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Sample records for high pre-synaptic firing

  1. Spike Train Auto-Structure Impacts Post-Synaptic Firing and Timing-Based Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheller, Bertram; Castellano, Marta; Vicente, Raul; Pipa, Gordon

    2011-01-01

    Cortical neurons are typically driven by several thousand synapses. The precise spatiotemporal pattern formed by these inputs can modulate the response of a post-synaptic cell. In this work, we explore how the temporal structure of pre-synaptic inhibitory and excitatory inputs impact the post-synaptic firing of a conductance-based integrate and fire neuron. Both the excitatory and inhibitory input was modeled by renewal gamma processes with varying shape factors for modeling regular and temporally random Poisson activity. We demonstrate that the temporal structure of mutually independent inputs affects the post-synaptic firing, while the strength of the effect depends on the firing rates of both the excitatory and inhibitory inputs. In a second step, we explore the effect of temporal structure of mutually independent inputs on a simple version of Hebbian learning, i.e., hard bound spike-timing-dependent plasticity. We explore both the equilibrium weight distribution and the speed of the transient weight dynamics for different mutually independent gamma processes. We find that both the equilibrium distribution of the synaptic weights and the speed of synaptic changes are modulated by the temporal structure of the input. Finally, we highlight that the sensitivity of both the post-synaptic firing as well as the spike-timing-dependent plasticity on the auto-structure of the input of a neuron could be used to modulate the learning rate of synaptic modification. PMID:22203800

  2. PET measures of pre- and post-synaptic cardiac beta adrenergic function

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Link, Jeanne M.; Stratton, John R.; Levy, Wayne; Poole, Jeanne E.; Shoner, Steven C.; Stuetzle, Werner; Caldwell, James H. E-mail: jcald@u.washington.edu

    2003-11-01

    Positron Emission Tomography was used to measure global and regional cardiac {beta}-adrenergic function in 19 normal subjects and 9 congestive heart failure patients. [{sup 11}C]-meta-hydroxyephedrine was used to image norepinephrine transporter function as an indicator of pre-synaptic function and [{sup 11}C]-CGP12177 was used to measure cell surface {beta}-receptor density as an indicator of post-synaptic function. Pre-synaptic, but not post-synaptic, function was significantly different between normals and CHF patients. Pre-synaptic function was well matched to post-synaptic function in the normal hearts but significantly different and poorly matched in the CHF patients studied. This imaging technique can help us understand regional sympathetic function in cardiac disease.

  3. Irregular persistent activity induced by synaptic excitatory feedback

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    Francesca Barbieri

    2007-11-01

    Full Text Available Neurophysiological experiments on monkeys have reported highly irregular persistent activity during the performance of an oculomotor delayed-response task. These experiments show that during the delay period the coefficient of variation (CV of interspike intervals (ISI of prefrontal neurons is above 1, on average, and larger than during the fixation period. In the present paper, we show that this feature can be reproduced in a network in which persistent activity is induced by excitatory feedback, provided that (i the post-spike reset is close enough to threshold , (ii synaptic efficacies are a non-linear function of the pre-synaptic firing rate. Non-linearity between presynaptic rate and effective synaptic strength is implemented by a standard short-term depression mechanism (STD. First, we consider the simplest possible network with excitatory feedback: a fully connected homogeneous network of excitatory leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, using both numerical simulations and analytical techniques. The results are then confirmed in a network with selective excitatory neurons and inhibition. In both the cases there is a large range of values of the synaptic efficacies for which the statistics of firing of single cells is similar to experimental data.

  4. The Impact of Stimulation Induced Short Term Synaptic Plasticity on Firing Patterns in the Globus Pallidus of the Rat

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    Jenia eBugaysen

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Electrical stimulation in the globus pallidus (GP leads to complex modulations of neuronal activity in the stimulated nucleus. Multiple in-vivo studies have demonstrated the modulation of both firing rates and patterns during and immediately following the GP stimulation. Previous in-vitro studies, together with computational studies, have suggested the involvement of short-term synaptic plasticity (STP during the stimulation. The aim of the current study was to explore in-vitro the effects of STP on neuronal activity of GP neurons during local repetitive stimulation. We recorded synaptic potentials and assessed the modulations of spontaneous firing in a postsynaptic neuron in acute brain slices via a whole-cell pipette. Low-frequency repetitive stimulation locked the firing of the neuron to the stimulus. However, high-frequency repetitive stimulation in the GP generated a biphasic modulation of the firing frequency consisting of inhibitory and excitatory phases. Using blockers of synaptic transmission, we show that GABAergic synapses mediated the inhibitory and glutamatergic synapses the excitatory part of the response. Furthermore, we report that at high stimulation frequencies both types of synapses undergo short-term depression leading to a time dependent modulation of the neuronal firing. These findings indicate that STP modulates the dynamic responses of pallidal activity during electrical stimulation, and may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying deep brain stimulation (DBS like protocols.

  5. Pre-oxidation and its effect on reducing high-temperature corrosion of superheater tubes during biomass firing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okoro, Sunday Chukwudi; Kvisgaard, M.; Montgomery, Melanie

    2017-01-01

    Superheater tubes in biomass-fired power plants experience high corrosion rates due to condensation of corrosive alkali chloride-rich deposits. To explore the possibility of reducing the corrosion attack by the formation of an initial protective oxide layer, the corrosion resistance of pre......-oxidised Al and Ti-containing alloys (Kanthal APM and Nimonic 80A, respectively) was investigated under laboratory conditions mimicking biomass firing. The alloys were pre-oxidised at 900°C for 1 week. Afterwards, pre-oxidised samples, and virgin non-pre-oxidised samples as reference, were coated...... with a synthetic deposit of KCl and exposed at 560°C for 1 week to a gas mixture typical of biomass firing. Results show that pre-oxidation could hinder the corrosion attack; however, the relative success was different for the two alloys. While corrosion attack was observed on the pre-oxidised Kanthal APM, the pre...

  6. KV7 Channels Regulate Firing during Synaptic Integration in GABAergic Striatal Neurons

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    M. Belén Pérez-Ramírez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Striatal projection neurons (SPNs process motor and cognitive information. Their activity is affected by Parkinson’s disease, in which dopamine concentration is decreased and acetylcholine concentration is increased. Acetylcholine activates muscarinic receptors in SPNs. Its main source is the cholinergic interneuron that responds with a briefer latency than SPNs during a cortical command. Therefore, an important question is whether muscarinic G-protein coupled receptors and their signaling cascades are fast enough to intervene during synaptic responses to regulate synaptic integration and firing. One of the most known voltage dependent channels regulated by muscarinic receptors is the KV7/KCNQ channel. It is not known whether these channels regulate the integration of suprathreshold corticostriatal responses. Here, we study the impact of cholinergic muscarinic modulation on the synaptic response of SPNs by regulating KV7 channels. We found that KV7 channels regulate corticostriatal synaptic integration and that this modulation occurs in the dendritic/spines compartment. In contrast, it is negligible in the somatic compartment. This modulation occurs on sub- and suprathreshold responses and lasts during the whole duration of the responses, hundreds of milliseconds, greatly altering SPNs firing properties. This modulation affected the behavior of the striatal microcircuit.

  7. Forebrain deletion of αGDI in adult mice worsens the pre-synaptic deficit at cortico-lateral amygdala synaptic connections.

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    Veronica Bianchi

    Full Text Available The GDI1 gene encodes αGDI, which retrieves inactive GDP-bound RAB from membranes to form a cytosolic pool awaiting vesicular release. Mutations in GDI1 are responsible for X-linked Intellectual Disability. Characterization of the Gdi1-null mice has revealed alterations in the total number and distribution of hippocampal and cortical synaptic vesicles, hippocampal short-term synaptic plasticity and specific short-term memory deficits in adult mice, which are possibly caused by alterations of different synaptic vesicle recycling pathways controlled by several RAB GTPases. However, interpretation of these studies is complicated by the complete ablation of Gdi1 in all cells in the brain throughout development. In this study, we generated conditionally gene-targeted mice in which the knockout of Gdi1 is restricted to the forebrain, hippocampus, cortex and amygdala and occurs only during postnatal development. Adult mutant mice reproduce the short-term memory deficit previously reported in Gdi1-null mice. Surprisingly, the delayed ablation of Gdi1 worsens the pre-synaptic phenotype at cortico-amygdala synaptic connections compared to Gdi1-null mice. These results suggest a pivotal role of αGDI via specific RAB GTPases acting specifically in forebrain regions at the pre-synaptic sites involved in memory formation.

  8. Variable synaptic strengths controls the firing rate distribution in feedforward neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ly, Cheng; Marsat, Gary

    2018-02-01

    Heterogeneity of firing rate statistics is known to have severe consequences on neural coding. Recent experimental recordings in weakly electric fish indicate that the distribution-width of superficial pyramidal cell firing rates (trial- and time-averaged) in the electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) depends on the stimulus, and also that network inputs can mediate changes in the firing rate distribution across the population. We previously developed theoretical methods to understand how two attributes (synaptic and intrinsic heterogeneity) interact and alter the firing rate distribution in a population of integrate-and-fire neurons with random recurrent coupling. Inspired by our experimental data, we extend these theoretical results to a delayed feedforward spiking network that qualitatively capture the changes of firing rate heterogeneity observed in in-vivo recordings. We demonstrate how heterogeneous neural attributes alter firing rate heterogeneity, accounting for the effect with various sensory stimuli. The model predicts how the strength of the effective network connectivity is related to intrinsic heterogeneity in such delayed feedforward networks: the strength of the feedforward input is positively correlated with excitability (threshold value for spiking) when firing rate heterogeneity is low and is negatively correlated with excitability with high firing rate heterogeneity. We also show how our theory can be used to predict effective neural architecture. We demonstrate that neural attributes do not interact in a simple manner but rather in a complex stimulus-dependent fashion to control neural heterogeneity and discuss how it can ultimately shape population codes.

  9. Pre-fire planning for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talbert, J.H.

    1980-01-01

    Regardless of the fire prevention measures which are taken, plant experience indicates that fires will occur in a nuclear power plant. When a fire occurs, the plant staff must handle the fire emergency. Pre-fire planning is a method of developing detailed fire attack plans and salvage operations to protect equipment from damage due to fire and fire fighting operations. This paper describes the purpose and use of a pre-fire plan to achieve these goals in nuclear power plants

  10. Irregular Firing and High-Conductance States in Spinal Motoneurons during Scratching and Swimming

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn; Alaburda, Aidas

    2016-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Intense synaptic transmission during scratch network activity increases conductance and induces irregular firing in spinal motoneurons. It is not known whether this high-conductance state is a select feature for scratching or a property that goes with spinal motor network activity...... in general. Here we compare conductance and firing patterns in spinal motoneurons during network activity for scratching and swimming in an ex vivo carapace-spinal cord preparation from adult turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans). The pattern and relative engagement of motoneurons are distinctly different...... in scratching and swimming. Nevertheless, we found increased synaptic fluctuations in membrane potential, irregular firing, and increased conductance in spinal motoneurons during scratch and swim network activity. Our finding indicates that intense synaptic activation of motoneurons is a general feature...

  11. Does spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity couple or decouple neurons firing in synchrony?

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    Andreas eKnoblauch

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Spike synchronization is thought to have a constructive role for feature integration, attention, associativelearning, and the formation of bidirectionally connected Hebbian cell assemblies. By contrast, theoreticalstudies on spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP report an inherently decoupling influence of spikesynchronization on synaptic connections of coactivated neurons. For example, bidirectional synapticconnections as found in cortical areas could be reproduced only by assuming realistic models of STDP andrate coding. We resolve this conflict by theoretical analysis and simulation of various simple and realisticSTDP models that provide a more complete characterization of conditions when STDP leads to eithercoupling or decoupling of neurons firing in synchrony. In particular, we show that STDP consistentlycouples synchronized neurons if key model parameters are matched to physiological data: First, synapticpotentiation must be significantly stronger than synaptic depression for small (positive or negative timelags between presynaptic and postsynaptic spikes. Second, spike synchronization must be sufficientlyimprecise, for example, within a time window of 5-10msec instead of 1msec. Third, axonal propagationdelays should not be much larger than dendritic delays. Under these assumptions synchronized neuronswill be strongly coupled leading to a dominance of bidirectional synaptic connections even for simpleSTDP models and low mean firing rates at the level of spontaneous activity.

  12. Fire-free land use in pre-1492 Amazonian savannas.

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    Iriarte, José; Power, Mitchell J; Rostain, Stéphen; Mayle, Francis E; Jones, Huw; Watling, Jennifer; Whitney, Bronwen S; McKey, Doyle B

    2012-04-24

    The nature and scale of pre-Columbian land use and the consequences of the 1492 "Columbian Encounter" (CE) on Amazonia are among the more debated topics in New World archaeology and paleoecology. However, pre-Columbian human impact in Amazonian savannas remains poorly understood. Most paleoecological studies have been conducted in neotropical forest contexts. Of studies done in Amazonian savannas, none has the temporal resolution needed to detect changes induced by either climate or humans before and after A.D. 1492, and only a few closely integrate paleoecological and archaeological data. We report a high-resolution 2,150-y paleoecological record from a French Guianan coastal savanna that forces reconsideration of how pre-Columbian savanna peoples practiced raised-field agriculture and how the CE impacted these societies and environments. Our combined pollen, phytolith, and charcoal analyses reveal unexpectedly low levels of biomass burning associated with pre-A.D. 1492 savanna raised-field agriculture and a sharp increase in fires following the arrival of Europeans. We show that pre-Columbian raised-field farmers limited burning to improve agricultural production, contrasting with extensive use of fire in pre-Columbian tropical forest and Central American savanna environments, as well as in present-day savannas. The charcoal record indicates that extensive fires in the seasonally flooded savannas of French Guiana are a post-Columbian phenomenon, postdating the collapse of indigenous populations. The discovery that pre-Columbian farmers practiced fire-free savanna management calls into question the widely held assumption that pre-Columbian Amazonian farmers pervasively used fire to manage and alter ecosystems and offers fresh perspectives on an emerging alternative approach to savanna land use and conservation that can help reduce carbon emissions.

  13. Free microparticles—An inducing mechanism of pre-firing in high pressure gas switches for fast linear transformer drivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoang; Pei, Zhehao; Wu, Zhicheng; Zhang, Yuzhao; Liu, Xuandong; Li, Yongdong; Zhang, Qiaogen

    2018-03-01

    Microparticle initiated pre-firing of high pressure gas switches for fast linear transformer drivers (FLTDs) is experimentally and theoretically verified. First, a dual-electrode gas switch equipped with poly-methyl methacrylate baffles is used to capture and collect the microparticles. By analyzing the electrode surfaces and the collecting baffles by a laser scanning confocal microscope, microparticles ranging in size from tens of micrometers to over 100 μm are observed under the typical working conditions of FLTDs. The charging and movement of free microparticles in switch cavity are studied, and the strong DC electric field drives the microparticles to bounce off the electrode. Three different modes of free microparticle motion appear to be responsible for switch pre-firing. (i) Microparticles adhere to the electrode surface and act as a fixed protrusion which distorts the local electric field and initiates the breakdown in the gap. (ii) One particle escapes toward the opposite electrode and causes a near-electrode microdischarge, inducing the breakdown of the residual gap. (iii) Multiple moving microparticles are occasionally in cascade, leading to pre-firing. Finally, as experimental verification, repetitive discharges at ±90 kV are conducted in a three-electrode field-distortion gas switch, with two 8 mm gaps and pressurized with nitrogen. An ultrasonic probe is employed to monitor the bounce signals. In pre-firing incidents, the bounce is detected shortly before the collapse of the voltage waveform, which demonstrates that free microparticles contribute significantly to the mechanism that induces pre-firing in FLTD gas switches.

  14. Free microparticles-An inducing mechanism of pre-firing in high pressure gas switches for fast linear transformer drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoang; Pei, Zhehao; Wu, Zhicheng; Zhang, Yuzhao; Liu, Xuandong; Li, Yongdong; Zhang, Qiaogen

    2018-03-01

    Microparticle initiated pre-firing of high pressure gas switches for fast linear transformer drivers (FLTDs) is experimentally and theoretically verified. First, a dual-electrode gas switch equipped with poly-methyl methacrylate baffles is used to capture and collect the microparticles. By analyzing the electrode surfaces and the collecting baffles by a laser scanning confocal microscope, microparticles ranging in size from tens of micrometers to over 100 μm are observed under the typical working conditions of FLTDs. The charging and movement of free microparticles in switch cavity are studied, and the strong DC electric field drives the microparticles to bounce off the electrode. Three different modes of free microparticle motion appear to be responsible for switch pre-firing. (i) Microparticles adhere to the electrode surface and act as a fixed protrusion which distorts the local electric field and initiates the breakdown in the gap. (ii) One particle escapes toward the opposite electrode and causes a near-electrode microdischarge, inducing the breakdown of the residual gap. (iii) Multiple moving microparticles are occasionally in cascade, leading to pre-firing. Finally, as experimental verification, repetitive discharges at ±90 kV are conducted in a three-electrode field-distortion gas switch, with two 8 mm gaps and pressurized with nitrogen. An ultrasonic probe is employed to monitor the bounce signals. In pre-firing incidents, the bounce is detected shortly before the collapse of the voltage waveform, which demonstrates that free microparticles contribute significantly to the mechanism that induces pre-firing in FLTD gas switches.

  15. Single cocaine exposure does not alter striatal pre-synaptic dopamine function in mice: an [18 F]-FDOPA PET study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonsall, David R; Kokkinou, Michelle; Veronese, Mattia; Coello, Christopher; Wells, Lisa A; Howes, Oliver D

    2017-12-01

    Cocaine is a recreational drug of abuse that binds to the dopamine transporter, preventing reuptake of dopamine into pre-synaptic terminals. The increased presence of synaptic dopamine results in stimulation of both pre- and post-synaptic dopamine receptors, considered an important mechanism by which cocaine elicits its reinforcing properties. However, the effects of acute cocaine administration on pre-synaptic dopamine function remain unclear. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography have revealed impaired pre-synaptic dopamine function in chronic cocaine users. Similar impairments have been seen in animal studies, with microdialysis experiments indicating decreased basal dopamine release. Here we use micro positron emission tomography imaging techniques in mice to measure dopamine synthesis capacity and determine the effect of acute cocaine administration of pre-synaptic dopamine function. We show that a dose of 20 mg/kg cocaine is sufficient to elicit hyperlocomotor activity, peaking 15-20 min post treatment (p dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum was not significantly altered by acute cocaine treatment (KiCer: 0.0097 per min vs. 0.0112 per min in vehicle controls, p > 0.05). Furthermore, expression levels of two key enzymes related to dopamine synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase, within the striatum of scanned mice were not significantly affected by acute cocaine pre-treatment (p > 0.05). Our findings suggest that while the regulation of dopamine synthesis and release in the striatum have been shown to change with chronic cocaine use, leading to a reduced basal tone, these adaptations to pre-synaptic dopaminergic neurons are not initiated following a single exposure to the drug. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  16. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

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    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International

  17. Analytical approximations of the firing rate of an adaptive exponential integrate-and-fire neuron in the presence of synaptic noise

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    Loreen eHertäg

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Computational models offer a unique tool for understanding the network-dynamical mechanisms which mediate between physiological and biophysical properties, and behavioral function. A traditional challenge in computational neuroscience is, however, that simple neuronal models which can be studied analytically fail to reproduce the diversity of electrophysiological behaviors seen in real neurons, while detailed neuronal models which do reproduce such diversity are intractable analytically and computationally expensive. A number of intermediate models have been proposed whose aim is to capture the diversity of firing behaviors and spike times of real neurons while entailing a mathematical description as simple as possible. One such model is the exponential integrate-and-fire neuron with spike rate adaptation (aEIF which consists of two differential equations for the membrane potential (V and an adaptation current (w. Despite its simplicity, it can reproduce a wide variety of physiologically observed spiking patterns, can be fit to physiological recordings quantitatively, and, once done so, is able to predict spike times on traces not used for model fitting. Here we compute the steady-state firing rate of aEIF in the presence of Gaussian synaptic noise, using two approaches. The first approach is based on the 2-dimensional Fokker-Planck equation that describes the (V,w-probability distribution, which is solved using an expansion in the ratio between the time constants of the two variables. The second is based on the firing rate of the EIF model, which is averaged over the distribution of the $w$ variable. These analytically derived closed-form expressions were tested on simulations from a large variety of model cells quantitatively fitted to in vitro electrophysiological recordings from pyramidal cells and interneurons. Theoretical predictions closely agreed with the firing rate of the simulated cells fed with in-vivo-like synaptic noise.

  18. Analytical approximations of the firing rate of an adaptive exponential integrate-and-fire neuron in the presence of synaptic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hertäg, Loreen; Durstewitz, Daniel; Brunel, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Computational models offer a unique tool for understanding the network-dynamical mechanisms which mediate between physiological and biophysical properties, and behavioral function. A traditional challenge in computational neuroscience is, however, that simple neuronal models which can be studied analytically fail to reproduce the diversity of electrophysiological behaviors seen in real neurons, while detailed neuronal models which do reproduce such diversity are intractable analytically and computationally expensive. A number of intermediate models have been proposed whose aim is to capture the diversity of firing behaviors and spike times of real neurons while entailing the simplest possible mathematical description. One such model is the exponential integrate-and-fire neuron with spike rate adaptation (aEIF) which consists of two differential equations for the membrane potential (V) and an adaptation current (w). Despite its simplicity, it can reproduce a wide variety of physiologically observed spiking patterns, can be fit to physiological recordings quantitatively, and, once done so, is able to predict spike times on traces not used for model fitting. Here we compute the steady-state firing rate of aEIF in the presence of Gaussian synaptic noise, using two approaches. The first approach is based on the 2-dimensional Fokker-Planck equation that describes the (V,w)-probability distribution, which is solved using an expansion in the ratio between the time constants of the two variables. The second is based on the firing rate of the EIF model, which is averaged over the distribution of the w variable. These analytically derived closed-form expressions were tested on simulations from a large variety of model cells quantitatively fitted to in vitro electrophysiological recordings from pyramidal cells and interneurons. Theoretical predictions closely agreed with the firing rate of the simulated cells fed with in-vivo-like synaptic noise.

  19. Exogenous Alpha-Synuclein Alters Pre- and Post-Synaptic Activity by Fragmenting Lipid Rafts

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    Marco Emanuele

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Alpha-synuclein (αSyn interferes with multiple steps of synaptic activity at pre-and post-synaptic terminals, however the mechanism/s by which αSyn alters neurotransmitter release and synaptic potentiation is unclear. By atomic force microscopy we show that human αSyn, when incubated with reconstituted membrane bilayer, induces lipid rafts' fragmentation. As a consequence, ion channels and receptors are displaced from lipid rafts with consequent changes in their activity. The enhanced calcium entry leads to acute mobilization of synaptic vesicles, and exhaustion of neurotransmission at later stages. At the post-synaptic terminal, an acute increase in glutamatergic transmission, with increased density of PSD-95 puncta, is followed by disruption of the interaction between N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR and PSD-95 with ensuing decrease of long term potentiation. While cholesterol loading prevents the acute effect of αSyn at the presynapse; inhibition of casein kinase 2, which appears activated by reduction of cholesterol, restores the correct localization and clustering of NMDARs.

  20. Synaptic Cell Adhesion

    OpenAIRE

    Missler, Markus; Südhof, Thomas C.; Biederer, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Chemical synapses are asymmetric intercellular junctions that mediate synaptic transmission. Synaptic junctions are organized by trans-synaptic cell adhesion molecules bridging the synaptic cleft. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules not only connect pre- and postsynaptic compartments, but also mediate trans-synaptic recognition and signaling processes that are essential for the establishment, specification, and plasticity of synapses. A growing number of synaptic cell adhesion molecules that inc...

  1. High Bandwidth Synaptic Communication and Frequency Tracking in Human Neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Testa-Silva (Guilherme); M.B. Verhoog (Matthijs); D. Linaro (Daniele); C.P.J. de Kock (Christiaan); J.C. Baayen; R.M. Meredith (Rhiannon); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); M. Giugliano (Michele); H.D. Mansvelder (Huibert)

    2014-01-01

    textabstractNeuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we

  2. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, Guilherme; Verhoog, Matthijs B; Linaro, Daniele; de Kock, Christiaan P J; Baayen, Johannes C; Meredith, Rhiannon M; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Giugliano, Michele; Mansvelder, Huibert D

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  3. High bandwidth synaptic communication and frequency tracking in human neocortex.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Testa-Silva, G.; Verhoog, M.B.; Linaro, D.; de Kock, C.P.J.; Baayen, J.C.; Meredith, R.M.; Zeeuw, C.I.; Giugliano, M.; Mansvelder, H.D.

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal firing, synaptic transmission, and its plasticity form the building blocks for processing and storage of information in the brain. It is unknown whether adult human synapses are more efficient in transferring information between neurons than rodent synapses. To test this, we recorded from

  4. Interplay of intrinsic and synaptic conductances in the generation of high-frequency oscillations in interneuronal networks with irregular spiking.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiano Baroni

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available High-frequency oscillations (above 30 Hz have been observed in sensory and higher-order brain areas, and are believed to constitute a general hallmark of functional neuronal activation. Fast inhibition in interneuronal networks has been suggested as a general mechanism for the generation of high-frequency oscillations. Certain classes of interneurons exhibit subthreshold oscillations, but the effect of this intrinsic neuronal property on the population rhythm is not completely understood. We study the influence of intrinsic damped subthreshold oscillations in the emergence of collective high-frequency oscillations, and elucidate the dynamical mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. We simulate neuronal networks composed of either Integrate-and-Fire (IF or Generalized Integrate-and-Fire (GIF neurons. The IF model displays purely passive subthreshold dynamics, while the GIF model exhibits subthreshold damped oscillations. Individual neurons receive inhibitory synaptic currents mediated by spiking activity in their neighbors as well as noisy synaptic bombardment, and fire irregularly at a lower rate than population frequency. We identify three factors that affect the influence of single-neuron properties on synchronization mediated by inhibition: i the firing rate response to the noisy background input, ii the membrane potential distribution, and iii the shape of Inhibitory Post-Synaptic Potentials (IPSPs. For hyperpolarizing inhibition, the GIF IPSP profile (factor iii exhibits post-inhibitory rebound, which induces a coherent spike-mediated depolarization across cells that greatly facilitates synchronous oscillations. This effect dominates the network dynamics, hence GIF networks display stronger oscillations than IF networks. However, the restorative current in the GIF neuron lowers firing rates and narrows the membrane potential distribution (factors i and ii, respectively, which tend to decrease synchrony. If inhibition is shunting instead

  5. Interplay of intrinsic and synaptic conductances in the generation of high-frequency oscillations in interneuronal networks with irregular spiking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baroni, Fabiano; Burkitt, Anthony N; Grayden, David B

    2014-05-01

    High-frequency oscillations (above 30 Hz) have been observed in sensory and higher-order brain areas, and are believed to constitute a general hallmark of functional neuronal activation. Fast inhibition in interneuronal networks has been suggested as a general mechanism for the generation of high-frequency oscillations. Certain classes of interneurons exhibit subthreshold oscillations, but the effect of this intrinsic neuronal property on the population rhythm is not completely understood. We study the influence of intrinsic damped subthreshold oscillations in the emergence of collective high-frequency oscillations, and elucidate the dynamical mechanisms that underlie this phenomenon. We simulate neuronal networks composed of either Integrate-and-Fire (IF) or Generalized Integrate-and-Fire (GIF) neurons. The IF model displays purely passive subthreshold dynamics, while the GIF model exhibits subthreshold damped oscillations. Individual neurons receive inhibitory synaptic currents mediated by spiking activity in their neighbors as well as noisy synaptic bombardment, and fire irregularly at a lower rate than population frequency. We identify three factors that affect the influence of single-neuron properties on synchronization mediated by inhibition: i) the firing rate response to the noisy background input, ii) the membrane potential distribution, and iii) the shape of Inhibitory Post-Synaptic Potentials (IPSPs). For hyperpolarizing inhibition, the GIF IPSP profile (factor iii)) exhibits post-inhibitory rebound, which induces a coherent spike-mediated depolarization across cells that greatly facilitates synchronous oscillations. This effect dominates the network dynamics, hence GIF networks display stronger oscillations than IF networks. However, the restorative current in the GIF neuron lowers firing rates and narrows the membrane potential distribution (factors i) and ii), respectively), which tend to decrease synchrony. If inhibition is shunting instead of

  6. Effect of pre-firing compression on the prevention of pancreatic fistula in distal pancreatectomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirashita, Teijiro; Ohta, Masayuki; Yada, Kazuhiro; Tada, Kazuhiro; Saga, Kunihiro; Takayama, Hiroomi; Endo, Yuichi; Uchida, Hiroki; Iwashita, Yukio; Inomata, Masafumi

    2018-03-26

    Postoperative pancreatic fistula (POPF) is a major complication of distal pancreatectomy (DP). Several procedures for resection and closure of the pancreas have been proposed; however, the rate of POPF remains high. The aims of this study were to investigate the relationship between perioperative factors and POPF and to clarify the advantages of pre-firing compression of the pancreas in the DP. From 2008 to 2016, records of 75 patients who underwent DP were retrospectively reviewed. The relationship between the perioperative factors and clinically relevant POPF was investigated. Univariate analysis showed that body mass index, thickness of the pancreas, and pre-firing compression were significantly related with clinically relevant POPF. Multivariate analysis showed that the pre-firing compression was an independent factor of clinically relevant POPF (OR = 44.31, 95%CI = 3.394-578.3, P = 0.004). Pre-firing compression of the pancreas can prevent clinically relevant POPF in DP. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Integrated neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system with synaptic device

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jeong-Jun; Park, Jungjin; Kwon, Min-Woo; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Hyungjin; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-02-01

    In this paper, we propose and fabricate Integrate & Fire neuron circuit for implementing neuromorphic system. Overall operation of the circuit is verified by measuring discrete devices and the output characteristics of the circuit. Since the neuron circuit shows asymmetric output characteristic that can drive synaptic device with Spike-Timing-Dependent-Plasticity (STDP) characteristic, the autonomous weight update process is also verified by connecting the synaptic device and the neuron circuit. The timing difference of the pre-neuron and the post-neuron induce autonomous weight change of the synaptic device. Unlike 2-terminal devices, which is frequently used to implement neuromorphic system, proposed scheme of the system enables autonomous weight update and simple configuration by using 4-terminal synapse device and appropriate neuron circuit. Weight update process in the multi-layer neuron-synapse connection ensures implementation of the hardware-based artificial intelligence, based on Spiking-Neural- Network (SNN).

  8. Exogenous α-synuclein hinders synaptic communication in cultured cortical primary rat neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassink, G C; Raiss, C C; Segers-Nolten, I M J; van Wezel, R J A; Subramaniam, V; le Feber, J; Claessens, M M A E

    2018-01-01

    Amyloid aggregates of the protein α-synuclein (αS) called Lewy Bodies (LB) and Lewy Neurites (LN) are the pathological hallmark of Parkinson's disease (PD) and other synucleinopathies. We have previously shown that high extracellular αS concentrations can be toxic to cells and that neurons take up αS. Here we aimed to get more insight into the toxicity mechanism associated with high extracellular αS concentrations (50-100 μM). High extracellular αS concentrations resulted in a reduction of the firing rate of the neuronal network by disrupting synaptic transmission, while the neuronal ability to fire action potentials was still intact. Furthermore, many cells developed αS deposits larger than 500 nm within five days, but otherwise appeared healthy. Synaptic dysfunction clearly occurred before the establishment of large intracellular deposits and neuronal death, suggesting that an excessive extracellular αS concentration caused synaptic failure and which later possibly contributed to neuronal death.

  9. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joshua G.A Pinto

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available 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 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 4 proteins and include a stage during early development (<1 year when only Gephyrin has high inter-individual variability. We also found that pre- and post-synaptic protein balances develop quickly, suggesting that maturation of certain synaptic functions happens within the first year or two of life. A multidimensional analysis (principle component analysis showed that most of the variance was captured by the sum of the 4 synaptic proteins. We used that sum to compare development of human and rat 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.

  10. Sharp-Wave Ripples Orchestrate the Induction of Synaptic Plasticity during Reactivation of Place Cell Firing Patterns in the Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef H.L.P. Sadowski

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Place cell firing patterns reactivated during hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs in rest or sleep are thought to induce synaptic plasticity and thereby promote the consolidation of recently encoded information. However, the capacity of reactivated spike trains to induce plasticity has not been directly tested. Here, we show that reactivated place cell firing patterns simultaneously recorded from CA3 and CA1 of rat dorsal hippocampus are able to induce long-term potentiation (LTP at synapses between CA3 and CA1 cells but only if accompanied by SWR-associated synaptic activity and resulting dendritic depolarization. In addition, we show that the precise timing of coincident CA3 and CA1 place cell spikes in relation to SWR onset is critical for the induction of LTP and predictive of plasticity generated by reactivation. Our findings confirm an important role for SWRs in triggering and tuning plasticity processes that underlie memory consolidation in the hippocampus during rest or sleep.

  11. Synaptic and functional linkages between spinal premotor interneurons and hand-muscle activity during precision grip

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomohiko eTakei

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Grasping is a highly complex movement that requires the coordination of a number of hand joints and muscles. Previous studies showed that spinal premotor interneurons (PreM-INs in the primate cervical spinal cord have divergent synaptic effects on hand motoneurons and that they might contribute to hand-muscle synergies. However, the extent to which these PreM-IN synaptic connections functionally contribute to modulating hand-muscle activity is not clear. In this paper, we explored the contribution of spinal PreM-INs to hand-muscle activation by quantifying the synaptic linkage (SL and functional linkage (FL of the PreM-INs with hand-muscle activities. The activity of 23 PreM-INs was recorded from the cervical spinal cord (C6–T1, with EMG signals measured simultaneously from hand and arm muscles in two macaque monkeys performing a precision grip task. Spike-triggered averages (STAs of rectified EMGs were compiled for 456 neuron–muscle pairs; 63 pairs showed significant post-spike effects (i.e., SL. Conversely, 231 of 456 pairs showed significant cross-correlations between the IN firing rate and rectified EMG (i.e., FL. Importantly, a greater proportion of the neuron–muscle pairs with SL showed FL (43/63 pairs, 68% compared with the pairs without SL (203/393, 52%, and the presence of SL was significantly associated with that of FL. However, a significant number of pairs had SL without FL (SL∩!FL, n = 20 or FL without SL (!SL∩FL, n = 203, and the proportions of these incongruities exceeded the number expected by chance. These results suggested that spinal PreM-INs function to significantly modulate hand-muscle activity during precision grip, but the contribution of other neural structures is also needed to recruit an adequate combination of hand-muscle motoneurons.

  12. Significant or negligible sediment and nutrient losses after fire? Pre- and post-fire comparisons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shakesby, R. A.; Ferreira, A. J. D.; Ferreira, C. S. S.; Stoof, C. R.; Urbanek, E.; Walsh, R. P. D.

    2009-04-01

    Prescribed fire (or a controlled burn) is a management tool used in wildfire-prone areas to reduce the fuel load of living and dead biomass, while attempting to keep disturbance of the ground surface and soil to a minimum. We know that wildfire, particularly of moderate or extreme severity, can cause important changes to the chemical and physical properties of soil, typically leading to a reduction in aggregate stability, surface roughness and water storage capacity, and an increase in overland flow. It has also been shown that wildfire disturbance can cause major loss of soil, particularly at plot and hillslope scales. There is less information on soil losses at catchment scales, but it is known that losses particularly of organic-rich fine sediment and nutrients can undergo hillslope to channel transfer, where they can affect water quality. Far less research has been carried out into the effects of prescribed fire on soil and nutrient losses at all scales, but particularly at catchment scales. This paper considers the impact of an experimental fire (equivalent to a severe prescribed fire) on soil and nutrient losses. These losses have been monitored at a range of scales (small rainfall simulation plots, long-term erosion plot, erosion plot, hillslope sediment traps (sediment fences) and catchment) before and after the fire in a 10-ha catchment near Góis, central Portugal, which forms part of the 5-year DESIRE research programme concerning desertification and its mitigation at a range of study sites worldwide. The catchment has steep slopes covered mainly with scrub vegetation ranging from c. 0.15 to 2m in height. The soil is thin, stony and highly water repellent. Long-term pre-burn erosion rates are known from a c. 10-year record of soil losses from a small erosion plot (8 x 2m in size) and sediment accumulation in the weir pool of a subcatchment gauging station. Rainfall simulations carried out under dry and wet antecedent conditions before and after the fire

  13. Functional differences between global pre- and postsynaptic inhibition in the Drosophila olfactory circuit

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masafumi eOizumi

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The Drosophila antennal lobe is subdivided into multiple glomeruli, each of which represents a unique olfactory information processing channel. In each glomerulus, feedforward input from olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs is transformed into activity of projection neurons (PNs, which represent the output. Recent investigations have indicated that lateral pre-synaptic inhibitory input from other glomeruli controls the gain of this transformation. Here, we address why this gain control acts `pre'-synaptically rather than `post'-synaptically. Postsynaptic inhibition could work similarly to presynaptic inhibition with regard to regulating the firing rates of PNs depending on the stimulus intensity. We investigate the differences between pre- and postsynaptic gain control in terms of odor discriminability by simulating a network model of the Drosophila antennal lobe with experimental data. We first demonstrate that only presynaptic inhibition can reproduce the type of gain control observed in experiments. We next show that presynaptic inhibition decorrelates PN responses whereas postsynaptic inhibition does not. Due to this effect, presynaptic gain control enhances the accuracy of odor discrimination by a linear decoder while its postsynaptic counterpart only diminishes it. Our results provide the reason gain control operates `pre'-synaptically but not `post'-synaptically in the Drosophila antennal lobe.

  14. Pre-fire treatment effects and post-fire forest dynamics on the Rodeo-Chediski burn area, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara A. Strom

    2005-01-01

    The 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire was the largest wildfire in Arizona history at 189,000 ha (468,000 acres), and exhibited some of the most extreme fire behavior ever seen in the Southwest. Pre-fire fuel reduction treatments of thinning, timber harvesting, and prescribed burning on the White Mountain Apache Tribal lands (WMAT) and thinning on the Apache-Sitgreaves National...

  15. Synaptic excitation in spinal motoneurons alternates with synaptic inhibition and is balanced by outward rectification during rhythmic motor network activity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzulaitis, Robertas; Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    channels. Intrinsic outward rectification facilitates spiking by focusing synaptic depolarization near threshold for action potentials. By direct recording of synaptic currents, we also show that motoneurons are activated by out-of-phase peaks in excitation and inhibition during network activity, whereas......Regular firing in spinal motoneurons of red-eared turtles (Trachemys scripta elegans, either sex) evoked by steady depolarization at rest is replaced by irregular firing during functional network activity. The transition caused by increased input conductance and synaptic fluctuations in membrane...... potential was suggested to originate from intense concurrent inhibition and excitation. We show that the conductance increase in motoneurons during functional network activity is mainly caused by intrinsic outward rectification near threshold for action potentials by activation of voltage and Ca2+ gated K...

  16. Synaptic transmission modulates while non-synaptic processes govern the transition from pre-ictal to seizure activity in vitro

    OpenAIRE

    Jefferys, John; Fox, John; Jiruska, Premysl; Kronberg, Greg; Miranda, Dolores; Ruiz-Nuño, Ana; Bikson, Marom

    2018-01-01

    It is well established that non-synaptic mechanisms can generate electrographic seizures after blockade of synaptic function. We investigated the interaction of intact synaptic activity with non-synaptic mechanisms in the isolated CA1 region of rat hippocampal slices using the 'elevated-K+' model of epilepsy. Elevated K+ ictal bursts share waveform features with other models of electrographic seizures, including non-synaptic models where chemical synaptic transmission is suppressed, such as t...

  17. The Cooney Ridge Fire Experiment: An early operation to relate pre-, active, and post-fire field and remotely sensed measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew T. Hudak; Patrick H. Freeborn; Sarah A. Lewis; Sharon M. Hood; Helen Y. Smith; Colin C. Hardy; Robert J. Kremens; Bret W. Butler; Casey Teske; Robert G. Tissell; Lloyd P. Queen; Bryce L. Nordgren; Benjamin C. Bright; Penelope Morgan; Philip J. Riggan; Lee Macholz; Leigh B. Lentile; James P. Riddering; Edward E. Mathews

    2018-01-01

    The Cooney Ridge Fire Experiment conducted by fire scientists in 2003 was a burnout operation supported by a fire suppression crew on the active Cooney Ridge wildfire incident. The fire experiment included measurements of pre-fire fuels, active fire behavior, and immediate post-fire effects. Heat flux measurements collected at multiple scales with multiple ground and...

  18. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of GABAA receptor clustering induced by inhibitory synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta

    2017-10-17

    Both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts display activity dependent dynamic changes in their efficacy that are globally termed synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic synaptic plasticity have been extensively investigated and described, those responsible for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are only beginning to be unveiled. In this framework, the ultrastructural changes of the inhibitory synapses during plasticity have been poorly investigated. Here we combined confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) with high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) to characterize the fine structural rearrangements of post-synaptic GABAA Receptors (GABAARs) at the nanometric scale during the induction of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP). Additional electron tomography (ET) experiments on immunolabelled hippocampal neurons allowed the visualization of synaptic contacts and confirmed the reorganization of post-synaptic GABAAR clusters in response to chemical iLTP inducing protocol. Altogether, these approaches revealed that, following the induction of inhibitory synaptic potentiation, GABAAR clusters increase in size and number at the post-synaptic membrane with no other major structural changes of the pre- and post-synaptic elements.

  19. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of GABAA receptor clustering induced by inhibitory synaptic plasticity

    KAUST Repository

    Orlando, Marta; Ravasenga, Tiziana; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Falqui, Andrea; Marotta, Roberto; Barberis, Andrea

    2017-01-01

    Both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts display activity dependent dynamic changes in their efficacy that are globally termed synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic synaptic plasticity have been extensively investigated and described, those responsible for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are only beginning to be unveiled. In this framework, the ultrastructural changes of the inhibitory synapses during plasticity have been poorly investigated. Here we combined confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) with high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) to characterize the fine structural rearrangements of post-synaptic GABAA Receptors (GABAARs) at the nanometric scale during the induction of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP). Additional electron tomography (ET) experiments on immunolabelled hippocampal neurons allowed the visualization of synaptic contacts and confirmed the reorganization of post-synaptic GABAAR clusters in response to chemical iLTP inducing protocol. Altogether, these approaches revealed that, following the induction of inhibitory synaptic potentiation, GABAAR clusters increase in size and number at the post-synaptic membrane with no other major structural changes of the pre- and post-synaptic elements.

  20. Correlating Fluorescence and High-Resolution Scanning Electron Microscopy (HRSEM) for the study of GABAA receptor clustering induced by inhibitory synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlando, Marta; Ravasenga, Tiziana; Petrini, Enrica Maria; Falqui, Andrea; Marotta, Roberto; Barberis, Andrea

    2017-10-23

    Both excitatory and inhibitory synaptic contacts display activity dependent dynamic changes in their efficacy that are globally termed synaptic plasticity. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamatergic synaptic plasticity have been extensively investigated and described, those responsible for inhibitory synaptic plasticity are only beginning to be unveiled. In this framework, the ultrastructural changes of the inhibitory synapses during plasticity have been poorly investigated. Here we combined confocal fluorescence microscopy (CFM) with high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HRSEM) to characterize the fine structural rearrangements of post-synaptic GABA A Receptors (GABA A Rs) at the nanometric scale during the induction of inhibitory long-term potentiation (iLTP). Additional electron tomography (ET) experiments on immunolabelled hippocampal neurons allowed the visualization of synaptic contacts and confirmed the reorganization of post-synaptic GABA A R clusters in response to chemical iLTP inducing protocol. Altogether, these approaches revealed that, following the induction of inhibitory synaptic potentiation, GABA A R clusters increase in size and number at the post-synaptic membrane with no other major structural changes of the pre- and post-synaptic elements.

  1. Pre-synaptic control of remote fear extinction in the neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gisella eVetere

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of remote memory enhances immediate early genes induction (IEGs, augments the expression of the presynaptic growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43, and increases the density and size of dendritic spines in anterior cingulate (aCC and infra-limbic (ILC cortices. Remote memory extinction, however, does not uniformly alter consolidation-induced structural changes. In the aCC, the density, but not the size, of spines is reset to pseudo-conditioning levels while novel thin spines are formed in the ILC. Whether IEGs and GAP-43 also undergo region-specific changes upon remote memory extinction is undetermined. Here we confirm in the same batch of mice that c-Fos induction and GAP-43 expression are increased in both the aCC and the ILC 36 days after contextual fear conditioning. We then show that, in both regions, remote memory extinction is associated with decrease of c-Fos induction but no change in GAP-43 expression thus revealing similar, although protein-specific, pre-synaptic adaptations in aCC and ILC neurons. These observations, in addition to our previous report of region-specific post-synaptic structural changes, disclose a complex pattern of extinction-driven neocortical alterations suitable to support erasure or reinstatement of fear according to the environment demand.

  2. Pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function in human hibernating myocardium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    John, Anna S.; Pepper, John R.; Dreyfus, Gilles D.; Pennell, Dudley J.; Mongillo, Marco; Khan, Muhammad T.; Depre, Christophe; Rimoldi, Ornella E.; Camici, Paolo G.

    2007-01-01

    Impaired pre-synaptic noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism has been reported in a swine model of hibernating myocardium (HM). To ascertain whether adrenergic neuroeffector abnormalities are present in human HM, we combined functional measurements in vivo using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and positron emission tomography (PET) to assess pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function. Twelve patients with coronary artery disease and chronic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction underwent CMR at baseline and 6 months after bypass for assessment of regional and global LV function and identification of segments with reversible dysfunction. Before surgery, myocardial noradrenaline uptake-1 ([ 11 C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine; HED) and β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) density ([ 11 C]CGP-12177) were measured with PET. Patient PET data were compared with those in 18 healthy controls. The volume of distribution (V d ) of HED in HM (47.95±28.05 ml/g) and infarcted myocardium (42.69±25.76 ml/g) was significantly reduced compared with controls (66.09±14.48 ml/g). The V d of HED in normal myocardium (49.93±20.48 ml/g) of patients was also lower than that in controls and the difference was close to statistical significance (p=0.06). Myocardial β-AR density was significantly lower in HM (5.49±2.35 pmol/g), infarcted (4.82±2.61 pmol/g) and normal (5.86±1.81 pmol/g) segments of patients compared with healthy controls (8.61±1.32 pmol/g). Noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism and β-AR density are reduced in the myocardium of patients with chronic LV dysfunction and evidence of HM. The increased sympathetic activity to the heart in these patients is a generalised rather than regional phenomenon which is likely to contribute to the remodelling process of the whole LV rather than playing a causative role in HM. (orig.)

  3. Pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function in human hibernating myocardium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    John, Anna S.; Pepper, John R.; Dreyfus, Gilles D.; Pennell, Dudley J. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, London (United Kingdom); Mongillo, Marco; Khan, Muhammad T. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, London (United Kingdom); Depre, Christophe [University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine, New Jersey, NJ (United States); University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine, New Jersey, NJ (United States); Rimoldi, Ornella E. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, London (United Kingdom); Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, London (United Kingdom); New York Medical College, Cardiovascular Research Institute, Department of Medicine, Valhalla, NY (United States); Camici, Paolo G. [Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, London (United Kingdom); Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, London (United Kingdom)

    2007-12-15

    Impaired pre-synaptic noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism has been reported in a swine model of hibernating myocardium (HM). To ascertain whether adrenergic neuroeffector abnormalities are present in human HM, we combined functional measurements in vivo using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and positron emission tomography (PET) to assess pre- and post-synaptic sympathetic function. Twelve patients with coronary artery disease and chronic left ventricular (LV) dysfunction underwent CMR at baseline and 6 months after bypass for assessment of regional and global LV function and identification of segments with reversible dysfunction. Before surgery, myocardial noradrenaline uptake-1 ([{sup 11}C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine; HED) and {beta}-adrenoceptor ({beta}-AR) density ([{sup 11}C]CGP-12177) were measured with PET. Patient PET data were compared with those in 18 healthy controls. The volume of distribution (V{sub d}) of HED in HM (47.95{+-}28.05 ml/g) and infarcted myocardium (42.69{+-}25.76 ml/g) was significantly reduced compared with controls (66.09{+-}14.48 ml/g). The V{sub d} of HED in normal myocardium (49.93{+-}20.48 ml/g) of patients was also lower than that in controls and the difference was close to statistical significance (p=0.06). Myocardial {beta}-AR density was significantly lower in HM (5.49{+-}2.35 pmol/g), infarcted (4.82{+-}2.61 pmol/g) and normal (5.86{+-}1.81 pmol/g) segments of patients compared with healthy controls (8.61{+-}1.32 pmol/g). Noradrenaline uptake-1 mechanism and {beta}-AR density are reduced in the myocardium of patients with chronic LV dysfunction and evidence of HM. The increased sympathetic activity to the heart in these patients is a generalised rather than regional phenomenon which is likely to contribute to the remodelling process of the whole LV rather than playing a causative role in HM. (orig.)

  4. Functional Differences between Global Pre- and Postsynaptic Inhibition in the Drosophila Olfactory Circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oizumi, Masafumi; Satoh, Ryota; Kazama, Hokto; Okada, Masato

    2012-01-01

    The Drosophila antennal lobe is subdivided into multiple glomeruli, each of which represents a unique olfactory information processing channel. In each glomerulus, feedforward input from olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) is transformed into activity of projection neurons (PNs), which represent the output. Recent investigations have indicated that lateral presynaptic inhibitory input from other glomeruli controls the gain of this transformation. Here, we address why this gain control acts "pre"-synaptically rather than "post"-synaptically. Postsynaptic inhibition could work similarly to presynaptic inhibition with regard to regulating the firing rates of PNs depending on the stimulus intensity. We investigate the differences between pre- and postsynaptic gain control in terms of odor discriminability by simulating a network model of the Drosophila antennal lobe with experimental data. We first demonstrate that only presynaptic inhibition can reproduce the type of gain control observed in experiments. We next show that presynaptic inhibition decorrelates PN responses whereas postsynaptic inhibition does not. Due to this effect, presynaptic gain control enhances the accuracy of odor discrimination by a linear decoder while its postsynaptic counterpart only diminishes it. Our results provide the reason gain control operates "pre"-synaptically but not "post"-synaptically in the Drosophila antennal lobe.

  5. Factors Influencing Short-term Synaptic Plasticity in the Avian Cochlear Nucleus Magnocellularis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason Tait Sanchez Quinones

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Defined as reduced neural responses during high rates of activity, synaptic depression is a form of short-term plasticity important for the temporal filtering of sound. In the avian cochlear nucleus magnocellularis (NM, an auditory brainstem structure, mechanisms regulating short-term synaptic depression include pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors. Using varied paired-pulse stimulus intervals, we found that the time course of synaptic depression lasts up to four seconds at late-developing NM synapses. Synaptic depression was largely reliant on exogenous Ca 2+ -dependent probability of presynaptic neurotransmitter release, and to a lesser extent, on the desensitization of postsynaptic α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid-type glutamate receptor (AMPA-R. Interestingly, although extrasynaptic glutamate clearance did not play a significant role in regulating synaptic depression, blocking glutamate clearance at early-developing synapses altered synaptic dynamics, changing responses from depression to facilitation. These results suggest a developmental shift in the relative reliance on pre-, post-, and extrasynaptic factors in regulating short-term synaptic plasticity in NM.

  6. Mapping the recovery of the burnt vegetation by classifying pre- and post-fire spectral indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A Peña

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzed the state of recovery of the burnt vegetation in the National Park of Torres del Paine between December, 2011 and March, 2012. The calculation and comparison of the NVDI (normalized difference vegetation index of the burnt area throughout a time series of 24 Landsat images acquired before, during and after the fire (2009- 2015, showed the temporal variation in the biomass levels of the burnt vegetation. The subsequent classification and comparison of the spectral indices: NDVI, NBR (normalized burnt ratio and NDWI (normalized difference water index on a full-data available and phenologically matched pre- and post-fire image pair (acquired in October 2009 and 2014, enabled to analyze and mapping the state of recovery of the burnt vegetation. The results show that the area of the lowest classes of all the spectral indices of the pre-fire date became the most dominant on the post-fire date. The pre- and post- fire NDVI class crossing by a confusion matrix showed that the highest and most prevailing pre-fire NDVI classes, mostly corresponding to hydromorphic forests and Andean scrubs, turned into the lowest class in 2014. The remaining area, comprising Patagonian steppe, reestablished its biomass levels in 2014, mostly exhibiting the same pre-fire NDVI classes. These results may provide guidelines to monitor and manage the regeneration of the vegetation impacted by this fire.

  7. Inverse stochastic resonance induced by synaptic background activity with unreliable synapses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Uzuntarla, Muhammet, E-mail: muzuntarla@yahoo.com

    2013-11-15

    Inverse stochastic resonance (ISR) is a recently pronounced phenomenon that is the minimum occurrence in mean firing rate of a rhythmically firing neuron as noise level varies. Here, by using a realistic modeling approach for the noise, we investigate the ISR with concrete biophysical mechanisms. It is shown that mean firing rate of a single neuron subjected to synaptic bombardment exhibits a minimum as the spike transmission probability varies. We also demonstrate that the occurrence of ISR strongly depends on the synaptic input regime, where it is most prominent in the balanced state of excitatory and inhibitory inputs.

  8. Enhanced pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn contributes to calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 protein-mediated spinal sensitization and behavioral hypersensitivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dickenson Anthony H

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Nerve injury-induced expression of the spinal calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 subunit (Cavα2δ1 has been shown to mediate behavioral hypersensitivity through a yet identified mechanism. We examined if this neuroplasticity modulates behavioral hypersensitivity by regulating spinal glutamatergic neurotransmission in injury-free transgenic mice overexpressing the Cavα2δ1 proteins in neuronal tissues. The transgenic mice exhibited hypersensitivity to mechanical stimulation (allodynia similar to the spinal nerve ligation injury model. Intrathecally delivered antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA/kainate receptors, but not for the metabotropic glutamate receptors, caused a dose-dependent allodynia reversal in the transgenic mice without changing the behavioral sensitivity in wild-type mice. This suggests that elevated spinal Cavα2δ1 mediates allodynia through a pathway involving activation of selective glutamate receptors. To determine if this is mediated by enhanced spinal neuronal excitability or pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn, we examined wide-dynamic-range (WDR neuron excitability with extracellular recording and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents with whole-cell patch recording in deep-dorsal horn of the Cavα2δ1 transgenic mice. Our data indicated that overexpression of Cavα2δ1 in neuronal tissues led to increased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature excitatory post synaptic currents mediated mainly by AMPA/kainate receptors at physiological membrane potentials, and also by NMDA receptors upon depolarization, without changing the excitability of WDR neurons to high intensity stimulation. Together, these findings support a mechanism of Cavα2δ1-mediated spinal sensitization in which elevated Cavα2δ1 causes increased pre-synaptic glutamate release that leads to reduced excitation thresholds of post-synaptic dorsal

  9. Enhanced pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn contributes to calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 protein-mediated spinal sensitization and behavioral hypersensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, David; Deng, Ping; Matthews, Elizabeth A; Kim, Doo-Sik; Feng, Guoping; Dickenson, Anthony H; Xu, Zao C; Luo, Z David

    2009-01-01

    Nerve injury-induced expression of the spinal calcium channel alpha-2-delta-1 subunit (Cavα2δ1) has been shown to mediate behavioral hypersensitivity through a yet identified mechanism. We examined if this neuroplasticity modulates behavioral hypersensitivity by regulating spinal glutamatergic neurotransmission in injury-free transgenic mice overexpressing the Cavα2δ1 proteins in neuronal tissues. The transgenic mice exhibited hypersensitivity to mechanical stimulation (allodynia) similar to the spinal nerve ligation injury model. Intrathecally delivered antagonists for N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and α-amino-3-hydroxyl-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA)/kainate receptors, but not for the metabotropic glutamate receptors, caused a dose-dependent allodynia reversal in the transgenic mice without changing the behavioral sensitivity in wild-type mice. This suggests that elevated spinal Cavα2δ1 mediates allodynia through a pathway involving activation of selective glutamate receptors. To determine if this is mediated by enhanced spinal neuronal excitability or pre-synaptic glutamate release in deep-dorsal horn, we examined wide-dynamic-range (WDR) neuron excitability with extracellular recording and glutamate-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents with whole-cell patch recording in deep-dorsal horn of the Cavα2δ1 transgenic mice. Our data indicated that overexpression of Cavα2δ1 in neuronal tissues led to increased frequency, but not amplitude, of miniature excitatory post synaptic currents mediated mainly by AMPA/kainate receptors at physiological membrane potentials, and also by NMDA receptors upon depolarization, without changing the excitability of WDR neurons to high intensity stimulation. Together, these findings support a mechanism of Cavα2δ1-mediated spinal sensitization in which elevated Cavα2δ1 causes increased pre-synaptic glutamate release that leads to reduced excitation thresholds of post-synaptic dorsal horn neurons to innocuous

  10. Pre- and post-fire pollutant loads in an urban fringe watershed in Southern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, M P; Hogue, T S; Kinoshita, A M; Barco, J; Wessel, C; Stein, E D

    2013-12-01

    Post-fire runoff has the potential to be a large source of contaminants to downstream areas. However, the magnitude of this effect in urban fringe watersheds adjacent to large sources of airborne contaminants is not well documented. The current study investigates the impacts of wildfire on stormwater contaminant loading from the upper Arroyo Seco watershed, burned in 2009. This watershed is adjacent to the Greater Los Angeles, CA, USA area and has not burned in over 60 years. Consequently, it acts as a sink for regional urban pollutants and presents an opportunity to study the impacts of wildfire. Pre- and post-fire storm samples were collected and analyzed for basic cations, trace metals, and total suspended solids. The loss of vegetation and changes in soil properties from the fire greatly increased the magnitude of storm runoff, resulting in sediment-laden floods carrying high concentrations of particulate-bound constituents. Post-fire concentrations and loads were up to three orders of magnitude greater than pre-fire values for many trace metals, including lead and cadmium. A shift was also observed in the timing of chemical delivery, where maximum suspended sediment, trace metal, and cation concentrations coincided with, rather than preceded, peak discharge in the post-fire runoff, amplifying the fire's impacts on mass loading. The results emphasize the importance of sediment delivery as a primary mechanism for post-fire contaminant transport and suggest that traditional management practices that focus on treating only the early portion of storm runoff may be less effective following wildfire. We also advocate that watersheds impacted by regional urban pollutants have the potential to pose significant risk for downstream communities and ecosystems after fire.

  11. Burst firing enhances neural output correlation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Ka eChan

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Neurons communicate and transmit information predominantly through spikes. Given that experimentally observed neural spike trains in a variety of brain areas can be highly correlated, it is important to investigate how neurons process correlated inputs. Most previous work in this area studied the problem of correlation transfer analytically by making significant simplifications on neural dynamics. Temporal correlation between inputs that arises from synaptic filtering, for instance, is often ignored when assuming that an input spike can at most generate one output spike. Through numerical simulations of a pair of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons receiving correlated inputs, we demonstrate that neurons in the presence of synaptic filtering by slow synapses exhibit strong output correlations. We then show that burst firing plays a central role in enhancing output correlations, which can explain the above-mentioned observation because synaptic filtering induces bursting. The observed changes of correlations are mostly on a long time scale. Our results suggest that other features affecting the prevalence of neural burst firing in biological neurons, e.g., adaptive spiking mechanisms, may play an important role in modulating the overall level of correlations in neural networks.

  12. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

  13. Characterizing synaptic protein development in human visual cortex enables alignment of synaptic age with rat visual cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  14. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Julie G; Mendelowitz, David

    2012-01-01

    GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67) gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA). These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+) currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a framework for

  15. Synaptic and intrinsic activation of GABAergic neurons in the cardiorespiratory brainstem network.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie G Frank

    Full Text Available GABAergic pathways in the brainstem play an essential role in respiratory rhythmogenesis and interactions between the respiratory and cardiovascular neuronal control networks. However, little is known about the identity and function of these GABAergic inhibitory neurons and what determines their activity. In this study we have identified a population of GABAergic neurons in the ventrolateral medulla that receive increased excitatory post-synaptic potentials during inspiration, but also have spontaneous firing in the absence of synaptic input. Using transgenic mice that express GFP under the control of the Gad1 (GAD67 gene promoter, we determined that this population of GABAergic neurons is in close apposition to cardioinhibitory parasympathetic cardiac neurons in the nucleus ambiguus (NA. These neurons fire in synchronization with inspiratory activity. Although they receive excitatory glutamatergic synaptic inputs during inspiration, this excitatory neurotransmission was not altered by blocking nicotinic receptors, and many of these GABAergic neurons continue to fire after synaptic blockade. The spontaneous firing in these GABAergic neurons was not altered by the voltage-gated calcium channel blocker cadmium chloride that blocks both neurotransmission to these neurons and voltage-gated Ca(2+ currents, but spontaneous firing was diminished by riluzole, demonstrating a role of persistent sodium channels in the spontaneous firing in these cardiorespiratory GABAergic neurons that possess a pacemaker phenotype. The spontaneously firing GABAergic neurons identified in this study that increase their activity during inspiration would support respiratory rhythm generation if they acted primarily to inhibit post-inspiratory neurons and thereby release inspiration neurons to increase their activity. This population of inspiratory-modulated GABAergic neurons could also play a role in inhibiting neurons that are most active during expiration and provide a

  16. Electrical coupling and excitatory synaptic transmission between rhythmogenic respiratory neurons in the preBötzinger complex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Shao, X M; Feldman, J L

    2000-01-01

    Breathing pattern is postulated to be generated by brainstem neurons. However, determination of the underlying cellular mechanisms, and in particular the synaptic interactions between respiratory neurons, has been difficult. Here we used dual recordings from two distinct populations of brainstem...... respiratory neurons, hypoglossal (XII) motoneurons, and rhythmogenic (type-1) neurons in the preBötzinger complex (preBötC), the hypothesized site for respiratory rhythm generation, to determine whether electrical and chemical transmission is present. Using an in vitro brainstem slice preparation from newborn...... mice, we found that intracellularly recorded pairs of XII motoneurons and pairs of preBötC inspiratory type-1 neurons showed bidirectional electrical coupling. Coupling strength was low (neurons was heavily filtered (corner frequency,

  17. Toward heterogeneity in feedforward network with synaptic delays based on FitzHugh-Nagumo model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Ying-Mei; Men, Cong; Zhao, Jia; Han, Chun-Xiao; Che, Yan-Qiu

    2018-01-01

    We focus on the role of heterogeneity on the propagation of firing patterns in feedforward network (FFN). Effects of heterogeneities both in parameters of neuronal excitability and synaptic delays are investigated systematically. Neuronal heterogeneity is found to modulate firing rates and spiking regularity by changing the excitability of the network. Synaptic delays are strongly related with desynchronized and synchronized firing patterns of the FFN, which indicate that synaptic delays may play a significant role in bridging rate coding and temporal coding. Furthermore, quasi-coherence resonance (quasi-CR) phenomenon is observed in the parameter domain of connection probability and delay-heterogeneity. All these phenomena above enable a detailed characterization of neuronal heterogeneity in FFN, which may play an indispensable role in reproducing the important properties of in vivo experiments.

  18. Synaptic conditions for auto-associative memory storage and pattern completion in Jensen et al.'s model of hippocampal area CA3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheu, Eng Yeow; Yu, Jiali; Tan, Chin Hiong; Tang, Huajin

    2012-12-01

    Jensen et al. (Learn Memory 3(2-3):243-256, 1996b) proposed an auto-associative memory model using an integrated short-term memory (STM) and long-term memory (LTM) spiking neural network. Their model requires that distinct pyramidal cells encoding different STM patterns are fired in different high-frequency gamma subcycles within each low-frequency theta oscillation. Auto-associative LTM is formed by modifying the recurrent synaptic efficacy between pyramidal cells. In order to store auto-associative LTM correctly, the recurrent synaptic efficacy must be bounded. The synaptic efficacy must be upper bounded to prevent re-firing of pyramidal cells in subsequent gamma subcycles. If cells encoding one memory item were to re-fire synchronously with other cells encoding another item in subsequent gamma subcycle, LTM stored via modifiable recurrent synapses would be corrupted. The synaptic efficacy must also be lower bounded so that memory pattern completion can be performed correctly. This paper uses the original model by Jensen et al. as the basis to illustrate the following points. Firstly, the importance of coordinated long-term memory (LTM) synaptic modification. Secondly, the use of a generic mathematical formulation (spiking response model) that can theoretically extend the results to other spiking network utilizing threshold-fire spiking neuron model. Thirdly, the interaction of long-term and short-term memory networks that possibly explains the asymmetric distribution of spike density in theta cycle through the merger of STM patterns with interaction of LTM network.

