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Sample records for human mirror neuron

  1. [Mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal. Some of them also respond to the emotional expression of other animals of the same species. These mirror neurons have also been found in humans. They respond to or "reflect" actions of other individuals in the brain and are thought to represent the basis for imitation and empathy and hence the neurobiological substrate for "theory of mind", the potential origin of language and the so-called moral instinct.

  2. The human mirror neuron system and embodied representations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa; Ivry, Richard B

    2009-01-01

    Mirror neurons are defined as neurons in the monkey cortex which respond to goal oriented actions, whether the behavior is self-generated or produced by another. Here we briefly review this literature and consider evidence from behavioral, neuropsychological, and brain imaging studies for a similar mirror neuron system in humans. Furthermore, we review functions of this system related to action comprehension and motor imagery, as well as evidence for speculations on the system's ties with conceptual knowledge and language.

  3. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John R. Skoyles

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Commonsense says we are isolated. After all, our bodies are physically separate. But Seneca’s colamus humanitatem, and John Donne’s observation that “no man is an island” suggests we are neither entirely isolated nor separate. A recent discovery in neuroscience—that of mirror neurons—argues that the brain and the mind is neither built nor functions remote from what happens in other individuals. What are mirror neurons? They are brain cells that process both what happens to or is done by an individual, and, as it were, its perceived “refl ection,” when that same thing happens or is done by another individual. Thus, mirror neurons are both activated when an individual does a particular action, and when that individual perceives that same action done by another. The discovery of mirror neurons suggests we need to radically revise our notions of human nature since they offer a means by which we may not be so separated as we think. Humans unlike other apes are adapted to mirror interact nonverbally when together. Notably, our faces have been evolved to display agile and nimble movements. While this is usually explained as enabling nonverbal communication, a better description would be nonverbal commune based upon mirror neurons. I argue we cherish humanity, colamus humanitatem, because mirror neurons and our adapted mirror interpersonal interface blur the physical boundaries that separate us.

  4. Lateralization of the human mirror neuron system.

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    Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa; Koski, Lisa; Zaidel, Eran; Mazziotta, John; Iacoboni, Marco

    2006-03-15

    A cortical network consisting of the inferior frontal, rostral inferior parietal, and posterior superior temporal cortices has been implicated in representing actions in the primate brain and is critical to imitation in humans. This neural circuitry may be an evolutionary precursor of neural systems associated with language. However, language is predominantly lateralized to the left hemisphere, whereas the degree of lateralization of the imitation circuitry in humans is unclear. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of imitation of finger movements with lateralized stimuli and responses. During imitation, activity in the inferior frontal and rostral inferior parietal cortex, although fairly bilateral, was stronger in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the visual stimulus and response hand. This ipsilateral pattern is at variance with the typical contralateral activity of primary visual and motor areas. Reliably increased signal in the right superior temporal sulcus (STS) was observed for both left-sided and right-sided imitation tasks, although subthreshold activity was also observed in the left STS. Overall, the data indicate that visual and motor components of the human mirror system are not left-lateralized. The left hemisphere superiority for language, then, must be have been favored by other types of language precursors, perhaps auditory or multimodal action representations.

  5. The mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cattaneo, Luigi; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2009-05-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of neurons, originally discovered in the premotor cortex of monkeys, that discharge both when individuals perform a given motor act and when they observe others perform that same motor act. Ample evidence demonstrates the existence of a cortical network with the properties of mirror neurons (mirror system) in humans. The human mirror system is involved in understanding others' actions and their intentions behind them, and it underlies mechanisms of observational learning. Herein, we will discuss the clinical implications of the mirror system.

  6. What do mirror neurons mirror?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Uithol, S.; Rooij, I.J.E.I. van; Bekkering, H.; Haselager, W.F.G.

    2011-01-01

    Single cell recordings in monkeys provide strong evidence for an important role of the motor system in action understanding. This evidence is backed up by data from studies of the (human) mirror neuron system using neuroimaging or TMS techniques, and behavioral experiments. Although the data

  7. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

    OpenAIRE

    Skoyles, John R.

    2008-01-01

    Commonsense says we are isolated. After all, our bodies are physically separate. But Seneca’s colamus humanitatem, and John Donne’s observation that “no man is an island” suggests we are neither entirely isolated nor separate. A recent discovery in neuroscience-that of mirror neurons-argues that the brain and the mind is neither built nor functions remote from what happens in other individuals. What are mirror neurons? They are brain cells that process both what happens to or is done by an in...

  8. Mirror Neurons in Humans: Consisting or Confounding Evidence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turella, Luca; Pierno, Andrea C.; Tubaldi, Federico; Castiello, Umberto

    2009-01-01

    The widely known discovery of mirror neurons in macaques shows that premotor and parietal cortical areas are not only involved in executing one's own movement, but are also active when observing the action of others. The goal of this essay is to critically evaluate the substance of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission…

  9. Mirror neurons, birdsong and human language: a hypothesis

    OpenAIRE

    Florence eLevy

    2012-01-01

    AbstractThe Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH) and investigations of birdsong are reviewed in relation to the significance for the development of human symbolic and language capacity, in terms of three fundamental forms of cognitive reference: iconic, indexical, and symbolic. Mirror systems are initially iconic but can progress to indexal reference when produced without the need for concurrent stimuli. Developmental stages in birdsong are also explored with reference to juvenile subsong vs comple...

  10. A human mirror neuron system for language: Perspectives from signed languages of the deaf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28, 105-167; Arbib M.A. (2008). From grasp to language: Embodied concepts and the challenge of abstraction. Journal de Physiologie Paris 102, 4-20]. Signed languages of the deaf are fully-expressive, natural human languages that are perceived visually and produced manually. We suggest that if a unitary mirror neuron system mediates the observation and production of both language and non-linguistic action, three prediction can be made: (1) damage to the human mirror neuron system should non-selectively disrupt both sign language and non-linguistic action processing; (2) within the domain of sign language, a given mirror neuron locus should mediate both perception and production; and (3) the action-based tuning curves of individual mirror neurons should support the highly circumscribed set of motions that form the "vocabulary of action" for signed languages. In this review we evaluate data from the sign language and mirror neuron literatures and find that these predictions are only partially upheld. 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Mirror neurons, birdsong, and human language: a hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Florence

    2011-01-01

    THE MIRROR SYSTEM HYPOTHESIS AND INVESTIGATIONS OF BIRDSONG ARE REVIEWED IN RELATION TO THE SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN SYMBOLIC AND LANGUAGE CAPACITY, IN TERMS OF THREE FUNDAMENTAL FORMS OF COGNITIVE REFERENCE: iconic, indexical, and symbolic. Mirror systems are initially iconic but can progress to indexical reference when produced without the need for concurrent stimuli. Developmental stages in birdsong are also explored with reference to juvenile subsong vs complex stereotyped adult syllables, as an analogy with human language development. While birdsong remains at an indexical reference stage, human language benefits from the capacity for symbolic reference. During a pre-linguistic "babbling" stage, recognition of native phonemic categories is established, allowing further development of subsequent prefrontal and linguistic circuits for sequential language capacity.

  12. Mirror neurons, birdsong and human language: a hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence eLevy

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThe Mirror System Hypothesis (MSH and investigations of birdsong are reviewed in relation to the significance for the development of human symbolic and language capacity, in terms of three fundamental forms of cognitive reference: iconic, indexical, and symbolic. Mirror systems are initially iconic but can progress to indexal reference when produced without the need for concurrent stimuli. Developmental stages in birdsong are also explored with reference to juvenile subsong vs complex stereotyped adult syllables, as an analogy with human language development. While birdsong remains at an indexal reference stage, human language benefits from the capacity for symbolic reference. During a pre-linguistic ‘babbling’ stage, recognition of native phonemic categories is established, allowing further development of a subsequent prefrontal and linguistic circuits for sequential language capacity.

  13. Are mirror neurons the basis of speech perception? Evidence from five cases with damage to the purported human mirror system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogalsky, Corianne; Love, Tracy; Driscoll, David; Anderson, Steven W.; Hickok, Gregory

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons in macaque has led to a resurrection of motor theories of speech perception. Although the majority of lesion and functional imaging studies have associated perception with the temporal lobes, it has also been proposed that the ‘human mirror system’, which prominently includes Broca’s area, is the neurophysiological substrate of speech perception. Although numerous studies have demonstrated a tight link between sensory and motor speech processes, few have directly assessed the critical prediction of mirror neuron theories of speech perception, namely that damage to the human mirror system should cause severe deficits in speech perception. The present study measured speech perception abilities of patients with lesions involving motor regions in the left posterior frontal lobe and/or inferior parietal lobule (i.e., the proposed humanmirror system’). Performance was at or near ceiling in patients with fronto-parietal lesions. It is only when the lesion encroaches on auditory regions in the temporal lobe that perceptual deficits are evident. This suggests that ‘mirror system’ damage does not disrupt speech perception, but rather that auditory systems are the primary substrate for speech perception. PMID:21207313

  14. Gender differences in the mu rhythm of the human mirror-neuron system.

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    Cheng, Yawei; Lee, Po-Lei; Yang, Chia-Yen; Lin, Ching-Po; Hung, Daisy; Decety, Jean

    2008-05-07

    Psychologically, females are usually thought to be superior in interpersonal sensitivity than males. The human mirror-neuron system is considered to provide the basic mechanism for social cognition. However, whether the human mirror-neuron system exhibits gender differences is not yet clear. We measured the electroencephalographic mu rhythm, as a reliable indicator of the human mirror-neuron system activity, when female (N = 20) and male (N = 20) participants watched either hand actions or a moving dot. The display of the hand actions included androgynous, male, and female characteristics. The results demonstrate that females displayed significantly stronger mu suppression than males when watching hand actions. Instead, mu suppression was similar across genders when participants observed the moving dot and between the perceived sex differences (same-sex vs. opposite-sex). In addition, the mu suppressions during the observation of hand actions positively correlated with the personal distress subscale of the interpersonal reactivity index and negatively correlated with the systemizing quotient. The present findings indirectly lend support to the extreme male brain theory put forward by Baron-Cohen (2005), and may cast some light on the mirror-neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders. The mu rhythm in the human mirror-neuron system can be a potential biomarker of empathic mimicry.

  15. A Human Mirror Neuron System for Language: Perspectives from Signed Languages of the Deaf

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Heather Patterson; Corina, David P.

    2010-01-01

    Language is proposed to have developed atop the human analog of the macaque mirror neuron system for action perception and production [Arbib M.A. 2005. From monkey-like action recognition to human language: An evolutionary framework for neurolinguistics (with commentaries and author's response). "Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28", 105-167; Arbib…

  16. Mesmerising mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-06-01

    Mirror neurons have been hailed as the key to understanding social cognition. I argue that three currents of thought-relating to evolution, atomism and telepathy-have magnified the perceived importance of mirror neurons. When they are understood to be a product of associative learning, rather than an adaptation for social cognition, mirror neurons are no longer mesmerising, but they continue to raise important questions about both the psychology of science and the neural bases of social cognition. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. The mirror-neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Craighero, Laila

    2004-01-01

    A category of stimuli of great importance for primates, humans in particular, is that formed by actions done by other individuals. If we want to survive, we must understand the actions of others. Furthermore, without action understanding, social organization is impossible. In the case of humans, there is another faculty that depends on the observation of others' actions: imitation learning. Unlike most species, we are able to learn by imitation, and this faculty is at the basis of human culture. In this review we present data on a neurophysiological mechanism--the mirror-neuron mechanism--that appears to play a fundamental role in both action understanding and imitation. We describe first the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys. We review next the characteristics of the mirror-neuron system in humans. We stress, in particular, those properties specific to the human mirror-neuron system that might explain the human capacity to learn by imitation. We conclude by discussing the relationship between the mirror-neuron system and language.

  18. Mirror neurons: From origin to function

    OpenAIRE

    Cook, R; Bird, G; Catmur, C; Press, C; Heyes, C

    2014-01-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively...

  19. Is the human mirror neuron system plastic? Evidence from a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

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    Mehta, Urvakhsh Meherwan; Waghmare, Avinash V; Thirthalli, Jagadisha; Venkatasubramanian, Ganesan; Gangadhar, Bangalore N

    2015-10-01

    Virtual lesions in the mirror neuron network using inhibitory low-frequency (1Hz) transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) have been employed to understand its spatio-functional properties. However, no studies have examined the influence of neuro-enhancement by using excitatory high-frequency (20Hz) repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (HF-rTMS) on these networks. We used three forms of TMS stimulation (HF-rTMS, single and paired pulse) to investigate whether the mirror neuron system facilitates the motor system during goal-directed action observation relative to inanimate motion (motor resonance), a marker of putative mirror neuron activity. 31 healthy individuals were randomized to receive single-sessions of true or sham HF-rTMS delivered to the left inferior frontal gyrus - a component of the human mirror system. Motor resonance was assessed before and after HF-rTMS using three TMS cortical reactivity paradigms: (a) 120% of resting motor threshold (RMT), (b) stimulus intensity set to evoke motor evoked potential of 1-millivolt amplitude (SI1mV) and (c) a short latency paired pulse paradigm. Two-way RMANOVA showed a significant group (true versus sham) X occasion (pre- and post-HF-rTMS motor resonance) interaction effect for SI1mV [F(df)=6.26 (1, 29), p=0.018] and 120% RMT stimuli [F(df)=7.01 (1, 29), p=0.013] indicating greater enhancement of motor resonance in the true HF-rTMS group than the sham-group. This suggests that HF-rTMS could adaptively modulate properties of the mirror neuron system. This neuro-enhancement effect is a preliminary step that can open translational avenues for novel brain stimulation therapeutics targeting social-cognition deficits in schizophrenia and autism. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Tinbergen on mirror neurons

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    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology—the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible ‘best explanation’ for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of ‘survival value’, should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding—or another social cognitive function—by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories. PMID:24778376

  1. Tinbergen on mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-01-01

    Fifty years ago, Niko Tinbergen defined the scope of behavioural biology with his four problems: causation, ontogeny, survival value and evolution. About 20 years ago, there was another highly significant development in behavioural biology-the discovery of mirror neurons (MNs). Here, I use Tinbergen's original four problems (rather than the list that appears in textbooks) to highlight the differences between two prominent accounts of MNs, the genetic and associative accounts; to suggest that the latter provides the defeasible 'best explanation' for current data on the causation and ontogeny of MNs; and to argue that functional analysis, of the kind that Tinbergen identified somewhat misleadingly with studies of 'survival value', should be a high priority for future research. In this kind of functional analysis, system-level theories would assign MNs a small, but potentially important, role in the achievement of action understanding-or another social cognitive function-by a production line of interacting component processes. These theories would be tested by experimental intervention in human and non-human animal samples with carefully documented and controlled developmental histories.

  2. The mirror neuron system : New frontiers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keysers, Christian; Fadiga, Luciano

    2008-01-01

    Since the discovery of mirror neurons, much effort has been invested into Studying their location and properties in the human brain. Here we review these original findings and introduce the Main topics of this special issue of Social Neuroscience. What does the mirror system code? How is the mirror

  3. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jed D.; Arnold, Sara L.; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.; Enticott, Peter G.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding. There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric). Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self) and allocentric (i.e., other) viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity), there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation. PMID:24137125

  4. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess, Jed D; Arnold, Sara L; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Enticott, Peter G

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding. There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric). Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self) and allocentric (i.e., other) viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity), there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation.

  5. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jed Donald Burgess

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric. Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS experiment that assessed corticospinal excitability whilst viewing transitive hand gestures from both egocentric (i.e., self and allocentric (i.e., other viewpoints. Although action observation was associated with increases in corticospinal excitability (reflecting putative human mirror neuron activity, there was no effect of visual perspective. These findings are discussed in the context of contemporary theories of mirror neuron ontogeny, including models concerning associative learning and evolutionary adaptation.

  6. Mirror Neurons and Mirror-Touch Synesthesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linkovski, Omer; Katzin, Naama; Salti, Moti

    2016-05-30

    Since mirror neurons were introduced to the neuroscientific community more than 20 years ago, they have become an elegant and intuitive account for different cognitive mechanisms (e.g., empathy, goal understanding) and conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorders). Recently, mirror neurons were suggested to be the mechanism underlying a specific type of synesthesia. Mirror-touch synesthesia is a phenomenon in which individuals experience somatosensory sensations when seeing someone else being touched. Appealing as it is, careful delineation is required when applying this mechanism. Using the mirror-touch synesthesia case, we put forward theoretical and methodological issues that should be addressed before relying on the mirror-neurons account. © The Author(s) 2016.

  7. A transcranial magnetic stimulation study of the effect of visual orientation on the putative human mirror neuron system

    OpenAIRE

    Burgess, Jed D.; Arnold, Sara L.; Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M.; Fitzgerald, Paul B.; Enticott, Peter G.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of motor neuron that are active during both the performance and observation of behavior, and have been implicated in interpersonal understanding There is evidence to suggest that the mirror response is modulated by the perspective from which an action is presented (e.g., egocentric or allocentric). Most human research, however, has only examined this when presenting intransitive actions. Twenty-three healthy adult participants completed a transcranial magnetic stimu...

  8. Motor-Auditory-Visual Integration: The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Communication and Communication Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M.; Pineda, Jaime A.; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an…

  9. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Where do mirror neurons come from?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-03-01

    Debates about the evolution of the 'mirror neuron system' imply that it is an adaptation for action understanding. Alternatively, mirror neurons may be a byproduct of associative learning. Here I argue that the adaptation and associative hypotheses both offer plausible accounts of the origin of mirror neurons, but the associative hypothesis has three advantages. First, it provides a straightforward, testable explanation for the differences between monkeys and humans that have led some researchers to question the existence of a mirror neuron system. Second, it is consistent with emerging evidence that mirror neurons contribute to a range of social cognitive functions, but do not play a dominant, specialised role in action understanding. Finally, the associative hypothesis is supported by recent data showing that, even in adulthood, the mirror neuron system can be transformed by sensorimotor learning. The associative account implies that mirror neurons come from sensorimotor experience, and that much of this experience is obtained through interaction with others. Therefore, if the associative account is correct, the mirror neuron system is a product, as well as a process, of social interaction. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  12. Associative learning alone is insufficient for the evolution and maintenance of the human mirror neuron system.

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    Oberman, Lindsay M; Hubbard, Edward M; McCleery, Joseph P

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate from associative learning processes, without evolutionary influence from social-cognitive mechanisms. We disagree with this claim and present arguments based upon cross-species comparisons, EEG findings, and developmental neuroscience that the evolution of mirror neurons is most likely driven simultaneously and interactively by evolutionarily adaptive psychological mechanisms and lower-level biological mechanisms that support them.

  13. Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donaldson, Peter H; Gurvich, Caroline; Fielding, Joanne; Enticott, Peter G

    2015-01-01

    The human mirror neuron system (MNS) is hypothesized to be crucial to social cognition. Given that key MNS-input regions such as the superior temporal sulcus are involved in biological motion processing, and mirror neuron activity in monkeys has been shown to vary with visual attention, aberrant MNS function may be partly attributable to atypical visual input. To examine the relationship between gaze pattern and interpersonal motor resonance (IMR; an index of putative MNS activity), healthy right-handed participants aged 18-40 (n = 26) viewed videos of transitive grasping actions or static hands, whilst the left primary motor cortex received transcranial magnetic stimulation. Motor-evoked potentials recorded in contralateral hand muscles were used to determine IMR. Participants also underwent eyetracking analysis to assess gaze patterns whilst viewing the same videos. No relationship was observed between predictive gaze and IMR. However, IMR was positively associated with fixation counts in areas of biological motion in the videos, and negatively associated with object areas. These findings are discussed with reference to visual influences on the MNS, and the possibility that MNS atypicalities might be influenced by visual processes such as aberrant gaze pattern.

  14. Exploring associations between gaze patterns and putative human mirror neuron system activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Hugh Donaldson

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The human mirror neuron system (MNS is hypothesised to be crucial to social cognition. Given that key MNS-input regions such as the superior temporal sulcus are involved in biological motion processing, and mirror neuron activity in monkeys has been shown to vary with visual attention, aberrant MNS function may be partly attributable to atypical visual input. To examine the relationship between gaze pattern and interpersonal motor resonance (IMR; an index of putative MNS activity, healthy right-handed participants aged 18-40 (n = 26 viewed videos of transitive grasping actions or static hands, whilst the left primary motor cortex received transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS. Motor-evoked potentials (MEPs recorded in contralateral hand muscles were used to determine IMR. Participants also underwent eyetracking analysis to assess gaze patterns whilst viewing the same videos. No relationship was observed between predictive gaze (PG and IMR. However, IMR was positively associated with fixation counts in areas of biological motion in the videos, and negatively associated with object areas. These findings are discussed with reference to visual influences on the MNS, and the possibility that MNS atypicalities might be influenced by visual processes such as aberrant gaze pattern.

  15. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception

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    Lotto, Andrew J.; Hickok, Gregory S.; Holt, Lori L.

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT. PMID:19223222

  16. Unbroken Mirror Neurons in Autism Spectrum Disorders

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    Fan, Yang-Teng; Decety, Jean; Yang, Chia-Yen; Liu, Ji-Lin; Cheng, Yawei

    2010-01-01

    Background: The "broken mirror" theory of autism, which proposes that a dysfunction of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) is responsible for the core social and cognitive deficits in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), has received considerable attention despite weak empirical evidence. Methods: In this electroencephalographic…

  17. Dysfunction of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Ideomotor Apraxia: Evidence from Mu Suppression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenkel-Toledo, Silvi; Liebermann, Dario G; Bentin, Shlomo; Soroker, Nachum

    2016-06-01

    Stroke patients with ideomotor apraxia (IMA) have difficulties controlling voluntary motor actions, as clearly seen when asked to imitate simple gestures performed by the examiner. Despite extensive research, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying failure to imitate gestures in IMA remain controversial. The aim of the current study was to explore the relationship between imitation failure in IMA and mirror neuron system (MNS) functioning. Mirror neurons were found to play a crucial role in movement imitation and in imitation-based motor learning. Their recruitment during movement observation and execution is signaled in EEG recordings by suppression of the lower (8-10 Hz) mu range. We examined the modulation of EEG in this range in stroke patients with left (n = 21) and right (n = 15) hemisphere damage during observation of video clips showing different manual movements. IMA severity was assessed by the DeRenzi standardized diagnostic test. Results showed that failure to imitate observed manual movements correlated with diminished mu suppression in patients with damage to the right inferior parietal lobule and in patients with damage to the right inferior frontal gyrus pars opercularis-areas where major components of the human MNS are assumed to reside. Voxel-based lesion symptom mapping revealed a significant impact on imitation capacity for the left inferior and superior parietal lobules and the left post central gyrus. Both left and right hemisphere damages were associated with imitation failure typical of IMA, yet a clear demonstration of relationship to the MNS was obtained only in the right hemisphere damage group. Suppression of the 8-10 Hz range was stronger in central compared with occipital sites, pointing to a dominant implication of mu rather than alpha rhythms. However, the suppression correlated with De Renzi's apraxia test scores not only in central but also in occipital sites, suggesting a multifactorial mechanism for IMA, with a possible

  18. Mirror neuron system: basic findings and clinical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacoboni, Marco; Mazziotta, John C

    2007-09-01

    In primates, ventral premotor and rostral inferior parietal neurons fire during the execution of hand and mouth actions. Some cells (called mirror neurons) also fire when hand and mouth actions are just observed. Mirror neurons provide a simple neural mechanism for understanding the actions of others. In humans, posterior inferior frontal and rostral inferior parietal areas have mirror properties. These human areas are relevant to imitative learning and social behavior. Indeed, the socially isolating condition of autism is associated with a deficit in mirror neuron areas. Strategies inspired by mirror neuron research recently have been used in the treatment of autism and in motor rehabilitation after stroke.

  19. Mirror neurons: Enigma of the metaphysical modular brain

    OpenAIRE

    Acharya, Sourya; Shukla, Samarth

    2012-01-01

    Mirror neurons are one of the most important discoveries in the last decade of neuroscience. These are a variety of visuospatial neurons which indicate fundamentally about human social interaction. Essentially, mirror neurons respond to actions that we observe in others. The interesting part is that mirror neurons fire in the same way when we actually recreate that action ourselves. Apart from imitation, they are responsible for myriad of other sophisticated human behavior and thought process...

  20. Mirror neurons: Enigma of the metaphysical modular brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acharya, Sourya; Shukla, Samarth

    2012-07-01

    Mirror neurons are one of the most important discoveries in the last decade of neuroscience. These are a variety of visuospatial neurons which indicate fundamentally about human social interaction. Essentially, mirror neurons respond to actions that we observe in others. The interesting part is that mirror neurons fire in the same way when we actually recreate that action ourselves. Apart from imitation, they are responsible for myriad of other sophisticated human behavior and thought processes. Defects in the mirror neuron system are being linked to disorders like autism. This review is a brief introduction to the neurons that shaped our civilization.

  1. The mirror neuron system: new frontiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keysers, Christian; Fadiga, Luciano

    2008-01-01

    Since the discovery of mirror neurons, much effort has been invested into studying their location and properties in the human brain. Here we review these original findings and introduce the main topics of this special issue of Social Neuroscience. What does the mirror system code? How is the mirror system embedded into the mosaic of circuits that compose our brain? How does the mirror system contribute to communication, language and social interaction? Can the principle of mirror neurons be extended to emotions, sensations and thoughts? Papers using a wide range of methods, including single cell recordings, fMRI, TMS, EEG and psychophysics, collected in this special issue, start to give us some impressive answers.

  2. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, Justin H.G.; Whiten, Andrew; Suddendorf, Thomas; Perrett, David I.

    2001-01-01

    Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been documented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the condition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently discovered class of neurons in frontal cortex, 'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show ac...

  3. Mirror Neurons from Associative Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons fire both when executing actions and observing others perform similar actions. Their sensorimotor matching properties have generally been considered a genetic adaptation for social cognition; however, in the present chapter we argue that the evidence in favor of this account is not compelling. Instead we present evidence supporting an alternative account: that mirror neurons’ matching properties arise from associative learning during individual development. Notably, this proces...

  4. [Infantile autism and mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornelio-Nieto, J O

    2009-02-27

    Infantile autism is a disorder that is characterised by alterations affecting reciprocal social interactions, abnormal verbal and non-verbal communication, poor imaginative activity and a restricted repertoire of activities and interests. The causes of autism remain unknown, but there are a number of different approaches that attempt to explain the neurobiological causes of the syndrome. A recent theory that has been considered is that of a dysfunction in the mirror neuron system (MNS). The MNS is a neuronal complex, originally described in monkeys and also found in humans, that is related with our movements and which offers specific responses to the movements and intended movements of other subjects. This system is believed to underlie processes of imitation and our capacity to learn by imitation. It is also thought to play a role in language acquisition, in expressing the emotions, in understanding what is happening to others and in empathy. Because these functions are altered in children with autism, it has been suggested that there is some dysfunction present in the MNS of those with autism. Dysfunction of the MNS could account for the symptoms that are observed in children with autism.

  5. Sensorimotor learning and the ontogeny of the mirror neuron system

    OpenAIRE

    Catmur, C

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons, which have now been found in the human and songbird as well as the macaque, respond to both the observation and the performance of the same action. It has been suggested that their matching response properties have evolved as an adaptation for action understanding; alternatively, these properties may arise through sensorimotor experience. Here I review mirror neuron response characteristics from the perspective of ontogeny; I discuss the limited evidence for mirror neurons in ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather Patterson

    2008-12-01

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

  7. The mirror neuron system and the consequences of its dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacoboni, Marco; Dapretto, Mirella

    2006-12-01

    The discovery of premotor and parietal cells known as mirror neurons in the macaque brain that fire not only when the animal is in action, but also when it observes others carrying out the same actions provides a plausible neurophysiological mechanism for a variety of important social behaviours, from imitation to empathy. Recent data also show that dysfunction of the mirror neuron system in humans might be a core deficit in autism, a socially isolating condition. Here, we review the neurophysiology of the mirror neuron system and its role in social cognition and discuss the clinical implications of mirror neuron dysfunction.

  8. Motor-auditory-visual integration: The role of the human mirror neuron system in communication and communication disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Bel, Ronald M; Pineda, Jaime A; Sharma, Anu

    2009-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS) is a trimodal system composed of neuronal populations that respond to motor, visual, and auditory stimulation, such as when an action is performed, observed, heard or read about. In humans, the MNS has been identified using neuroimaging techniques (such as fMRI and mu suppression in the EEG). It reflects an integration of motor-auditory-visual information processing related to aspects of language learning including action understanding and recognition. Such integration may also form the basis for language-related constructs such as theory of mind. In this article, we review the MNS system as it relates to the cognitive development of language in typically developing children and in children at-risk for communication disorders, such as children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or hearing impairment. Studying MNS development in these children may help illuminate an important role of the MNS in children with communication disorders. Studies with deaf children are especially important because they offer potential insights into how the MNS is reorganized when one modality, such as audition, is deprived during early cognitive development, and this may have long-term consequences on language maturation and theory of mind abilities. Readers will be able to (1) understand the concept of mirror neurons, (2) identify cortical areas associated with the MNS in animal and human studies, (3) discuss the use of mu suppression in the EEG for measuring the MNS in humans, and (4) discuss MNS dysfunction in children with (ASD).

  9. Imitation, mirror neurons and autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, J H; Whiten, A; Suddendorf, T; Perrett, D I

    2001-06-01

    Various deficits in the cognitive functioning of people with autism have been documented in recent years but these provide only partial explanations for the condition. We focus instead on an imitative disturbance involving difficulties both in copying actions and in inhibiting more stereotyped mimicking, such as echolalia. A candidate for the neural basis of this disturbance may be found in a recently discovered class of neurons in frontal cortex, 'mirror neurons' (MNs). These neurons show activity in relation both to specific actions performed by self and matching actions performed by others, providing a potential bridge between minds. MN systems exist in primates without imitative and 'theory of mind' abilities and we suggest that in order for them to have become utilized to perform social cognitive functions, sophisticated cortical neuronal systems have evolved in which MNs function as key elements. Early developmental failures of MN systems are likely to result in a consequent cascade of developmental impairments characterised by the clinical syndrome of autism.

  10. Programmed to Learn? The Ontogeny of Mirror Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Giudice, Marco; Manera, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Mirror neurons are increasingly recognized as a crucial substrate for many developmental processes, including imitation and social learning. Although there has been considerable progress in describing their function and localization in the primate and adult human brain, we still know little about their ontogeny. The idea that mirror neurons result…

  11. Mirror neurons and motor intentionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2007-01-01

    Our social life rests to a large extent on our ability to understand the intentions of others. What are the bases of this ability? A very influential view is that we understand the intentions of others because we are able to represent them as having mental states. Without this meta-representational (mind-reading) ability their behavior would be meaningless to us. Over the past few years this view has been challenged by neurophysiological findings and, in particular, by the discovery of mirror neurons. The functional properties of these neurons indicate that intentional understanding is based primarily on a mechanism that directly matches the sensory representation of the observed actions with one's own motor representation of those same actions. These findings reveal how deeply motor and intentional components of action are intertwined, suggesting that both can be fully comprehended only starting from a motor approach to intentionality.

  12. Mirror neurons and language in schizophrenia

    OpenAIRE

    Bendová, Marie

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific kind of visuomotor neurons that are involved in action execution and also in action perception. The mirror mechanism is linked to a variety of complex psychological functions such as social-cognitive functions and language. People with schizophrenia have often difficulties both in mirror neuron system and in language skills. In the first part of our research we studied the connectivity of mirror neuron areas (such as IFG, STG, PMC, SMC and so on) by fMRI in resti...

  13. Sensorimotor learning and the ontogeny of the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catmur, Caroline

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons, which have now been found in the human and songbird as well as the macaque, respond to both the observation and the performance of the same action. It has been suggested that their matching response properties have evolved as an adaptation for action understanding; alternatively, these properties may arise through sensorimotor experience. Here I review mirror neuron response characteristics from the perspective of ontogeny; I discuss the limited evidence for mirror neurons in early development; and I describe the growing body of evidence suggesting that mirror neuron responses can be modified through experience, and that sensorimotor experience is the critical type of experience for producing mirror neuron responses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Mirror neurons and imitation: a computationally guided review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael

    2006-04-01

    Neurophysiology reveals the properties of individual mirror neurons in the macaque while brain imaging reveals the presence of 'mirror systems' (not individual neurons) in the human. Current conceptual models attribute high level functions such as action understanding, imitation, and language to mirror neurons. However, only the first of these three functions is well-developed in monkeys. We thus distinguish current opinions (conceptual models) on mirror neuron function from more detailed computational models. We assess the strengths and weaknesses of current computational models in addressing the data and speculations on mirror neurons (macaque) and mirror systems (human). In particular, our mirror neuron system (MNS), mental state inference (MSI) and modular selection and identification for control (MOSAIC) models are analyzed in more detail. Conceptual models often overlook the computational requirements for posited functions, while too many computational models adopt the erroneous hypothesis that mirror neurons are interchangeable with imitation ability. Our meta-analysis underlines the gap between conceptual and computational models and points out the research effort required from both sides to reduce this gap.

  15. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been…

  16. Review Essay: Mirror Neurons in the Discourse of Social Sciences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henning Pätzold

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Since their discovery in the mid-1990s, mirror neurons have been the subject of continuous discussions in neurosciences as well as in the social sciences. The interest of scientists outside the life sciences in mirror neurons is primarily based on the fact that mirror neurons not only have epistemological meaning, but also seem to play an important role in processes of social insights and emotions, like empathy. With her book, Nadia ZABOURA provides a new contribution from a social and cultural sciences point of view, which critically reflects the discussion on mirror neurons and its consequences on the social sciences and humanities. Starting off from philosophical approaches to the mind-matter-dualism and the question of intersubjectivity, she explores the meaning of mirror neurons for the debate on empathy and communication. By discussing concepts of philosophy and communication sciences as well as current knowledge on mirror neurons, she concludes that they do not provide a stable basis for any material reductionism, which would explain phenomena like intersubjectivity only by recordable neuronal processes. The book refers to a variety of related theories (ranging from DESCARTES through to MEAD and TOMASELLO; these references are inspiring, yet they stay cursory for the most part. All in all the book offers avenues for further inquiry on the issues in focus, and can rather be taken as "tour of suggestions" through the topical field of mirror neurons and the related research. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1003245

  17. Imitation, empathy, and mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iacoboni, Marco

    2009-01-01

    There is a convergence between cognitive models of imitation, constructs derived from social psychology studies on mimicry and empathy, and recent empirical findings from the neurosciences. The ideomotor framework of human actions assumes a common representational format for action and perception that facilitates imitation. Furthermore, the associative sequence learning model of imitation proposes that experience-based Hebbian learning forms links between sensory processing of the actions of others and motor plans. Social psychology studies have demonstrated that imitation and mimicry are pervasive, automatic, and facilitate empathy. Neuroscience investigations have demonstrated physiological mechanisms of mirroring at single-cell and neural-system levels that support the cognitive and social psychology constructs. Why were these neural mechanisms selected, and what is their adaptive advantage? Neural mirroring solves the "problem of other minds" (how we can access and understand the minds of others) and makes intersubjectivity possible, thus facilitating social behavior.

  18. Connecting mirror neurons and forward models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miall, R C

    2003-12-02

    Two recent developments in motor neuroscience are promising the extension of theoretical concepts from motor control towards cognitive processes, including human social interactions and understanding the intentions of others. The first of these is the discovery of what are now called mirror neurons, which code for both observed and executed actions. The second is the concept of internal models, and in particular recent proposals that forward and inverse models operate in paired modules. These two ideas will be briefly introduced, and a recent suggestion linking between the two processes of mirroring and modelling will be described which may underlie our abilities for imitating actions, for cooperation between two actors, and possibly for communication via gesture and language.

  19. New Reflections on Mirror Neuron Research, the Tower of Babel, and Intercultural Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westbrook, Timothy Paul

    2015-01-01

    Studies of the human mirror neuron system demonstrate how mental mimicking of one's social environment affects learning. The mirror neuron system also has implications for intercultural encounters. This article explores the common ground between the mirror neuron system and theological principles from the Tower of Babel narrative and applies them…

  20. Hearing sounds, understanding actions: action representation in mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Evelyne; Keysers, Christian; Umiltà, M Alessandra; Fogassi, Leonardo; Gallese, Vittorio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2002-08-02

    Many object-related actions can be recognized by their sound. We found neurons in monkey premotor cortex that discharge when the animal performs a specific action and when it hears the related sound. Most of the neurons also discharge when the monkey observes the same action. These audiovisual mirror neurons code actions independently of whether these actions are performed, heard, or seen. This discovery in the monkey homolog of Broca's area might shed light on the origin of language: audiovisual mirror neurons code abstract contents-the meaning of actions-and have the auditory access typical of human language to these contents.

  1. White Matter Microstructure of the Human Mirror Neuron System Is Related to Symptom Severity in Adults with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fründt, Odette; Schulz, Robert; Schöttle, Daniel; Cheng, Bastian; Thomalla, Götz; Braaß, Hanna; Ganos, Christos; David, Nicole; Peiker, Ina; Engel, Andreas K.; Bäumer, Tobias; Münchau, Alexander

    2018-01-01

    Mirror neuron system (MNS) dysfunctions might underlie deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Diffusion tensor imaging based probabilistic tractography was conducted in 15 adult ASD patients and 13 matched, healthy controls. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was quantified to assess group differences in tract-related white matter microstructure of…

  2. [Mirror neurons: from anatomy to pathophysiological and therapeutic implications].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathon, B

    2013-04-01

    Mirror neurons are a special class of neurons discovered in the 1990s. They respond when we perform an action and also when we see someone else perform that action. They play a role in the pathophysiology of some neuropsychiatric diseases. Mirror neurons have been identified in humans: in Broca's area and the inferior parietal cortex. Their responses are qualitative and selective depending on the observed action. Emotions (including disgust) and empathy seem to operate according to a mirror mechanism. Indeed, the mirror system allows us to encode the sensory experience and to simulate the emotional state of others. This results in our improved identification of the emotions in others. Additionally, mirror neurons can encode an observed action in motor stimuli and allow its reproduction; thus, they are involved in imitation and learning. Current studies are assessing the role of mirror neurons in the pathopysiology of social-behavior disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. Understanding this mirror system will allow us to develop psychotherapy practices based on empathic resonance between the patient and the therapist. Also, some authors report that a passive rehabilitation technique, based on stimulation of the mirror-neuron system, has a beneficial effect in the treatment of patients with post-stroke motor deficits. Mirror neurons are an anatomical entity that enables improved understanding of behavior and emotions, and serves as a base for developing new cognitive therapies. Additional studies are needed to clarify the exact role of this neuronal system in social cognition and its role in the development of some neuropsychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. From quantum entanglement to mirror neuron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zak, Michail

    2007-01-01

    It is proposed that two fundamental phenomena: quantum entanglement in physics, and mirror neuron in biopsychology, can be described by using the same mathematical formalism, namely, the feedback from the Liouville equation to equation of motion

  4. Action observation: Inferring intentions without mirror neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frith, Christopher; Kilner, James M

    2008-01-01

    A recent study has shown, using fMRI, that the mirror neuron system does not mediate action understanding when the observed action is novel or when it is hard to understand.......A recent study has shown, using fMRI, that the mirror neuron system does not mediate action understanding when the observed action is novel or when it is hard to understand....

  5. The infant mirror neuron system studied with high density EEG.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Pär

    2008-01-01

    The mirror neuron system has been suggested to play a role in many social capabilities such as action understanding, imitation, language and empathy. These are all capabilities that develop during infancy and childhood, but the human mirror neuron system has been poorly studied using neurophysiological measures. This study measured the brain activity of 6-month-old infants and adults using a high-density EEG net with the aim of identifying mirror neuron activity. The subjects viewed both goal-directed movements and non-goal-directed movements. An independent component analysis was used to extract the sources of cognitive processes. The desynchronization of the mu rhythm in adults has been shown to be a marker for activation of the mirror neuron system and was used as a criterion to categorize independent components between subjects. The results showed significant mu desynchronization in the adult group and significantly higher ERP activation in both adults and 6-month-olds for the goal-directed action observation condition. This study demonstrate that infants as young as 6 months display mirror neuron activity and is the first to present a direct ERP measure of the mirror neuron system in infants.

  6. Is human imitation based on a mirror-neuron system? Some behavioural evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wohlschläger, A.; Bekkering, H.

    2002-01-01

    Recently, a population of neurones was discovered in the monkey's (Macaca nemestrina) ventrolateral part of the pre-motor cortex (area F5). It is specialised for recognising object-oriented actions, regardless of whether these actions are performed or observed by the monkey. The latter observation

  7. Is human imitation based on a mirror-neurone system? Some behavioural evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wohlschlager, A; Bekkering, H; Wohlschläger, A

    Recently, a population of neurones was discovered in the monkey's (Macaca nemestrina) ventrolateral part of the pre-motor cortex (area F5). It is specialised for recognising object-oriented actions, regardless of whether these actions are performed or observed by the monkey. The latter observation

  8. The mirror system in human and nonhuman primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orban, Guy A

    2014-04-01

    The description of the mirror neuron system provided by Cook et al. is incomplete for the macaque, and incorrect for humans. This is relevant to exaptation versus associative learning as the underlying mechanism generating mirror neurons, and to the sensorimotor learning as evidence for the authors' viewpoint. The proposed additional testing of the mirror system in rodents is unrealistic.

  9. Mirror neurons and their clinical relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fabbri-Destro, Maddalena; Cattaneo, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    One of the most exciting events in neurosciences over the past few years has been the discovery of a mechanism that unifies action perception and action execution. The essence of this 'mirror' mechanism is as follows: whenever individuals observe an action being done by someone else, a set of neurons that code for that action is activated in the observers' motor system. Since the observers are aware of the outcome of their motor acts, they also understand what the other individual is doing without the need for intermediate cognitive mediation. In this Review, after discussing the most pertinent data concerning the mirror mechanism, we examine the clinical relevance of this mechanism. We first discuss the relationship between mirror mechanism impairment and some core symptoms of autism. We then outline the theoretical principles of neurorehabilitation strategies based on the mirror mechanism. We conclude by examining the relationship between the mirror mechanism and some features of the environmental dependency syndromes.

  10. Does dysfunction of the mirror neuron system contribute to symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    OpenAIRE

    Eisen, Andrew; Lemon, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C.; Hornberger, Michael; Turner, Martin R.

    2015-01-01

    There is growing evidence that mirror neurons, initially discovered over two decades ago in the monkey, are present in the human brain. In the monkey, mirror neurons characteristically fire not only when it is performing an action, such as grasping an object, but also when observing a similar action performed by another agent (human or monkey). In this review we discuss the origin, cortical distribution and possible functions of mirror neurons as a background to exploring their potential rele...

  11. What do brain lesions tell us about theories of embodied semantics and the human mirror neuron system?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arévalo, Analia L; Baldo, Juliana V; Dronkers, Nina F

    2012-02-01

    Recent work has been mixed with respect to the notion of embodied semantics, which suggests that processing linguistic stimuli referring to motor-related concepts recruits the same sensorimotor regions of cortex involved in the execution and observation of motor acts or the objects associated with those acts. In this study, we asked whether lesions to key sensorimotor regions would preferentially impact the comprehension of stimuli associated with the use of the hand, mouth or foot. Twenty-seven patients with left-hemisphere strokes and 10 age- and education-matched controls were presented with pictures and words representing objects and actions typically associated with the use of the hand, mouth, foot or no body part at all (i.e., neutral). Picture/sound pairs were presented simultaneously, and participants were required to press a space bar only when the item pairs matched (i.e., congruent trials). We conducted two different analyses: 1) we compared task performance of patients with and without lesions in several key areas previously implicated in the putative human mirror neuron system (i.e., Brodmann areas 4/6, 1/2/3, 21 and 44/45), and 2) we conducted Voxel-based Lesion-Symptom Mapping analyses (VLSM; Bates et al., 2003) to identify additional regions associated with the processing of effector-related versus neutral stimuli. Processing of effector-related stimuli was associated with several regions across the left hemisphere, and not solely with premotor/motor or somatosensory regions. We also did not find support for a somatotopically-organized distribution of effector-specific regions. We suggest that, rather than following the strict interpretation of homuncular somatotopy for embodied semantics, these findings support theories proposing the presence of a greater motor-language network which is associated with, but not restricted to, the network responsible for action execution and observation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  12. The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Supporting Communication in a Digital World

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Dickerson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Humans use both verbal and non-verbal communication to interact with others and their environment and increasingly these interactions are occurring in a digital medium. Whether live or digital, learning to communicate requires overcoming the correspondence problem: There is no direct mapping, or correspondence between perceived and self-produced signals. Reconciliation of the differences between perceived and produced actions, including linguistic actions, is difficult and requires integration across multiple modalities and neuro-cognitive networks. Recent work on the neural substrates of social learning suggests that there may be a common mechanism underlying the perception-production cycle for verbal and non-verbal communication. The purpose of this paper is to review evidence supporting the link between verbal and non-verbal communications, and to extend the hMNS literature by proposing that recent advances in communication technology, which at times have had deleterious effects on behavioral and perceptual performance, may disrupt the success of the hMNS in supporting social interactions because these technologies are virtual and spatiotemporal distributed nature.

  13. The Role of the Human Mirror Neuron System in Supporting Communication in a Digital World.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, Kelly; Gerhardstein, Peter; Moser, Alecia

    2017-01-01

    Humans use both verbal and non-verbal communication to interact with others and their environment and increasingly these interactions are occurring in a digital medium. Whether live or digital, learning to communicate requires overcoming the correspondence problem: There is no direct mapping, or correspondence between perceived and self-produced signals. Reconciliation of the differences between perceived and produced actions, including linguistic actions, is difficult and requires integration across multiple modalities and neuro-cognitive networks. Recent work on the neural substrates of social learning suggests that there may be a common mechanism underlying the perception-production cycle for verbal and non-verbal communication. The purpose of this paper is to review evidence supporting the link between verbal and non-verbal communications, and to extend the hMNS literature by proposing that recent advances in communication technology, which at times have had deleterious effects on behavioral and perceptual performance, may disrupt the success of the hMNS in supporting social interactions because these technologies are virtual and spatiotemporal distributed nature.

  14. Coupling Perception with Actions via Mirror Neurons

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wiedermann, Jiří

    č. 55 (2003), s. 11-12 ISSN 0926-4981 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/02/1456 Institutional research plan: AV0Z1030915 Keywords : mirror neurons * cognitive agents * neural nets Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics http://www.ercim.eu/publication/Ercim_News/enw55/wiedermann.html

  15. Mirror Neurons, the Development of Empathy, and Digital Story Telling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hess, Mary

    2012-01-01

    This article explores the intersection of work in media education, religious education, concerns about digital cultures' impact on human relationality, and the possible role that mirror neurons might play in the development of empathy. Digital story telling--particularly as embodied in the work of the Center for Digital Storytelling…

  16. The Mirror Neuron System: Grasping Others' Actions from Birth?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepage, Jean-Francois; Theoret, Hugo

    2007-01-01

    In the adult human brain, the presence of a system matching the observation and the execution of actions is well established. This mechanism is thought to rely primarily on the contribution of so-called "mirror neurons", cells that are active when a specific gesture is executed as well as when it is seen or heard. Despite the wealth of evidence…

  17. On Empathy: The Mirror Neuron System and Art Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffers, Carol S.

    2009-01-01

    This paper re/considers empathy and its implications for learning in the art classroom, particularly in light of relevant neuroscientific investigations of the mirror neuron system recently discovered in the human brain. These investigations reinterpret the meaning of perception, resonance, and connection, and point to the fundamental importance…

  18. Programmed to learn? The ontogeny of mirror neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Del Giudice, Marco; Manera, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    Mirror neurons are increasingly recognized as a crucial substrate for many developmental processes, including imitation and social learning. Although there has been considerable progress in describing their function and localization in the primate and adult human brain, we still know little about

  19. Language comprehension warps the mirror neuron system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noah eZarr

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Is the mirror neuron system (MNS used in language understanding? According to embodied accounts of language comprehension, understanding sentences describing actions makes use of neural mechanisms of action control, including the MNS. Consequently, repeatedly comprehending sentences describing similar actions should induce adaptation of the MNS thereby warping its use in other cognitive processes such as action recognition and prediction. To test this prediction, participants read blocks of multiple sentences where each sentence in the block described transfer of objects in a direction away or toward the reader. Following each block, adaptation was measured by having participants predict the end-point of videotaped actions. The adapting sentences disrupted prediction of actions in the same direction, but a only for videos of biological motion, and b only when the effector implied by the language (e.g., the hand matched the videos. These findings are signatures of the mirror neuron system.

  20. Sensorimotor learning configures the human mirror system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catmur, Caroline; Walsh, Vincent; Heyes, Cecilia

    2007-09-04

    Cells in the "mirror system" fire not only when an individual performs an action but also when one observes the same action performed by another agent [1-4]. The mirror system, found in premotor and parietal cortices of human and monkey brains, is thought to provide the foundation for social understanding and to enable the development of theory of mind and language [5-9]. However, it is unclear how mirror neurons acquire their mirror properties -- how they derive the information necessary to match observed with executed actions [10]. We address this by showing that it is possible to manipulate the selectivity of the human mirror system, and thereby make it operate as a countermirror system, by giving participants training to perform one action while observing another. Before this training, participants showed event-related muscle-specific responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation over motor cortex during observation of little- and index-finger movements [11-13]. After training, this normal mirror effect was reversed. These results indicate that the mirror properties of the mirror system are neither wholly innate [14] nor fixed once acquired; instead they develop through sensorimotor learning [15, 16]. Our findings indicate that the human mirror system is, to some extent, both a product and a process of social interaction.

  1. Mirror Neurons, Embodied Cognitive Agents and Imitation Learning

    OpenAIRE

    Wiedermann, Jiří

    2003-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a relatively recent discovery; it has been conjectured that these neurons play an important role in imitation learning and other cognitive phenomena. We will study a possible place and role of mirror neurons in the neural architecture of embodied cognitive agents. We will formulate and investigate the hypothesis that mirror neurons serve as a mechanism which coordinates the multimodal (i.e., motor, perceptional and proprioceptive) information and completes it so that the ag...

  2. Sign language processing and the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather

    2006-05-01

    In this paper we review evidence for frontal and parietal lobe involvement in sign language comprehension and production, and evaluate the extent to which these data can be interpreted within the context of a mirror neuron system for human action observation and execution. We present data from three literatures--aphasia, cortical stimulation, and functional neuroimaging. Generally, we find support for the idea that sign language comprehension and production can be viewed in the context of a broadly-construed frontal-parietal human action observation/execution system. However, sign language data cannot be fully accounted for under a strict interpretation of the mirror neuron system. Additionally, we raise a number of issues concerning the lack of specificity in current accounts of the human action observation/execution system.

