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Sample records for cortex support counterfactual

  1. What might have been? The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and lateral orbitofrontal cortex in counterfactual emotions and choice.

    Levens, Sara M; Larsen, Jeff T; Bruss, Joel; Tranel, Daniel; Bechara, Antoine; Mellers, Barbara A

    2014-02-01

    Counterfactual feelings of regret occur when people make comparisons between an actual outcome and a better outcome that would have occurred under a different choice. We investigated the choices of individuals with damage to the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) and the lateral orbital frontal cortex (LOFC) to see whether their emotional responses were sensitive to regret. Participants made choices between gambles, each with monetary outcomes. After every choice, subjects learned the consequences of both gambles and rated their emotional response to the outcome. Normal subjects and lesion control subjects tended to make better choices and reported post-decision emotions that were sensitive to regret comparisons. VMPFC patients tended to make worse choices, and, contrary to our predictions, they reported emotions that were sensitive to regret comparisons. In contrast, LOFC patients made better choices, but reported emotional reactions that were insensitive to regret comparisons. We suggest the VMPFC is involved in the association between choices and anticipated emotions that guide future choices, while the LOFC is involved in experienced emotions that follow choices, emotions that may signal the need for behavioral change. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Understanding Counterfactuality: A Review of Experimental Evidence for the Dual Meaning of Counterfactuals

    Nieuwland, Mante S.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cognitive and linguistic theories of counterfactual language comprehension assume that counterfactuals convey a dual meaning. Subjunctive‐counterfactual conditionals (e.g., ‘If Tom had studied hard, he would have passed the test’) express a supposition while implying the factual state of affairs (Tom has not studied hard and failed). The question of how counterfactual dual meaning plays out during language processing is currently gaining interest in psycholinguistics. Whereas numerous studies using offline measures of language processing consistently support counterfactual dual meaning, evidence coming from online studies is less conclusive. Here, we review the available studies that examine online counterfactual language comprehension through behavioural measurement (self‐paced reading times, eye‐tracking) and neuroimaging (electroencephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging). While we argue that these studies do not offer direct evidence for the online computation of counterfactual dual meaning, they provide valuable information about the way counterfactual meaning unfolds in time and influences successive information processing. Further advances in research on counterfactual comprehension require more specific predictions about how counterfactual dual meaning impacts incremental sentence processing. PMID:27512408

  3. Counterfactual thinking in physics

    Elwenspoek, Michael Curt; Birke, Dorothee; Butter, Michael; Köppe, Tilmann

    2011-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking plays a key role in research in physics and, I believe, in research in all natural sciences. In this contribution I will describe a few examples of counterfactual thinking, how it is used, the power of this method of inquiry, and the types of results that can be achieved. A

  4. Cognitive Neuroscience of Human Counterfactual Reasoning

    Nicole eVan Hoeck

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Counterfactual reasoning is a hallmark of human thought, enabling the capacity to shift from perceiving the immediate environment to an alternative, imagined perspective. Mental representations of counterfactual possibilities (e.g., imagined past events or future outcomes not yet at hand provide the basis for learning from past experience, enable planning and prediction, support creativity and insight, and give rise to emotions and social attributions (e.g., regret and blame. Yet remarkably little is known about the psychological and neural foundations of counterfactual reasoning. In this review, we survey recent findings from psychology and neuroscience indicating that counterfactual thought depends on an integrative network of systems for affective processing, mental simulation, and cognitive control. We review evidence to elucidate how these mechanisms are systematically altered through psychiatric illness and neurological disease. We propose that counterfactual thinking depends on the coordination of multiple information processing systems that together enable adaptive behavior and goal-directed decision making and make recommendations for the study of counterfactual inference in health, aging, and disease.

  5. Processing counterfactual and hypothetical conditionals: an fMRI investigation.

    Kulakova, Eugenia; Aichhorn, Markus; Schurz, Matthias; Kronbichler, Martin; Perner, Josef

    2013-05-15

    Counterfactual thinking is ubiquitous in everyday life and an important aspect of cognition and emotion. Although counterfactual thought has been argued to differ from processing factual or hypothetical information, imaging data which elucidate these differences on a neural level are still scarce. We investigated the neural correlates of processing counterfactual sentences under visual and aural presentation. We compared conditionals in subjunctive mood which explicitly contradicted previously presented facts (i.e. counterfactuals) to conditionals framed in indicative mood which did not contradict factual world knowledge and thus conveyed a hypothetical supposition. Our results show activation in right occipital cortex (cuneus) and right basal ganglia (caudate nucleus) during counterfactual sentence processing. Importantly the occipital activation is not only present under visual presentation but also with purely auditory stimulus presentation, precluding a visual processing artifact. Thus our results can be interpreted as reflecting the fact that counterfactual conditionals pragmatically imply the relevance of keeping in mind both factual and supposed information whereas the hypothetical conditionals imply that real world information is irrelevant for processing the conditional and can be omitted. The need to sustain representations of factual and suppositional events during counterfactual sentence processing requires increased mental imagery and integration efforts. Our findings are compatible with predictions based on mental model theory. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Counterfactual Problem Solving and Situated Cognition

    Glebkin V.V.,

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes and interprets data of a study on counterfactual problem solving in representatives of modern industrial culture. The study was inspired by similar experiments carried out by A.R. Luria during his expedition to Central Asia. The hypothesis of our study was that representatives of modern industrial culture would solve counterfactual puzzles at a slower rate and with higher numbers of mistakes than similar non-counterfactual tasks. The experiments we conducted supported this hypothesis as well as provided us with some insights as to how to further develop it. For instance, we found no significant differences in time lag in solving counterfactual and ‘realistic’ tasks between the subjects with mathematical and the ones with liberal arts education. As an interpretation of the obtained data, we suggest a two-stage model of counterfactual problem solving: on the first stage, where situated cognition dominates, the realistic situation is transferred into the system of symbols unrelated to this very situation; on the second stage, operations are carried out within the framework of this new system of symbols.

  7. Causal inference based on counterfactuals

    Höfler M

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The counterfactual or potential outcome model has become increasingly standard for causal inference in epidemiological and medical studies. Discussion This paper provides an overview on the counterfactual and related approaches. A variety of conceptual as well as practical issues when estimating causal effects are reviewed. These include causal interactions, imperfect experiments, adjustment for confounding, time-varying exposures, competing risks and the probability of causation. It is argued that the counterfactual model of causal effects captures the main aspects of causality in health sciences and relates to many statistical procedures. Summary Counterfactuals are the basis of causal inference in medicine and epidemiology. Nevertheless, the estimation of counterfactual differences pose several difficulties, primarily in observational studies. These problems, however, reflect fundamental barriers only when learning from observations, and this does not invalidate the counterfactual concept.

  8. Outcome Controllability and Counterfactual Thinking.

    Roese, Neal J.; Olson, James M.

    1995-01-01

    Examined impact of outcome controllability on counterfactual thoughts (thoughts of what could have been). Two studies showed that outcome controllability affected counterfactual direction: thoughts on how things could have been better were more frequent following controllable outcomes, and thoughts on how things could have been worse followed…

  9. Skjern River Restoration Counterfactual

    Clemmensen, Thomas Juel

    2014-01-01

    In 2003 the Skjern River Restoration Project in Denmark was awarded the prestigious Europa Nostra Prize for ‘conserving the European cultural heritage’ (Danish Nature Agency 2005). In this case, however, it seems that the conservation of one cultural heritage came at the expense of another cultural...... this massive reconstruction work, which involved moving more than 2,7 million cubic meters of earth, cause a lot of ‘dissonance’ among the local population, the resulting ‘nature’ and its dynamic processes are also constantly compromising the preferred image of the restored landscape (Clemmensen 2014......). The presentation offers insight into an on-going research and development project - Skjern River Restoration Counterfactual, which question existing trends and logics within nature restoration. The project explores how the Skjern River Delta could have been ‘restored’ with a greater sensibility for its cultural...

  10. The Influence of Counterfactual Thinking and Regret on Ethical Decision Making

    Celuch, Kevin; Saxby, Carl; Oeding, Jill

    2015-01-01

    The authors explore the influence of counterfactual thoughts in triggering the emotions of regret and disappointment in ethical decision making. Counterfactual thinking involves examining possible outcomes to events and is often explored in what-if scenarios. Findings support that subjects were able to transfer regret (but not disappointment)…

  11. Counterfactual thinking in Tourette's syndrome: a study using three measures.

    Zago, Stefano; Delli Ponti, Adriana; Mastroianni, Silvia; Solca, Federica; Tomasini, Emanuele; Poletti, Barbara; Inglese, Silvia; Sartori, Giuseppe; Porta, Mauro

    2014-01-01

    Pathophysiological evidence suggests an involvement of frontostriatal circuits in Tourette syndrome (TS) and cognitive abnormalities have been detected in tasks sensitive to cognitive deficits associated with prefrontal damage (verbal fluency, planning, attention shifting, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and social reasoning). A disorder in counterfactual thinking (CFT), a behavioural executive process linked to the prefrontal cortex functioning, has not been investigated in TS. CFT refers to the generation of a mental simulation of alternatives to past factual events, actions, and outcomes. It is a pervasive cognitive feature in everyday life and it is closely related to decision-making, planning, problem-solving, and experience-driven learning-cognitive processes that involve wide neuronal networks in which prefrontal lobes play a fundamental role. Clinical observations in patients with focal prefrontal lobe damage or with neurological and psychiatric diseases related to frontal lobe dysfunction (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and schizophrenia) show counterfactual thinking impairments. In this work, we evaluate the performance of CFT in a group of patients with Tourette's syndrome compared with a group of healthy participants. Overall results showed no statistical differences in counterfactual thinking between TS patients and controls in the three counterfactual measures proposed. The possible explanations of this unexpected result are discussed below.

  12. Counterfactual thinking: an fMRI study on changing the past for a better future

    Ma, Ning; Ampe, Lisa; Baetens, Kris; Van Overwalle, Frank

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that a brain network mainly associated with episodic memory has a more general function in imagining oneself in another time, place or perspective (e.g. episodic future thought, theory of mind, default mode). If this is true, counterfactual thinking (e.g. ‘If I had left the office earlier, I wouldn’t have missed my train.’) should also activate this network. Present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study explores the common and distinct neural activity of counterfactual and episodic thinking by directly comparing the imagining of upward counterfactuals (creating better outcomes for negative past events) with the re-experiencing of negative past events and the imagining of positive future events. Results confirm that episodic and counterfactual thinking share a common brain network, involving a core memory network (hippocampal area, temporal lobes, midline, and lateral parietal lobes) and prefrontal areas that might be related to mentalizing (medial prefrontal cortex) and performance monitoring (right prefrontal cortex). In contrast to episodic past and future thinking, counterfactual thinking recruits some of these areas more strongly and extensively, and additionally activates the bilateral inferior parietal lobe and posterior medial frontal cortex. We discuss these findings in view of recent fMRI evidence on the working of episodic memory and theory of mind. PMID:22403155

  13. Dorsomedial prefontal cortex supports spontaneous thinking per se.

    Raij, T T; Riekki, T J J

    2017-06-01

    Spontaneous thinking, an action to produce, consider, integrate, and reason through mental representations, is central to our daily experience and has been suggested to serve crucial adaptive purposes. Such thinking occurs among other experiences during mind wandering that is associated with activation of the default mode network among other brain circuitries. Whether and how such brain activation is linked to the experience of spontaneous thinking per se remains poorly known. We studied 51 healthy subjects using a comprehensive experience-sampling paradigm during 3T functional magnetic resonance imaging. In comparison with fixation, the experiences of spontaneous thinking and spontaneous perception were related to activation of wide-spread brain circuitries, including the cortical midline structures, the anterior cingulate cortex and the visual cortex. In direct comparison of the spontaneous thinking versus spontaneous perception, activation was observed in the anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex. Modality congruence of spontaneous-experience-related brain activation was suggested by several findings, including association of the lingual gyrus with visual in comparison with non-verbal-non-visual thinking. In the context of current literature, these findings suggest that the cortical midline structures are involved in the integrative core substrate of spontaneous thinking that is coupled with other brain systems depending on the characteristics of thinking. Furthermore, involvement of the anterior dorsomedial prefrontal cortex suggests the control of high-order abstract functions to characterize spontaneous thinking per se. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3277-3288, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Human Parahippocampal Cortex Supports Spatial Binding in Visual Working Memory.

    Dundon, Neil Michael; Katshu, Mohammad Zia Ul Haq; Harry, Bronson; Roberts, Daniel; Leek, E Charles; Downing, Paul; Sapir, Ayelet; Roberts, Craig; d'Avossa, Giovanni

    2017-09-15

    Studies investigating the functional organization of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) suggest that parahippocampal cortex (PHC) generates representations of spatial and contextual information used by the hippocampus in the formation of episodic memories. However, evidence from animal studies also implicates PHC in spatial binding of visual information held in short term, working memory. Here we examined a 46-year-old man (P.J.), after he had recovered from bilateral medial occipitotemporal cortex strokes resulting in ischemic lesions of PHC and hippocampal atrophy, and a group of age-matched healthy controls. When recalling the color of 1 of 2 objects, P.J. misidentified the target when cued by its location, but not shape. When recalling the position of 1 of 3 objects, he frequently misidentified the target, which was cued by its color. Increasing the duration of the memory delay had no impact on the proportion of binding errors, but did significantly worsen recall precision in both P.J. and controls. We conclude that PHC may play a crucial role in spatial binding during encoding of visual information in working memory. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Counterfactual overdetermination vs. the causal exclusion problem.

    Sparber, Georg

    2005-01-01

    This paper aims to show that a counterfactual approach to causation is not sufficient to provide a solution to the causal exclusion problem in the form of systematic overdetermination. Taking into account the truthmakers of causal counterfactuals provides a strong argument in favour of the identity of causes in situations of translevel, causation.

  16. The functional theory of counterfactual thinking

    Epstude, Kai; Roese, Neal J.

    Counterfactuals are thoughts about alternatives to past events, that is, thoughts of what might have been. This article provides an updated account of the functional theory of counterfactual thinking, suggesting that such thoughts are best explained in terms of their role in behavior regulation and

  17. Postdecisional counterfactual thinking by actors and readers.

    Girotto, Vittorio; Ferrante, Donatella; Pighin, Stefania; Gonzalez, Michel

    2007-06-01

    How do individuals think counterfactually about the outcomes of their decisions? Most previous studies have investigated how readers think about fictional stories, rather than how actors think about events they have actually experienced. We assumed that differences in individuals' roles (actor vs. reader) can make different information available, which in turn can affect counterfactual thinking. Hence, we predicted an effect of role on postdecisional counterfactual thinking. Reporting the results of eight studies, we show that readers undo the negative outcome of a story by undoing the protagonist's choice to tackle a given problem, rather than the protagonist's unsuccessful attempt to solve it. But actors who make the same choice and experience the same negative outcome as the protagonist undo this outcome by altering features of the problem. We also show that this effect does not depend on motivational factors. These results contradict current accounts of counterfactual thinking and demonstrate the necessity of investigating the counterfactual thoughts of individuals in varied roles.

  18. Episodic future thinking and episodic counterfactual thinking: intersections between memory and decisions.

    Schacter, Daniel L; Benoit, Roland G; De Brigard, Felipe; Szpunar, Karl K

    2015-01-01

    This article considers two recent lines of research concerned with the construction of imagined or simulated events that can provide insight into the relationship between memory and decision making. One line of research concerns episodic future thinking, which involves simulating episodes that might occur in one's personal future, and the other concerns episodic counterfactual thinking, which involves simulating episodes that could have happened in one's personal past. We first review neuroimaging studies that have examined the neural underpinnings of episodic future thinking and episodic counterfactual thinking. We argue that these studies have revealed that the two forms of episodic simulation engage a common core network including medial parietal, prefrontal, and temporal regions that also supports episodic memory. We also note that neuroimaging studies have documented neural differences between episodic future thinking and episodic counterfactual thinking, including differences in hippocampal responses. We next consider behavioral studies that have delineated both similarities and differences between the two kinds of episodic simulation. The evidence indicates that episodic future and counterfactual thinking are characterized by similarly reduced levels of specific detail compared with episodic memory, but that the effects of repeatedly imagining a possible experience have sharply contrasting effects on the perceived plausibility of those events during episodic future thinking versus episodic counterfactual thinking. Finally, we conclude by discussing the functional consequences of future and counterfactual simulations for decisions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Protocol for counterfactually transporting an unknown qubit

    Hatim eSalih

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantum teleportation circumvents the uncertainty principle using dual channels: a quantum one consisting of previously-shared entanglement, and a classical one, together allowing the disembodied transport of an unknown quantum state over distance. It has recently been shown that a classical bit can be counterfactually communicated between two parties in empty space, Alice and Bob. Here, by using our dual version of the chained quantum Zeno effect to achieve a counterfactual CNOT gate, we propose a protocol for transporting an unknown qubit counterfactually, that is without any physical particles travelling between Alice and Bob—no classical channel and no previously-shared entanglement.

  20. The functional theory of counterfactual thinking.

    Epstude, Kai; Roese, Neal J

    2008-05-01

    Counterfactuals are thoughts about alternatives to past events, that is, thoughts of what might have been. This article provides an updated account of the functional theory of counterfactual thinking, suggesting that such thoughts are best explained in terms of their role in behavior regulation and performance improvement. The article reviews a wide range of cognitive experiments indicating that counterfactual thoughts may influence behavior by either of two routes: a content-specific pathway (which involves specific informational effects on behavioral intentions, which then influence behavior) and a content-neutral pathway (which involves indirect effects via affect, mind-sets, or motivation). The functional theory is particularly useful in organizing recent findings regarding counterfactual thinking and mental health. The article concludes by considering the connections to other theoretical conceptions, especially recent advances in goal cognition.

  1. Meaning of counterfactual statements in quantum physics

    Stapp, H.P.

    1998-01-01

    David Mermin suggests that my recent proof pertaining to quantum nonlocality is undermined by an essential ambiguity pertaining to the meaning of counterfactual statements in quantum physics. The ambiguity he cites arises from his imposition of a certain criterion for the meaningfulness of such counterfactual statements. That criterion conflates the meaning of a counterfactual statement with the details of a proof of its validity in such a way as to make the meaning of such a statement dependent upon the context in which it occurs. That dependence violates the normal demand in logic that the meaning of a statement be defined by the words in the statement itself, not by the context in which the statement occurs. My proof conforms to that normal requirement. I describe the context-independent meaning within my proof of the counterfactual statements in question. copyright 1998 American Association of Physics Teachers

  2. Therapy induces widespread reorganization of motor cortex after complete spinal transection that supports motor recovery.

    Ganzer, Patrick D; Manohar, Anitha; Shumsky, Jed S; Moxon, Karen A

    2016-05-01

    Reorganization of the somatosensory system and its relationship to functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) has been well studied. However, little is known about the impact of SCI on organization of the motor system. Recent studies suggest that step-training paradigms in combination with spinal stimulation, either electrically or through pharmacology, are more effective than step training alone at inducing recovery and that reorganization of descending corticospinal circuits is necessary. However, simpler, passive exercise combined with pharmacotherapy has also shown functional improvement after SCI and reorganization of, at least, the sensory cortex. In this study we assessed the effect of passive exercise and serotonergic (5-HT) pharmacological therapies on behavioral recovery and organization of the motor cortex. We compared the effects of passive hindlimb bike exercise to bike exercise combined with daily injections of 5-HT agonists in a rat model of complete mid-thoracic transection. 5-HT pharmacotherapy combined with bike exercise allowed the animals to achieve unassisted weight support in the open field. This combination of therapies also produced extensive expansion of the axial trunk motor cortex into the deafferented hindlimb motor cortex and, surprisingly, reorganization within the caudal and even the rostral forelimb motor cortex areas. The extent of the axial trunk expansion was correlated to improvement in behavioral recovery of hindlimbs during open field locomotion, including weight support. From a translational perspective, these data suggest a rationale for developing and optimizing cost-effective, non-invasive, pharmacological and passive exercise regimes to promote plasticity that supports restoration of movement after spinal cord injury. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  3. Counterfactual Reasoning in Non-psychotic First-Degree Relatives of People with Schizophrenia

    Auria eAlbacete

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Counterfactual thinking (CFT is a type of conditional reasoning that enables the generation of mental simulations of alternatives to past factual events. Previous research has found this cognitive feature to be disrupted in schizophrenia. At the same time, the study of cognitive deficits in unaffected relatives of people with schizophrenia has significantly increased, supporting its potential endophenotypic role in this disorder. Using an exploratory approach, the current study examined CFT for the first time in a sample of non-psychotic first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients (N=43, in comparison with schizophrenia patients (N=54 and healthy controls (N=44. A series of tests that assessed the causal order effect in CFT and the ability to generate counterfactual thoughts and counterfactually derive inferences using the Counterfactual Inference Test was completed. Associations with variables of basic and social cognition, levels of schizotypy and psychotic-like experiences in addition to clinical and sociodemographic characteristics were also explored. Findings showed that first-degree relatives generated a lower number of counterfactual thoughts than controls, and were more adept at counterfactually deriving inferences, specifically in the scenarios related to regret and to judgements of avoidance in an unusual situation. No other significant results were found. These preliminary findings suggest that non-psychotic first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients show a subtle disruption of global counterfactual thinking compared with what is normally expected in the general population. Because of the potential impact of such deficits, new treatments targeting CFT improvement might be considered in future management strategies.

  4. Counterfactual Thinking in Tourette’s Syndrome: A Study Using Three Measures

    Stefano Zago

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Pathophysiological evidence suggests an involvement of frontostriatal circuits in Tourette syndrome (TS and cognitive abnormalities have been detected in tasks sensitive to cognitive deficits associated with prefrontal damage (verbal fluency, planning, attention shifting, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and social reasoning. A disorder in counterfactual thinking (CFT, a behavioural executive process linked to the prefrontal cortex functioning, has not been investigated in TS. CFT refers to the generation of a mental simulation of alternatives to past factual events, actions, and outcomes. It is a pervasive cognitive feature in everyday life and it is closely related to decision-making, planning, problem-solving, and experience-driven learning—cognitive processes that involve wide neuronal networks in which prefrontal lobes play a fundamental role. Clinical observations in patients with focal prefrontal lobe damage or with neurological and psychiatric diseases related to frontal lobe dysfunction (e.g., Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and schizophrenia show counterfactual thinking impairments. In this work, we evaluate the performance of CFT in a group of patients with Tourette’s syndrome compared with a group of healthy participants. Overall results showed no statistical differences in counterfactual thinking between TS patients and controls in the three counterfactual measures proposed. The possible explanations of this unexpected result are discussed below.

  5. Counterfactual Thinking in the History of Psychology Course

    Carroll, David W.

    2013-01-01

    History of psychology students wrote essays about historical figures and counterfactual events. A linguistic analysis of the essays revealed that counterfactual assignments included more auxiliary verbs and more references to tentativeness and the future. More important, scores on the counterfactual assignments but not the historical figure…

  6. The logic of counterfactual analysis in case-study explanation.

    Mahoney, James; Barrenechea, Rodrigo

    2017-12-19

    In this paper, we develop a set-theoretic and possible worlds approach to counterfactual analysis in case-study explanation. Using this approach, we first consider four kinds of counterfactuals: necessary condition counterfactuals, SUIN condition counterfactuals, sufficient condition counterfactuals, and INUS condition counterfactuals. We explore the distinctive causal claims entailed in each, and conclude that necessary condition and SUIN condition counterfactuals are the most useful types for hypothesis assessment in case-study research. We then turn attention to the development of a rigorous understanding of the 'minimal-rewrite' rule, linking this rule to insights from set theory about the relative importance of necessary conditions. We show why, logically speaking, a comparative analysis of two necessary condition counterfactuals will tend to favour small events and contingent happenings. A third section then presents new tools for specifying the level of generality of the events in a counterfactual. We show why and how the goals of formulating empirically important versus empirically plausible counterfactuals stand in tension with one another. Finally, we use our framework to link counterfactual analysis to causal sequences, which in turn provides advantages for conducting counterfactual projections. © London School of Economics and Political Science 2017.

  7. Self-esteem and counterfactual thinking.

    Roese, N J; Olson, J M

    1993-07-01

    Two studies examined the relation between self-esteem and counterfactual thinking (consideration of "might-have-been" alternatives to reality). Ss imagined themselves in scenarios with another actor that resulted in either success or failure. Ss then "undid" the outcome by altering events that preceded the outcome. Following success, high self-esteem (HSE) Ss were more likely than low self-esteem (LSE) Ss to mutate their own actions. Following failure, LSE Ss were more likely than HSE Ss to mutate their own actions. Also, the structure of counterfactuals was influenced by outcome valence but not by self-esteem: Subtractive structures (in which antecedents are removed) were elicited by success, whereas additive structures (in which antecedents are added) were elicited by failure. The importance of the self and individual differences in self-esteem to counterfactual thinking is discussed.

  8. Counterfactual quantum cryptography network with untrusted relay

    Chen, Yuanyuan; Gu, Xuemei; Jiang, Dong; Xie, Ling; Chen, Lijun

    2015-07-01

    Counterfactual quantum cryptography allows two remote parties to share a secret key even though a physical particle is not in fact transmitted through the quantum channel. In order to extend the scope of counterfactual quantum cryptography, we use an untrusted relay to construct a multi-user network. The implementation issues are discussed to show that the scheme can be realized with current technologies. We also prove the practical security advantages of the scheme by eliminating the probability that an eavesdropper can directly access the signal or an untrusted relay can perform false operations.

  9. Enhanced peripheral visual processing in congenitally deaf humans is supported by multiple brain regions, including primary auditory cortex

    Scott, Gregory D.; Karns, Christina M.; Dow, Mark W.; Stevens, Courtney; Neville, Helen J.

    2014-01-01

    Brain reorganization associated with altered sensory experience clarifies the critical role of neuroplasticity in development. An example is enhanced peripheral visual processing associated with congenital deafness, but the neural systems supporting this have not been fully characterized. A gap in our understanding of deafness-enhanced peripheral vision is the contribution of primary auditory cortex. Previous studies of auditory cortex that use anatomical normalization across participants wer...

  10. Trojan horse attacks on counterfactual quantum key distribution

    Yang, Xiuqing, E-mail: xqqyang@163.com [School of Science, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing 100044 (China); College of Science, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, 010051 Hohhot (China); Wei, Kejin; Ma, Haiqiang [School of Science, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876 (China); Sun, Shihai, E-mail: shsun@nudt.edu.cn [Department of Physics, National University of Defense Technology, Changsha 410073 (China); Du, Yungang [College of Science, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, 010051 Hohhot (China); Wu, Lingan [Laboratory of Optical Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100080 (China)

    2016-04-22

    There has been much interest in “counterfactual quantum cryptography” (T.-G. Noh, 2009 [10]). It seems that the counterfactual quantum key distribution protocol without any photon carrier through the quantum channel provides practical security advantages. However, we show that it is easy to break counterfactual quantum key distribution systems in practical situations. We introduce the two types of Trojan horse attacks that are available for the two-way protocol and become possible for practical counterfactual systems with our eavesdropping schemes. - Highlights: • We find the attacks available for the two-way protocol become possible for the practical counterfactual systems. • It does not require the assumption that it works on the counterfactual systems only in a finite key scenario. • Compared to the other attack models, our scheme is relatively simple for an eavesdropper.

  11. Direct counterfactual communication via quantum Zeno effect

    Cao, Yuan; Li, Yu-Huai; Cao, Zhu; Yin, Juan; Chen, Yu-Ao; Yin, Hua-Lei; Chen, Teng-Yun; Ma, Xiongfeng; Peng, Cheng-Zhi; Pan, Jian-Wei

    2017-05-01

    Intuition from our everyday lives gives rise to the belief that information exchanged between remote parties is carried by physical particles. Surprisingly, in a recent theoretical study [Salih H, Li ZH, Al-Amri M, Zubairy MS (2013) Phys Rev Lett 110:170502], quantum mechanics was found to allow for communication, even without the actual transmission of physical particles. From the viewpoint of communication, this mystery stems from a (nonintuitive) fundamental concept in quantum mechanics—wave-particle duality. All particles can be described fully by wave functions. To determine whether light appears in a channel, one refers to the amplitude of its wave function. However, in counterfactual communication, information is carried by the phase part of the wave function. Using a single-photon source, we experimentally demonstrate the counterfactual communication and successfully transfer a monochrome bitmap from one location to another by using a nested version of the quantum Zeno effect.

  12. Counterfactual Imagination as a Mental Tool for Innovation

    Monika Chylińska

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the article I demonstrate some of the possible ways by which counterfactual im⁠agination can lead people to innovation and the creation of novel and valuable solutions. I start with adopting the broad definition of counterfactuals, by which counterfactual imagination is understood as the ability to imagine alternative states of affairs which can relate to the past, present or future. I explain how counterfactual imagination differs from other sorts of imaginative and creative thoughts, pointing out that counterfactual types of thinking always rely on facts and involve a change in some features of the actual world, leaving other such features unaltered. I also show that the concept of counterfactual imagination can be useful when we aim to describe the very earliest manifestations of imaginative capacities in children, which can be seen in their make-believe games. All the mentioned characteristics of counterfactual imagination are further used to examine how what if and would be sorts of thinking and imagining might influence people’s creative performance. I conclude with the suggestion that—if guided properly—counterfactual imagination could be a truly valuable mental tool for innovation. This demonstration is partly influenced by Ruth Byrne’s multi-faceted analysis of counterfactual imagination, mainly from her book, The Rational Imagination: How People Create Alternatives to Reality.

  13. Enhanced peripheral visual processing in congenitally deaf humans is supported by multiple brain regions, including primary auditory cortex

    Gregory D. Scott

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Brain reorganization associated with altered sensory experience clarifies the critical role of neuroplasticity in development. An example is enhanced peripheral visual processing associated with congenital deafness, but the neural systems supporting this have not been fully characterized. A gap in our understanding of deafness-enhanced peripheral vision is the contribution of primary auditory cortex. Previous studies of auditory cortex that use anatomical normalization across participants were limited by inter-subject variability of Heschl’s gyrus. In addition to reorganized auditory cortex (cross-modal plasticity, a second gap in our understanding is the contribution of altered modality-specific cortices (visual intramodal plasticity in this case, as well as supramodal and multisensory cortices, especially when target detection is required across contrasts. Here we address these gaps by comparing fMRI signal change for peripheral versus perifoveal visual stimulation (11-15° vs. 2°-7° in congenitally deaf and hearing participants in a blocked experimental design with two analytical approaches: a Heschl’s gyrus region of interest analysis and a whole brain analysis. Our results using individually-defined primary auditory cortex (Heschl’s gyrus indicate that fMRI signal change for more peripheral stimuli was greater than perifoveal in deaf but not in hearing participants. Whole-brain analyses revealed differences between deaf and hearing participants for peripheral versus perifoveal visual processing in extrastriate visual cortex including primary auditory cortex, MT+/V5, superior-temporal auditory and multisensory and/or supramodal regions, such as posterior parietal cortex, frontal eye fields, anterior cingulate, and supplementary eye fields. Overall, these data demonstrate the contribution of neuroplasticity in multiple systems including primary auditory cortex, supramodal and multisensory regions, to altered visual processing in

  14. Adaptive Encoding of Outcome Prediction by Prefrontal Cortex Ensembles Supports Behavioral Flexibility.

    Del Arco, Alberto; Park, Junchol; Wood, Jesse; Kim, Yunbok; Moghaddam, Bita

    2017-08-30

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is thought to play a critical role in behavioral flexibility by monitoring action-outcome contingencies. How PFC ensembles represent shifts in behavior in response to changes in these contingencies remains unclear. We recorded single-unit activity and local field potentials in the dorsomedial PFC (dmPFC) of male rats during a set-shifting task that required them to update their behavior, among competing options, in response to changes in action-outcome contingencies. As behavior was updated, a subset of PFC ensembles encoded the current trial outcome before the outcome was presented. This novel outcome-prediction encoding was absent in a control task, in which actions were rewarded pseudorandomly, indicating that PFC neurons are not merely providing an expectancy signal. In both control and set-shifting tasks, dmPFC neurons displayed postoutcome discrimination activity, indicating that these neurons also monitor whether a behavior is successful in generating rewards. Gamma-power oscillatory activity increased before the outcome in both tasks but did not differentiate between expected outcomes, suggesting that this measure is not related to set-shifting behavior but reflects expectation of an outcome after action execution. These results demonstrate that PFC neurons support flexible rule-based action selection by predicting outcomes that follow a particular action. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Tracking action-outcome contingencies and modifying behavior when those contingencies change is critical to behavioral flexibility. We find that ensembles of dorsomedial prefrontal cortex neurons differentiate between expected outcomes when action-outcome contingencies change. This predictive mode of signaling may be used to promote a new response strategy at the service of behavioral flexibility. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/378363-11$15.00/0.

  15. Changes in ventromedial prefrontal and insular cortex support the development of metamemory from childhood into adolescence.

    Fandakova, Yana; Selmeczy, Diana; Leckey, Sarah; Grimm, Kevin J; Wendelken, Carter; Bunge, Silvia A; Ghetti, Simona

    2017-07-18

    Metamemory monitoring, or the ability to introspect on the accuracy of one's memories, improves considerably during childhood, but the underlying neural changes and implications for intellectual development are largely unknown. The present study examined whether cortical changes in key brain areas hypothesized to support metacognition contribute to the development of metamemory monitoring from late childhood into early adolescence. Metamemory monitoring was assessed among 7- to 12-y-old children ( n = 145) and adults ( n = 31). Children returned for up to two additional assessments at 8 to 14 y of age ( n = 120) and at 9 to 15 y of age ( n = 107) ( n = 347 longitudinal scans). Results showed that metamemory monitoring continues to improve from childhood into adolescence. More pronounced cortical thinning in the anterior insula and a greater increase in the thickness of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex over the three assessment points predicted these improvements. Thus, performance benefits are linked to the unique patterns of regional cortical change during development. Metamemory monitoring at the first time point predicted intelligence at the third time point and vice versa, suggesting parallel development of these abilities and their reciprocal influence. Together, these results provide insights into the neuroanatomical correlates supporting the development of the capacity to self-reflect, and highlight the role of this capacity for general intellectual development.

  16. The Impossibility of the Counterfactual Computation for all Possible Outcomes

    Vaidman, Lev

    2006-01-01

    Recent proposal for counterfactual computation [Hosten et al., Nature, 439, 949 (2006)] is analyzed. It is argued that the method does not provide counterfactual computation for all possible outcomes. The explanation involves a novel paradoxical feature of pre- and post-selected quantum particles: the particle can reach a certain location without being on the path that leads to this location.

  17. What Provides Justification for Cheating : Producing or Observing Counterfactuals?

    Bassarak, C.; Leib, M.; Mischkowski, D.; Strang, S.; Glöckner, A.; Shalvi, S.

    2017-01-01

    When people can profit financially by lying, they do so to the extent to which they can justify their lies. One type of justification is the observation and production of desirable counterfactual information. Here, we disentangle observing and producing of desired counterfactuals and test whether

  18. A precise form of divisive suppression supports population coding in the primary visual cortex.

    MacEvoy, Sean P; Tucker, Thomas R; Fitzpatrick, David

    2009-05-01

    The responses of neurons in the primary visual cortex (V1) to an optimally oriented grating are suppressed when a non-optimal grating is superimposed. Although cross-orientation suppression is thought to reflect mechanisms that maintain a distributed code for orientation, the effect of superimposed gratings on V1 population responses is unknown. Using intrinsic signal optical imaging, we found that patterns of tree shrew V1 activity evoked by superimposed equal-contrast gratings were predicted by the averages of patterns evoked by individual component gratings. This prediction held across contrasts, for summed sinusoidal gratings or nonsumming square-wave gratings, and was evident in single-unit extracellular recordings. Intracellular recordings revealed consistent levels of suppression throughout the time course of subthreshold responses. These results indicate that divisive suppression powerfully governs population responses to multiple orientations. Moreover, the specific form of suppression that we observed appears to support independent population codes for stimulus orientation and strength and calls for a reassessment of mechanisms that underlie cross-orientation suppression.

  19. Abstract memory representations in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus support concept generalization.

    Bowman, Caitlin R; Zeithamova, Dagmar

    2018-02-07

    to arise through integration across events supported by the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) and hippocampus. The current study combined formal categorization models with fMRI data analysis to show that the VMPFC and anterior hippocampus represent abstract prototype information during concept generalization, contributing novel evidence of generalized concept representations in the brain. Results indicate that VMPFC-hippocampal memory integration mechanisms contribute to knowledge generalization across multiple cognitive domains, with the degree of abstraction of memory representations varying along the long axis of the hippocampus. Copyright © 2018 the authors.

  20. Landscapes of lost energy: counterfactual geographical imaginary for a more sustainable society

    Van der Horst, Dan

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 2 (2014), s. 66-72 ISSN 1210-8812 R&D Projects: GA MŠk EE2.3.20.0025 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : counterfactual * imagery * imagination * energy literacy Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography Impact factor: 0.872, year: 2014 http://www.geonika.cz/EN/research/ENMgr/MGR_2014_02.pdf

  1. Visual short-term memory: activity supporting encoding and maintenance in retinotopic visual cortex.

    Sneve, Markus H; Alnæs, Dag; Endestad, Tor; Greenlee, Mark W; Magnussen, Svein

    2012-10-15

    Recent studies have demonstrated that retinotopic cortex maintains information about visual stimuli during retention intervals. However, the process by which transient stimulus-evoked sensory responses are transformed into enduring memory representations is unknown. Here, using fMRI and short-term visual memory tasks optimized for univariate and multivariate analysis approaches, we report differential involvement of human retinotopic areas during memory encoding of the low-level visual feature orientation. All visual areas show weaker responses when memory encoding processes are interrupted, possibly due to effects in orientation-sensitive primary visual cortex (V1) propagating across extrastriate areas. Furthermore, intermediate areas in both dorsal (V3a/b) and ventral (LO1/2) streams are significantly more active during memory encoding compared with non-memory (active and passive) processing of the same stimulus material. These effects in intermediate visual cortex are also observed during memory encoding of a different stimulus feature (spatial frequency), suggesting that these areas are involved in encoding processes on a higher level of representation. Using pattern-classification techniques to probe the representational content in visual cortex during delay periods, we further demonstrate that simply initiating memory encoding is not sufficient to produce long-lasting memory traces. Rather, active maintenance appears to underlie the observed memory-specific patterns of information in retinotopic cortex. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The Counterfactual Nostalgia of Indie Games

    Juul, Jesper

    2015-01-01

    Presentation at the Nonlinear histories of independent games panel. *** The second case concerns contemporary games labeled as “independent”, which can seem to embody a fundamentally nostalgic logic, where earlier times in video game history are invoked and emulated: 1. In an economic sense......” which can be described as a representation of a representation (Juul 2014), Here contemporary technology is used to represent earlier and cheaper representational styles, such as large pixels, crayons, or low-polygon 3D. Seeing independent game history through the lens of visual style, it is apparent...... that while early modern independent games such as Cave Story deliberately used a pixel style to emulate 1980’s video games, visual style in independent games has since become a type of counterfactual nostalgia, where visual styles refer to styles that were not actually part of video game history. For example...

  3. Counterfactual Processing of Economic Action-Outcome Alternatives in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Further Evidence of Impaired Goal-Directed Behavior

    Gillan, Claire M.; Morein-Zamir, Sharon; Kaser, Muzaffer; Fineberg, Naomi A.; Sule, Akeem; Sahakian, Barbara J.; Cardinal, Rudolf N.; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2014-01-01

    Background Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder of automatic, uncontrollable behaviors and obsessive rumination. There is evidence that OCD patients have difficulties performing goal-directed actions, instead exhibiting repetitive stimulus-response habit behaviors. This might result from the excessive formation of stimulus-response habit associations or from an impairment in the ability to use outcome value to guide behavior. We investigated the latter by examining counterfactual decision making, which is the ability to use comparisons of prospective action-outcome scenarios to guide economic choice. Methods We tested decision making (forward counterfactual) and affective responses (backward counterfactual) in 20 OCD patients and 20 matched healthy control subjects using an economic choice paradigm that previously revealed attenuation of both the experience and avoidance of counterfactual emotion in schizophrenia patients and patients with orbitofrontal cortex lesions. Results The use of counterfactual comparison to guide decision making was diminished in OCD patients, who relied primarily on expected value. Unlike the apathetic affective responses previously shown to accompany this decision style, OCD patients reported increased emotional responsivity to the outcomes of their choices and to the counterfactual comparisons that typify regret and relief. Conclusions Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients exhibit a pattern of decision making consistent with a disruption in goal-directed forward modeling, basing decisions instead on the temporally present (and more rational) calculation of expected value. In contrast to this style of decision making, emotional responses in OCD were more extreme and reactive than control subjects. These results are in line with an account of disrupted goal-directed cognitive control in OCD. PMID:23452663

  4. Counterfactual processing of economic action-outcome alternatives in obsessive-compulsive disorder: further evidence of impaired goal-directed behavior.

    Gillan, Claire M; Morein-Zamir, Sharon; Kaser, Muzaffer; Fineberg, Naomi A; Sule, Akeem; Sahakian, Barbara J; Cardinal, Rudolf N; Robbins, Trevor W

    2014-04-15

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a disorder of automatic, uncontrollable behaviors and obsessive rumination. There is evidence that OCD patients have difficulties performing goal-directed actions, instead exhibiting repetitive stimulus-response habit behaviors. This might result from the excessive formation of stimulus-response habit associations or from an impairment in the ability to use outcome value to guide behavior. We investigated the latter by examining counterfactual decision making, which is the ability to use comparisons of prospective action-outcome scenarios to guide economic choice. We tested decision making (forward counterfactual) and affective responses (backward counterfactual) in 20 OCD patients and 20 matched healthy control subjects using an economic choice paradigm that previously revealed attenuation of both the experience and avoidance of counterfactual emotion in schizophrenia patients and patients with orbitofrontal cortex lesions. The use of counterfactual comparison to guide decision making was diminished in OCD patients, who relied primarily on expected value. Unlike the apathetic affective responses previously shown to accompany this decision style, OCD patients reported increased emotional responsivity to the outcomes of their choices and to the counterfactual comparisons that typify regret and relief. Obsessive-compulsive disorder patients exhibit a pattern of decision making consistent with a disruption in goal-directed forward modeling, basing decisions instead on the temporally present (and more rational) calculation of expected value. In contrast to this style of decision making, emotional responses in OCD were more extreme and reactive than control subjects. These results are in line with an account of disrupted goal-directed cognitive control in OCD. Copyright © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Potential mechanisms supporting the value of motor cortex stimulation to treat chronic pain syndromes

    Marcos Fabio DosSantos

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the first years of the twenty-first century, neurotechnologies such as motor cortex stimulation (MCS, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS have attracted scientific attention and been considered as potential tools to centrally modulate chronic pain, especially for those conditions more difficult to manage and refractory to all types of available pharmacological therapies. Interestingly, although the role of the motor cortex in pain has not been fully clarified, it is one of the cortical areas most commonly targeted by invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation technologies. Recent studies have provided significant advances concerning the establishment of the clinical effectiveness of primary motor cortex stimulation to treat different chronic pain syndromes. Concurrently, the neuromechanisms related to each method of primary motor cortex (M1 modulation have been unveiled. In this respect, the most consistent scientific evidence originates from MCS studies, which indicate the activation of top-down controls driven by M1 stimulation. This concept has also been applied to explain M1-TMS mechanisms. Nevertheless, activation of remote areas in the brain, including cortical and subcortical structures, has been reported with both invasive and non-invasive methods and the participation of major neurotransmitters (e.g. glutamate, GABA and serotonin as well as the release of endogenous opioids has been demonstrated. In this critical review, the putative mechanisms underlying the use of motor cortex stimulation to provide relief from chronic migraine and other types of chronic pain are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the most recent scientific evidence obtained from chronic pain research studies involving MCS and non-invasive neuromodulation methods (e.g. tDCS and TMS, which are analyzed comparatively.

  6. Confounding of three binary-variables counterfactual model

    Liu, Jingwei; Hu, Shuang

    2011-01-01

    Confounding of three binary-variables counterfactual model is discussed in this paper. According to the effect between the control variable and the covariate variable, we investigate three counterfactual models: the control variable is independent of the covariate variable, the control variable has the effect on the covariate variable and the covariate variable affects the control variable. Using the ancillary information based on conditional independence hypotheses, the sufficient conditions...

  7. What if? Neural activity underlying semantic and episodic counterfactual thinking.

    Parikh, Natasha; Ruzic, Luka; Stewart, Gregory W; Spreng, R Nathan; De Brigard, Felipe

    2018-05-25

    Counterfactual thinking (CFT) is the process of mentally simulating alternative versions of known facts. In the past decade, cognitive neuroscientists have begun to uncover the neural underpinnings of CFT, particularly episodic CFT (eCFT), which activates regions in the default network (DN) also activated by episodic memory (eM) recall. However, the engagement of DN regions is different for distinct kinds of eCFT. More plausible counterfactuals and counterfactuals about oneself show stronger activity in DN regions compared to implausible and other- or object-focused counterfactuals. The current study sought to identify a source for this difference in DN activity. Specifically, self-focused counterfactuals may also be more plausible, suggesting that DN core regions are sensitive to the plausibility of a simulation. On the other hand, plausible and self-focused counterfactuals may involve more episodic information than implausible and other-focused counterfactuals, which would imply DN sensitivity to episodic information. In the current study, we compared episodic and semantic counterfactuals generated to be plausible or implausible against episodic and semantic memory reactivation using fMRI. Taking multivariate and univariate approaches, we found that the DN is engaged more during episodic simulations, including eM and all eCFT, than during semantic simulations. Semantic simulations engaged more inferior temporal and lateral occipital regions. The only region that showed strong plausibility effects was the hippocampus, which was significantly engaged for implausible CFT but not for plausible CFT, suggestive of binding more disparate information. Consequences of these findings for the cognitive neuroscience of mental simulation are discussed. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Tomorrow is another day! Merger review and counterfactual analysis

    Andrea Pezzoli

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The choice of a counterfactual scenario other than the status quo is quite challenging. The investigation has to be particularly convincing if the deterioration of the competitive process which is likely to arise in the absence of the merger is related to a failing firm scenario – a special case of the more general counterfactual analysis. Could counterfactual analysis provide alternative tools to those required by the failing firm defense? Alternative but equally rigorous?The extent to which a broader counterfactual analysis might be taken into consideration is discussed in the paper. More precisely it will be discussed i if and when it may be desirable to focus the assessment not only on the most likely counterfactual, ii if the incomplete fulfillment of the three requirements for the failing firm defense necessarily leads to a prohibition and iii the role which may be played by entry and dynamic competition in the application of the failing firm defense. Finally, merger policy based on a broader counterfactual analysis is discussed in a bidding market context where tender design is not already set.

  9. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  10. Top-down modulation of human early visual cortex after stimulus offset supports successful postcued report.

    Sergent, Claire; Ruff, Christian C; Barbot, Antoine; Driver, Jon; Rees, Geraint

    2011-08-01

    Modulations of sensory processing in early visual areas are thought to play an important role in conscious perception. To date, most empirical studies focused on effects occurring before or during visual presentation. By contrast, several emerging theories postulate that sensory processing and conscious visual perception may also crucially depend on late top-down influences, potentially arising after a visual display. To provide a direct test of this, we performed an fMRI study using a postcued report procedure. The ability to report a target at a specific spatial location in a visual display can be enhanced behaviorally by symbolic auditory postcues presented shortly after that display. Here we showed that such auditory postcues can enhance target-specific signals in early human visual cortex (V1 and V2). For postcues presented 200 msec after stimulus termination, this target-specific enhancement in visual cortex was specifically associated with correct conscious report. The strength of this modulation predicted individual levels of performance in behavior. By contrast, although later postcues presented 1000 msec after stimulus termination had some impact on activity in early visual cortex, this modulation no longer related to conscious report. These results demonstrate that within a critical time window of a few hundred milliseconds after a visual stimulus has disappeared, successful conscious report of that stimulus still relates to the strength of top-down modulation in early visual cortex. We suggest that, within this critical time window, sensory representation of a visual stimulus is still under construction and so can still be flexibly influenced by top-down modulatory processes.

  11. Plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex induced by Music-supported therapy in stroke patients: a TMS study.

    Grau-Sánchez, Jennifer; Amengual, Julià L; Rojo, Nuria; Veciana de Las Heras, Misericordia; Montero, Jordi; Rubio, Francisco; Altenmüller, Eckart; Münte, Thomas F; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni

    2013-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument demands the engagement of different neural systems. Recent studies about the musician's brain and musical training highlight that this activity requires the close interaction between motor and somatosensory systems. Moreover, neuroplastic changes have been reported in motor-related areas after short and long-term musical training. Because of its capacity to promote neuroplastic changes, music has been used in the context of stroke neurorehabilitation. The majority of patients suffering from a stroke have motor impairments, preventing them to live independently. Thus, there is an increasing demand for effective restorative interventions for neurological deficits. Music-supported Therapy (MST) has been recently developed to restore motor deficits. We report data of a selected sample of stroke patients who have been enrolled in a MST program (1 month intense music learning). Prior to and after the therapy, patients were evaluated with different behavioral motor tests. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was applied to evaluate changes in the sensorimotor representations underlying the motor gains observed. Several parameters of excitability of the motor cortex were assessed as well as the cortical somatotopic representation of a muscle in the affected hand. Our results revealed that participants obtained significant motor improvements in the paretic hand and those changes were accompanied by changes in the excitability of the motor cortex. Thus, MST leads to neuroplastic changes in the motor cortex of stroke patients which may explain its efficacy.

  12. Plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex induced by Music-supported therapy in stroke patients: A TMS study

    Jennifer eGrau-Sánchez

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Playing a musical instrument demands the engagement of different neural systems. Recent studies about the musician’s brain and musical training highlight that this activity requires the close interaction between motor and somatosensory systems. Moreover, neuroplastic changes have been reported in motor-related areas after short and long-term musical training. Because of its capacity to promote neuroplastic changes, music has been used in the context of stroke neurorehabilitation. The majority of patients suffering from a stroke have motor impairments, preventing them to live independently. Thus, there is an increasing demand for effective restorative interventions for neurological deficits. Music-supported Therapy (MST has been recently developed to restore motor deficits. We report data of a selected sample of stroke patients who have been enrolled in a MST program (1 month intense music learning. Prior to and after the therapy, patients were evaluated with different behavioral motor tests. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS was applied to evaluate changes in the sensorimotor representations underlying the motor gains observed. Several parameters of excitability of the motor cortex were assessed as well as the cortical somatotopic representation of a muscle in the affected hand. Our results revealed that participants obtained significant motor improvements in the paretic hand and those changes were accompanied by changes in the excitability of the motor cortex. Thus, MST leads to neuroplastic changes in the motor cortex of stroke patients which may explain its efficacy.

  13. Potential Mechanisms Supporting the Value of Motor Cortex Stimulation to Treat Chronic Pain Syndromes.

    DosSantos, Marcos F; Ferreira, Natália; Toback, Rebecca L; Carvalho, Antônio C; DaSilva, Alexandre F

    2016-01-01

    Throughout the first years of the twenty-first century, neurotechnologies such as motor cortex stimulation (MCS), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have attracted scientific attention and been considered as potential tools to centrally modulate chronic pain, especially for those conditions more difficult to manage and refractory to all types of available pharmacological therapies. Interestingly, although the role of the motor cortex in pain has not been fully clarified, it is one of the cortical areas most commonly targeted by invasive and non-invasive neuromodulation technologies. Recent studies have provided significant advances concerning the establishment of the clinical effectiveness of primary MCS to treat different chronic pain syndromes. Concurrently, the neuromechanisms related to each method of primary motor cortex (M1) modulation have been unveiled. In this respect, the most consistent scientific evidence originates from MCS studies, which indicate the activation of top-down controls driven by M1 stimulation. This concept has also been applied to explain M1-TMS mechanisms. Nevertheless, activation of remote areas in the brain, including cortical and subcortical structures, has been reported with both invasive and non-invasive methods and the participation of major neurotransmitters (e.g., glutamate, GABA, and serotonin) as well as the release of endogenous opioids has been demonstrated. In this critical review, the putative mechanisms underlying the use of MCS to provide relief from chronic migraine and other types of chronic pain are discussed. Emphasis is placed on the most recent scientific evidence obtained from chronic pain research studies involving MCS and non-invasive neuromodulation methods (e.g., tDCS and TMS), which are analyzed comparatively.

  14. Glycine receptors support excitatory neurotransmitter release in developing mouse visual cortex

    Kunz, Portia A; Burette, Alain C; Weinberg, Richard J; Philpot, Benjamin D

    2012-01-01

    Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are found in most areas of the brain, and their dysfunction can cause severe neurological disorders. While traditionally thought of as inhibitory receptors, presynaptic-acting GlyRs (preGlyRs) can also facilitate glutamate release under certain circumstances, although the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. In the current study, we sought to better understand the role of GlyRs in the facilitation of excitatory neurotransmitter release in mouse visual cortex. Using whole-cell recordings, we found that preGlyRs facilitate glutamate release in developing, but not adult, visual cortex. The glycinergic enhancement of neurotransmitter release in early development depends on the high intracellular to extracellular Cl− gradient maintained by the Na+–K+–2Cl− cotransporter and requires Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. The glycine transporter 1, localized to glial cells, regulates extracellular glycine concentration and the activation of these preGlyRs. Our findings demonstrate a developmentally regulated mechanism for controlling excitatory neurotransmitter release in the neocortex. PMID:22988142

  15. Counterfactual quantum cloning without transmitting any physical particles

    Guo, Qi; Zhai, Shuqin; Cheng, Liu-Yong; Wang, Hong-Fu; Zhang, Shou

    2017-11-01

    We propose a counterfactual 1 →2 economical phase-covariant cloning scheme. Compared with the existing protocols using flying qubits, the main difference of the presented scheme is that the cloning can be achieved without transmitting the photon between the two parties. In addition, this counterfactual scheme does not need to construct controlled quantum gates to perform joint logical operations between the cloned qubit and the blank copy. We also numerically evaluate the performance of the present scheme in the practical experiment, which shows this cloning scheme can be implemented with a high success of probability and the fidelity is close to the optimal value in the ideal asymptotic limit.

  16. On the counterfactual nature of envy: "It could have been me".

    van de Ven, Niels; Zeelenberg, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    We examined whether counterfactual thinking influences the experience of envy. Counterfactual thinking refers to comparing the situation as it is to what it could have been, and these thought processes have been shown to lead to a variety of emotions. We predicted that for envy the counterfactual thought "it could have been me" would be important. In four studies we found a clear link between such counterfactual thoughts and the intensity of envy. Furthermore, Studies 3 and 4 revealed that a manipulation known to affect the extent of counterfactual thinking (the perception of being close to obtaining the desired outcome oneself), had an effect on the intensity of envy via counterfactual thoughts. This relationship between counterfactual thinking and the experience of envy allows for new predictions concerning situations under which envy is likely be more intense.

  17. Effect of Motivational Goals on the Causal Realism of Counterfactual Thoughts.

    Kokkinaki, Flora; Sevdalis, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking refers to mental comparisons of reality with imagined alternatives of it. The "functional view" of counterfactual thinking suggests that upward counterfactuals (which improve on reality) serve a preparative function and downward counterfactuals (which worsen reality) serve an affective function. This view presumes that people generate counterfactuals that focus on cause(s) that have actually produced the negative outcomes. The two experiments reported here demonstrate that people spontaneously manipulate the causal content of their counterfactuals, depending on their motivational goals. Specifically, it was found that when people aim to feel better about a poor decision they generate less realistic (upward) counterfactuals, experience less negative affect and tend to attribute the outcome to less controllable causes than when they aim to learn from their experience. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

  18. Company, country, connections: counterfactual origins increase organizational commitment, patriotism, and social investment.

    Ersner-Hershfield, Hal; Galinsky, Adam D; Kray, Laura J; King, Brayden G

    2010-10-01

    Four studies examined the relationship between counterfactual origins--thoughts about how the beginning of organizations, countries, and social connections might have turned out differently--and increased feelings of commitment to those institutions and connections. Study 1 found that counterfactually reflecting on the origins of one's country increases patriotism. Study 2 extended this finding to organizational commitment and examined the mediating role of poignancy. Study 3 found that counterfactual reflection boosts organizational commitment even beyond the effects of other commitment-enhancing appeals and that perceptions of fate mediate the positive effect of counterfactual origins on commitment. Finally, Study 4 temporally separated the counterfactual manipulation from a behavioral measure of commitment and found that counterfactual reflection predicted whether participants e-mailed social contacts 2 weeks later. The robust relationship between counterfactual origins and commitment was found across a wide range of companies and countries, with undergraduates and M.B.A. students, and for attitudes and behaviors.

  19. Anterior cingulate cortex supports effort allocation towards a qualitatively preferred option.

    Hart, Evan E; Gerson, Julian O; Zoken, Yael; Garcia, Marisella; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2017-07-01

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is known to be involved in effortful choice, yet its role in cost-benefit evaluation of qualitatively different rewards (more/less preferred), beyond magnitude differences (larger/smaller), is poorly understood. Selecting between qualitatively different options is a decision type commonly faced by humans. Here, we assessed the role of ACC on a task that has primarily been used to probe striatal function in motivation. Rats were trained to stable performance on a progressive ratio schedule for sucrose pellets and were then given sham surgeries (control) or excitotoxic NMDA lesions of ACC. Subsequently, a choice was introduced: chow was concurrently available while animals could work for the preferred sucrose pellets. ACC lesions produced a significant decrease in lever presses for sucrose pellets compared to control, whereas chow consumption was unaffected. Lesions had no effect on sucrose pellet preference when both options were freely available. When laboratory chow was not concurrently available, ACC-lesioned rats exhibited similar lever pressing as controls. During a test under specific satiety for sucrose pellets, ACC-lesioned rats also showed intact devaluation effects. The effects of ACC lesions in our task are not mediated by decreased appetite, a change in food preference, a failure to update value or a learning deficit. Taken together, we found that ACC lesions decreased effort for a qualitatively preferred option. These results are discussed with reference to effects of striatal manipulations and our recent report of a role for basolateral amygdala in effortful choice. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Expectations in Counterfactual and Theory of Mind Reasoning

    Ferguson, Heather J.; Scheepers, Christoph; Sanford, Anthony J.

    2010-01-01

    During language comprehension, information about the world is exchanged and processed. Two essential ingredients of everyday cognition that are employed during language comprehension are the ability to reason counterfactually, and the ability to understand and predict other peoples' behaviour by attributing independent mental states to them…

  1. Counterfactual thinking in moral judgement: an experimental study

    Simone eMigliore

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Counterfactual thinking is thinking about a past that did not happen. This is often the case in 'if only...' situations, where we wish something had or had not happened. To make a choice in a moral decision-making situation is particularly hard and, therefore, may be often associated with the imagination of a different outcome. The main aim of the present study is to investigate counterfactual thinking in the context of moral reasoning. We used a modified version of Greene’s moral dilemmas test, studying both the time needed to provide a counterfactual in the first and third person and the type of given response (in context-out of context in a sample of 90 healthy subjects.We found a longer response time for personal vs. impersonal moral dilemmas. This effect was enhanced in the first person perspective, while in the elderly there was an overall slowing of response time. Out of context/omissive responses were more frequent in the case of personal moral dilemmas presented in the first person version, with females showing a marked increase in this kind of response.These findings suggest that gender and perspective have a critical role in counterfactual thinking in the context of moral reasoning, and may have implications for the understanding of gender-related inclinations as well as differences in moral judgement.

  2. Upward counterfactual thinking and depression: A meta-analysis.

    Broomhall, Anne Gene; Phillips, Wendy J; Hine, Donald W; Loi, Natasha M

    2017-07-01

    This meta-analysis examined the strength of association between upward counterfactual thinking and depressive symptoms. Forty-two effect sizes from a pooled sample of 13,168 respondents produced a weighted average effect size of r=.26, pdesign (cross-sectional versus longitudinal). Significant effect size heterogeneity was observed across sample types, methods of assessing upward counterfactual thinking, and types of depression scale. Significant positive effects were found in studies that employed samples of bereaved individuals, older adults, terminally ill patients, or university students, but not adolescent mothers or mixed samples. Both number-based and Likert-based upward counterfactual thinking assessments produced significant positive effects, with the latter generating a larger effect. All depression scales produced significant positive effects, except for the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Interview. Research and theoretical implications are discussed in relation to cognitive theories of depression and the functional theory of upward counterfactual thinking, and important gaps in the extant research literature are identified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Associations among False Belief Understanding, Counterfactual Reasoning, and Executive Function

    Guajardo, Nicole R.; Parker, Jessica; Turley-Ames, Kandi

    2009-01-01

    The primary purposes of the present study were to clarify previous work on the association between counterfactual thinking and false belief performance to determine (1) whether these two variables are related and (2) if so, whether executive function skills mediate the relationship. A total of 92 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds completed false belief,…

  4. Counterfactual Thinking Deficit in Huntington’s Disease

    Solca, Federica; Poletti, Barbara; Zago, Stefano; Crespi, Chiara; Sassone, Francesca; Lafronza, Annalisa; Maraschi, Anna Maria; Sassone, Jenny; Silani, Vincenzo; Ciammola, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    Background and Objective Counterfactual thinking (CFT) refers to the generation of mental simulations of alternatives to past events, actions and outcomes. CFT is a pervasive cognitive feature in every-day life and is closely related to decision-making, planning and problem-solving – all of which are cognitive processes linked to unimpaired frontal lobe functioning. Huntington’s Disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterised by motor, behavioral and cognitive dysfunctions. Because an impairment in frontal and executive functions has been described in HD, we hypothesised that HD patients may have a CFT impairment. Methods Tests of spontaneous counterfactual thoughts and counterfactual-derived inferences were administered to 24 symptomatic HD patients and 24 age- and sex-matched healthy subjects. Results Our results show a significant impairment in the spontaneous generation of CFT and low performance on the Counterfactual Inference Test (CIT) in HD patients. Low performance on the spontaneous CFT test significantly correlates with impaired attention abilities, verbal fluency and frontal lobe efficiency, as measured by Trail Making Test – Part A, Phonemic Verbal Fluency Test and FAB. Conclusions Spontaneous CFT and the use of this type of reasoning are impaired in HD patients. This deficit may be related to frontal lobe dysfunction, which is a hallmark of HD. Because CFT has a pervasive role in patients’ daily lives regarding their planning, decision making and problem solving skills, cognitive rehabilitation may improve HD patients’ ability to analyse current behaviors and future actions. PMID:26070155

  5. Proscription supports robust perceptual integration by suppression in human visual cortex.

    Rideaux, Reuben; Welchman, Andrew E

    2018-04-17

    Perception relies on integrating information within and between the senses, but how does the brain decide which pieces of information should be integrated and which kept separate? Here we demonstrate how proscription can be used to solve this problem: certain neurons respond best to unrealistic combinations of features to provide 'what not' information that drives suppression of unlikely perceptual interpretations. First, we present a model that captures both improved perception when signals are consistent (and thus should be integrated) and robust estimation when signals are conflicting. Second, we test for signatures of proscription in the human brain. We show that concentrations of inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA in a brain region intricately involved in integrating cues (V3B/KO) correlate with robust integration. Finally, we show that perturbing excitation/inhibition impairs integration. These results highlight the role of proscription in robust perception and demonstrate the functional purpose of 'what not' sensors in supporting sensory estimation.

