and instructional science as well as to whether and to what extent these new findings in the field of neuroscience might be of importance for school-related learning and instruction. In this review, we first summarize neuroscientific findings related to the development of attention, working memory and executive functions in typically developing children and then evaluate their relevance for school-related learning. We present an overview of neuroimaging studies of specific learning disabilities such as developmental dyslexia and developmental dyscalculia, and critically discuss their practical implications for educational and teaching practice, teacher training, early diagnosis as well as prevention and disorder-specific therapy. We conclude that the new interdisciplinary field of neuroeducation cannot be expected to provide direct innovative educational applications (e.g., teaching methods). Rather, the future potential of neuroscience lies in creating a deeper understanding of the underlying cognitive mechanisms and pathomechanisms of learning processes and learning disorders.

  11. Tumor histology and location predict deep nuclei toxicity: Implications for late effects from focal brain irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Plaga, Alexis; Shields, Lisa B.E. [Norton Neuroscience Institute, Louisville, KY (United States); Sun, David A.; Vitaz, Todd W. [Norton Neuroscience Institute, Louisville, KY (United States); Brain Tumor Center, Norton Healthcare, Louisville, KY (United States); Spalding, Aaron C., E-mail: acspalding1@gmail.com [Brain Tumor Center, Norton Healthcare, Louisville, KY (United States); Norton Cancer Institute, Radiation Center, Kosair Children' s Hospital, Louisville, KY (United States)

    2012-10-01

    Normal tissue toxicity resulting from both disease and treatment is an adverse side effect in the management of patients with central nervous system malignancies. We tested the hypothesis that despite these improvements, certain tumors place patients at risk for neurocognitive, neuroendocrine, and neurosensory late effects. Defining patient groups at risk for these effects could allow for development of preventive strategies. Fifty patients with primary brain tumors underwent radiation planning with magnetic resonance imaging scan and computed tomography datasets. Organs at risk (OAR) responsible for neurocognitive, neuroendocrine, and neurosensory function were defined. Inverse-planned intensity-modulated radiation therapy was optimized with priority given to target coverage while penalties were assigned to exceeding normal tissue tolerances. Tumor laterality, location, and histology were compared with OAR doses, and analysis of variance was performed to determine the significance of any observed correlation. The ipsilateral hippocampus exceeded dose limits in frontal (74%), temporal (94%), and parietal (100%) lobe tumor locations. The contralateral hippocampus was at risk in the following tumor locations: frontal (53%), temporal (83%), or parietal (50%) lobe. Patients with high-grade glioma were at risk for ipsilateral (88%) and contralateral (73%) hippocampal damage (P <0.05 compared with other histologies). The pituitary gland and hypothalamus exceeded dose tolerances in patients with pituitary tumors (both 100%) and high-grade gliomas (50% and 75%, P <0.05 compared with other histologies), respectively. Despite application of modern radiation therapy, certain tumor locations and histologies continue to place patients at risk for morbidity. Patients with high-grade gliomas or tumors located in the frontal, temporal, or parietal lobes are at risk for neurocognitive decline, likely because of larger target volumes and higher radiation doses. Data from this study

  12. Brain circuits implicated in psychogenic paralysis in conversion disorders and hypnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuilleumier, P

    2014-10-01

    Conversion disorders are defined as neurological symptoms arising without organic damage to the nervous system, presumably in relation to various emotional stress factors, but the exact neural substrates of these symptoms and the mechanisms responsible for their production remain poorly understood. In the past 15 years, novel insights have been gained with the advent of functional neuroimaging studies in patients suffering from conversion disorders in both motor and non-motor (e.g. somatosensory, visual) domains. Several studies have also compared brain activation patterns in conversion to those observed during hypnosis, where similar functional losses can be evoked by suggestion. The current review summarizes these recent results and the main neurobiological hypotheses proposed to account for conversion symptoms, in particular motor deficits. An emerging model points to an important role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC), precuneus, and perhaps other limbic structures (including amygdala), all frequently found to be hyperactivated in conversion disorders in parallel to impaired recruitment of primary motor and/or sensory pathways at the cortical or subcortical (basal ganglia) level. These findings are only partly shared with hypnosis, where increases in precuneus predominate, together with activation of attentional control systems, but without any activation of VMPFC. Both VMPFC and precuneus are key regions for access to internal representations about the self, integrating information from memory and imagery with affective relevance (in VMPFC) and sensory or agency representations (in precuneus). It is therefore postulated that conversion deficits might result from an alteration of conscious sensorimotor functions and self-awareness under the influence of affective and sensory representations generated in these regions, which might promote certain patterns of behaviors in response to self-relevant emotional states. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Masson SAS

  13. Blood-brain barrier breakdown in reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome: Implications for pathophysiology and diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Mi Ji; Cha, Jihoon; Choi, Hyun Ah; Woo, Sook-Young; Kim, Seonwoo; Wang, Shuu-Jiun; Chung, Chin-Sang

    2017-03-01

    Diagnosis of reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RCVS) is currently based on luminographic findings of vasoconstriction. In addition to vasoconstriction, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) breakdown has been postulated as a central mechanism of RCVS. Our aim was to document BBB breakdown in patients with RCVS and its role for the pathophysiology-based diagnosis of RCVS. We prospectively recruited 72 consecutive patients with thunderclap headache who did not have aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage from April 2015 to July 2016 at the Samsung Medical Center. Based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders-3 beta criteria and neuroimaging, patients were classified as having RCVS (n = 41; "definite" in 29 imaging-proven patients and "probable" in 12 imaging-negative patients), other secondary causes (n = 7), and thunderclap headache of undetermined cause (n = 24). BBB breakdown was evaluated using contrast-enhanced fluid-attenuated inversion recovery magnetic resonance imaging. BBB breakdown was documented in 20 (69.0%) patients with definite RCVS, 3 (25.0%) patients with probable RCVS, and none with other secondary causes. BBB breakdown was present in RCVS patients with (n = 4) and without (n = 19) concomitant posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome. In patients with RCVS, the extent of BBB breakdown was independently associated with neurological complications (multivariate odds ratio = 1.48 per 1 territorial increase, 95% confidence interval = 1.04-2.12, adjusted p = 0.032). Three (12.5%) patients with thunderclap headache of undetermined cause were newly classified as having RCVS by the presence of BBB breakdown. This is the first study to show BBB breakdown in patients with RCVS. This finding might broaden our understanding of the pathophysiology and clinical spectrum of RCVS. Ann Neurol 2017;81:454-466. © 2017 American Neurological Association.