  19. A Ca2+-based computational model for NDMA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity at individual post-synaptic spines in the hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Rackham

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Associative synaptic plasticity is synapse specific and requires coincident activity in presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons to activate NMDA receptors (NMDARs. The resultant Ca2+ influx is the critical trigger for the induction of synaptic plasticity. Given its centrality for the induction of synaptic plasticity, a model for NMDAR activation incorporating the timing of presynaptic glutamate release and postsynaptic depolarization by back-propagating action potentials could potentially predict the pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns required to induce synaptic plasticity. We have developed such a model by incorporating currently available data on the timecourse and amplitude of the postsynaptic membrane potential within individual spines. We couple this with data on the kinetics of synaptic NMDARs and then use the model to predict the continuous spine [Ca2+] in response to regular or irregular pre- and post-synaptic spike patterns. We then incorporate experimental data from synaptic plasticity induction protocols by regular activity patterns to couple the predicted local peak [Ca2+] to changes in synaptic strength. We find that our model accurately describes [Ca2+] in dendritic spines resulting from NMDAR activation during presynaptic and postsynaptic activity when compared to previous experimental observations. The model also replicates the experimentally determined plasticity outcome of regular and irregular spike patterns when applied to a single synapse. This model could therefore be used to predict the induction of synaptic plasticity under a variety of experimental conditions and spike patterns.

  20. Quantifying Fire's Impacts on Total and Pyrogenic Carbon Stocks in Mixed-Conifer Forests: Results from Pre- and Post-Fire Measurements in Active Wildfire Incidents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miesel, J. R.; Reiner, A. L.; Ewell, C. M.; Sanderman, J.; Maestrini, B.; Adkins, J.

    2016-12-01

    Widespread US fire suppression policy has contributed to an accumulation of vegetation in many western forests relative to historic conditions, and these changes can exacerbate wildfire severity and carbon (C) emissions. Serious concern exists about positive feedbacks between wildfire emissions and global climate; however, fires not only release C from terrestrial to atmospheric pools, they also create "black" or pyrogenic C (PyC) which contributes to longer-term C stability. Our objective was to quantify wildfire impacts on aboveground and belowground total C and PyC stocks in California mixed-conifer forests. We worked with incident management teams to access five active wildfires to establish and measure plots within days before and after fire. We measured pre- and post-fire aboveground forest structure and woody fuels to calculate aboveground biomass, biomass C, and PyC, and we collected pre- and post-fire forest floor and 0-5 cm mineral soil samples to measure belowground C and PyC stocks. Our preliminary results show that fire had minimal impact on the number of trees per hectare, whereas C losses from the tree layer occurred via consumption of foliage, and PyC gain occurred in tree bark. Fire released 54% to 100% of surface fuel C. In the forest floor layer, we observed 33 to 100% C loss, whereas changes in PyC stocks ranged from 100% loss to 186% gain relative to pre-fire samples. In general, fire had minimal to no impact on 0-5 cm mineral soil C. We will present relationships between total C, PyC and post-fire C and N dynamics in one of the five wildfire sites. Our data are unique because they represent nearly immediate pre- and post-fire measurements in major wildfires in a widespread western U.S. forest type. This research advances understanding of the role of fire on forest C fluxes and C sequestration potential as PyC.

  1. Vesicular GABA Uptake Can Be Rate Limiting for Recovery of IPSCs from Synaptic Depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manami Yamashita

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Synaptic efficacy plays crucial roles in neuronal circuit operation and synaptic plasticity. Presynaptic determinants of synaptic efficacy are neurotransmitter content in synaptic vesicles and the number of vesicles undergoing exocytosis at a time. Bursts of presynaptic firings depress synaptic efficacy, mainly due to depletion of releasable vesicles, whereas recovery from strong depression is initiated by endocytic vesicle retrieval followed by refilling of vesicles with neurotransmitter. We washed out presynaptic cytosolic GABA to induce a rundown of IPSCs at cerebellar inhibitory cell pairs in slices from rats and then allowed fast recovery by elevating GABA concentration using photo-uncaging. The time course of this recovery coincided with that of IPSCs from activity-dependent depression induced by a train of high-frequency stimulation. We conclude that vesicular GABA uptake can be a limiting step for the recovery of inhibitory neurotransmission from synaptic depression. : Recovery of inhibitory synaptic transmission from activity-dependent depression requires refilling of vesicles with GABA. Yamashita et al. find that vesicular uptake rate of GABA is a slow process, limiting the recovery rate of IPSCs from depression.

  2. Synaptic energy drives the information processing mechanisms in spiking neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Laithy, Karim; Bogdan, Martin

    2014-04-01

    Flow of energy and free energy minimization underpins almost every aspect of naturally occurring physical mechanisms. Inspired by this fact this work establishes an energy-based framework that spans the multi-scale range of biological neural systems and integrates synaptic dynamic, synchronous spiking activity and neural states into one consistent working paradigm. Following a bottom-up approach, a hypothetical energy function is proposed for dynamic synaptic models based on the theoretical thermodynamic principles and the Hopfield networks. We show that a synapse exposes stable operating points in terms of its excitatory postsynaptic potential as a function of its synaptic strength. We postulate that synapses in a network operating at these stable points can drive this network to an internal state of synchronous firing. The presented analysis is related to the widely investigated temporal coherent activities (cell assemblies) over a certain range of time scales (binding-by-synchrony). This introduces a novel explanation of the observed (poly)synchronous activities within networks regarding the synaptic (coupling) functionality. On a network level the transitions from one firing scheme to the other express discrete sets of neural states. The neural states exist as long as the network sustains the internal synaptic energy.

  3. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Synaptic Efficacy Variability Under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis. I: Spike Generating Models on Converging Motifs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong eBi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available In neural systems, synaptic plasticity is usually driven by spike trains. Due to the inherent noises of neurons and synapses as well as the randomness of connection details, spike trains typically exhibit variability such as spatial randomness and temporal stochasticity, resulting in variability of synaptic changes under plasticity, which we call efficacy variability. How the variability of spike trains influences the efficacy variability of synapses remains unclear. In this paper, we try to understand this influence under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP when the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded (synaptic homeostasis. Specifically, we systematically study, analytically and numerically, how four aspects of statistical features, i.e. synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations, as well as their interactions influence the efficacy variability in converging motifs (simple networks in which one neuron receives from many other neurons. Neurons (including the post-synaptic neuron in a converging motif generate spikes according to statistical models with tunable parameters. In this way, we can explicitly control the statistics of the spike patterns, and investigate their influence onto the efficacy variability, without worrying about the feedback from synaptic changes onto the dynamics of the post-synaptic neuron. We separate efficacy variability into two parts: the drift part (DriftV induced by the heterogeneity of change rates of different synapses, and the diffusion part (DiffV induced by weight diffusion caused by stochasticity of spike trains. Our main findings are: (1 synchronous firing and burstiness tend to increase DiffV, (2 heterogeneity of rates induces DriftV when potentiation and depression in STDP are not balanced, and (3 heterogeneity of cross-correlations induces DriftV together with heterogeneity of rates. We anticipate our

  4. Spike Pattern Structure Influences Synaptic Efficacy Variability Under STDP and Synaptic Homeostasis. II: Spike Shuffling Methods on LIF Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zedong Bi

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Synapses may undergo variable changes during plasticity because of the variability of spike patterns such as temporal stochasticity and spatial randomness. Here, we call the variability of synaptic weight changes during plasticity to be efficacy variability. In this paper, we investigate how four aspects of spike pattern statistics (i.e., synchronous firing, burstiness/regularity, heterogeneity of rates and heterogeneity of cross-correlations influence the efficacy variability under pair-wise additive spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and synaptic homeostasis (the mean strength of plastic synapses into a neuron is bounded, by implementing spike shuffling methods onto spike patterns self-organized by a network of excitatory and inhibitory leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF neurons. With the increase of the decay time scale of the inhibitory synaptic currents, the LIF network undergoes a transition from asynchronous state to weak synchronous state and then to synchronous bursting state. We first shuffle these spike patterns using a variety of methods, each designed to evidently change a specific pattern statistics; and then investigate the change of efficacy variability of the synapses under STDP and synaptic homeostasis, when the neurons in the network fire according to the spike patterns before and after being treated by a shuffling method. In this way, we can understand how the change of pattern statistics may cause the change of efficacy variability. Our results are consistent with those of our previous study which implements spike-generating models on converging motifs. We also find that burstiness/regularity is important to determine the efficacy variability under asynchronous states, while heterogeneity of cross-correlations is the main factor to cause efficacy variability when the network moves into synchronous bursting states (the states observed in epilepsy.

  5. A neuromorphic implementation of multiple spike-timing synaptic plasticity rules for large-scale neural networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Runchun Mark Wang

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available We present a neuromorphic implementation of multiple synaptic plasticity learning rules, which include both Spike Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP and Spike Timing Dependent Delay Plasticity (STDDP. We present a fully digital implementation as well as a mixed-signal implementation, both of which use a novel dynamic-assignment time-multiplexing approach and support up to 2^26 (64M synaptic plasticity elements. Rather than implementing dedicated synapses for particular types of synaptic plasticity, we implemented a more generic synaptic plasticity adaptor array that is separate from the neurons in the neural network. Each adaptor performs synaptic plasticity according to the arrival times of the pre- and post-synaptic spikes assigned to it, and sends out a weighted and/or delayed pre-synaptic spike to the target synapse in the neural network. This strategy provides great flexibility for building complex large-scale neural networks, as a neural network can be configured for multiple synaptic plasticity rules without changing its structure. We validate the proposed neuromorphic implementations with measurement results and illustrate that the circuits are capable of performing both STDP and STDDP. We argue that it is practical to scale the work presented here up to 2^36 (64G synaptic adaptors on a current high-end FPGA platform.

  6. Metabolic Turnover of Synaptic Proteins: Kinetics, Interdependencies and Implications for Synaptic Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Laurie D.; Zuchman, Rina; Sorokina, Oksana; Müller, Anke; Dieterich, Daniela C.; Armstrong, J. Douglas; Ziv, Tamar; Ziv, Noam E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical synapses contain multitudes of proteins, which in common with all proteins, have finite lifetimes and therefore need to be continuously replaced. Given the huge numbers of synaptic connections typical neurons form, the demand to maintain the protein contents of these connections might be expected to place considerable metabolic demands on each neuron. Moreover, synaptic proteostasis might differ according to distance from global protein synthesis sites, the availability of distributed protein synthesis facilities, trafficking rates and synaptic protein dynamics. To date, the turnover kinetics of synaptic proteins have not been studied or analyzed systematically, and thus metabolic demands or the aforementioned relationships remain largely unknown. In the current study we used dynamic Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino acids in Cell culture (SILAC), mass spectrometry (MS), Fluorescent Non–Canonical Amino acid Tagging (FUNCAT), quantitative immunohistochemistry and bioinformatics to systematically measure the metabolic half-lives of hundreds of synaptic proteins, examine how these depend on their pre/postsynaptic affiliation or their association with particular molecular complexes, and assess the metabolic load of synaptic proteostasis. We found that nearly all synaptic proteins identified here exhibited half-lifetimes in the range of 2–5 days. Unexpectedly, metabolic turnover rates were not significantly different for presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins, or for proteins for which mRNAs are consistently found in dendrites. Some functionally or structurally related proteins exhibited very similar turnover rates, indicating that their biogenesis and degradation might be coupled, a possibility further supported by bioinformatics-based analyses. The relatively low turnover rates measured here (∼0.7% of synaptic protein content per hour) are in good agreement with imaging-based studies of synaptic protein trafficking, yet indicate that the metabolic load

  7. Diacylglycerol kinases in the coordination of synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongwon Lee

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is activity-dependent modification of the efficacy of synaptic transmission. Although detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity are diverse and vary at different types of synapses, diacylglycerol (DAG-associated signaling has been considered as an important regulator of many forms of synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. Recent evidence indicate that DAG kinases (DGKs, which phosphorylate DAG to phosphatidic acid to terminate DAG signaling, are important regulators of LTP and LTD, as supported by the results from mice lacking specific DGK isoforms. This review will summarize these studies and discuss how specific DGK isoforms distinctly regulate different forms of synaptic plasticity at pre- and postsynaptic sites. In addition, we propose a general role of DGKs as coordinators of synaptic plasticity that make local synaptic environments more permissive for synaptic plasticity by regulating DAG concentration and interacting with other synaptic proteins.

  8. Agrin and synaptic laminin are required to maintain adult neuromuscular junctions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie A Samuel

    Full Text Available As synapses form and mature the synaptic partners produce organizing molecules that regulate each other's differentiation and ensure precise apposition of pre- and post-synaptic specializations. At the skeletal neuromuscular junction (NMJ, these molecules include agrin, a nerve-derived organizer of postsynaptic differentiation, and synaptic laminins, muscle-derived organizers of presynaptic differentiation. Both become concentrated in the synaptic cleft as the NMJ develops and are retained in adulthood. Here, we used mutant mice to ask whether these organizers are also required for synaptic maintenance. Deletion of agrin from a subset of adult motor neurons resulted in the loss of acetylcholine receptors and other components of the postsynaptic apparatus and synaptic cleft. Nerve terminals also atrophied and eventually withdrew from muscle fibers. On the other hand, mice lacking the presynaptic organizer laminin-α4 retained most of the synaptic cleft components but exhibited synaptic alterations reminiscent of those observed in aged animals. Although we detected no marked decrease in laminin or agrin levels at aged NMJs, we observed alterations in the distribution and organization of these synaptic cleft components suggesting that such changes could contribute to age-related synaptic disassembly. Together, these results demonstrate that pre- and post-synaptic organizers actively function to maintain the structure and function of adult NMJs.

  9. Myocardial pre-synaptic sympathetic function correlates with glucose uptake in the failing human heart

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mongillo, Marco; Leccisotti, Lucia; John, Anna S.; Pennell, Dudley J.; Camici, Paolo G.

    2007-01-01

    We have previously shown that the myocardium of patients with heart failure (HF) is insulin resistant. Chronic β-adrenergic stimulation has been implicated in insulin resistance in cultured cardiomyocytes in vitro, where sustained noradrenaline stimulation inhibited insulin-modulated glucose uptake. As the failing heart is characterized by increased sympathetic drive, we hypothesized that there is a correlation between pre-synaptic sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity in the myocardium of patients with HF. Eight patients (aged 67 ± 7 years) with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction 44 ± 10%) underwent function and viability assessment with cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Myocardial glucose utilization (MGU) was measured using positron emission tomography (PET) with 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Pre-synaptic noradrenaline re-uptake was measured by calculating [ 11 C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine (HED) volume of distribution (V d ) with PET. Two groups of healthy volunteers served as controls for the FDG (n = 8, aged 52 ± 4 years, p -1 .g -1 ) and dysfunctional (0.49 ± 0.14 μmol.min -1 .g -1 ) segments compared with controls (0.61 ± 0.7 μmol.min -1 .g -1 ; p d was reduced in dysfunctional segments of patients (38.9 ± 21.2 ml.g -1 ) compared with normal segments (52.2 ± 19.6 ml.g -1 ) and compared with controls (62.7 ± 11.3 ml.g -1 ). In patients, regional MGU was correlated with HED V d . The results of this study provide novel evidence of a correlation between cardiac sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity, which may represent one of the mechanisms contributing to insulin resistance in failing human hearts. (orig.)

  10. Synaptic control of motoneuronal excitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rekling, J C; Funk, G D; Bayliss, D A

    2000-01-01

    important in understanding the transformation of neural activity to motor behavior. Here, we review recent studies on the control of motoneuronal excitability, focusing on synaptic and cellular properties. We first present a background description of motoneurons: their development, anatomical organization......, and membrane properties, both passive and active. We then describe the general anatomical organization of synaptic input to motoneurons, followed by a description of the major transmitter systems that affect motoneuronal excitability, including ligands, receptor distribution, pre- and postsynaptic actions...... and norepinephrine, and neuropeptides, as well as the glutamate and GABA acting at metabotropic receptors, modulate motoneuronal excitability through pre- and postsynaptic actions. Acting principally via second messenger systems, their actions converge on common effectors, e.g., leak K(+) current, cationic inward...

  11. Soil Microbial Activity Responses to Fire in a Semi-arid Savannah Ecosystem Pre- and Post-Monsoon Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jimenez, J. R.; Raub, H. D.; Jong, E. L.; Muscarella, C. R.; Smith, W. K.; Gallery, R. E.

    2017-12-01

    Extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) of soil microorganisms can act as important proxies for nutrient limitation and turnover in soil and provide insight into the biochemical requirements of microbes in terrestrial ecosystems. In semi-arid ecosystems, microbial activity is influenced by topography, disturbances such as fire, and seasonality from monsoon rains. Previous studies from forest ecosystems show that microbial communities shift to similar compositions after severe fires despite different initial conditions. In semi-arid ecosystems with high spatial heterogeniety, we ask does fire lead to patch intensification or patch homogenization and how do monsoon rains influence the successional trajectories of microbial responses? We analyzed microbial activity and soil biogeochemistry throughout the monsoon season in paired burned and unburned sites in the Santa Rita Experimental Range, AZ. Surface soil (5cm) from bare-ground patches, bole, canopy drip line, and nearby grass patches for 5 mesquite trees per site allowed tests of spatiotemporal responses to fire and monsoon rain. Microbial activity was low during the pre-monsoon season and did not differ between the burned and unburned sites. We found greater activity near mesquite trees that reflects soil water and nutrient availability. Fire increased soil alkalinity, though soils near mesquite trees were less affected. Soil water content was significantly higher in the burned sites post-monsoon, potentially reflecting greater hydrophobicity of burned soils. Considering the effects of fire in these semi-arid ecosystems is especially important in the context of the projected changing climate regime in this region. Assessing microbial community recovery pre-, during, and post-monsoon is important for testing predictions about whether successional pathways post-fire lead to recovery or novel trajectories of communities and ecosystem function.

  12. Electrophysical properties, synaptic transmission and neuromodulation in serotonergic caudal raphe neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Y W; Bayliss, D A

    1998-06-01

    1. We studied electrophysiological properties, synaptic transmission and modulation by 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) of caudal raphe neurons using whole-cell recording in a neonatal rat brain slice preparation; recorded neurons were identified as serotonergic by post-hoc immunohistochemical detection of tryptophan hydroxylase, the 5-HT-synthesizing enzyme. 2. Serotonergic neurons fired spontaneously (approximately 1 Hz), with maximal steady state firing rates of < 4 Hz. 5-Hydroxytryptamine caused hyperpolarization and cessation of spike activity in these neurons by activating inwardly rectifying K+ conductance via somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors. 3. Unitary glutamatergic excitatory post-synaptic potentials (EPSP) and currents (EPSC) were evoked in serotonergic neurons by local electrical stimulation. Evoked EPSC were potently inhibited by 5-HT, an effect mediated by presynaptic 5-HT1B receptors. 4. In conclusion, serotonergic caudal raphe neurons are spontaneously active in vitro; they receive prominent glutamatergic synaptic inputs. 5-Hydroxytryptamine regulates serotonergic neuronal activity of the caudal raphe by decreasing spontaneous activity via somatodendritic 5-HT1A receptors and by inhibiting excitatory synaptic transmission onto these neurons via presynaptic 5-HT1B receptors. These local modulatory mechanisms provide multiple levels of feedback autoregulation of serotonergic raphe neurons by 5-HT.

  13. Experimental Implementation of a Biometric Laser Synaptic Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander N. Pisarchik

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We fabricate a biometric laser fiber synaptic sensor to transmit information from one neuron cell to the other by an optical way. The optical synapse is constructed on the base of an erbium-doped fiber laser, whose pumped diode current is driven by a pre-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron, and the laser output controls a post-synaptic FitzHugh–Nagumo electronic neuron. The implemented laser synapse displays very rich dynamics, including fixed points, periodic orbits with different frequency-locking ratios and chaos. These regimes can be beneficial for efficient biorobotics, where behavioral flexibility subserved by synaptic connectivity is a challenge.

  14. Using MODIS-NDVI for the Modeling of Post-Wildfire Vegetation Response as a Function of Environmental Conditions and Pre-Fire Restoration Treatments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grant M. Casady

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-fire vegetation response is influenced by the interaction of natural and anthropogenic factors such as topography, climate, vegetation type and restoration practices. Previous research has analyzed the relationship of some of these factors to vegetation response, but few have taken into account the effects of pre-fire restoration practices. We selected three wildfires that occurred in Bandelier National Monument (New Mexico, USA between 1999 and 2007 and three adjacent unburned control areas. We used interannual trends in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI time series data derived from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS to assess vegetation response, which we define as the average potential photosynthetic activity through the summer monsoon. Topography, fire severity and restoration treatment were obtained and used to explain post-fire vegetation response. We applied parametric (Multiple Linear Regressions-MLR and non-parametric tests (Classification and Regression Trees-CART to analyze effects of fire severity, terrain and pre-fire restoration treatments (variable used in CART on post-fire vegetation response. MLR results showed strong relationships between vegetation response and environmental factors (p < 0.1, however the explanatory factors changed among treatments. CART results showed that beside fire severity and topography, pre-fire treatments strongly impact post-fire vegetation response. Results for these three fires show that pre-fire restoration conditions along with local environmental factors constitute key processes that modify post-fire vegetation response.

  15. Analysis of RHIC beam dump pre-fires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, W.; Ahrens, L.; Fischer, W.; Hahn, H.; Mi, J.; Sandberg, J.; Tan, Y.

    2011-01-01

    It has been speculated that the beam may cause instability of the RHIC Beam Abort Kickers. In this study, we explore the available data of past beam operations, the device history of key modulator components, and the radiation patterns to examine the correlations. The RHIC beam abort kicker system was designed and built in the 90's. Over last decade, we have made many improvements to bring the RHIC beam abort kicker system to a stable operational state. However, the challenge continues. We present the analysis of the pre-fire, an unrequested discharge of kicker, issues which relates to the RHIC machine safety and operational stability.

  16. Fire Problems in High-Rise Buildings. California Fire Service Training Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    California State Dept. of Education, Sacramento. Bureau of Industrial Education.

    Resulting from a conference concerned with high-rise fire problems, this manual has been prepared as a fire department training manual and as a reference for students enrolled in fire service training courses. Information is provided for topics dealing with: (1) Typical Fire Problems in High-Rise Buildings, (2) Heat, (3) Smoke and Fire Gases, (4)…

  17. Noise promotes independent control of gamma oscillations and grid firing within recurrent attractor networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solanka, Lukas; van Rossum, Mark CW; Nolan, Matthew F

    2015-01-01

    Neural computations underlying cognitive functions require calibration of the strength of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connections and are associated with modulation of gamma frequency oscillations in network activity. However, principles relating gamma oscillations, synaptic strength and circuit computations are unclear. We address this in attractor network models that account for grid firing and theta-nested gamma oscillations in the medial entorhinal cortex. We show that moderate intrinsic noise massively increases the range of synaptic strengths supporting gamma oscillations and grid computation. With moderate noise, variation in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic strength tunes the amplitude and frequency of gamma activity without disrupting grid firing. This beneficial role for noise results from disruption of epileptic-like network states. Thus, moderate noise promotes independent control of multiplexed firing rate- and gamma-based computational mechanisms. Our results have implications for tuning of normal circuit function and for disorders associated with changes in gamma oscillations and synaptic strength. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06444.001 PMID:26146940

  18. Neuronal inhibition and synaptic plasticity of basal ganglia neurons in Parkinson's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milosevic, Luka; Kalia, Suneil K; Hodaie, Mojgan; Lozano, Andres M; Fasano, Alfonso; Popovic, Milos R; Hutchison, William D

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus is an effective treatment for Parkinson’s disease symptoms. The therapeutic benefits of deep brain stimulation are frequency-dependent, but the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unclear. To advance deep brain stimulation therapy an understanding of fundamental mechanisms is critical. The objectives of this study were to (i) compare the frequency-dependent effects on cell firing in subthalamic nucleus and substantia nigra pars reticulata; (ii) quantify frequency-dependent effects on short-term plasticity in substantia nigra pars reticulata; and (iii) investigate effects of continuous long-train high frequency stimulation (comparable to conventional deep brain stimulation) on synaptic plasticity. Two closely spaced (600 µm) microelectrodes were advanced into the subthalamic nucleus (n = 27) and substantia nigra pars reticulata (n = 14) of 22 patients undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery for Parkinson’s disease. Cell firing and evoked field potentials were recorded with one microelectrode during stimulation trains from the adjacent microelectrode across a range of frequencies (1–100 Hz, 100 µA, 0.3 ms, 50–60 pulses). Subthalamic firing attenuated with ≥20 Hz (P stimulation (silenced at 100 Hz), while substantia nigra pars reticulata decreased with ≥3 Hz (P stimulation. Patients with longer silent periods after 100 Hz stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus tended to have better clinical outcome after deep brain stimulation. At ≥30 Hz the first evoked field potential of the stimulation train in substantia nigra pars reticulata was potentiated (P stimulation (P stimulation-induced inhibition than the substantia nigra pars reticulata likely due to differing ratios of GABA:glutamate terminals on the soma and/or the nature of their GABAergic inputs (pallidal versus striatal). We suggest that enhancement of inhibitory synaptic plasticity, and frequency-dependent potentiation and

  19. Self-organised criticality via retro-synaptic signals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez-Urbina, Victor; Herrmann, J. Michael

    2016-12-01

    The brain is a complex system par excellence. In the last decade the observation of neuronal avalanches in neocortical circuits suggested the presence of self-organised criticality in brain networks. The occurrence of this type of dynamics implies several benefits to neural computation. However, the mechanisms that give rise to critical behaviour in these systems, and how they interact with other neuronal processes such as synaptic plasticity are not fully understood. In this paper, we present a long-term plasticity rule based on retro-synaptic signals that allows the system to reach a critical state in which clusters of activity are distributed as a power-law, among other observables. Our synaptic plasticity rule coexists with other synaptic mechanisms such as spike-timing-dependent plasticity, which implies that the resulting synaptic modulation captures not only the temporal correlations between spiking times of pre- and post-synaptic units, which has been suggested as requirement for learning and memory in neural systems, but also drives the system to a state of optimal neural information processing.

  20. Synaptic integration of transplanted interneuron progenitor cells into native cortical networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, MacKenzie A; Baraban, Scott C

    2016-08-01

    Interneuron-based cell transplantation is a powerful method to modify network function in a variety of neurological disorders, including epilepsy. Whether new interneurons integrate into native neural networks in a subtype-specific manner is not well understood, and the therapeutic mechanisms underlying interneuron-based cell therapy, including the role of synaptic inhibition, are debated. In this study, we tested subtype-specific integration of transplanted interneurons using acute cortical brain slices and visualized patch-clamp recordings to measure excitatory synaptic inputs, intrinsic properties, and inhibitory synaptic outputs. Fluorescently labeled progenitor cells from the embryonic medial ganglionic eminence (MGE) were used for transplantation. At 5 wk after transplantation, MGE-derived parvalbumin-positive (PV+) interneurons received excitatory synaptic inputs, exhibited mature interneuron firing properties, and made functional synaptic inhibitory connections to native pyramidal cells that were comparable to those of native PV+ interneurons. These findings demonstrate that MGE-derived PV+ interneurons functionally integrate into subtype-appropriate physiological niches within host networks following transplantation. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  1. Two-Dimensional Bumps in Piecewise Smooth Neural Fields with Synaptic Depression

    KAUST Repository

    Bressloff, Paul C.

    2011-01-01

    We analyze radially symmetric bumps in a two-dimensional piecewise-smooth neural field model with synaptic depression. The continuum dynamics is described in terms of a nonlocal integrodifferential equation, in which the integral kernel represents the spatial distribution of synaptic weights between populations of neurons whose mean firing rate is taken to be a Heaviside function of local activity. Synaptic depression dynamically reduces the strength of synaptic weights in response to increases in activity. We show that in the case of a Mexican hat weight distribution, sufficiently strong synaptic depression can destabilize a stationary bump solution that would be stable in the absence of depression. Numerically it is found that the resulting instability leads to the formation of a traveling spot. The local stability of a bump is determined by solutions to a system of pseudolinear equations that take into account the sign of perturbations around the circular bump boundary. © 2011 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

  2. Phasic firing in vasopressin cells: understanding its functional significance through computational models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duncan J MacGregor

    Full Text Available Vasopressin neurons, responding to input generated by osmotic pressure, use an intrinsic mechanism to shift from slow irregular firing to a distinct phasic pattern, consisting of long bursts and silences lasting tens of seconds. With increased input, bursts lengthen, eventually shifting to continuous firing. The phasic activity remains asynchronous across the cells and is not reflected in the population output signal. Here we have used a computational vasopressin neuron model to investigate the functional significance of the phasic firing pattern. We generated a concise model of the synaptic input driven spike firing mechanism that gives a close quantitative match to vasopressin neuron spike activity recorded in vivo, tested against endogenous activity and experimental interventions. The integrate-and-fire based model provides a simple physiological explanation of the phasic firing mechanism involving an activity-dependent slow depolarising afterpotential (DAP generated by a calcium-inactivated potassium leak current. This is modulated by the slower, opposing, action of activity-dependent dendritic dynorphin release, which inactivates the DAP, the opposing effects generating successive periods of bursting and silence. Model cells are not spontaneously active, but fire when perturbed by random perturbations mimicking synaptic input. We constructed one population of such phasic neurons, and another population of similar cells but which lacked the ability to fire phasically. We then studied how these two populations differed in the way that they encoded changes in afferent inputs. By comparison with the non-phasic population, the phasic population responds linearly to increases in tonic synaptic input. Non-phasic cells respond to transient elevations in synaptic input in a way that strongly depends on background activity levels, phasic cells in a way that is independent of background levels, and show a similar strong linearization of the response

  3. Myocardial pre-synaptic sympathetic function correlates with glucose uptake in the failing human heart

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mongillo, Marco; Leccisotti, Lucia [Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, London (United Kingdom); John, Anna S. [Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Pennell, Dudley J. [Royal Brompton Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Camici, Paolo G. [Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, London (United Kingdom); Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom)

    2007-08-15

    We have previously shown that the myocardium of patients with heart failure (HF) is insulin resistant. Chronic {beta}-adrenergic stimulation has been implicated in insulin resistance in cultured cardiomyocytes in vitro, where sustained noradrenaline stimulation inhibited insulin-modulated glucose uptake. As the failing heart is characterized by increased sympathetic drive, we hypothesized that there is a correlation between pre-synaptic sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity in the myocardium of patients with HF. Eight patients (aged 67 {+-} 7 years) with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction 44 {+-} 10%) underwent function and viability assessment with cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Myocardial glucose utilization (MGU) was measured using positron emission tomography (PET) with {sup 18}F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Pre-synaptic noradrenaline re-uptake was measured by calculating [{sup 11}C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine (HED) volume of distribution (V{sub d}) with PET. Two groups of healthy volunteers served as controls for the FDG (n = 8, aged 52 {+-} 4 years, p < 0.01 vs patients) and HED (n = 8, aged 40 {+-} 6 years, p < 0.01 vs patients) data. MGU in patients was reduced in both normal remote (0.44 {+-} 0.14 {mu}mol.min{sup -1}.g{sup -1}) and dysfunctional (0.49 {+-} 0.14 {mu}mol.min{sup -1}.g{sup -1}) segments compared with controls (0.61 {+-} 0.7 {mu}mol.min{sup -1}.g{sup -1}; p < 0.001 vs both). HED V{sub d} was reduced in dysfunctional segments of patients (38.9 {+-} 21.2 ml.g{sup -1}) compared with normal segments (52.2 {+-} 19.6 ml.g{sup -1}) and compared with controls (62.7 {+-} 11.3 ml.g{sup -1}). In patients, regional MGU was correlated with HED V{sub d}. The results of this study provide novel evidence of a correlation between cardiac sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity, which may represent one of the mechanisms contributing to insulin resistance in failing human hearts. (orig.)

  4. A scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using CMOS integrated memristors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cruz-Albrecht, Jose M; Derosier, Timothy; Srinivasa, Narayan

    2013-01-01

    The design and simulation of a scalable neural chip with synaptic electronics using nanoscale memristors fully integrated with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) is presented. The circuit consists of integrate-and-fire neurons and synapses with spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP). The synaptic conductance values can be stored in memristors with eight levels, and the topology of connections between neurons is reconfigurable. The circuit has been designed using a 90 nm CMOS process with via connections to on-chip post-processed memristor arrays. The design has about 16 million CMOS transistors and 73 728 integrated memristors. We provide circuit level simulations of the entire chip performing neuronal and synaptic computations that result in biologically realistic functional behavior. (paper)

  5. Synaptic Transmission Optimization Predicts Expression Loci of Long-Term Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Rui Ponte; Padamsey, Zahid; D'Amour, James A; Emptage, Nigel J; Froemke, Robert C; Vogels, Tim P

    2017-09-27

    Long-term modifications of neuronal connections are critical for reliable memory storage in the brain. However, their locus of expression-pre- or postsynaptic-is highly variable. Here we introduce a theoretical framework in which long-term plasticity performs an optimization of the postsynaptic response statistics toward a given mean with minimal variance. Consequently, the state of the synapse at the time of plasticity induction determines the ratio of pre- and postsynaptic modifications. Our theory explains the experimentally observed expression loci of the hippocampal and neocortical synaptic potentiation studies we examined. Moreover, the theory predicts presynaptic expression of long-term depression, consistent with experimental observations. At inhibitory synapses, the theory suggests a statistically efficient excitatory-inhibitory balance in which changes in inhibitory postsynaptic response statistics specifically target the mean excitation. Our results provide a unifying theory for understanding the expression mechanisms and functions of long-term synaptic transmission plasticity. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Distinct neuronal coding schemes in memory revealed by selective erasure of fast synchronous synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Wei; Morishita, Wade; Buckmaster, Paul S; Pang, Zhiping P; Malenka, Robert C; Südhof, Thomas C

    2012-03-08

    Neurons encode information by firing spikes in isolation or bursts and propagate information by spike-triggered neurotransmitter release that initiates synaptic transmission. Isolated spikes trigger neurotransmitter release unreliably but with high temporal precision. In contrast, bursts of spikes trigger neurotransmission reliably (i.e., boost transmission fidelity), but the resulting synaptic responses are temporally imprecise. However, the relative physiological importance of different spike-firing modes remains unclear. Here, we show that knockdown of synaptotagmin-1, the major Ca(2+) sensor for neurotransmitter release, abrogated neurotransmission evoked by isolated spikes but only delayed, without abolishing, neurotransmission evoked by bursts of spikes. Nevertheless, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the hippocampal CA1 region did not impede acquisition of recent contextual fear memories, although it did impair the precision of such memories. In contrast, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the prefrontal cortex impaired all remote fear memories. These results indicate that different brain circuits and types of memory employ distinct spike-coding schemes to encode and transmit information. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Simulation on spread of fire smoke in the elevator shaft for a high-rise building

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunchun Xia

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Spread of fire smoke in the elevator shaft of a high-rise building is influenced by many driving facts. We simulate smoke spreading in the elevator shaft, stair room, and pre-chamber with and without different supplied pressurized air. The simulation shows that smoke moves very fast in the elevator shaft. When a 12 floor high-rise building is in fire, smoke can fill up the elevator shaft in less than 1.5 min after a fire started, temperature in the elevator shaft can be higher than 187°C in 5 min, and the concentration of CO can also reach a high level. The elevator shaft has a very low visibility in less than about 100 s.

  8. Dynamic stereotypic responses of Basal Ganglia neurons to subthalamic nucleus high-frequency stimulation in the parkinsonian primate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Anan; Stein, Edward; Tischler, Hadass; Belelovsky, Katya; Bar-Gad, Izhar

    2011-01-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is a well-established therapy for patients with severe Parkinson's disease (PD); however, its mechanism of action is still unclear. In this study we explored static and dynamic activation patterns in the basal ganglia (BG) during high-frequency macro-stimulation of the STN. Extracellular multi-electrode recordings were performed in primates rendered parkinsonian using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. Recordings were preformed simultaneously in the STN and the globus pallidus externus and internus. Single units were recorded preceding and during the stimulation. During the stimulation, STN mean firing rate dropped significantly, while pallidal mean firing rates did not change significantly. The vast majority of neurons across all three nuclei displayed stimulation driven modulations, which were stereotypic within each nucleus but differed across nuclei. The predominant response pattern of STN neurons was somatic inhibition. However, most pallidal neurons demonstrated synaptic activation patterns. A minority of neurons across all nuclei displayed axonal activation. Temporal dynamics were observed in the response to stimulation over the first 10 seconds in the STN and over the first 30 seconds in the pallidum. In both pallidal segments, the synaptic activation response patterns underwent delay and decay of the magnitude of the peak response due to short term synaptic depression. We suggest that during STN macro-stimulation the STN goes through a functional ablation as its upper bound on information transmission drops significantly. This notion is further supported by the evident dissociation between the stimulation driven pre-synaptic STN somatic inhibition and the post-synaptic axonal activation of its downstream targets. Thus, BG output maintains its firing rate while losing the deleterious effect of the STN. This may be a part of the mechanism leading to the beneficial effect of DBS in PD.

  9. Dynamic stereotypic responses of basal ganglia neurons to subthalamic nucleus high frequency stimulation in the parkinsonian primate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anan eMoran

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Deep brain stimulation in the subthalamic nucleus (STN is a well-established therapy for patients with severe Parkinson‟s disease (PD; however, its mechanism of action is still unclear. In this study we explored static and dynamic activation patterns in the basal ganglia during high frequency macro-stimulation of the STN. Extracellular multi-electrode recordings were performed in primates rendered parkinsonian using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. Recordings were preformed simultaneously in the STN and the globus pallidus externus and internus. Single units were recorded preceding and during the stimulation. During the stimulation, STN mean firing rate dropped significantly, while pallidal mean firing rates did not change significantly. The vast majority of neurons across all three nuclei displayed stimulation driven modulations, which were stereotypic within each nucleus but differed across nuclei. The predominant response pattern of STN neurons was somatic inhibition. However, most pallidal neurons demonstrated synaptic activation patterns. A minority of neurons across all nuclei displayed axonal activation. Temporal dynamics were observed in the response to stimulation over the first 10 seconds in the STN and over the first 30 seconds in the pallidum. In both pallidal segments, the synaptic activation response patterns underwent delay and decay of the magnitude of the peak response due to short term synaptic depression. We suggest that during STN macro stimulation the STN goes through a functional ablation as its upper bound on information transmission drops significantly. This notion is further supported by the evident dissociation between the stimulation driven pre-synaptic STN somatic inhibition and the post-synaptic axonal activation of its downstream targets. Thus, basal ganglia output maintains its firing rate while losing the deleterious effect of the STN. This may be a part of the mechanism leading to the beneficial

  10. Drought impact on vegetation in pre and post fire events in Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouveia, C. M.; Bastos, A.; Trigo, R. M.; DaCamara, C.

    2012-04-01

    In 2004/2005, the Iberian Peninsula was stricken by an exceptional drought that affected more than one third of Portugal and part of southern Spain during more than 9 months. This severe drought had a strong negative impact on vegetation dynamics, as it coincided with the period of high photosynthetic activity (Gouveia et al., 2009). Since water availability is a crucial factor in post-fire vegetation recovery, it is desirable to assess the impact that such water-stress conditions had on fire sensitivity and post-fire vegetation recovery. Fire events in the European Mediterranean areas have become a serious problem and a major ecosystem disturbance, increasing erosion and soil degradation. In Portugal, the years 2003 and 2005 were particularly devastating. In 2003 it was registered the maximal burnt area since 1980, with more than 425000 ha burned, representing about 5% of Portuguese mainland. The 2005 fire season registered the highest number of fire occurrences in Portugal and the second year with the greatest number of fires in Spain. The high number of fire events observed during the summer 2005 in the Iberian Peninsula is linked, in part, to the extreme drought conditions that prevailed during the preceding winter and spring seasons of 2004/2005. Vegetation recovery after the 2003 and 2005 fire seasons was estimated using the mono-parametric model developed by Gouveia et al. (2010), which relies on monthly values of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), from 1999 to 2009, at 1kmresolution, as obtained from the VEGETATION-SPOT5 instrument.. This model was further used to evaluate the effect of drought in pre and post vegetation activity. Besides the standard NDVI, the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) and the Normalized Difference Drought Index (NDDI) were computed in order to evaluate drought intensity. In the case of the burnt scars of 2003, when data corresponding to the months of drought are removed, recovery times are considerably shorter

  11. Serotonin Regulates the Firing of Principal Cells of the Subiculum by Inhibiting a T-type Ca(2+) Current

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Anders V; Jensen, Camilla S; Crépel, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    The subiculum is the main output of the hippocampal formation. A high proportion of its principal neurons fire action potentials in bursts triggered by the activation of low threshold calcium currents. This firing pattern promotes synaptic release and regulates spike-timing-dependent plasticity. ...... of epileptiform discharges induced in in vitro models for temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE)....

  12. The post-synaptic density of human postmortem brain tissues: an experimental study paradigm for neuropsychiatric illnesses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chang-Gyu Hahn

    Full Text Available Recent molecular genetics studies have suggested various trans-synaptic processes for pathophysiologic mechanisms of neuropsychiatric illnesses. Examination of pre- and post-synaptic scaffolds in the brains of patients would greatly aid further investigation, yet such an approach in human postmortem tissue has yet to be tested. We have examined three methods using density gradient based purification of synaptosomes followed by detergent extraction (Method 1 and the pH based differential extraction of synaptic membranes (Methods 2 and 3. All three methods separated fractions from human postmortem brains that were highly enriched in typical PSD proteins, almost to the exclusion of pre-synaptic proteins. We examined these fractions using electron microscopy (EM and verified the integrity of the synaptic membrane and PSD fractions derived from human postmortem brain tissues. We analyzed protein composition of the PSD fractions using two dimensional liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (2D LC-MS/MS and observed known PSD proteins by mass spectrometry. Immunoprecipitation and immunoblot studies revealed that expected protein-protein interactions and certain posttranscriptional modulations were maintained in PSD fractions. Our results demonstrate that PSD fractions can be isolated from human postmortem brain tissues with a reasonable degree of integrity. This approach may foster novel postmortem brain research paradigms in which the stoichiometry and protein composition of specific microdomains are examined.

  13. Training the integrate-and-fire model with the informax principle: I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feng Jianfeng; Buxton, Hilary [COGS, Sussex University, Brighton (United Kingdom); Deng Yingchun [Department of Mathematics, Hunan Normal University, Changsha (China)

    2002-03-15

    In terms of the informax principle, and the input-output relationship of the integrate-and-fire (IF) model, IF neuron learning rules are developed. For supervised learning and with uniform weight of synapses (the theoretically tractable case), we show that the derived learning rule is stable and the stable state is unique. For unsupervised learning, within physiologically reasonable parameter regions, both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) could happen when the inhibitory input is weak, but LTD cannot be observed when inhibitory input is strong enough. When both LTP and LTD occur, LTD is observable when the output of the postsynaptic neuron is faster than pre-synaptic inputs, otherwise LTP is observable, as observed in recent experiments. Learning rules of general cases are also studied and numerical examples show that the derived learning rule tends to equalize the contribution of different inputs to the output firing rates. (author)

  14. Two Classes of Secreted Synaptic Organizers in the Central Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuzaki, Michisuke

    2018-02-10

    Research in the last two decades has identified many synaptic organizers in the central nervous system that directly regulate the assembly of pre- and/or postsynaptic molecules, such as synaptic vesicles, active zone proteins, and neurotransmitter receptors. They are classified into secreted factors and cell adhesion molecules, such as neurexins and neuroligins. Certain secreted factors are termed extracellular scaffolding proteins (ESPs) because they are components of the synaptic extracellular matrix and serve as a scaffold at the synaptic cleft. These include Lgi1, Cbln1, neuronal pentraxins, Hevin, thrombospondins, and glypicans. Diffusible secreted factors, such as Wnts, fibroblast growth factors, and semaphorins, tend to act from a distance. In contrast, ESPs remain at the synaptic cleft and often help synaptic adhesion and/or accumulation of postsynaptic receptors. Many fundamental questions remain about when, how, and why various synaptic organizers establish and modify the vast numbers of connections during development and throughout life.

  15. The fire-walker's high: affect and physiological responses in an extreme collective ritual.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ronald Fischer

    Full Text Available How do people feel during extreme collective rituals? Despite longstanding speculation, few studies have attempted to quantify ritual experiences. Using a novel pre/post design, we quantified physiological fluctuations (heart rates and self-reported affective states from a collective fire-walking ritual in a Mauritian Hindu community. Specifically, we compared changes in levels of happiness, fatigue, and heart rate reactivity among high-ordeal participants (fire-walkers, low-ordeal participants (non-fire-walking participants with familial bonds to fire-walkers and spectators (unrelated/unknown to the fire-walkers. We observed that fire-walkers experienced the highest increase in heart rate and reported greater happiness post-ritual compared to low-ordeal participants and spectators. Low-ordeal participants reported increased fatigue after the ritual compared to both fire-walkers and spectators, suggesting empathetic identification effects. Thus, witnessing the ritualistic suffering of loved ones may be more exhausting than experiencing suffering oneself. The findings demonstrate that the level of ritual involvement is important for shaping affective responses to collective rituals. Enduring a ritual ordeal is associated with greater happiness, whereas observing a loved-one endure a ritual ordeal is associated with greater fatigue post-ritual.

  16. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO_x–Al_2O_3 thin film structure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P.; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q.; Hu, S. G.; Liu, Y.; Lee, P. S.

    2016-01-01

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al_2O_3) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al_2O_3 interface and/or in the Al_2O_3 layer.

  17. Mechanisms of glycine release, which build up synaptic and extrasynaptic glycine levels: the role of synaptic and non-synaptic glycine transporters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harsing, Laszlo G; Matyus, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Glycine is an amino acid neurotransmitter that is involved in both inhibitory and excitatory neurochemical transmission in the central nervous system. The role of glycine in excitatory neurotransmission is related to its coagonist action at glutamatergic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors. The glycine levels in the synaptic cleft rise many times higher during synaptic activation assuring that glycine spills over into the extrasynaptic space. Another possible origin of extrasynaptic glycine is the efflux of glycine occurring from astrocytes associated with glutamatergic synapses. The release of glycine from neuronal or glial origins exhibits several differences compared to that of biogenic amines or other amino acid neurotransmitters. These differences appear in an external Ca(2+)- and temperature-dependent manner, conferring unique characteristics on glycine as a neurotransmitter. Glycine transporter type-1 at synapses may exhibit neural and glial forms and plays a role in controlling synaptic glycine levels and the spill over rate of glycine from the synaptic cleft into the extrasynaptic biophase. Non-synaptic glycine transporter type-1 regulates extrasynaptic glycine concentrations, either increasing or decreasing them depending on the reverse or normal mode operation of the carrier molecule. While we can, at best, only estimate synaptic glycine levels at rest and during synaptic activation, glycine concentrations are readily measurable via brain microdialysis technique applied in the extrasynaptic space. The non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor may obtain glycine for activation following its spill over from highly active synapses or from its release mediated by the reverse operation of non-synaptic glycine transporter-1. The sensitivity of non-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors to glutamate and glycine is many times higher than that of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors making the former type of receptor the primary target for drug action. Synaptic

  18. Reduced frequency and severity of residential fires following delivery of fire prevention education by on-duty fire fighters: cluster randomized controlled study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clare, Joseph; Garis, Len; Plecas, Darryl; Jennings, Charles

    2012-04-01

    In 2008, Surrey Fire Services, British Columbia, commenced a firefighter-delivered, door-to-door fire-prevention education and smoke alarm examination/installation initiative with the intention of reducing the frequency and severity of residential structure fires in the City of Surrey. High-risk zones within the city were identified and 18,473 home visits were undertaken across seven temporal delivery cohorts (13.8% of non-apartment dwellings in the city). The frequency and severity of fires pre- and post- the home visit intervention was examined in comparison to randomized high-risk cluster controls. Overall, the frequency of fires was found to have reduced in the city overall, however, the reduction in the intervention cohorts was significantly larger than for controls. Furthermore, when fires did occur within the intervention cohorts, smoke detectors were activated more frequently and the fires were confined to the object of origin more often post-home visits. No equivalent pattern was observed for the cluster control. On-duty fire fighters can reduce the frequency and severity of residential fires through targeted, door-to-door distribution of fire prevention education in high-risk areas. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Post-fire regeneration in a Mediterranean pine forest with historically low fire frequency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buhk, Constanze; Götzenberger, Lars; Wesche, Karsten; Gómez, Pedro Sánchez; Hensen, Isabell

    2006-11-01

    Species of Mediterranean vegetation are known to regenerate directly after fire. The phenomenon of autosuccession (direct regeneration) has been found to be often combined with an increase of species richness during the first years after fire due to the high abundance of short-lived herbaceous plants facilitated by plentiful nutrients and light. The high degree of vegetation resilience, which is expressed in terms of autosuccession, has been explained by the selective pressure of fire in historic times. According to existing palaeoecological data, however, the Pinus halepensis forests in the Ricote Mountains (Province of Murcia, SE Spain) did not experience substantial fire impact before the presence of man nor are they especially fire-prone today. Therefore, we studied post-fire regeneration to find out if direct succession is present or if species from pre-fire vegetation are absent during the post-fire regeneration stages. Patterns of succession were deduced from observations made in sample plots on sites of a known regeneration age as well as in adjacent unburnt areas. The results of the vegetation analyses, including a Detrended Correspondence Analysis, indicate that Pinus halepensis forest regeneration after fire resembles autosuccession. As regards the presence of woody species, there is a high percentage similarity on north (83%) and south (70%) facing slopes during the first year after fire vs. reference areas which is due, for example, to direct regeneration of the resprouting Quercus coccifera or seeders like Pinus halepensis or Fumana laevipes. However, if herbaceous species are included in the comparison, the similarity on north-facing sites decreases (to 53%) with the presence of additional species, mainly ruderals like Anagallis arvensis or Reseda phyteuma, and even woody species on the burnt plots. This effect indicates "enhanced autosuccession", which was not found on south-facing sites where overall species richness was very high irrespective of

  20. Generalization of the event-based Carnevale-Hines integration scheme for integrate-and-fire models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Elburg, R.A.J.; van Ooyen, A.

    2009-01-01

    An event-based integration scheme for an integrate-and-fire neuron model with exponentially decaying excitatory synaptic currents and double exponential inhibitory synaptic currents has been introduced by Carnevale and Hines. However, the integration scheme imposes nonphysiological constraints on

  1. Generalization of the Event-Based Carnevale-Hines Integration Scheme for Integrate-and-Fire Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Elburg, Ronald A. J.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    An event-based integration scheme for an integrate-and-fire neuron model with exponentially decaying excitatory synaptic currents and double exponential inhibitory synaptic currents has been introduced by Carnevale and Hines. However, the integration scheme imposes nonphysiological constraints on

  2. LTD windows of the STDP learning rule and synaptic connections having a large transmission delay enable robust sequence learning amid background noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayashi, Hatsuo; Igarashi, Jun

    2009-06-01

    Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) is a simple and effective learning rule for sequence learning. However, synapses being subject to STDP rules are readily influenced in noisy circumstances because synaptic conductances are modified by pre- and postsynaptic spikes elicited within a few tens of milliseconds, regardless of whether those spikes convey information or not. Noisy firing existing everywhere in the brain may induce irrelevant enhancement of synaptic connections through STDP rules and would result in uncertain memory encoding and obscure memory patterns. We will here show that the LTD windows of the STDP rules enable robust sequence learning amid background noise in cooperation with a large signal transmission delay between neurons and a theta rhythm, using a network model of the entorhinal cortex layer II with entorhinal-hippocampal loop connections. The important element of the present model for robust sequence learning amid background noise is the symmetric STDP rule having LTD windows on both sides of the LTP window, in addition to the loop connections having a large signal transmission delay and the theta rhythm pacing activities of stellate cells. Above all, the LTD window in the range of positive spike-timing is important to prevent influences of noise with the progress of sequence learning.

  3. FIRE EVACUATION FROM HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Korol'chenko Aleksandr Yakovlevich

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The authors argue that no collapse of structures is likely in the event of a fire emergency in multistoried buildings, rather, other fire-related factors may endanger the lives of people inside high-rise buildings exposed to the fire emergency, including open fire, sparks, high ambient temperature, smoke and toxic combustion products, reduced concentration of oxygen, and combined influence of various factors. In case of fire, the temperature inside buildings reaches 1100 °С. It exceeds the temperature of the ambient air acceptable for humans by far (70 °С. The experiments demonstrate that combustion products contain hundreds of toxic chemical compounds. The most hazardous of them include carbon oxide, carbon dioxide, chloride and cyanic hydrogen, aldehydes and acrolein. The author provides the pattern of their influence on the human body. The smoke consists of unburned particles of carbon and aerosols. The size of particles fluctuates within 0.05-50 MMK. Smoke produces a physiological and psychological impact on human beings. It has been proven that dangerous fire factors emerge within the first five to ten minutes of the emergency situation. Evacuation is the principal method of safety assurance. However, the velocity of propagation of smoke and heat is so high that even if the fire prevention system is in operation, people may be blocked both on the floors that are exposed to the fire and those that escape its propagation. New evacuation and rescue methods are recommended by the author. Various ways and methods of use of life-saving facilities are also provided. Safe evacuation is feasible from buildings where the number of stories does not exceed 10- 12. During evacuation, high density human streams are formed inside buildings, therefore, the period of stay in a burning building is increased. The calculations have proven that a two-minute delay of evacuation converts into a safe evacuation of only 13-15% of people. Low reliability of

  4. BDNF-induced local protein synthesis and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leal, Graciano; Comprido, Diogo; Duarte, Carlos B

    2014-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an important regulator of synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation (LTP) in the hippocampus and in other brain regions, playing a role in the formation of certain forms of memory. The effects of BDNF in LTP are mediated by TrkB (tropomyosin-related kinase B) receptors, which are known to be coupled to the activation of the Ras/ERK, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and phospholipase C-γ (PLC-γ) pathways. The role of BDNF in LTP is best studied in the hippocampus, where the neurotrophin acts at pre- and post-synaptic levels. Recent studies have shown that BDNF regulates the transport of mRNAs along dendrites and their translation at the synapse, by modulating the initiation and elongation phases of protein synthesis, and by acting on specific miRNAs. Furthermore, the effect of BDNF on transcription regulation may further contribute to long-term changes in the synaptic proteome. In this review we discuss the recent progress in understanding the mechanisms contributing to the short- and long-term regulation of the synaptic proteome by BDNF, and the role in synaptic plasticity, which is likely to influence learning and memory formation. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'BDNF Regulation of Synaptic Structure, Function, and Plasticity'. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Isolation of Synaptosomes, Synaptic Plasma Membranes, and Synaptic Junctional Complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelis, Mary L; Jiang, Lei; Michaelis, Elias K

    2017-01-01

    Isolation of synaptic nerve terminals or synaptosomes provides an opportunity to study the process of neurotransmission at many levels and with a variety of approaches. For example, structural features of the synaptic terminals and the organelles within them, such as synaptic vesicles and mitochondria, have been elucidated with electron microscopy. The postsynaptic membranes are joined to the presynaptic "active zone" of transmitter release through cell adhesion molecules and remain attached throughout the isolation of synaptosomes. These "post synaptic densities" or "PSDs" contain the receptors for the transmitters released from the nerve terminals and can easily be seen with electron microscopy. Biochemical and cell biological studies with synaptosomes have revealed which proteins and lipids are most actively involved in synaptic release of neurotransmitters. The functional properties of the nerve terminals, such as responses to depolarization and the uptake or release of signaling molecules, have also been characterized through the use of fluorescent dyes, tagged transmitters, and transporter substrates. In addition, isolated synaptosomes can serve as the starting material for the isolation of relatively pure synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) that are devoid of organelles from the internal environment of the nerve terminal, such as mitochondria and synaptic vesicles. The isolated SPMs can reseal and form vesicular structures in which transport of ions such as sodium and calcium, as well as solutes such as neurotransmitters can be studied. The PSDs also remain associated with the presynaptic membranes during isolation of SPM fractions, making it possible to isolate the synaptic junctional complexes (SJCs) devoid of the rest of the plasma membranes of the nerve terminals and postsynaptic membrane components. Isolated SJCs can be used to identify the proteins that constitute this highly specialized region of neurons. In this chapter, we describe the steps involved

  6. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monica L. Bond; Rodney B. Siegel; Richard L. Hutto; Victoria A. Saab; Stephen A. Shunk

    2012-01-01

    Bond, Monica L.; Siegel, Rodney B.; Hutto, Richard L.; Saab, Victoria A.; Shunk, Stephen A. 2012. A new forest fire paradigm: The need for high-severity fires. The Wildlife Professional. Winter 2012: 46-49. During the 2012 fire season from June through August, wildfires in the drought-stricken western and central United States burned more than 3.6 million acres of...

  7. Analysis and modeling of ensemble recordings from respiratory pre-motor neurons indicate changes in functional network architecture after acute hypoxia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto F Galán

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available We have combined neurophysiologic recording, statistical analysis, and computational modeling to investigate the dynamics of the respiratory network in the brainstem. Using a multielectrode array, we recorded ensembles of respiratory neurons in perfused in situ rat preparations that produce spontaneous breathing patterns, focusing on inspiratory pre-motor neurons. We compared firing rates and neuronal synchronization among these neurons before and after a brief hypoxic stimulus. We observed a significant decrease in the number of spikes after stimulation, in part due to a transient slowing of the respiratory pattern. However, the median interspike interval did not change, suggesting that the firing threshold of the neurons was not affected but rather the synaptic input was. A bootstrap analysis of synchrony between spike trains revealed that, both before and after brief hypoxia, up to 45 % (but typically less than 5 % of coincident spikes across neuronal pairs was not explained by chance. Most likely, this synchrony resulted from common synaptic input to the pre-motor population, an example of stochastic synchronization. After brief hypoxia most pairs were less synchronized, although some were more, suggesting that the respiratory network was “rewired” transiently after the stimulus. To investigate this hypothesis, we created a simple computational model with feed-forward divergent connections along the inspiratory pathway. Assuming that 1 the number of divergent projections was not the same for all presynaptic cells, but rather spanned a wide range and 2 that the stimulus increased inhibition at the top of the network; this model reproduced the reduction in firing rate and bootstrap-corrected synchrony subsequent to hypoxic stimulation observed in our experimental data.

  8. Thermodynamic analysis and economic evaluation of a 1000 MW bituminous coal fired power plant incorporating low-temperature pre-drying (LTPD)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Cheng; Xu, Gang; Zhu, Mingming; Dong, Wei; Zhang, Yang; Yang, Yongping; Zhang, Dongke

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • An improved design of coal pre-drying using flue gas waste heat was proposed. • 0.4% energy efficiency increase was achieved with the proposed system. • The additional net economic benefit of the proposed system is $1.91 M per year. • Proposed concept can be widely applied to improve coal-fired power plant efficiency. - Abstract: Low-temperature pre-drying (LTPD) of lignite has been identified as an effective approach to improve the efficiency of lignite fired power plants. In this study, an improved concept for the pre-drying of medium moisture bituminous coals using flue gas waste heat was proposed and its feasibility was assessed. In the proposed configuration, the boiler exhaust flue gas is drawn to dryers to heat and pre-dry the raw coal, removing a large proportion of the coal moisture and leading to an improvement in the energy efficiency of the power plant. Thermodynamic analysis and economic evaluation were performed based on a typical 1000 MW bituminous coal fired power plant incorporating the proposed LTPD concept. The results showed that the net power plant efficiency gain is as much as 0.4 percentage point with additional net power output of 9.3 MW as compared to the reference plant without coal pre-drying. This was attributed to the reduction in the moisture content from 10.3 to 2.7 wt%. The additional net economic benefit attained due to the coal pre-drying was estimated to reach $1.91 M per year. This work provides a broadly applicable and economically feasible approach to further improve the energy efficiency of power plants firing coals with medium moisture contents.

  9. Object-based Forest Fire Analysis for Pedrógão Grande Fire Using Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel-2A Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonbul, H.; Kavzoglu, T.

    2017-12-01

    Forest fires are among the most important natural disasters with the damage to the natural habitat and human-life. Mapping damaged forest fires is crucial for assessing ecological effects caused by fire, monitoring land cover changes and modeling atmospheric and climatic effects of fire. In this context, satellite data provides a great advantage to users by providing a rapid process of detecting burning areas and determining the severity of fire damage. Especially, Mediterranean ecosystems countries sets the suitable conditions for the forest fires. In this study, the determination of burnt areas of forest fire in Pedrógão Grande region of Portugal occurred in June 2017 was carried out using Landsat 8 OLI and Sentinel-2A satellite images. The Pedrógão Grande fire was one of the largest fires in Portugal, more than 60 people was killed and thousands of hectares were ravaged. In this study, four pairs of pre-fire and post-fire top of atmosphere (TOA) and atmospherically corrected images were utilized. The red and near infrared (NIR) spectral bands of pre-fire and post-fire images were stacked and multiresolution segmentation algorithm was applied. In the segmentation processes, the image objects were generated with estimated optimum homogeneity criteria. Using eCognition software, rule sets have been created to distinguish unburned areas from burned areas. In constructing the rule sets, NDVI threshold values were determined pre- and post-fire and areas where vegetation loss was detected using the NDVI difference image. The results showed that both satellite images yielded successful results for burned area discrimination with a very high degree of consistency in terms of spatial overlap and total burned area (over 93%). Object based image analysis (OBIA) was found highly effective in delineation of burnt areas.

  10. Spiking Neural Networks with Unsupervised Learning Based on STDP Using Resistive Synaptic Devices and Analog CMOS Neuron Circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Min-Woo; Baek, Myung-Hyun; Hwang, Sungmin; Kim, Sungjun; Park, Byung-Gook

    2018-09-01

    We designed the CMOS analog integrate and fire (I&F) neuron circuit can drive resistive synaptic device. The neuron circuit consists of a current mirror for spatial integration, a capacitor for temporal integration, asymmetric negative and positive pulse generation part, a refractory part, and finally a back-propagation pulse generation part for learning of the synaptic devices. The resistive synaptic devices were fabricated using HfOx switching layer by atomic layer deposition (ALD). The resistive synaptic device had gradual set and reset characteristics and the conductance was adjusted by spike-timing-dependent-plasticity (STDP) learning rule. We carried out circuit simulation of synaptic device and CMOS neuron circuit. And we have developed an unsupervised spiking neural networks (SNNs) for 5 × 5 pattern recognition and classification using the neuron circuit and synaptic devices. The hardware-based SNNs can autonomously and efficiently control the weight updates of the synapses between neurons, without the aid of software calculations.

  11. Birth order dependent growth cone segregation determines synaptic layer identity in the Drosophila visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kulkarni, Abhishek; Ertekin, Deniz; Lee, Chi-Hon; Hummel, Thomas

    2016-03-17

    The precise recognition of appropriate synaptic partner neurons is a critical step during neural circuit assembly. However, little is known about the developmental context in which recognition specificity is important to establish synaptic contacts. We show that in the Drosophila visual system, sequential segregation of photoreceptor afferents, reflecting their birth order, lead to differential positioning of their growth cones in the early target region. By combining loss- and gain-of-function analyses we demonstrate that relative differences in the expression of the transcription factor Sequoia regulate R cell growth cone segregation. This initial growth cone positioning is consolidated via cell-adhesion molecule Capricious in R8 axons. Further, we show that the initial growth cone positioning determines synaptic layer selection through proximity-based axon-target interactions. Taken together, we demonstrate that birth order dependent pre-patterning of afferent growth cones is an essential pre-requisite for the identification of synaptic partner neurons during visual map formation in Drosophila.

  12. Role of synaptic structural plasticity in impairments of spatial learning and memory induced by developmental lead exposure in Wistar rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongmei Xiao

    Full Text Available Lead (Pb is found to impair cognitive function. Synaptic structural plasticity is considered to be the physiological basis of synaptic functional plasticity and has been recently found to play important roles in learning and memory. To study the effect of Pb on spatial learning and memory at different developmental stages, and its relationship with alterations of synaptic structural plasticity, postnatal rats were randomly divided into three groups: Control; Pre-weaning Pb (Parents were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 3 weeks before mating until weaning of pups; Post-weaning Pb (Weaned pups were exposed to 2 mM PbCl2 for 9 weeks. The spatial learning and memory of rats was measured by Morris water maze (MWM on PND 85-90. Rat pups in Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups performed significantly worse than those in Control group (p<0.05. However, there was no significant difference in the performance of MWM between the two Pb-exposure groups. Before MWM (PND 84, the number of neurons and synapses significantly decreased in Pre-weaning Pb group, but not in Post-weaning Pb group. After MWM (PND 91, the number of synapses in Pre-weaning Pb group increased significantly, but it was still less than that of Control group (p<0.05; the number of synapses in Post-weaning Pb group was also less than that of Control group (p<0.05, although the number of synapses has no differences between Post-weaning Pb and Control groups before MWM. In both Pre-weaning Pb and Post-weaning Pb groups, synaptic structural parameters such as thickness of postsynaptic density (PSD, length of synaptic active zone and synaptic curvature increased significantly while width of synaptic cleft decreased significantly compared to Control group (p<0.05. Our data demonstrated that both early and late developmental Pb exposure impaired spatial learning and memory as well as synaptic structural plasticity in Wistar rats.