  6. Subsecond dopamine fluctuations in human striatum encode superposed error signals about actual and counterfactual reward

    Kishida, Kenneth T.; Saez, Ignacio; Lohrenz, Terry; Witcher, Mark R.; Laxton, Adrian W.; Tatter, Stephen B.; White, Jason P.; Ellis, Thomas L.; Phillips, Paul E. M.; Montague, P. Read

    2016-01-01

    In the mammalian brain, dopamine is a critical neuromodulator whose actions underlie learning, decision-making, and behavioral control. Degeneration of dopamine neurons causes Parkinson’s disease, whereas dysregulation of dopamine signaling is believed to contribute to psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, addiction, and depression. Experiments in animal models suggest the hypothesis that dopamine release in human striatum encodes reward prediction errors (RPEs) (the difference between actual and expected outcomes) during ongoing decision-making. Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) imaging experiments in humans support the idea that RPEs are tracked in the striatum; however, BOLD measurements cannot be used to infer the action of any one specific neurotransmitter. We monitored dopamine levels with subsecond temporal resolution in humans (n = 17) with Parkinson’s disease while they executed a sequential decision-making task. Participants placed bets and experienced monetary gains or losses. Dopamine fluctuations in the striatum fail to encode RPEs, as anticipated by a large body of work in model organisms. Instead, subsecond dopamine fluctuations encode an integration of RPEs with counterfactual prediction errors, the latter defined by how much better or worse the experienced outcome could have been. How dopamine fluctuations combine the actual and counterfactual is unknown. One possibility is that this process is the normal behavior of reward processing dopamine neurons, which previously had not been tested by experiments in animal models. Alternatively, this superposition of error terms may result from an additional yet-to-be-identified subclass of dopamine neurons. PMID:26598677

  7. Counterfactual reasoning and conceptual blending in political discourse

    Babić-Antić Jelena B.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Conceptual integration and blending are deeply embedded within the human cognition. They are a part of everyday life common for infants and adults alike. Without these fundamental cognitive operations there would be no advancement in any of the aspects of human progress. One small part, a product of these mental operations is 'counterfactual reasoning'. This ability of human beings to 'undo' reality is remarkable and pervasive in every aspect of life. The ability to operate with the unreal by producing counterfactuals has been a subject of many research projects. Our goal in this paper is to examine the frequency of their appearance in the political discourse, as well as to establish what exactly their purpose is, once they are present in the political discourse.

  8. Negative probabilities and counter-factual reasoning in quantum cognition

    J Acacio de Barros; G Oas

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we discuss quantum-like decision-making experiments using negative probabilities. We do so by showing how the two-slit experiment, in the simplified version of the Mach–Zehnder interferometer, can be described by this formalism. We show that negative probabilities impose constraints to what types of counter-factual reasoning we can make with respect to (quantum) internal representations of the decision maker. (paper)

  9. The Bradford Hill considerations on causality: a counterfactual perspective

    Höfler Michael

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Bradford Hill's considerations published in 1965 had an enormous influence on attempts to separate causal from non-causal explanations of observed associations. These considerations were often applied as a checklist of criteria, although they were by no means intended to be used in this way by Hill himself. Hill, however, avoided defining explicitly what he meant by "causal effect". This paper provides a fresh point of view on Hill's considerations from the perspective of counterfactual causality. I argue that counterfactual arguments strongly contribute to the question of when to apply the Hill considerations. Some of the considerations, however, involve many counterfactuals in a broader causal system, and their heuristic value decreases as the complexity of a system increases; the danger of misapplying them can be high. The impacts of these insights for study design and data analysis are discussed. The key analysis tool to assess the applicability of Hill's considerations is multiple bias modelling (Bayesian methods and Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis; these methods should be used much more frequently.

  10. The Presumption of Innocence as a Counterfactual Principle

    Ferry de Jong

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available This article’s primary aim is to highlight the essentially critical potential of the presumption of innocence, as well as the need for this critical potential to be duly recognized. It is argued that the essential meaning of the presumption of innocence is best understood when approached from what is referred to as its counterfactual status. As a first step, the different values and functions that are attributed to the presumption of innocence in contemporary legal literature are discussed, in order to provide an outline of the central ideas it contains or is supposed to contain. Subsequently, the concept of ‘counterfactuality’ is introduced and it is argued that a counterfactual perspective can further clarify the nature of the presumption of innocence. Next, a number of fundamental shifts in society and criminal justice are discussed that affect the presumption of innocence and that lend a large measure of urgency to disclosing its essence and critical potential. The conclusion argues that today’s threats to the presumption of innocence are of a fundamental nature, and that attempts to preserve the principle’s efficacy should focus on the value attached to its counterfactual and critical nature.

  11. Self-handicapping, excuse making, and counterfactual thinking: consequences for self-esteem and future motivation.

    McCrea, Sean M

    2008-08-01

    Researchers interested in counterfactual thinking have often found that upward counterfactual thoughts lead to increased motivation to improve in the future, although at the cost of increased negative affect. The present studies suggest that because upward counterfactual thoughts indicate reasons for a poor performance, they can also serve as excuses. In this case, upward counterfactual thoughts should result in more positive self-esteem and reduced future motivation. Five studies demonstrated these effects in the context of self-handicapping. First, upward counterfactual thinking was increased in the presence of a self-handicap. Second, upward counterfactual thoughts indicating the presence of a self-handicap protected self-esteem following failure. Finally, upward counterfactual thoughts that protect self-esteem reduced preparation for a subsequent performance as well as performance itself. These findings suggest that the consequences of upward counterfactuals for affect and motivation are moderated by the goals of the individual as well as the content of the thoughts. (c) 2008 APA, all rights reserved

  12. Data Mining in Finance: Using Counterfactuals To Generate Knowledge from Organizational Information Systems.

    Dhar, Vasant

    1998-01-01

    Shows how counterfactuals and machine learning methods can be used to guide exploration of large databases that addresses some of the fundamental problems that organizations face in learning from data. Discusses data mining, particularly in the financial arena; generating useful knowledge from data; and the evaluation of counterfactuals. (LRW)

  13. Autobiographical memory functions of nostalgia in comparison to rumination and counterfactual thinking: similarity and uniqueness.

    Cheung, Wing-Yee; Wildschut, Tim; Sedikides, Constantine

    2018-02-01

    We compared and contrasted nostalgia with rumination and counterfactual thinking in terms of their autobiographical memory functions. Specifically, we assessed individual differences in nostalgia, rumination, and counterfactual thinking, which we then linked to self-reported functions or uses of autobiographical memory (Self-Regard, Boredom Reduction, Death Preparation, Intimacy Maintenance, Conversation, Teach/Inform, and Bitterness Revival). We tested which memory functions are shared and which are uniquely linked to nostalgia. The commonality among nostalgia, rumination, and counterfactual thinking resides in their shared positive associations with all memory functions: individuals who evinced a stronger propensity towards past-oriented thought (as manifested in nostalgia, rumination, and counterfactual thinking) reported greater overall recruitment of memories in the service of present functioning. The uniqueness of nostalgia resides in its comparatively strong positive associations with Intimacy Maintenance, Teach/Inform, and Self-Regard and weak association with Bitterness Revival. In all, nostalgia possesses a more positive functional signature than do rumination and counterfactual thinking.

  14. It Could Have Been True: How Counterfactual Thoughts Reduce Condemnation of Falsehoods and Increase Political Polarization.

    Effron, Daniel A

    2018-05-01

    This research demonstrates how counterfactual thoughts can lead people to excuse others for telling falsehoods. When a falsehood aligned with participants' political preferences, reflecting on how it could have been true led them to judge it as less unethical to tell, which in turn led them to judge a politician who told it as having a more moral character and deserving less punishment. When a falsehood did not align with political preferences, this effect was significantly smaller and less reliable, in part because people doubted the plausibility of the relevant counterfactual thoughts. These results emerged independently in three studies (two preregistered; total N = 2,783) and in meta- and Bayesian analyses, regardless of whether participants considered the same counterfactuals or generated their own. The results reveal how counterfactual thoughts can amplify partisan differences in judgments of alleged dishonesty. I discuss implications for theories of counterfactual thinking and motivated moral reasoning.

  15. A counterfactual price analysis of British electricity privatisation

    Branston, J.R.

    2000-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to challenge the widely held view that electricity privatisation in Great Britain (comprised of the markets of England and Wales, and Scotland) was beneficial simply because the price of electricity has subsequently fallen in real terms. This is carried out by comparing the electricity prices actually observed with those that might have been charged had the industry remained in public ownership. In order to do this the paper develops a counterfactual scenario for the likely decisions and effects of a publicly owned industry. This leads the paper to conclude that observed prices are indeed significantly higher than they would have been had privatisation not occurred. (author)

  16. Counterfactuals and unphysical ceteris paribus: An explanatory fallacy

    Ćirković Milan M.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available I reconsider a type of counterfactual argument often used in historical sciences on a recent widely discussed example of the so-called “rare Earth” hypothesis in planetary sciences and astrobiology. The argument is based on the alleged “rarity” of some crucial ingredient for the planetary habitability, which is, in Earth’s case, provided by contingent evolutionary development. For instance, the claim that a contingent fact of history which has created planet Jupiter enables shielding of Earth from most dangerous impact catastrophes, thus increasing Earth’s habitability, leads often to the conclusion that such state-of-affairs must be rare in the Galaxy. I argue that this reasoning is deeply flawed, for several closely related reasons. In addition, the relevance of the philosophical problem of transworld identity for this kind of historical reasoning in science is put forward. This highlights many explanatory problems one faces when using historical counterfactuals in study of complex, nonlinear dynamical systems - and bolsters the relevance of philosophy for evaluation of scientific explanatory claims. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. ON176021 i br. ON 179048

  17. Measuring disaster recovery: bouncing back or reaching the counterfactual state?

    Cheng, Shaoming; Ganapati, Emel; Ganapati, Sukumar

    2015-07-01

    How should one measure the recovery of a locale from a disaster? The measurement is crucial from a public policy and administration standpoint to determine which places should receive disaster assistance, and it affects the performance evaluation of disaster recovery programmes. This paper compares two approaches to measuring recovery: (i) bouncing back to pre-disaster conditions; and (ii) attaining the counterfactual state. The former centres on returning to normalcy following disaster-induced losses, whereas the latter focuses on attaining the state, using quasi-experimental design, which would have existed if the disaster had not occurred. Both are employed here to assess two housing recovery indicators (total new units and their valuations) in Hurricane Katrina-affected counties (rural and urban). The examination reveals significantly different outcomes for the two approaches: counties have not returned to their pre-disaster housing conditions, but they do exhibit counterfactual recovery. Moreover, rural counties may not be as vulnerable as assumed in the disaster recovery literature. © 2015 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2015.

  18. How counterfactuals of Red-Queen theory shed light on science and its historiography.

    Dagg, Joachim L

    2017-08-01

    A historical episode of evolutionary theory, which has lead to the Red Queen theory of the evolutionary maintenance of sex, includes two striking contingencies. These are used to explore alternative what-if scenarios, in order to test some common opinions about such counterfactuals. This sheds new light on the nature of science and its historiography. One counterfactual leads to an unexpected convergence of its result to that of the actual science but, nevertheless, differs in its causal structure. The other diverges towards an incompatible alternative, but this requires further contingent choices that also diverge from actual science. The convergence in the first counterfactual is due to a horizontal transfer of knowledge. Similar transfers of knowledge are typical for innovations of actual science. This suggests that contingent choices can merge as well as fork research traditions both in actual research and counterfactual history. Neither the paths of the actual history of science nor those of its counterfactual alternatives will form a tree of exclusively diverging bifurcations, but a network instead. Convergencies in counterfactuals may, therefore, be due to the web-structure of science as much as to the aims of the historians in question. Furthermore, the difference in causal structure between the actual science and its convergent counterfactual might become diagnostic for external factors rather than internal aims forcing a historian towards convergence. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Adaptive constructive processes and memory accuracy: Consequences of counterfactual simulations in young and older adults

    Gerlach, Kathy D.; Dornblaser, David W.; Schacter, Daniel L.

    2013-01-01

    People frequently engage in counterfactual thinking: mental simulations of alternative outcomes to past events. Like simulations of future events, counterfactual simulations serve adaptive functions. However, future simulation can also result in various kinds of distortions and has thus been characterized as an adaptive constructive process. Here we approach counterfactual thinking as such and examine whether it can distort memory for actual events. In Experiments 1a/b, young and older adults imagined themselves experiencing different scenarios. Participants then imagined the same scenario again, engaged in no further simulation of a scenario, or imagined a counterfactual outcome. On a subsequent recognition test, participants were more likely to make false alarms to counterfactual lures than novel scenarios. Older adults were more prone to these memory errors than younger adults. In Experiment 2, younger and older participants selected and performed different actions, then recalled performing some of those actions, imagined performing alternative actions to some of the selected actions, and did not imagine others. Participants, especially older adults, were more likely to falsely remember counterfactual actions than novel actions as previously performed. The findings suggest that counterfactual thinking can cause source confusion based on internally generated misinformation, consistent with its characterization as an adaptive constructive process. PMID:23560477

  20. Adaptive constructive processes and memory accuracy: consequences of counterfactual simulations in young and older adults.

    Gerlach, Kathy D; Dornblaser, David W; Schacter, Daniel L

    2014-01-01

    People frequently engage in counterfactual thinking: mental simulations of alternative outcomes to past events. Like simulations of future events, counterfactual simulations serve adaptive functions. However, future simulation can also result in various kinds of distortions and has thus been characterised as an adaptive constructive process. Here we approach counterfactual thinking as such and examine whether it can distort memory for actual events. In Experiments 1a/b young and older adults imagined themselves experiencing different scenarios. Participants then imagined the same scenario again, engaged in no further simulation of a scenario, or imagined a counterfactual outcome. On a subsequent recognition test participants were more likely to make false alarms to counterfactual lures than novel scenarios. Older adults were more prone to these memory errors than younger adults. In Experiment 2 younger and older participants selected and performed different actions, then recalled performing some of those actions, imagined performing alternative actions to some of the selected actions, and did not imagine others. Participants, especially older adults, were more likely to falsely remember counterfactual actions than novel actions as previously performed. The findings suggest that counterfactual thinking can cause source confusion based on internally generated misinformation, consistent with its characterisation as an adaptive constructive process.

  1. Marking the counterfactual: ERP evidence for pragmatic processing of German subjunctives

    Eugenia eKulakova

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Counterfactual conditionals are frequently used in language to express potentially valid reasoning from factually false suppositions. Counterfactuals provide two pieces of information: their literal meaning expresses a suppositional dependency between an antecedent (If the dice had been rigged ... and a consequent (… then the game would have been unfair. Their second, backgrounded meaning refers to the opposite state of affairs and suggests that, in fact, the dice were not rigged and the game was fair. Counterfactual antecedents are particularly intriguing because they set up a counterfactual world which is known to be false, but which is nevertheless kept to when evaluating the conditional’s consequent. In the last years several event-related potential (ERP studies have targeted the processing of counterfactual consequents, yet counterfactual antecedents have remained unstudied. We present an EEG/ERP investigation which employed German conditionals to compare subjunctive mood (which marks counterfactuality with indicative mood at the critical point of mood disambiguation via auxiliary introduction in the conditional’s antecedent. Conditional sentences were presented visually one word at a time. Participants completed an acceptability judgement and probe detection task which was not related to the critical manipulation of linguistic mood. ERPs at the point of mood disambiguation in the antecedent were compared between indicative and subjunctive. Our main finding is a transient negative deflection in frontal regions for subjunctive compared to indicative mood in a time-window of 450-600 ms. We discuss this novel finding in respect to working memory requirements for rule application and increased referential processing demands for the representation of counterfactuals’ dual meaning. Our result suggests that the counterfactually implied dual meaning is processed without any delay at the earliest point where counterfactuality is marked by

  2. Support vector machine and fuzzy C-mean clustering-based comparative evaluation of changes in motor cortex electroencephalogram under chronic alcoholism.

    Kumar, Surendra; Ghosh, Subhojit; Tetarway, Suhash; Sinha, Rakesh Kumar

    2015-07-01

    In this study, the magnitude and spatial distribution of frequency spectrum in the resting electroencephalogram (EEG) were examined to address the problem of detecting alcoholism in the cerebral motor cortex. The EEG signals were recorded from chronic alcoholic conditions (n = 20) and the control group (n = 20). Data were taken from motor cortex region and divided into five sub-bands (delta, theta, alpha, beta-1 and beta-2). Three methodologies were adopted for feature extraction: (1) absolute power, (2) relative power and (3) peak power frequency. The dimension of the extracted features is reduced by linear discrimination analysis and classified by support vector machine (SVM) and fuzzy C-mean clustering. The maximum classification accuracy (88 %) with SVM clustering was achieved with the EEG spectral features with absolute power frequency on F4 channel. Among the bands, relatively higher classification accuracy was found over theta band and beta-2 band in most of the channels when computed with the EEG features of relative power. Electrodes wise CZ, C3 and P4 were having more alteration. Considering the good classification accuracy obtained by SVM with relative band power features in most of the EEG channels of motor cortex, it can be suggested that the noninvasive automated online diagnostic system for the chronic alcoholic condition can be developed with the help of EEG signals.

  3. Partial Measurements and the Realization of Quantum-Mechanical Counterfactuals

    Paraoanu, G. S.

    2011-07-01

    We propose partial measurements as a conceptual tool to understand how to operate with counterfactual claims in quantum physics. Indeed, unlike standard von Neumann measurements, partial measurements can be reversed probabilistically. We first analyze the consequences of this rather unusual feature for the principle of superposition, for the complementarity principle, and for the issue of hidden variables. Then we move on to exploring non-local contexts, by reformulating the EPR paradox, the quantum teleportation experiment, and the entanglement-swapping protocol for the situation in which one uses partial measurements followed by their stochastic reversal. This leads to a number of counter-intuitive results, which are shown to be resolved if we give up the idea of attributing reality to the wavefunction of a single quantum system.

  4. Counterfactual reasoning in surrogate decision making -- another look.

    Johansson, Mats; Broström, Linus

    2011-06-01

    Incompetent patients need to have someone else make decisions on their behalf. According to the Substituted Judgment Standard the surrogate decision maker ought to make the decision that the patient would have made, had he or she been competent. Objections have been raised against this traditional construal of the standard on the grounds that it involves flawed counterfactual reasoning, and amendments have been suggested within the framework of possible worlds semantics. The paper shows that while this approach may circumvent the alleged problem, the way it has so far been elaborated reflects insufficient understanding of the moral underpinnings of the idea of substituted judgment. Proper recognition of these moral underpinnings has potentially far-reaching implications for our normative assumptions about accuracy and objectivity in surrogate decision making.

  5. Effective Connectivity from Early Visual Cortex to Posterior Occipitotemporal Face Areas Supports Face Selectivity and Predicts Developmental Prosopagnosia.

    Lohse, Michael; Garrido, Lucia; Driver, Jon; Dolan, Raymond J; Duchaine, Bradley C; Furl, Nicholas

    2016-03-30

    Face processing is mediated by interactions between functional areas in the occipital and temporal lobe, and the fusiform face area (FFA) and anterior temporal lobe play key roles in the recognition of facial identity. Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP), a lifelong face recognition impairment, have been shown to have structural and functional neuronal alterations in these areas. The present study investigated how face selectivity is generated in participants with normal face processing, and how functional abnormalities associated with DP, arise as a function of network connectivity. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and dynamic causal modeling, we examined effective connectivity in normal participants by assessing network models that include early visual cortex (EVC) and face-selective areas and then investigated the integrity of this connectivity in participants with DP. Results showed that a feedforward architecture from EVC to the occipital face area, EVC to FFA, and EVC to posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS) best explained how face selectivity arises in both controls and participants with DP. In this architecture, the DP group showed reduced connection strengths on feedforward connections carrying face information from EVC to FFA and EVC to pSTS. These altered network dynamics in DP contribute to the diminished face selectivity in the posterior occipitotemporal areas affected in DP. These findings suggest a novel view on the relevance of feedforward projection from EVC to posterior occipitotemporal face areas in generating cortical face selectivity and differences in face recognition ability. Areas of the human brain showing enhanced activation to faces compared to other objects or places have been extensively studied. However, the factors leading to this face selectively have remained mostly unknown. We show that effective connectivity from early visual cortex to posterior occipitotemporal face areas gives rise to face

  6. The US Shale Gas Revolution and Its Externality on Crude Oil Prices: A Counterfactual Analysis

    Hongxun Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The expansion of shale gas production since the mid-2000s which is commonly referred to as “shale gas revolution” has had large impacts on global energy outlook. The impact is particularly substantial when it comes to the oil market because natural gas and oil are substitutes in consumption and complements and rivals in production. This paper investigates the price externality of shale gas revolution on crude oil. Applying a structural vector autoregressive model (VAR model, the effect of natural gas production on real oil price is identified in particular, and then based on the identification, counterfactuals of oil price without shale gas revolution are constructed. We find that after the expansion of shale gas production, the real West Texas Intermediate (WTI oil price is depressed by 10.22 USD/barrel on average from 2007 to 2017, and the magnitude seems to increase with time. In addition, the period before shale gas revolution is used as a “thought experiment” for placebo study. The results support the hypothesis that real WTI oil price can be reasonably reproduced by our models, and the estimated gap for oil price during 2007–2017 can be attributed to shale gas revolution. The methodology and framework can be applied to evaluate the economic impacts of other programs or policies.

  7. Unique relations between counterfactual thinking and DSM-5 PTSD symptom clusters.

    Mitchell, Melissa A; Contractor, Ateka A; Dranger, Paula; Shea, M Tracie

    2016-05-01

    Cognitive models of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) propose that rumination about a trauma may increase particular symptom clusters. One type of rumination, termed counterfactual thinking (CFT), refers to thinking of alternative outcomes for an event. CFT centered on a trauma is thought to increase intrusions, negative alterations in mood and cognitions (NAMC), and marked alterations in arousal and reactivity (AAR). The theorized relations between CFT and specific symptom clusters have not been thoroughly investigated. Also, past work has not evaluated whether the relation is confounded by depressive symptoms, age, gender, or number of traumatic events experienced. The current study examined the unique associations between CFT and PTSD symptom clusters according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) in 51 trauma-exposed treatment-seeking individuals. As predicted, CFT was associated with all PTSD symptom clusters. After controlling for common predictors of PTSD symptom severity (i.e., age, depressive symptoms, and number of traumatic life events endorsed), we found CFT to be significantly associated with the intrusion and avoidance symptom clusters but not the AAR or NAMC symptom clusters. Results from the present study provide further support for the role of rumination in specific PTSD symptom clusters above and beyond symptoms of depression, age, and number of traumatic life events endorsed. Future work may consider investigating interventions to reduce rumination in PTSD. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  8. Multiple sclerosis decreases explicit counterfactual processing and risk taking in decision making.

    Simioni, Samanta; Schluep, Myriam; Bault, Nadège; Coricelli, Giorgio; Kleeberg, Joerg; Du Pasquier, Renaud A; Gschwind, Markus; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Annoni, Jean-Marie

    2012-01-01

    Deficits in decision making (DM) are commonly associated with prefrontal cortical damage, but may occur with multiple sclerosis (MS). There are no data concerning the impact of MS on tasks evaluating DM under explicit risk, where different emotional and cognitive components can be distinguished. We assessed 72 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) patients with mild to moderate disease and 38 healthy controls in two DM tasks involving risk with explicit rules: (1) The Wheel of Fortune (WOF), which probes the anticipated affects of decisions outcomes on future choices; and (2) The Cambridge Gamble Task (CGT) which measures risk taking. Participants also underwent a neuropsychological and emotional assessment, and skin conductance responses (SCRs) were recorded. In the WOF, RRMS patients showed deficits in integrating positive counterfactual information (paffect than controls (disappointment: p = 0.007; regret: p = 0.01), although their implicit emotional reactions as measured by post-choice SCRs did not differ. In the CGT, RRMS patients differed from controls in quality of DM (p = 0.01) and deliberation time (p = 0.0002), the latter difference being correlated with attention scores. Such changes did not result in overall decreases in performance (total gains). The quality of DM under risk was modified by MS in both tasks. The reduction in the expression of disappointment coexisted with an increased risk aversion in the WOF and alexithymia features. These concomitant emotional alterations may have implications for better understanding the components of explicit DM and for the clinical support of MS patients.

  9. How to (properly) strengthen Bell's theorem using counterfactuals

    Bigaj, Tomasz

    Bell's theorem in its standard version demonstrates that the joint assumptions of the hidden-variable hypothesis and the principle of local causation lead to a conflict with quantum-mechanical predictions. In his latest counterfactual strengthening of Bell's theorem, Stapp attempts to prove that the locality assumption itself contradicts the quantum-mechanical predictions in the Hardy case. His method relies on constructing a complex, non-truth functional formula which consists of statements about measurements and outcomes in some region R, and whose truth value depends on the selection of a measurement setting in a space-like separated location L. Stapp argues that this fact shows that the information about the measurement selection made in L has to be present in R. I give detailed reasons why this conclusion can and should be resisted. Next I correct and formalize an informal argument by Shimony and Stein showing that the locality condition coupled with Einstein's criterion of reality is inconsistent with quantum-mechanical predictions. I discuss the possibility of avoiding the inconsistency by rejecting Einstein's criterion rather than the locality assumption.

  10. Decision-making dysfunctions of counterfactuals in depression: who might I have been?

    Jonathon Richard Howlett

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive neuroscience enables us now to decompose major depressive disorder into dysfunctional component processes and relate these processes to specific neural substrates. This approach can be used to illuminate the biological basis of altered psychological processes in depression, including abnormal decision-making. One important decision-related process is counterfactual thinking, or the comparison of reality to hypothetical alternatives. Evidence suggests that individuals with depression experience exaggerated emotional responses due to focusing on counterfactual decision outcomes in general and regret, i.e. the emotion associated with focus on an alternative superior outcome, in particular. Regret is linked to self-esteem in that it involves the evaluation of an individual’s own decisions. Alterations of self-esteem, in turn, are a hallmark of depression. The literature on the behavioral and neural processes underlying counterfactual thinking, self-esteem, and depression is selectively reviewed. A model is proposed in which unstable self-representation in depression is more strongly perturbed when a different choice would have produced a better outcome, leading to increased feelings of regret. This approach may help unify diverse aspects of depression, can generate testable predictions, and may suggest new treatment avenues targeting distorted counterfactual cognitions, attentional biases toward superior counterfactual outcomes, or increased affective response to regretted outcomes.

  11. Understanding of emotions based on counterfactual reasoning in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Begeer, Sander; De Rosnay, Marc; Lunenburg, Patty; Stegge, Hedy; Terwogt, Mark Meerum

    2014-04-01

    The understanding of emotions based on counterfactual reasoning was studied in children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (n = 71) and in typically developing children (n = 71), aged 6-12 years. Children were presented with eight stories about two protagonists who experienced the same positive or negative outcome, either due to their own action or by default. Relative to the comparison group, children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder were poor at explaining emotions based on downward counterfactual reasoning (i.e. contentment and relief). There were no group differences in upward counterfactual reasoning (i.e. disappointment and regret). In the comparison group, second-order false-belief reasoning was related to children's understanding of second-order counterfactual emotions (i.e. regret and relief), while children in the high-functioning autism spectrum disorder group relied more on their general intellectual skills. Results are discussed in terms of the different functions of counterfactual reasoning about emotion and the cognitive style of children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder.

  12. The effects of belief in good luck and counterfactual thinking on gambling behavior.

    Kim, So-Ra; Kwon, Young-Sil; Hyun, Myoung-Ho

    2015-12-01

    One's belief in good luck, and belief that it is a personal trait, could play a crucial role in gambling behavior, and can lead gamblers to have an irrational anticipation to win and to over-generalize their subjective sense of control. And upward counterfactual thinking has been considered to be a factor that offsets those irrational beliefs. This study examined the effects of belief in good luck and of upward counterfactual thinking on gambling behavior. The subjects of the study were 52 college students who had been classified as non-problematic and non-pathological gamblers. They were assigned into one of two groups, distinguished by having either high (n = 25) or low (n = 27) levels of self-perception of luck, as determined by their scores on the Belief in Good Luck (BIGL) Scale. The subjects were assigned to different groups according to their reported experience of upward counterfactual thinking. We found that those who had high BIGL scores spent more money on gambling than those who had low BIGL scores. Moreover, after taking into account the upward counterfactual thinking, the subjects with high BIGL scores showed a dramatic decrease in their expectations of winning. The results indicate that to perceive luck as a personal and internal trait could affect gambling, which is one of the cognitive errors for gambling addiction. On the other hand, given that upward counterfactual thinking plays an important role in reducing cognitive errors, it could act as a protective factor against gambling addiction.

  13. Using counterfactuals to display facts – the case of satirical humor

    Maslo Adi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Satire has not been given the humorologists’ attention to an extent that would do justice to the amount of humor satire actually holds. Therefore, the intention of this paper is to shed light on satire as humorous discourse, with an emphasis on counterfactuals. Interestingly enough, counterfactuals oppose the actual state of affairs; rhetorically however, they show potential to reveal the truth. Political satire is an area of conflict between truth and falsehood which is exactly why this type of satire is discussed in this paper. Tools from Cognitive Linguistics – framing and blending – are utilized to show to what extent counterfactuals are actually false and how they essentially contribute to satire. Examples of political satire are selected from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

  14. Counterfactual and Factual Reflection: The Influence of Past Misdeeds on Future Immoral Behavior.

    Gaspar, Joseph P; Seabright, Mark A; Reynolds, Scott J; Yam, Kai Chi

    2015-01-01

    Though the decision to behave immorally is situated within the context of prior immoral behavior, research has provided contradictory insights into this process. In a series of experiments, we demonstrate that the effects of prior immoral behavior depend on how individuals think about, or reflect on, their immoral behavior. In Experiment 1, participants who reflected counterfactually on their prior moral lapses morally disengaged (i.e., rationalized) less than participants who reflected factually. In Experiment 2, participants who reflected counterfactually on their prior moral lapses experienced more guilt than those who reflected factually. Finally, in Experiments 3 and 4, participants who reflected counterfactually lied less on unrelated tasks with real monetary stakes than those who reflected factually. Our studies provide important insights into moral rationalization and moral compensation processes and demonstrate the profound influence of reflection in everyday moral life.

  15. Security proof of counterfactual quantum cryptography against general intercept-resend attacks and its vulnerability

    Zhang Sheng; Wang Jian; Tang Chao-Jing

    2012-01-01

    Counterfactual quantum cryptography, recently proposed by Noh, is featured with no transmission of signal particles. This exhibits evident security advantages, such as its immunity to the well-known photon-number-splitting attack. In this paper, the theoretical security of counterfactual quantum cryptography protocol against the general intercept-resend attacks is proved by bounding the information of an eavesdropper Eve more tightly than in Yin's proposal [Phys. Rev. A 82 042335 (2010)]. It is also shown that practical counterfactual quantum cryptography implementations may be vulnerable when equipped with imperfect apparatuses, by proving that a negative key rate can be achieved when Eve launches a time-shift attack based on imperfect detector efficiency. (general)

  16. On the Counterfactual Nature of Gambling Near‐misses: An Experimental Study

    van Dijk, Eric; Li, Hong; Aitken, Michael; Clark, Luke

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Research on gambling near‐misses has shown that objectively equivalent outcomes can yield divergent emotional and motivational responses. The subjective processing of gambling outcomes is affected substantially by close but non‐obtained outcomes (i.e. counterfactuals). In the current paper, we investigate how different types of near‐misses influence self‐perceived luck and subsequent betting behavior in a wheel‐of‐fortune task. We investigate the counterfactual mechanism of these effects by testing the relationship with a second task measuring regret/relief processing. Across two experiments (Experiment 1, n = 51; Experiment 2, n = 104), we demonstrate that near‐wins (neutral outcomes that are close to a jackpot) decreased self‐perceived luck, whereas near‐losses (neutral outcomes that are close to a major penalty) increased luck ratings. The effects of near‐misses varied by near‐miss position (i.e. whether the spinner stopped just short of, or passed through, the counterfactual outcome), consistent with established distinctions between upward versus downward, and additive versus subtractive, counterfactual thinking. In Experiment 1, individuals who showed stronger counterfactual processing on the regret/relief task were more responsive to near‐wins and near‐losses on the wheel‐of‐fortune task. The effect of near‐miss position was attenuated when the anticipatory phase (i.e. the spin and deceleration) was removed in Experiment 2. Further differences were observed within the objective gains and losses, between “clear” and “narrow” outcomes. Taken together, these results help substantiate the counterfactual mechanism of near‐misses. © 2017 The Authors Journal of Behavioral Decision Making Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:29081596

  17. Regularity and counterfactuality in Hume's treatment of causation

    José Oscar de Almeida Marques

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Of the several theories of causation current in our days, Hume is said to be the inspiration of two of the most influential and accepted: the regularity theory, first clearly formulated by Thomas Brown in 1822, and the counterfactual theory, proposed by David Lewis in 1973. After a brief outline of the comparative merits and difficulties of these two views, I proceed to examine whether Hume's own treatment of causation actually corresponds to any of them. I will show that his first definition of cause, coupled with his rules by which to judge about causes and effects, contains elements that, properly developed, allow us to address successfully some traditional difficulties of the regularity view of causation, without resorting to the conceptual resources employed in the counterfactual approach. Therefore, we can properly classify Hume as an advocate of the conception of causation as regularity, noting however that his primary goal in his research and definitions of the concept was to provide not so much an analysis of causation as such, but of causation as we apprehend it, in the form of our ability to make causal inferences and refine them to reach the more sophisticated causal reasonings that are required in the theoretical and practical issues of life.Das diversas teorias da causação existentes em nossos dias, Hume pode ser considerado o precursor de duas das mais influentes e aceitas: a teoria regularista, formulada claramente pela primeira vez por Thomas Brown, em 1822, e a teoria contrafatualista, proposta por David Lewis em 1973. Depois de um breve resumo dos méritos e dificuldades comparativos dessas duas perspectivas, passo a examinar se o tratamento de Hume da causação corresponde, na verdade a algum deles. Mostro que a sua primeira definição de causa, juntamente com suas regras para julgar sobre as causas e efeitos, contém elementos que, devidamente desenvolvidos, permitem-nos abordar com sucesso algumas dificuldades

  18. Music-supported therapy induces plasticity in the sensorimotor cortex in chronic stroke: a single-case study using multimodal imaging (fMRI-TMS).

    Rojo, Nuria; Amengual, Julian; Juncadella, Montserrat; Rubio, Francisco; Camara, Estela; Marco-Pallares, Josep; Schneider, Sabine; Veciana, Misericordia; Montero, Jordi; Mohammadi, Bahram; Altenmüller, Eckart; Grau, Carles; Münte, Thomas F; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni

    2011-01-01

    Music-Supported Therapy (MST) has been developed recently in order to improve the use of the affected upper extremity after stroke. This study investigated the neuroplastic mechanisms underlying effectiveness in a patient with chronic stroke. MST uses musical instruments, a midi piano and an electronic drum set emitting piano sounds, to retrain fine and gross movements of the paretic upper extremity. Data are presented from a patient with a chronic stroke (20 months post-stroke) with residual right-sided hemiparesis who took part in 20 MST sessions over the course of 4 weeks. Post-therapy, a marked improvement of movement quality, assessed by 3D movement analysis, was observed. Moreover, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of a sequential hand movement revealed distinct therapy-related changes in the form of a reduction of excess contralateral and ipsilateral activations. This was accompanied by changes in cortical excitability evidenced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Functional MRI in a music listening task suggests that one of the effects of MST is the task-dependent coupling of auditory and motor cortical areas. The MST appears to be a useful neurorehabilitation tool in patients with chronic stroke and leads to neural reorganization in the sensorimotor cortex.

  19. An evolutionary conserved region (ECR in the human dopamine receptor D4 gene supports reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from the rat cortex

    Haddley Kate

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Detecting functional variants contributing to diversity of behaviour is crucial for dissecting genetics of complex behaviours. At a molecular level, characterisation of variation in exons has been studied as they are easily identified in the current genome annotation although the functional consequences are less well understood; however, it has been difficult to prioritise regions of non-coding DNA in which genetic variation could also have significant functional consequences. Comparison of multiple vertebrate genomes has allowed the identification of non-coding evolutionary conserved regions (ECRs, in which the degree of conservation can be comparable with exonic regions suggesting functional significance. Results We identified ECRs at the dopamine receptor D4 gene locus, an important gene for human behaviours. The most conserved non-coding ECR (D4ECR1 supported high reporter gene expression in primary cultures derived from neonate rat frontal cortex. Computer aided analysis of the sequence of the D4ECR1 indicated the potential transcription factors that could modulate its function. D4ECR1 contained multiple consensus sequences for binding the transcription factor Sp1, a factor previously implicated in DRD4 expression. Co-transfection experiments demonstrated that overexpression of Sp1 significantly decreased the activity of the D4ECR1 in vitro. Conclusion Bioinformatic analysis complemented by functional analysis of the DRD4 gene locus has identified a a strong enhancer that functions in neurons and b a transcription factor that may modulate the function of that enhancer.

  20. Mortimer Lightwood; or, Seriality, Counterfactuals, Co-Production, and Queer Fantasy

    Holly Furneaux

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In this reflection on her participation as Mortimer Lightwood in Birkbeck’s Our Mutual Friend Twitter reading project, Holly Furneaux situates the project in a long legacy of actively reading Dickens’s works. She opens up some possibilities about the queer potentials of the serial form, the counterfactual, and Dickens fans’ creative responses.

  1. Counterfactual Thinking and Ethical Decision Making: A New Approach to an Old Problem for Marketing Education

    Celuch, Kevin; Saxby, Carl

    2013-01-01

    The present study extends understanding of the self-regulatory aspects of ethical decision making by integrating and exploring relationships among counterfactual thinking, attribution, anticipatory emotions, and ethical decision-making constructs and processes. Specifically, we examine the effects of a manipulation designed to stimulate a…

  2. [Thought Experiments in Historiographic Function: Max Weber on Eduard Meyer and the Question of Counterfactuality].

    Ernst, Florian

    2015-03-01

    Thought Experiments in Historiographic Function: Max Weber on Eduard Meyer and the Question of Counterfactuality. Max Weber's remarks on his colleague Eduard Meyer regarding counterfactual reasoning in history reflects a significant shift during the Methodenstreit around 1900. The question of attributing historical change strictly to either individual causes or abstract general laws has been tackled in a new way: By counterfactual reasoning a historian should be able to detect the most significant (and therefore meaningful) cause, event, or action for a certain historical outcome. Following Fritz Ringer, this paper argues that given the predominating methods of the natural sciences, scholars of the humanities conducted historical research by counterfactual thought experiments. This way, Weber pried open contemporary narratives (e.g. historicism), and by employing a unique historical causal analysis he made way for refined concepts to offer a model of interpretation that gave hope for a more feasible, practice-oriented approach to historical research than the epistemological discussions had hitherto offered. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. How Children with Autism Reason about Other's Intentions: False-Belief and Counterfactual Inferences

    Rasga, Célia; Quelhas, Ana Cristina; Byrne, Ruth M. J.

    2017-01-01

    We examine false belief and counterfactual reasoning in children with autism with a new change-of-intentions task. Children listened to stories, for example, Anne is picking up toys and John hears her say she wants to find her ball. John goes away and the reason for Anne's action changes--Anne's mother tells her to tidy her bedroom. We asked,…

  4. "If a Lion Could Speak ...": Online Sensitivity to Propositional Truth-Value of Unrealistic Counterfactual Sentences

    Nieuwland, Mante S.

    2013-01-01

    People can establish whether a sentence is hypothetically true even if what it describes can never be literally true given the laws of the natural world. Two event-related potential (ERP) experiments examined electrophysiological responses to sentences about unrealistic counterfactual worlds that require people to construct novel conceptual…

  5. Confirmation bias in human reinforcement learning: Evidence from counterfactual feedback processing

    Lefebvre, Germain; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that factual learning, that is, learning from obtained outcomes, is biased, such that participants preferentially take into account positive, as compared to negative, prediction errors. However, whether or not the prediction error valence also affects counterfactual learning, that is, learning from forgone outcomes, is unknown. To address this question, we analysed the performance of two groups of participants on reinforcement learning tasks using a computational model that was adapted to test if prediction error valence influences learning. We carried out two experiments: in the factual learning experiment, participants learned from partial feedback (i.e., the outcome of the chosen option only); in the counterfactual learning experiment, participants learned from complete feedback information (i.e., the outcomes of both the chosen and unchosen option were displayed). In the factual learning experiment, we replicated previous findings of a valence-induced bias, whereby participants learned preferentially from positive, relative to negative, prediction errors. In contrast, for counterfactual learning, we found the opposite valence-induced bias: negative prediction errors were preferentially taken into account, relative to positive ones. When considering valence-induced bias in the context of both factual and counterfactual learning, it appears that people tend to preferentially take into account information that confirms their current choice. PMID:28800597

  6. Counterfactually Mediated Emotions: A Developmental Study of Regret and Relief in a Probabilistic Gambling Task

    Habib, M.; Cassotti, M.; Borst, G.; Simon, G.; Pineau, A.; Houde, O.; Moutier, S.

    2012-01-01

    Regret and relief are related to counterfactual thinking and rely on comparison processes between what has been and what might have been. In this article, we study the development of regret and relief from late childhood to adulthood (11.2-20.2 years), and we examine how these two emotions affect individuals' willingness to retrospectively…

  7. How Helpful Are Error Management and Counterfactual Thinking Instructions to Inexperienced Spreadsheet Users' Training Task Performance?

    Caputi, Peter; Chan, Amy; Jayasuriya, Rohan

    2011-01-01

    This paper examined the impact of training strategies on the types of errors that novice users make when learning a commonly used spreadsheet application. Fifty participants were assigned to a counterfactual thinking training (CFT) strategy, an error management training strategy, or a combination of both strategies, and completed an easy task…

  8. Confirmation bias in human reinforcement learning: Evidence from counterfactual feedback processing.

    Palminteri, Stefano; Lefebvre, Germain; Kilford, Emma J; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2017-08-01

    Previous studies suggest that factual learning, that is, learning from obtained outcomes, is biased, such that participants preferentially take into account positive, as compared to negative, prediction errors. However, whether or not the prediction error valence also affects counterfactual learning, that is, learning from forgone outcomes, is unknown. To address this question, we analysed the performance of two groups of participants on reinforcement learning tasks using a computational model that was adapted to test if prediction error valence influences learning. We carried out two experiments: in the factual learning experiment, participants learned from partial feedback (i.e., the outcome of the chosen option only); in the counterfactual learning experiment, participants learned from complete feedback information (i.e., the outcomes of both the chosen and unchosen option were displayed). In the factual learning experiment, we replicated previous findings of a valence-induced bias, whereby participants learned preferentially from positive, relative to negative, prediction errors. In contrast, for counterfactual learning, we found the opposite valence-induced bias: negative prediction errors were preferentially taken into account, relative to positive ones. When considering valence-induced bias in the context of both factual and counterfactual learning, it appears that people tend to preferentially take into account information that confirms their current choice.

  9. Norepinephrine in the Medial Pre-frontal Cortex Supports Accumbens Shell Responses to a Novel Palatable Food in Food-Restricted Mice Only

    Emanuele Claudio Latagliata

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Previous findings from this laboratory demonstrate: (1 that different classes of addictive drugs require intact norepinephrine (NE transmission in the medial pre Frontal Cortex (mpFC to promote conditioned place preference and to increase dopamine (DA tone in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAc Shell; (2 that only food-restricted mice require intact NE transmission in the mpFC to develop conditioned preference for a context associated with milk chocolate; and (3 that food-restricted mice show a significantly larger increase of mpFC NE outflow then free fed mice when experiencing the palatable food for the first time. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that only the high levels of frontal cortical NE elicited by the natural reward in food restricted mice stimulate mesoaccumbens DA transmission. To this aim we investigated the ability of a first experience with milk chocolate to increase DA outflow in the accumbens Shell and c-fos expression in striatal and limbic areas of food–restricted and ad-libitum fed mice. Moreover, we tested the effects of a selective depletion of frontal cortical NE on both responses in either feeding group. Only in food-restricted mice milk chocolate induced an increase of DA outflow beyond baseline in the accumbens Shell and a c-fos expression larger than that promoted by a novel inedible object in the nucleus accumbens. Moreover, depletion of frontal cortical NE selectively prevented both the increase of DA outflow and the large expression of c-fos promoted by milk chocolate in the NAc Shell of food-restricted mice. These findings support the conclusion that in food-restricted mice a novel palatable food activates the motivational circuit engaged by addictive drugs and support the development of noradrenergic pharmacology of motivational disturbances.

  10. Multiple sclerosis decreases explicit counterfactual processing and risk taking in decision making.

    Samanta Simioni

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Deficits in decision making (DM are commonly associated with prefrontal cortical damage, but may occur with multiple sclerosis (MS. There are no data concerning the impact of MS on tasks evaluating DM under explicit risk, where different emotional and cognitive components can be distinguished. METHODS: We assessed 72 relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS patients with mild to moderate disease and 38 healthy controls in two DM tasks involving risk with explicit rules: (1 The Wheel of Fortune (WOF, which probes the anticipated affects of decisions outcomes on future choices; and (2 The Cambridge Gamble Task (CGT which measures risk taking. Participants also underwent a neuropsychological and emotional assessment, and skin conductance responses (SCRs were recorded. RESULTS: In the WOF, RRMS patients showed deficits in integrating positive counterfactual information (p<0.005 and greater risk aversion (p<0.001. They reported less negative affect than controls (disappointment: p = 0.007; regret: p = 0.01, although their implicit emotional reactions as measured by post-choice SCRs did not differ. In the CGT, RRMS patients differed from controls in quality of DM (p = 0.01 and deliberation time (p = 0.0002, the latter difference being correlated with attention scores. Such changes did not result in overall decreases in performance (total gains. CONCLUSIONS: The quality of DM under risk was modified by MS in both tasks. The reduction in the expression of disappointment coexisted with an increased risk aversion in the WOF and alexithymia features. These concomitant emotional alterations may have implications for better understanding the components of explicit DM and for the clinical support of MS patients.

  11. Ease of counterfactual thought generation moderates the relationship between need for cognition and punitive responses to crime.

    Petrocelli, John V; Dowd, Keith

    2009-09-01

    Punitive responses to crime have been linked to a relatively low need for cognition (NFC). Sargent's (2004) findings suggest that this relationship is due to a relatively complex attributional system, employed by high-NFC individuals, which permits them to recognize potential external or situational causes of crime. However, high-NFC individuals may also be more likely to engage in counterfactual thinking, which has been linked to greater judgments of blame and responsibility. Three studies examine the relationship between trait and state NFC and punitiveness in light of counterfactual thinking. Results suggest that the ease of generating upward counterfactuals in response to an unfortunate crime moderates the NFC-punitiveness relationship, such that high-NFC individuals are less punitive than low-NFC individuals only when counterfactual thoughts are relatively difficult to generate. These findings are discussed in light of punishment theory and their possible implications with regard to the legal system.

  12. Contextual modulation of primary visual cortex by auditory signals.

    Petro, L S; Paton, A T; Muckli, L

    2017-02-19

    Early visual cortex receives non-feedforward input from lateral and top-down connections (Muckli & Petro 2013 Curr. Opin. Neurobiol. 23, 195-201. (doi:10.1016/j.conb.2013.01.020)), including long-range projections from auditory areas. Early visual cortex can code for high-level auditory information, with neural patterns representing natural sound stimulation (Vetter et al. 2014 Curr. Biol. 24, 1256-1262. (doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.04.020)). We discuss a number of questions arising from these findings. What is the adaptive function of bimodal representations in visual cortex? What type of information projects from auditory to visual cortex? What are the anatomical constraints of auditory information in V1, for example, periphery versus fovea, superficial versus deep cortical layers? Is there a putative neural mechanism we can infer from human neuroimaging data and recent theoretical accounts of cortex? We also present data showing we can read out high-level auditory information from the activation patterns of early visual cortex even when visual cortex receives simple visual stimulation, suggesting independent channels for visual and auditory signals in V1. We speculate which cellular mechanisms allow V1 to be contextually modulated by auditory input to facilitate perception, cognition and behaviour. Beyond cortical feedback that facilitates perception, we argue that there is also feedback serving counterfactual processing during imagery, dreaming and mind wandering, which is not relevant for immediate perception but for behaviour and cognition over a longer time frame.This article is part of the themed issue 'Auditory and visual scene analysis'. © 2017 The Authors.

  13. Imagining the personal past: Episodic counterfactuals compared to episodic memories and episodic future projections

    Özbek, Müge; Bohn, Annette; Berntsen, Dorthe

    2017-01-01

    Episodic counterfactuals are imagined events that could have happened, but did not happen, in a person’s past. Such imagined past events are important aspects of mental life, affecting emotions, decisions, and behaviors. However, studies examining their phenomenological characteristics and content...... are few. Here we introduced a new method to systematically compare self-generated episodic counterfactuals to self-generated episodic memories and future projections with regard to their phenomenological characteristics (e.g., imagery, emotional valence, rehearsal) and content (e.g., reference to cultural...... distance. The findings show that imagined events are phenomenologically different from memories of experienced events, consistent with reality monitoring theory, and that imagined future events are different from both actual and imagined past events, consistent with some theories of motivation....

  14. What is the appropriate counterfactual when estimating effects of multilateral trade policy reform?

    Anderson, Kym; Jensen, Hans Grinsted; Nelgen, Signe

    2016-01-01

    the counterfactual price distortions in 2030 are shown to be much larger in the case where agricultural protection grows endogenously than in the case assuming no policy changes over the projection period. This suggests the traditional way of estimating effects of a multilateral agricultural trade agreement may...... of the DDA’s possible effects thus requires first modelling the world economy to 2030 and, in that process, projecting what trade-related policies might be by then without a DDA. Typically, modelers assume the counterfactual policy regime to be a ‘business-as-usual’ projection assuming the status quo. Yet we...... by projecting the world economy to 2030 using the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) model with those two alternative policy regimes and then simulating a move to global free trade (the maximum benefit from a multilateral trade reform) in each of those two cases. The welfare effects of removing...

  15. Counterfactuals and history: Contingency and convergence in histories of science and life.

    Hesketh, Ian

    2016-08-01

    This article examines a series of recent histories of science that have attempted to consider how science may have developed in slightly altered historical realities. These works have, moreover, been influenced by debates in evolutionary science about the opposing forces of contingency and convergence in regard to Stephen Jay Gould's notion of "replaying life's tape." The article argues that while the historians under analysis seem to embrace contingency in order to present their counterfactual narratives, for the sake of historical plausibility they are forced to accept a fairly weak role for contingency in shaping the development of science. It is therefore argued that Simon Conway Morris's theory of evolutionary convergence comes closer to describing the restrained counterfactual worlds imagined by these historians of science than does contingency. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Mechanism of bystander-blaming: defensive attribution, counterfactual thinking, and gender.

    Levy, Inna; Ben-David, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    Contemporary victimology recognizes that an understanding of the mechanism of blaming requires a comprehensive approach that includes the victim, the offender, and the bystander. However, most of the existing research on blaming focuses on the victim and the offender, ignoring the issue of bystander-blaming. This study highlights the bystander and investigates bystander-blaming by exploring some theoretical explanations, including counterfactual thinking, defensive attribution, and gender differences. The study included 363 young male and female participants, who read vignettes describing the behavior of the victim and the bystander in a rape scenario and answered questions regarding bystander-blaming. The results show that both counterfactual thinking and defensive attribution play a role in bystander-blaming. This article addresses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings. © The Author(s) 2013.

  17. The power of possibility: causal learning, counterfactual reasoning, and pretend play.

    Buchsbaum, Daphna; Bridgers, Sophie; Skolnick Weisberg, Deena; Gopnik, Alison

    2012-08-05

    We argue for a theoretical link between the development of an extended period of immaturity in human evolution and the emergence of powerful and wide-ranging causal learning mechanisms, specifically the use of causal models and Bayesian learning. We suggest that exploratory childhood learning, childhood play in particular, and causal cognition are closely connected. We report an empirical study demonstrating one such connection--a link between pretend play and counterfactual causal reasoning. Preschool children given new information about a causal system made very similar inferences both when they considered counterfactuals about the system and when they engaged in pretend play about it. Counterfactual cognition and causally coherent pretence were also significantly correlated even when age, general cognitive development and executive function were controlled for. These findings link a distinctive human form of childhood play and an equally distinctive human form of causal inference. We speculate that, during human evolution, computations that were initially reserved for solving particularly important ecological problems came to be used much more widely and extensively during the long period of protected immaturity.

  18. How Children with Autism Reason about Other's Intentions: False-Belief and Counterfactual Inferences.

    Rasga, Célia; Quelhas, Ana Cristina; Byrne, Ruth M J

    2017-06-01

    We examine false belief and counterfactual reasoning in children with autism with a new change-of-intentions task. Children listened to stories, for example, Anne is picking up toys and John hears her say she wants to find her ball. John goes away and the reason for Anne's action changes-Anne's mother tells her to tidy her bedroom. We asked, 'What will John believe is the reason that Anne is picking up toys?' which requires a false-belief inference, and 'If Anne's mother hadn't asked Anne to tidy her room, what would have been the reason she was picking up toys?' which requires a counterfactual inference. We tested children aged 6, 8 and 10 years. Children with autism made fewer correct inferences than typically developing children at 8 years, but by 10 years there was no difference. Children with autism made fewer correct false-belief than counterfactual inferences, just like typically developing children.

  19. Contrast class cues and performance facilitation in a hypothesis-testing task: evidence for an iterative counterfactual model.

    Gale, Maggie; Ball, Linden J

    2012-04-01

    Hypothesis-testing performance on Wason's (Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 12:129-140, 1960) 2-4-6 task is typically poor, with only around 20% of participants announcing the to-be-discovered "ascending numbers" rule on their first attempt. Enhanced solution rates can, however, readily be observed with dual-goal (DG) task variants requiring the discovery of two complementary rules, one labeled "DAX" (the standard "ascending numbers" rule) and the other labeled "MED" ("any other number triples"). Two DG experiments are reported in which we manipulated the usefulness of a presented MED exemplar, where usefulness denotes cues that can establish a helpful "contrast class" that can stand in opposition to the presented 2-4-6 DAX exemplar. The usefulness of MED exemplars had a striking facilitatory effect on DAX rule discovery, which supports the importance of contrast-class information in hypothesis testing. A third experiment ruled out the possibility that the useful MED triple seeded the correct rule from the outset and obviated any need for hypothesis testing. We propose that an extension of Oaksford and Chater's (European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 6:149-169, 1994) iterative counterfactual model can neatly capture the mechanisms by which DG facilitation arises.

  20. I am so glad that we parted! Am I? On attitude representation, counterfactual thinking, and experienced regret

    Grabowski Adam

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Two studies examined how different linguistic forms affect the way in which people access memories of former close relationships that are irrevocably over. Remembering former relationships can activate either positive or negative attitudes. Whether people feel sorrow that bygones are in fact bygones depends on attitudinal valence, but also on the linguistic form in which people express their attitudes. More abstract linguistic forms prevent people from retrieving specific and detailed memories, and thus prompt them to generating more counterfactual thoughts and to experience stronger regret. In contrast, more concrete linguistic forms lead people to remember their personal past more vividly and accurately, and this subjective impression can forestall counterfactual thinking. Study 2 further shows that people are more prone to generate counterfactual thoughts when they focus on the final stage of their relationships rather than the beginning even when the valence of recalled attitudes and objective time are controlled.

  1. Using counterfactuals to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of controlling biological invasions.

    McConnachie, Matthew M; van Wilgen, Brian W; Ferraro, Paul J; Forsyth, Aurelia T; Richardson, David M; Gaertner, Mirijam; Cowling, Richard M

    2016-03-01

    Prioritizing limited conservation funds for controlling biological invasions requires accurate estimates of the effectiveness of interventions to remove invasive species and their cost-effectiveness (cost per unit area or individual). Despite billions of dollars spent controlling biological invasions worldwide, it is unclear whether those efforts are effective, and cost-effective. The paucity of evidence results from the difficulty in measuring the effect of invasive species removal: a researcher must estimate the difference in outcomes (e.g. invasive species cover) between where the removal program intervened and what might have been observed if the program had not intervened. In the program evaluation literature, this is called a counterfactual analysis, which formally compares what actually happened and what would have happened in the absence of an intervention. When program implementation is not randomized, estimating counterfactual outcomes is especially difficult. We show how a thorough understanding of program implementation, combined with a matching empirical design can improve the way counterfactual outcomes are estimated in nonexperimental contexts. As a practical demonstration, we estimated the cost-effectiveness of South Africa's Working for Water program, arguably the world's most ambitious invasive species control program, in removing invasive alien trees from different land use types, across a large area in the Cape Floristic Region. We estimated that the proportion of the treatment area covered by invasive trees would have been 49% higher (5.5% instead of 2.7% of the grid cells occupied) had the program not intervened. Our estimates of cost per hectare to remove invasive species, however, are three to five times higher than the predictions made when the program was initiated. Had there been no control (counter-factual), invasive trees would have spread on untransformed land, but not on land parcels containing plantations or land transformed by

  2. Psychopathic individuals exhibit but do not avoid regret during counterfactual decision making

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle; Stuppy-Sullivan, Allison M.; Buckholtz, Joshua W.

    2016-01-01

    Psychopathy is associated with persistent antisocial behavior and a striking lack of regret for the consequences of that behavior. Although explanatory models for psychopathy have largely focused on deficits in affective responsiveness, recent work indicates that aberrant value-based decision making may also play a role. On that basis, some have suggested that psychopathic individuals may be unable to effectively use prospective simulations to update action value estimates during cost–benefit decision making. However, the specific mechanisms linking valuation, affective deficits, and maladaptive decision making in psychopathy remain unclear. Using a counterfactual decision-making paradigm, we found that individuals who scored high on a measure of psychopathy were as or more likely than individuals low on psychopathy to report negative affect in response to regret-inducing counterfactual outcomes. However, despite exhibiting intact affective regret sensitivity, they did not use prospective regret signals to guide choice behavior. In turn, diminished behavioral regret sensitivity predicted a higher number of prior incarcerations, and moderated the relationship between psychopathy and incarceration history. These findings raise the possibility that maladaptive decision making in psychopathic individuals is not a consequence of their inability to generate or experience negative emotions. Rather, antisocial behavior in psychopathy may be driven by a deficit in the generation of forward models that integrate information about rules, costs, and goals with stimulus value representations to promote adaptive behavior. PMID:27911790

  3. Landscapes of Lost Energy: Counterfactual Geographical Imaginary for A More Sustainable Society

    van der Horst Dan

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The quest for sustainable energy, one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, calls for more input from academics than 'simply' producing good science. Geographical imaginations are as old as storytelling and mapmaking, but this essay is neither about 'long ago and far away', nor about utopian energy futures. This is a call to geographers to engage with 'alternative present' energy scenarios, using the full range of analytical and discursive tools at our disposal. Drawing on a diverse tradition of imagined spaces and the awareness of absences (material, relational or otherwise, geographers should be able to contribute to the quest for a more sustainable society by assessing, envisaging, and communicating a counterfactual 'here and now', based on good practices existing right now, but not (yet right here. We need to understand how much more sustainable our bit of the planet would be if we could just, environmentally speaking, 'keep up' with the best of our neighbours. This counterfactual present should be seen as neither radical nor utopian, because it only assumes the historic adoption of best practices which we now know to be feasible and successful. And if thi alternative current scenario looks radically different from the 'real' state we are in, then this goes to show how radically unsustainable our business-as-usual approach has been.

  4. Psychopathic individuals exhibit but do not avoid regret during counterfactual decision making.

    Baskin-Sommers, Arielle; Stuppy-Sullivan, Allison M; Buckholtz, Joshua W

    2016-12-13

    Psychopathy is associated with persistent antisocial behavior and a striking lack of regret for the consequences of that behavior. Although explanatory models for psychopathy have largely focused on deficits in affective responsiveness, recent work indicates that aberrant value-based decision making may also play a role. On that basis, some have suggested that psychopathic individuals may be unable to effectively use prospective simulations to update action value estimates during cost-benefit decision making. However, the specific mechanisms linking valuation, affective deficits, and maladaptive decision making in psychopathy remain unclear. Using a counterfactual decision-making paradigm, we found that individuals who scored high on a measure of psychopathy were as or more likely than individuals low on psychopathy to report negative affect in response to regret-inducing counterfactual outcomes. However, despite exhibiting intact affective regret sensitivity, they did not use prospective regret signals to guide choice behavior. In turn, diminished behavioral regret sensitivity predicted a higher number of prior incarcerations, and moderated the relationship between psychopathy and incarceration history. These findings raise the possibility that maladaptive decision making in psychopathic individuals is not a consequence of their inability to generate or experience negative emotions. Rather, antisocial behavior in psychopathy may be driven by a deficit in the generation of forward models that integrate information about rules, costs, and goals with stimulus value representations to promote adaptive behavior.

  5. Evaluating Use of Environmental Flows to Aerate Streams by Modelling the Counterfactual Case

    Stewardson, Michael J.; Skinner, Dominic

    2018-03-01

    This paper evaluates an experimental environmental flow manipulation by modeling the counterfactual case that no environmental flow was applied. This is an alternate approach to evaluating the effect of an environmental flow intervention when a before-after or control-impact comparison is not possible. In this case, the flow manipulation is a minimum flow designed to prevent hypoxia in a weir on the low-gradient Broken Creek in south-eastern Australia. At low flows, low reaeration rates and high respiration rates associated with elevated organic matter loading in the weir pool can lead to a decline in dissolved oxygen concentrations with adverse consequences both for water chemistry and aquatic biota. Using a one dimensional oxygen balance model fitted to field measurements, this paper demonstrates that increased flow leads to increases in reaeration rates, presumably because of enhanced turbulence and hence mixing in the surface layers. By comparing the observed dissolved oxygen levels with the modeled counterfactual case, we show that the environmental flow was effective in preventing hypoxia.

  6. Emotional Reactions to the Outcomes of Decisions: The Role of Counterfactual Thought in the Experience of Regret and Disappointment.