  14. Brain Response to a Humanoid Robot in Areas Implicated in the Perception of Human Emotional Gestures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaminade, Thierry; Zecca, Massimiliano; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne; Takanishi, Atsuo; Frith, Chris D.; Micera, Silvestro; Dario, Paolo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Gallese, Vittorio; Umiltà, Maria Alessandra

    2010-01-01

    Background The humanoid robot WE4-RII was designed to express human emotions in order to improve human-robot interaction. We can read the emotions depicted in its gestures, yet might utilize different neural processes than those used for reading the emotions in human agents. Methodology Here, fMRI was used to assess how brain areas activated by the perception of human basic emotions (facial expression of Anger, Joy, Disgust) and silent speech respond to a humanoid robot impersonating the same emotions, while participants were instructed to attend either to the emotion or to the motion depicted. Principal Findings Increased responses to robot compared to human stimuli in the occipital and posterior temporal cortices suggest additional visual processing when perceiving a mechanical anthropomorphic agent. In contrast, activity in cortical areas endowed with mirror properties, like left Broca's area for the perception of speech, and in the processing of emotions like the left anterior insula for the perception of disgust and the orbitofrontal cortex for the perception of anger, is reduced for robot stimuli, suggesting lesser resonance with the mechanical agent. Finally, instructions to explicitly attend to the emotion significantly increased response to robot, but not human facial expressions in the anterior part of the left inferior frontal gyrus, a neural marker of motor resonance. Conclusions Motor resonance towards a humanoid robot, but not a human, display of facial emotion is increased when attention is directed towards judging emotions. Significance Artificial agents can be used to assess how factors like anthropomorphism affect neural response to the perception of human actions. PMID:20657777

  15. Motor cortical control of movement speed with implications for brain-machine interface control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golub, Matthew D; Yu, Byron M; Schwartz, Andrew B; Chase, Steven M

    2014-07-15

    Motor cortex plays a substantial role in driving movement, yet the details underlying this control remain unresolved. We analyzed the extent to which movement-related information could be extracted from single-trial motor cortical activity recorded while monkeys performed center-out reaching. Using information theoretic techniques, we found that single units carry relatively little speed-related information compared with direction-related information. This result is not mitigated at the population level: simultaneously recorded population activity predicted speed with significantly lower accuracy relative to direction predictions. Furthermore, a unit-dropping analysis revealed that speed accuracy would likely remain lower than direction accuracy, even given larger populations. These results suggest that the instantaneous details of single-trial movement speed are difficult to extract using commonly assumed coding schemes. This apparent paucity of speed information takes particular importance in the context of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs), which rely on extracting kinematic information from motor cortex. Previous studies have highlighted subjects' difficulties in holding a BMI cursor stable at targets. These studies, along with our finding of relatively little speed information in motor cortex, inspired a speed-dampening Kalman filter (SDKF) that automatically slows the cursor upon detecting changes in decoded movement direction. Effectively, SDKF enhances speed control by using prevalent directional signals, rather than requiring speed to be directly decoded from neural activity. SDKF improved success rates by a factor of 1.7 relative to a standard Kalman filter in a closed-loop BMI task requiring stable stops at targets. BMI systems enabling stable stops will be more effective and user-friendly when translated into clinical applications. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  16. Brain response to a humanoid robot in areas implicated in the perception of human emotional gestures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thierry Chaminade

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available The humanoid robot WE4-RII was designed to express human emotions in order to improve human-robot interaction. We can read the emotions depicted in its gestures, yet might utilize different neural processes than those used for reading the emotions in human agents.Here, fMRI was used to assess how brain areas activated by the perception of human basic emotions (facial expression of Anger, Joy, Disgust and silent speech respond to a humanoid robot impersonating the same emotions, while participants were instructed to attend either to the emotion or to the motion depicted.Increased responses to robot compared to human stimuli in the occipital and posterior temporal cortices suggest additional visual processing when perceiving a mechanical anthropomorphic agent. In contrast, activity in cortical areas endowed with mirror properties, like left Broca's area for the perception of speech, and in the processing of emotions like the left anterior insula for the perception of disgust and the orbitofrontal cortex for the perception of anger, is reduced for robot stimuli, suggesting lesser resonance with the mechanical agent. Finally, instructions to explicitly attend to the emotion significantly increased response to robot, but not human facial expressions in the anterior part of the left inferior frontal gyrus, a neural marker of motor resonance.Motor resonance towards a humanoid robot, but not a human, display of facial emotion is increased when attention is directed towards judging emotions.Artificial agents can be used to assess how factors like anthropomorphism affect neural response to the perception of human actions.