  13. Neuronal cytoskeleton in synaptic plasticity and regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gordon-Weeks, Phillip R; Fournier, Alyson E

    2014-04-01

    During development, dynamic changes in the axonal growth cone and dendrite are necessary for exploratory movements underlying initial axo-dendritic contact and ultimately the formation of a functional synapse. In the adult central nervous system, an impressive degree of plasticity is retained through morphological and molecular rearrangements in the pre- and post-synaptic compartments that underlie the strengthening or weakening of synaptic pathways. Plasticity is regulated by the interplay of permissive and inhibitory extracellular cues, which signal through receptors at the synapse to regulate the closure of critical periods of developmental plasticity as well as by acute changes in plasticity in response to experience and activity in the adult. The molecular underpinnings of synaptic plasticity are actively studied and it is clear that the cytoskeleton is a key substrate for many cues that affect plasticity. Many of the cues that restrict synaptic plasticity exhibit residual activity in the injured adult CNS and restrict regenerative growth by targeting the cytoskeleton. Here, we review some of the latest insights into how cytoskeletal remodeling affects neuronal plasticity and discuss how the cytoskeleton is being targeted in an effort to promote plasticity and repair following traumatic injury in the central nervous system. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  14. The chronotron: a neuron that learns to fire temporally precise spike patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Răzvan V Florian

    Full Text Available In many cases, neurons process information carried by the precise timings of spikes. Here we show how neurons can learn to generate specific temporally precise output spikes in response to input patterns of spikes having precise timings, thus processing and memorizing information that is entirely temporally coded, both as input and as output. We introduce two new supervised learning rules for spiking neurons with temporal coding of information (chronotrons, one that provides high memory capacity (E-learning, and one that has a higher biological plausibility (I-learning. With I-learning, the neuron learns to fire the target spike trains through synaptic changes that are proportional to the synaptic currents at the timings of real and target output spikes. We study these learning rules in computer simulations where we train integrate-and-fire neurons. Both learning rules allow neurons to fire at the desired timings, with sub-millisecond precision. We show how chronotrons can learn to classify their inputs, by firing identical, temporally precise spike trains for different inputs belonging to the same class. When the input is noisy, the classification also leads to noise reduction. We compute lower bounds for the memory capacity of chronotrons and explore the influence of various parameters on chronotrons' performance. The chronotrons can model neurons that encode information in the time of the first spike relative to the onset of salient stimuli or neurons in oscillatory networks that encode information in the phases of spikes relative to the background oscillation. Our results show that firing one spike per cycle optimizes memory capacity in neurons encoding information in the phase of firing relative to a background rhythm.

  15. Robust Synchronization in an E/I Network with Medium Synaptic Delay and High Level of Heterogeneity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han Fang; Wang Zhi-Jie; Gong Tao; Fan Hong

    2015-01-01

    It is known that both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks can achieve robust synchronization only under certain conditions, such as long synaptic delay or low level of heterogeneity. In this work, robust synchronization can be found in an excitatory/inhibitory (E/I) neuronal network with medium synaptic delay and high level of heterogeneity, which often occurs in real neuronal networks. Two effects of post-synaptic potentials (PSP) to network synchronization are presented, and the synaptic contribution of excitatory and inhibitory neurons to robust synchronization in this E/I network is investigated. It is found that both excitatory and inhibitory neurons may contribute to robust synchronization in E/I networks, especially the excitatory PSP has a more positive effect on synchronization in E/I networks than that in excitatory networks. This may explain the strong robustness of synchronization in E/I neuronal networks. (paper)

  16. Phase-locking and bistability in neuronal networks with synaptic depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akcay, Zeynep; Huang, Xinxian; Nadim, Farzan; Bose, Amitabha

    2018-02-01

    We consider a recurrent network of two oscillatory neurons that are coupled with inhibitory synapses. We use the phase response curves of the neurons and the properties of short-term synaptic depression to define Poincaré maps for the activity of the network. The fixed points of these maps correspond to phase-locked modes of the network. Using these maps, we analyze the conditions that allow short-term synaptic depression to lead to the existence of bistable phase-locked, periodic solutions. We show that bistability arises when either the phase response curve of the neuron or the short-term depression profile changes steeply enough. The results apply to any Type I oscillator and we illustrate our findings using the Quadratic Integrate-and-Fire and Morris-Lecar neuron models.

  17. Presynaptic protein synthesis required for NT-3-induced long-term synaptic modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotrophins elicit both acute and long-term modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Previously, we demonstrated that the long-term synaptic modulation requires the endocytosis of neurotrophin-receptor complex, the activation of PI3K and Akt, and mTOR mediated protein synthesis. However, it is unclear whether the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins depends on protein synthesis in pre- or post-synaptic cells. Results Here we have developed an inducible protein translation blocker, in which the kinase domain of protein kinase R (PKR is fused with bacterial gyrase B domain (GyrB-PKR, which could be dimerized upon treatment with a cell permeable drug, coumermycin. By genetically targeting GyrB-PKR to specific cell types, we show that NT-3 induced long-term synaptic modulation requires presynaptic, but not postsynaptic protein synthesis. Conclusions Our results provide mechanistic insights into the cell-specific requirement for protein synthesis in the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins. The GyrB-PKR system may be useful tool to study protein synthesis in a cell-specific manner.

  18. A light-stimulated synaptic transistor with synaptic plasticity and memory functions based on InGaZnO{sub x}–Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} thin film structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, H. K.; Chen, T. P., E-mail: echentp@ntu.edu.sg; Liu, P.; Zhang, Q. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); Hu, S. G. [School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore); State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Liu, Y. [State Key Laboratory of Electronic Thin Films and Integrated Devices, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu, Sichuan 610054 (China); Lee, P. S. [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798 (Singapore)

    2016-06-28

    In this work, a synaptic transistor based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO)–aluminum oxide (Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}) thin film structure, which uses ultraviolet (UV) light pulses as the pre-synaptic stimulus, has been demonstrated. The synaptic transistor exhibits the behavior of synaptic plasticity like the paired-pulse facilitation. In addition, it also shows the brain's memory behaviors including the transition from short-term memory to long-term memory and the Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The synapse-like behavior and memory behaviors of the transistor are due to the trapping and detrapping processes of the holes, which are generated by the UV pulses, at the IGZO/Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} interface and/or in the Al{sub 2}O{sub 3} layer.

  19. Comparison of the dynamics of neural interactions in integrate-and-fire networks with current-based and conductance-based synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano eCavallari

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Models of networks of Leaky Integrate-and-Fire neurons (LIF are a widely used tool for theoretical investigations of brain function. These models have been used both with current- and conductance-based synapses. However, the differences in the dynamics expressed by these two approaches have been so far mainly studied at the single neuron level. To investigate how these synaptic models affect network activity, we compared the single-neuron and neural population dynamics of conductance-based networks (COBN and current-based networks (CUBN of LIF neurons. These networks were endowed with sparse excitatory and inhibitory recurrent connections, and were tested in conditions including both low- and high-conductance states. We developed a novel procedure to obtain comparable networks by properly tuning the synaptic parameters not shared by the models. The so defined comparable networks displayed an excellent and robust match of first order statistics (average single neuron firing rates and average frequency spectrum of network activity. However, these comparable networks showed profound differences in the second order statistics of neural population interactions and in the modulation of these properties by external inputs. The correlation between inhibitory and excitatory synaptic currents and the cross-neuron correlation between synaptic inputs, membrane potentials and spike trains were stronger and more stimulus-sensitive in the COBN. Because of these properties, the spike train correlation carried more information about the strength of the input in the COBN, although the firing rates were equally informative in both network models. Moreover, COBN showed stronger neuronal population synchronization in the gamma band, and their spectral information about the network input was higher and spread over a broader range of frequencies. These results suggest that second order properties of network dynamics depend strongly on the choice of synaptic model.

  20. Synaptic remodeling, synaptic growth and the storage of long-term memory in Aplysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Craig H; Kandel, Eric R

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic remodeling and synaptic growth accompany various forms of long-term memory. Storage of the long-term memory for sensitization of the gill-withdrawal reflex in Aplysia has been extensively studied in this respect and is associated with the growth of new synapses by the sensory neurons onto their postsynaptic target neurons. Recent time-lapse imaging studies of living sensory-to-motor neuron synapses in culture have monitored both functional and structural changes simultaneously so as to follow remodeling and growth at the same specific synaptic connections continuously over time and to examine the functional contribution of these learning-related structural changes to the different time-dependent phases of memory storage. Insights provided by these studies suggest the synaptic differentiation and growth induced by learning in the mature nervous system are highly dynamic and often rapid processes that can recruit both molecules and mechanisms used for de novo synapse formation during development.

  1. Synaptic Democracy and Vesicular Transport in Axons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bressloff, Paul C.; Levien, Ethan

    2015-04-01

    Synaptic democracy concerns the general problem of how regions of an axon or dendrite far from the cell body (soma) of a neuron can play an effective role in neuronal function. For example, stimulated synapses far from the soma are unlikely to influence the firing of a neuron unless some sort of active dendritic processing occurs. Analogously, the motor-driven transport of newly synthesized proteins from the soma to presynaptic targets along the axon tends to favor the delivery of resources to proximal synapses. Both of these phenomena reflect fundamental limitations of transport processes based on a localized source. In this Letter, we show that a more democratic distribution of proteins along an axon can be achieved by making the transport process less efficient. This involves two components: bidirectional or "stop-and-go" motor transport (which can be modeled in terms of advection-diffusion), and reversible interactions between motor-cargo complexes and synaptic targets. Both of these features have recently been observed experimentally. Our model suggests that, just as in human societies, there needs to be a balance between "efficiency" and "equality".

  2. A VLSI recurrent network of integrate-and-fire neurons connected by plastic synapses with long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chicca, E; Badoni, D; Dante, V; D'Andreagiovanni, M; Salina, G; Carota, L; Fusi, S; Del Giudice, P

    2003-01-01

    Electronic neuromorphic devices with on-chip, on-line learning should be able to modify quickly the synaptic couplings to acquire information about new patterns to be stored (synaptic plasticity) and, at the same time, preserve this information on very long time scales (synaptic stability). Here, we illustrate the electronic implementation of a simple solution to this stability-plasticity problem, recently proposed and studied in various contexts. It is based on the observation that reducing the analog depth of the synapses to the extreme (bistable synapses) does not necessarily disrupt the performance of the device as an associative memory, provided that 1) the number of neurons is large enough; 2) the transitions between stable synaptic states are stochastic; and 3) learning is slow. The drastic reduction of the analog depth of the synaptic variable also makes this solution appealing from the point of view of electronic implementation and offers a simple methodological alternative to the technological solution based on floating gates. We describe the full custom analog very large-scale integration (VLSI) realization of a small network of integrate-and-fire neurons connected by bistable deterministic plastic synapses which can implement the idea of stochastic learning. In the absence of stimuli, the memory is preserved indefinitely. During the stimulation the synapse undergoes quick temporary changes through the activities of the pre- and postsynaptic neurons; those changes stochastically result in a long-term modification of the synaptic efficacy. The intentionally disordered pattern of connectivity allows the system to generate a randomness suited to drive the stochastic selection mechanism. We check by a suitable stimulation protocol that the stochastic synaptic plasticity produces the expected pattern of potentiation and depression in the electronic network.

  3. Fire Models and Design Fires

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Poulsen, Annemarie

    The aim of this project is to perform an experimental study on the influence of the thermal feedback on the burning behavior of well ventilated pre-flashover fires. For the purpose an experimental method has been developed. Here the same identical objects are tested under free burn conditions...... carried out by Carleton University and NRC-IRC performed on seven different types of fire loads representing commercial premises, comprise the tests used for the study. The results show that for some of the room test the heat release rate increased due to thermal feedback compared to free burn for a pre......-flashover fire. Two phenomena were observed, that relate well to theory was found. In an incipient phase the heat release rate rose with the temperature of the smoke layer/enclosure boundaries. This increase was also found to depend on the flammability properties of the burning object. The results also...

  4. Equilibrium and response properties of the integrate-and-fire neuron in discrete time

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz Helias

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The integrate-and-fire neuron with exponential postsynaptic potentials is a frequently employed model to study neural networks. Simulations in discrete time still have highest performance at moderate numerical errors, which makes them first choice for long-term simulations of plastic networks. Here we extend the population density approach to investigate how the equilibrium and response properties of the leaky integrate-and-fire neuron are affected by time discretization. We present a novel analytical treatment of the boundary condition at threshold, taking both discretization of time and finite synaptic weights into account. We uncover an increased membrane potential density just below threshold as the decisive property that explains the deviations found between simulations and the classical diffusion approximation. Temporal discretization and finite synaptic weights both contribute to this effect. Our treatment improves the standard formula to calculate the neuron’s equilibrium firing rate. Direct solution of the Markov process describing the evolution of the membrane potential density confirms our analysis and yields a method to calculate the firing rate exactly. Knowing the shape of the membrane potential distribution near threshold enables us to devise the transient response properties of the neuron model to synaptic input. We find a pronounced non-linear fast response component that has not been described by the prevailing continuous time theory for Gaussian white noise input.

  5. Striatal fast-spiking interneurons: from firing patterns to postsynaptic impact

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreas eKlaus

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available In the striatal microcircuit, fast-spiking (FS interneurons have an important role in mediating inhibition onto neighboring medium spiny (MS projection neurons. In this study, we combined computational modeling with in vitro and in vivo electrophysiological measurements to investigate FS cells in terms of their discharge properties and their synaptic efficacies onto MS neurons. In vivo firing of striatal FS interneurons is characterized by a high firing variability. It is not known, however, if this variability results from the input that FS cells receive, or if it is promoted by the stuttering spike behavior of these neurons. Both our model and measurements in vitro show that FS neurons that exhibit random stuttering discharge in response to steady depolarization, do not show the typical stuttering behavior when they receive fluctuating input. Importantly, our model predicts that electrically coupled FS cells show substantial spike synchronization only when they are in the stuttering regime. Therefore, together with the lack of synchronized firing of striatal FS interneurons that has been reported in vivo, these results suggest that neighboring FS neurons are not in the stuttering regime simultaneously and that in vivo FS firing variability is more likely determined by the input fluctuations. Furthermore, the variability in FS firing is translated to variability in the postsynaptic amplitudes in MS neurons due to the strong synaptic depression of the FS-to-MS synapse. Our results support the idea that these synapses operate over a wide range from strongly depressed to almost fully recovered. The strong inhibitory effects that FS cells can impose on their postsynaptic targets, and the fact that the FS-to-MS synapse model showed substantial depression over extended periods of time might indicate the importance of cooperative effects of multiple presynaptic FS interneurons and the precise orchestration of their activity.

  6. Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillip J. van Mantgem; Jonathan C.B. Nesmith; MaryBeth Keifer; Eric E. Knapp; Alan Flint; Lorriane Flint

    2013-01-01

    Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees, which may contribute to mortality resulting from fire-caused injuries. Longitudinal analyses of forest plots from across the western US show that high pre-fire climatic water deficit was related to increased post-fire tree mortality probabilities. This relationship between climate and fire was present after...

  7. Strategies for preventing invasive plant outbreaks after prescribed fire in ponderosa pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Newton, Wesley E.; Swanson, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Land managers use prescribed fire to return a vital process to fire-adapted ecosystems, restore forest structure from a state altered by long-term fire suppression, and reduce wildfire intensity. However, fire often produces favorable conditions for invasive plant species, particularly if it is intense enough to reveal bare mineral soil and open previously closed canopies. Understanding the environmental or fire characteristics that explain post-fire invasive plant abundance would aid managers in efficiently finding and quickly responding to fire-caused infestations. To that end, we used an information-theoretic model-selection approach to assess the relative importance of abiotic environmental characteristics (topoedaphic position, distance from roads), pre-and post-fire biotic environmental characteristics (forest structure, understory vegetation, fuel load), and prescribed fire severity (measured in four different ways) in explaining invasive plant cover in ponderosa pine forest in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Environmental characteristics (distance from roads and post-fire forest structure) alone provided the most explanation of variation (26%) in post-fire cover of Verbascum thapsus (common mullein), but a combination of surface fire severity and environmental characteristics (pre-fire forest structure and distance from roads) explained 36–39% of the variation in post-fire cover of Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle) and all invasives together. For four species and all invasives together, their pre-fire cover explained more variation (26–82%) in post-fire cover than environmental and fire characteristics did, suggesting one strategy for reducing post-fire invasive outbreaks may be to find and control invasives before the fire. Finding them may be difficult, however, since pre-fire environmental characteristics explained only 20% of variation in pre-fire total invasive cover, and less for individual species. Thus, moderating fire intensity or targeting areas

  8. Reduced sensory synaptic excitation impairs motor neuron function via Kv2.1 in spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Emily V; Simon, Christian M; Pagiazitis, John G; Chalif, Joshua I; Vukojicic, Aleksandra; Drobac, Estelle; Wang, Xiaojian; Mentis, George Z

    2017-07-01

    Behavioral deficits in neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to the selective dysfunction of vulnerable neurons via cell-autonomous mechanisms. Although vulnerable neurons are embedded in neuronal circuits, the contributions of their synaptic partners to disease process are largely unknown. Here we show that, in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a reduction in proprioceptive synaptic drive leads to motor neuron dysfunction and motor behavior impairments. In SMA mice or after the blockade of proprioceptive synaptic transmission, we observed a decrease in the motor neuron firing that could be explained by the reduction in the expression of the potassium channel Kv2.1 at the surface of motor neurons. Chronically increasing neuronal activity pharmacologically in vivo led to a normalization of Kv2.1 expression and an improvement in motor function. Our results demonstrate a key role of excitatory synaptic drive in shaping the function of motor neurons during development and the contribution of its disruption to a neurodegenerative disease.

  9. Fires in rooms containing electrical components - incident planning, fire fighting tactics, risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magnusson, Tommy; Ottosson, Jan; Lindskog, BertiI; Soederquist Bende, Evy; Eriksson, Fredrik; Haffling, Stefan

    2006-12-01

    On July 1, 2005 a fire occurred within an electrical switch room at Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant. At the evaluation of the incident it was identified that the pre-fire plans did not give sufficient information in order to make the appropriate decisions. Questions raised based on the incident are how decisions are made and orders are delegated with respect to the incident command, which fire fighting tactic should be used, which types of extinguishing media should be used, what are the risks with respect to safety of staff and safety of the reactor. Lessons learned from the fire at Forsmark were that pre-incident planning was at hand but the information was not sufficient to make the correct initial decisions that might be critical for life and property. One of the most crucial ingredients in all safety related work is to utilize previous experience in order to maintain a high degree of safety. Lessons learnt are also the foundation on which the ability to construct or create strong barriers against a certain fault phenomena, fault mechanism or type of initial event. In the case of nuclear processes, fire is considered as an important and critical initial event which has to be recognized in a number of cases in order to maintain a safe process. The likelihood for a fire to represent an initial event should not be underestimated and can therefore not be neglected, probabilistically or deterministically, unless the inherent safety systems can not control the event in an acceptable manner. Regardless of safety measures and lessons learnt from previous experiences in the construction and the operation of the nuclear facility, fires can occur. Previous experiences point out that process system, e.g. systems that are part of the turbine, are more frequently subject to fire incidents compared to ordinary safety systems. Fires in electrical components, often electrical cabinets, can be difficult to handle and to extinguish quickly. This report presents the background work

  10. Regulation of Synaptic Structure by the Ubiquitin C-terminal Hydrolase UCH-L1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartier, Anna E.; Djakovic, Stevan N.; Salehi, Afshin; Wilson, Scott M.; Masliah, Eliezer; Patrick, Gentry N.

    2009-01-01

    UCH-L1 is a de-ubiquitinating enzyme that is selectively and abundantly expressed in the brain, and its activity is required for normal synaptic function. Here, we show that UCH-L1 functions in maintaining normal synaptic structure in hippocampal neurons. We have found that UCH-L1 activity is rapidly up-regulated by NMDA receptor activation which leads to an increase in the levels of free monomeric ubiquitin. Conversely, pharmacological inhibition of UCH-L1 significantly reduces monomeric ubiquitin levels and causes dramatic alterations in synaptic protein distribution and spine morphology. Inhibition of UCH-L1 activity increases spine size while decreasing spine density. Furthermore, there is a concomitant increase in the size of pre and postsynaptic protein clusters. Interestingly, however, ectopic expression of ubiquitin restores normal synaptic structure in UCH-L1 inhibited neurons. These findings point to a significant role of UCH-L1 in synaptic remodeling most likely by modulating free monomeric ubiquitin levels in an activity-dependent manner. PMID:19535597

  11. High resolution fire risk mapping in Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorucci, Paolo; Biondi, Guido; Campo, Lorenzo; D'Andrea, Mirko

    2014-05-01

    The high topographic and vegetation heterogeneity makes Italy vulnerable to forest fires both in the summer and in winter. In particular, northern regions are predominantly characterized by a winter fire regime, mainly due to frequent extremely dry winds from the north, while southern and central regions and the large islands are characterized by a severe summer fire regime, because of the higher temperatures and prolonged lack of precipitation. The threat of wildfires in Italy is not confined to wooded areas as they extend to agricultural areas and urban-forest interface areas. The agricultural and rural areas, in the last century, have been gradually abandoned, especially in areas with complex topography. Many of these areas were subject to reforestation, leading to the spread of pioneer species mainly represented by Mediterranean conifer, which are highly vulnerable to fire. Because of the frequent spread of fire, these areas are limited to the early successional stages, consisting mainly of shrub vegetation; its survival in the competition with the climax species being ensured by the spread of fire itself. Due to the frequency of fire ignition — almost entirely man caused — the time between fires on the same area is at least an order of magnitude less than the time that would allow the establishment of forest climax species far less vulnerable to fire. In view of the limited availability of fire risk management resources, most of which are used in the management of national and regional air services, it is necessary to precisely identify the areas most vulnerable to fire risk. The few resources available can thus be used on a yearly basis to mitigate problems in the areas at highest risk by defining a program of forest management interventions, which is expected to make a significant contribution to the problem in a few years' time. The goal of such detailed planning is to dramatically reduce the costs associated with water bombers fleet management and fire

  12. Long-term plasticity determines the postsynaptic response to correlated afferents with multivesicular short-term synaptic depression

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander David Bird

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Synchrony in a presynaptic population leads to correlations in vesicle occupancy at the active sites for neurotransmitter release. The number of independent release sites per presynaptic neuron, a synaptic parameter recently shown to be modifed during long-term plasticity, will modulate these correlations and therefore have a significant effect on the firing rate of the postsynaptic neuron. To understand how correlations from synaptic dynamics and from presynaptic synchrony shape the postsynaptic response, we study a model of multiple release site short-term plasticity and derive exact results for the crosscorrelation function of vesicle occupancy and neurotransmitter release, as well as the postsynaptic voltage variance. Using approximate forms for the postsynaptic firing rate in the limits of low and high correlations, we demonstrate that short-term depression leads to a maximum response for an intermediate number of presynaptic release sites, and that this leads to a tuning-curve response peaked at an optimal presynaptic synchrony setby the number of neurotransmitter release sites per presynaptic neuron. These effects arise because, above a certain level of correlation, activity in the presynaptic population is overly strong resulting in wastage of the pool of releasable neurotransmitter. As the nervous system operates under constraints of efficient metabolism it is likely that this phenomenon provides an activity-dependent constraint on network architecture.

  13. Spine Calcium Transients Induced by Synaptically-Evoked Action Potentials Can Predict Synapse Location and Establish Synaptic Democracy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meredith, Rhiannon M.; van Ooyen, Arjen

    2012-01-01

    CA1 pyramidal neurons receive hundreds of synaptic inputs at different distances from the soma. Distance-dependent synaptic scaling enables distal and proximal synapses to influence the somatic membrane equally, a phenomenon called “synaptic democracy”. How this is established is unclear. The backpropagating action potential (BAP) is hypothesised to provide distance-dependent information to synapses, allowing synaptic strengths to scale accordingly. Experimental measurements show that a BAP evoked by current injection at the soma causes calcium currents in the apical shaft whose amplitudes decay with distance from the soma. However, in vivo action potentials are not induced by somatic current injection but by synaptic inputs along the dendrites, which creates a different excitable state of the dendrites. Due to technical limitations, it is not possible to study experimentally whether distance information can also be provided by synaptically-evoked BAPs. Therefore we adapted a realistic morphological and electrophysiological model to measure BAP-induced voltage and calcium signals in spines after Schaffer collateral synapse stimulation. We show that peak calcium concentration is highly correlated with soma-synapse distance under a number of physiologically-realistic suprathreshold stimulation regimes and for a range of dendritic morphologies. Peak calcium levels also predicted the attenuation of the EPSP across the dendritic tree. Furthermore, we show that peak calcium can be used to set up a synaptic democracy in a homeostatic manner, whereby synapses regulate their synaptic strength on the basis of the difference between peak calcium and a uniform target value. We conclude that information derived from synaptically-generated BAPs can indicate synapse location and can subsequently be utilised to implement a synaptic democracy. PMID:22719238

  14. Glucose rapidly induces different forms of excitatory synaptic plasticity in hypothalamic POMC neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jun Hu

    Full Text Available Hypothalamic POMC neurons are required for glucose and energy homeostasis. POMC neurons have a wide synaptic connection with neurons both within and outside the hypothalamus, and their activity is controlled by a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Brain glucose-sensing plays an essential role in the maintenance of normal body weight and metabolism; however, the effect of glucose on synaptic transmission in POMC neurons is largely unknown. Here we identified three types of POMC neurons (EPSC(+, EPSC(-, and EPSC(+/- based on their glucose-regulated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs, using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Lowering extracellular glucose decreased the frequency of sEPSCs in EPSC(+ neurons, but increased it in EPSC(- neurons. Unlike EPSC(+ and EPSC(- neurons, EPSC(+/- neurons displayed a bi-phasic sEPSC response to glucoprivation. In the first phase of glucoprivation, both the frequency and the amplitude of sEPSCs decreased, whereas in the second phase, they increased progressively to the levels above the baseline values. Accordingly, lowering glucose exerted a bi-phasic effect on spontaneous action potentials in EPSC(+/- neurons. Glucoprivation decreased firing rates in the first phase, but increased them in the second phase. These data indicate that glucose induces distinct excitatory synaptic plasticity in different subpopulations of POMC neurons. This synaptic remodeling is likely to regulate the sensitivity of the melanocortin system to neuronal and hormonal signals.

  15. Glucose rapidly induces different forms of excitatory synaptic plasticity in hypothalamic POMC neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jun; Jiang, Lin; Low, Malcolm J; Rui, Liangyou

    2014-01-01

    Hypothalamic POMC neurons are required for glucose and energy homeostasis. POMC neurons have a wide synaptic connection with neurons both within and outside the hypothalamus, and their activity is controlled by a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Brain glucose-sensing plays an essential role in the maintenance of normal body weight and metabolism; however, the effect of glucose on synaptic transmission in POMC neurons is largely unknown. Here we identified three types of POMC neurons (EPSC(+), EPSC(-), and EPSC(+/-)) based on their glucose-regulated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Lowering extracellular glucose decreased the frequency of sEPSCs in EPSC(+) neurons, but increased it in EPSC(-) neurons. Unlike EPSC(+) and EPSC(-) neurons, EPSC(+/-) neurons displayed a bi-phasic sEPSC response to glucoprivation. In the first phase of glucoprivation, both the frequency and the amplitude of sEPSCs decreased, whereas in the second phase, they increased progressively to the levels above the baseline values. Accordingly, lowering glucose exerted a bi-phasic effect on spontaneous action potentials in EPSC(+/-) neurons. Glucoprivation decreased firing rates in the first phase, but increased them in the second phase. These data indicate that glucose induces distinct excitatory synaptic plasticity in different subpopulations of POMC neurons. This synaptic remodeling is likely to regulate the sensitivity of the melanocortin system to neuronal and hormonal signals.

  16. Depotentiation from potentiated synaptic strength in a tristable system of coupled phosphatase and kinase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengjiao Chen

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Long-term potentiation (LTP of synaptic strength is strongly implicated in learning and memory. On the other hand, depotentiation, the reversal of synaptic strength from potentiated LTP state to the pre-LTP level, is required in extinction of the obsolete memory. A generic tristable system, which couples the phosphatase and kinase switches, exclusively explains how moderate and high elevation of intracellular calcium concentration triggers long-term depression (LTD and LTP, respectively. The present study, introducing calcium influx and calcium release from internal store into the tristable system, further show that significant elevation of cytoplasmic calcium concentration switches activation of both kinase and phosphatase to their basal states, thereby depotentiate the synaptic strength. A phase-plane analysis of the combined model was employed to explain the previously reported depotentiation in experiments and predict a threshold-like effect with calcium concentration. The results not only reveal a mechanism of NMDAR- and mGluR-dependent depotentiation, but also predict further experiments about the role of internal calcium store in induction of depotentiation and extinction of established memories.

  17. Persistent barrage firing in cortical interneurons can be induced in vivo and may be important for the suppression of epileptiform activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norimitsu eSuzuki

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits are typically maintained in a state of dynamic equilibrium by balanced synaptic excitation and inhibition. However, brain regions that are particularly susceptible to epilepsy may have evolved additional specialized mechanisms for inhibiting overexcitation. Here we identify one such possible mechanism in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of mice. Recently it was reported that some types of GABAergic interneurons can slowly integrate excitatory inputs until eventually they fire persistently in the absence of the original stimulus. This property, called persistent firing or retroaxonal barrage firing, is of unknown physiological importance. We show that two common types of interneurons in cortical regions, neurogliaform cells and fast-spiking multipolar cells, are unique in exhibiting barrage firing in acute slices (~85% and ~23% success rate for induction, respectively. Barrage firing can also be induced in vivo, although the success rate for induction is lower (~60% in neurogliaform cells. In slices, barrage firing could reliably be triggered by trains of excitatory synaptic input, as well as by exposure to proconvulsant bath solutions (elevated extracellular K+, blockade of GABAA receptors. Using pair recordings in slices, we confirmed that barrage-firing neurogliaform cells can produce synaptic inhibition of nearby pyramidal neurons, and that this inhibition outlasts the original excitation. The ubiquity of neurogliaform and fast-spiking cells, together with their ability to fire persistently following excessive excitation, suggests that these interneurons may function as cortical sentinels, imposing an activity-dependent brake on undesirable neuronal hyperexcitability.

  18. Influence of Synaptic Depression on Memory Storage Capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsubo, Yosuke; Nagata, Kenji; Oizumi, Masafumi; Okada, Masato

    2011-08-01

    Synaptic efficacy between neurons is known to change within a short time scale dynamically. Neurophysiological experiments show that high-frequency presynaptic inputs decrease synaptic efficacy between neurons. This phenomenon is called synaptic depression, a short term synaptic plasticity. Many researchers have investigated how the synaptic depression affects the memory storage capacity. However, the noise has not been taken into consideration in their analysis. By introducing ``temperature'', which controls the level of the noise, into an update rule of neurons, we investigate the effects of synaptic depression on the memory storage capacity in the presence of the noise. We analytically compute the storage capacity by using a statistical mechanics technique called Self Consistent Signal to Noise Analysis (SCSNA). We find that the synaptic depression decreases the storage capacity in the case of finite temperature in contrast to the case of the low temperature limit, where the storage capacity does not change.

  19. Neural network regulation driven by autonomous neural firings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Myoung Won

    2016-07-01

    Biological neurons naturally fire spontaneously due to the existence of a noisy current. Such autonomous firings may provide a driving force for network formation because synaptic connections can be modified due to neural firings. Here, we study the effect of autonomous firings on network formation. For the temporally asymmetric Hebbian learning, bidirectional connections lose their balance easily and become unidirectional ones. Defining the difference between reciprocal connections as new variables, we could express the learning dynamics as if Ising model spins interact with each other in magnetism. We present a theoretical method to estimate the interaction between the new variables in a neural system. We apply the method to some network systems and find some tendencies of autonomous neural network regulation.

  20. A novel solar energy integrated low-rank coal fired power generation using coal pre-drying and an absorption heat pump

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu, Cheng; Bai, Pu; Xin, Tuantuan; Hu, Yue; Xu, Gang; Yang, Yongping

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: •An improved solar energy integrated LRC fired power generation is proposed. •High efficient and economic feasible solar energy conversion is achieved. •Cold-end losses of the boiler and condenser are reduced. •The energy and exergy efficiencies of the overall system are improved. -- Abstract: A novel solar energy integrated low-rank coal (LRC) fired power generation using coal pre-drying and an absorption heat pump (AHP) was proposed. The proposed integrated system efficiently utilizes the solar energy collected from the parabolic trough to drive the AHP to absorb the low-grade waste heat of the steam cycle, achieving larger amount of heat with suitable temperature for coal’s moisture removal prior to the furnace. Through employing the proposed system, the solar energy could be partially converted into the high-grade coal’s heating value and the cold-end losses of the boiler and the steam cycle could be reduced simultaneously, leading to a high-efficient solar energy conversion together with a preferable overall thermal efficiency of the power generation. The results of the detailed thermodynamic and economic analyses showed that, using the proposed integrated concept in a typical 600 MW LRC-fired power plant could reduce the raw coal consumption by 4.6 kg/s with overall energy and exergy efficiencies improvement of 1.2 and 1.8 percentage points, respectively, as 73.0 MW th solar thermal energy was introduced. The cost of the solar generated electric power could be as low as $0.044/kW h. This work provides an improved concept to further advance the solar energy conversion and utilisation in solar-hybrid coal-fired power generation.

  1. High Temperature Corrosion in Biomass-Fired Boilers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriksen, Niels; Montgomery, Melanie; Hede Larsen, Ole

    2002-01-01

    condense on superheater components. This gives rise to specific corrosion problems not previously encountered in coal-fired power plants. The type of corrosion attack can be directly ascribed to the composition of the deposit and the metal surface temperature. To avoid such high corrosion rates, woodchip...... has also been utilised as a fuel. Combustion of woodchip results in a smaller amount of ash, and potassium and chlorine are present in lesser amounts. However, significant corrosion rates were still seen. A case study of a woodchip fired boiler is described. The corrosion mechanisms in both straw-fired...... and woodchip fired boilers are discussed....

  2. Pre-synaptic glycine GlyT1 transporter--NMDA receptor interaction: relevance to NMDA autoreceptor activation in the presence of Mg2+ ions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musante, Veronica; Summa, Maria; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Raiteri, Maurizio; Pittaluga, Anna

    2011-05-01

    Rat hippocampal glutamatergic terminals possess NMDA autoreceptors whose activation by low micromolar NMDA elicits glutamate exocytosis in the presence of physiological Mg(2+) (1.2 mM), the release of glutamate being significantly reduced when compared to that in Mg(2+)-free condition. Both glutamate and glycine were required to evoke glutamate exocytosis in 1.2 mM Mg(2+), while dizocilpine, cis-4-[phosphomethyl]-piperidine-2-carboxylic acid and 7-Cl-kynurenic acid prevented it, indicating that occupation of both agonist sites is needed for receptor activation. D-serine mimicked glycine but also inhibited the NMDA/glycine-induced release of [(3H]D-aspartate, thus behaving as a partial agonist. The NMDA/glycine-induced release in 1.2 mM Mg(2+) strictly depended on glycine uptake through the glycine transporter type 1 (GlyT1), because the GlyT1 blocker N-[3-(4'-fluorophenyl)-3-(4'-phenylphenoxy)propyl])sarcosine hydrochloride, but not the GlyT2 blocker Org 25534, prevented it. Accordingly, [(3)H]glycine was taken up during superfusion, while lowering the external concentration of Na(+), the monovalent cation co-transported with glycine by GlyT1, abrogated the NMDA-induced effect. Western blot analysis of subsynaptic fractions confirms that GlyT1 and NMDA autoreceptors co-localize at the pre-synaptic level, where GluN3A subunits immunoreactivity was also recovered. It is proposed that GlyT1s coexist with NMDA autoreceptors on rat hippocampal glutamatergic terminals and that glycine taken up by GlyT1 may permit physiological activation of NMDA pre-synaptic autoreceptors. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2011 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  3. High-threshold motor unit firing reflects force recovery following a bout of damaging eccentric exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macgregor, Lewis J; Hunter, Angus M

    2018-01-01

    Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is associated with impaired muscle function and reduced neuromuscular recruitment. However, motor unit firing behaviour throughout the recovery period is unclear. EIMD impairment of maximal voluntary force (MVC) will, in part, be caused by reduced high-threshold motor unit firing, which will subsequently increase to recover MVC. Fourteen healthy active males completed a bout of eccentric exercise on the knee extensors, with measurements of MVC, rate of torque development and surface electromyography performed pre-exercise and 2, 3, 7 and 14 days post-exercise, on both damaged and control limb. EIMD was associated with decreased MVC (235.2 ± 49.3 Nm vs. 161.3 ± 52.5 Nm; p exercise. Mean motor unit firing rate was reduced (16.4 ± 2.2 Hz vs. 12.6 ± 1.7 Hz; p motor units only, 48h post-exercise, and common drive was elevated (0.36 ± 0.027 vs. 0.56 ± 0.032; pexercise. The firing rate of high-threshold motor units was reduced in parallel with impaired muscle function, whilst early recruited motor units remained unaltered. Common drive of motor units increased in offset to the firing rate impairment. These alterations correlated with the recovery of force decrement, but not of pain elevation. This study provides fresh insight into the central mechanisms associated with EIMD recovery, relative to muscle function. These findings may in turn lead to development of novel management and preventative procedures.

  4. Synaptic contacts impaired by styrene-7,8-oxide toxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Corsi, P.; D'Aprile, A.; Nico, B.; Costa, G.L.; Assennato, G.

    2007-01-01

    Styrene-7,8-oxide (SO), a chemical compound widely used in industrial applications, is a potential hazard for humans, particularly in occupational settings. Neurobehavioral changes are consistently observed in occupationally exposed individuals and alterations of neurotransmitters associated with neuronal loss have been reported in animal models. Although the toxic effects of styrene have been extensively documented, the molecular mechanisms responsible for SO-induced neurotoxicity are still unclear. A possible dopamine-mediated effect of styrene neurotoxicity has been previously demonstrated, since styrene oxide alters dopamine neurotransmission in the brain. Thus, the present study hypothesizes that styrene neurotoxicity may involve synaptic contacts. Primary striatal neurons were exposed to styrene oxide at different concentrations (0.1-1 mM) for different time periods (8, 16, and 24 h) to evaluate the dose able to induce synaptic impairments. The expression of proteins crucial for synaptic transmission such as Synapsin, Synaptophysin, and RAC-1 were considered. The levels of Synaptophysin and RAC-1 decreased in a dose-dependent manner. Accordingly, morphological alterations, observed at the ultrastructural level, primarily involved the pre-synaptic compartment. In SO-exposed cultures, the biochemical cascade of caspases was activated affecting the cytoskeleton components as their target. Thus the impairments in synaptic contacts observed in SO-exposed cultures might reflect a primarily morphological alteration of neuronal cytoskeleton. In addition, our data support the hypothesis developed by previous authors of reactive oxygen species (ROS) initiating events of SO cytotoxicity

  5. LTS and FS inhibitory interneurons, short-term synaptic plasticity, and cortical circuit dynamics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Itai Hayut

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Somatostatin-expressing, low threshold-spiking (LTS cells and fast-spiking (FS cells are two common subtypes of inhibitory neocortical interneuron. Excitatory synapses from regular-spiking (RS pyramidal neurons to LTS cells strongly facilitate when activated repetitively, whereas RS-to-FS synapses depress. This suggests that LTS neurons may be especially relevant at high rate regimes and protect cortical circuits against over-excitation and seizures. However, the inhibitory synapses from LTS cells usually depress, which may reduce their effectiveness at high rates. We ask: by which mechanisms and at what firing rates do LTS neurons control the activity of cortical circuits responding to thalamic input, and how is control by LTS neurons different from that of FS neurons? We study rate models of circuits that include RS cells and LTS and FS inhibitory cells with short-term synaptic plasticity. LTS neurons shift the RS firing-rate vs. current curve to the right at high rates and reduce its slope at low rates; the LTS effect is delayed and prolonged. FS neurons always shift the curve to the right and affect RS firing transiently. In an RS-LTS-FS network, FS neurons reach a quiescent state if they receive weak input, LTS neurons are quiescent if RS neurons receive weak input, and both FS and RS populations are active if they both receive large inputs. In general, FS neurons tend to follow the spiking of RS neurons much more closely than LTS neurons. A novel type of facilitation-induced slow oscillations is observed above the LTS firing threshold with a frequency determined by the time scale of recovery from facilitation. To conclude, contrary to earlier proposals, LTS neurons affect the transient and steady state responses of cortical circuits over a range of firing rates, not only during the high rate regime; LTS neurons protect against over-activation about as well as FS neurons.

  6. On optical detection of densely labeled synapses in neuropil and mapping connectivity with combinatorially multiplexed fluorescent synaptic markers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuriy Mishchenko

    Full Text Available We propose a new method for mapping neural connectivity optically, by utilizing Cre/Lox system Brainbow to tag synapses of different neurons with random mixtures of different fluorophores, such as GFP, YFP, etc., and then detecting patterns of fluorophores at different synapses using light microscopy (LM. Such patterns will immediately report the pre- and post-synaptic cells at each synaptic connection, without tracing neural projections from individual synapses to corresponding cell bodies. We simulate fluorescence from a population of densely labeled synapses in a block of hippocampal neuropil, completely reconstructed from electron microscopy data, and show that high-end LM is able to detect such patterns with over 95% accuracy. We conclude, therefore, that with the described approach neural connectivity in macroscopically large neural circuits can be mapped with great accuracy, in scalable manner, using fast optical tools, and straightforward image processing. Relying on an electron microscopy dataset, we also derive and explicitly enumerate the conditions that should be met to allow synaptic connectivity studies with high-resolution optical tools.

  7. Mapping synaptic pathology within cerebral cortical circuits in subjects with schizophrenia

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    Robert Sweet

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Converging lines of evidence indicate that schizophrenia is characterized by impairments of synaptic machinery within cerebral cortical circuits. Efforts to localize these alterations in brain tissue from subjects with schizophrenia have frequently been limited to the quantification of structures that are non-selectively identified (e.g. dendritic spines labeled in Golgi preparations, axon boutons labeled with synaptophysin, or to quantification of proteins using methods unable to resolve relevant cellular compartments. Multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy represents a means to circumvent many of these limitations, by concurrently extracting information regarding the number, morphology, and relative protein content of synaptic structures. An important adaptation required for studies of human disease is coupling this approach to stereologic methods for systematic random sampling of relevant brain regions. In this review article we consider the application of multiple label fluorescence confocal microscopy to the mapping of synaptic alterations in subjects with schizophrenia and describe the application of a novel, readily automated, iterative intensity/morphological segmentation algorithm for the extraction of information regarding synaptic structure number, size, and relative protein level from tissue sections obtained using unbiased stereological principles of sampling. In this context, we provide examples of the examination of pre- and post-synaptic structures within excitatory and inhibitory circuits of the cerebral cortex.

  8. Glucose Rapidly Induces Different Forms of Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity in Hypothalamic POMC Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jun; Jiang, Lin; Low, Malcolm J.; Rui, Liangyou

    2014-01-01

    Hypothalamic POMC neurons are required for glucose and energy homeostasis. POMC neurons have a wide synaptic connection with neurons both within and outside the hypothalamus, and their activity is controlled by a balance between excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs. Brain glucose-sensing plays an essential role in the maintenance of normal body weight and metabolism; however, the effect of glucose on synaptic transmission in POMC neurons is largely unknown. Here we identified three types of POMC neurons (EPSC(+), EPSC(−), and EPSC(+/−)) based on their glucose-regulated spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs), using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Lowering extracellular glucose decreased the frequency of sEPSCs in EPSC(+) neurons, but increased it in EPSC(−) neurons. Unlike EPSC(+) and EPSC(−) neurons, EPSC(+/−) neurons displayed a bi-phasic sEPSC response to glucoprivation. In the first phase of glucoprivation, both the frequency and the amplitude of sEPSCs decreased, whereas in the second phase, they increased progressively to the levels above the baseline values. Accordingly, lowering glucose exerted a bi-phasic effect on spontaneous action potentials in EPSC(+/−) neurons. Glucoprivation decreased firing rates in the first phase, but increased them in the second phase. These data indicate that glucose induces distinct excitatory synaptic plasticity in different subpopulations of POMC neurons. This synaptic remodeling is likely to regulate the sensitivity of the melanocortin system to neuronal and hormonal signals. PMID:25127258

  9. Severe fire weather and intensive forest management increase fire severity in a multi-ownership landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zald, Harold S J; Dunn, Christopher J

    2018-04-26

    Many studies have examined how fuels, topography, climate, and fire weather influence fire severity. Less is known about how different forest management practices influence fire severity in multi-owner landscapes, despite costly and controversial suppression of wildfires that do not acknowledge ownership boundaries. In 2013, the Douglas Complex burned over 19,000 ha of Oregon & California Railroad (O&C) lands in Southwestern Oregon, USA. O&C lands are composed of a checkerboard of private industrial and federal forestland (Bureau of Land Management, BLM) with contrasting management objectives, providing a unique experimental landscape to understand how different management practices influence wildfire severity. Leveraging Landsat based estimates of fire severity (Relative differenced Normalized Burn Ratio, RdNBR) and geospatial data on fire progression, weather, topography, pre-fire forest conditions, and land ownership, we asked (1) what is the relative importance of different variables driving fire severity, and (2) is intensive plantation forestry associated with higher fire severity? Using Random Forest ensemble machine learning, we found daily fire weather was the most important predictor of fire severity, followed by stand age and ownership, followed by topographic features. Estimates of pre-fire forest biomass were not an important predictor of fire severity. Adjusting for all other predictor variables in a general least squares model incorporating spatial autocorrelation, mean predicted RdNBR was higher on private industrial forests (RdNBR 521.85 ± 18.67 [mean ± SE]) vs. BLM forests (398.87 ± 18.23) with a much greater proportion of older forests. Our findings suggest intensive plantation forestry characterized by young forests and spatially homogenized fuels, rather than pre-fire biomass, were significant drivers of wildfire severity. This has implications for perceptions of wildfire risk, shared fire management responsibilities, and developing

  10. Autonomous Forest Fire Detection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breejen, E. den; Breuers, M.; Cremer, F.; Kemp, R.A.W.; Roos, M.; Schutte, K.; Vries, J.S. de

    1998-01-01

    Forest fire detection is a very important issue in the pre-suppression process. Timely detection allows the suppression units to reach the fire in its initial stages and this will reduce the suppression costs considerably. The autonomous forest fire detection principle is based on temporal contrast

  11. Little Bear Fire Summary Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarah McCaffrey; Melanie Stidham; Hannah. Brenkert-Smith

    2013-01-01

    In June 2012, immediately after the Little Bear Fire burned outside Ruidoso, New Mexico, a team of researchers interviewed fire managers, local personnel, and residents to understand perceptions of the event itself, communication, evacuation, and pre-fire preparedness. The intensity of fire behavior and resulting loss of 242 homes made this a complex fire with a...

  12. Fire Risk Analysis and Optimization of Fire Prevention Management for Green Building Design and High Rise Buildings: Hong Kong Experience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yau Albert

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available There are many iconic high rise buildings in Hong Kong, for example, International Commercial Centre, International Financial Centre, etc. Fire safety issue in high rise buildings has been raised by local fire professionals in terms of occupant evacuation, means of fire-fighting by fire fighters, sprinkler systems to automatically put off fires in buildings, etc. Fire risk becomes an important issue in building fire safety because it relates to life safety of building occupants where they live and work in high rise buildings in Hong Kong. The aim of this research is to identify the fire risk for different types of high rise buildings in Hong Kong and to optimise the fire prevention management for those high rise buildings with higher level of fire risk and to validate the model and also to carry out the study of the conflict between the current fire safety building code and the current trend of green building design. Survey via the 7-point scale questionnaire was conducted through 50 participants and their responses were received and analysed via the statistical tool SPSS software computer program. A number of statistical methods of testing for significantly difference in samples were adopted to carry out the analysis of the data received. When the statistical analysis was completed, the results of the data analysis were validated by two Fire Safety Experts in this area of specialisation and also by quantitative fire risk analysis.

  13. Progressive Collapse of High-Rise Buildings from Fire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pershakov Valerii

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Considers ensuring the stability of structures of high-rise buildings against progressive collapse due to fire, proposed measures to ensure the stability of high-rise buildings due to progressive collapse. The analysis of large fires in high-rise buildings with progressive collapse and review of the literature on the issue of progressive collapse. The analysis of the Ukrainian normative documents on progressive collapse resistance.

  14. Spontaneous Vesicle Recycling in the Synaptic Bouton

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sven eTruckenbrodt

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The trigger for synaptic vesicle exocytosis is Ca2+, which enters the synaptic bouton following action potential stimulation. However, spontaneous release of neurotransmitter also occurs in the absence of stimulation in virtually all synaptic boutons. It has long been thought that this represents exocytosis driven by fluctuations in local Ca2+ levels. The vesicles responding to these fluctuations are thought to be the same ones that release upon stimulation, albeit potentially triggered by different Ca2+ sensors. This view has been challenged by several recent works, which have suggested that spontaneous release is driven by a separate pool of synaptic vesicles. Numerous articles appeared during the last few years in support of each of these hypotheses, and it has been challenging to bring them into accord. We speculate here on the origins of this controversy, and propose a solution that is related to developmental effects. Constitutive membrane traffic, needed for the biogenesis of vesicles and synapses, is responsible for high levels of spontaneous membrane fusion in young neurons, probably independent of Ca2+. The vesicles releasing spontaneously in such neurons are not related to other synaptic vesicle pools and may represent constitutively releasing vesicles (CRVs rather than bona fide synaptic vesicles. In mature neurons, constitutive traffic is much dampened, and the few remaining spontaneous release events probably represent bona fide spontaneously releasing synaptic vesicles (SRSVs responding to Ca2+ fluctuations, along with a handful of CRVs that participate in synaptic vesicle turnover.

  15. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brendan Chambers

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A promising alternative to directly measuring the anatomical connections in a neuronal population is inferring the connections from the activity. We employ simulated spiking neuronal networks to compare and contrast commonly used inference methods that identify likely excitatory synaptic connections using statistical regularities in spike timing. We find that simple adjustments to standard algorithms improve inference accuracy: A signing procedure improves the power of unsigned mutual-information-based approaches and a correction that accounts for differences in mean and variance of background timing relationships, such as those expected to be induced by heterogeneous firing rates, increases the sensitivity of frequency-based methods. We also find that different inference methods reveal distinct subsets of the synaptic network and each method exhibits different biases in the accurate detection of reciprocity and local clustering. To correct for errors and biases specific to single inference algorithms, we combine methods into an ensemble. Ensemble predictions, generated as a linear combination of multiple inference algorithms, are more sensitive than the best individual measures alone, and are more faithful to ground-truth statistics of connectivity, mitigating biases specific to single inference methods. These weightings generalize across simulated datasets, emphasizing the potential for the broad utility of ensemble-based approaches. Mapping the routing of spikes through local circuitry is crucial for understanding neocortical computation. Under appropriate experimental conditions, these maps can be used to infer likely patterns of synaptic recruitment, linking activity to underlying anatomical connections. Such inferences help to reveal the synaptic implementation of population dynamics and computation. We compare a number of standard functional measures to infer underlying connectivity. We find that regularization impacts measures

  16. Maximum likelihood estimation of biophysical parameters of synaptic receptors from macroscopic currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey eStepanyuk

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Dendritic integration and neuronal firing patterns strongly depend on biophysical properties of synaptic ligand-gated channels. However, precise estimation of biophysical parameters of these channels in their intrinsic environment is complicated and still unresolved problem. Here we describe a novel method based on a maximum likelihood approach that allows to estimate not only the unitary current of synaptic receptor channels but also their multiple conductance levels, kinetic constants, the number of receptors bound with a neurotransmitter and the peak open probability from experimentally feasible number of postsynaptic currents. The new method also improves the accuracy of evaluation of unitary current as compared to the peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis, leading to a possibility to precisely estimate this important parameter from a few postsynaptic currents recorded in steady-state conditions. Estimation of unitary current with this method is robust even if postsynaptic currents are generated by receptors having different kinetic parameters, the case when peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis is not applicable. Thus, with the new method, routinely recorded postsynaptic currents could be used to study the properties of synaptic receptors in their native biochemical environment.

  17. Why Does Sleep Slow-Wave Activity Increase After Extended Wake? Assessing the Effects of Increased Cortical Firing During Wake and Sleep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Alexander V; Funk, Chadd M; Vyazovskiy, Vladyslav V; Nir, Yuval; Tononi, Giulio; Cirelli, Chiara

    2016-12-07

    During non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep, cortical neurons alternate between ON periods of firing and OFF periods of silence. This bi-stability, which is largely synchronous across neurons, is reflected in the EEG as slow waves. Slow-wave activity (SWA) increases with wake duration and declines homeostatically during sleep, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. One possibility is neuronal "fatigue": high, sustained firing in wake would force neurons to recover with more frequent and longer OFF periods during sleep. Another possibility is net synaptic potentiation during wake: stronger coupling among neurons would lead to greater synchrony and therefore higher SWA. Here, we obtained a comparable increase in sustained firing (6 h) in cortex by: (1) keeping mice awake by exposure to novel objects to promote plasticity and (2) optogenetically activating a local population of cortical neurons at wake-like levels during sleep. Sleep after extended wake led to increased SWA, higher synchrony, and more time spent OFF, with a positive correlation between SWA, synchrony, and OFF periods. Moreover, time spent OFF was correlated with cortical firing during prior wake. After local optogenetic stimulation, SWA and cortical synchrony decreased locally, time spent OFF did not change, and local SWA was not correlated with either measure. Moreover, laser-induced cortical firing was not correlated with time spent OFF afterward. Overall, these results suggest that high sustained firing per se may not be the primary determinant of SWA increases observed after extended wake. A long-standing hypothesis is that neurons fire less during slow-wave sleep to recover from the "fatigue" accrued during wake, when overall synaptic activity is higher than in sleep. This idea, however, has rarely been tested and other factors, namely increased cortical synchrony, could explain why sleep slow-wave activity (SWA) is higher after extended wake. We forced neurons in the mouse cortex to fire

  18. Study of GABAergic extra-synaptic tonic inhibition in single neurons and neural populations by traversing neural scales: application to propofol-induced anaesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hutt, Axel; Buhry, Laure

    2014-12-01

    Anaesthetic agents are known to affect extra-synaptic GABAergic receptors, which induce tonic inhibitory currents. Since these receptors are very sensitive to small concentrations of agents, they are supposed to play an important role in the underlying neural mechanism of general anaesthesia. Moreover anaesthetic agents modulate the encephalographic activity (EEG) of subjects and hence show an effect on neural populations. To understand better the tonic inhibition effect in single neurons on neural populations and hence how it affects the EEG, the work considers single neurons and neural populations in a steady-state and studies numerically and analytically the modulation of their firing rate and nonlinear gain with respect to different levels of tonic inhibition. We consider populations of both type-I (Leaky Integrate-and-Fire model) and type-II (Morris-Lecar model) neurons. To bridge the single neuron description to the population description analytically, a recently proposed statistical approach is employed which allows to derive new analytical expressions for the population firing rate for type-I neurons. In addition, the work shows the derivation of a novel transfer function for type-I neurons as considered in neural mass models and studies briefly the interaction of synaptic and extra-synaptic inhibition. We reveal a strong subtractive and divisive effect of tonic inhibition in type-I neurons, i.e. a shift of the firing rate to higher excitation levels accompanied by a change of the nonlinear gain. Tonic inhibition shortens the excitation window of type-II neurons and their populations while maintaining the nonlinear gain. The gained results are interpreted in the context of recent experimental findings under propofol-induced anaesthesia.

  19. Precise synaptic efficacy alignment suggests potentiation dominated learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eHartmann

    2016-01-01

    coordinated potentiation -- in this case, from STDP in the presence of correlated pre- and post-synaptic activity -- naturally leads to an alignment of parallel synapses.

  20. Ultrafast Synaptic Events in a Chalcogenide Memristor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yi; Zhong, Yingpeng; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Jinjian; Xu, Xiaohua; Sun, Huajun; Miao, Xiangshui

    2013-04-01

    Compact and power-efficient plastic electronic synapses are of fundamental importance to overcoming the bottlenecks of developing a neuromorphic chip. Memristor is a strong contender among the various electronic synapses in existence today. However, the speeds of synaptic events are relatively slow in most attempts at emulating synapses due to the material-related mechanism. Here we revealed the intrinsic memristance of stoichiometric crystalline Ge2Sb2Te5 that originates from the charge trapping and releasing by the defects. The device resistance states, representing synaptic weights, were precisely modulated by 30 ns potentiating/depressing electrical pulses. We demonstrated four spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) forms by applying programmed pre- and postsynaptic spiking pulse pairs in different time windows ranging from 50 ms down to 500 ns, the latter of which is 105 times faster than the speed of STDP in human brain. This study provides new opportunities for building ultrafast neuromorphic computing systems and surpassing Von Neumann architecture.

  1. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis in Different Model Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quan Gan

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmission in complex animals depends on a choir of functionally distinct synapses releasing neurotransmitters in a highly coordinated manner. During synaptic signaling, vesicles fuse with the plasma membrane to release their contents. The rate of vesicle fusion is high and can exceed the rate at which synaptic vesicles can be re-supplied by distant sources. Thus, local compensatory endocytosis is needed to replenish the synaptic vesicle pools. Over the last four decades, various experimental methods and model systems have been used to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic vesicle cycle. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is thought to be the predominant mechanism for synaptic vesicle recycling. However, recent studies suggest significant contribution from other modes of endocytosis, including fast compensatory endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis, ultrafast endocytosis, as well as kiss-and-run. Currently, it is not clear whether a universal model of vesicle recycling exist for all types of synapses. It is possible that each synapse type employs a particular mode of endocytosis. Alternatively, multiple modes of endocytosis operate at the same synapse, and the synapse toggles between different modes depending on its activity level. Here we compile review and research articles based on well-characterized model systems: frog neuromuscular junctions, C. elegans neuromuscular junctions, Drosophila neuromuscular junctions, lamprey reticulospinal giant axons, goldfish retinal ribbon synapses, the calyx of Held, and rodent hippocampal synapses. We will compare these systems in terms of their known modes and kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis, as well as the underlying molecular machineries. We will also provide the future development of this field.

  2. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  3. Coupling an aVLSI neuromorphic vision chip to a neurotrophic model of synaptic plasticity: the development of topography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry; Kramer, Jörg

    2002-10-01

    We couple a previously studied, biologically inspired neurotrophic model of activity-dependent competitive synaptic plasticity and neuronal development to a neuromorphic retina chip. Using this system, we examine the development and refinement of a topographic mapping between an array of afferent neurons (the retinal ganglion cells) and an array of target neurons. We find that the plasticity model can indeed drive topographic refinement in the presence of afferent activity patterns generated by a real-world device. We examine the resilience of the developing system to the presence of high levels of noise by adjusting the spontaneous firing rate of the silicon neurons.

  4. TGF-β Signaling in Dopaminergic Neurons Regulates Dendritic Growth, Excitatory-Inhibitory Synaptic Balance, and Reversal Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah X. Luo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Neural circuits involving midbrain dopaminergic (DA neurons regulate reward and goal-directed behaviors. Although local GABAergic input is known to modulate DA circuits, the mechanism that controls excitatory/inhibitory synaptic balance in DA neurons remains unclear. Here, we show that DA neurons use autocrine transforming growth factor β (TGF-β signaling to promote the growth of axons and dendrites. Surprisingly, removing TGF-β type II receptor in DA neurons also disrupts the balance in TGF-β1 expression in DA neurons and neighboring GABAergic neurons, which increases inhibitory input, reduces excitatory synaptic input, and alters phasic firing patterns in DA neurons. Mice lacking TGF-β signaling in DA neurons are hyperactive and exhibit inflexibility in relinquishing learned behaviors and re-establishing new stimulus-reward associations. These results support a role for TGF-β in regulating the delicate balance of excitatory/inhibitory synaptic input in local microcircuits involving DA and GABAergic neurons and its potential contributions to neuropsychiatric disorders.

  5. Chaos in integrate-and-fire dynamical systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coombes, S.

    2000-01-01

    Integrate-and-fire (IF) mechanisms are often studied within the context of neural dynamics. From a mathematical perspective they represent a minimal yet biologically realistic model of a spiking neuron. The non-smooth nature of the dynamics leads to extremely rich spike train behavior capable of explaining a variety of biological phenomenon including phase-locked states, mode-locking, bursting and pattern formation. The conditions under which chaotic spike trains may be generated in synaptically interacting networks of neural oscillators is an important open question. Using techniques originally introduced for the study of impact oscillators we develop the notion of a Liapunov exponent for IF systems. In the strong coupling regime a network may undergo a discrete Turing-Hopf bifurcation of the firing times from a synchronous state to a state with periodic or quasiperiodic variations of the interspike intervals on closed orbits. Away from the bifurcation point these invariant circles may break up. We establish numerically that in this case the largest IF Liapunov exponent becomes positive. Hence, one route to chaos in networks of synaptically coupled IF neurons is via the breakup of invariant circles

  6. A computational study of astrocytic glutamate influence on post-synaptic neuronal excitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bronac Flanagan

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The ability of astrocytes to rapidly clear synaptic glutamate and purposefully release the excitatory transmitter is critical in the functioning of synapses and neuronal circuits. Dysfunctions of these homeostatic functions have been implicated in the pathology of brain disorders such as mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. However, the reasons for these dysfunctions are not clear from experimental data and computational models have been developed to provide further understanding of the implications of glutamate clearance from the extracellular space, as a result of EAAT2 downregulation: although they only partially account for the glutamate clearance process. In this work, we develop an explicit model of the astrocytic glutamate transporters, providing a more complete description of the glutamate chemical potential across the astrocytic membrane and its contribution to glutamate transporter driving force based on thermodynamic principles and experimental data. Analysis of our model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate content due to glutamine synthetase downregulation also results in increased postsynaptic quantal size due to gliotransmission. Moreover, the proposed model demonstrates that increased astrocytic glutamate could prolong the time course of glutamate in the synaptic cleft and enhances astrocyte-induced slow inward currents, causing a disruption to the clarity of synaptic signalling and the occurrence of intervals of higher frequency postsynaptic firing. Overall, our work distilled the necessity of a low astrocytic glutamate concentration for reliable synaptic transmission of information and the possible implications of enhanced glutamate levels as in epilepsy.

  7. Neuromodulation, development and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foehring, R C; Lorenzon, N M

    1999-03-01

    We discuss parallels in the mechanisms underlying use-dependent synaptic plasticity during development and long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) in neocortical synapses. Neuromodulators, such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and acetylcholine have also been implicated in regulating both developmental plasticity and LTP/LTD. There are many potential levels of interaction between neuromodulators and plasticity. Ion channels are substrates for modulation in many cell types. We discuss examples of modulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and Ca(2+)-dependent K+ channels and the consequences for neocortical pyramidal cell firing behaviour. At the time when developmental plasticity is most evident in rat cortex, the substrate for modulation is changing as the densities and relative proportions of various ion channels types are altered during ontogeny. We discuss examples of changes in K+ and Ca2+ channels and the consequence for modulation of neuronal activity.

  8. Firing properties of identified interneuron populations in the mammalian hindlimb central pattern generator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Butt, S. J B; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M.; Kiehn, Ole

    2002-01-01

    a heterogenous population with neurons that fired in all phases of the locomotor cycle and exhibited varying degrees of rhythmicity, from strongly rhythmic to nonrhythmic. Among the rhythmic, putative CPG dCINs were populations that fired inphase with the ipsilateral or with the contralateral L2 locomotorlike......, with little direct contribution from the intrinsic pacemaker hyperpolarization-activated inward current. For both ipsilaterally and contralaterally firing dCINs the dominant synaptic drive was in-phase with the ipsilateral L2 motor activity. This study provides the first characterization of putative CPG...