    Zeelenberg; van Dijk WW; van der Pligt J; Manstead; van Empelen P; Reinderman

    1998-08-01

    Regret and disappointment are emotions that can be experienced in response to an unfavorable outcome of a decision. Previous research suggests that both emotions are related to the process of counterfactual thinking. The present research extends this idea by combining it with ideas from regret and disappointment theory. The results show that regret is related to behavior-focused counterfactual thought in which the decision-maker's own actions are changed, whereas disappointment is related to situation-focused counterfactual thought in which aspects of the situation are changed. In Study 1 participants (N = 130) were asked to recall an autobiographical episode of either a regretful or a disappointing event. When asked to undo this event, regret participants predominantly changed their own actions, whereas disappointment participants predominantly changed aspects of the situation. In Study 2 all participants (N = 50) read a scenario in which a person experiences a negative event. Participants who were instructed to undo the event by changing the person's actions reported more regret than disappointment, while participants who were instructed to undo the event by changing aspects of the situation reported more disappointment than regret. Study 3 (N = 140) replicated the findings from Study 2 with a different scenario, and a design in which regret and disappointment were measured between rather than within subjects. In the discussion we address the relation among counterfactual thinking, attributions and affective reactions to decision outcomes, and the implications for decision research. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  7. Resting-State Connectivity of the Left Frontal Cortex to the Default Mode and Dorsal Attention Network Supports Reserve in Mild Cognitive Impairment

    Nicolai Franzmeier

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Reserve refers to the phenomenon of relatively preserved cognition in disproportion to the extent of neuropathology, e.g., in Alzheimer’s disease. A putative functional neural substrate underlying reserve is global functional connectivity of the left lateral frontal cortex (LFC, Brodmann Area 6/44. Resting-state fMRI-assessed global LFC-connectivity is associated with protective factors (education and better maintenance of memory in mild cognitive impairment (MCI. Since the LFC is a hub of the fronto-parietal control network that regulates the activity of other networks, the question arises whether LFC-connectivity to specific networks rather than the whole-brain may underlie reserve. We assessed resting-state fMRI in 24 MCI and 16 healthy controls (HC and in an independent validation sample (23 MCI/32 HC. Seed-based LFC-connectivity to seven major resting-state networks (i.e., fronto-parietal, limbic, dorsal-attention, somatomotor, default-mode, ventral-attention, visual was computed, reserve was quantified as residualized memory performance after accounting for age and hippocampal atrophy. In both samples of MCI, LFC-activity was anti-correlated with the default-mode network (DMN, but positively correlated with the dorsal-attention network (DAN. Greater education predicted stronger LFC-DMN-connectivity (anti-correlation and LFC-DAN-connectivity. Stronger LFC-DMN and LFC-DAN-connectivity each predicted higher reserve, consistently in both MCI samples. No associations were detected for LFC-connectivity to other networks. These novel results extend our previous findings on global functional connectivity of the LFC, showing that LFC-connectivity specifically to the DAN and DMN, two core memory networks, enhances reserve in the memory domain in MCI.

  8. Uses of “mas” in the management of conversation: focus, presupposition and counterfactual

    Sandra Bernardo

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Occurrences’ analysis of connector “mas” in a mediation session, a judicial process step, in order to test hypotheses about the settings of mental spaces activated by the use of the connector in the conversation. Based on the studies on language as a Usage-based Theory (TOMASELLO, 2003a [1999]; FERRARI, 2011, the Theory of Mental Spaces (FAUCONNIER, 1997 and the concept of presupposition, it is postulated that the “mas” connector is a builder of mental spaces that operates in the discursive management canceling implicatures or enabling assumption fluctuations between spaces; it is assumed that this also create counterfactual spaces; and is still responsible for the focus’ attention shift between spaces of a discursive network.

  9. Counterfactual comparison modulates fairness consideration in the mini-ultimatum game: an event-related potentials study.

    Liang, Jiafeng; Lin, Huiyan; Xiang, Jing; Wu, Hao; Li, Xu; Liang, Hongyu; Zheng, Xue

    2015-04-01

    Existing literature on the mini-ultimatum game indicates that counterfactual comparison between chosen and unchosen alternatives is of great importance for individual's fairness consideration. However, it is still unclear how counterfactual comparison influences the electrophysiological responses to unfair chosen offers. In conjunction with event-related potentials' (ERPs) technique, the current study aimed to explore the issue by employing a modified version of the mini-ultimatum game where a fixed set of two alternatives (unfair offer vs. fair alternative, unfair vs. hyperfair alternative, unfair offer vs. hyperunfair alternative) was presented before the chosen offer. The behavioral results showed that participants were more likely to accept unfair chosen offers when the unchosen alternative was hyperunfair than when the unchosen alternative was fair or hyperfair. The ERPs results showed that the feedback-related negativity (FRN) elicited by unfair chosen offers was insensitive to the type of unchosen alternative when correcting for possible overlap with other components. In contrast, unfair chosen offers elicited larger P300 amplitudes when the unchosen alternative was hyperunfair than when the unchosen alternative was fair or hyperfair. These findings suggest that counterfactual comparison may take effect at later stages of fairness consideration as reflected by the P300. © 2015 Scandinavian Psychological Associations and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex in tactile crossmodal association: an independent component analysis of ERP recordings.

    Yixuan Ku

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available Our previous studies on scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERPs showed that somatosensory N140 evoked by a tactile vibration in working memory tasks was enhanced when human subjects expected a coming visual stimulus that had been paired with the tactile stimulus. The results suggested that such enhancement represented the cortical activities involved in tactile-visual crossmodal association. In the present study, we further hypothesized that the enhancement represented the neural activities in somatosensory and frontal cortices in the crossmodal association. By applying independent component analysis (ICA to the ERP data, we found independent components (ICs located in the medial prefrontal cortex (around the anterior cingulate cortex, ACC and the primary somatosensory cortex (SI. The activity represented by the IC in SI cortex showed enhancement in expectation of the visual stimulus. Such differential activity thus suggested the participation of SI cortex in the task-related crossmodal association. Further, the coherence analysis and the Granger causality spectral analysis of the ICs showed that SI cortex appeared to cooperate with ACC in attention and perception of the tactile stimulus in crossmodal association. The results of our study support with new evidence an important idea in cortical neurophysiology: higher cognitive operations develop from the modality-specific sensory cortices (in the present study, SI cortex that are involved in sensation and perception of various stimuli.

  11. The Community College Effect Revisited: The Importance of Attending to Heterogeneity and Complex Counterfactuals*

    Brand, Jennie E.; Pfeffer, Fabian T.; Goldrick-Rab, Sara

    2015-01-01

    Community colleges are controversial educational institutions, often said to simultaneously expand college opportunities and diminish baccalaureate attainment. We assess the seemingly contradictory functions of community colleges by attending to effect heterogeneity and to alternative counterfactual conditions. Using data on postsecondary outcomes of high school graduates of Chicago Public Schools, we find that enrolling at a community college penalizes more advantaged students who otherwise would have attended four-year colleges, particularly highly selective schools; however, these students represent a relatively small portion of the community college population, and these estimates are almost certainly biased. On the other hand, enrolling at a community college has a modest positive effect on bachelor's degree completion for disadvantaged students who otherwise would not have attended college; these students represent the majority of community college goers. We conclude that discussions among scholars, policymakers, and practitioners should move beyond considering the pros and cons of community college attendance for students in general to attending to the implications of community college attendance for targeted groups of students. PMID:25825705

  12. Theory of mind deficits for processing counterfactual information in persons with chronic schizophrenia.

    Kern, R S; Green, M F; Fiske, A P; Kee, K S; Lee, J; Sergi, M J; Horan, W P; Subotnik, K L; Sugar, C A; Nuechterlein, K H

    2009-04-01

    Interpersonal communication problems are common among persons with schizophrenia and may be linked, in part, to deficits in theory of mind (ToM), the ability to accurately perceive the attitudes, beliefs and intentions of others. Particular difficulties might be expected in the processing of counterfactual information such as sarcasm or lies. The present study included 50 schizophrenia or schizo-affective out-patients and 44 demographically comparable healthy adults who were administered Part III of The Awareness of Social Inference Test (TASIT; a measure assessing comprehension of sarcasm versus lies) as well as measures of positive and negative symptoms and community functioning. TASIT data were analyzed using a 2 (group: patients versus healthy adults) x 2 (condition: sarcasm versus lie) repeated-measures ANOVA. The results show significant effects for group, condition, and the group x condition interaction. Compared to controls, patients performed significantly worse on sarcasm but not lie scenes. Within-group contrasts showed that patients performed significantly worse on sarcasm versus lie scenes; controls performed comparably on both. In patients, performance on TASIT showed a significant correlation with positive, but not negative, symptoms. The group and interaction effects remained significant when rerun with a subset of patients with low-level positive symptoms. The findings for a relationship between TASIT performance and community functioning were essentially negative. The findings replicate a prior demonstration of difficulty in the comprehension of sarcasm using a different test, but are not consistent with previous studies showing global ToM deficits in schizophrenia.

  13. The Effect of Introducing a Minimum Price on the Distribution of Alcohol Purchase: A Counterfactual Analysis.

    Sharma, Anurag; Etilé, Fabrice; Sinha, Kompal

    2016-09-01

    We use counterfactual analysis techniques to evaluate the impact of a $2 minimum unit price (MUP) on the distribution of Australian (Victorian) household off-trade alcohol purchases. Our estimates suggest that a $2 MUP significantly reduces the purchases of at-risk households by up to -0.92 [90% CI: -1.55, -0.28] standard drinks at the highest quantiles and has substantially less effect on households purchasing at light and moderate levels. A $2 MUP may reduce the proportions of male and female shoppers purchasing at the public health threshold of more than two standard drinks per household member per day by -3.03 [90% CI: -4.83, -1.22] percentage points (relative variation: -17%); and -1.85 [90% CI: -2.60, -1.10] percentage points (relative variation:-22%), respectively. Implementing an MUP on alcohol thus promises significant positive impacts on public health. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. A counterfactual p-value approach for benefit-risk assessment in clinical trials.

    Zeng, Donglin; Chen, Ming-Hui; Ibrahim, Joseph G; Wei, Rachel; Ding, Beiying; Ke, Chunlei; Jiang, Qi

    2015-01-01

    Clinical trials generally allow various efficacy and safety outcomes to be collected for health interventions. Benefit-risk assessment is an important issue when evaluating a new drug. Currently, there is a lack of standardized and validated benefit-risk assessment approaches in drug development due to various challenges. To quantify benefits and risks, we propose a counterfactual p-value (CP) approach. Our approach considers a spectrum of weights for weighting benefit-risk values and computes the extreme probabilities of observing the weighted benefit-risk value in one treatment group as if patients were treated in the other treatment group. The proposed approach is applicable to single benefit and single risk outcome as well as multiple benefit and risk outcomes assessment. In addition, the prior information in the weight schemes relevant to the importance of outcomes can be incorporated in the approach. The proposed CPs plot is intuitive with a visualized weight pattern. The average area under CP and preferred probability over time are used for overall treatment comparison and a bootstrap approach is applied for statistical inference. We assess the proposed approach using simulated data with multiple efficacy and safety endpoints and compare its performance with a stochastic multi-criteria acceptability analysis approach.

  15. Functional co-activation within the prefrontal cortex supports the maintenance of behavioural performance in fear-relevant situations before an iTBS modulated virtual reality challenge in participants with spider phobia.

    Deppermann, S; Notzon, S; Kroczek, A; Rosenbaum, D; Haeussinger, F B; Diemer, J; Domschke, K; Fallgatter, A J; Ehlis, A-C; Zwanzger, P

    2016-07-01

    A number of studies/meta-analyses reported moderate antidepressant effects of activating repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the prefrontal cortex (PFC). Regarding the treatment of anxiety, study outcomes are inconsistent, probably because of the heterogenity of anxiety disorders/study designs. To specifically evaluate the impact of rTMS on emotion regulation in fear-relevant situations we applied a sham-controlled activating protocol (intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation/iTBS) over the left PFC (F3) succeeded by a virtual reality (VR) challenge in n=41 participants with spider phobia and n=42 controls. Prior to/after iTBS and following VR prefrontal activation was assessed by functional near-infrared spectroscopy during an emotional Stroop paradigm. Performance (reaction times/error rates) was evaluated. Stimuli were rated regarding valence/arousal at both measurements. We found diminished activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of participants with spider phobia compared to controls, particularly elicited by emotionally-irrelevant words. Simultaneously, a functional connectivity analysis showed increased co-activation between the left IFG and the contra-lateral hemisphere. Behavioural performance was unimpaired. After iTBS/VR no significant differences in cortical activation between the phobic and control group remained. However, verum-iTBS did not cause an additional augmentation. We interpreted our results in terms of a prefrontal network which gets activated by emotionally-relevant stimuli and supports the maintenance of adequate behavioural reactions. The missing add-on effects of iTBS might be due to a ceiling effect of VR, thereby supporting its potential during exposure therapy. Concurrently, it implies that the efficient application of iTBS in the context of emotion regulation still needs to be studied further. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Laparoscopic adrenal cortex

    Peyrolou, A.; Salom, A.; Harguindeguy; Taroco, L.; Ardao, G.; Broli, F. . E mail: andresssss@adinet.com.uy

    2005-01-01

    The paper presents the case of a female patient who carried an aldosterone-secreting tumor of adrenal cortex.In the analysis of diagnosis and para clinical examinations there is particular reference to the laparoscopic surgery mode of treatment.Diagnosis should be established on the basis of clinical and laboratory tests (hypopotassemia and hyperaldosteronism).Tumor topography was confirmed through CT scan, MRI and Scintiscan in left adrenal cortex.Resection was consequently made through laparoscopic surgery.The patients evolution was excellent from the surgical viewpoint,with I levels of blood pressure, potassium and aldosterone returned to normal

  17. Drivers of 2016 record Arctic warmth assessed using climate simulations subjected to Factual and Counterfactual forcing

    Lantao Sun

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A suite of historical atmospheric model simulations is described that uses a hierarchy of global boundary forcings designed to inform research on the detection and attribution of weather and climate-related extremes. In addition to experiments forced by actual variations in sea surface temperature, sea ice concentration, and atmospheric chemical composition (so-called Factual experiments; additional (Counterfactual experiments are conducted in which the boundary forcings are adjusted by removing estimates of long-term climate change. A third suite of experiments are identical to the Factual runs except that sea ice concentrations are set to climatological conditions (Clim-Polar experiments. These were used to investigate the cause for extremely warm Arctic surface temperature during 2016.Much of the magnitude of surface temperature anomalies averaged poleward of 65°N in 2016 (3.2 ± 0.6 °C above a 1980–89 reference is shown to have been forced by observed global boundary conditions. The Factual experiments reveal that at least three quarters of the magnitude of 2016 annual mean Arctic warmth was forced, with considerable sensitivity to assumptions of sea ice thickness change. Results also indicate that 30–40% of the overall forced Arctic warming signal in 2016 originated from drivers outside of the Arctic. Despite such remote effects, the experiments reveal that the extreme magnitude of the 2016 Arctic warmth could not have occurred without consideration of the Arctic sea ice loss. We find a near-zero probability for Arctic surface temperature to be as warm as occurred in 2016 under late-19th century boundary conditions, and also under 2016 boundary conditions that do not include the depleted Arctic sea ice. Results from the atmospheric model experiments are reconciled with coupled climate model simulations which lead to a conclusion that about 60% of the 2016 Arctic warmth was likely attributable to human-induced climate change

  18. [Neuroanatomy of Frontal Association Cortex].

    Takada, Masahiko

    2016-11-01

    The frontal association cortex is composed of the prefrontal cortex and the motor-related areas except the primary motor cortex (i.e., the so-called higher motor areas), and is well-developed in primates, including humans. The prefrontal cortex receives and integrates large bits of diverse information from the parietal, temporal, and occipital association cortical areas (termed the posterior association cortex), and paralimbic association cortical areas. This information is then transmitted to the primary motor cortex via multiple motor-related areas. Given these facts, it is likely that the prefrontal cortex exerts executive functions for behavioral control. The functional input pathways from the posterior and paralimbic association cortical areas to the prefrontal cortex are classified primarily into six groups. Cognitive signals derived from the prefrontal cortex are conveyed to the rostral motor-related areas to transform them into motor signals, which finally enter the primary motor cortex via the caudal motor-related areas. Furthermore, it has been shown that, similar to the primary motor cortex, areas of the frontal association cortex form individual networks (known as "loop circuits") with the basal ganglia and cerebellum via the thalamus, and hence are extensively involved in the expression and control of behavioral actions.

  19. The anterior cingulate cortex

    Pavlović D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC has a role in attention, analysis of sensory information, error recognition, problem solving, detection of novelty, behavior, emotions, social relations, cognitive control, and regulation of visceral functions. This area is active whenever the individual feels some emotions, solves a problem, or analyzes the pros and cons of an action (if it is a right decision. Analogous areas are also found in higher mammals, especially whales, and they contain spindle neurons that enable complex social interactions. Disturbance of ACC activity is found in dementias, schizophrenia, depression, the obsessive-compulsive syndrome, and other neuropsychiatric diseases.

  20. Regulating prefrontal cortex activation

    Aznar, Susana; Klein, Anders Bue

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in mediating important higher-order cognitive processes such as decision making, prompting thereby our actions. At the same time, PFC activation is strongly influenced by emotional reactions through its functional interaction with the amygdala...... of emotion-based actions, such as addiction and other impulse-related behaviors. In this review, we give an overview of the 5-HT2A receptor distribution (neuronal, intracellular, and anatomical) along with its functional and physiological effect on PFC activation, and how that relates to more recent findings...... of a regulatory effect of the PFC on the emotional control of our actions....

  1. The prefrontal cortex shows context-specific changes in effective connectivity to motor or visual cortex during the selection of action or colour

    Rowe, James B.; Stephan, Klaas E.; Friston, Karl

    2005-01-01

    The role of the prefrontal cortex remains controversial. Neuroimaging studies support modality-specific and process-specific functions related to working memory and attention. Its role may also be defined by changes in its influence over other brain regions including sensory and motor cortex. We...... used functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) to study the free selection of actions and colours. Control conditions used externally specified actions and colours. The prefrontal cortex was activated during free selection, regardless of modality, in contrast to modality-specific activations outside...... included high-order interactions between modality, selection and regional activity. There was greater coupling between prefrontal cortex and motor cortex during free selection and action tasks, and between prefrontal cortex and visual cortex during free selection of colours. The results suggest...

  2. Counterfactual reasoning for regretted situations involving controllable versus uncontrollable events: the modulating role of contingent self-esteem.

    Wilkinson, Meredith R; Ball, Linden J; Alford, David

    2015-01-01

    We report a study that examined the modulating impact of contingent self-esteem on regret intensity for regretted outcomes associated with controllable versus uncontrollable events. The Contingent Self-Esteem Scale (e.g., Kernis & Goldman, 2006) was used to assess the extent to which a person's sense of self-worth is based on self and others' expectations. We found that there was an influence of self-esteem contingency for controllable but not for uncontrollable regret types. For controllable regret types individuals with a high contingent (i.e., unstable) self-esteem reported greater regret intensity than those with a low contingent (i.e., stable) self-esteem. We interpret this finding as reflecting a functional and adaptive role of high contingent self-esteem in terms of mobilizing the application of counterfactual reasoning and planning mechanisms that can enable personal expectations to be achieved in the future.

  3. Counterfactual Reasoning for Regretted Situations Involving Controllable Versus Uncontrollable Events: The Modulating Role of Contingent Self-Esteem

    Wilkinson, Meredith R.; Ball, Linden J.; Alford, David

    2015-01-01

    We report a study that examined the modulating impact of contingent self-esteem on regret intensity for regretted outcomes associated with controllable versus uncontrollable events. The Contingent Self-Esteem Scale (e.g., Kernis & Goldman, 2006) was used to assess the extent to which a person’s sense of self-worth is based on self and others’ expectations. We found that there was an influence of self-esteem contingency for controllable but not for uncontrollable regret types. For controllable regret types individuals with a high contingent (i.e., unstable) self-esteem reported greater regret intensity than those with a low contingent (i.e., stable) self-esteem. We interpret this finding as reflecting a functional and adaptive role of high contingent self-esteem in terms of mobilizing the application of counterfactual reasoning and planning mechanisms that can enable personal expectations to be achieved in the future. PMID:25883697

  4. Word Recognition in Auditory Cortex

    DeWitt, Iain D. J.

    2013-01-01

    Although spoken word recognition is more fundamental to human communication than text recognition, knowledge of word-processing in auditory cortex is comparatively impoverished. This dissertation synthesizes current models of auditory cortex, models of cortical pattern recognition, models of single-word reading, results in phonetics and results in…

  5. Distribution of catecholamines and serotonin in the rat cerebral cortex:

    Reader, T.A.

    1981-01-01

    The rat cerebral cortex was dissected in five regions and analyzed for the catecholamines noradrenaline, adrenaline and dopamine, and for the indoleamine seroton in using sensitive radioenzymatic assay methods with thin-layer-chromatography. The noradrenaline concentration was highest in the ventral cortex, lateral to the hypothalamus, had intermediate values for the prefrontal, frontal and parietal cortical areas and was lowest in the occipital cortex. Dopamine levels were also highest in the cortex lateral to the hypothalamus, and moderate in the prefrontal and frontal cortical areas, with the lowest values measured for the occipital cortex. The ratios dopamine/noradrenaline further support the hypothesis that they are independent transmitters. Traces of adrenaline were measured in all regions examined. The serotonin distribution was found to be non-homogeneous, with the highest values for the prefrontal cortex and ventral cortex lateral to the hypothalamus. The functional significance of these amines and their ratios are discussed in relation to their role as putative modulators of cortical neuronal excitability. (author)

  6. Forelimb training drives transient map reorganization in ipsilateral motor cortex.

    Pruitt, David T; Schmid, Ariel N; Danaphongse, Tanya T; Flanagan, Kate E; Morrison, Robert A; Kilgard, Michael P; Rennaker, Robert L; Hays, Seth A

    2016-10-15

    Skilled motor training results in reorganization of contralateral motor cortex movement representations. The ipsilateral motor cortex is believed to play a role in skilled motor control, but little is known about how training influences reorganization of ipsilateral motor representations of the trained limb. To determine whether training results in reorganization of ipsilateral motor cortex maps, rats were trained to perform the isometric pull task, an automated motor task that requires skilled forelimb use. After either 3 or 6 months of training, intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) mapping was performed to document motor representations of the trained forelimb in the hemisphere ipsilateral to that limb. Motor training for 3 months resulted in a robust expansion of right forelimb representation in the right motor cortex, demonstrating that skilled motor training drives map plasticity ipsilateral to the trained limb. After 6 months of training, the right forelimb representation in the right motor cortex was significantly smaller than the representation observed in rats trained for 3 months and similar to untrained controls, consistent with a normalization of motor cortex maps. Forelimb map area was not correlated with performance on the trained task, suggesting that task performance is maintained despite normalization of cortical maps. This study provides new insights into how the ipsilateral cortex changes in response to skilled learning and may inform rehabilitative strategies to enhance cortical plasticity to support recovery after brain injury. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. An integrative theory of prefrontal cortex function.

    Miller, E K; Cohen, J D

    2001-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has long been suspected to play an important role in cognitive control, in the ability to orchestrate thought and action in accordance with internal goals. Its neural basis, however, has remained a mystery. Here, we propose that cognitive control stems from the active maintenance of patterns of activity in the prefrontal cortex that represent goals and the means to achieve them. They provide bias signals to other brain structures whose net effect is to guide the flow of activity along neural pathways that establish the proper mappings between inputs, internal states, and outputs needed to perform a given task. We review neurophysiological, neurobiological, neuroimaging, and computational studies that support this theory and discuss its implications as well as further issues to be addressed

  8. Cerebral cortex modulation of pain

    Yu-feng XIE; Fu-quan HUO; Jing-shi TANG

    2009-01-01

    Pain is a complex experience encompassing sensory-discriminative, affective-motivational and cognitiv e-emotional com-ponents mediated by different mechanisms. Contrary to the traditional view that the cerebral cortex is not involved in pain perception, an extensive cortical network associated with pain processing has been revealed using multiple methods over the past decades. This network consistently includes, at least, the anterior cingulate cortex, the agranular insular cortex, the primary (SⅠ) and secondary somatosensory (SⅡ) cortices, the ventrolateral orbital cortex and the motor cortex. These corti-cal structures constitute the medial and lateral pain systems, the nucleus submedius-ventrolateral orbital cortex-periaque-ductal gray system and motor cortex system, respectively. Multiple neurotransmitters, including opioid, glutamate, GABA and dopamine, are involved in the modulation of pain by these cortical structures. In addition, glial cells may also be in-volved in cortical modulation of pain and serve as one target for pain management research. This review discusses recent studies of pain modulation by these cerebral cortical structures in animals and human.

  9. The economic value of fair use in copyright law: counterfactual impact analysis of fair use policy on private copying technology and copyright markets in Singapore

    Ghafele, Roya; Gibert, Benjamin

    2012-01-01

    The counterfactual impact analysis of fair use amendments in Singapore undertaken here demonstrates that flexible fair use policy positively influences growth rates in private copying technology industries. In 2010, five years after the policy intervention, Singapore’s fair use amendments are correlated with a 3.33% increase in value-added (as % of GDP) for private copying technology industries. Prior to the amendment of fair use policies, private copying technology industries experienced - 1...

  10. Causal inference for long-term survival in randomised trials with treatment switching: Should re-censoring be applied when estimating counterfactual survival times?

    Latimer, N.R.; White, I.R.; Abrams, K.R.; Sieburt, U.

    2017-01-01

    Treatment switching often has a crucial impact on estimates of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new oncology treatments. Rank preserving structural failure time models (RPSFTM) and two-stage estimation (TSE) methods estimate ‘counterfactual’ (i.e. had there been no switching) survival times and incorporate re-censoring to guard against informative censoring in the counterfactual dataset. However, re-censoring causes a loss of longer term survival information which is problematic when e...

  11. Counterfactual simulations applied to SHRP2 crashes: The effect of driver behavior models on safety benefit estimations of intelligent safety systems.

    Bärgman, Jonas; Boda, Christian-Nils; Dozza, Marco

    2017-05-01

    As the development and deployment of in-vehicle intelligent safety systems (ISS) for crash avoidance and mitigation have rapidly increased in the last decades, the need to evaluate their prospective safety benefits before introduction has never been higher. Counterfactual simulations using relevant mathematical models (for vehicle dynamics, sensors, the environment, ISS algorithms, and models of driver behavior) have been identified as having high potential. However, although most of these models are relatively mature, models of driver behavior in the critical seconds before a crash are still relatively immature. There are also large conceptual differences between different driver models. The objective of this paper is, firstly, to demonstrate the importance of the choice of driver model when counterfactual simulations are used to evaluate two ISS: Forward collision warning (FCW), and autonomous emergency braking (AEB). Secondly, the paper demonstrates how counterfactual simulations can be used to perform sensitivity analyses on parameter settings, both for driver behavior and ISS algorithms. Finally, the paper evaluates the effect of the choice of glance distribution in the driver behavior model on the safety benefit estimation. The paper uses pre-crash kinematics and driver behavior from 34 rear-end crashes from the SHRP2 naturalistic driving study for the demonstrations. The results for FCW show a large difference in the percent of avoided crashes between conceptually different models of driver behavior, while differences were small for conceptually similar models. As expected, the choice of model of driver behavior did not affect AEB benefit much. Based on our results, researchers and others who aim to evaluate ISS with the driver in the loop through counterfactual simulations should be sure to make deliberate and well-grounded choices of driver models: the choice of model matters. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Maps of the Auditory Cortex.

    Brewer, Alyssa A; Barton, Brian

    2016-07-08

    One of the fundamental properties of the mammalian brain is that sensory regions of cortex are formed of multiple, functionally specialized cortical field maps (CFMs). Each CFM comprises two orthogonal topographical representations, reflecting two essential aspects of sensory space. In auditory cortex, auditory field maps (AFMs) are defined by the combination of tonotopic gradients, representing the spectral aspects of sound (i.e., tones), with orthogonal periodotopic gradients, representing the temporal aspects of sound (i.e., period or temporal envelope). Converging evidence from cytoarchitectural and neuroimaging measurements underlies the definition of 11 AFMs across core and belt regions of human auditory cortex, with likely homology to those of macaque. On a macrostructural level, AFMs are grouped into cloverleaf clusters, an organizational structure also seen in visual cortex. Future research can now use these AFMs to investigate specific stages of auditory processing, key for understanding behaviors such as speech perception and multimodal sensory integration.

  13. Chemosensory Learning in the Cortex

    Edmund eRolls

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Taste is a primary reinforcer. Olfactory-taste and visual-taste association learning takes place in the primate including human orbitofrontal cortex to build representations of flavour. Rapid reversal of this learning can occur using a rule-based learning system that can be reset when an expected taste or flavour reward is not obtained, that is by negative reward prediction error, to which a population of neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex responds. The representation in the orbitofrontal cortex but not the primary taste or olfactory cortex is of the reward value of the visual / olfactory / taste / input as shown by devaluation experiments in which food is fed to satiety, and by correlations with the activations with subjective pleasantness ratings in humans. Sensory-specific satiety for taste, olfactory, visual, and oral somatosensory inputs produced by feeding a particular food to satiety are implemented it is proposed by medium-term synaptic adaptation in the orbitofrontal cortex. Cognitive factors, including word-level descriptions, modulate the representation of the reward value of food in the orbitofrontal cortex, and this effect is learned it is proposed by associative modification of top-down synapses onto neurons activated by bottom-up taste and olfactory inputs when both are active in the orbitofrontal cortex. A similar associative synaptic learning process is proposed to be part of the mechanism for the top-down attentional control to the reward value vs the sensory properties such as intensity of taste and olfactory inputs in the orbitofrontal cortex, as part of a biased activation theory of selective attention.

  14. What does spatial alternation tell us about retrosplenial cortex function?

    Andrew John Dudley Nelson

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The retrosplenial cortex supports navigation, but there are good reasons to suppose that the retrosplenial cortex has a very different role in spatial memory from that of the hippocampus and anterior thalamic nuclei. For example, retrosplenial lesions appear to have little or no effect on standard tests of spatial alternation. To examine these differences, the current study sought to determine whether the retrosplenial cortex is important for just one spatial cue type (e.g. allocentric, directional or intra-maze cues or whether the retrosplenial cortex helps the animal switch between competing spatial strategies or competing cue types. Using T-maze alternation, retrosplenial lesion rats were challenged with situations in which the available spatial information between the sample and test phases was changed, so taxing the interaction between different cue types. Clear lesion deficits emerged when intra- and extra-maze cues were placed in conflict (by rotating the maze between the sample and choice phases, or when the animals were tested in the dark in a double-maze. Finally, temporary inactivation of the retrosplenial cortex by muscimol infusions resulted in a striking deficit on standard T-maze alternation, indicating that, over time, other sites may be able to compensate for the loss of the retrosplenial cortex. This pattern of results is consistent with the impoverished use of both allocentric and directional information, exacerbated by an impaired ability to switch between different cue types.

  15. Use of a counterfactual approach to evaluate the effect of area closures on fishing location in a tropical tuna fishery.

    Tim K Davies

    Full Text Available Spatial closures are widely used in marine conservation and fisheries management and it is important to understand their contribution to achieving management objectives. Many previous evaluations of closed area effects have used before-after comparisons, which, without controlling for a full range of factors, cannot ascribe changes in fleet behaviour to area closures per se. In this study we used a counterfactual approach to disentangle the effect of two closed areas on fishing location from other competing effects on the behaviour of the Indian Ocean tuna purse seine fishery. Our results revealed an inconsistent effect of the one of the closed areas between years, after taking into account the influence of environmental conditions on fleet behaviour. This suggests that the policy of closing the area per se was not the main driver for the fleet allocating its effort elsewhere. We also showed a marked difference in effect between the two closed areas resulting from their different locations in the fishery area. These findings highlight the need to account for other key fleet behavioural drivers when predicting or evaluating the contribution of area closures to achieving conservation and fishery management objectives.

  16. A counterfactual impact evaluation of a bilingual program on students' grade point average at a spanish university.

    Arco-Tirado, J L; Fernández-Martín, F; Ramos-García, A M; Littvay, L; Villoria, J; Naranjo, J A

    2018-02-21

    This observational study intends to estimate the causal effects of an English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) program (as predictor) on students Grade Point Average (GPA) (as outcome) at a particular University in Spain by using a Counterfactual Impact Evaluation (CIE). The need to address the crucial question of causal inferences in EMI programs to produce credible evidences of successful interventions contrasts, however, with the absence of experimental or quasi-experimental research and evaluation designs in the field. CIE approach is emerging as a methodologically viable solution to bridge that gap. The program evaluated here consisted in delivering an EMI program in a Primary Education Teacher Training Degree group. After achieving balance on the observed covariates and recreating a situation that would have been expected in a randomized experiment, three matching approaches such as genetic matching, nearest neighbor matching and Coarsened Exact Matching were used to analyze observational data from a total of 1288 undergraduate students, including both treatment and control group. Results show unfavorable effects of the bilingual group treatment condition. Potential interpretations and recommendations are provided in order to strengthen future causal evidences of bilingual education programs' effectiveness in Higher Education. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. MRI volumetry of prefrontal cortex

    Sheline, Yvette I.; Black, Kevin J.; Lin, Daniel Y.; Pimmel, Joseph; Wang, Po; Haller, John W.; Csernansky, John G.; Gado, Mokhtar; Walkup, Ronald K.; Brunsden, Barry S.; Vannier, Michael W.

    1995-05-01

    Prefrontal cortex volumetry by brain magnetic resonance (MR) is required to estimate changes postulated to occur in certain psychiatric and neurologic disorders. A semiautomated method with quantitative characterization of its performance is sought to reliably distinguish small prefrontal cortex volume changes within individuals and between groups. Stereological methods were tested by a blinded comparison of measurements applied to 3D MR scans obtained using an MPRAGE protocol. Fixed grid stereologic methods were used to estimate prefrontal cortex volumes on a graphic workstation, after the images are scaled from 16 to 8 bits using a histogram method. In addition images were resliced into coronal sections perpendicular to the bicommissural plane. Prefrontal cortex volumes were defined as all sections of the frontal lobe anterior to the anterior commissure. Ventricular volumes were excluded. Stereological measurement yielded high repeatability and precision, and was time efficient for the raters. The coefficient of error was volumetry by stereology can yield accurate and repeatable measurements. Small frontal lobe volume reductions in patients with brain disorders such as depression and schizophrenia can be efficiently assessed using this method.

  18. Interplay of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in memory

    Preston, Alison R.; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies on the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex have considerably advanced our understanding of the distinct roles of these brain areas in the encoding and retrieval of memories, and of how they interact in the prolonged process by which new memories are consolidated into our permanent storehouse of knowledge. These studies have led to a new model of how the hippocampus forms and replays memories and how the prefrontal cortex engages representations of the meaningful contexts in which related memories occur, as well as how these areas interact during memory retrieval. Furthermore, they have provided new insights into how interactions between the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex support the assimilation of new memories into pre-existing networks of knowledge, called schemas, and how schemas are modified in this process as the foundation of memory consolidation. PMID:24028960

  19. Orosensory and Homeostatic Functions of the Insular Taste Cortex.

    de Araujo, Ivan E; Geha, Paul; Small, Dana M

    2012-03-01

    The gustatory aspect of the insular cortex is part of the brain circuit that controls ingestive behaviors based on chemosensory inputs. However, the sensory properties of foods are not restricted to taste and should also include salient features such as odor, texture, temperature, and appearance. Therefore, it is reasonable to hypothesize that specialized circuits within the central taste pathways must be involved in representing several other oral sensory modalities in addition to taste. In this review, we evaluate current evidence indicating that the insular gustatory cortex functions as an integrative circuit, with taste-responsive regions also showing heightened sensitivity to olfactory, somatosensory, and even visual stimulation. We also review evidence for modulation of taste-responsive insular areas by changes in physiological state, with taste-elicited neuronal responses varying according to the nutritional state of the organism. We then examine experimental support for a functional map within the insular cortex that might reflect the various sensory and homeostatic roles associated with this region. Finally, we evaluate the potential role of the taste insular cortex in weight-gain susceptibility. Taken together, the current experimental evidence favors the view that the insular gustatory cortex functions as an orosensory integrative system that not only enables the formation of complex flavor representations but also mediates their modulation by the internal state of the body, playing therefore a central role in food intake regulation.

  20. Classification of Real and Imagined Sounds in Early Visual Cortex

    Petra Vetter

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Early visual cortex has been thought to be mainly involved in the detection of low-level visual features. Here we show that complex natural sounds can be decoded from early visual cortex activity, in the absence of visual stimulation and both when sounds are actually displayed and when they are merely imagined. Blindfolded subjects listened to three complex natural sounds (bird singing, people talking, traffic noise; Exp. 1 or received word cues (“forest”, “people”, “traffic”; Exp 2 to imagine the associated scene. fMRI BOLD activation patterns from retinotopically defined early visual areas were fed into a multivariate pattern classification algorithm (a linear support vector machine. Actual sounds were discriminated above chance in V2 and V3 and imagined sounds were decoded in V1. Also cross-classification, ie, training the classifier to real sounds and testing it to imagined sounds and vice versa, was successful. Two further experiments showed that an orthogonal working memory task does not interfere with sound classification in early visual cortex (Exp. 3, however, an orthogonal visuo-spatial imagery task does (Exp. 4. These results demonstrate that early visual cortex activity contains content-specific information from hearing and from imagery, challenging the view of a strict modality-specific function of early visual cortex.

  1. Neural mechanisms of memory retrieval: role of the prefrontal cortex.

    Hasegawa, I

    2000-01-01

    In the primate brain, long-term memory is stored in the neocortical association area which is also engaged in sensory perception. The coded representation of memory is retrieved via interactions of hierarchically different cortical areas along bottom-up and top-down anatomical connections. The functional significance of the fronto-cortical top-down neuronal projections has been relevantly assessed in a new experimental paradigm using posterior-split-brain monkeys. When the splenium of the corpus callosum and the anterior commissure were selectively split, the bottom-up visual signal originating from the unilateral striate cortex could not reach the contralateral visual cortical areas. In this preparation, long-term memory acquired through visual stimulus-stimulus association learning was prevented from transferring across hemispheres. Nonetheless, following the presentation of a visual cue to one hemisphere, the prefrontal cortex could instruct the contralateral hemisphere to retrieve the correct stimulus specified by the cue. These results support the hypothesis that the prefrontal cortex can regulate memory recall in the absence of bottom-up sensory input. In humans, functional neuroimaging studies have revealed activation of a distributed neural network, including the prefrontal cortex, during memory retrieval tasks. Thus, the prefrontal cortex is consistently involved in retrieval of long-term memory in primates.

  2. 反事实思维与人格特质的关系研究综述%A Review of the Relationship Between the Counterfactual Thinking and Personality Traits

    历娜; 吕厚超

    2016-01-01

    反事实思维指对现实在心理上的替代性模拟。反事实思维与人格特质存在密切的关系,对反事实思维的方向、数量、合理性/可能性、对象的指向性、类型与人格特质的关系进行述评,并对相关研究中涉及的样本、方法、变量及结论进行梳理及总结。以后的研究应关注反事实思维与人格特质的关系研究的拓展,可以考虑使用不同的研究方法和范式,例如通过纵向研究来探索二者的关系;可以探讨时间洞察力与反事实思维的关系。未来研究应加强反事实思维与人格特质关系研究的应用,包括招聘、选拔和心理咨询等领域。%Counterfactual thinking refers to the mental simulation of alternatives to reality.Counterfactual thinking and the personality traits are closely related.The relationship between counterfactual thinking (direction,amount,reasonability/possibility,referent,and type)and personality traits was reviewed.Furthermore,the samples,methods,variables and con-clusions in related researches were summarized.The aim is to clarify the characteristics of the counterfactual thinking for dif-ferent people of different personality traits and to study the relationship between the counterfactual thinking and the personality traits in depth.Further studies should focus on expanding the relationship between counterfactual thinking and the personality traits;strengthening the application of the relationship between the counterfactual thinking and the personality traits.Longitu-dinal studies should be taken into account.And the relationship between the counterfactual thinking and the time perspective is necessary to be studied.The application area includes recruitment,promotion and psychological consultation.

  3. The Functions of the Orbitofrontal Cortex

    Rolls, Edmund T.

    2004-01-01

    The orbitofrontal cortex contains the secondary taste cortex, in which the reward value of taste is represented. It also contains the secondary and tertiary olfactory cortical areas, in which information about the identity and also about the reward value of odours is represented. The orbitofrontal cortex also receives information about the sight…

  4. Distinct timescales of population coding across cortex.

    Runyan, Caroline A; Piasini, Eugenio; Panzeri, Stefano; Harvey, Christopher D

    2017-08-03

    The cortex represents information across widely varying timescales. For instance, sensory cortex encodes stimuli that fluctuate over few tens of milliseconds, whereas in association cortex behavioural choices can require the maintenance of information over seconds. However, it remains poorly understood whether diverse timescales result mostly from features intrinsic to individual neurons or from neuronal population activity. This question remains unanswered, because the timescales of coding in populations of neurons have not been studied extensively, and population codes have not been compared systematically across cortical regions. Here we show that population codes can be essential to achieve long coding timescales. Furthermore, we find that the properties of population codes differ between sensory and association cortices. We compared coding for sensory stimuli and behavioural choices in auditory cortex and posterior parietal cortex as mice performed a sound localization task. Auditory stimulus information was stronger in auditory cortex than in posterior parietal cortex, and both regions contained choice information. Although auditory cortex and posterior parietal cortex coded information by tiling in time neurons that were transiently informative for approximately 200 milliseconds, the areas had major differences in functional coupling between neurons, measured as activity correlations that could not be explained by task events. Coupling among posterior parietal cortex neurons was strong and extended over long time lags, whereas coupling among auditory cortex neurons was weak and short-lived. Stronger coupling in posterior parietal cortex led to a population code with long timescales and a representation of choice that remained consistent for approximately 1 second. In contrast, auditory cortex had a code with rapid fluctuations in stimulus and choice information over hundreds of milliseconds. Our results reveal that population codes differ across cortex

  5. Cortex proliferation in the root is a protective mechanism against abiotic stress.

    Cui, Hongchang

    2015-01-01

    Although as an organ the root plays a pivotal role in nutrient and water uptake as well anchorage, individual cell types function distinctly. Cortex is regarded as the least differentiated cell type in the root, but little is known about its role in plant growth and physiology. In recent studies, we found that cortex proliferation can be induced by oxidative stress. Since all types of abiotic stress lead to oxidative stress, this finding suggests a role for cortex in coping with abiotic stress. This hypothesis was tested in this study using the spy mutant, which has an extra layer of cortex in the root. Interestingly, the spy mutant was shown to be hypersensitive to salt and oxidizing reagent applied to the leaves, but it was as tolerant as the wild type to these compounds in the soil. This result lends support to the notion that cortex has a protective role against abiotic stress arising from the soil.

  6. Estimating the Counterfactual Impact of Conservation Programs on Land Cover Outcomes: The Role of Matching and Panel Regression Techniques.

    Jones, Kelly W; Lewis, David J

    2015-01-01

    Deforestation and conversion of native habitats continues to be the leading driver of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. A number of conservation policies and programs are implemented--from protected areas to payments for ecosystem services (PES)--to deter these losses. Currently, empirical evidence on whether these approaches stop or slow land cover change is lacking, but there is increasing interest in conducting rigorous, counterfactual impact evaluations, especially for many new conservation approaches, such as PES and REDD, which emphasize additionality. In addition, several new, globally available and free high-resolution remote sensing datasets have increased the ease of carrying out an impact evaluation on land cover change outcomes. While the number of conservation evaluations utilizing 'matching' to construct a valid control group is increasing, the majority of these studies use simple differences in means or linear cross-sectional regression to estimate the impact of the conservation program using this matched sample, with relatively few utilizing fixed effects panel methods--an alternative estimation method that relies on temporal variation in the data. In this paper we compare the advantages and limitations of (1) matching to construct the control group combined with differences in means and cross-sectional regression, which control for observable forms of bias in program evaluation, to (2) fixed effects panel methods, which control for observable and time-invariant unobservable forms of bias, with and without matching to create the control group. We then use these four approaches to estimate forest cover outcomes for two conservation programs: a PES program in Northeastern Ecuador and strict protected areas in European Russia. In the Russia case we find statistically significant differences across estimators--due to the presence of unobservable bias--that lead to differences in conclusions about effectiveness. The Ecuador case illustrates that

  7. Estimating the Counterfactual Impact of Conservation Programs on Land Cover Outcomes: The Role of Matching and Panel Regression Techniques.

    Kelly W Jones

    Full Text Available Deforestation and conversion of native habitats continues to be the leading driver of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. A number of conservation policies and programs are implemented--from protected areas to payments for ecosystem services (PES--to deter these losses. Currently, empirical evidence on whether these approaches stop or slow land cover change is lacking, but there is increasing interest in conducting rigorous, counterfactual impact evaluations, especially for many new conservation approaches, such as PES and REDD, which emphasize additionality. In addition, several new, globally available and free high-resolution remote sensing datasets have increased the ease of carrying out an impact evaluation on land cover change outcomes. While the number of conservation evaluations utilizing 'matching' to construct a valid control group is increasing, the majority of these studies use simple differences in means or linear cross-sectional regression to estimate the impact of the conservation program using this matched sample, with relatively few utilizing fixed effects panel methods--an alternative estimation method that relies on temporal variation in the data. In this paper we compare the advantages and limitations of (1 matching to construct the control group combined with differences in means and cross-sectional regression, which control for observable forms of bias in program evaluation, to (2 fixed effects panel methods, which control for observable and time-invariant unobservable forms of bias, with and without matching to create the control group. We then use these four approaches to estimate forest cover outcomes for two conservation programs: a PES program in Northeastern Ecuador and strict protected areas in European Russia. In the Russia case we find statistically significant differences across estimators--due to the presence of unobservable bias--that lead to differences in conclusions about effectiveness. The Ecuador case

  8. Estimating the Counterfactual Impact of Conservation Programs on Land Cover Outcomes: The Role of Matching and Panel Regression Techniques

    Jones, Kelly W.; Lewis, David J.

    2015-01-01

    Deforestation and conversion of native habitats continues to be the leading driver of biodiversity and ecosystem service loss. A number of conservation policies and programs are implemented—from protected areas to payments for ecosystem services (PES)—to deter these losses. Currently, empirical evidence on whether these approaches stop or slow land cover change is lacking, but there is increasing interest in conducting rigorous, counterfactual impact evaluations, especially for many new conservation approaches, such as PES and REDD, which emphasize additionality. In addition, several new, globally available and free high-resolution remote sensing datasets have increased the ease of carrying out an impact evaluation on land cover change outcomes. While the number of conservation evaluations utilizing ‘matching’ to construct a valid control group is increasing, the majority of these studies use simple differences in means or linear cross-sectional regression to estimate the impact of the conservation program using this matched sample, with relatively few utilizing fixed effects panel methods—an alternative estimation method that relies on temporal variation in the data. In this paper we compare the advantages and limitations of (1) matching to construct the control group combined with differences in means and cross-sectional regression, which control for observable forms of bias in program evaluation, to (2) fixed effects panel methods, which control for observable and time-invariant unobservable forms of bias, with and without matching to create the control group. We then use these four approaches to estimate forest cover outcomes for two conservation programs: a PES program in Northeastern Ecuador and strict protected areas in European Russia. In the Russia case we find statistically significant differences across estimators—due to the presence of unobservable bias—that lead to differences in conclusions about effectiveness. The Ecuador case

  9. Reimagining the past - use of counterfactual trajectories in socio-hydrological modelling: the case of Chennai, India

    Srinivasan, V.

    2015-02-01

    The developing world is rapidly urbanizing. One of the challenges associated with this growth will be to supply water to growing cities of the developing world. Traditional planning tools fare poorly over 30-50 year time horizons because these systems are changing so rapidly. Models that hold land use, economic patterns, governance systems or technology static over a long planning horizon could result in inaccurate predictions leading to sub-optimal or paradoxical outcomes. Most models fail to account for adaptive responses by humans that in turn influence water resource availability, resulting in coevolution of the human-water system. Is a particular trajectory inevitable given a city's natural resource endowment, is the trajectory purely driven by policy or are there tipping points in the evolution of a city's growth that shift it from one trajectory onto another? Socio-hydrology has been defined as a new science of water and people that will explicitly account for such bi-directional feedbacks. However, a particular challenge in incorporating such feedbacks is imagining technological, social and political futures that could fundamentally alter future water demand, allocation and use. This paper offers an alternative approach - the use of counterfactual trajectories - that allows policy insights to be gleaned without having to predict social futures. The approach allows us to "reimagine the past"; to observe how outcomes would differ if different decisions had been made. The paper presents a "socio-hydrological" model that simulates the feedbacks between the human, engineered and hydrological systems in Chennai, India over a 40-year period. The model offers several interesting insights. First, the study demonstrates that urban household water security goes beyond piped water supply. When piped supply fails, users turn to their own wells. If the wells dry up, consumers purchase expensive tanker water or curtail water use and thus become water insecure. Second

  10. The Role of Medial Frontal Cortex in Action Anticipation in Professional Badminton Players.

    Xu, Huan; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuo'er; Di, Xin; Xu, Guiping; Mo, Lei; Lin, Huiyan; Rao, Hengyi; Jin, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Some studies show that the medial frontal cortex is associated with more skilled action anticipation, while similar findings are not observed in some other studies, possibly due to the stimuli employed and the participants used as the control group. In addition, no studies have investigated whether there is any functional connectivity between the medial frontal cortex and other brain regions in more skilled action anticipation. Therefore, the present study aimed to re-investigate how the medial frontal cortex is involved in more skilled action anticipation by circumventing the limitations of previous research and to investigate that the medial frontal cortex functionally connected with other brain regions involved in action processing in more skilled action anticipation. To this end, professional badminton players and novices were asked to anticipate the landing position of the shuttlecock while watching badminton match videos or to judge the gender of the players in the matches. The video clips ended right at the point that the shuttlecock and the racket came into contact to reduce the effect of information about the trajectory of the shuttlecock. Novices who lacked training and watching experience were recruited for the control group to reduce the effect of sport-related experience on the medial frontal cortex. Blood oxygenation level-dependent activation was assessed by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Compared to novices, badminton players exhibited stronger activation in the left medial frontal cortex during action anticipation and greater functional connectivity between left medial frontal cortex and some other brain regions (e.g., right posterior cingulate cortex). Therefore, the present study supports the position that the medial frontal cortex plays a role in more skilled action anticipation and that there is a specific brain network for more skilled action anticipation that involves right posterior cingulate cortex, right fusiform gyrus

  11. The Role of Medial Frontal Cortex in Action Anticipation in Professional Badminton Players

    Xu, Huan; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuo’er; Di, Xin; Xu, Guiping; Mo, Lei; Lin, Huiyan; Rao, Hengyi; Jin, Hua

    2016-01-01

    Some studies show that the medial frontal cortex is associated with more skilled action anticipation, while similar findings are not observed in some other studies, possibly due to the stimuli employed and the participants used as the control group. In addition, no studies have investigated whether there is any functional connectivity between the medial frontal cortex and other brain regions in more skilled action anticipation. Therefore, the present study aimed to re-investigate how the medial frontal cortex is involved in more skilled action anticipation by circumventing the limitations of previous research and to investigate that the medial frontal cortex functionally connected with other brain regions involved in action processing in more skilled action anticipation. To this end, professional badminton players and novices were asked to anticipate the landing position of the shuttlecock while watching badminton match videos or to judge the gender of the players in the matches. The video clips ended right at the point that the shuttlecock and the racket came into contact to reduce the effect of information about the trajectory of the shuttlecock. Novices who lacked training and watching experience were recruited for the control group to reduce the effect of sport-related experience on the medial frontal cortex. Blood oxygenation level-dependent activation was assessed by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Compared to novices, badminton players exhibited stronger activation in the left medial frontal cortex during action anticipation and greater functional connectivity between left medial frontal cortex and some other brain regions (e.g., right posterior cingulate cortex). Therefore, the present study supports the position that the medial frontal cortex plays a role in more skilled action anticipation and that there is a specific brain network for more skilled action anticipation that involves right posterior cingulate cortex, right fusiform gyrus

  12. Calretinin and parvalbumin immunoreactive interneurons in the retrosplenial cortex of the rat brain: Qualitative and quantitative analyses

    Salaj, M.; Druga, Rastislav; Cerman, J.; Kubová, Hana; Barinka, F.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 1627, Nov 19 (2015), s. 201-215 ISSN 0006-8993 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : retrosplenial cortex * calretinin * parvalbumin * interneurons * calcium-binding proteins * perirhinal cortex Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 2.561, year: 2015

  13. False memory for context and true memory for context similarly activate the parahippocampal cortex.

    Karanian, Jessica M; Slotnick, Scott D

    2017-06-01

    The role of the parahippocampal cortex is currently a topic of debate. One view posits that the parahippocampal cortex specifically processes spatial layouts and sensory details (i.e., the visual-spatial processing view). In contrast, the other view posits that the parahippocampal cortex more generally processes spatial and non-spatial contexts (i.e., the general contextual processing view). A large number of studies have found that true memories activate the parahippocampal cortex to a greater degree than false memories, which would appear to support the visual-spatial processing view as true memories are typically associated with greater visual-spatial detail than false memories. However, in previous studies, contextual details were also greater for true memories than false memories. Thus, such differential activity in the parahippocampal cortex may have reflected differences in contextual processing, which would challenge the visual-spatial processing view. In the present functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we employed a source memory paradigm to investigate the functional role of the parahippocampal cortex during true memory and false memory for contextual information to distinguish between the visual-spatial processing view and the general contextual processing view. During encoding, abstract shapes were presented to the left or right of fixation. During retrieval, old shapes were presented at fixation and participants indicated whether each shape was previously on the "left" or "right" followed by an "unsure", "sure", or "very sure" confidence rating. The conjunction of confident true memories for context and confident false memories for context produced activity in the parahippocampal cortex, which indicates that this region is associated with contextual processing. Furthermore, the direct contrast of true memory and false memory produced activity in the visual cortex but did not produce activity in the parahippocampal cortex. The present

  14. Counterfactual quantum cryptography.

    Noh, Tae-Gon

    2009-12-04

    Quantum cryptography allows one to distribute a secret key between two remote parties using the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics. The well-known established paradigm for the quantum key distribution relies on the actual transmission of signal particle through a quantum channel. In this Letter, we show that the task of a secret key distribution can be accomplished even though a particle carrying secret information is not in fact transmitted through the quantum channel. The proposed protocols can be implemented with current technologies and provide practical security advantages by eliminating the possibility that an eavesdropper can directly access the entire quantum system of each signal particle.

  15. How does the scientific progress in developing countries affect bibliometric impact measures of developed countries? A counterfactual case study on China

    Stahlschmidt, S.; Hinze, S.

    2016-07-01

    Many developed countries have found their bibliometric impact measures to be improving over the last decade. Also the BRICS states, the economically largest group of developing countries, observe a similar pattern. This uniform growth seems puzzling, as not every country can improve its relative performance to all other countries. A possible explanation for this uniform growth might be found in the dynamic environment and especially in the exponential growth of Chinese publications. We like to analyze how this unprecedented growth of contributions from a single country with its specific bibliometric characteristics affects the whole bibliometric measurement process. We show that due to the lowly cited Chinese publications the overall corpus of scientific publications grows especially in the lower tail and argue that this unequal increase in publications benefits especially the bibliometric impact measures of developed countries. The actual magnitude of this effect will be derived by contrasting the actual bibliometric world with a counterfactual one without China. (Author)

  16. What pharmacological interventions indicate concerning the role of the perirhinal cortex in recognition memory.

    Brown, M W; Barker, G R I; Aggleton, J P; Warburton, E C

    2012-11-01

    Findings of pharmacological studies that have investigated the involvement of specific regions of the brain in recognition memory are reviewed. The particular emphasis of the review concerns what such studies indicate concerning the role of the perirhinal cortex in recognition memory. Most of the studies involve rats and most have investigated recognition memory for objects. Pharmacological studies provide a large body of evidence supporting the essential role of the perirhinal cortex in the acquisition, consolidation and retrieval of object recognition memory. Such studies provide increasingly detailed evidence concerning both the neurotransmitter systems and the underlying intracellular mechanisms involved in recognition memory processes. They have provided evidence in support of synaptic weakening as a major synaptic plastic process within perirhinal cortex underlying object recognition memory. They have also supplied confirmatory evidence that that there is more than one synaptic plastic process involved. The demonstrated necessity to long-term recognition memory of intracellular signalling mechanisms related to synaptic modification within perirhinal cortex establishes a central role for the region in the information storage underlying such memory. Perirhinal cortex is thereby established as an information storage site rather than solely a processing station. Pharmacological studies have also supplied new evidence concerning the detailed roles of other regions, including the hippocampus and the medial prefrontal cortex in different types of recognition memory tasks that include a spatial or temporal component. In so doing, they have also further defined the contribution of perirhinal cortex to such tasks. To date it appears that the contribution of perirhinal cortex to associative and temporal order memory reflects that in simple object recognition memory, namely that perirhinal cortex provides information concerning objects and their prior occurrence (novelty

  17. The Significance of Memory in Sensory Cortex.

    Muckli, Lars; Petro, Lucy S

    2017-05-01

    Early sensory cortex is typically investigated in response to sensory stimulation, masking the contribution of internal signals. Recently, van Kerkoerle and colleagues reported that attention and memory signals segregate from sensory signals within specific layers of primary visual cortex, providing insight into the role of internal signals in sensory processing. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. The significance of memory in sensory cortex

    Muckli, Lars; Petro, Lucy S.

    2017-01-01

    Early sensory cortex is typically investigated in response to sensory stimulation, masking the contribution of internal signals. Recently, van Kerkoerle and colleagues reported that attention and memory signals segregate from sensory signals within specific layers of primary visual cortex, providing insight into the role of internal signals in sensory processing.

  19. Visual Categorization and the Parietal Cortex

    Jamie K Fitzgerald

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The primate brain is adept at rapidly grouping items and events into functional classes, or categories, in order to recognize the significance of stimuli and guide behavior. Higher cognitive functions have traditionally been considered the domain of frontal areas. However, increasing evidence suggests that parietal cortex is also involved in categorical and associative processes. Previous work showed that the parietal cortex is highly involved in spatial processing, attention and saccadic eye movement planning, and more recent studies have found decision-making signals in LIP. We recently found that a subdivision of parietal cortex, the lateral intraparietal area (LIP, reflects learned categories for multiple types of visual stimuli. Additionally, a comparison of categorization signals in parietal and frontal areas found stronger and earlier categorization signals in parietal cortex, arguing that parietal abstract association or category signals are unlikely to arise via feedback from prefrontal cortex (PFC.

  20. Beta Peak Frequencies at Rest Correlate with Endogenous GABA+/Cr Concentrations in Sensorimotor Cortex Areas.

    Thomas J Baumgarten

    Full Text Available Neuronal oscillatory activity in the beta band (15-30 Hz is a prominent signal within the human sensorimotor cortex. Computational modeling and pharmacological modulation studies suggest an influence of GABAergic interneurons on the generation of beta band oscillations. Accordingly, studies in humans have demonstrated a correlation between GABA concentrations and power of beta band oscillations. It remains unclear, however, if GABA concentrations also influence beta peak frequencies and whether this influence is present in the sensorimotor cortex at rest and without pharmacological modulation. In the present study, we investigated the relation between endogenous GABA concentration (measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy and beta oscillations (measured by magnetoencephalography at rest in humans. GABA concentrations and beta band oscillations were measured for left and right sensorimotor and occipital cortex areas. A significant positive linear correlation between GABA concentration and beta peak frequency was found for the left sensorimotor cortex, whereas no significant correlations were found for the right sensorimotor and the occipital cortex. The results show a novel connection between endogenous GABA concentration and beta peak frequency at rest. This finding supports previous results that demonstrated a connection between oscillatory beta activity and pharmacologically modulated GABA concentration in the sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that for a predominantly right-handed sample, the correlation between beta band oscillations and endogenous GABA concentrations is evident only in the left sensorimotor cortex.

  1. Beta Peak Frequencies at Rest Correlate with Endogenous GABA+/Cr Concentrations in Sensorimotor Cortex Areas

    Baumgarten, Thomas J.; Oeltzschner, Georg; Hoogenboom, Nienke; Wittsack, Hans-Jörg; Schnitzler, Alfons; Lange, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal oscillatory activity in the beta band (15–30 Hz) is a prominent signal within the human sensorimotor cortex. Computational modeling and pharmacological modulation studies suggest an influence of GABAergic interneurons on the generation of beta band oscillations. Accordingly, studies in humans have demonstrated a correlation between GABA concentrations and power of beta band oscillations. It remains unclear, however, if GABA concentrations also influence beta peak frequencies and whether this influence is present in the sensorimotor cortex at rest and without pharmacological modulation. In the present study, we investigated the relation between endogenous GABA concentration (measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy) and beta oscillations (measured by magnetoencephalography) at rest in humans. GABA concentrations and beta band oscillations were measured for left and right sensorimotor and occipital cortex areas. A significant positive linear correlation between GABA concentration and beta peak frequency was found for the left sensorimotor cortex, whereas no significant correlations were found for the right sensorimotor and the occipital cortex. The results show a novel connection between endogenous GABA concentration and beta peak frequency at rest. This finding supports previous results that demonstrated a connection between oscillatory beta activity and pharmacologically modulated GABA concentration in the sensorimotor cortex. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that for a predominantly right-handed sample, the correlation between beta band oscillations and endogenous GABA concentrations is evident only in the left sensorimotor cortex. PMID:27258089

  2. Emotional facilitation of sensory processing in the visual cortex.

    Schupp, Harald T; Junghöfer, Markus; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2003-01-01

    A key function of emotion is the preparation for action. However, organization of successful behavioral strategies depends on efficient stimulus encoding. The present study tested the hypothesis that perceptual encoding in the visual cortex is modulated by the emotional significance of visual stimuli. Event-related brain potentials were measured while subjects viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures. Early selective encoding of pleasant and unpleasant images was associated with a posterior negativity, indicating primary sources of activation in the visual cortex. The study also replicated previous findings in that affective cues also elicited enlarged late positive potentials, indexing increased stimulus relevance at higher-order stages of stimulus processing. These results support the hypothesis that sensory encoding of affective stimuli is facilitated implicitly by natural selective attention. Thus, the affect system not only modulates motor output (i.e., favoring approach or avoidance dispositions), but already operates at an early level of sensory encoding.

  3. Tobacco dependence, the insular cortex and the hypocretin connection

    Kenny, Paul J.