  17. Cytochrome c release from rat brain mitochondria is proportional to the mitochondrial functional deficit: implications for apoptosis and neurodegenerative disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clayton, Rebecca; Clark, John B; Sharpe, Martyn

    2005-02-01

    Apoptosis may be initiated in neurons via mitochondrial release of the respiratory protein, cytochrome c. The mechanism of cytochrome c release has been studied extensively, but little is known about its dynamics. It has been claimed that release is all-or-none, however, this is not consistent with accumulating evidence of cytosolic mechanisms for 'buffering' cytochrome c. This study has attempted to model an underlying disease pathology, rather than inducing apoptosis directly. The model adopted was diminished activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I, a recognized feature of Parkinson's disease. Titration of rat brain mitochondrial respiratory function, with the specific complex I inhibitor rotenone, caused proportional release of cytochrome c from isolated synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria. The mechanism of release was mediated, at least in part, by the mitochondrial outer membrane component Bak and voltage-dependent anion channel rather than non-specific membrane rupture. Furthermore, preliminary data were obtained demonstrating that in primary cortical neurons, titration with rotenone induced cytochrome c release that was subthreshold for the induction of apoptosis. Implications for the therapy of neurodegenerative diseases are discussed.

  18. Implications for landscape evolution

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    (a) Morphotectonic map of Khari gorge site showing bedrock terraces T1 to T5 and the palaeochannel. T6 is the lowest terrace within the gorge having negligible aerial dimension. Ponds bounded by faults at both ends of the gorge are marked by circles. A–B and C–D are section lines of figure 4. (b) A panoramic view of ...

  19. Human development XIII: the connection between the structure of the overtone system and the tone language of music. Some implications for our understanding of the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ventegodt, Søren; Hermansen, Tyge Dahl; Kandel, Isack; Merrick, Joav

    2008-07-13

    The functioning brain behaves like one highly-structured, coherent, informational field. It can be popularly described as a "coherent ball of energy", making the idea of a local highly-structured quantum field that carries the consciousness very appealing. If that is so, the structure of the experience of music might be a quite unique window into a hidden quantum reality of the brain, and even of life itself. The structure of music is then a mirror of a much more complex, but similar, structure of the energetic field of the working brain. This paper discusses how the perception of music is organized in the human brain with respect to the known tone scales of major and minor. The patterns used by the brain seem to be similar to the overtones of vibrating matter, giving a positive experience of harmonies in major. However, we also like the minor scale, which can explain brain patterns as fractal-like, giving a symmetric "downward reflection" of the major scale into the minor scale. We analyze the implication of beautiful and ugly tones and harmonies for the model. We conclude that when it comes to simple perception of harmonies, the most simple is the most beautiful and the most complex is the most ugly, but in music, even the most disharmonic harmony can be beautiful, if experienced as a part of a dynamic release of musical tension. This can be taken as a general metaphor of painful, yet meaningful, and developing experiences in human life.

  20. The role of docosahexaenoic and the marine food web as determinants of evolution and hominid brain development: the challenge for human sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crawford, Michael A; Broadhurst, C Leigh

    2012-01-01

    Life originated on this planet about 3 billion years ago. For the first 2.5 billion years of life there was ample opportunity for DNA modification. Yet there is no evidence of significant change in life forms during that time. It was not until about 600 million years ago, when the oxygen tension rose to a point where air-breathing life forms became thermodynamically possible, that a major change can be abruptly seen in the fossil record. The sudden appearance of the 32 phyla in the Cambrian fossil record was also associated with the appearance of intracellular detail not seen in previous life forms. That detail was provided by cell membranes made with lipids (membrane fats) as structural essentials. Lipids thus played a major, as yet unrecognised, role as determinants in evolution. The compartmentalisation of intracellular, specialist functions as in the nucleus, mitochondria, reticulo-endothelial system and plasma membrane led to cellular specialisation and then speciation. Thus, not only oxygen but also the marine lipids were drivers in the Cambrian explosion. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (all-cis-docosa-4,7,10,13,16,19-hexaenoic acid, C22:6ω3 or C22:6, n-3, DHA) is a major feature of marine lipids. It requires six oxygen atoms to insert its six double bonds, so it would not have been abundant before oxidative metabolism became plentiful. DHA provided the membrane backbone for the emergence of new photoreceptors that converted photons into electricity, laying the foundation for the evolution of other signalling systems, the nervous system and the brain. Hence, the ω3 DHA from the marine food web must have played a critical role in human evolution. There is also clear evidence from molecular biology that DHA is a determinant of neuronal migration, neurogenesis and the expression of several genes involved in brain growth and function. That same process was essential to the ultimate cerebral expansion in human evolution. There is now incontrovertible support of this

  1. Reduced and reversed temperature dependence of blood oxygenation in an ectothermic scombrid fish: implications for the evolution of regional heterothermy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Timothy Darren; Rummer, J L; Sepulveda, C A; Farrell, A P; Brauner, C J

    2010-01-01

    Tunas (family Scombridae) are exceptional among most teleost fishes in that they possess vascular heat exchangers which allow heat retention in specific regions of the body (termed 'regional heterothermy'). Seemingly exclusive to heterothermic fishes is a markedly reduced temperature dependence of blood-oxygen (blood-O(2)) binding, or even a reversed temperature dependence where increasing temperature increases blood-O(2) affinity. These unusual binding properties have been documented in whole blood and in haemoglobin (Hb) solutions, and they are hypothesised to prevent oxygen loss from arteries to veins within the vascular heat exchangers and/or to prevent excessive oxygen unloading to the warm tissues and ensure an adequate supply of oxygen to tissues positioned efferent to the heat exchangers. The temperature sensitivity of blood-O(2) binding has not been characterised in an ectothermic scombrid (mackerels and bonitos), but the existence of the unusual binding properties in these fishes would have clear implications for their proposed association with regional heterothermy. Accordingly, the present study examined oxygenation of whole blood of the chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) at 10, 20 and 30 degrees C and at 0.5, 1 and 2% CO(2). Oxygen affinity was generally highest at 20 degrees C for all levels of CO(2). Temperature-independent binding was observed at low (0.5%) CO(2), where the PO(2) at 50% blood-O(2) saturation (P (50)) was not statistically different at 10 and 30 degrees C (2.58 vs. 2.78 kPa, respectively) with an apparent heat of oxygenation (H degrees ) close to zero (-6 kJ mol(-1)). The most significant temperature-mediated difference occurred at high (2%) CO(2), where the P (50) at 10 degrees C was twofold higher than that at 20 degrees C with a corresponding H degrees of +43 kJ mol(-1). These results provide clear evidence of independent and reversed open-system temperature effects on blood oxygenation in S. japonicus, and it is therefore

  2. Morphological Analysis of Apo Volcanic Complex in Southern Mindanao, Philippines: implications on volcano-tectonic evolution of different volcanic units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrero, T. M. L.; van Wyk de Vries, B.; Lagmay, A. M. A.; Eco, R. C.