  3. The neuroscience of observing consciousness & mirror neurons in therapeutic hypnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, Ernest L; Rossi, Kathryn L

    2006-04-01

    Neuroscience documents the activity of "mirror neurons" in the human brain as a mechanism whereby we experience empathy and recognize the intentions of others by observing their behavior and automatically matching their brain activity. This neural basis of empathy finds support in research on dysfunctions in the mirror systems of humans with autism and fMRI research on normal subjects designed to assess intentionality, emotions, and complex cognition. Such empathy research now appears to be consistent with the historical and research literature on hypnotic induction, rapport, and many of the classical phenomena of suggestion. A preliminary outline of how mirror neurons may function as a rapport zone mediating between observing consciousness, the gene expression/protein synthesis cycle, and brain plasticity in therapeutic hypnosis and psychosomatic medicine is proposed. Brain plasticity is generalized in the theory, research, and practice of utilizing mirror neurons as an explanatory framework in developing and training new skill sets for facilitating an activity-dependent approach to creative problem solving, mind-body healing, and rehabilitation with therapeutic hypnosis.

  4. Social interaction in robotic agents emulating the mirror neuron function

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barakova, E.I.; Mira, J.; Álvarez, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    Emergent interactions that are expressed by the movements of two agents are discussed in this paper. The common coding principle is used to show how the mirror neuron system may facilitate interaction behaviour. Synchronization between neuron groups in different structures of the mirror neuron

  5. The origin and function of mirror neurons: the missing link.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lingnau, Angelika; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2014-04-01

    We argue, by analogy to the neural organization of the object recognition system, that demonstration of modulation of mirror neurons by associative learning does not imply absence of genetic adaptation. Innate connectivity defines the types of processes mirror neurons can participate in while allowing for extensive local plasticity. However, the proper function of these neurons remains to be worked out.

  6. The role of mirror neurons in language acquisition and evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behme, Christina

    2014-04-01

    I argue that Cook et al.'s attack of the genetic hypothesis of mirror neurons misses its target because the authors miss the point that genetics may specify how neurons may learn, not what they learn. Paying more attention to recent work linking mirror neurons to language acquisition and evolution would strengthen Cook et al.'s arguments against a rigid genetic hypothesis.

  7. Mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Tom; Stokes, Mark; McGillivray, Jane; Bittar, Richard

    2010-10-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental conditions characterized by deficits in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and obsessive/stereotyped patterns of behaviour. Although there is no reliable neurophysiological marker associated with ASDs, dysfunction of the parieto-frontal mirror neuron system has been suggested as a disturbance linked to the disorder. Mirror neurons (MNs) are visuomotor neurons which discharge both when performing and observing a goal directed action. Research suggests MNs may have a role in imitation, empathy, theory of mind and language. Although the research base is small, evidence from functional MRI, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and an electroencephalographic component called the mu rhythm suggests MNs are dysfunctional in subjects with ASD. These deficits are more pronounced when ASD subjects complete tasks with social relevance, or that are emotional in nature. Promising research has identified that interventions targeting MN related functions such as imitation can improve social functioning in ASDs. Boosting the function of MNs may improve the prognosis of ASDs, and contribute to diagnostic clarity. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Do mirror neurons explain misattribution of emotions in music?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gridley, Mark C; Hoff, Robert

    2006-04-01

    It is speculated that certain listeners' misattribution of anger in the music of avant garde jazz saxophonists could be explained by the activity of mirror neurons. There is a neurological basis for the human tendency to imitate what is perceived in another person. This may lead to an inference that whatever comparable activity would be required to achieve a similar condition in the imitator is the condition being experienced by the person being imitated.

  9. Mirror neurons, language, and embodied cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perlovsky, Leonid I; Ilin, Roman

    2013-05-01

    Basic mechanisms of the mind, cognition, language, its semantic and emotional mechanisms are modeled using dynamic logic (DL). This cognitively and mathematically motivated model leads to a dual-model hypothesis of language and cognition. The paper emphasizes that abstract cognition cannot evolve without language. The developed model is consistent with a joint emergence of language and cognition from a mirror neuron system. The dual language-cognition model leads to the dual mental hierarchy. The nature of cognition embodiment in the hierarchy is analyzed. Future theoretical and experimental research is discussed. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  10. Mirror neuron framework yields representations for robot interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barakova, E.I.; Lourens, T.

    2009-01-01

    Common coding is a functional principle that underlies the mirror neuron paradigm. It insures actual parity between perception and action, since the perceived and performed actions are equivalently and simultaneously represented within the mirror neuron system. Based on the parity of this

  11. Language comprehension warps the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarr, Noah; Ferguson, Ryan; Glenberg, Arthur M

    2013-01-01

    Is the mirror neuron system (MNS) used in language understanding? According to embodied accounts of language comprehension, understanding sentences describing actions makes use of neural mechanisms of action control, including the MNS. Consequently, repeatedly comprehending sentences describing similar actions should induce adaptation of the MNS thereby warping its use in other cognitive processes such as action recognition and prediction. To test this prediction, participants read blocks of multiple sentences where each sentence in the block described transfer of objects in a direction away or toward the reader. Following each block, adaptation was measured by having participants predict the end-point of videotaped actions. The adapting sentences disrupted prediction of actions in the same direction, but (a) only for videos of biological motion, and (b) only when the effector implied by the language (e.g., the hand) matched the videos. These findings are signatures of the MNS.

  12. Does dysfunction of the mirror neuron system contribute to symptoms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisen, Andrew; Lemon, Roger; Kiernan, Matthew C; Hornberger, Michael; Turner, Martin R

    2015-07-01

    There is growing evidence that mirror neurons, initially discovered over two decades ago in the monkey, are present in the human brain. In the monkey, mirror neurons characteristically fire not only when it is performing an action, such as grasping an object, but also when observing a similar action performed by another agent (human or monkey). In this review we discuss the origin, cortical distribution and possible functions of mirror neurons as a background to exploring their potential relevance in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We have recently proposed that ALS (and the related condition of frontotemporal dementia) may be viewed as a failure of interlinked functional complexes having their origins in key evolutionary adaptations. This can include loss of the direct projections from the corticospinal tract, and this is at least part of the explanation for impaired motor control in ALS. Since, in the monkey, corticospinal neurons also show mirror properties, ALS in humans might also affect the mirror neuron system. We speculate that a defective mirror neuron system might contribute to other ALS deficits affecting motor imagery, gesture, language and empathy. Copyright © 2015 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. On whether mirror neurons play a significant role in processing affective prosody.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramachandra, Vijayachandra

    2009-02-01

    Several behavioral and neuroimaging studies have indicated that both right and left cortical structures and a few subcortical ones are involved in processing affective prosody. Recent investigations have shown that the mirror neuron system plays a crucial role in several higher-level functions such as empathy, theory of mind, language, etc., but no studies so far link the mirror neuron system with affective prosody. In this paper is a speculation that the mirror neuron system, which serves as a common neural substrate for different higher-level functions, may play a significant role in processing affective prosody via its connections with the limbic lobe. Actual research must apply electrophysiological and neuroimaging techniques to assess whether the mirror neuron systems underly affective prosody in humans.

  14. Confounding the origin and function of mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. argue that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and that their function is determined by their origin. Both these claims are hard to accept. It is here suggested that a major role in the origin of the mirror mechanism is played by top-down connections rather than by associative learning.

  15. Possible Links among Mirror Neurons and Genes Related to Autism

    OpenAIRE

    MOCHIZUKI, Mai; 望月,麻衣

    2016-01-01

    Autism includes many neurodevelopmental disorders and defi cits in communication. Althoughresearchers have considered various origins, the onset mechanism is still not clear. The aim ofthis article is to provide some clues for interaction of autism with mirror neuronal and geneticfactors. First, the impact of neural brain cells considered to infl uence autism will be discussedwith reference to mirror neurons. Then, the discussion will move to genes related to autism.Consequently, it is argued...

  16. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A.; Thier, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer. PMID:22753471

  17. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information by sending electrical signals and chemical through connections called synapses. Discovered by a group of Italian researchers from the University of Parma, neurons - mirror are a special class of nerve cells played an important role in the direct knowledge, automatic and unconscious environment. These cortical neurons are activated not only when an action is fulfilled, but when we see how the same action is performed by someone else, they represent neural mechanism by which the actions, intentions and emotions of others can be understood automatically. In childhood neurons - mirror are extremely important. Thanks to them we learned a lot in the early years: smile, to ask for help and, in fact, all the behaviors and family and group norms. People learn by what they see and sense the others. Neurons - mirror are important to understanding the actions and intentions of other people and learn new skills through mirror image. They are involved in planning and controlling actions, abstract thinking and memory. If a child observes an action, neurons - mirror is activated and forming new neural pathways as if even he takes that action. Efficient activity of mirror neurons leads to good development in all areas at a higher emotional intelligence and the ability to empathize with others.

  18. Modeling the Development of Goal-Specificity in Mirror Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thill, Serge; Svensson, Henrik; Ziemke, Tom

    2011-12-01

    Neurophysiological studies have shown that parietal mirror neurons encode not only actions but also the goal of these actions. Although some mirror neurons will fire whenever a certain action is perceived (goal-independently), most will only fire if the motion is perceived as part of an action with a specific goal. This result is important for the action-understanding hypothesis as it provides a potential neurological basis for such a cognitive ability. It is also relevant for the design of artificial cognitive systems, in particular robotic systems that rely on computational models of the mirror system in their interaction with other agents. Yet, to date, no computational model has explicitly addressed the mechanisms that give rise to both goal-specific and goal-independent parietal mirror neurons. In the present paper, we present a computational model based on a self-organizing map, which receives artificial inputs representing information about both the observed or executed actions and the context in which they were executed. We show that the map develops a biologically plausible organization in which goal-specific mirror neurons emerge. We further show that the fundamental cause for both the appearance and the number of goal-specific neurons can be found in geometric relationships between the different inputs to the map. The results are important to the action-understanding hypothesis as they provide a mechanism for the emergence of goal-specific parietal mirror neurons and lead to a number of predictions: (1) Learning of new goals may mostly reassign existing goal-specific neurons rather than recruit new ones; (2) input differences between executed and observed actions can explain observed corresponding differences in the number of goal-specific neurons; and (3) the percentage of goal-specific neurons may differ between motion primitives.

  19. Music and mirror neurons: from motion to 'e'motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Overy, Katie

    2006-12-01

    The ability to create and enjoy music is a universal human trait and plays an important role in the daily life of most cultures. Music has a unique ability to trigger memories, awaken emotions and to intensify our social experiences. We do not need to be trained in music performance or appreciation to be able to reap its benefits-already as infants, we relate to it spontaneously and effortlessly. There has been a recent surge in neuroimaging investigations of the neural basis of musical experience, but the way in which the abstract shapes and patterns of musical sound can have such profound meaning to us remains elusive. Here we review recent neuroimaging evidence and suggest that music, like language, involves an intimate coupling between the perception and production of hierarchically organized sequential information, the structure of which has the ability to communicate meaning and emotion. We propose that these aspects of musical experience may be mediated by the human mirror neuron system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallese, Vittorio

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Mirror Neurons and the Evolution of Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corballis, Michael C.

    2010-01-01

    The mirror system provided a natural platform for the subsequent evolution of language. In nonhuman primates, the system provides for the understanding of biological action, and possibly for imitation, both prerequisites for language. I argue that language evolved from manual gestures, initially as a system of pantomime, but with gestures…

  2. Observing complex action sequences: The role of the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Kaplan, Jonas; Greenfield, Patricia M; Iacoboni, Marco

    2006-11-15

    A fronto-parietal mirror neuron network in the human brain supports the ability to represent and understand observed actions allowing us to successfully interact with others and our environment. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we wanted to investigate the response of this network in adults during observation of hierarchically organized action sequences of varying complexity that emerge at different developmental stages. We hypothesized that fronto-parietal systems may play a role in coding the hierarchical structure of object-directed actions. The observation of all action sequences recruited a common bilateral network including the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system and occipito-temporal visual motion areas. Activity in mirror neuron areas varied according to the motoric complexity of the observed actions, but not according to the developmental sequence of action structures, possibly due to the fact that our subjects were all adults. These results suggest that the mirror neuron system provides a fairly accurate simulation process of observed actions, mimicking internally the level of motoric complexity. We also discuss the results in terms of the links between mirror neurons, language development and evolution.

  3. The mirror neuron system and the strange case of Broca's area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerri, Gabriella; Cabinio, Monia; Blasi, Valeria; Borroni, Paola; Iadanza, Antonella; Fava, Enrica; Fornia, Luca; Ferpozzi, Valentina; Riva, Marco; Casarotti, Alessandra; Martinelli Boneschi, Filippo; Falini, Andrea; Bello, Lorenzo

    2015-03-01

    Mirror neurons, originally described in the monkey premotor area F5, are embedded in a frontoparietal network for action execution and observation. A similar Mirror Neuron System (MNS) exists in humans, including precentral gyrus, inferior parietal lobule, and superior temporal sulcus. Controversial is the inclusion of Broca's area, as homologous to F5, a relevant issue in light of the mirror hypothesis of language evolution, which postulates a key role of Broca's area in action/speech perception/production. We assess "mirror" properties of this area by combining neuroimaging and intraoperative neurophysiological techniques. Our results show that Broca's area is minimally involved in action observation and has no motor output on hand or phonoarticulatory muscles, challenging its inclusion in the MNS. The presence of these functions in premotor BA6 makes this area the likely homologue of F5 suggesting that the MNS may be involved in the representation of articulatory rather than semantic components of speech. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Extending the mirror neuron system model, II: what did I just do? A new role for mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaiuto, James; Arbib, Michael A

    2010-04-01

    A mirror system is active both when an animal executes a class of actions (self-actions) and when it sees another execute an action of that class. Much attention has been given to the possible roles of mirror systems in responding to the actions of others but there has been little attention paid to their role in self-actions. In the companion article (Bonaiuto et al. Biol Cybern 96:9-38, 2007) we presented MNS2, an extension of the Mirror Neuron System model of the monkey mirror system trained to recognize the external appearance of its own actions as a basis for recognizing the actions of other animals when they perform similar actions. Here we further extend the study of the mirror system by introducing the novel hypotheses that a mirror system may additionally help in monitoring the success of a self-action and may also be activated by recognition of one's own apparent actions as well as efference copy from one's intended actions. The framework for this computational demonstration is a model of action sequencing, called augmented competitive queuing, in which action choice is based on the desirability of executable actions. We show how this "what did I just do?" function of mirror neurons can contribute to the learning of both executability and desirability which in certain cases supports rapid reorganization of motor programs in the face of disruptions.

  5. Hebbian Learning is about contingency, not contiguity, and explains the emergence of predictive mirror neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keysers, C.; Perrett, David I; Gazzola, Valeria

    Hebbian Learning should not be reduced to contiguity, as it detects contingency and causality. Hebbian Learning accounts of mirror neurons make predictions that differ from associative learning: Through Hebbian Learning, mirror neurons become dynamic networks that calculate predictions and

  6. Acting together in and beyond the mirror neuron system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kokal, Idil; Gazzola, Valeria; Keysers, Christian

    2009-01-01

    Moving a set dinner table often takes two people, and doing so without spilling the glasses requires the close coordination of the two agents' actions. It has been argued that the mirror neuron system may be the key neural locus of such coordination. Instead, here we show that such coordination

  7. Neonatal imitation and an epigenetic account of mirror neuron development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Elizabeth A; Fox, Nathan A; Tramacere, Antonella; Ferrari, Pier F

    2014-04-01

    Neonatal imitation should not exclusively be considered at the population-level; instead, we propose that inconsistent findings regarding its occurrence result from important individual differences in imitative responses. We also highlight what we consider to be a false dichotomy of genetic versus learning accounts of the development of mirror neurons, and instead suggest a more parsimonious epigenetic perspective.

  8. From music making to speaking: Engaging the mirror neuron system in autism

    OpenAIRE

    Wan, Catherine Y.; Demaine, Krystal; Zipse, Lauryn; Norton, Andrea; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-01-01

    Individuals with autism show impairments in emotional tuning, social interactions and communication. These are functions that have been attributed to the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS), which contains neurons that respond to the actions of self and others. It has been proposed that a dysfunction of that system underlies some of the characteristics of autism. Here, we review behavioral and imaging studies that implicate the MNS (or a brain network with similar functions) in sensory-...

  9. Mirror Neurons, the Representation of Word meaning, and the Foot of the Third Left Frontal Convolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zubicaray, Greig; Postle, Natasha; McMahon, Katie; Meredith, Matthew; Ashton, Roderick

    2010-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging research has attempted to demonstrate a preferential involvement of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) in the comprehension of effector-related action word (verb) meanings. These studies have assumed that Broca's area (or Brodmann's area 44) is the homologue of a monkey premotor area (F5) containing mouth and hand mirror…

  10. The Mirror Neuron System and Observational Learning: Implications for the Effectiveness of Dynamic Visualizations

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred; Marcus, Nadine; Ayres, Paul; Sweller, John

    2009-01-01

    Learning by observing and imitating others has long been recognized as constituting a powerful learning strategy for humans. Recent findings from neuroscience research, more specifically on the mirror neuron system, begin to provide insight into the neural bases of learning by observation and imitation. These findings are discussed here, along…

  11. Hebbian Learning is about contingency, not contiguity, and explains the emergence of predictive mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keysers, Christian; Perrett, David I; Gazzola, Valeria

    2014-04-01

    Hebbian Learning should not be reduced to contiguity, as it detects contingency and causality. Hebbian Learning accounts of mirror neurons make predictions that differ from associative learning: Through Hebbian Learning, mirror neurons become dynamic networks that calculate predictions and prediction errors and relate to ideomotor theories. The social force of imitation is important for mirror neuron emergence and suggests canalization.

  12. Hebbian Learning is about contingency, not contiguity, and explains the emergence of predictive mirror neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Keysers, C.; Perrett, D.I.; Gazzola, V.

    2014-01-01

    Hebbian Learning should not be reduced to contiguity, as it detects contingency and causality. Hebbian Learning accounts of mirror neurons make predictions that differ from associative learning: Through Hebbian Learning, mirror neurons become dynamic networks that calculate predictions and prediction errors and relate to ideomotor theories. The social force of imitation is important for mirror neuron emergence and suggests canalization. Publisher PDF Peer reviewed

  13. Mirroring

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wegener, Charlotte; Wegener, Gregers

    2016-01-01

    and metaphorical value of mirroring for creativity theory across two different research fields — neuroscience and learning. We engage in a mutual (possibly creative) exploration of mirroring from ‘mirror neurons’ to mirroring in social learning theory. One of the most fascinating aspects of mirroring...... as a neurobiological and as a learning phenomenon is that it points to the embodied and unconscious aspects of social interaction. Thus, mirroring should not be reduced to the non-creative, mechanical repetition of the original, outstanding creativity. To mirror is a human capability built into our capacity to create......Most definitions of creativity emphasise originality. The creative product is recognised as distinct from other products and the creative person as someone who stands out from the crowd. What tend to be overlooked are acts of mirroring as a crucial element of the creative process. The human ability...

  14. Mirror Neurons, Embodied Cognitive Agents and Imitation Learning

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wiedermann, Jiří

    2003-01-01

    Roč. 22, č. 6 (2003), s. 545-559 ISSN 1335-9150 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/02/1456 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1030915 Keywords : complete agents * mirror neurons * embodied cognition * imitation learning * sensorimotor control Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics Impact factor: 0.254, year: 2003 http://www.cai.sk/ojs/index.php/cai/article/view/468

  15. Morphological differences in the mirror neuron system in Williams Syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    Ng, Rowena; Brown, Timothy T.; Erhart, Matthew; Järvinen, Anna M.; Korenberg, Julie R.; Bellugi, Ursula; Halgren, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition characterized by an overly gregarious personality, including high empathetic concern for others. Although seemingly disparate from the profile of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), both are associated with deficits in social communication/cognition. Notably, the mirror neuron system (MNS) has been implicated in social dysfunction for ASD; yet, the integrity of this network and its association with social functioning in WS remains unknown. Magnetic re...

  16. Mirror neurons and the action theory of language origins

    OpenAIRE

    Steels, Luc

    2000-01-01

    The research reported here attempts to understand how language may have originated from sensori-motor competences. Recently the observation of mirror neurons has lead to the suggestion that there is not only a rich representation of motor action but also that this representation is used for multiple purposes: action execution, action planning, action imaging, and action recognition. Of particular importance is the observation that one agent can recognise an action plan of another one and t...

  17. Deciphering mirror neurons: rational decision versus associative learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalil, Elias L

    2014-04-01

    The rational-decision approach is superior to the associative-learning approach of Cook et al. at explaining why mirror neurons fire or do not fire - even when the stimulus is the same. The rational-decision approach is superior because it starts with the analysis of the intention of the organism, that is, with the identification of the specific objective or goal that the organism is trying to maximize.

  18. EEG evidence for mirror neuron dysfunction in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberman, Lindsay M; Hubbard, Edward M; McCleery, Joseph P; Altschuler, Eric L; Ramachandran, Vilayanur S; Pineda, Jaime A

    2005-07-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are largely characterized by deficits in imitation, pragmatic language, theory of mind, and empathy. Previous research has suggested that a dysfunctional mirror neuron system may explain the pathology observed in ASD. Because EEG oscillations in the mu frequency (8-13 Hz) over sensorimotor cortex are thought to reflect mirror neuron activity, one method for testing the integrity of this system is to measure mu responsiveness to actual and observed movement. It has been established that mu power is reduced (mu suppression) in typically developing individuals both when they perform actions and when they observe others performing actions, reflecting an observation/execution system which may play a critical role in the ability to understand and imitate others' behaviors. This study investigated whether individuals with ASD show a dysfunction in this system, given their behavioral impairments in understanding and responding appropriately to others' behaviors. Mu wave suppression was measured in ten high-functioning individuals with ASD and ten age- and gender-matched control subjects while watching videos of (1) a moving hand, (2) a bouncing ball, and (3) visual noise, or (4) moving their own hand. Control subjects showed significant mu suppression to both self and observed hand movement. The ASD group showed significant mu suppression to self-performed hand movements but not to observed hand movements. These results support the hypothesis of a dysfunctional mirror neuron system in high-functioning individuals with ASD.

  19. [The mirror neuron system in motor and sensory rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oouchida, Yutaka; Izumi, Shinichi

    2014-06-01

    The discovery of the mirror neuron system has dramatically changed the study of motor control in neuroscience. The mirror neuron system provides a conceptual framework covering the aspects of motor as well as sensory functions in motor control. Previous studies of motor control can be classified as studies of motor or sensory functions, and these two classes of studies appear to have advanced independently. In rehabilitation requiring motor learning, such as relearning movement after limb paresis, however, sensory information of feedback for motor output as well as motor command are essential. During rehabilitation from chronic pain, motor exercise is one of the most effective treatments for pain caused by dysfunction in the sensory system. In rehabilitation where total intervention unifying the motor and sensory aspects of motor control is important, learning through imitation, which is associated with the mirror neuron system can be effective and suitable. In this paper, we introduce the clinical applications of imitated movement in rehabilitation from motor impairment after brain damage and phantom limb pain after limb amputation.

  20. Emotion processing fails to modulate putative mirror neuron response to trained visuomotor associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgibbon, Bernadette M; Kirkovski, Melissa; Fornito, Alex; Paton, Bryan; Fitzgerald, Paul B; Enticott, Peter G

    2016-04-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that activation of the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS) can be elicited via visuomotor training. This is generally interpreted as supporting an associative learning account of the mirror neuron system (MNS) that argues against the ontogeny of the MNS to be an evolutionary adaptation for social cognition. The current study assessed whether a central component of social cognition, emotion processing, would influence the MNS activity to trained visuomotor associations, which could support a broader role of the MNS in social cognition. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we assessed repetition suppression to the presentation of stimulus pairs involving a simple hand action and a geometric shape that was either congruent or incongruent with earlier association training. Each pair was preceded by an image of positive, negative, or neutral emotionality. In support of an associative learning account of the MNS, repetition suppression was greater for trained pairs compared with untrained pairs in several regions, primarily supplementary motor area (SMA) and right inferior frontal gyrus (rIFG). This response, however, was not modulated by the valence of the emotional images. These findings argue against a fundamental role of emotion processing in the mirror neuron response, and are inconsistent with theoretical accounts linking mirror neurons to social cognition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Using Mu Rhythm Desynchronization to Measure Mirror Neuron Activity in Infants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nystrom, Par; Ljunghammar, Therese; Rosander, Kerstin; von Hofsten, Claes

    2011-01-01

    The Mirror Neuron System hypothesis stating that observed actions are projected onto the observer's own action system assigns an important role to development, because only actions mastered by the observer can be mirrored. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether there is evidence of a functioning mirror neuron system (MNS) in…

  2. Associative learning is necessary but not sufficient for mirror neuron development

    OpenAIRE

    Bonaiuto, James

    2014-01-01

    Existing computational models of the mirror system demonstrate the additional circuitry needed for mirror neurons to display the range of properties that they exhibit. Such models emphasize the need for existing connectivity to form visuomotor associations, processing to reduce the space of possible inputs, and demonstrate the role neurons with mirror properties might play in monitoring one's own actions.

  3. Associative learning is necessary but not sufficient for mirror neuron development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonaiuto, James

    2014-04-01

    Existing computational models of the mirror system demonstrate the additional circuitry needed for mirror neurons to display the range of properties that they exhibit. Such models emphasize the need for existing connectivity to form visuomotor associations, processing to reduce the space of possible inputs, and demonstrate the role neurons with mirror properties might play in monitoring one's own actions.

  4. Walk like me, talk like me. The connection between mirror neurons and autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saffin, Jillian M; Tohid, Hassaan

    2016-04-01

    Understanding social cognition has become a hallmark in deciphering autism spectrum disorder. Neurobiological theories are taking precedence in causation studies as researchers look to abnormalities in brain development as the cause of deficits in social behavior, cognitive processes, and language. Following their discovery in the 1990s, mirror neurons have become a dominant theory for that the mirror neuron system may play a critical role in the pathophysiology of various symptoms of autism. Over the decades, the theory has evolved from the suggestion of a broken mirror neuron system to impairments in mirror neuron circuitry. The mirror neuron system has not gained total support due to inconsistent findings; a comprehensive analysis of the growing body of research could shed light on the benefits, or the disadvantage of continuing to study mirror neurons and their connection to autism.

  5. Action observation and mirror neuron network: a tool for motor stroke rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sale, P; Franceschini, M

    2012-06-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific class of neurons that are activated and discharge both during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual and during the execution of a motor act. Different studies based on non invasive neuroelectrophysiological assessment or functional brain imaging techniques have demonstrated the presence of the mirror neuron and their mechanism in humans. Various authors have demonstrated that in the human these networks are activated when individuals learn motor actions via execution (as in traditional motor learning), imitation, observation (as in observational learning) and motor imagery. Activation of these brain areas (inferior parietal lobe and the ventral premotor cortex, as well as the caudal part of the inferior frontal gyrus [IFG]) following observation or motor imagery may thereby facilitate subsequent movement execution by directly matching the observed or imagined action to the internal simulation of that action. It is therefore believed that this multi-sensory action-observation system enables individuals to (re) learn impaired motor functions through the activation of these internal action-related representations. In humans, the mirror mechanism is also located in various brain segment: in Broca's area, which is involved in language processing and speech production and not only in centres that mediate voluntary movement, but also in cortical areas that mediate visceromotor emotion-related behaviours. On basis of this finding, during the last 10 years various studies were carry out regarding the clinical use of action observation for motor rehabilitation of sub-acute and chronic stroke patients.

  6. Mirror neuron system based therapy for emotional disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Ti-Fei; Hoff, Robert

    2008-11-01

    Mirror neuron system (MNS) represents one of the most important discoveries in the area of neuropsychology of past decades. More than 500 papers have been published in this area (PubMed), and the major functions of MNS include action understanding, imitation, empathy, all of which are critical for an individual to be social. Recent studies suggested that MNS can modulate emotion states possibly through the empathy mechanism. Here we propose that MNS-based therapies provide a non-invasive approach in treatments to emotional disorders that were observed in autism patients, post-stroke patients with depression as well as other mood dysregulation conditions.

  7. Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders

    OpenAIRE

    Dapretto, Mirella; Davies, Mari S; Pfeifer, Jennifer H; Scott, Ashley A; Sigman, Marian; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Iacoboni, Marco

    2005-01-01

    To examine mirror neuron abnormalities in autism, high-functioning children with autism and matched controls underwent fMRI while imitating and observing emotional expressions. Although both groups performed the tasks equally well, children with autism showed no mirror neuron activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Notably, activity in this area was inversely related to symptom severity in the social domain, suggesting that a dysfunctional ‘mirror neuron system’ may underli...

  8. Studying the Behaviour of Model of Mirror Neuron System in Case of Autism

    OpenAIRE

    Anirban, Shikha; Hanif Ali, Mohammad

    2012-01-01

    Several experiment done by the researchers conducted that autism is caused by the dysfunctional mirror neuron system and the dysfunctions of mirror neuron system is proportional to the symptom severity of autism. In the present work those experiments were studied as well as studying a model of mirror neuron system called MNS2 developed by a research group. This research examined the behavior of the model in case of autism and compared the result with those studies conducting dysfunctions of m...

  9. Understanding emotions in others: mirror neuron dysfunction in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dapretto, Mirella; Davies, Mari S; Pfeifer, Jennifer H; Scott, Ashley A; Sigman, Marian; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Iacoboni, Marco

    2006-01-01

    To examine mirror neuron abnormalities in autism, high-functioning children with autism and matched controls underwent fMRI while imitating and observing emotional expressions. Although both groups performed the tasks equally well, children with autism showed no mirror neuron activity in the inferior frontal gyrus (pars opercularis). Notably, activity in this area was inversely related to symptom severity in the social domain, suggesting that a dysfunctional 'mirror neuron system' may underlie the social deficits observed in autism.

  10. Associative and sensorimotor learning for parenting involves mirror neurons under the influence of oxytocin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, S Shaun; Macdonald, Adam; Swain, James E

    2014-04-01

    Mirror neuron-based associative learning may be understood according to associative learning theories, in addition to sensorimotor learning theories. This is important for a comprehensive understanding of the role of mirror neurons and related hormone modulators, such as oxytocin, in complex social interactions such as among parent-infant dyads and in examples of mirror neuron function that involve abnormal motor systems such as depression.

  11. Out of time: a possible link between mirror neurons, autism and electromagnetic radiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thornton, Ian M

    2006-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests a link between autism and the human mirror neuron system. In this paper, I argue that temporal disruption from the environment may play an important role in the observed mirror neuron dysfunction, leading in turn to the pattern of deficits associated with autism. I suggest that the developing nervous system of an infant may be particularly prone to temporal noise that can interfere with the initial calibration of brain networks such as the mirror neuron system. The most likely source of temporal noise in the environment is artificially generated electromagnetic radiation. To date, there has been little evidence that electromagnetic radiation poses a direct biological hazard. It is clear, however, that time-varying electromagnetic waves have the potential to temporally modulate the nervous system, particularly when populations of neurons are required to act together. This modulation may be completely harmless for the fully developed nervous system of an adult. For an infant, this same temporal disruption might act to severely delay or disrupt vital calibration processes.

  12. Mirror neurons and the understanding of behavioural symptoms in psychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buccino, Giovanni; Amore, Mario

    2008-05-01

    Recent findings show that we can understand other people's actions, intentions and emotions through a mirror mechanism as if we performed the same actions and felt the same intentions or emotions (embodied simulation). The present paper reviews experimental evidence that this mechanism may be broken in some psychiatric disorders. A mirror neuron system has been described in both monkeys and humans that allows one to map an observed action on a correspondent motor representation in the observer's brain. This mechanism has been involved in many higher motor functions ranging from action understanding to imitation and intention coding. A mirror mechanism has also been invoked in empathy, through an embodied simulation. A dysfunction of the mirror neuron system may be at the root of the inability to empathize in patients with autism and may play a role in some negative and positive symptoms found in patients with schizophrenia. This opens up new perspectives in the interpretation of psychotic symptoms and possibly in developing therapeutic strategies.

  13. Speaking with a mirror: engagement of mirror neurons via choral speech and its derivatives induces stuttering inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalinowski, Joseph; Saltuklaroglu, Tim

    2003-04-01

    'Choral speech', 'unison speech', or 'imitation speech' has long been known to immediately induce reflexive, spontaneous, and natural sounding fluency, even the most severe cases of stuttering. Unlike typical post-therapeutic speech, a hallmark characteristic of choral speech is the sense of 'invulnerability' to stuttering, regardless of phonetic context, situational environment, or audience size. We suggest that choral speech immediately inhibits stuttering by engaging mirror systems of neurons, innate primitive neuronal substrates that dominate the initial phases of language development due to their predisposition to reflexively imitate gestural action sequences in a fluent manner. Since mirror systems are primordial in nature, they take precedence over the much later developing stuttering pathology. We suggest that stuttering may best be ameliorated by reengaging mirror neurons via choral speech or one of its derivatives (using digital signal processing technology) to provide gestural mirrors, that are nature's way of immediately overriding the central stuttering block. Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  14. Mirror Neurons Modeled Through Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity are Affected by Channelopathies Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, Gabriela; Faria da Silva, Samuel F; Simoes de Souza, Fabio M

    2018-06-01

    Mirror neurons fire action potentials both when the agent performs a certain behavior and watches someone performing a similar action. Here, we present an original mirror neuron model based on the spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) between two morpho-electrical models of neocortical pyramidal neurons. Both neurons fired spontaneously with basal firing rate that follows a Poisson distribution, and the STDP between them was modeled by the triplet algorithm. Our simulation results demonstrated that STDP is sufficient for the rise of mirror neuron function between the pairs of neocortical neurons. This is a proof of concept that pairs of neocortical neurons associating sensory inputs to motor outputs could operate like mirror neurons. In addition, we used the mirror neuron model to investigate whether channelopathies associated with autism spectrum disorder could impair the modeled mirror function. Our simulation results showed that impaired hyperpolarization-activated cationic currents (Ih) affected the mirror function between the pairs of neocortical neurons coupled by STDP.

  15. Learning of Spatial Relationships between Observed and Imitated Actions allows Invariant Inverse Computation in the Frontal Mirror Neuron System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Hyuk; Gentili, Rodolphe J.; Reggia, James A.; Contreras-Vidal, José L.

    2014-01-01

    It has been suggested that the human mirror neuron system can facilitate learning by imitation through coupling of observation and action execution. During imitation of observed actions, the functional relationship between and within the inferior frontal cortex, the posterior parietal cortex, and the superior temporal sulcus can be modeled within the internal model framework. The proposed biologically plausible mirror neuron system model extends currently available models by explicitly modeling the intraparietal sulcus and the superior parietal lobule in implementing the function of a frame of reference transformation during imitation. Moreover, the model posits the ventral premotor cortex as performing an inverse computation. The simulations reveal that: i) the transformation system can learn and represent the changes in extrinsic to intrinsic coordinates when an imitator observes a demonstrator; ii) the inverse model of the imitator’s frontal mirror neuron system can be trained to provide the motor plans for the imitated actions. PMID:22255261

  16. Learning of spatial relationships between observed and imitated actions allows invariant inverse computation in the frontal mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Hyuk; Gentili, Rodolphe J; Reggia, James A; Contreras-Vidal, José L

    2011-01-01

    It has been suggested that the human mirror neuron system can facilitate learning by imitation through coupling of observation and action execution. During imitation of observed actions, the functional relationship between and within the inferior frontal cortex, the posterior parietal cortex, and the superior temporal sulcus can be modeled within the internal model framework. The proposed biologically plausible mirror neuron system model extends currently available models by explicitly modeling the intraparietal sulcus and the superior parietal lobule in implementing the function of a frame of reference transformation during imitation. Moreover, the model posits the ventral premotor cortex as performing an inverse computation. The simulations reveal that: i) the transformation system can learn and represent the changes in extrinsic to intrinsic coordinates when an imitator observes a demonstrator; ii) the inverse model of the imitator's frontal mirror neuron system can be trained to provide the motor plans for the imitated actions.

  17. Associative and sensorimotor learning for parenting involves mirror neurons under the influence of oxytocin

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, S. Shaun; MacDonald, Adam; Swain, James E.

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neuron–based associative learning may be understood according to associative learning theories, in addition to sensorimotor learning theories. This is important for a comprehensive understanding of the role of mirror neurons and related hormone modulators, such as oxytocin, in complex social interactions such as among parent–infant dyads and in examples of mirror neuron function that involve abnormal motor systems such as depression.

  18. Mirror neuron system as the joint from action to language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Wei; Yuan, Ti-Fei

    2008-08-01

    Mirror neuron system (MNS) represents one of the most important discoveries of cognitive neuroscience in the past decade, and it has been found to involve in multiple aspects of brain functions including action understanding, imitation, language understanding, empathy, action prediction and speech evolution. This manuscript reviewed the function of MNS in action understanding as well as language evolution, and specifically assessed its roles as the bridge from body language to fluent speeches. Then we discussed the speech defects of autism patients due to the disruption of MNS. Finally, given that MNS is plastic in adult brain, we proposed MNS targeted therapy provides an efficient rehabilitation approach for brain damages conditions as well as autism patients.

  19. Studying the Behaviour of Model of Mirror Neuron System in Case of Autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shikha Anirban

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Several experiment done by the researchers conducted that autism is caused by the dysfunctional mirror neuron system and the dysfunctions of mirror neuron system is proportional to the symptom severity of autism. In the present work those experiments were studied as well as studying a model of mirror neuron system called MNS2 developed by a research group. This research examined the behavior of the model in case of autism and compared the result with those studies conducting dysfunctions of mirror neuron system in autism. To perform this, a neural network employing the model was developed which recognized the three types of grasping (faster, normal and slower. The network was implemented with back propagation through time learning algorithm. The whole grasping process was divided into 30 time steps and different hand and object states at each time step was used as the input of the network. Normally the network successfully recognized all of the three types of grasps. The network required more times as the number of inactive neurons increased. And in case of maximum inactive neurons of the mirror neuron system the network became unable to recognize the types of grasp. As the time to recognize the types of grasp is proportional to the number of inactive neurons, the experiment result supports the hypothesis that dysfunctions of MNS is proportional to the symptom severity of autism. Keywords— Autism, MNS, mirror neuron, neural network, BPTT

  20. Morphological differences in the mirror neuron system in Williams syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Rowena; Brown, Timothy T; Erhart, Matthew; Järvinen, Anna M; Korenberg, Julie R; Bellugi, Ursula; Halgren, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Williams syndrome (WS) is a genetic condition characterized by an overly gregarious personality, including high empathetic concern for others. Although seemingly disparate from the profile of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), both are associated with deficits in social communication/cognition. Notably, the mirror neuron system (MNS) has been implicated in social dysfunction for ASD; yet, the integrity of this network and its association with social functioning in WS remains unknown. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods were used to examine the structural integrity of the MNS of adults with WS versus typically developing (TD) individuals. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a tool typically used to screen for social features of ASD, was also employed to assess the relationships between social functioning with the MNS morphology in WS participants. WS individuals showed reduced cortical surface area of MNS substrates yet relatively preserved cortical thickness as compared to TD adults. Increased cortical thickness of the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) was associated with increased deficits in social communication, social awareness, social cognition, and autistic mannerisms. However, social motivation was not related to anatomical features of the MNS. Our findings indicate that social deficits typical to both ASD and WS may be attributed to an aberrant MNS, whereas the unusual social drive marked in WS is subserved by substrates distinct from this network.

  1. Mirror neuron system and observational learning: behavioral and neurophysiological evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lago-Rodriguez, Angel; Lopez-Alonso, Virginia; Fernández-del-Olmo, Miguel

    2013-07-01

    Three experiments were performed to study observational learning using behavioral, perceptual, and neurophysiological data. Experiment 1 investigated whether observing an execution model, during physical practice of a transitive task that only presented one execution strategy, led to performance improvements compared with physical practice alone. Experiment 2 investigated whether performing an observational learning protocol improves subjects' action perception. In experiment 3 we evaluated whether the type of practice performed determined the activation of the Mirror Neuron System during action observation. Results showed that, compared with physical practice, observing an execution model during a task that only showed one execution strategy does not provide behavioral benefits. However, an observational learning protocol allows subjects to predict more precisely the outcome of the learned task. Finally, intersperse observation of an execution model with physical practice results in changes of primary motor cortex activity during the observation of the motor pattern previously practiced, whereas modulations in the connectivity between primary and non primary motor areas (PMv-M1; PPC-M1) were not affected by the practice protocol performed by the observer. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Associative (not Hebbian) learning and the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, Richard P; Cook, Richard; Dickinson, Anthony; Heyes, Cecilia M

    2013-04-12

    The associative sequence learning (ASL) hypothesis suggests that sensorimotor experience plays an inductive role in the development of the mirror neuron system, and that it can play this crucial role because its effects are mediated by learning that is sensitive to both contingency and contiguity. The Hebbian hypothesis proposes that sensorimotor experience plays a facilitative role, and that its effects are mediated by learning that is sensitive only to contiguity. We tested the associative and Hebbian accounts by computational modelling of automatic imitation data indicating that MNS responsivity is reduced more by contingent and signalled than by non-contingent sensorimotor training (Cook et al. [7]). Supporting the associative account, we found that the reduction in automatic imitation could be reproduced by an existing interactive activation model of imitative compatibility when augmented with Rescorla-Wagner learning, but not with Hebbian or quasi-Hebbian learning. The work argues for an associative, but against a Hebbian, account of the effect of sensorimotor training on automatic imitation. We argue, by extension, that associative learning is potentially sufficient for MNS development. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. [Empathy and mirror neurons. A view on contemporary neuropsychological empathy research].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Häusser, Leonard F

    2012-01-01

    Neurons firing both to specific actions performed by self and matching actions performed by others are classified as mirror neurons. Since its discovery in 1991, this phenomenon has been surveyed in the field of motor and sensorimotor function and incipiently in the field of language and emotions. The research group of Giacomo Rizzolatti assumes that mirror neurons form the biological basis of compassion and thereby of affective empathic experience. The research regarding mirror neurons is yet in early stages and further research is required to specify mirror neuron systems. In view of empathy it is the insula which is of central importance for the recognition of disgust. The discovery of mirror neurons allows a comprehension of empathy as an immediate and compassionate partaking of a response, enabling an understanding of the other persons feeling. At the same time, the resonating affect remains allocated to the other person, distinguishing this comprehensive process from a mere emotional contagion. At present, the phenomenon of mirror neurons is gaining clinical relevance in the field of autism spectrum disorders and apoplexia. One's own ability for empathy as well as promoting empathetic abilities of others is of central importance for the clinical praxis, in particular concerning the treatment of children and adolescents.

  4. The mirror-neuron system and observational learning: Implications for the effectiveness of dynamic visualizations.

    OpenAIRE

    Van Gog, Tamara; Paas, Fred; Marcus, Nadine; Ayres, Paul; Sweller, John

    2009-01-01

    Van Gog, T., Paas, F., Marcus, N., Ayres, P., & Sweller, J. (2009). The mirror-neuron system and observational learning: Implications for the effectiveness of dynamic visualizations. Educational Psychology Review, 21, 21-30.

  5. Mirror neuron activity associated with social impairments but not age in autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enticott, Peter G; Kennedy, Hayley A; Rinehart, Nicole J; Tonge, Bruce J; Bradshaw, John L; Taffe, John R; Daskalakis, Zafiris J; Fitzgerald, Paul B

    2012-03-01

    The neurobiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not particularly well understood, and biomedical treatment approaches are therefore extremely limited. A prominent explanatory model suggests that social-relating symptoms may arise from dysfunction within the mirror neuron system, while a recent neuroimaging study suggests that these impairments in ASD might reduce with age. Participants with autism spectrum disorder (i.e., DSM-IV autistic disorder or Asperger's disorder) (n = 34) and matched control subjects (n = 36) completed a transcranial magnetic stimulation study in which corticospinal excitability was assessed during the observation of hand gestures. Regression analyses revealed that the ASD group presented with significantly reduced corticospinal excitability during the observation of a transitive hand gesture (relative to observation of a static hand) (p mirror neuron system activity within ventral premotor cortex/inferior frontal gyrus. Among the ASD group, there was also a negative association between putative mirror neuron activity and self-reported social-relating impairments, but there was no indication that mirror neuron impairments in ASD decrease with age. These data provide general support for the mirror neuron hypothesis of autism; researchers now must clarify the precise functional significance of mirror neurons to truly understand their role in the neuropathophysiology of ASD and to determine whether they should be used as targets for the treatment of ASD.

  6. Sensorimotor cortex as a critical component of an 'extended' mirror neuron system: Does it solve the development, correspondence, and control problems in mirroring?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pineda Jaime A

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract A core assumption of how humans understand and infer the intentions and beliefs of others is the existence of a functional self-other distinction. At least two neural systems have been proposed to manage such a critical distinction. One system, part of the classic motor system, is specialized for the preparation and execution of motor actions that are self realized and voluntary, while the other appears primarily involved in capturing and understanding the actions of non-self or others. The latter system, of which the mirror neuron system is part, is the canonical action 'resonance' system in the brain that has evolved to share many of the same circuits involved in motor control. Mirroring or 'shared circuit systems' are assumed to be involved in resonating, imitating, and/or simulating the actions of others. A number of researchers have proposed that shared representations of motor actions may form a foundational cornerstone for higher order social processes, such as motor learning, action understanding, imitation, perspective taking, understanding facial emotions, and empathy. However, mirroring systems that evolve from the classic motor system present at least three problems: a development, a correspondence, and a control problem. Developmentally, the question is how does a mirroring system arise? How do humans acquire the ability to simulate through mapping observed onto executed actions? Are mirror neurons innate and therefore genetically programmed? To what extent is learning necessary? In terms of the correspondence problem, the question is how does the observer agent know what the observed agent's resonance activation pattern is? How does the matching of motor activation patterns occur? Finally, in terms of the control problem, the issue is how to efficiently control a mirroring system when it is turned on automatically through observation? Or, as others have stated the problem more succinctly: "Why don't we imitate all the time

  7. Sensorimotor cortex as a critical component of an 'extended' mirror neuron system: Does it solve the development, correspondence, and control problems in mirroring?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda, Jaime A

    2008-01-01

    A core assumption of how humans understand and infer the intentions and beliefs of others is the existence of a functional self-other distinction. At least two neural systems have been proposed to manage such a critical distinction. One system, part of the classic motor system, is specialized for the preparation and execution of motor actions that are self realized and voluntary, while the other appears primarily involved in capturing and understanding the actions of non-self or others. The latter system, of which the mirror neuron system is part, is the canonical action 'resonance' system in the brain that has evolved to share many of the same circuits involved in motor control. Mirroring or 'shared circuit systems' are assumed to be involved in resonating, imitating, and/or simulating the actions of others. A number of researchers have proposed that shared representations of motor actions may form a foundational cornerstone for higher order social processes, such as motor learning, action understanding, imitation, perspective taking, understanding facial emotions, and empathy. However, mirroring systems that evolve from the classic motor system present at least three problems: a development, a correspondence, and a control problem. Developmentally, the question is how does a mirroring system arise? How do humans acquire the ability to simulate through mapping observed onto executed actions? Are mirror neurons innate and therefore genetically programmed? To what extent is learning necessary? In terms of the correspondence problem, the question is how does the observer agent know what the observed agent's resonance activation pattern is? How does the matching of motor activation patterns occur? Finally, in terms of the control problem, the issue is how to efficiently control a mirroring system when it is turned on automatically through observation? Or, as others have stated the problem more succinctly: "Why don't we imitate all the time?" In this review, we argue

  8. Activity-Dependent Neurorehabilitation Beyond Physical Trainings: "Mental Exercise" Through Mirror Neuron Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Ti-Fei; Chen, Wei; Shan, Chunlei; Rocha, Nuno; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Paes, Flávia; de Sá, Alberto Souza; Machado, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    The activity dependent brain repair mechanism has been widely adopted in many types of neurorehabilitation. The activity leads to target specific and non-specific beneficial effects in different brain regions, such as the releasing of neurotrophic factors, modulation of the cytokines and generation of new neurons in adult hood. However physical exercise program clinically are limited to some of the patients with preserved motor functions; while many patients suffered from paralysis cannot make such efforts. Here the authors proposed the employment of mirror neurons system in promoting brain rehabilitation by "observation based stimulation". Mirror neuron system has been considered as an important basis for action understanding and learning by mimicking others. During the action observation, mirror neuron system mediated the direct activation of the same group of motor neurons that are responsible for the observed action. The effect is clear, direct, specific and evolutionarily conserved. Moreover, recent evidences hinted for the beneficial effects on stroke patients after mirror neuron system activation therapy. Finally some music-relevant therapies were proposed to be related with mirror neuron system.

  9. Granularity of the mirror neuron system: A complex endeavor. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by A. D'Ausilio et al.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinnen, S. P.; Alaerts, K.

    2015-03-01

    The review paper by D'Ausilio and coauthors [3] is very timely and addresses one of the long-standing issues with respect to the coding features of mirror neurons. Through the history of mirror neuron research, there has been some controversy with respect to the level of granularity of the mirror neuron system, as studied in animal and human systems. While some researchers have suggested that abstract (high level) features of movement are coded, others have claimed evidence for more muscle specific (low level) coding properties (for an example, see [1,2]). D'Ausilio et al. [3] take a strong position in their review, suggesting a convergence between basic mechanisms of movement control and the mirror neuron system. Their suggestion is inspired by Bernstein's influential work on the so-called degrees of freedom problem. Even though a goal can in principle be reached in an infinite number of ways, consistent and stereotypical patterns of kinematics and muscle activation are often observed [4]. This has led to the notion of movement synergies as the basic building blocks for movement control. Even though it is essentially possible to contract isolated muscles or even motor units, Bernstein suggested that control of complex movement relies on movement synergies or coordinative structures, referring to a group of muscles that behave as a functional unit. This reduces the computational demands of the central nervous system considerably by assigning more responsibility to the lower levels of the movement control system. Bernstein's approach has inspired the dynamical systems perspective that has focused on a better understanding of complex biological systems such as interlimb coordination in humans [8]. For example, the upper limbs behave as a coordinative structure whereby simultaneous activation of the homologous muscle groups constitutes the default or preferred coordination mode that has to be defied when alternative patterns of coordination need to be performed or

  10. Tactile interactions activate mirror system regions in the human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKyton, Ayelet

    2011-12-07

    Communicating with others is essential for the development of a society. Although types of communications, such as language and visual gestures, were thoroughly investigated in the past, little research has been done to investigate interactions through touch. To study this we used functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twelve participants were scanned with their eyes covered while stroking four kinds of items, representing different somatosensory stimuli: a human hand, a realistic rubber hand, an object, and a simple texture. Although the human and the rubber hands had the same overall shape, in three regions there was significantly more blood oxygen level dependent activation when touching the real hand: the anterior medial prefrontal cortex, the ventral premotor cortex, and the posterior superior temporal cortex. The last two regions are part of the mirror network and are known to be activated through visual interactions such as gestures. Interestingly, in this study, these areas were activated through a somatosensory interaction. A control experiment was performed to eliminate confounds of temperature, texture, and imagery, suggesting that the activation in these areas was correlated with the touch of a human hand. These results reveal the neuronal network working behind human tactile interactions, and highlight the participation of the mirror system in such functions.