    2010-01-01

    Tobacco use is a major cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Nicotine is considered the key component of tobacco responsible for addiction in human smokers. Accumulating evidence supports an important role for the hypocretin (orexin) neuropeptide system in regulating the reinforcing properties of most major drugs of abuse, including nicotine. Here, data showing that nicotine activates hypocretin-producing neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, and that disruption of hypocretin transmission decreases nicotine self-administration behavior in rats will be reviewed. Recent findings suggesting that plasma hypocretin levels may be related to the magnitude of cigarette craving in abstinent smokers will be discussed. Finally, data suggesting that hypocretin transmission in the insular cortex may play an important role in regulating nicotine self-administration behavior in rats will be reviewed. This latter finding may provide mechanistic insight into the apparent disruption of tobacco addiction reported in human smokers with stroke-associated damage to the insular cortex. PMID:20816891

  4. Effects of bilateral and unilateral locus coeruleus lesions on beam-walking recovery after subsequent unilateral sensorimotor cortex suction-ablation in the rat.

    Goldstein, L B

    1997-01-01

    The recovery of beam-walking ability following a unilateral sensorimotor cortex lesion in the rat is hypothesized to be noradrenergically-mediated. We carried out two experiments to further test this hypothesis. In the first experiment, bilateral 6-hydroxydopamine locus coeruleus (LC) lesions or sham LC lesions were made 2 weeks prior to a right sensorimotor cortex suction-ablation lesion or sham cortex lesion. In the second experiment, unilateral left or right LC lesions or sham LC lesions were made 2 weeks prior to a right sensorimotor cortex lesion or sham cortex lesion. Beam-walking recovery was measured over the 12 days following cortex lesioning in each experiment. Bilateral, unilateral left, and unilateral right LC lesions resulted in impaired recovery. These data provide additional support for the hypothesis that beam-walking recovery after sensorimotor cortex injury is, at least in part, noradrenergically mediated.

  5. Orbitofrontal Cortex Encodes Memories within Value-Based Schemas and Represents Contexts That Guide Memory Retrieval

    Farovik, Anja; Place, Ryan J.; McKenzie, Sam; Porter, Blake; Munro, Catherine E.

    2015-01-01

    There are a substantial number of studies showing that the orbitofrontal cortex links events to reward values, whereas the hippocampus links events to the context in which they occur. Here we asked how the orbitofrontal cortex contributes to memory where context determines the reward values associated with events. After rats learned object–reward associations that differed depending on the spatial context in which the objects were presented, neuronal ensembles in orbitofrontal cortex represented distinct value-based schemas, each composed of a systematic organization of the representations of objects in the contexts and positions where they were associated with reward or nonreward. Orbitofrontal ensembles also represent the different spatial contexts that define the mappings of stimuli to actions that lead to reward or nonreward. These findings, combined with observations on complementary memory representation within the hippocampus, suggest mechanisms through which prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus interact in support of context-guided memory. PMID:26019346

  6. Cortex-dependent recovery of unassisted hindlimb locomotion after complete spinal cord injury in adult rats

    Manohar, Anitha; Foffani, Guglielmo; Ganzer, Patrick D; Bethea, John R; Moxon, Karen A

    2017-01-01

    After paralyzing spinal cord injury the adult nervous system has little ability to ‘heal’ spinal connections, and it is assumed to be unable to develop extra-spinal recovery strategies to bypass the lesion. We challenge this assumption, showing that completely spinalized adult rats can recover unassisted hindlimb weight support and locomotion without explicit spinal transmission of motor commands through the lesion. This is achieved with combinations of pharmacological and physical therapies that maximize cortical reorganization, inducing an expansion of trunk motor cortex and forepaw sensory cortex into the deafferented hindlimb cortex, associated with sprouting of corticospinal axons. Lesioning the reorganized cortex reverses the recovery. Adult rats can thus develop a novel cortical sensorimotor circuit that bypasses the lesion, probably through biomechanical coupling, to partly recover unassisted hindlimb locomotion after complete spinal cord injury. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23532.001 PMID:28661400

  7. The spatiotopic 'visual' cortex of the blind

    Likova, Lora

    2012-03-01

    Visual cortex activity in the blind has been shown in sensory tasks. Can it be activated in memory tasks? If so, are inherent features of its organization meaningfully employed? Our recent results in short-term blindfolded subjects imply that human primary visual cortex (V1) may operate as a modality-independent 'sketchpad' for working memory (Likova, 2010a). Interestingly, the spread of the V1 activation approximately corresponded to the spatial extent of the images in terms of their angle of projection to the subject. We now raise the questions of whether under long-term visual deprivation V1 is also employed in non-visual memory task, in particular in congenitally blind individuals, who have never had visual stimulation to guide the development of the visual area organization, and whether such spatial organization is still valid for the same paradigm that was used in blindfolded individuals. The outcome has implications for an emerging reconceptualization of the principles of brain architecture and its reorganization under sensory deprivation. Methods: We used a novel fMRI drawing paradigm in congenitally and late-onset blind, compared with sighted and blindfolded subjects in three conditions of 20s duration, separated by 20s rest-intervals, (i) Tactile Exploration: raised-line images explored and memorized; (ii) Tactile Memory Drawing: drawing the explored image from memory; (iii) Scribble: mindless drawing movements with no memory component. Results and Conclusions: V1 was strongly activated for Tactile Memory Drawing and Tactile Exploration in these totally blind subjects. Remarkably, after training, even in the memory task, the mapping of V1 activation largely corresponded to the angular projection of the tactile stimuli relative to the ego-center (i.e., the effective visual angle at the head); beyond this projective boundary, peripheral V1 signals were dramatically reduced or even suppressed. The matching extent of the activation in the congenitally blind

  8. The Functioning of a Cortex without Layers

    Julien Guy

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A major hallmark of cortical organization is the existence of a variable number of layers, i.e., sheets of neurons stacked on top of each other, in which neurons have certain commonalities. However, even for the neocortex, variable numbers of layers have been described and it is just a convention to distinguish six layers from each other. Whether cortical layers are a structural epiphenomenon caused by developmental dynamics or represent a functionally important modularization of cortical computation is still unknown. Here we present our insights from the reeler mutant mouse, a model for a developmental, “molecular lesion”-induced loss of cortical layering that could serve as ground truth of what an intact layering adds to the cortex in terms of functionality. We could demonstrate that the reeler neocortex shows no inversion of cortical layers but rather a severe disorganization that in the primary somatosensory cortex leads to the complete loss of layers. Nevertheless, the somatosensory system is well organized. When exploring an enriched environment with specific sets of whiskers, activity-dependent gene expression takes place in the corresponding modules. Precise whisker stimuli lead to the functional activation of somatotopically organized barrel columns as visualized by intrinsic signal optical imaging. Similar results were obtained in the reeler visual system. When analyzing pathways that could be responsible for preservation of tactile perception, lemniscal thalamic projections were found to be largely intact, despite the smearing of target neurons across the cortical mantle. However, with optogenetic experiments we found evidence for a mild dispersion of thalamic synapse targeting on layer IV-spiny stellate cells, together with a general weakening in thalamocortical input strength. This weakening of thalamic inputs was compensated by intracortical mechanisms involving increased recurrent excitation and/or reduced feedforward

  9. Preparatory attention in visual cortex.

    Battistoni, Elisa; Stein, Timo; Peelen, Marius V

    2017-05-01

    Top-down attention is the mechanism that allows us to selectively process goal-relevant aspects of a scene while ignoring irrelevant aspects. A large body of research has characterized the effects of attention on neural activity evoked by a visual stimulus. However, attention also includes a preparatory phase before stimulus onset in which the attended dimension is internally represented. Here, we review neurophysiological, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetoencephalography, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies investigating the neural basis of preparatory attention, both when attention is directed to a location in space and when it is directed to nonspatial stimulus attributes (content-based attention) ranging from low-level features to object categories. Results show that both spatial and content-based attention lead to increased baseline activity in neural populations that selectively code for the attended attribute. TMS studies provide evidence that this preparatory activity is causally related to subsequent attentional selection and behavioral performance. Attention thus acts by preactivating selective neurons in the visual cortex before stimulus onset. This appears to be a general mechanism that can operate on multiple levels of representation. We discuss the functional relevance of this mechanism, its limitations, and its relation to working memory, imagery, and expectation. We conclude by outlining open questions and future directions. © 2017 New York Academy of Sciences.

  10. The role of the midcingulate cortex in monitoring others’ decisions

    Matthew A J Apps

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A plethora of research has implicated the cingulate cortex in the processing of social information (i.e. processing elicited by, about, and directed towards others and reward-related information that guides decision-making. However, it is often overlooked that there is variability in the cytoarchitectonic properties and anatomical connections across the cingulate cortex, which is indicative of functional variability. Here we review evidence from lesion, single-unit recording and functional imaging studies. Taken together, these support the claim that the processing of information that has the greatest influence on social behaviour can be localised to the gyral surface of the midcingulate cortex (MCCg. We propose that the MCCg is engaged when predicting and monitoring the outcomes of decisions during social interactions. In particular, the MCCg processes statistical information that tracks the extent to which the outcomes of decisions meet goals when interacting with others. We provide a novel framework for the computational mechanisms that underpin such social information processing in the MCCg. This framework provides testable hypotheses for the social deficits displayed in autism spectrum disorders and psychopathy.

  11. Audiovisual Association Learning in the Absence of Primary Visual Cortex.

    Seirafi, Mehrdad; De Weerd, Peter; Pegna, Alan J; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2015-01-01

    Learning audiovisual associations is mediated by the primary cortical areas; however, recent animal studies suggest that such learning can take place even in the absence of the primary visual cortex. Other studies have demonstrated the involvement of extra-geniculate pathways and especially the superior colliculus (SC) in audiovisual association learning. Here, we investigated such learning in a rare human patient with complete loss of the bilateral striate cortex. We carried out an implicit audiovisual association learning task with two different colors of red and purple (the latter color known to minimally activate the extra-genicular pathway). Interestingly, the patient learned the association between an auditory cue and a visual stimulus only when the unseen visual stimulus was red, but not when it was purple. The current study presents the first evidence showing the possibility of audiovisual association learning in humans with lesioned striate cortex. Furthermore, in line with animal studies, it supports an important role for the SC in audiovisual associative learning.

  12. Acute pharmacogenetic activation of medial prefrontal cortex ...

    Sthitapranjya Pati

    2018-01-24

    Jan 24, 2018 ... Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) have provided novel ... ad libitum access to food and water. ... testing. 2.3 Drug treatment and behavioural tests .... IL cortex (figure 3E, two-way ANOVA: interaction effect,.

  13. CEREBRAL CORTEX DAMAGE INDUCED BY ACUTE ORAL ...

    2018-02-28

    Feb 28, 2018 ... This study examines alcohol-induced cerebral cortex damage and the association with oxidative ... alcohol has profound effects on the function ... Chronic use of ..... Alcohol induced brain damage and liver damage in young.

  14. Food related processes in the insular cortex

    Sabine eFrank

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The insular cortex is a multimodal brain region with regional cytoarchitectonic differences indicating various functional specializations. As a multisensory neural node, the insular cortex integrates perception, emotion, interoceptive awareness, cognition, and gustation. Regarding the latter, predominantly the anterior part of the insular cortex is regarded as the primary taste cortex.In this review, we will specifically focus on the involvement of the insula in food processing and on multimodal integration of food-related items. Influencing factors of insular activation elicited by various foods range from calorie-content to the internal physiologic state, body mass index or eating behavior. Sensory perception of food-related stimuli including seeing, smelling, and tasting elicits increased activation in the anterior and mid-dorsal part of the insular cortex. Apart from the pure sensory gustatory processing, there is also a strong association with the rewarding/hedonic aspects of food items, which is reflected in higher insular activity and stronger connections to other reward-related areas. Interestingly, the processing of food items has been found to elicit different insular activation in lean compared to obese subjects and in patients suffering from an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa. The knowledge of functional differences in the insular cortex opens up the opportunity for possible noninvasive treatment approaches for obesity and eating disorders. To target brain functions directly, real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging neurofeedback offers a state-of-the-art tool to learn to control the anterior insular cortex activity voluntarily. First evidence indicates that obese adults have an enhanced ability to regulate the anterior insular cortex.

  15. Decoding bipedal locomotion from the rat sensorimotor cortex

    Rigosa, J.; Panarese, A.; Dominici, N.; Friedli, L.; van den Brand, R.; Carpaneto, J.; DiGiovanna, J.; Courtine, G.; Micera, S.

    2015-10-01

    Objective. Decoding forelimb movements from the firing activity of cortical neurons has been interfaced with robotic and prosthetic systems to replace lost upper limb functions in humans. Despite the potential of this approach to improve locomotion and facilitate gait rehabilitation, decoding lower limb movement from the motor cortex has received comparatively little attention. Here, we performed experiments to identify the type and amount of information that can be decoded from neuronal ensemble activity in the hindlimb area of the rat motor cortex during bipedal locomotor tasks. Approach. Rats were trained to stand, step on a treadmill, walk overground and climb staircases in a bipedal posture. To impose this gait, the rats were secured in a robotic interface that provided support against the direction of gravity and in the mediolateral direction, but behaved transparently in the forward direction. After completion of training, rats were chronically implanted with a micro-wire array spanning the left hindlimb motor cortex to record single and multi-unit activity, and bipolar electrodes into 10 muscles of the right hindlimb to monitor electromyographic signals. Whole-body kinematics, muscle activity, and neural signals were simultaneously recorded during execution of the trained tasks over multiple days of testing. Hindlimb kinematics, muscle activity, gait phases, and locomotor tasks were decoded using offline classification algorithms. Main results. We found that the stance and swing phases of gait and the locomotor tasks were detected with accuracies as robust as 90% in all rats. Decoded hindlimb kinematics and muscle activity exhibited a larger variability across rats and tasks. Significance. Our study shows that the rodent motor cortex contains useful information for lower limb neuroprosthetic development. However, brain-machine interfaces estimating gait phases or locomotor behaviors, instead of continuous variables such as limb joint positions or speeds

  16. The role of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace fear extinction

    Kwapis, Janine L.; Jarome, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    The extinction of delay fear conditioning relies on a neural circuit that has received much attention and is relatively well defined. Whether this established circuit also supports the extinction of more complex associations, however, is unclear. Trace fear conditioning is a better model of complex relational learning, yet the circuit that supports extinction of this memory has received very little attention. Recent research has indicated that trace fear extinction requires a different neural circuit than delay extinction; trace extinction requires the participation of the retrosplenial cortex, but not the amygdala, as noted in a previous study. Here, we tested the roles of the prelimbic and infralimbic regions of the medial prefrontal cortex in trace and delay fear extinction by blocking NMDA receptors during extinction learning. We found that the prelimbic cortex is necessary for trace, but not for delay fear extinction, whereas the infralimbic cortex is involved in both types of extinction. These results are consistent with the idea that trace fear associations require plasticity in multiple cortical areas for successful extinction. Further, the infralimbic cortex appears to play a role in extinction regardless of whether the animal was initially trained in trace or delay conditioning. Together, our results provide new information about how the neural circuits supporting trace and delay fear extinction differ. PMID:25512576

  17. [Brodmann Areas 20, 21, and 22 in the Cerebral Cortex].

    Kaga, Kimitaka; Minami, Shujiro B

    2017-04-01

    The 20, 21, and 22 areas in the temporal lobe as classified by Brodmann are almost identical with Economo and Koskinas's TA, TE1, and TE2, and, generally, with the gyrus, middle temporal gyrus, and inferior temporal gyrus according to brain anatomy. Before Brodmann's classification, Flechsig published his book "Soul and Brain" in 1897, in which primary, secondary, and association areas in the brain were classified. More recently, results from research using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fMRI support the parcellation of the cerebral cortex proposed by Flechsig, Brodmann, and Economo more than one century ago.

  18. TMS of the occipital cortex induces tactile sensations in the fingers of blind Braille readers.

    Ptito, M; Fumal, A; de Noordhout, A Martens; Schoenen, J; Gjedde, A; Kupers, R

    2008-01-01

    Various non-visual inputs produce cross-modal responses in the visual cortex of early blind subjects. In order to determine the qualitative experience associated with these occipital activations, we systematically stimulated the entire occipital cortex using single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in early blind subjects and in blindfolded seeing controls. Whereas blindfolded seeing controls reported only phosphenes following occipital cortex stimulation, some of the blind subjects reported tactile sensations in the fingers that were somatotopically organized onto the visual cortex. The number of cortical sites inducing tactile sensations appeared to be related to the number of hours of Braille reading per day, Braille reading speed and dexterity. These data, taken in conjunction with previous anatomical, behavioural and functional imaging results, suggest the presence of a polysynaptic cortical pathway between the somatosensory cortex and the visual cortex in early blind subjects. These results also add new evidence that the activity of the occipital lobe in the blind takes its qualitative expression from the character of its new input source, therefore supporting the cortical deference hypothesis.

  19. What Does the Anatomical Organization of the Entorhinal Cortex Tell Us?

    Cathrin B. Canto

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available The entorhinal cortex is commonly perceived as a major input and output structure of the hippocampal formation, entertaining the role of the nodal point of cortico-hippocampal circuits. Superficial layers receive convergent cortical information, which is relayed to structures in the hippocampus, and hippocampal output reaches deep layers of entorhinal cortex, that project back to the cortex. The finding of the grid cells in all layers and reports on interactions between deep and superficial layers indicate that this rather simplistic perception may be at fault. Therefore, an integrative approach on the entorhinal cortex, that takes into account recent additions to our knowledge database on entorhinal connectivity, is timely. We argue that layers in entorhinal cortex show different functional characteristics most likely not on the basis of strikingly different inputs or outputs, but much more likely on the basis of differences in intrinsic organization, combined with very specific sets of inputs. Here, we aim to summarize recent anatomical data supporting the notion that the traditional description of the entorhinal cortex as a layered input-output structure for the hippocampal formation does not give the deserved credit to what this structure might be contributing to the overall functions of cortico-hippocampal networks.

  20. Repeatedly pairing vagus nerve stimulation with a movement reorganizes primary motor cortex.

    Porter, Benjamin A; Khodaparast, Navid; Fayyaz, Tabbassum; Cheung, Ryan J; Ahmed, Syed S; Vrana, William A; Rennaker, Robert L; Kilgard, Michael P

    2012-10-01

    Although sensory and motor systems support different functions, both systems exhibit experience-dependent cortical plasticity under similar conditions. If mechanisms regulating cortical plasticity are common to sensory and motor cortices, then methods generating plasticity in sensory cortex should be effective in motor cortex. Repeatedly pairing a tone with a brief period of vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) increases the proportion of primary auditory cortex responding to the paired tone (Engineer ND, Riley JR, Seale JD, Vrana WA, Shetake J, Sudanagunta SP, Borland MS, Kilgard MP. 2011. Reversing pathological neural activity using targeted plasticity. Nature. 470:101-104). In this study, we predicted that repeatedly pairing VNS with a specific movement would result in an increased representation of that movement in primary motor cortex. To test this hypothesis, we paired VNS with movements of the distal or proximal forelimb in 2 groups of rats. After 5 days of VNS movement pairing, intracranial microstimulation was used to quantify the organization of primary motor cortex. Larger cortical areas were associated with movements paired with VNS. Rats receiving identical motor training without VNS pairing did not exhibit motor cortex map plasticity. These results suggest that pairing VNS with specific events may act as a general method for increasing cortical representations of those events. VNS movement pairing could provide a new approach for treating disorders associated with abnormal movement representations.

  1. Differential effects of insular and ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions on risky decision-making.

    Clark, L; Bechara, A; Damasio, H; Aitken, M R F; Sahakian, B J; Robbins, T W

    2008-05-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) and insular cortex are implicated in distributed neural circuitry that supports emotional decision-making. Previous studies of patients with vmPFC lesions have focused primarily on decision-making under uncertainty, when outcome probabilities are ambiguous (e.g. the Iowa Gambling Task). It remains unclear whether vmPFC is also necessary for decision-making under risk, when outcome probabilities are explicit. It is not known whether the effect of insular damage is analogous to the effect of vmPFC damage, or whether these regions contribute differentially to choice behaviour. Four groups of participants were compared on the Cambridge Gamble Task, a well-characterized measure of risky decision-making where outcome probabilities are presented explicitly, thus minimizing additional learning and working memory demands. Patients with focal, stable lesions to the vmPFC (n = 20) and the insular cortex (n = 13) were compared against healthy subjects (n = 41) and a group of lesion controls (n = 12) with damage predominantly affecting the dorsal and lateral frontal cortex. The vmPFC and insular cortex patients showed selective and distinctive disruptions of betting behaviour. VmPFC damage was associated with increased betting regardless of the odds of winning, consistent with a role of vmPFC in biasing healthy individuals towards conservative options under risk. In contrast, patients with insular cortex lesions failed to adjust their bets by the odds of winning, consistent with a role of the insular cortex in signalling the probability of aversive outcomes. The insular group attained a lower point score on the task and experienced more 'bankruptcies'. There were no group differences in probability judgement. These data confirm the necessary role of the vmPFC and insular regions in decision-making under risk. Poor decision-making in clinical populations can arise via multiple routes, with functionally dissociable effects of vmPFC and

  2. Orbital prefrontal cortex is required for object-in-place scene memory but not performance of a strategy implementation task.

    Baxter, Mark G; Gaffan, David; Kyriazis, Diana A; Mitchell, Anna S

    2007-10-17

    The orbital prefrontal cortex is thought to be involved in behavioral flexibility in primates, and human neuroimaging studies have identified orbital prefrontal activation during episodic memory encoding. The goal of the present study was to ascertain whether deficits in strategy implementation and episodic memory that occur after ablation of the entire prefrontal cortex can be ascribed to damage to the orbital prefrontal cortex. Rhesus monkeys were preoperatively trained on two behavioral tasks, the performance of both of which is severely impaired by the disconnection of frontal cortex from inferotemporal cortex. In the strategy implementation task, monkeys were required to learn about two categories of objects, each associated with a different strategy that had to be performed to obtain food reward. The different strategies had to be applied flexibly to optimize the rate of reward delivery. In the scene memory task, monkeys learned 20 new object-in-place discrimination problems in each session. Monkeys were tested on both tasks before and after bilateral ablation of orbital prefrontal cortex. These lesions impaired new scene learning but had no effect on strategy implementation. This finding supports a role for the orbital prefrontal cortex in memory but places limits on the involvement of orbital prefrontal cortex in the representation and implementation of behavioral goals and strategies.

  3. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of visual cortex in memory: cortical state, interference and reactivation of visual content in memory.

    van de Ven, Vincent; Sack, Alexander T

    2013-01-01

    Memory for perceptual events includes the neural representation of the sensory information at short or longer time scales. Recent transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies of human visual cortex provided evidence that sensory cortex contributes to memory functions. In this review, we provide an exhaustive overview of these studies and ascertain how well the available evidence supports the idea of a causal role of sensory cortex in memory retention and retrieval. We discuss the validity and implications of the studies using a number of methodological and theoretical criteria that are relevant for brain stimulation of visual cortex. While most studies applied TMS to visual cortex to interfere with memory functions, a handful of pioneering studies used TMS to 'reactivate' memories in visual cortex. Interestingly, similar effects of TMS on memory were found in different memory tasks, which suggests that different memory systems share a neural mechanism of memory in visual cortex. At the same time, this neural mechanism likely interacts with higher order brain areas. Based on this overview and evaluation, we provide a first attempt to an integrative framework that describes how sensory processes contribute to memory in visual cortex, and how higher order areas contribute to this mechanism. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Auditory Connections and Functions of Prefrontal Cortex

    Bethany ePlakke

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC. In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition.

  5. Auditory connections and functions of prefrontal cortex

    Plakke, Bethany; Romanski, Lizabeth M.

    2014-01-01

    The functional auditory system extends from the ears to the frontal lobes with successively more complex functions occurring as one ascends the hierarchy of the nervous system. Several areas of the frontal lobe receive afferents from both early and late auditory processing regions within the temporal lobe. Afferents from the early part of the cortical auditory system, the auditory belt cortex, which are presumed to carry information regarding auditory features of sounds, project to only a few prefrontal regions and are most dense in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC). In contrast, projections from the parabelt and the rostral superior temporal gyrus (STG) most likely convey more complex information and target a larger, widespread region of the prefrontal cortex. Neuronal responses reflect these anatomical projections as some prefrontal neurons exhibit responses to features in acoustic stimuli, while other neurons display task-related responses. For example, recording studies in non-human primates indicate that VLPFC is responsive to complex sounds including vocalizations and that VLPFC neurons in area 12/47 respond to sounds with similar acoustic morphology. In contrast, neuronal responses during auditory working memory involve a wider region of the prefrontal cortex. In humans, the frontal lobe is involved in auditory detection, discrimination, and working memory. Past research suggests that dorsal and ventral subregions of the prefrontal cortex process different types of information with dorsal cortex processing spatial/visual information and ventral cortex processing non-spatial/auditory information. While this is apparent in the non-human primate and in some neuroimaging studies, most research in humans indicates that specific task conditions, stimuli or previous experience may bias the recruitment of specific prefrontal regions, suggesting a more flexible role for the frontal lobe during auditory cognition. PMID:25100931

  6. Cellular properties of principal neurons in the rat entorhinal cortex. I. The lateral entorhinal cortex

    Canto, C.B.; Witter, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    The lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) provides a major cortical input to the hippocampal formation, equaling that of the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC). To understand the functional contributions made by LEC, basic knowledge of individual neurons, in the context of the intrinsic network, is needed.

  7. Encoding and retrieval of artificial visuoauditory memory traces in the auditory cortex requires the entorhinal cortex.

    Chen, Xi; Guo, Yiping; Feng, Jingyu; Liao, Zhengli; Li, Xinjian; Wang, Haitao; Li, Xiao; He, Jufang

    2013-06-12

    Damage to the medial temporal lobe impairs the encoding of new memories and the retrieval of memories acquired immediately before the damage in human. In this study, we demonstrated that artificial visuoauditory memory traces can be established in the rat auditory cortex and that their encoding and retrieval depend on the entorhinal cortex of the medial temporal lobe in the rat. We trained rats to associate a visual stimulus with electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex using a classical conditioning protocol. After conditioning, we examined the associative memory traces electrophysiologically (i.e., visual stimulus-evoked responses of auditory cortical neurons) and behaviorally (i.e., visual stimulus-induced freezing and visual stimulus-guided reward retrieval). The establishment of a visuoauditory memory trace in the auditory cortex, which was detectable by electrophysiological recordings, was achieved over 20-30 conditioning trials and was blocked by unilateral, temporary inactivation of the entorhinal cortex. Retrieval of a previously established visuoauditory memory was also affected by unilateral entorhinal cortex inactivation. These findings suggest that the entorhinal cortex is necessary for the encoding and involved in the retrieval of artificial visuoauditory memory in the auditory cortex, at least during the early stages of memory consolidation.

  8. Auditory attention activates peripheral visual cortex.

    Anthony D Cate

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Recent neuroimaging studies have revealed that putatively unimodal regions of visual cortex can be activated during auditory tasks in sighted as well as in blind subjects. However, the task determinants and functional significance of auditory occipital activations (AOAs remains unclear. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We examined AOAs in an intermodal selective attention task to distinguish whether they were stimulus-bound or recruited by higher-level cognitive operations associated with auditory attention. Cortical surface mapping showed that auditory occipital activations were localized to retinotopic visual cortex subserving the far peripheral visual field. AOAs depended strictly on the sustained engagement of auditory attention and were enhanced in more difficult listening conditions. In contrast, unattended sounds produced no AOAs regardless of their intensity, spatial location, or frequency. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Auditory attention, but not passive exposure to sounds, routinely activated peripheral regions of visual cortex when subjects attended to sound sources outside the visual field. Functional connections between auditory cortex and visual cortex subserving the peripheral visual field appear to underlie the generation of AOAs, which may reflect the priming of visual regions to process soon-to-appear objects associated with unseen sound sources.

  9. Grit and the brain: spontaneous activity of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex mediates the relationship between the trait grit and academic performance

    Zhou, Ming; Chen, Taolin; Yang, Xun; Chen, Guangxiang; Wang, Meiyun; Gong, Qiyong

    2017-01-01

    Abstract As a personality trait, grit involves the tendency to strive to achieve long-term goals with continual passion and perseverance and plays an extremely crucial role in personal achievement. However, the neural mechanisms of grit remain largely unknown. In this study, we aimed to explore the association between grit and the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) in 217 healthy adolescent students using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI). We found that an individual’s grit was negatively related to the regional fALFF in the right dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC), which is involved in self-regulation, planning, goal setting and maintenance, and counterfactual thinking for reflecting on past failures. The results persisted even after the effects of general intelligence and the ‘big five’ personality traits were adjusted for. More importantly, the fALFF of the right DMPFC played a mediating role in the association between grit and academic performance. Overall, these findings reveal regional fALFF as a neural basis of grit and highlight the right DMPFC as a neural link between grit and academic performance. PMID:27672175

  10. Lateral prefrontal cortex subregions make dissociable contributions during fluid reasoning.

    Hampshire, Adam; Thompson, Russell; Duncan, John; Owen, Adrian M

    2011-01-01

    Reasoning is a key component of adaptable "executive" behavior and is known to depend on a network of frontal and parietal brain regions. However, the mechanisms by which this network supports reasoning and adaptable behavior remain poorly defined. Here, we examine the relationship between reasoning, executive control, and frontoparietal function in a series of nonverbal reasoning experiments. Our results demonstrate that, in accordance with previous studies, a network of frontal and parietal brain regions is recruited during reasoning. Our results also reveal that this network can be fractionated according to how different subregions respond when distinct reasoning demands are manipulated. While increased rule complexity modulates activity within a right lateralized network including the middle frontal gyrus and the superior parietal cortex, analogical reasoning demand-or the requirement to remap rules on to novel features-recruits the left inferior rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and the lateral occipital complex. In contrast, the posterior extent of the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with simpler executive demands, is not differentially sensitive to rule complexity or analogical demand. These findings accord well with the hypothesis that different reasoning demands are supported by different frontal and parietal subregions.

  11. Lateral Prefrontal Cortex Subregions Make Dissociable Contributions during Fluid Reasoning

    Thompson, Russell; Duncan, John; Owen, Adrian M.

    2011-01-01

    Reasoning is a key component of adaptable “executive” behavior and is known to depend on a network of frontal and parietal brain regions. However, the mechanisms by which this network supports reasoning and adaptable behavior remain poorly defined. Here, we examine the relationship between reasoning, executive control, and frontoparietal function in a series of nonverbal reasoning experiments. Our results demonstrate that, in accordance with previous studies, a network of frontal and parietal brain regions is recruited during reasoning. Our results also reveal that this network can be fractionated according to how different subregions respond when distinct reasoning demands are manipulated. While increased rule complexity modulates activity within a right lateralized network including the middle frontal gyrus and the superior parietal cortex, analogical reasoning demand—or the requirement to remap rules on to novel features—recruits the left inferior rostrolateral prefrontal cortex and the lateral occipital complex. In contrast, the posterior extent of the inferior frontal gyrus, associated with simpler executive demands, is not differentially sensitive to rule complexity or analogical demand. These findings accord well with the hypothesis that different reasoning demands are supported by different frontal and parietal subregions. PMID:20483908

  12. Contralateral Disconnection of the Rat Prelimbic Cortex and Dorsomedial Striatum Impairs Cue-Guided Behavioral Switching

    Baker, Phillip M.; Ragozzino, Michael E.

    2014-01-01

    Switches in reward outcomes or reward-predictive cues are two fundamental ways in which information is used to flexibly shift response patterns. The rat prelimbic cortex and dorsomedial striatum support behavioral flexibility based on a change in outcomes. The present experiments investigated whether these two brain regions are necessary for…

  13. Cooling of the auditory cortex modifies neuronal activity in the inferior colliculus in rats

    Popelář, Jiří; Šuta, Daniel; Lindovský, Jiří; Bureš, Zbyněk; Pysaněnko, Kateryna; Chumak, Tetyana; Syka, Josef

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 332, feb (2016), s. 7-16 ISSN 0378-5955 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069; GA ČR(CZ) GAP303/12/1347 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : auditory cortex * cooling * cortical inactivation * efferent system Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 2.906, year: 2016

  14. Metabolic changes in the auditory cortex in presbycusis demonstrated by MR spectroscopy

    Profant, Oliver; Balogová, Zuzana; Dezortová, M.; Wagnerová, D.; Hájek, M.; Syka, Josef

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 48, č. 8 (2013), s. 795-800 ISSN 0531-5565 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP304/10/1872 Grant - others:GA MZd(CZ) 00023001IKEM Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : Presbycusis * Auditory cortex * MR spectroscopy Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.529, year: 2013

  15. Advanced age dissociates dual functions of the perirhinal cortex.

    Burke, Sara N; Maurer, Andrew P; Nematollahi, Saman; Uprety, Ajay; Wallace, Jenelle L; Barnes, Carol A

    2014-01-08

    The perirhinal cortex (PRC) is proposed to both represent high-order sensory information and maintain those representations across delays. These cognitive processes are required for recognition memory, which declines during normal aging. Whether or not advanced age affects the ability of PRC principal cells to support these dual roles, however, is not known. The current experiment recorded PRC neurons as young and aged rats traversed a track. When objects were placed on the track, a subset of the neurons became active at discrete locations adjacent to objects. Importantly, the aged rats had a lower proportion of neurons that were activated by objects. Once PRC activity patterns in the presence of objects were established, however, both age groups maintained these representations across delays up to 2 h. These data support the hypothesis that age-associated deficits in stimulus recognition arise from impairments in high-order stimulus representation rather than difficulty in sustaining stable activity patterns over time.

  16. Motivation of extended behaviors by anterior cingulate cortex.

    Holroyd, Clay B; Yeung, Nick

    2012-02-01

    Intense research interest over the past decade has yielded diverse and often discrepant theories about the function of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). In particular, a dichotomy has emerged between neuropsychological theories suggesting a primary role for ACC in motivating or 'energizing' behavior, and neuroimaging-inspired theories emphasizing its contribution to cognitive control and reinforcement learning. To reconcile these views, we propose that ACC supports the selection and maintenance of 'options' - extended, context-specific sequences of behavior directed toward particular goals - that are learned through a process of hierarchical reinforcement learning. This theory accounts for ACC activity in relation to learning and control while simultaneously explaining the effects of ACC damage as disrupting the motivational context supporting the production of goal-directed action sequences. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Multisensory and Modality Specific Processing of Visual Speech in Different Regions of the Premotor Cortex

    Daniel eCallan

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Behavioral and neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that brain regions involved with speech production also support speech perception, especially under degraded conditions. The premotor cortex has been shown to be active during both observation and execution of action (‘Mirror System’ properties, and may facilitate speech perception by mapping unimodal and multimodal sensory features onto articulatory speech gestures. For this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study, participants identified vowels produced by a speaker in audio-visual (saw the speaker’s articulating face and heard her voice, visual only (only saw the speaker’s articulating face, and audio only (only heard the speaker’s voice conditions with varying audio signal-to-noise ratios in order to determine the regions of the premotor cortex involved with multisensory and modality specific processing of visual speech gestures. The task was designed so that identification could be made with a high level of accuracy from visual only stimuli to control for task difficulty and differences in intelligibility. The results of the fMRI analysis for visual only and audio-visual conditions showed overlapping activity in inferior frontal gyrus and premotor cortex. The left ventral inferior premotor cortex showed properties of multimodal (audio-visual enhancement with a degraded auditory signal. The left inferior parietal lobule and right cerebellum also showed these properties. The left ventral superior and dorsal premotor cortex did not show this multisensory enhancement effect, but there was greater activity for the visual only over audio-visual conditions in these areas. The results suggest that the inferior regions of the ventral premotor cortex are involved with integrating multisensory information, whereas, more superior and dorsal regions of the premotor cortex are involved with mapping unimodal (in this case visual sensory features of the speech signal with

  18. Category-specific responses to faces and objects in primate auditory cortex

    Kari L Hoffman

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Auditory and visual signals often occur together, and the two sensory channels are known to infl uence each other to facilitate perception. The neural basis of this integration is not well understood, although other forms of multisensory infl uences have been shown to occur at surprisingly early stages of processing in cortex. Primary visual cortex neurons can show frequency-tuning to auditory stimuli, and auditory cortex responds selectively to certain somatosensory stimuli, supporting the possibility that complex visual signals may modulate early stages of auditory processing. To elucidate which auditory regions, if any, are responsive to complex visual stimuli, we recorded from auditory cortex and the superior temporal sulcus while presenting visual stimuli consisting of various objects, neutral faces, and facial expressions generated during vocalization. Both objects and conspecifi c faces elicited robust fi eld potential responses in auditory cortex sites, but the responses varied by category: both neutral and vocalizing faces had a highly consistent negative component (N100 followed by a broader positive component (P180 whereas object responses were more variable in time and shape, but could be discriminated consistently from the responses to faces. The face response did not vary within the face category, i.e., for expressive vs. neutral face stimuli. The presence of responses for both objects and neutral faces suggests that auditory cortex receives highly informative visual input that is not restricted to those stimuli associated with auditory components. These results reveal selectivity for complex visual stimuli in a brain region conventionally described as non-visual unisensory cortex.

  19. Seeing fearful body language rapidly freezes the observer's motor cortex.

    Borgomaneri, Sara; Vitale, Francesca; Gazzola, Valeria; Avenanti, Alessio

    2015-04-01

    Fearful body language is a salient signal alerting the observer to the presence of a potential threat in the surrounding environment. Although detecting potential threats may trigger an immediate reduction of motor output in animals (i.e., freezing behavior), it is unclear at what point in time similar reductions occur in the human motor cortex and whether they originate from excitatory or inhibitory processes. Using single-pulse and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), here we tested the hypothesis that the observer's motor cortex implements extremely fast suppression of motor readiness when seeing emotional bodies - and fearful body expressions in particular. Participants observed pictures of body postures and categorized them as happy, fearful or neutral while receiving TMS over the right or left motor cortex at 100-125 msec after picture onset. In three different sessions, we assessed corticospinal excitability, short intracortical inhibition (SICI) and intracortical facilitation (ICF). Independently of the stimulated hemisphere and the time of the stimulation, watching fearful bodies suppressed ICF relative to happy and neutral body expressions. Moreover, happy expressions reduced ICF relative to neutral actions. No changes in corticospinal excitability or SICI were found during the task. These findings show extremely rapid bilateral modulation of the motor cortices when seeing emotional bodies, with stronger suppression of motor readiness when seeing fearful bodies. Our results provide neurophysiological support for the evolutionary notions that emotion perception is inherently linked to action systems and that fear-related cues induce an urgent mobilization of motor reactions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. [Subcortical laminar heterotopia 'double cortex syndrome'].

    Teplyshova, A M; Gaskin, V V; Kustov, G V; Gudkova, A A; Luzin, R V; Trifonov, I S; Lebedeva, A V

    2017-01-01

    This article presents a clinical case of a 29-year-old patient with 'Double cortex syndrome' with epilepsy, intellectual and mental disorders. Subcortical band heterotopia is a rare disorder of neuronal migration. Such patients typically present with epilepsy and variable degrees of mental retardation and behavioral and intellectual disturbances. The main diagnostic method is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

  1. Motor cortex stimulation: role of computer modeling

    Manola, L.; Holsheimer, J.; Sakas, D.E.; Simpson, B.A

    Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is a promising clinical technique used to treat chronic, otherwise intractable pain. However, the mechanisms by which the neural elements that are stimulated during MCS induce pain relief are not understood. Neither is it known which neural elements (fibers (parallel

  2. Postictal inhibition of the somatosensory cortex

    Beniczky, Sándor; Jovanovic, Marina; Atkins, Mary Doreen

    2011-01-01

    Transient suppression of the motor cortex and of the speech areas cause well-described postictal phenomena following seizures involving the respective cortical areas. Pain is a rare symptom in epileptic seizures. We present a patient with painful tonic seizures in the left leg. The amplitude...

  3. Primary Auditory Cortex Regulates Threat Memory Specificity

    Wigestrand, Mattis B.; Schiff, Hillary C.; Fyhn, Marianne; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Sears, Robert M.

    2017-01-01

    Distinguishing threatening from nonthreatening stimuli is essential for survival and stimulus generalization is a hallmark of anxiety disorders. While auditory threat learning produces long-lasting plasticity in primary auditory cortex (Au1), it is not clear whether such Au1 plasticity regulates memory specificity or generalization. We used…

  4. Excessive oral intake caffeine altered cerebral cortex ...

    Caffeine is commonly consumed in an effort to enhance speed in performance and wakefulness. However, little is known about the deleterious effects it can produce on the brain, this study aimed at determining the extents of effects and damage that can be caused by excessive consumption of caffeine on the cerebral cortex ...

  5. Maps of space in human frontoparietal cortex.

    Jerde, Trenton A; Curtis, Clayton E

    2013-12-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) are neural substrates for spatial cognition. We here review studies in which we tested the hypothesis that human frontoparietal cortex may function as a priority map. According to priority map theory, objects or locations in the visual world are represented by neural activity that is proportional to their attentional priority. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we first identified topographic maps in PFC and PPC as candidate priority maps of space. We then measured fMRI activity in candidate priority maps during the delay periods of a covert attention task, a spatial working memory task, and a motor planning task to test whether the activity depended on the particular spatial cognition. Our hypothesis was that some, but not all, candidate priority maps in PFC and PPC would be agnostic with regard to what was being prioritized, in that their activity would reflect the location in space across tasks rather than a particular kind of spatial cognition (e.g., covert attention). To test whether patterns of delay period activity were interchangeable during the spatial cognitive tasks, we used multivariate classifiers. We found that decoders trained to predict the locations on one task (e.g., working memory) cross-predicted the locations on the other tasks (e.g., covert attention and motor planning) in superior precentral sulcus (sPCS) and in a region of intraparietal sulcus (IPS2), suggesting that these patterns of maintenance activity may be interchangeable across the tasks. Such properties make sPCS in frontal cortex and IPS2 in parietal cortex viable priority map candidates, and suggest that these areas may be the human homologs of the monkey frontal eye field (FEF) and lateral intraparietal area (LIP). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. [Raman spectra of monkey cerebral cortex tissue].

    Zhu, Ji-chun; Guo, Jian-yu; Cai, Wei-ying; Wang, Zu-geng; Sun, Zhen-rong

    2010-01-01

    Monkey cerebral cortex, an important part in the brain to control action and thought activities, is mainly composed of grey matter and nerve cell. In the present paper, the in situ Raman spectra of the cerebral cortex of the birth, teenage and aged monkeys were achieved for the first time. The results show that the Raman spectra for the different age monkey cerebral cortex exhibit most obvious changes in the regions of 1000-1400 and 2800-3000 cm(-1). With monkey growing up, the relative intensities of the Raman bands at 1313 and 2885 cm(-1) mainly assigned to CH2 chain vibrational mode of lipid become stronger and stronger whereas the relative intensities of the Raman bands at 1338 and 2932 cm(-1) mainly assigned to CH3 chain vibrational mode of protein become weaker and weaker. In addition, the two new Raman bands at 1296 and 2850 cm(-1) are only observed in the aged monkey cerebral cortex, therefore, the two bands can be considered as a character or "marker" to differentiate the caducity degree with monkey growth In order to further explore the changes, the relative intensity ratios of the Raman band at 1313 cm(-1) to that at 1338 cm(-1) and the Raman band at 2885 cm(-1) to that at 2 932 cm(-1), I1313/I1338 and I2885/I2932, which are the lipid-to-protein ratios, are introduced to denote the degree of the lipid content. The results show that the relative intensity ratios increase significantly with monkey growth, namely, the lipid content in the cerebral cortex increases greatly with monkey growth. So, the authors can deduce that the overmuch lipid is an important cause to induce the caducity. Therefore, the results will be a powerful assistance and valuable parameter to study the order of life growth and diagnose diseases.

  7. Medial frontal cortex and response conflict: Evidence from human intracranial EEG and medial frontal cortex lesion

    Cohen, M.X.; Ridderinkhof, K.R.; Haupt, S.; Elger, C.E.; Fell, J.

    2008-01-01

    The medial frontal cortex (MFC) has been implicated in the monitoring and selection of actions in the face of competing alternatives, but much remains unknown about its functional properties, including electrophysiological oscillations, during response conflict tasks. Here, we recorded intracranial

  8. Alterations of the cerebral cortex in sporadic small vessel disease: A systematic review of in vivo MRI data.

    Peres, Roxane; De Guio, François; Chabriat, Hugues; Jouvent, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Cerebral small vessel diseases of the brain are a major determinant of cognitive impairment in the elderly. In small vessel diseases, the most easily identifiable lesions, both at post-mortem evaluation and magnetic resonance imaging, lie in subcortical areas. However, recent results obtained post-mortem, particularly in severe cases, have highlighted the burden of cortex lesions such as microinfarcts and diffuse neuronal loss. The recent development of image post-processing methods allows now assessing in vivo multiple aspects of the cerebral cortex. This systematic review aimed to analyze in vivo magnetic resonance imaging studies evaluating cortex alterations at different stages of small vessel diseases. Studies assessing the relationships between small vessel disease magnetic resonance imaging markers obtained at the subcortical level and cortex estimates were reviewed both in community-dwelling elderly and in patients with symptomatic small vessel diseases. Thereafter, studies analyzing cortex estimates in small vessel disease patients compared with healthy subjects were evaluated. The results support that important cortex alterations develop along the course of small vessel diseases independently of concomitant neurodegenerative processes. Easy detection and quantification of cortex changes in small vessel diseases as well as understanding their underlying mechanisms are challenging tasks for better understanding cognitive decline in small vessel diseases. © The Author(s) 2016.

  9. A computational role for bistability and traveling waves in motor cortex

    Stewart eHeitmann

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive changes in behavior require rapid changes in brain states yet the brain must also remain stable. We investigated two neural mechanisms for evoking rapid transitions between spatiotemporal synchronization patterns of beta oscillations (13--30Hz in motor cortex. Cortex was modeled as a sheet of neural oscillators that were spatially coupled using a center-surround connection topology. Manipulating the inhibitory surround was found to evoke reliable transitions between synchronous oscillation patterns and traveling waves. These transitions modulated the simulated local field potential in agreement with physiological observations in humans. Intermediate levels of surround inhibition were also found to produce bistable coupling topologies that supported both waves and synchrony. State-dependent perturbation between bistable states produced very rapid transitions but were less reliable. We surmise that motor cortex may thus employ state-dependent computation to achieve very rapid changes between bistable motor states when the demand for speed exceeds the demand for accuracy.

  10. Regulation of cerebral cortex development by Rho GTPases: insights from in vivo studies

    Roberta eAzzarelli

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The cerebral cortex is the site of higher human cognitive and motor functions. Histologically, it is organized into six horizontal layers, each containing unique populations of molecularly and functionally distinct excitatory projection neurons and inhibitory interneurons. The stereotyped cellular distribution of cortical neurons is crucial for the formation of functional neural circuits and it is predominantly established during embryonic development. Cortical neuron development is a multiphasic process characterized by sequential steps of neural progenitor proliferation, cell cycle exit, neuroblast migration and neuronal differentiation. This series of events requires an extensive and dynamic remodeling of the cell cytoskeleton at each step of the process. As major regulators of the cytoskeleton, the family of small Rho GTPases has been shown to play essential functions in cerebral cortex development. Here we review in vivo findings that support the contribution of Rho GTPases to cortical projection neuron development and we address their involvement in the etiology of cerebral cortex malformations.

  11. Expectancy-related changes in firing of dopamine neurons depend on orbitofrontal cortex.

    Takahashi, Yuji K; Roesch, Matthew R; Wilson, Robert C; Toreson, Kathy; O'Donnell, Patricio; Niv, Yael; Schoenbaum, Geoffrey

    2011-10-30

    The orbitofrontal cortex has been hypothesized to carry information regarding the value of expected rewards. Such information is essential for associative learning, which relies on comparisons between expected and obtained reward for generating instructive error signals. These error signals are thought to be conveyed by dopamine neurons. To test whether orbitofrontal cortex contributes to these error signals, we recorded from dopamine neurons in orbitofrontal-lesioned rats performing a reward learning task. Lesions caused marked changes in dopaminergic error signaling. However, the effect of lesions was not consistent with a simple loss of information regarding expected value. Instead, without orbitofrontal input, dopaminergic error signals failed to reflect internal information about the impending response that distinguished externally similar states leading to differently valued future rewards. These results are consistent with current conceptualizations of orbitofrontal cortex as supporting model-based behavior and suggest an unexpected role for this information in dopaminergic error signaling.

  12. Identity-specific coding of future rewards in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

    Howard, James D; Gottfried, Jay A; Tobler, Philippe N; Kahnt, Thorsten

    2015-04-21

    Nervous systems must encode information about the identity of expected outcomes to make adaptive decisions. However, the neural mechanisms underlying identity-specific value signaling remain poorly understood. By manipulating the value and identity of appetizing food odors in a pattern-based imaging paradigm of human classical conditioning, we were able to identify dissociable predictive representations of identity-specific reward in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and identity-general reward in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Reward-related functional coupling between OFC and olfactory (piriform) cortex and between vmPFC and amygdala revealed parallel pathways that support identity-specific and -general predictive signaling. The demonstration of identity-specific value representations in OFC highlights a role for this region in model-based behavior and reveals mechanisms by which appetitive behavior can go awry.

  13. The processing of unexpected positive response outcomes in the mediofrontal cortex.

    Ferdinand, Nicola K; Mecklinger, Axel; Kray, Jutta; Gehring, William J

    2012-08-29

    The human mediofrontal cortex, especially the anterior cingulate cortex, is commonly assumed to contribute to higher cognitive functions like performance monitoring. How exactly this is achieved is currently the subject of lively debate but there is evidence that an event's valence and its expectancy play important roles. One prominent theory, the reinforcement learning theory by Holroyd and colleagues (2002, 2008), assigns a special role to feedback valence, while the prediction of response-outcome (PRO) model by Alexander and Brown (2010, 2011) claims that the mediofrontal cortex is sensitive to unexpected events regardless of their valence. However, paradigms examining this issue have included confounds that fail to separate valence and expectancy. In the present study, we tested the two competing theories of performance monitoring by using an experimental task that separates valence and unexpectedness of performance feedback. The feedback-related negativity of the event-related potential, which is commonly assumed to be a reflection of mediofrontal cortex activity, was elicited not only by unexpected negative feedback, but also by unexpected positive feedback. This implies that the mediofrontal cortex is sensitive to the unexpectedness of events in general rather than their valence and by this supports the PRO model.

  14. Pure apraxia of speech due to infarct in premotor cortex.

    Patira, Riddhi; Ciniglia, Lauren; Calvert, Timothy; Altschuler, Eric L

    Apraxia of speech (AOS) is now recognized as an articulation disorder distinct from dysarthria and aphasia. Various lesions have been associated with AOS in studies that are limited in precise localization due to variability in size and type of pathology. We present a case of pure AOS in setting of an acute stroke to localize more precisely than ever before the brain area responsible for AOS, dorsal premotor cortex (dPMC). The dPMC is in unique position to plan and coordinate speech production by virtue of its connection with nearby motor cortex harboring corticobulbar tract, supplementary motor area, inferior frontal operculum, and temporo-parietal area via the dorsal stream of dual-stream model of speech processing. The role of dPMC is further supported as part of dorsal stream in the dual-stream model of speech processing as well as controller in the hierarchical state feedback control model. Copyright © 2017 Polish Neurological Society. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

  15. The development of human visual cortex and clinical implications

    Siu CR

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Caitlin R Siu,1 Kathryn M Murphy1,2 1McMaster Integrative Neuroscience Discovery and Study (MiNDS Program, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada; 2Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada Abstract: The primary visual cortex (V1 is the first cortical area that processes visual information. Normal development of V1 depends on binocular vision during the critical period, and age-related losses of vision are linked with neurobiological changes in V1. Animal studies have provided important details about the neurobiological mechanisms in V1 that support normal vision or are changed by visual diseases. There is very little information, however, about those neurobiological mechanisms in human V1. That lack of information has hampered the translation of biologically inspired treatments from preclinical models to effective clinical treatments. We have studied human V1 to characterize the expression of neurobiological mechanisms that regulate visual perception and neuroplasticity. We have identified five stages of development for human V1 that start in infancy and continue across the life span. Here, we describe these stages, compare them with visual and anatomical milestones, and discuss implications for translating treatments for visual disorders that depend on neuroplasticity of V1 function. Keywords: development, human visual cortex, amblyopia, synaptic plasticity, glutamatergic, GABAergic, receptors

  16. Medial prefrontal cortex role in recognition memory in rodents.

    Morici, Juan Facundo; Bekinschtein, Pedro; Weisstaub, Noelia V

    2015-10-01

    The study of the neurobiology of recognition memory, defined by the integration of the different components of experiences that support recollection of past experiences have been a challenge for memory researches for many years. In the last twenty years, with the development of the spontaneous novel object recognition task and all its variants this has started to change. The features of recognition memory include a particular object or person ("what"), the context in which the experience took place, which can be the arena itself or the location within a particular arena ("where") and the particular time at which the event occurred ("when"). This definition instead of the historical anthropocentric one allows the study of this type of episodic memory in animal models. Some forms of recognition memory that require integration of different features recruit the medial prefrontal cortex. Focusing on findings from spontaneous recognition memory tasks performed by rodents, this review concentrates on the description of previous works that have examined the role that the medial prefrontal cortex has on the different steps of recognition memory. We conclude that this structure, independently of the task used, is required at different memory stages when the task cannot be solved by a single item strategy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Contextual modulation and stimulus selectivity in extrastriate cortex.

    Krause, Matthew R; Pack, Christopher C

    2014-11-01

    Contextual modulation is observed throughout the visual system, using techniques ranging from single-neuron recordings to behavioral experiments. Its role in generating feature selectivity within the retina and primary visual cortex has been extensively described in the literature. Here, we describe how similar computations can also elaborate feature selectivity in the extrastriate areas of both the dorsal and ventral streams of the primate visual system. We discuss recent work that makes use of normalization models to test specific roles for contextual modulation in visual cortex function. We suggest that contextual modulation renders neuronal populations more selective for naturalistic stimuli. Specifically, we discuss contextual modulation's role in processing optic flow in areas MT and MST and for representing naturally occurring curvature and contours in areas V4 and IT. We also describe how the circuitry that supports contextual modulation is robust to variations in overall input levels. Finally, we describe how this theory relates to other hypothesized roles for contextual modulation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex, adding value to autobiographical memories.

    Lin, Wen-Jing; Horner, Aidan J; Burgess, Neil

    2016-06-24

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been consistently implicated in autobiographical memory recall and decision making. Its function in decision making tasks is believed to relate to value representation, but its function in autobiographical memory recall is not yet clear. We hypothesised that the mPFC represents the subjective value of elements during autobiographical memory retrieval. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging during an autobiographical memory recall task, we found that the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was parametrically modulated by the affective values of items in participants' memories when they were recalling and evaluating these items. An unrelated modulation by the participant's familiarity with the items was also observed. During retrieval of the event, the BOLD signal in the same region was modulated by the personal significance and emotional intensity of the memory, which was correlated with the values of the items within them. These results support the idea that vmPFC processes self-relevant information, and suggest that it is involved in representing the personal emotional values of the elements comprising autobiographical memories.

  19. Spatial diversity of spontaneous activity in the cortex

    Andrew Yong-Yi Tan

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The neocortex is a layered sheet across which a basic organization is thought to widely apply. The variety of spontaneous activity patterns is similar throughout the cortex, consistent with the notion of a basic cortical organization. However, the basic organization is only an outline which needs adjustments and additions to account for the structural and functional diversity across cortical layers and areas. Such diversity suggests that spontaneous activity is spatially diverse in any particular behavioral state. Accordingly, this review summarizes the laminar and areal diversity in cortical activity during fixation and slow oscillations, and the effects of attention, anesthesia and plasticity on the cortical distribution of spontaneous activity. Among questions that remain open, characterizing the spatial diversity in spontaneous membrane potential may help elucidate how differences in circuitry among cortical regions supports their varied functions. More work is also needed to understand whether cortical spontaneous activity not only reflects cortical circuitry, but also contributes to determining the outcome of plasticity, so that it is itself a factor shaping the functional diversity of the cortex.

  20. Morphological and functional correlates of VIP neurons in cerebral cortex

    Magistretti, P.J.; Morrison, J.H.; Shoemaker, W.J.; Bloom, F.E.

    1984-01-01

    Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) promotes the hydrolysis of 3H-glycogen newly synthesized from 3H-glucose by mouse cortical slices. This effect occurs rapidly, approximately 50% of the maximal effect being reached within one minute. The maximal effect is achieved after 5 minutes and maintained for at least 25 minutes. Furthermore the glycogenolytic effect of VIP is reversible, and pharmacologically specific. Thus several neuropeptides present in cerebral cortex such as cholecystokinin-8, somatostatin-28, somatostatin-14, met-enkephalin, leu-enkephalin, do not affect 3H-glycogen levels. VIP fragments 6-28, 16-28 and 21-28 are similarly inactive. Furthermore, among the peptides which share structural homologies with VIP, such as glucagon, secretin, PHI-27 and Gastric Inhibitory Peptide, only secretin and PHI-27 promote 3H-glycogen hydrolysis, with EC50 of 500 and 300 nM respectively, compared to an EC50 of 25 nM for VIP. Immunohistochemical observations indicate that each VIP-containing bipolar cell is identified with a unique radical cortical volume, which is generally between 15-60 micrograms in diameter and overlaps with the contiguous domains of neighbouring VIP-containing bipolar cells. Thus this set of biochemical and morphological observations support the notion that VIP neurons have the capacity to regulate the availability of energy substrates in cerebral cortex locally, within circumscribed, contiguous, radial domains

  1. Misconceptions about mirror-induced motor cortex activation.

    Praamstra, P.; Torney, L.; Rawle, C.J.; Miall, R.C.

    2011-01-01

    Observation of self-produced hand movements through a mirror, creating an illusion of the opposite hand moving, was recently reported to induce ipsilateral motor cortex activation, that is, motor cortex activation for the hand in rest. The reported work goes far beyond earlier work on motor cortex

  2. Gravity induced, asymmetric unloading of indole-3-acetic acid from the stele of Zea mays into the mesocotyl cortex

    Schulze, A.; Bandurski, R.S.

    1987-01-01

    Previous studies from this laboratory have demonstrated an increase within 3 min in both free and ester indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) on the lower side of the mesocotyl cortex of a gravity stimulated Zea mays seedling. Since both free and ester IAA are being transported from endosperm to shoot through the stele these results suggest that the gravity stimulus affects movement of IAA and/or its esters from stele to cortex. To test this postulate they injected 5-( 3 H)-IAA into the endosperm and, after a 30 min period with the plants held vertically, severed the kernel from the shoot and placed the plants in a horizontal position. After 60 min the distribution of radioactivity in the mesocotyl cortex was 55 + 3% in the lower half and 45 + 3% in the upper half. These results support the working theory that a target for the gravity stimulus is the gating mechanism for the movement of hormone from stele to cortex

  3. Anterior cingulate cortex instigates adaptive switches in choice by integrating immediate and delayed components of value in ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

    Economides, Marcos; Guitart-Masip, Marc; Kurth-Nelson, Zeb; Dolan, Raymond J

    2014-02-26

    Actions can lead to an immediate reward or punishment and a complex set of delayed outcomes. Adaptive choice necessitates the brain track and integrate both of these potential consequences. Here, we designed a sequential task whereby the decision to exploit or forego an available offer was contingent on comparing immediate value and a state-dependent future cost of expending a limited resource. Crucially, the dynamics of the task demanded frequent switches in policy based on an online computation of changing delayed consequences. We found that human subjects choose on the basis of a near-optimal integration of immediate reward and delayed consequences, with the latter computed in a prefrontal network. Within this network, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was dynamically coupled to ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) when adaptive switches in choice were required. Our results suggest a choice architecture whereby interactions between ACC and vmPFC underpin an integration of immediate and delayed components of value to support flexible policy switching that accommodates the potential delayed consequences of an action.

  4. Grammatical distinctions in the left frontal cortex.

    Shapiro, K A; Pascual-Leone, A; Mottaghy, F M; Gangitano, M; Caramazza, A

    2001-08-15

    Selective deficits in producing verbs relative to nouns in speech are well documented in neuropsychology and have been associated with left hemisphere frontal cortical lesions resulting from stroke and other neurological disorders. The basis for these impairments is unresolved: Do they arise because of differences in the way grammatical categories of words are organized in the brain, or because of differences in the neural representation of actions and objects? We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to suppress the excitability of a portion of left prefrontal cortex and to assess its role in producing nouns and verbs. In one experiment subjects generated real words; in a second, they produced pseudowords as nouns or verbs. In both experiments, response latencies increased for verbs but were unaffected for nouns following rTMS. These results demonstrate that grammatical categories have a neuroanatomical basis and that the left prefrontal cortex is selectively engaged in processing verbs as grammatical objects.

  5. The role of prefrontal cortex in psychopathy

    Koenigs, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by remorseless and impulsive antisocial behavior. Given the significant societal costs of the recidivistic criminal activity associated with the disorder, there is a pressing need for more effective treatment strategies, and hence, a better understanding of the psychobiological mechanisms underlying the disorder. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is likely to play an important role in psychopathy. In particular, the ventromedial and anterior cingulate sectors of PFC are theorized to mediate a number of social and affective decision-making functions that appear to be disrupted in psychopathy. This article provides a critical summary of human neuroimaging data implicating prefrontal dysfunction in psychopathy. A growing body of evidence associates psychopathy with structural and functional abnormalities in ventromedial PFC and anterior cingulate cortex. Although this burgeoning field still faces a number of methodological challenges and outstanding questions that will need to be resolved by future studies, the research to date has established a link between psychopathy and PFC. PMID:22752782

  6. Monkey cortex through fMRI glasses.

    Vanduffel, Wim; Zhu, Qi; Orban, Guy A

    2014-08-06

    In 1998 several groups reported the feasibility of fMRI experiments in monkeys, with the goal to bridge the gap between invasive nonhuman primate studies and human functional imaging. These studies yielded critical insights in the neuronal underpinnings of the BOLD signal. Furthermore, the technology has been successful in guiding electrophysiological recordings and identifying focal perturbation targets. Finally, invaluable information was obtained concerning human brain evolution. We here provide a comprehensive overview of awake monkey fMRI studies mainly confined to the visual system. We review the latest insights about the topographic organization of monkey visual cortex and discuss the spatial relationships between retinotopy and category- and feature-selective clusters. We briefly discuss the functional layout of parietal and frontal cortex and continue with a summary of some fascinating functional and effective connectivity studies. Finally, we review recent comparative fMRI experiments and speculate about the future of nonhuman primate imaging. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Radial oxygen gradients over rat cortex arterioles

    Galler, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: We present the results of the visualisation of radial oxygen gradients in rats’ cortices and their use in neurocritical management. Methods: PO2 maps of the cortex of 10 wistar rats were obtained with a camera (SensiMOD, PCO, Kehlheim, Germany). Those pictures were analyzed and edited by a custom-made software. We chose a vessel for examination. A matrix, designed to evaluate the cortical O2 partial pressure, was placed vertically to the artery and afterwards multiple regio...