    2015-12-01

    The Apo Volcanic Complex (AVC) is one of the largest volcanic centers in the Philippines, located in the southern island of Mindanao. It is composed of four edifices and several smaller cones. The youngest volcanic unit, the Apo Dome, is the highest elevation in the Philippines. This unit is classified as potentially active, whereas other units, Talomo, Sibulan and Kitubod, are inactive. The study gives insight to the construction and deformation history of the volcanic units and imparts foresight to subsequent events that can affect populated areas. A morphological analysis integrating high-resolution digital terrain models and public domain satellite data and images was done to recognize and discriminate volcanic units and characterize volcano-tectonic features and processes. Morphological domains were defined based on surface textures, slope variation, degrees and controls of erosion, and lineament density and direction. This establishes the relative ages and extent of volcanic units as well as the volcano-tectonic evolution of the complex. Six edifice building events were recognized, two of which form the elevated base of Apo dome. The geodynamic setting of the region is imprinted in the volcanic units as five morphostructural lineaments. They reveal the changes in maximum regional stress through time such as the N-S extension found across the whole volcanic complex displaying the current stress regime. This has implications on the locality and propagation of geothermal activity, magma ascent, and edifice collapses. One main result of the compounded effects of inherited structures and current stress regime is the Sandawa Collapse Zone. This is a large valley formed by several collapses where NE-SW fractures propagate and the increasing lateral spreading by debuttressing continue to eat away the highest peak. The AVC is surrounded by the major metropolitan area of Davao City to the east and the cities of Kidapawan and Digos to the west and south, respectively

  3. Gene profile analysis implicates Klotho as an important contributor to aging changes in brain white matter of the rhesus monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duce, James A; Podvin, Sonia; Hollander, William; Kipling, David; Rosene, Douglas L; Abraham, Carmela R

    2008-01-01

    Conventional studies of brain changes in normal aging have concentrated on gray matter as the locus for cognitive dysfunction. However, there is accumulating evidence from studies of normal aging in the rhesus monkey that changes in white matter may be a more critical factor in cognitive decline. Such changes include ultrastructural and biochemical evidence of myelin breakdown with age, as well as more recent magnetic resonance imaging of global loss of forebrain white matter volume and magnetic resonance diffusion tension imaging evidence of increased diffusivity in white matter. Moreover, many of these white matter changes correlate with age-related cognitive dysfunction. Based on these diverse white matter findings, the present work utilized high-density oligonucleotide microarrays to assess gene profile changes associated with age in the white matter of the corpus callosum. This approach identified several classes of genes that were differentially expressed in aging. Broadly characterized, these genes were predominantly related to an increase in stress factors and a decrease in cell function. The cell function changes included increased cell cycle inhibition and proteolysis, as well as decreased mitochondrial function, signal transduction, and protein translation. While most of these categories have previously been reported in functional brain aging, this is the first time they have been associated directly with white matter. Microarray analysis has also enabled the identification of neuroprotective response pathways activated by age in white matter, as well as several genes implicated in lifespan. Of particular interest was the identification of Klotho, a multifunctional protein that regulates phosphate and calcium metabolism, as well as insulin resistance, and is known to defend against oxidative stress and apoptosis. Combining the findings from the microarray study enabled us to formulate a model of white matter aging where specific genes are suggested as

  4. Comment on "Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens" and "Microcephalin, a gene regulating brain size, continues to evolve adaptively in humans".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currat, Mathias; Excoffier, Laurent; Maddison, Wayne; Otto, Sarah P; Ray, Nicolas; Whitlock, Michael C; Yeaman, Sam

    2006-07-14

    Mekel-Bobrov et al. and Evans et al. (Reports, 9 Sept. 2005, p. 1720 and p. 1717, respectively) examined sequence data from modern humans within two gene regions associated with brain development, ASPM and microcephalin, and concluded that selection of these genes must be ongoing. We show that models of human history that include both population growth and spatial structure can generate the observed patterns without selection.

  5. Pharmaco-thermodynamics of deuterium-induced oedema in living rat brain via 1H2O MRI: implications for boron neutron capture therapy of malignant brain tumours

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, Daniel C.; Li, Xin; Springer, Charles S., Jr.

    2005-05-01

    In addition to its common usage as a tracer in metabolic and physiological studies, deuterium possesses anti-tumoural activity and confers protection against γ-irradiation. A more recent interest in deuterium emanates from the search for alternatives capable of improving neutron penetrance whilst reducing healthy tissue radiation dose deposition in boron neutron capture therapy of malignant brain tumours. Despite this potential clinical application, deuterium induces brain oedema, which is detrimental to neutron capture therapy. In this study, five adult male rats were titrated with deuterated drinking water while brain oedema was monitored via water proton magnetic resonance imaging. This report concludes that deuterium, as well as deuterium-induced brain oedema, possesses a uniform brain bio-distribution. At a steady-state blood fluid deuteration value of 16%, when the deuterium isotope fraction in drinking water was 25%, a mean oedematous volume change of 9 ± 2% (p-value body fluid deuteration enhances thermal neutron flux penetrance and reduces dose deposition, oedema has the opposite effect because it increases the volume of interest, e.g., the brain volume. Thermal neutron enhancement and effective dose reduction factors could be reduced by as much as ~10% in the presence of a 9% water volume increase (oedema). All three authors have contributed equally to this work.