  9. High Temperature Corrosion on Biodust Firing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Okoro, Sunday Chukwudi

    The high content of alkali metals and chlorine in biomass gives rise to fouling/slagging and corrosion of heat exchange components, such as superheaters, in biomass fired power plants. Increasing the lifetime of these components, and in addition, preventing unwarranted plant shutdowns due...... to their failure, requires understanding of the complex corrosion mechanisms, as well as development of materials that are resistant to corrosion under biomass firing conditions, thereby motivating the current work. To understand the mechanisms of corrosion attack, comprehensive analysis of corrosion products...... by the combined use of complementary information from microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and various X-ray diffraction characterization techniques. In light of the wide variation in operating conditions in biomass fired power plants, systematic and well-controlled, but realistic laboratory scale...

  10. Bi-directional astrocytic regulation of neuronal activity within a network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan Yu Gordleeva

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The concept of a tripartite synapse holds that astrocytes can affect both the pre- and postsynaptic compartments through the Ca2+-dependent release of gliotransmitters. Because astrocytic Ca2+ transients usually last for a few seconds, we assumed that astrocytic regulation of synaptic transmission may also occur on the scale of seconds. Here, we considered the basic physiological functions of tripartite synapses and investigated astrocytic regulation at the level of neural network activity. The firing dynamics of individual neurons in a spontaneous firing network was described by the Hodgkin-Huxley model. The neurons received excitatory synaptic input driven by the Poisson spike train with variable frequency. The mean field concentration of the released neurotransmitter was used to describe the presynaptic dynamics. The amplitudes of the excitatory postsynaptic currents (PSCs obeyed the gamma distribution law. In our model, astrocytes depressed the presynaptic release and enhanced the postsynaptic currents. As a result, low frequency synaptic input was suppressed while high frequency input was amplified. The analysis of the neuron spiking frequency as an indicator of network activity revealed that tripartite synaptic transmission dramatically changed the local network operation compared to bipartite synapses. Specifically, the astrocytes supported homeostatic regulation of the network activity by increasing or decreasing firing of the neurons. Thus, the astrocyte activation may modulate a transition of neural network into bistable regime of activity with two stable firing levels and spontaneous transitions between them.

  11. Temperature calculation in fire safety engineering

    CERN Document Server

    Wickström, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    This book provides a consistent scientific background to engineering calculation methods applicable to analyses of materials reaction-to-fire, as well as fire resistance of structures. Several new and unique formulas and diagrams which facilitate calculations are presented. It focuses on problems involving high temperature conditions and, in particular, defines boundary conditions in a suitable way for calculations. A large portion of the book is devoted to boundary conditions and measurements of thermal exposure by radiation and convection. The concepts and theories of adiabatic surface temperature and measurements of temperature with plate thermometers are thoroughly explained. Also presented is a renewed method for modeling compartment fires, with the resulting simple and accurate prediction tools for both pre- and post-flashover fires. The final chapters deal with temperature calculations in steel, concrete and timber structures exposed to standard time-temperature fire curves. Useful temperature calculat...

  12. Behaviour of High Strength Steel Endplate Connections in Fire and after Fire

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qiang, X.

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this research is to reveal more information and understanding on behaviour and failure mechanisms of high strength steel endplate connections (combining high strength steel endplates with either mild steel or high strength steel beams and columns in endplate connections) in fire and after

  13. Intrinsic modulation of pulse-coupled integrate-and-fire neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coombes, S.; Lord, G. J.

    1997-11-01

    Intrinsic neuromodulation is observed in sensory and neuromuscular circuits and in biological central pattern generators. We model a simple neuronal circuit with a system of two pulse-coupled integrate-and-fire neurons and explore the parameter regimes for periodic firing behavior. The inclusion of biologically realistic features shows that the speed and onset of neuronal response plays a crucial role in determining the firing phase for periodic rhythms. We explore the neurophysiological function of distributed delays arising from both the synaptic transmission process and dendritic structure as well as discrete delays associated with axonal communication delays. Bifurcation and stability diagrams are constructed with a mixture of simple analysis, numerical continuation and the Kuramoto phase-reduction technique. Moreover, we show that, for asynchronous behavior, the strength of electrical synapses can control the firing rate of the system.

  14. Development of highly fire-retardant irradiated polyolefin cables

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ueno, Keiji; Inui, Toshifumi; Uda, Ikujiro (Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd., Osaka (Japan))

    1982-12-01

    In recent years, motors, automobiles, heaters, etc., have been made into light weight and compact form in view of labour-saving and energy-saving. For this purpose, the wires for the electrical appliances used for these equipment are required to reduce insulation thickness and to improve heat resistance. On the other hand, the requirement for fire-retardant property has become severer than before from the viewpoint of safety. As an insulation for the wires which meets such requirement, the polyolefin cross-linked by irradiation was investigated, and the heat-resistant, highly fire-retardant, polyolefin-insulated wires have been developed, which have passed vertical combustion test (VW-1) and have the insulation thickness of 0.4 mm (voltage rating 300V) and UL standard 125 deg C and 150 deg C grades. Fire-retardant polyolefin resin is normally obtained by adding halogen series flame retarders. The selection of flame retarders requires the investigation on high thermal stability, high flame retardation, no impedance to cross-linking, and good dispersion into polymers. The evaluation of heat resistance performed on two points, thermal aging and thermal deformation. The use of oxidation inhibitors is indispensable to improve the anti-thermal aging capability, but it is important to balance the requirements well by combining oxidation inhibitors, considering thermal deformation, colouring and discolouration. By comparative test with silicone rubber, cross-linked polyethylene and cross-linked PVC-insulated wires, the characteristics of highly fire-retardant wires, insulated with polyethylene cross-linked by irradiation, are described about the fire retardation, thermal deformation, thermal aging resistance, electrical characteristics and oil resistance.

  15. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  16. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Philip Wong, H-S

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented. (topical review)

  17. Banach Synaptic Algebras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foulis, David J.; Pulmannov, Sylvia

    2018-04-01

    Using a representation theorem of Erik Alfsen, Frederic Schultz, and Erling Størmer for special JB-algebras, we prove that a synaptic algebra is norm complete (i.e., Banach) if and only if it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of a Rickart C∗-algebra. Also, we give conditions on a Banach synaptic algebra that are equivalent to the condition that it is isomorphic to the self-adjoint part of an AW∗-algebra. Moreover, we study some relationships between synaptic algebras and so-called generalized Hermitian algebras.

  18. Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors by synaptic and tonic zinc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Charles T; Radford, Robert J; Zastrow, Melissa L; Zhang, Daniel Y; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Lippard, Stephen J; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-05-19

    Many excitatory synapses contain high levels of mobile zinc within glutamatergic vesicles. Although synaptic zinc and glutamate are coreleased, it is controversial whether zinc diffuses away from the release site or whether it remains bound to presynaptic membranes or proteins after its release. To study zinc transmission and quantify zinc levels, we required a high-affinity rapid zinc chelator as well as an extracellular ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor. We demonstrate that tricine, considered a preferred chelator for studying the role of synaptic zinc, is unable to efficiently prevent zinc from binding low-nanomolar zinc-binding sites, such as the high-affinity zinc-binding site found in NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Here, we used ZX1, which has a 1 nM zinc dissociation constant and second-order rate constant for binding zinc that is 200-fold higher than those for tricine and CaEDTA. We find that synaptic zinc is phasically released during action potentials. In response to short trains of presynaptic stimulation, synaptic zinc diffuses beyond the synaptic cleft where it inhibits extrasynaptic NMDARs. During higher rates of presynaptic stimulation, released glutamate activates additional extrasynaptic NMDARs that are not reached by synaptically released zinc, but which are inhibited by ambient, tonic levels of nonsynaptic zinc. By performing a ratiometric evaluation of extracellular zinc levels in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, we determined the tonic zinc levels to be low nanomolar. These results demonstrate a physiological role for endogenous synaptic as well as tonic zinc in inhibiting extrasynaptic NMDARs and thereby fine tuning neuronal excitability and signaling.

  19. Modulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors by synaptic and tonic zinc

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Charles T.; Radford, Robert J.; Zastrow, Melissa L.; Zhang, Daniel Y.; Apfel, Ulf-Peter; Lippard, Stephen J.; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-01-01

    Many excitatory synapses contain high levels of mobile zinc within glutamatergic vesicles. Although synaptic zinc and glutamate are coreleased, it is controversial whether zinc diffuses away from the release site or whether it remains bound to presynaptic membranes or proteins after its release. To study zinc transmission and quantify zinc levels, we required a high-affinity rapid zinc chelator as well as an extracellular ratiometric fluorescent zinc sensor. We demonstrate that tricine, considered a preferred chelator for studying the role of synaptic zinc, is unable to efficiently prevent zinc from binding low-nanomolar zinc-binding sites, such as the high-affinity zinc-binding site found in NMDA receptors (NMDARs). Here, we used ZX1, which has a 1 nM zinc dissociation constant and second-order rate constant for binding zinc that is 200-fold higher than those for tricine and CaEDTA. We find that synaptic zinc is phasically released during action potentials. In response to short trains of presynaptic stimulation, synaptic zinc diffuses beyond the synaptic cleft where it inhibits extrasynaptic NMDARs. During higher rates of presynaptic stimulation, released glutamate activates additional extrasynaptic NMDARs that are not reached by synaptically released zinc, but which are inhibited by ambient, tonic levels of nonsynaptic zinc. By performing a ratiometric evaluation of extracellular zinc levels in the dorsal cochlear nucleus, we determined the tonic zinc levels to be low nanomolar. These results demonstrate a physiological role for endogenous synaptic as well as tonic zinc in inhibiting extrasynaptic NMDARs and thereby fine tuning neuronal excitability and signaling. PMID:25947151

  20. Finite post synaptic potentials cause a fast neuronal response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moritz eHelias

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulsesat discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalenttheory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neuronsrelies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synapticimpulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to avanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer oftime varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Goingbeyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synapticimpulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively fromprevious predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-passcharacteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse,is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristiclevel of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictionsbetween the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here wereview the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights.We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitiveto properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neuralresponse. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discretesteps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methodsto cross check results.

  1. Stable Control of Firing Rate Mean and Variance by Dual Homeostatic Mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Jonathan; Miller, Paul

    2017-12-01

    Homeostatic processes that provide negative feedback to regulate neuronal firing rates are essential for normal brain function. Indeed, multiple parameters of individual neurons, including the scale of afferent synapse strengths and the densities of specific ion channels, have been observed to change on homeostatic time scales to oppose the effects of chronic changes in synaptic input. This raises the question of whether these processes are controlled by a single slow feedback variable or multiple slow variables. A single homeostatic process providing negative feedback to a neuron's firing rate naturally maintains a stable homeostatic equilibrium with a characteristic mean firing rate; but the conditions under which multiple slow feedbacks produce a stable homeostatic equilibrium have not yet been explored. Here we study a highly general model of homeostatic firing rate control in which two slow variables provide negative feedback to drive a firing rate toward two different target rates. Using dynamical systems techniques, we show that such a control system can be used to stably maintain a neuron's characteristic firing rate mean and variance in the face of perturbations, and we derive conditions under which this happens. We also derive expressions that clarify the relationship between the homeostatic firing rate targets and the resulting stable firing rate mean and variance. We provide specific examples of neuronal systems that can be effectively regulated by dual homeostasis. One of these examples is a recurrent excitatory network, which a dual feedback system can robustly tune to serve as an integrator.

  2. Nanoscale Synaptic Membrane Mimetic Allows Unbiased High Throughput Screen That Targets Binding Sites for Alzheimer's-Associated Aβ Oligomers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyle C Wilcox

    Full Text Available Despite their value as sources of therapeutic drug targets, membrane proteomes are largely inaccessible to high-throughput screening (HTS tools designed for soluble proteins. An important example comprises the membrane proteins that bind amyloid β oligomers (AβOs. AβOs are neurotoxic ligands thought to instigate the synapse damage that leads to Alzheimer's dementia. At present, the identities of initial AβO binding sites are highly uncertain, largely because of extensive protein-protein interactions that occur following attachment of AβOs to surface membranes. Here, we show that AβO binding sites can be obtained in a state suitable for unbiased HTS by encapsulating the solubilized synaptic membrane proteome into nanoscale lipid bilayers (Nanodiscs. This method gives a soluble membrane protein library (SMPL--a collection of individualized synaptic proteins in a soluble state. Proteins within SMPL Nanodiscs showed enzymatic and ligand binding activity consistent with conformational integrity. AβOs were found to bind SMPL Nanodiscs with high affinity and specificity, with binding dependent on intact synaptic membrane proteins, and selective for the higher molecular weight oligomers known to accumulate at synapses. Combining SMPL Nanodiscs with a mix-incubate-read chemiluminescence assay provided a solution-based HTS platform to discover antagonists of AβO binding. Screening a library of 2700 drug-like compounds and natural products yielded one compound that potently reduced AβO binding to SMPL Nanodiscs, synaptosomes, and synapses in nerve cell cultures. Although not a therapeutic candidate, this small molecule inhibitor of synaptic AβO binding will provide a useful experimental antagonist for future mechanistic studies of AβOs in Alzheimer's model systems. Overall, results provide proof of concept for using SMPLs in high throughput screening for AβO binding antagonists, and illustrate in general how a SMPL Nanodisc system can

  3. Nanoscale Synaptic Membrane Mimetic Allows Unbiased High Throughput Screen That Targets Binding Sites for Alzheimer's-Associated Aβ Oligomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kyle C; Marunde, Matthew R; Das, Aditi; Velasco, Pauline T; Kuhns, Benjamin D; Marty, Michael T; Jiang, Haoming; Luan, Chi-Hao; Sligar, Stephen G; Klein, William L

    2015-01-01

    Despite their value as sources of therapeutic drug targets, membrane proteomes are largely inaccessible to high-throughput screening (HTS) tools designed for soluble proteins. An important example comprises the membrane proteins that bind amyloid β oligomers (AβOs). AβOs are neurotoxic ligands thought to instigate the synapse damage that leads to Alzheimer's dementia. At present, the identities of initial AβO binding sites are highly uncertain, largely because of extensive protein-protein interactions that occur following attachment of AβOs to surface membranes. Here, we show that AβO binding sites can be obtained in a state suitable for unbiased HTS by encapsulating the solubilized synaptic membrane proteome into nanoscale lipid bilayers (Nanodiscs). This method gives a soluble membrane protein library (SMPL)--a collection of individualized synaptic proteins in a soluble state. Proteins within SMPL Nanodiscs showed enzymatic and ligand binding activity consistent with conformational integrity. AβOs were found to bind SMPL Nanodiscs with high affinity and specificity, with binding dependent on intact synaptic membrane proteins, and selective for the higher molecular weight oligomers known to accumulate at synapses. Combining SMPL Nanodiscs with a mix-incubate-read chemiluminescence assay provided a solution-based HTS platform to discover antagonists of AβO binding. Screening a library of 2700 drug-like compounds and natural products yielded one compound that potently reduced AβO binding to SMPL Nanodiscs, synaptosomes, and synapses in nerve cell cultures. Although not a therapeutic candidate, this small molecule inhibitor of synaptic AβO binding will provide a useful experimental antagonist for future mechanistic studies of AβOs in Alzheimer's model systems. Overall, results provide proof of concept for using SMPLs in high throughput screening for AβO binding antagonists, and illustrate in general how a SMPL Nanodisc system can facilitate drug discovery

  4. Fires in rooms containing electrical components - incident planning, fire fighting tactics, risks; Braender i driftrum - Insatsplaner, slaeckteknik, risker

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Magnusson, Tommy; Ottosson, Jan; Lindskog, BertiI; Soederquist Bende, Evy; Eriksson, Fredrik; Haffling, Stefan

    2006-12-15

    On July 1, 2005 a fire occurred within an electrical switch room at Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant. At the evaluation of the incident it was identified that the pre-fire plans did not give sufficient information in order to make the appropriate decisions. Questions raised based on the incident are how decisions are made and orders are delegated with respect to the incident command, which fire fighting tactic should be used, which types of extinguishing media should be used, what are the risks with respect to safety of staff and safety of the reactor. Lessons learned from the fire at Forsmark were that pre-incident planning was at hand but the information was not sufficient to make the correct initial decisions that might be critical for life and property. One of the most crucial ingredients in all safety related work is to utilize previous experience in order to maintain a high degree of safety. Lessons learnt are also the foundation on which the ability to construct or create strong barriers against a certain fault phenomena, fault mechanism or type of initial event. In the case of nuclear processes, fire is considered as an important and critical initial event which has to be recognized in a number of cases in order to maintain a safe process. The likelihood for a fire to represent an initial event should not be underestimated and can therefore not be neglected, probabilistically or deterministically, unless the inherent safety systems can not control the event in an acceptable manner. Regardless of safety measures and lessons learnt from previous experiences in the construction and the operation of the nuclear facility, fires can occur. Previous experiences point out that process system, e.g. systems that are part of the turbine, are more frequently subject to fire incidents compared to ordinary safety systems. Fires in electrical components, often electrical cabinets, can be difficult to handle and to extinguish quickly. This report presents the background work

  5. Biophysical synaptic dynamics in an analog VLSI network of Hodgkin-Huxley neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Theodore; Cauwenberghs, Gert

    2009-01-01

    We study synaptic dynamics in a biophysical network of four coupled spiking neurons implemented in an analog VLSI silicon microchip. The four neurons implement a generalized Hodgkin-Huxley model with individually configurable rate-based kinetics of opening and closing of Na+ and K+ ion channels. The twelve synapses implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The implemented models on the chip are fully configurable by 384 parameters accounting for conductances, reversal potentials, and pre/post-synaptic voltage-dependence of the channel kinetics. We describe the models and present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. The 3mm x 3mm microchip consumes 1.29 mW power making it promising for applications including neuromorphic modeling and neural prostheses.

  6. Use of the pre-dose technique for environmental dosimetry. [Thermoluminescence from fired bricks or tiles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bailiff, I K [Durham Univ. (UK). TL Lab.; Haskell, E H [Utah Univ., Salt Lake City (USA). Radiobiology Div.

    1984-01-01

    The pre-dose effect associated with the 110/sup 0/C TL peak of quartz is the basis of a dating technique developed at the Oxford Laboratory, and now in use to date pottery and brick at the Durham Laboratory. Recently its use for the measurement of fallout gamma dose has been initiated at the University of Utah. Using quartz extracted from fired brick, the technique has been shown to be sufficiently sensitive to measure doses in the region of 10 mGy. The complexities of the technique encountered during dating in its upper range (approx. 5 Gy) are equally apparent in its lower range (10 mGy). With a common interest in the pre-dose technique, the research that is being performed to apply the technique through its full range in environmental dosimetry is discussed.

  7. Developmental profiles of the intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in preterm and term baboon neonates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sei Eun; Lee, Seul Yi; Blanco, Cynthia L; Kim, Jun Hee

    2014-08-20

    The human fetus starts to hear and undergoes major developmental changes in the auditory system during the third trimester of pregnancy. Although there are significant data regarding development of the auditory system in rodents, changes in intrinsic properties and synaptic function of auditory neurons in developing primate brain at hearing onset are poorly understood. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of principal neurons in the medial nucleus of trapezoid body (MNTB) in preterm and term baboon brainstem slices to study the structural and functional maturation of auditory synapses. Each MNTB principal neuron received an excitatory input from a single calyx of Held terminal, and this one-to-one pattern of innervation was already formed in preterm baboons delivered at 67% of normal gestation. There was no difference in frequency or amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic synaptic currents between preterm and term MNTB neurons. In contrast, the frequency of spontaneous GABA(A)/glycine receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic synaptic currents, which were prevalent in preterm MNTB neurons, was significantly reduced in term MNTB neurons. Preterm MNTB neurons had a higher input resistance than term neurons and fired in bursts, whereas term MNTB neurons fired a single action potential in response to suprathreshold current injection. The maturation of intrinsic properties and dominance of excitatory inputs in the primate MNTB allow it to take on its mature role as a fast and reliable relay synapse. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3411399-06$15.00/0.

  8. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  9. Climatic stress increases forest fire severity across the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mantgem, Philip J.; Nesmith, Jonathan C. B.; Keifer, MaryBeth; Knapp, Eric E.; Flint, Alan; Flint, Lorriane

    2013-01-01

    Pervasive warming can lead to chronic stress on forest trees, which may contribute to mortality resulting from fire-caused injuries. Longitudinal analyses of forest plots from across the western US show that high pre-fire climatic water deficit was related to increased post-fire tree mortality probabilities. This relationship between climate and fire was present after accounting for fire defences and injuries, and appeared to influence the effects of crown and stem injuries. Climate and fire interactions did not vary substantially across geographical regions, major genera and tree sizes. Our findings support recent physiological evidence showing that both drought and heating from fire can impair xylem conductivity. Warming trends have been linked to increasing probabilities of severe fire weather and fire spread; our results suggest that warming may also increase forest fire severity (the number of trees killed) independent of fire intensity (the amount of heat released during a fire).

  10. A prolongation of the postspike afterhyperpolarization following spike trains can partly explain the lower firing rates at derecruitment than those at recruitment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wienecke, Jacob; Zhang, Mengliang; Hultborn, Hans

    2009-01-01

    rates at derecruitment correlated with a change in the postspike afterhyperpolarization (AHP) after preceding spike trains? This question was investigated by intracellular recordings from cat motor neurons in both unanesthetized and anesthetized preparations. The firing frequencies at recruitment...... for the lower frequencies at derecruitment. This was independent of whether the current injection had activated persistent inward current (PIC; plateau potentials, secondary range firing). It was found that a preceding spike train could prolong the AHP duration following a subsequent spike. The lower rate...... from AHP duration in fast motoneurons and higher than expected in slow motoneurons. It is suggested that these deviations are explained by the presence of synaptic noise as well as recruitment of PICs below firing threshold. Thus synaptic noise may allow spike discharge even after the end of the AHP...

  11. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rudenko, Gabby (Texas-MED)

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  12. Monitoring post-fire changes in species composition and stand structure in boreal forests using high-resolution, 3-D aerial drone data and Landsat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonzo, M.; Morton, D. C.; Cook, B.; Andersen, H. E.; Mack, M. C.

    2017-12-01

    The growing frequency and severity of boreal forest fires has important consequences for fire carbon emissions and ecosystem composition. Severe fires are typically associated with high degrees of both canopy and soil organic layer (SOL) consumption, particularly in black spruce stands. Complete canopy consumption can decrease the likelihood of spruce regeneration due to reduced viability of the aerial seedbank. Deeper burning of the SOL increases fire emissions and can expose mineral soil that promotes colonization by broadleaf species. There is mounting evidence that a disturbance-driven shift from spruce to broadleaf forests may indicate an ecological state change with feedbacks to regional and global climate. If post-fire successional dynamics can be characterized at an ecosystem scale using remote sensing data, we will be better equipped to constrain carbon and energy fluxes from SOL losses and albedo changes. In this study, we used Landsat time series, very high-resolution structure-from-motion (SFM) drone imagery, and field measurements to investigate post-fire regrowth 13 years after the 2004 Taylor Complex (TC) fires in interior Alaska. Twenty-seven TC plots span a gradient of moisture conditions and burn severity as estimated by loss of SOL. A range of variables potentially governing seedling species dominance (e.g., moisture status, distance to seed sources) have been collected systematically over the years following fire. In July 2017, we additionally collected drone imagery over 25 of the TC plots. We processed these highly overlapped, nadir-view and oblique angle photos into extremely dense (>700 pts/m2) RGB-colored point clouds using SFM techniques. With these point clouds and high resolution orthomosaics, we estimated: 1) snag heights and biomass, 2) remnant snag fine branching, and 3) species and structure of shrubs and groundcover that have regrown since fire. We additionally assembled a dense Landsat time series arranged by day-of-year to monitor

  13. Pre-coating of LSCM perovskite with metal catalyst for scalable high performance anodes

    KAUST Repository

    Boulfrad, Samir; Cassidy, Mark; Djurado, Elisabeth; Irvine, John Ts S; Jabbour, Ghassan E.

    2013-01-01

    then dispersed into organic based vehicles to form a screen-printable ink which was deposited and fired to form SOFC anode layers. Electrochemical tests show a considerable enhancement of the pre-coated anode performances under 50 ml/min wet H2 flow

  14. Statistical theory of synaptic connectivity in the neocortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar, Gina

    Learning and long-term memory rely on plasticity of neural circuits. In adult cerebral cortex plasticity can be mediated by modulation of existing synapses and structural reorganization of circuits through growth and retraction of dendritic spines. In the first part of this thesis, we describe a theoretical framework for the analysis of spine remodeling plasticity. New synaptic contacts appear in the neuropil where gaps between axonal and dendritic branches can be bridged by dendritic spines. Such sites are termed potential synapses. We derive expressions for the densities of potential synapses in the neuropil. We calculate the ratio of actual to potential synapses, called the connectivity fraction, and use it to find the number of structurally different circuits attainable with spine remodeling. These parameters are calculated in four systems: mouse occipital cortex, rat hippocampal area CA1, monkey primary visual (V1), and human temporal cortex. The neurogeometric results indicate that a dendritic spine can choose among an average of 4-7 potential targets in rodents, while in primates it can choose from 10-20 potential targets. The potential of the neuropil to undergo circuit remodeling is found to be highest in rat CA1 (4.9-6.0 nats/mum 3) and lowest in monkey V1 (0.9-1.0 nats/mum3). We evaluate the lower bound of neuron selectivity in the choice of synaptic partners and find that post-synaptic excitatory neurons in rodents make synaptic contacts with more than 21-30% of pre-synaptic axons encountered with new spine growth. Primate neurons appear to be more selective, making synaptic connections with more than 7-15% of encountered axons. Another plasticity mechanism is included in the second part of this work: long-term potentiation and depression of excitatory synaptic connections. Because synaptic strength is correlated with the size of the synapse, the former can be inferred from the distribution of spine head volumes. To this end we analyze and compare 166

  15. Learning of Precise Spike Times with Homeostatic Membrane Potential Dependent Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Albers

    Full Text Available Precise spatio-temporal patterns of neuronal action potentials underly e.g. sensory representations and control of muscle activities. However, it is not known how the synaptic efficacies in the neuronal networks of the brain adapt such that they can reliably generate spikes at specific points in time. Existing activity-dependent plasticity rules like Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are agnostic to the goal of learning spike times. On the other hand, the existing formal and supervised learning algorithms perform a temporally precise comparison of projected activity with the target, but there is no known biologically plausible implementation of this comparison. Here, we propose a simple and local unsupervised synaptic plasticity mechanism that is derived from the requirement of a balanced membrane potential. Since the relevant signal for synaptic change is the postsynaptic voltage rather than spike times, we call the plasticity rule Membrane Potential Dependent Plasticity (MPDP. Combining our plasticity mechanism with spike after-hyperpolarization causes a sensitivity of synaptic change to pre- and postsynaptic spike times which can reproduce Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity for inhibitory synapses as was found in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of MPDP to the time course of the voltage when generating a spike allows MPDP to distinguish between weak (spurious and strong (teacher spikes, which therefore provides a neuronal basis for the comparison of actual and target activity. For spatio-temporal input spike patterns our conceptually simple plasticity rule achieves a surprisingly high storage capacity for spike associations. The sensitivity of the MPDP to the subthreshold membrane potential during training allows robust memory retrieval after learning even in the presence of activity corrupted by noise. We propose that MPDP represents a biophysically plausible mechanism to learn temporal target activity patterns.

  16. Learning of Precise Spike Times with Homeostatic Membrane Potential Dependent Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Christian; Westkott, Maren; Pawelzik, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    Precise spatio-temporal patterns of neuronal action potentials underly e.g. sensory representations and control of muscle activities. However, it is not known how the synaptic efficacies in the neuronal networks of the brain adapt such that they can reliably generate spikes at specific points in time. Existing activity-dependent plasticity rules like Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are agnostic to the goal of learning spike times. On the other hand, the existing formal and supervised learning algorithms perform a temporally precise comparison of projected activity with the target, but there is no known biologically plausible implementation of this comparison. Here, we propose a simple and local unsupervised synaptic plasticity mechanism that is derived from the requirement of a balanced membrane potential. Since the relevant signal for synaptic change is the postsynaptic voltage rather than spike times, we call the plasticity rule Membrane Potential Dependent Plasticity (MPDP). Combining our plasticity mechanism with spike after-hyperpolarization causes a sensitivity of synaptic change to pre- and postsynaptic spike times which can reproduce Hebbian spike timing dependent plasticity for inhibitory synapses as was found in experiments. In addition, the sensitivity of MPDP to the time course of the voltage when generating a spike allows MPDP to distinguish between weak (spurious) and strong (teacher) spikes, which therefore provides a neuronal basis for the comparison of actual and target activity. For spatio-temporal input spike patterns our conceptually simple plasticity rule achieves a surprisingly high storage capacity for spike associations. The sensitivity of the MPDP to the subthreshold membrane potential during training allows robust memory retrieval after learning even in the presence of activity corrupted by noise. We propose that MPDP represents a biophysically plausible mechanism to learn temporal target activity patterns.

  17. Using the web tool GIS SPIDER for monitoring the state of forest cover in the pre- and post-fire periods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Villodre

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Pre- and post-wildland fire management will be improved by the knowledge of the stand conditions. Different types of quantitative and qualitative data, such as water stress, cover temperature or the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI are critical for understanding fire risk, fire severity or vegetation recovering after the fire. Even though, there is a lack of easy accessible measurements about these topics. In this vein, remote sensing provides suitable information and in a global view about the canopy state: water balance, fire risk or the primary productivity estimation. It allows the monitoring of large areas in different temporal and spatial resolutions and with low cost. The output information can be disseminated using tools such as web-GIS based systems. In this paper the SPIDER (System of Participatory Information, Decision support, and Expert knowledge for irrigation and River basin water Management tool is presented, which allows monitoring canopy conditions before and after fires in a simple way and friendly environment. SPIDER is also able to analyse environmental conditions in almost the entire Iberian Peninsula, with a temporal resolution that ranges among 1 to 16 days. Images of NDVI, surface temperatures and water stress are based on MODIS aqua satellite images.Results show the potential of the system to the analysis of vegetation anomalies, monitoring of water stress, fire severity or the vegetation recovery after fire, in a dynamic way. The database allows multitemporal analysis of different parameters related to the state of the vegetation, growing, water deficit and fire severity degree. Further analysis of these data provides relevant information such as drought effects or catastrophic events in the vegetation.

  18. Composition and Structure of Forest Fire Refugia: What Are the Ecosystem Legacies across Burned Landscapes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garrett W. Meigs

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Locations within forest fires that remain unburned or burn at low severity—known as fire refugia—are important components of contemporary burn mosaics, but their composition and structure at regional scales are poorly understood. Focusing on recent, large wildfires across the US Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington, our research objectives are to (1 classify fire refugia and burn severity based on relativized spectral change in Landsat time series; (2 quantify the pre-fire composition and structure of mapped fire refugia; (3 in forested areas, assess the relative abundance of fire refugia and other burn severity classes across forest composition and structure types. We analyzed a random sample of 99 recent fires in forest-dominated landscapes from 2004 to 2015 that collectively encompassed 612,629 ha. Across the region, fire refugia extent was substantial but variable from year to year, with an annual mean of 38% of fire extent and range of 15–60%. Overall, 85% of total fire extent was forested, with the other 15% being non-forest. In comparison, 31% of fire refugia extent was non-forest prior to the most recent fire, highlighting that mapped refugia do not necessarily contain tree-based ecosystem legacies. The most prevalent non-forest cover types in refugia were vegetated: shrub (40%, herbaceous (33%, and crops (18%. In forested areas, the relative abundance of fire refugia varied widely among pre-fire forest types (20–70% and structural conditions (23–55%. Consistent with fire regime theory, fire refugia and high burn severity areas were inversely proportional. Our findings underscore that researchers, managers, and other stakeholders should interpret burn severity maps through the lens of pre-fire land cover, especially given the increasing importance of fire and fire refugia under global change.

  19. Remote Sensing Applied to the Study of Fire Regime Attributes and Their Influence on Post-Fire Greenness Recovery in Pine Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Víctor Fernández-García

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available We aimed to analyze the relationship between fire regime attributes and the post-fire greenness recovery of fire-prone pine ecosystems over the short (2-year and medium (5-year term after a large wildfire, using both a single and a combined fire regime attribute approach. We characterized the spatial (fire size, temporal (number of fires, fire recurrence, and return interval, and magnitude (burn severity of the last fire fire regime attributes throughout a 40-year period with a long-time series of Landsat imagery and ancillary data. The burn severity of the last fire was measured by the dNBR (difference of the Normalized Burn Ratio spectral index, and classified according to the ground reference values of the CBI (Composite Burn Index. Post-fire greenness recovery was obtained through the difference of the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index between pre- and post-fire Landsat scenes. The relationship between fire regime attributes (single attributes: fire recurrence, fire return interval, and burn severity; combined attributes: fire recurrence-burn severity and fire return interval-burn severity and post-fire greenness recovery was evaluated using linear models. The results indicated that all the single and combined attributes significantly affected greenness recovery. The single attribute approach showed that high recurrence, short return interval and low severity situations had the highest vegetation greenness recovery. The combined attribute approach allowed us to identify a wider variety of post-fire greenness recovery situations than the single attribute one. Over the short term, high recurrence as well as short return interval scenarios showed the best post-fire greenness recovery independently of burn severity, while over the medium term, high recurrence combined with low severity was the most recovered scenario. This novel combined attribute approach (temporal plus magnitude could be of great value to forest managers in the

  20. An empirical machine learning method for predicting potential fire control locations for pre-fire planning and operational fire management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher D. O' Connor; David E. Calkin; Matthew P. Thompson

    2017-01-01

    During active fire incidents, decisions regarding where and how to safely and effectively deploy resources to meet management objectives are often made under rapidly evolving conditions, with limited time to assess management strategies or for development of backup plans if initial efforts prove unsuccessful. Under all but the most extreme fire weather conditions,...

  1. Structural response of steel high rise buildings to fire

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gentili, Filippo; Giuliani, Luisa; Bontempi, Franco

    2013-01-01

    Due to the significant vertical elevation and complexity of the structural system, high rise buildings may suffer from the effects of fire more than other structures. For this reason, in addition to evacuation strategies and active fire protection, a careful consideration of structural response t...

  2. Contribution of synchronized GABAergic neurons to dopaminergic neuron firing and bursting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozova, Ekaterina O; Myroshnychenko, Maxym; Zakharov, Denis; di Volo, Matteo; Gutkin, Boris; Lapish, Christopher C; Kuznetsov, Alexey

    2016-10-01

    In the ventral tegmental area (VTA), interactions between dopamine (DA) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurons are critical for regulating DA neuron activity and thus DA efflux. To provide a mechanistic explanation of how GABA neurons influence DA neuron firing, we developed a circuit model of the VTA. The model is based on feed-forward inhibition and recreates canonical features of the VTA neurons. Simulations revealed that γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor (GABAR) stimulation can differentially influence the firing pattern of the DA neuron, depending on the level of synchronization among GABA neurons. Asynchronous activity of GABA neurons provides a constant level of inhibition to the DA neuron and, when removed, produces a classical disinhibition burst. In contrast, when GABA neurons are synchronized by common synaptic input, their influence evokes additional spikes in the DA neuron, resulting in increased measures of firing and bursting. Distinct from previous mechanisms, the increases were not based on lowered firing rate of the GABA neurons or weaker hyperpolarization by the GABAR synaptic current. This phenomenon was induced by GABA-mediated hyperpolarization of the DA neuron that leads to decreases in intracellular calcium (Ca 2+ ) concentration, thus reducing the Ca 2+ -dependent potassium (K + ) current. In this way, the GABA-mediated hyperpolarization replaces Ca 2+ -dependent K + current; however, this inhibition is pulsatile, which allows the DA neuron to fire during the rhythmic pauses in inhibition. Our results emphasize the importance of inhibition in the VTA, which has been discussed in many studies, and suggest a novel mechanism whereby computations can occur locally. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  3. Probability based high temperature engineering creep and structural fire resistance

    CERN Document Server

    Razdolsky, Leo

    2017-01-01

    This volume on structural fire resistance is for aerospace, structural, and fire prevention engineers; architects, and educators. It bridges the gap between prescriptive- and performance-based methods and simplifies very complex and comprehensive computer analyses to the point that the structural fire resistance and high temperature creep deformations will have a simple, approximate analytical expression that can be used in structural analysis and design. The book emphasizes methods of the theory of engineering creep (stress-strain diagrams) and mathematical operations quite distinct from those of solid mechanics absent high-temperature creep deformations, in particular the classical theory of elasticity and structural engineering. Dr. Razdolsky’s previous books focused on methods of computing the ultimate structural design load to the different fire scenarios. The current work is devoted to the computing of the estimated ultimate resistance of the structure taking into account the effect of high temperatur...

  4. Fuel fired heat sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ortlinghaus, U

    1977-09-08

    Fuel fired heat sources with a valve-controlled ignition and main burner, whose flame is monitored and whose control valve is closed or opened by a controller according to the control deviation between actual and reference heat source temperature, previously suffered the disadvantage of high consumption of ignition gas. According to the invention this disadvantage is avoided by closing the ignition valve from the controller via a delay unit and having the delay time of the delay unit controlled either by the temperature measured by the sensor or increasing it with increasing deviation of the actual value of pre-temperature from the reference value of the pre-temperature.

  5. High-fire-risk behavior in critical fire areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    William S. Folkman

    1977-01-01

    Observations of fire-related behavior of wildland visitors were made in three types of areas-wilderness, established campground, and built-up commercial and residential areas-within the San Bernardino National Forest, California. Interviews were conducted with all persons so observed. Types of fire-related behavior differed markedly from one area to another, as did the...

  6. Nanoscale Synaptic Membrane Mimetic Allows Unbiased High Throughput Screen That Targets Binding Sites for Alzheimer’s-Associated Aβ Oligomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kyle C.; Marunde, Matthew R.; Das, Aditi; Velasco, Pauline T.; Kuhns, Benjamin D.; Marty, Michael T.; Jiang, Haoming; Luan, Chi-Hao; Sligar, Stephen G.; Klein, William L.

    2015-01-01

    Despite their value as sources of therapeutic drug targets, membrane proteomes are largely inaccessible to high-throughput screening (HTS) tools designed for soluble proteins. An important example comprises the membrane proteins that bind amyloid β oligomers (AβOs). AβOs are neurotoxic ligands thought to instigate the synapse damage that leads to Alzheimer’s dementia. At present, the identities of initial AβO binding sites are highly uncertain, largely because of extensive protein-protein interactions that occur following attachment of AβOs to surface membranes. Here, we show that AβO binding sites can be obtained in a state suitable for unbiased HTS by encapsulating the solubilized synaptic membrane proteome into nanoscale lipid bilayers (Nanodiscs). This method gives a soluble membrane protein library (SMPL)—a collection of individualized synaptic proteins in a soluble state. Proteins within SMPL Nanodiscs showed enzymatic and ligand binding activity consistent with conformational integrity. AβOs were found to bind SMPL Nanodiscs with high affinity and specificity, with binding dependent on intact synaptic membrane proteins, and selective for the higher molecular weight oligomers known to accumulate at synapses. Combining SMPL Nanodiscs with a mix-incubate-read chemiluminescence assay provided a solution-based HTS platform to discover antagonists of AβO binding. Screening a library of 2700 drug-like compounds and natural products yielded one compound that potently reduced AβO binding to SMPL Nanodiscs, synaptosomes, and synapses in nerve cell cultures. Although not a therapeutic candidate, this small molecule inhibitor of synaptic AβO binding will provide a useful experimental antagonist for future mechanistic studies of AβOs in Alzheimer’s model systems. Overall, results provide proof of concept for using SMPLs in high throughput screening for AβO binding antagonists, and illustrate in general how a SMPL Nanodisc system can facilitate drug

  7. Duration of fuels reduction following prescribed fire in coniferous forests of U.S. national parks in California and the Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Lalemand, Laura; Keifer, MaryBeth; Kane, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Prescribed fire is a widely used forest management tool, yet the long-term effectiveness of prescribed fire in reducing fuels and fire hazards in many vegetation types is not well documented. We assessed the magnitude and duration of reductions in surface fuels and modeled fire hazards in coniferous forests across nine U.S. national parks in California and the Colorado Plateau. We used observations from a prescribed fire effects monitoring program that feature standard forest and surface fuels inventories conducted pre-fire, immediately following an initial (first-entry) prescribed fire and at varying intervals up to >20 years post-fire. A subset of these plots was subjected to prescribed fire again (second-entry) with continued monitoring. Prescribed fire effects were highly variable among plots, but we found on average first-entry fires resulted in a significant post-fire reduction in surface fuels, with litter and duff fuels not returning to pre-fire levels over the length of our observations. Fine and coarse woody fuels often took a decade or longer to return to pre-fire levels. For second-entry fires we found continued fuels reductions, without strong evidence of fuel loads returning to levels observed immediately prior to second-entry fire. Following both first- and second-entry fire there were increases in estimated canopy base heights, along with reductions in estimated canopy bulk density and modeled flame lengths. We did not find evidence of return to pre-fire conditions during our observation intervals for these measures of fire hazard. Our results show that prescribed fire can be a valuable tool to reduce fire hazards and, depending on forest conditions and the measurement used, reductions in fire hazard can last for decades. Second-entry prescribed fire appeared to reinforce the reduction in fuels and fire hazard from first-entry fires.

  8. Capacity analysis in multi-state synaptic models: a retrieval probability perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yibi; Amit, Yali

    2011-06-01

    We define the memory capacity of networks of binary neurons with finite-state synapses in terms of retrieval probabilities of learned patterns under standard asynchronous dynamics with a predetermined threshold. The threshold is set to control the proportion of non-selective neurons that fire. An optimal inhibition level is chosen to stabilize network behavior. For any local learning rule we provide a computationally efficient and highly accurate approximation to the retrieval probability of a pattern as a function of its age. The method is applied to the sequential models (Fusi and Abbott, Nat Neurosci 10:485-493, 2007) and meta-plasticity models (Fusi et al., Neuron 45(4):599-611, 2005; Leibold and Kempter, Cereb Cortex 18:67-77, 2008). We show that as the number of synaptic states increases, the capacity, as defined here, either plateaus or decreases. In the few cases where multi-state models exceed the capacity of binary synapse models the improvement is small.

  9. Fire Effects at the Tundra-Boreal Ecotone in Interior Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, B. K.; Mack, M. C.; Johnstone, J. F.; Walker, X. J.; Roland, C.

    2016-12-01

    Climate warming in northern latitudes has led to an intensification of disturbance by wildfire. Little is known about the effects of fire on tundra vegetation. Changes in vegetation composition could have important implications for carbon cycling , and may feedback positively or negatively to future climate change (Randerson et al., 2006). Our study utilizes extensive pre-fire ecological data collected by the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) program to assess the prefire conditions important in driving successional pathways within Denali National Park and Preserve. In 2013, the East Toklat fire burned 30,000 acres of tussock tundra and mixed white and black spruce forest at a high severity, which encompassed 50 NPS plots that were originally monitored in 2003. Our sampling occurred the summer of 2016 following the same NPS protocols to assess post-fire vegetation composition. In addition, we conducted a seeding experiment using locally collected white and black spruce seed to assess natural and potential tree regeneration in unburned and post fire environments. Seed traps were established along our transects to assess seed rain. A multivariate approach will be used to assess post-fire community dynamics and future field seasons will address tree germination and survival rates. These data will then be coupled with pre and post-fire ecological data to parse out important factors driving secondary succession.

  10. Vegetation responses to season of fire in an aseasonal, fire-prone fynbos shrubland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tineke Kraaij

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Season of fire has marked effects on floristic composition in fire-prone Mediterranean-climate shrublands. In these winter-rainfall systems, summer-autumn fires lead to optimal recruitment of overstorey proteoid shrubs (non-sprouting, slow-maturing, serotinous Proteaceae which are important to the conservation of floral diversity. We explored whether fire season has similar effects on early establishment of five proteoid species in the eastern coastal part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (South Africa where rainfall occurs year-round and where weather conducive to fire and the actual incidence of fire are largely aseasonal. We surveyed recruitment success (ratio of post-fire recruits to pre-fire parents of proteoids after fires in different seasons. We also planted proteoid seeds into exclosures, designed to prevent predation by small mammals and birds, in cleared (intended to simulate fire fynbos shrublands at different sites in each of four seasons and monitored their germination and survival to one year post-planting (hereafter termed ‘recruitment’. Factors (in decreasing order of importance affecting recruitment success in the post-fire surveys were species, pre-fire parent density, post-fire age of the vegetation at the time of assessment, and fire season, whereas rainfall (for six months post-fire and fire return interval (>7 years had little effect. In the seed-planting experiment, germination occurred during the cooler months and mostly within two months of planting, except for summer-plantings, which took 2–3 months longer to germinate. Although recruitment success differed significantly among planting seasons, sites and species, significant interactions occurred among the experimental factors. In both the post-fire surveys and seed planting experiment, recruitment success in relation to fire- or planting season varied greatly within and among species and sites. Results of these two datasets were furthermore inconsistent, suggesting

  11. Vegetation responses to season of fire in an aseasonal, fire-prone fynbos shrubland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraaij, Tineke; Cowling, Richard M; van Wilgen, Brian W; Rikhotso, Diba R; Difford, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Season of fire has marked effects on floristic composition in fire-prone Mediterranean-climate shrublands. In these winter-rainfall systems, summer-autumn fires lead to optimal recruitment of overstorey proteoid shrubs (non-sprouting, slow-maturing, serotinous Proteaceae) which are important to the conservation of floral diversity. We explored whether fire season has similar effects on early establishment of five proteoid species in the eastern coastal part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (South Africa) where rainfall occurs year-round and where weather conducive to fire and the actual incidence of fire are largely aseasonal. We surveyed recruitment success (ratio of post-fire recruits to pre-fire parents) of proteoids after fires in different seasons. We also planted proteoid seeds into exclosures, designed to prevent predation by small mammals and birds, in cleared (intended to simulate fire) fynbos shrublands at different sites in each of four seasons and monitored their germination and survival to one year post-planting (hereafter termed 'recruitment'). Factors (in decreasing order of importance) affecting recruitment success in the post-fire surveys were species, pre-fire parent density, post-fire age of the vegetation at the time of assessment, and fire season, whereas rainfall (for six months post-fire) and fire return interval (>7 years) had little effect. In the seed-planting experiment, germination occurred during the cooler months and mostly within two months of planting, except for summer-plantings, which took 2-3 months longer to germinate. Although recruitment success differed significantly among planting seasons, sites and species, significant interactions occurred among the experimental factors. In both the post-fire surveys and seed planting experiment, recruitment success in relation to fire- or planting season varied greatly within and among species and sites. Results of these two datasets were furthermore inconsistent, suggesting that proteoid

  12. Ensemble stacking mitigates biases in inference of synaptic connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Brendan; Levy, Maayan; Dechery, Joseph B; MacLean, Jason N

    2018-01-01

    A promising alternative to directly measuring the anatomical connections in a neuronal population is inferring the connections from the activity. We employ simulated spiking neuronal networks to compare and contrast commonly used inference methods that identify likely excitatory synaptic connections using statistical regularities in spike timing. We find that simple adjustments to standard algorithms improve inference accuracy: A signing procedure improves the power of unsigned mutual-information-based approaches and a correction that accounts for differences in mean and variance of background timing relationships, such as those expected to be induced by heterogeneous firing rates, increases the sensitivity of frequency-based methods. We also find that different inference methods reveal distinct subsets of the synaptic network and each method exhibits different biases in the accurate detection of reciprocity and local clustering. To correct for errors and biases specific to single inference algorithms, we combine methods into an ensemble. Ensemble predictions, generated as a linear combination of multiple inference algorithms, are more sensitive than the best individual measures alone, and are more faithful to ground-truth statistics of connectivity, mitigating biases specific to single inference methods. These weightings generalize across simulated datasets, emphasizing the potential for the broad utility of ensemble-based approaches.

  13. Characterization and extraction of the synaptic apposition surface for synaptic geometry analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Juan; Rodríguez, Angel; Rodríguez, José-Rodrigo; DeFelipe, Javier; Merchán-Pérez, Angel

    2013-01-01

    Geometrical features of chemical synapses are relevant to their function. Two critical components of the synaptic junction are the active zone (AZ) and the postsynaptic density (PSD), as they are related to the probability of synaptic release and the number of postsynaptic receptors, respectively. Morphological studies of these structures are greatly facilitated by the use of recent electron microscopy techniques, such as combined focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy (FIB/SEM), and software tools that permit reconstruction of large numbers of synapses in three dimensions. Since the AZ and the PSD are in close apposition and have a similar surface area, they can be represented by a single surface—the synaptic apposition surface (SAS). We have developed an efficient computational technique to automatically extract this surface from synaptic junctions that have previously been three-dimensionally reconstructed from actual tissue samples imaged by automated FIB/SEM. Given its relationship with the release probability and the number of postsynaptic receptors, the surface area of the SAS is a functionally relevant measure of the size of a synapse that can complement other geometrical features like the volume of the reconstructed synaptic junction, the equivalent ellipsoid size and the Feret's diameter. PMID:23847474

  14. High-threshold motor unit firing reflects force recovery following a bout of damaging eccentric exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macgregor, Lewis J.

    2018-01-01

    Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is associated with impaired muscle function and reduced neuromuscular recruitment. However, motor unit firing behaviour throughout the recovery period is unclear. EIMD impairment of maximal voluntary force (MVC) will, in part, be caused by reduced high-threshold motor unit firing, which will subsequently increase to recover MVC. Fourteen healthy active males completed a bout of eccentric exercise on the knee extensors, with measurements of MVC, rate of torque development and surface electromyography performed pre-exercise and 2, 3, 7 and 14 days post-exercise, on both damaged and control limb. EIMD was associated with decreased MVC (235.2 ± 49.3 Nm vs. 161.3 ± 52.5 Nm; p motor unit firing rate was reduced (16.4 ± 2.2 Hz vs. 12.6 ± 1.7 Hz; p motor units only, 48h post-exercise, and common drive was elevated (0.36 ± 0.027 vs. 0.56 ± 0.032; pmotor units was reduced in parallel with impaired muscle function, whilst early recruited motor units remained unaltered. Common drive of motor units increased in offset to the firing rate impairment. These alterations correlated with the recovery of force decrement, but not of pain elevation. This study provides fresh insight into the central mechanisms associated with EIMD recovery, relative to muscle function. These findings may in turn lead to development of novel management and preventative procedures. PMID:29630622

  15. Spike timing analysis in neural networks with unsupervised synaptic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, B. E. P.; Agnes, E. J.; Brunnet, L. G.; Erichsen, R., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    The synaptic plasticity rules that sculpt a neural network architecture are key elements to understand cortical processing, as they may explain the emergence of stable, functional activity, while avoiding runaway excitation. For an associative memory framework, they should be built in a way as to enable the network to reproduce a robust spatio-temporal trajectory in response to an external stimulus. Still, how these rules may be implemented in recurrent networks and the way they relate to their capacity of pattern recognition remains unclear. We studied the effects of three phenomenological unsupervised rules in sparsely connected recurrent networks for associative memory: spike-timing-dependent-plasticity, short-term-plasticity and an homeostatic scaling. The system stability is monitored during the learning process of the network, as the mean firing rate converges to a value determined by the homeostatic scaling. Afterwards, it is possible to measure the recovery efficiency of the activity following each initial stimulus. This is evaluated by a measure of the correlation between spike fire timings, and we analysed the full memory separation capacity and limitations of this system.

  16. σ2-Adaptin Facilitates Basal Synaptic Transmission and Is Required for Regenerating Endo-Exo Cycling Pool Under High-Frequency Nerve Stimulation in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhury, Saumitra Dey; Mushtaq, Zeeshan; Reddy-Alla, Suneel; Balakrishnan, Sruthi S; Thakur, Rajan S; Krishnan, Kozhalmannom S; Raghu, Padinjat; Ramaswami, Mani; Kumar, Vimlesh

    2016-05-01

    The functional requirement of adapter protein 2 (AP2) complex in synaptic membrane retrieval by clathrin-mediated endocytosis is not fully understood. Here we isolated and functionally characterized a mutation that dramatically altered synaptic development. Based on the aberrant neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synapse, we named this mutation angur (a Hindi word meaning "grapes"). Loss-of-function alleles of angur show more than twofold overgrowth in bouton numbers and a dramatic decrease in bouton size. We mapped the angur mutation to σ2-adaptin, the smallest subunit of the AP2 complex. Reducing the neuronal level of any of the subunits of the AP2 complex or disrupting AP2 complex assembly in neurons phenocopied the σ2-adaptin mutation. Genetic perturbation of σ2-adaptin in neurons leads to a reversible temperature-sensitive paralysis at 38°. Electrophysiological analysis of the mutants revealed reduced evoked junction potentials and quantal content. Interestingly, high-frequency nerve stimulation caused prolonged synaptic fatigue at the NMJs. The synaptic levels of subunits of the AP2 complex and clathrin, but not other endocytic proteins, were reduced in the mutants. Moreover, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)/transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) signaling was altered in these mutants and was restored by normalizing σ2-adaptin in neurons. Thus, our data suggest that (1) while σ2-adaptin facilitates synaptic vesicle (SV) recycling for basal synaptic transmission, its activity is also required for regenerating SVs during high-frequency nerve stimulation, and (2) σ2-adaptin regulates NMJ morphology by attenuating TGFβ signaling. Copyright © 2016 by the Genetics Society of America.

  17. Pursuing the pre-combustion CCS route in oil refineries – The impact on fired heaters

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weydahl, Torleif; Jamaluddin, Jamal; Seljeskog, Morten; Anantharaman, Rahul

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► The aim is to approach Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) to refinery fired heaters. ► An identical simplified burner configuration is applied where refinery fuel is replaced with hydrogen. ► Initial simulations indicate that hydrogen replacement do not alter heater operation in a negative way. ► Despite the higher flame temperature in the hydrogen case, the NO x emissions are not higher. ► The prompt-NO mechanism contributes significantly in the refinery fuel case. -- Abstract: The work presented in this paper investigates the effect of replacing refinery fuel gas in the radiant section burners of a fired heater with hydrogen. The aim is to approach pre-combustion CCS to refinery fired heaters by identifying the impact on heat-, flow- and radiation distribution in the lower radiant section of the fired heater when simply switching refinery gas with hydrogen at equivalent power using the same burner geometrics. Additionally the formation of NO x is considered. The investigations are performed using a conventional Reynolds Average Navier Stokes (RANS), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach using detailed reaction kinetics consisting of 325 elementary reactions and 53 species. Simplified and generalized furnace and burner geometries are used in the present work. The results show that approximately the same average wall heat flux density is achieved when the refinery fuel is replaced by hydrogen. However, the distribution of heat on the inner surfaces changes. The hydrogen case has, as expected, a higher flame temperature than the base case, nevertheless, the nitric oxide (NO x ) emissions are comparable to base case emissions. Several indications point in the direction of a significant contribution to the base case emissions from the less temperature dependent prompt-NO mechanism, which obviously is not contributing to the hydrogen case emissions.

  18. Climate drives inter-annual variability in probability of high severity fire occurrence in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keyser, Alisa; Westerling, Anthony LeRoy

    2017-05-01

    A long history of fire suppression in the western United States has significantly changed forest structure and ecological function, leading to increasingly uncharacteristic fires in terms of size and severity. Prior analyses of fire severity in California forests showed that time since last fire and fire weather conditions predicted fire severity very well, while a larger regional analysis showed that topography and climate were important predictors of high severity fire. There has not yet been a large-scale study that incorporates topography, vegetation and fire-year climate to determine regional scale high severity fire occurrence. We developed models to predict the probability of high severity fire occurrence for the western US. We predict high severity fire occurrence with some accuracy, and identify the relative importance of predictor classes in determining the probability of high severity fire. The inclusion of both vegetation and fire-year climate predictors was critical for model skill in identifying fires with high fractional fire severity. The inclusion of fire-year climate variables allows this model to forecast inter-annual variability in areas at future risk of high severity fire, beyond what slower-changing fuel conditions alone can accomplish. This allows for more targeted land management, including resource allocation for fuels reduction treatments to decrease the risk of high severity fire.

  19. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is one of the fields that progresses rapidly and has a lot of success in neuroscience. The two major types of synaptie plasticity: long-term potentiation ( LTP and long-term depression (LTD are thought to be the cellular mochanisms of learning and memory. Recently, accumulating evidence suggests that, besides serving as a cellular model for learning and memory, the synaptic plasticity involves in other physiological or pathophysiological processes, such as the perception of pain and the regulation of cardiovascular system. This minireview will focus on the relationship between synaptic plasticity and nociception.

  20. Post-fire vegetation behaviour in large burnt scars from 2005 fire season in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastos, A.; Gouveia, C. M.; DaCamara, C. C.; Trigo, R. M.

    2012-04-01

    remaining areas (centre and south), vegetation recovered very slowly and irregularly. Four years following the fire, vegetation density in these two scars was still markedly below pre-fire levels. Spatial patterns of recovery times were assessed in order to evaluate the influence of physical factors such as fire damage, pre-fire vegetation density and land-cover type, in post-fire behaviour of vegetation for each scar. Pre-fire land-cover type raised as a key factor that may partially explain the differences observed, with shrublands and mixed forests recovering faster than coniferous. Gouveia C., DaCamara C.C. and Trigo R.M.: Post fire vegetation recovery in Portugal based on SPOT-VEGETATION data, Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 10, 673-684, 2010. Viedma, O., Moreno, J.M. and Rieiro, I.: Interactions between land use/land cover change, forest fires and landscape structure in Sierra de Gredos (central Spain), Environmental Conservation, 33, 212-222, 2006.

  1. High pressure and [Ca2+] produce an inverse modulation of synaptic input strength, network excitability and frequency response in the rat dentate gyrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas I Talpalar

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hyperbaric environments induce the high pressure neurological syndrome (HPNS characterized by hyperexcitability of the central nervous system and memory impairment. Human divers and other animals experience the HPNS at pressures beyond 1.1 MPa. High pressure depresses synaptic transmission and alters its dynamics in various animal models. Medial perforant path (MPP synapses connecting the medial entorhinal cortex with the hippocampal formation are suppressed by 50% at 10.1MPa. Reduction of synaptic inputs is paradoxically associated with enhanced ability of dentate gyrus’ granule cells to generate spikes at high pressure. This mechanism allows MPP inputs to elicit standard granule cell outputs at 0.1 -25 Hz frequencies under hyperbaric conditions. An increased postsynaptic gain of MPP inputs probably allows diving animals to perform in hyperbaric environments, but makes them vulnerable to high intensity/frequency stimuli producing hyperexcitability. Increasing extracellular Ca2+ (Ca2+o partially reverted pressure-mediated depression of MPP inputs and increased MPP’s low-pass filter properties. We postulated that raising Ca2+o in addition to increase synaptic inputs may reduce network excitability in the dentate gyrus potentially improving its function and reducing sensitivity to high intensity and pathologic stimuli. For this matter, we activated the MPP with single and 50 Hz frequency stimuli that simulated physiologic and deleterious conditions, while assessing the granule cell’s output under various conditions of pressure and Ca2+o. Our results reveal that pressure and Ca2+o produce an inverse modulation on synaptic input strength and network excitability. These coincident phenomena suggest a potential general mechanism of networks that adjusts gain as an inverse function of synaptic inputs’ strength. Such mechanism may serve for adaptation to variable pressure and other physiological and pathological conditions and may explain the

  2. Pre-coating of LSCM perovskite with metal catalyst for scalable high performance anodes

    KAUST Repository

    Boulfrad, Samir

    2013-07-01

    In this work, a highly scalable technique is proposed as an alternative to the lab-scale impregnation method. LSCM-CGO powders were pre-coated with 5 wt% of Ni from nitrates. After appropriate mixing and adequate heat treatment, coated powders were then dispersed into organic based vehicles to form a screen-printable ink which was deposited and fired to form SOFC anode layers. Electrochemical tests show a considerable enhancement of the pre-coated anode performances under 50 ml/min wet H2 flow with polarization resistance decreased from about 0.60cm2 to 0.38 cm2 at 900 C and from 6.70 cm2 to 1.37 cm2 at 700 C. This is most likely due to the pre-coating process resulting in nano-scaled Ni particles with two typical sizes; from 50 to 200 nm and from 10 to 40 nm. Converging indications suggest that the latter type of particle comes from solid state solution of Ni in LSCM phase under oxidizing conditions and exsolution as nanoparticles under reducing atmospheres. Copyright © 2013, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Distinct Subunit Domains Govern Synaptic Stability and Specificity of the Kainate Receptor

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    Christoph Straub

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic communication between neurons requires the precise localization of neurotransmitter receptors to the correct synapse type. Kainate-type glutamate receptors restrict synaptic localization that is determined by the afferent presynaptic connection. The mechanisms that govern this input-specific synaptic localization remain unclear. Here, we examine how subunit composition and specific subunit domains contribute to synaptic localization of kainate receptors. The cytoplasmic domain of the GluK2 low-affinity subunit stabilizes kainate receptors at synapses. In contrast, the extracellular domain of the GluK4/5 high-affinity subunit synergistically controls the synaptic specificity of kainate receptors through interaction with C1q-like proteins. Thus, the input-specific synaptic localization of the native kainate receptor complex involves two mechanisms that underlie specificity and stabilization of the receptor at synapses.

  4. Compensating Level-Dependent Frequency Representation in Auditory Cortex by Synaptic Integration of Corticocortical Input.

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    Max F K Happel

    Full Text Available Robust perception of auditory objects over a large range of sound intensities is a fundamental feature of the auditory system. However, firing characteristics of single neurons across the entire auditory system, like the frequency tuning, can change significantly with stimulus intensity. Physiological correlates of level-constancy of auditory representations hence should be manifested on the level of larger neuronal assemblies or population patterns. In this study we have investigated how information of frequency and sound level is integrated on the circuit-level in the primary auditory cortex (AI of the Mongolian gerbil. We used a combination of pharmacological silencing of corticocortically relayed activity and laminar current source density (CSD analysis. Our data demonstrate that with increasing stimulus intensities progressively lower frequencies lead to the maximal impulse response within cortical input layers at a given cortical site inherited from thalamocortical synaptic inputs. We further identified a temporally precise intercolumnar synaptic convergence of early thalamocortical and horizontal corticocortical inputs. Later tone-evoked activity in upper layers showed a preservation of broad tonotopic tuning across sound levels without shifts towards lower frequencies. Synaptic integration within corticocortical circuits may hence contribute to a level-robust representation of auditory information on a neuronal population level in the auditory cortex.

  5. Burst-time-dependent plasticity robustly guides ON/OFF segregation in the lateral geniculate nucleus.

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    Julijana Gjorgjieva

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Spontaneous retinal activity (known as "waves" remodels synaptic connectivity to the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN during development. Analysis of retinal waves recorded with multielectrode arrays in mouse suggested that a cue for the segregation of functionally distinct (ON and OFF retinal ganglion cells (RGCs in the LGN may be a desynchronization in their firing, where ON cells precede OFF cells by one second. Using the recorded retinal waves as input, with two different modeling approaches we explore timing-based plasticity rules for the evolution of synaptic weights to identify key features underlying ON/OFF segregation. First, we analytically derive a linear model for the evolution of ON and OFF weights, to understand how synaptic plasticity rules extract input firing properties to guide segregation. Second, we simulate postsynaptic activity with a nonlinear integrate-and-fire model to compare findings with the linear model. We find that spike-time-dependent plasticity, which modifies synaptic weights based on millisecond-long timing and order of pre- and postsynaptic spikes, fails to segregate ON and OFF retinal inputs in the absence of normalization. Implementing homeostatic mechanisms results in segregation, but only with carefully-tuned parameters. Furthermore, extending spike integration timescales to match the second-long input correlation timescales always leads to ON segregation because ON cells fire before OFF cells. We show that burst-time-dependent plasticity can robustly guide ON/OFF segregation in the LGN without normalization, by integrating pre- and postsynaptic bursts irrespective of their firing order and over second-long timescales. We predict that an LGN neuron will become ON- or OFF-responsive based on a local competition of the firing patterns of neighboring RGCs connecting to it. Finally, we demonstrate consistency with ON/OFF segregation in ferret, despite differences in the firing properties of retinal waves. Our

  6. Bird communities following high-severity fire: Response to single and repeat fires in a mixed-evergreen forest, Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph B. Fontaine; Daniel C. Donato; W. Douglas Robinson; Beverly E. Law; J. Boone Kauffman

    2009-01-01

    Fire is a widespread natural disturbance agent in most conifer-dominated forests. In light of climate change and the effects of fire exclusion, single and repeated high-severity (stand-replacement) fires have become prominent land management issues. We studied bird communities using point counting in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of Oregon, USA at various points in...