  8. Working Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Funahashi, Shintaro

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in a variety of higher cognitive functions. The concept of working memory is now widely used to understand prefrontal functions. Neurophysiological studies have revealed that stimulus-selective delay-period activity is a neural correlate of the mechanism for temporarily maintaining information in working memory processes. The central executive, which is the master component of Baddeley’s working memory model and is thought to be a function of the prefrontal cortex, controls the performance of other components by allocating a limited capacity of memory resource to each component based on its demand. Recent neurophysiological studies have attempted to reveal how prefrontal neurons achieve the functions of the central executive. For example, the neural mechanisms of memory control have been examined using the interference effect in a dual-task paradigm. It has been shown that this interference effect is caused by the competitive and overloaded recruitment of overlapping neural populations in the prefrontal cortex by two concurrent tasks and that the information-processing capacity of a single neuron is limited to a fixed level, can be flexibly allocated or reallocated between two concurrent tasks based on their needs, and enhances behavioral performance when its allocation to one task is increased. Further, a metamemory task requiring spatial information has been used to understand the neural mechanism for monitoring its own operations, and it has been shown that monitoring the quality of spatial information represented by prefrontal activity is an important factor in the subject's choice and that the strength of spatially selective delay-period activity reflects confidence in decision-making. Although further studies are needed to elucidate how the prefrontal cortex controls memory resource and supervises other systems, some important mechanisms related to the central executive have been identified. PMID:28448453

  9. Spatial integration in mouse primary visual cortex

    Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura

    2013-01-01

    Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in ...

  10. Approach motivation in human cerebral cortex

    Casasanto, Daniel; Brookshire, Geoffrey

    2018-01-01

    Different regions of the human cerebral cortex are specialized for different emotions, but the principles underlying this specialization have remained unknown. According to the sword and shield hypothesis, hemispheric specialization for affective motivation, a basic dimension of human emotion, varies across individuals according to the way they use their hands to perform approach- and avoidance-related actions. In a test of this hypothesis, here we measured approach motivation before and afte...

  11. Bioacoustic Signal Classification in Cat Auditory Cortex

    1994-01-01

    of the cat’s WINER. 1. A. Anatomy of layer IV in cat primary auditory cortex t4,1). J miedial geniculate body Ideintified by projections to binaural...34language" (see for example Tartter, 1986, chapter 8; and Lieberman, 1984). Attempts have been made to train animals (mainly apes, gorillas , _ _ ___I 3...gestures of a gorilla : Language acquisition in another Pongid. Brain and Language, 1978a, 5, 72-97. Patterson, F. Conversations with a gorilla

  12. Visual cortex entrains to sign language.

    Brookshire, Geoffrey; Lu, Jenny; Nusbaum, Howard C; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Casasanto, Daniel

    2017-06-13

    Despite immense variability across languages, people can learn to understand any human language, spoken or signed. What neural mechanisms allow people to comprehend language across sensory modalities? When people listen to speech, electrophysiological oscillations in auditory cortex entrain to slow ([Formula: see text]8 Hz) fluctuations in the acoustic envelope. Entrainment to the speech envelope may reflect mechanisms specialized for auditory perception. Alternatively, flexible entrainment may be a general-purpose cortical mechanism that optimizes sensitivity to rhythmic information regardless of modality. Here, we test these proposals by examining cortical coherence to visual information in sign language. First, we develop a metric to quantify visual change over time. We find quasiperiodic fluctuations in sign language, characterized by lower frequencies than fluctuations in speech. Next, we test for entrainment of neural oscillations to visual change in sign language, using electroencephalography (EEG) in fluent speakers of American Sign Language (ASL) as they watch videos in ASL. We find significant cortical entrainment to visual oscillations in sign language sign is strongest over occipital and parietal cortex, in contrast to speech, where coherence is strongest over the auditory cortex. Nonsigners also show coherence to sign language, but entrainment at frontal sites is reduced relative to fluent signers. These results demonstrate that flexible cortical entrainment to language does not depend on neural processes that are specific to auditory speech perception. Low-frequency oscillatory entrainment may reflect a general cortical mechanism that maximizes sensitivity to informational peaks in time-varying signals.

  13. Does intrinsic motivation enhance motor cortex excitability?

    Radel, Rémi; Pjevac, Dusan; Davranche, Karen; d'Arripe-Longueville, Fabienne; Colson, Serge S; Lapole, Thomas; Gruet, Mathieu

    2016-11-01

    Intrinsic motivation (IM) is often viewed as a spontaneous tendency for action. Recent behavioral and neuroimaging evidence indicate that IM, in comparison to extrinsic motivation (EM), solicits the motor system. Accordingly, we tested whether IM leads to greater excitability of the motor cortex than EM. To test this hypothesis, we used two different tasks to induce the motivational orientation using either words representing each motivational orientation or pictures previously linked to each motivational orientation through associative learning. Single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation over the motor cortex was applied when viewing the stimuli. Electromyographic activity was recorded on the contracted first dorsal interosseous muscle. Two indexes of corticospinal excitability (the amplitude of motor-evoked potential and the length of cortical silent period) were obtained through unbiased automatic detection and analyzed using a mixed model that provided both statistical power and a high level of control over all important individual, task, and stimuli characteristics. Across the two tasks and the two indices of corticospinal excitability, the exposure to IM-related stimuli did not lead to a greater corticospinal excitability than EM-related stimuli or than stimuli with no motivational valence (ps > .20). While these results tend to dismiss the advantage of IM at activating the motor cortex, we suggest alternative hypotheses to explain this lack of effect, which deserves further research. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.

  14. Amodal processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Asplund, Christopher L; Marois, René

    2013-07-10

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., "central executive," Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; "supervisory attentional system," Norman and Shallice, 1986; "response selection bottleneck," Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex.

  15. Levels of conflict in reasoning modulate right lateral prefrontal cortex.

    Stollstorff, Melanie; Vartanian, Oshin; Goel, Vinod

    2012-01-05

    Right lateral prefrontal cortex (rlPFC) has previously been implicated in logical reasoning under conditions of conflict. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study was conducted to explore its role in conflict more precisely. Specifically, we distinguished between belief-logic conflict and belief-content conflict, and examined the role of rlPFC under each condition. The results demonstrated that a specific region of rlPFC is consistently activated under both types of conflict. Moreover, the results of a parametric analysis demonstrated that the same region was modulated by the level of conflict contained in reasoning arguments. This supports the idea that this specific region is engaged to resolve conflict, including during deductive reasoning. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "The Cognitive Neuroscience of Thought". Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Cholinergic receptor binding in the frontal cortex of suicide victims

    Stanley, M.

    1986-01-01

    Because there is a high incidence of individuals diagnosed as having an affective disorder who subsequently commit suicide, the author thought it would be of interest to determine QNB binding in the brains of a large sample of suicide victims, and to compare the findings with a well-matched control group. Brain samples were obtained at autopsy from 22 suicide victims and 22 controls. Frontal cortex samples were diseected, frozen, and stored until assayed. Samples of tissue homogenate were incubated in duplicate with 10 concentrations of tritium-QNB. Specific binding was determined with and without atropine. The results confirmed previous studies in which no changes were noted in suicide versus control brains. While the findings neither disprove nor support the cholinergic hypothesis of depression, they do suggest that the neurochemical basis for the in vivo observations of increased responsivity of depressed individuals to muscarinic cholinergic agents might not involve changes in receptors estimated by QNB binding

  17. Occipital cortex of blind individuals is functionally coupled with executive control areas of frontal cortex.

    Deen, Ben; Saxe, Rebecca; Bedny, Marina

    2015-08-01

    In congenital blindness, the occipital cortex responds to a range of nonvisual inputs, including tactile, auditory, and linguistic stimuli. Are these changes in functional responses to stimuli accompanied by altered interactions with nonvisual functional networks? To answer this question, we introduce a data-driven method that searches across cortex for functional connectivity differences across groups. Replicating prior work, we find increased fronto-occipital functional connectivity in congenitally blind relative to blindfolded sighted participants. We demonstrate that this heightened connectivity extends over most of occipital cortex but is specific to a subset of regions in the inferior, dorsal, and medial frontal lobe. To assess the functional profile of these frontal areas, we used an n-back working memory task and a sentence comprehension task. We find that, among prefrontal areas with overconnectivity to occipital cortex, one left inferior frontal region responds to language over music. By contrast, the majority of these regions responded to working memory load but not language. These results suggest that in blindness occipital cortex interacts more with working memory systems and raise new questions about the function and mechanism of occipital plasticity.

  18. Contextual Learning Induces Dendritic Spine Clustering in Retrosplenial Cortex

    Adam C Frank

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Molecular and electrophysiological studies find convergent evidence suggesting that plasticity within a dendritic tree is not randomly dispersed, but rather clustered into functional groups. Further, results from in silico neuronal modeling show that clustered plasticity is able to increase storage capacity 45 times compared to dispersed plasticity. Recent in vivo work utilizing chronic 2-photon microscopy tested the clustering hypothesis and showed that repetitive motor learning is able to induce clustered addition of new dendritic spines on apical dendrites of L5 neurons in primary motor cortex; moreover, clustered spines were found to be more stable than non-clustered spines, suggesting a physiological role for spine clustering. To further test this hypothesis we used in vivo 2-photon imaging in Thy1-YFP-H mice to chronically examine dendritic spine dynamics in retrosplenial cortex (RSC during spatial learning. RSC is a key component of an extended spatial learning and memory circuit that includes hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Importantly, RSC is known from both lesion and immediate early gene studies to be critically involved in spatial learning and more specifically in contextual fear conditioning. We utilized a modified contextual fear conditioning protocol wherein animals received a mild foot shock each day for five days; this protocol induces gradual increases in context freezing over several days before the animals reach a behavioral plateau. We coupled behavioral training with four separate in vivo imaging sessions, two before training begins, one early in training, and a final session after training is complete. This allowed us to image spine dynamics before training as well as early in learning and after animals had reached behavioral asymptote. We find that this contextual learning protocol induces a statistically significant increase in the formation of clusters of new dendritic spines in trained animals when compared to home

  19. Evoked potentials in large-scale cortical networks elicited by TMS of the visual cortex

    Grossman, Emily D.; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2011-01-01

    Single pulses of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) result in distal and long-lasting oscillations, a finding directly challenging the virtual lesion hypothesis. Previous research supporting this finding has primarily come from stimulation of the motor cortex. We have used single-pulse TMS with simultaneous EEG to target seven brain regions, six of which belong to the visual system [left and right primary visual area V1, motion-sensitive human middle temporal cortex, and a ventral temporal region], as determined with functional MRI-guided neuronavigation, and a vertex “control” site to measure the network effects of the TMS pulse. We found the TMS-evoked potential (TMS-EP) over visual cortex consists mostly of site-dependent theta- and alphaband oscillations. These site-dependent oscillations extended beyond the stimulation site to functionally connected cortical regions and correspond to time windows where the EEG responses maximally diverge (40, 200, and 385 ms). Correlations revealed two site-independent oscillations ∼350 ms after the TMS pulse: a theta-band oscillation carried by the frontal cortex, and an alpha-band oscillation over parietal and frontal cortical regions. A manipulation of stimulation intensity at one stimulation site (right hemisphere V1-V3) revealed sensitivity to the stimulation intensity at different regions of cortex, evidence of intensity tuning in regions distal to the site of stimulation. Together these results suggest that a TMS pulse applied to the visual cortex has a complex effect on brain function, engaging multiple brain networks functionally connected to the visual system with both invariant and site-specific spatiotemporal dynamics. With this characterization of TMS, we propose an alternative to the virtual lesion hypothesis. Rather than a technique that simulates lesions, we propose TMS generates natural brain signals and engages functional networks. PMID:21715670

  20. Functions of delay-period activity in the prefrontal cortex and mnemonic scotomas revisited

    Shintaro eFunahashi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Working memory is one of key concepts to understand functions of the prefrontal cortex. Delay-period activity is an important neural correlate to understand the role of working memory in prefrontal functions. The importance of delay-period activity is that this activity can encode not only visuospatial information but also a variety of information including non-spatial visual features, auditory and tactile stimuli, task rules, expected reward, and numerical quantity. This activity also participates in a variety of information processing including sensory-to-motor information transformation. These mnemonic features of delay-period activity enable to perform various important operations that the prefrontal cortex participates in, such as executive controls, and therefore, support the notion that working memory is an important function to understand prefrontal functions. On the other hand, although experiments using manual versions of the delayed-response task had revealed many important findings, an oculomotor version of this task enabled us to use multiple cue positions, exclude postural orientation during the delay period, and further prove the importance of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. In addition, monkeys with unilateral lesions exhibited specific impairment only in the performance of memory-guided saccades directed toward visual cues in the visual field contralateral to the lesioned hemisphere. This result indicates that memories for visuospatial coordinates in each hemifield are processed primarily in the contralateral prefrontal cortex. This result further strengthened the idea of mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex. Thus, the mnemonic functions of the prefrontal cortex and delay-period activity may not need to be reconsidered, but should be emphasized.

  1. Decision-making in the ventral premotor cortex harbinger of action

    José L. ePardo-Vázquez

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the premotor cortex (PM was once viewed as the substrate of pure motor functions, soon it was realized that it was involved in higher brain functions. By this it is meant that the PM cortex functions would better be explained as motor set, preparation for limb movement or sensory guidance of movement rather than solely by a fixed link to motor performance. These findings, together with a better knowledge of the PM cortex histology and hodology in human and non-human primates prompted quantitative studies of this area combining behavioral tasks with electrophysiological recordings. In addition, the exploration of the PM cortex neurons with qualitative methods also suggested its participation in higher functions. Behavioral choices frequently depend on temporal cues, which together with knowledge of previous outcomes and expectancies are combined to decide and choose a behavioral action. In decision-making the knowledge about the consequences of decisions, either correct or incorrect, is fundamental because they can be used to adapt future behavior. The neuronal correlates of a decision process have been described in several cortical areas of primates. Among them, there is evidence that the monkey ventral premotor cortex (PMv, an anatomical and physiological well-differentiated area of the PM cortex, supports both perceptual decisions and performance monitoring. Here we review the evidence that the steps in a decision making process are encoded in the firing rate of the PMv neurons. This provides compelling evidence suggesting that the PMv is involved in the use of recent and long-term sensory memory to decide, execute and evaluate the outcomes of the subjects’ choices.

  2. Decision-Making in the Ventral Premotor Cortex Harbinger of Action

    Pardo-Vazquez, Jose L.; Padron, Isabel; Fernandez-Rey, Jose; Acuña, Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Although the premotor (PM) cortex was once viewed as the substrate of pure motor functions, soon it was realized that it was involved in higher brain functions. By this it is meant that the PM cortex functions would better be explained as motor set, preparation for limb movement, or sensory guidance of movement rather than solely by a fixed link to motor performance. These findings, together with a better knowledge of the PM cortex histology and hodology in human and non-human primates prompted quantitative studies of this area combining behavioral tasks with electrophysiological recordings. In addition, the exploration of the PM cortex neurons with qualitative methods also suggested its participation in higher functions. Behavioral choices frequently depend on temporal cues, which together with knowledge of previous outcomes and expectancies are combined to decide and choose a behavioral action. In decision-making the knowledge about the consequences of decisions, either correct or incorrect, is fundamental because they can be used to adapt future behavior. The neuronal correlates of a decision process have been described in several cortical areas of primates. Among them, there is evidence that the monkey ventral premotor (PMv) cortex, an anatomical and physiological well-differentiated area of the PM cortex, supports both perceptual decisions and performance monitoring. Here we review the evidence that the steps in a decision-making process are encoded in the firing rate of the PMv neurons. This provides compelling evidence suggesting that the PMv is involved in the use of recent and long-term sensory memory to decide, execute, and evaluate the outcomes of the subjects’ choices. PMID:21991249

  3. Spontaneous brain activity in the sensorimotor cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can be negatively regulated by corticospinal fiber integrity.

    Sako, Wataru; Abe, Takashi; Izumi, Yuishin; Yamazaki, Hiroki; Matsui, Naoko; Harada, Masafumi; Kaji, Ryuji

    2017-05-01

    Previous studies failed to detect reduced value of the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) derived from resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging in the primary motor cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) though primary motor cortex was mainly affected with ALS. We aimed to investigate the cause of masking the abnormality in the primary motor cortex in ALS and usefulness of ALFF for differential diagnosis among diseases showing muscle weakness. We enrolled ten patients with ALS and eleven disease controls showing muscle weakness. Voxel-wise analysis revealed that significant reduction of ALFF value was present in the right sensorimotor cortex in ALS. There was a significant negative correlation between ALFF value in the right sensorimotor cortex and fractional anisotropy (FA) value in the posterior limbs of the internal capsule (PLIC). For a diagnostic tool, the area under receiver operating characteristic curve improved if the ALS patients with disease duration >1 year were excluded. The present findings raised the possibility of usefulness of ALFF value in the sensorimotor cortex for differential diagnosis of ALS, and supported the notion that adjustment for FA value in the PLIC could improve accuracy.

  4. Saturation in Phosphene Size with Increasing Current Levels Delivered to Human Visual Cortex.

    Bosking, William H; Sun, Ping; Ozker, Muge; Pei, Xiaomei; Foster, Brett L; Beauchamp, Michael S; Yoshor, Daniel

    2017-07-26

    Electrically stimulating early visual cortex results in a visual percept known as a phosphene. Although phosphenes can be evoked by a wide range of electrode sizes and current amplitudes, they are invariably described as small. To better understand this observation, we electrically stimulated 93 electrodes implanted in the visual cortex of 13 human subjects who reported phosphene size while stimulation current was varied. Phosphene size increased as the stimulation current was initially raised above threshold, but then rapidly reached saturation. Phosphene size also depended on the location of the stimulated site, with size increasing with distance from the foveal representation. We developed a model relating phosphene size to the amount of activated cortex and its location within the retinotopic map. First, a sigmoidal curve was used to predict the amount of activated cortex at a given current. Second, the amount of active cortex was converted to degrees of visual angle by multiplying by the inverse cortical magnification factor for that retinotopic location. This simple model accurately predicted phosphene size for a broad range of stimulation currents and cortical locations. The unexpected saturation in phosphene sizes suggests that the functional architecture of cerebral cortex may impose fundamental restrictions on the spread of artificially evoked activity and this may be an important consideration in the design of cortical prosthetic devices. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the neural basis for phosphenes, the visual percepts created by electrical stimulation of visual cortex, is fundamental to the development of a visual cortical prosthetic. Our experiments in human subjects implanted with electrodes over visual cortex show that it is the activity of a large population of cells spread out across several millimeters of tissue that supports the perception of a phosphene. In addition, we describe an important feature of the production of phosphenes by

  5. Trunk Robot Rehabilitation Training with Active Stepping Reorganizes and Enriches Trunk Motor Cortex Representations in Spinal Transected Rats

    Oza, Chintan S.

    2015-01-01

    Trunk motor control is crucial for postural stability and propulsion after low thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI) in animals and humans. Robotic rehabilitation aimed at trunk shows promise in SCI animal models and patients. However, little is known about the effect of SCI and robot rehabilitation of trunk on cortical motor representations. We previously showed reorganization of trunk motor cortex after adult SCI. Non-stepping training also exacerbated some SCI-driven plastic changes. Here we examine effects of robot rehabilitation that promotes recovery of hindlimb weight support functions on trunk motor cortex representations. Adult rats spinal transected as neonates (NTX rats) at the T9/10 level significantly improve function with our robot rehabilitation paradigm, whereas treadmill-only trained do not. We used intracortical microstimulation to map motor cortex in two NTX groups: (1) treadmill trained (control group); and (2) robot-assisted treadmill trained (improved function group). We found significant robot rehabilitation-driven changes in motor cortex: (1) caudal trunk motor areas expanded; (2) trunk coactivation at cortex sites increased; (3) richness of trunk cortex motor representations, as examined by cumulative entropy and mutual information for different trunk representations, increased; (4) trunk motor representations in the cortex moved toward more normal topography; and (5) trunk and forelimb motor representations that SCI-driven plasticity and compensations had caused to overlap were segregated. We conclude that effective robot rehabilitation training induces significant reorganization of trunk motor cortex and partially reverses some plastic changes that may be adaptive in non-stepping paraplegia after SCI. PMID:25948267

  6. Trunk robot rehabilitation training with active stepping reorganizes and enriches trunk motor cortex representations in spinal transected rats.

    Oza, Chintan S; Giszter, Simon F

    2015-05-06

    Trunk motor control is crucial for postural stability and propulsion after low thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI) in animals and humans. Robotic rehabilitation aimed at trunk shows promise in SCI animal models and patients. However, little is known about the effect of SCI and robot rehabilitation of trunk on cortical motor representations. We previously showed reorganization of trunk motor cortex after adult SCI. Non-stepping training also exacerbated some SCI-driven plastic changes. Here we examine effects of robot rehabilitation that promotes recovery of hindlimb weight support functions on trunk motor cortex representations. Adult rats spinal transected as neonates (NTX rats) at the T9/10 level significantly improve function with our robot rehabilitation paradigm, whereas treadmill-only trained do not. We used intracortical microstimulation to map motor cortex in two NTX groups: (1) treadmill trained (control group); and (2) robot-assisted treadmill trained (improved function group). We found significant robot rehabilitation-driven changes in motor cortex: (1) caudal trunk motor areas expanded; (2) trunk coactivation at cortex sites increased; (3) richness of trunk cortex motor representations, as examined by cumulative entropy and mutual information for different trunk representations, increased; (4) trunk motor representations in the cortex moved toward more normal topography; and (5) trunk and forelimb motor representations that SCI-driven plasticity and compensations had caused to overlap were segregated. We conclude that effective robot rehabilitation training induces significant reorganization of trunk motor cortex and partially reverses some plastic changes that may be adaptive in non-stepping paraplegia after SCI. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/357174-16$15.00/0.

  7. A threat to a virtual hand elicits motor cortex activation.

    González-Franco, Mar; Peck, Tabitha C; Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni; Slater, Mel

    2014-03-01

    We report an experiment where participants observed an attack on their virtual body as experienced in an immersive virtual reality (IVR) system. Participants sat by a table with their right hand resting upon it. In IVR, they saw a virtual table that was registered with the real one, and they had a virtual body that substituted their real body seen from a first person perspective. The virtual right hand was collocated with their real right hand. Event-related brain potentials were recorded in two conditions, one where the participant's virtual hand was attacked with a knife and a control condition where the knife only struck the virtual table. Significantly greater P450 potentials were obtained in the attack condition confirming our expectations that participants had a strong illusion of the virtual hand being their own, which was also strongly supported by questionnaire responses. Higher levels of subjective virtual hand ownership correlated with larger P450 amplitudes. Mu-rhythm event-related desynchronization in the motor cortex and readiness potential (C3-C4) negativity were clearly observed when the virtual hand was threatened-as would be expected, if the real hand was threatened and the participant tried to avoid harm. Our results support the idea that event-related potentials may provide a promising non-subjective measure of virtual embodiment. They also support previous experiments on pain observation and are placed into context of similar experiments and studies of body perception and body ownership within cognitive neuroscience.

  8. Orbitofrontal cortex function and structure in depression.

    Drevets, Wayne C

    2007-12-01

    The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of major depression by evidence obtained using neuroimaging, neuropathologic, and lesion analysis techniques. The abnormalities revealed by these techniques show a regional specificity, and suggest that some OFC regions which appear cytoarchitectonically distinct also are functionally distinct with respect to mood regulation. For example, the severity of depression correlates inversely with physiological activity in parts of the posterior lateral and medial OFC, consistent with evidence that dysfunction of the OFC associated with cerebrovascular lesions increases the vulnerability for developing the major depressive syndrome. The posterior lateral and medial OFC function may also be impaired in individuals who develop primary mood disorders, as these patients show grey-matter volumetric reductions, histopathologic abnormalities, and altered hemodynamic responses to emotionally valenced stimuli, probabilistic reversal learning, and reward processing. In contrast, physiological activity in the anteromedial OFC situated in the ventromedial frontal polar cortex increases during the depressed versus the remitted phases of major depressive disorder to an extent that is positively correlated with the severity of depression. Effective antidepressant treatment is associated with a reduction in activity in this region. Taken together these data are compatible with evidence from studies in experimental animals indicating that some orbitofrontal and medial prefrontal cortex regions function to inhibit, while others function to enhance, emotional expression. Alterations in the functional balance between these regions and the circuits they form with anatomically related areas of the temporal lobe, striatum, thalamus, and brain stem thus may underlie the pathophysiology of mood disorders, such as major depression.

  9. Midcingulate cortex: Structure, connections, homologies, functions and diseases.

    Vogt, Brent A

    2016-07-01

    Midcingulate cortex (MCC) has risen in prominence as human imaging identifies unique structural and functional activity therein and this is the first review of its structure, connections, functions and disease vulnerabilities. The MCC has two divisions (anterior, aMCC and posterior, pMCC) that represent functional units and the cytoarchitecture, connections and neurocytology of each is shown with immunohistochemistry and receptor binding. The MCC is not a division of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the "dorsal ACC" designation is a misnomer as it incorrectly implies that MCC is a division of ACC. Interpretation of findings among species and developing models of human diseases requires detailed comparative studies which is shown here for five species with flat maps and immunohistochemistry (human, monkey, rabbit, rat, mouse). The largest neurons in human cingulate cortex are in layer Vb of area 24 d in pMCC which project to the spinal cord. This area is part of the caudal cingulate premotor area which is involved in multisensory orientation of the head and body in space and neuron responses are tuned for the force and direction of movement. In contrast, the rostral cingulate premotor area in aMCC is involved in action-reinforcement associations and selection based on the amount of reward or aversive properties of a potential movement. The aMCC is activated by nociceptive information from the midline, mediodorsal and intralaminar thalamic nuclei which evoke fear and mediates nocifensive behaviors. This subregion also has high dopaminergic afferents and high dopamine-1 receptor binding and is engaged in reward processes. Opposing pain/avoidance and reward/approach functions are selected by assessment of potential outcomes and error detection according to feedback-mediated, decision making. Parietal afferents differentially terminate in MCC and provide for multisensory control in an eye- and head-centric manner. Finally, MCC vulnerability in human disease confirms

  10. Monocular Visual Deprivation Suppresses Excitability in Adult Human Visual Cortex

    Lou, Astrid Rosenstand; Madsen, Kristoffer Hougaard; Paulson, Olaf Bjarne

    2011-01-01

    The adult visual cortex maintains a substantial potential for plasticity in response to a change in visual input. For instance, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that binocular deprivation (BD) increases the cortical excitability for inducing phosphenes with TMS. Here, we...... of visual deprivation has a substantial impact on experience-dependent plasticity of the human visual cortex.......The adult visual cortex maintains a substantial potential for plasticity in response to a change in visual input. For instance, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that binocular deprivation (BD) increases the cortical excitability for inducing phosphenes with TMS. Here, we...... employed TMS to trace plastic changes in adult visual cortex before, during, and after 48 h of monocular deprivation (MD) of the right dominant eye. In healthy adult volunteers, MD-induced changes in visual cortex excitability were probed with paired-pulse TMS applied to the left and right occipital cortex...

  11. Connectivity changes underlying neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity.

    Frank Scharnowski

    Full Text Available Neurofeedback based on real-time functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI is a new approach that allows training of voluntary control over regionally specific brain activity. However, the neural basis of successful neurofeedback learning remains poorly understood. Here, we assessed changes in effective brain connectivity associated with neurofeedback training of visual cortex activity. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM, we found that training participants to increase visual cortex activity was associated with increased effective connectivity between the visual cortex and the superior parietal lobe. Specifically, participants who learned to control activity in their visual cortex showed increased top-down control of the superior parietal lobe over the visual cortex, and at the same time reduced bottom-up processing. These results are consistent with efficient employment of top-down visual attention and imagery, which were the cognitive strategies used by participants to increase their visual cortex activity.

  12. Long-Term Potentiation in the Motor Cortex

    Iriki, Atsushi; Pavlides, Constantine; Keller, Asaf; Asanuma, Hiroshi

    1989-09-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a model for learning and memory processes. Tetanic stimulation of the sensory cortex produces LTP in motor cortical neurons, whereas tetanization of the ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus, which also projects to the motor cortex, does not. However, after simultaneous high-frequency stimulation of both the sensory cortex and the ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus, LTP of thalamic input to motor cortical neurons is induced. This associative LTP occurs only in neurons in the superficial layers of the motor cortex that receive monosynaptic input from both the sensory cortex and the ventrolateral nucleus of the thalamus. Associative LTP in the motor cortex may constitute a basis for the retention of motor skills.

  13. Integration of Visual Information in Auditory Cortex Promotes Auditory Scene Analysis through Multisensory Binding.

    Atilgan, Huriye; Town, Stephen M; Wood, Katherine C; Jones, Gareth P; Maddox, Ross K; Lee, Adrian K C; Bizley, Jennifer K

    2018-02-07

    How and where in the brain audio-visual signals are bound to create multimodal objects remains unknown. One hypothesis is that temporal coherence between dynamic multisensory signals provides a mechanism for binding stimulus features across sensory modalities. Here, we report that when the luminance of a visual stimulus is temporally coherent with the amplitude fluctuations of one sound in a mixture, the representation of that sound is enhanced in auditory cortex. Critically, this enhancement extends to include both binding and non-binding features of the sound. We demonstrate that visual information conveyed from visual cortex via the phase of the local field potential is combined with auditory information within auditory cortex. These data provide evidence that early cross-sensory binding provides a bottom-up mechanism for the formation of cross-sensory objects and that one role for multisensory binding in auditory cortex is to support auditory scene analysis. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Structural and functional analyses of human cerebral cortex using a surface-based atlas

    Van Essen, D. C.; Drury, H. A.

    1997-01-01

    We have analyzed the geometry, geography, and functional organization of human cerebral cortex using surface reconstructions and cortical flat maps of the left and right hemispheres generated from a digital atlas (the Visible Man). The total surface area of the reconstructed Visible Man neocortex is 1570 cm2 (both hemispheres), approximately 70% of which is buried in sulci. By linking the Visible Man cerebrum to the Talairach stereotaxic coordinate space, the locations of activation foci reported in neuroimaging studies can be readily visualized in relation to the cortical surface. The associated spatial uncertainty was empirically shown to have a radius in three dimensions of approximately 10 mm. Application of this approach to studies of visual cortex reveals the overall patterns of activation associated with different aspects of visual function and the relationship of these patterns to topographically organized visual areas. Our analysis supports a distinction between an anterior region in ventral occipito-temporal cortex that is selectively involved in form processing and a more posterior region (in or near areas VP and V4v) involved in both form and color processing. Foci associated with motion processing are mainly concentrated in a region along the occipito-temporal junction, the ventral portion of which overlaps with foci also implicated in form processing. Comparisons between flat maps of human and macaque monkey cerebral cortex indicate significant differences as well as many similarities in the relative sizes and positions of cortical regions known or suspected to be homologous in the two species.

  15. Neural dissociations in attitude strength: Distinct regions of cingulate cortex track ambivalence and certainty.

    Luttrell, Andrew; Stillman, Paul E; Hasinski, Adam E; Cunningham, William A

    2016-04-01

    People's behaviors are often guided by valenced responses to objects in the environment. Beyond positive and negative evaluations, attitudes research has documented the importance of attitude strength--qualities of an attitude that enhance or attenuate its impact and durability. Although neuroscience research has extensively investigated valence, little work exists on other related variables like metacognitive judgments about one's attitudes. It remains unclear, then, whether the various indicators of attitude strength represent a single underlying neural process or whether they reflect independent processes. To examine this, we used functional MRI (fMRI) to identify the neural correlates of attitude strength. Specifically, we focus on ambivalence and certainty, which represent metacognitive judgments that people can make about their evaluations. Although often correlated, prior neuroscience research suggests that these 2 attributes may have distinct neural underpinnings. We investigate this by having participants make evaluative judgments of visually presented words while undergoing fMRI. After scanning, participants rated the degree of ambivalence and certainty they felt regarding their attitudes toward each word. We found that these 2 judgments corresponded to distinct brain regions' activity during the process of evaluation. Ambivalence corresponded to activation in anterior cingulate cortex, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, and posterior cingulate cortex. Certainty, however, corresponded to activation in unique areas of the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex. These results support a model treating ambivalence and certainty as distinct, though related, attitude strength variables, and we discuss implications for both attitudes and neuroscience research. (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  16. Cellular properties of principal neurons in the rat entorhinal cortex. II. The medial entorhinal cortex

    Canto, C.B.; Witter, M.P.

    2012-01-01

    Principal neurons in different medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) layers show variations in spatial modulation that stabilize between 15 and 30 days postnatally. These in vivo variations are likely due to differences in intrinsic membrane properties and integrative capacities of neurons. The latter

  17. Exon microarray analysis of human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in alcoholism.

    Manzardo, Ann M; Gunewardena, Sumedha; Wang, Kun; Butler, Merlin G

    2014-06-01

    Alcohol abuse is associated with cellular and biochemical disturbances that impact upon protein and nucleic acid synthesis, brain development, function, and behavioral responses. To further characterize the genetic influences in alcoholism and the effects of alcohol consumption on gene expression, we used a highly sensitive exon microarray to examine mRNA expression in human frontal cortex of alcoholics and control males. Messenger RNA was isolated from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC; Brodmann area 9) of 7 adult alcoholic (6 males, 1 female, mean age 49 years) and 7 matched controls. Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST array was performed according to standard procedures and the results analyzed at the gene level. Microarray findings were validated using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, and the ontology of disturbed genes characterized using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Decreased mRNA expression was observed for genes involved in cellular adhesion (e.g., CTNNA3, ITGA2), transport (e.g., TF, ABCA8), nervous system development (e.g., LRP2, UGT8, GLDN), and signaling (e.g., RASGRP3, LGR5) with influence over lipid and myelin synthesis (e.g., ASPA, ENPP2, KLK6). IPA identified disturbances in network functions associated with neurological disease and development including cellular assembly and organization impacting on psychological disorders. Our data in alcoholism support a reduction in expression of dlPFC mRNA for genes involved with neuronal growth, differentiation, and signaling that targets white matter of the brain. Copyright © 2014 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  18. The prelimbic cortex uses higher-order cues to modulate both the acquisition and expression of conditioned fear.

    Melissa Judith Sharpe

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The prelimbic (PL cortex allows rodents to adapt their responding under changing experimental circumstances. In line with this, the PL cortex has been implicated in strategy set shifting, attentional set shifting, the resolution of response conflict, and the modulation of attention towards predictive stimuli. One interpretation of this research is that the PL cortex is involved in using information garnered from higher-order cues in the environment to modulate how an animal responds to environmental stimuli. However, data supporting this view of PL function in the aversive domain are lacking. In the following experiments, we attempted to answer two questions. Firstly, we wanted to investigate whether the role of the PL cortex in using higher-order cues to influence responding generalizes across appetitive and aversive domains. Secondly, as much of the research has focused on a role for the PL cortex in performance, we wanted to assess whether this region is also involved in the acquisition of hierarchal associations which facilitate an ability to use higher-order cues to modulate responding. In order to answer these questions, we assessed the impact of PL inactivation during both the acquisition and expression of a contextual bi-conditional discrimination. A contextual bi-conditional discrimination involves presenting two stimuli. In one context, one stimulus is paired with shock while the other is presented without shock. In another context, these contingencies are reversed. Thus, animals have to use the present contextual cues to disambiguate the significance of the stimulus and respond appropriately. We found that PL inactivation disrupted both the encoding and expression of these context-dependent associations. This supports a role for the PL cortex in allowing higher-order cues to modulate both learning about, and responding towards, different cues. We discuss these findings in the broader context of functioning in the medial prefrontal

  19. The contribution of the human posterior parietal cortex to episodic memory

    Sestieri, Carlo; Shulman, Gordon L.; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2017-01-01

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is traditionally associated with attention, perceptual decision making and sensorimotor transformations, but more recent human neuroimaging studies support an additional role in episodic memory retrieval. In this Opinion article, we present a functional–anatomical model of the involvement of the PPC in memory retrieval. Parietal regions involved in perceptual attention and episodic memory are largely segregated and often show a push–pull relationship, poten...

  20. The Role of Medial Prefrontal Cortex in Memory and Decision Making

    Euston, David R.; Gruber, Aaron J.; McNaughton, Bruce L.

    2012-01-01

    Some have claimed that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) mediates decision making. Others suggest mPFC is selectively involved in the retrieval of remote long-term memory. Yet others suggests mPFC supports memory and consolidation on time-scales ranging from seconds to days. How can all these roles be reconciled? We propose that the function of the mPFC is to learn associations between context, locations, events, and corresponding adaptive responses, particularly emotional responses. Thus, ...

  1. Olfactocentric paralimbic cortex morphology in adolescents with bipolar disorder

    Wang, Fei; Kalmar, Jessica H.; Womer, Fay Y.; Edmiston, Erin E.; Chepenik, Lara G.; Chen, Rachel; Spencer, Linda; Blumberg, Hilary P.

    2011-01-01

    The olfactocentric paralimbic cortex plays a critical role in the regulation of emotional and neurovegetative functions that are disrupted in core features of bipolar disorder. Adolescence is thought to be a critical period in both the maturation of the olfactocentric paralimbic cortex and in the emergence of bipolar disorder pathology. Together, these factors implicate a central role for the olfactocentric paralimbic cortex in the development of bipolar disorder and suggest that abnormalitie...

  2. Frequency specific modulation of human somatosensory cortex

    Matteo eFeurra

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Oscillatory neuronal activities are commonly observed in response to sensory stimulation. However, their functional roles are still the subject of debate. One way to probe the roles of oscillatory neural activities is to deliver alternating current to the cortex at biologically relevant frequencies and examine whether such stimulation influences perception and cognition. In this study, we tested whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS over the primary somatosensory cortex (SI could elicit tactile sensations in humans in a frequency dependent manner. We tested the effectiveness of tACS over SI at frequency bands ranging from 2 to 70 Hz. Our results show that stimulation in alpha (10-14 Hz and high gamma (52-70 Hz frequency range produces a tactile sensation in the contralateral hand. A weaker effect was also observed for beta (16-20 Hz stimulation. These findings highlight the frequency-dependency of effective tACS over SI with the effective frequencies corresponding to those observed in previous EEG/MEG studies of tactile perception. Our present study suggests that tACS could be used as a powerful online stimulation technique to reveal the causal roles of oscillatory brain activities.

  3. Cognitive Control Signals in Posterior Cingulate Cortex

    Benjamin eHayden

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Efficiently shifting between tasks is a central function of cognitive control. The role of the default network—a constellation of areas with high baseline activity that declines during task performance—in cognitive control remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that task switching demands cognitive control to shift the balance of processing towards the external world, and therefore predicted that switching between the two tasks would require suppression of activity of neurons within the CGp. To test this idea, we recorded the activity of single neurons in posterior cingulate cortex (CGp, a central node in the default network, in monkeys performing two interleaved tasks. As predicted, we found that basal levels of neuronal activity were reduced following a switch from one task to another and gradually returned to pre-switch baseline on subsequent trials. We failed to observe these effects in lateral intraparietal cortex (LIP, part of the dorsal fronto-parietal cortical attention network directly connected to CGp. These findings indicate that suppression of neuronal activity in CGp facilitates cognitive control, and suggest that activity in the default network reflects processes that directly compete with control processes elsewhere in the brain..

  4. Effects of the Bee Venom Herbal Acupuncture on the Neurotransmitters of the Rat Brain Cortex

    Hyoung-Seok Yun

    2001-02-01

    Full Text Available In order to study the effects of bee venom Herbal Acupuncture on neurotransmitters in the rat brain cortex, herbal acupuncture with bee venom group and normal saline group was performed at LI4 bilaterally of the rat. the average optical density of neurotransmitters from the cerebral cortex was analysed 30 minutes after the herbal aqupuncture, by the immunohistochemistry. The results were as follows: 1. The density of NADPH-diaphorase in bee venom group was increased significantly at the motor cortex, visual cortex, auditory cortex, cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex and perirhinal cortex compared to the normal saline group. 2. The average optical density of vasoactive intestinal peptide in bee venom group had significant changes at the insular cortex, retrosplenial cortex and perirhinal cortex, compared to the normal saline group. 3. The average optical density of neuropeptide-Y in bee venom group increased significantly at the visual cortex and cingulate cortex, compared to the normal saline group.

  5. Brain networks of social action-outcome contingency: The role of the ventral striatum in integrating signals from the sensory cortex and medial prefrontal cortex.

    Sumiya, Motofumi; Koike, Takahiko; Okazaki, Shuntaro; Kitada, Ryo; Sadato, Norihiro

    2017-10-01

    Social interactions can be facilitated by action-outcome contingency, in which self-actions result in relevant responses from others. Research has indicated that the striatal reward system plays a role in generating action-outcome contingency signals. However, the neural mechanisms wherein signals regarding self-action and others' responses are integrated to generate the contingency signal remain poorly understood. We conducted a functional MRI study to test the hypothesis that brain activity representing the self modulates connectivity between the striatal reward system and sensory regions involved in the processing of others' responses. We employed a contingency task in which participants made the listener laugh by telling jokes. Participants reported more pleasure when greater laughter followed their own jokes than those of another. Self-relevant listener's responses produced stronger activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Laughter was associated with activity in the auditory cortex. The ventral striatum exhibited stronger activation when participants made listeners laugh than when another did. In physio-physiological interaction analyses, the ventral striatum showed interaction effects for signals extracted from the mPFC and auditory cortex. These results support the hypothesis that the mPFC, which is implicated in self-related processing, gates sensory input associated with others' responses during value processing in the ventral striatum. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Ontogenetic Development of Sensitivity of the Cerebral Cortex to an Antagonist of GABA(A) Receptor Bicuculline

    Mareš, Pavel; Bernášková, Klára; Kubová, Hana

    2018-01-01

    Roč. 67, č. 1 (2018), s. 149-153 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH15032 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : cerebral cortex * rat * postnatal development * epileptic phenomena * bicuculline Subject RIV: FH - Neurology OBOR OECD: Neurosciences (including psychophysiology Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  7. Subthalamic nucleus involvement in executive functions with increased cognitive load: a subthalamic nucleus and anterior cingulate cortex depth recording study

    Rusnáková-Aulická, Š.; Jurák, Pavel; Chládek, Jan; Daniel, P.; Halámek, Josef; Baláž, M.; Bočková, M.; Chrastina, J.; Rektor, I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 121, č. 10 (2014), s. 1287-1296 ISSN 0300-9564 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP103/11/0933 Institutional support: RVO:68081731 Keywords : ERD/S * Anterior cingulate cortex * Subthalamic nucleus * Flanker test * Executive functions Subject RIV: BD - Theory of Information Impact factor: 2.402, year: 2014

  8. Consolidation of visual associative long-term memory in the temporal cortex of primates.

    Miyashita, Y; Kameyama, M; Hasegawa, I; Fukushima, T

    1998-01-01

    Neuropsychological theories have proposed a critical role for the interaction between the medial temporal lobe and the neocortex in the formation of long-term memory for facts and events, which has often been tested by learning of a series of paired words or figures in humans. We have examined neural mechanisms underlying the memory "consolidation" process by single-unit recording and molecular biological methods in an animal model of a visual pair-association task in monkeys. In our previous studies, we found that long-term associative representations of visual objects are acquired through learning in the neural network of the anterior inferior temporal (IT) cortex. In this article, we propose the hypothesis that limbic neurons undergo rapid modification of synaptic connectivity and provide backward signals that guide the reorganization of neocortical neural circuits. Two experiments tested this hypothesis: (1) we examined the role of the backward connections from the medial temporal lobe to the IT cortex by injecting ibotenic acid into the entorhinal and perirhinal cortices, which provided massive backward projections ipsilaterally to the IT cortex. We found that the limbic lesion disrupted the associative code of the IT neurons between the paired associates, without impairing the visual response to each stimulus. (2) We then tested the first half of this hypothesis by detecting the expression of immediate-early genes in the monkey temporal cortex. We found specific expression of zif268 during the learning of a new set of paired associates in the pair-association task, most intensively in area 36 of the perirhinal cortex. All these results with the visual pair-association task support our hypothesis and demonstrate that the consolidation process, which was first proposed on the basis of clinico-psychological evidence, can now be examined in primates using neurophysiolocical and molecular biological approaches. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  9. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling and subgenual anterior cingulate cortex dysfunction in major depressive disorder.

    Tripp, Adam; Oh, Hyunjung; Guilloux, Jean-Philippe; Martinowich, Keri; Lewis, David A; Sibille, Etienne

    2012-11-01

    The subgenual anterior cingulate cortex is implicated in the pathology and treatment response of major depressive disorder. Low levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and reduced markers for GABA function, including in the amygdala, are reported in major depression, but their contribution to subgenual anterior cingulate cortex dysfunction is not known. Using polymerase chain reaction, we first assessed the degree to which BDNF controls mRNA expression (defined as BDNF dependency) of 15 genes relating to GABA and neuropeptide functions in the cingulate cortex of mice with reduced BDNF function (BDNF-heterozygous [Bdnf(+/-)] mice and BDNF exon-IV knockout [Bdnf(KIV)] mice). Gene expression was then quantified in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex of 51 postmortem subjects with major depressive disorder and comparison subjects (total subjects, N=102; 49% were women) and compared with previous amygdala results. Based on the results in Bdnf(+/-) and Bdnf(KIV) mice, genes were sorted into high, intermediate, and no BDNF dependency sets. In postmortem human subjects with major depression, BDNF receptor (TRKB) expression, but not BDNF, was reduced. Postmortem depressed subjects exhibited down-regulation in genes with high and intermediate BDNF dependency, including markers of dendritic targeting interneurons (SST, NPY, and CORT) and a GABA synthesizing enzyme (GAD2). Changes extended to BDNF-independent genes (PVALB and GAD1). Changes were greater in men (potentially because of low baseline expression in women), displayed notable differences from prior amygdala results, and were not explained by demographic or clinical factors other than sex. These parallel human/mouse analyses provide direct (low TRKB) and indirect (low expression of BDNF-dependent genes) evidence in support of decreased BDNF signaling in the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex in individuals with major depressive disorder, implicate dendritic targeting GABA neurons and GABA synthesis

  10. Underconnectivity between voice-selective cortex and reward circuitry in children with autism.

    Abrams, Daniel A; Lynch, Charles J; Cheng, Katherine M; Phillips, Jennifer; Supekar, Kaustubh; Ryali, Srikanth; Uddin, Lucina Q; Menon, Vinod

    2013-07-16

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) often show insensitivity to the human voice, a deficit that is thought to play a key role in communication deficits in this population. The social motivation theory of ASD predicts that impaired function of reward and emotional systems impedes children with ASD from actively engaging with speech. Here we explore this theory by investigating distributed brain systems underlying human voice perception in children with ASD. Using resting-state functional MRI data acquired from 20 children with ASD and 19 age- and intelligence quotient-matched typically developing children, we examined intrinsic functional connectivity of voice-selective bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS). Children with ASD showed a striking pattern of underconnectivity between left-hemisphere pSTS and distributed nodes of the dopaminergic reward pathway, including bilateral ventral tegmental areas and nucleus accumbens, left-hemisphere insula, orbitofrontal cortex, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Children with ASD also showed underconnectivity between right-hemisphere pSTS, a region known for processing speech prosody, and the orbitofrontal cortex and amygdala, brain regions critical for emotion-related associative learning. The degree of underconnectivity between voice-selective cortex and reward pathways predicted symptom severity for communication deficits in children with ASD. Our results suggest that weak connectivity of voice-selective cortex and brain structures involved in reward and emotion may impair the ability of children with ASD to experience speech as a pleasurable stimulus, thereby impacting language and social skill development in this population. Our study provides support for the social motivation theory of ASD.

  11. Cerebral cortex hyperthyroidism of newborn mct8-deficient mice transiently suppressed by lat2 inactivation.

    Núñez, Bárbara; Martínez de Mena, Raquel; Obregon, Maria Jesus; Font-Llitjós, Mariona; Nunes, Virginia; Palacín, Manuel; Dumitrescu, Alexandra M; Morte, Beatriz; Bernal, Juan

    2014-01-01

    Thyroid hormone entry into cells is facilitated by transmembrane transporters. Mutations of the specific thyroid hormone transporter, MCT8 (Monocarboxylate Transporter 8, SLC16A2) cause an X-linked syndrome of profound neurological impairment and altered thyroid function known as the Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome. MCT8 deficiency presumably results in failure of thyroid hormone to reach the neural target cells in adequate amounts to sustain normal brain development. However during the perinatal period the absence of Mct8 in mice induces a state of cerebral cortex hyperthyroidism, indicating increased brain access and/or retention of thyroid hormone. The contribution of other transporters to thyroid hormone metabolism and action, especially in the context of MCT8 deficiency is not clear. We have analyzed the role of the heterodimeric aminoacid transporter Lat2 (Slc7a8), in the presence or absence of Mct8, on thyroid hormone concentrations and on expression of thyroid hormone-dependent cerebral cortex genes. To this end we generated Lat2-/-, and Mct8-/yLat2-/- mice, to compare with wild type and Mct8-/y mice during postnatal development. As described previously the single Mct8 KO neonates had a transient increase of 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine concentration and expression of thyroid hormone target genes in the cerebral cortex. Strikingly the absence of Lat2 in the double Mct8Lat2 KO prevented the effect of Mct8 inactivation in newborns. The Lat2 effect was not observed from postnatal day 5 onwards. On postnatal day 21 the Mct8 KO displayed the typical pattern of thyroid hormone concentrations in plasma, decreased cortex 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine concentration and Hr expression, and concomitant Lat2 inactivation produced little to no modifications. As Lat2 is expressed in neurons and in the choroid plexus, the results support a role for Lat2 in the supply of thyroid hormone to the cerebral cortex during early postnatal development.

  12. Cerebral cortex hyperthyroidism of newborn mct8-deficient mice transiently suppressed by lat2 inactivation.

    Bárbara Núñez

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormone entry into cells is facilitated by transmembrane transporters. Mutations of the specific thyroid hormone transporter, MCT8 (Monocarboxylate Transporter 8, SLC16A2 cause an X-linked syndrome of profound neurological impairment and altered thyroid function known as the Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome. MCT8 deficiency presumably results in failure of thyroid hormone to reach the neural target cells in adequate amounts to sustain normal brain development. However during the perinatal period the absence of Mct8 in mice induces a state of cerebral cortex hyperthyroidism, indicating increased brain access and/or retention of thyroid hormone. The contribution of other transporters to thyroid hormone metabolism and action, especially in the context of MCT8 deficiency is not clear. We have analyzed the role of the heterodimeric aminoacid transporter Lat2 (Slc7a8, in the presence or absence of Mct8, on thyroid hormone concentrations and on expression of thyroid hormone-dependent cerebral cortex genes. To this end we generated Lat2-/-, and Mct8-/yLat2-/- mice, to compare with wild type and Mct8-/y mice during postnatal development. As described previously the single Mct8 KO neonates had a transient increase of 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine concentration and expression of thyroid hormone target genes in the cerebral cortex. Strikingly the absence of Lat2 in the double Mct8Lat2 KO prevented the effect of Mct8 inactivation in newborns. The Lat2 effect was not observed from postnatal day 5 onwards. On postnatal day 21 the Mct8 KO displayed the typical pattern of thyroid hormone concentrations in plasma, decreased cortex 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine concentration and Hr expression, and concomitant Lat2 inactivation produced little to no modifications. As Lat2 is expressed in neurons and in the choroid plexus, the results support a role for Lat2 in the supply of thyroid hormone to the cerebral cortex during early postnatal development.

  13. Language networks in anophthalmia: maintained hierarchy of processing in 'visual' cortex.

    Watkins, Kate E; Cowey, Alan; Alexander, Iona; Filippini, Nicola; Kennedy, James M; Smith, Stephen M; Ragge, Nicola; Bridge, Holly

    2012-05-01

    Imaging studies in blind subjects have consistently shown that sensory and cognitive tasks evoke activity in the occipital cortex, which is normally visual. The precise areas involved and degree of activation are dependent upon the cause and age of onset of blindness. Here, we investigated the cortical language network at rest and during an auditory covert naming task in five bilaterally anophthalmic subjects, who have never received visual input. When listening to auditory definitions and covertly retrieving words, these subjects activated lateral occipital cortex bilaterally in addition to the language areas activated in sighted controls. This activity was significantly greater than that present in a control condition of listening to reversed speech. The lateral occipital cortex was also recruited into a left-lateralized resting-state network that usually comprises anterior and posterior language areas. Levels of activation to the auditory naming and reversed speech conditions did not differ in the calcarine (striate) cortex. This primary 'visual' cortex was not recruited to the left-lateralized resting-state network and showed high interhemispheric correlation of activity at rest, as is typically seen in unimodal cortical areas. In contrast, the interhemispheric correlation of resting activity in extrastriate areas was reduced in anophthalmia to the level of cortical areas that are heteromodal, such as the inferior frontal gyrus. Previous imaging studies in the congenitally blind show that primary visual cortex is activated in higher-order tasks, such as language and memory to a greater extent than during more basic sensory processing, resulting in a reversal of the normal hierarchy of functional organization across 'visual' areas. Our data do not support such a pattern of organization in anophthalmia. Instead, the patterns of activity during task and the functional connectivity at rest are consistent with the known hierarchy of processing in these areas

  14. Cortex and amygdala morphology in psychopathy.

    Boccardi, Marina; Frisoni, Giovanni B; Hare, Robert D; Cavedo, Enrica; Najt, Pablo; Pievani, Michela; Rasser, Paul E; Laakso, Mikko P; Aronen, Hannu J; Repo-Tiihonen, Eila; Vaurio, Olli; Thompson, Paul M; Tiihonen, Jari

    2011-08-30

    Psychopathy is characterized by abnormal emotional processes, but only recent neuroimaging studies have investigated its cerebral correlates. The study aim was to map local differences of cortical and amygdalar morphology. Cortical pattern matching and radial distance mapping techniques were used to analyze the magnetic resonance images of 26 violent male offenders (age: 32±8) with psychopathy diagnosed using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and no schizophrenia spectrum disorders, and in matched controls (age: 35± sp="0.12"/>11). The cortex displayed up to 20% reduction in the orbitofrontal and midline structures (corrected pamygdala (corrected p=0.05 on the right; and symmetrical pattern on the left). Psychopathy features specific morphology of the main cerebral structures involved in cognitive and emotional processing, consistent with clinical and functional data, and with a hypothesis of an alternative evolutionary brain development. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Olfactocentric Paralimbic Cortex Morphology in Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder

    Wang, Fei; Kalmar, Jessica H.; Womer, Fay Y.; Edmiston, Erin E.; Chepenik, Lara G.; Chen, Rachel; Spencer, Linda; Blumberg, Hilary P.

    2011-01-01

    The olfactocentric paralimbic cortex plays a critical role in the regulation of emotional and neurovegetative functions that are disrupted in core features of bipolar disorder. Adolescence is thought to be a critical period in both the maturation of the olfactocentric paralimbic cortex and in the emergence of bipolar disorder pathology. Together,…

  16. Anodal vs cathodal stimulation of motor cortex: a modeling study

    Manola, L.; Holsheimer, J.; Veltink, Petrus H.; Buitenweg, Jan R.

    Objective. To explore the effects of electrical stimulation performed by an anode, a cathode or a bipole positioned over the motor cortex for chronic pain management. Methods. A realistic 3D volume conductor model of the human precentral gyrus (motor cortex) was used to calculate the

  17. Insular Cortex Is Involved in Consolidation of Object Recognition Memory

    Bermudez-Rattoni, Federico; Okuda, Shoki; Roozendaal, Benno; McGaugh, James L.

    2005-01-01

    Extensive evidence indicates that the insular cortex (IC), also termed gustatory cortex, is critically involved in conditioned taste aversion and taste recognition memory. Although most studies of the involvement of the IC in memory have investigated taste, there is some evidence that the IC is involved in memory that is not based on taste. In…

  18. Genetic influences on thinning of the cerebral cortex during development

    van Soelen, I.L.C.; Brouwer, R.M.; van Baal, G.C.M.; Schnack, H.G.; Peper, J.S.; Collins, D.L.; Evans, A.C.; Kahn, R.S.; Boomsma, D.I.; Hulshoff Pol, H.E.

    2012-01-01

    During development from childhood to adulthood the human brain undergoes considerable thinning of the cerebral cortex. Whether developmental cortical thinning is influenced by genes and if independent genetic factors influence different parts of the cortex is not known. Magnetic resonance brain

  19. Effects of Arousal on Mouse Sensory Cortex Depend on Modality

    Daisuke Shimaoka

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Changes in arousal modulate the activity of mouse sensory cortex, but studies in different mice and different sensory areas disagree on whether this modulation enhances or suppresses activity. We measured this modulation simultaneously in multiple cortical areas by imaging mice expressing voltage-sensitive fluorescent proteins (VSFP. VSFP imaging estimates local membrane potential across large portions of cortex. We used temporal filters to predict local potential from running speed or from pupil dilation, two measures of arousal. The filters provided good fits and revealed that the effects of arousal depend on modality. In the primary visual cortex (V1 and auditory cortex (Au, arousal caused depolarization followed by hyperpolarization. In the barrel cortex (S1b and a secondary visual area (LM, it caused only hyperpolarization. In all areas, nonetheless, arousal reduced the phasic responses to trains of sensory stimuli. These results demonstrate diverse effects of arousal across sensory cortex but similar effects on sensory responses. : Shimaoka et al. use voltage-sensitive imaging to show that the effects of arousal on the mouse cortex are markedly different across areas and over time. In all the sensory areas studied, nonetheless, arousal reduced the phasic voltage responses to trains of sensory stimuli. Keywords: cerebral cortex, cortical state, locomotion, sensory processing, widefield imaging

  20. Khat distorts the prefrontal cortex histology and function of adult ...

    Khat is a psychoactive herbal drug of pronounced ethno-pharmacological significance often abused due to its unregulated use. It affects many brain centers including the prefrontal cortex which is the anterior most part of the frontal lobe. The prefrontal cortex modulates working memory, planning complex cognitive ...

  1. Modality-specific involvement of occipital cortex in Early Blind?

    van der Lubbe, Robert Henricus Johannes; van Mierlo, C.M.; Postma, A.

    2008-01-01

    What happens in occipital cortex when neuronal activity is no longer evoked by regular visual stimulation? Studying brain activity induced by tactile and auditory stimuli in the blind may provide an answer. Several studies indicate that occipital cortex in the blind is recruited in simple tasks,

  2. Structural and functional changes across the visual cortex of a patient with visual form agnosia.

    Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen M; Minini, Loredana; Cavina-Pratesi, Cristiana; Milner, A David; Parker, Andrew J

    2013-07-31

    Loss of shape recognition in visual-form agnosia occurs without equivalent losses in the use of vision to guide actions, providing support for the hypothesis of two visual systems (for "perception" and "action"). The human individual DF received a toxic exposure to carbon monoxide some years ago, which resulted in a persisting visual-form agnosia that has been extensively characterized at the behavioral level. We conducted a detailed high-resolution MRI study of DF's cortex, combining structural and functional measurements. We present the first accurate quantification of the changes in thickness across DF's occipital cortex, finding the most substantial loss in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC). There are reduced white matter connections between LOC and other areas. Functional measures show pockets of activity that survive within structurally damaged areas. The topographic mapping of visual areas showed that ordered retinotopic maps were evident for DF in the ventral portions of visual cortical areas V1, V2, V3, and hV4. Although V1 shows evidence of topographic order in its dorsal portion, such maps could not be found in the dorsal parts of V2 and V3. We conclude that it is not possible to understand fully the deficits in object perception in visual-form agnosia without the exploitation of both structural and functional measurements. Our results also highlight for DF the cortical routes through which visual information is able to pass to support her well-documented abilities to use visual information to guide actions.

  3. The development of object recognition memory in rhesus macaques with neonatal lesions of the perirhinal cortex

    Alyson Zeamer

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the role of the perirhinal cortex on the development of recognition measured by the visual paired-comparison (VPC task, infant monkeys with neonatal perirhinal lesions and sham-operated controls were tested at 1.5, 6, 18, and 48 months of age on the VPC task with color stimuli and intermixed delays of 10 s, 30 s, 60 s, and 120 s. Monkeys with neonatal perirhinal lesions showed an increase in novelty preference between 1.5 and 6 months of age similar to controls, although at these two ages, performance remained significantly poorer than that of control animals. With age, performance in animals with neonatal perirhinal lesions deteriorated as compared to that of controls. In contrast to the lack of novelty preference in monkeys with perirhinal lesions acquired in adulthood, novelty preference in the neonatally operated animals remained above chance at all delays and all ages. The data suggest that, although incidental recognition memory processes can be supported by the perirhinal cortex in early infancy, other temporal cortical areas may support these processes in the absence of a functional perirhinal cortex early in development. The neural substrates mediating incidental recognition memory processes appear to be more widespread in early infancy than in adulthood.

  4. Voltage Imaging of Waking Mouse Cortex Reveals Emergence of Critical Neuronal Dynamics

    Scott, Gregory; Fagerholm, Erik D.; Mutoh, Hiroki; Leech, Robert; Sharp, David J.; Shew, Woodrow L.

    2014-01-01

    Complex cognitive processes require neuronal activity to be coordinated across multiple scales, ranging from local microcircuits to cortex-wide networks. However, multiscale cortical dynamics are not well understood because few experimental approaches have provided sufficient support for hypotheses involving multiscale interactions. To address these limitations, we used, in experiments involving mice, genetically encoded voltage indicator imaging, which measures cortex-wide electrical activity at high spatiotemporal resolution. Here we show that, as mice recovered from anesthesia, scale-invariant spatiotemporal patterns of neuronal activity gradually emerge. We show for the first time that this scale-invariant activity spans four orders of magnitude in awake mice. In contrast, we found that the cortical dynamics of anesthetized mice were not scale invariant. Our results bridge empirical evidence from disparate scales and support theoretical predictions that the awake cortex operates in a dynamical regime known as criticality. The criticality hypothesis predicts that small-scale cortical dynamics are governed by the same principles as those governing larger-scale dynamics. Importantly, these scale-invariant principles also optimize certain aspects of information processing. Our results suggest that during the emergence from anesthesia, criticality arises as information processing demands increase. We expect that, as measurement tools advance toward larger scales and greater resolution, the multiscale framework offered by criticality will continue to provide quantitative predictions and insight on how neurons, microcircuits, and large-scale networks are dynamically coordinated in the brain. PMID:25505314

  5. Functional heterogeneity of conflict, error, task-switching, and unexpectedness effects within medial prefrontal cortex.