  6. What can volumes reveal about human brain evolution? A framework for bridging behavioral, histometric and volumetric perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra A de Sousa

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available An overall relationship between brain size and cognitive ability exists across primates. Can more specific information about neural function be gleaned from cortical area volumes? Numerous studies have found significant relationships between brain structures and behaviors. However, few studies have speculated about brain structure-function relationships from the microanatomical to the macroanatomical level. Here we address this problem in comparative neuroanatomy, where the functional relevance of overall brain size and the sizes of cortical regions have been poorly understood, by considering comparative psychology, with measures of visual acuity and the perception of visual illusions. We outline a model where the macroscopic size (volume or surface area of a cortical region (such as the primary visual cortex, V1 is related to the microstructure of discrete brain regions. The hypothesis developed here is that a larger absolute V1 can process more information with greater fidelity due to having more neurons to represent a field of space. This is the first time that the necessary comparative neuroanatomical research at the microstructural level has been brought to bear on the issue. The evidence suggests that as the size of V1 increases: the number of neurons increases, the neuron density decreases, and the density of neuronal connections increases. Thus, we describe how information about gross neuromorphology, using V1 as a model for the study of other cortical areas, may permit interpretations of cortical function.

  7. Spatio-temporal evolution of the Satpura Mountain Belt of India: A comparison with the Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia and implication for evolution of the supercontinent Columbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Mohanty

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Reconstruction of the Neoproterozoic supercontinent Rodinia shows near neighbour positions of the South Indian Cratons and Western Australian Cratons. These cratonic areas are characterized by extensive Paleoproterozoic tectonism. Detailed analysis of the spatio-temporal data of the Satpura Mountains of India indicates presence of at least three episodes of Proterozoic orogeny at ∼2100–1900 Ma, ∼1850 Ma and ∼1650 Ma, and associated basin development and closing. A subdued imprint of the Grenville orogeny (∼950 Ma is also found in rock records of this Mountain Belt. The Capricorn Orogen of Western Australia also shows three episodes of orogeny: Opthalmian–Glenburgh Orogeny (2100–1950 Ma, Capricorn Orogeny (∼1800 Ma and Mangaroon Orogeny (∼1650 Ma, and basin opening and closing related to these tectonic movements. These broad similarities suggest their joint evolution possibly in a near neighbour position during Paleoproterozoic Era. In view of juxtaposition of the Western Australia along the east coast of India, at the position of the Eastern Ghats, during Archean, it is suggested that the breaking of this Archean megacraton at ∼2400 Ma led to northward movement of the broken components and formation of the Satpura–Capricorn Orogen (at ∼2100 and ∼1800 Ma due to the collision of cratonic blocks with the pre-existing northern cratonic nuclei of India and Western Australia. This is also the time of formation of the supercontinent Columbia. A phase of basin opening followed the ∼1800 Ma event, followed by another phase of collisional event at ∼1600 Ma at the site of the Satpura–Capricorn Orogen. Subsequent evolutions of the Satpura and the Capricorn Orogens differ slightly, indicating separate evolutional history.

  8. Sociality, evolution and cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Richard W; Bates, Lucy A

    2007-08-21

    Variations in brain size and proportions can be linked to the cognitive capacities of different animal species, and correlations with ecology may give clues to the evolutionary origins of these specializations. Much recent evidence has implicated the social domain as a major challenge driving increases in problem-solving abilities of mammals. However, the methods of measurement available to researchers are often indirect and sometimes appear to give conflicting answers, and other intellectual challenges may also have been influential in cognitive evolution. While the cause of an evolutionary increase in intelligence may be domain-specific (sociality, for example), and the brain specialization that results may largely implicate a single perceptual system, such as vision, the intelligence shown in consequence can be very 'general-purpose' (as in primates and some avian taxa). Future research needs to get beyond vague ascription of 'greater intelligence' or 'faster learning' towards a precise account of the cognitive mechanisms that underlie particular mental skills in different species; that will allow theory-testing against data from complex, natural situations as well as from the laboratory, on a common metric.

  9. Lost Polarization of Aquaporin4 and Dystroglycan in the Core Lesion after Traumatic Brain Injury Suggests Functional Divergence in Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Liu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. To understand how aquaporin4 (AQP4 and dystroglycan (DG polarized distribution change and their roles in brain edema formation after traumatic brain injury (TBI. Methods. Brain water content, Evans blue detection, real-time PCR, western blot, and immunofluorescence were used. Results. At an early stage of TBI, AQP4 and DG maintained vessel-like pattern in perivascular endfeet; M1, M23, and M1/M23 were increased in the core lesion. At a later stage of TBI, DG expression was lost in perivascular area, accompanied with similar but delayed change of AQP4 expression; expression of M1, M23, and DG and the ratio of M1/M2 were increased. Conclusion. At an early stage, AQP4 and DG maintained the polarized distribution. Upregulated M1 and M23 could retard the cytotoxic edema formation. At a later stage AQP4 and DG polarized expression were lost from perivascular endfeet and induced the worst cytotoxic brain edema. The alteration of DG expression could regulate that of AQP4 expression after TBI.