  7. Synaptic membrane rafts: traffic lights for local neurotrophin signaling?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zonta, Barbara; Minichiello, Liliana

    2013-10-18

    Lipid rafts, cholesterol and lipid rich microdomains, are believed to play important roles as platforms for the partitioning of transmembrane and synaptic proteins involved in synaptic signaling, plasticity, and maintenance. There is increasing evidence of a physical interaction between post-synaptic densities and post-synaptic lipid rafts. Localization of proteins within lipid rafts is highly regulated, and therefore lipid rafts may function as traffic lights modulating and fine-tuning neuronal signaling. The tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trk) and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75(NTR)) are enriched in neuronal lipid rafts together with the intermediates of downstream signaling pathways, suggesting a possible role of rafts in neurotrophin signaling. Moreover, neurotrophins and their receptors are involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol is an important component of lipid rafts and its depletion leads to gradual loss of synapses, underscoring the importance of lipid rafts for proper neuronal function. Here, we review and discuss the idea that translocation of neurotrophin receptors in synaptic rafts may account for the selectivity of their transduced signals.

  8. Synaptic membrane rafts: traffic lights for local neurotrophin signalling?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eZonta

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Lipid rafts, cholesterol and lipid rich microdomains, are believed to play important roles as platforms for the partitioning of transmembrane and synaptic proteins involved in synaptic signalling, plasticity and maintenance. There is increasing evidence of a physical interaction between post-synaptic densities and post-synaptic lipid rafts. Localization of proteins within lipid rafts is highly regulated, and therefore lipid rafts may function as traffic lights modulating and fine-tuning neuronal signalling. The tyrosine kinase neurotrophin receptors (Trk and the low-affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR are enriched in neuronal lipid rafts together with the intermediates of downstream signalling pathways, suggesting a possible role of rafts in neurotrophin signalling. Moreover, neurotrophins and their receptors are involved in the regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Cholesterol is an important component of lipid rafts and its depletion leads to gradual loss of synapses, underscoring the importance of lipid rafts for proper neuronal function. Here, we review and discuss the idea that translocation of neurotrophin receptors in synaptic rafts may account for the selectivity of their transduced signals.

  9. LRRK2 phosphorylates pre-synaptic N-ethylmaleimide sensitive fusion (NSF) protein enhancing its ATPase activity and SNARE complex disassembling rate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belluzzi, Elisa; Gonnelli, Adriano; Cirnaru, Maria-Daniela; Marte, Antonella; Plotegher, Nicoletta; Russo, Isabella; Civiero, Laura; Cogo, Susanna; Carrion, Maria Perèz; Franchin, Cinzia; Arrigoni, Giorgio; Beltramini, Mariano; Bubacco, Luigi; Onofri, Franco; Piccoli, Giovanni; Greggio, Elisa

    2016-01-13

    Lrrk2, a gene linked to Parkinson's disease, encodes a large scaffolding protein with kinase and GTPase activities implicated in vesicle and cytoskeletal-related processes. At the presynaptic site, LRRK2 associates with synaptic vesicles through interaction with a panel of presynaptic proteins. Here, we show that LRRK2 kinase activity influences the dynamics of synaptic vesicle fusion. We therefore investigated whether LRRK2 phosphorylates component(s) of the exo/endocytosis machinery. We have previously observed that LRRK2 interacts with NSF, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase that couples ATP hydrolysis to the disassembling of SNARE proteins allowing them to enter another fusion cycle during synaptic exocytosis. Here, we demonstrate that NSF is a substrate of LRRK2 kinase activity. LRRK2 phosphorylates full-length NSF at threonine 645 in the ATP binding pocket of D2 domain. Functionally, NSF phosphorylated by LRRK2 displays enhanced ATPase activity and increased rate of SNARE complex disassembling. Substitution of threonine 645 with alanine abrogates LRRK2-mediated increased ATPase activity. Given that the most common Parkinson's disease LRRK2 G2019S mutation displays increased kinase activity, our results suggest that mutant LRRK2 may impair synaptic vesicle dynamics via aberrant phosphorylation of NSF.

  10. High-fat diet induces hepatic insulin resistance and impairment of synaptic plasticity.

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    Zhigang Liu

    Full Text Available High-fat diet (HFD-induced obesity is associated with insulin resistance, which may affect brain synaptic plasticity through impairment of insulin-sensitive processes underlying neuronal survival, learning, and memory. The experimental model consisted of 3 month-old C57BL/6J mice fed either a normal chow diet (control group or a HFD (60% of calorie from fat; HFD group for 12 weeks. This model was characterized as a function of time in terms of body weight, fasting blood glucose and insulin levels, HOMA-IR values, and plasma triglycerides. IRS-1/Akt pathway was assessed in primary hepatocytes and brain homogenates. The effect of HFD in brain was assessed by electrophysiology, input/output responses and long-term potentiation. HFD-fed mice exhibited a significant increase in body weight, higher fasting glucose- and insulin levels in plasma, lower glucose tolerance, and higher HOMA-IR values. In liver, HFD elicited (a a significant decrease of insulin receptor substrate (IRS-1 phosphorylation on Tyr608 and increase of Ser307 phosphorylation, indicative of IRS-1 inactivation; (b these changes were accompanied by inflammatory responses in terms of increases in the expression of NFκB and iNOS and activation of the MAP kinases p38 and JNK; (c primary hepatocytes from mice fed a HFD showed decreased cellular oxygen consumption rates (indicative of mitochondrial functional impairment; this can be ascribed partly to a decreased expression of PGC1α and mitochondrial biogenesis. In brain, HFD feeding elicited (a an inactivation of the IRS-1 and, consequentially, (b a decreased expression and plasma membrane localization of the insulin-sensitive neuronal glucose transporters GLUT3/GLUT4; (c a suppression of the ERK/CREB pathway, and (d a substantial decrease in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of hippocampus (indicative of impaired synaptic plasticity. It may be surmised that 12 weeks fed with HFD induce a systemic insulin resistance that impacts

  11. Evidence of fuels management and fire weather influencing fire severity in an extreme fire event.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lydersen, Jamie M; Collins, Brandon M; Brooks, Matthew L; Matchett, John R; Shive, Kristen L; Povak, Nicholas A; Kane, Van R; Smith, Douglas F

    2017-10-01

    Following changes in vegetation structure and pattern, along with a changing climate, large wildfire incidence has increased in forests throughout the western United States. Given this increase, there is great interest in whether fuels treatments and previous wildfire can alter fire severity patterns in large wildfires. We assessed the relative influence of previous fuels treatments (including wildfire), fire weather, vegetation, and water balance on fire-severity in the Rim Fire of 2013. We did this at three different spatial scales to investigate whether the influences on fire severity changed across scales. Both fuels treatments and previous low to moderate-severity wildfire reduced the prevalence of high-severity fire. In general, areas without recent fuels treatments and areas that previously burned at high severity tended to have a greater proportion of high-severity fire in the Rim Fire. Areas treated with prescribed fire, especially when combined with thinning, had the lowest proportions of high severity. The proportion of the landscape burned at high severity was most strongly influenced by fire weather and proportional area previously treated for fuels or burned by low to moderate severity wildfire. The proportion treated needed to effectively reduce the amount of high severity fire varied by spatial scale of analysis, with smaller spatial scales requiring a greater proportion treated to see an effect on fire severity. When moderate and high-severity fire encountered a previously treated area, fire severity was significantly reduced in the treated area relative to the adjacent untreated area. Our results show that fuels treatments and low to moderate-severity wildfire can reduce fire severity in a subsequent wildfire, even when burning under fire growth conditions. These results serve as further evidence that both fuels treatments and lower severity wildfire can increase forest resilience. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  12. Investigation of pre-drying lignite in an existing Greek power plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agraniotis Michalis

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The application of lignite pre-drying technologies in next generation of lignite power plants by utilizing low pressure steam as a drying medium instead of hot recirculated flue gas - combined with thermal utilization of the vaporized coal moisture - is expected to bring efficiency increase of 2-4 percentage points in future lignite power plants compared with today’s state of the art. The pre-drying concept is of particular importance in Greek boilers firing lignite with a high water and ash content. The combustion of Greek predried lignite has been investigated experimentally and via numerical simulations in our previous research. This study focuses on the potential integration of a lignite pre-drying system in an existing Greek power plant with dry lignite co-firing thermal share of up to 30%. The radiative and convective heat fluxes to the boiler and the overall boiler heat balance is calculated for reference and dry lignite co-firing conditions by an in-house calculation code. The overall plant’s thermal cycle is then simulated using commercial thermal cycle calculation software. The net plant efficiency is in this way determined for reference and dry coal co-firing conditions. According to the simulation results the integration of a pre-drying system and the implementation of dry lignite co-firing may bring an efficiency increase of about 1.5 percentage points in existing Greek boilers. It is therefore considered as an important measure towards improving plant efficiency and reducing specific CO2 emissions in existing plants.

  13. Effects of fire severity and pre-fire stand treatment on plant community recovery after a large wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amanda M. Kuenzi; Peter Z. Fulé; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    2008-01-01

    The Rodeo-Chediski fire burned approximately 189,650 ha in east­central Arizona from June 18 to July 7, 2002, 113,700 ha of it on White Mountain Apache tribal land. In 2004 and 2005, we measured plant canopy cover and richness in areas of high and low burn severity in each of two treatments: (1) cutting and prescribed burning, or (2) untreated, in the 11 years prior to...

  14. A NOVEL FIRE RETARDANT AFFECTS FIRE PERFORMANCE AND MECHANICAL PROPERTIES OF WOOD FLOUR-HIGH DENSITY POLYETHYLENE COMPOSITES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mingzhu Pan,

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Wood flour-high density polyethylene (HDPE composites were prepared to investigate the effects of ammonium polyphosphate based fire retardant content (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10-wt%, on the flammability, mechanical, and morphological properties of the wood flour-HDPE composites in this study. Cone calorimetry analysis showed that the addition of fire retardant could decrease the heat release rate (HRR and total smoke release of wood flour-HDPE composites, while it had no obviously effects on effective heat of combustion. Most of the decrease of the HRR occurred with the concentration of the fire retardant up to 4-wt%. With addition of fire retardant, the composites showed a decrease in tensile elongation at break and impact strength, and had no obvious effect on tensile and flexural strength. The scanning electron microscopy observation on the fracture surface of the composites indicated that fire retardant had a uniform dispersion in the wood flour-HDPE composites. However, interfacial bonding would be suggested to improve in wood flour-HDPE composites with ammonium polyphosphate based fire retardant.

  15. Mathematical analysis and algorithms for efficiently and accurately implementing stochastic simulations of short-term synaptic depression and facilitation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D McDonnell

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The release of neurotransmitter vesicles after arrival of a pre-synaptic action potential at cortical synapses is known to be a stochastic process, as is the availability of vesicles for release. These processes are known to also depend on the recent history of action-potential arrivals, and this can be described in terms of time-varying probabilities of vesicle release. Mathematical models of such synaptic dynamics frequently are based only on the mean number of vesicles released by each pre-synaptic action potential, since if it is assumed there are sufficiently many vesicle sites, then variance is small. However, it has been shown recently that variance across sites can be significant for neuron and network dynamics, and this suggests the potential importance of studying short-term plasticity using simulations that do generate trial-to-trial variability. Therefore, in this paper we study several well-known conceptual models for stochastic availability and release. We state explicitly the random variables that these models describe and propose efficient algorithms for accurately implementing stochastic simulations of these random variables in software or hardware. Our results are complemented by mathematical analysis and statement of pseudo-code algorithms.

  16. Synaptic consolidation across multiple timescales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorric Ziegler

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The brain is bombarded with a continuous stream of sensory events, but retains only a small subset in memory. The selectivity of memory formation prevents our memory from being overloaded with irrelevant items that would rapidly bring the brain to its storage limit; moreover, selectivity also prevents overwriting previously formed memories with new ones. Memory formation in the hippocampus, as well as in other brain regions, is thought to be linked to changes in the synaptic connections between neurons. In this view, sensory events imprint traces at the level of synapses that reflect potential memory items. The question of memory selectivity can therefore be reformulated as follows: what are the reasons and conditions that some synaptic traces fade away whereas others are consolidated and persist? Experimentally, changes in synaptic strength induced by 'Hebbian' protocols fade away over a few hours (early long-term potentiation or e-LTP, unless these changes are consolidated. The experiments and conceptual theory of synaptic tagging and capture (STC provide a mechanistic explanation for the processes involved in consolidation. This theory suggests that the initial trace of synaptic plasticity sets a tag at the synapse, which then serves as a marker for potential consolidation of the changes in synaptic efficacy. The actual consolidation processes, transforming e-LTP into late LTP (l-LTP, require the capture of plasticity-related proteins (PRP. We translate the above conceptual model into a compact computational model that accounts for a wealth of in vitro data including experiments on cross-tagging, tag-resetting and depotentiation. A central ingredient is that synaptic traces are described with several variables that evolve on different time scales. Consolidation requires the transmission of information from a 'fast' synaptic trace to a 'slow' one through a 'write' process, including the formation of tags and the production of PRP for the

  17. Predicting wildfire ignitions, escapes, and large fire activity using Predictive Service’s 7-Day Fire Potential Outlook in the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karin L. Riley; Crystal Stonesifer; Haiganoush Preisler; Dave Calkin

    2014-01-01

    Can fire potential forecasts assist with pre-positioning of fire suppression resources, which could result in a cost savings to the United States government? Here, we present a preliminary assessment of the 7-Day Fire Potential Outlook forecasts made by the Predictive Services program. We utilized historical fire occurrence data and archived forecasts to assess how...

  18. High-speed uncooled MWIR hostile fire indication sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Pantuso, F. P.; Jin, G.; Mazurenko, A.; Erdtmann, M.; Radhakrishnan, S.; Salerno, J.

    2011-06-01

    Hostile fire indication (HFI) systems require high-resolution sensor operation at extremely high speeds to capture hostile fire events, including rocket-propelled grenades, anti-aircraft artillery, heavy machine guns, anti-tank guided missiles and small arms. HFI must also be conducted in a waveband with large available signal and low background clutter, in particular the mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR). The shortcoming of current HFI sensors in the MWIR is the bandwidth of the sensor is not sufficient to achieve the required frame rate at the high sensor resolution. Furthermore, current HFI sensors require cryogenic cooling that contributes to size, weight, and power (SWAP) in aircraft-mounted applications where these factors are at a premium. Based on its uncooled photomechanical infrared imaging technology, Agiltron has developed a low-SWAP, high-speed MWIR HFI sensor that breaks the bandwidth bottleneck typical of current infrared sensors. This accomplishment is made possible by using a commercial-off-the-shelf, high-performance visible imager as the readout integrated circuit and physically separating this visible imager from the MWIR-optimized photomechanical sensor chip. With this approach, we have achieved high-resolution operation of our MWIR HFI sensor at 1000 fps, which is unprecedented for an uncooled infrared sensor. We have field tested our MWIR HFI sensor for detecting all hostile fire events mentioned above at several test ranges under a wide range of environmental conditions. The field testing results will be presented.

  19. Rich spectrum of neural field dynamics in the presence of short-term synaptic depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, He; Lam, Kin; Fung, C. C. Alan; Wong, K. Y. Michael; Wu, Si

    2015-09-01

    In continuous attractor neural networks (CANNs), spatially continuous information such as orientation, head direction, and spatial location is represented by Gaussian-like tuning curves that can be displaced continuously in the space of the preferred stimuli of the neurons. We investigate how short-term synaptic depression (STD) can reshape the intrinsic dynamics of the CANN model and its responses to a single static input. In particular, CANNs with STD can support various complex firing patterns and chaotic behaviors. These chaotic behaviors have the potential to encode various stimuli in the neuronal system.

  20. In Sickness and in Health: Perineuronal Nets and Synaptic Plasticity in Psychiatric Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harry Pantazopoulos

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly emerging evidence implicates perineuronal nets (PNNs and extracellular matrix (ECM molecules that compose or interact with PNNs, in the pathophysiology of several psychiatric disorders. Studies on schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and epilepsy point to the involvement of ECM molecules such as chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, Reelin, and matrix metalloproteases, as well as their cell surface receptors. In many of these disorders, PNN abnormalities have also been reported. In the context of the “quadripartite” synapse concept, that is, the functional unit composed of the pre- and postsynaptic terminals, glial processes, and ECM, and of the role that PNNs and ECM molecules play in regulating synaptic functions and plasticity, these findings resonate with one of the most well-replicated aspects of the pathology of psychiatric disorders, that is, synaptic abnormalities. Here we review the evidence for PNN/ECM-related pathology in these disorders, with particular emphasis on schizophrenia, and discuss the hypothesis that such pathology may significantly contribute to synaptic dysfunction.

  1. Fire severity unaffected by spruce beetle outbreak in spruce-fir forests in southwestern Colorado.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrus, Robert A; Veblen, Thomas T; Harvey, Brian J; Hart, Sarah J

    2016-04-01

    Recent large and severe outbreaks of native bark beetles have raised concern among the general public and land managers about potential for amplified fire activity in western North America. To date, the majority of studies examining bark beetle outbreaks and subsequent fire severity in the U.S. Rocky Mountains have focused on outbreaks of mountain pine beetle (MPB; Dendroctonus ponderosae) in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) forests, but few studies, particularly field studies, have addressed the effects of the severity of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis Kirby) infestation on subsequent fire severity in subalpine Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii) and subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) forests. In Colorado, the annual area infested by spruce beetle outbreaks is rapidly rising, while MPB outbreaks are subsiding; therefore understanding this relationship is of growing importance. We collected extensive field data in subalpine forests in the eastern San Juan Mountains, southwestern Colorado, USA, to investigate whether a gray-stage (fire) spruce beetle infestation affected fire severity. Contrary to the expectation that bark beetle infestation alters subsequent fire severity, correlation and multivariate generalized linear regression analysis revealed no influence of pre-fire spruce beetle severity on nearly all field or remotely sensed measurements of fire severity. Findings were consistent across moderate and extreme burning conditions. In comparison to severity of the pre-fire beetle outbreak, we found that topography, pre-outbreak basal area, and weather conditions exerted a stronger effect on fire severity. Our finding that beetle infestation did not alter fire severity is consistent with previous retrospective studies examining fire activity following other bark beetle outbreaks and reiterates the overriding influence of climate that creates conditions conducive to large, high-severity fires in the subalpine zone of Colorado. Both bark beetle outbreaks and

  2. Synaptic protein changes after a chronic period of sensorimotor perturbation in adult rats: a potential role of phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation interplay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fourneau, Julie; Canu, Marie-Hélène; Cieniewski-Bernard, Caroline; Bastide, Bruno; Dupont, Erwan

    2018-05-28

    In human, a chronic sensorimotor perturbation (SMP) through prolonged body immobilization alters motor task performance through a combination of peripheral and central factors. Studies performed on a rat model of SMP have shown biomolecular changes and a reorganization of sensorimotor cortex through events such as morphological modifications of dendritic spines (number, length, functionality). However, underlying mechanisms are still unclear. It is well known that phosphorylation regulates a wide field of synaptic activity leading to neuroplasticity. Another post-translational modification that interplays with phosphorylation is O-GlcNAcylation. This atypical glycosylation, reversible and dynamic, is involved in essential cellular and physiological processes such as synaptic activity, neuronal morphogenesis, learning and memory. We examined potential roles of phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation interplay in synaptic plasticity within rat sensorimotor cortex after a SMP period. For this purpose, sensorimotor cortex synaptosomes were separated by sucrose gradient, in order to isolate a subcellular compartment enriched in proteins involved in synaptic functions. A period of SMP induced plastic changes at the pre- and postsynaptic levels, characterized by a reduction of phosphorylation (synapsin1, AMPAR GluA2) and expression (synaptophysin, PSD-95, AMPAR GluA2) of synaptic proteins, as well as a decrease in MAPK/ERK42 activation. Expression levels of OGT/OGA enzymes was unchanged but we observed a specific reduction of synapsin1 O-GlcNAcylation in sensorimotor cortex synaptosomes. The synergistic regulation of synapsin1 phosphorylation/O-GlcNAcylation could affect presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Associated with other pre- and postsynaptic changes, synaptic efficacy could be impaired in somatosensory cortex of SMP rat. Thus, synapsin1 O-GlcNAcylation/phosphorylation interplay also appears to be involved in this synaptic plasticity by finely regulating neural activity

  3. Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Voss, Morgan; Loehman, Rachel A.; Robinson, Nathaniel P.

    2018-01-01

    Landsat-based fire severity datasets are an invaluable resource for monitoring and research purposes. These gridded fire severity datasets are generally produced with pre-and post-fire imagery to estimate the degree of fire-induced ecological change. Here, we introduce methods to produce three Landsat-based fire severity metrics using the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform: the delta normalized burn ratio (dNBR), the relativized delta normalized burn ratio (RdNBR), and the relativized burn ratio (RBR). Our methods do not rely on time-consuming a priori scene selection and instead use a mean compositing approach in which all valid pixels (e.g. cloud-free) over a pre-specified date range (pre- and post-fire) are stacked and the mean value for each pixel over each stack is used to produce the resulting fire severity datasets. This approach demonstrates that fire severity datasets can be produced with relative ease and speed compared the standard approach in which one pre-fire and post-fire scene are judiciously identified and used to produce fire severity datasets. We also validate the GEE-derived fire severity metrics using field-based fire severity plots for 18 fires in the western US. These validations are compared to Landsat-based fire severity datasets produced using only one pre- and post-fire scene, which has been the standard approach in producing such datasets since their inception. Results indicate that the GEE-derived fire severity datasets show improved validation statistics compared to parallel versions in which only one pre-fire and post-fire scene are used. We provide code and a sample geospatial fire history layer to produce dNBR, RdNBR, and RBR for the 18 fires we evaluated. Although our approach requires that a geospatial fire history layer (i.e. fire perimeters) be produced independently and prior to applying our methods, we suggest our GEE methodology can reasonably be implemented on hundreds to thousands of fires, thereby increasing opportunities

  4. proBDNF Negatively Regulates Neuronal Remodeling, Synaptic Transmission, and Synaptic Plasticity in Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianmin Yang

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75NTR. In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75NTR. Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF.

  5. Highly Sensitive Sensors Based on Metal-Oxide Nanocolumns for Fire Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwangjae Lee

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available A fire detector is the most important component in a fire alarm system. Herein, we present the feasibility of a highly sensitive and rapid response gas sensor based on metal oxides as a high performance fire detector. The glancing angle deposition (GLAD technique is used to make the highly porous structure such as nanocolumns (NCs of various metal oxides for enhancing the gas-sensing performance. To measure the fire detection, the interface circuitry for our sensors (NiO, SnO2, WO3 and In2O3 NCs is designed. When all the sensors with various metal-oxide NCs are exposed to fire environment, they entirely react with the target gases emitted from Poly(vinyl chlorides (PVC decomposed at high temperature. Before the emission of smoke from the PVC (a hot-plate temperature of 200 °C, the resistances of the metal-oxide NCs are abruptly changed and SnO2 NCs show the highest response of 2.1. However, a commercial smoke detector did not inform any warning. Interestingly, although the NiO NCs are a p-type semiconductor, they show the highest response of 577.1 after the emission of smoke from the PVC (a hot-plate temperature of 350 °C. The response time of SnO2 NCs is much faster than that of a commercial smoke detector at the hot-plate temperature of 350 °C. In addition, we investigated the selectivity of our sensors by analyzing the responses of all sensors. Our results show the high potential of a gas sensor based on metal-oxide NCs for early fire detection.

  6. Severity of an uncharacteristically large wildfire, the Rim Fire, in forests with relatively restored frequent fire regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamie Lydersen; Malcolm North; Brandon M. Collins

    2014-01-01

    The 2013 Rim Fire, originating on Forest Service land, burned into old-growth forests within Yosemite National Park with relatively restored frequent-fire regimes (¡Ý2 predominantly low and moderate severity burns within the last 35 years). Forest structure and fuels data were collected in the field 3-4 years before the fire, providing a rare chance to use pre-existing...

  7. Synchronous fire activity in the tropical high Andes: an indication of regional climate forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Román-Cuesta, R M; Carmona-Moreno, C; Lizcano, G; New, M; Silman, M; Knoke, T; Malhi, Y; Oliveras, I; Asbjornsen, H; Vuille, M

    2014-06-01

    Global climate models suggest enhanced warming of the tropical mid and upper troposphere, with larger temperature rise rates at higher elevations. Changes in fire activity are amongst the most significant ecological consequences of rising temperatures and changing hydrological properties in mountainous ecosystems, and there is a global evidence of increased fire activity with elevation. Whilst fire research has become popular in the tropical lowlands, much less is known of the tropical high Andean region (>2000 masl, from Colombia to Bolivia). This study examines fire trends in the high Andes for three ecosystems, the Puna, the Paramo and the Yungas, for the period 1982-2006. We pose three questions: (i) is there an increased fire response with elevation? (ii) does the El Niño- Southern Oscillation control fire activity in this region? (iii) are the observed fire trends human driven (e.g., human practices and their effects on fuel build-up) or climate driven? We did not find evidence of increased fire activity with elevation but, instead, a quasicyclic and synchronous fire response in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, suggesting the influence of high-frequency climate forcing on fire responses on a subcontinental scale, in the high Andes. ENSO variability did not show a significant relation to fire activity for these three countries, partly because ENSO variability did not significantly relate to precipitation extremes, although it strongly did to temperature extremes. Whilst ENSO did not individually lead the observed regional fire trends, our results suggest a climate influence on fire activity, mainly through a sawtooth pattern of precipitation (increased rainfall before fire-peak seasons (t-1) followed by drought spells and unusual low temperatures (t0), which is particularly common where fire is carried by low fuel loads (e.g., grasslands and fine fuel). This climatic sawtooth appeared as the main driver of fire trends, above local human influences and fuel build

  8. High-severity fire: evaluating its key drivers and mapping its probability across western US forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parks, Sean A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Panunto, Matthew H.; Jolly, W. Matt; Dobrowski, Solomon Z.; Dillon, Gregory K.

    2018-04-01

    Wildland fire is a critical process in forests of the western United States (US). Variation in fire behavior, which is heavily influenced by fuel loading, terrain, weather, and vegetation type, leads to heterogeneity in fire severity across landscapes. The relative influence of these factors in driving fire severity, however, is poorly understood. Here, we explore the drivers of high-severity fire for forested ecoregions in the western US over the period 2002–2015. Fire severity was quantified using a satellite-inferred index of severity, the relativized burn ratio. For each ecoregion, we used boosted regression trees to model high-severity fire as a function of live fuel, topography, climate, and fire weather. We found that live fuel, on average, was the most important factor driving high-severity fire among ecoregions (average relative influence = 53.1%) and was the most important factor in 14 of 19 ecoregions. Fire weather was the second most important factor among ecoregions (average relative influence = 22.9%) and was the most important factor in five ecoregions. Climate (13.7%) and topography (10.3%) were less influential. We also predicted the probability of high-severity fire, were a fire to occur, using recent (2016) satellite imagery to characterize live fuel for a subset of ecoregions in which the model skill was deemed acceptable (n = 13). These ‘wall-to-wall’ gridded ecoregional maps provide relevant and up-to-date information for scientists and managers who are tasked with managing fuel and wildland fire. Lastly, we provide an example of the predicted likelihood of high-severity fire under moderate and extreme fire weather before and after fuel reduction treatments, thereby demonstrating how our framework and model predictions can potentially serve as a performance metric for land management agencies tasked with reducing hazardous fuel across large landscapes.

  9. GABA regulates synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ge, Shaoyu; Goh, Eyleen L. K.; Sailor, Kurt A.; Kitabatake, Yasuji; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun

    2006-02-01

    Adult neurogenesis, the birth and integration of new neurons from adult neural stem cells, is a striking form of structural plasticity and highlights the regenerative capacity of the adult mammalian brain. Accumulating evidence suggests that neuronal activity regulates adult neurogenesis and that new neurons contribute to specific brain functions. The mechanism that regulates the integration of newly generated neurons into the pre-existing functional circuitry in the adult brain is unknown. Here we show that newborn granule cells in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus are tonically activated by ambient GABA (γ-aminobutyric acid) before being sequentially innervated by GABA- and glutamate-mediated synaptic inputs. GABA, the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the adult brain, initially exerts an excitatory action on newborn neurons owing to their high cytoplasmic chloride ion content. Conversion of GABA-induced depolarization (excitation) into hyperpolarization (inhibition) in newborn neurons leads to marked defects in their synapse formation and dendritic development in vivo. Our study identifies an essential role for GABA in the synaptic integration of newly generated neurons in the adult brain, and suggests an unexpected mechanism for activity-dependent regulation of adult neurogenesis, in which newborn neurons may sense neuronal network activity through tonic and phasic GABA activation.

  10. Annual runoff and erosion in a recently burn Mediterranean forest - The effects of plowing and time-since-fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vieira, D. C. S.; Malvar, M. C.; Fernández, C.; Serpa, D.; Keizer, J. J.

    2016-10-01

    The impacts of forest fires on runoff and soil erosion have been assessed by many studies, so the effects of fires on the hydrological and geomorphological processes of burnt forest areas, globally and in the Mediterranean region, are well established. Few studies, however, have assessed post-fire runoff and erosion on large time scales. In addition, a limited number of studies are available that consider the effect of pre-fire land management practices on post-fire runoff and erosion. This study evaluated annual runoff and sediment losses, at micro plot scale, for 4 years after a wildfire in three eucalypt plantations with different pre-fire land management practices (i.e., plowed and unplowed). During the four years following the fire, runoff amounts and coefficients at the downslope plowed (1257 mm, 26%) and contour plowed eucalypt sites (1915 mm, 40%) were higher than at the unplowed site (865 mm, 14%). Sediment losses over the 4 years of study were also consistently higher at the two plowed sites (respectively, 0.47 and 0.83 Mg ha- 1 y- 1 at the downslope and contour plowed eucalypt site) than at the unplowed site (0.11 Mg ha- 1 y- 1). Aside from pre-fire land management, time-since-fire also seemed to significantly affect post-fire annual runoff and erosion. In general, annual runoff amounts and erosion rates followed the rainfall pattern. Runoff amounts presented a peak during the third year of monitoring while erosion rates reached their maximum one year earlier, in the second year. Runoff coefficients increased over the 4 years of monitoring, in disagreement to the window of disturbance post-fire recovery model, but sediment concentrations decreased over the study period. When compared with other long-term post-fire studies and with studies evaluating the effects of pre- and post-fire management practices, the results of the present work suggest that an ecosystem's recovery after fire is highly dependent on the background of disturbances of each site, as

  11. Synaptic Wnt/GSK3β Signaling Hub in Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caracci, Mario O.; Ávila, Miguel E.; De Ferrari, Giancarlo V.

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of genes have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and the interaction of weak and de novo variants derive from distinct autistic phenotypes thus making up the “spectrum.” The convergence of these variants in networks of genes associated with synaptic function warrants the study of cell signaling pathways involved in the regulation of the synapse. The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway plays a central role in the development and regulation of the central nervous system and several genes belonging to the cascade have been genetically associated with ASDs. In the present paper, we review basic information regarding the role of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in excitatory/inhibitory balance (E/I balance) through the regulation of pre- and postsynaptic compartments. Furthermore, we integrate information supporting the role of the glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) in the onset/development of ASDs through direct modulation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Finally, given GSK3β activity as key modulator of synaptic plasticity, we explore the potential of this kinase as a therapeutic target for ASD. PMID:26881141

  12. 40 CFR 30.18 - Hotel and motel fire safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Hotel and motel fire safety. 30.18... EDUCATION, HOSPITALS, AND OTHER NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS Pre-Award Requirements § 30.18 Hotel and motel fire safety. The Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-391) establishes a number of fire...

  13. Chemical and dispersal characteristics of particulate emissions from forest fires in Siberia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Y. N. Samsonov; V. A. Ivanov; D. J. McRae; S. P. Baker

    2012-01-01

    Approximately 20 experimental fires were conducted on forest plots of 1-4 ha each in 2000-07 in two types of boreal forests in central Siberia, and 18 on 6 x 12-m plots in 2008-10. These experiments were designed to mimic wildfires under similar burning conditions. The fires were conducted in prescribed conditions including full documentation on pre-fire weather, pre-...

  14. Modulation of synaptic plasticity by stress hormone associates with plastic alteration of synaptic NMDA receptor in the adult hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yiu Chung Tse

    Full Text Available Stress exerts a profound impact on learning and memory, in part, through the actions of adrenal corticosterone (CORT on synaptic plasticity, a cellular model of learning and memory. Increasing findings suggest that CORT exerts its impact on synaptic plasticity by altering the functional properties of glutamate receptors, which include changes in the motility and function of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid subtype of glutamate receptor (AMPAR that are responsible for the expression of synaptic plasticity. Here we provide evidence that CORT could also regulate synaptic plasticity by modulating the function of synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs, which mediate the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that stress level CORT applied to adult rat hippocampal slices potentiated evoked NMDAR-mediated synaptic responses within 30 min. Surprisingly, following this fast-onset change, we observed a slow-onset (>1 hour after termination of CORT exposure increase in synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs. To investigate the consequences of the distinct fast- and slow-onset modulation of NMDARs for synaptic plasticity, we examined the formation of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD within relevant time windows. Paralleling the increased NMDAR function, both LTP and LTD were facilitated during CORT treatment. However, 1-2 hours after CORT treatment when synaptic expression of GluN2A-containing NMDARs is increased, bidirectional plasticity was no longer facilitated. Our findings reveal the remarkable plasticity of NMDARs in the adult hippocampus in response to CORT. CORT-mediated slow-onset increase in GluN2A in hippocampal synapses could be a homeostatic mechanism to normalize synaptic plasticity following fast-onset stress-induced facilitation.

  15. Endogenous Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Suppresses High-Fat Food Intake by Reducing Synaptic Drive onto Mesolimbic Dopamine Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue-Feng Wang

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1 and its analogs act as appetite suppressants and have been proven to be clinically efficacious in reducing body weight in obese individuals. Central GLP-1 is expressed in a small population of brainstem cells located in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS, which project to a wide range of brain areas. However, it remains unclear how endogenous GLP-1 released in the brain contributes to appetite regulation. Using chemogenetic tools, we discovered that central GLP-1 acts on the midbrain ventral tegmental area (VTA and suppresses high-fat food intake. We used integrated pathway tracing and synaptic physiology to further demonstrate that activation of GLP-1 receptors specifically reduces the excitatory synaptic strength of dopamine (DA neurons within the VTA that project to the nucleus accumbens (NAc medial shell. These data suggest that GLP-1 released from NTS neurons can reduce highly palatable food intake by suppressing mesolimbic DA signaling.

  16. Integrating remote sensing and terrain data in forest fire modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medler, Michael Johns

    Forest fire policies are changing. Managers now face conflicting imperatives to re-establish pre-suppression fire regimes, while simultaneously preventing resource destruction. They must, therefore, understand the spatial patterns of fires. Geographers can facilitate this understanding by developing new techniques for mapping fire behavior. This dissertation develops such techniques for mapping recent fires and using these maps to calibrate models of potential fire hazards. In so doing, it features techniques that strive to address the inherent complexity of modeling the combinations of variables found in most ecological systems. Image processing techniques were used to stratify the elements of terrain, slope, elevation, and aspect. These stratification images were used to assure sample placement considered the role of terrain in fire behavior. Examination of multiple stratification images indicated samples were placed representatively across a controlled range of scales. The incorporation of terrain data also improved preliminary fire hazard classification accuracy by 40%, compared with remotely sensed data alone. A Kauth-Thomas transformation (KT) of pre-fire and post-fire Thematic Mapper (TM) remotely sensed data produced brightness, greenness, and wetness images. Image subtraction indicated fire induced change in brightness, greenness, and wetness. Field data guided a fuzzy classification of these change images. Because fuzzy classification can characterize a continuum of a phenomena where discrete classification may produce artificial borders, fuzzy classification was found to offer a range of fire severity information unavailable with discrete classification. These mapped fire patterns were used to calibrate a model of fire hazards for the entire mountain range. Pre-fire TM, and a digital elevation model produced a set of co-registered images. Training statistics were developed from 30 polygons associated with the previously mapped fire severity. Fuzzy

  17. Estimation of the synaptic input firing rates and characterization of the stimulation effects in an auditory neuron

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kobayashi, R.; He, J.; Lánský, Petr

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 9, May 18 (2015), s. 59 ISSN 1662-5188 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-08066S Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : synaptic inputs * statistical inference * state-space models * intracellular recordings * auditory cortex Subject RIV: BD - Theory of Information Impact factor: 2.653, year: 2015

  18. High-Performance Fire Detector for Spacecraft, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The danger from fire aboard spacecraft is immediate with only moments for detection and suppression. Spacecraft are unique high-value systems where the cost of...

  19. Synaptic plasticity in drug reward circuitry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Danny G; Egli, Regula E; Schramm, Nicole L; Matthews, Robert T

    2002-11-01

    Drug addiction is a major public health issue worldwide. The persistence of drug craving coupled with the known recruitment of learning and memory centers in the brain has led investigators to hypothesize that the alterations in glutamatergic synaptic efficacy brought on by synaptic plasticity may play key roles in the addiction process. Here we review the present literature, examining the properties of synaptic plasticity within drug reward circuitry, and the effects that drugs of abuse have on these forms of plasticity. Interestingly, multiple forms of synaptic plasticity can be induced at glutamatergic synapses within the dorsal striatum, its ventral extension the nucleus accumbens, and the ventral tegmental area, and at least some of these forms of plasticity are regulated by behaviorally meaningful administration of cocaine and/or amphetamine. Thus, the present data suggest that regulation of synaptic plasticity in reward circuits is a tractable candidate mechanism underlying aspects of addiction.

  20. Synaptic model for spontaneous activity in developing networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lerchner, Alexander; Rinzel, J.

    2005-01-01

    Spontaneous rhythmic activity occurs in many developing neural networks. The activity in these hyperexcitable networks is comprised of recurring "episodes" consisting of "cycles" of high activity that alternate with "silent phases" with little or no activity. We introduce a new model of synaptic...... dynamics that takes into account that only a fraction of the vesicles stored in a synaptic terminal is readily available for release. We show that our model can reproduce spontaneous rhythmic activity with the same general features as observed in experiments, including a positive correlation between...

  1. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Asif

    Learning and sensory processing in the brain relies on the effective transmission of information across synapses. The strength and efficacy of synaptic transmission is modifiable through training and can be modulated with noninvasive electrical brain stimulation. Transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), specifically, induces weak intensity and spatially diffuse electric fields in the brain. Despite being weak, electric fields modulate spiking probability and the efficacy of synaptic transmission. These effects critically depend on the direction of the electric field relative to the orientation of the neuron and on the level of endogenous synaptic activity. TES has been used to modulate a wide range of neuropsychiatric indications, for various rehabilitation applications, and cognitive performance in diverse tasks. How can a weak and diffuse electric field, which simultaneously polarizes neurons across the brain, have precise changes in brain function? Designing therapies to maximize desired outcomes and minimize undesired effects presents a challenging problem. A series of experiments and computational models are used to define the anatomical and functional factors leading to specificity of TES. Anatomical specificity derives from guiding current to targeted brain structures and taking advantage of the direction-sensitivity of neurons with respect to the electric field. Functional specificity originates from preferential modulation of neuronal networks that are already active. Diffuse electric fields may recruit connected brain networks involved in a training task and promote plasticity along active synaptic pathways. In vitro, electric fields boost endogenous synaptic plasticity and raise the ceiling for synaptic learning with repeated stimulation sessions. Synapses undergoing strong plasticity are preferentially modulated over weak synapses. Therefore, active circuits that are involved in a task could be more susceptible to stimulation than inactive circuits

  2. Effects of fire on fish populations: Landscape perspectives on persistance of native fishes and nonnative fish invasions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunham, J.B.; Young, M.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Rieman, B.

    2003-01-01

    Our limited understanding of the short and long-term effects of fire on fish contributes to considerable uncertainty in assessments of the risks and benefits of fire management alternatives. A primary concern among the many potential effects of fire is the effects of fire and fire management on persistence of native fish populations. Limited evidence suggests vulnerability of fish to fire is contingent upon the quality of affected habitats, the amount and distribution of habitat (habitat fragmentation), and habitat specificity of the species in question. Species with narrow habitat requirements in highly degraded and fragmented systems are likely to be most vulnerable to fire and fire-related disturbance. In addition to effects of fire on native fish, there are growing concerns about the effects of fire on nonnative fish invasions. The role of fire in facilitating invasions by nonnative fishes is unknown, but experience with other species suggests some forms of disturbance associated with fire may facilitate invasion. Management efforts to promote persistence of fishes in fire-prone landscapes can take the form of four basic alternatives: (1) pre-fire management; (2) post-fire management; (3) managing fire itself (e.g. fire fighting); and (4) monitoring and adaptive management. Among these alternatives, pre-fire management is likely to be most effective. Effective pre-fire management activities will address factors that may render fish populations more vulnerable to the effects of fire (e.g. habitat degradation, fragmentation, and nonnative species). Post-fire management is also potentially important, but suffers from being a reactive approach that may not address threats in time to avert them. Managing fire itself can be important in some contexts, but negative consequences for fish populations are possible (e.g. toxicity of fire fighting chemicals to fish). Monitoring and adaptive management can provide important new information for evaluating alternatives, but

  3. Synaptic Membrane Synthesis in Rats Depends on Dietary Sufficiency of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium: Relevance for Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cansev, Mehmet; Turkyilmaz, Mesut; Sijben, John W C; Sevinc, Cansu; Broersen, Laus M; van Wijk, Nick

    2017-01-01

    Chronic consumption of a diet enriched with nutritional precursors of phospholipids, including uridine and the polyunsaturated fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), was shown previously to enhance levels of brain phospholipids and synaptic proteins in rodents. Vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium may directly affect the breakdown or synthesis of membrane phospholipids. The present study investigated the necessity of antioxidants for the effectiveness of supplementation with uridine plus DHA and EPA (as fish oil) in rats. Rats were randomized to four treatment groups and received, for 6 weeks, one of four experimental diets, i.e., a diet low in antioxidants, a diet high in antioxidants, a diet low in antioxidants supplemented with DHA+EPA+uridine, or a diet high in antioxidants supplemented with DHA+EPA+uridine. On completion of dietary treatment, rats were sacrificed, and brain levels of phospholipids, synaptic proteins, and two enzymes involved in phospholipid synthesis (choline-phosphate cytidylyltransferase, PCYT1A, and choline/ethanolamine phosphotransferase, CEPT1) were analyzed. Levels of phospholipids, the pre- and post-synaptic proteins Synapsin-1 and PSD95, and the enzymes PCYT1A and CEPT1 were significantly enhanced by combined supplementation of DHA+EPA+uridine and antioxidants and not enhanced by supplementation of DHA+EPA+uridine with insufficient antioxidant levels. Our data suggest that dietary vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium are essential for the phospholipid precursors' effects on increasing levels of membrane phospholipids and synaptic proteins, the indirect indicators of synaptogenesis. Their concomitant supply may be relevant in Alzheimer's disease patients, because the disease is characterized by synapse loss and lower plasma and brain levels of phospholipid precursors and antioxidants.

  4. Synaptic function is modulated by LRRK2 and glutamate release is increased in cortical neurons of G2019S LRRK2 knock-in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beccano-Kelly, Dayne A; Kuhlmann, Naila; Tatarnikov, Igor; Volta, Mattia; Munsie, Lise N; Chou, Patrick; Cao, Li-Ping; Han, Heather; Tapia, Lucia; Farrer, Matthew J; Milnerwood, Austen J

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase-2 (LRRK2) result in familial Parkinson's disease and the G2019S mutation alone accounts for up to 30% in some ethnicities. Despite this, the function of LRRK2 is largely undetermined although evidence suggests roles in phosphorylation, protein interactions, autophagy and endocytosis. Emerging reports link loss of LRRK2 to altered synaptic transmission, but the effects of the G2019S mutation upon synaptic release in mammalian neurons are unknown. To assess wild type and mutant LRRK2 in established neuronal networks, we conducted immunocytochemical, electrophysiological and biochemical characterization of >3 week old cortical cultures of LRRK2 knock-out, wild-type overexpressing and G2019S knock-in mice. Synaptic release and synapse numbers were grossly normal in LRRK2 knock-out cells, but discretely reduced glutamatergic activity and reduced synaptic protein levels were observed. Conversely, synapse density was modestly but significantly increased in wild-type LRRK2 overexpressing cultures although event frequency was not. In knock-in cultures, glutamate release was markedly elevated, in the absence of any change to synapse density, indicating that physiological levels of G2019S LRRK2 elevate probability of release. Several pre-synaptic regulatory proteins shown by others to interact with LRRK2 were expressed at normal levels in knock-in cultures; however, synapsin 1 phosphorylation was significantly reduced. Thus, perturbations to the pre-synaptic release machinery and elevated synaptic transmission are early neuronal effects of LRRK2 G2019S. Furthermore, the comparison of knock-in and overexpressing cultures suggests that one copy of the G2019S mutation has a more pronounced effect than an ~3-fold increase in LRRK2 protein. Mutant-induced increases in transmission may convey additional stressors to neuronal physiology that may eventually contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease.

  5. Working memory cells' behavior may be explained by cross-regional networks with synaptic facilitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Verduzco-Flores

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Neurons in the cortex exhibit a number of patterns that correlate with working memory. Specifically, averaged across trials of working memory tasks, neurons exhibit different firing rate patterns during the delay of those tasks. These patterns include: 1 persistent fixed-frequency elevated rates above baseline, 2 elevated rates that decay throughout the tasks memory period, 3 rates that accelerate throughout the delay, and 4 patterns of inhibited firing (below baseline analogous to each of the preceding excitatory patterns. Persistent elevated rate patterns are believed to be the neural correlate of working memory retention and preparation for execution of behavioral/motor responses as required in working memory tasks. Models have proposed that such activity corresponds to stable attractors in cortical neural networks with fixed synaptic weights. However, the variability in patterned behavior and the firing statistics of real neurons across the entire range of those behaviors across and within trials of working memory tasks are typical not reproduced. Here we examine the effect of dynamic synapses and network architectures with multiple cortical areas on the states and dynamics of working memory networks. The analysis indicates that the multiple pattern types exhibited by cells in working memory networks are inherent in networks with dynamic synapses, and that the variability and firing statistics in such networks with distributed architectures agree with that observed in the cortex.

  6. Flexible Proton-Gated Oxide Synaptic Transistors on Si Membrane.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Li Qiang; Wan, Chang Jin; Gao, Ping Qi; Liu, Yang Hui; Xiao, Hui; Ye, Ji Chun; Wan, Qing

    2016-08-24

    Ion-conducting materials have received considerable attention for their applications in fuel cells, electrochemical devices, and sensors. Here, flexible indium zinc oxide (InZnO) synaptic transistors with multiple presynaptic inputs gated by proton-conducting phosphorosilicate glass-based electrolyte films are fabricated on ultrathin Si membranes. Transient characteristics of the proton gated InZnO synaptic transistors are investigated, indicating stable proton-gating behaviors. Short-term synaptic plasticities are mimicked on the proposed proton-gated synaptic transistors. Furthermore, synaptic integration regulations are mimicked on the proposed synaptic transistor networks. Spiking logic modulations are realized based on the transition between superlinear and sublinear synaptic integration. The multigates coupled flexible proton-gated oxide synaptic transistors may be interesting for neuroinspired platforms with sophisticated spatiotemporal information processing.

  7. Computing the Local Field Potential (LFP) from Integrate-and-Fire Network Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuntz, Hermann; Lansner, Anders; Panzeri, Stefano; Einevoll, Gaute T.

    2015-01-01

    Leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) network models are commonly used to study how the spiking dynamics of neural networks changes with stimuli, tasks or dynamic network states. However, neurophysiological studies in vivo often rather measure the mass activity of neuronal microcircuits with the local field potential (LFP). Given that LFPs are generated by spatially separated currents across the neuronal membrane, they cannot be computed directly from quantities defined in models of point-like LIF neurons. Here, we explore the best approximation for predicting the LFP based on standard output from point-neuron LIF networks. To search for this best “LFP proxy”, we compared LFP predictions from candidate proxies based on LIF network output (e.g, firing rates, membrane potentials, synaptic currents) with “ground-truth” LFP obtained when the LIF network synaptic input currents were injected into an analogous three-dimensional (3D) network model of multi-compartmental neurons with realistic morphology, spatial distributions of somata and synapses. We found that a specific fixed linear combination of the LIF synaptic currents provided an accurate LFP proxy, accounting for most of the variance of the LFP time course observed in the 3D network for all recording locations. This proxy performed well over a broad set of conditions, including substantial variations of the neuronal morphologies. Our results provide a simple formula for estimating the time course of the LFP from LIF network simulations in cases where a single pyramidal population dominates the LFP generation, and thereby facilitate quantitative comparison between computational models and experimental LFP recordings in vivo. PMID:26657024

  8. Computing the Local Field Potential (LFP from Integrate-and-Fire Network Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Mazzoni

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF network models are commonly used to study how the spiking dynamics of neural networks changes with stimuli, tasks or dynamic network states. However, neurophysiological studies in vivo often rather measure the mass activity of neuronal microcircuits with the local field potential (LFP. Given that LFPs are generated by spatially separated currents across the neuronal membrane, they cannot be computed directly from quantities defined in models of point-like LIF neurons. Here, we explore the best approximation for predicting the LFP based on standard output from point-neuron LIF networks. To search for this best "LFP proxy", we compared LFP predictions from candidate proxies based on LIF network output (e.g, firing rates, membrane potentials, synaptic currents with "ground-truth" LFP obtained when the LIF network synaptic input currents were injected into an analogous three-dimensional (3D network model of multi-compartmental neurons with realistic morphology, spatial distributions of somata and synapses. We found that a specific fixed linear combination of the LIF synaptic currents provided an accurate LFP proxy, accounting for most of the variance of the LFP time course observed in the 3D network for all recording locations. This proxy performed well over a broad set of conditions, including substantial variations of the neuronal morphologies. Our results provide a simple formula for estimating the time course of the LFP from LIF network simulations in cases where a single pyramidal population dominates the LFP generation, and thereby facilitate quantitative comparison between computational models and experimental LFP recordings in vivo.

  9. Secreted factors as synaptic organizers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Venkatesh, Erin M; Umemori, Hisashi

    2010-07-01

    A critical step in synaptic development is the differentiation of presynaptic and postsynaptic compartments. This complex process is regulated by a variety of secreted factors that serve as synaptic organizers. Specifically, fibroblast growth factors, Wnts, neurotrophic factors and various other intercellular signaling molecules are proposed to regulate presynaptic and/or postsynaptic differentiation. Many of these factors appear to function at both the neuromuscular junction and in the central nervous system, although the specific function of the molecules differs between the two. Here we review secreted molecules that organize the synaptic compartments and discuss how these molecules shape synaptic development, focusing on mammalian in vivo systems. Their critical role in shaping a functional neural circuit is underscored by their possible link to a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders both in animal models and by mutations identified in human patients. © The Authors (2010). Journal Compilation © Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  10. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: → I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. → I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. → I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. → Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. → Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated

  11. Active hippocampal networks undergo spontaneous synaptic modification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masako Tsukamoto-Yasui

    Full Text Available The brain is self-writable; as the brain voluntarily adapts itself to a changing environment, the neural circuitry rearranges its functional connectivity by referring to its own activity. How the internal activity modifies synaptic weights is largely unknown, however. Here we report that spontaneous activity causes complex reorganization of synaptic connectivity without any external (or artificial stimuli. Under physiologically relevant ionic conditions, CA3 pyramidal cells in hippocampal slices displayed spontaneous spikes with bistable slow oscillations of membrane potential, alternating between the so-called UP and DOWN states. The generation of slow oscillations did not require fast synaptic transmission, but their patterns were coordinated by local circuit activity. In the course of generating spontaneous activity, individual neurons acquired bidirectional long-lasting synaptic modification. The spontaneous synaptic plasticity depended on a rise in intracellular calcium concentrations of postsynaptic cells, but not on NMDA receptor activity. The direction and amount of the plasticity varied depending on slow oscillation patterns and synapse locations, and thus, they were diverse in a network. Once this global synaptic refinement occurred, the same neurons now displayed different patterns of spontaneous activity, which in turn exhibited different levels of synaptic plasticity. Thus, active networks continuously update their internal states through ongoing synaptic plasticity. With computational simulations, we suggest that with this slow oscillation-induced plasticity, a recurrent network converges on a more specific state, compared to that with spike timing-dependent plasticity alone.

  12. Synaptic communication between neurons and NG2+ cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paukert, Martin; Bergles, Dwight E

    2006-10-01

    Chemical synaptic transmission provides the basis for much of the rapid signaling that occurs within neuronal networks. However, recent studies have provided compelling evidence that synapses are not used exclusively for communication between neurons. Physiological and anatomical studies indicate that a distinct class of glia known as NG2(+) cells also forms direct synaptic junctions with both glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons. Glutamatergic signaling can influence intracellular Ca(2+) levels in NG2(+) cells by activating Ca(2+) permeable AMPA receptors, and these inputs can be potentiated through high frequency stimulation. Although the significance of this highly differentiated form of communication remains to be established, these neuro-glia synapses might enable neurons to influence rapidly the behavior of this ubiquitous class of glial progenitors.

  13. Towards improved quantification of post-fire conifer mortality and recovery: Impacts of fire radiative flux on seedling and mature tree mortality, physiology, and growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, A. M.; Kolden, C.; Smith, A. M.

    2016-12-01

    Fire activity, in terms of intensity, frequency, and total area burned, is expected to increase with changing climate. A challenge for landscape level assessment of fire effects, termed burn severity, is that current assessments provide very little information regarding vegetation physiological performance and recovery, limiting our understanding of fire effects on ecosystem services such as carbon storage/cycling. To address these limitations, we evaluated an alternative dose-response methodology for quantifying fire effects that attempts to bridge fire combustion dynamics and ecophysiology. Specifically, we conducted a highly controlled, laboratory assessment of seedling response to increasing doses of fire radiative energy applied through surface fires, for two western U.S. conifer species. Seedling physiology and spectral reflectance were acquired pre- and up to 1 year post-fire. Post-fire mortality, physiological performance, and spectral reflectance were strongly related with fire radiative energy density (FRED: J m-2) dose. To examine how these relationships change with tree size and age, we conducted small prescribed fires at the tree scale (35 m2) in a mature conifer stand. Radial growth and resin duct defenses were assessed on the mature conifer trees following the prescribed fires. Differences in dose-response relationships between seedlings and mature trees indicate the importance of fire behavior (e.g., flaming-dominated versus smoldering-dominated combustion) in characterizing these relationships. Ultimately, these results suggest that post-fire impacts on growth of surviving seedlings and mature trees require modes of heat transfer to impact tree canopies.

  14. Detection and Characterization of Low Temperature Peat Fires during the 2015 Fire Catastrophe in Indonesia Using a New High-Sensitivity Fire Monitoring Satellite Sensor (FireBird).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Elizabeth C; Englhart, Sandra; Lorenz, Eckehard; Halle, Winfried; Wiedemann, Werner; Siegert, Florian

    2016-01-01

    Vast and disastrous fires occurred on Borneo during the 2015 dry season, pushing Indonesia into the top five carbon emitting countries. The region was affected by a very strong El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate phenomenon, on par with the last severe event in 1997/98. Fire dynamics in Central Kalimantan were investigated using an innovative sensor offering higher sensitivity to a wider range of fire intensities at a finer spatial resolution (160 m) than heretofore available. The sensor is onboard the TET-1 satellite, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) FireBird mission. TET-1 images (acquired every 2-3 days) from the middle infrared were used to detect fires continuously burning for almost three weeks in the protected peatlands of Sebangau National Park as well as surrounding areas with active logging and oil palm concessions. TET-1 detection capabilities were compared with MODIS active fire detection and Landsat burned area algorithms. Fire dynamics, including fire front propagation speed and area burned, were investigated. We show that TET-1 has improved detection capabilities over MODIS in monitoring low-intensity peatland fire fronts through thick smoke and haze. Analysis of fire dynamics revealed that the largest burned areas resulted from fire front lines started from multiple locations, and the highest propagation speeds were in excess of 500 m/day (all over peat > 2m deep). Fires were found to occur most often in concessions that contained drainage infrastructure but were not cleared prior to the fire season. Benefits of implementing this sensor system to improve current fire management techniques are discussed. Near real-time fire detection together with enhanced fire behavior monitoring capabilities would not only improve firefighting efforts, but also benefit analysis of fire impact on tropical peatlands, greenhouse gas emission estimations as well as mitigation measures to reduce severe fire events in the future.

  15. Mathematical modeling of agricultural fires beneath high voltage transmission lines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Zohri, Emad H.; Shafey, Hamdy M.; Abdel-Salam, M.; Ahmed, A.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a mathematical model for agricultural fires based on a multi-phase formulation. The model includes dehydration and pyrolysis of agricultural fuel and pyrolysis products. The model considers a homogeneous distribution of the agricultural solid fuel particles, interacting with the gas flow via source terms. These terms include: drag forces, production of water vapour and pyrolysis products, radiative and convective heat exchange. A multi-phase radiative transfer equation for absorbing-emitting medium is considered to account for the radiative heat exchange between the gas and solid phases of the fire. The main outputs of the present model are most important to study the influence of agricultural fire occurring beneath high voltage transmission lines. The agricultural fire causes a flashover due to the ambient temperature rise and soot accumulation on the insulator of these transmission lines. Numerical results of the present model are obtained for flat grassland fires to study the effects of wind velocity, solid fuel moisture content and ignition length on some selected fire outputs. These outputs include the temperature, velocity, soot volume fraction fields of the gas phase, together with fire propagation rate and flame geometry. The numerical results are compared to the available experimental work in the literature. -- Research highlights: → The model is sensitive to the initial condition of the ignition length affecting the fire propagation rate and width. → The model predicts the effects of both the wind velocity and the fuel moisture content on fire propagation rate, in agreement with the available experimental work in the literature. → The model shows that both the wind velocity and the fuel moisture content are important factors affecting the fire plume thickness, location, and inclination. → The model is able to visualize the flame geometry through tracing radiative heat rates exceeding a threshold value for flame visibility (60 k

  16. Self-sustained firing activities of the cortical network with plastic rules in weak AC electrical fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qin Ying-Mei; Wang Jiang; Men Cong; Zhao Jia; Wei Xi-Le; Deng Bin

    2012-01-01

    Both external and endogenous electrical fields widely exist in the environment of cortical neurons. The effects of a weak alternating current (AC) field on a neural network model with synaptic plasticity are studied. It is found that self-sustained rhythmic firing patterns, which are closely correlated with the cognitive functions, are significantly modified due to the self-organizing of the network in the weak AC field. The activities of the neural networks are affected by the synaptic connection strength, the external stimuli, and so on. In the presence of learning rules, the synaptic connections can be modulated by the external stimuli, which will further enhance the sensitivity of the network to the external signal. The properties of the external AC stimuli can serve as control parameters in modulating the evolution of the neural network. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  17. Optogenetic Examination of Prefrontal-Amygdala Synaptic Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arruda-Carvalho, Maithe; Wu, Wan-Chen; Cummings, Kirstie A; Clem, Roger L

    2017-03-15

    A brain network comprising the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala plays important roles in developmentally regulated cognitive and emotional processes. However, very little is known about the maturation of mPFC-amygdala circuitry. We conducted anatomical tracing of mPFC projections and optogenetic interrogation of their synaptic connections with neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) at neonatal to adult developmental stages in mice. Results indicate that mPFC-BLA projections exhibit delayed emergence relative to other mPFC pathways and establish synaptic transmission with BLA excitatory and inhibitory neurons in late infancy, events that coincide with a massive increase in overall synaptic drive. During subsequent adolescence, mPFC-BLA circuits are further modified by excitatory synaptic strengthening as well as a transient surge in feedforward inhibition. The latter was correlated with increased spontaneous inhibitory currents in excitatory neurons, suggesting that mPFC-BLA circuit maturation culminates in a period of exuberant GABAergic transmission. These findings establish a time course for the onset and refinement of mPFC-BLA transmission and point to potential sensitive periods in the development of this critical network. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Human mPFC-amygdala functional connectivity is developmentally regulated and figures prominently in numerous psychiatric disorders with a high incidence of adolescent onset. However, it remains unclear when synaptic connections between these structures emerge or how their properties change with age. Our work establishes developmental windows and cellular substrates for synapse maturation in this pathway involving both excitatory and inhibitory circuits. The engagement of these substrates by early life experience may support the ontogeny of fundamental behaviors but could also lead to inappropriate circuit refinement and psychopathology in adverse situations. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372976-10$15.00/0.

  18. Stochastic lattice model of synaptic membrane protein domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yiwei; Kahraman, Osman; Haselwandter, Christoph A

    2017-05-01

    Neurotransmitter receptor molecules, concentrated in synaptic membrane domains along with scaffolds and other kinds of proteins, are crucial for signal transmission across chemical synapses. In common with other membrane protein domains, synaptic domains are characterized by low protein copy numbers and protein crowding, with rapid stochastic turnover of individual molecules. We study here in detail a stochastic lattice model of the receptor-scaffold reaction-diffusion dynamics at synaptic domains that was found previously to capture, at the mean-field level, the self-assembly, stability, and characteristic size of synaptic domains observed in experiments. We show that our stochastic lattice model yields quantitative agreement with mean-field models of nonlinear diffusion in crowded membranes. Through a combination of analytic and numerical solutions of the master equation governing the reaction dynamics at synaptic domains, together with kinetic Monte Carlo simulations, we find substantial discrepancies between mean-field and stochastic models for the reaction dynamics at synaptic domains. Based on the reaction and diffusion properties of synaptic receptors and scaffolds suggested by previous experiments and mean-field calculations, we show that the stochastic reaction-diffusion dynamics of synaptic receptors and scaffolds provide a simple physical mechanism for collective fluctuations in synaptic domains, the molecular turnover observed at synaptic domains, key features of the observed single-molecule trajectories, and spatial heterogeneity in the effective rates at which receptors and scaffolds are recycled at the cell membrane. Our work sheds light on the physical mechanisms and principles linking the collective properties of membrane protein domains to the stochastic dynamics that rule their molecular components.

  19. Behavior and monitoring of air filters of high efficiency during fire

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chappellier, Andre; Chappellier, Simonne.

    1980-07-01

    High efficiency filters were submitted to dynamic tests at graduated temperatures. As compared to the case of fire taking place in a high activity building equiped with such purifying system, these tests can be considered as significant. The tested filters were found out to resist to three ranges of temperatures: (1) 130 0 C during one hour, (ii) 250 0 C during one hour, (iii) 400 0 C during at least two hours. Some observed phenomenons, as for instance, the smoke emission due to glues, or building materials pyrolysis will progress the conception doctrine of fire detection network in ventilation sheath. Moreover these tests demonstrated that thermal fire detectors well chosen and correctly put into operation can be useful in these sheaths [fr

  20. Review of Repair Materials for Fire-Damaged Reinforced Concrete Structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahid, MZA Mohd; Abu Bakar, BH; Nazri, FM; Ahmad, MM; Muhamad, K.

    2018-03-01

    Reinforced concrete (RC) structures perform well during fire and may be repaired after the fire incident because their low heat conductivity prevents the loss or degradation of mechanical strength of the concrete core and internal reinforcing steel. When an RC structure is heated to more than 500 °C, mechanical properties such as compressive strength, stiffness, and tensile strength start to degrade and deformations occur. Although the fire-exposed RC structure shows no visible damage, its residual strength decreases compared with that in the pre-fire state. Upon thorough assessment, the fire-damaged RC structure can be repaired or strengthened, instead of subjecting to partial or total demolition followed by reconstruction. The structure can be repaired using several materials, such as carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, glass fiber-reinforced polymer, normal strength concrete, fiber-reinforced concrete, ferrocement, epoxy resin mortar, and high-performance concrete. Selecting an appropriate repair material that must be compatible with the substrate or base material is a vital step to ensure successful repair. This paper reviews existing repair materials and factors affecting their performance. Of the materials considered, ultra-high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) exhibits huge potential for repairing fire-damaged RC structures but lack of information available. Hence, further studies must be performed to assess the potential of UHPFRC in rehabilitating fire-damaged RC structures.

  1. Short Term Soil Respiration Response to Fire in a Semi-arid Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozin, A. G.

    2015-12-01

    In the Intermountain West (USA), fire is an important driver of carbon cycling in the environment. Increasing frequency and severity of fires, either through management actions or wildfires, is expected with changing climates in the Western United States. When burning is used as a management tool, it may be beneficial and control the growth of nuisance vegetation, promote the regeneration of grasses and forage species, and reduce hazardous fuel loads to minimize the risk of future wildfires. However, high intensity wildfires often have a negative effect, resulting in a loss of carbon storage and a shift of vegetation communities. This delays recovery of the ecosystem for years or decades and alters the historic fire regime. A 2000 acre prescribed burn in the Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory provided the opportunity to quantify pre and post-burn soil carbon stores and soil carbon losses by heterotrophic respiration. Pre and post-burn soil samples were collected for physical and biogeochemical characterization to quantify substrate availability and possible limitations for heterotrophic respiration. CO2 fluxes were continuously monitored in situ before and immediately after the fire to understand the short-term response of soil respiration to varying burn severities.