    Nee, Derek Evan; Kastner, Sabine; Brown, Joshua W

    2011-01-01

    The last decade has seen considerable discussion regarding a theoretical account of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) function with particular focus on the anterior cingulate cortex. The proposed theories have included conflict detection, error likelihood prediction, volatility monitoring, and several distinct theories of error detection. Arguments for and against particular theories often treat mPFC as functionally homogeneous, or at least nearly so, despite some evidence for distinct functional subregions. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to simultaneously contrast multiple effects of error, conflict, and task-switching that have been individually construed in support of various theories. We found overlapping yet functionally distinct subregions of mPFC, with activations related to dominant error, conflict, and task-switching effects successively found along a rostral-ventral to caudal-dorsal gradient within medial prefrontal cortex. Activations in the rostral cingulate zone (RCZ) were strongly correlated with the unexpectedness of outcomes suggesting a role in outcome prediction and preparing control systems to deal with anticipated outcomes. The results as a whole support a resolution of some ongoing debates in that distinct theories may each pertain to corresponding distinct yet overlapping subregions of mPFC. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Role of the ventrolateral orbital cortex and medial prefrontal cortex in incentive downshift situations.

    Ortega, Leonardo A; Glueck, Amanda C; Uhelski, Megan; Fuchs, Perry N; Papini, Mauricio R

    2013-05-01

    The present research evaluated the role of two prefrontal cortex areas, the ventrolateral orbital cortex (VLO) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), on two situations involving incentive downshifts, consummatory successive negative contrast (cSNC) with sucrose solutions and Pavlovian autoshaping following continuous vs. partial reinforcement with food pellets. Animals received electrolytic lesions and then were tested on cSNC, autoshaping, open-field activity, and sucrose sensitivity. Lesions of the VLO reduced suppression of consummatory behavior after the incentive downshift, but only during the first downshift trial, and also eliminated the enhancement of anticipatory behavior during partial reinforcement, relative to continuous reinforcement, in autoshaping. There was no evidence of specific effects of mPFC lesions on incentive downshifts. Open-field activity was also reduced by VLO lesions, but only in the central area, whereas mPFC lesions had no observable effects on activity. Animals with mPFC lesions exhibited decreased consumption of the lowest sucrose concentration, whereas no effects were observed in animals with VLO lesions. These results suggest that the VLO may exert nonassociative (i.e., motivational, emotional) influences on behavior in situations involving incentive downshifts. No clear role on incentive downshift was revealed by mPFC lesions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Attention to Color Sharpens Neural Population Tuning via Feedback Processing in the Human Visual Cortex Hierarchy.

    Bartsch, Mandy V; Loewe, Kristian; Merkel, Christian; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Schoenfeld, Mircea A; Tsotsos, John K; Hopf, Jens-Max

    2017-10-25

    Attention can facilitate the selection of elementary object features such as color, orientation, or motion. This is referred to as feature-based attention and it is commonly attributed to a modulation of the gain and tuning of feature-selective units in visual cortex. Although gain mechanisms are well characterized, little is known about the cortical processes underlying the sharpening of feature selectivity. Here, we show with high-resolution magnetoencephalography in human observers (men and women) that sharpened selectivity for a particular color arises from feedback processing in the human visual cortex hierarchy. To assess color selectivity, we analyze the response to a color probe that varies in color distance from an attended color target. We find that attention causes an initial gain enhancement in anterior ventral extrastriate cortex that is coarsely selective for the target color and transitions within ∼100 ms into a sharper tuned profile in more posterior ventral occipital cortex. We conclude that attention sharpens selectivity over time by attenuating the response at lower levels of the cortical hierarchy to color values neighboring the target in color space. These observations support computational models proposing that attention tunes feature selectivity in visual cortex through backward-propagating attenuation of units less tuned to the target. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Whether searching for your car, a particular item of clothing, or just obeying traffic lights, in everyday life, we must select items based on color. But how does attention allow us to select a specific color? Here, we use high spatiotemporal resolution neuromagnetic recordings to examine how color selectivity emerges in the human brain. We find that color selectivity evolves as a coarse to fine process from higher to lower levels within the visual cortex hierarchy. Our observations support computational models proposing that feature selectivity increases over time by attenuating the

  8. Adaptation to conflict via context-driven anticipatory signals in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex.

    Horga, Guillermo; Maia, Tiago V; Wang, Pengwei; Wang, Zhishun; Marsh, Rachel; Peterson, Bradley S

    2011-11-09

    Behavioral interference elicited by competing response tendencies adapts to contextual changes. Recent nonhuman primate research suggests a key mnemonic role of distinct prefrontal cells in supporting such context-driven behavioral adjustments by maintaining conflict information across trials, but corresponding prefrontal functions have yet to be probed in humans. Using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated the human neural substrates of contextual adaptations to conflict. We found that a neural system comprising the rostral dorsomedial prefrontal cortex and portions of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex specifically encodes the history of previously experienced conflict and influences subsequent adaptation to conflict on a trial-by-trial basis. This neural system became active in anticipation of stimulus onsets during preparatory periods and interacted with a second neural system engaged during the processing of conflict. Our findings suggest that a dynamic interaction between a system that represents conflict history and a system that resolves conflict underlies the contextual adaptation to conflict.

  9. Towards unravelling reading-related modulations of tDCS-induced neuroplasticity in the human visual cortex

    Andrea eAntal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Stimulation using weak electrical direct currents has shown to be capable of inducing polarity dependent diminutions or elevations in motor and visual cortical excitability. The aim of the present study was to test if reading during transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS is able to modify stimulation-induced plasticity in the visual cortex. Phosphene thresholds (PT in 12 healthy subjects were recorded before and after 10 minutes of anodal, cathodal and sham tDCS in combination with reading. Reading alone decreased PTs significantly, compared to the sham tDCS condition without reading. Interestingly, after both anodal and cathodal stimulation there was a tendency toward smaller PTs. Our results support the observation that tDCS-induced plasticity is highly dependent on the cognitive state of the subject during stimulation, not only in the case of motor cortex but also in the case of visual cortex stimulation.

  10. Functional Organization of the Parahippocampal Cortex: Dissociable Roles for Context Representations and the Perception of Visual Scenes.

    Baumann, Oliver; Mattingley, Jason B

    2016-02-24

    The human parahippocampal cortex has been ascribed central roles in both visuospatial and mnemonic processes. More specifically, evidence suggests that the parahippocampal cortex subserves both the perceptual analysis of scene layouts as well as the retrieval of associative contextual memories. It remains unclear, however, whether these two functional roles can be dissociated within the parahippocampal cortex anatomically. Here, we provide evidence for a dissociation between neural activation patterns associated with visuospatial analysis of scenes and contextual mnemonic processing along the parahippocampal longitudinal axis. We used fMRI to measure parahippocampal responses while participants engaged in a task that required them to judge the contextual relatedness of scene and object pairs, which were presented either as words or pictures. Results from combined factorial and conjunction analyses indicated that the posterior section of parahippocampal cortex is driven predominantly by judgments associated with pictorial scene analysis, whereas its anterior section is more active during contextual judgments regardless of stimulus category (scenes vs objects) or modality (word vs picture). Activation maxima associated with visuospatial and mnemonic processes were spatially segregated, providing support for the existence of functionally distinct subregions along the parahippocampal longitudinal axis and suggesting that, in humans, the parahippocampal cortex serves as a functional interface between perception and memory systems. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/362536-07$15.00/0.

  11. Auditory short-term memory in the primate auditory cortex.

    Scott, Brian H; Mishkin, Mortimer

    2016-06-01

    Sounds are fleeting, and assembling the sequence of inputs at the ear into a coherent percept requires auditory memory across various time scales. Auditory short-term memory comprises at least two components: an active ׳working memory' bolstered by rehearsal, and a sensory trace that may be passively retained. Working memory relies on representations recalled from long-term memory, and their rehearsal may require phonological mechanisms unique to humans. The sensory component, passive short-term memory (pSTM), is tractable to study in nonhuman primates, whose brain architecture and behavioral repertoire are comparable to our own. This review discusses recent advances in the behavioral and neurophysiological study of auditory memory with a focus on single-unit recordings from macaque monkeys performing delayed-match-to-sample (DMS) tasks. Monkeys appear to employ pSTM to solve these tasks, as evidenced by the impact of interfering stimuli on memory performance. In several regards, pSTM in monkeys resembles pitch memory in humans, and may engage similar neural mechanisms. Neural correlates of DMS performance have been observed throughout the auditory and prefrontal cortex, defining a network of areas supporting auditory STM with parallels to that supporting visual STM. These correlates include persistent neural firing, or a suppression of firing, during the delay period of the memory task, as well as suppression or (less commonly) enhancement of sensory responses when a sound is repeated as a ׳match' stimulus. Auditory STM is supported by a distributed temporo-frontal network in which sensitivity to stimulus history is an intrinsic feature of auditory processing. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Auditory working memory. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  12. TMS-induced neural noise in sensory cortex interferes with short-term memory storage in prefrontal cortex.

    Bancroft, Tyler D; Hogeveen, Jeremy; Hockley, William E; Servos, Philip

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study, Harris et al. (2002) found disruption of vibrotactile short-term memory after applying single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary somatosensory cortex (SI) early in the maintenance period, and suggested that this demonstrated a role for SI in vibrotactile memory storage. While such a role is compatible with recent suggestions that sensory cortex is the storage substrate for working memory, it stands in contrast to a relatively large body of evidence from human EEG and single-cell recording in primates that instead points to prefrontal cortex as the storage substrate for vibrotactile memory. In the present study, we use computational methods to demonstrate how Harris et al.'s results can be reproduced by TMS-induced activity in sensory cortex and subsequent feedforward interference with memory traces stored in prefrontal cortex, thereby reconciling discordant findings in the tactile memory literature.

  13. Fetal frontal cortex transplant (14C) 2-deoxyglucose uptake and histology: survival in cavities of host rat brain motor cortex

    Sharp, F.R.; Gonzalez, M.F.

    1984-01-01

    Fetal frontal neocortex from 18-day-old rat embryonic brain was transplanted into cavities in 30-day-old host motor cortex. Sixty days after transplantation, 5 of 15 transplanted rats had surviving fetal transplants. The fetal cortex transplants were physically attached to the host brain, completely filled the original cavity, and had numerous surviving cells including pyramidal neurons. Cell lamination within the fetal transplant was abnormal. The ( 14 C) 2-deoxyglucose uptake of all five of the fetal neocortex transplants was less than adjacent cortex and contralateral host motor-sensory cortex, but more than adjacent corpus callosum white matter. The results indicate that fetal frontal neocortex can be transplanted into damaged rat motor cortex. The metabolic rate of the transplants suggests they could be partially functional

  14. Encoding of Touch Intensity But Not Pleasantness in Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    Laubacher, Claire M.; Olausson, Håkan; Wang, Binquan; Spagnolo, Primavera A.; Bushnell, M. Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Growing interest in affective touch has delineated a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, have cast doubt on the segregation of touch discrimination and affect, suggesting that S1 also encodes affective qualities. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to examine the role of S1 in processing touch intensity and pleasantness. Twenty-six healthy human adults rated brushing on the hand during fMRI. Intensity ratings significantly predicted activation in S1, whereas pleasantness ratings predicted activation only in the anterior cingulate cortex. Nineteen subjects also received inhibitory rTMS over right hemisphere S1 and the vertex (control). After S1 rTMS, but not after vertex rTMS, sensory discrimination was reduced and subjects with reduced sensory discrimination rated touch as more intense. In contrast, rTMS did not alter ratings of touch pleasantness. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Growing interest in affective touch has identified a neural network that bypasses primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Several recent studies, however, cast doubt on the separation of touch discrimination and affect. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to demonstrate the representation of touch discrimination and intensity in S1, but the representation of pleasantness in the anterior cingulate cortex, not S1. Our findings support divergent neural processing of touch intensity and pleasantness, with affective touch encoded outside of S1. Our study contributes to growing delineation of the affective touch system, a crucial step in understanding its dysregulation in numerous clinical conditions such as autism, eating disorders, depression, and chronic pain. PMID:27225773

  15. Auditory cortex involvement in emotional learning and memory.

    Grosso, A; Cambiaghi, M; Concina, G; Sacco, T; Sacchetti, B

    2015-07-23

    Emotional memories represent the core of human and animal life and drive future choices and behaviors. Early research involving brain lesion studies in animals lead to the idea that the auditory cortex participates in emotional learning by processing the sensory features of auditory stimuli paired with emotional consequences and by transmitting this information to the amygdala. Nevertheless, electrophysiological and imaging studies revealed that, following emotional experiences, the auditory cortex undergoes learning-induced changes that are highly specific, associative and long lasting. These studies suggested that the role played by the auditory cortex goes beyond stimulus elaboration and transmission. Here, we discuss three major perspectives created by these data. In particular, we analyze the possible roles of the auditory cortex in emotional learning, we examine the recruitment of the auditory cortex during early and late memory trace encoding, and finally we consider the functional interplay between the auditory cortex and subcortical nuclei, such as the amygdala, that process affective information. We conclude that, starting from the early phase of memory encoding, the auditory cortex has a more prominent role in emotional learning, through its connections with subcortical nuclei, than is typically acknowledged. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Razonamiento contrafáctico, responsabilidad y culpa de la violencia contra las mujeres en la pareja: educación y medios de comunicación como factores preventivos (Counterfactual reasoning, responsibility and blame for intimate partner violence against women: education and mass media as preventive factors

    Susana Segura

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on the perception of death due to intimate partner violence against women. I describe two experiments that analyzed the effects of controllability and perspective on the perceived causality of these events measured by means of counterfactual reasoning about the past and the future as much as attributions of responsibility and blame. The effects of empathy for a victim in the second experiment were also investigated. The participants' replies focused on controllable factors which were classified into four categories: perpetrator, victim, formal authority, and education and mass media. The results show that counterfactual reasoning depends on empathy whereas attributions depend on both empathy and perspective. These results demonstrate an association between these cognitive processes and also help to establish some factors that may prevent these events. Finally, specific implications for education and the mass media are drawn from the study.

  17. Connectivity-based parcellation of the human orbitofrontal cortex.

    Kahnt, Thorsten; Chang, Luke J; Park, Soyoung Q; Heinzle, Jakob; Haynes, John-Dylan

    2012-05-02

    The primate orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is involved in reward processing, learning, and decision making. Research in monkeys has shown that this region is densely connected with higher sensory, limbic, and subcortical regions. Moreover, a parcellation of the monkey OFC into two subdivisions has been suggested based on its intrinsic anatomical connections. However, in humans, little is known about any functional subdivisions of the OFC except for a rather coarse medial/lateral distinction. Here, we used resting-state fMRI in combination with unsupervised clustering techniques to investigate whether OFC subdivisions can be revealed based on their functional connectivity profiles with other brain regions. Examination of different cluster solutions provided support for a parcellation into two parts as observed in monkeys, but it also highlighted a much finer hierarchical clustering of the orbital surface. Specifically, we identified (1) a medial, (2) a posterior-central, (3) a central, and (4-6) three lateral clusters spanning the anterior-posterior gradient. Consistent with animal tracing studies, these OFC clusters were connected to other cortical regions such as prefrontal, temporal, and parietal cortices but also subcortical areas in the striatum and the midbrain. These connectivity patterns provide important implications for identifying specific functional roles of OFC subdivisions for reward processing, learning, and decision making. Moreover, this parcellation schema can provide guidance to report results in future studies.

  18. Dissociating response conflict and error likelihood in anterior cingulate cortex.

    Yeung, Nick; Nieuwenhuis, Sander

    2009-11-18

    Neuroimaging studies consistently report activity in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in conditions of high cognitive demand, leading to the view that ACC plays a crucial role in the control of cognitive processes. According to one prominent theory, the sensitivity of ACC to task difficulty reflects its role in monitoring for the occurrence of competition, or "conflict," between responses to signal the need for increased cognitive control. However, a contrasting theory proposes that ACC is the recipient rather than source of monitoring signals, and that ACC activity observed in relation to task demand reflects the role of this region in learning about the likelihood of errors. Response conflict and error likelihood are typically confounded, making the theories difficult to distinguish empirically. The present research therefore used detailed computational simulations to derive contrasting predictions regarding ACC activity and error rate as a function of response speed. The simulations demonstrated a clear dissociation between conflict and error likelihood: fast response trials are associated with low conflict but high error likelihood, whereas slow response trials show the opposite pattern. Using the N2 component as an index of ACC activity, an EEG study demonstrated that when conflict and error likelihood are dissociated in this way, ACC activity tracks conflict and is negatively correlated with error likelihood. These findings support the conflict-monitoring theory and suggest that, in speeded decision tasks, ACC activity reflects current task demands rather than the retrospective coding of past performance.

  19. Specialization of the Rostral Prefrontal Cortex for Distinct Analogy Processes

    Gilbert, Sam J.; Benoit, Roland G.; Burgess, Paul W.

    2010-01-01

    Analogical reasoning is central to learning and abstract thinking. It involves using a more familiar situation (source) to make inferences about a less familiar situation (target). According to the predominant cognitive models, analogical reasoning includes 1) generation of structured mental representations and 2) mapping based on structural similarities between them. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to specify the role of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC) in these distinct processes. An experimental paradigm was designed that enabled differentiation between these processes, by temporal separation of the presentation of the source and the target. Within rostral PFC, a lateral subregion was activated by analogy task both during study of the source (before the source could be compared with a target) and when the target appeared. This may suggest that this subregion supports fundamental analogy processes such as generating structured representations of stimuli but is not specific to one particular processing stage. By contrast, a dorsomedial subregion of rostral PFC showed an interaction between task (analogy vs. control) and period (more activated when the target appeared). We propose that this region is involved in comparison or mapping processes. These results add to the growing evidence for functional differentiation between rostral PFC subregions. PMID:20156841

  20. Magnetic stimulation of visual cortex impairs perceptual learning.

    Baldassarre, Antonello; Capotosto, Paolo; Committeri, Giorgia; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2016-12-01

    The ability to learn and process visual stimuli more efficiently is important for survival. Previous neuroimaging studies have shown that perceptual learning on a shape identification task differently modulates activity in both frontal-parietal cortical regions and visual cortex (Sigman et al., 2005;Lewis et al., 2009). Specifically, fronto-parietal regions (i.e. intra parietal sulcus, pIPS) became less activated for trained as compared to untrained stimuli, while visual regions (i.e. V2d/V3 and LO) exhibited higher activation for familiar shape. Here, after the intensive training, we employed transcranial magnetic stimulation over both visual occipital and parietal regions, previously shown to be modulated, to investigate their causal role in learning the shape identification task. We report that interference with V2d/V3 and LO increased reaction times to learned stimuli as compared to pIPS and Sham control condition. Moreover, the impairment observed after stimulation over the two visual regions was positive correlated. These results strongly support the causal role of the visual network in the control of the perceptual learning. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Visual Stimuli Induce Waves of Electrical Activity in Turtle Cortex

    Prechtl, J. C.; Cohen, L. B.; Pesaran, B.; Mitra, P. P.; Kleinfeld, D.

    1997-07-01

    The computations involved in the processing of a visual scene invariably involve the interactions among neurons throughout all of visual cortex. One hypothesis is that the timing of neuronal activity, as well as the amplitude of activity, provides a means to encode features of objects. The experimental data from studies on cat [Gray, C. M., Konig, P., Engel, A. K. & Singer, W. (1989) Nature (London) 338, 334-337] support a view in which only synchronous (no phase lags) activity carries information about the visual scene. In contrast, theoretical studies suggest, on the one hand, the utility of multiple phases within a population of neurons as a means to encode independent visual features and, on the other hand, the likely existence of timing differences solely on the basis of network dynamics. Here we use widefield imaging in conjunction with voltage-sensitive dyes to record electrical activity from the virtually intact, unanesthetized turtle brain. Our data consist of single-trial measurements. We analyze our data in the frequency domain to isolate coherent events that lie in different frequency bands. Low frequency oscillations (scale differences in neuronal timing are present and persistent during visual processing.

  2. Medial-lateral organization of the orbitofrontal cortex.

    Rich, Erin L; Wallis, Jonathan D

    2014-07-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that specific cognitive functions localize to different subregions of OFC, but the nature of these functional distinctions remains unclear. One prominent theory, derived from human neuroimaging, proposes that different stimulus valences are processed in separate orbital regions, with medial and lateral OFC processing positive and negative stimuli, respectively. Thus far, neurophysiology data have not supported this theory. We attempted to reconcile these accounts by recording neural activity from the full medial-lateral extent of the orbital surface in monkeys receiving rewards and punishments via gain or loss of secondary reinforcement. We found no convincing evidence for valence selectivity in any orbital region. Instead, we report differences between neurons in central OFC and those on the inferior-lateral orbital convexity, in that they encoded different sources of value information provided by the behavioral task. Neurons in inferior convexity encoded the value of external stimuli, whereas those in OFC encoded value information derived from the structure of the behavioral task. We interpret these results in light of recent theories of OFC function and propose that these distinctions, not valence selectivity, may shed light on a fundamental organizing principle for value processing in orbital cortex.

  3. Decision salience signals in posterior cingulate cortex

    Sarah eHeilbronner

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Despite its phylogenetic antiquity and clinical importance, the posterior cingulate cortex (CGp remains an enigmatic nexus of attention, memory, motivation, and decision making. Here we show that CGp neurons track decision salience—the degree to which an option differs from a standard—but not the subjective value of a decision. To do this, we recorded the spiking activity of CGp neurons in monkeys choosing between options varying in reward-related risk, delay to reward, and social outcomes, each of which varied in level of decision salience. Firing rates were higher when monkeys chose the risky option, consistent with their risk-seeking preferences, but were also higher when monkeys chose the delayed and social options, contradicting their preferences. Thus, across decision contexts, neuronal activity was uncorrelated with how much monkeys valued a given option, as inferred from choice. Instead, neuronal activity signaled the deviation of the chosen option from the standard, independently of how it differed. The observed decision salience signals suggest a role for CGp in the flexible allocation of neural resources to motivationally significant information, akin to the role of attention in selective processing of sensory inputs.

  4. Frontopolar cortex mediates abstract integration in analogy.

    Green, Adam E; Fugelsang, Jonathan A; Kraemer, David J M; Shamosh, Noah A; Dunbar, Kevin N

    2006-06-22

    Integration of abstractly similar relations during analogical reasoning was investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Activation elicited by an analogical reasoning task that required both complex working memory and integration of abstractly similar relations was compared to activation elicited by a non-analogical task that required complex working memory in the absence of abstract relational integration. A left-sided region of the frontal pole of the brain (BA 9/10) was selectively active for the abstract relational integration component of analogical reasoning. Analogical reasoning also engaged a left-sided network of parieto-frontal regions. Activity in this network during analogical reasoning is hypothesized to reflect categorical alignment of individual component terms that make up analogies. This parieto-frontal network was also engaged by the complex control task, which involved explicit categorization, but not by a simpler control task, which did not involve categorization. We hypothesize that frontopolar cortex mediates abstract relational integration in complex reasoning while parieto-frontal regions mediate working memory processes, including manipulation of terms for the purpose of categorical alignment, that facilitate this integration.

  5. Retinal oscillations carry visual information to cortex

    Kilian Koepsell

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Thalamic relay cells fire action potentials that transmit information from retina to cortex. The amount of information that spike trains encode is usually estimated from the precision of spike timing with respect to the stimulus. Sensory input, however, is only one factor that influences neural activity. For example, intrinsic dynamics, such as oscillations of networks of neurons, also modulate firing pattern. Here, we asked if retinal oscillations might help to convey information to neurons downstream. Specifically, we made whole-cell recordings from relay cells to reveal retinal inputs (EPSPs and thalamic outputs (spikes and then analyzed these events with information theory. Our results show that thalamic spike trains operate as two multiplexed channels. One channel, which occupies a low frequency band (<30 Hz, is encoded by average firing rate with respect to the stimulus and carries information about local changes in the visual field over time. The other operates in the gamma frequency band (40-80 Hz and is encoded by spike timing relative to retinal oscillations. At times, the second channel conveyed even more information than the first. Because retinal oscillations involve extensive networks of ganglion cells, it is likely that the second channel transmits information about global features of the visual scene.

  6. Inhibition in the Human Auditory Cortex.

    Koji Inui

    Full Text Available Despite their indispensable roles in sensory processing, little is known about inhibitory interneurons in humans. Inhibitory postsynaptic potentials cannot be recorded non-invasively, at least in a pure form, in humans. We herein sought to clarify whether prepulse inhibition (PPI in the auditory cortex reflected inhibition via interneurons using magnetoencephalography. An abrupt increase in sound pressure by 10 dB in a continuous sound was used to evoke the test response, and PPI was observed by inserting a weak (5 dB increase for 1 ms prepulse. The time course of the inhibition evaluated by prepulses presented at 10-800 ms before the test stimulus showed at least two temporally distinct inhibitions peaking at approximately 20-60 and 600 ms that presumably reflected IPSPs by fast spiking, parvalbumin-positive cells and somatostatin-positive, Martinotti cells, respectively. In another experiment, we confirmed that the degree of the inhibition depended on the strength of the prepulse, but not on the amplitude of the prepulse-evoked cortical response, indicating that the prepulse-evoked excitatory response and prepulse-evoked inhibition reflected activation in two different pathways. Although many diseases such as schizophrenia may involve deficits in the inhibitory system, we do not have appropriate methods to evaluate them; therefore, the easy and non-invasive method described herein may be clinically useful.

  7. Navigating actions through the rodent parietal cortex

    Jonathan R. Whitlock

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The posterior parietal cortex (PPC participates in a manifold of cognitive functions, including visual attention, working memory, spatial processing and movement planning. Given the vast interconnectivity of PPC with sensory and motor areas, it is not surprising that neuronal recordings show that PPC often encodes mixtures of spatial information as well as the movements required to reach a goal. Recent work sought to discern the relative strength of spatial versus motor signaling in PPC by recording single unit activity in PPC of freely behaving rats during selective changes in either the spatial layout of the local environment or in the pattern of locomotor behaviors executed during navigational tasks. The results revealed unequivocally a predominant sensitivity of PPC neurons to locomotor action structure, with subsets of cells even encoding upcoming movements more than 1 second in advance. In light of these and other recent findings in the field, I propose that one of the key contributions of PPC to navigation is the synthesis of goal-directed behavioral sequences, and that the rodent PPC may serve as an apt system to investigate cellular mechanisms for spatial motor planning as traditionally studied in humans and monkeys.

  8. Semantic Memory Recognition Is Supported by Intrinsic Recollection-Like Processes: "The Butcher on the Bus" Revisited

    Waidergoren, Shani; Segalowicz, Judith; Gilboa, Asaf

    2012-01-01

    Dual-process models suggest that recognition memory is independently supported by recollection and familiarity. Current theories attribute recollection solely to hippocampally mediated episodic memory (EM), and familiarity to both episodic and semantic memory (SM) supported by medial temporal lobe cortex (MTLC) and prefrontal cortex. We tested…

  9. Development of rat female genital cortex and control of female puberty by sexual touch.

    Constanze Lenschow

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Rat somatosensory cortex contains a large sexually monomorphic genital representation. Genital cortex undergoes an unusual 2-fold expansion during puberty. Here, we investigate genital cortex development and female rat sexual maturation. Ovariectomies and estradiol injections suggested sex hormones cause the pubertal genital cortex expansion but not its maintenance at adult size. Genital cortex expanded by thalamic afferents invading surrounding dysgranular cortex. Genital touch was a dominant factor driving female sexual maturation. Raising female rats in contact with adult males promoted genital cortex expansion, whereas contact to adult females or nontactile (audio-visual-olfactory male cues did not. Genital touch imposed by human experimenters powerfully advanced female genital cortex development and sexual maturation. Long-term blocking of genital cortex by tetrodotoxin in pubescent females housed with males prevented genital cortex expansion and decelerated vaginal opening. Sex hormones, sexual experience, and neural activity shape genital cortex, which contributes to the puberty promoting effects of sexual touch.

  10. Development of rat female genital cortex and control of female puberty by sexual touch.

    Lenschow, Constanze; Sigl-Glöckner, Johanna; Brecht, Michael

    2017-09-01

    Rat somatosensory cortex contains a large sexually monomorphic genital representation. Genital cortex undergoes an unusual 2-fold expansion during puberty. Here, we investigate genital cortex development and female rat sexual maturation. Ovariectomies and estradiol injections suggested sex hormones cause the pubertal genital cortex expansion but not its maintenance at adult size. Genital cortex expanded by thalamic afferents invading surrounding dysgranular cortex. Genital touch was a dominant factor driving female sexual maturation. Raising female rats in contact with adult males promoted genital cortex expansion, whereas contact to adult females or nontactile (audio-visual-olfactory) male cues did not. Genital touch imposed by human experimenters powerfully advanced female genital cortex development and sexual maturation. Long-term blocking of genital cortex by tetrodotoxin in pubescent females housed with males prevented genital cortex expansion and decelerated vaginal opening. Sex hormones, sexual experience, and neural activity shape genital cortex, which contributes to the puberty promoting effects of sexual touch.

  11. Neuromodulatory neurotransmitters influence LTP-like plasticity in human cortex: a pharmaco-TMS study.

    Korchounov, Alexei; Ziemann, Ulf

    2011-08-01

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic efficacy is considered a fundamental mechanism of learning and memory. At the cellular level a large body of evidence demonstrated that the major neuromodulatory neurotransmitters dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE), and acetylcholine (ACh) influence LTP magnitude. Noninvasive brain stimulation protocols provide the opportunity to study LTP-like plasticity at the systems level of human cortex. Here we applied paired associative stimulation (PAS) to induce LTP-like plasticity in the primary motor cortex of eight healthy subjects. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design, the acute effects of a single oral dose of the neuromodulatory drugs cabergoline (DA agonist), haloperidol (DA antagonist), methylphenidate (indirect NE agonist), prazosine (NE antagonist), tacrine (ACh agonist), and biperiden (ACh antagonist) on PAS-induced LTP-like plasticity were examined. The antagonists haloperidol, prazosine, and biperiden depressed significantly the PAS-induced LTP-like plasticity observed under placebo, whereas the agonists cabergoline, methylphenidate, and tacrine had no effect. Findings demonstrate that antagonists in major neuromodulatory neurotransmitter systems suppress LTP-like plasticity at the systems level of human cortex, in accord with evidence of their modulating action of LTP at the cellular level. This provides further supportive evidence for the known detrimental effects of these drugs on LTP-dependent mechanisms such as learning and memory.

  12. The role of inferior parietal and inferior frontal cortex in working memory.

    Baldo, Juliana V; Dronkers, Nina F

    2006-09-01

    Verbal working memory involves two major components: a phonological store that holds auditory-verbal information very briefly and an articulatory rehearsal process that allows that information to be refreshed and thus held longer in short-term memory (A. Baddeley, 1996, 2000; A. Baddeley & G. Hitch, 1974). In the current study, the authors tested two groups of patients who were chosen on the basis of their relatively focal lesions in the inferior parietal (IP) cortex or inferior frontal (IF) cortex. Patients were tested on a series of tasks that have been previously shown to tap phonological storage (span, auditory rhyming, and repetition) and articulatory rehearsal (visual rhyming and a 2-back task). As predicted, IP patients were disproportionately impaired on the span, rhyming, and repetition tasks and thus demonstrated a phonological storage deficit. IF patients, however, did not show impairment on these storage tasks but did exhibit impairment on the visual rhyming task, which requires articulatory rehearsal. These findings lend further support to the working memory model and provide evidence of the roles of IP and IF cortex in separable working memory processes. ((c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

  13. Behavioral conflict, anterior cingulate cortex, and experiment duration: implications of diverging data.

    Erickson, Kirk I; Milham, Michael P; Colcombe, Stanley J; Kramer, Arthur F; Banich, Marie T; Webb, Andrew; Cohen, Neal J

    2004-02-01

    We investigated the relationship between behavioral measures of conflict and the degree of activity in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We reanalyzed an existing data set that employed the Stroop task using functional magnetic resonance imaging [Milham et al., Brain Cogn 2002;49:277-296]. Although we found no changes in the behavioral measures of conflict from the first to the second half of task performance, we found a reliable reduction in the activity of the anterior cingulate cortex. This result suggests the lack of a strong relationship between behavioral measurements of conflict and anterior cingulate activity. A concomitant increase in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was also found, which may reflect a tradeoff in the neural substrates involved in supporting conflict resolution, detection, or monitoring processes. A second analysis of the data revealed that the duration of an experiment can dramatically affect interpretations of the results, including the roles in which particular regions are thought to play in cognition. These results are discussed in relation to current conceptions of ACC's role in attentional control. In addition, we discuss the implication of our results with current conceptions of conflict and of its instantiation in the brain. Hum. Brain Mapping 21:96-105, 2004. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex

    Alexi Nott

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of parvalbumin (Pv–expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2, has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice and coincides with enhanced long-term depression that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

  15. HDAC2 expression in parvalbumin interneurons regulates synaptic plasticity in the mouse visual cortex.

    Nott, Alexi; Cho, Sukhee; Seo, Jinsoo; Tsai, Li-Huei

    2015-01-01

    An experience-dependent postnatal increase in GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex is important for the closure of a critical period of enhanced synaptic plasticity. Although maturation of the subclass of Parvalbumin (Pv)-expressing GABAergic interneurons is known to contribute to critical period closure, the role of epigenetics on cortical inhibition and synaptic plasticity has not been explored. The transcription regulator, histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2), has been shown to modulate synaptic plasticity and learning processes in hippocampal excitatory neurons. We found that genetic deletion of HDAC2 specifically from Pv-interneurons reduces inhibitory input in the visual cortex of adult mice, and coincides with enhanced long-term depression (LTD) that is more typical of young mice. These findings show that HDAC2 loss in Pv-interneurons leads to a delayed closure of the critical period in the visual cortex and supports the hypothesis that HDAC2 is a key negative regulator of synaptic plasticity in the adult brain.

  16. Cortical oscillations in auditory perception and speech: evidence for two temporal windows in human auditory cortex

    Huan eLuo

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Natural sounds, including vocal communication sounds, contain critical information at multiple time scales. Two essential temporal modulation rates in speech have been argued to be in the low gamma band (~20-80 ms duration information and the theta band (~150-300 ms, corresponding to segmental and syllabic modulation rates, respectively. On one hypothesis, auditory cortex implements temporal integration using time constants closely related to these values. The neural correlates of a proposed dual temporal window mechanism in human auditory cortex remain poorly understood. We recorded MEG responses from participants listening to non-speech auditory stimuli with different temporal structures, created by concatenating frequency-modulated segments of varied segment durations. We show that these non-speech stimuli with temporal structure matching speech-relevant scales (~25 ms and ~200 ms elicit reliable phase tracking in the corresponding associated oscillatory frequencies (low gamma and theta bands. In contrast, stimuli with non-matching temporal structure do not. Furthermore, the topography of theta band phase tracking shows rightward lateralization while gamma band phase tracking occurs bilaterally. The results support the hypothesis that there exists multi-time resolution processing in cortex on discontinuous scales and provide evidence for an asymmetric organization of temporal analysis (asymmetrical sampling in time, AST. The data argue for a macroscopic-level neural mechanism underlying multi-time resolution processing: the sliding and resetting of intrinsic temporal windows on privileged time scales.

  17. Linear summation of outputs in a balanced network model of motor cortex.

    Capaday, Charles; van Vreeswijk, Carl

    2015-01-01

    Given the non-linearities of the neural circuitry's elements, we would expect cortical circuits to respond non-linearly when activated. Surprisingly, when two points in the motor cortex are activated simultaneously, the EMG responses are the linear sum of the responses evoked by each of the points activated separately. Additionally, the corticospinal transfer function is close to linear, implying that the synaptic interactions in motor cortex must be effectively linear. To account for this, here we develop a model of motor cortex composed of multiple interconnected points, each comprised of reciprocally connected excitatory and inhibitory neurons. We show how non-linearities in neuronal transfer functions are eschewed by strong synaptic interactions within each point. Consequently, the simultaneous activation of multiple points results in a linear summation of their respective outputs. We also consider the effects of reduction of inhibition at a cortical point when one or more surrounding points are active. The network response in this condition is linear over an approximately two- to three-fold decrease of inhibitory feedback strength. This result supports the idea that focal disinhibition allows linear coupling of motor cortical points to generate movement related muscle activation patterns; albeit with a limitation on gain control. The model also explains why neural activity does not spread as far out as the axonal connectivity allows, whilst also explaining why distant cortical points can be, nonetheless, functionally coupled by focal disinhibition. Finally, we discuss the advantages that linear interactions at the cortical level afford to motor command synthesis.

  18. Auditory-Cortex Short-Term Plasticity Induced by Selective Attention

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Ahveninen, Jyrki

    2014-01-01

    The ability to concentrate on relevant sounds in the acoustic environment is crucial for everyday function and communication. Converging lines of evidence suggests that transient functional changes in auditory-cortex neurons, “short-term plasticity”, might explain this fundamental function. Under conditions of strongly focused attention, enhanced processing of attended sounds can take place at very early latencies (~50 ms from sound onset) in primary auditory cortex and possibly even at earlier latencies in subcortical structures. More robust selective-attention short-term plasticity is manifested as modulation of responses peaking at ~100 ms from sound onset in functionally specialized nonprimary auditory-cortical areas by way of stimulus-specific reshaping of neuronal receptive fields that supports filtering of selectively attended sound features from task-irrelevant ones. Such effects have been shown to take effect in ~seconds following shifting of attentional focus. There are findings suggesting that the reshaping of neuronal receptive fields is even stronger at longer auditory-cortex response latencies (~300 ms from sound onset). These longer-latency short-term plasticity effects seem to build up more gradually, within tens of seconds after shifting the focus of attention. Importantly, some of the auditory-cortical short-term plasticity effects observed during selective attention predict enhancements in behaviorally measured sound discrimination performance. PMID:24551458

  19. Coding the presence of visual objects in a recurrent neural network of visual cortex.

    Zwickel, Timm; Wachtler, Thomas; Eckhorn, Reinhard

    2007-01-01

    Before we can recognize a visual object, our visual system has to segregate it from its background. This requires a fast mechanism for establishing the presence and location of objects independently of their identity. Recently, border-ownership neurons were recorded in monkey visual cortex which might be involved in this task [Zhou, H., Friedmann, H., von der Heydt, R., 2000. Coding of border ownership in monkey visual cortex. J. Neurosci. 20 (17), 6594-6611]. In order to explain the basic mechanisms required for fast coding of object presence, we have developed a neural network model of visual cortex consisting of three stages. Feed-forward and lateral connections support coding of Gestalt properties, including similarity, good continuation, and convexity. Neurons of the highest area respond to the presence of an object and encode its position, invariant of its form. Feedback connections to the lowest area facilitate orientation detectors activated by contours belonging to potential objects, and thus generate the experimentally observed border-ownership property. This feedback control acts fast and significantly improves the figure-ground segregation required for the consecutive task of object recognition.

  20. Cortex Matures Faster in Youths With Highest IQ

    ... NIH Cortex Matures Faster in Youths With Highest IQ Past Issues / Summer 2006 Table of Contents For ... on. Photo: Getty image (StockDisc) Youths with superior IQ are distinguished by how fast the thinking part ...

  1. Effects of entorhinal cortex lesions on memory in different tasks

    G.P. Gutierrez-Figueroa

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Lesions of the entorhinal cortex produce retrograde memory impairment in both animals and humans. Here we report the effects of bilateral entorhinal cortex lesions caused by the stereotaxic infusion of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA in rats at two different moments, before or after the training session, on memory of different tasks: two-way shuttle avoidance, inhibitory avoidance and habituation to an open field. Pre- or post-training entorhinal cortex lesions caused an impairment of performance in the shuttle avoidance task, which agrees with the previously described role of this area in the processing of memories acquired in successive sessions. In the inhibitory avoidance task, only the post-training lesions had an effect (amnesia. No effect was observed on the open field task. The findings suggest that the role of the entorhinal cortex in memory processing is task-dependent, perhaps related to the complexity of each task

  2. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the primary motor cortex ...

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    brain is able to control the muscles in the body in a pre- cise and efficient ... which receives inputs from the prefrontal cortex and the ... This is based on the fact that oxygenated blood ... compared with deoxygenated blood (paramagnetic) and.

  3. Reorganization of the Human Somatosensory Cortex in Hand Dystonia

    Maria Jose Catalan

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Background and Purpose: Abnormalities of finger representations in the somatosensory cortex have been identified in patients with focal hand dystonia. Measuring blood flow with positron emission tomography (PET can be use to demonstrate functional localization of receptive fields. Methods: A vibratory stimulus was applied to the right thumb and little finger of six healthy volunteers and six patients with focal hand dystonia to map their receptive fields using H215O PET. Results: The cortical finger representations in the primary somatosensory cortex were closer to each other in patients than in normal subjects. No abnormalities were found in secondary somatosensory cortex, but the somatotopy there is less well distinguished. Conclusions: These data confirm prior electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging observations showing abnormalities of finger representations in somatosensory cortex of patients with focal hand dystonia.

  4. I find you more attractive … after (prefrontal cortex) stimulation

    Ferrari, C.; Lega, C.; Tamietto, M.; Nadal, M.; Cattaneo, Z.

    2015-01-01

    Facial attractiveness seems to be perceived immediately. Neuroimaging evidence suggests that the appraisal of facial attractiveness is mediated by a network of cortical and subcortical regions, mainly encompassing the reward circuit, but also including prefrontal cortices. The prefrontal cortex is

  5. Human primary visual cortex topography imaged via positron tomography

    Schwartz, E.L.; Christman, D.R.; Wolf, A.P.

    1984-01-01

    The visuotopic structure of primary visual cortex was studied in a group of 7 human volunteers using positron emission transaxial tomography (PETT) and 18 F-labeled 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-D-glucose ([ 18 F]DG). A computer animation was constructed with a spatial structure which was matched to estimates of human cortical magnification factor and to striate cortex stimulus preferences. A lateralized cortical 'checker-board' pattern of [ 18 F]DG was stimulated in primary visual cortex by having subjects view this computer animation following i.v. injection of [ 18 F]DG. The spatial structure of the stimulus was designed to produce an easily recognizable 'signature' in a series of 9 serial PETT scans obtained from each of a group of 7 volunteers. The predicted lateralized topographic 'signature' was observed in 6 of 7 subjects. Applications of this method for further PETT studies of human visual cortex are discussed. (Auth.)

  6. Preprocessing of emotional visual information in the human piriform cortex.

    Schulze, Patrick; Bestgen, Anne-Kathrin; Lech, Robert K; Kuchinke, Lars; Suchan, Boris

    2017-08-23

    This study examines the processing of visual information by the olfactory system in humans. Recent data point to the processing of visual stimuli by the piriform cortex, a region mainly known as part of the primary olfactory cortex. Moreover, the piriform cortex generates predictive templates of olfactory stimuli to facilitate olfactory processing. This study fills the gap relating to the question whether this region is also capable of preprocessing emotional visual information. To gain insight into the preprocessing and transfer of emotional visual information into olfactory processing, we recorded hemodynamic responses during affective priming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Odors of different valence (pleasant, neutral and unpleasant) were primed by images of emotional facial expressions (happy, neutral and disgust). Our findings are the first to demonstrate that the piriform cortex preprocesses emotional visual information prior to any olfactory stimulation and that the emotional connotation of this preprocessing is subsequently transferred and integrated into an extended olfactory network for olfactory processing.

  7. Depth-Dependent Temporal Response Properties in Core Auditory Cortex

    Christianson, G. Björn; Sahani, Maneesh; Linden, Jennifer F.

    2011-01-01

    The computational role of cortical layers within auditory cortex has proven difficult to establish. One hypothesis is that interlaminar cortical processing might be dedicated to analyzing temporal properties of sounds; if so, then there should be systematic depth-dependent changes in cortical sensitivity to the temporal context in which a stimulus occurs. We recorded neural responses simultaneously across cortical depth in primary auditory cortex and anterior auditory field of CBA/Ca mice, an...

  8. [Transcranial magnetic stimulation and motor cortex stimulation in neuropathic pain].

    Mylius, V; Ayache, S S; Teepker, M; Kappus, C; Kolodziej, M; Rosenow, F; Nimsky, C; Oertel, W H; Lefaucheur, J P

    2012-12-01

    Non-invasive and invasive cortical stimulation allows the modulation of therapy-refractory neuropathic pain. High-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the contralateral motor cortex yields therapeutic effects at short-term and predicts the benefits of epidural motor cortex stimulation (MCS). The present article summarizes the findings on application, mechanisms and therapeutic effects of cortical stimulation in neuropathic pain.

  9. Visual Information Present in Infragranular Layers of Mouse Auditory Cortex.

    Morrill, Ryan J; Hasenstaub, Andrea R

    2018-03-14

    The cerebral cortex is a major hub for the convergence and integration of signals from across the sensory modalities; sensory cortices, including primary regions, are no exception. Here we show that visual stimuli influence neural firing in the auditory cortex of awake male and female mice, using multisite probes to sample single units across multiple cortical layers. We demonstrate that visual stimuli influence firing in both primary and secondary auditory cortex. We then determine the laminar location of recording sites through electrode track tracing with fluorescent dye and optogenetic identification using layer-specific markers. Spiking responses to visual stimulation occur deep in auditory cortex and are particularly prominent in layer 6. Visual modulation of firing rate occurs more frequently at areas with secondary-like auditory responses than those with primary-like responses. Auditory cortical responses to drifting visual gratings are not orientation-tuned, unlike visual cortex responses. The deepest cortical layers thus appear to be an important locus for cross-modal integration in auditory cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The deepest layers of the auditory cortex are often considered its most enigmatic, possessing a wide range of cell morphologies and atypical sensory responses. Here we show that, in mouse auditory cortex, these layers represent a locus of cross-modal convergence, containing many units responsive to visual stimuli. Our results suggest that this visual signal conveys the presence and timing of a stimulus rather than specifics about that stimulus, such as its orientation. These results shed light on both how and what types of cross-modal information is integrated at the earliest stages of sensory cortical processing. Copyright © 2018 the authors 0270-6474/18/382854-09$15.00/0.

  10. Audiovisual Association Learning in the Absence of Primary Visual Cortex

    Seirafi, Mehrdad; De Weerd, Peter; Pegna, Alan J.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2016-01-01

    Learning audiovisual associations is mediated by the primary cortical areas; however, recent animal studies suggest that such learning can take place even in the absence of the primary visual cortex. Other studies have demonstrated the involvement of extra-geniculate pathways and especially the superior colliculus (SC) in audiovisual association learning. Here, we investigated such learning in a rare human patient with complete loss of the bilateral striate cortex. We carried out an implicit ...

  11. Peripheral nerve injury induces glial activation in primary motor cortex

    Julieta Troncoso; Julieta Troncoso; Efraín Buriticá; Efraín Buriticá

    2015-01-01

    Preliminary evidence suggests that peripheral facial nerve injuries are associated with sensorimotor cortex reorganization. We have characterized facial nerve lesion-induced structural changes in primary motor cortex layer 5 pyramidal neurons and their relationship with glial cell density using a rodent facial paralysis model. First, we used adult transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein in microglia and yellow fluorescent protein in pyramidal neurons which were subjected to eithe...

  12. Visual short-term memory load reduces retinotopic cortex response to contrast.

    Konstantinou, Nikos; Bahrami, Bahador; Rees, Geraint; Lavie, Nilli

    2012-11-01

    Load Theory of attention suggests that high perceptual load in a task leads to reduced sensory visual cortex response to task-unrelated stimuli resulting in "load-induced blindness" [e.g., Lavie, N. Attention, distraction and cognitive control under load. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19, 143-148, 2010; Lavie, N. Distracted and confused?: Selective attention under load. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 9, 75-82, 2005]. Consideration of the findings that visual STM (VSTM) involves sensory recruitment [e.g., Pasternak, T., & Greenlee, M. Working memory in primate sensory systems. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 6, 97-107, 2005] within Load Theory led us to a new hypothesis regarding the effects of VSTM load on visual processing. If VSTM load draws on sensory visual capacity, then similar to perceptual load, high VSTM load should also reduce visual cortex response to incoming stimuli leading to a failure to detect them. We tested this hypothesis with fMRI and behavioral measures of visual detection sensitivity. Participants detected the presence of a contrast increment during the maintenance delay in a VSTM task requiring maintenance of color and position. Increased VSTM load (manipulated by increased set size) led to reduced retinotopic visual cortex (V1-V3) responses to contrast as well as reduced detection sensitivity, as we predicted. Additional visual detection experiments established a clear tradeoff between the amount of information maintained in VSTM and detection sensitivity, while ruling out alternative accounts for the effects of VSTM load in terms of differential spatial allocation strategies or task difficulty. These findings extend Load Theory to demonstrate a new form of competitive interactions between early visual cortex processing and visual representations held in memory under load and provide a novel line of support for the sensory recruitment hypothesis of VSTM.

  13. Changes in auditory perceptions and cortex resulting from hearing recovery after extended congenital unilateral hearing loss

    Jill B Firszt

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Monaural hearing induces auditory system reorganization. Imbalanced input also degrades time-intensity cues for sound localization and signal segregation for listening in noise. While there have been studies of bilateral auditory deprivation and later hearing restoration (e.g. cochlear implants, less is known about unilateral auditory deprivation and subsequent hearing improvement. We investigated effects of long-term congenital unilateral hearing loss on localization, speech understanding, and cortical organization following hearing recovery. Hearing in the congenitally affected ear of a 41 year old female improved significantly after stapedotomy and reconstruction. Pre-operative hearing threshold levels showed unilateral, mixed, moderately-severe to profound hearing loss. The contralateral ear had hearing threshold levels within normal limits. Testing was completed prior to, and three and nine months after surgery. Measurements were of sound localization with intensity-roved stimuli and speech recognition in various noise conditions. We also evoked magnetic resonance signals with monaural stimulation to the unaffected ear. Activation magnitudes were determined in core, belt, and parabelt auditory cortex regions via an interrupted single event design. Hearing improvement following 40 years of congenital unilateral hearing loss resulted in substantially improved sound localization and speech recognition in noise. Auditory cortex also reorganized. Contralateral auditory cortex responses were increased after hearing recovery and the extent of activated cortex was bilateral, including a greater portion of the posterior superior temporal plane. Thus, prolonged predominant monaural stimulation did not prevent auditory system changes consequent to restored binaural hearing. Results support future research of unilateral auditory deprivation effects and plasticity, with consideration for length of deprivation, age at hearing correction, degree and type

  14. SPET monitoring of perfusion changes in auditory cortex following mono- and multi-frequency stimuli

    De Rossi, G. [Nuclear Medicine Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy); Paludetti, G. [Otorhinolaryngology Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy); Di Nardo, W. [Otorhinolaryngology Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy); Calcagni, M.L. [Nuclear Medicine Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy); Di Giuda, D. [Nuclear Medicine Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy); Almadori, G. [Otorhinolaryngology Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy); Galli, J. [Otorhinolaryngology Inst., Policlinico A. Gemelli, Rome (Italy)

    1996-08-01

    In order to assess the relationship between auditory cortex perfusion and the frequency of acoustic stimuli, twenty normally-hearing subjects underwent cerebral SPET. In 10 patients a multi-frequency stimulus (250-4000 Hz at 40 dB SL) was delivered, while 10 subjects were stimulated with a 500 Hz pure tone at 40 dB SL. The prestimulation SPET was subtracted from poststimulation study and auditory cortex activation was expressed as percent increments. Contralateral cortex was the most active area with multifrequency and monofrequency stimuli as well. A clear demonstration of a tonotopic distribution of acoustic stimuli in the auditory cortex was achieved. In addition, the accessory role played by homolateral accoustic areas was confirmed. The results of the present research support the hypothesis that brain SPET may be useful to obtain semiquantitative reliable information on low frequency auditory level in profoundly deaf patients. This may be achieved comparing the extension of the cortical areas activated by high-intensity multifrequency stimuli. (orig.) [Deutsch] Zur Aufklaerung der Beziehung von regionaler Perfusion des auditorischen Kortex und Frequenz des akustischen Stimulus wurden 20 Normalpatienten mit Hilfe von Hirn-SPECT untersucht. Bei je 10 Patienten wurde ein Multifrequenzstimulus (250-2000 Hz bei 60 dB) bzw. ein Monofrequenzstimulus (500 Hz bei 60 dB) verwendet. Die vor der Stimulation akquirierten SPECT-Daten wurden jeweils von den nach der Stimulation akquirierten SPECT-Daten abgezogen und die aditorische Kortexaktivation als prozentuale Steigerung ausgedrueckt. Der kontralaterale Kortex war das am staerksten aktivierte Areal sowohl bei der Multifrequenz- als auch bei der Monofrequenzstimulation. Es konnte eine klare tonotopische Verteilung der akustischen Stimuli im auditorischen Koretx demonstriert werden. Zusaetzlich konnte die akzessorische Rolle des homolateralen akustischen Kortex bestaetigt werden. Die Ergebnisse dieser Studie unterstuetzen

  15. Dopamine modulates memory consolidation of discrimination learning in the auditory cortex.

    Schicknick, Horst; Reichenbach, Nicole; Smalla, Karl-Heinz; Scheich, Henning; Gundelfinger, Eckart D; Tischmeyer, Wolfgang

    2012-03-01

    In Mongolian gerbils, the auditory cortex is critical for discriminating rising vs. falling frequency-modulated tones. Based on our previous studies, we hypothesized that dopaminergic inputs to the auditory cortex during and shortly after acquisition of the discrimination strategy control long-term memory formation. To test this hypothesis, we studied frequency-modulated tone discrimination learning of gerbils in a shuttle box GO/NO-GO procedure following differential treatments. (i) Pre-exposure of gerbils to the frequency-modulated tones at 1 day before the first discrimination training session severely impaired the accuracy of the discrimination acquired in that session during the initial trials of a second training session, performed 1 day later. (ii) Local injection of the D1/D5 dopamine receptor antagonist SCH-23390 into the auditory cortex after task acquisition caused a discrimination deficit of similar extent and time course as with pre-exposure. This effect was dependent on the dose and time point of injection. (iii) Injection of the D1/D5 dopamine receptor agonist SKF-38393 into the auditory cortex after retraining caused a further discrimination improvement at the beginning of subsequent sessions. All three treatments, which supposedly interfered with dopamine signalling during conditioning and/or retraining, had a substantial impact on the dynamics of the discrimination performance particularly at the beginning of subsequent training sessions. These findings suggest that auditory-cortical dopamine activity after acquisition of a discrimination of complex sounds and after retrieval of weak frequency-modulated tone discrimination memory further improves memory consolidation, i.e. the correct association of two sounds with their respective GO/NO-GO meaning, in support of future memory recall. © 2012 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2012 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. Cognitive and behavioural deficits associated with the orbitomedial prefrontal cortex in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Meier, Sandra L; Charleston, Alison J; Tippett, Lynette J

    2010-11-01

    without dementia, some with no signs of dysfunction in tasks sensitive to other regions of prefrontal cortex. This demonstration of variability in cognitive integrity supports previous research indicating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a heterogeneous disease.

  17. Relevance of Spectral Cues for Auditory Spatial Processing in the Occipital Cortex of the Blind

    Voss, Patrice; Lepore, Franco; Gougoux, Frédéric; Zatorre, Robert J.

    2011-01-01

    We have previously shown that some blind individuals can localize sounds more accurately than their sighted counterparts when one ear is obstructed, and that this ability is strongly associated with occipital cortex activity. Given that spectral cues are important for monaurally localizing sounds when one ear is obstructed, and that blind individuals are more sensitive to small spectral differences, we hypothesized that enhanced use of spectral cues via occipital cortex mechanisms could explain the better performance of blind individuals in monaural localization. Using positron-emission tomography (PET), we scanned blind and sighted persons as they discriminated between sounds originating from a single spatial position, but with different spectral profiles that simulated different spatial positions based on head-related transfer functions. We show here that a sub-group of early blind individuals showing superior monaural sound localization abilities performed significantly better than any other group on this spectral discrimination task. For all groups, performance was best for stimuli simulating peripheral positions, consistent with the notion that spectral cues are more helpful for discriminating peripheral sources. PET results showed that all blind groups showed cerebral blood flow increases in the occipital cortex; but this was also the case in the sighted group. A voxel-wise covariation analysis showed that more occipital recruitment was associated with better performance across all blind subjects but not the sighted. An inter-regional covariation analysis showed that the occipital activity in the blind covaried with that of several frontal and parietal regions known for their role in auditory spatial processing. Overall, these results support the notion that the superior ability of a sub-group of early-blind individuals to localize sounds is mediated by their superior ability to use spectral cues, and that this ability is subserved by cortical processing in

  18. Posterior parietal cortex mediates encoding and maintenance processes in change blindness.

    Tseng, Philip; Hsu, Tzu-Yu; Muggleton, Neil G; Tzeng, Ovid J L; Hung, Daisy L; Juan, Chi-Hung

    2010-03-01

    It is commonly accepted that right posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays an important role in updating spatial representations, directing visuospatial attention, and planning actions. However, recent studies suggest that right PPC may also be involved in processes that are more closely associated with our visual awareness as its activation level positively correlates with successful conscious change detection (Beck, D.M., Rees, G., Frith, C.D., & Lavie, N. (2001). Neural correlates of change detection and change blindness. Nature Neuroscience, 4, 645-650.). Furthermore, disruption of its activity increases the occurrences of change blindness, thus suggesting a causal role for right PPC in change detection (Beck, D.M., Muggleton, N., Walsh, V., & Lavie, N. (2006). Right parietal cortex plays a critical role in change blindness. Cerebral Cortex, 16, 712-717.). In the context of a 1-shot change detection paradigm, we applied transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during different time intervals to elucidate the temporally precise involvement of PPC in change detection. While subjects attempted to detect changes between two image sets separated by a brief time interval, TMS was applied either during the presentation of picture 1 when subjects were encoding and maintaining information into visual short-term memory, or picture 2 when subjects were retrieving information relating to picture 1 and comparing it to picture 2. Our results show that change blindness occurred more often when TMS was applied during the viewing of picture 1, which implies that right PPC plays a crucial role in the processes of encoding and maintaining information in visual short-term memory. In addition, since our stimuli did not involve changes in spatial locations, our findings also support previous studies suggesting that PPC may be involved in the processes of encoding non-spatial visual information (Todd, J.J. & Marois, R. (2004). Capacity limit of visual short-term memory in human

  19. Motor cortex electrical stimulation augments sprouting of the corticospinal tract and promotes recovery of motor function

    Carmel, Jason B.; Martin, John H.

    2014-01-01

    The corticospinal system—with its direct spinal pathway, the corticospinal tract (CST) – is the primary system for controlling voluntary movement. Our approach to CST repair after injury in mature animals was informed by our finding that activity drives establishment of connections with spinal cord circuits during postnatal development. After incomplete injury in maturity, spared CST circuits sprout, and partially restore lost function. Our approach harnesses activity to augment this injury-dependent CST sprouting and to promote function. Lesion of the medullary pyramid unilaterally eliminates all CST axons from one hemisphere and allows examination of CST sprouting from the unaffected hemisphere. We discovered that 10 days of electrical stimulation of either the spared CST or motor cortex induces CST axon sprouting that partially reconstructs the lost CST. Stimulation also leads to sprouting of the cortical projection to the magnocellular red nucleus, where the rubrospinal tract originates. Coordinated outgrowth of the CST and cortical projections to the red nucleus could support partial re-establishment of motor systems connections to the denervated spinal motor circuits. Stimulation restores skilled motor function in our animal model. Lesioned animals have a persistent forelimb deficit contralateral to pyramidotomy in the horizontal ladder task. Rats that received motor cortex stimulation either after acute or chronic injury showed a significant functional improvement that brought error rate to pre-lesion control levels. Reversible inactivation of the stimulated motor cortex reinstated the impairment demonstrating the importance of the stimulated system to recovery. Motor cortex electrical stimulation is an effective approach to promote spouting of spared CST axons. By optimizing activity-dependent sprouting in animals, we could have an approach that can be translated to the human for evaluation with minimal delay. PMID:24994971

  20. Spatial integration in mouse primary visual cortex.

    Vaiceliunaite, Agne; Erisken, Sinem; Franzen, Florian; Katzner, Steffen; Busse, Laura

    2013-08-01

    Responses of many neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are suppressed by stimuli exceeding the classical receptive field (RF), an important property that might underlie the computation of visual saliency. Traditionally, it has proven difficult to disentangle the underlying neural circuits, including feedforward, horizontal intracortical, and feedback connectivity. Since circuit-level analysis is particularly feasible in the mouse, we asked whether neural signatures of spatial integration in mouse V1 are similar to those of higher-order mammals and investigated the role of parvalbumin-expressing (PV+) inhibitory interneurons. Analogous to what is known from primates and carnivores, we demonstrate that, in awake mice, surround suppression is present in the majority of V1 neurons and is strongest in superficial cortical layers. Anesthesia with isoflurane-urethane, however, profoundly affects spatial integration: it reduces the laminar dependency, decreases overall suppression strength, and alters the temporal dynamics of responses. We show that these effects of brain state can be parsimoniously explained by assuming that anesthesia affects contrast normalization. Hence, the full impact of suppressive influences in mouse V1 cannot be studied under anesthesia with isoflurane-urethane. To assess the neural circuits of spatial integration, we targeted PV+ interneurons using optogenetics. Optogenetic depolarization of PV+ interneurons was associated with increased RF size and decreased suppression in the recorded population, similar to effects of lowering stimulus contrast, suggesting that PV+ interneurons contribute to spatial integration by affecting overall stimulus drive. We conclude that the mouse is a promising model for circuit-level mechanisms of spatial integration, which relies on the combined activity of different types of inhibitory interneurons.

  1. Modulation of sibutramine-induced increases in extracellular noradrenaline concentration in rat frontal cortex and hypothalamus by α2-adrenoceptors

    Wortley, K E; Heal, D J; Stanford, S C

    1999-01-01

    The effects of sibutramine (0.25–10 mg kg−1 i.p.) on extracellular noradrenaline concentration in the frontal cortex and hypothalamus of freely-moving rats were investigated using microdialysis. The role of presynaptic α2-adrenoceptors in modulating the effects of sibutramine in these brain areas was also determined.Sibutramine induced an increase in extracellular noradrenaline concentration, the magnitude of which paralleled dose, in both brain areas. In the cortex, this increase was gradual and sustained, whereas in the hypothalamus it was more rapid and of shorter duration.In both the cortex and hypothalamus, pretreatment of rats with the α2-adrenoceptor antagonist RX821002 (3 mg kg−1 i.p.) potentiated increases in the accumulation of extracellular noradrenaline induced by sibutramine (10 mg kg−1 i.p.), by 7 and 10 fold respectively. RX821002 also reduced the latency of sibutramine to reach its maximum effect in the cortex, but not in the hypothalamus.Infusion of RX821002 (1 μM) via the probe increased the accumulation of extracellular noradrenaline induced by sibutramine (10 mg kg−1 i.p.) in both brain areas. In the hypothalamus, the effects of RX821002 on the accumulation of noradrenaline induced by sibutramine were 2 fold greater than those in the cortex.These findings support evidence that sibutramine inhibits the reuptake of noradrenaline in vivo, but that the accumulation of extracellular noradrenaline is limited by noradrenergic activation of presynaptic α2-adrenoceptors. Furthermore, the data suggest that terminal α2-adrenoceptors in the hypothalamus exert a greater inhibitory effect over the control of extracellular noradrenaline accumulation than do those in the cortex. PMID:10516646

  2. State-dependent spike and local field synchronization between motor cortex and substantia nigra in hemiparkinsonian rats.