  11. Hebbian learning and predictive mirror neurons for actions, sensations and emotions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria

    2014-01-01

    Spike-timing-dependent plasticity is considered the neurophysiological basis of Hebbian learning and has been shown to be sensitive to both contingency and contiguity between pre- and postsynaptic activity. Here, we will examine how applying this Hebbian learning rule to a system of interconnected neurons in the presence of direct or indirect re-afference (e.g. seeing/hearing one's own actions) predicts the emergence of mirror neurons with predictive properties. In this framework, we analyse how mirror neurons become a dynamic system that performs active inferences about the actions of others and allows joint actions despite sensorimotor delays. We explore how this system performs a projection of the self onto others, with egocentric biases to contribute to mind-reading. Finally, we argue that Hebbian learning predicts mirror-like neurons for sensations and emotions and review evidence for the presence of such vicarious activations outside the motor system.

  12. Responses of mirror neurons in area F5 to hand and tool grasping observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochat, Magali J.; Caruana, Fausto; Jezzini, Ahmad; Escola, Ludovic; Intskirveli, Irakli; Grammont, Franck; Gallese, Vittorio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2010-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a distinct class of neurons that discharge both during the execution of a motor act and during observation of the same or similar motor act performed by another individual. However, the extent to which mirror neurons coding a motor act with a specific goal (e.g., grasping) might also respond to the observation of a motor act having the same goal, but achieved with artificial effectors, is not yet established. In the present study, we addressed this issue by recording mirror neurons from the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) of two monkeys trained to grasp objects with pliers. Neuron activity was recorded during the observation and execution of grasping performed with the hand, with pliers and during observation of an experimenter spearing food with a stick. The results showed that virtually all neurons responding to the observation of hand grasping also responded to the observation of grasping with pliers and, many of them to the observation of spearing with a stick. However, the intensity and pattern of the response differed among conditions. Hand grasping observation determined the earliest and the strongest discharge, while pliers grasping and spearing observation triggered weaker responses at longer latencies. We conclude that F5 grasping mirror neurons respond to the observation of a family of stimuli leading to the same goal. However, the response pattern depends upon the similarity between the observed motor act and the one executed by the hand, the natural motor template. PMID:20577726

  13. A Hebbian learning rule gives rise to mirror neurons and links them to control theoretic inverse models

    OpenAIRE

    Hanuschkin, A.; Ganguli, S.; Hahnloser, R. H. R.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are neurons whose responses to the observation of a motor act resemble responses measured during production of that act. Computationally, mirror neurons have been viewed as evidence for the existence of internal inverse models. Such models, rooted within control theory, map-desired sensory targets onto the motor commands required to generate those targets. To jointly explore both the formation of mirrored responses and their functional contribution to inverse models, we develop...

  14. Universal Connection through Art: Role of Mirror Neurons in Art Production and Reception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piechowski-Jozwiak, Bartlomiej; Boller, François; Bogousslavsky, Julien

    2017-05-05

    Art is defined as expression or application of human creative skill and imagination producing works to be appreciated primarily for their aesthetic value or emotional power. This definition encompasses two very important elements-the creation and reception of art-and by doing so it establishes a link, a dialogue between the artist and spectator. From the evolutionary biological perspective, activities need to have an immediate or remote effect on the population through improving survival, gene selection, and environmental adjustment, and this includes art. It may serve as a universal means of communication bypassing time, cultural, ethnic, and social differences. The neurological mechanisms of both art production and appreciation are researched by neuroscientists and discussed both in terms of healthy brain biology and complex neuronal networking perspectives. In this paper, we describe folk art and the issue of symbolic archetypes in psychoanalytic thought as well as offer neuronal mechanisms for art by emphasizing mirror/neurons and the role they play in it.

  15. Autoradiographic assessment of [3H]proline uptake by neurons of epileptogenic mirror focus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khudoerkov, R.M.

    1985-01-01

    Epileptogenic mirror focus was produced in the left parietal area of the rat brain by cobalt implantation into the contralateral hemisphere. On the 14th day after cobalt implantation [ 3 H]proline was injected into both experimental and control rats (without cobalt). The incorporation of [ 3 H]proline in neurons of layers III and V of the parietal brain cortex and neurons of the nucleus lateralis thalami was investigated by the autoradiography technique. A statistically reliable increase in [ 3 H]proline uptake was observed in neurons of layer III (31%) and in neurons of layer V (41%) of the epileptogenic mirror focus. The other neuronal types revealed no reliable changes. The morphological and functional aspects of the altered protein metabolism during epileptogenesis are discussed. (author)

  16. The interpretation of mu suppression as an index of mirror neuron activity: past, present and future.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobson, Hannah M; Bishop, Dorothy V M

    2017-03-01

    Mu suppression studies have been widely used to infer the activity of the human mirror neuron system (MNS) in a number of processes, ranging from action understanding, language, empathy and the development of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Although mu suppression is enjoying a resurgence of interest, it has a long history. This review aimed to revisit mu's past, and examine its recent use to investigate MNS involvement in language, social processes and ASDs. Mu suppression studies have largely failed to produce robust evidence for the role of the MNS in these domains. Several key potential shortcomings with the use and interpretation of mu suppression, documented in the older literature and highlighted by more recent reports, are explored here.

  17. The function of mirror neurons in the learning process

    OpenAIRE

    Mara Daniel

    2017-01-01

    In the last years, Neurosciences have developed very much, being elaborated many important theories scientific research in the field. The main goal of neuroscience is to understand how groups of neurons interact to create the behavior. Neuroscientists studying the action of molecules, genes and cells. It also explores the complex interactions involved in motion perception, thoughts, emotions and learning. Brick fundamental nervous system is the nerve cell, neuron. Neurons exchange information...

  18. From music making to speaking: engaging the mirror neuron system in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Catherine Y; Demaine, Krystal; Zipse, Lauryn; Norton, Andrea; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-05-31

    Individuals with autism show impairments in emotional tuning, social interactions and communication. These are functions that have been attributed to the putative human mirror neuron system (MNS), which contains neurons that respond to the actions of self and others. It has been proposed that a dysfunction of that system underlies some of the characteristics of autism. Here, we review behavioral and imaging studies that implicate the MNS (or a brain network with similar functions) in sensory-motor integration and speech representation, and review data supporting the hypothesis that MNS activity could be abnormal in autism. In addition, we propose that an intervention designed to engage brain regions that overlap with the MNS may have significant clinical potential. We argue that this engagement could be achieved through forms of music making. Music making with others (e.g., playing instruments or singing) is a multi-modal activity that has been shown to engage brain regions that largely overlap with the human MNS. Furthermore, many children with autism thoroughly enjoy participating in musical activities. Such activities may enhance their ability to focus and interact with others, thereby fostering the development of communication and social skills. Thus, interventions incorporating methods of music making may offer a promising approach for facilitating expressive language in otherwise nonverbal children with autism. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Hebbian learning and predictive mirror neurons for actions, sensations and emotions

    OpenAIRE

    Keysers, C.; Gazzola, Valeria

    2014-01-01

    Spike-timing-dependent plasticity is considered the neurophysiological basis of Hebbian learning and has been shown to be sensitive to both contingency and contiguity between pre- and postsynaptic activity. Here, we will examine how applying this Hebbian learning rule to a system of interconnected neurons in the presence of direct or indirect re-afference (e.g. seeing/hearing one's own actions) predicts the emergence of mirror neurons with predictive properties. In this framework, we analyse ...

  20. View-Invariant Visuomotor Processing in Computational Mirror Neuron System for Humanoid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawood, Farhan; Loo, Chu Kiong

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera) in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot. PMID:26998923

  1. View-Invariant Visuomotor Processing in Computational Mirror Neuron System for Humanoid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawood, Farhan; Loo, Chu Kiong

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera) in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.

  2. View-Invariant Visuomotor Processing in Computational Mirror Neuron System for Humanoid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farhan Dawood

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are visuo-motor neurons found in primates and thought to be significant for imitation learning. The proposition that mirror neurons result from associative learning while the neonate observes his own actions has received noteworthy empirical support. Self-exploration is regarded as a procedure by which infants become perceptually observant to their own body and engage in a perceptual communication with themselves. We assume that crude sense of self is the prerequisite for social interaction. However, the contribution of mirror neurons in encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen have not been addressed in relation to humanoid robots. In this paper we present a computational model for development of mirror neuron system for humanoid based on the hypothesis that infants acquire MNS by sensorimotor associative learning through self-exploration capable of sustaining early imitation skills. The purpose of our proposed model is to take into account the view-dependency of neurons as a probable outcome of the associative connectivity between motor and visual information. In our experiment, a humanoid robot stands in front of a mirror (represented through self-image using camera in order to obtain the associative relationship between his own motor generated actions and his own visual body-image. In the learning process the network first forms mapping from each motor representation onto visual representation from the self-exploratory perspective. Afterwards, the representation of the motor commands is learned to be associated with all possible visual perspectives. The complete architecture was evaluated by simulation experiments performed on DARwIn-OP humanoid robot.

  3. Brain regions with mirror properties: a meta-analysis of 125 human fMRI studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molenberghs, Pascal; Cunnington, Ross; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-01-01

    Mirror neurons in macaque area F5 fire when an animal performs an action, such as a mouth or limb movement, and also when the animal passively observes an identical or similar action performed by another individual. Brain-imaging studies in humans conducted over the last 20 years have repeatedly attempted to reveal analogous brain regions with mirror properties in humans, with broad and often speculative claims about their functional significance across a range of cognitive domains, from language to social cognition. Despite such concerted efforts, the likely neural substrates of these mirror regions have remained controversial, and indeed the very existence of a distinct subcategory of human neurons with mirroring properties has been questioned. Here we used activation likelihood estimation (ALE), to provide a quantitative index of the consistency of patterns of fMRI activity measured in human studies of action observation and action execution. From an initial sample of more than 300 published works, data from 125 papers met our strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. The analysis revealed 14 separate clusters in which activation has been consistently attributed to brain regions with mirror properties, encompassing 9 different Brodmann areas. These clusters were located in areas purported to show mirroring properties in the macaque, such as the inferior parietal lobule, inferior frontal gyrus and the adjacent ventral premotor cortex, but surprisingly also in regions such as the primary visual cortex, cerebellum and parts of the limbic system. Our findings suggest a core network of human brain regions that possess mirror properties associated with action observation and execution, with additional areas recruited during tasks that engage non-motor functions, such as auditory, somatosensory and affective components. Crown Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Spatio-temporal dynamics of the mirror neuron system during social intentions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cacioppo, Stephanie; Bolmont, Mylene; Monteleone, George

    2017-10-27

    Previous research has shown that specific goals and intentions influence a person's allocation of social attention. From a neural viewpoint, a growing body of evidence suggests that the inferior fronto-parietal network, including the mirror neuron system, plays a role in the planning and the understanding of motor intentions. However, it is unclear whether and when the mirror neuron system plays a role in social intentions. Combining a behavioral task with electrical neuroimaging in 22 healthy male participants, the current study investigates whether the temporal brain dynamic of the mirror neuron system differs during two types of social intentions i.e., lust vs. romantic intentions. Our results showed that 62% of the stimuli evoking lustful intentions also evoked romantic intentions, and both intentions were sustained by similar activations of the inferior frontal gyrus and the inferior parietal lobule/angular gyrus for the first 432 ms after stimulus onset. Intentions to not love or not lust, on the other hand, were characterized by earlier differential activations of the inferior fronto-parietal network i.e., as early as 244 ms after stimulus onset. These results suggest that the mirror neuron system may not only code for the motor correlates of intentions, but also for the social meaning of intentions and its valence at both early/automatic and later/more elaborative stages of information processing.

  5. Leaping from brain to mind: a critique of mirror neuron explanations of countertransference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivona, Jeanine M

    2009-06-01

    In the current vigorous debate over the value of neuroscience to psychoanalysis, the epistemological status of the links between the data of brain research and the constructs of interest to psychoanalysts has rarely been examined. An inspection of recent discussions of mirror neuron research, particularly regarding countertransference, reveals gaps between psychoanalytic processes and the available brain activation data, and allows the evaluation of evidence for three implicit assumptions frequently made to bridge these gaps: (1) there is a straightforward correspondence between observed brain activity and mental activity; (2) similarity of localized brain activity across individuals signifies a shared interpersonal experience; (3) an automatic brain mechanism enables direct interpersonal sharing of experiences in the absence of inference and language. Examination of mirror neuron research findings reveals that these assumptions are either untested or questionable. Moreover, within neuroscience there are competing interpretations of mirror neuron findings, with diverse implications for psychoanalysis. The present state of mirror neuron research may offer us new hypotheses or metaphors, but does not provide empirical validation of the proposed models. More generally, as we attempt to learn from research findings generated outside psychoanalysis, we must strive to think scientifically, by minding the difference between data and interpretation.

  6. Differential Patterns of Dysconnectivity in Mirror Neuron and Mentalizing Networks in Schizophrenia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schilbach, Leonhard; Derntl, Birgit; Aleman, Andre; Caspers, Svenja; Clos, Mareike; Diederen, Kelly M J; Gruber, Oliver; Kogler, Lydia; Liemburg, Edith J; Sommer, Iris E; Müller, Veronika I; Cieslik, Edna C; Eickhoff, Simon B

    Impairments of social cognition are well documented in patients with schizophrenia (SCZ), but the neural basis remains poorly understood. In light of evidence that suggests that the "mirror neuron system" (MNS) and the "mentalizing network" (MENT) are key substrates of intersubjectivity and joint

  7. Reconciling genetic evolution and the associative learning account of mirror neurons through data-acquisition mechanisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lotem, Arnon; Kolodny, Oren

    2014-04-01

    An associative learning account of mirror neurons should not preclude genetic evolution of its underlying mechanisms. On the contrary, an associative learning framework for cognitive development should seek heritable variation in the learning rules and in the data-acquisition mechanisms that construct associative networks, demonstrating how small genetic modifications of associative elements can give rise to the evolution of complex cognition.

  8. Facial expressions : What the mirror neuron system can and cannot tell us

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Gaag, Christiaan; Minderaa, Ruud B.; Keysers, Christian

    2007-01-01

    Facial expressions contain both motor and emotional components. The inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and posterior parietal cortex have been considered to compose a mirror neuron system (MNS) for the motor components of facial expressions, while the amygdala and insula may represent an "additional" MNS

  9. Neural mechanisms of vocal imitation: The role of sleep replay in shaping mirror neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giret, Nicolas; Edeline, Jean-Marc; Del Negro, Catherine

    2017-06-01

    Learning by imitation involves not only perceiving another individual's action to copy it, but also the formation of a memory trace in order to gradually establish a correspondence between the sensory and motor codes, which represent this action through sensorimotor experience. Memory and sensorimotor processes are closely intertwined. Mirror neurons, which fire both when the same action is performed or perceived, have received considerable attention in the context of imitation. An influential view of memory processes considers that the consolidation of newly acquired information or skills involves an active offline reprocessing of memories during sleep within the neuronal networks that were initially used for encoding. Here, we review the recent advances in the field of mirror neurons and offline processes in the songbird. We further propose a theoretical framework that could establish the neurobiological foundations of sensorimotor learning by imitation. We propose that the reactivation of neuronal assemblies during offline periods contributes to the integration of sensory feedback information and the establishment of sensorimotor mirroring activity at the neuronal level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Empathy and the somatotopic auditory mirror system in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gazzola, Valeria; Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa; Keysers, Christian

    2006-01-01

    How do we understand the actions of other individuals if we can only hear them? Auditory mirror neurons respond both while monkeys perform hand or mouth actions and while they listen to sounds of similar actions [1, 2]. This system might be critical for auditory action understanding and language

  11. Atypical activation of the mirror neuron system during perception of hand motion in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martineau, Joëlle; Andersson, Frédéric; Barthélémy, Catherine; Cottier, Jean-Philippe; Destrieux, Christophe

    2010-03-12

    Disorders in the autism spectrum are characterized by deficits in social and communication skills such as imitation, pragmatic language, theory of mind, and empathy. The discovery of the "mirror neuron system" (MNS) in macaque monkeys may provide a basis from which to explain some of the behavioral dysfunctions seen in individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).We studied seven right-handed high-functioning male autistic and eight normal subjects (TD group) using functional magnetic resonance imaging during observation and execution of hand movements compared to a control condition (rest). The between group comparison of the contrast [observation versus rest] provided evidence of a bilateral greater activation of inferior frontal gyrus during observation of human motion than during rest for the ASD group than for the TD group. This hyperactivation of the pars opercularis (belonging to the MNS) during observation of human motion in autistic subjects provides strong support for the hypothesis of atypical activity of the MNS that may be at the core of the social deficits in autism. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Self-other relations in social development and autism: multiple roles for mirror neurons and other brain bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Justin H G

    2008-04-01

    Mirror neuron system dysfunction may underlie a self-other matching impairment, which has previously been suggested to account for autism. Embodied Cognition Theory, which proposes that action provides a foundation for cognition has lent further credence to these ideas. The hypotheses of a self-other matching deficit and impaired mirror neuron function in autism have now been well supported by studies employing a range of methodologies. However, underlying mechanisms require further exploration to explain how mirror neurons may be involved in attentional and mentalizing processes. Impairments in self-other matching and mirror neuron function are not necessarily inextricably linked and it seems possible that different sub-populations of mirror neurons, located in several regions, contribute differentially to social cognitive functions. It is hypothesized that mirror neuron coding for action-direction may be required for developing attentional sensitivity to self-directed actions, and consequently for person-oriented, stimulus-driven attention. Mirror neuron networks may vary for different types of social learning such as "automatic" imitation and imitation learning. Imitation learning may be more reliant on self-other comparison processes (based on mirror neurons) that identify differences as well as similarities between actions. Differential connectivity with the amygdala-orbitofrontal system may also be important. This could have implications for developing "theory of mind," with intentional self-other comparison being relevant to meta-representational abilities, and "automatic" imitation being more relevant to empathy. While it seems clear that autism is associated with impaired development of embodied aspects of cognition, the ways that mirror neurons contribute to these brain-behavior links are likely to be complex.

  13. Olfactory bulb dysgenesis, mirror neuron system dysfunction, and autonomic dysregulation as the neural basis for autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brang, David; Ramachandran, V S

    2010-05-01

    Autism is a disorder characterized by social withdrawal, impoverished language and empathy, and a profound inability to adopt another's viewpoint - a failure to construct a "theory of mind" for interpreting another person's thoughts and intentions. We previously showed that these symptoms might be explained, in part, by a paucity of mirror neurons. Prompted by an MRI report of an individual with autism, we now suggest that there may be, in addition, a congenital aplasia/dysplasia of the olfactory bulbs with consequent reduction of vasopressin and oxytocin receptor binding. There may also be sub-clinical temporal lobe epilepsy affecting the recently discovered third visual system that is rich in "empathy" related mirror neurons (MNS) and projects (via the TOP junction - just below the inferior parietal lobule) to limbic structures that regulate autonomic outflow. This causes deranged autonomic feedback, resulting in additional deficiencies in MNS with loss of emotional empathy and introspection.

  14. Imagining and Imaging the Social Brain: The Case of Mirror Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanzoni, Susan

    In a contemporary setting in which all things "neuro" have great cultural sway, an analysis of the ways in which neuroscience is indebted to the methods and findings of the social sciences has received less attention. Indeed, in the new specialization of social neuroscience, neuroscientists now collaborate with contemporary psychologists and invoke historical psychological theories to help theorize empathy and social understanding. This article examines the overlap between psychological frameworks of social emotion and neuroscience in the case of mirror neurons, discovered in the 1990s. Some neuroscientists purport that mirror neurons underlie the social behaviours of imitation and empathy, and have found support for this view of theories of simulation and embodied cognition. They have also invoked pragmatic and phenomenological approaches to mind and behaviour dating back to the early 20 th century. Neuroscientists have thus imported, adapted, and interpreted psychological models to help define social understanding, empathy, and imitation in many imaging studies.

  15. Autism, emotion recognition and the mirror neuron system: the case of music.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar-Szakacs, Istvan; Wang, Martha J; Laugeson, Elizabeth A; Overy, Katie; Wu, Wai-Ling; Piggot, Judith

    2009-11-16

    Understanding emotions is fundamental to our ability to navigate and thrive in a complex world of human social interaction. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are known to experience difficulties with the communication and understanding of emotion, such as the nonverbal expression of emotion and the interpretation of emotions of others from facial expressions and body language. These deficits often lead to loneliness and isolation from peers, and social withdrawal from the environment in general. In the case of music however, there is evidence to suggest that individuals with ASD do not have difficulties recognizing simple emotions. In addition, individuals with ASD have been found to show normal and even superior abilities with specific aspects of music processing, and often show strong preferences towards music. It is possible these varying abilities with different types of expressive communication may be related to a neural system referred to as the mirror neuron system (MNS), which has been proposed as deficient in individuals with autism. Music's power to stimulate emotions and intensify our social experiences might activate the MNS in individuals with ASD, and thus provide a neural foundation for music as an effective therapeutic tool. In this review, we present literature on the ontogeny of emotion processing in typical development and in individuals with ASD, with a focus on the case of music.

  16. Cortical Motor Organization, Mirror Neurons, and Embodied Language: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leonardo Fogassi

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The recent conceptual achievement that the cortical motor system plays a crucial role not only in motor control but also in higher cognitive functions has given a new perspective also on the involvement of motor cortex in language perception and production. In particular, there is evidence that the matching mechanism based on mirror neurons can be involved in both pho-nological recognition and retrieval of meaning, especially for action word categories, thus suggesting a contribution of an action–perception mechanism to the automatic comprehension of semantics. Furthermore, a compari-son of the anatomo-functional properties of the frontal motor cortex among different primates and their communicative modalities indicates that the combination of the voluntary control of the gestural communication systems and of the vocal apparatus has been the critical factor in the transition from a gestural-based communication into a predominantly speech-based system. Finally, considering that the monkey and human premotor-parietal motor system, plus the prefrontal cortex, are involved in the sequential motor organization of actions and in the hierarchical combination of motor elements, we propose that elements of such motor organization have been exploited in other domains, including some aspects of the syntactic structure of language.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Autism and the mirror neuron system: Insights from learning and teaching

    OpenAIRE

    Vivanti, G; Rogers, SJ

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with autism have difficulties in social learning domains which typically involve mirror neuron system (MNS) activation. However, the precise role of the MNS in the development of autism and its relevance to treatment remain unclear. In this paper, we argue that three distinct aspects of social learning are critical for advancing knowledge in this area: (i) the mechanisms that allow for the implicit mapping of and learning from others' behaviour, (ii) the motivation to attend to an...

  19. Mirror systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogassi, Leonardo; Ferrari, Pier Francesco

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a class of visuomotor neurons, discovered in the monkey premotor cortex and in an anatomically connected area of the inferior parietal lobule, that activate both during action execution and action observation. They constitute a circuit dedicated to match actions made by others with the internal motor representations of the observer. It has been proposed that this matching system enables individuals to understand others' behavior and motor intentions. Here we will describe the main features of mirror neurons in monkeys. Then we will present evidence of the presence of a mirror system in humans and of its involvement in several social-cognitive functions, such as imitation, intention, and emotion understanding. This system may have several implications at a cognitive level and could be linked to specific social deficits in humans such as autism. Recent investigations addressed the issue of the plasticity of the mirror neuron system in both monkeys and humans, suggesting also their possible use in rehabilitation. WIREs Cogn Sci 2011 2 22-38 DOI: 10.1002/wcs.89 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  20. Effect of Different Mental Imagery Speeds on the Motor Performance: Investigation of the Role of Mirror Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sajad Parsaei

    2017-09-01

    Conclusion: The results of this study showed that mirror neurons within the premotor cortex are an important neural mechanism in the brain activity pattern, which causes the effectiveness of imagery in the improvement of motor skills.  

  1. EEG study of the mirror neuron system in children with high functioning autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymaekers, Ruth; Wiersema, Jan Roelf; Roeyers, Herbert

    2009-12-22

    Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are characterised by an impaired imitation, thought to be critical for early affective, social and communicative development. One neurological system proposed to underlie this function is the mirror neuron system (MNS) and previous research has suggested a dysfunctional MNS in ASD. The EEG mu frequency, more precisely the reduction of the mu power, is considered to be an index for mirror neuron functioning. In this work, EEG registrations are used to evaluate the mirror neuron functioning of twenty children with high functioning autism (HFA) between 8 and 13 years. Their mu suppression to self-executed and observed movement is compared to typically developing peers and related to age, intelligence and symptom severity. Both groups show significant mu suppression to both self and observed hand movements. No group differences are found in either condition. These results do not support the hypothesis that HFA is associated with a dysfunctional MNS. The discrepancy with previous research is discussed in light of the heterogeneity of the ASD population.

  2. Reflecting on the mirror neuron system in autism: a systematic review of current theories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2013-01-01

    There is much interest in the claim that dysfunction of the mirror neuron system in individuals with autism spectrum condition causes difficulties in social interaction and communication. This paper systematically reviews all published studies using neuroscience methods (EEG/MEG/TMS/eyetracking/EMG/fMRI) to examine the integrity of the mirror system in autism. 25 suitable papers are reviewed. The review shows that current data are very mixed and that studies using weakly localised measures of the integrity of the mirror system are hard to interpret. The only well localised measure of mirror system function is fMRI. In fMRI studies, those using emotional stimuli have reported group differences, but studies using non-emotional hand action stimuli do not. Overall, there is little evidence for a global dysfunction of the mirror system in autism. Current data can be better understood under an alternative model in which social top-down response modulation is abnormal in autism. The implications of this model and future research directions are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Mirror Neuron System and Mentalizing System connect during online social interaction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperduti, Marco; Guionnet, Sophie; Fossati, Philippe; Nadel, Jacqueline

    2014-08-01

    Two sets of brain areas are repeatedly reported in neuroimaging studies on social cognition: the Mirror Neuron System and the Mentalizing System. The Mirror System is involved in goal understanding and has been associated with several emotional and cognitive functions central to social interaction, ranging from empathy to gestural communication and imitation. The Mentalizing System is recruited in tasks requiring cognitive processes such as self-reference and understanding of other's intentions. Although theoretical accounts for an interaction between the two systems have been proposed, little is known about their synergy during social exchanges. In order to explore this question, we have recorded brain activity by means of functional MRI during live social exchanges based on reciprocal imitation of hand gestures. Here, we investigate, using the method of psychophysiological interaction, the changes in functional connectivity of the Mirror System due to the conditions of interest (being imitated, imitating) compared with passive observation of hand gestures. We report a strong coupling between the Mirror System and the Mentalizing System during the imitative exchanges. Our findings suggest a complementary role of the two networks during social encounters. The Mirror System would engage in the preparation of own actions and the simulation of other's actions, while the Mentalizing System would engage in the anticipation of the other's intention and thus would participate to the co-regulation of reciprocal actions. Beyond a specific effect of imitation, the design used offers the opportunity to tackle the role of role-switching in an interpersonal account of social cognition.

  4. Mirror neuron activation of musicians and non-musicians in response to motion captured piano performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hou, Jiancheng; Rajmohan, Ravi; Fang, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Mirror neurons (MNs) activate when performing an action and when an observer witnesses the same action performed by another individual. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and presentation of motion captured piano performances were used to identify differences in MN activation...... pronounced in the “Enjoyment” mode. Our findings suggest that activation of MNs is not only initiated by the imagined action of an observed movement, but such activation is modulated by the level of musical expertise and knowledge of associated motor movements that the observer brings to the viewing...

  5. Mirror neurons, procedural learning, and the positive new experience: a developmental systems self psychology approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, N S; Gales, M; Shane, E; Shane, M

    2000-01-01

    In summary, we are impressed with the existence of a mirror neuron system in the prefrontal cortex that serves as part of a complex neural network, including afferent and efferent connections to the limbic system, in particular the amygdala, in addition to the premotor and motor cortex. We think it is possible to arrive at an integration that postulates the mirror neuron system and its many types of associated multimodal neurons as contributing significantly to implicit procedural learning, a process that underlies a range of complex nonconscious, unconscious, preconscious and conscious cognitive activities, from playing musical instruments to character formation and traumatic configurations. This type of brain circuitry may establish an external coherence with developmental systems self psychology which implies that positive new experience is meliorative and that the intentional revival of old-old traumatic relational configurations might enhance maladaptive procedural patterns that would lead to the opposite of the intended beneficial change. When analysts revive traumatic transference patterns for the purpose of clarification and interpretation, they may fail to appreciate that such traumatic transference patterns make interpretation ineffective because, as we have stated above, the patient lacks self-reflection under such traumatic conditions. The continued plasticity and immediacy of the mirror neuron system can contribute to positive new experiences that promote the formation of new, adaptive, implicit-procedural patterns. Perhaps this broadened repertoire in the patient of ways of understanding interrelational events through the psychoanalytic process allows the less adaptive patterns ultimately to become vestigial and the newer, more adaptive patterns to emerge as dominant. Finally, as we have stated, we believe that the intentional transferential revival of trauma (i.e., the old-old relational configuration) may not contribute to therapeutic benefit. In

  6. A developmental approach of imitation to study the emergence of mirror neurons in a sensory-motor controller

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gaussier Philippe

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons have often been considered as the explanation of how primates can imitate. In this paper, we show that a simple neural network architecture that learns visuo-motor associations can be enough to let low level imitation emerge without a priori mirror neurons. Adding sequence learning mechanisms and action inhibition allows to perform deferred imitation of gestures demonstrated visually or by body manipulation. With the building of a cognitive map giving the capability of learning plans, we can study in our model the emergence of both low level and high level resonances highlighted by Rizzolatti et al.

  7. Imitation and Action Understanding in Autistic Spectrum Disorders: How Valid Is the Hypothesis of a Deficit in the Mirror Neuron System?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Antonia F. de C.; Brindley, Rachel M.; Frith, Uta

    2007-01-01

    The motor mirror neuron system supports imitation and goal understanding in typical adults. Recently, it has been proposed that a deficit in this mirror neuron system might contribute to poor imitation performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and might be a cause of poor social abilities in these children. We aimed to test…

  8. A Hebbian learning rule gives rise to mirror neurons and links them to control theoretic inverse models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander eHanuschkin

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons are neurons whose responses to the observation of a motor act resemble responses measured during production of that act. Computationally, mirror neurons have been viewed as evidence for the existence of internal inverse models. Such models, rooted within control theory, map desired sensory targets onto the motor commands required to generate those targets. To jointly explore both the formation of mirrored responses and their functional contribution to inverse models, we develop a correlation-based theory of interactions between a sensory and a motor area. We show that a simple eligibility-weighted Hebbian learning rule, operating within a sensorimotor loop during motor explorations and stabilized by heterosynaptic competition, naturally gives rise to mirror neurons as well as control theoretic inverse models encoded in the synaptic weights from sensory to motor neurons. Crucially, we find that the correlational structure or stereotypy of the neural code underlying motor explorations determines the nature of the learned inverse model: Random motor codes lead to causal inverses that map sensory activity patterns to their motor causes; such inverses are maximally useful, they allow for imitating arbitrary sensory target sequences. By contrast, stereotyped motor codes lead to less useful predictive inverses that map sensory activity to future motor actions.Our theory generalizes previous work on inverse models by showing that such models can be learned in a simple Hebbian framework without the need for error signals or backpropagation, and it makes new conceptual connections between the causal nature of inverse models, the statistical structure of motor variability, and the time-lag between sensory and motor responses of mirror neurons. Applied to bird song learning, our theory can account for puzzling aspects of the song system, including necessity of sensorimotor gating and selectivity of auditory responses to bird’s own song

  9. A Hebbian learning rule gives rise to mirror neurons and links them to control theoretic inverse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanuschkin, A; Ganguli, S; Hahnloser, R H R

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are neurons whose responses to the observation of a motor act resemble responses measured during production of that act. Computationally, mirror neurons have been viewed as evidence for the existence of internal inverse models. Such models, rooted within control theory, map-desired sensory targets onto the motor commands required to generate those targets. To jointly explore both the formation of mirrored responses and their functional contribution to inverse models, we develop a correlation-based theory of interactions between a sensory and a motor area. We show that a simple eligibility-weighted Hebbian learning rule, operating within a sensorimotor loop during motor explorations and stabilized by heterosynaptic competition, naturally gives rise to mirror neurons as well as control theoretic inverse models encoded in the synaptic weights from sensory to motor neurons. Crucially, we find that the correlational structure or stereotypy of the neural code underlying motor explorations determines the nature of the learned inverse model: random motor codes lead to causal inverses that map sensory activity patterns to their motor causes; such inverses are maximally useful, by allowing the imitation of arbitrary sensory target sequences. By contrast, stereotyped motor codes lead to less useful predictive inverses that map sensory activity to future motor actions. Our theory generalizes previous work on inverse models by showing that such models can be learned in a simple Hebbian framework without the need for error signals or backpropagation, and it makes new conceptual connections between the causal nature of inverse models, the statistical structure of motor variability, and the time-lag between sensory and motor responses of mirror neurons. Applied to bird song learning, our theory can account for puzzling aspects of the song system, including necessity of sensorimotor gating and selectivity of auditory responses to bird's own song (BOS) stimuli.

  10. The role of shared neural activations, mirror neurons, and morality in empathy--a critical comment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamm, Claus; Majdandžić, Jasminka

    2015-01-01

    In the last decade, the phenomenon of empathy has received widespread attention by the field of social neuroscience. This has provided fresh insights for theoretical models of empathy, and substantially influenced the academic and public conceptions about this complex social skill. The present paper highlights three key issues which are often linked to empathy, but which at the same time might obscure our understanding of it. These issues are: (1) shared neural activations and whether these can be interpreted as evidence for simulation accounts of empathy; (2) the causal link of empathy to our presumed mirror neuron system; and (3) the question whether increasing empathy will result in better moral decisions and behaviors. The aim of our review is to provide the basis for critically evaluating our current understanding of empathy, and its public reception, and to inspire new research directions. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Anatomical differences in the mirror neuron system and social cognition network in autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Joseph, Robert M; Snyder, Josh; Tager-Flusberg, Helen

    2006-09-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with impaired social and emotional skills, the anatomical substrate of which is still unknown. In this study, we compared a group of 14 high-functioning ASD adults with a group of controls matched for sex, age, intelligence quotient, and handedness. We used an automated technique of analysis that accurately measures the thickness of the cerebral cortex and generates cross-subject statistics in a coordinate system based on cortical anatomy. We found local decreases of gray matter in the ASD group in areas belonging to the mirror neuron system (MNS), argued to be the basis of empathic behavior. Cortical thinning of the MNS was correlated with ASD symptom severity. Cortical thinning was also observed in areas involved in emotion recognition and social cognition. These findings suggest that the social and emotional deficits characteristic of autism may reflect abnormal thinning of the MNS and the broader network of cortical areas subserving social cognition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  13. What neuromodulation and lesion studies tell us about the function of the mirror neuron system and embodied cognition

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keysers, Christian; Paracampo, Riccardo; Gazzola, V.

    2018-01-01

    We review neuromodulation and lesion studies that address how activations in the mirror neuron system contribute to our perception of observed actions. Past reviews showed disruptions of this parieto-premotor network impair imitation and goal and kinematic processing. Recent studies bring five new

  14. Timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror effects measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cavallo, Andrea; Heyes, Cecilia; Becchio, Cristina; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline

    2014-08-01

    The human mirror system has been the subject of much research over the past two decades, but little is known about the timecourse of mirror responses. In addition, it is unclear whether mirror and counter-mirror effects follow the same timecourse. We used single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation to investigate the timecourse of mirror and counter-mirror responses in the human brain. Experiment 1 demonstrated that mirror responses can be measured from around 200 ms after observed action onset. Experiment 2 demonstrated significant effects of counter-mirror sensorimotor training at all timepoints at which a mirror response was found in Experiment 1 (i.e. from 200 ms onward), indicating that mirror and counter-mirror responses follow the same timecourse. By suggesting similarly direct routes for mirror and counter-mirror responses, these results support the associative account of mirror neuron origins whereby mirror responses arise as a result of correlated sensorimotor experience during development. More generally, they contribute to theorizing regarding mirror neuron function by providing some constraints on how quickly mirror responses can influence social cognition. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Play with online virtual pets as a method to improve mirror neuron and real world functioning in autistic children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altschuler, Eric Lewin

    2008-01-01

    Autism is a severe disease with no known cause and no cure or treatment. Recently, ourselves and subsequently others found that so-called "mirror neurons" - neurons that respond not only when a person moves, but upon observation of movement in another - are dysfunctional in autistic children. Here I suggest an easy, simple, inexpensive and fun method to improve mirror neuron functioning in autistic children, increase appreciation in autistic children for the theory of mind and thinking of others, and most importantly hopefully to improve real world functioning: play with virtual online pets that are the "embodiment" of a stuffed animal the child has. Adoption and then care and play with online pets forces, in a fun way, one to think about the world through the eyes and needs of the pet. A simple method to test this play with online virtual pet therapy is described.

  16. Why is your spouse so predictable? Connecting mirror neuron system and self-expansion model of love.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortigue, Stephanie; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco

    2008-12-01

    The simulation theory assumes we understand actions and intentions of others through a direct matching process. This matching process activates a complex brain network involving the mirror neuron system (MNS), which is self-related and active when one does something or observes someone else acting. Because social psychology admits that mutual intention's understanding grows in close relationship as love grows, we hypothesize that mirror mechanisms take place in love relationships. The similarities between the mirror matching process and the mutual intention's understanding that occurs when two persons are in love suggest that exposure to love might affect functional and neural mechanisms, thus facilitating the understanding of the beloved's intentions. Congruent with our hypothesis, our preliminary results from 38 subjects strongly suggest a significant facilitation effect of love on understanding the intentions of the beloved (as opposed to control stimuli). Based on these phenomenological, and neurofunctional findings we suggest that the mirror mechanisms are involved in the facilitation effects of love for understanding intentions, and might further be extended to any types of love (e.g., passionate love, maternal love). Love experiences are important not only to the beloved himself, but also to any societal, cultural, and institutional patterns that relate to love. Yet, concerning its subjective character, love experiences are difficult to access. The modern procedures and techniques of socio-cognitive neuroscience make it possible to understand love and self-related experiences not only by the analysis of subjective self-reported questionnaires, but also by approaching the automatic (non-conscious) mirror experiences of love in healthy subjects, and neurological patients with a brain damage within the mirror neuron system. Although the psychology of love is now well admitted, the systematic study of the automatic facilitation effect of love through mirror

  17. Atypical cross talk between mentalizing and mirror neuron networks in autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fishman, Inna; Keown, Christopher L; Lincoln, Alan J; Pineda, Jaime A; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2014-07-01

    Converging evidence indicates that brain abnormalities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) involve atypical network connectivity, but it is unclear whether altered connectivity is especially prominent in brain networks that participate in social cognition. To investigate whether adolescents with ASD show altered functional connectivity in 2 brain networks putatively impaired in ASD and involved in social processing, theory of mind (ToM) and mirror neuron system (MNS). Cross-sectional study using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging involving 25 adolescents with ASD between the ages of 11 and 18 years and 25 typically developing adolescents matched for age, handedness, and nonverbal IQ. Statistical parametric maps testing the degree of whole-brain functional connectivity and social functioning measures. Relative to typically developing controls, participants with ASD showed a mixed pattern of both over- and underconnectivity in the ToM network, which was associated with greater social impairment. Increased connectivity in the ASD group was detected primarily between the regions of the MNS and ToM, and was correlated with sociocommunicative measures, suggesting that excessive ToM-MNS cross talk might be associated with social impairment. In a secondary analysis comparing a subset of the 15 participants with ASD with the most severe symptomology and a tightly matched subset of 15 typically developing controls, participants with ASD showed exclusive overconnectivity effects in both ToM and MNS networks, which were also associated with greater social dysfunction. Adolescents with ASD showed atypically increased functional connectivity involving the mentalizing and mirror neuron systems, largely reflecting greater cross talk between the 2. This finding is consistent with emerging evidence of reduced network segregation in ASD and challenges the prevailing theory of general long-distance underconnectivity in ASD. This excess ToM-MNS connectivity may reflect

  18. Aversive learning shapes neuronal orientation tuning in human visual cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McTeague, Lisa M; Gruss, L Forest; Keil, Andreas

    2015-07-28

    The responses of sensory cortical neurons are shaped by experience. As a result perceptual biases evolve, selectively facilitating the detection and identification of sensory events that are relevant for adaptive behaviour. Here we examine the involvement of human visual cortex in the formation of learned perceptual biases. We use classical aversive conditioning to associate one out of a series of oriented gratings with a noxious sound stimulus. After as few as two grating-sound pairings, visual cortical responses to the sound-paired grating show selective amplification. Furthermore, as learning progresses, responses to the orientations with greatest similarity to the sound-paired grating are increasingly suppressed, suggesting inhibitory interactions between orientation-selective neuronal populations. Changes in cortical connectivity between occipital and fronto-temporal regions mirror the changes in visuo-cortical response amplitudes. These findings suggest that short-term behaviourally driven retuning of human visual cortical neurons involves distal top-down projections as well as local inhibitory interactions.

  19. Mirrored STDP Implements Autoencoder Learning in a Network of Spiking Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burbank, Kendra S

    2015-12-01

    The autoencoder algorithm is a simple but powerful unsupervised method for training neural networks. Autoencoder networks can learn sparse distributed codes similar to those seen in cortical sensory areas such as visual area V1, but they can also be stacked to learn increasingly abstract representations. Several computational neuroscience models of sensory areas, including Olshausen & Field's Sparse Coding algorithm, can be seen as autoencoder variants, and autoencoders have seen extensive use in the machine learning community. Despite their power and versatility, autoencoders have been difficult to implement in a biologically realistic fashion. The challenges include their need to calculate differences between two neuronal activities and their requirement for learning rules which lead to identical changes at feedforward and feedback connections. Here, we study a biologically realistic network of integrate-and-fire neurons with anatomical connectivity and synaptic plasticity that closely matches that observed in cortical sensory areas. Our choice of synaptic plasticity rules is inspired by recent experimental and theoretical results suggesting that learning at feedback connections may have a different form from learning at feedforward connections, and our results depend critically on this novel choice of plasticity rules. Specifically, we propose that plasticity rules at feedforward versus feedback connections are temporally opposed versions of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP), leading to a symmetric combined rule we call Mirrored STDP (mSTDP). We show that with mSTDP, our network follows a learning rule that approximately minimizes an autoencoder loss function. When trained with whitened natural image patches, the learned synaptic weights resemble the receptive fields seen in V1. Our results use realistic synaptic plasticity rules to show that the powerful autoencoder learning algorithm could be within the reach of real biological networks.

  20. Autism and the mirror neuron system: insights from learning and teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivanti, Giacomo; Rogers, Sally J

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with autism have difficulties in social learning domains which typically involve mirror neuron system (MNS) activation. However, the precise role of the MNS in the development of autism and its relevance to treatment remain unclear. In this paper, we argue that three distinct aspects of social learning are critical for advancing knowledge in this area: (i) the mechanisms that allow for the implicit mapping of and learning from others' behaviour, (ii) the motivation to attend to and model conspecifics and (iii) the flexible and selective use of social learning. These factors are key targets of the Early Start Denver Model, an autism treatment approach which emphasizes social imitation, dyadic engagement, verbal and non-verbal communication and affect sharing. Analysis of the developmental processes and treatment-related changes in these different aspects of social learning in autism can shed light on the nature of the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying social learning and positive treatment outcomes in autism. This knowledge in turn may assist in developing more successful pedagogic approaches to autism spectrum disorder. Thus, intervention research can inform the debate on relations among neuropsychology of social learning, the role of the MNS, and educational practice in autism.

  1. Mirror neurons and embodied simulation in the development of archetypes and self-agency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knox, Jean

    2009-06-01

    In this paper I explore the role of mirror neurons and motor intentionality in the development of self-agency. I suggest that this will also give us a firmer basis for an emergent view of archetypes, as key components in the development trajectory of self-agency, from its foundation in bodily action to its mature expression in mentalization and a conscious awareness of intentionality. I offer some ideas about the implications of these issues of self-agency for our clinical work with patients whose developmental trajectory of self-agency has been partially inhibited, so that their communications have a coercive effect. I discuss the possibility that this kind of clinical phenomenon may relate to Gallese and Lakoff's hypothesis that abstract thought and imagination are forms of simulated action, and that the same sensory-motor circuits that control action also control imagination, concept formation and understanding, but with a crucial development, that of an inhibition of the connections between secondary pre-motor cortical areas and the primary motor cortex. I shall speculate that in the earlier developmental stages of self-agency, the separation of secondary from primary motor areas is not complete, so that imagination and thought are not entirely independent of physical action.

  2. Self-processing and the default mode network: Interactions with the mirror neuron system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Istvan eMolnar-Szakacs

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent evidence for the fractionation of the default mode network (DMN into functionally distinguishable subdivisions with unique patterns of connectivity calls for a reconceptualization of the relationship between this network and self-referential processing. Advances in resting-state functional connectivity analyses are beginning to reveal increasingly complex patterns of organization within the key nodes of the DMN - medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC – as well as between these nodes and other brain systems. Here we review recent examinations of the relationships between the DMN and various aspects of self-relevant and social-cognitive processing in light of emerging evidence for heterogeneity within this network. Drawing from a rapidly evolving social cognitive neuroscience literature, we propose that embodied simulation and mentalizing are processes which allow us to gain insight into another's physical and mental state by providing privileged access to our own physical and mental states. Embodiment implies that the same neural systems are engaged for self- and other-understanding through a simulation mechanism, while mentalizing refers to the use of high-level conceptual information to make inferences about the mental states of self and others. These mechanisms work together to provide a coherent representation of the self and by extension, of others. Nodes of the DMN selectively interact with brain systems for embodiment and mentalizing, including the mirror neuron system, to produce appropriate mappings in the service of social cognitive demands.

  3. Grasping the intentions of others with one's own mirror neuron system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Iacoboni

    2005-03-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the intentions of others while watching their actions is a fundamental building block of social behavior. The neural and functional mechanisms underlying this ability are still poorly understood. To investigate these mechanisms we used functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-three subjects watched three kinds of stimuli: grasping hand actions without a context, context only (scenes containing objects, and grasping hand actions performed in two different contexts. In the latter condition the context suggested the intention associated with the grasping action (either drinking or cleaning. Actions embedded in contexts, compared with the other two conditions, yielded a significant signal increase in the posterior part of the inferior frontal gyrus and the adjacent sector of the ventral premotor cortex where hand actions are represented. Thus, premotor mirror neuron areas-areas active during the execution and the observation of an action-previously thought to be involved only in action recognition are actually also involved in understanding the intentions of others. To ascribe an intention is to infer a forthcoming new goal, and this is an operation that the motor system does automatically.

  4. Autism and the mirror neuron system: insights from learning and teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vivanti, Giacomo; Rogers, Sally J.

    2014-01-01

    Individuals with autism have difficulties in social learning domains which typically involve mirror neuron system (MNS) activation. However, the precise role of the MNS in the development of autism and its relevance to treatment remain unclear. In this paper, we argue that three distinct aspects of social learning are critical for advancing knowledge in this area: (i) the mechanisms that allow for the implicit mapping of and learning from others' behaviour, (ii) the motivation to attend to and model conspecifics and (iii) the flexible and selective use of social learning. These factors are key targets of the Early Start Denver Model, an autism treatment approach which emphasizes social imitation, dyadic engagement, verbal and non-verbal communication and affect sharing. Analysis of the developmental processes and treatment-related changes in these different aspects of social learning in autism can shed light on the nature of the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying social learning and positive treatment outcomes in autism. This knowledge in turn may assist in developing more successful pedagogic approaches to autism spectrum disorder. Thus, intervention research can inform the debate on relations among neuropsychology of social learning, the role of the MNS, and educational practice in autism. PMID:24778379

  5. A systems level analysis of the mirror neuron hypothesis and imitation impairments in autism spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kana, Rajesh K; Wadsworth, Heather M; Travers, Brittany G

    2011-01-01

    Although several studies suggest an imitation deficit as a key feature of autism, questions have been raised about the consistency of this finding and about the component skills involved in imitation. The primary aim of this review is to examine the uneven profile of imitation deficits found in autism in the context of the mirror neuron system (MNS) dysfunction hypothesis. We use the cortical underconnectivity framework (Just et al., 2004) to examine the coordination of brain areas that orchestrate the communication between the component skills underlying imitation. A comprehensive account of imitation deficit in autism should take into account the regions that are at the core of the MNS (e.g., IFG and IPL) and related regions that feed into the MNS (e.g., STS, Cerebellum) in their functioning and in their coordination. Our findings suggest that the MNS may be associated with mediating familiarity, attention, self-other matching, and social relevance, which may be vital in characterizing the imitation deficits in autism. Such an analysis may have greater clinical and therapeutic value. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Mirror neurons in the tree of life: mosaic evolution, plasticity and exaptation of sensorimotor matching responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tramacere, Antonella; Pievani, Telmo; Ferrari, Pier F

    2017-08-01

    Considering the properties of mirror neurons (MNs) in terms of development and phylogeny, we offer a novel, unifying, and testable account of their evolution according to the available data and try to unify apparently discordant research, including the plasticity of MNs during development, their adaptive value and their phylogenetic relationships and continuity. We hypothesize that the MN system reflects a set of interrelated traits, each with an independent natural history due to unique selective pressures, and propose that there are at least three evolutionarily significant trends that gave raise to three subtypes: hand visuomotor, mouth visuomotor, and audio-vocal. Specifically, we put forward a mosaic evolution hypothesis, which posits that different types of MNs may have evolved at different rates within and among species. This evolutionary hypothesis represents an alternative to both adaptationist and associative models. Finally, the review offers a strong heuristic potential in predicting the circumstances under which specific variations and properties of MNs are expected. Such predictive value is critical to test new hypotheses about MN activity and its plastic changes, depending on the species, the neuroanatomical substrates, and the ecological niche. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  7. Object words modulate the activity of the mirror neuron system during action imitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haiyan; Tang, Honghong; Ge, Yue; Yang, Suyong; Mai, Xiaoqin; Luo, Yue-Jia; Liu, Chao

    2017-11-01

    Although research has demonstrated that the mirror neuron system (MNS) plays a crucial role in both action imitation and action-related semantic processing, whether action-related words can inversely modulate the MNS activity remains unclear. Here, three types of task-irrelevant words (body parts, verbs, and manufactured objects) were presented to examine the modulation effect of these words on the MNS activity during action observation and imitation. Twenty-two participants were recruited for the fMRI scanning and remaining data from 19 subjects were reported here. Brain activity results showed that word types elicited different modulation effects over nodes of the MNS (i.e., the right inferior frontal gyrus, premotor cortex, inferior parietal lobule, and STS), especially during the imitation stage. Compared with other word conditions, action imitation following manufactured objects words induced stronger activation in these brain regions during the imitation stage. These results were consistent in both task-dependent and -independent ROI analysis. Our findings thus provide evidence for the unique effect of object words on the MNS during imitation of action, which may also confirm the key role of goal inference in action imitation.