  2. The Fire-Walker’s High: Affect and Physiological Responses in an Extreme Collective Ritual

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fischer, Ronald; Xygalatas, Dimitris; Mitkidis, Panagiotis

    2014-01-01

    -walking ritual in a Mauritian Hindu community. Specifically, we compared changes in levels of happiness, fatigue, and heart rate reactivity among high-ordeal participants (fire-walkers), low-ordeal participants (non-fire-walking participants with familial bonds to fire-walkers) and spectators (unrelated....../unknown to the fire-walkers). We observed that fire-walkers experienced the highest increase in heart rate and reported greater happiness post-ritual compared to low-ordeal participants and spectators. Low-ordeal participants reported increased fatigue after the ritual compared to both fire-walkers and spectators...

  3. A fire risk assessment model for residential high-rises with a single stairwell

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, N. D.; Steffensen, F.B.; Valkvist, M.B.

    2018-01-01

    As few or none prescriptive guidelines for fire risk assessment of residential high-rise buildings exist, it has been unclear which fire safety design features constitute an acceptable (adequate) safety level. In order to fill this gap a simplified risk-based decision-support tool, the Fire Risk...... Model (FRM), was developed. The FRM evaluates both the risk level to the occupants and the property risk level as a function of the building characteristics, height and fire safety features for single stairwell residential high-rise buildings. The acceptability of a high-rise design is then defined......, and the associated performance of the FRM evaluated. It was found that compartmentation and the door configurations in the egress path play an important role, along with sprinklers, in order for the design to successfully keep the stairwell free from smoke. Specifically, modern curtain wall facades were found...

  4. Detection and Characterization of Low Temperature Peat Fires during the 2015 Fire Catastrophe in Indonesia Using a New High-Sensitivity Fire Monitoring Satellite Sensor (FireBird)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Elizabeth C.; Englhart, Sandra; Lorenz, Eckehard; Halle, Winfried; Wiedemann, Werner; Siegert, Florian

    2016-01-01

    Vast and disastrous fires occurred on Borneo during the 2015 dry season, pushing Indonesia into the top five carbon emitting countries. The region was affected by a very strong El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate phenomenon, on par with the last severe event in 1997/98. Fire dynamics in Central Kalimantan were investigated using an innovative sensor offering higher sensitivity to a wider range of fire intensities at a finer spatial resolution (160 m) than heretofore available. The sensor is onboard the TET-1 satellite, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) FireBird mission. TET-1 images (acquired every 2–3 days) from the middle infrared were used to detect fires continuously burning for almost three weeks in the protected peatlands of Sebangau National Park as well as surrounding areas with active logging and oil palm concessions. TET-1 detection capabilities were compared with MODIS active fire detection and Landsat burned area algorithms. Fire dynamics, including fire front propagation speed and area burned, were investigated. We show that TET-1 has improved detection capabilities over MODIS in monitoring low-intensity peatland fire fronts through thick smoke and haze. Analysis of fire dynamics revealed that the largest burned areas resulted from fire front lines started from multiple locations, and the highest propagation speeds were in excess of 500 m/day (all over peat > 2m deep). Fires were found to occur most often in concessions that contained drainage infrastructure but were not cleared prior to the fire season. Benefits of implementing this sensor system to improve current fire management techniques are discussed. Near real-time fire detection together with enhanced fire behavior monitoring capabilities would not only improve firefighting efforts, but also benefit analysis of fire impact on tropical peatlands, greenhouse gas emission estimations as well as mitigation measures to reduce severe fire events in the future. PMID:27486664

  5. Passive fire protection in high density village (case study, Bustaman Semarang)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sukawi, Sukawi; Wahyu Firmandhani, Satriya; Hardiman, Gagoek

    2017-12-01

    Fire hazard is the disaster that always has an unpredictable process of coming. When it comes, its level scope and the magnitude of the effects cannot be predicted. Dense settlements especially in big cities, among others Bustaman Kampong Semarang never escape from physical problems such as flooding and wildfire. If both are compared in dense settlements scope, so that, wild fire is the most potentially catastrophic. It is necessary to do a research on passive fire protection in a village of high density city such as Bustaman. Qualitative research was conducted using descriptive method to conduct observations and interviews in the Bustaman. Bustaman as a high density village, with narrow roads and dense rows of houses. The terraced buildings are also encountered, and found many buildings use combustible material. That environmental conditions can facilitate the propagation of flames in case of fire. To improve the established Bustaman's environment, in terms of the application of passive fire protection systems, it is recommended to utilize the road as the dividing buildings. Need to build the separation wall fireproof in every each series in several units of too long buildings and attempted open space procurement that separates rows of buildings that are too long, and also the replacement of combustible material with a material that is more incombustible.

  6. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thuan Chu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica forest in Siberia. A time-series of remote sensing images was analyzed to estimate post-fire recovery as a response variable across the burned area in 1996. Our results suggested that burn severity and water content were primary controllers of both Larch forest recruitment and green vegetation cover as defined by the forest recovery index (FRI and the fractional vegetation cover (FVC, respectively. We found a high rate of Larch forest recruitment in sites of moderate burn severity, while a more severe burn was the preferable condition for quick occupation by vegetation that included early seral communities of shrubs, grasses, conifers and broadleaf trees. Sites close to water and that received higher solar energy during the summer months showed a higher rate of both recovery types, defined by the FRI and FVC, dependent on burn severity. In addition to these factors, topographic variables and pre-fire condition were important predictors of post-fire forest patterns. These results have direct implications for the post-fire forest management in the Siberian boreal Larch region.

  7. Network evolution induced by asynchronous stimuli through spike-timing-dependent plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu-Jie Yuan

    Full Text Available In sensory neural system, external asynchronous stimuli play an important role in perceptual learning, associative memory and map development. However, the organization of structure and dynamics of neural networks induced by external asynchronous stimuli are not well understood. Spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP is a typical synaptic plasticity that has been extensively found in the sensory systems and that has received much theoretical attention. This synaptic plasticity is highly sensitive to correlations between pre- and postsynaptic firings. Thus, STDP is expected to play an important role in response to external asynchronous stimuli, which can induce segregative pre- and postsynaptic firings. In this paper, we study the impact of external asynchronous stimuli on the organization of structure and dynamics of neural networks through STDP. We construct a two-dimensional spatial neural network model with local connectivity and sparseness, and use external currents to stimulate alternately on different spatial layers. The adopted external currents imposed alternately on spatial layers can be here regarded as external asynchronous stimuli. Through extensive numerical simulations, we focus on the effects of stimulus number and inter-stimulus timing on synaptic connecting weights and the property of propagation dynamics in the resulting network structure. Interestingly, the resulting feedforward structure induced by stimulus-dependent asynchronous firings and its propagation dynamics reflect both the underlying property of STDP. The results imply a possible important role of STDP in generating feedforward structure and collective propagation activity required for experience-dependent map plasticity in developing in vivo sensory pathways and cortices. The relevance of the results to cue-triggered recall of learned temporal sequences, an important cognitive function, is briefly discussed as well. Furthermore, this finding suggests a potential

  8. CA1 Pyramidal Cell Theta-Burst Firing Triggers Endocannabinoid-Mediated Long-Term Depression at Both Somatic and Dendritic Inhibitory Synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Younts, Thomas J.; Chevaleyre, Vivien

    2013-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) are retrograde lipid messengers that, by targeting presynaptic type 1 cannabinoid receptors (CB1Rs), mediate short- and long-term synaptic depression of neurotransmitter release throughout the brain. Short-term depression is typically triggered by postsynaptic, depolarization-induced calcium rises, whereas long-term depression is induced by synaptic activation of Gq/11 protein-coupled receptors. Here we report that a physiologically relevant pattern of postsynaptic activity, in the form of theta-burst firing (TBF) of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, can trigger long-term depression of inhibitory transmission (iLTD) in rat hippocampal slices. Paired recordings between CA1 interneurons and pyramidal cells, followed by post hoc morphological reconstructions of the interneurons' axon, revealed that somatic and dendritic inhibitory synaptic inputs equally expressed TBF-induced iLTD. Simultaneous recordings from neighboring pyramidal cells demonstrated that eCB signaling triggered by TBF was highly restricted to only a single, active cell. Furthermore, pairing submaximal endogenous activation of metabotropic glutamate or muscarinic acetylcholine receptors with submaximal TBF unmasked associative iLTD. Although CB1Rs are also expressed at Schaffer-collateral excitatory terminals, long-term plasticity under various recording conditions was spared at these synapses. Consistent with this observation, TBF also shifted the balance of excitation and inhibition in favor of excitatory throughput, thereby altering information flow through the CA1 circuit. Given the near ubiquity of burst-firing activity patterns and CB1R expression in the brain, the properties described here may be a general means by which neurons fine tune the strength of their inputs in a cell-wide and cell-specific manner. PMID:23966696

  9. Tau oligomers impair memory and induce synaptic and mitochondrial dysfunction in wild-type mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jackson George R

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The correlation between neurofibrillary tangles of tau and disease progression in the brains of Alzheimer's disease (AD patients remains an area of contention. Innovative data are emerging from biochemical, cell-based and transgenic mouse studies that suggest that tau oligomers, a pre-filament form of tau, may be the most toxic and pathologically significant tau aggregate. Results Here we report that oligomers of recombinant full-length human tau protein are neurotoxic in vivo after subcortical stereotaxic injection into mice. Tau oligomers impaired memory consolidation, whereas tau fibrils and monomers did not. Additionally, tau oligomers induced synaptic dysfunction by reducing the levels of synaptic vesicle-associated proteins synaptophysin and septin-11. Tau oligomers produced mitochondrial dysfunction by decreasing the levels of NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (electron transport chain complex I, and activated caspase-9, which is related to the apoptotic mitochondrial pathway. Conclusions This study identifies tau oligomers as an acutely toxic tau species in vivo, and suggests that tau oligomers induce neurodegeneration by affecting mitochondrial and synaptic function, both of which are early hallmarks in AD and other tauopathies. These results open new avenues for neuroprotective intervention strategies of tauopathies by targeting tau oligomers.

  10. Burn Severity Dominates Understory Plant Community Response to Fire in Xeric Jack Pine Forests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley D. Pinno

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Fire is the most common disturbance in northern boreal forests, and large fires are often associated with highly variable burn severities across the burnt area. We studied the understory plant community response to a range of burn severities and pre-fire stand age four growing seasons after the 2011 Richardson Fire in xeric jack pine forests of northern Alberta, Canada. Burn severity had the greatest impact on post-fire plant communities, while pre-fire stand age did not have a significant impact. Total plant species richness and cover decreased with disturbance severity, such that the greatest richness was in low severity burns (average 28 species per 1-m2 quadrat and plant cover was lowest in the high severity burns (average 16%. However, the response of individual plant groups differed. Lichens and bryophytes were most common in low severity burns and were effectively eliminated from the regenerating plant community at higher burn severities. In contrast, graminoid cover and richness were positively related to burn severity, while forbs did not respond significantly to burn severity, but were impacted by changes in soil chemistry with increased cover at pH >4.9. Our results indicate the importance of non-vascular plants to the overall plant community in this harsh environment and that the plant community is environmentally limited rather than recruitment or competition limited, as is often the case in more mesic forest types. If fire frequency and severity increase as predicted, we may see a shift in plant communities from stress-tolerant species, such as lichens and ericaceous shrubs, to more colonizing species, such as certain graminoids.

  11. Fire protection for launch facilities using machine vision fire detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Douglas B.

    1993-02-01

    Fire protection of critical space assets, including launch and fueling facilities and manned flight hardware, demands automatic sensors for continuous monitoring, and in certain high-threat areas, fast-reacting automatic suppression systems. Perhaps the most essential characteristic for these fire detection and suppression systems is high reliability; in other words, fire detectors should alarm only on actual fires and not be falsely activated by extraneous sources. Existing types of fire detectors have been greatly improved in the past decade; however, fundamental limitations of their method of operation leaves open a significant possibility of false alarms and restricts their usefulness. At the Civil Engineering Laboratory at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, a new type of fire detector is under development which 'sees' a fire visually, like a human being, and makes a reliable decision based on known visual characteristics of flames. Hardware prototypes of the Machine Vision (MV) Fire Detection System have undergone live fire tests and demonstrated extremely high accuracy in discriminating actual fires from false alarm sources. In fact, this technology promises to virtually eliminate false activations. This detector could be used to monitor fueling facilities, launch towers, clean rooms, and other high-value and high-risk areas. Applications can extend to space station and in-flight shuttle operations as well; fiber optics and remote camera heads enable the system to see around obstructed areas and crew compartments. The capability of the technology to distinguish fires means that fire detection can be provided even during maintenance operations, such as welding.

  12. Multi-trophic resilience of boreal lake ecosystems to forest fires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Tyler L; Lindberg, Mark S; Schmutz, Joel A; Bertram, Mark R

    2014-05-01

    Fires are the major natural disturbance in the boreal forest, and their frequency and intensity will likely increase as the climate warms. Terrestrial nutrients released by fires may be transported to boreal lakes, stimulating increased primary productivity, which may radiate through multiple trophic levels. Using a before-after-control-impact (BACI) design, with pre- and postfire data from burned and unburned areas, we examined effects of a natural fire across several trophic levels of boreal lakes, from nutrient and chlorophyll levels, to macroinvertebrates, to waterbirds. Concentrations of total nitrogen and phosphorus were not affected by the fire. Chlorophyll a levels were also unaffected, likely reflecting the stable nutrient concentrations. For aquatic invertebrates, we found that densities of three functional feeding groups did not respond to the fire (filterers, gatherers, scrapers), while two groups increased (shredders, predators). Amphipods accounted for 98% of shredder numbers, and we hypothesize that fire-mediated habitat changes may have favored their generalist feeding and habitat ecology. This increase in amphipods may, in turn, have driven increased predator densities, as amphipods were the most numerous invertebrate in our lakes and are commonly taken as prey. Finally, abundance of waterbird young, which feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates, was not affected by the fire. Overall, ecosystems of our study lakes were largely resilient to forest fires, likely due to their high initial nutrient concentrations and small catchment sizes. Moreover, this resilience spanned multiple trophic levels, a significant result for ecologically similar boreal regions, especially given the high potential for increased fires with future climate change.

  13. Inhibition linearizes firing rate responses in human motor units: implications for the role of persistent inward currents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revill, Ann L; Fuglevand, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons are the output neurons of the central nervous system and are responsible for controlling muscle contraction. When initially activated during voluntary contraction, firing rates of motor neurons increase steeply but then level out at modest rates. Activation of an intrinsic source of excitatory current at recruitment onset may underlie the initial steep increase in firing rate in motor neurons. We attempted to disable this intrinsic excitatory current by artificially activating an inhibitory reflex. When motor neuron activity was recorded while the inhibitory reflex was engaged, firing rates no longer increased steeply, suggesting that the intrinsic excitatory current was probably responsible for the initial sharp rise in motor neuron firing rate. During graded isometric contractions, motor unit (MU) firing rates increase steeply upon recruitment but then level off at modest rates even though muscle force continues to increase. The mechanisms underlying such firing behaviour are not known although activation of persistent inward currents (PICs) might be involved. PICs are intrinsic, voltage-dependent currents that activate strongly when motor neurons (MNs) are first recruited. Such activation might cause a sharp escalation in depolarizing current and underlie the steep initial rise in MU firing rate. Because PICs can be disabled with synaptic inhibition, we hypothesized that artificial activation of an inhibitory pathway might curb this initial steep rise in firing rate. To test this, human subjects performed slow triangular ramp contractions of the ankle dorsiflexors in the absence and presence of tonic synaptic inhibition delivered to tibialis anterior (TA) MNs by sural nerve stimulation. Firing rate profiles (expressed as a function of contraction force) of TA MUs recorded during these tasks were compared for control and stimulation conditions. Under control conditions, during the ascending phase of the triangular contractions, 93% of the firing

  14. High-β steady-state advanced tokamak regimes for ITER and FIRE

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meade, D.M.; Sauthoff, N.R.; Kessel, C.E.; Budny, R.V.; Gorelenkov, N.; Jardin, S.C.; Schmidt, J.A.; Navratil, G.A.; Bialek, J.; Ulrickson, M.A.; Rognlein, T.; Mandrekas, J.

    2005-01-01

    An attractive tokamak-based fusion power plant will require the development of high-β steady-state advanced tokamak regimes to produce a high-gain burning plasma with a large fraction of self-driven current and high fusion-power density. Both ITER and FIRE are being designed with the objective to address these issues by exploring and understanding burning plasma physics both in the conventional H-mode regime, and in advanced tokamak regimes with β N ∼ 3 - 4, and f bs ∼50-80%. ITER has employed conservative scenarios, as appropriate for its nuclear technology mission, while FIRE has employed more aggressive assumptions aimed at exploring the scenarios envisioned in the ARIES power-plant studies. The main characteristics of the advanced scenarios presently under study for ITER and FIRE are compared with advanced tokamak regimes envisioned for the European Power Plant Conceptual Study (PPCS-C), the US ARIES-RS Power Plant Study and the Japanese Advanced Steady-State Tokamak Reactor (ASSTR). The goal of the present work is to develop advanced tokamak scenarios that would fully exploit the capability of ITER and FIRE. This paper will summarize the status of the work and indicate critical areas where further R and D is needed. (author)

  15. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Documenting PyroCb Development on High-Intensity Boreal Fires: Implications for the Arctic Atmosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stocks, B. J.; Fromm, M. D.; Servranckx, R.; Lindsey, D.

    2007-12-01

    The recent confirmation that smoke from high-intensity boreal forest fires can reach the Upper Troposphere/Lower Stratosphere (UTLS) through pyroconvection and be transported long distances has raised concern over the wider-scale environmental impact of boreal fire smoke. This concern is further elevated as climate change projections indicate a significant increase in the frequency and severity of boreal forest fires over the next century. Smoke in the UTLS is frequently transported to the Arctic and may have important implications for the radiative energy budget in the polar region. Soot deposition from fires may lead to enhanced melting of sea ice and glaciers, and the chemical impact of fire emissions at high altitudes is largely unknown. This knowledge gap will be addressed during the International Polar Year (IPY), as boreal fire emissions will be tracked and documented in detail through aerial, satellite and ground-based measurements, as a key component of the POLARCAT (Polar Study using Aircraft, Remote Sensing, Surface Measurements and Models, of Climate, Chemistry, Aerosols, and Transport) and ARCTAS (Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites) projects to be conducted in 2008. A large fire in the Canadian Northwest Territories burned throughout the month of June 2007, in a remote region where forest fires are not actively suppressed, eventually reaching 90,000 hectares in size. This fire was monitored for blowup one week in advance; it erupted into pyroconvection on June 25, 2007. We present an analysis of this event combining satellite data with ground-based measurements to document the development and impact of this classic pyroCb event. Under extreme fire danger conditions, the fire burned close to 20,000 hectares on that day. Fire behavior was consistent with predictions using the Canadian Fire Behavior Prediction System, with the fire spreading at 2.7 km/hr, consuming 33,000 kg of fuel hourly, generating an

  17. Modeling fire behavior on tropical islands with high-resolution weather data

    Science.gov (United States)

    John W. Benoit; Francis M. Fujioka; David R. Weise

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we consider fire behavior simulation in tropical island scenarios such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The development of a system to provide real-time fire behavior prediction in Hawaii is discussed. This involves obtaining fuels and topography information at a fine scale, as well as supplying daily high-resolution weather forecast data for the area of...

  18. High-frequency electroacupuncture evidently reinforces hippocampal synaptic transmission in Alzheimer's disease rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei; Kong, Li-hong; Wang, Hui; Shen, Feng; Wang, Ya-wen; Zhou, Hua; Sun, Guo-jie

    2016-01-01

    The frequency range of electroacupuncture in treatment of Alzheimer's disease in rats is commonly 2–5 Hz (low frequency) and 50–100 Hz (high frequency). We established a rat model of Alzheimer's disease by injecting β-amyloid 1–42 (Aβ1–42) into the bilateral hippocampal dentate gyrus to verify which frequency may be better suited in treatment. Electroacupuncture at 2 Hz or 50 Hz was used to stimulate Baihui (DU20) and Shenshu (BL23) acupoints. The water maze test and electrophysiological studies demonstrated that spatial memory ability was apparently improved, and the ranges of long-term potentiation and long-term depression were increased in Alzheimer's disease rats after electroacupuncture treatment. Moreover, the effects of electroacupuncture at 50 Hz were better than that at 2 Hz. These findings suggest that high-frequency electroacupuncture may enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and potentially improve memory disorders in Alzheimer's disease rats. PMID:27335565

  19. Effects of active forest fire on terrestrial ecosystem production and greenhouse gas emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sannigrahi, Srikanta; Rahmat, Shahid; Bhatt, Sandeep; Rana, Virendra

    2017-04-01

    The forest fire is one of the most catalysing agents which degrade an ecosystems leading to the loss of net and gross primary productivity (NPP & GPP) and carbon sequestration service. Additionally, it can suppress the efficiency of service providing capacity of an ecosystem throughout the time and space. Remote sensing-based forest fire estimation in a diverse ecosystem is very much essential for mitigating the biodiversity and productivity losses due to the forest fire. Satellite-based Land Surface Temperature (LST) has been calculated for the pre-fire and fire years to identify the burn severity hotspot across all eco-regions in the Lower Himalaya region. Several burn severity indices: Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR), Burnt Area Index (BAI), Normalized Multiband Drought Index (NMDI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Global Environmental Monitoring Index (GEMI), Enhance Vegetation Index (EVI) have been used in this study to quantify the spatial and temporal changes (delta) of the selected indices. Two Light Use Efficiency (LUE) models: Carnegie- Ames-Stanford-Approach (CASA) and Vegetation Photosynthesis Model (VPM) have been used to quantify the terrestrial Net Primary Productivity (NPP) in the pre-fire and fire years across all biomes of the region. A novel approach has been preceded in this field to demonstrate the correlation between forest fire density (FFD) and NPP. A strong positive correlation was found between burn severity indices and predicted NPP: BAI and NPP (r = 0.49), NBR and NPP: (r = 0.58), EVI and NPP: (r = 0.72), SAVI and NPP: (r = 0.67), whereas, a negative association has noted between the NMDI and NPP: (r = -0.36) during the both studied years. Results have shown that the NPP is highly correlated with the forest fire density (R2 = 0.75, RMSE = 5.03 gC m-2 month-1). The estimated LST of the individual fire days has witnessed a sharp temperature increase by > 6oC - 9oC in comparison to the non-fire days clearly indicates high fire risk (in

  20. Multi-temporal LiDAR and Landsat quantification of fire-induced changes to forest structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarley, T. Ryan; Kolden, Crystal A.; Vaillant, Nicole M.; Hudak, Andrew T.; Smith, Alistair M.S.; Wing, Brian M.; Kellogg, Bryce; Kreitler, Jason R.

    2017-01-01

    Measuring post-fire effects at landscape scales is critical to an ecological understanding of wildfire effects. Predominantly this is accomplished with either multi-spectral remote sensing data or through ground-based field sampling plots. While these methods are important, field data is usually limited to opportunistic post-fire observations, and spectral data often lacks validation with specific variables of change. Additional uncertainty remains regarding how best to account for environmental variables influencing fire effects (e.g., weather) for which observational data cannot easily be acquired, and whether pre-fire agents of change such as bark beetle and timber harvest impact model accuracy. This study quantifies wildfire effects by correlating changes in forest structure derived from multi-temporal Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) acquisitions to multi-temporal spectral changes captured by the Landsat Thematic Mapper and Operational Land Imager for the 2012 Pole Creek Fire in central Oregon. Spatial regression modeling was assessed as a methodology to account for spatial autocorrelation, and model consistency was quantified across areas impacted by pre-fire mountain pine beetle and timber harvest. The strongest relationship (pseudo-r2 = 0.86, p LiDAR-derived estimate of canopy cover change. Relationships between percentage of LiDAR returns in forest strata and spectral indices generally increased in strength with strata height. Structural measurements made closer to the ground were not well correlated. The spatial regression approach improved all relationships, demonstrating its utility, but model performance declined across pre-fire agents of change, suggesting that such studies should stratify by pre-fire forest condition. This study establishes that spectral indices such as d74 and dNBR are most sensitive to wildfire-caused structural changes such as reduction in canopy cover and perform best when that structure has not been reduced pre-fire.

  1. A robust and scalable neuromorphic communication system by combining synaptic time multiplexing and MIMO-OFDM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Zhang, Deying; Grigorian, Beayna

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes a novel architecture for enabling robust and efficient neuromorphic communication. The architecture combines two concepts: 1) synaptic time multiplexing (STM) that trades space for speed of processing to create an intragroup communication approach that is firing rate independent and offers more flexibility in connectivity than cross-bar architectures and 2) a wired multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communication with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) techniques to enable a robust and efficient intergroup communication for neuromorphic systems. The MIMO-OFDM concept for the proposed architecture was analyzed by simulating large-scale spiking neural network architecture. Analysis shows that the neuromorphic system with MIMO-OFDM exhibits robust and efficient communication while operating in real time with a high bit rate. Through combining STM with MIMO-OFDM techniques, the resulting system offers a flexible and scalable connectivity as well as a power and area efficient solution for the implementation of very large-scale spiking neural architectures in hardware.

  2. Coal-fired high performance power generating system. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-31

    As a result of the investigations carried out during Phase 1 of the Engineering Development of Coal-Fired High-Performance Power Generation Systems (Combustion 2000), the UTRC-led Combustion 2000 Team is recommending the development of an advanced high performance power generation system (HIPPS) whose high efficiency and minimal pollutant emissions will enable the US to use its abundant coal resources to satisfy current and future demand for electric power. The high efficiency of the power plant, which is the key to minimizing the environmental impact of coal, can only be achieved using a modern gas turbine system. Minimization of emissions can be achieved by combustor design, and advanced air pollution control devices. The commercial plant design described herein is a combined cycle using either a frame-type gas turbine or an intercooled aeroderivative with clean air as the working fluid. The air is heated by a coal-fired high temperature advanced furnace (HITAF). The best performance from the cycle is achieved by using a modern aeroderivative gas turbine, such as the intercooled FT4000. A simplified schematic is shown. In the UTRC HIPPS, the conversion efficiency for the heavy frame gas turbine version will be 47.4% (HHV) compared to the approximately 35% that is achieved in conventional coal-fired plants. This cycle is based on a gas turbine operating at turbine inlet temperatures approaching 2,500 F. Using an aeroderivative type gas turbine, efficiencies of over 49% could be realized in advanced cycle configuration (Humid Air Turbine, or HAT). Performance of these power plants is given in a table.

  3. A Combined Optogenetic-Knockdown Strategy Reveals a Major Role of Tomosyn in Mossy Fiber Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoav Ben-Simon

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Neurotransmitter release probability (Pr largely determines the dynamic properties of synapses. While much is known about the role of presynaptic proteins in transmitter release, their specific contribution to synaptic plasticity is unclear. One such protein, tomosyn, is believed to reduce Pr by interfering with the SNARE complex formation. Tomosyn is enriched at hippocampal mossy fiber-to-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses (MF-CA3, which characteristically exhibit low Pr, strong synaptic facilitation, and pre-synaptic protein kinase A (PKA-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP. To evaluate tomosyn’s role in MF-CA3 function, we used a combined knockdown (KD-optogenetic strategy whereby presynaptic neurons with reduced tomosyn levels were selectively activated by light. Using this approach in mouse hippocampal slices, we found that facilitation, LTP, and PKA-induced potentiation were significantly impaired at tomosyn-deficient synapses. These findings not only indicate that tomosyn is a key regulator of MF-CA3 plasticity but also highlight the power of a combined KD-optogenetic approach to determine the role of presynaptic proteins.

  4. Behavior-Dependent Activity and Synaptic Organization of Septo-hippocampal GABAergic Neurons Selectively Targeting the Hippocampal CA3 Area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Abhilasha; Salib, Minas; Viney, Tim James; Dupret, David; Somogyi, Peter

    2017-12-20

    Rhythmic medial septal (MS) GABAergic input coordinates cortical theta oscillations. However, the rules of innervation of cortical cells and regions by diverse septal neurons are unknown. We report a specialized population of septal GABAergic neurons, the Teevra cells, selectively innervating the hippocampal CA3 area bypassing CA1, CA2, and the dentate gyrus. Parvalbumin-immunopositive Teevra cells show the highest rhythmicity among MS neurons and fire with short burst duration (median, 38 ms) preferentially at the trough of both CA1 theta and slow irregular oscillations, coincident with highest hippocampal excitability. Teevra cells synaptically target GABAergic axo-axonic and some CCK interneurons in restricted septo-temporal CA3 segments. The rhythmicity of their firing decreases from septal to temporal termination of individual axons. We hypothesize that Teevra neurons coordinate oscillatory activity across the septo-temporal axis, phasing the firing of specific CA3 interneurons, thereby contributing to the selection of pyramidal cell assemblies at the theta trough via disinhibition. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Behind the scenes of GS: a professional fire and rescue service like no other

    CERN Multimedia

    Anaïs Schaeffer

    2014-01-01

    Meet the professionals at the top of their game working hard for the well-being of the CERN community. Meet the CERN Fire Brigade.   Highly-qualified professional firefighters CERN’s Fire and Rescue Service (FRS, GS-FB Group) currently consists of 58 professionals. These are highly sought-after positions: for just a handful of vacancies, hundreds of applications are submitted from all over Europe. And bear in mind that only professional firefighters with at least five years’ experience at a centre with high levels of operational activity may apply… and they must also have a good command of at least one of the Organization's two official languages. Once the pre-selection process is over, around twenty candidates progress to the next stage, where they are really put through their paces with language tests, theory exams and exercises on real fires. “For the practical part, all candidates are evaluated on their responses to a real fire," ...

  6. The impact of fire on habitat use by the short-snouted elephant ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Thickets were an important refuge both pre- and post-fire, but the proportion of thicket within ... of E. brachyrhynchus movements to patches of unburned vegetation. ... in fire management and allowing sufficient island patches to remain post-fire ...

  7. Overstory Structure and Surface Cover Dynamics in the Decade Following the Hayman Fire, Colorado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula J. Fornwalt

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The 2002 Hayman Fire burned with mixed-severity across a 400-ha dry conifer study site in Colorado, USA, where overstory tree and surface cover attributes had been recently measured on 20 0.1-ha permanent plots. We remeasured these plots repeatedly during the first post-fire decade to examine how the attributes changed through time and whether changes were influenced by fire severity. We found that most attributes were temporally dynamic and that fire severity shaped their dynamics. For example, low-severity plots experienced a modest reduction in live overstory density due to both immediate and delayed tree mortality, and no change in live overstory basal area through time; in contrast, high-severity plots experienced an immediate and total loss of live overstory density and basal area. Large snag density in low-severity plots did not vary temporally because snag recruitment balanced snag loss; however, in high-severity plots large snag density increased markedly immediately post-fire and then declined by about half by post-fire year ten as snags fell. Mineral soil cover increased modestly immediately post-fire in low-severity plots and substantially immediately post-fire in high-severity plots, but changed little in ensuing years for either severity class. By incorporating pre-fire and repeatedly-measured post-fire data for a range of severities, our study uniquely contributes to the current understanding of wildfire effects in dry conifer forests and should be of interest to managers, researchers, and others.

  8. Attractor neural networks with resource-efficient synaptic connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pehlevan, Cengiz; Sengupta, Anirvan

    Memories are thought to be stored in the attractor states of recurrent neural networks. Here we explore how resource constraints interplay with memory storage function to shape synaptic connectivity of attractor networks. We propose that given a set of memories, in the form of population activity patterns, the neural circuit choses a synaptic connectivity configuration that minimizes a resource usage cost. We argue that the total synaptic weight (l1-norm) in the network measures the resource cost because synaptic weight is correlated with synaptic volume, which is a limited resource, and is proportional to neurotransmitter release and post-synaptic current, both of which cost energy. Using numerical simulations and replica theory, we characterize optimal connectivity profiles in resource-efficient attractor networks. Our theory explains several experimental observations on cortical connectivity profiles, 1) connectivity is sparse, because synapses are costly, 2) bidirectional connections are overrepresented and 3) are stronger, because attractor states need strong recurrence.

  9. Hydrological response of a small catchment burned by experimental fire

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. R. Stoof

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Fire can considerably change hydrological processes, increasing the risk of extreme flooding and erosion events. Although hydrological processes are largely affected by scale, catchment-scale studies on the hydrological impact of fire in Europe are scarce, and nested approaches are rarely used. We performed a catchment-scale experimental fire to improve insight into the drivers of fire impact on hydrology. In north-central Portugal, rainfall, canopy interception, streamflow and soil moisture were monitored in small shrub-covered paired catchments pre- and post-fire. The shrub cover was medium dense to dense (44 to 84% and pre-fire canopy interception was on average 48.7% of total rainfall. Fire increased streamflow volumes 1.6 times more than predicted, resulting in increased runoff coefficients and changed rainfall-streamflow relationships – although the increase in streamflow per unit rainfall was only significant at the subcatchment-scale. Fire also fastened the response of topsoil moisture to rainfall from 2.7 to 2.1 h (p = 0.058, and caused more rapid drying of topsoils after rain events. Since soil physical changes due to fire were not apparent, we suggest that changes resulting from vegetation removal played an important role in increasing streamflow after fire. Results stress that fire impact on hydrology is largely affected by scale, highlight the hydrological impact of fire on small scales, and emphasize the risk of overestimating fire impact when upscaling plot-scale studies to the catchment-scale. Finally, they increase understanding of the processes contributing to post-fire flooding and erosion events.

  10. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Wildland Fire Management Environmental Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Irving, John S

    2003-04-01

    DOE prepared an environmental assessment (EA)for wildland fire management activities on the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) (DOE/EA-1372). The EA was developed to evaluate wildland fire management options for pre-fire, fire suppression, and post fire activities. Those activities have an important role in minimizing the conversion of the native sagebrush steppe ecosystem found on the INEEL to non-native weeds. Four alternative management approaches were analyzed: Alternative 1 - maximum fire protection; Alternative 2 - balanced fire protection; Alternative 2 - balanced fire protection; Alternative 3 - protect infrastructure and personnel; and Alternative 4 - no action/traditional fire protection.

  11. Clay-brick firing in a high-temperature solar furnace

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Villeda-Munoz, G. [Centro de Investigacion en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Unidad Queretaro, Queretaro (Mexico)]. E-mail: gvilledam@ipn.mx; Castaneda-Miranda, A. [Computation & amp; Mechatronic Studies Division, Universidad Politecnica de Queretaro, Queretaro (Mexico)]. E-mail: acastaneda@upq.edu.mx; Pless, R.C. [Centro de Investigacion en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Unidad Queretaro, Queretaro (Mexico)]. E-mail: rpless@ipn.mx; Vega-Duran, J.T. [Centro de Investigacion en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Unidad Queretaro, Queretaro (Mexico); Pineda-Pinon, J. [Centro de Investigacion en Ciencia Aplicada y Tecnologia Avanzada, Instituto Politecnico Nacional, Unidad Queretaro, Queretaro (Mexico)]. E-mail: jpinedap@ipn.mx

    2011-10-15

    The firing process for clay-brick production in traditional kilns generates atmospheric pollution when industrial and domestic scrap is used as fuel. An alternative is presented here, using the solar energy for clay-brick firing. We are developing a system for clay-brick firing to reach temperatures between 900 degrees Celsius and 1050 degrees Celsius; these temperatures are sufficiently high to fire bricks or similar ceramic products. The present paper describes the design and characterization of the components of a solar furnace for clay-brick firing with inner chamber dimensions of 0.48 * 0.61 * 0.64 m. To convey the sunlight to the firing chamber, a heliostat with nine 1 * 1 m mirrors is used to send the rays of the sun to an off-axis parabolic concentrator that focuses the light on the entrance of the firing chamber. The heliostat has a solar-tracking system which makes primary and secondary adjustments to assure that the reflected solar radiation always arrives at the concentrator. The firing chamber contains a prismatic cavity that absorbs the solar radiation to generate the heat which is needed for baking the bricks inside the firing chamber. [Spanish] El proceso de coccion para la produccion de tabiques de arcilla en hornos tradicionales genera contaminacion atmosferica cuando los desechos industriales y domesticos se usan como combustibles. Aqui se presenta una alternativa, utilizando la energia solar para la coccion de tabiques de arcilla. Estamos desarrollando un sistema para la coccion de tabiques de arcilla para alcanzar temperaturas entre 900 grados centigradosy 1050 grados centigrados; estas temperaturas son suficientemente altas para cocer tabiques o productos ceramicos similares. El presente articulo describe el diseno y caracterizacion de los componentes de un horno solar para la coccion de tabiques de arcilla con una camara con dimensiones internas de 0.48 * 0.61 *× 0.64 m. Para dirigir los rayos solares a la camara de coccion, un heliostato

  12. Glutamatergic synaptic currents of nigral dopaminergic neurons follow a postnatal developmental sequence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edouard ePearlstein

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The spontaneous activity pattern of adult dopaminergic (DA neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc results from interactions between intrinsic membrane conductances and afferent inputs. In adult SNc DA neurons, low-frequency tonic background activity is generated by intrinsic pacemaker mechanisms, whereas burst generation depends on intact synaptic inputs in particular the glutamatergic ones. Tonic DA release in the striatum during pacemaking is required to maintain motor activity, and burst firing evokes phasic DA release, necessary for cue-dependent learning tasks. However, it is still unknown how the firing properties of SNc DA neurons mature during postnatal development before reaching the adult state. We studied the postnatal developmental profile of spontaneous and evoked AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs in SNc DA neurons in brain slices from immature (postnatal days P4-10 and young adult (P30-50 tyrosine hydroxylase (TH-GFP mice. We found that somato-dendritic fields of SNc DA neurons are already mature at P4-10. In contrast, spontaneous glutamatergic EPSCs show a developmental sequence. Spontaneous NMDA EPSCs in particular are larger and more frequent in immature SNc DA neurons than in young adult ones and have a bursty pattern. They are mediated by GluN2B and GluN2D subunit-containing NMDA receptors. The latter generate long-lasting, DQP1105-sensitive, spontaneous EPSCs, which are transiently recorded during this early period. Due to high NMDA activity, immature SNc DA neurons generate large and long lasting NMDA receptor-dependent (APV-sensitive bursts in response to the stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus. We conclude that the transient high NMDA activity allows calcium influx into the dendrites of developing SNc DA neurons.

  13. Fire behavior simulation in Mediterranean forests using the minimum travel time algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostas Kalabokidis; Palaiologos Palaiologou; Mark A. Finney

    2014-01-01

    Recent large wildfires in Greece exemplify the need for pre-fire burn probability assessment and possible landscape fire flow estimation to enhance fire planning and resource allocation. The Minimum Travel Time (MTT) algorithm, incorporated as FlamMap's version five module, provide valuable fire behavior functions, while enabling multi-core utilization for the...

  14. Effects of high fire frequency in creosote bush scrub vegetation of the Mojave Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, M.L.

    2012-01-01

    Plant invasions can increase fire frequency in desert ecosystems where fires were historically infrequent. Although there are many resource management concerns associated with high frequency fire in deserts, fundamental effects on plant community characteristics remain largely unstudied. Here I describe the effects of fire frequency on creosote bush scrub vegetation in the Mojave Desert, USA. Biomass of the invasive annual grass Bromus rubens L. increased following fire, but did not increase further with additional fires. In contrast, density, cover and species richness of native perennial plants each decreased following fire and continued to decrease with subsequent fires, although not as dramatically as after the initial fire. Responses were similar 5 and 14 years post-fire, except that cover of Hymenoclea salsola Torr. & A. Gray and Achnatherum speciosa Trin. & Rupr. both increased in areas burnt once. These results suggest that control of B. rubens may be equally warranted after one, two or three fires, but revegetation of native perennial plants is most warranted following multiple fires. These results are valid within the scope of this study, which is defined as relatively short term vegetation responses (???14 years) to short fire return intervals (6.3 and 7.3 years for the two and three fire frequency levels) within creosote bush scrub of the Mojave Desert. ?? 2012 IAWF.

  15. Human limbic encephalitis serum enhances hippocampal mossy fiber-CA3 pyramidal cell synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lalic, Tatjana; Pettingill, Philippa; Vincent, Angela; Capogna, Marco

    2011-01-01

    Limbic encephalitis (LE) is a central nervous system (CNS) disease characterized by subacute onset of memory loss and epileptic seizures. A well-recognized form of LE is associated with voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibodies (VGKC-Abs) in the patients' sera. We aimed to test the hypothesis that purified immunoglobulin G (IgG) from a VGKC-Ab LE serum would excite hippocampal CA3 pyramidal cells by reducing VGKC function at mossy-fiber (MF)-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses. We compared the effects of LE and healthy control IgG by whole-cell patch-clamp and extracellular recordings from CA3 pyramidal cells of rat hippocampal acute slices. We found that the LE IgG induced epileptiform activity at a population level, since synaptic stimulation elicited multiple population spikes extracellularly recorded in the CA3 area. Moreover, the LE IgG increased the rate of tonic firing and strengthened the MF-evoked synaptic responses. The synaptic failure of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) was significantly lower in the presence of the LE IgG compared to the control IgG. This suggests that the LE IgG increased the release probability on MF-CA3 pyramidal cell synapses compared to the control IgG. Interestingly, α-dendrotoxin (120 nm), a selective Kv1.1, 1.2, and 1.6 subunit antagonist of VGKC, mimicked the LE IgG-mediated effects. This is the first functional demonstration that LE IgGs reduce VGKC function at CNS synapses and increase cell excitability. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2010 International League Against Epilepsy.

  16. Fire Safety Consideration in the Pre-conceptual Design State of Pyro-Facillity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeon, Hong Rae; Seo, Seok Jun; Lee, Hyo Jik [KAERI, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-05-15

    The government, in order to solve this problem, has organized a public engagement committee and is searching for a solution. To use sustainable nuclear energy, our country is also pursuing research and development of fast breeder reactor and pyroprocessing technology in accordance with the international movement of spent fuel recycling and efforts towards nuclear non-proliferation which is centered on the development and demonstration of recycling spent fuel and fast breeder reactors. Pyro-facility has different features with nuclear power plant. In the pyroprocess, chemical and electrochemical separation were took place in the hot cells and material at risk (MAR) is distributed in many working areas. In this paper, we conducted the fire modeling of hot cells to see the stability of pyrophoric materials which is considered as one of the potential hazardous materials in the main process cell. Based on modeling results, consideration of fire safety pyrofacility will be discussed. We performed preliminary hazard analysis for pyrofacility and summarized potential fire hazard. Pyrophoric material fire is the dominant hazard in the main process hot cell and fire modeling of cable tray in the cell was analyzed to see the stability of pyrophoric materials. Analysis results clearly shows that pyrophoric materials are prone to be affected.

  17. Learning by Erring: fire!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjugn, Roger; Hansen, Jarle

    2013-08-01

    Biorepositories may be affected by a number of emergencies ranging from bad publicity to natural disasters, and biorepositories should have plans for handling such situations. The emergency management process includes all phases from mitigation to recovery. Fire is one disaster that may cause extensive damage to both physical structures and humans. In this article, we analyze events related to a fire in a storage facility for mechanical freezers. The analysis covers both the pre-crisis stage, the fire itself, and the post-crisis stage. Even the best intended planning cannot stop a crisis from happening. However, an open-minded analysis of the crisis with focus on learning and quality improvement can improve an organization's ability to handle the next emergency situation.

  18. Synapse geometry and receptor dynamics modulate synaptic strength.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dominik Freche

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission relies on several processes, such as the location of a released vesicle, the number and type of receptors, trafficking between the postsynaptic density (PSD and extrasynaptic compartment, as well as the synapse organization. To study the impact of these parameters on excitatory synaptic transmission, we present a computational model for the fast AMPA-receptor mediated synaptic current. We show that in addition to the vesicular release probability, due to variations in their release locations and the AMPAR distribution, the postsynaptic current amplitude has a large variance, making a synapse an intrinsic unreliable device. We use our model to examine our experimental data recorded from CA1 mice hippocampal slices to study the differences between mEPSC and evoked EPSC variance. The synaptic current but not the coefficient of variation is maximal when the active zone where vesicles are released is apposed to the PSD. Moreover, we find that for certain type of synapses, receptor trafficking can affect the magnitude of synaptic depression. Finally, we demonstrate that perisynaptic microdomains located outside the PSD impacts synaptic transmission by regulating the number of desensitized receptors and their trafficking to the PSD. We conclude that geometrical modifications, reorganization of the PSD or perisynaptic microdomains modulate synaptic strength, as the mechanisms underlying long-term plasticity.

  19. Simulation and Damage Analysis of an Accidental Jet Fire in a High-Pressure Compressed Pump Shelter

    OpenAIRE

    Jang, Chang Bong; Choi, Sang-Won

    2016-01-01

    Background: As one of the most frequently occurring accidents in a chemical plant, a fire accident may occur at any place where transfer or handling of combustible materials is routinely performed. Methods: In particular, a jet fire incident in a chemical plant operated under high pressure may bring severe damage. To review this event numerically, Computational Fluid Dynamics methodology was used to simulate a jet fire at a pipe of a compressor under high pressure. Results: For jet fire...

  20. Hyperactivity of newborn Pten knock-out neurons results from increased excitatory synaptic drive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Michael R; DeSpenza, Tyrone; Li, Meijie; Gulledge, Allan T; Luikart, Bryan W

    2015-01-21

    Developing neurons must regulate morphology, intrinsic excitability, and synaptogenesis to form neural circuits. When these processes go awry, disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or epilepsy, may result. The phosphatase Pten is mutated in some patients having ASD and seizures, suggesting that its mutation disrupts neurological function in part through increasing neuronal activity. Supporting this idea, neuronal knock-out of Pten in mice can cause macrocephaly, behavioral changes similar to ASD, and seizures. However, the mechanisms through which excitability is enhanced following Pten depletion are unclear. Previous studies have separately shown that Pten-depleted neurons can drive seizures, receive elevated excitatory synaptic input, and have abnormal dendrites. We therefore tested the hypothesis that developing Pten-depleted neurons are hyperactive due to increased excitatory synaptogenesis using electrophysiology, calcium imaging, morphological analyses, and modeling. This was accomplished by coinjecting retroviruses to either "birthdate" or birthdate and knock-out Pten in granule neurons of the murine neonatal dentate gyrus. We found that Pten knock-out neurons, despite a rapid onset of hypertrophy, were more active in vivo. Pten knock-out neurons fired at more hyperpolarized membrane potentials, displayed greater peak spike rates, and were more sensitive to depolarizing synaptic input. The increased sensitivity of Pten knock-out neurons was due, in part, to a higher density of synapses located more proximal to the soma. We determined that increased synaptic drive was sufficient to drive hypertrophic Pten knock-out neurons beyond their altered action potential threshold. Thus, our work contributes a developmental mechanism for the increased activity of Pten-depleted neurons. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/350943-17$15.00/0.

  1. Role of a redox-based methylation switch in mRNA life cycle ( pre- & post- transcriptional maturation and protein turnover : Implications in neurological disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MALAV SUCHIN TRIVEDI

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Homeostatic synaptic scaling in response to neuronal stimulus or activation, as well as due to changes in cellular niche, is an important phenomenon for memory consolidation, retrieval, and other similar cognitive functions. Neurological disorders and cognitive disabilities in autism, Rett syndrome, schizophrenia, dementia etc., are strongly correlated to alterations in protein expression (both synaptic and cytoplasmic. This correlation suggests that efficient temporal regulation of synaptic protein expression is important for synaptic plasticity. In addition, equilibrium between mRNA processing, protein translation and protein turnover is a critical sensor/trigger for recording synaptic information, normal cognition and behavior. Thus a regulatory switch, controlling the lifespan, maturation and processing of mRNA, might influence cognition and adaptive behavior. Here, we propose a two part novel hypothesis that methylation might act as this suggested coordinating switch to critically regulate mRNA maturation at 1.The pre-transcription level, by regulating precursor-RNA (pre-RNA processing into mRNA, via other non-coding RNAs and their influence on splicing phenomenon, and 2. the post-transcription level by modulating the regulatory functions of ribonucleoproteins (RNP and RNA binding proteins (RNABP in mRNA translation, dendritic translocation as well as protein synthesis and synaptic turnover. DNA methylation changes are well recognized and highly correlated to gene expression levels as well as, learning and memory; however, RNA methylation changes are recently characterized and yet their functional implications are not established. This review article provides some insight on the intriguing consequences of changes in methylation levels on mRNA life-cycle. We also suggest that, since methylation is under the control of glutathione antioxidant levels, the redox status of neurons might be the central regulatory switch for methylation

  2. The effects of raking on sugar pine mortality following prescribed fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nesmith, Jonathan C. B.; O'Hara, Kevin L.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; de Valpine, Perry

    2010-01-01

    Prescribed fire is an important tool for fuel reduction, the control of competing vegetation, and forest restoration. The accumulated fuels associated with historical fire exclusion can cause undesirably high tree mortality rates following prescribed fires and wildfires. This is especially true for sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas), which is already negatively affected by the introduced pathogen white pine blister rust (Cronartium ribicola J.C. Fisch. ex Rabenh). We tested the efficacy of raking away fuels around the base of sugar pine to reduce mortality following prescribed fire in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, California, USA. This study was conducted in three prescribed fires and included 457 trees, half of which had the fuels around their bases raked away to mineral soil to 0.5 m away from the stem. Fire effects were assessed and tree mortality was recorded for three years after prescribed fires. Overall, raking had no detectable effect on mortality: raked trees averaged 30% mortality compared to 36% for unraked trees. There was a significant effect, however, between the interaction of raking and average pre-treatment forest floor fuel depth: the predicted probability of survival of a 50 cm dbh tree was 0.94 vs. 0.96 when average pre-treatment fuel depth was 0 cm for a raked and unraked tree, respectively. When average pre-treatment forest floor fuel depth was 30 cm, the predicted probability of survival for a raked 50 cm dbh tree was 0.60 compared to only 0.07 for an unraked tree. Raking did not affect mortality when fire intensity, measured as percent crown volume scorched, was very low (0% scorch) or very high (>80% scorch), but the raking treatment significantly increased the proportion of trees that survived by 9.6% for trees that burned under moderate fire intensity (1% to 80% scorch). Raking significantly reduced the likelihood of bole charring and bark beetle activity three years post fire. Fuel depth and anticipated fire intensity need

  3. Ectomycorrhizal fungal spore bank recovery after a severe forest fire: some like it hot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glassman, Sydney I; Levine, Carrie R; DiRocco, Angela M; Battles, John J; Bruns, Thomas D

    2016-05-01

    After severe wildfires, pine recovery depends on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal spores surviving and serving as partners for regenerating forest trees. We took advantage of a large, severe natural forest fire that burned our long-term study plots to test the response of ECM fungi to fire. We sampled the ECM spore bank using pine seedling bioassays and high-throughput sequencing before and after the California Rim Fire. We found that ECM spore bank fungi survived the fire and dominated the colonization of in situ and bioassay seedlings, but there were specific fire adapted fungi such as Rhizopogon olivaceotinctus that increased in abundance after the fire. The frequency of ECM fungal species colonizing pre-fire bioassay seedlings, post-fire bioassay seedlings and in situ seedlings were strongly positively correlated. However, fire reduced the ECM spore bank richness by eliminating some of the rare species, and the density of the spore bank was reduced as evidenced by a larger number of soil samples that yielded uncolonized seedlings. Our results show that although there is a reduction in ECM inoculum, the ECM spore bank community largely remains intact, even after a high-intensity fire. We used advanced techniques for data quality control with Illumina and found consistent results among varying methods. Furthermore, simple greenhouse bioassays can be used to determine which fungi will colonize after fires. Similar to plant seed banks, a specific suite of ruderal, spore bank fungi take advantage of open niche space after fires.

  4. Emulating short-term synaptic dynamics with memristive devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berdan, Radu; Vasilaki, Eleni; Khiat, Ali; Indiveri, Giacomo; Serb, Alexandru; Prodromakis, Themistoklis

    2016-01-01

    Neuromorphic architectures offer great promise for achieving computation capacities beyond conventional Von Neumann machines. The essential elements for achieving this vision are highly scalable synaptic mimics that do not undermine biological fidelity. Here we demonstrate that single solid-state TiO2 memristors can exhibit non-associative plasticity phenomena observed in biological synapses, supported by their metastable memory state transition properties. We show that, contrary to conventional uses of solid-state memory, the existence of rate-limiting volatility is a key feature for capturing short-term synaptic dynamics. We also show how the temporal dynamics of our prototypes can be exploited to implement spatio-temporal computation, demonstrating the memristors full potential for building biophysically realistic neural processing systems.

  5. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

    The equal distribution of synaptic vesicles among synapses along the axon is critical for robust neurotransmission. Wong et al. show that the continuous circulation of synaptic vesicles throughout the axon driven by molecular motors ultimately yields this even distribution. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. MOTOR UNIT FIRING RATES DURING SPASMS IN THENAR MUSCLES OF SPINAL CORD INJURED SUBJECTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inge eZijdewind

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Involuntary contractions of paralyzed muscles (spasms commonly disrupt daily activities and rehabilitation after human spinal cord injury. Our aim was to examine the recruitment, firing rate modulation, and derecruitment of motor units that underlie spasms of thenar muscles after cervical spinal cord injury. Intramuscular electromyographic activity (EMG, surface EMG, and force were recorded during thenar muscle spasms that occurred spontaneously or that were triggered by movement of a shoulder or leg. Most spasms were submaximal (mean: 39%, SD: 33 of the force evoked by median nerve stimulation at 50 Hz with strong relationships between EMG and force (R2>0.69. Unit recruitment occurred over a wide force range (0.2-103% of 50 Hz force. Significant unit rate modulation occurred during spasms (frequency at 25% maximal force: 8.8 Hz, 3.3 SD; at maximal force: 16.1 Hz, 4.1 SD. Mean recruitment frequency (7.1 Hz, 3.2 SD was significantly higher than derecruitment frequency (5.4 Hz, 2.4 SD. Coactive unit pairs that fired for more than 4 s showed high (R2>0.7, n=4 or low (R2:0.3-0.7, n=12 rate-rate correlations, and derecruitment reversals (21 pairs, 29%. Later recruited units had higher or lower maximal firing rates than lower threshold units. These discrepant data show that coactive motoneurons are driven by both common inputs and by synaptic inputs from different sources during muscle spasms. Further, thenar motoneurons can still fire at high rates in response to various peripheral inputs after spinal cord injury, supporting the idea that low maximal voluntary firing rates and forces in thenar muscles result from reduced descending drive.

  7. Post-fire vegetation and fuel development influences fire severity patterns in reburns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coppoletta, Michelle; Merriam, Kyle E; Collins, Brandon M

    2016-04-01

    In areas where fire regimes and forest structure have been dramatically altered, there is increasing concern that contemporary fires have the potential to set forests on a positive feedback trajectory with successive reburns, one in which extensive stand-replacing fire could promote more stand-replacing fire. Our study utilized an extensive set of field plots established following four fires that occurred between 2000 and 2010 in the northern Sierra Nevada, California, USA that were subsequently reburned in 2012. The information obtained from these field plots allowed for a unique set of analyses investigating the effect of vegetation, fuels, topography, fire weather, and forest management on reburn severity. We also examined the influence of initial fire severity and time since initial fire on influential predictors of reburn severity. Our results suggest that high- to moderate-severity fire in the initial fires led to an increase in standing snags and shrub vegetation, which in combination with severe fire weather promoted high-severity fire effects in the subsequent reburn. Although fire behavior is largely driven by weather, our study demonstrates that post-fire vegetation composition and structure are also important drivers of reburn severity. In the face of changing climatic regimes and increases in extreme fire weather, these results may provide managers with options to create more fire-resilient ecosystems. In areas where frequent high-severity fire is undesirable, management activities such as thinning, prescribed fire, or managed wildland fire can be used to moderate fire behavior not only prior to initial fires, but also before subsequent reburns.

  8. Huntingtin is critical both pre- and postsynaptically for long-term learning-related synaptic plasticity in Aplysia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun-Beom Choi

    Full Text Available Patients with Huntington's disease exhibit memory and cognitive deficits many years before manifesting motor disturbances. Similarly, several studies have shown that deficits in long-term synaptic plasticity, a cellular basis of memory formation and storage, occur well before motor disturbances in the hippocampus of the transgenic mouse models of Huntington's disease. The autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of Huntington's disease suggests the importance of the mutant protein, huntingtin, in pathogenesis of Huntington's disease, but wild type huntingtin also has been shown to be important for neuronal functions such as axonal transport. Yet, the role of wild type huntingtin in long-term synaptic plasticity has not been investigated in detail. We identified a huntingtin homolog in the marine snail Aplysia, and find that similar to the expression pattern in mammalian brain, huntingtin is widely expressed in neurons and glial cells. Importantly the expression of mRNAs of huntingtin is upregulated by repeated applications of serotonin, a modulatory transmitter released during learning in Aplysia. Furthermore, we find that huntingtin expression levels are critical, not only in presynaptic sensory neurons, but also in the postsynaptic motor neurons for serotonin-induced long-term facilitation at the sensory-to-motor neuron synapse of the Aplysia gill-withdrawal reflex. These results suggest a key role for huntingtin in long-term memory storage.

  9. Fire protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Janetzky, E.

    1980-01-01

    Safety and fire prevention measurements have to be treated like the activities developing, planning, construction and erection. Therefore it is necessary that these measurements have to be integrated into the activities mentioned above at an early stage in order to guarantee their effectiveness. With regard to fire accidents the statistics of the insurance companies concerned show that the damage caused increased in the last years mainly due to high concentration of material. Organization of fire prevention and fire fighting, reasons of fire break out, characteristics and behaviour of fire, smoke and fire detection, smoke and heat venting, fire extinguishers (portable and stationary), construction material in presence of fire, respiratory protection etc. will be discussed. (orig./RW)

  10. Effects of exercise and diet change on cognition function and synaptic plasticity in high fat diet induced obese rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Nutritional imbalance-induced obesity causes a variety of diseases and in particular is an important cause of cognitive function decline. This study was performed on Sprague Dawley (SD) rats with 13-weeks of high fat diet-induced obesity in connection to the effects of regular exercise and dietary control for 8 weeks on the synaptic plasticity and cognitive abilities of brain. Methods Four weeks-old SD rats were adopted classified into normal-normal diet-sedentary (NNS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-sedentary (OHS, n = 8), obesity-high fat diet-training (OHT, n = 8), obesity-normal diet-sedentary (ONS, n = 8) and obesity- normal diet-training (ONT, n = 8). The exercise program consisted of a treadmill exercise administered at a speed of 8 m/min for 1–4 weeks, and 14 m/min for 5–8 weeks. The Western blot method was used to measure the expression of NGF, BDNF, p38MAPK and p-p38MAPK proteins in hippocampus of the brain, and expressions of NGF, BDNF, TrkA, TrkB, CREB and synapsin1 mRNA were analyzed through qRT-PCR. Results The results suggest cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression to be significantly decreased in the hippocampus of obese rats, and synaptic plasticity as well as cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors were also significantly decreased. In addition, 8-weeks exercises and treatment by dietary change had induced significant increase of cognitive function-related protein levels and mRNA expression as well as synaptic plasticity and cognitive function signaling sub-pathway factors in obese rats. In particular, the combined treatment had presented even more positive effect. Conclusions Therefore, it was determined that the high fat diet-induced obesity decreases plasticity and cognitive function of the brain, but was identified as being improved by exercises and dietary changes. In particular, it is considered that regular exercise has positive effects on memory span and learning

  11. Frequency and impact of Holocene fire in eastern South Island, New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, G.M.; Walker, S.; Basher, L.M.; Lee, W.G.

    2007-01-01

    Our evaluation of pre-settlement Holocene (10,000-1000 BP) fire, using radiocarbon-dated charcoals and pollen and charcoal spectra in pollen diagrams, concludes that fires were infrequent and patchy in the eastern South Island of New Zealand. Charcoal radiocarbon dates point to three broad phases of fire frequency: infrequent patchy fires from 10,000 to 2600 BP; a slightly increased frequency between 2600 and 1000 BP; and an unprecedented increase of fires after 1000 BP, which peaked between 800 and 500 BP. We suggest that natural fire was driven more by vegetation flammability (with ignitibility and combustibility components) than climate within this rain-shadow region, that plant chemistry principally determined fire frequency, and that topography determined the extent of fire. The review suggests that there were rare spatial and temporal instances of a feedback relationship between fire and early-successional grasses in eastern South Island. This occurred only within narrow-range, cool environments, whose equilibrium communities were of flammable, phenolic-rich woody species and grasses, and was predominantly in the late pre-settlement period. Elsewhere, grasses and herbs were understorey components to otherwise low-flammability, hardwood forest and scrub. (author). 47 refs., 6 figs., 4 tabs

  12. Post Fire Vegetation Recovery in Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouveia, Celia; Bastos, Ana; DaCamara, Carlos; Trigo, Ricardo M.

    2011-01-01

    Fires in Portugal, as in the Mediterranean ecosystems, have a complex effect on vegetation regeneration due to the different responses of vegetation to the variety of fire regimes and to the complexity of landscape structures. A thorough evaluation of vegetation recovery after fire events becomes therefore crucial in land management. In 2005, Portugal suffered a strong damage from forest fires that damaged an area of 300 000 ha of forest and shrub. This year are particularly interesting because it is associated the severe drought of 2005. The aim of the present study is to identify large burnt scars in Portugal during the 2005 fire seasons and monitoring vegetation behaviour throughout the pre and the post fire periods. The mono-parametric model developed by Gouveia et al. (2010), based on monthly values of NDVI, at the 1km×1km spatial scale, as obtained from the VEGETATION-SPOT5 instrument, from 1999 to 2009, was used.

  13. Effects of 17beta-estradiol on glutamate synaptic transmission and neuronal excitability in the rat medial vestibular nuclei.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassi, S; Frondaroli, A; Scarduzio, M; Dutia, M B; Dieni, C; Pettorossi, V E

    2010-02-17

    We investigated the effects of the neurosteroid 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) on the evoked and spontaneous activity of rat medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons in brainstem slices. E(2) enhances the synaptic response to vestibular nerve stimulation in type B neurons and depresses the spontaneous discharge in both type A and B neurons. The amplitude of the field potential, as well as the excitatory post-synaptic potential (EPSP) and current (EPSC), in type B neurons, are enhanced by E(2). Both effects are long-term phenomena since they outlast the drug washout. The enhancement of synaptic response is mainly due to facilitation of glutamate release mediated by pre-synaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs), since the reduction of paired pulse ratio (PPR) and the increase of miniature EPSC frequency after E(2) are abolished under D-(-)-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP-5). E(2) also facilitates post-synaptic NMDARs, but it does not affect directly alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptors (AMPARs) and group I-metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs-I). In contrast, the depression of the spontaneous discharge of type A and type B neurons appears to depend on E(2) modulation of intrinsic ion conductances, as the effect remains after blockade of glutamate, GABA and glycine receptors (GlyRs). The net effect of E(2) is to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio of the synaptic response in type B neurons, relative to resting activity of all MVN neurons. These findings provide evidence for a novel potential mechanism to modulate the responsiveness of vestibular neurons to afferent inputs, and so regulate vestibular function in vivo.

  14. Short-Term Synaptic Plasticity Regulation in Solution-Gated Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide Electric-Double-Layer Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Chang Jin; Liu, Yang Hui; Zhu, Li Qiang; Feng, Ping; Shi, Yi; Wan, Qing

    2016-04-20

    In the biological nervous system, synaptic plasticity regulation is based on the modulation of ionic fluxes, and such regulation was regarded as the fundamental mechanism underlying memory and learning. Inspired by such biological strategies, indium-gallium-zinc-oxide (IGZO) electric-double-layer (EDL) transistors gated by aqueous solutions were proposed for synaptic behavior emulations. Short-term synaptic plasticity, such as paired-pulse facilitation, high-pass filtering, and orientation tuning, was experimentally emulated in these EDL transistors. Most importantly, we found that such short-term synaptic plasticity can be effectively regulated by alcohol (ethyl alcohol) and salt (potassium chloride) additives. Our results suggest that solution gated oxide-based EDL transistors could act as the platforms for short-term synaptic plasticity emulation.