    Brazhnik, Elena; Cruz, Ana V; Avila, Irene; Wahba, Marian I; Novikov, Nikolay; Ilieva, Neda M; McCoy, Alex J; Gerber, Colin; Walters, Judith R

    2012-06-06

    Excessive beta frequency oscillatory and synchronized activity has been reported in the basal ganglia of parkinsonian patients and animal models of the disease. To gain insight into processes underlying this activity, this study explores relationships between oscillatory activity in motor cortex and basal ganglia output in behaving rats after dopamine cell lesion. During inattentive rest, 7 d after lesion, increases in motor cortex-substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNpr) coherence emerged in the 8-25 Hz range, with significant increases in local field potential (LFP) power in SNpr but not motor cortex. In contrast, during treadmill walking, marked increases in both motor cortex and SNpr LFP power, as well as coherence, emerged in the 25-40 Hz band with a peak frequency at 30-35 Hz. Spike-triggered waveform averages showed that 77% of SNpr neurons, 77% of putative cortical interneurons, and 44% of putative pyramidal neurons were significantly phase-locked to the increased cortical LFP activity in the 25-40 Hz range. Although the mean lag between cortical and SNpr LFPs fluctuated around zero, SNpr neurons phase-locked to cortical LFP oscillations fired, on average, 17 ms after synchronized spiking in motor cortex. High coherence between LFP oscillations in cortex and SNpr supports the view that cortical activity facilitates entrainment and synchronization of activity in basal ganglia after loss of dopamine. However, the dramatic increases in cortical power and relative timing of phase-locked spiking in these areas suggest that additional processes help shape the frequency-specific tuning of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical network during ongoing motor activity.

  3. Elevated blood lactate is associated with increased motor cortex excitability.

    Coco, Marinella; Alagona, Giovanna; Rapisarda, Giuseppe; Costanzo, Erminio; Calogero, Roberto Antonio; Perciavalle, Valentina; Perciavalle, Vincenzo

    2010-01-01

    No information has yet been provided about the influence of blood lactate levels on the excitability of the cerebral cortex, in particular, of the motor cortex. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of high blood lactate levels, induced with a maximal cycling or with an intravenous infusion, on motor cortex excitability. The study was carried out on 17 male athletes; all the subjects performed a maximal cycling test on a mechanically braked cycloergometer, whereas 6 of them were submitted to the intravenous infusion of a lactate solution (3 mg/kg in 1 min). Before the exercise or the injection, at the end, as well as 5 and 10 min after the conclusion, venous blood lactate was measured and excitability of the motor cortex was evaluated by using the transcranial magnetic stimulation. In both of these experimental conditions, it was observed that an increase of blood lactate is associated with a decrease of motor threshold, that is, an enhancement of motor cortex excitability. We conclude by hypothesizing that in the motor cortex the lactate could have a protective role against fatigue.

  4. Medial cortex activity, self-reflection and depression.

    Johnson, Marcia K; Nolen-Hoeksema, Susan; Mitchell, Karen J; Levin, Yael

    2009-12-01

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we investigated neural activity associated with self-reflection in depressed [current major depressive episode (MDE)] and healthy control participants, focusing on medial cortex areas previously shown to be associated with self-reflection. Both the MDE and healthy control groups showed greater activity in anterior medial cortex (medial frontal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus) when cued to think about hopes and aspirations compared with duties and obligations, and greater activity in posterior medial cortex (precuneus, posterior cingulate) when cued to think about duties and obligations (Experiment 1). However, the MDE group showed less activity than controls in the same area of medial frontal cortex when self-referential cues were more ambiguous with respect to valence (Experiment 2), and less deactivation in a non-self-referential condition in both experiments. Furthermore, individual differences in rumination were positively correlated with activity in both anterior and posterior medial cortex during non-self-referential conditions. These results provide converging evidence for a dissociation of anterior and posterior medial cortex depending on the focus of self-relevant thought. They also provide neural evidence consistent with behavioral findings that depression is associated with disruption of positively valenced thoughts in response to ambiguous cues, and difficulty disengaging from self-reflection when it is appropriate to do so.

  5. Tinnitus intensity dependent gamma oscillations of the contralateral auditory cortex.

    Elsa van der Loo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Non-pulsatile tinnitus is considered a subjective auditory phantom phenomenon present in 10 to 15% of the population. Tinnitus as a phantom phenomenon is related to hyperactivity and reorganization of the auditory cortex. Magnetoencephalography studies demonstrate a correlation between gamma band activity in the contralateral auditory cortex and the presence of tinnitus. The present study aims to investigate the relation between objective gamma-band activity in the contralateral auditory cortex and subjective tinnitus loudness scores. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In unilateral tinnitus patients (N = 15; 10 right, 5 left source analysis of resting state electroencephalographic gamma band oscillations shows a strong positive correlation with Visual Analogue Scale loudness scores in the contralateral auditory cortex (max r = 0.73, p<0.05. CONCLUSION: Auditory phantom percepts thus show similar sound level dependent activation of the contralateral auditory cortex as observed in normal audition. In view of recent consciousness models and tinnitus network models these results suggest tinnitus loudness is coded by gamma band activity in the contralateral auditory cortex but might not, by itself, be responsible for tinnitus perception.

  6. TMS-induced neural noise in sensory cortex interferes with short-term memory storage in prefrontal cortex

    Bancroft, Tyler D.; Hogeveen, Jeremy; Hockley, William E.; Servos, Philip

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study, Harris et al. (2002) found disruption of vibrotactile short-term memory after applying single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary somatosensory cortex (SI) early in the maintenance period, and suggested that this demonstrated a role for SI in vibrotactile memory storage. While such a role is compatible with recent suggestions that sensory cortex is the storage substrate for working memory, it stands in contrast to a relatively large body of evidence f...

  7. MEG reveals a fast pathway from somatosensory cortex to occipital areas via posterior parietal cortex in a blind subject

    Andreas A Ioannides

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Cross-modal activity in visual cortex of blind subjects has been reported during performance of variety of non-visual tasks. A key unanswered question is through which pathways non-visual inputs are funneled to the visual cortex. Here we used tomographic analysis of single trial magnetoencephalography (MEG data recorded from one congenitally blind and two sighted subjects after stimulation of the left and right median nerves at three intensities: below sensory threshold, above sensory threshold and above motor threshold; the last sufficient to produce thumb twitching. We identified reproducible brain responses in the primary somatosensory (S1 and motor (M1 cortices at around 20 ms post-stimulus, which were very similar in sighted and blind subjects. Time-frequency analysis revealed strong 45 to 70 Hz activity at latencies of 20 to 50 ms in S1 and M1, and posterior parietal cortex Brodmann areas (BA 7 and 40, which compared to lower frequencies, were substantially more pronounced in the blind than the sighted subjects. Critically, at frequencies from α-band up to 100 Hz we found clear, strong and widespread responses in the visual cortex of the blind subject, which increased with the intensity of the somatosensory stimuli. Time-delayed mutual information (MI revealed that in blind subject the stimulus information is funneled from the early somatosensory to visual cortex through posterior parietal BA 7 and 40, projecting first to visual areas V5 and V3, and eventually V1. The flow of information through this pathway occured in stages characterized by convergence of activations into specific cortical regions. In sighted subjects, no linked activity was found that led from the somatosensory to the visual cortex through any of the studied brain regions. These results provide the first evidence from MEG that in blind subjects, tactile information is routed from primary somatosensory to occipital cortex via the posterior parietal cortex.

  8. MEG reveals a fast pathway from somatosensory cortex to occipital areas via posterior parietal cortex in a blind subject.

    Ioannides, Andreas A; Liu, Lichan; Poghosyan, Vahe; Saridis, George A; Gjedde, Albert; Ptito, Maurice; Kupers, Ron

    2013-01-01

    Cross-modal activity in visual cortex of blind subjects has been reported during performance of variety of non-visual tasks. A key unanswered question is through which pathways non-visual inputs are funneled to the visual cortex. Here we used tomographic analysis of single trial magnetoencephalography (MEG) data recorded from one congenitally blind and two sighted subjects after stimulation of the left and right median nerves at three intensities: below sensory threshold, above sensory threshold and above motor threshold; the last sufficient to produce thumb twitching. We identified reproducible brain responses in the primary somatosensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortices at around 20 ms post-stimulus, which were very similar in sighted and blind subjects. Time-frequency analysis revealed strong 45-70 Hz activity at latencies of 20-50 ms in S1 and M1, and posterior parietal cortex Brodmann areas (BA) 7 and 40, which compared to lower frequencies, were substantially more pronounced in the blind than the sighted subjects. Critically, at frequencies from α-band up to 100 Hz we found clear, strong, and widespread responses in the visual cortex of the blind subject, which increased with the intensity of the somatosensory stimuli. Time-delayed mutual information (MI) revealed that in blind subject the stimulus information is funneled from the early somatosensory to visual cortex through posterior parietal BA 7 and 40, projecting first to visual areas V5 and V3, and eventually V1. The flow of information through this pathway occurred in stages characterized by convergence of activations into specific cortical regions. In sighted subjects, no linked activity was found that led from the somatosensory to the visual cortex through any of the studied brain regions. These results provide the first evidence from MEG that in blind subjects, tactile information is routed from primary somatosensory to occipital cortex via the posterior parietal cortex.

  9. The contribution of the human posterior parietal cortex to episodic memory.

    Sestieri, Carlo; Shulman, Gordon L; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2017-02-17

    The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is traditionally associated with attention, perceptual decision making and sensorimotor transformations, but more recent human neuroimaging studies support an additional role in episodic memory retrieval. In this Opinion article, we present a functional-anatomical model of the involvement of the PPC in memory retrieval. Parietal regions involved in perceptual attention and episodic memory are largely segregated and often show a push-pull relationship, potentially mediated by prefrontal regions. Moreover, different PPC regions carry out specific functions during retrieval - for example, representing retrieved information, recoding this information based on task demands, or accumulating evidence for memory decisions.

  10. Diffusion tensor imaging and MR morphometry of the central auditory pathway and auditory cortex in aging

    Profant, Oliver; Škoch, A.; Balogová, Zuzana; Tintěra, J.; Hlinka, Jaroslav; Syka, Josef

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 260, FEB 28 (2014), s. 87-97 ISSN 0306-4522 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP304/10/1872; GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069; GA ČR GA13-23940S Grant - others:GA MŠk(CZ) Prvouk-P27/LF1/1 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 ; RVO:67985807 Keywords : presbycusis * aging * auditory cortex Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.357, year: 2014

  11. Neuronal variability in orbitofrontal cortex during economic decisions.

    Conen, Katherine E; Padoa-Schioppa, Camillo

    2015-09-01

    Neuroeconomic models assume that economic decisions are based on the activity of offer value cells in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), but testing this assertion has proven difficult. In principle, the decision made on a given trial should correlate with the stochastic fluctuations of these cells. However, this correlation, measured as a choice probability (CP), is small. Importantly, a neuron's CP reflects not only its individual contribution to the decision (termed readout weight), but also the intensity and the structure of correlated variability across the neuronal population (termed noise correlation). A precise mathematical relation between CPs, noise correlations, and readout weights was recently derived by Haefner and colleagues (Haefner RM, Gerwinn S, Macke JH, Bethge M. Nat Neurosci 16: 235-242, 2013) for a linear decision model. In this framework, concurrent measurements of noise correlations and CPs can provide quantitative information on how a population of cells contributes to a decision. Here we examined neuronal variability in the OFC of rhesus monkeys during economic decisions. Noise correlations had similar structure but considerably lower strength compared with those typically measured in sensory areas during perceptual decisions. In contrast, variability in the activity of individual cells was high and comparable to that recorded in other cortical regions. Simulation analyses based on Haefner's equation showed that noise correlations measured in the OFC combined with a plausible readout of offer value cells reproduced the experimental measures of CPs. In other words, the results obtained for noise correlations and those obtained for CPs taken together support the hypothesis that economic decisions are primarily based on the activity of offer value cells. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Medial Orbitofrontal Cortex Mediates Effort-related Responding in Rats.

    Münster, Alexandra; Hauber, Wolfgang

    2017-11-17

    The medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) is known to support flexible control of goal-directed behavior. However, limited evidence suggests that the mOFC also mediates the ability of organisms to work with vigor towards a selected goal, a hypothesis that received little consideration to date. Here we show that excitotoxic mOFC lesion increased responding under a progressive ratio (PR) schedule of reinforcement, that is, the highest ratio achieved, and increased the preference for the high effort-high reward option in an effort-related decision-making task, but left intact outcome-selective Pavlovian-instrumental transfer and outcome-specific devaluation. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of the mOFC increased, while pharmacological stimulation reduced PR responding. In addition, pharmacological mOFC stimulation attenuated methylphenidate-induced increase of PR responding. Intact rats tested for PR responding displayed higher numbers of c-Fos positive mOFC neurons than appropriate controls; however, mOFC neurons projecting to the nucleus accumbens did not show a selective increase in neuronal activation implying that they may not play a major role in regulating PR responding. Collectively, these results suggest that the mOFC plays a major role in mediating effort-related motivational functions. Moreover, our data demonstrate for the first time that the mOFC modulates effort-related effects of psychostimulant drugs. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. From motor cortex to visual cortex: the application of noninvasive brain stimulation to amblyopia.

    Thompson, Benjamin; Mansouri, Behzad; Koski, Lisa; Hess, Robert F

    2012-04-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation is a technique for inducing changes in the excitability of discrete neural populations in the human brain. A current model of the underlying pathological processes contributing to the loss of motor function after stroke has motivated a number of research groups to investigate the potential therapeutic application of brain stimulation to stroke rehabilitation. The loss of motor function is modeled as resulting from a combination of reduced excitability in the lesioned motor cortex and an increased inhibitory drive from the nonlesioned hemisphere over the lesioned hemisphere. This combination of impaired neural function and pathological suppression resonates with current views on the cause of the visual impairment in amblyopia. Here, we discuss how the rationale for using noninvasive brain stimulation in stroke rehabilitation can be applied to amblyopia, review a proof-of-principle study demonstrating that brain stimulation can temporarily improve amblyopic eye function, and propose future research avenues. Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Unimodal primary sensory cortices are directly connected by long-range horizontal projections in the rat sensory cortex

    Jimmy eStehberg

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Research based on functional imaging and neuronal recordings in the barrel cortex subdivision of primary somatosensory cortex (SI of the adult rat has revealed novel aspects of structure-function relationships in this cortex. Specifically, it has demonstrated that single whisker stimulation evokes subthreshold neuronal activity that spreads symmetrically within gray matter from the appropriate barrel area, crosses cytoarchitectural borders of SI and reaches deeply into other unimodal primary cortices such as primary auditory (AI and primary visual (VI. It was further demonstrated that this spread is supported by a spatially matching underlying diffuse network of border-crossing, long-range projections that could also reach deeply into AI and VI. Here we seek to determine whether such a network of border-crossing, long-range projections is unique to barrel cortex or characterizes also other primary, unimodal sensory cortices and therefore could directly connect them. Using anterograde (BDA and retrograde (CTb tract-tracing techniques, we demonstrate that such diffuse horizontal networks directly and mutually connect VI, AI and SI. These findings suggest that diffuse, border-crossing axonal projections connecting directly primary cortices are an important organizational motif common to all major primary sensory cortices in the rat. Potential implications of these findings for topics including cortical structure-function relationships, multisensory integration, functional imaging and cortical parcellation are discussed.

  15. Lateral prefrontal cortex is organized into parallel dorsal and ventral streams along the rostro-caudal axis.

    Blumenfeld, Robert S; Nomura, Emi M; Gratton, Caterina; D'Esposito, Mark

    2013-10-01

    Anatomical connectivity differences between the dorsal and ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) of the non-human primate strongly suggests that these regions support different functions. However, after years of study, it remains unclear whether these regions are functionally distinct. In contrast, there has been a groundswell of recent studies providing evidence for a rostro-caudal functional organization, along the lateral as well as dorsomedial frontal cortex. Thus, it is not known whether dorsal and ventral regions of lateral PFC form distinct functional networks and how to reconcile any dorso-ventral organization with the medio-lateral and rostro-caudal axes. Here, we used resting-state connectivity data to identify parallel dorsolateral and ventrolateral streams of intrinsic connectivity with the dorsomedial frontal cortex. Moreover, we show that this connectivity follows a rostro-caudal gradient. Our results provide evidence for a novel framework for the intrinsic organization of the frontal cortex that incorporates connections between medio-lateral, dorso-ventral, and rostro-caudal axes.

  16. Optogenetic stimulation of lateral amygdala input to posterior piriform cortex modulates single-unit and ensemble odor processing

    Benjamin eSadrian

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory information is synthesized within the olfactory cortex to provide not only an odor percept, but also a contextual significance that supports appropriate behavioral response to specific odor cues. The piriform cortex serves as a communication hub within this circuit by sharing reciprocal connectivity with higher processing regions, such as the lateral entorhinal cortex and amygdala. The functional significance of these descending inputs on piriform cortical processing of odorants is currently not well understood. We have employed optogenetic methods to selectively stimulate lateral and basolateral amygdala (BLA afferent fibers innervating the posterior piriform cortex (pPCX to quantify BLA modulation of pPCX odor-evoked activity. Single unit odor-evoked activity of anaesthetized BLA-infected animals was significantly modulated compared with control animal recordings, with individual cells displaying either enhancement or suppression of odor-driven spiking. In addition, BLA activation induced a decorrelation of odor-evoked pPCX ensemble activity relative to odor alone. Together these results indicate a modulatory role in pPCX odor processing for the BLA complex, which could contribute to learned changes in PCX activity following associative conditioning.

  17. Dopamine release in human striatum induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Lee, Won Woo; Kim, Sang Eun [Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-07-01

    Animal study suggests that prefrontal cortex plays an important Animal studies suggest that prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the modulation of dopamine (DA) release in subcortical areas. However, little is known about the relationship between DA release and prefrontal activation in human. We investigated whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) influences DA release in human striatum with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I)iodobenzamide (IBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy male volunteers (age, 25{+-}2 yr) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, Sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left DLPFC), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM DLPFC was defined as a 6 cm anterior and 1cm lateral from the primary motor cortex. rTMS session consisted of three blocks, in each block, 15 trains of 2 see duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency, 100% motor threshold, and between-train intervals of 10 sec. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital) / occipital activity ratio, was measured under equilibrium condition, at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over DLPFC induced reduction of V3' in the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum by 9.7% {+-} 1.3% and 10.6% {+-} 3.2%, respectively, compared with sham procedures (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively), indicating striatal DA release elicited by rTMS over DLPFC. V3' reduction in the ipsilateral caudate nucleus was greater than that in the contralateral caudate nucleus (9.9% {+-} 4.5% vs. 6.6% {+-} 3.1%, P < 0.05). These data demonstrate DA release in human striatum induced by rTMS over DLPFC, supporting that cortico-striatal fibers originating in prefrontal cortex are involved in local DA release.

  18. Dopamine release in human striatum induced by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

    Cho, Sang Soo; Yoon, Eun Jin; Kim, Yu Kyeong; Lee, Won Woo; Kim, Sang Eun

    2005-01-01

    Animal study suggests that prefrontal cortex plays an important Animal studies suggest that prefrontal cortex plays an important role in the modulation of dopamine (DA) release in subcortical areas. However, little is known about the relationship between DA release and prefrontal activation in human. We investigated whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) influences DA release in human striatum with SPECT measurements of striatal binding of [123I)iodobenzamide (IBZM), a DA D2 receptor radioligand that is sensitive to endogenous DA. Five healthy male volunteers (age, 25±2 yr) were studied with brain [123I]IBZM SPECT under three conditions (resting, Sham stimulation, and active rTMS over left DLPFC), while receiving a bolus plus constant infusion of [123I]IBZM DLPFC was defined as a 6 cm anterior and 1cm lateral from the primary motor cortex. rTMS session consisted of three blocks, in each block, 15 trains of 2 see duration were delivered with 10 Hz stimulation frequency, 100% motor threshold, and between-train intervals of 10 sec. Striatal V3', calculated as (striatal - occipital) / occipital activity ratio, was measured under equilibrium condition, at baseline and after sham and active rTMS. Sham stimulation did not affect striatal V3'. rTMS over DLPFC induced reduction of V3' in the ipsilateral and contralateral striatum by 9.7% ± 1.3% and 10.6% ± 3.2%, respectively, compared with sham procedures (P < 0.01 and P < 0.01, respectively), indicating striatal DA release elicited by rTMS over DLPFC. V3' reduction in the ipsilateral caudate nucleus was greater than that in the contralateral caudate nucleus (9.9% ± 4.5% vs. 6.6% ± 3.1%, P < 0.05). These data demonstrate DA release in human striatum induced by rTMS over DLPFC, supporting that cortico-striatal fibers originating in prefrontal cortex are involved in local DA release

  19. Astrocytic cytoskeletal atrophy in the medial prefrontal cortex of a triple transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease

    Kulijewicz-Nawrot, Magdaléna; Verkhratsky, Alexei; Chvátal, Alexandr; Syková, Eva; Rodríguez Arellano, Jose Julio

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 221, č. 3 (2012), s. 252-262 ISSN 0021-8782 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA305/08/1384; GA ČR GA309/09/1696; GA ČR GAP304/11/0184 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390703 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : Alzheimer’s disease,, * astroglia * medial prefrontal cortex Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 2.357, year: 2012

  20. Dynamic anticipatory processing of hierarchical sequential events: a common role for Broca's area and ventral premotor cortex across domains?

    Fiebach, Christian J; Schubotz, Ricarda I

    2006-05-01

    This paper proposes a domain-general model for the functional contribution of ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and adjacent Broca's area to perceptual, cognitive, and motor processing. We propose to understand this frontal region as a highly flexible sequence processor, with the PMv mapping sequential events onto stored structural templates and Broca's Area involved in more complex, hierarchical or hypersequential processing. This proposal is supported by reference to previous functional neuroimaging studies investigating abstract sequence processing and syntactic processing.

  1. The posterior medial cortex is involved in visual but not in verbal memory encoding processing: an intracerebral recording study

    Štillová, K.; Jurák, Pavel; Chládek, Jan; Halámek, Josef; Telecká, S.; Rektor, I.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 120, č. 3 (2013), s. 391-397 ISSN 0300-9564 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP103/11/0933; GA MŠk ED0017/01/01 Institutional support: RVO:68081731 Keywords : Event-related potential (ERP) * Memory * Posterior medial cortex (PMC) – SEEG Subject RIV: BD - Theory of Information Impact factor: 2.871, year: 2013

  2. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex mediates visual attention during facial emotion recognition.

    Wolf, Richard C; Philippi, Carissa L; Motzkin, Julian C; Baskaya, Mustafa K; Koenigs, Michael

    2014-06-01

    The ventromedial prefrontal cortex is known to play a crucial role in regulating human social and emotional behaviour, yet the precise mechanisms by which it subserves this broad function remain unclear. Whereas previous neuropsychological studies have largely focused on the role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in higher-order deliberative processes related to valuation and decision-making, here we test whether ventromedial prefrontal cortex may also be critical for more basic aspects of orienting attention to socially and emotionally meaningful stimuli. Using eye tracking during a test of facial emotion recognition in a sample of lesion patients, we show that bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage impairs visual attention to the eye regions of faces, particularly for fearful faces. This finding demonstrates a heretofore unrecognized function of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex-the basic attentional process of controlling eye movements to faces expressing emotion. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Interpretation of the function of the striate cortex

    Garner, Bernardette M.; Paplinski, Andrew P.

    2000-04-01

    Biological neural networks do not require retraining every time objects move in the visual field. Conventional computer neural networks do not share this shift-invariance. The brain compensates for movements in the head, body, eyes and objects by allowing the sensory data to be tracked across the visual field. The neurons in the striate cortex respond to objects moving across the field of vision as is seen in many experiments. It is proposed, that the neurons in the striate cortex allow continuous angle changes needed to compensate for changes in orientation of the head, eyes and the motion of objects in the field of vision. It is hypothesized that the neurons in the striate cortex form a system that allows for the translation, some rotation and scaling of objects and provides a continuity of objects as they move relative to other objects. The neurons in the striate cortex respond to features which are fundamental to sight, such as orientation of lines, direction of motion, color and contrast. The neurons that respond to these features are arranged on the cortex in a way that depends on the features they are responding to and on the area of the retina from which they receive their inputs.

  4. Changes in Cerebral Cortex of Children Treated for Medulloblastoma

    Liu, Arthur K.; Marcus, Karen J.; Fischl, Bruce; Grant, P. Ellen; Young Poussaint, Tina; Rivkin, Michael J.; Davis, Peter; Tarbell, Nancy J.; Yock, Torunn I.

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: Children with medulloblastoma undergo surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. After treatment, these children have numerous structural abnormalities. Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging, we measured the thickness of the cerebral cortex in a group of medulloblastoma patients and a group of normally developing children. Methods and Materials: We obtained magnetic resonance imaging scans and measured the cortical thickness in 9 children after treatment of medulloblastoma. The measurements from these children were compared with the measurements from age- and gender-matched normally developing children previously scanned. For additional comparison, the pattern of thickness change was compared with the cortical thickness maps from a larger group of 65 normally developing children. Results: In the left hemisphere, relatively thinner cortex was found in the perirolandic region and the parieto-occipital lobe. In the right hemisphere, relatively thinner cortex was found in the parietal lobe, posterior superior temporal gyrus, and lateral temporal lobe. These regions of cortical thinning overlapped with the regions of cortex that undergo normal age-related thinning. Conclusion: The spatial distribution of cortical thinning suggested that the areas of cortex that are undergoing development are more sensitive to the effects of treatment of medulloblastoma. Such quantitative methods may improve our understanding of the biologic effects that treatment has on the cerebral development and their neuropsychological implications

  5. An FPGA-Based Massively Parallel Neuromorphic Cortex Simulator.

    Wang, Runchun M; Thakur, Chetan S; van Schaik, André

    2018-01-01

    This paper presents a massively parallel and scalable neuromorphic cortex simulator designed for simulating large and structurally connected spiking neural networks, such as complex models of various areas of the cortex. The main novelty of this work is the abstraction of a neuromorphic architecture into clusters represented by minicolumns and hypercolumns, analogously to the fundamental structural units observed in neurobiology. Without this approach, simulating large-scale fully connected networks needs prohibitively large memory to store look-up tables for point-to-point connections. Instead, we use a novel architecture, based on the structural connectivity in the neocortex, such that all the required parameters and connections can be stored in on-chip memory. The cortex simulator can be easily reconfigured for simulating different neural networks without any change in hardware structure by programming the memory. A hierarchical communication scheme allows one neuron to have a fan-out of up to 200 k neurons. As a proof-of-concept, an implementation on one Altera Stratix V FPGA was able to simulate 20 million to 2.6 billion leaky-integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons in real time. We verified the system by emulating a simplified auditory cortex (with 100 million neurons). This cortex simulator achieved a low power dissipation of 1.62 μW per neuron. With the advent of commercially available FPGA boards, our system offers an accessible and scalable tool for the design, real-time simulation, and analysis of large-scale spiking neural networks.

  6. Enhanced attentional gain as a mechanism for generalized perceptual learning in human visual cortex.

    Byers, Anna; Serences, John T

    2014-09-01

    Learning to better discriminate a specific visual feature (i.e., a specific orientation in a specific region of space) has been associated with plasticity in early visual areas (sensory modulation) and with improvements in the transmission of sensory information from early visual areas to downstream sensorimotor and decision regions (enhanced readout). However, in many real-world scenarios that require perceptual expertise, observers need to efficiently process numerous exemplars from a broad stimulus class as opposed to just a single stimulus feature. Some previous data suggest that perceptual learning leads to highly specific neural modulations that support the discrimination of specific trained features. However, the extent to which perceptual learning acts to improve the discriminability of a broad class of stimuli via the modulation of sensory responses in human visual cortex remains largely unknown. Here, we used functional MRI and a multivariate analysis method to reconstruct orientation-selective response profiles based on activation patterns in the early visual cortex before and after subjects learned to discriminate small offsets in a set of grating stimuli that were rendered in one of nine possible orientations. Behavioral performance improved across 10 training sessions, and there was a training-related increase in the amplitude of orientation-selective response profiles in V1, V2, and V3 when orientation was task relevant compared with when it was task irrelevant. These results suggest that generalized perceptual learning can lead to modified responses in the early visual cortex in a manner that is suitable for supporting improved discriminability of stimuli drawn from a large set of exemplars. Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

  7. Gray matter density of auditory association cortex relates to knowledge of sound concepts in primary progressive aphasia.

    Bonner, Michael F; Grossman, Murray

    2012-06-06

    Long-term memory integrates the multimodal information acquired through perception into unified concepts, supporting object recognition, thought, and language. While some theories of human cognition have considered concepts to be abstract symbols, recent functional neuroimaging evidence has supported an alternative theory: that concepts are multimodal representations associated with the sensory and motor systems through which they are acquired. However, few studies have examined the effects of cortical lesions on the sensory and motor associations of concepts. We tested the hypothesis that individuals with disease in auditory association cortex would have difficulty processing concepts with strong sound associations (e.g., thunder). Human participants with the logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia (lvPPA) performed a recognition task on words with strong associations in three modalities: Sound, Sight, and Manipulation. LvPPA participants had selective difficulty on Sound words relative to other modalities. Structural MRI analysis in lvPPA revealed gray matter atrophy in auditory association cortex, as defined functionally in a separate BOLD fMRI study of healthy adults. Moreover, lvPPA showed reduced gray matter density in the region of auditory association cortex that healthy participants activated when processing the same Sound words in a separate BOLD fMRI experiment. Finally, reduced gray matter density in this region in lvPPA directly correlated with impaired performance on Sound words. These findings support the hypothesis that conceptual memories are represented in the sensory and motor association cortices through which they are acquired.

  8. False memory for context activates the parahippocampal cortex.

    Karanian, Jessica M; Slotnick, Scott D

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have reported greater activity in the parahippocampal cortex during true memory than false memory, which has been interpreted as reflecting greater sensory processing during true memory. However, in these studies, sensory detail and contextual information were confounded. In the present fMRI study, we employed a novel paradigm to dissociate these factors. During encoding, abstract shapes were presented in one of two contexts (i.e., moving or stationary). During retrieval, participants classified shapes as previously "moving" or "stationary." Critically, contextual processing was relatively greater during false memory ("moving" responses to stationary items), while sensory processing was relatively greater during true memory ("moving" responses to moving items). Within the medial temporal lobe, false memory versus true memory produced greater activity in the parahippocampal cortex, whereas true memory versus false memory produced greater activity in the hippocampus. The present results indicate that the parahippocampal cortex mediates contextual processing rather than sensory processing.

  9. Membrane potential correlates of sensory perception in mouse barrel cortex.

    Sachidhanandam, Shankar; Sreenivasan, Varun; Kyriakatos, Alexandros; Kremer, Yves; Petersen, Carl C H

    2013-11-01

    Neocortical activity can evoke sensory percepts, but the cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. We trained mice to detect single brief whisker stimuli and report perceived stimuli by licking to obtain a reward. Pharmacological inactivation and optogenetic stimulation demonstrated a causal role for the primary somatosensory barrel cortex. Whole-cell recordings from barrel cortex neurons revealed membrane potential correlates of sensory perception. Sensory responses depended strongly on prestimulus cortical state, but both slow-wave and desynchronized cortical states were compatible with task performance. Whisker deflection evoked an early (sensory response that was encoded through cell-specific reversal potentials. A secondary late (50-400 ms) depolarization was enhanced on hit trials compared to misses. Optogenetic inactivation revealed a causal role for late excitation. Our data reveal dynamic processing in the sensory cortex during task performance, with an early sensory response reliably encoding the stimulus and later secondary activity contributing to driving the subjective percept.

  10. Conflict processing in the anterior cingulate cortex constrains response priming.

    Pastötter, Bernhard; Hanslmayr, Simon; Bäuml, Karl-Heinz T

    2010-05-01

    A prominent function of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is to process conflict between competing response options. In this study, we investigated the role of conflict processing in a response-priming task in which manual responses were either validly or invalidly cued. Examining electrophysiological measurements of oscillatory brain activity on the source level, we found response priming to be related to a beta power decrease in the premotor cortex and conflict processing to be linked to a theta power increase in the ACC. In particular, correlation of oscillatory brain activities in the ACC and the premotor cortex showed that conflict processing reduces response priming by slowing response time in valid trials and lowering response errors in invalid trials. This relationship emerged on a between subjects level as well as within subjects, on a single trial level. These findings suggest that conflict processing in the ACC constrains the automatic priming process. 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Altered intrinsic connectivity of the auditory cortex in congenital amusia.

    Leveque, Yohana; Fauvel, Baptiste; Groussard, Mathilde; Caclin, Anne; Albouy, Philippe; Platel, Hervé; Tillmann, Barbara

    2016-07-01

    Congenital amusia, a neurodevelopmental disorder of music perception and production, has been associated with abnormal anatomical and functional connectivity in a right frontotemporal pathway. To investigate whether spontaneous connectivity in brain networks involving the auditory cortex is altered in the amusic brain, we ran a seed-based connectivity analysis, contrasting at-rest functional MRI data of amusic and matched control participants. Our results reveal reduced frontotemporal connectivity in amusia during resting state, as well as an overconnectivity between the auditory cortex and the default mode network (DMN). The findings suggest that the auditory cortex is intrinsically more engaged toward internal processes and less available to external stimuli in amusics compared with controls. Beyond amusia, our findings provide new evidence for the link between cognitive deficits in pathology and abnormalities in the connectivity between sensory areas and the DMN at rest. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  12. Determination of Betaine in Lycii Cortex by Capillary Electrophoresis

    Peng, Xuewei; Liu, Haixing

    2017-12-01

    This paper presents the determination of betaine content in Lycii Cortex by high performance capillary electrophoresis (HPCE) method. The borax solution was chosen as buffer solution, and its concentration was 40 mmol at a constant voltage of 20kV and injecting pressure time of 10s at 14°C. Linearity was kept in the concent ration range of 0.0113∼1.45mg of betaine with correlation coefficient of 0.9. The content of betaine in Lycii Cortex was 61.9 mg/g (RSD = 13.4%) (n = 7). The recovery was in the range of 86.6% - 118.1% (n=4). This method is specific, simple and rapid and accurate, which is suitable for the detection of the content of betaine in Lycii Cortex.

  13. Decoding the future from past experience: learning shapes predictions in early visual cortex.

    Luft, Caroline D B; Meeson, Alan; Welchman, Andrew E; Kourtzi, Zoe

    2015-05-01

    Learning the structure of the environment is critical for interpreting the current scene and predicting upcoming events. However, the brain mechanisms that support our ability to translate knowledge about scene statistics to sensory predictions remain largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that learning of temporal regularities shapes representations in early visual cortex that relate to our ability to predict sensory events. We tested the participants' ability to predict the orientation of a test stimulus after exposure to sequences of leftward- or rightward-oriented gratings. Using fMRI decoding, we identified brain patterns related to the observers' visual predictions rather than stimulus-driven activity. Decoding of predicted orientations following structured sequences was enhanced after training, while decoding of cued orientations following exposure to random sequences did not change. These predictive representations appear to be driven by the same large-scale neural populations that encode actual stimulus orientation and to be specific to the learned sequence structure. Thus our findings provide evidence that learning temporal structures supports our ability to predict future events by reactivating selective sensory representations as early as in primary visual cortex. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  14. Auditory and visual connectivity gradients in frontoparietal cortex.

    Braga, Rodrigo M; Hellyer, Peter J; Wise, Richard J S; Leech, Robert

    2017-01-01

    A frontoparietal network of brain regions is often implicated in both auditory and visual information processing. Although it is possible that the same set of multimodal regions subserves both modalities, there is increasing evidence that there is a differentiation of sensory function within frontoparietal cortex. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in humans was used to investigate whether different frontoparietal regions showed intrinsic biases in connectivity with visual or auditory modalities. Structural connectivity was assessed with diffusion tractography and functional connectivity was tested using functional MRI. A dorsal-ventral gradient of function was observed, where connectivity with visual cortex dominates dorsal frontal and parietal connections, while connectivity with auditory cortex dominates ventral frontal and parietal regions. A gradient was also observed along the posterior-anterior axis, although in opposite directions in prefrontal and parietal cortices. The results suggest that the location of neural activity within frontoparietal cortex may be influenced by these intrinsic biases toward visual and auditory processing. Thus, the location of activity in frontoparietal cortex may be influenced as much by stimulus modality as the cognitive demands of a task. It was concluded that stimulus modality was spatially encoded throughout frontal and parietal cortices, and was speculated that such an arrangement allows for top-down modulation of modality-specific information to occur within higher-order cortex. This could provide a potentially faster and more efficient pathway by which top-down selection between sensory modalities could occur, by constraining modulations to within frontal and parietal regions, rather than long-range connections to sensory cortices. Hum Brain Mapp 38:255-270, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Transcranial static magnetic field stimulation of the human motor cortex

    Oliviero, Antonio; Mordillo-Mateos, Laura; Arias, Pablo; Panyavin, Ivan; Foffani, Guglielmo; Aguilar, Juan

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The aim of the present study was to investigate in healthy humans the possibility of a non-invasive modulation of motor cortex excitability by the application of static magnetic fields through the scalp. Static magnetic fields were obtained by using cylindrical NdFeB magnets. We performed four sets of experiments. In Experiment 1, we recorded motor potentials evoked by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex before and after 10 min of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) in conscious subjects. We observed an average reduction of motor cortex excitability of up to 25%, as revealed by TMS, which lasted for several minutes after the end of tSMS, and was dose dependent (intensity of the magnetic field) but not polarity dependent. In Experiment 2, we confirmed the reduction of motor cortex excitability induced by tSMS using a double-blind sham-controlled design. In Experiment 3, we investigated the duration of tSMS that was necessary to modulate motor cortex excitability. We found that 10 min of tSMS (compared to 1 min and 5 min) were necessary to induce significant effects. In Experiment 4, we used transcranial electric stimulation (TES) to establish that the tSMS-induced reduction of motor cortex excitability was not due to corticospinal axon and/or spinal excitability, but specifically involved intracortical networks. These results suggest that tSMS using small static magnets may be a promising tool to modulate cerebral excitability in a non-invasive, painless, and reversible way. PMID:21807616

  16. Task context impacts visual object processing differentially across the cortex

    Harel, Assaf; Kravitz, Dwight J.; Baker, Chris I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception reflects an integration of “bottom-up” (sensory-driven) and “top-down” (internally generated) signals. Although models of visual processing often emphasize the central role of feed-forward hierarchical processing, less is known about the impact of top-down signals on complex visual representations. Here, we investigated whether and how the observer’s goals modulate object processing across the cortex. We examined responses elicited by a diverse set of objects under six distinct tasks, focusing on either physical (e.g., color) or conceptual properties (e.g., man-made). Critically, the same stimuli were presented in all tasks, allowing us to investigate how task impacts the neural representations of identical visual input. We found that task has an extensive and differential impact on object processing across the cortex. First, we found task-dependent representations in the ventral temporal and prefrontal cortex. In particular, although object identity could be decoded from the multivoxel response within task, there was a significant reduction in decoding across tasks. In contrast, the early visual cortex evidenced equivalent decoding within and across tasks, indicating task-independent representations. Second, task information was pervasive and present from the earliest stages of object processing. However, although the responses of the ventral temporal, prefrontal, and parietal cortex enabled decoding of both the type of task (physical/conceptual) and the specific task (e.g., color), the early visual cortex was not sensitive to type of task and could only be used to decode individual physical tasks. Thus, object processing is highly influenced by the behavioral goal of the observer, highlighting how top-down signals constrain and inform the formation of visual representations. PMID:24567402

  17. The ``gray cortex``: an early sign of stress fracture

    Mulligan, M.E. [Dept. of Radiology, Univ. of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD (United States)

    1995-04-01

    The purpose of this report is to describe an early radiographic sign of stress fracture, the ``gray cortex.`` The imaging findings in three patients with tibial stress fractures were reviewed. The ``gray cortex`` sign was evident on the initial conventional radiographs in all three cases. It was prospectively reported as a sign of stress fracture in two patients and was evident on the initial radiographs (taken elsewhere) of the third patient, who was referred for additional workup of a possible neoplasm. Special imaging studies (technetium-99m bone scan, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging) confirmed the diagnosis in all three cases. (orig.)

  18. The ''gray cortex'': an early sign of stress fracture

    Mulligan, M.E.

    1995-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to describe an early radiographic sign of stress fracture, the ''gray cortex.'' The imaging findings in three patients with tibial stress fractures were reviewed. The ''gray cortex'' sign was evident on the initial conventional radiographs in all three cases. It was prospectively reported as a sign of stress fracture in two patients and was evident on the initial radiographs (taken elsewhere) of the third patient, who was referred for additional workup of a possible neoplasm. Special imaging studies (technetium-99m bone scan, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging) confirmed the diagnosis in all three cases. (orig.)

  19. The amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and psychopathy.

    Blair, R J R

    2007-09-01

    Recent work has implicated the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex in morality and, when dysfunctional, psychopathy. This model proposes that the amygdala, through stimulus-reinforcement learning, enables the association of actions that harm others with the aversive reinforcement of the victims' distress. Consequent information on reinforcement expectancy, fed forward to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, can guide the healthy individual away from moral transgressions. In psychopathy, dysfunction in these structures means that care-based moral reasoning is compromised and the risk that antisocial behavior is used instrumentally to achieve goals is increased.

  20. Plasticity in the Prefrontal Cortex of Adult Rats

    Bryan eKolb

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available We review the plastic changes of the prefrontal cortex of the rat in response to a wide range of experiences including sensory and motor experience, gonadal hormones, psychoactive drugs, learning tasks, stress, social experience, metaplastic experiences, and brain injury. Our focus is on synaptic changes (dendritic morphology and spine density in pyramidal neurons and the relationship to behavioral changes. The most general conclusion we can reach is that the prefrontal cortex is extremely plastic and that the medial and orbital prefrontal regions frequently respond very differently to the same experience in the same brain and the rules that govern prefrontal plasticity appear to differ for those of other cortical regions.

  1. Effective Connectivity Hierarchically Links Temporoparietal and Frontal Areas of the Auditory Dorsal Stream with the Motor Cortex Lip Area during Speech Perception

    Murakami, Takenobu; Restle, Julia; Ziemann, Ulf

    2012-01-01

    A left-hemispheric cortico-cortical network involving areas of the temporoparietal junction (Tpj) and the posterior inferior frontal gyrus (pIFG) is thought to support sensorimotor integration of speech perception into articulatory motor activation, but how this network links with the lip area of the primary motor cortex (M1) during speech…

  2. Physiological slowing and upregulation of inhibition in cortex are correlated with behavioral deficits in protein malnourished rats.

    Rahul Chaudhary

    Full Text Available Protein malnutrition during early development has been correlated with cognitive and learning disabilities in children, but the neuronal deficits caused by long-term protein deficiency are not well understood. We exposed rats from gestation up to adulthood to a protein-deficient (PD diet, to emulate chronic protein malnutrition in humans. The offspring exhibited significantly impaired performance on the 'Gap-crossing' (GC task after reaching maturity, a behavior that has been shown to depend on normal functioning of the somatosensory cortex. The physiological state of the somatosensory cortex was examined to determine neuronal correlates of the deficits in behavior. Extracellular multi-unit recording from layer 4 (L4 neurons that receive direct thalamocortical inputs and layers 2/3 (L2/3 neurons that are dominated by intracortical connections in the whisker-barrel cortex of PD rats exhibited significantly low spontaneous activity and depressed responses to whisker stimulation. L4 neurons were more severely affected than L2/3 neurons. The response onset was significantly delayed in L4 cells. The peak response latency of L4 and L2/3 neurons was delayed significantly. In L2/3 and L4 of the barrel cortex there was a substantial increase in GAD65 (112% over controls and much smaller increase in NMDAR1 (12-20%, suggesting enhanced inhibition in the PD cortex. These results show that chronic protein deficiency negatively affects both thalamo-cortical and cortico-cortical transmission during somatosensory information processing. The findings support the interpretation that sustained protein deficiency interferes with features of cortical sensory processing that are likely to underlie the cognitive impairments reported in humans who have suffered from prolonged protein deficiency.

  3. The contribution of CXCL12-expressing radial glia cells to neuro-vascular patterning during human cerebral cortex development

    Mariella eErrede

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted on human developing brain by laser confocal and transmission electron microscopy to make a detailed analysis of important features of blood-brain barrier microvessels and possible control mechanisms of vessel growth and differentiation during cerebral cortex vascularization. The blood-brain barrier status of cortex microvessels was examined at a defined stage of cortex development, at the end of neuroblast waves of migration and before cortex lamination, with blood-brain barrier-endothelial cell markers, namely tight junction proteins (occludin and claudin-5 and influx and efflux transporters (Glut-1 and P-glycoprotein, the latter supporting evidence for functional effectiveness of the fetal blood-brain barrier. According to the well-known roles of astroglia cells on microvessel growth and differentiation, the early composition of astroglia/endothelial cell relationships was analysed by detecting the appropriate astroglia, endothelial, and pericyte markers. GFAP, chemokine CXCL12, and connexin 43 (Cx43 were utilized as markers of radial glia cells, CD105 (endoglin as a marker of angiogenically activated endothelial cells, and proteoglycan NG2 as a marker of immature pericytes. Immunolabeling for CXCL12 showed the highest level of the ligand in radial glial fibres in contact with the growing cortex microvessels. These specialized contacts, recognizable on both perforating radial vessels and growing collaterals, appeared as CXCL12-reactive en passant, symmetrical and asymmetrical vessel-specific RG fibre swellings. At the highest confocal resolution, these RG varicosities showed a CXCL12-reactive dot-like content whose microvesicular nature was confirmed by ultrastructural observations. A further analysis of radial glial varicosities reveals colocalization of CXCL12 with connexin Cx43, which is possibly implicated in vessel-specific chemokine signalling.

  4. Neurochemical Characterization of PSA-NCAM+ Cells in the Human Brain and Phenotypic Quantification in Alzheimer's Disease Entorhinal Cortex.

    Murray, Helen C; Swanson, Molly E V; Dieriks, B Victor; Turner, Clinton; Faull, Richard L M; Curtis, Maurice A

    2018-02-21

    Polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) is widely expressed in the adult human brain and facilitates structural remodeling of cells through steric inhibition of intercellular NCAM adhesion. We previously showed that PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity is decreased in the entorhinal cortex in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Based on available evidence, we hypothesized that a loss of PSA-NCAM + interneurons may underlie this reduction. PSA-NCAM expression by interneurons has previously been described in the human medial prefrontal cortex. Here we used postmortem human brain tissue to provide further evidence of PSA-NCAM + interneurons throughout the human hippocampal formation and additional cortical regions. Furthermore, PSA-NCAM + cell populations were assessed in the entorhinal cortex of normal and AD cases using fluorescent double labeling and manual cell counting. We found a significant decrease in the number of PSA-NCAM + cells per mm 2 in layer II and V of the entorhinal cortex, supporting our previous description of reduced PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity. Additionally, we found a significant decrease in the proportion of PSA-NCAM + cells that co-labeled with NeuN and parvalbumin, but no change in the proportion that co-labeled with calbindin or calretinin. These results demonstrate that PSA-NCAM is expressed by a variety of interneuron populations throughout the brain. Furthermore, that loss of PSA-NCAM expression by NeuN + cells predominantly contributes to the reduced PSA-NCAM immunoreactivity in the AD entorhinal cortex. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Tech Support.

    Beem, Kate

    2002-01-01

    Discusses technology-support issues, including staff training, cost, and outsourcing. Describes how various school districts manage technology-support services. Features the Technology Support Index, developed by the International Society for Technology in Education, to gauge the operation of school district technology-support programs. (PKP)

  6. Motor cortex stimulation and neuropathic pain: how does motor cortex stimulation affect pain-signaling pathways?

    Kim, Jinhyung; Ryu, Sang Baek; Lee, Sung Eun; Shin, Jaewoo; Jung, Hyun Ho; Kim, Sung June; Kim, Kyung Hwan; Chang, Jin Woo

    2016-03-01

    Neuropathic pain is often severe. Motor cortex stimulation (MCS) is used for alleviating neuropathic pain, but the mechanism of action is still unclear. This study aimed to understand the mechanism of action of MCS by investigating pain-signaling pathways, with the expectation that MCS would regulate both descending and ascending pathways. Neuropathic pain was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats. Surface electrodes for MCS were implanted in the rats. Tactile allodynia was measured by behavioral testing to determine the effect of MCS. For the pathway study, immunohistochemistry was performed to investigate changes in c-fos and serotonin expression; micro-positron emission tomography (mPET) scanning was performed to investigate changes of glucose uptake; and extracellular electrophysiological recordings were performed to demonstrate brain activity. MCS was found to modulate c-fos and serotonin expression. In the mPET study, altered brain activity was observed in the striatum, thalamic area, and cerebellum. In the electrophysiological study, neuronal activity was increased by mechanical stimulation and suppressed by MCS. After elimination of artifacts, neuronal activity was demonstrated in the ventral posterolateral nucleus (VPL) during electrical stimulation. This neuronal activity was effectively suppressed by MCS. This study demonstrated that MCS effectively attenuated neuropathic pain. MCS modulated ascending and descending pain pathways. It regulated neuropathic pain by affecting the striatum, periaqueductal gray, cerebellum, and thalamic area, which are thought to regulate the descending pathway. MCS also appeared to suppress activation of the VPL, which is part of the ascending pathway.

  7. Right inferior frontal cortex activity correlates with tolcapone responsivity in problem and pathological gamblers

    Andrew S. Kayser

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Failures of self-regulation in problem and pathological gambling (PPG are thought to emerge from failures of top-down control, reflected neurophysiologically in a reduced capacity of prefrontal cortex to influence activity within subcortical structures. In patients with addictions, these impairments have been argued to alter evaluation of reward within dopaminergic neuromodulatory systems. Previously we demonstrated that augmenting dopamine tone in frontal cortex via use of tolcapone, an inhibitor of the dopamine-degrading enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT, reduced delay discounting, a measure of impulsivity, in healthy subjects. To evaluate this potentially translational approach to augmenting prefrontal inhibitory control, here we hypothesized that increasing cortical dopamine tone would reduce delay discounting in PPG subjects in proportion to its ability to augment top-down control. To causally test this hypothesis, we administered the COMT inhibitor tolcapone in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject study of 17 PPG subjects who performed a delay discounting task while functional MRI images were obtained. In this subject population, we found that greater BOLD activity during the placebo condition within the right inferior frontal cortex (RIFC, a region thought to be important for inhibitory control, correlated with greater declines in impulsivity on tolcapone versus placebo. Intriguingly, connectivity between RIFC and the right striatum, and not the level of activity within RIFC itself, increased on tolcapone versus placebo. Together, these findings support the hypothesis that tolcapone-mediated increases in top-down control may reduce impulsivity in PPG subjects, a finding with potential translational relevance for gambling disorders, and for behavioral addictions in general.

  8. Posterior cortex epilepsy surgery in childhood and adolescence: Predictors of long-term seizure outcome.

    Ramantani, Georgia; Stathi, Angeliki; Brandt, Armin; Strobl, Karl; Schubert-Bast, Susanne; Wiegand, Gert; Korinthenberg, Rudolf; van Velthoven, Vera; Zentner, Josef; Schulze-Bonhage, Andreas; Bast, Thomas

    2017-03-01

    We aimed to investigate the long-term seizure outcome of children and adolescents who were undergoing epilepsy surgery in the parietooccipital cortex and determine their predictive factors. We retrospectively analyzed the data of 50 consecutive patients aged 11.1 (mean) ± 5.1 (standard deviation) years at surgery. All patients but one had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-visible lesion. Resections were parietal in 40%, occipital in 32%, and parietooccipital in 28% cases; 24% patients additionally underwent a resection of the posterior border of the temporal lobe. Etiology included focal cortical dysplasia in 44%, benign tumors (dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumor, ganglioglioma, angiocentric glioma, and pilocystic astrocytoma) in 32%, peri- or postnatal ischemic lesions in 16%, and tuberous sclerosis in 8% cases. At last follow-up (mean 8 years, range 1.5-18 years), 60% patients remained seizure-free (Engel class I): 30% had discontinued and 20% had reduced antiepileptic drugs. Most seizure recurrences (71%) occurred within the first 6 months, and only three patients presented with seizures ≥2 years after surgery. Independent predictors of seizure recurrence included left-sided as well as parietal epileptogenic zones and resections. Longer epilepsy duration to surgery was identified as the only modifiable independent predictor of seizure recurrence. Our study demonstrates that posterior cortex epilepsy surgery is highly effective in terms of lasting seizure control and antiepileptic drug cessation in selected pediatric candidates. Most importantly, our data supports the early consideration of surgical intervention in children and adolescents with refractory posterior cortex epilepsy. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 International League Against Epilepsy.

  9. Preferential effect of isoflurane on top-down vs. bottom-up pathways in sensory cortex.

    Raz, Aeyal; Grady, Sean M; Krause, Bryan M; Uhlrich, Daniel J; Manning, Karen A; Banks, Matthew I

    2014-01-01

    The mechanism of loss of consciousness (LOC) under anesthesia is unknown. Because consciousness depends on activity in the cortico-thalamic network, anesthetic actions on this network are likely critical for LOC. Competing theories stress the importance of anesthetic actions on bottom-up "core" thalamo-cortical (TC) vs. top-down cortico-cortical (CC) and matrix TC connections. We tested these models using laminar recordings in rat auditory cortex in vivo and murine brain slices. We selectively activated bottom-up vs. top-down afferent pathways using sensory stimuli in vivo and electrical stimulation in brain slices, and compared effects of isoflurane on responses evoked via the two pathways. Auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferent stimulation in brain slices evoked short latency current sinks in middle layers, consistent with activation of core TC afferents. By contrast, visual stimuli in vivo and stimulation of CC and matrix TC afferents in brain slices evoked responses mainly in superficial and deep layers, consistent with projection patterns of top-down afferents that carry visual information to auditory cortex. Responses to auditory stimuli in vivo and core TC afferents in brain slices were significantly less affected by isoflurane compared to responses triggered by visual stimuli in vivo and CC/matrix TC afferents in slices. At a just-hypnotic dose in vivo, auditory responses were enhanced by isoflurane, whereas visual responses were dramatically reduced. At a comparable concentration in slices, isoflurane suppressed both core TC and CC/matrix TC responses, but the effect on the latter responses was far greater than on core TC responses, indicating that at least part of the differential effects observed in vivo were due to local actions of isoflurane in auditory cortex. These data support a model in which disruption of top-down connectivity contributes to anesthesia-induced LOC, and have implications for understanding the neural basis of consciousness.

  10. The neural system of metacognition accompanying decision-making in the prefrontal cortex

    Qiu, Lirong; Su, Jie; Ni, Yinmei; Bai, Yang; Zhang, Xuesong; Li, Xiaoli

    2018-01-01

    Decision-making is usually accompanied by metacognition, through which a decision maker monitors uncertainty regarding a decision and may then consequently revise the decision. These metacognitive processes can occur prior to or in the absence of feedback. However, the neural mechanisms of metacognition remain controversial. One theory proposes an independent neural system for metacognition in the prefrontal cortex (PFC); the other, that metacognitive processes coincide and overlap with the systems used for the decision-making process per se. In this study, we devised a novel “decision–redecision” paradigm to investigate the neural metacognitive processes involved in redecision as compared to the initial decision-making process. The participants underwent a perceptual decision-making task and a rule-based decision-making task during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). We found that the anterior PFC, including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and lateral frontopolar cortex (lFPC), were more extensively activated after the initial decision. The dACC activity in redecision positively scaled with decision uncertainty and correlated with individual metacognitive uncertainty monitoring abilities—commonly occurring in both tasks—indicating that the dACC was specifically involved in decision uncertainty monitoring. In contrast, the lFPC activity seen in redecision processing was scaled with decision uncertainty reduction and correlated with individual accuracy changes—positively in the rule-based decision-making task and negatively in the perceptual decision-making task. Our results show that the lFPC was specifically involved in metacognitive control of decision adjustment and was subject to different control demands of the tasks. Therefore, our findings support that a separate neural system in the PFC is essentially involved in metacognition and further, that functions of the PFC in metacognition are dissociable. PMID:29684004

  11. Amygdala, Pulvinar & Inferior Parietal Cortex Contribute to Early Processing of Faces without Awareness

    Vanessa eTroiani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The goals of the present study were twofold. First, we wished to investigate the neural correlates of stimulus-driven processing of stimuli strongly suppressed from awareness and in the absence of top-down influences. We accomplished this using a novel approach in which participants performed an orthogonal task atop a flash suppression noise image to prevent top-down search. Second, we wished to investigate the extent to which amygdala responses differentiate between suppressed stimuli (fearful faces and houses based on their motivational relevance. Using continuous flash suppression in conjunction with fMRI, we presented fearful faces, houses, and a no stimulus control to one eye while participants performed an orthogonal task that appeared atop the flashing Mondrian image presented to the opposite eye. In 29 adolescents, we show activation in subcortical regions, including the superior colliculus, amygdala, thalamus, and hippocampus for suppressed objects (fearful faces and houses compared to a no stimulus control. Suppressed stimuli showed less activation compared to a no stimulus control in early visual cortex, indicating that object information was being suppressed from this region. Additionally, we find no activation in regions associated with conscious processing of these percepts (fusiform gyrus and/or parahippocampal cortex as assessed by mean activations and multi-voxel patterns. A psychophysiological interaction analysis that seeded the amygdala showed task-specific (fearful faces greater than houses modulation of right pulvinar and left inferior parietal cortex. Taken together, our results support a role for the amygdala in stimulus-driven attentional guidance towards objects of relevance and a potential mechanism for successful suppression of rivalrous stimuli.

  12. Emprego dos gangliosidos do cortex cerebral nas neuropatias perifericas

    James Pitagoras De Mattos

    1981-12-01

    Full Text Available Os autores registram a experiência pessoal com o emprego de gangliosídios do cortex cerebral nas neuropatias periféricas. O ensaio clínico e eletromiográfico revelou-se eficaz em 30 dos 40 casos tratados. Enfatizam os melhores resultados em casos de paralisias faciais periféricas.

  13. Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex

    Ruytjens, Liesbet; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Holstege, Gert; Wit, Hero P.; Albers, Frans W.J.; Willemsen, Antoon T.M.

    2007-01-01

    We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a baseline (no auditory stimulation). We found a sex difference in activation of the left and right PAC when comparing music to noise. The PAC was more activated by music than by noise in both men and women. But this difference between the two stimuli was significantly higher in men than in women. To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC. Moreover, the male group showed a deactivation in the right prefrontal cortex when comparing noise to the baseline, which was not present in the female group. Interestingly, the auditory and prefrontal regions are anatomically and functionally linked and the prefrontal cortex is known to be engaged in auditory tasks that involve sustained or selective auditory attention. Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC. Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies. (orig.)

  14. Anterior Cingulate Cortex in Schema Assimilation and Expression

    Wang, Szu-Han; Tse, Dorothy; Morris, Richard G. M.

    2012-01-01

    In humans and in animals, mental schemas can store information within an associative framework that enables rapid and efficient assimilation of new information. Using a hippocampal-dependent paired-associate task, we now report that the anterior cingulate cortex is part of a neocortical network of schema storage with NMDA receptor-mediated…

  15. The Role of the Insular Cortex in Retaliation.

    Franziska Emmerling

    Full Text Available The insular cortex has consistently been associated with various aspects of emotion regulation and social interaction, including anger processing and overt aggression. Aggression research distinguishes proactive or instrumental aggression from retaliation, i.e. aggression in response to provocation. Here, we investigated the specific role of the insular cortex during retaliation, employing a controlled behavioral aggression paradigm implementing different levels of provocation. Fifteen healthy male volunteers underwent whole brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to identify brain regions involved in interaction with either a provoking or a non-provoking opponent. FMRI group analyses were complemented by examining the parametric modulations of brain activity related to the individual level of displayed aggression. These analyses identified a hemispheric lateralization as well as an anatomical segregation of insular cortex with specifically the left posterior part being involved in retaliation. The left-lateralization of insular activity during retaliation is in accordance with evidence from electro-physiological studies, suggesting left-lateralized fronto-cortical dominance during anger processing and aggressive acts. The posterior localization of insular activity, on the other hand, suggests a spatial segregation within insular cortex with particularly the posterior part being involved in the processing of emotions that trigger intense bodily sensations and immediate action tendencies.

  16. The role of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex in memory consolidation

    Nieuwenhuis, I.L.C.; Takashima, A.

    2011-01-01

    System-level memory consolidation theory posits that the hippocampus initially links the neocortical representations, followed by a shift to a hippocampus-independent neocortical network. With consolidation, an increase in activity in the human subgenual ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) has

  17. Attentional Modulation in Visual Cortex Is Modified during Perceptual Learning

    Bartolucci, Marco; Smith, Andrew T.

    2011-01-01

    Practicing a visual task commonly results in improved performance. Often the improvement does not transfer well to a new retinal location, suggesting that it is mediated by changes occurring in early visual cortex, and indeed neuroimaging and neurophysiological studies both demonstrate that perceptual learning is associated with altered activity…

  18. Value, search, persistence and model updating in anterior cingulate cortex

    Kolling, N.; Wittmann, M.K.; Behrens, T.E.J.; Boorman, E.D.; Mars, R.B.; Rushworth, M.F.S.

    2016-01-01

    Dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) carries a wealth of value-related information necessary for regulating behavioral flexibility and persistence. It signals error and reward events informing decisions about switching or staying with current behavior. During decision-making, it encodes the

  19. khat distorts the prefrontal cortex histology and function of adult

    2018-02-28

    Feb 28, 2018 ... It affects many brain centers including the prefrontal cortex which is the ... cognitive behaviors however; it is linked to many psychological ... by traumatic events while others experience ... scientific research in exposing the effects. ... between 3 to 5pm daily. ... needle attached a plastic tubing was connected.

  20. The role of the orbitofrontal cortex in cognition and behavior.

    Jonker, F.A.; Jonker, C.; Scheltens, P.; Scherder, E.J.A.