  8. Reduced activation in the mirror neuron system during a virtual social cognition task in euthymic bipolar disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Eosu; Jung, Young-Chul; Ku, Jeonghun; Kim, Jae-Jin; Lee, Hyeongrae; Kim, So Young; Kim, Sun I; Cho, Hyun-Sang

    2009-11-13

    Social cognition entails both cognitive and affective processing, and impairments in both have accounted for residual symptoms of bipolar disorder (BD). However, there has been a lack of studies identifying neural substrates responsible for social cognitive difficulties in BD patients. Fourteen euthymic BD patients and 14 healthy normal controls underwent functional MRI while performing a virtual reality social cognition task, which incorporated both cognitive and emotional dimensions, simulating real-world social situations. During the scanning, subjects tried to guess (attribute) possible reasons for expressed emotion of virtual humans (avatars) while viewing their facial expressions, just after observing their verbal and nonverbal (facial) expressions which were emotionally valenced (happy, angry and neutral). BD patients compared to normal controls showed delayed reaction times in emotional conditions, with comparable response accuracy. Healthy normal controls activated the right anterior cingulate cortex, inferior frontal, and insular cortex in emotional conditions contrasted with neutral control conditions, that is, the regions that have been related to empathic processes during viewing others' emotional expression. Relative to normal controls, BD patients showed reduced activations in the 'mirror neuron system', including the right inferior frontal cortex, premotor cortex, and insula, mainly in angry or happy condition. These results may suggest that, even during euthymic state, BD patients have difficulties in recruiting brain regions for the utilization of emotional cues as a means for understanding others. Clinical attention should be paid to emotion-related residual symptoms to help improve social outcomes in these patients.

  9. The neuronal correlates of mirror illusion in children with spastic hemiparesis: a study with functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisstanner, Christian; Saxer, Stefanie; Wiest, Roland; Kaelin-Lang, Alain; Newman, Christopher J; Steinlin, Maja; Grunt, Sebastian

    2017-03-21

    To investigate the neuronal activation pattern underlying the effects of mirror illusion in children/adolescents with normal motor development and in children/adolescents with hemiparesis and preserved contralateral corticospinal organisation. The type of cortical reorganisation was classified according to results of transcranial magnetic stimulation. Only subjects with congenital lesions and physiological contralateral cortical reorganisation were included. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed to investigate neuronal activation patterns with and without a mirror box. Each test consisted of a unimanual and a bimanual motor task. Seven children/adolescents with congenital hemiparesis (10-20 years old, three boys and four girls) and seven healthy subjects (8-17 years old, four boys and three girls) participated in this study. In the bimanual experiment, children with hemiparesis showed a significant effect of the mirror illusion (phemiparesis leads to activation of brain areas involved in visual conflict detection and cognitive control to resolve this conflict. This effect is observed only in bimanual training. We consider that for mirror therapy in children and adolescents with hemiparesis a bimanual approach is more suitable than a unimanual approach.

  10. PELATIHAN MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM SAMA DENGAN PELATIHAN CONSTRAINT INDUCED MOVEMENT THERAPY DALAM MENINGKATKAN KEMAMPUAN FUNGSIONAL ANGGOTA GERAK ATAS PASIEN STROKE

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    Abdul chalik meidian

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Stroke is an interruption of blood vasculature system in the brain that causes suddenly neurological dysfunction, resulted in clinically brain tissue damage in a relatively long time period, decreased physical mobility and functional ability impaired of upper limb. The purpose of this study is to know an increasing in upper limb functional ability among stroke patients after mirror neuron system exercise and constraint induced movement therapy exercise and to know the comparison of both exercise. This study uses an experimental research with pre-test and post-test control group design. Number of samples of the first group is 13 patients given mirror neuron system exercise for 30-60 minutes , while the second group 13 patients were given constraint induced movement therapy exercise for 30-60 minutes. The research was conducted in 2 month period time. Each patient is taught a variety of upper limb functional ability in accordance with the operational concept guidance and patients were asked to repeat the exercise independently at home as directed. Measuring test of upper limb functional ability is using the wolf motor function test instruments. The result is an increase the upper limb functional ability of 21.7% in the mirror neuron system exercise group and proved a significant difference (p<0.05 and an increase in the upper limb functional ability of 17.1% in the constraint induced movement therapy exercise group and proved a significant difference (p<0.05 while the difference of increasing of upper limb functional ability of the two groups showed no significant difference (p>0,05. It was concluded that the mirror neuron system exercise is similar with constraint induced movement therapy exercise in increasing the upper limb functional ability among stroke patients.

  11. Knowing beans: Human mirror mechanisms revealed through motor adaptation

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    Arthur M Glenberg

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Human mirror mechanisms (MMs respond during both performed and observed action and appear to underlie action goal recognition. We introduce a behavioral procedure for discovering and clarifying functional MM properties: Blindfolded participants repeatedly move beans either toward or away from themselves to induce motor adaptation. Then, the bias for perceiving direction of ambiguous visual movement in depth is measured. Bias is affected by a number of beans moved, b movement direction, and c similarity of the visual stimulus to the hand used to move beans. This cross-modal adaptation pattern supports both the validity of human MMs and functionality of our testing instrument. We also discuss related work that extends the motor adaptation paradigm to investigate contributions of MMs to speech perception and language comprehension.

  12. Predicting Intentions of a Familiar Significant Other Beyond the Mirror Neuron System

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    Stephanie Cacioppo

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Inferring intentions of others is one of the most intriguing issues in interpersonal interaction. Theories of embodied cognition and simulation suggest that this mechanism takes place through a direct and automatic matching process that occurs between an observed action and past actions. This process occurs via the reactivation of past self-related sensorimotor experiences within the inferior frontoparietal network (including the mirror neuron system, MNS. The working model is that the anticipatory representations of others' behaviors require internal predictive models of actions formed from pre-established, shared representations between the observer and the actor. This model suggests that observers should be better at predicting intentions performed by a familiar actor, rather than a stranger. However, little is known about the modulations of the intention brain network as a function of the familiarity between the observer and the actor. Here, we combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI with a behavioral intention inference task, in which participants were asked to predict intentions from three types of actors: A familiar actor (their significant other, themselves (another familiar actor, and a non-familiar actor (a stranger. Our results showed that the participants were better at inferring intentions performed by familiar actors than non-familiar actors and that this better performance was associated with greater activation within and beyond the inferior frontoparietal network i.e., in brain areas related to familiarity (e.g., precuneus. In addition, and in line with Hebbian principles of neural modulations, the more the participants reported being cognitively close to their partner, the less the brain areas associated with action self-other comparison (e.g., inferior parietal lobule, attention (e.g., superior parietal lobule, recollection (hippocampus, and pair bond (ventral tegmental area, VTA were recruited, suggesting that the

  13. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

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    John R. Skoyles

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available El sentido común dice que estamos aislados. Después de todo, nuestros cuerpos están separados físicamente. Pero la obra Colamus humanitatem de Séneca y la observación de que “ningún hombre es una isla”, que hizo John Donne, sugieren que no estamos ni completamente aislados ni separados. Un descubrimiento reciente de la neurociencia, el de las neuronas espejo, sostiene que el cerebro y la mente no son construidos ni funcionan alejados de lo que pasa en otros individuos. ¿Qué son las neuronas espejo? Son células cerebrales que procesan tanto lo que le pasa como lo que hace un individuo, y, por así decirlo, su “reflexión” percibida cuando esa misma cosa le pasa a, o es hecha por, otro individuo. Por lo tanto, las neuronas espejo se activan cuando una persona realiza una acción específica y cuando percibe la misma acción realizada por otro. El descubrimiento de las neuronas espejo indica que es preciso revisar radicalmente nuestras nociones sobre la naturaleza humana, ya que estas neuronas ofrecen un medio por el cual no concebimos estar tan separados como pensamos. A diferencia de otros simios, los humanos están adaptados a interactuar de forma similar no verbal, cuando están juntos. De manera particular, nuestras caras han evolucionado para mostrar movimientos ágiles y rápidos. Mientras esto usualmente explica cómo se logra la comunicación no verbal, una mejor descripción sería la comunicación no verbal  basada en las neuronas espejo. El autor sostiene que valoramos la humanidad, colamus humanitatem, porque las neuronas espejo y nuestra interfaz interpersonal adaptada de espejo desdibujan las fronteras que nos separan.

  14. Why our brains cherish humanity: Mirror neurons and colamus humanitatem

    OpenAIRE

    Skoyles, John R.

    2009-01-01

    El sentido común dice que estamos aislados. Después de todo, nuestros cuerpos están separados físicamente. Pero la obra Colamus humanitatem de Séneca y la observación de que “ningún hombre es una isla”, que hizo John Donne, sugieren que no estamos ni completamente aislados ni separados. Un descubrimiento reciente de la neurociencia, el de las neuronas espejo, sostiene que el cerebro y la mente no son construidos ni funcionan alejados de lo que pasa en otros individuos. ¿Qué son las neuronas e...

  15. Neuronal correlates to consciousness. The "Hall of Mirrors" metaphor describing consciousness as an epiphenomenon of multiple dynamic mosaics of cortical functional modules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agnati, Luigi Francesco; Guidolin, Diego; Cortelli, Pietro; Genedani, Susanna; Cela-Conde, Camilo; Fuxe, Kjell

    2012-10-02

    Humans share the common intuition of a self that has access to an inner 'theater of mind' (Baars, 2003). The problem is how this internal theater is formed. Moving from Cook's view (Cook, 2008), we propose that the 'sentience' present in single excitable cells is integrated into units of neurons and glial cells transiently assembled into "functional modules" (FMs) organized as systems of encased networks (from cell networks to molecular networks). In line with Hebb's proposal of 'cell assemblies', FMs can be linked to form higher-order mosaics by means of reverberating circuits. Brain-level subjective awareness results from the binding phenomenon that coordinates several FM mosaics. Thus, consciousness may be thought as the global result of integrative processes taking place at different levels of miniaturization in plastic mosaics. On the basis of these neurobiological data and speculations and of the evidence of 'mirror neurons' the 'Hall of Mirrors' is proposed as a significant metaphor of consciousness. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Brain Integration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Graphene foam as a biocompatible scaffold for culturing human neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattei, Cristiana; Nasr, Babak; Hudson, Emma J.; Alshawaf, Abdullah J.; Chana, Gursharan; Everall, Ian P.; Dottori, Mirella; Skafidas, Efstratios

    2018-01-01

    In this study, we explore the use of electrically active graphene foam as a scaffold for the culture of human-derived neurons. Human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived cortical neurons fated as either glutamatergic or GABAergic neuronal phenotypes were cultured on graphene foam. We show that graphene foam is biocompatible for the culture of human neurons, capable of supporting cell viability and differentiation of hESC-derived cortical neurons. Based on the findings, we propose that graphene foam represents a suitable scaffold for engineering neuronal tissue and warrants further investigation as a model for understanding neuronal maturation, function and circuit formation. PMID:29657752

  17. Mirror Me: Imitative Responses in Adults with Autism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schunke, Odette; Schöttle, Daniel; Vettorazzi, Eik; Brandt, Valerie; Kahl, Ursula; Bäumer, Tobias; Ganos, Christos; David, Nicole; Peiker, Ina; Engel, Andreas K; Brass, Marcel; Münchau, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Dysfunctions of the human mirror neuron system have been postulated to underlie some deficits in autism spectrum disorders including poor imitative performance and impaired social skills. Using three reaction time experiments addressing mirror neuron system functions under simple and complex conditions, we examined 20 adult autism spectrum…

  18. Glutamate neurons are intermixed with midbrain dopamine neurons in nonhuman primates and humans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Root, David H.; Wang, Hui-Ling; Liu, Bing; Barker, David J.; Mód, László; Szocsics, Péter; Silva, Afonso C.; Maglóczky, Zsófia; Morales, Marisela

    2016-01-01

    The rodent ventral tegmental area (VTA) and substantia nigra pars compacta (SNC) contain dopamine neurons intermixed with glutamate neurons (expressing vesicular glutamate transporter 2; VGluT2), which play roles in reward and aversion. However, identifying the neuronal compositions of the VTA and SNC in higher mammals has remained challenging. Here, we revealed VGluT2 neurons within the VTA and SNC of nonhuman primates and humans by simultaneous detection of VGluT2 mRNA and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH; for identification of dopamine neurons). We found that several VTA subdivisions share similar cellular compositions in nonhuman primates and humans; their rostral linear nuclei have a high prevalence of VGluT2 neurons lacking TH; their paranigral and parabrachial pigmented nuclei have mostly TH neurons, and their parabrachial pigmented nuclei have dual VGluT2-TH neurons. Within nonhuman primates and humans SNC, the vast majority of neurons are TH neurons but VGluT2 neurons were detected in the pars lateralis subdivision. The demonstration that midbrain dopamine neurons are intermixed with glutamate or glutamate-dopamine neurons from rodents to humans offers new opportunities for translational studies towards analyzing the roles that each of these neurons play in human behavior and in midbrain-associated illnesses such as addiction, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease. PMID:27477243

  19. Post-movement beta rebound abnormality as indicator of mirror neuron system dysfunction in autistic spectrum disorder: an MEG study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honaga, Eiko; Ishii, Ryouhei; Kurimoto, Ryu; Canuet, Leonides; Ikezawa, Koji; Takahashi, Hidetoshi; Nakahachi, Takayuki; Iwase, Masao; Mizuta, Ichiro; Yoshimine, Toshiki; Takeda, Masatoshi

    2010-07-12

    The mu rhythm is regarded as a physiological indicator of the human mirror neuron system (MNS). The dysfunctional MNS hypothesis in patients with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) has often been tested using EEG and MEG, targeting mu rhythm suppression during action observation/execution, although with controversial results. We explored neural activity related to the MNS in patients with ASD, focusing on power increase in the beta frequency band after observation and execution of movements, known as post-movement beta rebound (PMBR). Multiple source beamformer (MSBF) and BrainVoyager QX were used for MEG source imaging and statistical group analysis, respectively. Seven patients with ASD and ten normal subjects participated in this study. During the MEG recordings, the subjects were asked to observe and later execute object-related hand actions performed by an experimenter. We found that both groups exhibited pronounced PMBR exceeding 20% when observing and executing actions with a similar topographic distribution of maximal activity. However, significantly reduced PMBR was found only during the observation condition in the patients relative to controls in cortical regions within the MNS, namely the sensorimotor area, premotor cortex and superior temporal gyrus. Reduced PMBR during the observation condition was also found in the medial prefrontal cortex. These results support the notion of a dysfunctional execution/observation matching system related to MNS impairment in patients with ASD, and the feasibility of using MEG to detect neural activity, in particular PMBR abnormalities, as an index of MNS dysfunction during performance of motor or cognitive tasks. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. CNS activation and regional connectivity during pantomime observation: no engagement of the mirror neuron system for deaf signers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmorey, Karen; Xu, Jiang; Gannon, Patrick; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Braun, Allen

    2010-01-01

    Deaf signers have extensive experience using their hands to communicate. Using fMRI, we examined the neural systems engaged during the perception of manual communication in 14 deaf signers and 14 hearing non-signers. Participants passively viewed blocked video clips of pantomimes (e.g., peeling an imaginary banana) and action verbs in American Sign Language (ASL) that were rated as meaningless by non-signers (e.g., TO-DANCE). In contrast to visual fixation, pantomimes strongly activated fronto-parietal regions (the mirror neuron system, MNS) in hearing non-signers, but only bilateral middle temporal regions in deaf signers. When contrasted with ASL verbs, pantomimes selectively engaged inferior and superior parietal regions in hearing non-signers, but right superior temporal cortex in deaf signers. The perception of ASL verbs recruited similar regions as pantomimes for deaf signers, with some evidence of greater involvement of left inferior frontal gyrus for ASL verbs. Functional connectivity analyses with left hemisphere seed voxels (ventral premotor, inferior parietal lobule, fusiform gyrus) revealed robust connectivity with the MNS for the hearing non-signers. Deaf signers exhibited functional connectivity with the right hemisphere that was not observed for the hearing group for the fusiform gyrus seed voxel. We suggest that life-long experience with manual communication, and/or auditory deprivation, may alter regional connectivity and brain activation when viewing pantomimes. We conclude that the lack of activation within the MNS for deaf signers does not support an account of human communication that depends upon automatic sensorimotor resonance between perception and action.

  1. The mirror mechanism: recent findings and perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fogassi, Leonardo

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are a specific type of visuomotor neuron that discharge both when a monkey executes a motor act and when it observes a similar motor act performed by another individual. In this article, we review first the basic properties of these neurons. We then describe visual features recently investigated which indicate that, besides encoding the goal of motor acts, mirror neurons are modulated by location in space of the observed motor acts, by the perspective from which the others’ motor acts are seen, and by the value associated with the object on which others’ motor acts are performed. In the last part of this article, we discuss the role of the mirror mechanism in planning actions and in understanding the intention underlying the others’ motor acts. We also review some human studies suggesting that motor intention in humans may rely, as in the monkey, on the mirror mechanism. PMID:24778385

  2. Auditory-vocal mirroring in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory-vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory-vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory-vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain.

  3. Auditory–vocal mirroring in songbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mooney, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Mirror neurons are theorized to serve as a neural substrate for spoken language in humans, but the existence and functions of auditory–vocal mirror neurons in the human brain remain largely matters of speculation. Songbirds resemble humans in their capacity for vocal learning and depend on their learned songs to facilitate courtship and individual recognition. Recent neurophysiological studies have detected putative auditory–vocal mirror neurons in a sensorimotor region of the songbird's brain that plays an important role in expressive and receptive aspects of vocal communication. This review discusses the auditory and motor-related properties of these cells, considers their potential role on song learning and communication in relation to classical studies of birdsong, and points to the circuit and developmental mechanisms that may give rise to auditory–vocal mirroring in the songbird's brain. PMID:24778375

  4. Neurons from the adult human dentate nucleus: neural networks in the neuron classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grbatinić, Ivan; Marić, Dušica L; Milošević, Nebojša T

    2015-04-07

    Topological (central vs. border neuron type) and morphological classification of adult human dentate nucleus neurons according to their quantified histomorphological properties using neural networks on real and virtual neuron samples. In the real sample 53.1% and 14.1% of central and border neurons, respectively, are classified correctly with total of 32.8% of misclassified neurons. The most important result present 62.2% of misclassified neurons in border neurons group which is even greater than number of correctly classified neurons (37.8%) in that group, showing obvious failure of network to classify neurons correctly based on computational parameters used in our study. On the virtual sample 97.3% of misclassified neurons in border neurons group which is much greater than number of correctly classified neurons (2.7%) in that group, again confirms obvious failure of network to classify neurons correctly. Statistical analysis shows that there is no statistically significant difference in between central and border neurons for each measured parameter (p>0.05). Total of 96.74% neurons are morphologically classified correctly by neural networks and each one belongs to one of the four histomorphological types: (a) neurons with small soma and short dendrites, (b) neurons with small soma and long dendrites, (c) neuron with large soma and short dendrites, (d) neurons with large soma and long dendrites. Statistical analysis supports these results (pneurons can be classified in four neuron types according to their quantitative histomorphological properties. These neuron types consist of two neuron sets, small and large ones with respect to their perykarions with subtypes differing in dendrite length i.e. neurons with short vs. long dendrites. Besides confirmation of neuron classification on small and large ones, already shown in literature, we found two new subtypes i.e. neurons with small soma and long dendrites and with large soma and short dendrites. These neurons are

  5. Choline acetyltransferase-containing neurons in the human parietal neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V Benagiano

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A number of immunocytochemical studies have indicated the presence of cholinergic neurons in the cerebral cortex of various species of mammals. Whether such cholinergic neurons in the human cerebral cortex are exclusively of subcortical origin is still debated. In this immunocytochemical study, the existence of cortical cholinergic neurons was investigated on surgical samples of human parietal association neocortex using a highly specific monoclonal antibody against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT, the acetylcholine biosynthesising enzyme. ChAT immunoreactivity was detected in a subpopulation of neurons located in layers II and III. These were small or medium-sized pyramidal neurons which showed cytoplasmic immunoreactivity in the perikarya and processes, often in close association to blood microvessels. This study, providing demonstration of ChAT neurons in the human parietal neocortex, strongly supports the existence of intrinsic cholinergic innervation of the human neocortex. It is likely that these neurons contribute to the cholinergic innervation of the intracortical microvessels.

  6. Mediodorsal Thalamic Neurons Mirror the Activity of Medial Prefrontal Neurons Responding to Movement and Reinforcement during a Dynamic DNMTP Task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Rikki L A; Francoeur, Miranda J; Gibson, Brett M; Mair, Robert G

    2017-01-01

    The mediodorsal nucleus (MD) interacts with medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to support learning and adaptive decision-making. MD receives driver (layer 5) and modulatory (layer 6) projections from PFC and is the main source of driver thalamic projections to middle cortical layers of PFC. Little is known about the activity of MD neurons and their influence on PFC during decision-making. We recorded MD neurons in rats performing a dynamic delayed nonmatching to position (dDNMTP) task and compared results to a previous study of mPFC with the same task (Onos et al., 2016). Criterion event-related responses were observed for 22% (254/1179) of neurons recorded in MD, 237 (93%) of which exhibited activity consistent with mPFC response types. More MD than mPFC neurons exhibited responses related to movement (45% vs. 29%) and reinforcement (51% vs. 27%). MD had few responses related to lever presses, and none related to preparation or memory delay, which constituted 43% of event-related activity in mPFC. Comparison of averaged normalized population activity and population response times confirmed the broad similarity of common response types in MD and mPFC and revealed differences in the onset and offset of some response types. Our results show that MD represents information about actions and outcomes essential for decision-making during dDNMTP, consistent with evidence from lesion studies that MD supports reward-based learning and action-selection. These findings support the hypothesis that MD reinforces task-relevant neural activity in PFC that gives rise to adaptive behavior.

  7. Precise auditory-vocal mirroring in neurons for learned vocal communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prather, J F; Peters, S; Nowicki, S; Mooney, R

    2008-01-17

    Brain mechanisms for communication must establish a correspondence between sensory and motor codes used to represent the signal. One idea is that this correspondence is established at the level of single neurons that are active when the individual performs a particular gesture or observes a similar gesture performed by another individual. Although neurons that display a precise auditory-vocal correspondence could facilitate vocal communication, they have yet to be identified. Here we report that a certain class of neurons in the swamp sparrow forebrain displays a precise auditory-vocal correspondence. We show that these neurons respond in a temporally precise fashion to auditory presentation of certain note sequences in this songbird's repertoire and to similar note sequences in other birds' songs. These neurons display nearly identical patterns of activity when the bird sings the same sequence, and disrupting auditory feedback does not alter this singing-related activity, indicating it is motor in nature. Furthermore, these neurons innervate striatal structures important for song learning, raising the possibility that singing-related activity in these cells is compared to auditory feedback to guide vocal learning.

  8. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bardy, Cedric; van den Hurk, Mark; Eames, Tameji; Marchand, Cynthia; Hernandez, Ruben V; Kellogg, Mariko; Gorris, Mark; Galet, Ben; Palomares, Vanessa; Brown, Joshua; Bang, Anne G; Mertens, Jerome; Böhnke, Lena; Boyer, Leah; Simon, Suzanne; Gage, Fred H

    2015-05-19

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely used to culture neurons. We found that classic basal media, as well as serum, impair action potential generation and synaptic communication. To overcome this problem, we designed a new neuronal medium (BrainPhys basal + serum-free supplements) in which we adjusted the concentrations of inorganic salts, neuroactive amino acids, and energetic substrates. We then tested that this medium adequately supports neuronal activity and survival of human neurons in culture. Long-term exposure to this physiological medium also improved the proportion of neurons that were synaptically active. The medium was designed to culture human neurons but also proved adequate for rodent neurons. The improvement in BrainPhys basal medium to support neurophysiological activity is an important step toward reducing the gap between brain physiological conditions in vivo and neuronal models in vitro.

  9. Neuronal medium that supports basic synaptic functions and activity of human neurons in vitro

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bardy, C.; Hurk, M. van den; Eames, T.; Marchand, C.; Hernandez, R.V.; Kellogg, M.; Gorris, M.A.J.; Galet, B.; Palomares, V.; Brown, J.; Bang, A.G.; Mertens, J.; Bohnke, L.; Boyer, L.; Simon, S.; Gage, F.H.

    2015-01-01

    Human cell reprogramming technologies offer access to live human neurons from patients and provide a new alternative for modeling neurological disorders in vitro. Neural electrical activity is the essence of nervous system function in vivo. Therefore, we examined neuronal activity in media widely

  10. Mirror Neurons and Literature: Empathy and the Sympathetic Imagination in the Fiction of J.M. Coetzee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilmar Heister

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the two essays “The Philosophers and the Animals” and “The Poets and the Animals” (in The Lives of Animals, 1999 J.M. Coetzee lets Elizabeth Costello urge us to use our sympathetic imagination in order to access the experience of others—in particular, animals—and engage with them empathetically. Coetzee’s fiction illustrates how the use of the sympathetic imagination might evoke empathy in the reader. Narrative structure and the character’s mode of introspection engage the reader’s empathy through an ambivalent process of distancing and approximation, as Fritz Breithaupt puts forward in his narrative theory of empathy (Kulturen der Empathie, 2009. The sympathetic imagination and the complementary notion of embodiment feature prominently in Coetzee’s fictional discourse and resonate with neuroscience’s research on mirror neurons and their relation to empathy.

  11. [The motor organization of cerebral cortex and the role of the mirror neuron system. Clinical impact for rehabilitation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sallés, Laia; Gironès, Xavier; Lafuente, José Vicente

    2015-01-06

    The basic characteristics of Penfield homunculus (somatotopy and unique representation) have been questioned. The existence of a defined anatomo-functional organization within different segments of the same region is controversial. The presence of multiple motor representations in the primary motor area and in the parietal lobe interconnected by parieto-frontal circuits, which are widely overlapped, form a complex organization. Both features support the recovery of functions after brain injury. Regarding the movement organization, it is possible to yield a relevant impact through the understanding of actions and intentions of others, which is mediated by the activation of mirror-neuron systems. The implementation of cognitive functions (observation, image of the action and imitation) from the acute treatment phase allows the activation of motor representations without having to perform the action and it plays an important role in learning motor patterns. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  12. Neuron-Based Heredity and Human Evolution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Don Marshall Gash

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract:Abstract: It is widely recognized that human evolution has been driven by two systems of heredity: one DNA-based and the other based on the transmission of behaviorally acquired information via nervous system functions. The genetic system is ancient, going back to the appearance of life on Earth. It is responsible for the evolutionary processes described by Darwin. By comparison, the nervous system is relatively newly minted and in its highest form, responsible for ideation and mind-to-mind transmission of information. Here the informational capabilities and functions of the two systems are compared. While employing quite different mechanisms for encoding, storing and transmission of information, both systems perform these generic hereditary functions. Three additional features of neuron-based heredity in humans are identified: the ability to transfer hereditary information to other members of their population, not just progeny; a selection process for the information being transferred; and a profoundly shorter time span for creation and dissemination of survival-enhancing information in a population. The mechanisms underlying neuron-based heredity involve hippocampal neurogenesis and memory and learning processes modifying and creating new neural assemblages changing brain structure and functions. A fundamental process in rewiring brain circuitry is through increased neural activity (use strengthening and increasing the number of synaptic connections. Decreased activity in circuitry (disuse leads to loss of synapses. Use and disuse modifying an organ to bring about new modes of living, habits and functions are processes are in line with Neolamarckian concepts of evolution (Packard, 1901. Evidence is presented of bipartite evolutionary processes – Darwinian and Neolamarckian – driving human descent from a common ancestor shared with the great apes.

  13. Neurite outgrowth in human iPSC-derived neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Data on morphology of rat and human neurons in cell cultureThis dataset is associated with the following publication:Druwe, I., T. Freudenrich , K. Wallace , T. Shafer , and W. Mundy. Comparison of Human Induced PluripotentStem Cell-Derived Neurons and Rat Primary CorticalNeurons as In Vitro Models of Neurite Outgrowth. Applied In vitro Toxicology. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Larchmont, NY, USA, 2(1): 26-36, (2016).

  14. Neuronal NOS localises to human airway cilia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Claire L; Lucas, Jane S; Walker, Woolf T; Owen, Holly; Premadeva, Irnthu; Lackie, Peter M

    2015-01-30

    Airway NO synthase (NOS) isoenzymes are responsible for rapid and localised nitric oxide (NO) production and are expressed in airway epithelium. We sought to determine the localisation of neuronal NOS (nNOS) in airway epithelium due to the paucity of evidence. Sections of healthy human bronchial tissue in glycol methacrylate resin and human nasal polyps in paraffin wax were immunohistochemically labelled and reproducibly demonstrated nNOS immunoreactivity, particularly at the proximal portion of cilia; this immunoreactivity was blocked by a specific nNOS peptide fragment. Healthy human epithelial cells differentiated at an air-liquid interface (ALI) confirmed the presence of all three NOS isoenzymes by immunofluorescence labelling. Only nNOS immunoreactivity was specific to the ciliary axonemeand co-localised with the cilia marker β-tubulin in the proximal part of the ciliary axoneme. We report a novel localisation of nNOS at the proximal portion of cilia in airway epithelium and conclude that its independent and local regulation of NO levels is crucial for normal cilia function. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Generation of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    OpenAIRE

    Merkle, Florian T.; Maroof, Asif; Wataya, Takafumi; Sasai, Yoshiki; Studer, Lorenz; Eggan, Kevin; Schier, Alexander F.

    2015-01-01

    Hypothalamic neurons orchestrate many essential physiological and behavioral processes via secreted neuropeptides, and are relevant to human diseases such as obesity, narcolepsy and infertility. We report the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into many of the major types of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons, including those producing pro-opiolemelanocortin, agouti-related peptide, hypocretin/orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, corticotropin...

  16. Parkin Mutations Reduce the Complexity of Neuronal Processes in iPSC-derived Human Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Yong; Jiang, Houbo; Hu, Zhixing; Fan, Kevin; Wang, Jun; Janoschka, Stephen; Wang, Xiaomin; Ge, Shaoyu; Feng, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is characterized by the degeneration of nigral dopaminergic (DA) neurons and non-DA neurons in many parts of the brain. Mutations of parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase that strongly binds to microtubules, are the most frequent cause of recessively inherited Parkinson’s disease. The lack of robust PD phenotype in parkin knockout mice suggests a unique vulnerability of human neurons to parkin mutations. Here, we show that the complexity of neuronal processes as measured by total neurite length, number of terminals, number of branch points and Sholl analysis, was greatly reduced in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived TH+ or TH− neurons from PD patients with parkin mutations. Consistent with these, microtubule stability was significantly decreased by parkin mutations in iPSC-derived neurons. Overexpression of parkin, but not its PD-linked mutant nor GFP, restored the complexity of neuronal processes and the stability of microtubules. Consistent with these, the microtubule-depolymerizing agent colchicine mimicked the effect of parkin mutations by decreasing neurite length and complexity in control neurons while the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol mimicked the effect of parkin overexpression by enhancing the morphology of parkin-deficient neurons. The results suggest that parkin maintains the morphological complexity of human neurons by stabilizing microtubules. PMID:25332110

  17. Activity-dependent neurorehabilitation beyond physical trainings: "mental exercise" through mirror neuron activation

    OpenAIRE

    Yuan, Ti-Fei; Chen, Wei; Shan, Chunlei; Rocha, Nuno; Arias-Carrión, Oscar; Paes, Flávia; de Sa, Alberto Souza; Machado, Sergio

    2015-01-01

    The activity dependent brain repair mechanism has been widely adopted in many types of neurorehabilitation. The activity leads to target specific and non-specific beneficial effects in different brain regions, such as the releasing of neurotrophic factors, modulation of the cytokines and generation of new neurons in adult hood. However physical exercise program clinically are limited to some of the patients with preserved motor functions; while many patients suffered from paralysis cannot mak...

  18. Novel transcriptional networks regulated by CLOCK in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontenot, Miles R; Berto, Stefano; Liu, Yuxiang; Werthmann, Gordon; Douglas, Connor; Usui, Noriyoshi; Gleason, Kelly; Tamminga, Carol A; Takahashi, Joseph S; Konopka, Genevieve

    2017-11-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying human brain evolution are not fully understood; however, previous work suggested that expression of the transcription factor CLOCK in the human cortex might be relevant to human cognition and disease. In this study, we investigated this novel transcriptional role for CLOCK in human neurons by performing chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing for endogenous CLOCK in adult neocortices and RNA sequencing following CLOCK knockdown in differentiated human neurons in vitro. These data suggested that CLOCK regulates the expression of genes involved in neuronal migration, and a functional assay showed that CLOCK knockdown increased neuronal migratory distance. Furthermore, dysregulation of CLOCK disrupts coexpressed networks of genes implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders, and the expression of these networks is driven by hub genes with human-specific patterns of expression. These data support a role for CLOCK-regulated transcriptional cascades involved in human brain evolution and function. © 2017 Fontenot et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  19. Generation of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkle, Florian T; Maroof, Asif; Wataya, Takafumi; Sasai, Yoshiki; Studer, Lorenz; Eggan, Kevin; Schier, Alexander F

    2015-02-15

    Hypothalamic neurons orchestrate many essential physiological and behavioral processes via secreted neuropeptides, and are relevant to human diseases such as obesity, narcolepsy and infertility. We report the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into many of the major types of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons, including those producing pro-opiolemelanocortin, agouti-related peptide, hypocretin/orexin, melanin-concentrating hormone, oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) or thyrotropin-releasing hormone. Hypothalamic neurons can be generated using a 'self-patterning' strategy that yields a broad array of cell types, or via a more reproducible directed differentiation approach. Stem cell-derived human hypothalamic neurons share characteristic morphological properties and gene expression patterns with their counterparts in vivo, and are able to integrate into the mouse brain. These neurons could form the basis of cellular models, chemical screens or cellular therapies to study and treat common human diseases. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  20. The Two-Level Theory of verb meaning: An approach to integrating the semantics of action with the mirror neuron system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemmerer, David; Gonzalez-Castillo, Javier

    2010-01-01

    Verbs have two separate levels of meaning. One level reflects the uniqueness of every verb and is called the "root". The other level consists of a more austere representation that is shared by all the verbs in a given class and is called the "event structure template". We explore the following hypotheses about how, with specific reference to the motor features of action verbs, these two distinct levels of semantic representation might correspond to two distinct levels of the mirror neuron system. Hypothesis 1: Root-level motor features of verb meaning are partially subserved by somatotopically mapped mirror neurons in the left primary motor and/or premotor cortices. Hypothesis 2: Template-level motor features of verb meaning are partially subserved by representationally more schematic mirror neurons in Brodmann area 44 of the left inferior frontal gyrus. Evidence has been accumulating in support of the general neuroanatomical claims made by these two hypotheses-namely, that each level of verb meaning is associated with the designated cortical areas. However, as yet no studies have satisfied all the criteria necessary to support the more specific neurobiological claims made by the two hypotheses-namely, that each level of verb meaning is associated with mirror neurons in the pertinent brain regions. This would require demonstrating that within those regions the same neuronal populations are engaged during (a) the linguistic processing of particular motor features of verb meaning, (b) the execution of actions with the corresponding motor features, and (c) the observation of actions with the corresponding motor features. 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Qualitative analysis neurons in the adult human dentate nucleus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marić Dušica

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although many relevant findings regarding to the morphology and cytoarchitectural development of the dentate nucleus have been presented so far, very little qualitative information has been collected on neuronal morphology in the adult human dentate nucleus. The neurons were labelled by Golgi staining from thirty human cerebella, obtained from medico-legal forensic autopsies of adult human bodies and free of significant brain pathology. The human dentate neurons were qualitatively analyzed and these cells were classified into two main classes: the small and the large multipolar neurons. Considering the shape of the cell body, number of the primary dendrites, shape of the dendritic tree and their position within the dentate nucleus, three subclasses of the large multipolar neurons have been recognized. The classification of neurons from the human dentate nucleus has been qualitatively confirmed in fetuses and premature infants. This study represents the first qualitative analysis and classification of the large multipolar neurons in the dentate nucleus of the adult human.

  2. The mirror neuron system as revealed through neonatal imitation: presence from birth, predictive power and evidence of plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simpson, Elizabeth A; Murray, Lynne; Paukner, Annika; Ferrari, Pier F

    2014-01-01

    There is strong evidence that neonates imitate previously unseen behaviours. These behaviours are predominantly used in social interactions, demonstrating neonates' ability and motivation to engage with others. Research on neonatal imitation can provide a wealth of information about the early mirror neuron system (MNS), namely its functional characteristics, its plasticity from birth and its relation to skills later in development. Although numerous studies document the existence of neonatal imitation in the laboratory, little is known about its natural occurrence during parent-infant interactions and its plasticity as a consequence of experience. We review these critical aspects of imitation, which we argue are necessary for understanding the early action-perception system. We address common criticisms and misunderstandings about neonatal imitation and discuss methodological differences among studies. Recent work reveals that individual differences in neonatal imitation positively correlate with later social, cognitive and motor development. We propose that such variation in neonatal imitation could reflect important individual differences of the MNS. Although postnatal experience is not necessary for imitation, we present evidence that neonatal imitation is influenced by experience in the first week of life.

  3. Comparison of a Mirror Neuron System among Elders with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer's Disease, and No Disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rattanachayoto, P.; Tritanon, O.; Laothamatas, J.; Sungkarat, W.

    2012-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia. There are lots of old people suffering from the disease. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a transitional state between normal aging and dementia. An individual with MCI has an increased risk of developing AD. The mirror neuron system (MNS), activated during the observation and execution of actions, has been linked with cognitive processes.The objective of this study is to examine the MNS abnormalities in elders with MCI and AD. Ninety-two subjects (5 MCI,7 mild AD, and 80 cognitively normal) were studied by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). In the fMRI experiment, subjects were asked to observe a video showing hand movement (tearing a piece of paper) and a control condition (observing a fixation point).The image data were analyzed using SPM2 (Statistical Parametric Mapping).There were significant activations of bilateral inferior frontal lobule and inferior parietal lobule due to the observation of hand movement.The brain activations of the normal group were statistical significant greater than those in the MCI and mild AD groups.There was no significant difference between the MCI and mild AD groups. Elders with MCI and mild AD had fewer MNS activations than the normal controls, suggesting that the dysfunction of MNS may underlie cognitive impairments in MCI and AD patients.These findings imply that fMRI is sufficiently sensitive to detect MNS changes occurring in MCI and AD.

  4. Physiological characterisation of human iPS-derived dopaminergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth M Hartfield

    Full Text Available Human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs offer the potential to study otherwise inaccessible cell types. Critical to this is the directed differentiation of hiPSCs into functional cell lineages. This is of particular relevance to research into neurological disease, such as Parkinson's disease (PD, in which midbrain dopaminergic neurons degenerate during disease progression but are unobtainable until post-mortem. Here we report a detailed study into the physiological maturation over time of human dopaminergic neurons in vitro. We first generated and differentiated hiPSC lines into midbrain dopaminergic neurons and performed a comprehensive characterisation to confirm dopaminergic functionality by demonstrating dopamine synthesis, release, and re-uptake. The neuronal cultures include cells positive for both tyrosine hydroxylase (TH and G protein-activated inward rectifier potassium channel 2 (Kir3.2, henceforth referred to as GIRK2, representative of the A9 population of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc neurons vulnerable in PD. We observed for the first time the maturation of the slow autonomous pace-making (<10 Hz and spontaneous synaptic activity typical of mature SNc dopaminergic neurons using a combination of calcium imaging and electrophysiology. hiPSC-derived neurons exhibited inositol tri-phosphate (IP3 receptor-dependent release of intracellular calcium from the endoplasmic reticulum in neuronal processes as calcium waves propagating from apical and distal dendrites, and in the soma. Finally, neurons were susceptible to the dopamine neuron-specific toxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+ which reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and altered mitochondrial morphology. Mature hiPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons provide a neurophysiologically-defined model of previously inaccessible vulnerable SNc dopaminergic neurons to bridge the gap between clinical PD and animal models.

  5. Neurite outgrowth in human iPSC-derived neurons

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Data on morphology of rat and human neurons in cell culture. This dataset is associated with the following publication: Druwe, I., T. Freudenrich , K. Wallace , T....

  6. Optogenetic control of human neurons in organotypic brain cultures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersson, My; Avaliani, Natalia; Svensson, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Optogenetics is one of the most powerful tools in neuroscience, allowing for selective control of specific neuronal populations in the brain of experimental animals, including mammals. We report, for the first time, the application of optogenetic tools to human brain tissue providing a proof......-of-concept for the use of optogenetics in neuromodulation of human cortical and hippocampal neurons as a possible tool to explore network mechanisms and develop future therapeutic strategies....

  7. Generation of Spinal Motor Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, David P; Kiskinis, Evangelos

    2017-01-01

    Human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are characterized by their unique ability to self-renew indefinitely, as well as to differentiate into any cell type of the human body. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) share these salient characteristics with ESCs and can easily be generated from any given individual by reprogramming somatic cell types such as fibroblasts or blood cells. The spinal motor neuron (MN) is a specialized neuronal subtype that synapses with muscle to control movement. Here, we present a method to generate functional, postmitotic, spinal motor neurons through the directed differentiation of ESCs and iPSCs by the use of small molecules. These cells can be utilized to study the development and function of human motor neurons in healthy and disease states.

  8. Neurons in the human amygdala selective for perceived emotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuo; Tudusciuc, Oana; Mamelak, Adam N.; Ross, Ian B.; Adolphs, Ralph; Rutishauser, Ueli

    2014-01-01

    The human amygdala plays a key role in recognizing facial emotions and neurons in the monkey and human amygdala respond to the emotional expression of faces. However, it remains unknown whether these responses are driven primarily by properties of the stimulus or by the perceptual judgments of the perceiver. We investigated these questions by recording from over 200 single neurons in the amygdalae of 7 neurosurgical patients with implanted depth electrodes. We presented degraded fear and happy faces and asked subjects to discriminate their emotion by button press. During trials where subjects responded correctly, we found neurons that distinguished fear vs. happy emotions as expressed by the displayed faces. During incorrect trials, these neurons indicated the patients’ subjective judgment. Additional analysis revealed that, on average, all neuronal responses were modulated most by increases or decreases in response to happy faces, and driven predominantly by judgments about the eye region of the face stimuli. Following the same analyses, we showed that hippocampal neurons, unlike amygdala neurons, only encoded emotions but not subjective judgment. Our results suggest that the amygdala specifically encodes the subjective judgment of emotional faces, but that it plays less of a role in simply encoding aspects of the image array. The conscious percept of the emotion shown in a face may thus arise from interactions between the amygdala and its connections within a distributed cortical network, a scheme also consistent with the long response latencies observed in human amygdala recordings. PMID:24982200

  9. [Unconscious sexual desire: fMRI and EEG evidences from self-expansion theory to mirror neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortigue, Stephanie; Bianchi-Demicheli, Francesco

    2010-03-24

    Recent advances in cognitive-social neuroscience allow a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying dyadic relationships. From a neuronal viewpoint, desire in dyadic relationships involves a specific fronto-temporo-parietal network and also a subcortical network that mediates conscious and unconscious mechanisms of reward, satisfaction, attention, self representation and self-expansion. The integration of this neuroscientific knowledge on the unconscious neurobiological activation for sexual desire in the human brain will provide physicians with new therapeutical and neuroscientific tools to apprehend sexual disorders in couple.

  10. Music Education as a Mirror to Humane Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, David T.

    2017-01-01

    Music and philosophy travel together through time in human culture, and in this article, David Hansen responds to Randall Allsup's recent book, "Remixing the Classroom: Toward an Open Philosophy of Music Education." Hansen says that a singular feature of Randall's new book is how marvelously he demonstrates the organic union between…

  11. Altered Cortical Thickness and Tract Integrity of the Mirror Neuron System and Associated Social Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Hsiang-Yun; Gau, Susan Shur-Fen; Hsu, Yung-Chin; Chen, Yu-Jen; Lo, Yu-Chun; Shih, Yao-Chia; Tseng, Wen-Yih Isaac

    2015-12-01

    Previous studies using neural activity recording and neuroimaging techniques have reported functional deficits in the mirror neuron system (MNS) for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, a few studies focusing on gray and white matter structures of the MNS have yielded inconsistent results. The current study recruited adolescents and young adults with ASD (aged 15-26 years) and age-matched typically developing (TD) controls (aged 14-25 years). The cortical thickness (CT) and microstructural integrity of the tracts connecting the regions forming the classical MNS were investigated. High-resolution T1-weighted imaging and diffusion spectrum imaging were performed to quantify the CT and tract integrity, respectively. The structural covariance of the CT of the MNS regions revealed a weaker coordination of the MNS network in ASD. A strong correlation was found between the integrity of the right frontoparietal tracts and the social communication subscores measured by the Chinese version of the Social Communication Questionnaire. The results showed that there were no significant mean differences in the CTs and tract integrity between the ASD and TD groups, but revealed a moderate or even reverse age effect on the frontal MNS structures in ASD. In conclusion, aberrant structural coordination may be an underlying factor affecting the function of the MNS in ASD patients. The association between the right frontoparietal tracts and social communication performance implies a neural correlate of communication processing in the autistic brain. This study provides evidence of abnormal MNS structures and their influence on social communication in individuals with ASD. © 2015 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. The effect of action observation/execution on mirror neuron system recruitment: an fMRI study in healthy individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatti, Roberto; Rocca, Maria A; Fumagalli, Silvia; Cattrysse, Erik; Kerckhofs, Eric; Falini, Andrea; Filippi, Massimo

    2017-04-01

    Action observation and execution activate regions that are part of the motor and mirror neuron systems (MNS). Using functional magnetic resonance (fMRI), we defined the presence and extent of MNS activation during three different motor tasks with the dominant, right-upper limb in healthy individuals. The influence of the modality of task administration (execution, observation, observation and execution) was also investigated. fMRI scans during the execution (E) of a motor task, the observation (O) of a video showing the same task performed by another person and the simultaneous observation and execution (OE) of the task were obtained from three groups of healthy subjects (15 subjects per group) randomized to perform: a simple motor (SM) task, a complex motor (CM) task and a finalistic motor (FM) task. Manual dexterity was assessed using the 9-hole peg test and maximum finger tapping frequency. MNS activation was higher during FM than SM or CM tasks, independently from the modality of administration (E, O, or OE). Inferior frontal gyrus recruitment was more significant during SM than CM tasks in the E and O conditions. Compared to SM and FM, CM task resulted in increased recruitment of brain regions involved in complex motor task performance. Compared to O and E, OE resulted in the recruitment of additional, specific, brain areas in the cerebellum, temporal and parietal lobes. The modality of administration and the type of task modulated MNS recruitment during motor acts. This might have practical implications for the set-up of individualized motor rehabilitation strategies.

  13. Social modeling of eating mediated by mirror neuron activity: A causal model moderated by frontal asymmetry and BMI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGeown, Laura; Davis, Ron

    2018-02-15

    The social modeling of eating effect refers to the consistently demonstrated phenomenon that individuals tend to match their quantity of food intake to their eating companion. The current study sought to explore whether activity within the mirror neuron system (MNS) mediates the social modeling of eating effect as a function of EEG frontal asymmetry and body mass index (BMI). Under the guise of rating empathy, 93 female undergraduates viewed a female video confederate "incidentally" consume either a low or high intake of chips while electroencephalogram (EEG) activity was recorded. Subsequent ad libitum chip consumption was quantified. A first- and second-stage dual moderation model revealed that frontal asymmetry and BMI moderated an indirect effect of model consumption on participants' food consumption as mediated by MNS activity at electrode site C3, a 3 b 3 =-0.718, SE=0.365, 95% CI [-1.632, -0.161]. Left frontal asymmetry was associated with greater mu activity and a positive association between model and participant chip consumption, while right frontal asymmetry was associated with less mu activity and a negative association between model and participant consumption. Across all levels of frontal asymmetry, the effect was only significant among those with a BMI at the 50th percentile or lower. Thus, among leaner individuals, the MNS was demonstrated to mediate social modeling of eating, as moderated by frontal asymmetry. These findings are integrated within the normative account of social modeling of eating. It is proposed that the normative framework may benefit from consideration of both conscious and unconscious operation of intake norms. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Action processing and mirror neuron function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Jelsone-Swain

    Full Text Available Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a highly debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. It has been suggested that social cognition may be affected, such as impairment in theory of mind (ToM ability. Despite these findings, research in this area is scarce and the investigation of neural mechanisms behind such impairment is absent. Nineteen patients with ALS and eighteen healthy controls participated in this study. Because the mirror neuron system (MNS is thought to be involved in theory of mind, we first implemented a straightforward action-execution and observation task to assess basic MNS function. Second, we examined the social-cognitive ability to understand actions of others, which is a component of ToM. We used fMRI to assess BOLD activity differences between groups during both experiments. Theory of mind was also measured behaviorally using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RME. ALS patients displayed greater BOLD activity during the action-execution and observation task, especially throughout right anterior cortical regions. These areas included the right inferior operculum, premotor and primary motor regions, and left inferior parietal lobe. A conjunction analysis showed significantly more co-activated voxels during both the observation and action-execution conditions in the patient group throughout MNS regions. These results support a compensatory response in the MNS during action processing. In the action understanding experiment, healthy controls performed better behaviorally and subsequently recruited greater regions of activity throughout the prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus. Lastly, action understanding performance was able to cluster patients with ALS into high and lower performing groups, which then differentiated RME performance. Collectively, these data suggest that social cognition, particularly theory of mind, may be affected in a subset of patients with ALS. This impairment may be related to

  15. Morphometric characteristics of the neurons of the human subiculum proper

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Živanović-Mačužić Ivana

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The human subiculum is a significant part of the hippocampal formation positioned between the hippocampus proper and the entorhinal and other cortices. It plays an important role in spatial navigation, memory processing and control of the response to stress. The aim of our study was identification of the morphometric characteristics of the neurons of the human subiculum proper: the maximum length and width of cell body and total dendritic length and volume of cell body. Comparing the measured parameters of different types of subicular neurons (bipolar, multipolar, pyramidal neurons with triangular-shaped soma and neurons with oval-shaped soma, we can conclude that bipolar neurons have the lowest values of the measured parameters: the maximum length of their cell body is 14.1 ± 0.2 µm, the maximum width is 13.9 ± 0.5 µm, and total dendritic length is 14597 ± 3.1 µm. The lowest volume value was observed in bipolar neurons; the polymorphic layer is 1152.99 ± 662.69 µm3. The pyramidal neurons of the pyramidal layer have the highest value for the maximal length of the cell body (44.43 ± 7.94 µm, maximum width (23.64 ± 1.89 µm, total dendritic length (1830 ± 466.3 µm and volume (11768.65±4004.9 µm3 These characteristics of the pyramidal neurons indicate their importance, because the axons of these neurons make up the greatest part of the fornix, along with the axons of neurons of the CA1 hippocampal field.