  15. 17β-Estradiol-Induced Synaptic Rearrangements Are Accompanied by Altered Ectonucleotidase Activities in Male Rat Hippocampal Synaptosomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrović, Nataša; Zarić, Marina; Drakulić, Dunja; Martinović, Jelena; Sévigny, Jean; Stanojlović, Miloš; Nedeljković, Nadežda; Grković, Ivana

    2017-03-01

    17β-Estradiol (E2) rapidly, by binding to membrane estrogen receptors, activates cell signaling cascades which induce formation of new dendritic spines in the hippocampus of males as in females, but the interaction with other metabolic processes, such as extracellular adenine nucleotides metabolism, are currently unknown. Extracellular adenine nucleotides play significant roles, controlling excitatory glutamatergic synapses and development of neural circuits and synaptic plasticity. Their precise regulation in the synaptic cleft is tightly controlled by ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase)/ecto-5'-nucleotidase (eN) enzyme chain. Therefore, we sought to clarify whether a single systemic injection of E2 in male rats is accompanied by changes in the expression of the pre- and postsynaptic proteins and downstream kinases linked to E2-induced synaptic rearrangement as well as alterations in NTPDase/eN pathway in the hippocampal synaptosomes. Obtained data showed activation of mammalian target of rapamycin and upregulation of key synaptic proteins necessary for spine formation, 24 h after systemic E2 administration. In E2-mediated conditions, we found downregulation of NTPDase1 and NTPDase2 and attenuation of adenine nucleotide hydrolysis by NTPDase/eN enzyme chain, without changes in NTPDase3 properties and augmentation of synaptic tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) activity. Despite reduced NTPDase activities, increased TNAP activity probably prevents toxic accumulation of ATP in the extracellular milieu and also hydrolyzes accumulated ADP due to unchanged NTPDase3 activity. Thus, our initial evaluation supports idea of specific roles of different ectonucleotidases and their coordinated actions in E2-mediated spine remodeling and maintenance.

  16. Learning Structure of Sensory Inputs with Synaptic Plasticity Leads to Interference

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity is often explored as a form of unsupervised adaptationin cortical microcircuits to learn the structure of complex sensoryinputs and thereby improve performance of classification and prediction. The question of whether the specific structure of the input patterns is encoded in the structure of neural networks has been largely neglected. Existing studies that have analyzed input-specific structural adaptation have used simplified, synthetic inputs in contrast to complex and noisy patterns found in real-world sensory data.In this work, input-specific structural changes are analyzed forthree empirically derived models of plasticity applied to three temporal sensory classification tasks that include complex, real-world visual and auditory data. Two forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP and the Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM plasticity rule are used to adapt the recurrent network structure during the training process before performance is tested on the pattern recognition tasks.It is shown that synaptic adaptation is highly sensitive to specific classes of input pattern. However, plasticity does not improve the performance on sensory pattern recognition tasks, partly due to synaptic interference between consecutively presented input samples. The changes in synaptic strength produced by one stimulus are reversed by thepresentation of another, thus largely preventing input-specific synaptic changes from being retained in the structure of the network.To solve the problem of interference, we suggest that models of plasticitybe extended to restrict neural activity and synaptic modification to a subset of the neural circuit, which is increasingly found to be the casein experimental neuroscience.

  17. Alzheimer’s disease Aβ assemblies mediating rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klyubin Igor

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Alzheimer’s disease (AD is characterized by episodic memory impairment that often precedes clinical diagnosis by many years. Probing the mechanisms of such impairment may provide much needed means of diagnosis and therapeutic intervention at an early, pre-dementia, stage. Prior to the onset of significant neurodegeneration, the structural and functional integrity of synapses in mnemonic circuitry is severely compromised in the presence of amyloidosis. This review examines recent evidence evaluating the role of amyloid-ß protein (Aβ in causing rapid disruption of synaptic plasticity and memory impairment. We evaluate the relative importance of different sizes and conformations of Aβ, including monomer, oligomer, protofibril and fibril. We pay particular attention to recent controversies over the relevance to the pathophysiology of AD of different water soluble Aβ aggregates and the importance of cellular prion protein in mediating their effects. Current data are consistent with the view that both low-n oligomers and larger soluble assemblies present in AD brain, some of them via a direct interaction with cellular prion protein, cause synaptic memory failure. At the two extremes of aggregation, monomers and fibrils appear to act in vivo both as sources and sinks of certain metastable conformations of soluble aggregates that powerfully disrupt synaptic plasticity. The same principle appears to apply to other synaptotoxic amyloidogenic proteins including tau, α-synuclein and prion protein.

  18. NPY gene transfer in the hippocampus attenuates synaptic plasticity and learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Andreas T; Kanter-Schlifke, Irene; Carli, Mirjana

    2008-01-01

    -mediated mechanisms. In addition, transgene NPY seems to be released during high frequency neuronal activity, leading to decreased glutamate release in excitatory synapses. Importantly, memory consolidation appears to be affected by the treatment. We found that long-term potentiation (LTP) in the CA1 area...... processing. Here we show, by electrophysiological recordings in CA1 of the hippocampal formation of rats, that hippocampal NPY gene transfer into the intact brain does not affect basal synaptic transmission, but slightly alters short-term synaptic plasticity, most likely via NPY Y2 receptor....... Future clinical progress, however, requires more detailed evaluation of possible side effects of this treatment. Until now it has been unknown whether rAAV vector-based NPY overexpression in the hippocampus alters normal synaptic transmission and plasticity, which could disturb learning and memory...

  19. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sadra Sadeh

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational

  20. Synaptic connectivity and spatial memory: a topological approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milton, Russell; Babichev, Andrey; Dabaghian, Yuri

    2015-03-01

    In the hippocampus, a network of place cells generates a cognitive map of space, in which each cell is responsive to a particular area of the environment - its place field. The peak response of each cell and the size of each place field have considerable variability. Experimental evidence suggests that place cells encode a topological map of space that serves as a basis of spatial memory and spatial awareness. Using a computational model based on Persistent Homology Theory we demonstrate that if the parameters of the place cells spiking activity fall inside of the physiological range, the network correctly encodes the topological features of the environment. We next introduce parameters of synaptic connectivity into the model and demonstrate that failures in synapses that detect coincident neuronal activity lead to spatial learning deficiencies similar to the ones that are observed in rodent models of neurodegenerative diseases. Moreover, we show that these learning deficiencies may be mitigated by increasing the number of active cells and/or by increasing their firing rate, suggesting the existence of a compensatory mechanism inherent to the cognitive map.

  1. Organic cation transporter 2 (SLC22A2), a low-affinity and high-capacity choline transporter, is preferentially enriched on synaptic vesicles in cholinergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakata, T; Matsui, T; Kobayashi, K; Kobayashi, Y; Anzai, N

    2013-11-12

    Organic cation transporters (OCTs) are expressed mainly in the kidney and liver. OCTs transport intrinsic organic cations, including monoamine, dopamine, serotonine and choline, across the plasma membrane. Here, we demonstrate that OCT2 (SLC22A2) is expressed in cholinergic neurons, motoneurons in the anterior horn of the spinal cord, and is implicated in acetylcholine (Ach) recycling in presynaptic terminals. Application of rabbit anti-peptide antibody revealed that OCT2 was expressed in the anterior horn of the spinal cord. Double immunostaining of muscle sections with anti-OCT2 and alpha-bungarotoxin (BTX) revealed that OCT2 was localized in the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Immunoelectron microscopy revealed that OCT2 was localized both in synaptic vesicles (SVs) in presynaptic terminals around the motoneurons (C-terminals) and in SVs in nerve terminals in NMJs. The similarity in the distribution of OCT2 in cholinergic neurons and that of vesicular acetyl choline transporter (VAchT), and the fact that OCT2 can transport choline suggest that OCT2 could work as a low-affinity and high-capacity choline transporter at presynaptic terminals in cholinergic neurons in a firing-dependent manner. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Fire effects on the Point Reyes Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa phaea) at Point Reyes National Seashore, 10 years after the Vision Fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fellers, Gary M.; Osbourn, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The 1995 Vision Fire burned 5000 ha and destroyed 40% of the habitat of the Point Reyes Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa phaea). Surveys immediately post-fire and in 2000 showed that only 0.4 to 1.7% of Mountain Beavers within the burn area survived. In 2000, dense, ground-hugging Blue-blossom Ceanothus (Ceanothus thrysiflorus) appeared to make coastal scrub thickets much less suitable for Mountain Beavers even though the number of burrows at our 11 study sites had returned to 88% of pre-fire numbers. In 2005 (10 y post-fire), the habitat appeared to be better for Mountain Beavers; Blue-blossom Ceanothus had diminished and vegetation more typical of northern coastal scrub, such as Coyote Brush (Baccharis pilularis) overstory with a lower layer of herbaceous vegetation, had greatly increased; but the number of Mountain Beaver burrows had declined to 52% of pre-fire numbers and there was little change in the number of sites occupied between our 2000 and 2005 surveys. With the expected successional changes in thicket structure, Mountain Beaver populations are likely to recover further, but there will probably be considerable variation in how each population stabilizes.

  3. Cerebral CBM1 neuron contributes to synaptic modulation appearing during rejection of seaweed in Aplysia kurodai.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narusuye, Kenji; Nagahama, Tatsumi

    2002-11-01

    The Japanese species Aplysia kurodai feeds well on Ulva but rejects Gelidium with distinctive rhythmic patterned movements of the jaws and radula. We have previously shown that the patterned jaw movements during the rejection of Gelidium might be caused by long-lasting suppression of the monosynaptic transmission from the multiaction MA neurons to the jaw-closing (JC) motor neurons in the buccal ganglia and that the modulation might be directly produced by some cerebral neurons. In the present paper, we have identified a pair of catecholaminergic neurons (CBM1) in bilateral cerebral M clusters. The CBM1, probably equivalent to CBI-1 in A. californica, simultaneously produced monosynaptic excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) in the MA and JC neurons. Firing of the CBM1 reduced the size of the inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in the JC neuron, evoked by the MA spikes, for >100 s. Moreover, the application of dopamine mimicked the CBM1 modulatory effects and pretreatment with a D1 antagonist, SCH23390, blocked the modulatory effects induced by dopamine. It could also largely block the modulatory effects induced by the CBM1 firing. These results suggest that the CBM1 may directly modulate the synaptic transmission by releasing dopamine. Moreover, we explored the CBM1 spike activity induced by taste stimulation of the animal lips with seaweed extracts by the use of calcium imaging. The calcium-sensitive dye, Calcium Green-1, was iontophoretically loaded into a cell body of the CBM1 using a microelectrode. Application of either Ulva or Gelidium extract to the lips increased the fluorescence intensity, but the Gelidium extract always induced a larger change in fluorescence compared with the Ulva extract, although the solution used induced the maximum spike responses of the CBM1 for each of the seaweed extracts. When the firing frequency of the CBM1 activity after taste stimulation was estimated, the Gelidium extract induced a spike activity of ~30 spikes

  4. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aile evan Huijstee

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behaviour, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA. This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc and the prefrontal cortex (PFC, with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioural symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodelling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction.

  5. Glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the mesocorticolimbic system in addiction

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Huijstee, Aile N.; Mansvelder, Huibert D.

    2015-01-01

    Addictive drugs remodel the brain’s reward circuitry, the mesocorticolimbic dopamine (DA) system, by inducing widespread adaptations of glutamatergic synapses. This drug-induced synaptic plasticity is thought to contribute to both the development and the persistence of addiction. This review highlights the synaptic modifications that are induced by in vivo exposure to addictive drugs and describes how these drug-induced synaptic changes may contribute to the different components of addictive behavior, such as compulsive drug use despite negative consequences and relapse. Initially, exposure to an addictive drug induces synaptic changes in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). This drug-induced synaptic potentiation in the VTA subsequently triggers synaptic changes in downstream areas of the mesocorticolimbic system, such as the nucleus accumbens (NAc) and the prefrontal cortex (PFC), with further drug exposure. These glutamatergic synaptic alterations are then thought to mediate many of the behavioral symptoms that characterize addiction. The later stages of glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the NAc and in particular in the PFC play a role in maintaining addiction and drive relapse to drug-taking induced by drug-associated cues. Remodeling of PFC glutamatergic circuits can persist into adulthood, causing a lasting vulnerability to relapse. We will discuss how these neurobiological changes produced by drugs of abuse may provide novel targets for potential treatment strategies for addiction. PMID:25653591

  6. Multivesicular release underlies short term synaptic potentiation independent of release probability change in the supraoptic nucleus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle E Quinlan

    Full Text Available Magnocellular neurons of the supraoptic nucleus receive glutamatergic excitatory inputs that regulate the firing activity and hormone release from these neurons. A strong, brief activation of these excitatory inputs induces a lingering barrage of tetrodotoxin-resistant miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs that lasts for tens of minutes. This is known to accompany an immediate increase in large amplitude mEPSCs. However, it remains unknown how long this amplitude increase can last and whether it is simply a byproduct of greater release probability. Using in vitro patch clamp recording on acute rat brain slices, we found that a brief, high frequency stimulation (HFS of afferents induced a potentiation of mEPSC amplitude lasting up to 20 min. This amplitude potentiation did not correlate with changes in mEPSC frequency, suggesting that it does not reflect changes in presynaptic release probability. Nonetheless, neither postsynaptic calcium chelator nor the NMDA receptor antagonist blocked the potentiation. Together with the known calcium dependency of HFS-induced potentiation of mEPSCs, our results imply that mEPSC amplitude increase requires presynaptic calcium. Further analysis showed multimodal distribution of mEPSC amplitude, suggesting that large mEPSCs were due to multivesicular glutamate release, even at late post-HFS when the frequency is no longer elevated. In conclusion, high frequency activation of excitatory synapses induces lasting multivesicular release in the SON, which is independent of changes in release probability. This represents a novel form of synaptic plasticity that may contribute to prolonged excitatory tone necessary for generation of burst firing of magnocellular neurons.

  7. A Computational Model to Investigate Astrocytic Glutamate Uptake Influence on Synaptic Transmission and Neuronal Spiking

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sushmita Lakshmi Allam

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Over the past decades, our view of astrocytes has switched from passive support cells to active processing elements in the brain. The current view is that astrocytes shape neuronal communication and also play an important role in many neurodegenerative diseases. Despite the growing awareness of the importance of astrocytes, the exact mechanisms underlying neuron-astrocyte communication and the physiological consequences of astrocytic-neuronal interactions remain largely unclear. In this work, we define a modeling framework that will permit to address unanswered questions regarding the role of astrocytes. Our computational model of a detailed glutamatergic synapse facilitates the analysis of neural system responses to various stimuli and conditions that are otherwise difficult to obtain experimentally, in particular the readouts at the sub-cellular level. In this paper, we extend a detailed glutamatergic synaptic model, to include astrocytic glutamate transporters. We demonstrate how these glial transporters, responsible for the majority of glutamate uptake, modulate synaptic transmission mediated by ionotropic AMPA and NMDA receptors at glutamatergic synapses. Furthermore, we investigate how these local signaling effects at the synaptic level are translated into varying spatio-temporal patterns of neuron firing. Paired pulse stimulation results reveal that the effect of astrocytic glutamate uptake is more apparent when the input inter-spike interval is sufficiently long to allow the receptors to recover from desensitization. These results suggest an important functional role of astrocytes in spike timing dependent processes and demand further investigation of the molecular basis of certain neurological diseases specifically related to alterations in astrocytic glutamate uptake, such as epilepsy.

  8. Are High-Severity Fires Burning at Much Higher Rates Recently than Historically in Dry-Forest Landscapes of the Western USA?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, William L

    2015-01-01

    Dry forests at low elevations in temperate-zone mountains are commonly hypothesized to be at risk of exceptional rates of severe fire from climatic change and land-use effects. Their setting is fire-prone, they have been altered by land-uses, and fire severity may be increasing. However, where fires were excluded, increased fire could also be hypothesized as restorative of historical fire. These competing hypotheses are not well tested, as reference data prior to widespread land-use expansion were insufficient. Moreover, fire-climate projections were lacking for these forests. Here, I used new reference data and records of high-severity fire from 1984-2012 across all dry forests (25.5 million ha) of the western USA to test these hypotheses. I also approximated projected effects of climatic change on high-severity fire in dry forests by applying existing projections. This analysis showed the rate of recent high-severity fire in dry forests is within the range of historical rates, or is too low, overall across dry forests and individually in 42 of 43 analysis regions. Significant upward trends were lacking overall from 1984-2012 for area burned and fraction burned at high severity. Upward trends in area burned at high severity were found in only 4 of 43 analysis regions. Projections for A.D. 2046-2065 showed high-severity fire would generally be still operating at, or have been restored to historical rates, although high projections suggest high-severity fire rotations that are too short could ensue in 6 of 43 regions. Programs to generally reduce fire severity in dry forests are not supported and have significant adverse ecological impacts, including reducing habitat for native species dependent on early-successional burned patches and decreasing landscape heterogeneity that confers resilience to climatic change. Some adverse ecological effects of high-severity fires are concerns. Managers and communities can improve our ability to live with high-severity fire in

  9. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic remodeling in alcoholism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyzar, Evan J; Pandey, Subhash C

    2015-08-05

    Alcohol use and alcohol addiction represent dysfunctional brain circuits resulting from neuroadaptive changes during protracted alcohol exposure and its withdrawal. Alcohol exerts a potent effect on synaptic plasticity and dendritic spine formation in specific brain regions, providing a neuroanatomical substrate for the pathophysiology of alcoholism. Epigenetics has recently emerged as a critical regulator of gene expression and synaptic plasticity-related events in the brain. Alcohol exposure and withdrawal induce changes in crucial epigenetic processes in the emotional brain circuitry (amygdala) that may be relevant to the negative affective state defined as the "dark side" of addiction. Here, we review the literature concerning synaptic plasticity and epigenetics, with a particular focus on molecular events related to dendritic remodeling during alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Targeting epigenetic processes that modulate synaptic plasticity may yield novel treatments for alcoholism. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  10. Firing patterns of spontaneously active motor units in spinal cord-injured subjects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zijdewind, Inge; Thomas, Christine K

    2012-04-01

    Involuntary motor unit activity at low rates is common in hand muscles paralysed by spinal cord injury. Our aim was to describe these patterns of motor unit behaviour in relation to motoneurone and motor unit properties. Intramuscular electromyographic activity (EMG), surface EMG and force were recorded for 30 min from thenar muscles of nine men with chronic cervical SCI. Motor units fired for sustained periods (>10 min) at regular (coefficient of variation ≤ 0.15, CV, n =19 units) or irregular intervals (CV>0.15, n =14). Regularly firing units started and stopped firing independently suggesting that intrinsic motoneurone properties were important for recruitment and derecruitment. Recruitment (3.6 Hz, SD 1.2), maximal (10.2 Hz, SD 2.3, range: 7.5-15.4 Hz) and derecruitment frequencies were low (3.3 Hz, SD 1.6), as were firing rate increases after recruitment (~20 intervals in 3 s). Once active, firing often covaried, promoting the idea that units received common inputs.Half of the regularly firing units showed a very slow decline (>40 s) in discharge before derecruitment and had interspike intervals longer than their estimated after hyperpolarisation potential (AHP) duration (estimated by death rate and breakpoint analyses). The other units were derecruited more abruptly and had shorter estimated AHP durations. Overall, regularly firing units had longer estimated AHP durations and were weaker than irregularly firing units, suggesting they were lower threshold units. Sustained firing of units at regular rates may reflect activation of persistent inward currents, visible here in the absence of voluntary drive, whereas irregularly firing units may only respond to synaptic noise.

  11. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Calafate

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology.

  12. Synaptic Contacts Enhance Cell-to-Cell Tau Pathology Propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calafate, Sara; Buist, Arjan; Miskiewicz, Katarzyna; Vijayan, Vinoy; Daneels, Guy; de Strooper, Bart; de Wit, Joris; Verstreken, Patrik; Moechars, Diederik

    2015-05-26

    Accumulation of insoluble Tau protein aggregates and stereotypical propagation of Tau pathology through the brain are common hallmarks of tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Propagation of Tau pathology appears to occur along connected neurons, but whether synaptic contacts between neurons are facilitating propagation has not been demonstrated. Using quantitative in vitro models, we demonstrate that, in parallel to non-synaptic mechanisms, synapses, but not merely the close distance between the cells, enhance the propagation of Tau pathology between acceptor hippocampal neurons and Tau donor cells. Similarly, in an artificial neuronal network using microfluidic devices, synapses and synaptic activity are promoting neuronal Tau pathology propagation in parallel to the non-synaptic mechanisms. Our work indicates that the physical presence of synaptic contacts between neurons facilitate Tau pathology propagation. These findings can have implications for synaptic repair therapies, which may turn out to have adverse effects by promoting propagation of Tau pathology. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. SYNAPTIC DEPRESSION IN DEEP NEURAL NETWORKS FOR SPEECH PROCESSING.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenhao; Li, Hanyu; Yang, Minda; Mesgarani, Nima

    2016-03-01

    A characteristic property of biological neurons is their ability to dynamically change the synaptic efficacy in response to variable input conditions. This mechanism, known as synaptic depression, significantly contributes to the formation of normalized representation of speech features. Synaptic depression also contributes to the robust performance of biological systems. In this paper, we describe how synaptic depression can be modeled and incorporated into deep neural network architectures to improve their generalization ability. We observed that when synaptic depression is added to the hidden layers of a neural network, it reduces the effect of changing background activity in the node activations. In addition, we show that when synaptic depression is included in a deep neural network trained for phoneme classification, the performance of the network improves under noisy conditions not included in the training phase. Our results suggest that more complete neuron models may further reduce the gap between the biological performance and artificial computing, resulting in networks that better generalize to novel signal conditions.

  14. Average Stand Age from Forest Inventory Plots Does Not Describe Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens T Stevens

    Full Text Available Quantifying historical fire regimes provides important information for managing contemporary forests. Historical fire frequency and severity can be estimated using several methods; each method has strengths and weaknesses and presents challenges for interpretation and verification. Recent efforts to quantify the timing of historical high-severity fire events in forests of western North America have assumed that the "stand age" variable from the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA program reflects the timing of historical high-severity (i.e. stand-replacing fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. To test this assumption, we re-analyze the dataset used in a previous analysis, and compare information from fire history records with information from co-located FIA plots. We demonstrate that 1 the FIA stand age variable does not reflect the large range of individual tree ages in the FIA plots: older trees comprised more than 10% of pre-stand age basal area in 58% of plots analyzed and more than 30% of pre-stand age basal area in 32% of plots, and 2 recruitment events are not necessarily related to high-severity fire occurrence. Because the FIA stand age variable is estimated from a sample of tree ages within the tree size class containing a plurality of canopy trees in the plot, it does not necessarily include the oldest trees, especially in uneven-aged stands. Thus, the FIA stand age variable does not indicate whether the trees in the predominant size class established in response to severe fire, or established during the absence of fire. FIA stand age was not designed to measure the time since a stand-replacing disturbance. Quantification of historical "mixed-severity" fire regimes must be explicit about the spatial scale of high-severity fire effects, which is not possible using FIA stand age data.

  15. Average Stand Age from Forest Inventory Plots Does Not Describe Historical Fire Regimes in Ponderosa Pine and Mixed-Conifer Forests of Western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Jens T; Safford, Hugh D; North, Malcolm P; Fried, Jeremy S; Gray, Andrew N; Brown, Peter M; Dolanc, Christopher R; Dobrowski, Solomon Z; Falk, Donald A; Farris, Calvin A; Franklin, Jerry F; Fulé, Peter Z; Hagmann, R Keala; Knapp, Eric E; Miller, Jay D; Smith, Douglas F; Swetnam, Thomas W; Taylor, Alan H

    Quantifying historical fire regimes provides important information for managing contemporary forests. Historical fire frequency and severity can be estimated using several methods; each method has strengths and weaknesses and presents challenges for interpretation and verification. Recent efforts to quantify the timing of historical high-severity fire events in forests of western North America have assumed that the "stand age" variable from the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program reflects the timing of historical high-severity (i.e. stand-replacing) fire in ponderosa pine and mixed-conifer forests. To test this assumption, we re-analyze the dataset used in a previous analysis, and compare information from fire history records with information from co-located FIA plots. We demonstrate that 1) the FIA stand age variable does not reflect the large range of individual tree ages in the FIA plots: older trees comprised more than 10% of pre-stand age basal area in 58% of plots analyzed and more than 30% of pre-stand age basal area in 32% of plots, and 2) recruitment events are not necessarily related to high-severity fire occurrence. Because the FIA stand age variable is estimated from a sample of tree ages within the tree size class containing a plurality of canopy trees in the plot, it does not necessarily include the oldest trees, especially in uneven-aged stands. Thus, the FIA stand age variable does not indicate whether the trees in the predominant size class established in response to severe fire, or established during the absence of fire. FIA stand age was not designed to measure the time since a stand-replacing disturbance. Quantification of historical "mixed-severity" fire regimes must be explicit about the spatial scale of high-severity fire effects, which is not possible using FIA stand age data.

  16. Nicotinic mechanisms influencing synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andon Nicholas PLACZEK; Tao A ZHANG; John Anthony DANI

    2009-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed throughout the hippocampus, and nicotinic signaling plays an important role in neuronal function. In the context of learning and memory related behaviors associated with hippocampal function, a potentially significant feature of nAChR activity is the impact it has on synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons has long been considered a contributing cellular mechanism of learning and memory. These same kinds of cellular mechanisms are a factor in the development of nicotine addiction. Nicotinic signaling has been demonstrated by in vitro studies to affect synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons via multiple steps, and the signaling has also been shown to evoke synaptic plasticity in vivo. This review focuses on the nAChRs subtypes that contribute to hippocampal synaptic plasticity at the cellular and circuit level. It also considers nicotinic influences over long-term changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to addiction.

  17. Spaceflight-induced synaptic modifications within hair cells of the mammalian utricle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultemeier, David R; Choy, Kristel R; Schweizer, Felix E; Hoffman, Larry F

    2017-06-01

    Exposure to the microgravity conditions of spaceflight alleviates the load normally imposed by the Earth's gravitational field on the inner ear utricular epithelia. Previous ultrastructural investigations have shown that spaceflight induces an increase in synapse density within hair cells of the rat utricle. However, the utricle exhibits broad physiological heterogeneity across different epithelial regions, and it is unknown whether capabilities for synaptic plasticity generalize to hair cells across its topography. To achieve systematic and broader sampling of the epithelium than was previously conducted, we used immunohistochemistry and volumetric image analyses to quantify synapse distributions across representative utricular regions in specimens from mice exposed to spaceflight (a 15-day mission of the space shuttle Discovery). These measures were compared with similarly sampled Earth-bound controls. Following paraformaldehyde fixation and microdissection, immunohistochemistry was performed on intact specimens to label presynaptic ribbons (anti-CtBP2) and postsynaptic receptor complexes (anti-Shank1A). Synapses were identified as closely apposed pre- and postsynaptic puncta. Epithelia from horizontal semicircular canal cristae served as "within-specimen" controls, whereas utricles and cristae from Earth-bound cohorts served as experimental controls. We found that synapse densities decreased in the medial extrastriolae of microgravity specimens compared with experimental controls, whereas they were unchanged in the striolae and horizontal cristae from the two conditions. These data demonstrate that structural plasticity was topographically localized to the utricular region that encodes very low frequency and static changes in linear acceleration, and illuminates the remarkable capabilities of utricular hair cells for synaptic plasticity in adapting to novel gravitational environments. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Spaceflight imposes a radically different sensory environment

  18. Defective Glycinergic Synaptic Transmission in Zebrafish Motility Mutants

    OpenAIRE

    Hirata, Hiromi; Carta, Eloisa; Yamanaka, Iori; Harvey, Robert J.; Kuwada, John Y.

    2010-01-01

    Glycine is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the spinal cord and brainstem. Recently, in vivo analysis of glycinergic synaptic transmission has been pursued in zebrafish using molecular genetics. An ENU mutagenesis screen identified two behavioral mutants that are defective in glycinergic synaptic transmission. Zebrafish bandoneon (beo) mutants have a defect in glrbb, one of the duplicated glycine receptor (GlyR) β subunit genes. These mutants exhibit a loss of glycinergic synaptic ...

  19. Alcohol skin preparation causes surgical fires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocos, B; Donaldson, L J

    2012-03-01

    Surgical fires are a rare but serious preventable safety risk in modern hospitals. Data from the US show that up to 650 surgical fires occur each year, with up to 5% causing death or serious harm. This study used the National Reporting and Learning Service (NRLS) database at the National Patient Safety Agency to explore whether spirit-based surgical skin preparation fluid contributes to the cause of surgical fires. The NRLS database was interrogated for all incidents of surgical fires reported between 1 March 2004 and 1 March 2011. Each report was scrutinised manually to discover the cause of the fire. Thirteen surgical fires were reported during the study period. Of these, 11 were found to be directly related to spirit-based surgical skin preparation or preparation soaked swabs and drapes. Despite manufacturer's instructions and warnings, surgical fires continue to occur. Guidance published in the UK and US states that spirit-based skin preparation solutions should continue to be used but sets out some precautions. It may be that fire risk should be included in pre-surgical World Health Organization checklists or in the surgical training curriculum. Surgical staff should be aware of the risk that spirit-based skin preparation fluids pose and should take action to minimise the chance of fire occurring.

  20. Consistency and diversity of spike dynamics in the neurons of bed nucleus of stria terminalis of the rat: a dynamic clamp study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Attila Szücs

    Full Text Available Neurons display a high degree of variability and diversity in the expression and regulation of their voltage-dependent ionic channels. Under low level of synaptic background a number of physiologically distinct cell types can be identified in most brain areas that display different responses to standard forms of intracellular current stimulation. Nevertheless, it is not well understood how biophysically different neurons process synaptic inputs in natural conditions, i.e., when experiencing intense synaptic bombardment in vivo. While distinct cell types might process synaptic inputs into different patterns of action potentials representing specific "motifs" of network activity, standard methods of electrophysiology are not well suited to resolve such questions. In the current paper we performed dynamic clamp experiments with simulated synaptic inputs that were presented to three types of neurons in the juxtacapsular bed nucleus of stria terminalis (jcBNST of the rat. Our analysis on the temporal structure of firing showed that the three types of jcBNST neurons did not produce qualitatively different spike responses under identical patterns of input. However, we observed consistent, cell type dependent variations in the fine structure of firing, at the level of single spikes. At the millisecond resolution structure of firing we found high degree of diversity across the entire spectrum of neurons irrespective of their type. Additionally, we identified a new cell type with intrinsic oscillatory properties that produced a rhythmic and regular firing under synaptic stimulation that distinguishes it from the previously described jcBNST cell types. Our findings suggest a sophisticated, cell type dependent regulation of spike dynamics of neurons when experiencing a complex synaptic background. The high degree of their dynamical diversity has implications to their cooperative dynamics and synchronization.

  1. Exogenous ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) reduces synaptic depression during repetitive stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, Neus; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Priego, Mercedes; Obis, Teresa; Lanuza, Maria A; Besalduch, Nuria; Tomàs, Josep

    2012-09-01

    It has been shown that ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) has trophic and maintenance effects on several types of peripheral and central neurons, glia, and cells outside the nervous system. Both CNTF and its receptor, CNTF-Rα, are expressed in the muscle. We use confocal immunocytochemistry to show that the trophic cytokine and its receptor are present in the pre- and post-synaptic sites of the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). Applied CNTF (7.5-200 ng/ml, 60 min-3 h) does not acutely affect spontaneous potentials (size or frequency) or quantal content of the evoked acetylcholine release from post-natal (in weak or strong axonal inputs on dually innervated end plates or in the most mature singly innervated synapses at P6) or adult (P30) NMJ of Levator auris longus muscle of the mice. However, CNTF reduces roughly 50% the depression produced by repetitive stimulation (40 Hz, 2 min) on the adult NMJs. Our findings indicate that, unlike neurotrophins, exogenous CNTF does not acutely modulate transmitter release locally at the mammalian neuromuscular synapse but can protect mature end plates from activity-induced synaptic depression. © 2012 Peripheral Nerve Society.

  2. Resilience of Mediterranean terrestrial ecosystems and fire severity in semiarid areas: Responses of Aleppo pine forests in the short, mid and long term.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-De Vega, S; De Las Heras, J; Moya, D

    2016-12-15

    In recent decades, the fire regime of the Mediterranean Basin has been disturbed by various factors: climate change; forest management policies; land cover; changed landscape. Size and severity have notably increased, which in turn have increased large fires events with >500ha burned (high severity). In spite of Mediterranean ecosystems' high resilience to fire, these changes have implied more vulnerability and reduced natural recovery with irreparable long-term negative effects. Knowledge of the response of ecosystems to increasing severity, mainly in semiarid areas, is still lacking, which is needed to rehabilitate and restore burned areas. Our approach assessed the resilience concept by focusing on the recovery of ecosystem functions and services, measured as changes in the composition and diversity of plant community vegetation and structure. This will be validated in the long term as a model of ecosystem response. Also, depending on the pre-fire characteristics of vegetation, fire severity and the post-fire management, this approach will lead to tools that can be applied to implement post-fire restoration efforts in order to help decision making in planning activities. Regarding Mediterranean ecosystems' ability to recover after wildfires, this study concludes that pre-fire communities are resilient in these fire-prone areas, but the window for natural recovery in semiarid areas of Aleppo pine forest in SE Iberian Peninsula varied from 3 to 15 post-fire years. Fire severity was also key for effects on the ecosystem: the vegetation types of areas burned with low and medium severity recovered naturally, while those areas with a high-severity burn induced shrublands. We concluded that very strong regeneration activity exists in the short term, and that the negative effects of medium- and high-severity fire are evidenced in the mid and long term, which affect natural recovery. Adaptive forest management to rehabilitate and restore burned Mediterranean ecosystems

  3. Pinus contorta invasions increase wildfire fuel loads and may create a positive feedback with fire.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Kimberley T; Maxwell, Bruce D; McWethy, David B; Pauchard, Aníbal; Nuñez, Martín A; Whitlock, Cathy

    2017-03-01

    Invasive plant species that have the potential to alter fire regimes have significant impacts on native ecosystems. Concern that pine invasions in the Southern Hemisphere will increase fire activity and severity and subsequently promote further pine invasion prompted us to examine the potential for feedbacks between Pinus contorta invasions and fire in Patagonia and New Zealand. We determined how fuel loads and fire effects were altered by P. contorta invasion. We also examined post-fire plant communities across invasion gradients at a subset of sites to assess how invasion alters the post-fire vegetation trajectory. We found that fuel loads and soil heating during simulated fire increase with increasing P. contorta invasion age or density at all sites. However, P. contorta density did not always increase post-fire. In the largest fire, P. contorta density only increased significantly post-fire where the pre-fire P. contorta density was above an invasion threshold. Below this threshold, P. contorta did not dominate after fire and plant communities responded to fire in a similar manner as uninvaded communities. The positive feedback observed at high densities is caused by the accumulation of fuel that in turn results in greater soil heating during fires and high P. contorta density post-fire. Therefore, a positive feedback may form between P. contorta invasions and fire, but only above an invasion density threshold. These results suggest that management of pine invasions before they reach the invasion density threshold is important for reducing fire risk and preventing a transition to an alternate ecosystem state dominated by pines and novel understory plant communities. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.

  4. Co-emergence of multi-scale cortical activities of irregular firing, oscillations and avalanches achieves cost-efficient information capacity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong-Ping Yang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The brain is highly energy consuming, therefore is under strong selective pressure to achieve cost-efficiency in both cortical connectivities and activities. However, cost-efficiency as a design principle for cortical activities has been rarely studied. Especially it is not clear how cost-efficiency is related to ubiquitously observed multi-scale properties: irregular firing, oscillations and neuronal avalanches. Here we demonstrate that these prominent properties can be simultaneously observed in a generic, biologically plausible neural circuit model that captures excitation-inhibition balance and realistic dynamics of synaptic conductance. Their co-emergence achieves minimal energy cost as well as maximal energy efficiency on information capacity, when neuronal firing are coordinated and shaped by moderate synchrony to reduce otherwise redundant spikes, and the dynamical clusterings are maintained in the form of neuronal avalanches. Such cost-efficient neural dynamics can be employed as a foundation for further efficient information processing under energy constraint.

  5. Modeling post-fire hydro-geomorphic recovery in the Waldo Canyon Fire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinoshita, Alicia; Nourbakhshbeidokhti, Samira; Chin, Anne

    2016-04-01

    Wildfire can have significant impacts on watershed hydrology and geomorphology by changing soil properties and removing vegetation, often increasing runoff and soil erosion and deposition, debris flows, and flooding. Watershed systems may take several years or longer to recover. During this time, post-fire channel changes have the potential to alter hydraulics that influence characteristics such as time of concentration and increase time to peak flow, flow capacity, and velocity. Using the case of the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado (USA), this research will leverage field-based surveys and terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data to parameterize KINEROS2 (KINematic runoff and EROSion), an event oriented, physically-based watershed runoff and erosion model. We will use the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool, which is a GIS-based hydrologic modeling tool that uses commonly available GIS data layers to parameterize, execute, and spatially visualize runoff and sediment yield for watersheds impacted by the Waldo Canyon Fire. Specifically, two models are developed, an unburned (Bear Creek) and burned (Williams) watershed. The models will simulate burn severity and treatment conditions. Field data will be used to validate the burned watersheds for pre- and post-fire changes in infiltration, runoff, peak flow, sediment yield, and sediment discharge. Spatial modeling will provide insight into post-fire patterns for varying treatment, burn severity, and climate scenarios. Results will also provide post-fire managers with improved hydro-geomorphic modeling and prediction tools for water resources management and mitigation efforts.

  6. Depression-Biased Reverse Plasticity Rule Is Required for Stable Learning at Top-Down Connections

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbank, Kendra S.; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2012-01-01

    Top-down synapses are ubiquitous throughout neocortex and play a central role in cognition, yet little is known about their development and specificity. During sensory experience, lower neocortical areas are activated before higher ones, causing top-down synapses to experience a preponderance of post-synaptic activity preceding pre-synaptic activity. This timing pattern is the opposite of that experienced by bottom-up synapses, which suggests that different versions of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) rules may be required at top-down synapses. We consider a two-layer neural network model and investigate which STDP rules can lead to a distribution of top-down synaptic weights that is stable, diverse and avoids strong loops. We introduce a temporally reversed rule (rSTDP) where top-down synapses are potentiated if post-synaptic activity precedes pre-synaptic activity. Combining analytical work and integrate-and-fire simulations, we show that only depression-biased rSTDP (and not classical STDP) produces stable and diverse top-down weights. The conclusions did not change upon addition of homeostatic mechanisms, multiplicative STDP rules or weak external input to the top neurons. Our prediction for rSTDP at top-down synapses, which are distally located, is supported by recent neurophysiological evidence showing the existence of temporally reversed STDP in synapses that are distal to the post-synaptic cell body. PMID:22396630

  7. Depression-biased reverse plasticity rule is required for stable learning at top-down connections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra S Burbank

    Full Text Available Top-down synapses are ubiquitous throughout neocortex and play a central role in cognition, yet little is known about their development and specificity. During sensory experience, lower neocortical areas are activated before higher ones, causing top-down synapses to experience a preponderance of post-synaptic activity preceding pre-synaptic activity. This timing pattern is the opposite of that experienced by bottom-up synapses, which suggests that different versions of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP rules may be required at top-down synapses. We consider a two-layer neural network model and investigate which STDP rules can lead to a distribution of top-down synaptic weights that is stable, diverse and avoids strong loops. We introduce a temporally reversed rule (rSTDP where top-down synapses are potentiated if post-synaptic activity precedes pre-synaptic activity. Combining analytical work and integrate-and-fire simulations, we show that only depression-biased rSTDP (and not classical STDP produces stable and diverse top-down weights. The conclusions did not change upon addition of homeostatic mechanisms, multiplicative STDP rules or weak external input to the top neurons. Our prediction for rSTDP at top-down synapses, which are distally located, is supported by recent neurophysiological evidence showing the existence of temporally reversed STDP in synapses that are distal to the post-synaptic cell body.

  8. Neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

    This book summarizes the recent breakthroughs in hardware implementation of neuro-inspired computing using resistive synaptic devices. The authors describe how two-terminal solid-state resistive memories can emulate synaptic weights in a neural network. Readers will benefit from state-of-the-art summaries of resistive synaptic devices, from the individual cell characteristics to the large-scale array integration. This book also discusses peripheral neuron circuits design challenges and design strategies. Finally, the authors describe the impact of device non-ideal properties (e.g. noise, variation, yield) and their impact on the learning performance at the system-level, using a device-algorithm co-design methodology. • Provides single-source reference to recent breakthroughs in resistive synaptic devices, not only at individual cell-level, but also at integrated array-level; • Includes detailed discussion of the peripheral circuits and array architecture design of the neuro-crossbar system; • Focuses on...

  9. Synaptic Correlates of Working Memory Capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mi, Yuanyuan; Katkov, Mikhail; Tsodyks, Misha

    2017-01-18

    Psychological studies indicate that human ability to keep information in readily accessible working memory is limited to four items for most people. This extremely low capacity severely limits execution of many cognitive tasks, but its neuronal underpinnings remain unclear. Here we show that in the framework of synaptic theory of working memory, capacity can be analytically estimated to scale with characteristic time of short-term synaptic depression relative to synaptic current time constant. The number of items in working memory can be regulated by external excitation, enabling the system to be tuned to the desired load and to clear the working memory of currently held items to make room for new ones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eRial

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processing occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the ‘quad-partite’ synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increase microglia ‘activation’ in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, BDNF affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (SSRIs, electroshock, deep brain stimulation recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication - such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by ATP and adenosine - emerge as promising candidates to re-normalize synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future pharmacological tools to manage depression.

  11. Protection against fire and high temperature by using porous media and water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yano, T.; Ochi, M.; Snya, S.

    1991-01-01

    In this paper the protection method against the fire and high temperature under the disaster environments is developed and examined by utilizing the transpiration cooling to maintain the objectives at the room temperature. A room model installed by thermal protection panel for security heaven to which the people are able to escape from the fire in safety. The cooling structure is mainly composed of porous media which is made by thin ceramic paper, and the reinforced ceramic paper. The experimental verification of the room and cable models shows that the thermal protection by transpiration of water have good ability to keep inside at the room temperature even if in the violent fire. It is also clarified that the thermal protection technology by transpiration is expective to defend the room, building, cable, safety equipment, information system and etc., from the fire

  12. A Scalable Weight-Free Learning Algorithm for Regulatory Control of Cell Activity in Spiking Neuronal Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xu; Foderaro, Greg; Henriquez, Craig; Ferrari, Silvia

    2018-03-01

    Recent developments in neural stimulation and recording technologies are providing scientists with the ability of recording and controlling the activity of individual neurons in vitro or in vivo, with very high spatial and temporal resolution. Tools such as optogenetics, for example, are having a significant impact in the neuroscience field by delivering optical firing control with the precision and spatiotemporal resolution required for investigating information processing and plasticity in biological brains. While a number of training algorithms have been developed to date for spiking neural network (SNN) models of biological neuronal circuits, exiting methods rely on learning rules that adjust the synaptic strengths (or weights) directly, in order to obtain the desired network-level (or functional-level) performance. As such, they are not applicable to modifying plasticity in biological neuronal circuits, in which synaptic strengths only change as a result of pre- and post-synaptic neuron firings or biological mechanisms beyond our control. This paper presents a weight-free training algorithm that relies solely on adjusting the spatiotemporal delivery of neuron firings in order to optimize the network performance. The proposed weight-free algorithm does not require any knowledge of the SNN model or its plasticity mechanisms. As a result, this training approach is potentially realizable in vitro or in vivo via neural stimulation and recording technologies, such as optogenetics and multielectrode arrays, and could be utilized to control plasticity at multiple scales of biological neuronal circuits. The approach is demonstrated by training SNNs with hundreds of units to control a virtual insect navigating in an unknown environment.

  13. The Role of Co-chaperones in Synaptic Proteostasis and Neurodegenerative Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erica L. Gorenberg

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Synapses must be preserved throughout an organism's lifespan to allow for normal brain function and behavior. Synapse maintenance is challenging given the long distances between the termini and the cell body, reliance on axonal transport for delivery of newly synthesized presynaptic proteins, and high rates of synaptic vesicle exo- and endocytosis. Hence, synapses rely on efficient proteostasis mechanisms to preserve their structure and function. To this end, the synaptic compartment has specific chaperones to support its functions. Without proper synaptic chaperone activity, local proteostasis imbalances lead to neurotransmission deficits, dismantling of synapses, and neurodegeneration. In this review, we address the roles of four synaptic chaperones in the maintenance of the nerve terminal, as well as their genetic links to neurodegenerative disease. Three of these are Hsp40 co-chaperones (DNAJs: Cysteine String Protein alpha (CSPα; DNAJC5, auxilin (DNAJC6, and Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis 8 (RME-8; DNAJC13. These co-chaperones contain a conserved J domain through which they form a complex with heat shock cognate 70 (Hsc70, enhancing the chaperone's ATPase activity. CSPα is a synaptic vesicle protein known to chaperone the t-SNARE SNAP-25 and the endocytic GTPase dynamin-1, thereby regulating synaptic vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis. Auxilin binds assembled clathrin cages, and through its interactions with Hsc70 leads to the uncoating of clathrin-coated vesicles, a process necessary for the regeneration of synaptic vesicles. RME-8 is a co-chaperone on endosomes and may have a role in clathrin-coated vesicle endocytosis on this organelle. These three co-chaperones maintain client function by preserving folding and assembly to prevent client aggregation, but they do not break down aggregates that have already formed. The fourth synaptic chaperone we will discuss is Heat shock protein 110 (Hsp110, which interacts with Hsc70, DNAJAs, and

  14. Role of the origin of glutamatergic synaptic inputs in controlling synaptic plasticity and its modulation by alcohol in mice nucleus accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilles Erwann Martin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is widely accepted that long-lasting changes of synaptic strength in the nucleus accumbens, a brain region involved in drug reward, mediate acute and chronic effects of alcohol. However, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of alcohol on synaptic plasticity is limited by the fact that the nucleus accumbens receives glutamatergic inputs from distinct brain regions (e.g. the prefrontal cortex, the amygdala and the hippocampus, each region providing different information (e.g. spatial, emotional and cognitive. Combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and the optogenetic technique, we examined synaptic plasticity, and its regulation by alcohol, at cortical, hippocampal and amygdala inputs in fresh slices of mouse tissue. We showed that the origin of synaptic inputs determines the basic properties of glutamatergic synaptic transmission, the expression of spike-timing dependent long-term depression (tLTD and long-term potentiation (tLTP and their regulation by alcohol. While we observed both tLTP and tLTD at amygadala and hippocampal synapses, we showed that cortical inputs only undergo tLTD. Functionally, we provide evidence that acute EtOH has little effects on higher order information coming from the prefrontal cortex (PFCx, while severely impacting the ability of emotional and contextual information to induce long-lasting changes of synaptic strength.

  15. Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory Wildland Fire Management Environmental Assessment - April 2003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Irving, J.S.

    2003-04-30

    DOE prepared an environmental assessment (EA)for wildland fire management activities on the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) (DOE/EA-1372). The EA was developed to evaluate wildland fire management options for pre-fire, fire suppression, and post fire activities. Those activities have an important role in minimizing the conversion of the native sagebrush steppe ecosystem found on the INEEL to non-native weeds. Four alternative management approaches were analyzed: Alternative 1 - maximum fire protection; Alternative 2 - balanced fire protection; Alternative 2 - balanced fire protection; Alternative 3 - protect infrastructure and personnel; and Alternative 4 - no action/traditional fire protection.

  16. Reduced post-synaptic serotonin type 1A receptor binding in bipolar depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nugent, Allison C.; Bain, Earle E.; Carlson, Paul J.; Neumeister, Alexander; Bonne, Omer; Carson, Richard E.; Eckelman, William; Herscovitch, Peter; Zarate, Carlos A.; Charney, Dennis S.; Drevets, Wayne C.

    2013-01-01

    Multiple lines of evidence suggest that serotonin type 1A (5-HT1A) receptor dysfunction is involved in the pathophysiology of mood disorders, and that alterations in 5-HT1A receptor function play a role in the mechanisms of antidepressant and mood stabilizer treatment. The literature is in disagreement, however, as to whether 5-HT1A receptor binding abnormalities exist in bipolar disorder (BD). We acquired PET images of 5-HT1A receptor binding in 26 unmedicated BD subjects and 37 healthy controls using [18F]FCWAY, a highly selective 5-HT1A receptor radio-ligand. The mean 5-HT1A receptor binding potential (BPP) was significantly lower in BD subjects compared to controls in cortical regions where 5-HT1A receptors are expressed post-synaptically, most prominently in the mesiotemporal cortex. Post-hoc assessments involving other receptor specific binding parameters suggested that this difference particularly affected the females with BD. The mean BPP did not differ between groups in the raphe nucleus, however, where 5-HT1A receptors are predominantly expressed pre-synaptically. Across subjects the BPP in the mesiotemporal cortex was inversely correlated with trough plasma cortisol levels, consistent with preclinical literature indicating that hippocampal 5-HT1A receptor expression is inhibited by glucocorticoid receptor stimulation. These findings suggest that 5-HT1A receptor binding is abnormally reduced in BD, and this abnormality may particularly involve the postsynaptic 5-HT1A receptor system of individuals with a tendency toward cortisol hypersecretion. PMID:23434290

  17. Measurements relating fire radiative energy density and surface fuel consumption - RxCADRE 2011 and 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew T. Hudak; Matthew B. Dickinson; Benjamin C. Bright; Robert L. Kremens; E. Louise Loudermilk; Joseph J. O' Brien; Benjamin S. Hornsby; Roger D. Ottmar

    2016-01-01

    Small-scale experiments have demonstrated that fire radiative energy is linearly related to fuel combusted but such a relationship has not been shown at the landscape level of prescribed fires. This paper presents field and remotely sensed measures of pre-fire fuel loads, consumption, fire radiative energy density (FRED) and fire radiative power flux density (FRFD),...

  18. Detecting post-fire burn severity and vegetation recovery using multitemporal remote sensing spectral indices and field-collected composite burn index data in a ponderosa pine forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Xuexia; Vogelmann, James E.; Rollins, Matt; Ohlen, Donald; Key, Carl H.; Yang, Limin; Huang, Chengquan; Shi, Hua

    2011-01-01

    It is challenging to detect burn severity and vegetation recovery because of the relatively long time period required to capture the ecosystem characteristics. Multitemporal remote sensing data can providemultitemporal observations before, during and after a wildfire, and can improve the change detection accuracy. The goal of this study is to examine the correlations between multitemporal spectral indices and field-observed burn severity, and to provide a practical method to estimate burn severity and vegetation recovery. The study site is the Jasper Fire area in the Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota, that burned during August and September 2000. Six multitemporal Landsat images acquired from 2000 (pre-fire), 2001 (post-fire), 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2007 were used to assess burn severity. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), enhanced vegetation index (EVI), normalized burn ratio (NBR), integrated forest index (IFI) and the differences of these indices between the pre-fire and post-fire years were computed and analysed with 66 field-based composite burn index (CBI) plots collected in 2002. Results showed that differences of NDVI and differences of EVI between the pre-fire year and the first two years post-fire were highly correlated with the CBI scores. The correlations were low beyond the second year post-fire. Differences of NBR had good correlation with CBI scores in all study years. Differences of IFI had low correlation with CBI in the first year post-fire and had good correlation in later years. A CBI map of the burnt area was produced using regression tree models and the multitemporal images. The dynamics of four spectral indices from 2000 to 2007 indicated that both NBR and IFI are valuable for monitoring long-term vegetation recovery. The high burn severity areas had a much slower recovery than the moderate and low burn areas.

  19. Early-life seizures alter synaptic calcium-permeable AMPA receptor function and plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippman-Bell, Jocelyn J.; Zhou, Chengwen; Sun, Hongyu; Feske, Joel S.; Jensen, Frances E.

    2016-01-01

    Calcium (Ca2+)-mediated1 signaling pathways are critical to synaptic plasticity. In adults, the NMDA glutamate receptor (NMDAR) represents a major route for activity-dependent synaptic Ca2+ entry. However, during neonatal development, when synaptic plasticity is high, many AMPA glutamate receptors (AMPARs) are also permeable to Ca2+ (CP-AMPAR) due to low GluA2 subunit expression, providing an additional route for activity- and glutamate-dependent Ca2+ influx and subsequent signaling. Therefore, altered hippocampal Ca2+ signaling may represent an age-specific pathogenic mechanism. We thus aimed to assess Ca2+ responses 48 hours after hypoxia-induced neonatal seizures (HS) in postnatal day (P)10 rats, a post-seizure time point at which we previously reported LTP attenuation. We found that Ca2+ responses were higher in brain slices from post-HS rats than in controls and this increase was CP-AMPAR-dependent. To determine whether synaptic CP-AMPAR expression was also altered post-HS, we assessed the expression of GluA2 at hippocampal synapses and the expression of long-term depression (LTD), which has been linked to the presence of synaptic GluA2. Here we report a decrease 48 hours after HS in synaptic GluA2 expression at synapses and LTD in hippocampal CA1. Given the potentially critical role of AMPAR trafficking in disease progression, we aimed to establish whether post-seizure in vivo AMPAR antagonist treatment prevented the enhanced Ca2+ responses, changes in GluA2 synaptic expression, and diminished LTD. We found that NBQX treatment prevents all three of these post-seizure consequences, further supporting a critical role for AMPARs as an age-specific therapeutic target. PMID:27521497

  20. ASSESSMENT OF FIRE SEVERITY AND POST-FIRE REGENERATION BASED ON TOPOGRAPHICAL FEATURES USING MULTITEMPORAL LANDSAT IMAGERY: A CASE STUDY in MERSIN, TURKEY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Tonbul

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Satellite based remote sensing technologies and Geographical Information Systems (GIS present operable and cost-effective solutions for mapping fires and observing post-fire regeneration. Mersin-Gülnar wildfire, which occurred in August 2008 in Turkey, selected as study site. The fire was devastating and continued 55 days. According to Turkish General Directorate of Forestry reports, it caused two deaths and left hundreds of people homeless. The aim of this study is to determine the fire severity and monitor vegetation recovery with using multitemporal spectral indices together with topographical factors. Pre-fire and post-fire Landsat ETM+ images were obtained to assess the related fire severity with using the widely-used differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR algorithm. Also, the Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI and Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI were used to determine vegetation regeneration dynamics for a period of six consecutive years. In addition, aspect image derived from Aster Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM were used to determine vegetation regeneration regime of the study area. Results showed that 5388 ha of area burned with moderate to high severity damage. As expected, NDVI and SAVI values distinctly declined post-fire and then began to increase in the coming years. Mean NDVI value of burned area changed from 0.48 to 0.17 due to wildfire, whilst mean SAVI value changed from 0.61 to 0.26. Re-growth rates calculated for NDVI and SAVI 57% and 63% respectively, six years after the fire. Moreover, NDVI and SAVI were estimated six consecutive year period by taking into consideration east, south, north and west facing slopes. Analysis showed that north-facing and east-facing slopes have higher regeneration rates in compared to other aspects. This study serves as a window to an understanding of the process of fire severity and vegetation regeneration that is vital in wildfire management systems.

  1. Assessment of Fire Severity and Post-Fire Regeneration Based on Topographical Features Using Multitemporal Landsat Imagery: a Case Study in Mersin, Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonbul, H.; Kavzoglu, T.; Kaya, S.

    2016-06-01

    Satellite based remote sensing technologies and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) present operable and cost-effective solutions for mapping fires and observing post-fire regeneration. Mersin-Gülnar wildfire, which occurred in August 2008 in Turkey, selected as study site. The fire was devastating and continued 55 days. According to Turkish General Directorate of Forestry reports, it caused two deaths and left hundreds of people homeless. The aim of this study is to determine the fire severity and monitor vegetation recovery with using multitemporal spectral indices together with topographical factors. Pre-fire and post-fire Landsat ETM+ images were obtained to assess the related fire severity with using the widely-used differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) algorithm. Also, the Normalized Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI) were used to determine vegetation regeneration dynamics for a period of six consecutive years. In addition, aspect image derived from Aster Global Digital Elevation Model (GDEM) were used to determine vegetation regeneration regime of the study area. Results showed that 5388 ha of area burned with moderate to high severity damage. As expected, NDVI and SAVI values distinctly declined post-fire and then began to increase in the coming years. Mean NDVI value of burned area changed from 0.48 to 0.17 due to wildfire, whilst mean SAVI value changed from 0.61 to 0.26. Re-growth rates calculated for NDVI and SAVI 57% and 63% respectively, six years after the fire. Moreover, NDVI and SAVI were estimated six consecutive year period by taking into consideration east, south, north and west facing slopes. Analysis showed that north-facing and east-facing slopes have higher regeneration rates in compared to other aspects. This study serves as a window to an understanding of the process of fire severity and vegetation regeneration that is vital in wildfire management systems.

  2. Thalamic synaptic transmission of sensory information modulated by synergistic interaction of adenosine and serotonin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ya-Chin; Hu, Chun-Chang; Huang, Chen-Syuan; Chou, Pei-Yu

    2014-03-01

    The thalamic synapses relay peripheral sensory information to the cortex, and constitute an important part of the thalamocortical network that generates oscillatory activities responsible for different vigilance (sleep and wakefulness) states. However, the modulation of thalamic synaptic transmission by potential sleep regulators, especially by combination of regulators in physiological scenarios, is not fully characterized. We found that somnogen adenosine itself acts similar to wake-promoting serotonin, both decreasing synaptic strength as well as short-term depression, at the retinothalamic synapse. We then combined the two modulators considering the coexistence of them in the hypnagogic (sleep-onset) state. Adenosine plus serotonin results in robust synergistic inhibition of synaptic strength and dramatic transformation of short-term synaptic depression to facilitation. These synaptic effects are not achievable with a single modulator, and are consistent with a high signal-to-noise ratio but a low level of signal transmission through the thalamus appropriate for slow-wave sleep. This study for the first time demonstrates that the sleep-regulatory modulators may work differently when present in combination than present singly in terms of shaping information flow in the thalamocortical network. The major synaptic characters such as the strength and short-term plasticity can be profoundly altered by combination of modulators based on physiological considerations. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  3. Alteration of synaptic connectivity of oligodendrocyte precursor cells following demyelination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahel, Aurélia; Ortiz, Fernando C.; Kerninon, Christophe; Maldonado, Paloma P.; Angulo, María Cecilia; Nait-Oumesmar, Brahim

    2015-01-01

    Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) are a major source of remyelinating oligodendrocytes in demyelinating diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While OPCs are innervated by unmyelinated axons in the normal brain, the fate of such synaptic contacts after demyelination is still unclear. By combining electrophysiology and immunostainings in different transgenic mice expressing fluorescent reporters, we studied the synaptic innervation of OPCs in the model of lysolecithin (LPC)-induced demyelination of corpus callosum. Synaptic innervation of reactivated OPCs in the lesion was revealed by the presence of AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic currents, VGluT1+ axon-OPC contacts in 3D confocal reconstructions and synaptic junctions observed by electron microscopy. Moreover, 3D confocal reconstructions of VGluT1 and NG2 immunolabeling showed the existence of glutamatergic axon-OPC contacts in post-mortem MS lesions. Interestingly, patch-clamp recordings in LPC-induced lesions demonstrated a drastic decrease in spontaneous synaptic activity of OPCs early after demyelination that was not caused by an impaired conduction of compound action potentials. A reduction in synaptic connectivity was confirmed by the lack of VGluT1+ axon-OPC contacts in virtually all rapidly proliferating OPCs stained with EdU (50-ethynyl-20-deoxyuridine). At the end of the massive proliferation phase in lesions, the proportion of innervated OPCs rapidly recovers, although the frequency of spontaneous synaptic currents did not reach control levels. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that newly-generated OPCs do not receive synaptic inputs during their active proliferation after demyelination, but gain synapses during the remyelination process. Hence, glutamatergic synaptic inputs may contribute to inhibit OPC proliferation and might have a physiopathological relevance in demyelinating disorders. PMID:25852473

  4. Estimation of Synaptic Conductances in Presence of Nonlinear Effects Caused by Subthreshold Ionic Currents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vich, Catalina; Berg, Rune W.; Guillamon, Antoni

    2017-01-01

    Subthreshold fluctuations in neuronal membrane potential traces contain nonlinear components, and employing nonlinear models might improve the statistical inference. We propose a new strategy to estimate synaptic conductances, which has been tested using in silico data and applied to in vivo...... recordings. The model is constructed to capture the nonlinearities caused by subthreshold activated currents, and the estimation procedure can discern between excitatory and inhibitory conductances using only one membrane potential trace. More precisely, we perform second order approximations of biophysical...... models to capture the subthreshold nonlinearities, resulting in quadratic integrate-and-fire models, and apply approximate maximum likelihood estimation where we only suppose that conductances are stationary in a 50–100 ms time window. The results show an improvement compared to existent procedures...

  5. Synchronization of map-based neurons with memory and synaptic delay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sausedo-Solorio, J.M. [Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo, Carretera Pachuca-Tulancingo Km. 4.5, 42074 Pachuca, Hidalgo (Mexico); Pisarchik, A.N., E-mail: apisarch@cio.mx [Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, Loma del Bosque 115, Lomas del Campestre, 37150 Leon, Guanajuato (Mexico); Centre for Biomedical Technology, Technical University of Madrid, Campus Montegancedo, 28223 Pozuelo de Alarcon, Madrid (Spain)

    2014-06-13

    Synchronization of two synaptically coupled neurons with memory and synaptic delay is studied using the Rulkov map, one of the simplest neuron models which displays specific features inherent to bursting dynamics. We demonstrate a transition from lag to anticipated synchronization as the relationship between the memory duration and the synaptic delay time changes. The neuron maps synchronize either with anticipation, if the memory is longer than the synaptic delay time, or with lag otherwise. The mean anticipation time is equal to the difference between the memory and synaptic delay independently of the coupling strength. Frequency entrainment and phase-locking phenomena as well as a transition from regular spikes to chaos are demonstrated with respect to the coupling strength. - Highlights: • We study synchronization of neurons with memory and synaptic delay in the map model. • Neurons synchronize either with anticipation or with lag depending on delay time. • Mean anticipation time is equal to the difference between memory and synaptic delay. • Frequency entrainment and phase locking are studied with respect to the coupling.

  6. Post-fire recovery of torpor and activity patterns of a small mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stawski, Clare; Hume, Taylor; Körtner, Gerhard; Currie, Shannon E; Nowack, Julia; Geiser, Fritz

    2017-05-01

    To cope with the post-fire challenges of decreased availability of food and shelter, brown antechinus ( Antechinus stuartii ), a small marsupial mammal, increase the use of energy-conserving torpor and reduce activity. However, it is not known how long it takes for animals to resume pre-fire torpor and activity patterns during the recovery of burnt habitat. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that antechinus will adjust torpor use and activity after a fire depending on vegetation recovery. We simultaneously quantified torpor and activity patterns for female antechinus from three adjacent areas: (i) the area of a management burn 1 year post-fire, (ii) an area that was burned 2 years prior, and (iii) a control area. In comparison to shortly after the management burn, antechinus in all three groups displayed less frequent and less pronounced torpor while being more active. We provide the first evidence that only 1 year post-fire antechinus resume pre-fire torpor and activity patterns, probably in response to the return of herbaceous ground cover and foraging opportunities. © 2017 The Author(s).