  10. Rapid evolution and copy number variation of primate RHOXF2, an X-linked homeobox gene involved in male reproduction and possibly brain function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Rui

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Homeobox genes are the key regulators during development, and they are in general highly conserved with only a few reported cases of rapid evolution. RHOXF2 is an X-linked homeobox gene in primates. It is highly expressed in the testicle and may play an important role in spermatogenesis. As male reproductive system is often the target of natural and/or sexual selection during evolution, in this study, we aim to dissect the pattern of molecular evolution of RHOXF2 in primates and its potential functional consequence. Results We studied sequences and copy number variation of RHOXF2 in humans and 16 nonhuman primate species as well as the expression patterns in human, chimpanzee, white-browed gibbon and rhesus macaque. The gene copy number analysis showed that there had been parallel gene duplications/losses in multiple primate lineages. Our evidence suggests that 11 nonhuman primate species have one RHOXF2 copy, and two copies are present in humans and four Old World monkey species, and at least 6 copies in chimpanzees. Further analysis indicated that the gene duplications in primates had likely been mediated by endogenous retrovirus (ERV sequences flanking the gene regions. In striking contrast to non-human primates, humans appear to have homogenized their two RHOXF2 copies by the ERV-mediated non-allelic recombination mechanism. Coding sequence and phylogenetic analysis suggested multi-lineage strong positive selection on RHOXF2 during primate evolution, especially during the origins of humans and chimpanzees. All the 8 coding region polymorphic sites in human populations are non-synonymous, implying on-going selection. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that besides the preferential expression in the reproductive system, RHOXF2 is also expressed in the brain. The quantitative data suggests expression pattern divergence among primate species. Conclusions RHOXF2 is a fast-evolving homeobox gene in primates. The rapid

  11. Rapid evolution and copy number variation of primate RHOXF2, an X-linked homeobox gene involved in male reproduction and possibly brain function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niu, Ao-lei; Wang, Yin-qiu; Zhang, Hui; Liao, Cheng-hong; Wang, Jin-kai; Zhang, Rui; Che, Jun; Su, Bing

    2011-10-12

    Homeobox genes are the key regulators during development, and they are in general highly conserved with only a few reported cases of rapid evolution. RHOXF2 is an X-linked homeobox gene in primates. It is highly expressed in the testicle and may play an important role in spermatogenesis. As male reproductive system is often the target of natural and/or sexual selection during evolution, in this study, we aim to dissect the pattern of molecular evolution of RHOXF2 in primates and its potential functional consequence. We studied sequences and copy number variation of RHOXF2 in humans and 16 nonhuman primate species as well as the expression patterns in human, chimpanzee, white-browed gibbon and rhesus macaque. The gene copy number analysis showed that there had been parallel gene duplications/losses in multiple primate lineages. Our evidence suggests that 11 nonhuman primate species have one RHOXF2 copy, and two copies are present in humans and four Old World monkey species, and at least 6 copies in chimpanzees. Further analysis indicated that the gene duplications in primates had likely been mediated by endogenous retrovirus (ERV) sequences flanking the gene regions. In striking contrast to non-human primates, humans appear to have homogenized their two RHOXF2 copies by the ERV-mediated non-allelic recombination mechanism. Coding sequence and phylogenetic analysis suggested multi-lineage strong positive selection on RHOXF2 during primate evolution, especially during the origins of humans and chimpanzees. All the 8 coding region polymorphic sites in human populations are non-synonymous, implying on-going selection. Gene expression analysis demonstrated that besides the preferential expression in the reproductive system, RHOXF2 is also expressed in the brain. The quantitative data suggests expression pattern divergence among primate species. RHOXF2 is a fast-evolving homeobox gene in primates. The rapid evolution and copy number changes of RHOXF2 had been driven by

  12. Human Development XIII: The Connection Between the Structure of the Overtone System and the Tone Language of Music. Some Implications for Our Understanding of the Human Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren Ventegodt

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The functioning brain behaves like one highly-structured, coherent, informational field. It can be popularly described as a “coherent ball of energy”, making the idea of a local highly-structured quantum field that carries the consciousness very appealing. If that is so, the structure of the experience of music might be a quite unique window into a hidden quantum reality of the brain, and even of life itself. The structure of music is then a mirror of a much more complex, but similar, structure of the energetic field of the working brain. This paper discusses how the perception of music is organized in the human brain with respect to the known tone scales of major and minor. The patterns used by the brain seem to be similar to the overtones of vibrating matter, giving a positive experience of harmonies in major. However, we also like the minor scale, which can explain brain patterns as fractal-like, giving a symmetric “downward reflection” of the major scale into the minor scale. We analyze the implication of beautiful and ugly tones and harmonies for the model. We conclude that when it comes to simple perception of harmonies, the most simple is the most beautiful and the most complex is the most ugly, but in music, even the most disharmonic harmony can be beautiful, if experienced as a part of a dynamic release of musical tension. This can be taken as a general metaphor of painful, yet meaningful, and developing experiences in human life.

  13. The evolution of self-control

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacLean, Evan L.; Hare, Brian; Nunn, Charles L.; Addessi, Elsa; Amici, Federica; Anderson, Rindy C.; Aureli, Filippo; Baker, Joseph M.; Bania, Amanda E.; Barnard, Allison M.; Boogert, Neeltje J.; Brannon, Elizabeth M.; Bray, Emily E.; Bray, Joel; Brent, Lauren J. N.; Burkart, Judith M.; Call, Josep; Cantlon, Jessica F.; Cheke, Lucy G.; Clayton, Nicola S.; Delgado, Mikel M.; DiVincenti, Louis J.; Fujita, Kazuo; Herrmann, Esther; Hiramatsu, Chihiro; Jacobs, Lucia F.; Jordan, Kerry E.; Laude, Jennifer R.; Leimgruber, Kristin L.; Messer, Emily J. E.; de A. Moura, Antonio C.; Ostojić, Ljerka; Picard, Alejandra; Platt, Michael L.; Plotnik, Joshua M.; Range, Friederike; Reader, Simon M.; Reddy, Rachna B.; Sandel, Aaron A.; Santos, Laurie R.; Schumann, Katrin; Seed, Amanda M.; Sewall, Kendra B.; Shaw, Rachael C.; Slocombe, Katie E.; Su, Yanjie; Takimoto, Ayaka; Tan, Jingzhi; Tao, Ruoting; van Schaik, Carel P.; Virányi, Zsófia; Visalberghi, Elisabetta; Wade, Jordan C.; Watanabe, Arii; Widness, Jane; Young, Julie K.; Zentall, Thomas R.; Zhao, Yini