  16. Functional properties of human neuronal Kv11 channels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Einarsen, Karoline; Calloe, Kirstine; Grunnet, Morten

    2009-01-01

    Kv11 potassium channels are important for regulation of the membrane potential. Kv11.2 and Kv11.3 are primarily found in the nervous system, where they most likely are involved in the regulation of neuronal excitability. Two isoforms of human Kv11.2 have been published so far. Here, we present...... current characteristics of the isoforms presented in this work may contribute to the regulation of neuronal excitability....

  17. FMRI evidence of 'mirror' responses to geometric shapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clare Press

    Full Text Available Mirror neurons may be a genetic adaptation for social interaction. Alternatively, the associative hypothesis proposes that the development of mirror neurons is driven by sensorimotor learning, and that, given suitable experience, mirror neurons will respond to any stimulus. This hypothesis was tested using fMRI adaptation to index populations of cells with mirror properties. After sensorimotor training, where geometric shapes were paired with hand actions, BOLD response was measured while human participants experienced runs of events in which shape observation alternated with action execution or observation. Adaptation from shapes to action execution, and critically, observation, occurred in ventral premotor cortex (PMv and inferior parietal lobule (IPL. Adaptation from shapes to execution indicates that neuronal populations responding to the shapes had motor properties, while adaptation to observation demonstrates that these populations had mirror properties. These results indicate that sensorimotor training induced populations of cells with mirror properties in PMv and IPL to respond to the observation of arbitrary shapes. They suggest that the mirror system has not been shaped by evolution to respond in a mirror fashion to biological actions; instead, its development is mediated by stimulus-general processes of learning within a system adapted for visuomotor control.

  18. FMRI evidence of 'mirror' responses to geometric shapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Press, Clare; Catmur, Caroline; Cook, Richard; Widmann, Hannah; Heyes, Cecilia; Bird, Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    Mirror neurons may be a genetic adaptation for social interaction. Alternatively, the associative hypothesis proposes that the development of mirror neurons is driven by sensorimotor learning, and that, given suitable experience, mirror neurons will respond to any stimulus. This hypothesis was tested using fMRI adaptation to index populations of cells with mirror properties. After sensorimotor training, where geometric shapes were paired with hand actions, BOLD response was measured while human participants experienced runs of events in which shape observation alternated with action execution or observation. Adaptation from shapes to action execution, and critically, observation, occurred in ventral premotor cortex (PMv) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Adaptation from shapes to execution indicates that neuronal populations responding to the shapes had motor properties, while adaptation to observation demonstrates that these populations had mirror properties. These results indicate that sensorimotor training induced populations of cells with mirror properties in PMv and IPL to respond to the observation of arbitrary shapes. They suggest that the mirror system has not been shaped by evolution to respond in a mirror fashion to biological actions; instead, its development is mediated by stimulus-general processes of learning within a system adapted for visuomotor control.

  19. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  20. Mirror and (absence of) counter-mirror responses to action sounds measured with TMS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ticini, Luca F; Schütz-Bosbach, Simone; Waszak, Florian

    2017-11-01

    To what extent is the mirror neuron mechanism malleable to experience? The answer to this question can help characterising its ontogeny and its role in social cognition. Some suggest that it develops through sensorimotor associations congruent with our own actions. Others argue for its extreme volatility that will encode any sensorimotor association in the environment. Here, we added to this debate by exploring the effects of short goal-directed 'mirror' and 'counter-mirror' trainings (a 'mirror' training is defined as the first type of training encountered by the participants) on human auditory mirror motor-evoked potentials (MEPs). We recorded MEPs in response to two tones void of previous motor meaning, before and after mirror and counter-mirror trainings in which participants generated two tones of different pitch by performing free-choice button presses. The results showed that mirror MEPs, once established, were protected against an equivalent counter-mirror experience: they became manifest very rapidly and the same number of training trials that lead to the initial association did not suffice to reverse the MEP pattern. This steadiness of the association argues that, by serving direct-matching purposes, the mirror mechanism is a good solution for social cognition. © The Author (2017). Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Spindle neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Vogt, B. A.; Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate cortex is distinguished by the presence of an unusual cell type, a large spindle neuron in layer Vb. This cell has been noted numerous times in the historical literature but has not been studied with modern neuroanatomic techniques. For instance, details regarding the neuronal class to which these cells belong and regarding their precise distribution along both ventrodorsal and anteroposterior axes of the cingulate gyrus are still lacking. In the present study, morphological features and the anatomic distribution of this cell type were studied using computer-assisted mapping and immunocytochemical techniques. Spindle neurons are restricted to the subfields of the anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann's area 24), exhibiting a greater density in anterior portions of this area than in posterior portions, and tapering off in the transition zone between anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, a majority of the spindle cells at any level is located in subarea 24b on the gyral surface. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the neurofilament protein triple was present in a large percentage of these neurons and that they did not contain calcium-binding proteins. Injections of the carbocyanine dye DiI into the cingulum bundle revealed that these cells are projection neurons. Finally, spindle cells were consistently affected in Alzheimer's disease cases, with an overall loss of about 60%. Taken together, these observations indicate that the spindle cells of the human cingulate cortex represent a morphological subpopulation of pyramidal neurons whose restricted distribution may be associated with functionally distinct areas.

  2. Reduced mirror neuron activity in schizophrenia and its association with theory of mind deficits: evidence from a transcranial magnetic stimulation study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Urvakhsh Meherwan; Thirthalli, Jagadisha; Basavaraju, Rakshathi; Gangadhar, Bangalore N; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2014-09-01

    The "mirror-neuron system" has been proposed to be a neurophysiological substrate for social cognition (SC) ability. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) paradigms to compare putative mirror neuron activity (MNA) in 3 groups: antipsychotic-naive, medicated schizophrenia patients, and healthy comparison subjects. We also explored the association between MNA and SC ability in patients. Fifty-four consenting right-handed schizophrenia patients (33 antipsychotic naive) and 45 matched healthy comparison subjects completed a TMS experiment to assess putative premotor MNA. We used 4 TMS paradigms of eliciting motor-evoked potentials (MEP) in the right first dorsal interosseous (FDI) muscle. These were applied while the subjects observed a goal-directed action involving the FDI (actual action and its video) and a static image. The difference in the amplitude of the MEP while they observed the static image and the action provided a measure of MNA. Subjects also underwent SC assessments (theory of mind [ToM], emotion processing, and social perception). Two-way repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant group × occasion interaction effect in 3 TMS paradigms, indicating deficient motor facilitation during action observation relative to rest state in antipsychotic-naive schizophrenia patients as compared with the other two groups. Among patients, there were significant direct correlations between measures of MNA and ToM performance. Antipsychotic-naive schizophrenia patients have poorer MNA than medicated patients and healthy controls. Measures of putative MNA had significant and consistent associations with ToM abilities. These findings suggest a possibility of deficient mirror neuron system underlying SC deficits in schizophrenia. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Neurons in the white matter of the adult human neocortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Luisa Suarez-Sola

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The white matter (WM of the adult human neocortex contains the so-called “interstitial neurons”. They are most numerous in the superficial WM underlying the cortical gyri, and decrease in density toward the deep WM. They are morphologically heterogeneous. A subgroup of interstitial neurons display pyramidal-cell like morphologies, characterized by a polarized dendritic tree with a dominant apical dendrite, and covered with a variable number of dendritic spines. In addition, a large contingent of interstitial neurons can be classified as interneurons based on their neurochemical profile as well as on morphological criteria. WM- interneurons have multipolar or bipolar shapes and express GABA and a variety of other neuronal markers, such as calbindin and calretinin, the extracellular matrix protein reelin, or neuropeptide Y, somatostatin, and nitric oxide synthase. The heterogeneity of interstitial neurons may be relevant for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease and schizophrenia. Interstitial neurons are most prominent in human brain, and only rudimentary in the brain of non-primate mammals. These evolutionary differences have precluded adequate experimental work on this cell population, which is usually considered as a relict of the subplate, a transient compartment proper of development and without a known function in the adult brain. The primate-specific prominence of the subplate in late fetal stages points to an important role in the establishment of interstitial neurons. Neurons in the adult WM may be actively involved in coordinating inter-areal connectivity and regulation of blood flow. Further studies in primates will be needed to elucidate the developmental history, adult components and activities of this large neuronal system.

  4. Možnosti využití současných poznatků v oblasti zrcadlových neuronů v psychologické praxi pro trénink empatie

    OpenAIRE

    Poupětová, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    Mirror neurons are very specific nerve cells that are both motor and sensory in nature. Mirror neurons are a relatively new discovery first identified by a team of neurophysiologists at the University of Parma. These neurons were first observed in primates, and then later in humans in several regions of the cerebral cortex. A large amount of research on mirror neurons have shown that they play an important role in imitation, language acquisition and empathy. The theoretical part of this work ...

  5. The emotional tunes and the role of mirror neurons: From primary relationship mother-child relation to rehabilitation and therapeutic music therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefania La Porta

    2016-05-01

    His research has been forming the basis of the theoretical and methodological focus of music therapy to psychodynamic. The ability to reproduce the relational process characterized by affective attunements in a rehabilitation setting - music therapy where there are dis-evolution, as in the case of patients with Alzheimer's disease, you can reactivate capacity affective and relational residual strengthening in the subject 'personal and social identity mortified by the disease. Role within that path is done by a very peculiar type of neurons, mirror neurons, the subject of study in recent years by the neurosciences, whose characteristic would be to get excited is when a person performs a certain action, both when it is another to do it before his eyes.

  6. Directed neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noggle Scott A

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We have developed a culture system for the efficient and directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (HESCs to neural precursors and neurons. HESC were maintained by manual passaging and were differentiated to a morphologically distinct OCT-4+/SSEA-4- monolayer cell type prior to the derivation of embryoid bodies. Embryoid bodies were grown in suspension in serum free conditions, in the presence of 50% conditioned medium from the human hepatocarcinoma cell line HepG2 (MedII. Results A neural precursor population was observed within HESC derived serum free embryoid bodies cultured in MedII conditioned medium, around 7–10 days after derivation. The neural precursors were organized into rosettes comprised of a central cavity surrounded by ring of cells, 4 to 8 cells in width. The central cells within rosettes were proliferating, as indicated by the presence of condensed mitotic chromosomes and by phosphoHistone H3 immunostaining. When plated and maintained in adherent culture, the rosettes of neural precursors were surrounded by large interwoven networks of neurites. Immunostaining demonstrated the expression of nestin in rosettes and associated non-neuronal cell types, and a radial expression of Map-2 in rosettes. Differentiated neurons expressed the markers Map-2 and Neurofilament H, and a subpopulation of the neurons expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, a marker for dopaminergic neurons. Conclusion This novel directed differentiation approach led to the efficient derivation of neuronal cultures from HESCs, including the differentiation of tyrosine hydroxylase expressing neurons. HESC were morphologically differentiated to a monolayer OCT-4+ cell type, which was used to derive embryoid bodies directly into serum free conditions. Exposure to the MedII conditioned medium enhanced the derivation of neural precursors, the first example of the effect of this conditioned medium on HESC.

  7. Functional Neuronal Processing of Human Body Odors

    OpenAIRE

    Lundström, Johan N.; Olsson, Mats J.

    2010-01-01

    Body odors carry informational cues of great importance for individuals across a wide range of species, and signals hidden within the body odor cocktail are known to regulate several key behaviors in animals. For a long time, the notion that humans may be among these species has been dismissed. We now know, however, that each human has a unique odor signature that carries information related to his or her genetic makeup, as well as information about personal environmental variables, such as d...

  8. Functional neuronal processing of human body odors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lundström, Johan N; Olsson, Mats J

    2010-01-01

    Body odors carry informational cues of great importance for individuals across a wide range of species, and signals hidden within the body odor cocktail are known to regulate several key behaviors in animals. For a long time, the notion that humans may be among these species has been dismissed. We now know, however, that each human has a unique odor signature that carries information related to his or her genetic makeup, as well as information about personal environmental variables, such as diet and hygiene. Although a substantial number of studies have investigated the behavioral effects of body odors, only a handful have studied central processing. Recent studies have, however, demonstrated that the human brain responds to fear signals hidden within the body odor cocktail, is able to extract kin specific signals, and processes body odors differently than other perceptually similar odors. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the current knowledge of how the human brain processes body odors and the potential importance these signals have for us in everyday life. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Exclusive neuronal expression of SUCLA2 in the human brain

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dobolyi, Arpád; Ostergaard, Elsebet; Bagó, Attila G

    2015-01-01

    associated with SUCLA2 mutations, the precise localization of SUCLA2 protein has never been investigated. Here, we show that immunoreactivity of A-SUCL-β in surgical human cortical tissue samples was present exclusively in neurons, identified by their morphology and visualized by double labeling...... was absent in glial cells, identified by antibodies directed against the glial markers GFAP and S100. Furthermore, in situ hybridization histochemistry demonstrated that SUCLA2 mRNA was present in Nissl-labeled neurons but not glial cells labeled with S100. Immunoreactivity of the GTP-forming β subunit (G......-SUCL-β) encoded by SUCLG2, or in situ hybridization histochemistry for SUCLG2 mRNA could not be demonstrated in either neurons or astrocytes. Western blotting of post mortem brain samples revealed minor G-SUCL-β immunoreactivity that was, however, not upregulated in samples obtained from diabetic versus non...

  10. Sensory neurons do not induce motor neuron loss in a human stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Andrew J; Ebert, Allison D

    2014-01-01

    Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive disorder leading to paralysis and early death due to reduced SMN protein. It is unclear why there is such a profound motor neuron loss, but recent evidence from fly and mouse studies indicate that cells comprising the whole sensory-motor circuit may contribute to motor neuron dysfunction and loss. Here, we used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from SMA patients to test whether sensory neurons directly contribute to motor neuron loss. We generated sensory neurons from SMA induced pluripotent stem cells and found no difference in neuron generation or survival, although there was a reduced calcium response to depolarizing stimuli. Using co-culture of SMA induced pluripotent stem cell derived sensory neurons with control induced pluripotent stem cell derived motor neurons, we found no significant reduction in motor neuron number or glutamate transporter boutons on motor neuron cell bodies or neurites. We conclude that SMA sensory neurons do not overtly contribute to motor neuron loss in this human stem cell system.

  11. Optical coherence tomography visualizes neurons in human entorhinal cortex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magnain, Caroline; Augustinack, Jean C.; Konukoglu, Ender; Frosch, Matthew P.; Sakadžić, Sava; Varjabedian, Ani; Garcia, Nathalie; Wedeen, Van J.; Boas, David A.; Fischl, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. The cytoarchitecture of the human brain is of great interest in diverse fields: neuroanatomy, neurology, neuroscience, and neuropathology. Traditional histology is a method that has been historically used to assess cell and fiber content in the ex vivo human brain. However, this technique suffers from significant distortions. We used a previously demonstrated optical coherence microscopy technique to image individual neurons in several square millimeters of en-face tissue blocks from layer II of the human entorhinal cortex, over 50  μm in depth. The same slices were then sectioned and stained for Nissl substance. We registered the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images with the corresponding Nissl stained slices using a nonlinear transformation. The neurons were then segmented in both images and we quantified the overlap. We show that OCT images contain information about neurons that is comparable to what can be obtained from Nissl staining, and thus can be used to assess the cytoarchitecture of the ex vivo human brain with minimal distortion. With the future integration of a vibratome into the OCT imaging rig, this technique can be scaled up to obtain undistorted volumetric data of centimeter cube tissue blocks in the near term, and entire human hemispheres in the future. PMID:25741528

  12. Human neuronal cell protein responses to Nipah virus infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Sharifah

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Nipah virus (NiV, a recently discovered zoonotic virus infects and replicates in several human cell types. Its replication in human neuronal cells, however, is less efficient in comparison to other fully susceptible cells. In the present study, the SK-N-MC human neuronal cell protein response to NiV infection is examined using proteomic approaches. Results Method for separation of the NiV-infected human neuronal cell proteins using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D-PAGE was established. At least 800 protein spots were resolved of which seven were unique, six were significantly up-regulated and eight were significantly down-regulated. Six of these altered proteins were identified using mass spectrometry (MS and confirmed using MS/MS. The heterogenous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP F, guanine nucleotide binding protein (G protein, voltage-dependent anion channel 2 (VDAC2 and cytochrome bc1 were present in abundance in the NiV-infected SK-N-MC cells in contrast to hnRNPs H and H2 that were significantly down-regulated. Conclusion Several human neuronal cell proteins that are differentially expressed following NiV infection are identified. The proteins are associated with various cellular functions and their abundance reflects their significance in the cytopathologic responses to the infection and the regulation of NiV replication. The potential importance of the ratio of hnRNP F, and hnRNPs H and H2 in regulation of NiV replication, the association of the mitochondrial protein with the cytopathologic responses to the infection and induction of apoptosis are highlighted.

  13. Angiotensinergic and noradrenergic neurons in the rat and human heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patil, Jaspal; Stucki, Silvan; Nussberger, Juerg; Schaffner, Thomas; Gygax, Susanne; Bohlender, Juergen; Imboden, Hans

    2011-02-25

    Although the physiological and pharmacological evidences suggest a role for angiotensin II (Ang II) with the mammalian heart, the source and precise location of Ang II are unknown. To visualize and quantitate Ang II in atria, ventricular walls and interventricular septum of the rat and human heart and to explore the feasibility of local Ang II production and function, we investigated by different methods the expression of proteins involved in the generation and function of Ang II. We found mRNA of angiotensinogen (Ang-N), of angiotensin converting enzyme, of the angiotensin type receptors AT(1A) and AT₂ (AT(1B) not detected) as well as of cathepsin D in any part of the hearts. No renin mRNA was traceable. Ang-N mRNA was visualized by in situ hybridization in atrial ganglial neurons. Ang II and dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DβH) were either colocalized inside the same neuronal cell or the neurons were specialized for Ang II or DβH. Within these neurons, the vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT) was neither colocalized with Ang II nor DβH, but VAChT-staining was found with synapses en passant encircle these neuronal cells. The fibers containing Ang II exhibited with blood vessels and with cardiomyocytes supposedly angiotensinergic synapses en passant. In rat heart, right atrial median Ang II concentration appeared higher than septal and ventricular Ang II. The distinct colocalization of neuronal Ang II with DβH in the heart may indicate that Ang II participates together with norepinephrine in the regulation of cardiac functions: produced as a cardiac neurotransmitter Ang II may have inotropic, chronotropic or dromotropic effects in atria and ventricles and contributes to blood pressure regulation. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Afferent neuronal control of type-I gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH neurons in the human

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erik eHrabovszky

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the regulation of the human menstrual cycle represents an important ultimate challenge of reproductive neuroendocrine research. However, direct translation of information from laboratory animal experiments to the human is often complicated by strikingly different and unique reproductive strategies and central regulatory mechanisms that can be present in even closely related animal species. In all mammals studied so far, type-I gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH synthesizing neurons form the final common output way from the hypothalamus in the neuroendocrine control of the adenohypophysis. Under various physiological and pathological conditions, hormonal and metabolic signals either regulate GnRH neurons directly or act on upstream neuronal circuitries to influence the pattern of pulsatile GnRH secretion into the hypophysial portal circulation. Neuronal afferents to GnRH cells convey important metabolic-, stress-, sex steroid-, lactational- and circadian signals to the reproductive axis, among other effects. This article gives an overview of the available neuroanatomical literature that described the afferent regulation of human GnRH neurons by peptidergic, monoaminergic and amino acidergic neuronal systems. Recent studies of human genetics provided evidence that central peptidergic signaling by kisspeptins and neurokinin B play particularly important roles in puberty onset and later, in the sex steroid-dependent feedback regulation of GnRH neurons. This review article places special emphasis on the topographic distribution, sexual dimorphism, aging-dependent neuroanatomical changes and plastic connectivity to GnRH neurons of the critically important human hypothalamic kisspeptin and neurokinin B systems.

  15. Electrophysiological properties of neurons derived from human stem cells and iNeurons in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliwell, Robert F

    2017-06-01

    Functional studies of neurons have traditionally used nervous system tissues from a variety of non-human vertebrate and invertebrate species, even when the focus of much of this research has been directed at understanding human brain function. Over the last decade, the identification and isolation of human stem cells from embryonic, tissue (or adult) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has revolutionized the availability of human neurons for experimental studies in vitro. In addition, the direct conversion of terminally differentiated fibroblasts into Induced neurons (iN) has generated great excitement because of the likely value of such human stem cell derived neurons (hSCNs) and iN cells in drug discovery, neuropharmacology, neurotoxicology and regenerative medicine. This review addresses the current state of our knowledge of functional receptors and ion channels expressed in neurons derived from human stem cells and iNeurons and identifies gaps and questions that might be investigated in future studies; it focusses almost exclusively on what is known about the electrophysiological properties of neurons derived from human stem cells and iN cells in vitro with an emphasis on voltage and ligand gated ion channels, since these mediate synaptic signalling in the nervous system and they are at the heart of neuropharmacology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Selective neuronal lapses precede human cognitive lapses following sleep deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nir, Yuval; Andrillon, Thomas; Marmelshtein, Amit; Suthana, Nanthia; Cirelli, Chiara; Tononi, Giulio; Fried, Itzhak

    2017-12-01

    Sleep deprivation is a major source of morbidity with widespread health effects, including increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Moreover, sleep deprivation brings about vehicle accidents and medical errors and is therefore an urgent topic of investigation. During sleep deprivation, homeostatic and circadian processes interact to build up sleep pressure, which results in slow behavioral performance (cognitive lapses) typically attributed to attentional thalamic and frontoparietal circuits, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Recently, through study of electroencephalograms (EEGs) in humans and local field potentials (LFPs) in nonhuman primates and rodents it was found that, during sleep deprivation, regional 'sleep-like' slow and theta (slow/theta) waves co-occur with impaired behavioral performance during wakefulness. Here we used intracranial electrodes to record single-neuron activities and LFPs in human neurosurgical patients performing a face/nonface categorization psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) over multiple experimental sessions, including a session after full-night sleep deprivation. We find that, just before cognitive lapses, the selective spiking responses of individual neurons in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) are attenuated, delayed, and lengthened. These 'neuronal lapses' are evident on a trial-by-trial basis when comparing the slowest behavioral PVT reaction times to the fastest. Furthermore, during cognitive lapses, LFPs exhibit a relative local increase in slow/theta activity that is correlated with degraded single-neuron responses and with baseline theta activity. Our results show that cognitive lapses involve local state-dependent changes in neuronal activity already present in the MTL.

  17. Physiological Aβ Concentrations Produce a More Biomimetic Representation of the Alzheimer's Disease Phenotype in iPSC Derived Human Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berry, Bonnie J; Smith, Alec S T; Long, Christopher J; Martin, Candace C; Hickman, James J

    2018-05-22

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by slow, progressive neurodegeneration leading to severe neurological impairment, but current drug development efforts are limited by the lack of robust, human-based disease models. Amyloid-β (Aβ) is known to play an integral role in AD progression as it has been shown to interfere with neurological function. However, studies into AD pathology commonly apply Aβ to neurons for short durations at nonphysiological concentrations to induce an exaggerated dysfunctional phenotype. Such methods are unlikely to elucidate early stage disease dysfunction, when treatment is still possible, since damage to neurons by these high concentrations is extensive. In this study, we investigated chronic, pathologically relevant Aβ oligomer concentrations to induce an electrophysiological phenotype that is more representative of early AD progression compared to an acute high-dose application in human cortical neurons. The high, acute oligomer dose resulted in severe neuronal toxicity as well as upregulation of tau and phosphorylated tau. Chronic, low-dose treatment produced significant functional impairment without increased cell death or accumulation of tau protein. This in vitro phenotype more closely mirrors the status of early stage neural decline in AD pathology and could provide a valuable tool to further understanding of early stage AD pathophysiology and for screening potential therapeutic compounds.

  18. Human temporal cortical single neuron activity during working memory maintenance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-06-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  19. Human Temporal Cortical Single Neuron Activity During Working Memory Maintenance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamora, Leona; Corina, David; Ojemann, George

    2016-01-01

    The Working Memory model of human memory, first introduced by Baddeley and Hitch (1974), has been one of the most influential psychological constructs in cognitive psychology and human neuroscience. However the neuronal correlates of core components of this model have yet to be fully elucidated. Here we present data from two studies where human temporal cortical single neuron activity was recorded during tasks differentially affecting the maintenance component of verbal working memory. In Study One we vary the presence or absence of distracting items for the entire period of memory storage. In Study Two we vary the duration of storage so that distractors filled all, or only one-third of the time the memory was stored. Extracellular single neuron recordings were obtained from 36 subjects undergoing awake temporal lobe resections for epilepsy, 25 in Study one, 11 in Study two. Recordings were obtained from a total of 166 lateral temporal cortex neurons during performance of one of these two tasks, 86 study one, 80 study two. Significant changes in activity with distractor manipulation were present in 74 of these neurons (45%), 38 Study one, 36 Study two. In 48 (65%) of those there was increased activity during the period when distracting items were absent, 26 Study One, 22 Study Two. The magnitude of this increase was greater for Study One, 47.6%, than Study Two, 8.1%, paralleling the reduction in memory errors in the absence of distracters, for Study One of 70.3%, Study Two 26.3% These findings establish that human lateral temporal cortex is part of the neural system for working memory, with activity during maintenance of that memory that parallels performance, suggesting it represents active rehearsal. In 31 of these neurons (65%) this activity was an extension of that during working memory encoding that differed significantly from the neural processes recorded during overt and silent language tasks without a recent memory component, 17 Study one, 14 Study two

  20. The Early Development of Human Mirror Mechanisms: Evidence from Electromyographic Recordings at 3 and 6 Months

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turati, Chiara; Natale, Elena; Bolognini, Nadia; Senna, Irene; Picozzi, Marta; Longhi, Elena; Cassia, Viola Macchi

    2013-01-01

    In primates and adult humans direct understanding of others' action is provided by mirror mechanisms matching action observation and action execution (e.g. Casile, Caggiano & Ferrari, 2011). Despite the growing body of evidence detailing the existence of these mechanisms in the adult human brain, their origins and early development are…

  1. Forced swimming test and fluoxetine treatment: in vivo evidence that peripheral 5-HT in rat platelet-rich plasma mirrors cerebral extracellular 5-HT levels, whilst 5-HT in isolated platelets mirrors neuronal 5-HT changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchi, M; Moser, C; Lazzarini, C; Vecchiato, E; Crespi, F

    2002-03-01

    Low levels of central serotonin (5-HT) have been related to the state of depression, and 5-HT is the major target of the newer antidepressant drugs such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Neurons and platelets display structural and functional similarities, so that the latter have been proposed as a peripheral model of central functions. In particular, in blood more than 99% of 5-HT is contained in platelets, so that one could consider changes in 5-HT levels in platelets as a mirror of changes in central 5-HT. Here, this hypothesis has been studied via the analysis of the influence of: (1) the forced swimming test (FST, which has been proved to be of utility to predict the clinical efficacy of antidepressants in rodents) and (2) treatment with the SSRI fluoxetine upon 5-HT levels monitored in brain regions and in peripheral platelets by means of electrochemical in vivo and ex vivo measurements. The results obtained confirm that the FST increases immobility; furthermore they show a parallel and significant decrease in cerebral (brain homogenate) and peripheral (in platelet-rich plasma, PRP) voltammetric 5-HT levels following the FST in naive rats. In addition, subchronic treatment with fluoxetine was followed by a significant increase in 5-HT levels in PRP, while the same SSRI treatment performed within the FST resulted in a decrease in the 5-HT levels in PRP. However, this decrease was inferior to that observed without SSRI treatment. These data suggest that there is an inverse relationship between immobility and the levels of 5-HT in PRP and that these peripheral 5-HT levels are sensitive to: (1) the FST, (2) the treatment with fluoxetine and (3) the combination of both treatments, i.e. SSRI + FST. It has been reported that SSRI treatment at first inhibits the 5-HT transporter in brain, resulting in increased extracellular 5-HT, while following sustained SSRI treatments decreased intracellular levels of central 5-HT were observed. Accordingly, the

  2. The mirror system and its role in social cognition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fabbri-Destro, Maddalena

    2008-04-01

    Experiments in monkeys have shown that coding the goal of the motor acts is a fundamental property of the cortical motor system. In area F5, goal-coding motor neurons are also activated by observing motor acts done by others (the 'classical' mirror mechanism); in area F2 and area F1, some motor neurons are activated by the mere observation of goal-directed movements of a cursor displayed on a computer screen (a 'mirror-like' mechanism). Experiments in humans and monkeys have shown that the mirror mechanism enables the observer to understand the intention behind an observed motor act, in addition to the goal of it. Growing evidence shows that a deficit in the mirror mechanism underlies some aspects of autism.

  3. APP Metabolism Regulates Tau Proteostasis in Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven Moore

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of Aβ peptide fragments of the APP protein and neurofibrillary tangles of the microtubule-associated protein tau are the cellular hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. To investigate the relationship between APP metabolism and tau protein levels and phosphorylation, we studied human-stem-cell-derived forebrain neurons with genetic forms of AD, all of which increase the release of pathogenic Aβ peptides. We identified marked increases in intracellular tau in genetic forms of AD that either mutated APP or increased its dosage, suggesting that APP metabolism is coupled to changes in tau proteostasis. Manipulating APP metabolism by β-secretase and γ-secretase inhibition, as well as γ-secretase modulation, results in specific increases and decreases in tau protein levels. These data demonstrate that APP metabolism regulates tau proteostasis and suggest that the relationship between APP processing and tau is not mediated solely through extracellular Aβ signaling to neurons.

  4. Neuronal human BACE1 knockin induces systemic diabetes in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plucińska, Kaja; Dekeryte, Ruta; Koss, David; Shearer, Kirsty; Mody, Nimesh; Whitfield, Phillip D; Doherty, Mary K; Mingarelli, Marco; Welch, Andy; Riedel, Gernot; Delibegovic, Mirela; Platt, Bettina

    2016-07-01

    β-Secretase 1 (BACE1) is a key enzyme in Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis that catalyses the amyloidogenic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Recently, global Bace1 deletion was shown to protect against diet-induced obesity and diabetes, suggesting that BACE1 is a potential regulator of glucose homeostasis. Here, we investigated whether increased neuronal BACE1 is sufficient to alter systemic glucose metabolism, using a neuron-specific human BACE1 knockin mouse model (PLB4). Glucose homeostasis and adiposity were determined by glucose tolerance tests and EchoMRI, lipid species were measured by quantitative lipidomics, and biochemical and molecular alterations were assessed by western blotting, quantitative PCR and ELISAs. Glucose uptake in the brain and upper body was measured via (18)FDG-PET imaging. Physiological and molecular analyses demonstrated that centrally expressed human BACE1 induced systemic glucose intolerance in mice from 4 months of age onward, alongside a fatty liver phenotype and impaired hepatic glycogen storage. This diabetic phenotype was associated with hypothalamic pathology, i.e. deregulation of the melanocortin system, and advanced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress indicated by elevated central C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) signalling and hyperphosphorylation of its regulator eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α). In vivo (18)FDG-PET imaging further confirmed brain glucose hypometabolism in these mice; this corresponded with altered neuronal insulin-related signalling, enhanced protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) and retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4) levels, along with upregulation of the ribosomal protein and lipid translation machinery. Increased forebrain and plasma lipid accumulation (i.e. ceramides, triacylglycerols, phospholipids) was identified via lipidomics analysis. Our data reveal that neuronal BACE1 is a key regulator of metabolic homeostasis and provide a potential mechanism for the high

  5. Design of a Virtual Player for Joint Improvisation with Humans in the Mirror Game.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhai, Chao; Alderisio, Francesco; Słowiński, Piotr; Tsaneva-Atanasova, Krasimira; di Bernardo, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Joint improvisation is often observed among humans performing joint action tasks. Exploring the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms behind the emergence of joint improvisation is an open research challenge. This paper investigates jointly improvised movements between two participants in the mirror game, a paradigmatic joint task example. First, experiments involving movement coordination of different dyads of human players are performed in order to build a human benchmark. No designation of leader and follower is given beforehand. We find that joint improvisation is characterized by the lack of a leader and high levels of movement synchronization. Then, a theoretical model is proposed to capture some features of their interaction, and a set of experiments is carried out to test and validate the model ability to reproduce the experimental observations. Furthermore, the model is used to drive a computer avatar able to successfully improvise joint motion with a human participant in real time. Finally, a convergence analysis of the proposed model is carried out to confirm its ability to reproduce joint movements between the participants.

  6. On the number of preganglionic neurones driving human postganglionic sympathetic neurones: a comparison of modelling and empirical data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vaughan G Macefield

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Postganglionic sympathetic axons in awake healthy human subjects, regardless of their identity as muscle vasoconstrictor, cutaneous vasoconstrictor or sudomotor neurones, discharge with a low firing probability (~30%, generate low firing rates (~0.5 Hz and typically fire only once per cardiac interval. The purpose of the present study was to use modelling of spike trains in an attempt to define the number of preganglionic neurones that drive an individual postganglionic neurone. Artificial spike trains were generated in 1-3 preganglionic neurones converging onto a single postganglionic neurone. Each preganglionic input fired with a mean interval distribution of either 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 or 3000 ms and the standard deviation varied between 0.5, 1.0 and 2.0 x the mean interval; the discharge frequency of each preganglionic neurone exhibited positive skewness and kurtosis. Of the 45 patterns examined, the mean discharge properties of the postganglionic neurone could only be explained by it being driven by, on average, two preganglionic neurones firing with a mean interspike interval of 2500 ms and SD of 5000 ms. The mean firing rate resulting from this pattern was 0.22 Hz, comparable to that of spontaneously active muscle vasoconstrictor neurones in healthy subjects (0.40 Hz. Likewise, the distribution of the number of spikes per cardiac interval was similar between the modelled and actual data: 0 spikes (69.5 vs 66.6 %, 1 spike (25.6 vs 21.2 %, 2 spikes (4.3 vs 6.4 %, 3 spikes (0.5 vs 1.7 % and 4 spikes (0.1 vs 0.7 %. Although some features of the firing patterns could be explained by the postganglionic neurone being driven by a single preganglionic neurone, none of the emulated firing patterns generated by the firing of three preganglionic neurones matched the discharge of the real neurones. These modelling data indicate that, on average, human postganglionic sympathetic neurones are driven by two preganglionic inputs.

  7. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells: A novel approach to study metabolism in human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog; Bak, Lasse K; Nielsen, Jørgen E; Holst, Bjørn; Hyttel, Poul; Freude, Kristine K; Waagepetersen, Helle S

    2017-06-01

    Alterations in the cellular metabolic machinery of the brain are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Novel human cellular disease models are essential in order to study underlying disease mechanisms. In the present study, we characterized major metabolic pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U- 13 C]glucose, [U- 13 C]glutamate or [U- 13 C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry, and cellular amino acid content was quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Additionally, we evaluated mitochondrial function using real-time assessment of oxygen consumption via the Seahorse XF e 96 Analyzer. Moreover, in order to validate the hiPSC-derived neurons as a model system, a metabolic profiling was performed in parallel in primary neuronal cultures of mouse cerebral cortex and cerebellum. These serve as well-established models of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, respectively. The hiPSC-derived neurons were previously characterized as being forebrain-specific cortical glutamatergic neurons. However, a comparable preparation of predominantly mouse cortical glutamatergic neurons is not available. We found a higher glycolytic capacity in hiPSC-derived neurons compared to mouse neurons and a substantial oxidative metabolism through the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. This finding is supported by the extracellular acidification and oxygen consumption rates measured in the cultured human neurons. [U- 13 C]Glutamate and [U- 13 C]glutamine were found to be efficient energy substrates for the neuronal cultures originating from both mice and humans. Interestingly, isotopic labeling in metabolites from [U- 13 C]glutamate was higher than that from [U- 13 C]glutamine. Although the metabolic profile of hiPSC-derived neurons in vitro was

  8. Visualization of migration of human cortical neurons generated from induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bamba, Yohei; Kanemura, Yonehiro; Okano, Hideyuki; Yamasaki, Mami

    2017-09-01

    Neuronal migration is considered a key process in human brain development. However, direct observation of migrating human cortical neurons in the fetal brain is accompanied by ethical concerns and is a major obstacle in investigating human cortical neuronal migration. We established a novel system that enables direct visualization of migrating cortical neurons generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We observed the migration of cortical neurons generated from hiPSCs derived from a control and from a patient with lissencephaly. Our system needs no viable brain tissue, which is usually used in slice culture. Migratory behavior of human cortical neuron can be observed more easily and more vividly by its fluorescence and glial scaffold than that by earlier methods. Our in vitro experimental system provides a new platform for investigating development of the human central nervous system and brain malformation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Mental rotation and the human body: Children's inflexible use of embodiment mirrors that of adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krüger, Markus; Ebersbach, Mirjam

    2017-12-25

    Adults' mental rotation performance with body-like stimuli is enhanced if these stimuli are anatomically compatible with a human body, but decreased by anatomically incompatible stimuli. In this study, we investigated these effects for kindergartners and first-graders: When asked to mentally rotate cube configurations attached with human body parts in an anatomically compatible way, allowing for the projection of a human body, children performed better than with pure cube combinations. By contrast, when body parts were attached in an anatomically incompatible way, disallowing the projection of a human body, children performed worse than with pure combinations. This experiment is of specific interest against the background of two different theoretical approaches concerning imagery and the motor system in development: One approach assumes an increasing integration of motor processes and imagery over time that enables older children and adults to requisition motor resources for imagery processes, while the other postulates that imagery stems from early sensorimotor processes in the first place, and is disentangled from it over time. The finding that children of the two age groups tested show exactly the same effects as adults when mentally rotating anatomically compatible and incompatible stimuli is interpreted in favour of the latter approach. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? In mental rotation, adults perform better when rotating anatomically possible stimuli as compared to rotating standard cube combinations. Performance is worse when rotating anatomically impossible stimuli. What does this study add? The present study shows that children's mental transformations mirror those of adults in these respects. In case of the anatomically impossible stimuli, this highlights an inflexible use of embodiment in both age groups. This is in line with the Piagetian assumption of imagery being based on sensorimotor processes. © 2017 The British

  10. Efficient and Cost-Effective Generation of Mature Neurons From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

    OpenAIRE

    Badja , Cherif; Maleeva , Galyna; El-Yazidi , Claire; Barruet , Emilie; Lasserre , Manon; Tropel , Philippe; Binetruy , Bernard; Bregestovski , Piotr; Magdinier , Frédérique

    2014-01-01

    The authors describe a feeder-free method of generating induced pluripotent stem cells by relying on the use of a chemically defined medium that overcomes the need for embryoid body formation and neuronal rosette isolation for neuronal precursors and terminally differentiated neuron production. This specific and efficient single-step strategy allows the production of mature neurons in 20–40 days with multiple applications, especially for modeling human pathologies.

  11. Internally generated preactivation of single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition

    OpenAIRE

    Fried, Itzhak; Mukamel, Roy; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how self-initiated behavior is encoded by neuronal circuits in the human brain remains elusive. We recorded the activity of 1019 neurons while twelve subjects performed self-initiated finger movement. We report progressive neuronal recruitment over ∼1500 ms before subjects report making the decision to move. We observed progressive increase or decrease in neuronal firing rate, particularly in the supplementary motor area (SMA), as the reported time of decision was approached. A ...

  12. Mapping human temporal and parietal neuronal population activity and functional coupling during mathematical cognition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daitch, Amy L.; Foster, Brett L.; Schrouff, Jessica; Rangarajan, Vinitha; Kaşikçi, Itır; Gattas, Sandra; Parvizi, Josef

    2016-01-01

    Brain areas within the lateral parietal cortex (LPC) and ventral temporal cortex (VTC) have been shown to code for abstract quantity representations and for symbolic numerical representations, respectively. To explore the fast dynamics of activity within each region and the interaction between them, we used electrocorticography recordings from 16 neurosurgical subjects implanted with grids of electrodes over these two regions and tracked the activity within and between the regions as subjects performed three different numerical tasks. Although our results reconfirm the presence of math-selective hubs within the VTC and LPC, we report here a remarkable heterogeneity of neural responses within each region at both millimeter and millisecond scales. Moreover, we show that the heterogeneity of response profiles within each hub mirrors the distinct patterns of functional coupling between them. Our results support the existence of multiple bidirectional functional loops operating between discrete populations of neurons within the VTC and LPC during the visual processing of numerals and the performance of arithmetic functions. These findings reveal information about the dynamics of numerical processing in the brain and also provide insight into the fine-grained functional architecture and connectivity within the human brain. PMID:27821758

  13. APP metabolism regulates tau proteostasis in human cerebral cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Steven; Evans, Lewis D B; Andersson, Therese; Portelius, Erik; Smith, James; Dias, Tatyana B; Saurat, Nathalie; McGlade, Amelia; Kirwan, Peter; Blennow, Kaj; Hardy, John; Zetterberg, Henrik; Livesey, Frederick J

    2015-05-05

    Accumulation of Aβ peptide fragments of the APP protein and neurofibrillary tangles of the microtubule-associated protein tau are the cellular hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD). To investigate the relationship between APP metabolism and tau protein levels and phosphorylation, we studied human-stem-cell-derived forebrain neurons with genetic forms of AD, all of which increase the release of pathogenic Aβ peptides. We identified marked increases in intracellular tau in genetic forms of AD that either mutated APP or increased its dosage, suggesting that APP metabolism is coupled to changes in tau proteostasis. Manipulating APP metabolism by β-secretase and γ-secretase inhibition, as well as γ-secretase modulation, results in specific increases and decreases in tau protein levels. These data demonstrate that APP metabolism regulates tau proteostasis and suggest that the relationship between APP processing and tau is not mediated solely through extracellular Aβ signaling to neurons. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Feasibility of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to Investigate the Mirror Neuron System: An Experimental Study in a Real-Life Situation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Pei-Pei; Tan, Fu-Lun; Zhang, Zong; Jiang, Yi-Han; Zhao, Yang; Zhu, Chao-Zhe

    2018-01-01

    The mirror neuron system (MNS), mainly including the premotor cortex (PMC), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), superior parietal lobule (SPL), and rostral inferior parietal lobule (IPL), has attracted extensive attention as a possible neural mechanism of social interaction. Owing to high ecological validity, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has become an ideal approach for exploring the MNS. Unfortunately, for the feasibility of fNIRS to detect the MNS, none of the four dominant regions were found in previous studies, implying a very limited capacity of fNIRS to investigate the MNS. Here, we adopted an experimental paradigm in a real-life situation to evaluate whether the MNS activity, including four dominant regions, can be detected by using fNIRS. Specifically, 30 right-handed subjects were asked to complete a table-setting task that included action execution and action observation. A double density probe configuration covered the four regions of the MNS in the left hemisphere. We used a traditional channel-based group analysis and also a ROI-based group analysis to find which regions are activated during both action execution and action observation. The results showed that the IFG, adjacent PMC, SPL, and IPL were involved in both conditions, indicating the feasibility of fNIRS to detect the MNS. Our findings provide a foundation for future research to explore the functional role of the MNS in social interaction and various disorders using fNIRS. PMID:29556185

  15. Feasibility of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS to Investigate the Mirror Neuron System: An Experimental Study in a Real-Life Situation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pei-Pei Sun

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The mirror neuron system (MNS, mainly including the premotor cortex (PMC, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG, superior parietal lobule (SPL, and rostral inferior parietal lobule (IPL, has attracted extensive attention as a possible neural mechanism of social interaction. Owing to high ecological validity, functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS has become an ideal approach for exploring the MNS. Unfortunately, for the feasibility of fNIRS to detect the MNS, none of the four dominant regions were found in previous studies, implying a very limited capacity of fNIRS to investigate the MNS. Here, we adopted an experimental paradigm in a real-life situation to evaluate whether the MNS activity, including four dominant regions, can be detected by using fNIRS. Specifically, 30 right-handed subjects were asked to complete a table-setting task that included action execution and action observation. A double density probe configuration covered the four regions of the MNS in the left hemisphere. We used a traditional channel-based group analysis and also a ROI-based group analysis to find which regions are activated during both action execution and action observation. The results showed that the IFG, adjacent PMC, SPL, and IPL were involved in both conditions, indicating the feasibility of fNIRS to detect the MNS. Our findings provide a foundation for future research to explore the functional role of the MNS in social interaction and various disorders using fNIRS.

  16. Neuropeptide Y-immunoreactive neurons in the cerebral cortex of humans and other haplorrhine primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghanti, Mary Ann; Conley, Tiffini; Sudduth, Jessica; Erwin, Joseph M.; Stimpson, Cheryl D.; Hof, Patrick R.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2012-01-01

    We examined the distribution of neurons immunoreactive for neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the posterior part of the superior temporal cortex (Brodmann's area 22 or area Tpt) of humans and nonhuman haplorrhine primates. NPY has been implicated in learning and memory and the density of NPY-expressing cortical neurons and axons is reduced in depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. Due to the role that NPY plays in both cognition and neurodegenerative diseases, we tested the hypothesis that the density of cortical and interstitial neurons expressing NPY was increased in humans relative to other primate species. The study sample included great apes (chimpanzee and gorilla), Old World monkeys (pigtailed macaque, moor macaque, and baboon) and New World monkeys (squirrel monkey and capuchin). Stereologic methods were used to estimate the density of NPY-immunoreactive (-ir) neurons in layers I-VI of area Tpt and the subjacent white matter. Adjacent Nissl-stained sections were used to calculate local densities of all neurons. The ratio of NPY-ir neurons to total neurons within area Tpt and the total density of NPY-ir neurons within the white matter were compared among species. Overall, NPY-ir neurons represented only an average of 0.006% of the total neuron population. While there were significant differences among species, phylogenetic trends in NPY-ir neuron distributions were not observed and humans did not differ from other primates. However, variation among species warrants further investigation into the distribution of this neuromodulator system. PMID:23042407

  17. Patterning human neuronal networks on photolithographically engineered silicon dioxide substrates functionalized with glial analogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Mark A; Brennan, Paul M; Bunting, Andrew S; Cameron, Katherine; Murray, Alan F; Shipston, Mike J

    2014-05-01

    Interfacing neurons with silicon semiconductors is a challenge being tackled through various bioengineering approaches. Such constructs inform our understanding of neuronal coding and learning and ultimately guide us toward creating intelligent neuroprostheses. A fundamental prerequisite is to dictate the spatial organization of neuronal cells. We sought to pattern neurons using photolithographically defined arrays of polymer parylene-C, activated with fetal calf serum. We used a purified human neuronal cell line [Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES)] to establish whether neurons remain viable when isolated on-chip or whether they require a supporting cell substrate. When cultured in isolation, LUHMES neurons failed to pattern and did not show any morphological signs of differentiation. We therefore sought a cell type with which to prepattern parylene regions, hypothesizing that this cellular template would enable secondary neuronal adhesion and network formation. From a range of cell lines tested, human embryonal kidney (HEK) 293 cells patterned with highest accuracy. LUHMES neurons adhered to pre-established HEK 293 cell clusters and this coculture environment promoted morphological differentiation of neurons. Neurites extended between islands of adherent cell somata, creating an orthogonally arranged neuronal network. HEK 293 cells appear to fulfill a role analogous to glia, dictating cell adhesion, and generating an environment conducive to neuronal survival. We next replaced HEK 293 cells with slower growing glioma-derived precursors. These primary human cells patterned accurately on parylene and provided a similarly effective scaffold for neuronal adhesion. These findings advance the use of this microfabrication-compatible platform for neuronal patterning. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Extracellular Monomeric and Aggregated Tau Efficiently Enter Human Neurons through Overlapping but Distinct Pathways

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    Lewis D. Evans

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Summary: In Alzheimer’s disease, neurofibrillary tangle pathology appears to spread along neuronal connections, proposed to be mediated by the release and uptake of abnormal, disease-specific forms of microtubule-binding protein tau MAPT. It is currently unclear whether transfer of tau between neurons is a toxic gain-of-function process in dementia or reflects a constitutive biological process. We report two entry mechanisms for monomeric tau to human neurons: a rapid dynamin-dependent phase typical of endocytosis and a second, slower actin-dependent phase of macropinocytosis. Aggregated tau entry is independent of actin polymerization and largely dynamin dependent, consistent with endocytosis and distinct from macropinocytosis, the major route for aggregated tau entry reported for non-neuronal cells. Anti-tau antibodies abrogate monomeric tau entry into neurons, but less efficiently in the case of aggregated tau, where internalized tau carries antibody with it into neurons. These data suggest that tau entry to human neurons is a physiological process and not a disease-specific phenomenon. : In contrast with predictions that transfer of the microtubule-associated protein tau between neurons is a toxic gain-of-function process in dementia, Evans et al. show that healthy human neurons efficiently take up both normal and aggregated tau, by distinct but overlapping uptake mechanisms. Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, Tau, MAPT, iPSC, endocytosis, human neurons, intracellular transport

  19. Rapid sensing of l-leucine by human and murine hypothalamic neurons: Neurochemical and mechanistic insights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heeley, Nicholas; Kirwan, Peter; Darwish, Tamana; Arnaud, Marion; Evans, Mark L; Merkle, Florian T; Reimann, Frank; Gribble, Fiona M; Blouet, Clemence

    2018-04-01

    Dietary proteins are sensed by hypothalamic neurons and strongly influence multiple aspects of metabolic health, including appetite, weight gain, and adiposity. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which hypothalamic neural circuits controlling behavior and metabolism sense protein availability. The aim of this study is to characterize how neurons from the mediobasal hypothalamus respond to a signal of protein availability: the amino acid l-leucine. We used primary cultures of post-weaning murine mediobasal hypothalamic neurons, hypothalamic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, and calcium imaging to characterize rapid neuronal responses to physiological changes in extracellular l-Leucine concentration. A neurochemically diverse subset of both mouse and human hypothalamic neurons responded rapidly to l-leucine. Consistent with l-leucine's anorexigenic role, we found that 25% of mouse MBH POMC neurons were activated by l-leucine. 10% of MBH NPY neurons were inhibited by l-leucine, and leucine rapidly reduced AGRP secretion, providing a mechanism for the rapid leucine-induced inhibition of foraging behavior in rodents. Surprisingly, none of the candidate mechanisms previously implicated in hypothalamic leucine sensing (K ATP channels, mTORC1 signaling, amino-acid decarboxylation) were involved in the acute activity changes produced by l-leucine. Instead, our data indicate that leucine-induced neuronal activation involves a plasma membrane Ca 2+ channel, whereas leucine-induced neuronal inhibition is mediated by inhibition of a store-operated Ca 2+ current. A subset of neurons in the mediobasal hypothalamus rapidly respond to physiological changes in extracellular leucine concentration. Leucine can produce both increases and decreases in neuronal Ca 2+ concentrations in a neurochemically-diverse group of neurons, including some POMC and NPY/AGRP neurons. Our data reveal that leucine can signal through novel mechanisms to rapidly

  20. Can syntax appear in a mirror (system)?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tettamanti, Marco; Moro, Andrea

    2012-07-01

    Converging evidence indicates that the processing of some aspects related to the phonetic and the semantic components of language is tightly associated with both the perceptual and the motor neural systems. It has been suggested that mirror neurons contribute to language understanding by virtue of a neurophysiological response matching perceptual linguistic information onto corresponding motor plans. This proposal has sometimes been extended to advocate that the language competence as a whole, including syntax, may be ascribed to this kind of perceptuo-motor mappings. This position paper examines what kinds of empirical and theoretical challenges such general mirror neuron language accounts need to face in order to proof their validity--challenges that we think have not been adequately addressed yet. We highlight that the most important limitation is constituted by the fact that some core defining properties of human language, at the phonetic, semantic, and especially at the syntactic level, are not transparent to the bodily senses and thus they cannot be the direct source of mirror neuron perceptuo-motor matching. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Srl. All rights reserved.