  7. Synaptic Plasticity, Dementia and Alzheimer Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skaper, Stephen D; Facci, Laura; Zusso, Morena; Giusti, Pietro

    2017-01-01

    Neuroplasticity is not only shaped by learning and memory but is also a mediator of responses to neuron attrition and injury (compensatory plasticity). As an ongoing process it reacts to neuronal cell activity and injury, death, and genesis, which encompasses the modulation of structural and functional processes of axons, dendrites, and synapses. The range of structural elements that comprise plasticity includes long-term potentiation (a cellular correlate of learning and memory), synaptic efficacy and remodelling, synaptogenesis, axonal sprouting and dendritic remodelling, and neurogenesis and recruitment. Degenerative diseases of the human brain continue to pose one of biomedicine's most intractable problems. Research on human neurodegeneration is now moving from descriptive to mechanistic analyses. At the same time, it is increasing apparently that morphological lesions traditionally used by neuropathologists to confirm post-mortem clinical diagnosis might furnish us with an experimentally tractable handle to understand causative pathways. Consider the aging-dependent neurodegenerative disorder Alzheimer's disease (AD) which is characterised at the neuropathological level by deposits of insoluble amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) in extracellular plaques and aggregated tau protein, which is found largely in the intracellular neurofibrillary tangles. We now appreciate that mild cognitive impairment in early AD may be due to synaptic dysfunction caused by accumulation of non-fibrillar, oligomeric Aβ, occurring well in advance of evident widespread synaptic loss and neurodegeneration. Soluble Aβ oligomers can adversely affect synaptic structure and plasticity at extremely low concentrations, although the molecular substrates by which synaptic memory mechanisms are disrupted remain to be fully elucidated. The dendritic spine constitutes a primary locus of excitatory synaptic transmission in the mammalian central nervous system. These structures protruding from dendritic

  8. Sex differences in the effects of pre- and postnatal caffeine exposure on behavior and synaptic proteins in pubescent rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallaberry, Cássia; Ardais, Ana Paula; Rocha, Andréia; Borges, Maurício Felisberto; Fioreze, Gabriela T; Mioranzza, Sabrina; Nunes, Fernanda; Pagnussat, Natália; Botton, Paulo Henrique S; Porciúncula, Lisiane O

    2018-02-02

    Few studies have addressed the effects of caffeine in the puberty and/or adolescence in a sex dependent manner. Considering that caffeine intake has increased in this population, we investigated the behavioral and synaptic proteins changes in pubescent male and female rats after maternal consumption of caffeine. Adult female Wistar rats started to receive water or caffeine (0.1 and 0.3g/L in drinking water; low and moderate dose, respectively) during the active cycle at weekdays, two weeks before mating. The treatment lasted up to weaning and the offspring received caffeine until the onset of puberty (30-34days old). Behavioral tasks were performed to evaluate locomotor activity (open field task), anxious-like behavior (elevated plus maze task) and recognition memory (object recognition task) and synaptic proteins levels (proBDNF, BDNF, GFAP and SNAP-25) were verified in the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. While hyperlocomotion was observed in both sexes after caffeine treatment, anxiety-related behavior was attenuated by caffeine (0.3g/L) only in females. While moderate caffeine worsened recognition memory in females, an improvement in the long-term memory was observed in male rats for both doses. Coincident with memory improvement in males, caffeine increased pro- and BDNF in the hippocampus and cortex. Females presented increased proBDNF levels in both brain regions, with no effects of caffeine. While GFAP was not altered, moderate caffeine intake increased SNAP-25 in the cortex of female rats. Our findings revealed that caffeine promoted cognitive benefits in males associated with increased BDNF levels, while females showed less anxiety. Our findings revealed that caffeine promotes distinct behavioral outcomes and alterations in synaptic proteins during brain development in a sex dependent manner. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Technology Roadmap: High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Coal-Fired Power Generation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2012-07-01

    Coal is the largest source of power globally and, given its wide availability and relatively low cost, it is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. The High-Efficiency, Low-Emissions Coal-Fired Power Generation Roadmap describes the steps necessary to adopt and further develop technologies to improve the efficiency of the global fleet of coal. To generate the same amount of electricity, a more efficient coal-fired unit will burn less fuel, emit less carbon, release less local air pollutants, consume less water and have a smaller footprint. High-efficiency, low emissions (HELE) technologies in operation already reach a thermal efficiency of 45%, and technologies in development promise even higher values. This compares with a global average efficiency for today’s fleet of coal-fired plants of 33%, where three-quarters of operating units use less efficient technologies and more than half is over 25 years old. A successful outcome to ongoing RD&D could see units with efficiencies approaching 50% or even higher demonstrated within the next decade. Generation from older, less efficient technology must gradually be phased out. Technologies exist to make coal-fired power generation much more effective and cleaner burning. Of course, while increased efficiency has a major role to play in reducing emissions, particularly over the next 10 years, carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be essential in the longer term to make the deep cuts in carbon emissions required for a low-carbon future. Combined with CCS, HELE technologies can cut CO2 emissions from coal-fired power generation plants by as much as 90%, to less than 100 grams per kilowatt-hour. HELE technologies will be an influential factor in the deployment of CCS. For the same power output, a higher efficiency coal plant will require less CO2 to be captured; this means a smaller, less costly capture plant; lower operating costs; and less CO2 to be transported and stored.

  10. Coal-fired power plants and the causes of high temperature corrosion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oakey, J E; Simms, N J [British Coal Corporation, Coal Technology Development Div., Cheltenham, Glos (United Kingdom); Tomkings, A B [ERA Technology Ltd., Leatherhead, Surrey (United Kingdom)

    1996-12-01

    The heat exchangers in all types of coal-fired power plant operate in aggressive, high temperature environments where high temperature corrosion can severely limit their service lives. The extent of this corrosion is governed by the combined effects of the operating conditions of the heat exchanger and the presence of corrosive species released from the coal during operation. This paper reviews the coal-related factors, such as ash deposition, which influence the operating environments of heat exchangers in three types of coal-fired power plant - conventional pulverized coal boilers, fluidized bed boilers and coal gasification systems. The effects on the performance of the materials used for these heat exchangers are then compared. (au) 35 refs.

  11. A pivotal role of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clarrisa A Bradley

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3 has many cellular functions. Recent evidence suggests that it plays a key role in certain types of synaptic plasticity, in particular a form of long-term depression (LTD that is induced by the synaptic activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors. In the present article we summarise what is currently known concerning the roles of GSK-3 in synaptic plasticity at both glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses. We summarise its role in cognition and speculate on how alterations in the synaptic functioning of GSK-3 may be a major factor in certain neurodegenerative disorders.

  12. Presynaptic learning and memory with a persistent firing neuron and a habituating synapse: a model of short term persistent habituation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramanathan, Kiruthika; Ning, Ning; Dhanasekar, Dhiviya; Li, Guoqi; Shi, Luping; Vadakkepat, Prahlad

    2012-08-01

    Our paper explores the interaction of persistent firing axonal and presynaptic processes in the generation of short term memory for habituation. We first propose a model of a sensory neuron whose axon is able to switch between passive conduction and persistent firing states, thereby triggering short term retention to the stimulus. Then we propose a model of a habituating synapse and explore all nine of the behavioral characteristics of short term habituation in a two neuron circuit. We couple the persistent firing neuron to the habituation synapse and investigate the behavior of short term retention of habituating response. Simulations show that, depending on the amount of synaptic resources, persistent firing either results in continued habituation or maintains the response, both leading to longer recovery times. The effectiveness of the model as an element in a bio-inspired memory system is discussed.

  13. Readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles measured at single synaptic contacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trigo, Federico F; Sakaba, Takeshi; Ogden, David; Marty, Alain

    2012-10-30

    To distinguish between different models of vesicular release in brain synapses, it is necessary to know the number of vesicles of transmitter that can be released immediately at individual synapses by a high-calcium stimulus, the readily releasable pool (RRP). We used direct stimulation by calcium uncaging at identified, single-site inhibitory synapses to investigate the statistics of vesicular release and the size of the RRP. Vesicular release, detected as quantal responses in the postsynaptic neuron, showed an unexpected stochastic variation in the number of quanta from stimulus to stimulus at high intracellular calcium, with a mean of 1.9 per stimulus and a maximum of three or four. The results provide direct measurement of the RRP at single synaptic sites. They are consistent with models in which release proceeds from a small number of vesicle docking sites with an average occupancy around 0.7.

  14. Bidirectional control of social hierarchy by synaptic efficacy in medial prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Fei; Zhu, Jun; Zhu, Hong; Zhang, Qi; Lin, Zhanmin; Hu, Hailan

    2011-11-04

    Dominance hierarchy has a profound impact on animals' survival, health, and reproductive success, but its neural circuit mechanism is virtually unknown. We found that dominance ranking in mice is transitive, relatively stable, and highly correlates among multiple behavior measures. Recording from layer V pyramidal neurons of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) showed higher strength of excitatory synaptic inputs in mice with higher ranking, as compared with their subordinate cage mates. Furthermore, molecular manipulations that resulted in an increase and decrease in the synaptic efficacy in dorsal mPFC neurons caused an upward and downward movement in the social rank, respectively. These results provide direct evidence for mPFC's involvement in social hierarchy and suggest that social rank is plastic and can be tuned by altering synaptic strength in mPFC pyramidal cells.

  15. High severity fires, positive fire feedbacks and alternative stable states in Athrotaxis rainforest ecosystems in western Tasmania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holz, A.; Wood, S.; Fletcher, M. S.; Ward, C.; Hopf, F.; Veblen, T. T.; Bowman, D. M. J. S.

    2016-12-01

    Recurrent landscape fires present a powerful selective force on plant regeneration strategies that form a continuum between vegetative resprouters and obligate seeders. In the latter case, reduction of the interval between fires, combined with factors that affect plant traits and regeneration dynamics can drive plant population to local extinction. Here we use Athrotaxis selaginoides, a relict fire-sensitive Gondwanan tree species that occurs in western Tasmania, as model system to investigate the putative impacts of climate change and variability and human management of fire. We integrate landscape ecology (island-wide scale), with field survey and dendrochronology (stand-scale) and sedimentary records (watershed and landscape-scales) to garner a better understanding of the timing and impact of landscape fire on the vegetation dynamics of Athrotaxis at multiple scales. Across the species range sedimentary charcoal and pollen concentrations indicate that the recovery time since the last fire has consistently lengthened over the last 10,000 yrs. Stand-scale tree-age and fire-scar reconstructions suggest that populations of the Athrotxis have survive very infrequent landscape fires over the last 4-6 centuries, but that fire severity has increased following European colonization causing population collapse of Athrotaxis and an associate shift in stand structure and composition that favor resprouter species over obligate seeders. Overall our findings suggest that the resistance to fires and postfire recovery of populations of A. selaginoides have gradually declined throughout the Holocene and rapidly declined after Europeans altered fire regimes, a trend that matches the fate other Gondwanan conifers in temperate rainforests elsewhere in the southern Hemisphere.

  16. Fire creates host plant patches for monarch butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baum, Kristen A.; Sharber, Wyatt V.

    2012-01-01

    Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) depend on the presence of host plants (Asclepias spp.) within their breeding range for reproduction. In the southern Great Plains, Asclepias viridis is a perennial that flowers in May and June, and starts to senesce by August. It is locally abundant and readily used by monarchs as a host plant. We evaluated the effects of summer prescribed fire on A. viridis and the use of A. viridis by monarch butterflies. Summer prescribed fire generated a newly emergent population of A. viridis that was absent in other areas. Pre-migrant monarch butterflies laid eggs on A. viridis in summer burned plots in late August and September, allowing adequate time for a new generation of adult monarchs to emerge and migrate south to their overwintering grounds. Thus, summer prescribed fire may provide host plant patches and/or corridors for pre-migrant monarchs during a time when host plant availability may be limited in other areas. PMID:22859559

  17. Fragile X mental retardation protein regulates trans-synaptic signaling in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel H. Friedman

    2013-11-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS, the most common inherited determinant of intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders, is caused by loss of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1 gene product (FMRP, an mRNA-binding translational repressor. A number of conserved FMRP targets have been identified in the well-characterized Drosophila FXS disease model, but FMRP is highly pleiotropic in function and the full spectrum of FMRP targets has yet to be revealed. In this study, screens for upregulated neural proteins in Drosophila fmr1 (dfmr1 null mutants reveal strong elevation of two synaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs: GPI-anchored glypican Dally-like protein (Dlp and transmembrane Syndecan (Sdc. Our recent work has shown that Dlp and Sdc act as co-receptors regulating extracellular ligands upstream of intracellular signal transduction in multiple trans-synaptic pathways that drive synaptogenesis. Consistently, dfmr1 null synapses exhibit altered WNT signaling, with changes in both Wingless (Wg ligand abundance and downstream Frizzled-2 (Fz2 receptor C-terminal nuclear import. Similarly, a parallel anterograde signaling ligand, Jelly belly (Jeb, and downstream ERK phosphorylation (dpERK are depressed at dfmr1 null synapses. In contrast, the retrograde BMP ligand Glass bottom boat (Gbb and downstream signaling via phosphorylation of the transcription factor MAD (pMAD seem not to be affected. To determine whether HSPG upregulation is causative for synaptogenic defects, HSPGs were genetically reduced to control levels in the dfmr1 null background. HSPG correction restored both (1 Wg and Jeb trans-synaptic signaling, and (2 synaptic architecture and transmission strength back to wild-type levels. Taken together, these data suggest that FMRP negatively regulates HSPG co-receptors controlling trans-synaptic signaling during synaptogenesis, and that loss of this regulation causes synaptic structure and function defects characterizing the FXS disease state.

  18. Abandonment terraced hillside and answer of the fire system: some results from Mediterranean old fields

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Llovet Lopez, J.; Ruiz Varela, M.; Josa March, R.; Vallejo Calzada, V. R.

    2009-07-01

    The abandonment of agricultural lands promotes temporal changes both in soil characteristics (i.e., increasing organic matter and other quality indicators) and in plant community (i.e., changing its composition and structure, and increasing the fuel load). As a consequence, we can expect differences in the resilience to fire as succession progresses. The aim of this work is to analyse the capacity of an ecosystem to return to pre-fire conditions as a function of the stage of abandonment of old agricultural lands. The study was carried out in the north of Alicante province (E Spain). In long-term abandoned lands, post-fire modulated plant response, which in turn determined soil crusting, runoff and erosion dynamics. In recently-abandoned lands, the plant community seemed less dependent on ratio to recover. Results show a large increase in soil surface crusting in the short term after the fire and it remained high at medium term in long-abandoned lands colonised by pine forest. Fire scarcely modified runoff and erosion in recently-abandoned lands whereas in forest lands the post-fire values increased by some orders of magnitude and remained highly dependent on rain characteristics in the short and medium term after the fire. The results obtained show evidence of increased vulnerability to fire in long-abandoned lands colonised by pine forests. (Author) 4 refs.

  19. Abandonment terraced hillside and answer of the fire system: some results from Mediterranean old fields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Llovet Lopez, J.; Ruiz Varela, M.; Josa March, R.; Vallejo Calzada, V. R.

    2009-01-01

    The abandonment of agricultural lands promotes temporal changes both in soil characteristics (i.e., increasing organic matter and other quality indicators) and in plant community (i.e., changing its composition and structure, and increasing the fuel load). As a consequence, we can expect differences in the resilience to fire as succession progresses. The aim of this work is to analyse the capacity of an ecosystem to return to pre-fire conditions as a function of the stage of abandonment of old agricultural lands. The study was carried out in the north of Alicante province (E Spain). In long-term abandoned lands, post-fire modulated plant response, which in turn determined soil crusting, runoff and erosion dynamics. In recently-abandoned lands, the plant community seemed less dependent on ratio to recover. Results show a large increase in soil surface crusting in the short term after the fire and it remained high at medium term in long-abandoned lands colonised by pine forest. Fire scarcely modified runoff and erosion in recently-abandoned lands whereas in forest lands the post-fire values increased by some orders of magnitude and remained highly dependent on rain characteristics in the short and medium term after the fire. The results obtained show evidence of increased vulnerability to fire in long-abandoned lands colonised by pine forests. (Author) 4 refs.

  20. Humans, Fires, and Forests - Social science applied to fire management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanna J. Cortner; Donald R. Field; Pam Jakes; James D. Buthman

    2003-01-01

    The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons resulted in increased political scrutiny of the nation's wildland fire threats, and given the fact that millions of acres of lands are still at high risk for future catastrophic fire events, the issues highlighted by the recent fire seasons are not likely to go away any time soon. Recognizing the magnitude of the problem, the...

  1. Synapses between parallel fibres and stellate cells express long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in rat cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rancillac, Armelle; Crépel, Francis

    2004-02-01

    Various forms of synaptic plasticity underlying motor learning have already been well characterized at cerebellar parallel fibre (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses. Inhibitory interneurones play an important role in controlling the excitability and synchronization of PCs. We have therefore tested the possibility that excitatory synapses between PFs and stellate cells (SCs) are also able to exhibit long-term changes in synaptic efficacy. In the present study, we show that long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) were induced at these synapses by a low frequency stimulation protocol (2 Hz for 60 s) and that pairing this low frequency stimulation protocol with postsynaptic depolarization induced a marked shift of synaptic plasticity in favour of LTP. This LTP was cAMP independent, but required nitric oxide (NO) production from pre- and/or postsynaptic elements, depending on the stimulation or pairing protocol used, respectively. In contrast, LTD was not dependent on NO production but it required activation of postsynaptic group II and possibly of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors. Finally, stimulation of PFs at 8 Hz for 15 s also induced LTP at PF-SC synapses. But in this case, LTP was cAMP dependent, as was also observed at PF-PC synapses for presynaptic LTP induced in the same conditions. Thus, long-term changes in synaptic efficacy can be accomplished by PF-SCs synapses as well as by PF-PC synapses, suggesting that both types of plasticity might co-operate during cerebellar motor learning.

  2. Dendritic calcium channels and their activation by synaptic signals in auditory coincidence detector neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackmer, Trillium; Kuo, Sidney P; Bender, Kevin J; Apostolides, Pierre F; Trussell, Laurence O

    2009-08-01

    The avian nucleus laminaris (NL) encodes the azimuthal location of low-frequency sound sources by detecting the coincidence of binaural signals. Accurate coincidence detection requires precise developmental regulation of the lengths of the fine, bitufted dendrites that characterize neurons in NL. Such regulation has been suggested to be driven by local, synaptically mediated, dendritic signals such as Ca(2+). We examined Ca(2+) signaling through patch clamp and ion imaging experiments in slices containing nucleus laminaris from embryonic chicks. Voltage-clamp recordings of neurons located in the NL showed the presence of large Ca(2+) currents of two types, a low voltage-activated, fast inactivating Ni(2+) sensitive channel resembling mammalian T-type channels, and a high voltage-activated, slowly inactivating Cd(2+) sensitive channel. Two-photon Ca(2+) imaging showed that both channel types were concentrated on dendrites, even at their distal tips. Single action potentials triggered synaptically or by somatic current injection immediately elevated Ca(2+) throughout the entire cell. Ca(2+) signals triggered by subthreshold synaptic activity were highly localized. Thus when electrical activity is suprathreshold, Ca(2+) channels ensure that Ca(2+) rises in all dendrites, even those that are synaptically inactive.

  3. Development of a high-performance, coal-fired power generating system with a pyrolysis gas and char-fired high-temperature furnace

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shenker, J.

    1995-11-01

    A high-performance power system (HIPPS) is being developed. This system is a coal-fired, combined-cycle plant that will have an efficiency of at least 47 percent, based on the higher heating value of the fuel. The original emissions goal of the project was for NOx and SOx to each be below 0.15 lb/MMBtu. In the Phase 2 RFP this emissions goal was reduced to 0.06 lb/MMBtu. The ultimate goal of HIPPS is to have an all-coal-fueled system, but initial versions of the system are allowed up to 35 percent heat input from natural gas. Foster Wheeler Development Corporation is currently leading a team effort with AlliedSignal, Bechtel, Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Research-Cottrell, TRW and Westinghouse. Previous work on the project was also done by General Electric. The HIPPS plant will use a high-Temperature Advanced Furnace (HITAF) to achieve combined-cycle operation with coal as the primary fuel. The HITAF is an atmospheric-pressure, pulverized-fuel-fired boiler/air heater. The HITAF is used to heat air for the gas turbine and also to transfer heat to the steam cycle. its design and functions are very similar to conventional PC boilers. Some important differences, however, arise from the requirements of the combined cycle operation.

  4. Development of a high-performance, coal-fired power generating system with a pyrolysis gas and char-fired high-temperature furnace

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shenker, J.

    1995-01-01

    A high-performance power system (HIPPS) is being developed. This system is a coal-fired, combined-cycle plant that will have an efficiency of at least 47 percent, based on the higher heating value of the fuel. The original emissions goal of the project was for NOx and SOx to each be below 0.15 lb/MMBtu. In the Phase 2 RFP this emissions goal was reduced to 0.06 lb/MMBtu. The ultimate goal of HIPPS is to have an all-coal-fueled system, but initial versions of the system are allowed up to 35 percent heat input from natural gas. Foster Wheeler Development Corporation is currently leading a team effort with AlliedSignal, Bechtel, Foster Wheeler Energy Corporation, Research-Cottrell, TRW and Westinghouse. Previous work on the project was also done by General Electric. The HIPPS plant will use a high-Temperature Advanced Furnace (HITAF) to achieve combined-cycle operation with coal as the primary fuel. The HITAF is an atmospheric-pressure, pulverized-fuel-fired boiler/air heater. The HITAF is used to heat air for the gas turbine and also to transfer heat to the steam cycle. its design and functions are very similar to conventional PC boilers. Some important differences, however, arise from the requirements of the combined cycle operation

  5. Ecological legacies of Indigenous fire management in high-latitude coastal temperate rainforests, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, K.; Lertzman, K. P.; Starzomski, B. M.

    2016-12-01

    Anthropogenic burning is considered to have little impact on coastal temperate rainforest fire regimes in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) of North America, yet few long-term fire histories have been reconstructed in these forests. We use a multidisciplinary approach to reconstruct the ecological impact, scale, and legacies of historic fire regime variability in high-latitude coastal temperate rainforests located in British Columbia, Canada. We map seven centuries of fire activity with fire scars and records of stand establishment, and examine patterns in the distribution and composition of vegetation to assess whether fire was historically used as a tool for resource management. We conduct a paired study of 20 former Indigenous habitation and control sites across a 100 km2 island group to relate historic fire activity with long-term patterns of human land use and contemporary lightning strike densities. Fires were significantly associated with the locations of former Indigenous habitation sites, low and mixed in severity, and likely intentionally used to influence the composition and structure of vegetation, thus increasing the productivity of culturally important plants such as western redcedar, berry-producing shrubs, and bracken fern. Centuries of repeated anthropogenic burning have resulted in a mosaic of vegetation types in different stages of succession. These data are directly relevant to the management of contemporary forests as they do not support the widespread contention that old growth coastal temperate rainforests in this region are pristine landscapes where fire is rare, but more likely the result of long-term human land use practices.

  6. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer Hk; Luczak, Vince; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-10-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory because PKA also regulates presynaptic transmitter release. Here, we examine this issue using genetic and pharmacological application of Ht31, a PKA anchoring disrupting peptide. At the hippocampal Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, Ht31 treatment elicits a rapid decay of synaptic responses to repetitive stimuli, indicating a fast depletion of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. The interaction between PKA and proteins involved in producing this pool of synaptic vesicles is supported by biochemical assays showing that synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2), Rim1, and SNAP25 are components of a complex that interacts with cAMP. Moreover, acute treatment with Ht31 reduces the levels of SV2. Finally, experiments with transgenic mouse lines, which express Ht31 in excitatory neurons at the Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, highlight a requirement for presynaptically anchored PKA in pathway-specific synaptic tagging and long-term contextual fear memory. These results suggest that a presynaptically compartmentalized PKA is critical for synaptic plasticity and memory by regulating the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Compliance-Free, Digital SET and Analog RESET Synaptic Characteristics of Sub-Tantalum Oxide Based Neuromorphic Device.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbas, Yawar; Jeon, Yu-Rim; Sokolov, Andrey Sergeevich; Kim, Sohyeon; Ku, Boncheol; Choi, Changhwan

    2018-01-19

    A two terminal semiconducting device like a memristor is indispensable to emulate the function of synapse in the working memory. The analog switching characteristics of memristor play a vital role in the emulation of biological synapses. The application of consecutive voltage sweeps or pulses (action potentials) changes the conductivity of the memristor which is considered as the fundamental cause of the synaptic plasticity. In this study, a neuromorphic device using an in-situ growth of sub-tantalum oxide switching layer is fabricated, which exhibits the digital SET and analog RESET switching with an electroforming process without any compliance current (compliance free). The process of electroforming and SET is observed at the positive sweeps of +2.4 V and +0.86 V, respectively, while multilevel RESET is observed with the consecutive negative sweeps in the range of 0 V to -1.2 V. The movement of oxygen vacancies and gradual change in the anatomy of the filament is attributed to digital SET and analog RESET switching characteristics. For the Ti/Ta 2 O 3-x /Pt neuromorphic device, the Ti top and Pt bottom electrodes are considered as counterparts of the pre-synaptic input terminal and a post-synaptic output terminal, respectively.

  8. Spike-timing dependent plasticity and the cognitive map.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Daniel; Philippides, Andrew; Husbands, Phil; O'Shea, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Since the discovery of place cells - single pyramidal neurons that encode spatial location - it has been hypothesized that the hippocampus may act as a cognitive map of known environments. This putative function has been extensively modeled using auto-associative networks, which utilize rate-coded synaptic plasticity rules in order to generate strong bi-directional connections between concurrently active place cells that encode for neighboring place fields. However, empirical studies using hippocampal cultures have demonstrated that the magnitude and direction of changes in synaptic strength can also be dictated by the relative timing of pre- and post-synaptic firing according to a spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) rule. Furthermore, electrophysiology studies have identified persistent "theta-coded" temporal correlations in place cell activity in vivo, characterized by phase precession of firing as the corresponding place field is traversed. It is not yet clear if STDP and theta-coded neural dynamics are compatible with cognitive map theory and previous rate-coded models of spatial learning in the hippocampus. Here, we demonstrate that an STDP rule based on empirical data obtained from the hippocampus can mediate rate-coded Hebbian learning when pre- and post-synaptic activity is stochastic and has no persistent sequence bias. We subsequently demonstrate that a spiking recurrent neural network that utilizes this STDP rule, alongside theta-coded neural activity, allows the rapid development of a cognitive map during directed or random exploration of an environment of overlapping place fields. Hence, we establish that STDP and phase precession are compatible with rate-coded models of cognitive map development.

  9. Spike-timing dependent plasticity and the cognitive map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel eBush

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Since the discovery of place cells – single pyramidal neurons that encode spatial location – it has been hypothesised that the hippocampus may act as a cognitive map of known environments. This putative function has been extensively modelled using auto-associative networks, which utilise rate-coded synaptic plasticity rules in order to generate strong bi-directional connections between concurrently active place cells that encode for neighbouring place fields. However, empirical studies using hippocampal cultures have demonstrated that the magnitude and direction of changes in synaptic strength can also be dictated by the relative timing of pre- and post- synaptic firing according to a spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP rule. Furthermore, electrophysiology studies have identified persistent ‘theta-coded’ temporal correlations in place cell activity in vivo, characterised by phase precession of firing as the corresponding place field is traversed. It is not yet clear if STDP and theta-coded neural dynamics are compatible with cognitive map theory and previous rate-coded models of spatial learning in the hippocampus. Here, we demonstrate that an STDP rule based on empirical data obtained from the hippocampus can mediate rate-coded Hebbian learning when pre- and post- synaptic activity is stochastic and has no persistent sequence bias. We subsequently demonstrate that a spiking recurrent neural network that utilises this STDP rule, alongside theta-coded neural activity, allows the rapid development of a cognitive map during directed or random exploration of an environment of overlapping place fields. Hence, we establish that STDP and phase precession are compatible with rate-coded models of cognitive map development.

  10. Fire-driven alien invasion in a fire-adapted ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E.; Brennan, Teresa J.

    2012-01-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in many alien plant invasions. However, often the main driver of invasion is not disturbance per se but alterations in the disturbance regime. In some fire-adapted shrublands, the community is highly resilient to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire regime that result in shorter fire intervals may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. This study examines several wildfire events that resulted in short fire intervals in California chaparral shrublands. In one study, we compared postfire recovery patterns in sites with different prefire stand ages (3 and 24 years), and in another study we compared sites that had burned once in four years with sites that had burned twice in this period. The population size of the dominant native shrub Adenostoma fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire in the 3-year sites relative to the 24-year sites. The 3-year sites had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity than the 24-year sites. In a separate study, repeat fires four years apart on the same sites showed that annual species increased significantly after the second fire, and alien annuals far outnumbered native annuals. Aliens included both annual grasses and annual forbs and were negatively correlated with woody plant cover. Native woody species regenerated well after the first fire but declined after the second fire, and one obligate seeding shrub was extirpated from two sites by the repeat fires. It is concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and this can lead to a loss of native diversity and put the community on a trajectory towards type conversion from a woody to an herbaceous system. Such changes result in alterations in the proportion of natives to non-natives, changes in functional types from deeply rooted shrubs to shallow rooted grasses and forbs, increased fire frequency due to the increase in fine fuels

  11. Fire-driven alien invasion in a fire-adapted ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, Jon E; Brennan, Teresa J

    2012-08-01

    Disturbance plays a key role in many alien plant invasions. However, often the main driver of invasion is not disturbance per se but alterations in the disturbance regime. In some fire-adapted shrublands, the community is highly resilient to infrequent, high-intensity fires, but changes in the fire regime that result in shorter fire intervals may make these communities more susceptible to alien plant invasions. This study examines several wildfire events that resulted in short fire intervals in California chaparral shrublands. In one study, we compared postfire recovery patterns in sites with different prefire stand ages (3 and 24 years), and in another study we compared sites that had burned once in four years with sites that had burned twice in this period. The population size of the dominant native shrub Adenostoma fasciculatum was drastically reduced following fire in the 3-year sites relative to the 24-year sites. The 3-year sites had much greater alien plant cover and significantly lower plant diversity than the 24-year sites. In a separate study, repeat fires four years apart on the same sites showed that annual species increased significantly after the second fire, and alien annuals far outnumbered native annuals. Aliens included both annual grasses and annual forbs and were negatively correlated with woody plant cover. Native woody species regenerated well after the first fire but declined after the second fire, and one obligate seeding shrub was extirpated from two sites by the repeat fires. It is concluded that some fire-adapted shrublands are vulnerable to changes in fire regime, and this can lead to a loss of native diversity and put the community on a trajectory towards type conversion from a woody to an herbaceous system. Such changes result in alterations in the proportion of natives to non-natives, changes in functional types from deeply rooted shrubs to shallow rooted grasses and forbs, increased fire frequency due to the increase in fine fuels

  12. Technology for analysis of sodium pool fire characteristics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Byung Ho; Jeong, K C; Jeong, J Y; Kim, T J; Choi, J H; Choi, Y D; Hwang, S T

    2000-09-01

    Basic and detail design for medium sodium fire test facility was carried out and medium sodium fire test facility was constructed. Design data is as follows. - Test cell material : Concrete with high strength - Test cell dimension ; 48m{sup 3} (3x4x4m) - Design temp. ; 700 deg C - Operation temp. ; 530 deg C - Design pressure ; 1 bar (max.) - Dimension(Inside) : 3 x 4 x 4(m) - Test cell thickness ; 45cm - Liner plate with (Thickness : 3mm) In this study, sodium fire characteristics was analyzed and data for validation of computer code was produced. Oxygen and sodium filled in pool pan didn't burns instantly, but pool fire occurred through pre-ignition. Distribution of temperature in test cell was divided by two parts, and temperature at upper position appeared to be higher than temperature at lower position. The temperature in test cell increased with the feed of sodium. The pressure in test cell increased with the feed of sodium. When the feed of sodium was 8kg, peak pressure was 0.075 bar. Peak temperature in sodium pool appeared to be 854 deg C regardless of the feed of sodium. Decrease of 1% in oxygen concentration showed the rise of 0.036bar in pressure.

  13. Technology for analysis of sodium pool fire characteristics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Byung Ho; Jeong, K. C.; Jeong, J. Y.; Kim, T. J.; Choi, J. H.; Choi, Y. D.; Hwang, S. T.

    2000-09-01

    Basic and detail design for medium sodium fire test facility was carried out and medium sodium fire test facility was constructed. Design data is as follows. - Test cell material : Concrete with high strength - Test cell dimension ; 48m 3 (3x4x4m) - Design temp. ; 700 deg C - Operation temp. ; 530 deg C - Design pressure ; 1 bar (max.) - Dimension(Inside) : 3 x 4 x 4(m) - Test cell thickness ; 45cm - Liner plate with (Thickness : 3mm) In this study, sodium fire characteristics was analyzed and data for validation of computer code was produced. Oxygen and sodium filled in pool pan didn't burns instantly, but pool fire occurred through pre-ignition. Distribution of temperature in test cell was divided by two parts, and temperature at upper position appeared to be higher than temperature at lower position. The temperature in test cell increased with the feed of sodium. The pressure in test cell increased with the feed of sodium. When the feed of sodium was 8kg, peak pressure was 0.075 bar. Peak temperature in sodium pool appeared to be 854 deg C regardless of the feed of sodium. Decrease of 1% in oxygen concentration showed the rise of 0.036bar in pressure

  14. Technology for analysis of sodium pool fire characteristics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Byung Ho; Jeong, K. C.; Jeong, J. Y.; Kim, T. J.; Choi, J. H.; Choi, Y. D.; Hwang, S. T

    2000-09-01

    Basic and detail design for medium sodium fire test facility was carried out and medium sodium fire test facility was constructed. Design data is as follows. - Test cell material : Concrete with high strength - Test cell dimension ; 48m{sup 3} (3x4x4m) - Design temp. ; 700 deg C - Operation temp. ; 530 deg C - Design pressure ; 1 bar (max.) - Dimension(Inside) : 3 x 4 x 4(m) - Test cell thickness ; 45cm - Liner plate with (Thickness : 3mm) In this study, sodium fire characteristics was analyzed and data for validation of computer code was produced. Oxygen and sodium filled in pool pan didn't burns instantly, but pool fire occurred through pre-ignition. Distribution of temperature in test cell was divided by two parts, and temperature at upper position appeared to be higher than temperature at lower position. The temperature in test cell increased with the feed of sodium. The pressure in test cell increased with the feed of sodium. When the feed of sodium was 8kg, peak pressure was 0.075 bar. Peak temperature in sodium pool appeared to be 854 deg C regardless of the feed of sodium. Decrease of 1% in oxygen concentration showed the rise of 0.036bar in pressure.

  15. Fire resistant behaviour of cellulosic textile functionalized with wastage plant bio-molecules: A comparative scientific report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basak, Santanu; Wazed Ali, S

    2018-07-15

    Three different wastage plant based bio-molecules named banana peel powder (Musa acuminata) (BPP), coconut shell (Cocos nucifera) extract (CSE) and pomegranate rind (Punica granatum) extract (PRE) have been explored as fire resistant material on the cellulosic polymer (cotton fabric). To this end, extracts have been applied to the cotton fabric in different concentration at elevated temperature for specific time period. Treated cotton fabric showed 6 (BPP), 8.5 (CSE) and 12 (PRE) times lower vertical burning rate compared to the control cotton fabric. Thermo-gravimetry (TG) curves and the limiting oxygen index (LOI) value revealed that the PRE extract (LOI: 32) treated fabric encompassed more thermal stability compared to the BPP (LOI:26) and the CSE (LOI: 27) treated fabric as it showed higher oxygen index and more weight retention (40%) at higher temperature 450°C. Moreover, the carbonaceous samples remained after the burning of the extracts and the treated fabrics showed structural integration and more carbon content [65.6 (PRE extract) and 76.3% (PRE treated cotton)] compared to the fragile, net like char of the control cotton fabric, having less carbon content (49.8%). Gas Chromatography Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) of the different extracts (CSE, PRE, BPP) used for the study showed the presence of high molecular weight aromatic phenolic compounds, tannin based compound and the nitrogen containing alkaloids, responsible for fire resistant effect of the different extract treated fabric. Besides fire retardancy, all the treated fabric showed attractive natural colour (measured by colour strength values) and there has been no adverse effect on the tensile strength property of the fabric after the treatment. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Forecasting wildland fire behavior using high-resolution large-eddy simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Esparza, D.; Kosovic, B.; Jimenez, P. A.; Anderson, A.; DeCastro, A.; Brown, B.

    2017-12-01

    Wildland fires are responsible for large socio-economic impacts. Fires affect the environment, damage structures, threaten lives, cause health issues, and involve large suppression costs. These impacts can be mitigated via accurate fire spread forecast to inform the incident management team. To this end, the state of Colorado is funding the development of the Colorado Fire Prediction System (CO-FPS). The system is based on the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model enhanced with a fire behavior module (WRF-Fire). Realistic representation of wildland fire behavior requires explicit representation of small scale weather phenomena to properly account for coupled atmosphere-wildfire interactions. Moreover, transport and dispersion of biomass burning emissions from wildfires is controlled by turbulent processes in the atmospheric boundary layer, which are difficult to parameterize and typically lead to large errors when simplified source estimation and injection height methods are used. Therefore, we utilize turbulence-resolving large-eddy simulations at a resolution of 111 m to forecast fire spread and smoke distribution using a coupled atmosphere-wildfire model. This presentation will describe our improvements to the level-set based fire-spread algorithm in WRF-Fire and an evaluation of the operational system using 12 wildfire events that occurred in Colorado in 2016, as well as other historical fires. In addition, the benefits of explicit representation of turbulence for smoke transport and dispersion will be demonstrated.

  17. Remote sensing of fire severity: linking post-fire reflectance data with physiological responses in two western conifer species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, A. M.; Smith, A. M.; Kolden, C.; Apostol, K. G.; Boschetti, L.

    2014-12-01

    Fire is a common disturbance in forested ecosystems in the western U.S. and can be responsible for long-term impacts on vegetation and soil. An improved understanding of how ecosystems recover after fire is necessary so that land managers can plan for and mitigate the effects of these disturbances. Although several studies have attempted to link fire intensity with severity, direct links between spectral indices of severity and key physiological changes in vegetation are not well understood. We conducted an assessment of how two western conifer species respond to four fire radiative energy treatments, with spectra acquired pre- and up to a month post-burn. After transforming the spectral data into Landsat 8 equivalent reflectance, burn severity indices commonly used in the remote sensing community were compared to concurrent physiological measurements including gas exchange and photosynthetic rate. Preliminary results indicate significant relationships between several fire severity indices and physiological responses measured in the conifer seedlings.

  18. Potential high temperature corrosion problems due to co-firing of biomass and fossil fuels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montgomery, Melanie; Vilhelmsen, T.; Jensen, S.A.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past years, considerable high temperature corrosion problems have been encountered when firing biomass in power plants due to the high content of potassium chloride in the deposits. Therefore to combat chloride corrosion problems co-firing of biomass with a fossil fuel has been undertaken....... This results in potassium chloride being converted to potassium sulphate in the combustion chamber and it is sulphate rich deposits that are deposited on the vulnerable metallic surfaces such as high temperature superheaters. Although this removes the problem of chloride corrosion, other corrosion mechanisms...... appear such as sulphidation and hot corrosion due to sulphate deposits. At Studstrup power plant Unit 4, based on trials with exposure times of 3000 hours using 0-20% straw co-firing with coal, the plant now runs with a fuel of 10% straw + coal. After three years exposure in this environment...

  19. Electric Dipole Theory of Chemical Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Ling Y.

    1968-01-01

    In this paper we propose that chemicals such as acetylcholine are electric dipoles which when oriented and arranged in a large array could produce an electric field strong enough to drive positive ions over the junction barrier of the post-synaptic membrane and thus initiate excitation or produce depolarization. This theory is able to explain a great number of facts such as cleft size, synaptic delay, nonregeneration, subthreshold integration, facilitation with repetition, and the calcium and magnesium effects. It also shows why and how acetylcholine could act as excitatory or inhibitory transmitters under different circumstances. Our conclusion is that the nature of synaptic transmission is essentially electrical, be it mediated by electrical or chemical transmitters. PMID:4296121

  20. Astroglial Metabolic Networks Sustain Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-01

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  1. Astroglial metabolic networks sustain hippocampal synaptic transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouach, Nathalie; Koulakoff, Annette; Abudara, Veronica; Willecke, Klaus; Giaume, Christian

    2008-12-05

    Astrocytes provide metabolic substrates to neurons in an activity-dependent manner. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in this function, as well as its role in synaptic transmission, remain unclear. Here, we show that the gap-junction subunit proteins connexin 43 and 30 allow intercellular trafficking of glucose and its metabolites through astroglial networks. This trafficking is regulated by glutamatergic synaptic activity mediated by AMPA receptors. In the absence of extracellular glucose, the delivery of glucose or lactate to astrocytes sustains glutamatergic synaptic transmission and epileptiform activity only when they are connected by gap junctions. These results indicate that astroglial gap junctions provide an activity-dependent intercellular pathway for the delivery of energetic metabolites from blood vessels to distal neurons.

  2. Synaptic transmission block by presynaptic injection of oligomeric amyloid beta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Herman; Yu, Eunah; Pigino, Gustavo; Hernandez, Alejandro I.; Kim, Natalia; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2009-01-01

    Early Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology is characterized by synaptic changes induced by degradation products of amyloid precursor protein (APP). The exact mechanisms of such modulation are unknown. Here, we report that nanomolar concentrations of intraaxonal oligomeric (o)Aβ42, but not oAβ40 or extracellular oAβ42, acutely inhibited synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse. Further characterization of this phenotype demonstrated that presynaptic calcium currents were unaffected. However, electron microscopy experiments revealed diminished docked synaptic vesicles in oAβ42-microinjected terminals, without affecting clathrin-coated vesicles. The molecular events of this modulation involved casein kinase 2 and the synaptic vesicle rapid endocytosis pathway. These findings open the possibility of a new therapeutic target aimed at ameliorating synaptic dysfunction in AD. PMID:19304802

  3. Ten Years of Post-Fire Vegetation Recovery following the 2007 Zaca Fire using Landsat Satellite Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hallett, J. K. E.; Miller, D.; Roberts, D. A.

    2017-12-01

    Forest fires play a key role in shaping eco-systems. The risk to vegetation depends on the fire regime, fuel conditions (age and amount), fire temperature, and physiological characteristics such as bark thickness and stem diameter. The 2007 Zaca Fire (24 kilometers NE of Buellton, Santa Barbara County, California) burned 826.4 km2 over the course of 2 months. In this study, we used a time series of Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager imagery, to evaluate plant burn severity and post fire recovery as defined into classes of above average recovery, normal recovery, and below average recovery. We spectrally unmixed the images into green vegetation (GV), non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV), soil surface (SOIL), and ash with a spectral library developed using Constrained Reference Endmember Selection (CRES). We delineated the fire perimeter using the differenced Normalized Burn Ratio (dNBR) and evaluated changes in this index and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index through time. The results showed an immediate decline in GV and NPV fractions, with a rise in soil and ash fractions directly following the fire, with a slow recovery in GV fraction and a loss of bare soil cover. The was a sharp increase in the ash fraction following the fire and gradual decrease in the year after. Most areas have recovered as of 2017, with prominent recovery in the center of the burn scar and reduced recovery in areas to the south. These results indicate how post-fire vegetation varies based on initial burn severity and pre-fire GV and NPV fractions.

  4. Determination of pumper truck intervention ratios in zones with high fire potential by using geographical information system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aricak, Burak; Kucuk, Omer; Enez, Korhan

    2014-01-01

    Fighting forest fires not only depends on the forest type, topography, and weather conditions, but is also closely related to the technical properties of fire-fighting equipment. Firefighting is an important part of fire management planning. However, because of the complex nature of forests, creating thematic layers to generate potential fire risk maps is difficult. The use of remote sensing data has become an efficient method for the discrete classification of potential fire risks. The study was located in the Central District of the Kastamonu Regional Forest Directorate, covering an area of 24,320 ha, 15,685 ha of which is forested. On the basis of stand age, crown closure, and tree species, the sizes and distributions of potential fire risk zones within the study area were determined using high-resolution GeoEye satellite imagery and geographical information system data. The status of pumper truck intervention in zones with high fire risk and the sufficiency of existing forest roads within an existing forest network were discussed based on combustible matter characteristics. Pumper truck intervention was 83% for high-risk zones, 79% for medium-risk zones, and 78% for low-risk zones. A pumper truck intervention area map along existing roads was also created.

  5. Firing temperature of pottery using TL and OSL techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polymeris, G.S.; Sakalis, A.; Papadopoulou, D.; Dallas, G.; Kitis, G.; Tsirliganis, N.C.

    2007-01-01

    Several methods of thermal analysis are used to determine in the laboratory the firing temperature of ancient ceramic sherds. These methods are based primarily on changes of physical characteristics occurring when clay minerals are heated. The luminescence properties of quartz grains in a ceramic matrix also undergo certain changes during firing. The possibility of measuring the sensitivity change (sensitization) of quartz in order to determine the firing temperature of archeological ceramic artifacts was investigated. The sensitivity change was studied for both the thermoluminescence (TL) and the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) signal for a ceramic sample of known firing temperature. Various segments of the sample were annealed to a different temperature. Subsequently, the initial sensitivity, as well as the thermal and the pre-dose sensitization were measured for both TL and OSL at room temperature as a function of the annealing temperature. The obtained TL glow curves showed different shapes for annealing temperatures above the firing temperature. Thermal and pre-dose sensitizations also exhibited a similar, although less prominent, rise. The OSL signal was analyzed by integrating the raw signal over the initial second of stimulation. The initial sensitivity showed an abrupt change for annealing temperatures around the firing temperature. An alternative approach used for the analysis of the OSL signal involved a full-component resolved sensitization study. The same abrupt change for the initial sensitivity of both the first and second components was observed, as well as, a clear but not very prominent thermal sensitization trend for annealing temperatures above the firing temperature

  6. Assessing fire impacts on the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Lauren T; Bruce, Matthew J; Machunter, Josephine; Kohout, Michele; Krishnaraj, Saravanan Jangammanaidu; Aponte, Cristina

    2017-12-01

    The carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests is often assumed but less frequently assessed, limiting the potential to anticipate threats to forest carbon posed by predicted increases in forest fire activity. Assessing the carbon stability of fire-tolerant forests requires multi-indicator approaches that recognize the myriad ways that fires influence the carbon balance, including combustion, deposition of pyrogenic material, and tree death, post-fire decomposition, recruitment, and growth. Five years after a large-scale wildfire in southeastern Australia, we assessed the impacts of low- and high-severity wildfire, with and without prescribed fire (≤10 yr before), on carbon stocks in multiple pools, and on carbon stability indicators (carbon stock percentages in live trees and in small trees, and carbon stocks in char and fuels) in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests. Relative to unburned forest, high-severity wildfire decreased short-term (five-year) carbon stability by significantly decreasing live tree carbon stocks and percentage stocks in live standing trees (reflecting elevated tree mortality), by increasing the percentage of live tree carbon in small trees (those vulnerable to the next fire), and by potentially increasing the probability of another fire through increased elevated fine fuel loads. In contrast, low-severity wildfire enhanced carbon stability by having negligible effects on aboveground stocks and indicators, and by significantly increasing carbon stocks in char and, in particular, soils, indicating pyrogenic carbon accumulation. Overall, recent preceding prescribed fire did not markedly influence wildfire effects on short-term carbon stability at stand scales. Despite wide confidence intervals around mean stock differences, indicating uncertainty about the magnitude of fire effects in these natural forests, our assessment highlights the need for active management of carbon assets in fire-tolerant eucalypt forests under contemporary fire regimes

  7. Mapping Fire Severity Using Imaging Spectroscopy and Kernel Based Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prasad, S.; Cui, M.; Zhang, Y.; Veraverbeke, S.

    2014-12-01

    Improved spatial representation of within-burn heterogeneity after wildfires is paramount to effective land management decisions and more accurate fire emissions estimates. In this work, we demonstrate feasibility and efficacy of airborne imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral imagery) for quantifying wildfire burn severity, using kernel based image analysis techniques. Two different airborne hyperspectral datasets, acquired over the 2011 Canyon and 2013 Rim fire in California using the Airborne Visible InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) sensor, were used in this study. The Rim Fire, covering parts of the Yosemite National Park started on August 17, 2013, and was the third largest fire in California's history. Canyon Fire occurred in the Tehachapi mountains, and started on September 4, 2011. In addition to post-fire data for both fires, half of the Rim fire was also covered with pre-fire images. Fire severity was measured in the field using Geo Composite Burn Index (GeoCBI). The field data was utilized to train and validate our models, wherein the trained models, in conjunction with imaging spectroscopy data were used for GeoCBI estimation wide geographical regions. This work presents an approach for using remotely sensed imagery combined with GeoCBI field data to map fire scars based on a non-linear (kernel based) epsilon-Support Vector Regression (e-SVR), which was used to learn the relationship between spectra and GeoCBI in a kernel-induced feature space. Classification of healthy vegetation versus fire-affected areas based on morphological multi-attribute profiles was also studied. The availability of pre- and post-fire imaging spectroscopy data over the Rim Fire provided a unique opportunity to evaluate the performance of bi-temporal imaging spectroscopy for assessing post-fire effects. This type of data is currently constrained because of limited airborne acquisitions before a fire, but will become widespread with future spaceborne sensors such as those on

  8. Phosphodiesterase Inhibition to Target the Synaptic Dysfunction in Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bales, Kelly R.; Plath, Niels; Svenstrup, Niels; Menniti, Frank S.

    Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a disease of synaptic dysfunction that ultimately proceeds to neuronal death. There is a wealth of evidence that indicates the final common mediator of this neurotoxic process is the formation and actions on synaptotoxic b-amyloid (Aβ). The premise in this review is that synaptic dysfunction may also be an initiating factor in for AD and promote synaptotoxic Aβ formation. This latter hypothesis is consistent with the fact that the most common risk factors for AD, apolipoprotein E (ApoE) allele status, age, education, and fitness, encompass suboptimal synaptic function. Thus, the synaptic dysfunction in AD may be both cause and effect, and remediating synaptic dysfunction in AD may have acute effects on the symptoms present at the initiation of therapy and also slow disease progression. The cyclic nucleotide (cAMP and cGMP) signaling systems are intimately involved in the regulation of synaptic homeostasis. The phosphodiesterases (PDEs) are a superfamily of enzymes that critically regulate spatial and temporal aspects of cyclic nucleotide signaling through metabolic inactivation of cAMP and cGMP. Thus, targeting the PDEs to promote improved synaptic function, or 'synaptic resilience', may be an effective and facile approach to new symptomatic and disease modifying therapies for AD. There continues to be a significant drug discovery effort aimed at discovering PDE inhibitors to treat a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here we review the current status of those efforts as they relate to potential new therapies for AD.

  9. Y-TZP zirconia regeneration firing: Microstructural and crystallographic changes after grinding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Daniel Patrick Obelenis; Fais, Laiza Maria Grassi; Antonio, Selma Gutierrez; Hatanaka, Gabriel Rodrigues; Candido, Lucas Miguel; Pinelli, Ligia Antunes Pereira

    2017-07-26

    This study evaluated microstructural and crystallographic phase changes after grinding (G) and regeneration firing/anneling (R) of Y-TZP ceramics. Thirty five bars (Lava TM and Ice Zirkon) were divided: Y-TZP pre-sintered, control (C), regeneration firing (R), dry grinding (DG), dry grinding+regeneration firing (DGR), wet grinding (WG) and wet grinding+regeneration firing (WGR). Grinding was conducted using a diamond bur and annealing at 1,000°C. The microstructure was analyzed by SEM and the crystalline phases by X-ray diffraction (XRD). XRD showed that pre-sintered specimens contained tetragonal and monoclinic phases, while groups C and R showed tetragonal, cubic and monoclinic phases. After grinding, the cubic phase was eliminated in all groups. Annealing (DGR and WGR) resulted in only tetragonal phase. SEM showed semi-circular cracks after grinding and homogenization of particles after annealing. After grinding, surfaces show tetragonal and monoclinic phases and R can be assumed to be necessary prior to porcelain layering when grinding is performed.

  10. Cocaine Promotes Coincidence Detection and Lowers Induction Threshold during Hebbian Associative Synaptic Potentiation in Prefrontal Cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruan, Hongyu; Yao, Wei-Dong

    2017-01-25

    Addictive drugs usurp neural plasticity mechanisms that normally serve reward-related learning and memory, primarily by evoking changes in glutamatergic synaptic strength in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine circuitry. Here, we show that repeated cocaine exposure in vivo does not alter synaptic strength in the mouse prefrontal cortex during an early period of withdrawal, but instead modifies a Hebbian quantitative synaptic learning rule by broadening the temporal window and lowers the induction threshold for spike-timing-dependent LTP (t-LTP). After repeated, but not single, daily cocaine injections, t-LTP in layer V pyramidal neurons is induced at +30 ms, a normally ineffective timing interval for t-LTP induction in saline-exposed mice. This cocaine-induced, extended-timing t-LTP lasts for ∼1 week after terminating cocaine and is accompanied by an increased susceptibility to potentiation by fewer pre-post spike pairs, indicating a reduced t-LTP induction threshold. Basal synaptic strength and the maximal attainable t-LTP magnitude remain unchanged after cocaine exposure. We further show that the cocaine facilitation of t-LTP induction is caused by sensitized D1-cAMP/protein kinase A dopamine signaling in pyramidal neurons, which then pathologically recruits voltage-gated l-type Ca 2+ channels that synergize with GluN2A-containing NMDA receptors to drive t-LTP at extended timing. Our results illustrate a mechanism by which cocaine, acting on a key neuromodulation pathway, modifies the coincidence detection window during Hebbian plasticity to facilitate associative synaptic potentiation in prefrontal excitatory circuits. By modifying rules that govern activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, addictive drugs can derail the experience-driven neural circuit remodeling process important for executive control of reward and addiction. It is believed that addictive drugs often render an addict's brain reward system hypersensitive, leaving the individual more susceptible to

  11. How fire history, fire suppression practices and climate change affect wildfire regimes in Mediterranean landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lluís Brotons

    Full Text Available Available data show that future changes in global change drivers may lead to an increasing impact of fires on terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Yet, fire regime changes in highly humanised fire-prone regions are difficult to predict because fire effects may be heavily mediated by human activities We investigated the role of fire suppression strategies in synergy with climate change on the resulting fire regimes in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain. We used a spatially-explicit fire-succession model at the landscape level to test whether the use of different firefighting opportunities related to observed reductions in fire spread rates and effective fire sizes, and hence changes in the fire regime. We calibrated this model with data from a period with weak firefighting and later assess the potential for suppression strategies to modify fire regimes expected under different levels of climate change. When comparing simulations with observed fire statistics from an eleven-year period with firefighting strategies in place, our results showed that, at least in two of the three sub-regions analysed, the observed fire regime could not be reproduced unless taking into account the effects of fire suppression. Fire regime descriptors were highly dependent on climate change scenarios, with a general trend, under baseline scenarios without fire suppression, to large-scale increases in area burnt. Fire suppression strategies had a strong capacity to compensate for climate change effects. However, strong active fire suppression was necessary to accomplish such compensation, while more opportunistic fire suppression strategies derived from recent fire history only had a variable, but generally weak, potential for compensation of enhanced fire impacts under climate change. The concept of fire regime in the Mediterranean is probably better interpreted as a highly dynamic process in which the main determinants of fire are rapidly modified by changes in landscape

  12. How fire history, fire suppression practices and climate change affect wildfire regimes in Mediterranean landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotons, Lluís; Aquilué, Núria; de Cáceres, Miquel; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Fall, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Available data show that future changes in global change drivers may lead to an increasing impact of fires on terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Yet, fire regime changes in highly humanised fire-prone regions are difficult to predict because fire effects may be heavily mediated by human activities We investigated the role of fire suppression strategies in synergy with climate change on the resulting fire regimes in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain). We used a spatially-explicit fire-succession model at the landscape level to test whether the use of different firefighting opportunities related to observed reductions in fire spread rates and effective fire sizes, and hence changes in the fire regime. We calibrated this model with data from a period with weak firefighting and later assess the potential for suppression strategies to modify fire regimes expected under different levels of climate change. When comparing simulations with observed fire statistics from an eleven-year period with firefighting strategies in place, our results showed that, at least in two of the three sub-regions analysed, the observed fire regime could not be reproduced unless taking into account the effects of fire suppression. Fire regime descriptors were highly dependent on climate change scenarios, with a general trend, under baseline scenarios without fire suppression, to large-scale increases in area burnt. Fire suppression strategies had a strong capacity to compensate for climate change effects. However, strong active fire suppression was necessary to accomplish such compensation, while more opportunistic fire suppression strategies derived from recent fire history only had a variable, but generally weak, potential for compensation of enhanced fire impacts under climate change. The concept of fire regime in the Mediterranean is probably better interpreted as a highly dynamic process in which the main determinants of fire are rapidly modified by changes in landscape, climate and

  13. How Fire History, Fire Suppression Practices and Climate Change Affect Wildfire Regimes in Mediterranean Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brotons, Lluís; Aquilué, Núria; de Cáceres, Miquel; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Fall, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Available data show that future changes in global change drivers may lead to an increasing impact of fires on terrestrial ecosystems worldwide. Yet, fire regime changes in highly humanised fire-prone regions are difficult to predict because fire effects may be heavily mediated by human activities We investigated the role of fire suppression strategies in synergy with climate change on the resulting fire regimes in Catalonia (north-eastern Spain). We used a spatially-explicit fire-succession model at the landscape level to test whether the use of different firefighting opportunities related to observed reductions in fire spread rates and effective fire sizes, and hence changes in the fire regime. We calibrated this model with data from a period with weak firefighting and later assess the potential for suppression strategies to modify fire regimes expected under different levels of climate change. When comparing simulations with observed fire statistics from an eleven-year period with firefighting strategies in place, our results showed that, at least in two of the three sub-regions analysed, the observed fire regime could not be reproduced unless taking into account the effects of fire suppression. Fire regime descriptors were highly dependent on climate change scenarios, with a general trend, under baseline scenarios without fire suppression, to large-scale increases in area burnt. Fire suppression strategies had a strong capacity to compensate for climate change effects. However, strong active fire suppression was necessary to accomplish such compensation, while more opportunistic fire suppression strategies derived from recent fire history only had a variable, but generally weak, potential for compensation of enhanced fire impacts under climate change. The concept of fire regime in the Mediterranean is probably better interpreted as a highly dynamic process in which the main determinants of fire are rapidly modified by changes in landscape, climate and

  14. The vestibulo- and preposito-cerebellar cholinergic neurons of a ChAT-tdTomato transgenic rat exhibit heterogeneous firing properties and the expression of various neurotransmitter receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yue; Kaneko, Ryosuke; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Saito, Yasuhiko

    2014-04-01

    Cerebellar function is regulated by cholinergic mossy fiber inputs that are primarily derived from the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) and prepositus hypoglossi nucleus (PHN). In contrast to the growing evidence surrounding cholinergic transmission and its functional significance in the cerebellum, the intrinsic and synaptic properties of cholinergic projection neurons (ChPNs) have not been clarified. In this study, we generated choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-tdTomato transgenic rats, which specifically express the fluorescent protein tdTomato in cholinergic neurons, and used them to investigate the response properties of ChPNs identified via retrograde labeling using whole-cell recordings in brainstem slices. In response to current pulses, ChPNs exhibited two afterhyperpolarisation (AHP) profiles and three firing patterns; the predominant AHP and firing properties differed between the MVN and PHN. Morphologically, the ChPNs were separated into two types based on their soma size and dendritic extensions. Analyses of the firing responses to time-varying sinusoidal current stimuli revealed that ChPNs exhibited different firing modes depending on the input frequencies. The maximum frequencies in which each firing mode was observed were different between the neurons that exhibited distinct firing patterns. Analyses of the current responses to the application of neurotransmitter receptor agonists revealed that the ChPNs expressed (i) AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors, (ii) GABAA and glycine receptors, and (iii) muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The current responses mediated by these receptors of MVN ChPNs were not different from those of PHN ChPNs. These findings suggest that ChPNs receive various synaptic inputs and encode those inputs appropriately across different frequencies. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Myopic (HD-PTP, PTPN23) selectively regulates synaptic neuropeptide release.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bulgari, Dinara; Jha, Anupma; Deitcher, David L; Levitan, Edwin S

    2018-02-13

    Neurotransmission is mediated by synaptic exocytosis of neuropeptide-containing dense-core vesicles (DCVs) and small-molecule transmitter-containing small synaptic vesicles (SSVs). Exocytosis of both vesicle types depends on Ca 2+ and shared secretory proteins. Here, we show that increasing or decreasing expression of Myopic (mop, HD-PTP, PTPN23), a Bro1 domain-containing pseudophosphatase implicated in neuronal development and neuropeptide gene expression, increases synaptic neuropeptide stores at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). This occurs without altering DCV content or transport, but synaptic DCV number and age are increased. The effect on synaptic neuropeptide stores is accounted for by inhibition of activity-induced Ca 2+ -dependent neuropeptide release. cAMP-evoked Ca 2+ -independent synaptic neuropeptide release also requires optimal Myopic expression, showing that Myopic affects the DCV secretory machinery shared by cAMP and Ca 2+ pathways. Presynaptic Myopic is abundant at early endosomes, but interaction with the endosomal sorting complex required for transport III (ESCRT III) protein (CHMP4/Shrub) that mediates Myopic's effect on neuron pruning is not required for control of neuropeptide release. Remarkably, in contrast to the effect on DCVs, Myopic does not affect release from SSVs. Therefore, Myopic selectively regulates synaptic DCV exocytosis that mediates peptidergic transmission at the NMJ.

  16. Fire metrology: Current and future directions in physics-based measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert L. Kremens; Alistair M.S. Smith; Matthew B. Dickinson

    2010-01-01

    The robust evaluation of fire impacts on the biota, soil, and atmosphere requires measurement and analysis methods that can characterize combustion processes across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Numerous challenges are apparent in the literature. These challenges have led to novel research to quantify the 1) structure and heterogeneity of the pre-fire...

  17. Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Regulates Activity-Dependent Membrane Trafficking and Trans-Synaptic Signaling Mediating Synaptic Remodeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sears, James C.; Broadie, Kendal

    2018-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading monogenic cause of autism and intellectual disability. The disease arises through loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which normally exhibits peak expression levels in early-use critical periods, and is required for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling during this transient developmental window. FMRP canonically binds mRNA to repress protein translation, with targets that regulate cytoskeleton dynamics, membrane trafficking, and trans-synaptic signaling. We focus here on recent advances emerging in these three areas from the Drosophila disease model. In the well-characterized central brain mushroom body (MB) olfactory learning/memory circuit, FMRP is required for activity-dependent synaptic remodeling of projection neurons innervating the MB calyx, with function tightly restricted to an early-use critical period. FMRP loss is phenocopied by conditional removal of FMRP only during this critical period, and rescued by FMRP conditional expression only during this critical period. Consistent with FXS hyperexcitation, FMRP loss defects are phenocopied by heightened sensory experience and targeted optogenetic hyperexcitation during this critical period. FMRP binds mRNA encoding Drosophila ESCRTIII core component Shrub (human CHMP4 homolog) to restrict Shrub translation in an activity-dependent mechanism only during this same critical period. Shrub mediates endosomal membrane trafficking, and perturbing Shrub expression is known to interfere with neuronal process pruning. Consistently, FMRP loss and Shrub overexpression targeted to projection neurons similarly causes endosomal membrane trafficking defects within synaptic boutons, and genetic reduction of Shrub strikingly rescues Drosophila FXS model defects. In parallel work on the well-characterized giant fiber (GF) circuit, FMRP limits iontophoretic dye loading into central interneurons, demonstrating an FMRP role controlling core neuronal properties through the

  18. 46 CFR 28.820 - Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 46 Shipping 1 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses... REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING INDUSTRY VESSELS Aleutian Trade Act Vessels § 28.820 Fire pumps, fire mains, fire hydrants, and fire hoses. (a) Each vessel must be equipped with a self-priming, power driven fire...

  19. Estimation of Synaptic Conductances in Presence of Nonlinear Effects Caused by Subthreshold Ionic Currents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catalina Vich

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Subthreshold fluctuations in neuronal membrane potential traces contain nonlinear components, and employing nonlinear models might improve the statistical inference. We propose a new strategy to estimate synaptic conductances, which has been tested using in silico data and applied to in vivo recordings. The model is constructed to capture the nonlinearities caused by subthreshold activated currents, and the estimation procedure can discern between excitatory and inhibitory conductances using only one membrane potential trace. More precisely, we perform second order approximations of biophysical models to capture the subthreshold nonlinearities, resulting in quadratic integrate-and-fire models, and apply approximate maximum likelihood estimation where we only suppose that conductances are stationary in a 50–100 ms time window. The results show an improvement compared to existent procedures for the models tested here.

  20. Effects of Burn Severity and Environmental Conditions on Post-Fire Regeneration in Siberian Larch Forest

    OpenAIRE

    Thuan Chu; Xulin Guo; Kazuo Takeda

    2017-01-01

    Post-fire forest regeneration is strongly influenced by abiotic and biotic heterogeneity in the pre- and post-fire environments, including fire regimes, species characteristics, landforms, hydrology, regional climate, and soil properties. Assessing these drivers is key to understanding the long-term effects of fire disturbances on forest succession. We evaluated multiple factors influencing patterns of variability in a post-fire boreal Larch (Larix sibirica) forest in Siberia. A time-series o...

  1. Characterization of potential fire regimes: applying landscape ecology to fire management in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardel, E.; Alvarado, E.; Perez-Salicrup, D.; Morfín-Rios, J.

    2013-05-01

    Knowledge and understanding of fire regimes is fundamental to design sound fire management practices. The high ecosystem diversity of Mexico offers a great challenge to characterize the fire regime variation at the landscape level. A conceptual model was developed considering the main factors controlling fire regimes: climate and vegetation cover. We classified landscape units combining bioclimatic zones from the Holdridge life-zone system and actual vegetation cover. Since bio