    2014-01-01

    Cognition presents evolutionary research with one of its greatest challenges. Cognitive evolution has been explained at the proximate level by shifts in absolute and relative brain volume and at the ultimate level by differences in social and dietary complexity. However, no study has integrated the experimental and phylogenetic approach at the scale required to rigorously test these explanations. Instead, previous research has largely relied on various measures of brain size as proxies for cognitive abilities. We experimentally evaluated these major evolutionary explanations by quantitatively comparing the cognitive performance of 567 individuals representing 36 species on two problem-solving tasks measuring self-control. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that absolute brain volume best predicted performance across species and accounted for considerably more variance than brain volume controlling for body mass. This result corroborates recent advances in evolutionary neurobiology and illustrates the cognitive consequences of cortical reorganization through increases in brain volume. Within primates, dietary breadth but not social group size was a strong predictor of species differences in self-control. Our results implicate robust evolutionary relationships between dietary breadth, absolute brain volume, and self-control. These findings provide a significant first step toward quantifying the primate cognitive phenome and explaining the process of cognitive evolution. PMID:24753565

  14. Magma evolution and ascent at the Craters of the Moon and neighboring volcanic fields, southern Idaho, USA: implications for the evolution of polygenetic and monogenetic volcanic fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putirka, Keith D.; Kuntz, Mel A.; Unruh, Daniel M.; Vaid, Nitin

    2009-01-01

    The evolution of polygenetic and monogenetic volcanic fields must reflect differences in magma processing during ascent. To assess their evolution we use thermobarometry and geochemistry to evaluate ascent paths for neighboring, nearly coeval volcanic fields in the Snake River Plain, in south-central Idaho, derived from (1) dominantly Holocene polygenetic evolved lavas from the Craters of the Moon lava field (COME) and (2) Quaternary non-evolved, olivine tholeiites (NEOT) from nearby monogenetic volcanic fields. These data show that NEOT have high magmatic temperatures (1205 + or - 27 degrees C) and a narrow temperature range (50 degrees C). Prolonged storage of COME magmas allows them to evolve to higher 87Sr/86Sr and SiO2, and lower MgO and 143Nd/144Nd. Most importantly, ascent paths control evolution: NEOT often erupt near the axis of the plain where high-flux (Yellowstone-related), pre-Holocene magmatic activity replaces granitic middle crust with basaltic sills, resulting in a net increase in NEOT magma buoyancy. COME flows erupt off-axis, where felsic crustal lithologies sometimes remain intact, providing a barrier to ascent and a source for crustal contamination. A three-stage ascent process explains the entire range of erupted compositions. Stage 1 (40-20 km): picrites are transported to the middle crust, undergoing partial crystallization of olivine + or - clinopyroxene. COME magmas pass through unarmored conduits and assimilate 1% or less of ancient gabbroic crust having high Sr and 87Sr/86Sr and low SiO2. Stage 2 (20-10 km): magmas are stored within the middle crust, and evolve to moderate MgO (10%). NEOT magmas, reaching 10% MgO, are positively buoyant and migrate through the middle crust. COME magmas remain negatively buoyant and so crystallize further and assimilate middle crust. Stage 3 (15-0 km): final ascent and eruption occurs when volatile contents, increased by differentiation, are sufficient (1-2 wt % H2O) to provide magma buoyancy through the

  15. The microbiota-gut-brain axis as a key regulator of neural function and the stress response: Implications for human and animal health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiley, N C; Dinan, T G; Ross, R P; Stanton, C; Clarke, G; Cryan, J F

    2017-07-01

    The brain-gut-microbiota axis comprises an extensive communication network between the brain, the gut, and the microbiota residing there. Development of a diverse gut microbiota is vital for multiple features of behavior and physiology, as well as many fundamental aspects of brain structure and function. Appropriate early-life assembly of the gut microbiota is also believed to play a role in subsequent emotional and cognitive development. If the composition, diversity, or assembly of the gut microbiota is impaired, this impairment can have a negative impact on host health and lead to disorders such as obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and even potentially neuropsychiatric illnesses, including anxiety and depression. Therefore, much research effort in recent years has focused on understanding the potential of targeting the intestinal microbiota to prevent and treat such disorders. This review aims to explore the influence of the gut microbiota on host neural function and behavior, particularly those of relevance to stress-related disorders. The involvement of microbiota in diverse neural functions such as myelination, microglia function, neuronal morphology, and blood-brain barrier integrity across the life span, from early life to adolescence to old age, will also be discussed. Nurturing an optimal gut microbiome may also prove beneficial in animal science as a means to manage stressful situations and to increase productivity of farm animals. The implications of these observations are manifold, and researchers are hopeful that this promising body of preclinical work can be successfully translated to the clinic and beyond.

  16. The joint power of sex and stress to modulate brain-gut-microbiota axis and intestinal barrier homeostasis: implications for irritable bowel syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pigrau, M; Rodiño-Janeiro, B K; Casado-Bedmar, M; Lobo, B; Vicario, M; Santos, J; Alonso-Cotoner, C