  1. Speech-associated gestures, Broca’s area, and the human mirror system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skipper, Jeremy I.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Nusbaum, Howard C.; Small, Steven L

    2009-01-01

    Speech-associated gestures are hand and arm movements that not only convey semantic information to listeners but are themselves actions. Broca’s area has been assumed to play an important role both in semantic retrieval or selection (as part of a language comprehension system) and in action recognition (as part of a “mirror” or “observation–execution matching” system). We asked whether the role that Broca’s area plays in processing speech-associated gestures is consistent with the semantic retrieval/selection account (predicting relatively weak interactions between Broca’s area and other cortical areas because the meaningful information that speech-associated gestures convey reduces semantic ambiguity and thus reduces the need for semantic retrieval/selection) or the action recognition account (predicting strong interactions between Broca’s area and other cortical areas because speech-associated gestures are goal-direct actions that are “mirrored”). We compared the functional connectivity of Broca’s area with other cortical areas when participants listened to stories while watching meaningful speech-associated gestures, speech-irrelevant self-grooming hand movements, or no hand movements. A network analysis of neuroimaging data showed that interactions involving Broca’s area and other cortical areas were weakest when spoken language was accompanied by meaningful speech-associated gestures, and strongest when spoken language was accompanied by self-grooming hand movements or by no hand movements at all. Results are discussed with respect to the role that the human mirror system plays in processing speech-associated movements. PMID:17533001

  2. Uptake of inorganic mercury by human locus ceruleus and corticomotor neurons: implications for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Environmental toxins are suspected to play a role in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In an attempt to determine which pathways these toxins can use to enter motor neurons we compared the distribution of mercury in the CNS of a human and of mice that had been exposed to inorganic mercury. Results In the human who had been exposed to metallic mercury, mercury was seen predominantly in the locus ceruleus and corticomotor neurons, as well as in scattered glial cells. In mice that had been exposed to mercury vapor or mercuric chloride, mercury was present in lower motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain stem. Conclusions In humans, inorganic mercury can be taken up predominantly by corticomotor neurons, possibly when the locus ceruleus is upregulated by stress. This toxin uptake into corticomotor neurons is in accord with the hypothesis that ALS originates in these upper motor neurons. In mice, inorganic mercury is taken up predominantly by lower motor neurons. The routes toxins use to enter motor neurons depends on the nature of the toxin, the duration of exposure, and possibly the amount of stress (for upper motor neuron uptake) and exercise (for lower motor neuron uptake) at the time of toxin exposure. PMID:24252585

  3. Systematic Three-Dimensional Coculture Rapidly Recapitulates Interactions between Human Neurons and Astrocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Krencik

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human astrocytes network with neurons in dynamic ways that are still poorly defined. Our ability to model this relationship is hampered by the lack of relevant and convenient tools to recapitulate this complex interaction. To address this barrier, we have devised efficient coculture systems utilizing 3D organoid-like spheres, termed asteroids, containing pre-differentiated human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC-derived astrocytes (hAstros combined with neurons generated from hPSC-derived neural stem cells (hNeurons or directly induced via Neurogenin 2 overexpression (iNeurons. Our systematic methods rapidly produce structurally complex hAstros and synapses in high-density coculture with iNeurons in precise numbers, allowing for improved studies of neural circuit function, disease modeling, and drug screening. We conclude that these bioengineered neural circuit model systems are reliable and scalable tools to accurately study aspects of human astrocyte-neuron functional properties while being easily accessible for cell-type-specific manipulations and observations. : In this article, Krencik and colleagues show that high-density cocultures of pre-differentiated human astrocytes with induced neurons, from pluripotent stem cells, elicit mature characteristics by 3–5 weeks. This provides a faster and more defined alternative method to organoid cultures for investigating human neural circuit function. Keywords: human pluripotent stem cells, neurons, astrocytes, synapses, coculture, three-dimensional spheres, organoids, disease modeling

  4. Specific responses of human hippocampal neurons are associated with better memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suthana, Nanthia A; Parikshak, Neelroop N; Ekstrom, Arne D; Ison, Matias J; Knowlton, Barbara J; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Fried, Itzhak

    2015-08-18

    A population of human hippocampal neurons has shown responses to individual concepts (e.g., Jennifer Aniston) that generalize to different instances of the concept. However, recordings from the rodent hippocampus suggest an important function of these neurons is their ability to discriminate overlapping representations, or pattern separate, a process that may facilitate discrimination of similar events for successful memory. In the current study, we explored whether human hippocampal neurons can also demonstrate the ability to discriminate between overlapping representations and whether this selectivity could be directly related to memory performance. We show that among medial temporal lobe (MTL) neurons, certain populations of neurons are selective for a previously studied (target) image in that they show a significant decrease in firing rate to very similar (lure) images. We found that a greater proportion of these neurons can be found in the hippocampus compared with other MTL regions, and that memory for individual items is correlated to the degree of selectivity of hippocampal neurons responsive to those items. Moreover, a greater proportion of hippocampal neurons showed selective firing for target images in good compared with poor performers, with overall memory performance correlated with hippocampal selectivity. In contrast, selectivity in other MTL regions was not associated with memory performance. These findings show that a substantial proportion of human hippocampal neurons encode specific memories that support the discrimination of overlapping representations. These results also provide previously unidentified evidence consistent with a unique role of the human hippocampus in orthogonalization of representations in declarative memory.

  5. Direct Lineage Reprogramming Reveals Disease-Specific Phenotypes of Motor Neurons from Human ALS Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng-Lu Liu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Subtype-specific neurons obtained from adult humans will be critical to modeling neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS. Here, we show that adult human skin fibroblasts can be directly and efficiently converted into highly pure motor neurons without passing through an induced pluripotent stem cell stage. These adult human induced motor neurons (hiMNs exhibit the cytological and electrophysiological features of spinal motor neurons and form functional neuromuscular junctions (NMJs with skeletal muscles. Importantly, hiMNs converted from ALS patient fibroblasts show disease-specific degeneration manifested through poor survival, soma shrinkage, hypoactivity, and an inability to form NMJs. A chemical screen revealed that the degenerative features of ALS hiMNs can be remarkably rescued by the small molecule kenpaullone. Taken together, our results define a direct and efficient strategy to obtain disease-relevant neuronal subtypes from adult human patients and reveal their promising value in disease modeling and drug identification.

  6. Single-neuron correlates of subjective vision in the human medial temporal lobe

    OpenAIRE

    Kreiman, Gabriel; Fried, Itzhak; Koch, Christof

    2002-01-01

    Visual information from the environment is transformed into perceptual sensations through several stages of neuronal processing. Flash suppression constitutes a striking example in which the same retinal input can give rise to two different conscious visual percepts. We directly recorded the responses of individual neurons during flash suppression in the human amygdala, entorhinal cortex, hippocampus, and parahippocampal gyrus, allowing us to explore the neuronal responses in untrained subjec...

  7. Angels as Mirrors of the Human: The Anthropologies of Rilke and Bonaventure through the Lenses of Hans Urs von Balthasar

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    Yves De Maeseneer

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available In this article we present a theological-anthropological exploration, interpreting the figure of the angel as a mirror of our human condition. The point of departure is an analysis of Hans Urs von Balthasar’s approach to two major sources of our imagination of the angel: Bonaventure (1221−1274 and Maria Rainer Rilke (1875−1926. A comparison of his accounts of the Franciscan theologian and the Modern poet, respectively, reveals remarkable parallels in discourse, clustered around the tensions between vulnerability and openness, immanence and transcendence, and love and loss. Both Rilke and Bonaventure reject the classical angel figure as a human ideal, as it cannot integrate the paradoxes of human existence. Their alternative visions of what it means to be human, have many terms in common: heart, vulnerability, mortality, openness, abyss, suspension, transparency, receptivity, descent (kenosis, humility, poverty, etc. However, their meaning is different because Rilke does not recognize an absolute transcendence as the source of love and the vis-a-vis of the human. This immanentism leaves him no other option than the vain attempt to exorcize the angel figure altogether, while Bonaventure’s vision preserves the angel as an anthropological mirror, albeit an angel radically transfigured by God’s wounded love.

  8. Populations of subplate and interstitial neurons in fetal and adult human telencephalon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Pletikos, Mihovil; Jovanov-Milošević, Nataša

    2010-10-01

    In the adult human telencephalon, subcortical (gyral) white matter contains a special population of interstitial neurons considered to be surviving descendants of fetal subplate neurons [Kostovic & Rakic (1980) Cytology and the time of origin of interstitial neurons in the white matter in infant and adult human and monkey telencephalon. J Neurocytol9, 219]. We designate this population of cells as superficial (gyral) interstitial neurons and describe their morphology and distribution in the postnatal and adult human cerebrum. Human fetal subplate neurons cannot be regarded as interstitial, because the subplate zone is an essential part of the fetal cortex, the major site of synaptogenesis and the 'waiting' compartment for growing cortical afferents, and contains both projection neurons and interneurons with distinct input-output connectivity. However, although the subplate zone is a transient fetal structure, many subplate neurons survive postnatally as superficial (gyral) interstitial neurons. The fetal white matter is represented by the intermediate zone and well-defined deep periventricular tracts of growing axons, such as the corpus callosum, anterior commissure, internal and external capsule, and the fountainhead of the corona radiata. These tracts gradually occupy the territory of transient fetal subventricular and ventricular zones.The human fetal white matter also contains distinct populations of deep fetal interstitial neurons, which, by virtue of their location, morphology, molecular phenotypes and advanced level of dendritic maturation, remain distinct from subplate neurons and neurons in adjacent structures (e.g. basal ganglia, basal forebrain). We describe the morphological, histochemical (nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase) and immunocytochemical (neuron-specific nuclear protein, microtubule-associated protein-2, calbindin, calretinin, neuropeptide Y) features of both deep fetal interstitial neurons and deep (periventricular

  9. Einstein's Mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjurchinovski, Aleksandar; Skeparovski, Aleksandar

    2008-01-01

    Reflection of light from a plane mirror in uniform rectilinear motion is a century-old problem, intimately related to the foundations of special relativity. The problem was first investigated by Einstein in his famous 1905 paper by using the Lorentz transformations to switch from the mirror's rest frame to the frame where the mirror moves at a…

  10. Activity of vasopressinergic neurones of the human supraoptic nucleus is age- and sex-dependent

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ishunina, T. A.; Salehi, A.; Hofman, M. A.; Swaab, D. F.

    1999-01-01

    In the human hypothalamus, arginine-vasopressin (AVP) is produced for a major part by the neurones of the supraoptic nucleus (SON). Since plasma AVP levels in men were reported to be higher than those of women and we did not find a sex difference in the neurone number, a higher vasopressinergic

  11. Chiral mirrors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plum, Eric; Zheludev, Nikolay I.

    2015-01-01

    Mirrors are used in telescopes, microscopes, photo cameras, lasers, satellite dishes, and everywhere else, where redirection of electromagnetic radiation is required making them arguably the most important optical component. While conventional isotropic mirrors will reflect linear polarizations without change, the handedness of circularly polarized waves is reversed upon reflection. Here, we demonstrate a type of mirror reflecting one circular polarization without changing its handedness, while absorbing the other. The polarization-preserving mirror consists of a planar metasurface with a subwavelength pattern that cannot be superimposed with its mirror image without being lifted out of its plane, and a conventional mirror spaced by a fraction of the wavelength from the metasurface. Such mirrors enable circularly polarized lasers and Fabry-Pérot cavities with enhanced tunability, gyroscopic applications, polarization-sensitive detectors of electromagnetic waves, and can be used to enhance spectroscopies of chiral media

  12. Neuropeptide co-expression in hypothalamic kisspeptin neurons of laboratory animals and the human

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    Katalin eSkrapits

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Hypothalamic peptidergic neurons using kisspeptin (KP and its co-transmitters for communication are critically involved in the regulation of mammalian reproduction and puberty. This article provides an overview of neuropeptides present in KP neurons, with a focus on the human species. Immunohistochemical studies reveal that large subsets of human KP neurons synthesize neurokinin B, as also shown in laboratory species. In contrast, dynorphin described in KP neurons of rodents and sheep is found rarely in KP cells of human males and postmenopausal females. Similarly, galanin is detectable in mouse, but not human, KP cells, whereas substance P, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript and proenkephalin-derived opioids are expressed in varying subsets of KP neurons in humans, but not reported in ARC of other species. Human KP neurons do not contain neurotensin, cholecystokinin, proopiomelanocortin-derivatives, agouti-related protein, neuropeptide Y, somatostatin or tyrosine hydroxylase (dopamine. These data identify the possible co-transmitters of human KP cells. Neurochemical properties distinct from those of laboratory species indicate that humans use considerably different neurotransmitter mechanisms to regulate fertility.

  13. Topographical distribution and morphology of NADPH-diaphorase-stained neurons in the human claustrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinova-Palova, Dimka V.; Edelstein, Lawrence; Landzhov, Boycho; Minkov, Minko; Malinova, Lina; Hristov, Stanislav; Denaro, Frank J.; Alexandrov, Alexandar; Kiriakova, Teodora; Brainova, Ilina; Paloff, Adrian; Ovtscharoff, Wladimir

    2014-01-01

    We studied the topographical distribution and morphological characteristics of NADPH-diaphorase-positive neurons and fibers in the human claustrum. These neurons were seen to be heterogeneously distributed throughout the claustrum. Taking into account the size and shape of stained perikarya as well as dendritic and axonal characteristics, Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-diaphorase (NADPHd)-positive neurons were categorized by diameter into three types: large, medium and small. Large neurons ranged from 25 to 35 μm in diameter and typically displayed elliptical or multipolar cell bodies. Medium neurons ranged from 20 to 25 μm in diameter and displayed multipolar, bipolar and irregular cell bodies. Small neurons ranged from 14 to 20 μm in diameter and most often displayed oval or elliptical cell bodies. Based on dendritic characteristics, these neurons were divided into spiny and aspiny subtypes. Our findings reveal two populations of NADPHd-positive neurons in the human claustrum—one comprised of large and medium cells consistent with a projection neuron phenotype, the other represented by small cells resembling the interneuron phenotype as defined by previous Golgi impregnation studies. PMID:24904317

  14. Internally generated preactivation of single neurons in human medial frontal cortex predicts volition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Itzhak; Mukamel, Roy; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how self-initiated behavior is encoded by neuronal circuits in the human brain remains elusive. We recorded the activity of 1019 neurons while twelve subjects performed self-initiated finger movement. We report progressive neuronal recruitment over ~1500 ms before subjects report making the decision to move. We observed progressive increase or decrease in neuronal firing rate, particularly in the supplementary motor area (SMA), as the reported time of decision was approached. A population of 256 SMA neurons is sufficient to predict in single trials the impending decision to move with accuracy greater than 80% already 700 ms prior to subjects’ awareness. Furthermore, we predict, with a precision of a few hundred ms, the actual time point of this voluntary decision to move. We implement a computational model whereby volition emerges once a change in internally generated firing rate of neuronal assemblies crosses a threshold. PMID:21315264

  15. Human neuromelanin: an endogenous microglial activator for dopaminergic neuron death

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Wei; Zecca, Luigi; Wilson, Belinda; Ren, RW; Wang, Yong-jun; Wang, Xiao-min; Hong, Jau-Shyong

    2013-01-01

    Substantial evidence indicates that neuroinflammation caused by over-activation of microglial in the substantia nigra is critical in the pathogenesis of dopaminergic neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Increasing data demonstrates that environmental factors such as rotenone, paraquat play pivotal roles in the death of dopaminergic neurons. Here, potential role and mechanism of neuromelanin (NM), a major endogenous component in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra, on microg...

  16. Distinct populations of neurons respond to emotional valence and arousal in the human subthalamic nucleus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sieger, Tomáš; Serranová, Tereza; Růžička, Filip; Vostatek, Pavel; Wild, Jiří; Štastná, Daniela; Bonnet, Cecilia; Novák, Daniel; Růžička, Evžen; Urgošík, Dušan; Jech, Robert

    2015-03-10

    Both animal studies and studies using deep brain stimulation in humans have demonstrated the involvement of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in motivational and emotional processes; however, participation of this nucleus in processing human emotion has not been investigated directly at the single-neuron level. We analyzed the relationship between the neuronal firing from intraoperative microrecordings from the STN during affective picture presentation in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and the affective ratings of emotional valence and arousal performed subsequently. We observed that 17% of neurons responded to emotional valence and arousal of visual stimuli according to individual ratings. The activity of some neurons was related to emotional valence, whereas different neurons responded to arousal. In addition, 14% of neurons responded to visual stimuli. Our results suggest the existence of neurons involved in processing or transmission of visual and emotional information in the human STN, and provide evidence of separate processing of the affective dimensions of valence and arousal at the level of single neurons as well.

  17. Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Human Serotonergic Neurons

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    Lining Cao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, the serotonergic neurons located in the raphe nucleus are the unique resource of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of brain development and functions. Dysfunction of the serotonin system is present in many psychiatric disorders. Lack of in vitro functional human model limits the understanding of human central serotonergic system and its related diseases and clinical applications. Previously, we have developed a method generating human serotonergic neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs. In this study, we analyzed the features of these human iPSCs-derived serotonergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We found that these human serotonergic neurons are sensitive to the selective neurotoxin 5, 7-Dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT in vitro. After being transplanted into newborn mice, the cells not only expressed their typical molecular markers, but also showed the migration and projection to the host’s cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord. The data demonstrate that these human iPSCs-derived neurons exhibit the typical features as the serotonergic neurons in the brain, which provides a solid foundation for studying on human serotonin system and its related disorders.

  18. PINK1 is necessary for long term survival and mitochondrial function in human dopaminergic neurons.

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    Alison Wood-Kaczmar

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson's disease (PD is a common age-related neurodegenerative disease and it is critical to develop models which recapitulate the pathogenic process including the effect of the ageing process. Although the pathogenesis of sporadic PD is unknown, the identification of the mendelian genetic factor PINK1 has provided new mechanistic insights. In order to investigate the role of PINK1 in Parkinson's disease, we studied PINK1 loss of function in human and primary mouse neurons. Using RNAi, we created stable PINK1 knockdown in human dopaminergic neurons differentiated from foetal ventral mesencephalon stem cells, as well as in an immortalised human neuroblastoma cell line. We sought to validate our findings in primary neurons derived from a transgenic PINK1 knockout mouse. For the first time we demonstrate an age dependent neurodegenerative phenotype in human and mouse neurons. PINK1 deficiency leads to reduced long-term viability in human neurons, which die via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. Human neurons lacking PINK1 demonstrate features of marked oxidative stress with widespread mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal mitochondrial morphology. We report that PINK1 plays a neuroprotective role in the mitochondria of mammalian neurons, especially against stress such as staurosporine. In addition we provide evidence that cellular compensatory mechanisms such as mitochondrial biogenesis and upregulation of lysosomal degradation pathways occur in PINK1 deficiency. The phenotypic effects of PINK1 loss-of-function described here in mammalian neurons provides mechanistic insight into the age-related degeneration of nigral dopaminergic neurons seen in PD.

  19. Negative Effects of High Glucose Exposure in Human Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Morelli, Annamaria; Comeglio, Paolo; Sarchielli, Erica; Cellai, Ilaria; Vignozzi, Linda; Vannelli, Gabriella B.; Maggi, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic disorders are often associated with male hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, suggesting that hypothalamic defects involving GnRH neurons may impair the reproductive function. Among metabolic factors hyperglycemia has been implicated in the control of the reproductive axis at central level, both in humans and in animal models. To date, little is known about the direct effects of pathological high glucose concentrations on human GnRH neurons. In this study, we investigated the high glucose...

  20. Ketamine Causes Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Hiroyuki; Uchida, Tokujiro; Makita, Koshi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Ketamine toxicity has been demonstrated in nonhuman mammalian neurons. To study the toxic effect of ketamine on human neurons, an experimental model of cultured neurons from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) was examined, and the mechanism of its toxicity was investigated. Methods Human iPSC-derived dopaminergic neurons were treated with 0, 20, 100 or 500 μM ketamine for 6 and 24 h. Ketamine toxicity was evaluated by quantification of caspase 3/7 activity, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial membrane potential, ATP concentration, neurotransmitter reuptake activity and NADH/NAD+ ratio. Mitochondrial morphological change was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy and confocal microscopy. Results Twenty-four-hour exposure of iPSC-derived neurons to 500 μM ketamine resulted in a 40% increase in caspase 3/7 activity (P ketamine (100 μM) decreased the ATP level (22%, P ketamine concentration, which suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction preceded ROS generation and caspase activation. Conclusions We established an in vitro model for assessing the neurotoxicity of ketamine in iPSC-derived neurons. The present data indicate that the initial mitochondrial dysfunction and autophagy may be related to its inhibitory effect on the mitochondrial electron transport system, which underlies ketamine-induced neural toxicity. Higher ketamine concentration can induce ROS generation and apoptosis in human neurons. PMID:26020236

  1. Self-contained induction of neurons from human embryonic stem cells.

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    Tsuyoshi Okuno

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Neurons and glial cells can be efficiently induced from mouse embryonic stem (ES cells in a conditioned medium collected from rat primary-cultured astrocytes (P-ACM. However, the use of rodent primary cells for clinical applications may be hampered by limited supply and risk of contamination with xeno-proteins. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed an alternative method for unimpeded production of human neurons under xeno-free conditions. Initially, neural stem cells in sphere-like clusters were induced from human ES (hES cells after being cultured in P-ACM under free-floating conditions. The resultant neural stem cells could circumferentially proliferate under subsequent adhesive culture, and selectively differentiate into neurons or astrocytes by changing the medium to P-ACM or G5, respectively. These hES cell-derived neurons and astrocytes could procure functions similar to those of primary cells. Interestingly, a conditioned medium obtained from the hES cell-derived astrocytes (ES-ACM could successfully be used to substitute P-ACM for induction of neurons. Neurons made by this method could survive in mice brain after xeno-transplantation. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: By inducing astrocytes from hES cells in a chemically defined medium, we could produce human neurons without the use of P-ACM. This self-serving method provides an unlimited source of human neural cells and may facilitate clinical applications of hES cells for neurological diseases.

  2. Mirror-Like Mechanisms and Music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandro D'Ausilio

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The neural processes underlying sensory-motor integration have always attracted strong interest. The classic view is that action and perception are two extremes of mental operations. In the past 2 decades, though, a large number of discoveries have indeed refuted such an interpretation in favor of a more integrated view. Specifically, the discovery of mirror neurons in monkey premotor cortex is a rather strong demonstration that sensory and motor processes share the same neural substrates. In fact, these cells show complex sensory-motor properties, such that observed, heard, or executed goal-directed actions could equally activate these neurons. On the other hand, the neuroscience of music has similarly emerged as an active and productive field of research. In fact, music-related behaviors are a useful model of action-perception mechanisms and how they develop through training. More recently, these two lines of research have begun to intersect into a novel branch of research. As a consequence, it has been proposed recently that mirror-like mechanisms might be at the basis of human music perception-production abilities. The scope of the present short review is to set the scientific background for mirror-like mechanisms in music by examining recent published data.

  3. Human iPSC-derived neurons and lymphoblastoid cells for personalized medicine research in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurwitz, David

    2016-09-01

    The development and clinical implementation of personalized medicine crucially depends on the availability of high-quality human biosamples; animal models, although capable of modeling complex human diseases, cannot reflect the large variation in the human genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Although the biosamples available from public biobanks that store human tissues and cells may represent the large human diversity for most diseases, these samples are not always sufficient for developing biomarkers for patient-tailored therapies for neuropsychiatric disorders. Postmortem human tissues are available from many biobanks; nevertheless, collections of neuronal human cells from large patient cohorts representing the human diversity remain scarce. Two tools are gaining popularity for personalized medicine research on neuropsychiatric disorders: human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons and human lymphoblastoid cell lines. This review examines and contrasts the advantages and limitations of each tool for personalized medicine research.

  4. Gender differences in human single neuron responses to male emotional faces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhoff, Morgan; Treiman, David M; Smith, Kris A; Steinmetz, Peter N

    2015-01-01

    Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions. This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male) epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons), hippocampus (n = 270), anterior cingulate cortex (n = 256), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n = 174). Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions. Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n = 15∕66) of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, vs. 8% (n = 6∕76) of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p differences between genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  5. Multiplicative multifractal modeling and discrimination of human neuronal activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Yi; Gao Jianbo; Sanchez, Justin C.; Principe, Jose C.; Okun, Michael S.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding neuronal firing patterns is one of the most important problems in theoretical neuroscience. It is also very important for clinical neurosurgery. In this Letter, we introduce a computational procedure to examine whether neuronal firing recordings could be characterized by cascade multiplicative multifractals. By analyzing raw recording data as well as generated spike train data from 3 patients collected in two brain areas, the globus pallidus externa (GPe) and the globus pallidus interna (GPi), we show that the neural firings are consistent with a multifractal process over certain time scale range (t 1 ,t 2 ), where t 1 is argued to be not smaller than the mean inter-spike-interval of neuronal firings, while t 2 may be related to the time that neuronal signals propagate in the major neural branching structures pertinent to GPi and GPe. The generalized dimension spectrum D q effectively differentiates the two brain areas, both intra- and inter-patients. For distinguishing between GPe and GPi, it is further shown that the cascade model is more effective than the methods recently examined by Schiff et al. as well as the Fano factor analysis. Therefore, the methodology may be useful in developing computer aided tools to help clinicians perform precision neurosurgery in the operating room

  6. Bicarbonate Contributes to GABAA Receptor-Mediated Neuronal Excitation in Surgically-Resected Human Hypothalamic Hamartomas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do-Young, Kim; Fenoglio, Kristina A.; Kerrigan, John F.; Rho, Jong M.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY The role of bicarbonate (HCO3-) in GABAA receptor-mediated depolarization of human hypothalamic hamartoma (HH) neurons was investigated using cellular electrophysiological and calcium imaging techniques. Activation of GABAA receptors with muscimol (30 μM) provoked neuronal excitation in over 70% of large (18-22 μM) HH neurons in HCO3- buffer. Subsequent perfusion of HCO3--free HEPES buffer produced partial suppression of muscimol-induced excitation. Additionally, 53% of large HH neurons under HCO3--free conditions exhibited reduced intracellular calcium accumulation by muscimol. These results suggest that HCO3- efflux through GABAA receptors on a subpopulation of large HH neurons may contribute to membrane depolarization and subsequent activation of L-type calcium channels. PMID:19022626

  7. Calretinin as a marker for premotor neurons involved in upgaze in human brainstem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher eAdamczyk

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Eye movements are generated by different premotor pathways. Damage to them can cause specific deficits of eye movements, such as saccades. For correlative clinico-anatomical post-mortem studies of cases with eye movement disorders it is essential to identify the functional cell groups of the oculomotor system in the human brain by marker proteins. Based on monkey studies, the premotor neurons of the saccadic system can be identified by the histochemical markers parvalbumin and perineuronal nets in humans. These areas involve the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (INC and the rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fascicle (RIMLF, which both contain premotor neurons for upgaze and downgaze. Recent monkey and human studies revealed a selective excitatory calretinin-positive input to the motoneurons mediating upgaze, but not to those for downgaze. Three premotor regions were identified as sources of calretinin input in monkey: y-group, INC and RIMLF. These findings suggest that the expression pattern of parvalbumin and calretinin may help to identify premotor neurons involved in up- or downgaze. In a post-mortem study of five human cases without neurological diseases we investigated the y-group, INC and RIMLF for the presence of parvalbumin and calretinin positive neurons including their co-expression. Adjacent thin paraffin sections were stained for the aggrecan component of perineuronal nets, parvalbumin or calretinin and glutamate decarboxylase. The comparative analysis of scanned thin sections of INC and RIMLF revealed medium-sized parvalbumin positive neurons with and without calretinin coexpression, which were intermingled. The parvalbumin/calretinin positive neurons in both nuclei are considered as excitatory premotor upgaze neurons. Accordingly, the parvalbumin-positive neurons lacking calretinin are considered as premotor downgaze neurons in RIMLF, but may in addition include inhibitory premotor upgaze neurons in the INC as

  8. Differences in Number of Midbrain Dopamine Neurons Associated with Summer and Winter Photoperiods in Humans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tim D Aumann

    Full Text Available Recent evidence indicates the number of dopaminergic neurons in the adult rodent hypothalamus and midbrain is regulated by environmental cues, including photoperiod, and that this occurs via up- or down-regulation of expression of genes and proteins that are important for dopamine (DA synthesis in extant neurons ('DA neurotransmitter switching'. If the same occurs in humans, it may have implications for neurological symptoms associated with DA imbalances. Here we tested whether there are differences in the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH, the rate-limiting enzyme in DA synthesis and DA transporter (DAT immunoreactive neurons in the midbrain of people who died in summer (long-day photoperiod, n = 5 versus winter (short-day photoperiod, n = 5. TH and DAT immunoreactivity in neurons and their processes was qualitatively higher in summer compared with winter. The density of TH immunopositive (TH+ neurons was significantly (~6-fold higher whereas the density of TH immunonegative (TH- neurons was significantly (~2.5-fold lower in summer compared with winter. The density of total neurons (TH+ and TH- combined was not different. The density of DAT+ neurons was ~2-fold higher whereas the density of DAT- neurons was ~2-fold lower in summer compared with winter, although these differences were not statistically significant. In contrast, midbrain nuclear volume, the density of supposed glia (small TH- cells, and the amount of TUNEL staining were the same in summer compared with winter. This study provides the first evidence of an association between environmental stimuli (photoperiod and the number of midbrain DA neurons in humans, and suggests DA neurotransmitter switching underlies this association.

  9. In Vitro Reconstruction of Neuronal Networks Derived from Human iPS Cells Using Microfabricated Devices.

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    Yuzo Takayama

    Full Text Available Morphology and function of the nervous system is maintained via well-coordinated processes both in central and peripheral nervous tissues, which govern the homeostasis of organs/tissues. Impairments of the nervous system induce neuronal disorders such as peripheral neuropathy or cardiac arrhythmia. Although further investigation is warranted to reveal the molecular mechanisms of progression in such diseases, appropriate model systems mimicking the patient-specific communication between neurons and organs are not established yet. In this study, we reconstructed the neuronal network in vitro either between neurons of the human induced pluripotent stem (iPS cell derived peripheral nervous system (PNS and central nervous system (CNS, or between PNS neurons and cardiac cells in a morphologically and functionally compartmentalized manner. Networks were constructed in photolithographically microfabricated devices with two culture compartments connected by 20 microtunnels. We confirmed that PNS and CNS neurons connected via synapses and formed a network. Additionally, calcium-imaging experiments showed that the bundles originating from the PNS neurons were functionally active and responded reproducibly to external stimuli. Next, we confirmed that CNS neurons showed an increase in calcium activity during electrical stimulation of networked bundles from PNS neurons in order to demonstrate the formation of functional cell-cell interactions. We also confirmed the formation of synapses between PNS neurons and mature cardiac cells. These results indicate that compartmentalized culture devices are promising tools for reconstructing network-wide connections between PNS neurons and various organs, and might help to understand patient-specific molecular and functional mechanisms under normal and pathological conditions.

  10. Mirror symmetry

    CERN Document Server

    Voisin, Claire

    1999-01-01

    This is the English translation of Professor Voisin's book reflecting the discovery of the mirror symmetry phenomenon. The first chapter is devoted to the geometry of Calabi-Yau manifolds, and the second describes, as motivation, the ideas from quantum field theory that led to the discovery of mirror symmetry. The other chapters deal with more specialized aspects of the subject: the work of Candelas, de la Ossa, Greene, and Parkes, based on the fact that under the mirror symmetry hypothesis, the variation of Hodge structure of a Calabi-Yau threefold determines the Gromov-Witten invariants of its mirror; Batyrev's construction, which exhibits the mirror symmetry phenomenon between hypersurfaces of toric Fano varieties, after a combinatorial classification of the latter; the mathematical construction of the Gromov-Witten potential, and the proof of its crucial property (that it satisfies the WDVV equation), which makes it possible to construct a flat connection underlying a variation of Hodge structure in the ...

  11. Einstein's Mirror

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gjurchinovski, Aleksandar; Skeparovski, Aleksandar

    2008-10-01

    Reflection of light from a plane mirror in uniform rectilinear motion is a century-old problem, intimately related to the foundations of special relativity.1-4 The problem was first investigated by Einstein in his famous 1905 paper by using the Lorentz transformations to switch from the mirror's rest frame to the frame where the mirror moves at a constant velocity.5 Einstein showed an intriguing fact that the usual law of reflection would not hold in the case of a uniformly moving mirror, that is, the angles of incidence and reflection of the light would not equal each other. Later on, it has been shown that the law of reflection at a moving mirror can be obtained in various alternative ways,6-10 but none of them seems suitable for bringing this interesting subject into the high school classroom.

  12. Novelty-Sensitive Dopaminergic Neurons in the Human Substantia Nigra Predict Success of Declarative Memory Formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamiński, Jan; Mamelak, Adam N; Birch, Kurtis; Mosher, Clayton P; Tagliati, Michele; Rutishauser, Ueli

    2018-04-12

    The encoding of information into long-term declarative memory is facilitated by dopamine. This process depends on hippocampal novelty signals, but it remains unknown how midbrain dopaminergic neurons are modulated by declarative-memory-based information. We recorded individual substantia nigra (SN) neurons and cortical field potentials in human patients performing a recognition memory task. We found that 25% of SN neurons were modulated by stimulus novelty. Extracellular waveform shape and anatomical location indicated that these memory-selective neurons were putatively dopaminergic. The responses of memory-selective neurons appeared 527 ms after stimulus onset, changed after a single trial, and were indicative of recognition accuracy. SN neurons phase locked to frontal cortical theta-frequency oscillations, and the extent of this coordination predicted successful memory formation. These data reveal that dopaminergic neurons in the human SN are modulated by memory signals and demonstrate a progression of information flow in the hippocampal-basal ganglia-frontal cortex loop for memory encoding. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  13. Human Nav1.8: enhanced persistent and ramp currents contribute to distinct firing properties of human DRG neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chongyang; Estacion, Mark; Huang, Jianying; Vasylyev, Dymtro; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D.

    2015-01-01

    Although species-specific differences in ion channel properties are well-documented, little has been known about the properties of the human Nav1.8 channel, an important contributor to pain signaling. Here we show, using techniques that include voltage clamp, current clamp, and dynamic clamp in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, that human Nav1.8 channels display slower inactivation kinetics and produce larger persistent current and ramp current than previously reported in other species. DRG neurons expressing human Nav1.8 channels unexpectedly produce significantly longer-lasting action potentials, including action potentials with half-widths in some cells >10 ms, and increased firing frequency compared with the narrower and usually single action potentials generated by DRG neurons expressing rat Nav1.8 channels. We also show that native human DRG neurons recapitulate these properties of Nav1.8 current and the long-lasting action potentials. Together, our results demonstrate strikingly distinct properties of human Nav1.8, which contribute to the firing properties of human DRG neurons. PMID:25787950

  14. Human iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells and Microengineered Organ-Chip Enhance Neuronal Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Sances

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Human stem cell-derived models of development and neurodegenerative diseases are challenged by cellular immaturity in vitro. Microengineered organ-on-chip (or Organ-Chip systems are designed to emulate microvolume cytoarchitecture and enable co-culture of distinct cell types. Brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs share common signaling pathways with neurons early in development, but their contribution to human neuronal maturation is largely unknown. To study this interaction and influence of microculture, we derived both spinal motor neurons and BMECs from human induced pluripotent stem cells and observed increased calcium transient function and Chip-specific gene expression in Organ-Chips compared with 96-well plates. Seeding BMECs in the Organ-Chip led to vascular-neural interaction and specific gene activation that further enhanced neuronal function and in vivo-like signatures. The results show that the vascular system has specific maturation effects on spinal cord neural tissue, and the use of Organ-Chips can move stem cell models closer to an in vivo condition. : Sances et al. combine Organ-Chip technology with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived spinal motor neurons to study the maturation effects of Organ-Chip culture. By including microvascular cells also derived from the same patient line, the authors show enhancement of neuronal function, reproduction of vascular-neuron pathways, and specific gene activation that resembles in vivo spinal cord development. Keywords: organ-on-chip, spinal cord, iPSC, disease modeling, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, microphysiological system, brain microvascular endothelial cells, spinal motor neurons, vasculature, microfluidic device

  15. Simultaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation and single neuron recording in alert non-human primates

    OpenAIRE

    Mueller, Jerel K.; Grigsby, Erinn M.; Prevosto, Vincent; Petraglia, Frank W.; Rao, Hrishikesh; Deng, Zhi-De; Peterchev, Angel V.; Sommer, Marc A.; Egner, Tobias; Platt, Michael L.; Grill, Warren M.

    2014-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a widely used, noninvasive method for stimulating nervous tissue, yet its mechanisms of effect are poorly understood. Here we report novel methods for studying the influence of TMS on single neurons in the brain of alert non-human primates. We designed a TMS coil that focuses its effect near the tip of a recording electrode and recording electronics that enable direct acquisition of neuronal signals at the site of peak stimulus strength minimally per...

  16. Proneural transcription factor Atoh1 drives highly efficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into dopaminergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagal, Jonathan; Zhan, Xiping; Xu, Jinchong; Tilghman, Jessica; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S; Chen, Li; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M; Laterra, John; Ying, Mingyao

    2014-08-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a promising cell resource for various applications in regenerative medicine. Highly efficient approaches that differentiate human PSCs into functional lineage-specific neurons are critical for modeling neurological disorders and testing potential therapies. Proneural transcription factors are crucial drivers of neuron development and hold promise for driving highly efficient neuronal conversion in PSCs. Here, we study the functions of proneural transcription factor Atoh1 in the neuronal differentiation of PSCs. We show that Atoh1 is induced during the neuronal conversion of PSCs and that ectopic Atoh1 expression is sufficient to drive PSCs into neurons with high efficiency. Atoh1 induction, in combination with cell extrinsic factors, differentiates PSCs into functional dopaminergic (DA) neurons with >80% purity. Atoh1-induced DA neurons recapitulate key biochemical and electrophysiological features of midbrain DA neurons, the degeneration of which is responsible for clinical symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Atoh1-induced DA neurons provide a reliable disease model for studying PD pathogenesis, such as neurotoxin-induced neurodegeneration in PD. Overall, our results determine the role of Atoh1 in regulating neuronal differentiation and neuron subtype specification of human PSCs. Our Atoh1-mediated differentiation approach will enable large-scale applications of PD patient-derived midbrain DA neurons in mechanistic studies and drug screening for both familial and sporadic PD. ©AlphaMed Press.

  17. Differentiation of blood T cells: Reprogramming human induced pluripotent stem cells into neuronal cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ping-Hsing Tsai

    2015-06-01

    Conclusion: We have developed a safer method to generate integration-free and nonviral human iPSCs from adult somatic cells. This induction method will be useful for the derivation of human integration-free iPSCs and will also be applicable to the generation of iPSCs-derived neuronal cells for drug screening or therapeutics in the near future.

  18. Microtubule Abnormalities Underlying Gulf War Illness in Neurons from Human-Induced Pluripotent Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-09-01

    cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), originating from GW...AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0433 TITLE: Microtubule Abnormalities Underlying Gulf War Illness in Neurons from Human- Induced Pluripotent Cells ...A simple blood sample is taken from the soldier, and then transduced, using reliable established methods , to make the cells pluripotent .

  19. Immunohistochemical Markers for Quantitative Studies of Neurons and Glia in Human Neocortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyck, Lise; Dalmau, Ishar; Chemnitz, John

    2007-01-01

    Reproducible visualisation of neurons and glia in human brain is essential for quantitative studies of the cellular changes in neurological disease. However, immunohistochemistry in human brain specimens is often compromised due to prolonged fixation. To select cell-lineage specific antibodies fo...

  20. Human endothelial progenitor cells rescue cortical neurons from oxygen-glucose deprivation induced death.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacigaluppi, Susanna; Donzelli, Elisabetta; De Cristofaro, Valentina; Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi; D'Amico, Giovanna; Scuteri, Arianna; Tredici, Giovanni

    2016-09-19

    Cerebral ischemia is characterized by both acute and delayed neuronal injuries. Neuro-protection is a major issue that should be properly addressed from a pharmacological point of view, and cell-based treatment approaches are of interest due to their potential pleiotropic effects. Endothelial progenitor cells have the advantage of being mobilized from the bone marrow into the circulation, but have been less studied than other stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells. Therefore, the comparison between human endothelial progenitor cells (hEPC) and human mesenchymal progenitor cells (hMSC) in terms of efficacy in rescuing neurons from cell death after transitory ischemia is the aim of the current study, in the effort to address further directions. In vitro model of oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) on a primary culture of rodent cortical neurons was set up with different durations of exposure: 1, 2 and 3hrs with assessment of neuron survival. The 2hrs OGD was chosen for the subsequent experiments. After 2hrs OGD neurons were either placed in indirect co-culture with hMSC or hEPC or cultured in hMSC or hEPC conditioned medium and cell viability was evaluated by MTT assay. At day 2 after 2hrs OGD exposure, mean neuronal survival was 47.9±24.2%. In contrast, after treatment with hEPC and hMSC indirect co-culture was 74.1±27.3%; and 69.4±18.8%, respectively. In contrast, treatment with conditioned medium did not provide any advantage in terms of survival to OGD neurons The study shows the efficacy of hEPC in indirect co-culture to rescue neurons from cell death after OGD, comparable to that of hMSC. hEPC deserve further studies given their potential interest for ischemia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Voltage-gated Na+ currents in human dorsal root ganglion neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiulin; Priest, Birgit T; Belfer, Inna; Gold, Michael S

    2017-01-01

    Available evidence indicates voltage-gated Na+ channels (VGSCs) in peripheral sensory neurons are essential for the pain and hypersensitivity associated with tissue injury. However, our understanding of the biophysical and pharmacological properties of the channels in sensory neurons is largely based on the study of heterologous systems or rodent tissue, despite evidence that both expression systems and species differences influence these properties. Therefore, we sought to determine the extent to which the biophysical and pharmacological properties of VGSCs were comparable in rat and human sensory neurons. Whole cell patch clamp techniques were used to study Na+ currents in acutely dissociated neurons from human and rat. Our results indicate that while the two major current types, generally referred to as tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive and TTX-resistant were qualitatively similar in neurons from rats and humans, there were several differences that have important implications for drug development as well as our understanding of pain mechanisms. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23235.001 PMID:28508747

  2. Gender Differences in Human Single Neuron Responses to Male Emotional Faces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morgan eNewhoff

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Well-documented differences in the psychology and behavior of men and women have spurred extensive exploration of gender's role within the brain, particularly regarding emotional processing. While neuroanatomical studies clearly show differences between the sexes, the functional effects of these differences are less understood. Neuroimaging studies have shown inconsistent locations and magnitudes of gender differences in brain hemodynamic responses to emotion. To better understand the neurophysiology of these gender differences, we analyzed recordings of single neuron activity in the human brain as subjects of both genders viewed emotional expressions.This study included recordings of single-neuron activity of 14 (6 male epileptic patients in four brain areas: amygdala (236 neurons, hippocampus (n=270, anterior cingulate cortex (n=256, and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (n=174. Neural activity was recorded while participants viewed a series of avatar male faces portraying positive, negative or neutral expressions.Significant gender differences were found in the left amygdala, where 23% (n=15/66 of neurons in men were significantly affected by facial emotion, versus 8% (n=6/76 of neurons in women. A Fisher's exact test comparing the two ratios found a highly significant difference between the two (p<0.01. These results show specific differences between genders at the single-neuron level in the human amygdala. These differences may reflect gender-based distinctions in evolved capacities for emotional processing and also demonstrate the importance of including subject gender as an independent factor in future studies of emotional processing by single neurons in the human amygdala.

  3. Comparative Analysis of Human and Rodent Brain Primary Neuronal Culture Spontaneous Activity Using Micro-Electrode Array Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Napoli, Alessandro; Obeid, Iyad

    2016-03-01

    Electrical activity in embryonic brain tissue has typically been studied using Micro Electrode Array (MEA) technology to make dozens of simultaneous recordings from dissociated neuronal cultures, brain stem cell progenitors, or brain slices from fetal rodents. Although these rodent neuronal primary culture electrical properties are mostly investigated, it has not been yet established to what extent the electrical characteristics of rodent brain neuronal cultures can be generalized to those of humans. A direct comparison of spontaneous spiking activity between rodent and human primary neurons grown under the same in vitro conditions using MEA technology has never been carried out before and will be described in the present study. Human and rodent dissociated fetal brain neuronal cultures were established in-vitro by culturing on a glass grid of 60 planar microelectrodes neurons under identical conditions. Three different cultures of human neurons were produced from tissue sourced from a single aborted fetus (at 16-18 gestational weeks) and these were compared with seven different cultures of embryonic rat neurons (at 18 gestational days) originally isolated from a single rat. The results show that the human and rodent cultures behaved significantly differently. Whereas the rodent cultures demonstrated robust spontaneous activation and network activity after only 10 days, the human cultures required nearly 40 days to achieve a substantially weaker level of electrical function. These results suggest that rat neuron preparations may yield inferences that do not necessarily transfer to humans. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Mirror, mirror on the wall

    CERN Multimedia

    2005-01-01

    RICH 2, one of the two Ring Imaging Cherenkov detectors of the LHCb experiment, is being prepared to join the other detector elements ready for the first proton-proton collisions at LHC. The mirrors of the RICH2 detector are meticulously assembled in a clean room.In a large dark room, men in white move around an immense structure some 7 metres high, 10 metres wide and nearly 2.5 metres deep. Apparently effortlessly, they are installing the two large high-precision spherical mirrors. These mirrors will focus Cherenkov light, created by the charged particles that will traverse this detector, onto the photon detectors. Each spherical mirror wall is made up of facets like a fly's eye. Twenty-eight individual thin glass mirrors will all point to the same point in space to within a few micro-radians. The development of these mirrors has been technically demanding : Ideally they should be massless, sturdy, precise and have high reflectivity. In practice, though not massless, they are made from a mere 6 mm thin gl...

  5. Artificial companions: empathy and vulnerability mirroring in human-robot relations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Coeckelbergh, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Under what conditions can robots become companions and what are the ethical issues that might arise in human-robot companionship relations? I argue that the possibility and future of robots as companions depends (among other things) on the robot’s capacity to be a recipient of human empathy, and

  6. Neuronal synchronization in human parietal cortex during saccade planning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werf, J. van der; Buchholz, V.N.; Jensen, O.; Medendorp, W.P.

    2009-01-01

    Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have implicated the human posterior parietal cortex (PPC) in sensorimotor integration and saccade planning However, the temporal dynamics of the underlying physiology and its relationship to observations in non-human primates have been difficult to pin

  7. Canine disorder mirrors human disease: exonic deletion in HES7 causes autosomal recessive spondylocostal dysostosis in miniature Schnauzer dogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cali E Willet

    Full Text Available Spondylocostal dysostosis is a congenital disorder of the axial skeleton documented in human families from diverse racial backgrounds. The condition is characterised by truncal shortening, extensive hemivertebrae and rib anomalies including malalignment, fusion and reduction in number. Mutations in the Notch signalling pathway genes DLL3, MESP2, LFNG, HES7 and TBX6 have been associated with this defect. In this study, spondylocostal dysostosis in an outbred family of miniature schnauzer dogs is described. Computed tomography demonstrated that the condition mirrors the skeletal defects observed in human cases, but unlike most human cases, the affected dogs were stillborn or died shortly after birth. Through gene mapping and whole genome sequencing, we identified a single-base deletion in the coding region of HES7. The frameshift mutation causes loss of functional domains essential for the oscillatory transcriptional autorepression of HES7 during somitogenesis. A restriction fragment length polymorphism test was applied within the immediate family and supported a highly penetrant autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. The mutation was not observed in wider testing of 117 randomly sampled adult miniature schnauzer and six adult standard schnauzer dogs; providing a significance of association of Praw = 4.759e-36 (genome-wide significant. Despite this apparently low frequency in the Australian population, the allele may be globally distributed based on its presence in two unrelated sires from geographically distant locations. While isolated hemivertebrae have been observed in a small number of other dog breeds, this is the first clinical and genetic diagnosis of spontaneously occurring spondylocostal dysostosis in a non-human mammal and offers an excellent model in which to study this devastating human disorder. The genetic test can be utilized by dog breeders to select away from the disease and avoid unnecessary neonatal losses.