    2015-01-01

    The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) plays a crucial role in behavior and is a common site for damage due to different types of injuries, e.g., closed head injuries, cerebrovascular accidents, tumors, neurosurgical interventions. Despite the (severe) behavioral changes following OFC lesions, persons with

  1. Androgen receptor immunoreactivity in rat occipital cortex after callosotomy

    G Lepore

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Gonadal steroidogenesis can be influenced by direct neural links between the central nervous system and the gonads. It is known that androgen receptor (AR is expressed in many areas of the rat brain involved in neuroendocrine control of reproduction, such as the cerebral cortex. It has been recently shown that the occipital cortex exerts an inhibitory effect on testicular stereoidogenesis by a pituitary-independent neural mechanism. Moreover, the complete transection of the corpus callosum leads to an increase in testosterone (T secretion of hemigonadectomized rats. The present study was undertaken to analyze the possible corticocortical influences regulating male reproductive activities. Adult male Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups: 1 intact animals as control; 2 rats undergoing sham callosotomy; 3 posterior callosotomy; 4 gonadectomy and posterior callosotomy. Western blot analysis showed no remarkable variations in cortical AR expression in any of the groups except in group I where a significant decrease in AR levels was found. Similarly, both immunocytochemical study and cell count estimation showed a lower AR immunoreactivity in occipital cortex of callosotomized rats than in other groups. In addition, there was no difference in serum T and LH concentration between sham-callosotomized and callosotomized rats. In conclusion, our results show that posterior callosotomy led to a reduction in AR in the right occipital cortex suggesting a putative inhibiting effect of the contralateral cortical area.

  2. Comparison of (stereotactic) parcellations in mouse prefrontal cortex

    van de Werd, H.J.J.M.; Uylings, H.B.M.

    2014-01-01

    This study compares the cytoarchitectonic parcellation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in the mouse as presented in publications that are commonly used for identifying brain areas. Agreement was found to be greater for boundaries in the medial PFC than in the lateral PFC and lowest for those in the

  3. Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex

    Ruytjens, Liesbet [University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Groningen (Netherlands); University Medical Center Utrecht, Department Otorhinolaryngology, P.O. Box 85500, Utrecht (Netherlands); Georgiadis, Janniko R. [University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Anatomy and Embryology, Groningen (Netherlands); Holstege, Gert [University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Center for Uroneurology, Groningen (Netherlands); Wit, Hero P. [University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Groningen (Netherlands); Albers, Frans W.J. [University Medical Center Utrecht, Department Otorhinolaryngology, P.O. Box 85500, Utrecht (Netherlands); Willemsen, Antoon T.M. [University Medical Center Groningen, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Groningen (Netherlands)

    2007-12-15

    We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a baseline (no auditory stimulation). We found a sex difference in activation of the left and right PAC when comparing music to noise. The PAC was more activated by music than by noise in both men and women. But this difference between the two stimuli was significantly higher in men than in women. To investigate whether this difference could be attributed to either music or noise, we compared both stimuli with the baseline and revealed that noise gave a significantly higher activation in the female PAC than in the male PAC. Moreover, the male group showed a deactivation in the right prefrontal cortex when comparing noise to the baseline, which was not present in the female group. Interestingly, the auditory and prefrontal regions are anatomically and functionally linked and the prefrontal cortex is known to be engaged in auditory tasks that involve sustained or selective auditory attention. Thus we hypothesize that differences in attention result in a different deactivation of the right prefrontal cortex, which in turn modulates the activation of the PAC and thus explains the sex differences found in the activation of the PAC. Our results suggest that sex is an important factor in auditory brain studies. (orig.)

  4. Functional sex differences in human primary auditory cortex

    Ruytjens, Liesbet; Georgiadis, Janniko R.; Holstege, Gert; Wit, Hero P.; Albers, Frans W. J.; Willemsen, Antoon T. M.

    2007-01-01

    Background We used PET to study cortical activation during auditory stimulation and found sex differences in the human primary auditory cortex (PAC). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured in 10 male and 10 female volunteers while listening to sounds (music or white noise) and during a

  5. Reduced dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex in treatment resistant schizophrenia.

    Zugman, André; Gadelha, Ary; Assunção, Idaiane; Sato, João; Ota, Vanessa K; Rocha, Deyvis L; Mari, Jair J; Belangero, Sintia I; Bressan, Rodrigo A; Brietzke, Elisa; Jackowski, Andrea P

    2013-08-01

    Treatment resistance affects up to one third of patients with schizophrenia (SCZ). A better understanding of its biological underlying processes could improve treatment. The aim of this study was to compare cortical thickness between non-resistant SCZ (NR-SCZ), treatment-resistant SCZ (TR-SCZ) patients and healthy controls (HC). Structural MRI scans were obtained from 3 groups of individuals: 61 treatment resistant SCZ individuals, 67 non-resistant SCZ and 80 healthy controls. Images were analyzed using cortical surface modelling (implemented in freesurfer package) to identify group differences in cortical thickness. Statistical significant differences were identified using Monte-Carlo simulation method with a corrected p-cluster<0.01. Patients in the TR-SCZ group showed a widespread reduction in cortical thickness in frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital regions bilaterally. NR-SCZ group had reduced cortex in two regions (left superior frontal cortex and left caudal middle frontal cortex). TR-SCZ group also showed decreased thickness in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) when compared with patients from NR-SCZ group. The reduction in cortical thickness in DLPFC indicates a more severe form of the disease or a specific finding for this group. Alterations in this region should be explored as a putative marker for treatment resistance. Prospective studies, with individuals being followed from first episode psychosis until refractoriness is diagnosed, are needed to clarify these hypotheses. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Social cognition in patients following surgery to the prefrontal cortex

    Jenkins, L.M.; Andrewes, D.G.; Nicholas, C.L.; Drummond, K.J.; Moffat, B.A.; Phal, P.; Desmond, P.; Kessels, R.P.C.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social cognition, including emotion recognition, may explain dysfunctional emotional and social behaviour in patients with lesions to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC). However, the VMPFC is a large, poorly defined area that can be sub-divided into orbital and medial sectors. We

  7. Spindle neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Vogt, B. A.; Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate cortex is distinguished by the presence of an unusual cell type, a large spindle neuron in layer Vb. This cell has been noted numerous times in the historical literature but has not been studied with modern neuroanatomic techniques. For instance, details regarding the neuronal class to which these cells belong and regarding their precise distribution along both ventrodorsal and anteroposterior axes of the cingulate gyrus are still lacking. In the present study, morphological features and the anatomic distribution of this cell type were studied using computer-assisted mapping and immunocytochemical techniques. Spindle neurons are restricted to the subfields of the anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann's area 24), exhibiting a greater density in anterior portions of this area than in posterior portions, and tapering off in the transition zone between anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, a majority of the spindle cells at any level is located in subarea 24b on the gyral surface. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the neurofilament protein triple was present in a large percentage of these neurons and that they did not contain calcium-binding proteins. Injections of the carbocyanine dye DiI into the cingulum bundle revealed that these cells are projection neurons. Finally, spindle cells were consistently affected in Alzheimer's disease cases, with an overall loss of about 60%. Taken together, these observations indicate that the spindle cells of the human cingulate cortex represent a morphological subpopulation of pyramidal neurons whose restricted distribution may be associated with functionally distinct areas.

  8. Development of Rostral Prefrontal Cortex and Cognitive and Behavioural Disorders

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Burgess, Paul W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2008-01-01

    Information on the development and functions of rostral prefrontal cortex (PFC), or Brodmann area 10, has been gathered from different fields, from anatomical development to functional neuroimaging in adults, and put forward in relation to three particular cognitive and behavioural disorders. Rostral PFC is larger and has a lower cell density in…

  9. Body Topography Parcellates Human Sensory and Motor Cortex.

    Kuehn, Esther; Dinse, Juliane; Jakobsen, Estrid; Long, Xiangyu; Schäfer, Andreas; Bazin, Pierre-Louis; Villringer, Arno; Sereno, Martin I; Margulies, Daniel S

    2017-07-01

    The cytoarchitectonic map as proposed by Brodmann currently dominates models of human sensorimotor cortical structure, function, and plasticity. According to this model, primary motor cortex, area 4, and primary somatosensory cortex, area 3b, are homogenous areas, with the major division lying between the two. Accumulating empirical and theoretical evidence, however, has begun to question the validity of the Brodmann map for various cortical areas. Here, we combined in vivo cortical myelin mapping with functional connectivity analyses and topographic mapping techniques to reassess the validity of the Brodmann map in human primary sensorimotor cortex. We provide empirical evidence that area 4 and area 3b are not homogenous, but are subdivided into distinct cortical fields, each representing a major body part (the hand and the face). Myelin reductions at the hand-face borders are cortical layer-specific, and coincide with intrinsic functional connectivity borders as defined using large-scale resting state analyses. Our data extend the Brodmann model in human sensorimotor cortex and suggest that body parts are an important organizing principle, similar to the distinction between sensory and motor processing. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  10. Discriminability of Single and Multichannel Intracortical Microstimulation within Somatosensory Cortex

    Cynthia Kay Overstreet

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The addition of tactile and proprioceptive feedback to neuroprosthetic limbs is expected to significantly improve the control of these devices. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS of somatosensory cortex is a promising method of delivering this sensory feedback. To date, the main focus of somatosensory ICMS studies has been to deliver discriminable signals, corresponding to varying intensity, to a single location in cortex. However, multiple independent and simultaneous streams of sensory information will need to be encoded by ICMS to provide functionally relevant feedback for a neuroprosthetic limb (e.g. encoding contact events and pressure on multiple digits.In this study, we evaluated the ability of an awake, behaving non-human primate (Macaca mulatta to discriminate ICMS stimuli delivered on multiple electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex. We delivered serial stimulation on single electrodes to evaluate the discriminability of sensations corresponding to ICMS of distinct cortical locations. Additionally, we delivered trains of multichannel stimulation, derived from a tactile sensor, synchronously across multiple electrodes. Our results indicate that discrimination of multiple ICMS stimuli is a challenging task, but that discriminable sensory percepts can be elicited by both single and multichannel ICMS on electrodes spaced within somatosensory cortex.

  11. Motor Cortex Stimulation Reverses Maladaptive Plasticity Following Spinal Cord Injury

    2011-09-01

    burst stimulation (TBS) protocols can produce powerful effects on motor cortex outputs, with intermittent TBS ( iTBS ) being most effective [27... iTBS (2-second trains of TBS repeated every 10 seconds) appeared to increase mechanical withdrawal thresholds on the hind paw ipsilateral to the

  12. Functional specialization of the primate frontal cortex during decision making.

    Lee, Daeyeol; Rushworth, Matthew F S; Walton, Mark E; Watanabe, Masataka; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2007-08-01

    Economic theories of decision making are based on the principle of utility maximization, and reinforcement-learning theory provides computational algorithms that can be used to estimate the overall reward expected from alternative choices. These formal models not only account for a large range of behavioral observations in human and animal decision makers, but also provide useful tools for investigating the neural basis of decision making. Nevertheless, in reality, decision makers must combine different types of information about the costs and benefits associated with each available option, such as the quality and quantity of expected reward and required work. In this article, we put forward the hypothesis that different subdivisions of the primate frontal cortex may be specialized to focus on different aspects of dynamic decision-making processes. In this hypothesis, the lateral prefrontal cortex is primarily involved in maintaining the state representation necessary to identify optimal actions in a given environment. In contrast, the orbitofrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex might be primarily involved in encoding and updating the utilities associated with different sensory stimuli and alternative actions, respectively. These cortical areas are also likely to contribute to decision making in a social context.

  13. Laminar Differences in Associative Memory Signals in Monkey Perirhinal Cortex.

    Vogels, Rufin

    2016-10-19

    New research published in Neuron describes assignment of cortical layer to single neurons recorded in awake monkeys. Applying the procedure to perirhinal cortex, Koyano et al. (2016) found marked and unsuspected differences among layers in the coding of associative memory signals. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. The rat frontal cortex serotonin receptors. Influence of supraletal irradiation

    Chanez, P.O.; Timmermans, R.; Gerber, G.B.

    1984-01-01

    The density of the frontal cortex serotonin-2 receptors was determined after a supralethal irradiation (20 Gy) in Wistar rat. Using spiperone as ligand, we observed an important decrease in the density of serotonin-2 receptor and an increase in the dissociation constant receptor-ligand, 3 days after exposure [fr

  15. Neuronal synchronization in human parietal cortex during saccade planning

    Werf, J. van der; Buchholz, V.N.; Jensen, O.; Medendorp, W.P.

    2009-01-01

    Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have implicated the human posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in sensorimotor integration and saccade planning However, the temporal dynamics of the underlying physiology and its relationship to observations in non-human primates have been difficult to pin

  16. Perspectives on classical controversies about the motor cortex.

    Omrani, Mohsen; Kaufman, Matthew T; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G; Cheney, Paul D

    2017-09-01

    Primary motor cortex has been studied for more than a century, yet a consensus on its functional contribution to movement control is still out of reach. In particular, there remains controversy as to the level of control produced by motor cortex ("low-level" movement dynamics vs. "high-level" movement kinematics) and the role of sensory feedback. In this review, we present different perspectives on the two following questions: What does activity in motor cortex reflect? and How do planned motor commands interact with incoming sensory feedback during movement? The four authors each present their independent views on how they think the primary motor cortex (M1) controls movement. At the end, we present a dialogue in which the authors synthesize their views and suggest possibilities for moving the field forward. While there is not yet a consensus on the role of M1 or sensory feedback in the control of upper limb movements, such dialogues are essential to take us closer to one. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  17. Role of Frontal Cortex in Attentional Capture by Singleton Distractors

    de Fockert, Jan W.; Theeuwes, Jan

    2012-01-01

    The role of frontal cortex in selective attention to visual distractors was examined in an attentional capture task in which participants searched for a unique shape in the presence or absence of an additional colour singleton distractor. The presence of the additional singleton was associated with slower behavioural responses to the shape target,…

  18. Distributed patterns of activity in sensory cortex reflect the precision of multiple items maintained in visual short-term memory.

    Emrich, Stephen M; Riggall, Adam C; Larocque, Joshua J; Postle, Bradley R

    2013-04-10

    Traditionally, load sensitivity of sustained, elevated activity has been taken as an index of storage for a limited number of items in visual short-term memory (VSTM). Recently, studies have demonstrated that the contents of a single item held in VSTM can be decoded from early visual cortex, despite the fact that these areas do not exhibit elevated, sustained activity. It is unknown, however, whether the patterns of neural activity decoded from sensory cortex change as a function of load, as one would expect from a region storing multiple representations. Here, we use multivoxel pattern analysis to examine the neural representations of VSTM in humans across multiple memory loads. In an important extension of previous findings, our results demonstrate that the contents of VSTM can be decoded from areas that exhibit a transient response to visual stimuli, but not from regions that exhibit elevated, sustained load-sensitive delay-period activity. Moreover, the neural information present in these transiently activated areas decreases significantly with increasing load, indicating load sensitivity of the patterns of activity that support VSTM maintenance. Importantly, the decrease in classification performance as a function of load is correlated with within-subject changes in mnemonic resolution. These findings indicate that distributed patterns of neural activity in putatively sensory visual cortex support the representation and precision of information in VSTM.

  19. Event-related near-infrared spectroscopy detects conflict in the motor cortex in a Stroop task.

    Szűcs, Dénes; Killikelly, Clare; Cutini, Simone

    2012-10-05

    The Stroop effect is one of the most popular models of conflict processing in neuroscience and psychology. The response conflict theory of the Stroop effect explains decreased performance in the incongruent condition of Stroop tasks by assuming that the task-relevant and the task-irrelevant stimulus features elicit conflicting response tendencies. However, to date, there is not much explicit neural evidence supporting this theory. Here we used functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRS) to examine whether conflict at the level of the motor cortex can be detected in the incongruent relative to the congruent condition of a Stroop task. Response conflict was determined by comparing the activity of the hemisphere ipsilateral to the response hand in the congruent and incongruent conditions. First, results provided explicit hemodynamic evidence supporting the response conflict theory of the Stroop effect: there was greater motor cortex activation in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the response hand in the incongruent than in the congruent condition during the initial stage of the hemodynamic response. Second, as fNIRS is still a relatively novel technology, it is methodologically significant that our data shows that fNIRS is able to detect a brief and transient increase in hemodynamic activity localized to the motor cortex, which in this study is related to subthreshold motor response activation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Dorsal premotor cortex is involved in switching motor plans

    Pastor-Bernier, Alexandre; Tremblay, Elsa; Cisek, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that neural activity in primate dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) can simultaneously represent multiple potential movement plans, and that activity related to these movement options is modulated by their relative subjective desirability. These findings support the hypothesis that decisions about actions are made through a competition within the same circuits that guide the actions themselves. This hypothesis further predicts that the very same cells that guide initial decisions will continue to update their activities if an animal changes its mind. For example, if a previously selected movement option suddenly becomes unavailable, the correction will be performed by the same cells that selected the initial movement, as opposed to some different group of cells responsible for online guidance. We tested this prediction by recording neural activity in the PMd of a monkey performing an instructed-delay reach selection task. In the task, two targets were simultaneously presented and their border styles indicated whether each would be worth 1, 2, or 3 juice drops. In a random subset of trials (FREE), the monkey was allowed a choice while in the remaining trials (FORCED) one of the targets disappeared at the time of the GO signal. In FORCED-LOW trials the monkey was forced to move to the less valuable target and started moving either toward the new target (Direct) or toward the target that vanished and then curved to reach the remaining one (Curved). Prior to the GO signal, PMd activity clearly reflected the monkey's subjective preference, predicting his choices in FREE trials even with equally valued options. In FORCED-LOW trials, PMd activity reflected the switch of the monkey's plan as early as 100 ms after the GO signal, well before movement onset (MO). This confirms that the activity is not related to feedback from the movement itself, and suggests that PMd continues to participate in action selection even when the animal changes its mind on

  1. Sensory cortex underpinnings of traumatic brain injury deficits.

    Dasuni S Alwis

    Full Text Available Traumatic brain injury (TBI can result in persistent sensorimotor and cognitive deficits including long-term altered sensory processing. The few animal models of sensory cortical processing effects of TBI have been limited to examination of effects immediately after TBI and only in some layers of cortex. We have now used the rat whisker tactile system and the cortex processing whisker-derived input to provide a highly detailed description of TBI-induced long-term changes in neuronal responses across the entire columnar network in primary sensory cortex. Brain injury (n=19 was induced using an impact acceleration method and sham controls received surgery only (n=15. Animals were tested in a range of sensorimotor behaviour tasks prior to and up to 6 weeks post-injury when there were still significant sensorimotor behaviour deficits. At 8-10 weeks post-trauma, in terminal experiments, extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex neurons in response to whisker motion, including motion that mimicked whisker motion observed in awake animals undertaking different tasks. In cortex, there were lamina-specific neuronal response alterations that appeared to reflect local circuit changes. Hyper-excitation was found only in supragranular layers involved in intra-areal processing and long-range integration, and only for stimulation with complex, naturalistic whisker motion patterns and not for stimulation with simple trapezoidal whisker motion. Thus TBI induces long-term directional changes in integrative sensory cortical layers that depend on the complexity of the incoming sensory information. The nature of these changes allow predictions as to what types of sensory processes may be affected in TBI and contribute to post-trauma sensorimotor deficits.

  2. Rapid and reversible recruitment of early visual cortex for touch.

    Lotfi B Merabet

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The loss of vision has been associated with enhanced performance in non-visual tasks such as tactile discrimination and sound localization. Current evidence suggests that these functional gains are linked to the recruitment of the occipital visual cortex for non-visual processing, but the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying these crossmodal changes remain uncertain. One possible explanation is that visual deprivation is associated with an unmasking of non-visual input into visual cortex.We investigated the effect of sudden, complete and prolonged visual deprivation (five days in normally sighted adult individuals while they were immersed in an intensive tactile training program. Following the five-day period, blindfolded subjects performed better on a Braille character discrimination task. In the blindfold group, serial fMRI scans revealed an increase in BOLD signal within the occipital cortex in response to tactile stimulation after five days of complete visual deprivation. This increase in signal was no longer present 24 hours after blindfold removal. Finally, reversible disruption of occipital cortex function on the fifth day (by repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation; rTMS impaired Braille character recognition ability in the blindfold group but not in non-blindfolded controls. This disruptive effect was no longer evident once the blindfold had been removed for 24 hours.Overall, our findings suggest that sudden and complete visual deprivation in normally sighted individuals can lead to profound, but rapidly reversible, neuroplastic changes by which the occipital cortex becomes engaged in processing of non-visual information. The speed and dynamic nature of the observed changes suggests that normally inhibited or masked functions in the sighted are revealed by visual loss. The unmasking of pre-existing connections and shifts in connectivity represent rapid, early plastic changes, which presumably can lead, if sustained and

  3. Cortex Parcellation Associated Whole White Matter Parcellation in Individual Subjects

    Patrick Schiffler

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The investigation of specific white matter areas is a growing field in neurological research and is typically achieved through the use of atlases. However, the definition of anatomically based regions remains challenging for the white matter and thus hinders region-specific analysis in individual subjects. In this article, we focus on creating a whole white matter parcellation method for individual subjects where these areas can be associated to cortex regions. This is done by combining cortex parcellation and fiber tracking data. By tracking fibers out of each cortex region and labeling the fibers according to their origin, we populate a candidate image. We then derive the white matter parcellation by classifying each white matter voxel according to the distribution of labels in the corresponding voxel from the candidate image. The parcellation of the white matter with the presented method is highly reliable and is not as dependent on registration as with white matter atlases. This method allows for the parcellation of the whole white matter into individual cortex region associated areas and, therefore, associates white matter alterations to cortex regions. In addition, we compare the results from the presented method to existing atlases. The areas generated by the presented method are not as sharply defined as the areas in most existing atlases; however, they are computed directly in the DWI space of the subject and, therefore, do not suffer from distortion caused by registration. The presented approach might be a promising tool for clinical and basic research to investigate modalities or system specific micro structural alterations of white matter areas in a quantitative manner.

  4. Bipolar electrocoagulation on cortex after AVMs lesionectomy for seizure control.

    Cao, Yong; Wang, Rong; Yang, Lijun; Bai, Qin; Wang, Shuo; Zhao, Jizong

    2011-01-01

    The findings of previous studies remain controversial on the optimal management required for effective seizure control after surgical excision of arteriovenous malformations (AVMs). We evaluated the efficacy of additional bipolar electrocoagulation on the electrically positive cortex guided by intraoperative electrocorticography (ECoG) for controlling cerebral AVMs-related epilepsy. Sixty consecutive patients with seizure due to cerebral AVMs, who underwent surgical excision of cerebral AVMs and intraoperative ECoG, were assessed. The AVMs and surrounding hemosiderin stained tissue were completely removed, and bipolar electrocoagulation was applied on the surrounding cerebral cortex where epileptic discharges were monitored via intraoperative ECoG. Patients were followed up at three to six months after the surgery and then annually. We evaluated seizure outcome by using Engel's classification and postoperative complications. Forty-nine patients (81.6%) were detected of epileptic discharges before and after AVMs excision. These patients underwent the removal of AVMs plus bipolar electrocoagulation on spike-positive site cortex. After electrocoagulation, 45 patients' epileptic discharges disappeared, while four obviously diminished. Fifty-five of 60 patients (91.7%) had follow-up lasting at least 22 months (mean 51.1 months; range 22-93 months). Determined by the Engel Seizure Outcome Scale, 39 patients (70.9%) were Class I, seven (12.7%) Class II, five (9.0%) Class III, and four (7.2%) Class IV. Even after the complete removal of AVM and surrounding gliotic and hemosiderin stained tissue, a high-frequency residual spike remained on the surrounding cerebral cortex. Effective surgical seizure control can be achieved by carrying out additional bipolar electrocoagulation on the cortex guided by the intraoperative ECoG.

  5. Responses of primate frontal cortex neurons during natural vocal communication.

    Miller, Cory T; Thomas, A Wren; Nummela, Samuel U; de la Mothe, Lisa A

    2015-08-01

    The role of primate frontal cortex in vocal communication and its significance in language evolution have a controversial history. While evidence indicates that vocalization processing occurs in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex neurons, vocal-motor activity has been conjectured to be primarily subcortical and suggestive of a distinctly different neural architecture from humans. Direct evidence of neural activity during natural vocal communication is limited, as previous studies were performed in chair-restrained animals. Here we recorded the activity of single neurons across multiple regions of prefrontal and premotor cortex while freely moving marmosets engaged in a natural vocal behavior known as antiphonal calling. Our aim was to test whether neurons in marmoset frontal cortex exhibited responses during vocal-signal processing and/or vocal-motor production in the context of active, natural communication. We observed motor-related changes in single neuron activity during vocal production, but relatively weak sensory responses for vocalization processing during this natural behavior. Vocal-motor responses occurred both prior to and during call production and were typically coupled to the timing of each vocalization pulse. Despite the relatively weak sensory responses a population classifier was able to distinguish between neural activity that occurred during presentations of vocalization stimuli that elicited an antiphonal response and those that did not. These findings are suggestive of the role that nonhuman primate frontal cortex neurons play in natural communication and provide an important foundation for more explicit tests of the functional contributions of these neocortical areas during vocal behaviors. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  6. An FPGA-Based Massively Parallel Neuromorphic Cortex Simulator

    Runchun M. Wang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a massively parallel and scalable neuromorphic cortex simulator designed for simulating large and structurally connected spiking neural networks, such as complex models of various areas of the cortex. The main novelty of this work is the abstraction of a neuromorphic architecture into clusters represented by minicolumns and hypercolumns, analogously to the fundamental structural units observed in neurobiology. Without this approach, simulating large-scale fully connected networks needs prohibitively large memory to store look-up tables for point-to-point connections. Instead, we use a novel architecture, based on the structural connectivity in the neocortex, such that all the required parameters and connections can be stored in on-chip memory. The cortex simulator can be easily reconfigured for simulating different neural networks without any change in hardware structure by programming the memory. A hierarchical communication scheme allows one neuron to have a fan-out of up to 200 k neurons. As a proof-of-concept, an implementation on one Altera Stratix V FPGA was able to simulate 20 million to 2.6 billion leaky-integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons in real time. We verified the system by emulating a simplified auditory cortex (with 100 million neurons. This cortex simulator achieved a low power dissipation of 1.62 μW per neuron. With the advent of commercially available FPGA boards, our system offers an accessible and scalable tool for the design, real-time simulation, and analysis of large-scale spiking neural networks.

  7. Neural Dynamics and Information Representation in Microcircuits of Motor Cortex

    Yasuhiro eTsubo

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The brain has to analyze and respond to external events that can change rapidly from time to time, suggesting that information processing by the brain may be essentially dynamic rather than static. The dynamical features of neural computation are of significant importance in motor cortex that governs the process of movement generation and learning. In this paper, we discuss these features based primarily on our recent findings on neural dynamics and information coding in the microcircuit of rat motor cortex. In fact, cortical neurons show a variety of dynamical behavior from rhythmic activity in various frequency bands to highly irregular spike firing. Of particular interest are the similarity and dissimilarity of the neuronal response properties in different layers of motor cortex. By conducting electrophysiological recordings in slice preparation, we report the phase response curves of neurons in different cortical layers to demonstrate their layer-dependent synchronization properties. We then study how motor cortex recruits task-related neurons in different layers for voluntary arm movements by simultaneous juxtacellular and multiunit recordings from behaving rats. The results suggest an interesting difference in the spectrum of functional activity between the superficial and deep layers. Furthermore, the task-related activities recorded from various layers exhibited power law distributions of inter-spike intervals (ISIs, in contrast to a general belief that ISIs obey Poisson or Gamma distributions in cortical neurons. We present a theoretical argument that this power law of in vivo neurons may represent the maximization of the entropy of firing rate with limited energy consumption of spike generation. Though further studies are required to fully clarify the functional implications of this coding principle, it may shed new light on information representations by neurons and circuits in motor cortex.

  8. Recruitment of occipital cortex during sensory substitution training linked to subjective experience of seeing in people with blindness.

    Tomás Ortiz

    Full Text Available Over three months of intensive training with a tactile stimulation device, 18 blind and 10 blindfolded seeing subjects improved in their ability to identify geometric figures by touch. Seven blind subjects spontaneously reported 'visual qualia', the subjective sensation of seeing flashes of light congruent with tactile stimuli. In the latter subjects tactile stimulation evoked activation of occipital cortex on electroencephalography (EEG. None of the blind subjects who failed to experience visual qualia, despite identical tactile stimulation training, showed EEG recruitment of occipital cortex. None of the blindfolded seeing humans reported visual-like sensations during tactile stimulation. These findings support the notion that the conscious experience of seeing is linked to the activation of occipital brain regions in people with blindness. Moreover, the findings indicate that provision of visual information can be achieved through non-visual sensory modalities which may help to minimize the disability of blind individuals, affording them some degree of object recognition and navigation aid.

  9. Instrumental learning and relearning in individuals with psychopathy and in patients with lesions involving the amygdala or orbitofrontal cortex.

    Mitchell, D G V; Fine, C; Richell, R A; Newman, C; Lumsden, J; Blair, K S; Blair, R J R

    2006-05-01

    Previous work has shown that individuals with psychopathy are impaired on some forms of associative learning, particularly stimulus-reinforcement learning (Blair et al., 2004; Newman & Kosson, 1986). Animal work suggests that the acquisition of stimulus-reinforcement associations requires the amygdala (Baxter & Murray, 2002). Individuals with psychopathy also show impoverished reversal learning (Mitchell, Colledge, Leonard, & Blair, 2002). Reversal learning is supported by the ventrolateral and orbitofrontal cortex (Rolls, 2004). In this paper we present experiments investigating stimulus-reinforcement learning and relearning in patients with lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex or amygdala, and individuals with developmental psychopathy without known trauma. The results are interpreted with reference to current neurocognitive models of stimulus-reinforcement learning, relearning, and developmental psychopathy. Copyright (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved.

  10. A defined network of fast-spiking interneurons in orbitofrontal cortex: responses to behavioral contingencies and ketamine administration

    Michael C Quirk

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC is a region of prefrontal cortex implicated in the motivational control of behavior and in related abnormalities seen in psychosis and depression. It has been hypothesized that a critical mechanism in these disorders is the dysfunction of GABAergic interneurons that normally regulate prefrontal information processing. Here, we studied a subclass of interneurons isolated in rat OFC using extracellular waveform and spike train analysis. During performance of a goal-directed behavioral task, the firing of this class of putative fast-spiking (FS interneurons showed robust temporal correlations indicative of a functionally coherent network. FS cell activity also co-varied with behavioral response latency, a key indicator of motivational state. Systemic administration of ketamine, a drug that can mimic psychosis, preferentially inhibited this cell class. Together, these results support the idea that OFC-FS interneurons form a critical link in the regulation of motivation by prefrontal circuits during normal and abnormal brain and behavioral states.

  11. Inactivation of the dorsal hippocampus or the medial prefrontal cortex impairs retrieval but has differential effect on spatial memory reconsolidation.

    Rossato, Janine I; Köhler, Cristiano A; Radiske, Andressa; Bevilaqua, Lia R M; Cammarota, Martín

    2015-11-01

    Active memories can incorporate new information through reconsolidation. However, the notion that memory retrieval is necessary for reconsolidation has been recently challenged. Non-reinforced retrieval induces hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC)-dependent reconsolidation of spatial memory in the Morris water maze (MWM). We found that the effect of protein synthesis inhibition on this process is abolished when retrieval of the learned spatial preference is hindered through mPFC inactivation but not when it is blocked by deactivation of dorsal CA1. Our results do not fully agree with the hypothesis that retrieval is unneeded for reconsolidation. Instead, they support the idea that a hierarchic interaction between the hippocampus and the mPFC controls spatial memory in the MWM, and indicate that this cortex is sufficient to retrieve the information essential to reconsolidate the spatial memory trace, even when the hippocampus is inactivated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Recruitment of occipital cortex during sensory substitution training linked to subjective experience of seeing in people with blindness.

    Ortiz, Tomás; Poch, Joaquín; Santos, Juan M; Requena, Carmen; Martínez, Ana M; Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Turrero, Agustín; Barcia, Juan; Nogales, Ramón; Calvo, Agustín; Martínez, José M; Córdoba, José L; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2011-01-01

    Over three months of intensive training with a tactile stimulation device, 18 blind and 10 blindfolded seeing subjects improved in their ability to identify geometric figures by touch. Seven blind subjects spontaneously reported 'visual qualia', the subjective sensation of seeing flashes of light congruent with tactile stimuli. In the latter subjects tactile stimulation evoked activation of occipital cortex on electroencephalography (EEG). None of the blind subjects who failed to experience visual qualia, despite identical tactile stimulation training, showed EEG recruitment of occipital cortex. None of the blindfolded seeing humans reported visual-like sensations during tactile stimulation. These findings support the notion that the conscious experience of seeing is linked to the activation of occipital brain regions in people with blindness. Moreover, the findings indicate that provision of visual information can be achieved through non-visual sensory modalities which may help to minimize the disability of blind individuals, affording them some degree of object recognition and navigation aid.

  13. Persistent neural activity in auditory cortex is related to auditory working memory in humans and nonhuman primates.

    Huang, Ying; Matysiak, Artur; Heil, Peter; König, Reinhard; Brosch, Michael

    2016-07-20

    Working memory is the cognitive capacity of short-term storage of information for goal-directed behaviors. Where and how this capacity is implemented in the brain are unresolved questions. We show that auditory cortex stores information by persistent changes of neural activity. We separated activity related to working memory from activity related to other mental processes by having humans and monkeys perform different tasks with varying working memory demands on the same sound sequences. Working memory was reflected in the spiking activity of individual neurons in auditory cortex and in the activity of neuronal populations, that is, in local field potentials and magnetic fields. Our results provide direct support for the idea that temporary storage of information recruits the same brain areas that also process the information. Because similar activity was observed in the two species, the cellular bases of some auditory working memory processes in humans can be studied in monkeys.

  14. Nutritional Support

    Nutritional support is therapy for people who cannot get enough nourishment by eating or drinking. You may need ... absorb nutrients through your digestive system You receive nutritional support through a needle or catheter placed in your ...

  15. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

    Pinto, Joshua G. A.; Jones, David G.; Williams, C. Kate; Murphy, Kathryn M.

    2015-01-01

    Although many potential neuroplasticity based therapies have been developed in the lab, few have translated into established clinical treatments for human neurologic or neuropsychiatric diseases. Animal models, especially of the visual system, have shaped our understanding of neuroplasticity by characterizing the mechanisms that promote neural changes and defining timing of the sensitive period. The lack of knowledge about development of synaptic plasticity mechanisms in human cortex, and about alignment of synaptic age between animals and humans, has limited translation of neuroplasticity therapies. In this study, we quantified expression of a set of highly conserved pre- and post-synaptic proteins (Synapsin, Synaptophysin, PSD-95, Gephyrin) and found that synaptic development in human primary visual cortex (V1) continues into late childhood. Indeed, this is many years longer than suggested by neuroanatomical studies and points to a prolonged sensitive period for plasticity in human sensory cortex. In addition, during childhood we found waves of inter-individual variability that are different for the four proteins and include a stage during early development (visual cortex and identified a simple linear equation that provides robust alignment of synaptic age between humans and rats. Alignment of synaptic ages is important for age-appropriate targeting and effective translation of neuroplasticity therapies from the lab to the clinic. PMID:25729353

  16. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  17. Dissecting the actin cortex density and membrane-cortex distance in living cells by super-resolution microscopy

    Clausen, M. P.; Colin-York, H.; Schneider, Falk

    2017-01-01

    and accurately measure the density distribution of the cortical actin cytoskeleton and the distance between the actin cortex and the membrane in live Jurkat T-cells. We found an asymmetric cortical actin density distribution with a mean width of 230 (+105/-125) nm. The spatial distances measured between...

  18. High-order motor cortex in rats receives somatosensory inputs from the primary motor cortex via cortico-cortical pathways.

    Kunori, Nobuo; Takashima, Ichiro

    2016-12-01

    The motor cortex of rats contains two forelimb motor areas; the caudal forelimb area (CFA) and the rostral forelimb area (RFA). Although the RFA is thought to correspond to the premotor and/or supplementary motor cortices of primates, which are higher-order motor areas that receive somatosensory inputs, it is unknown whether the RFA of rats receives somatosensory inputs in the same manner. To investigate this issue, voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging was used to assess the motor cortex in rats following a brief electrical stimulation of the forelimb. This procedure was followed by intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) mapping to identify the motor representations in the imaged cortex. The combined use of VSD imaging and ICMS revealed that both the CFA and RFA received excitatory synaptic inputs after forelimb stimulation. Further evaluation of the sensory input pathway to the RFA revealed that the forelimb-evoked RFA response was abolished either by the pharmacological inactivation of the CFA or a cortical transection between the CFA and RFA. These results suggest that forelimb-related sensory inputs would be transmitted to the RFA from the CFA via the cortico-cortical pathway. Thus, the present findings imply that sensory information processed in the RFA may be used for the generation of coordinated forelimb movements, which would be similar to the function of the higher-order motor cortex in primates. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  19. 3-D vision and figure-ground separation by visual cortex.

    Grossberg, S

    1994-01-01

    A neural network theory of three-dimensional (3-D) vision, called FACADE theory, is described. The theory proposes a solution of the classical figure-ground problem for biological vision. It does so by suggesting how boundary representations and surface representations are formed within a boundary contour system (BCS) and a feature contour system (FCS). The BCS and FCS interact reciprocally to form 3-D boundary and surface representations that are mutually consistent. Their interactions generate 3-D percepts wherein occluding and occluded object parts are separated, completed, and grouped. The theory clarifies how preattentive processes of 3-D perception and figure-ground separation interact reciprocally with attentive processes of spatial localization, object recognition, and visual search. A new theory of stereopsis is proposed that predicts how cells sensitive to multiple spatial frequencies, disparities, and orientations are combined by context-sensitive filtering, competition, and cooperation to form coherent BCS boundary segmentations. Several factors contribute to figure-ground pop-out, including: boundary contrast between spatially contiguous boundaries, whether due to scenic differences in luminance, color, spatial frequency, or disparity; partially ordered interactions from larger spatial scales and disparities to smaller scales and disparities; and surface filling-in restricted to regions surrounded by a connected boundary. Phenomena such as 3-D pop-out from a 2-D picture, Da Vinci stereopsis, 3-D neon color spreading, completion of partially occluded objects, and figure-ground reversals are analyzed. The BCS and FCS subsystems model aspects of how the two parvocellular cortical processing streams that join the lateral geniculate nucleus to prestriate cortical area V4 interact to generate a multiplexed representation of Form-And-Color-And-DEpth, or FACADE, within area V4. Area V4 is suggested to support figure-ground separation and to interact with

  20. Right hemispheric dominance of visual phenomena evoked by intracerebral stimulation of the human visual cortex.

    Jonas, Jacques; Frismand, Solène; Vignal, Jean-Pierre; Colnat-Coulbois, Sophie; Koessler, Laurent; Vespignani, Hervé; Rossion, Bruno; Maillard, Louis

    2014-07-01

    Electrical brain stimulation can provide important information about the functional organization of the human visual cortex. Here, we report the visual phenomena evoked by a large number (562) of intracerebral electrical stimulations performed at low-intensity with depth electrodes implanted in the occipito-parieto-temporal cortex of 22 epileptic patients. Focal electrical stimulation evoked primarily visual hallucinations with various complexities: simple (spot or blob), intermediary (geometric forms), or complex meaningful shapes (faces); visual illusions and impairments of visual recognition were more rarely observed. With the exception of the most posterior cortical sites, the probability of evoking a visual phenomenon was significantly higher in the right than the left hemisphere. Intermediary and complex hallucinations, illusions, and visual recognition impairments were almost exclusively evoked by stimulation in the right hemisphere. The probability of evoking a visual phenomenon decreased substantially from the occipital pole to the most anterior sites of the temporal lobe, and this decrease was more pronounced in the left hemisphere. The greater sensitivity of the right occipito-parieto-temporal regions to intracerebral electrical stimulation to evoke visual phenomena supports a predominant role of right hemispheric visual areas from perception to recognition of visual forms, regardless of visuospatial and attentional factors. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Functional outcomes following lesions in visual cortex: Implications for plasticity of high-level vision.

    Liu, Tina T; Behrmann, Marlene

    2017-10-01

    Understanding the nature and extent of neural plasticity in humans remains a key challenge for neuroscience. Importantly, however, a precise characterization of plasticity and its underlying mechanism has the potential to enable new approaches for enhancing reorganization of cortical function. Investigations of the impairment and subsequent recovery of cognitive and perceptual functions following early-onset cortical lesions in humans provide a unique opportunity to elucidate how the brain changes, adapts, and reorganizes. Specifically, here, we focus on restitution of visual function, and we review the findings on plasticity and re-organization of the ventral occipital temporal cortex (VOTC) in published reports of 46 patients with a lesion to or resection of the visual cortex early in life. Findings reveal that a lesion to the VOTC results in a deficit that affects the visual recognition of more than one category of stimuli (faces, objects and words). In addition, the majority of pediatric patients show limited recovery over time, especially those in whom deficits in low-level vision also persist. Last, given that neither the equipotentiality nor the modularity view on plasticity was clearly supported, we suggest some intermediate possibilities in which some plasticity may be evident but that this might depend on the area that was affected, its maturational trajectory as well as its structural and functional connectivity constraints. Finally, we offer suggestions for future research that can elucidate plasticity further. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Cortical thickness of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predicts strategic choices in economic games.

    Yamagishi, Toshio; Takagishi, Haruto; Fermin, Alan de Souza Rodrigues; Kanai, Ryota; Li, Yang; Matsumoto, Yoshie

    2016-05-17

    Human prosociality has been traditionally explained in the social sciences in terms of internalized social norms. Recent neuroscientific studies extended this traditional view of human prosociality by providing evidence that prosocial choices in economic games require cognitive control of the impulsive pursuit of self-interest. However, this view is challenged by an intuitive prosociality view emphasizing the spontaneous and heuristic basis of prosocial choices in economic games. We assessed the brain structure of 411 players of an ultimatum game (UG) and a dictator game (DG) and measured the strategic reasoning ability of 386. According to the reflective norm-enforcement view of prosociality, only those capable of strategically controlling their selfish impulses give a fair share in the UG, but cognitive control capability should not affect behavior in the DG. Conversely, we support the intuitive prosociality view by showing for the first time, to our knowledge, that strategic reasoning and cortical thickness of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex were not related to giving in the UG but were negatively related to giving in the DG. This implies that the uncontrolled choice in the DG is prosocial rather than selfish, and those who have a thicker dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and are capable of strategic reasoning (goal-directed use of the theory of mind) control this intuitive drive for prosociality as a means to maximize reward when there are no future implications of choices.

  3. Sensitivity of human auditory cortex to rapid frequency modulation revealed by multivariate representational similarity analysis.

    Joanisse, Marc F; DeSouza, Diedre D

    2014-01-01

    Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) was used to investigate the extent, magnitude, and pattern of brain activity in response to rapid frequency-modulated sounds. We examined this by manipulating the direction (rise vs. fall) and the rate (fast vs. slow) of the apparent pitch of iterated rippled noise (IRN) bursts. Acoustic parameters were selected to capture features used in phoneme contrasts, however the stimuli themselves were not perceived as speech per se. Participants were scanned as they passively listened to sounds in an event-related paradigm. Univariate analyses revealed a greater level and extent of activation in bilateral auditory cortex in response to frequency-modulated sweeps compared to steady-state sounds. This effect was stronger in the left hemisphere. However, no regions showed selectivity for either rate or direction of frequency modulation. In contrast, multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) revealed feature-specific encoding for direction of modulation in auditory cortex bilaterally. Moreover, this effect was strongest when analyses were restricted to anatomical regions lying outside Heschl's gyrus. We found no support for feature-specific encoding of frequency modulation rate. Differential findings of modulation rate and direction of modulation are discussed with respect to their relevance to phonetic discrimination.

  4. Cues, context, and long-term memory: the role of the retrosplenial cortex in spatial cognition

    Adam M P Miller

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Spatial navigation requires representations of landmarks and other navigation cues. The retrosplenial cortex (RSC is anatomically positioned between limbic areas important for memory formation, such as the hippocampus and the anterior thalamus, and cortical regions along the dorsal stream known to contribute importantly to long-term spatial representation, such as the posterior parietal cortex. Damage to the RSC severely impairs allocentric representations of the environment, including the ability to derive navigational information from landmarks. The specific deficits seen in tests of human and rodent navigation suggest that the RSC supports allocentric representation by processing the stable features of the environment and the spatial relationships among them. In addition to spatial cognition, the RSC plays a key role in contextual and episodic memory. The RSC also contributes importantly to the acquisition and consolidation of long-term spatial and contextual memory through its interactions with the hippocampus. Within this framework, the RSC plays a dual role as part of the feedforward network providing sensory and mnemonic input to the hippocampus and as a target of the hippocampal-dependent systems consolidation of long-term memory.

  5. Cues, context, and long-term memory: the role of the retrosplenial cortex in spatial cognition.

    Miller, Adam M P; Vedder, Lindsey C; Law, L Matthew; Smith, David M

    2014-01-01

    Spatial navigation requires memory representations of landmarks and other navigation cues. The retrosplenial cortex (RSC) is anatomically positioned between limbic areas important for memory formation, such as the hippocampus (HPC) and the anterior thalamus, and cortical regions along the dorsal stream known to contribute importantly to long-term spatial representation, such as the posterior parietal cortex. Damage to the RSC severely impairs allocentric representations of the environment, including the ability to derive navigational information from landmarks. The specific deficits seen in tests of human and rodent navigation suggest that the RSC supports allocentric representation by processing the stable features of the environment and the spatial relationships among them. In addition to spatial cognition, the RSC plays a key role in contextual and episodic memory. The RSC also contributes importantly to the acquisition and consolidation of long-term spatial and contextual memory through its interactions with the HPC. Within this framework, the RSC plays a dual role as part of the feedforward network providing sensory and mnemonic input to the HPC and as a target of the hippocampal-dependent systems consolidation of long-term memory.

  6. Primary motor cortex functionally contributes to language comprehension: An online rTMS study.

    Vukovic, Nikola; Feurra, Matteo; Shpektor, Anna; Myachykov, Andriy; Shtyrov, Yury

    2017-02-01

    Among various questions pertinent to grounding human cognitive functions in a neurobiological substrate, the association between language and motor brain structures is a particularly debated one in neuroscience and psychology. While many studies support a broadly distributed model of language and semantics grounded, among other things, in the general modality-specific systems, theories disagree as to whether motor and sensory cortex activity observed during language processing is functional or epiphenomenal. Here, we assessed the role of motor areas in linguistic processing by investigating the responses of 28 healthy volunteers to different word types in semantic and lexical decision tasks, following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of primary motor cortex. We found that early rTMS (delivered within 200ms of word onset) produces a left-lateralised and meaning-specific change in reaction speed, slowing down behavioural responses to action-related words, and facilitating abstract words - an effect present only during semantic, but not lexical, decision. We interpret these data in light of action-perception theory of language, bolstering the claim that motor cortical areas play a functional role in language comprehension. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Repetition Enhancement of Amygdala and Visual Cortex Functional Connectivity Reflects Nonconscious Memory for Negative Visual Stimuli.

    Kark, Sarah M; Slotnick, Scott D; Kensinger, Elizabeth A

    2016-12-01

    Most studies using a recognition memory paradigm examine the neural processes that support the ability to consciously recognize past events. However, there can also be nonconscious influences from the prior study episode that reflect repetition suppression effects-a reduction in the magnitude of activity for repeated presentations of stimuli-that are revealed by comparing neural activity associated with forgotten items to correctly rejected novel items. The present fMRI study examined the effect of emotional valence (positive vs. negative) on repetition suppression effects. Using a standard recognition memory task, 24 participants viewed line drawings of previously studied negative, positive, and neutral photos intermixed with novel line drawings. For each item, participants made an old-new recognition judgment and a sure-unsure confidence rating. Collapsed across valence, repetition suppression effects were found in ventral occipital-temporal cortex and frontal regions. Activity levels in the majority of these regions were not modulated by valence. However, repetition enhancement of the amygdala and ventral occipital-temporal cortex functional connectivity reflected nonconscious memory for negative items. In this study, valence had little effect on activation patterns but had a larger effect on functional connectivity patterns that were markers of nonconscious memory. Beyond memory and emotion, these findings are relevant to other cognitive and social neuroscientists that utilize fMRI repetition effects to investigate perception, attention, social cognition, and other forms of learning and memory.

  8. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a dual neuropsychological screening test: An fMRI approach

    Tachibana Atsumichi

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT, which uses Kana or Japanese symbols that represent syllables, requires parallel processing of discrete (pick-out and continuous (reading dual tasks. As a dual task, the KPT is thought to test working memory and executive function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC, and is widely used in Japan as a clinical screen for dementia. Nevertheless, there has been little neurological investigation into PFC activity during this test. Methods We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI to evaluate changes in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD signal in young healthy adults during performance of a computerized KPT dual task (comprised of reading comprehension and picking out vowels and compared it to its single task components (reading or vowel pick-out alone. Results Behavioral performance of the KPT degraded compared to its single task components. Performance of the KPT markedly increased BOLD signal intensity in the PFC, and also activated sensorimotor, parietal association, and visual cortex areas. In conjunction analyses, bilateral BOLD signal in the dorsolateral PFC (Brodmann's areas 45, 46 was present only in the KPT. Conclusions Our results support the central bottleneck theory and suggest that the dorsolateral PFC is an important mediator of neural activity for both short-term storage and executive processes. Quantitative evaluation of the KPT with fMRI in healthy adults is the first step towards understanding the effects of aging or cognitive impairment on KPT performance.

  9. Activation of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in a dual neuropsychological screening test: an fMRI approach.

    Tachibana, Atsumichi; Noah, J Adam; Bronner, Shaw; Ono, Yumie; Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Niwa, Masami; Watanabe, Kazuko; Onozuka, Minoru

    2012-05-28

    The Kana Pick-out Test (KPT), which uses Kana or Japanese symbols that represent syllables, requires parallel processing of discrete (pick-out) and continuous (reading) dual tasks. As a dual task, the KPT is thought to test working memory and executive function, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and is widely used in Japan as a clinical screen for dementia. Nevertheless, there has been little neurological investigation into PFC activity during this test. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to evaluate changes in the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal in young healthy adults during performance of a computerized KPT dual task (comprised of reading comprehension and picking out vowels) and compared it to its single task components (reading or vowel pick-out alone). Behavioral performance of the KPT degraded compared to its single task components. Performance of the KPT markedly increased BOLD signal intensity in the PFC, and also activated sensorimotor, parietal association, and visual cortex areas. In conjunction analyses, bilateral BOLD signal in the dorsolateral PFC (Brodmann's areas 45, 46) was present only in the KPT. Our results support the central bottleneck theory and suggest that the dorsolateral PFC is an important mediator of neural activity for both short-term storage and executive processes. Quantitative evaluation of the KPT with fMRI in healthy adults is the first step towards understanding the effects of aging or cognitive impairment on KPT performance.

  10. Organization of Estrogen-Associated Circuits in the Mouse Primary Auditory Cortex

    Liisa A. Tremere

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Sex steroid hormones influence the perceptual processing of sensory signals in vertebrates. In particular, decades of research have shown that circulating levels of estrogen correlate with hearing function. The mechanisms and sites of action supporting this sensory-neuroendocrine modulation, however, remain unknown. Here we combined a molecular cloning strategy, fluorescence in-situ hybridization and unbiased quantification methods to show that estrogen-producing and -sensitive neurons heavily populate the adult mouse primary auditory cortex (AI. We also show that auditory experience in freely-behaving animals engages estrogen-producing and -sensitive neurons in AI. These estrogen-associated networks are greatly stable, and do not quantitatively change as a result of acute episodes of sensory experience. We further demonstrate the neurochemical identity of estrogen-producing and estrogen-sensitive neurons in AI and show that these cell populations are phenotypically distinct. Our findings provide the first direct demonstration that estrogen-associated circuits are highly prevalent and engaged by sensory experience in the mouse auditory cortex, and suggest that previous correlations between estrogen levels and hearing function may be related to brain-generated hormone production. Finally, our findings suggest that estrogenic modulation may be a central component of the operational framework of central auditory networks.

  11. A radial glia-specific role of RhoA in double cortex formation

    Cappello, Silvia; Böhringer, Christian R J; Bergami, Matteo

    2012-01-01

    disorders: subcortical band heterotopia (SBH), a heterotopic cortex underlying the normotopic cortex, and cobblestone lissencephaly, in which neurons protrude beyond layer I at the pial surface of the brain. Surprisingly, RhoA(-/-) neurons migrated normally when transplanted into wild-type cerebral cortex...

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  5. File list: DNS.Kid.20.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  6. File list: InP.Bld.50.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Full Text Available InP.Bld.50.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex hg19 Input control Blood Kidney Cortex SRX1318623,SR...X1318622 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/InP.Bld.50.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex.bed ...

  7. File list: Oth.Kid.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Full Text Available Oth.Kid.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex mm9 TFs and others Kidney Kidney Cortex SRX804274,SR...X804275,SRX804273 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/mm9/assembled/Oth.Kid.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex.bed ...

  8. File list: DNS.Kid.50.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  9. File list: His.Bld.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  10. File list: Oth.Bld.50.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

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  11. File list: Oth.Bld.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex [Chip-atlas[Archive

    Full Text Available Oth.Bld.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex hg19 TFs and others Blood Kidney Cortex SRX1318615,S...RX1318620,SRX1318619,SRX1318617 http://dbarchive.biosciencedbc.jp/kyushu-u/hg19/assembled/Oth.Bld.10.AllAg.Kidney_Cortex.bed ...

  12. Peripheral nerve injury induces glial activation in primary motor cortex

    Julieta Troncoso

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Preliminary evidence suggests that peripheral facial nerve injuries are associated with sensorimotor cortex reorganization. We have characterized facial nerve lesion-induced structural changes in primary motor cortex layer 5 pyramidal neurons and their relationship with glial cell density using a rodent facial paralysis model. First, we used adult transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein in microglia and yellow fluorescent protein in pyramidal neurons which were subjected to either unilateral lesion of the facial nerve or sham surgery. Two-photon excitation microscopy was then used for evaluating both layer 5 pyramidal neurons and microglia in vibrissal primary motor cortex (vM1. It was found that facial nerve lesion induced long-lasting changes in dendritic morphology of vM1 layer 5 pyramidal neurons and in their surrounding microglia. Pyramidal cells’ dendritic arborization underwent overall shrinkage and transient spine pruning. Moreover, microglial cell density surrounding vM1 layer 5 pyramidal neurons was significantly increased with morphological bias towards the activated phenotype. Additionally, we induced facial nerve lesion in Wistar rats to evaluate the degree and extension of facial nerve lesion-induced reorganization processes in central nervous system using neuronal and glial markers. Immunoreactivity to NeuN (neuronal nuclei antigen, GAP-43 (growth-associated protein 43, GFAP (glial fibrillary acidic protein, and Iba 1 (Ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 were evaluated 1, 3, 7, 14, 28 and 35 days after either unilateral facial nerve lesion or sham surgery. Patches of decreased NeuN immunoreactivity were found bilaterally in vM1 as well as in primary somatosensory cortex (CxS1. Significantly increased GAP-43 immunoreactivity was found bilaterally after the lesion in hippocampus, striatum, and sensorimotor cortex. One day after lesion GFAP immunoreactivity increased bilaterally in hippocampus, subcortical white

  13. Supporting Families to Support Students

    Kelly, John; Rossen, Eric; Cowan, Katherine C.

    2018-01-01

    Collaboration between students' families and the school is an essential component to promoting student mental and behavioral health. Many schools structure their mental health services using a Multi-Tiered System of Supports that offers three different tiers of support from universal supports to personalized help for students with serious…

  14. Entorhinal Cortex: Antemortem Cortical Thickness and Postmortem Neurofibrillary Tangles and Amyloid Pathology.

    Thaker, A A; Weinberg, B D; Dillon, W P; Hess, C P; Cabral, H J; Fleischman, D A; Leurgans, S E; Bennett, D A; Hyman, B T; Albert, M S; Killiany, R J; Fischl, B; Dale, A M; Desikan, R S

    2017-05-01

    The entorhinal cortex, a critical gateway between the neocortex and hippocampus, is one of the earliest regions affected by Alzheimer disease-associated neurofibrillary tangle pathology. Although our prior work has automatically delineated an MR imaging-based measure of the entorhinal cortex, whether antemortem entorhinal cortex thickness is associated with postmortem tangle burden within the entorhinal cortex is still unknown. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between antemortem MRI measures of entorhinal cortex thickness and postmortem neuropathological measures. We evaluated 50 participants from the Rush Memory and Aging Project with antemortem structural T1-weighted MR imaging and postmortem neuropathologic assessments. Here, we focused on thickness within the entorhinal cortex as anatomically defined by our previously developed MR imaging parcellation system (Desikan-Killiany Atlas in FreeSurfer). Using linear regression, we evaluated the association between entorhinal cortex thickness and tangles and amyloid-β load within the entorhinal cortex and medial temporal and neocortical regions. We found a significant relationship between antemortem entorhinal cortex thickness and entorhinal cortex ( P = .006) and medial temporal lobe tangles ( P = .002); we found no relationship between entorhinal cortex thickness and entorhinal cortex ( P = .09) and medial temporal lobe amyloid-β ( P = .09). We also found a significant association between entorhinal cortex thickness and cortical tangles ( P = .003) and amyloid-β ( P = .01). We found no relationship between parahippocampal gyrus thickness and entorhinal cortex ( P = .31) and medial temporal lobe tangles ( P = .051). Our findings indicate that entorhinal cortex-associated in vivo cortical thinning may represent a marker of postmortem medial temporal and neocortical Alzheimer disease pathology. © 2017 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.

  15. Roadway supports

    Stassen, P

    1980-01-01

    Support systems in stone drifts and tunnels are discussed. Timber supports, steel arches, cold-bent sheet-metal arches, shotcrete and combined support arrangements are described. Brickwork and reinforced concrete are also covered. Supports in roadways leading to the face and in-seam roads are discussed including timber supports, steel arches, articulated arches on timber chocks, support accessories and the withdrawal and reshaping of arches. The subject of strata bolting, the aims of strata bolting, methods of strata bolting, systems of rock-bolting, end plates and wire mesh, and bolt and anchorage monitoring are also discussed. Injection techniques, injection parameters, injection methods, grouts, includes an example of the application of injection techniques are covered and combined injection/dowelling arrangements are examined. (55 refs.) (In French)

  16. A specialized odor memory buffer in primary olfactory cortex.

    Zelano, Christina; Montag, Jessica; Khan, Rehan; Sobel, Noam

    2009-01-01

    The neural substrates of olfactory working memory are unknown. We addressed the questions of whether olfactory working memory involves a verbal representation of the odor, or a sensory image of the odor, or both, and the location of the neural substrates of these processes. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure activity in the brains of subjects who were remembering either nameable or unnameable odorants. We found a double dissociation whereby remembering nameable odorants was reflected in sustained activity in prefrontal language areas, and remembering unnameable odorants was reflected in sustained activity in primary olfactory cortex. These findings suggest a novel dedicated mechanism in primary olfactory cortex, where odor information is maintained in temporary storage to subserve ongoing tasks.

  17. The Development of the Ventral Prefrontal Cortex and Social Flexibility

    Nelson, Eric E.; Guyer, Amanda E.

    2011-01-01

    Over the last several years a number of studies in both humans and animals have suggested that the orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices play an important role in generating flexible behavior. We suggest that input from these brain regions contribute to three functions involved in generating flexible behavior within social contexts: valuation, inhibition, and rule use. Recent studies have also demonstrated that the prefrontal cortex undergoes a prolonged course of maturation that extends well after puberty. Here, we review evidence that the prolonged development of these prefrontal regions parallels a slowly emerging ability for flexible social behavior. We also speculate on the possibility that sensitive periods for organizing social behavior may be embedded within this developmental time-fame. Finally, we discuss the role of prefrontal cortex in adolescent mood and anxiety disorders, particularly as orbitofrontal and ventrolateral prefrontal cortices are engaged in a social context. PMID:21804907

  18. Monoaminergic modulation of emotional impact in the inferomedial prefrontal cortex

    Geday, Jacob; Gjedde, Albert

    2009-01-01

    of the standard Empathy Picture System on a scale from +3 to -3. We then used regression analysis to identify sites in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex at which the two separately acquired measures, blood flow change and emotional impact of images, correlated significantly. The regression analysis identified......People assess the impact of emotionally loaded images differently. We define this impact as the average difference between individual ratings of standardized "pleasant" and "unpleasant" images. To determine the neuroanatomical correlate of a hypothetical interaction between emotional impact...... cortex underwent deactivation in proportion to a separately rated emotional impact of a stimulus. We propose a specific pharmacodynamic mechanism that explains the correlation between the emotional impact and the effect of a serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor on cerebral blood flow....

  19. A morphological basis for orientation tuning in primary visual cortex.

    Mooser, François; Bosking, William H; Fitzpatrick, David

    2004-08-01

    Feedforward connections are thought to be important in the generation of orientation-selective responses in visual cortex by establishing a bias in the sampling of information from regions of visual space that lie along a neuron's axis of preferred orientation. It remains unclear, however, which structural elements-dendrites or axons-are ultimately responsible for conveying this sampling bias. To explore this question, we have examined the spatial arrangement of feedforward axonal connections that link non-oriented neurons in layer 4 and orientation-selective neurons in layer 2/3 of visual cortex in the tree shrew. Target sites of labeled boutons in layer 2/3 resulting from focal injections of biocytin in layer 4 show an orientation-specific axial bias that is sufficient to confer orientation tuning to layer 2/3 neurons. We conclude that the anisotropic arrangement of axon terminals is the principal source of the orientation bias contributed by feedforward connections.

  20. Subplate in the developing cortex of mouse and human

    Wang, Wei Zhi; Hoerder-Suabedissen, Anna; Oeschger, Franziska M

    2010-01-01

    Abstract The subplate is a largely transient zone containing precocious neurons involved in several key steps of cortical development. The majority of subplate neurons form a compact layer in mouse, but are dispersed throughout a much larger zone in the human. In rodent, subplate neurons are among...... several genes that are specifically expressed in the subplate layer of the rodent dorsal cortex. Here we examined the human subplate for some of these markers. In the human dorsal cortex, connective tissue growth factor-positive neurons can be seen in the ventricular zone at 15-22 postconceptional weeks...... growth factor- and nuclear receptor-related 1-positive cells are two distinct cell populations of the human subplate. Furthermore, our microarray analysis in rodent suggested that subplate neurons produce plasma proteins. Here we demonstrate that the human subplate also expresses alpha2zinc...