    2016-04-01

    Intestinal homeostasis is a dynamic process that takes place at the interface between the lumen and the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract, where a constant scrutiny for antigens and toxins derived from food and microorganisms is carried out by the vast gut-associated immune system. Intestinal homeostasis is preserved by the ability of the mucus layer and the mucosal barrier to keep the passage of small-sized and antigenic molecules across the epithelium highly selective. When combined and preserved, immune surveillance and barrier's selective permeability, the host capacity of preventing the development of intestinal inflammation is optimized, and viceversa. In addition, the brain-gut-microbiome axis, a multidirectional communication system that integrates distant and local regulatory networks through neural, immunological, metabolic, and hormonal signaling pathways, also regulates intestinal function. Dysfunction of the brain-gut-microbiome axis may induce the loss of gut mucosal homeostasis, leading to uncontrolled permeation of toxins and immunogenic particles, increasing the risk of appearance of intestinal inflammation, mucosal damage, and gut disorders. Irritable bowel syndrome is prevalent stress-sensitive gastrointestinal disorder that shows a female predominance. Interestingly, the role of stress, sex and gonadal hormones in the regulation of intestinal mucosal and the brain-gut-microbiome axis functioning is being increasingly recognized. We aim to critically review the evidence linking sex, and stress to intestinal barrier and brain-gut-microbiome axis dysfunction and the implications for irritable bowel syndrome. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. The study of evolution and depression of the alpha-rhythm in the human brain EEG by means of wavelet-based methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runnova, A. E.; Zhuravlev, M. O.; Khramova, M. V.; Pysarchik, A. N.

    2017-04-01

    We study the appearance, development and depression of the alpha-rhythm in human EEG data during a psychophysiological experiment by stimulating cognitive activity with the perception of ambiguous object. The new method based on continuous wavelet transform allows to estimate the energy contribution of various components, including the alpha rhythm, in the general dynamics of the electrical activity of the projections of various areas of the brain. The decision-making process by observe ambiguous images is characterized by specific oscillatory alfa-rhytm patterns in the multi-channel EEG data. We have shown the repeatability of detected principles of the alpha-rhythm evolution in a data of group of 12 healthy male volunteers.

  18. Two possible driving forces supporting the evolution of animal communication. Comment on "Towards a Computational Comparative Neuroprimatology: Framing the language-ready brain" by Michael A. Arbib

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moulin-Frier, Clément; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.

    2016-03-01

    In the target paper [1], M.A. Arbib proposes a quite exhaustive review of the (often computational) models developed during the last decades that support his detailed scenario on language evolution (the Mirror System Hypothesis, MSH). The approach considers that language evolved from a mirror system for grasping already present in LCA-m (the last common ancestor of macaques and humans), to a simple imitation system for grasping present in LCA-c (the last common ancestor of chimpanzees and humans), to a complex imitation system for grasping that developed in the hominid line since that ancestor. MSH considers that this complex imitation system is a key evolutionary step for a language-ready brain, providing all the required elements for an open-ended gestural communication system. The transition from the gestural (bracchio-manual and visual) to the vocal (articulatory and auditory) domain is supposed to be a less important evolutionary step.

  19. Molecular Evidence for Convergence and Parallelism in Evolution of Complex Brains of Cephalopod Molluscs: Insights from Visual Systems

    OpenAIRE

    Yoshida, M. A.; Ogura, A.; Ikeo, K.; Shigeno, S.; Moritaki, T.; Winters, G. C.; Kohn, A. B.; Moroz, L.L.

    2015-01-01

    Coleoid cephalopods show remarkable evolutionary convergence with vertebrates in their neural organization, including (1) eyes and visual system with optic lobes, (2) specialized parts of the brain controlling learning and memory, such as vertical lobes, and (3) unique vasculature supporting such complexity of the central nervous system. We performed deep sequencing of eye transcriptomes of pygmy squids (Idiosepius paradoxus) and chambered nautiluses (Nautilus pompilius) to decipher the molec...

  20. Brain cancer spreads

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perryman, Lara; Erler, Janine Terra

    2014-01-01

    The discovery that ~20% of patients with brain cancer have circulating tumor cells breaks the dogma that these cells are confined to the brain and has important clinical implications (Müller et al., this issue).......The discovery that ~20% of patients with brain cancer have circulating tumor cells breaks the dogma that these cells are confined to the brain and has important clinical implications (Müller et al., this issue)....

  1. Brain glycogen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Obel, Linea Lykke Frimodt; Müller, Margit S; Walls, Anne B

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen is a complex glucose polymer found in a variety of tissues, including brain, where it is localized primarily in astrocytes. The small quantity found in brain compared to e.g., liver has led to the understanding that brain glycogen is merely used during hypoglycemia or ischemia....... In this review evidence is brought forward highlighting what has been an emerging understanding in brain energy metabolism: that glycogen is more than just a convenient way to store energy for use in emergencies-it is a highly dynamic molecule with versatile implications in brain function, i.e., synaptic...... activity and memory formation. In line with the great spatiotemporal complexity of the brain and thereof derived focus on the basis for ensuring the availability of the right amount of energy at the right time and place, we here encourage a closer look into the molecular and subcellular mechanisms...

  2. Shared human-chimpanzee pattern of perinatal femoral shaft morphology and its implications for the evolution of hominin locomotor adaptations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naoki Morimoto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Acquisition of bipedality is a hallmark of human evolution. How bipedality evolved from great ape-like locomotor behaviors, however, is still highly debated. This is mainly because it is difficult to infer locomotor function, and even more so locomotor kinematics, from fossil hominin long bones. Structure-function relationships are complex, as long bone morphology reflects phyletic history, developmental programs, and loading history during an individual's lifetime. Here we discriminate between these factors by investigating the morphology of long bones in fetal and neonate great apes and humans, before the onset of locomotion. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Comparative morphometric analysis of the femoral diaphysis indicates that its morphology reflects phyletic relationships between hominoid taxa to a greater extent than taxon-specific locomotor adaptations. Diaphyseal morphology in humans and chimpanzees exhibits several shared-derived features, despite substantial differences in locomotor adaptations. Orangutan and gorilla morphologies are largely similar, and likely represent the primitive hominoid state. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: These findings are compatible with two possible evolutionary scenarios. Diaphyseal morphology may reflect retained adaptive traits of ancestral taxa, hence human-chimpanzee shared-derived features may be indicative of the locomotor behavior of our last common ancestor. Alternatively, diaphyseal morphology might reflect evolution by genetic drift (neutral