  8. Canine disorder mirrors human disease: exonic deletion in HES7 causes autosomal recessive spondylocostal dysostosis in miniature Schnauzer dogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willet, Cali E; Makara, Mariano; Reppas, George; Tsoukalas, George; Malik, Richard; Haase, Bianca; Wade, Claire M

    2015-01-01

    Spondylocostal dysostosis is a congenital disorder of the axial skeleton documented in human families from diverse racial backgrounds. The condition is characterised by truncal shortening, extensive hemivertebrae and rib anomalies including malalignment, fusion and reduction in number. Mutations in the Notch signalling pathway genes DLL3, MESP2, LFNG, HES7 and TBX6 have been associated with this defect. In this study, spondylocostal dysostosis in an outbred family of miniature schnauzer dogs is described. Computed tomography demonstrated that the condition mirrors the skeletal defects observed in human cases, but unlike most human cases, the affected dogs were stillborn or died shortly after birth. Through gene mapping and whole genome sequencing, we identified a single-base deletion in the coding region of HES7. The frameshift mutation causes loss of functional domains essential for the oscillatory transcriptional autorepression of HES7 during somitogenesis. A restriction fragment length polymorphism test was applied within the immediate family and supported a highly penetrant autosomal recessive mode of inheritance. The mutation was not observed in wider testing of 117 randomly sampled adult miniature schnauzer and six adult standard schnauzer dogs; providing a significance of association of Praw = 4.759e-36 (genome-wide significant). Despite this apparently low frequency in the Australian population, the allele may be globally distributed based on its presence in two unrelated sires from geographically distant locations. While isolated hemivertebrae have been observed in a small number of other dog breeds, this is the first clinical and genetic diagnosis of spontaneously occurring spondylocostal dysostosis in a non-human mammal and offers an excellent model in which to study this devastating human disorder. The genetic test can be utilized by dog breeders to select away from the disease and avoid unnecessary neonatal losses.

  9. Molecular hierarchy in neurons differentiated from mouse ES cells containing a single human chromosome 21.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chi Chiu; Kadota, Mitsutaka; Nishigaki, Ryuichi; Kazuki, Yasuhiro; Shirayoshi, Yasuaki; Rogers, Michael Scott; Gojobori, Takashi; Ikeo, Kazuho; Oshimura, Mitsuo

    2004-02-06

    Defects in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation in the fetal brain of Down syndrome (DS) patients lead to the apparent neuropathological abnormalities and contribute to the phenotypic characters of mental retardation, and premature development of Alzheimer's disease, those being the most common phenotype in DS. In order to understand the molecular mechanism underlying the cause of phenotypic abnormalities in the DS brain, we have utilized an in vitro model of TT2F mouse embryonic stem cells containing a single human chromosome 21 (hChr21) to study neuron development and neuronal differentiation by microarray containing 15K developmentally expressed cDNAs. Defective neuronal differentiation in the presence of extra hChr21 manifested primarily the post-transcriptional and translational modification, such as Mrpl10, SNAPC3, Srprb, SF3a60 in the early neuronal stem cell stage, and Mrps18a, Eef1g, and Ubce8 in the late differentiated stage. Hierarchical clustering patterned specific expression of hChr21 gene dosage effects on neuron outgrowth, migration, and differentiation, such as Syngr2, Dncic2, Eif3sf, and Peg3.

  10. THE OBSERVATION OF THE HUMAN BEING DIGNITY, AS MIRRORED IN CONVENTIONS, TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antoaneta-Laura (MIREA SAVA

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This article presents the evolution of the concept of human dignity in conventions, treaties and other international documents, starting from the 13th century, when we meet different references to the human rights in the English Charter from 1215 –Magna Charta, and continuing with the American Declaration of Independence from 1776, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789 etc. In present times, the most important and relevant documents are The Charter of the United Nations, signed at San Francisco, California, on the 26th of June 1945, The European Convention of Human Rights, signed at Rome, on the 5th of November 1950, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted in 1963, The Charter of Paris, called “For a new Europe” – 1989, The Inter-American Convention on Human Rights, signed at San José, in Costa Rica, on the 22nd of November 1969, The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted during the Conference for Organisation of African Unity (OAU, on the 27th of June 1981, The Asian Human Rights Charter, elaborated by the Asian Human Rights Commission and proclaimed on the 17th of May 1998 etc.

  11. THE OBSERVATION OF THE HUMAN BEING DIGNITY, AS MIRRORED IN CONVENTIONS, TREATIES AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTS

    OpenAIRE

    Antoaneta-Laura (MIREA) SAVA

    2016-01-01

    This article presents the evolution of the concept of human dignity in conventions, treaties and other international documents, starting from the 13th century, when we meet different references to the human rights in the English Charter from 1215 –Magna Charta, and continuing with the American Declaration of Independence from 1776, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789 etc. In present times, the most important and relevant documents are The Charter of the ...

  12. Asymmetry of radial and symmetry of tangential neuronal migration pathways in developing human fetal brains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuta eMiyazaki

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available AbstractThe radial and tangential neural migration pathways are two major neuronal migration streams in humans that are critical during corticogenesis. Corticogenesis is a complex process of neuronal proliferation that is followed by neuronal migration and the formation of axonal connections. Existing histological assessments of these two neuronal migration pathways have limitations inherent to microscopic studies and are confined to small anatomic regions of interest. Thus, little evidence is available about their three-dimensional fiber pathways and development throughout the entire brain. In this study, we imaged and analyzed radial and tangential migration pathways in the whole human brain using high-angular resolution diffusion MR imaging (HARDI tractography. We imaged ten fixed, postmortem fetal (17 gestational weeks (GW, 18 GW, 19 GW, three 20 GW, three 21 GW and 22 GW and eight in vivo newborn (two 30 GW, 34 GW, 35 GW and four 40 GW brains with no neurological/pathological conditions. We statistically compared the volume of the left and right radial and tangential migration pathways, and the volume of the radial migration pathways of the anterior and posterior regions of the brain. In specimens 22 GW or younger, the volume of radial migration pathways of the left hemisphere was significantly larger than that of the right hemisphere. The volume of posterior radial migration pathways was also larger when compared to the anterior pathways in specimens 22 GW or younger. In contrast, no significant differences were observed in the radial migration pathways of brains older than 22 GW. Moreover, our study did not identify any significant differences in volumetric laterality in the tangential migration pathways. These results suggest that these two neuronal migration pathways develop and regress differently, and radial neuronal migration varies regionally based on hemispheric and anterior-posterior laterality, potentially explaining regional

  13. Characterization of three human cell line models for high-throughput neuronal cytotoxicity screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Zhi-Bin; Hogberg, Helena; Kuo, David; Sakamuru, Srilatha; Xia, Menghang; Smirnova, Lena; Hartung, Thomas; Gerhold, David

    2017-02-01

    More than 75 000 man-made chemicals contaminate the environment; many of these have not been tested for toxicities. These chemicals demand quantitative high-throughput screening assays to assess them for causative roles in neurotoxicities, including Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. To facilitate high throughput screening for cytotoxicity to neurons, three human neuronal cellular models were compared: SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells, LUHMES conditionally-immortalized dopaminergic neurons, and Neural Stem Cells (NSC) derived from human fetal brain. These three cell lines were evaluated for rapidity and degree of differentiation, and sensitivity to 32 known or candidate neurotoxicants. First, expression of neural differentiation genes was assayed during a 7-day differentiation period. Of the three cell lines, LUHMES showed the highest gene expression of neuronal markers after differentiation. Both in the undifferentiated state and after 7 days of neuronal differentiation, LUHMES cells exhibited greater cytotoxic sensitivity to most of 32 suspected or known neurotoxicants than SH-SY5Y or NSCs. LUHMES cells were also unique in being more susceptible to several compounds in the differentiating state than in the undifferentiated state; including known neurotoxicants colchicine, methyl-mercury (II), and vincristine. Gene expression results suggest that differentiating LUHMES cells may be susceptible to apoptosis because they express low levels of anti-apoptotic genes BCL2 and BIRC5/survivin, whereas SH-SY5Y cells may be resistant to apoptosis because they express high levels of BCL2, BIRC5/survivin, and BIRC3 genes. Thus, LUHMES cells exhibited favorable characteristics for neuro-cytotoxicity screening: rapid differentiation into neurons that exhibit high level expression neuronal marker genes, and marked sensitivity of LUHMES cells to known neurotoxicants. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Modeling chemotherapeutic neurotoxicity with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heather E Wheeler

    Full Text Available There are no effective agents to prevent or treat chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN, the most common non-hematologic toxicity of chemotherapy. Therefore, we sought to evaluate the utility of human neuron-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs as a means to study CIPN. We used high content imaging measurements of neurite outgrowth phenotypes to compare the changes that occur to iPSC-derived neuronal cells among drugs and among individuals in response to several classes of chemotherapeutics. Upon treatment of these neuronal cells with the neurotoxic drug paclitaxel, vincristine or cisplatin, we identified significant differences in five morphological phenotypes among drugs, including total outgrowth, mean/median/maximum process length, and mean outgrowth intensity (P < 0.05. The differences in damage among drugs reflect differences in their mechanisms of action and clinical CIPN manifestations. We show the potential of the model for gene perturbation studies by demonstrating decreased expression of TUBB2A results in significantly increased sensitivity of neurons to paclitaxel (0.23 ± 0.06 decrease in total neurite outgrowth, P = 0.011. The variance in several neurite outgrowth and apoptotic phenotypes upon treatment with one of the neurotoxic drugs is significantly greater between than within neurons derived from four different individuals (P < 0.05, demonstrating the potential of iPSC-derived neurons as a genetically diverse model for CIPN. The human neuron model will allow both for mechanistic studies of specific genes and genetic variants discovered in clinical studies and for screening of new drugs to prevent or treat CIPN.

  15. Long-term Culture of Human iPS Cell-derived Telencephalic Neuron Aggregates on Collagen Gel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oyama, Hiroshi; Takahashi, Koji; Tanaka, Yoshikazu; Takemoto, Hiroshi; Haga, Hisashi

    2018-01-01

    It takes several months to form the 3-dimensional morphology of the human embryonic brain. Therefore, establishing a long-term culture method for neuronal tissues derived from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is very important for studying human brain development. However, it is difficult to keep primary neurons alive for more than 3 weeks in culture. Moreover, long-term adherent culture to maintain the morphology of telencephalic neuron aggregates induced from human iPS cells is also difficult. Although collagen gel has been widely used to support long-term culture of cells, it is not clear whether human iPS cell-derived neuron aggregates can be cultured for long periods on this substrate. In the present study, we differentiated human iPS cells to telencephalic neuron aggregates and examined long-term culture of these aggregates on collagen gel. The results indicated that these aggregates could be cultured for over 3 months by adhering tightly onto collagen gel. Furthermore, telencephalic neuronal precursors within these aggregates matured over time and formed layered structures. Thus, long-term culture of telencephalic neuron aggregates derived from human iPS cells on collagen gel would be useful for studying human cerebral cortex development.Key words: Induced pluripotent stem cell, forebrain neuron, collagen gel, long-term culture.

  16. Mirror neuron activation as a function of explicit learning: changes in mu-event-related power after learning novel responses to ideomotor compatible, partially compatible, and non-compatible stimuli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behmer, Lawrence P; Fournier, Lisa R

    2016-11-01

    Questions regarding the malleability of the mirror neuron system (MNS) continue to be debated. MNS activation has been reported when people observe another person performing biological goal-directed behaviors, such as grasping a cup. These findings support the importance of mapping goal-directed biological behavior onto one's motor repertoire as a means of understanding the actions of others. Still, other evidence supports the Associative Sequence Learning (ASL) model which predicts that the MNS responds to a variety of stimuli after sensorimotor learning, not simply biological behavior. MNS activity develops as a consequence of developing stimulus-response associations between a stimulus and its motor outcome. Findings from the ideomotor literature indicate that stimuli that are more ideomotor compatible with a response are accompanied by an increase in response activation compared to less compatible stimuli; however, non-compatible stimuli robustly activate a constituent response after sensorimotor learning. Here, we measured changes in the mu-rhythm, an EEG marker thought to index MNS activity, predicting that stimuli that differ along dimensions of ideomotor compatibility should show changes in mirror neuron activation as participants learn the respective stimulus-response associations. We observed robust mu-suppression for ideomotor-compatible hand actions and partially compatible dot animations prior to learning; however, compatible stimuli showed greater mu-suppression than partially or non-compatible stimuli after explicit learning. Additionally, non-compatible abstract stimuli exceeded baseline only after participants explicitly learned the motor responses associated with the stimuli. We conclude that the empirical differences between the biological and ASL accounts of the MNS can be explained by Ideomotor Theory. © 2016 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Quantitative analysis of intraneuronal transport in human iPS neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haruko Nakamura

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Induced pluripotent stem (iPS cells are promising tools to investigate disease mechanism and develop new drugs. Intraneuronal transport, which is fundamental for neuronal survival and function, is vulnerable to various pharmacological and chemical agents and is disrupted in some neurodegenerative disorders. We applied a quantification method for axonal transport by counting CM-DiI–labeled particles traveling along the neurite, which allowed us to monitor and quantitate, for the first time, intraneuronal transport in human neurons differentiated from iPS cells (iCell neurons. We evaluated the acute effects of several anti-neoplastic agents that have been previously shown to affect intraneuronal transport. Vincristine, paclitaxel and oxaliplatin decreased the number of moving particle along neurites. Cisplatin, however, produced no effect on intraneuronal transport, which is in contrast to our previous report indicating that it inhibits transport in chick dorsal root ganglion neurons. Our system may be a useful method for assessing intraneuronal transport and neurotoxicity in human iPS neurons.

  18. Functional Properties of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Health and Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason P. Weick

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Stem cell-derived neurons from various source materials present unique model systems to examine the fundamental properties of central nervous system (CNS development as well as the molecular underpinnings of disease phenotypes. In order to more accurately assess potential therapies for neurological disorders, multiple strategies have been employed in recent years to produce neuronal populations that accurately represent in vivo regional and transmitter phenotypes. These include new technologies such as direct conversion of somatic cell types into neurons and glia which may accelerate maturation and retain genetic hallmarks of aging. In addition, novel forms of genetic manipulations have brought human stem cells nearly on par with those of rodent with respect to gene targeting. For neurons of the CNS, the ultimate phenotypic characterization lies with their ability to recapitulate functional properties such as passive and active membrane characteristics, synaptic activity, and plasticity. These features critically depend on the coordinated expression and localization of hundreds of ion channels and receptors, as well as scaffolding and signaling molecules. In this review I will highlight the current state of knowledge regarding functional properties of human stem cell-derived neurons, with a primary focus on pluripotent stem cells. While significant advances have been made, critical hurdles must be overcome in order for this technology to support progression toward clinical applications.

  19. Development of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone-Secreting Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Lund

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH neurons regulate human puberty and reproduction. Modeling their development and function in vitro would be of interest for both basic research and clinical translation. Here, we report a three-step protocol to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into GnRH-secreting neurons. Firstly, hPSCs were differentiated to FOXG1, EMX2, and PAX6 expressing anterior neural progenitor cells (NPCs by dual SMAD inhibition. Secondly, NPCs were treated for 10 days with FGF8, which is a key ligand implicated in GnRH neuron ontogeny, and finally, the cells were matured with Notch inhibitor to bipolar TUJ1-positive neurons that robustly expressed GNRH1 and secreted GnRH decapeptide into the culture medium. The protocol was reproducible both in human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, and thus provides a translational tool for investigating the mechanisms of human puberty and its disorders.

  20. Expression of Sirtuins in the Retinal Neurons of Mice, Rats, and Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongdou Luo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Sirtuins are a class of histone deacetylases (HDACs that have been shown to regulate a range of pathophysiological processes such as cellular aging, inflammation, metabolism, and cell proliferation. There are seven mammalian Sirtuins (SIRT1-7 that play important roles in stress response, aging, and neurodegenerative diseases. However, the location and function of Sirtuins in neurons are not well defined. This study assessed the retinal expression of Sirtuins in mice, rats, and humans and measured the expression of Sirtuins in aged and injured retinas. Expression of all 7 Sirtuins was confirmed by Western blot and Real-Time PCR analysis in all three species. SIRT1 is highly expressed in mouse, rat, and human retinas, whereas SIRT2-7 expression was relatively lower in human retinas. Immunofluorescence was also used to examine the expression and localization of Sirtuins in rat retinal neurons. Importantly, we demonstrate a marked reduction of SIRT1 expression in aged retinal neurons as well as retinas injured by acute ischemia-reperfusion. On the other hand, none of the other Sirtuins exhibit any significant age-related changes in expression except for SIRT5, which was significantly higher in the retinas of adults compared to both young and aged rats. Our work presents the first composite analysis of Sirtuins in the retinal neurons of mice, rats, and humans, and suggests that increasing the expression and activity of SIRT1 may be beneficial for the treatment of glaucoma and other age-related eye dysfunction.

  1. CpG methylation differences between neurons and glia are highly conserved from mouse to human

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding epigenetic differences that distinguish neurons and glia is of fundamental importance to the nascent field of neuroepigenetics. A recent study used genome-wide bisulfite sequencing to survey differences in DNA methylation between these two cell types, in both humans and mice. That stud...

  2. Negative Effects of High Glucose Exposure in Human Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annamaria Morelli

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Metabolic disorders are often associated with male hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, suggesting that hypothalamic defects involving GnRH neurons may impair the reproductive function. Among metabolic factors hyperglycemia has been implicated in the control of the reproductive axis at central level, both in humans and in animal models. To date, little is known about the direct effects of pathological high glucose concentrations on human GnRH neurons. In this study, we investigated the high glucose effects in the human GnRH-secreting FNC-B4 cells. Gene expression profiling by qRT-PCR, confirmed that FNC-B4 cells express GnRH and several genes relevant for GnRH neuron function (KISS1R, KISS1, sex steroid and leptin receptors, FGFR1, neuropilin 2, and semaphorins, along with glucose transporters (GLUT1, GLUT3, and GLUT4. High glucose exposure (22 mM; 40 mM significantly reduced gene and protein expression of GnRH, KISS1R, KISS1, and leptin receptor, as compared to normal glucose (5 mM. Consistent with previous studies, leptin treatment significantly induced GnRH mRNA expression at 5 mM glucose, but not in the presence of high glucose concentrations. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate a deleterious direct contribution of high glucose on human GnRH neurons, thus providing new insights into pathogenic mechanisms linking metabolic disorders to reproductive dysfunctions.

  3. How brain and neuronal networks explain human reality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier Monserrat

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available How is human reality presented to us in phenomenological experience? It is the one we see daily in our personal and social life. We are made of matter, we are part of the evolutionary universe. In addition, a psychic life is formed in us: sensation, a system of perceptions, an integrated consciousness, a condition of psychological subject; We produce knowledge, emotions, motivations; But, above all, we have a mind that rationally moves and installs us into a world of human emotions; This emotional reason lies at the base of the search for the truth of the universe, the meaning of life and the moral responsibility, in personal and social life. Our human reality is, therefore, a personal reality. We are persons. Now, how does science, neurology, explain today the fact that our human reality possesses these properties that give us the personal condition? This should be able to be explained (this is the initial assumption from the physical-biological world. Now, in particular, how does science make it possible to explain that evolution has produced us in our condition of ratio-emotional persons? That is, what is the physical support that makes intelligible the psycho-bio-physical ontology that evolutionarily produces our personal phenomenological experience? This is, ultimately, still the fundamental question of human sciences. What science, namely neurology, must explain (that is, know the causes that have produced it is obvious: the fact of our sensibility-consciousness, our condition of psychic subjects, knowledge and emotional reason that have emerged in the universe; In such a way that, once the emotional reason emerges, it leads by itself to constitute the rational activity and the emotions of the human person aimed at building the meaning of his life. These are the issues we address in this article.

  4. Value encoding in single neurons in the human amygdala during decision making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenison, Rick L; Rangel, Antonio; Oya, Hiroyuki; Kawasaki, Hiroto; Howard, Matthew A

    2011-01-05

    A growing consensus suggests that the brain makes simple choices by assigning values to the stimuli under consideration and then comparing these values to make a decision. However, the network involved in computing the values has not yet been fully characterized. Here, we investigated whether the human amygdala plays a role in the computation of stimulus values at the time of decision making. We recorded single neuron activity from the amygdala of awake patients while they made simple purchase decisions over food items. We found 16 amygdala neurons, located primarily in the basolateral nucleus that responded linearly to the values assigned to individual items.

  5. Neuronal substrates of sensory gating within the human brain.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grunwald, T.; Boutros, N.N.; Pezer, N.; Oertzen, J. von; Fernandez, G.S.E.; Schaller, C.; Elger, C.E.

    2003-01-01

    BACKGROUND: For the human brain, habituation to irrelevant sensory input is an important function whose failure is associated with behavioral disturbances. Sensory gating can be studied by recording the brain's electrical responses to repeated clicks: the P50 potential is normally reduced to the

  6. A simplified protocol for differentiation of electrophysiologically mature neuronal networks from human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunhanlar, N; Shpak, G; van der Kroeg, M; Gouty-Colomer, L A; Munshi, S T; Lendemeijer, B; Ghazvini, M; Dupont, C; Hoogendijk, W J G; Gribnau, J; de Vrij, F M S; Kushner, S A

    2017-04-18

    Progress in elucidating the molecular and cellular pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders has been hindered by the limited availability of living human brain tissue. The emergence of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has offered a unique alternative strategy using patient-derived functional neuronal networks. However, methods for reliably generating iPSC-derived neurons with mature electrophysiological characteristics have been difficult to develop. Here, we report a simplified differentiation protocol that yields electrophysiologically mature iPSC-derived cortical lineage neuronal networks without the need for astrocyte co-culture or specialized media. This protocol generates a consistent 60:40 ratio of neurons and astrocytes that arise from a common forebrain neural progenitor. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings of 114 neurons derived from three independent iPSC lines confirmed their electrophysiological maturity, including resting membrane potential (-58.2±1.0 mV), capacitance (49.1±2.9 pF), action potential (AP) threshold (-50.9±0.5 mV) and AP amplitude (66.5±1.3 mV). Nearly 100% of neurons were capable of firing APs, of which 79% had sustained trains of mature APs with minimal accommodation (peak AP frequency: 11.9±0.5 Hz) and 74% exhibited spontaneous synaptic activity (amplitude, 16.03±0.82 pA; frequency, 1.09±0.17 Hz). We expect this protocol to be of broad applicability for implementing iPSC-based neuronal network models of neuropsychiatric disorders.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 18 April 2017; doi:10.1038/mp.2017.56.

  7. Transplantation of neuronal-primed human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in hemiparkinsonian rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa L M Khoo

    Full Text Available Bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs have shown promise in in vitro neuronal differentiation and in cellular therapy for neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson' disease. However, the effects of intracerebral transplantation are not well defined, and studies do not agreed on the optimal neuronal differentiation method. Here, we investigated three growth factor-based neuronal differentiation procedures (using FGF-2/EGF/PDGF/SHH/FGF-8/GDNF, and found all to be capable of eliciting an immature neural phenotype, in terms of cell morphology and gene/protein expression. The neuronal-priming (FGF-2/EGF method induced neurosphere-like formation and the highest NES and NR4A2 expression by hMSCs. Transplantation of undifferentiated and neuronal-primed hMSCs into the striatum and substantia nigra of 6-OHDA-lesioned hemiparkinsonian rats revealed transient graft survival of 7 days, despite the reported immunosuppressive properties of MSCs and cyclosporine-immunosuppression of rats. Neither differentiation of hMSCs nor induction of host neurogenesis was observed at injection sites, and hMSCs continued producing mesodermal fibronectin. Strategies for improving engraftment and differentiation post-transplantation, such as prior in vitro neuronal-priming, nigral and striatal grafting, and co-transplantation of olfactory ensheathing cells that promote neural regeneration, were unable to provide advantages. Innate inflammatory responses (Iba-1-positive microglia/macrophage and GFAP-positive astrocyte activation and accumulation were detected around grafts within 7 days. Our findings indicate that growth factor-based methods allow hMSC differentiation toward immature neuronal-like cells, and contrary to previous reports, only transient survival and engraftment of hMSCs occurs following transplantation in immunosuppressed hemiparkinsonian rats. In addition, suppression of host innate inflammatory responses may be a key factor for

  8. Neuronal Fibers and Neurotransmitter Receptor Expression in the Human Endolymphatic Sac

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Martin Nue; Kirkeby, Svend; Vikeså, Jonas

    2017-01-01

    in intracranial pressure homeostasis. The anatomical location towards the sigmoid sinus would suggest a possible endo- and/or paracrine signaling. However, neuronal connections may also apply, but it remains very scarcely explored in the human ES. STUDY DESIGN: DNA micro-arrays and immunohistochemistry were used...... of genes specific for neuronal signaling was determined and results for selected key molecules verified by immunohistochemistry. Transmission electron microscopy was used for ultrastructural analysis. RESULTS: For the transmission electron microscopy analysis, a direct innervation of the ES was observed...... with unmyelinated fibers imbedded in the ES epithelial lining. The microarrays confirmed, that several molecules involved in neuronal signaling were found expressed significantly in the ES DNA profile, such as the Cholecystokinin peptide and related receptors, Dopamine receptors 2 and 5, vesicular monoamine...

  9. DNA damage preceding dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-synuclein transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Degui; Yu, Tianyu; Liu, Yongqiang; Yan, Jun; Guo, Yingli; Jing, Yuhong; Yang, Xuguang; Song, Yanfeng; Tian, Yingxia

    2016-12-02

    Defective DNA repair has been linked with age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. Whether damages to nuclear DNA contribute to neurodegeneration of PD still remain obscure. in this study we aim to explore whether nuclear DNA damage induce dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-Synuclein over expressed mouse model. We investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation on A53T-α-Syn MEFs and A53T-α-Syn transgene mice. Our results indicate that A53T-α-Syn MEFs show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice and decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Optimal staining methods for delineation of cortical areas and neuron counts in human brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uylings, H B; Zilles, K; Rajkowska, G

    1999-04-01

    For cytoarchitectonic delineation of cortical areas in human brain, the Gallyas staining for somata with its sharp contrast between cell bodies and neuropil is preferable to the classical Nissl staining, the more so when an image analysis system is used. This Gallyas staining, however, does not appear to be appropriate for counting neuron numbers in pertinent brain areas, due to the lack of distinct cytological features between small neurons and glial cells. For cell counting Nissl is preferable. In an optimal design for cell counting at least both the Gallyas and the Nissl staining must be applied, the former staining for cytoarchitectural delineaton of cortical areas and the latter for counting the number of neurons in the pertinent cortical areas. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  11. Dynamics of human subthalamic neuron phase-locking to motor and sensory cortical oscillations during movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipski, Witold J; Wozny, Thomas A; Alhourani, Ahmad; Kondylis, Efstathios D; Turner, Robert S; Crammond, Donald J; Richardson, Robert Mark

    2017-09-01

    Coupled oscillatory activity recorded between sensorimotor regions of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop is thought to reflect information transfer relevant to movement. A neuronal firing-rate model of basal ganglia-thalamocortical circuitry, however, has dominated thinking about basal ganglia function for the past three decades, without knowledge of the relationship between basal ganglia single neuron firing and cortical population activity during movement itself. We recorded activity from 34 subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons, simultaneously with cortical local field potentials and motor output, in 11 subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) undergoing awake deep brain stimulator lead placement. STN firing demonstrated phase synchronization to both low- and high-beta-frequency cortical oscillations, and to the amplitude envelope of gamma oscillations, in motor cortex. We found that during movement, the magnitude of this synchronization was dynamically modulated in a phase-frequency-specific manner. Importantly, we found that phase synchronization was not correlated with changes in neuronal firing rate. Furthermore, we found that these relationships were not exclusive to motor cortex, because STN firing also demonstrated phase synchronization to both premotor and sensory cortex. The data indicate that models of basal ganglia function ultimately will need to account for the activity of populations of STN neurons that are bound in distinct functional networks with both motor and sensory cortices and code for movement parameters independent of changes in firing rate. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Current models of basal ganglia-thalamocortical networks do not adequately explain simple motor functions, let alone dysfunction in movement disorders. Our findings provide data that inform models of human basal ganglia function by demonstrating how movement is encoded by networks of subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons via dynamic phase synchronization with cortex. The data also

  12. DNA damage preceding dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-synuclein transgenic mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Degui; Yu, Tianyu; Liu, Yongqiang; Yan, Jun; Guo, Yingli; Jing, Yuhong; Yang, Xuguang; Song, Yanfeng; Tian, Yingxia

    2016-01-01

    Defective DNA repair has been linked with age-associated neurodegenerative disorders. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. Whether damages to nuclear DNA contribute to neurodegeneration of PD still remain obscure. in this study we aim to explore whether nuclear DNA damage induce dopamine neuron degeneration in A53T human α-Synuclein over expressed mouse model. We investigated the effects of X-ray irradiation on A53T-α-Syn MEFs and A53T-α-Syn transgene mice. Our results indicate that A53T-α-Syn MEFs show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice and decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages. - Highlights: • This study explore contribution of DNA damage to neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease mice. • A53T-α-Syn MEF cells show a prolonged DNA damage repair process and senescense phenotype. • DNA damage preceded onset of motor phenotype in A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice. • DNA damage decrease the number of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. • Neurons of A53T-α-Syn transgenic mice are more fragile to DNA damages.

  13. Human resources for health at the district level in Indonesia: the smoke and mirrors of decentralization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harahap Nida P

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In 2001 Indonesia embarked on a rapid decentralization of government finances and functions to district governments. One of the results is that government has less information about its most valuable resource, the people who provide the services. The objective of the work reported here is to determine the stock of human resources for health in 15 districts, their service status and primary place of work. It also assesses the effect of decentralization on management of human resources and the implications for the future. Methods We enumerated all health care providers (doctors, nurses and midwives, including information on their employment status and primary place of work, in each of 15 districts in Java. Data were collected by three teams, one for each province. Results Provider density (number of doctors, nurses and midwives/1000 population was low by international standards – 11 out of 15 districts had provider densities less than 1.0. Approximately half of all three professional groups were permanent public servants. Contractual employment was also important for both nurses and midwives. The private sector as the primary source of employment is most important for doctors (37% overall and increasingly so for midwives (10%. For those employed in the public sector, two-thirds of doctors and nurses work in health centres, while most midwives are located at village-level health facilities. Conclusion In the health system established after Independence, the facilities established were staffed through a period of obligatory service for all new graduates in medicine, nursing and midwifery. The last elements of that staffing system ended in 2007 and the government has not been able to replace it. The private sector is expanding and, despite the fact that it will be of increasing importance in the coming decades, government information about providers in private practice is decreasing. Despite the promise of decentralization to

  14. Human resources for health at the district level in Indonesia: the smoke and mirrors of decentralization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heywood, Peter F; Harahap, Nida P

    2009-02-03

    In 2001 Indonesia embarked on a rapid decentralization of government finances and functions to district governments. One of the results is that government has less information about its most valuable resource, the people who provide the services. The objective of the work reported here is to determine the stock of human resources for health in 15 districts, their service status and primary place of work. It also assesses the effect of decentralization on management of human resources and the implications for the future. We enumerated all health care providers (doctors, nurses and midwives), including information on their employment status and primary place of work, in each of 15 districts in Java. Data were collected by three teams, one for each province. Provider density (number of doctors, nurses and midwives/1000 population) was low by international standards--11 out of 15 districts had provider densities less than 1.0. Approximately half of all three professional groups were permanent public servants. Contractual employment was also important for both nurses and midwives. The private sector as the primary source of employment is most important for doctors (37% overall) and increasingly so for midwives (10%). For those employed in the public sector, two-thirds of doctors and nurses work in health centres, while most midwives are located at village-level health facilities. In the health system established after Independence, the facilities established were staffed through a period of obligatory service for all new graduates in medicine, nursing and midwifery. The last elements of that staffing system ended in 2007 and the government has not been able to replace it. The private sector is expanding and, despite the fact that it will be of increasing importance in the coming decades, government information about providers in private practice is decreasing. Despite the promise of decentralization to increase sectoral "decision space" at the district level, the

  15. Comparative study on effects of two different types of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on human neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valdiglesias, Vanessa; Costa, Carla; Sharma, Vyom; Kiliç, Gözde; Pásaro, Eduardo; Teixeira, João Paulo; Dhawan, Alok; Laffon, Blanca

    2013-07-01

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) are among most frequently used nanoparticles (NPs). They are present in a variety of consumer products, including food industry in which they are employed as an additive. The potential toxic effects of these NPs on mammal cells have been extensively studied. However, studies regarding neurotoxicity and specific effects on neuronal systems are very scarce and, to our knowledge, no studies on human neuronal cells have been reported so far. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to investigate the effects of two types of TiO₂ NPs, with different crystalline structure, on human SHSY5Y neuronal cells. After NPs characterization, a battery of assays was performed to evaluate the viability, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity and oxidative damage in TiO₂ NP-exposed SHSY5Y cells. Results obtained showed that the behaviour of both types of NPs resulted quite comparable. They did not reduce the viability of neuronal cells but were effectively internalized by the cells and induced dose-dependent cell cycle alterations, apoptosis by intrinsic pathway, and genotoxicity not related with double strand break production. Furthermore, all these effects were not associated with oxidative damage production and, consequently, further investigations on the specific mechanisms underlying the effects observed in this study are required. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. CpG methylation differences between neurons and glia are highly conserved from mouse to human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kessler, Noah J; Van Baak, Timothy E; Baker, Maria S; Laritsky, Eleonora; Coarfa, Cristian; Waterland, Robert A

    2016-01-15

    Understanding epigenetic differences that distinguish neurons and glia is of fundamental importance to the nascent field of neuroepigenetics. A recent study used genome-wide bisulfite sequencing to survey differences in DNA methylation between these two cell types, in both humans and mice. That study minimized the importance of cell type-specific differences in CpG methylation, claiming these are restricted to localized genomic regions, and instead emphasized that widespread and highly conserved differences in non-CpG methylation distinguish neurons and glia. We reanalyzed the data from that study and came to markedly different conclusions. In particular, we found widespread cell type-specific differences in CpG methylation, with a genome-wide tendency for neuronal CpG-hypermethylation punctuated by regions of glia-specific hypermethylation. Alarmingly, our analysis indicated that the majority of genes identified by the primary study as exhibiting cell type-specific CpG methylation differences were misclassified. To verify the accuracy of our analysis, we isolated neuronal and glial DNA from mouse cortex and performed quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing at nine loci. The pyrosequencing results corroborated our analysis, without exception. Most interestingly, we found that gene-associated neuron vs. glia CpG methylation differences are highly conserved across human and mouse, and are very likely to be functional. In addition to underscoring the importance of independent verification to confirm the conclusions of genome-wide epigenetic analyses, our data indicate that CpG methylation plays a major role in neuroepigenetics, and that the mouse is likely an excellent model in which to study the role of DNA methylation in human neurodevelopment and disease. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Pharmacological Characterisation of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Expressed in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Chatzidaki

    Full Text Available Neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs represent a potentially valuable tool for the characterisation of neuronal receptors and ion channels. Previous studies on iPSC-derived neuronal cells have reported the functional characterisation of a variety of receptors and ion channels, including glutamate receptors, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA receptors and several voltage-gated ion channels. In the present study we have examined the expression and functional properties of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs in human iPSC-derived neurons. Gene expression analysis indicated the presence of transcripts encoding several nAChR subunits, with highest levels detected for α3-α7, β1, β2 and β4 subunits (encoded by CHRNA3-CHRNA7, CHRNB1, CHRNB2 and CHRNB4 genes. In addition, similarly high transcript levels were detected for the truncated dupα7 subunit transcript, encoded by the partially duplicated gene CHRFAM7A, which has been associated with psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. The functional properties of these nAChRs have been examined by calcium fluorescence and by patch-clamp recordings. The data obtained suggest that the majority of functional nAChRs expressed in these cells have pharmacological properties typical of α7 receptors. Large responses were induced by a selective α7 agonist (compound B, in the presence of the α7-selective positive allosteric modulator (PAM PNU-120596, which were blocked by the α7-selective antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA. In addition, a small proportion of the neurons express nAChRs with properties typical of heteromeric (non-α7 containing nAChR subtypes. These cells therefore represent a great tool to advance our understanding of the properties of native human nAChRs, α7 in particular.

  18. Direct conversion of human pluripotent stem cells into cranial motor neurons using a piggyBac vector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riccardo De Santis

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs are widely used for in vitro disease modeling. One of the challenges in the field is represented by the ability of converting human PSCs into specific disease-relevant cell types. The nervous system is composed of a wide variety of neuronal types with selective vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. This is particularly relevant for motor neuron diseases, in which different motor neurons populations show a different susceptibility to degeneration. Here we developed a fast and efficient method to convert human induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into cranial motor neurons of the branchiomotor and visceral motor subtype. These populations represent the motor neuron subgroup that is primarily affected by a severe form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with bulbar onset and worst prognosis. This goal was achieved by stable integration of an inducible vector, based on the piggyBac transposon, allowing controlled activation of Ngn2, Isl1 and Phox2a (NIP. The NIP module effectively produced electrophysiologically active cranial motor neurons. Our method can be easily extended to PSCs carrying disease-associated mutations, thus providing a useful tool to shed light on the cellular and molecular bases of selective motor neuron vulnerability in pathological conditions. Keywords: Spinal motor neuron, Cranial motor neuron, Induced pluripotent stem cells, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Phox2a, piggyBac

  19. Mirror monochromator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mankos, Marian [Electron Optica, Inc., Palo Alto, CA (United States); Shadman, Khashayar [Electron Optica, Inc., Palo Alto, CA (United States)

    2014-12-02

    In this SBIR project, Electron Optica, Inc. (EOI) is developing a mirror electron monochromator (MirrorChrom) attachment to new and retrofitted electron microscopes (EMs) for improving the energy resolution of the EM from the characteristic range of 0.2-0.5 eV to the range of 10-50 meV. This improvement will enhance the characterization of materials by imaging and spectroscopy. In particular, the monochromator will refine the energy spectra characterizing materials, as obtained from transmission EMs [TEMs] fitted with electron spectrometers, and it will increase the spatial resolution of the images of materials taken with scanning EMs (SEMs) operated at low voltages. EOI’s MirrorChrom technology utilizes a magnetic prism to simultaneously deflect the electron beam off the axis of the microscope column by 90° and disperse the electrons in proportional to their energies into a module with an electron mirror and a knife-edge. The knife-edge cuts off the tails of the energy distribution to reduce the energy spread of the electrons that are reflected, and subsequently deflected, back into the microscope column. The knife-edge is less prone to contamination, and thereby charging, than the conventional slits used in existing monochromators, which improves the reliability and stability of the module. The overall design of the MirrorChrom exploits the symmetry inherent in reversing the electron trajectory in order to maintain the beam brightness – a parameter that impacts how well the electron beam can be focused downstream onto a sample. During phase I, EOI drafted a set of candidate monochromator architectures and evaluated the trade-offs between energy resolution and beam current to achieve the optimum design for three particular applications with market potential: increasing the spatial resolution of low voltage SEMs, increasing the energy resolution of low voltage TEMs (beam energy of 5-20 keV), and increasing the energy resolution of conventional TEMs (beam

  20. Mirror systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howells, M.R.

    1985-12-01

    The physics of VUV and x-ray reflection is reviewed. The main functions of mirrors in synchrotron beamlines are stated briefly and include deflection, filtration, power absorption, formation of a real image of the source, focusing, and collimation. Methods of fabrication of optical surfaces are described. Types of imperfections are discussed, including, aberrations, surface figure inaccuracy, roughness, and degradation due to use. Calculation of the photon beam thermal load, including computer modelling, is considered. 50 refs., 7 figs

  1. Biogeographic range expansion into South America by Coccidioides immitis mirrors New World patterns of human migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Matthew C.; Koenig, Gina L.; White, Thomas J.; San-Blas, Gioconda; Negroni, Ricardo; Alvarez, Isidro Gutiérrez; Wanke, Bodo; Taylor, John W.

    2001-01-01

    Long-distance population dispersal leaves its characteristic signature in genomes, namely, reduced diversity and increased linkage between genetic markers. This signature enables historical patterns of range expansion to be traced. Herein, we use microsatellite loci from the human pathogen Coccidioides immitis to show that genetic diversity in this fungus is geographically partitioned throughout North America. In contrast, analyses of South American C. immitis show that this population is genetically depauperate and was founded from a single North American population centered in Texas. Variances of allele distributions show that South American C. immitis have undergone rapid population growth, consistent with an epidemic increase in postcolonization population size. Herein, we estimate the introduction into South America to have occurred within the last 9,000–140,000 years. This range increase parallels that of Homo sapiens. Because of known associations between Amerindians and this fungus, we suggest that the colonization of South America by C. immitis represents a relatively recent and rapid codispersal of a host and its pathogen. PMID:11287648

  2. Thermo-responsive polymeric nanoparticles for enhancing neuronal differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Hye In; Cho, Ann-Na; Jang, Jiho; Kim, Dong-Wook; Cho, Seung-Woo; Chung, Bong Geun

    2015-10-01

    We report thermo-responsive retinoic acid (RA)-loaded poly(N-isopropylacrylamide)-co-acrylamide (PNIPAM-co-Am) nanoparticles for directing human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) fate. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance analysis confirmed that RA was efficiently incorporated into PNIAPM-co-Am nanoparticles (PCANs). The size of PCANs dropped with increasing temperatures (300-400 nm at room temperature, 80-90 nm at 37°C) due to its phase transition from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. Due to particle shrinkage caused by this thermo-responsive property of PCANs, RA could be released from nanoparticles in the cells upon cellular uptake. Immunocytochemistry and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated that neuronal differentiation of hiPSC-derived neuronal precursors was enhanced after treatment with 1-2 μg/ml RA-loaded PCANs. Therefore, we propose that this PCAN could be a potentially powerful carrier for effective RA delivery to direct hiPSC fate to neuronal lineage. The use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has been at the forefront of research in the field of regenerative medicine, as these cells have the potential to differentiate into various terminal cell types. In this article, the authors utilized a thermo-responsive polymer, Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM), as a delivery platform for retinoic acid. It was shown that neuronal differentiation could be enhanced in hiPSC-derived neuronal precursor cells. This method may pave a way for future treatment of neuronal diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A time course analysis of the electrophysiological properties of neurons differentiated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah Prè

    Full Text Available Many protocols have been designed to differentiate human embryonic stem cells (ESCs and human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs into neurons. Despite the relevance of electrophysiological properties for proper neuronal function, little is known about the evolution over time of important neuronal electrophysiological parameters in iPSC-derived neurons. Yet, understanding the development of basic electrophysiological characteristics of iPSC-derived neurons is critical for evaluating their usefulness in basic and translational research. Therefore, we analyzed the basic electrophysiological parameters of forebrain neurons differentiated from human iPSCs, from day 31 to day 55 after the initiation of neuronal differentiation. We assayed the developmental progression of various properties, including resting membrane potential, action potential, sodium and potassium channel currents, somatic calcium transients and synaptic activity. During the maturation of iPSC-derived neurons, the resting membrane potential became more negative, the expression of voltage-gated sodium channels increased, the membrane became capable of generating action potentials following adequate depolarization and, at day 48-55, 50% of the cells were capable of firing action potentials in response to a prolonged depolarizing current step, of which 30% produced multiple action potentials. The percentage of cells exhibiting miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents increased over time with a significant increase in their frequency and amplitude. These changes were associated with an increase of Ca2+ transient frequency. Co-culturing iPSC-derived neurons with mouse glial cells enhanced the development of electrophysiological parameters as compared to pure iPSC-derived neuronal cultures. This study demonstrates the importance of properly evaluating the electrophysiological status of the newly generated neurons when using stem cell technology, as electrophysiological properties of

  4. Characterization of energy and neurotransmitter metabolism in cortical glutamatergic neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aldana, Blanca I; Zhang, Yu; Lihme, Maria Fog

    2017-01-01

    pathways in neurons derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC). With this aim, cultures of hiPSC-derived neurons were incubated with [U-(13)C]glucose, [U-(13)C]glutamate or [U-(13)C]glutamine. Isotopic labeling in metabolites was determined using gas chromatography coupled to mass...

  5. Zinc Deficiency Induces Apoptosis via Mitochondrial p53- and Caspase-Dependent Pathways in Human Neuronal Precursor Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth, Rohit; Corniola, Rikki S.; Gower-Winter, Shannon D.; Morgan, Thomas J., Jr.; Bishop, Brian; Levenson, Cathy W.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that zinc deficiency leads to apoptosis of neuronal precursor cells in vivo and in vitro. In addition to the role of p53 as a nuclear transcription factor in zinc deficient cultured human neuronal precursors (NT-2), we have now identified the translocation of phosphorylated p53 to the mitochondria and p53-dependent…

  6. Receptors for sensory neuropeptides in human inflammatory diseases: Implications for the effector role of sensory neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mantyh, P.W.; Catton, M.D.; Boehmer, C.G.; Welton, M.L.; Passaro, E.P. Jr.; Maggio, J.E.; Vigna, S.R.

    1989-01-01

    Glutamate and several neuropeptides are synthesized and released by subpopulations of primary afferent neurons. These sensory neurons play a role in regulating the inflammatory and immune responses in peripheral tissues. Using quantitative receptor autoradiography we have explored what changes occur in the location and concentration of receptor binding sites for sensory neurotransmitters in the colon in two human inflammatory diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The sensory neurotransmitter receptors examined included bombesin, calcitonin gene related peptide-alpha, cholecystokinin, galanin, glutamate, somatostatin, neurokinin A (substance K), substance P, and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide. Of the nine receptor binding sites examined only substance P binding sites associated with arterioles, venules and lymph nodules were dramatically up-regulated in the inflamed tissue. These data suggest that substance P is involved in regulating the inflammatory and immune responses in human inflammatory diseases and indicate a specificity of efferent action for each sensory neurotransmitter in peripheral tissues

  7. Magnetic Resonance Microscopy of Human and Porcine Neurons and Cellular Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Jeremy J.; Hansen, Brian; Portnoy, Sharon; Lee, Choong-Heon; King, Michael A.; Fey, Michael; Vincent, Franck; Stanisz, Greg J; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Blackband, Stephen J

    2012-01-01

    With its unparalleled ability to safely generate high-contrast images of soft tissues, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has remained at the forefront of diagnostic clinical medicine. Unfortunately due to resolution limitations, clinical scans are most useful for detecting macroscopic structural changes associated with a small number of pathologies. Moreover, due to a longstanding inability to directly observe magnetic resonance (MR) signal behavior at the cellular level, such information is poorly characterized and generally must be inferred. With the advent of the MR microscope in 1986 came the ability to measure MR signal properties of theretofore unobservable tissue structures. Recently, further improvements in hardware technology have made possible the ability to visualize mammalian cellular structure. In the current study, we expand upon previous work by imaging the neuronal cell bodies and processes of human and porcine α-motor neurons. Complimentary imaging studies are conducted in pig tissue in order to demonstrate qualitative similarities to human samples. Also, apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) maps were generated inside porcine α-motor neuron cell bodies and portions of their largest processes (mean = 1.7±0.5 μm2/ms based on 53 pixels) as well as in areas containing a mixture of extracellular space, microvasculature, and neuropil (0.59±0.37 μm2/ms based on 33 pixels). Three-dimensional reconstruction of MR images containing α-motor neurons shows the spatial arrangement of neuronal projections between adjacent cells. Such advancements in imaging portend the ability to construct accurate models of MR signal behavior based on direct observation and measurement of the components which comprise functional tissues. These tools would not only be useful for improving our interpretation of macroscopic MRI performed in the clinic, but they could potentially be used to develop new methods of differential diagnosis to aid in the early detection of a

  8. A comparative study of the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeleton in human cortical neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allani, Pramod K.; Sum, Tak; Bhansali, Suraj G.; Mukherjee, Suman K.; Sonee, Manisha

    2004-01-01

    Cytoskeleton disruption is a process by which oxidative stress disrupts cellular function. This study compares and contrasts the effect of oxidative stress on the three major cytoskeleton filaments, microfilaments (MFs), microtubule (MT), and vimentin in human cortical neuronal cell line (HCN2). HCN2 cells were treated with 100 μM tertiary butylhydroperoxide (t-BuOOH), a free radical generating neurotoxin for 1, 3, or 6 h. Cell viability studies demonstrated significant cell death although the morphology studies showed that there was a substantial loss in neurites of neurons treated with t-BuOOH for 6 h. Because the cytoskeleton plays a role in neurite outgrowth, the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeletal was studied. In neurons subjected to oxidative stress for 30 min or 1 h, there were no major changes in microfilament distribution though there was altered distribution of microtubule and vimentin filaments as compared to controls. However, loss and disruption of all the three cytoskeletal filaments was observed at later times (3 and 6 h), which was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Further studies were done to measure the gene expression levels of actin, tubulin, and vimentin. Results indicated that the overall loss of the cytoskeletal proteins in neurons treated with free radical generating toxin might not be a direct result of the downregulation of the cytoskeletal genes. This study shows that free radical generation in human neurons leads to the disruption of the cytoskeleton, though there may be a difference in the susceptibility to oxidative stress among the individual components of the cytoskeletal filaments

  9. Curcumin ameliorates hippocampal neuron damage induced by human immunodeficiency virus-1★

    OpenAIRE

    Tang, Hongmei; Pan, Rui; Fang, Wenli; Xing, Yanyan; Chen, Dexi; Chen, Xiaobao; Yu, Yuanyuan; Wang, Junbing; Gong, Zheng; Xiong, Guoyin; Dong, Jun

    2013-01-01

    Our previous studies have shown that infection with the gp120 V3 loop can cause human immunodeficiency virus-1 associated neurocognitive disorders. Curcumin has been shown to improve these effects to some degree, but the precise mechanisms remain unknown. The present study analyzed the neuroprotective effect and mechanism of curcumin in relation to hippocampal neurons. Results showed that 1 nmol/L gp120 V3 loop suppressed the growth of synapses. After administration of 1 μmol/L curcumin, syna...

  10. Cannabidiol Activates Neuronal Precursor Genes in Human Gingival Mesenchymal Stromal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soundara Rajan, Thangavelu; Giacoppo, Sabrina; Scionti, Domenico; Diomede, Francesca; Grassi, Gianpaolo; Pollastro, Federica; Piattelli, Adriano; Bramanti, Placido; Mazzon, Emanuela; Trubiani, Oriana

    2017-06-01

    In the last years, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) from oral tissues have received considerable interest in regenerative medicine since they can be obtained with minimal invasive procedure and exhibit immunomodulatory properties. This study was aimed to investigate whether in vitro pre-treatment of MSCs obtained from human gingiva (hGMSCs) with Cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid component produced by the plant Cannabis sativa, may promote human gingiva derived MSCs to differentiate toward neuronal precursor cells. Specifically, we have treated the hGMSCs with CBD (5 µM) for 24 h in order to evaluate the expression of genes involved in cannabidiol signaling, cell proliferation, self-renewal and multipotency, and neural progenitor cells differentiation. Next generation sequencing (NGS) demonstrated that CBD activates genes associated with G protein coupled receptor signaling in hGMSCs. Genes involved in DNA replication, cell cycle, proliferation, and apoptosis were regulated. Moreover, genes associated with the biological process of neuronal progenitor cells (NCPs) proliferation, neuron differentiation, neurogenesis, and nervous system development were significantly modulated. From our results, we hypothesize that human gingiva-derived MSCs conditioned with CBD could represent a valid method for improving the hGMSCs phenotype and thus might be a potential therapeutic tool in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. J. Cell. Biochem. 118: 1531-1546, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Synthesis of acetylcholine from choline derived from phosphatidylcholine in a human neuronal cell line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blusztajn, J.K.; Liscovitch, M.; Richardson, U.I.

    1987-01-01

    Cholinergic neurons are unique among cells since they alone utilize choline not only as a component of major membrane phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine (Ptd-Cho), but also as a precursor of their neurotransmitter acetylcholine (AcCho). It has been hypothesized that choline-phospholipids might serve as a storage pool of choline for AcCho synthesis. The selective vulnerability of cholinergic neurons in certain neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer disease, motor neuron disorders) might result from the abnormally accelerated liberation of choline (to be used a precursor of AcCho) from membrane phospholipids, resulting in altered membrane composition and function and compromised neuronal viability. However, the proposed metabolic link between membrane turnover and AcCho synthesis has been difficult to demonstrate because of the heterogeneity of the preparations used. Here the authors used a population of purely cholinergic cells (human neuroblastomas, LA-N-2), incubated in the presence of [methyl- 3 H]methionine to selectively label PtdCho synthesized by methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine, the only pathway of de novo choline synthesis. Three peaks of radioactive material that cochromatographed with authentic AcCho, choline, and phosphocholine were observed when the water-soluble metabolites of the [ 3 H]PtdCho were purified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The results demonstrate that AcCho can be synthesized from choline derived from the degradation of endogenous PtdCho formed de novo by methylation of phosphatidylethanolamine

  12. Modeling non-syndromic autism and the impact of TRPC6 disruption in human neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesi-Oliveira, Karina; Acab, Allan; Gupta, Abha R.; Sunaga, Daniele Yumi; Chailangkarn, Thanathom; Nicol, Xavier; Nunez, Yanelli; Walker, Michael F.; Murdoch, John D.; Sanders, Stephan J.; Fernandez, Thomas V.; Ji, Weizhen; Lifton, Richard P.; Vadasz, Estevão; Dietrich, Alexander; Pradhan, Dennis; Song, Hongjun; Ming, Guo-li; Guoe, Xiang; Haddad, Gabriel; Marchetto, Maria C. N.; Spitzer, Nicholas; Passos-Bueno, Maria Rita; State, Matthew W.; Muotri, Alysson R.

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of genetic variants have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and the functional study of such variants will be critical for the elucidation of autism pathophysiology. Here, we report a de novo balanced translocation disruption of TRPC6, a cation channel, in a non-syndromic autistic individual. Using multiple models, such as dental pulp cells, iPSC-derived neuronal cells and mouse models, we demonstrate that TRPC6 reduction or haploinsufficiency leads to altered neuronal development, morphology, and function. The observed neuronal phenotypes could then be rescued by TRPC6 complementation and by treatment with IGF1 or hyperforin, a TRPC6-specific agonist, suggesting that ASD individuals with alterations in this pathway might benefit from these drugs. We also demonstrate that MeCP2 levels affect TRPC6 expression. Mutations in MeCP2 cause Rett syndrome, revealing common pathways among ASDs. Genetic sequencing of TRPC6 in 1041 ASD individuals and 2872 controls revealed significantly more nonsynonymous mutations in the ASD population, and identified loss-of-function mutations with incomplete penetrance in two patients. Taken together, these findings suggest that TRPC6 is a novel predisposing gene for ASD that may act in a multiple-hit model. This is the first study to use iPSC-derived human neurons to model non-syndromic ASD and illustrate the potential of modeling genetically complex sporadic diseases using such cells. PMID:25385366

  13. The Simulating Social Mind: The Role of the Mirror Neuron System and Simulation in the Social and Communicative Deficits of Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oberman, Lindsay M.; Ramachandran, Vilayanur S.

    2007-01-01

    The mechanism by which humans perceive others differs greatly from how humans perceive inanimate objects. Unlike inanimate objects, humans have the distinct property of being "like me" in the eyes of the observer. This allows us to use the same systems that process knowledge about self-performed actions, self-conceived thoughts, and…

  14. Mirror neural training induced by virtual reality in brain-computer interfaces may provide a promising approach for the autism therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Huaping; Sun, Yaoru; Zeng, Jinhua; Sun, Hongyu

    2011-05-01

    Previous studies have suggested that the dysfunction of the human mirror neuron system (hMNS) plays an important role in the autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In this work, we propose a novel training program from our interdisciplinary research to improve mirror neuron functions of autistic individuals by using a BCI system with virtual reality technology. It is a promising approach for the autism to learn and develop social communications in a VR environment. A test method for this hypothesis is also provided. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Recapitulation of spinal motor neuron-specific disease phenotypes in a human cell model of spinal muscular atrophy

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhi-Bo Wang; Xiaoqing Zhang; Xue-Jun Li

    2013-01-01

    Establishing human cell models of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) to mimic motor neuron-specific phenotypes holds the key to understanding the pathogenesis of this devastating disease.Here,we developed a closely representative cell model of SMA by knocking down the disease-determining gene,survival motor neuron (SMN),in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).Our study with this cell model demonstrated that knocking down of SMN does not interfere with neural induction or the initial specification of spinal motor neurons.Notably,the axonal outgrowth of spinal motor neurons was significantly impaired and these disease-mimicking neurons subsequently degenerated.Furthermore,these disease phenotypes were caused by SMN-full length (SMN-FL) but not SMN-A7 (lacking exon 7)knockdown,and were specific to spinal motor neurons.Restoring the expression of SMN-FL completely ameliorated all of the disease phenotypes,including specific axonal defects and motor neuron loss.Finally,knockdown of SMNFL led to excessive mitochondrial oxidative stress in human motor neuron progenitors.The involvement of oxidative stress in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons in the SMA cell model was further confirmed by the administration of N-acetylcysteine,a potent antioxidant,which prevented disease-related apoptosis and subsequent motor neuron death.Thus,we report here the successful establishment of an hESC-based SMA model,which exhibits disease gene isoform specificity,cell type specificity,and phenotype reversibility.Our model provides a unique paradigm for studying how motor neurons specifically degenerate and highlights the potential importance of antioxidants for the treatment of SMA.

  16. Directed differentiation of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yao; Qu, Zhuang-Yin; Cao, Shi-Ying; Li, Qi; Ma, Lixiang; Krencik, Robert; Xu, Min; Liu, Yan

    2016-06-15

    Basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs) play critical roles in learning, memory and cognition. Dysfunction or degeneration of BFCNs may connect to neuropathology, such as Alzheimer's disease, Down's syndrome and dementia. Generation of functional BFCNs may contribute to the studies of cell-based therapy and pathogenesis that is related to learning and memory deficits. Here we describe a detail method for robust generation of BFCNs from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). In this method, BFCN progenitors are patterned from hESC or hiPSC-derived primitive neuroepithelial cells, with the treatment of sonic hedgehog (SHH) or combination with its agonist Purmorphamine, and by co-culturing with human astrocytes. At day 20, ∼90% hPSC-derived progenitors expressed NKX2.1, which is a transcriptional marker for MGE. Moreover, around 40% of NKX2.1+ cells co-expressed OLIG2 and ∼15% of NKX2.1+ cells co-expressed ISLET1, which are ventral markers. At day 35, ∼40% neurons robustly express ChAT, most of which are co-labeled with NKX2.1, ISLET1 and FOXG1, indicating the basal forebrain-like identity. At day 45, these neurons express mature neuronal markers MAP2, Synapsin, and VAChT. In this method, undefined conditions including genetic modification or cell-sorting are avoided. As a choice, feeder free conditions are used to avoid ingredients of animal origin. Moreover, Purmorphamine can be substituted for SHH to induce ventral progenitors effectively and economically. We provide an efficient method to generate BFCNs from multiple hPSC lines, which offers the potential application for disease modeling and pharmacological studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Embodiment in Communication--Aphasia, Apraxia and the Possible Role of Mirroring and Imitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlsen, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    The role of embodiment in communication is attracting an increased interest. This interest is to some extent caused by hypotheses and findings concerning mirror neurons in macaques, that is, neurons that are activated by production as well as perception of, for example, a certain movement of action. Mirror neurons seem to provide a fairly simple…

  18. Direct Induction and Functional Maturation of Forebrain GABAergic Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alfred Xuyang Sun

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-releasing interneurons play an important modulatory role in the cortex and have been implicated in multiple neurological disorders. Patient-derived interneurons could provide a foundation for studying the pathogenesis of these diseases as well as for identifying potential therapeutic targets. Here, we identified a set of genetic factors that could robustly induce human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs into GABAergic neurons (iGNs with high efficiency. We demonstrated that the human iGNs express neurochemical markers and exhibit mature electrophysiological properties within 6–8 weeks. Furthermore, in vitro, iGNs could form functional synapses with other iGNs or with human-induced glutamatergic neurons (iENs. Upon transplantation into immunodeficient mice, human iGNs underwent synaptic maturation and integration into host neural circuits. Taken together, our rapid and highly efficient single-step protocol to generate iGNs may be useful to both mechanistic and translational studies of human interneurons.

  19. Behavioral analysis of Drosophila transformants expressing human taste receptor genes in the gustatory receptor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adachi, Ryota; Sasaki, Yuko; Morita, Hiromi; Komai, Michio; Shirakawa, Hitoshi; Goto, Tomoko; Furuyama, Akira; Isono, Kunio

    2012-06-01

    Transgenic Drosophila expressing human T2R4 and T2R38 bitter-taste receptors or PKD2L1 sour-taste receptor in the fly gustatory receptor neurons and other tissues were prepared using conventional Gal4/UAS binary system. Molecular analysis showed that the transgene mRNAs are expressed according to the tissue specificity of the Gal4 drivers. Transformants expressing the transgene taste receptors in the fly taste neurons were then studied by a behavioral assay to analyze whether transgene chemoreceptors are functional and coupled to the cell response. Since wild-type flies show strong aversion against the T2R ligands as in mammals, the authors analyzed the transformants where the transgenes are expressed in the fly sugar receptor neurons so that they promote feeding ligand-dependently if they are functional and activate the neurons. Although the feeding preference varied considerably among different strains and individuals, statistical analysis using large numbers of transformants indicated that transformants expressing T2R4 showed a small but significant increase in the preference for denatonium and quinine, the T2R4 ligands, as compared to the control flies, whereas transformants expressing T2R38 did not. Similarly, transformants expressing T2R38 and PKD2L1 also showed a similar preference increase for T2R38-specific ligand phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) and a sour-taste ligand, citric acid, respectively. Taken together, the transformants expressing mammalian taste receptors showed a small but significant increase in the feeding preference that is taste receptor and also ligand dependent. Although future improvements are required to attain performance comparable to the endogenous robust response, Drosophila taste neurons may serve as a potential in vivo heterologous expression system for analyzing chemoreceptor function.

  20. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordzij, Matthijs Leendert; Newman-Norlund, Sarah E.; de Ruiter, Jan Peter; Hagoort, Peter; Levinson, Stephen C.; Toni, Ivan

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the “mirror neurons system”). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we

  1. Brain mechanisms underlying human communication

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordzij, M.L.; Newman-Norlund, S.E.; Ruiter, J.P.A. de; Hagoort, P.; Levinson, S.C.; Toni, I.

    2009-01-01

    Human communication has been described as involving the coding-decoding of a conventional symbol system, which could be supported by parts of the human motor system (i.e. the "mirror neurons system"). However, this view does not explain how these conventions could develop in the first place. Here we

  2. Assessing neurodevelopmental effects of arsenolipids in pre-differentiated human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witt, Barbara; Ebert, Franziska; Meyer, Sören; Francesconi, Kevin A; Schwerdtle, Tanja

    2017-11-01

    In the general population exposure to arsenic occurs mainly via diet. Highest arsenic concentrations are found in seafood, where arsenic is present predominantly in its organic forms including arsenolipids. Since recent studies have provided evidence that arsenolipids could reach the brain of an organism and exert toxicity in fully differentiated human neurons, this work aims to assess the neurodevelopmental toxicity of arsenolipids. Neurodevelopmental effects of three arsenic-containing hydrocarbons (AsHC), two arsenic-containing fatty acids (AsFA), arsenite and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA V ) were characterized in pre-differentiated human neurons. AsHCs and arsenite caused substantial cytotoxicity in a similar, low concentration range, whereas AsFAs and DMA V were less toxic. AsHCs were highly accessible for cells and exerted pronounced neurodevelopmental effects, with neurite outgrowth and the mitochondrial membrane potential being sensitive endpoints; arsenite did not substantially decrease those two endpoints. In fully differentiated neurons, arsenite and AsHCs caused neurite toxicity. These results indicate for a neurodevelopmental potential of AsHCs. Taken into account the possibility that AsHCs might easily reach the developing brain when exposed during early life, neurotoxicity and neurodevelopmental toxicity cannot be excluded. Further studies are needed in order to progress the urgently needed risk assessment. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Functional Maturation of Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons in Long-Term Cultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca S Lam

    Full Text Available Differentiated neurons can be rapidly acquired, within days, by inducing stem cells to express neurogenic transcription factors. We developed a protocol to maintain long-term cultures of human neurons, called iNGNs, which are obtained by inducing Neurogenin-1 and Neurogenin-2 expression in induced pluripotent stem cells. We followed the functional development of iNGNs over months and they showed many hallmark properties for neuronal maturation, including robust electrical and synaptic activity. Using iNGNs expressing a variant of channelrhodopsin-2, called CatCh, we could control iNGN activity with blue light stimulation. In combination with optogenetic tools, iNGNs offer opportunities for studies that require precise spatial and temporal resolution. iNGNs developed spontaneous network activity, and these networks had excitatory glutamatergic synapses, which we characterized with single-cell synaptic recordings. AMPA glutamatergic receptor activity was especially dominant in postsynaptic recordings, whereas NMDA glutamatergic receptor activity was absent from postsynaptic recordings but present in extrasynaptic recordings. Our results on long-term cultures of iNGNs could help in future studies elucidating mechanisms of human synaptogenesis and neurotransmission, along with the ability to scale-up the size of the cultures.

  4. Mirror fusion reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1978-01-01

    Conceptual design studies were made of fusion reactors based on the three current mirror-confinement concepts: the standard mirror, the tandem mirror, and the field-reversed mirror. Recent studies of the standard mirror have emphasized its potential as a fusion-fission hybrid reactor, designed to produce fuel for fission reactors. We have designed a large commercial hybrid and a small pilot-plant hybrid based on standard mirror confinement. Tandem mirror designs include a commercial 1000-MWe fusion power plant and a nearer term tandem mirror hybrid. Field-reversed mirror designs include a multicell commercial reactor producing 75 MWe and a single-cell pilot plant

  5. Mirror fusion reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, G.A.; Moir, R.W.

    1978-01-01

    We have carried out conceptual design studies of fusion reactors based on the three current mirror confinement concepts: the standard mirror, the tandem mirror, and the field-reversed mirror. Recent studies of the standard mirror have emphasized its potential as a fusion-fission hybrid reactor, designed to produce fission fuel for fission reactors. We have designed a large commercial hybrid based on standard mirror confinement, and also a small pilot plant hybrid. Tandem mirror designs include a commercial 1000 MWe fusion power plant and a nearer term tandem mirror hybrid. Field-reversed mirror designs include a multicell commercial reactor producing 75 MWe and a single cell pilot plant

  6. Novel human neuronal tau model exhibiting neurofibrillary tangles and transcellular propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reilly, Patrick; Winston, Charisse N; Baron, Kelsey R; Trejo, Margarita; Rockenstein, Edward M; Akers, Johnny C; Kfoury, Najla; Diamond, Marc; Masliah, Eliezer; Rissman, Robert A; Yuan, Shauna H

    2017-10-01

    Tauopathies are a class of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia and progressive supranuclear palsy, which are associated with the pathological aggregation of tau protein into neurofibrillary tangles (NFT). Studies have characterized tau as a "prion-like" protein given its ability to form distinct, stable amyloid conformations capable of transcellular and multigenerational propagation in clonal fashion. It has been proposed that progression of tauopathy could be due to the prion-like propagation of tau, suggesting the possibility that end-stage pathologies, like NFT formation, may require an instigating event such as tau seeding. To investigate this, we applied a novel human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) system we have developed to serve as a human neuronal model. We introduced the tau repeat domain (tau-RD) with P301L and V337M (tau-RD-LM) mutations into hiPSC-derived neurons and observed expression of tau-RD at levels similar to total tau in postmortem AD brains. Tau aggregation occurred without the addition of recombinant tau fibrils. The conditioned media from tau-RD cultures contained tau-RD seeds, which were capable of inducing aggregate formation in homotypic mode in non-transduced recipient neuronal cultures. The resultant NFTs were thioflavin-positive, silver stain-positive, and assumed fibrillary appearance on transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with immunogold, which revealed paired helical filament 1 (PHF1)-positive NFTs, representing possible recruitment of endogenous tau in the aggregates. Functionally, expression of tau-RD caused neurotoxicity that manifested as axon retraction, synaptic density reduction, and enlargement of lysosomes. The results of our hiPSC study were reinforced by the observation that Tau-RD-LM is excreted in exosomes, which mediated the transfer of human tau to wild-type mouse neurons in vivo. Our hiPSC human neuronal system provides a model for further studies of tau

  7. Detectability of Neuronal Currents in Human Brain with Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Howland D. T. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Thomas, Edward V. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Harper, Jason C. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States); Mayer, Andrew R. [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Caprihan, Arvind [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gasparovic, Charles [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Blagoev, Krastan B. [Mind Research Network, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Haaland, David M. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2012-09-01

    Magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used in a high-risk, high-payoff search for neuronal current (NC) signals in the free induction decay (FID) data from the visual cortex of human subjects during visual stimulation. If successful, this approach could make possible the detection of neuronal currents in the brain at high spatial and temporal resolution. Our initial experiments indicated the presence of a statistically significant change in the FID containing the NC relative to FIDs with the NC absent, and this signal was consistent with the presence of NC. Unfortunately, two follow-on experiments were not able to confirm or replicate the positive findings of the first experiment. However, even if the result from the first experiment were evidence of NC in the FID, it is clear that its effect is so small, that a true NC imaging experiment would not be possible with the current instrumentation and experimental protocol used here.

  8. Simultaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation and single-neuron recording in alert non-human primates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Jerel K; Grigsby, Erinn M; Prevosto, Vincent; Petraglia, Frank W; Rao, Hrishikesh; Deng, Zhi-De; Peterchev, Angel V; Sommer, Marc A; Egner, Tobias; Platt, Michael L; Grill, Warren M

    2014-08-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a widely used, noninvasive method for stimulating nervous tissue, yet its mechanisms of effect are poorly understood. Here we report new methods for studying the influence of TMS on single neurons in the brain of alert non-human primates. We designed a TMS coil that focuses its effect near the tip of a recording electrode and recording electronics that enable direct acquisition of neuronal signals at the site of peak stimulus strength minimally perturbed by stimulation artifact in awake monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We recorded action potentials within ∼1 ms after 0.4-ms TMS pulses and observed changes in activity that differed significantly for active stimulation as compared with sham stimulation. This methodology is compatible with standard equipment in primate laboratories, allowing easy implementation. Application of these tools will facilitate the refinement of next generation TMS devices, experiments and treatment protocols.

  9. Simultaneous transcranial magnetic stimulation and single neuron recording in alert non-human primates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Jerel K.; Grigsby, Erinn M.; Prevosto, Vincent; Petraglia, Frank W.; Rao, Hrishikesh; Deng, Zhi-De; Peterchev, Angel V.; Sommer, Marc A.; Egner, Tobias; Platt, Michael L.; Grill, Warren M.

    2014-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a widely used, noninvasive method for stimulating nervous tissue, yet its mechanisms of effect are poorly understood. Here we report novel methods for studying the influence of TMS on single neurons in the brain of alert non-human primates. We designed a TMS coil that focuses its effect near the tip of a recording electrode and recording electronics that enable direct acquisition of neuronal signals at the site of peak stimulus strength minimally perturbed by stimulation artifact in intact, awake monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We recorded action potentials within ~1 ms after 0.4 ms TMS pulses and observed changes in activity that differed significantly for active stimulation as compared to sham stimulation. The methodology is compatible with standard equipment in primate laboratories, allowing for easy implementation. Application of these new tools will facilitate the refinement of next generation TMS devices, experiments, and treatment protocols. PMID:24974797

  10. Temporally coordinated spiking activity of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons co-cultured with astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayama, Tasuku; Suzuki, Ikuro; Odawara, Aoi; Sasaki, Takuya; Ikegaya, Yuji

    2018-01-01

    In culture conditions, human induced-pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC)-derived neurons form synaptic connections with other cells and establish neuronal networks, which are expected to be an in vitro model system for drug discovery screening and toxicity testing. While early studies demonstrated effects of co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with astroglial cells on survival and maturation of hiPSC-derived neurons, the population spiking patterns of such hiPSC-derived neurons have not been fully characterized. In this study, we analyzed temporal spiking patterns of hiPSC-derived neurons recorded by a multi-electrode array system. We discovered that specific sets of hiPSC-derived neurons co-cultured with astrocytes showed more frequent and highly coherent non-random synchronized spike trains and more dynamic changes in overall spike patterns over time. These temporally coordinated spiking patterns are physiological signs of organized circuits of hiPSC-derived neurons and suggest benefits of co-culture of hiPSC-derived neurons with astrocytes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Human Dental Pulp Cells Differentiate toward Neuronal Cells and Promote Neuroregeneration in Adult Organotypic Hippocampal Slices In Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Li; Ide, Ryoji; Saiki, Chikako; Kumazawa, Yasuo; Okamura, Hisashi

    2017-08-11

    The adult mammalian central nerve system has fundamental difficulties regarding effective neuroregeneration. The aim of this study is to investigate whether human dental pulp cells (DPCs) can promote neuroregeneration by (i) being differentiated toward neuronal cells and/or (ii) stimulating local neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. Using immunostaining, we demonstrated that adult human dental pulp contains multipotent DPCs, including STRO-1, CD146 and P75-positive stem cells. DPC-formed spheroids were able to differentiate into neuronal, vascular, osteogenic and cartilaginous lineages under osteogenic induction. However, under neuronal inductive conditions, cells in the DPC-formed spheroids differentiated toward neuronal rather than other lineages. Electrophysiological study showed that these cells consistently exhibit the capacity to produce action potentials, suggesting that they have a functional feature in neuronal cells. We further co-cultivated DPCs with adult mouse hippocampal slices on matrigel in vitro. Immunostaining and presto blue assay showed that DPCs were able to stimulate the growth of neuronal cells (especially neurons) in both the CA1 zone and the edges of the hippocampal slices. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), was expressed in co-cultivated DPCs. In conclusion, our data demonstrated that DPCs are well-suited to differentiate into the neuronal lineage. They are able to stimulate neurogenesis in the adult mouse hippocampus through neurotrophic support in vitro.

  12. Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Are Highly Permissive for Varicella-Zoster Virus Lytic Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaoka, Tomohiko; Schwartz, Cindi L; Rajbhandari, Labchan; Venkatesan, Arun; Cohen, Jeffrey I

    2018-01-01

    Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is highly cell associated when grown in culture and has a much higher (4,000- to 20,000-fold increased) particle-to-PFU ratio in vitro than herpes simplex virus (HSV). In contrast, VZV is highly infectious in vivo by airborne transmission. Neurons are major targets for VZV in vivo ; in neurons, the virus can establish latency and reactivate to produce infectious virus. Using neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and cell-free wild-type (WT) VZV, we demonstrated that neurons are nearly 100 times more permissive for WT VZV infection than very-early-passage human embryonic lung cells or MRC-5 diploid human fibroblasts, the cells used for vaccine production or virus isolation. The peak titers achieved after infection were ∼10-fold higher in human neurons than in MRC-5 cells, and the viral genome copy number-to-PFU ratio for VZV in human neurons was 500, compared with 50,000 for MRC-5 cells. Thus, VZV may not necessarily have a higher particle-to-PFU ratio than other herpesviruses; instead, the cells previously used to propagate virus in vitro may have been suboptimal. Furthermore, based on electron microscopy, neurons infected with VZV produced fewer defective or incomplete viral particles than MRC-5 cells. Our data suggest that neurons derived from hESC may have advantages compared to other cells for studies of VZV pathogenesis, for obtaining stocks of virus with high titers, and for isolating VZV from clinical specimens. IMPORTANCE Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) causes chickenpox and shingles. Cell-free VZV has been difficult to obtain, both for in vitro studies and for vaccine production. While numerous cells lines have been tested for their ability to produce high titers of VZV, the number of total virus particles relative to the number of viral particles that can form plaques in culture has been reported to be extremely high relative to that in other viruses. We show that VZV grows to much higher titers in human

  13. Human iPSC-Derived Neuronal Model of Tau-A152T Frontotemporal Dementia Reveals Tau-Mediated Mechanisms of Neuronal Vulnerability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Catarina Silva

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Frontotemporal dementia (FTD and other tauopathies characterized by focal brain neurodegeneration and pathological accumulation of proteins are commonly associated with tau mutations. However, the mechanism of neuronal loss is not fully understood. To identify molecular events associated with tauopathy, we studied induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC-derived neurons from individuals carrying the tau-A152T variant. We highlight the potential of in-depth phenotyping of human neuronal cell models for pre-clinical studies and identification of modulators of endogenous tau toxicity. Through a panel of biochemical and cellular assays, A152T neurons showed accumulation, redistribution, and decreased solubility of tau. Upregulation of tau was coupled to enhanced stress-inducible markers and cell vulnerability to proteotoxic, excitotoxic, and mitochondrial stressors, which was rescued upon CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeting of tau or by pharmacological activation of autophagy. Our findings unmask tau-mediated perturbations of specific pathways associated with neuronal vulnerability, revealing potential early disease biomarkers and therapeutic targets for FTD and other tauopathies.

  14. Conceptual Network Model From Sensory Neurons to Astrocytes of the Human Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yiqun; Yeo, Chai Kiat

    2015-07-01

    From a single-cell animal like paramecium to vertebrates like ape, the nervous system plays an important role in responding to the variations of the environment. Compared to animals, the nervous system in the human body possesses more intricate organization and utility. The nervous system anatomy has been understood progressively, yet the explanation at the cell level regarding complete information transmission is still lacking. Along the signal pathway toward the brain, an external stimulus first activates action potentials in the sensing neuron and these electric pulses transmit along the spinal nerve or cranial nerve to the neurons in the brain. Second, calcium elevation is triggered in the branch of astrocyte at the tripartite synapse. Third, the local calcium wave expands to the entire territory of the astrocyte. Finally, the calcium wave propagates to the neighboring astrocyte via gap junction channel. In our study, we integrate the existing mathematical model and biological experiments in each step of the signal transduction to establish a conceptual network model for the human nervous system. The network is composed of four layers and the communication protocols of each layer could be adapted to entities with different characterizations. We verify our simulation results against the available biological experiments and mathematical models and provide a test case of the integrated network. As the production of conscious episode in the human nervous system is still under intense research, our model serves as a useful tool to facilitate, complement and verify current and future study in human cognition.

  15. Direct Reprogramming of Adult Human Somatic Stem Cells Into Functional Neurons Using Sox2, Ascl1, and Neurog2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jessica Alves de Medeiros Araújo

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS or directly into cells from a different lineage, including neurons, has revolutionized research in regenerative medicine in recent years. Mesenchymal stem cells are good candidates for lineage reprogramming and autologous transplantation, since they can be easily isolated from accessible sources in adult humans, such as bone marrow and dental tissues. Here, we demonstrate that expression of the transcription factors (TFs SRY (sex determining region Y-box 2 (Sox2, Mammalian achaete-scute homolog 1 (Ascl1, or Neurogenin 2 (Neurog2 is sufficient for reprogramming human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSC into induced neurons (iNs. Furthermore, the combination of Sox2/Ascl1 or Sox2/Neurog2 is sufficient to reprogram up to 50% of transfected hUCMSCs into iNs showing electrical properties of mature neurons and establishing synaptic contacts with co-culture primary neurons. Finally, we show evidence supporting the notion that different combinations of TFs (Sox2/Ascl1 and Sox2/Neurog2 may induce multiple and overlapping neuronal phenotypes in lineage-reprogrammed iNs, suggesting that neuronal fate is determined by a combination of signals involving the TFs used for reprogramming but also the internal state of the converted cell. Altogether, the data presented here contribute to the advancement of techniques aiming at obtaining specific neuronal phenotypes from lineage-converted human somatic cells to treat neurological disorders.

  16. Characterization of calcium signals in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived dentate gyrus neuronal progenitors and mature neurons, stably expressing an advanced calcium indicator protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vőfély, Gergő; Berecz, Tünde; Szabó, Eszter; Szebényi, Kornélia; Hathy, Edit; Orbán, Tamás I; Sarkadi, Balázs; Homolya, László; Marchetto, Maria C; Réthelyi, János M; Apáti, Ágota

    2018-04-01

    Pluripotent stem cell derived human neuronal progenitor cells (hPSC-NPCs) and their mature neuronal cell culture derivatives may efficiently be used for central nervous system (CNS) drug screening, including the investigation of ligand-induced calcium signalization. We have established hippocampal NPC cultures derived from human induced PSCs, which were previously generated by non-integrating Sendai virus reprogramming. Using established protocols these NPCs were differentiated into hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons. In order to study calcium signaling without the need of dye loading, we have stably expressed an advanced calcium indicator protein (GCaMP6fast) in the NPCs using the Sleeping Beauty transposon system. We observed no significant effects of the long-term GCaMP6 expression on NPC morphology, gene expression pattern or neural differentiation capacity. In order to compare the functional properties of GCaMP6-expressing neural cells and the corresponding parental cells loaded with calcium indicator dye Fluo-4, a detailed characterization of calcium signals was performed. We found that the calcium signals induced by ATP, glutamate, LPA, or proteases - were similar in these two systems. Moreover, the presence of the calcium indicator protein allowed for a sensitive, repeatable detection of changes in calcium signaling during the process of neurogenesis and neuronal maturation. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. No postnatal doubling of number of neurons in human Broca's areas (Brodmann areas 44 and 45)? A stereological study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uylings, H B M; Malofeeva, L I; Bogolepova, I N; Jacobsen, A M; Amunts, K; Zilles, K

    2005-01-01

    In this study we explored whether a postnatal doubling of the total number of neurons occurs in the human Brodmann areas 44 and 45 (Broca's area). We describe the most recent error prediction formulae and their application for the modern stereological estimators for volume and number of neurons. We estimated the number of neurons in 3D optical disector probes systematically random sampled throughout the entire Brodmann areas (BA) 44 and 45 in developing and young adult cases. In the relatively small number of male and female cases studied no substantial postnatal increase in total number of neurons occurred in areas 44 and 45; the volume of these areas reached adult values around 7 years. In addition, we did find indications that a shift from a right-over-left to a left-over-right asymmetry may occur in the volume of BA 45 during postnatal development. No major asymmetry in total number of neurons in BA 44 and 45 was detected.

  18. Hypertrophy of neurons within cardiac ganglia in human, canine, and rat heart failure: the potential role of nerve growth factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Sanjay; Sayers, Scott; Walter, James S; Thomas, Donald; Dieter, Robert S; Nee, Lisa M; Wurster, Robert D

    2013-08-19

    Autonomic imbalances including parasympathetic withdrawal and sympathetic overactivity are cardinal features of heart failure regardless of etiology; however, mechanisms underlying these imbalances remain unknown. Animal model studies of heart and visceral organ hypertrophy predict that nerve growth factor levels should be elevated in heart failure; whether this is so in human heart failure, though, remains unclear. We tested the hypotheses that neurons in cardiac ganglia are hypertrophied in human, canine, and rat heart failure and that nerve growth factor, which we hypothesize is elevated in the failing heart, contributes to this neuronal hypertrophy. Somal morphology of neurons from human (579.54±14.34 versus 327.45±9.17 μm(2); Phearts (767.80±18.37 versus 650.23±9.84 μm(2); Pneurons from spontaneously hypertensive rat hearts (327.98±3.15 versus 271.29±2.79 μm(2); Pneurons in cardiac ganglia compared with controls. Western blot analysis shows that nerve growth factor levels in the explanted, failing human heart are 250% greater than levels in healthy donor hearts. Neurons from cardiac ganglia cultured with nerve growth factor are significantly larger and have greater dendritic arborization than neurons in control cultures. Hypertrophied neurons are significantly less excitable than smaller ones; thus, hypertrophy of vagal postganglionic neurons in cardiac ganglia would help to explain the parasympathetic withdrawal that accompanies heart failure. Furthermore, our observations suggest that nerve growth factor, which is elevated in the failing human heart, causes hypertrophy of neurons in cardiac ganglia.

  19. Electrospun polyurethane scaffolds for proliferation and neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlberg, Bjoern; Liu, Johan; Axell, Mathilda Zetterstroem; Kuhn, H Georg; Nannmark, Ulf

    2009-01-01

    Adult central nervous system (CNS) tissue has a limited capacity to recover after trauma or disease. Hence, tissue engineering scaffolds intended for CNS repair and rehabilitation have been subject to intense research effort. Electrospun porous scaffolds, mimicking the natural three-dimensional environment of the in vivo extracellular matrix (ECM) and providing physical support, have been identified as promising candidates for CNS tissue engineering. The present study demonstrates in vitro culturing and neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) on electrospun fibrous polyurethane scaffolds. Electrospun scaffolds composed of biocompatible polyurethane resin (Desmopan 9370A, Bayer MaterialScience AG) were prepared with a vertical electrospinning setup. Resulting scaffolds, with a thickness of approximately 150 μm, exhibited high porosity (84%) and a bimodal pore size distribution with peaks at 5-6 and 1 μm. The mean fiber diameter was measured to approximately 360 nm with a standard deviation of 80 nm. The undifferentiated hESC line SA002 (Cellartis AB, Goeteborg, Sweden) was seeded and cultured on the produced scaffolds and allowed propagation and then differentiation for up to 47 days. Cultivation of hESC on electrospun fibrous scaffolds proved successful and neuronal differentiation was observed via standard immunocytochemistry. The results indicate that predominantly dopaminergic tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons are derived in co-culture with fibrous scaffolds, in comparison to reference cultures under the same differentiation conditions displaying large proportions of GFAP positive cell types. Scanning electron micrographs confirm neurite outgrowth and connection to adjacent cells, as well as cell attachment to individual fibers of the fibrous scaffold. Consequently, electrospun polyurethane scaffolds have been proven feasible as a substrate for hESC propagation and neuronal differentiation. The physical interaction between cells

  20. Electrospun polyurethane scaffolds for proliferation and neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carlberg, Bjoern; Liu, Johan [BioNano Systems Laboratory, Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, Goeteborg, SE-412 96 (Sweden); Axell, Mathilda Zetterstroem; Kuhn, H Georg [Center for Brain Repair and Rehabilitation, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, University of Gothenburg, Goeteborg, SE-413 45 (Sweden); Nannmark, Ulf, E-mail: bjorn.carlberg@chalmers.s, E-mail: mathilda.zetterstrom@neuro.gu.s, E-mail: georg.kuhn@neuro.gu.s, E-mail: ulf.nannmark@anatcell.gu.s, E-mail: jliu@chalmers.s [Department of Medical Chemistry and Cell Biology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Gothenburg, Goeteborg, SE-405 30 (Sweden)

    2009-08-15

    Adult central nervous system (CNS) tissue has a limited capacity to recover after trauma or disease. Hence, tissue engineering scaffolds intended for CNS repair and rehabilitation have been subject to intense research effort. Electrospun porous scaffolds, mimicking the natural three-dimensional environment of the in vivo extracellular matrix (ECM) and providing physical support, have been identified as promising candidates for CNS tissue engineering. The present study demonstrates in vitro culturing and neuronal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) on electrospun fibrous polyurethane scaffolds. Electrospun scaffolds composed of biocompatible polyurethane resin (Desmopan 9370A, Bayer MaterialScience AG) were prepared with a vertical electrospinning setup. Resulting scaffolds, with a thickness of approximately 150{mu}m, exhibited high porosity (84%) and a bimodal pore size distribution with peaks at 5-6 and 1{mu}m. The mean fiber diameter was measured to approximately 360 nm with a standard deviation of 80 nm. The undifferentiated hESC line SA002 (Cellartis AB, Goeteborg, Sweden) was seeded and cultured on the produced scaffolds and allowed propagation and then differentiation for up to 47 days. Cultivation of hESC on electrospun fibrous scaffolds proved successful and neuronal differentiation was observed via standard immunocytochemistry. The results indicate that predominantly dopaminergic tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) positive neurons are derived in co-culture with fibrous scaffolds, in comparison to reference cultures under the same differentiation conditions displaying large proportions of GFAP positive cell types. Scanning electron micrographs confirm neurite outgrowth and connection to adjacent cells, as well as cell attachment to individual fibers of the fibrous scaffold. Consequently, electrospun polyurethane scaffolds have been proven feasible as a substrate for hESC propagation and neuronal differentiation. The physical interaction between

  1. Regional differentiation of retinoic acid-induced human pluripotent embryonic carcinoma stem cell neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis E Coyle

    Full Text Available The NTERA2 cl D1 (NT2 cell line, derived from human teratocarcinoma, exhibits similar properties as embryonic stem (ES cells or very early neuroepithelial progenitors. NT2 cells can be induced to become postmitotic central nervous system neurons (NT2N with retinoic acid. Although neurons derived from pluripotent cells, such as NT2N, have been characterized for their neurotransmitter phenotypes, their potential suitability as a donor source for neural transplantation also depends on their ability to respond to localized environmental cues from a specific region of the CNS. Therefore, our study aimed to characterize the regional transcription factors that define the rostocaudal and dorsoventral identity of NT2N derived from a monolayer differentiation paradigm using quantitative PCR (qPCR. Purified NT2N mainly expressed both GABAergic and glutamatergic phenotypes and were electrically active but did not form functional synapses. The presence of immature astrocytes and possible radial glial cells was noted. The NT2N expressed a regional transcription factor code consistent with forebrain, hindbrain and spinal cord neural progenitors but showed minimal expression of midbrain phenotypes. In the dorsoventral plane NT2N expressed both dorsal and ventral neural progenitors. Of major interest was that even under the influence of retinoic acid, a known caudalization factor, the NT2N population maintained a rostral phenotype subpopulation which expressed cortical regional transcription factors. It is proposed that understanding the regional differentiation bias of neurons derived from pluripotent stem cells will facilitate their successful integration into existing neuronal networks within the CNS.

  2. Human periapical cyst-mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into neuronal cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrelli, M; Paduano, F; Tatullo, M

    2015-06-01

    It was recently reported that human periapical cysts (hPCys), a commonly occurring odontogenic cystic lesion of inflammatory origin, contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with the capacity for self-renewal and multilineage differentiation. In this study, periapical inflammatory cysts were compared with dental pulp to determine whether this tissue may be an alternative accessible tissue source of MSCs that retain the potential for neurogenic differentiation. Flow cytometry and immunofluorescence analysis indicated that hPCy-MSCs and dental pulp stem cells spontaneously expressed the neuron-specific protein β-III tubulin and the neural stem-/astrocyte-specific protein glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in their basal state before differentiation occurs. Furthermore, undifferentiated hPCy-MSCs showed a higher expression of transcripts for neuronal markers (β-III tubulin, NF-M, MAP2) and neural-related transcription factors (MSX-1, Foxa2, En-1) as compared with dental pulp stem cells. After exposure to neurogenic differentiation conditions (neural media containing epidermal growth factor [EGF], basic fibroblast growth factor [bFGF], and retinoic acid), the hPCy-MSCs showed enhanced expression of β-III tubulin and GFAP proteins, as well as increased expression of neurofilaments medium, neurofilaments heavy, and neuron-specific enolase at the transcript level. In addition, neurally differentiated hPCy-MSCs showed upregulated expression of the neural transcription factors Pitx3, Foxa2, Nurr1, and the dopamine-related genes tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine transporter. The present study demonstrated for the first time that hPCy-MSCs have a predisposition toward the neural phenotype that is increased when exposed to neural differentiation cues, based on upregulation of a comprehensive set of proteins and genes that define neuronal cells. In conclusion, these results provide evidence that hPCy-MSCs might be another optimal source of neural/glial cells for cell

  3. Human-Specific Histone Methylation Signatures at Transcription Start Sites in Prefrontal Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Iris; Bharadwaj, Rahul; Chou, Hsin-Jung; Houston, Isaac B.; Peter, Cyril J.; Mitchell, Amanda C.; Yao, Wei-Dong; Myers, Richard H.; Chen, Jiang-fan; Preuss, Todd M.; Rogaev, Evgeny I.; Jensen, Jeffrey D.; Weng, Zhiping; Akbarian, Schahram

    2012-01-01

    Cognitive abilities and disorders unique to humans are thought to result from adaptively driven changes in brain transcriptomes, but little is known about the role of cis-regulatory changes affecting transcription start sites (TSS). Here, we mapped in human, chimpanzee, and macaque prefrontal cortex the genome-wide distribution of histone H3 trimethylated at lysine 4 (H3K4me3), an epigenetic mark sharply regulated at TSS, and identified 471 sequences with human-specific enrichment or depletion. Among these were 33 loci selectively methylated in neuronal but not non-neuronal chromatin from children and adults, including TSS at DPP10 (2q14.1), CNTN4 and CHL1 (3p26.3), and other neuropsychiatric susceptibility genes. Regulatory sequences at DPP10 and additional loci carried a strong footprint of hominid adaptation, including elevated nucleotide substitution rates and regulatory motifs absent in other primates (including archaic hominins), with evidence for selective pressures during more recent evolution and adaptive fixations in modern populations. Chromosome conformation capture at two neurodevelopmental disease loci, 2q14.1 and 16p11.2, revealed higher order chromatin structures resulting in physical contact of multiple human-specific H3K4me3 peaks spaced 0.5–1 Mb apart, in conjunction with a novel cis-bound antisense RNA linked to Polycomb repressor proteins and downregulated DPP10 expression. Therefore, coordinated epigenetic regulation via newly derived TSS chromatin could play an important role in the emergence of human-specific gene expression networks in brain that contribute to cognitive functions and neurological disease susceptibility in modern day humans. PMID:23185133

  4. Combined small-molecule inhibition accelerates the derivation of functional, early-born, cortical neurons from human pluripotent stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Yuchen; Zhang, Xin-Jun; Renier, Nicolas; Wu, Zhuhao; Atkin, Talia; Sun, Ziyi; Ozair, M. Zeeshan; Tchieu, Jason; Zimmer, Bastian; Fattahi, Faranak; Ganat, Yosif; Azevedo, Ricardo; Zeltner, Nadja; Brivanlou, Ali H.; Karayiorgou, Maria; Gogos, Joseph; Tomishima, Mark; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Shi, Song-Hai; Studer, Lorenz

    2017-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in converting human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into functional neurons. However, the protracted timing of human neuron specification and functional maturation remains a key challenge that hampers the routine application of hPSC-derived lineages in disease modeling and regenerative medicine. Using a combinatorial small-molecule screen, we previously identified conditions for the rapid differentiation of hPSCs into peripheral sensory neurons. Here we generalize the approach to central nervous system (CNS) fates by developing a small-molecule approach for accelerated induction of early-born cortical neurons. Combinatorial application of 6 pathway inhibitors induces post-mitotic cortical neurons with functional electrophysiological properties by day 16 of differentiation, in the absence of glial cell co-culture. The resulting neurons, transplanted at 8 days of differentiation into the postnatal mouse cortex, are functional and establish long-distance projections, as shown using iDISCO whole brain imaging. Accelerated differentiation into cortical neuron fates should facilitate hPSC-based strategies for disease modeling and cell therapy in CNS disorders. PMID:28112759

  5. Mirror Neurons, Theatrical Mirrors and the Honor Code

    OpenAIRE

    Greer, M.G. (Margaret G.)

    2012-01-01

    Este artículo relaciona el descubrimiento de cierta clase de células cerebrales denominados «neuronas espejo», que pueden ayudar a explicar la base biológica de la naturaleza pre-conceptual, pre-lingüística de la cognición humana, a la teoría lacaniana de la formación de la subjetividad humana en el espacio del Otro. Así explica la naturaleza inter-sujetiva del honor que Lope describe en Los comendadores de Córdoba como «aquélla que consiste en otro». La teoría de las neuronas espejo muestra ...

  6. Differentiation of Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells into Dopaminergic Neuron-like Cells in Vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chun, So Young; Soker, Shay; Jang, Yu-Jin; Kwon, Tae Gyun; Yoo, Eun Sang

    2016-02-01

    We investigated the potential of human dental pulp stem cells (hDPSCs) to differentiate into dopaminergic neurons in vitro as an autologous stem cell source for Parkinson's disease treatment. The hDPSCs were expanded in knockout-embryonic stem cell (KO-ES) medium containing leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) on gelatin-coated plates for 3-4 days. Then, the medium was replaced with KO-ES medium without LIF to allow the formation of the neurosphere for 4 days. The neurosphere was transferred into ITS medium, containing ITS (human insulin-transferrin-sodium) and fibronectin, to select for Nestin-positive cells for 6-8 days. The cells were then cultured in N-2 medium containing basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF), FGF-8b, sonic hedgehog-N, and ascorbic acid on poly-l-ornithine/fibronectin-coated plates to expand the Nestin-positive cells for up to 2 weeks. Finally, the cells were transferred into N-2/ascorbic acid medium to allow for their differentiation into dopaminergic neurons for 10-15 days. The differentiation stages were confirmed by morphological, immunocytochemical, flow cytometric, real-time PCR, and ELISA analyses. The expressions of mesenchymal stem cell markers were observed at the early stages. The expressions of early neuronal markers were maintained throughout the differentiation stages. The mature neural markers showed increased expression from stage 3 onwards. The percentage of cells positive for tyrosine hydroxylase was 14.49%, and the amount was 0.526 ± 0.033 ng/mL at the last stage. hDPSCs can differentiate into dopaminergic neural cells under experimental cell differentiation conditions, showing potential as an autologous cell source for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

  7. Amniotic fluid promotes the appearance of neural retinal progenitors and neurons in human RPE cell cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davari, Maliheh; Soheili, Zahra-Soheila; Ahmadieh, Hamid; Sanie-Jahromi, Fateme; Ghaderi, Shima; Kanavi, Mozhgan Rezaei; Samiei, Shahram; Akrami, Hassan; Haghighi, Massoud; Javidi-Azad, Fahimeh

    2013-01-01

    Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells are capable of differentiating into retinal neurons when induced by the appropriate growth factors. Amniotic fluid contains a variety of growth factors that are crucial for the development of a fetus. In this study, the effects of human amniotic fluid (HAF) on primary RPE cell cultures were evaluated. RPE cells were isolated from the globes of postnatal human cadavers. The isolated cells were plated and grown in DMEM/F12 with 10% fetal bovine serum. To confirm the RPE identity of the cultured cells, they were immunocytochemically examined for the presence of the RPE cell-specific marker RPE65. RPE cultures obtained from passages 2-7 were treated with HAF and examined morphologically for 1 month. To determine whether retinal neurons or progenitors developed in the treated cultures, specific markers for bipolar (protein kinase C isomer α, PKCα), amacrine (cellular retinoic acid-binding protein I, CRABPI), and neural progenitor (NESTIN) cells were sought, and the amount of mRNA was quantified using real-time PCR. Treating RPE cells with HAF led to a significant decrease in the number of RPE65-positive cells, while PKCα- and CRABPI-positive cells were detected in the cultures. Compared with the fetal bovine serum-treated cultures, the levels of mRNAs quantitatively increased by 2-, 20- and 22-fold for NESTIN, PKCα, and CRABPI, respectively. The RPE cultures treated with HAF established spheres containing both pigmented and nonpigmented cells, which expressed neural progenitor markers such as NESTIN. This study showed that HAF can induce RPE cells to transdifferentiate into retinal neurons and progenitor cells, and that it provides a potential source for cell-based therapies to treat retinal diseases.

  8. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS Accumulates in Neocortical Neurons of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD Brain and Impairs Transcription in Human Neuronal-Glial Primary Co-cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhai Zhao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Several independent laboratories have recently reported the detection of bacterial nucleic acid sequences or bacterial-derived neurotoxins, such as highly inflammatory lipopolysaccharide (LPS, within Alzheimer’s disease (AD affected brain tissues. Whether these bacterial neurotoxins originate from the gastrointestinal (GI tract microbiome, a possible brain microbiome or some dormant pathological microbiome is currently not well understood. Previous studies indicate that the co-localization of pro-inflammatory LPS with AD-affected brain cell nuclei suggests that there may be a contribution of this neurotoxin to genotoxic events that support inflammatory neurodegeneration and failure in homeostatic gene expression. In this report we provide evidence that in sporadic AD, LPS progressively accumulates in neuronal parenchyma and appears to preferentially associate with the periphery of neuronal nuclei. Run-on transcription studies utilizing [α-32P]-uridine triphosphate incorporation into newly synthesized total RNA further indicates that human neuronal-glial (HNG cells in primary co-culture incubated with LPS exhibit significantly reduced output of DNA transcription products. These studies suggest that in AD LPS may impair the efficient readout of neuronal genetic information normally required for the homeostatic operation of brain cell function and may contribute to a progressive disruption in the read-out of genetic information.

  9. Spatial distribution of human neocortical neurons and glial cells according to sex and age measured by the saucer method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stark, Anette Kirstine; Petersen, A O; Gardi, Jonathan Eyal

    2007-01-01

    primary neurons in the human neocortex (divided into frontal-, temporal-, parietal- and occipital cortex) of young and old subjects free of neurological or psychological disease to test if age and gender has any influence on the cell distribution in human neocortex. Plots of the spatial distribution...

  10. Generation of Regionally Specified Neural Progenitors and Functional Neurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells under Defined Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Agnete Kirkeby

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available To model human neural-cell-fate specification and to provide cells for regenerative therapies, we have developed a method to generate human neural progenitors and neurons from human embryonic stem cells, which recapitulates human fetal brain development. Through the addition of a small molecule that activates canonical WNT signaling, we induced rapid and efficient dose-dependent specification of regionally defined neural progenitors ranging from telencephalic forebrain to posterior hindbrain fates. Ten days after initiation of differentiation, the progenitors could be transplanted to the adult rat striatum, where they formed neuron-rich and tumor-free grafts with maintained regional specification. Cells patterned toward a ventral midbrain (VM identity generated a high proportion of authentic dopaminergic neurons after transplantation. The dopamine neurons showed morphology, projection pattern, and protein expression identical to that of human fetal VM cells grafted in parallel. VM-patterned but not forebrain-patterned neurons released dopamine and reversed motor deficits in an animal model of Parkinson's disease.

  11. Neuroprotective effects of rosmarinic acid on ciguatoxin in primary human neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braidy, N; Matin, A; Rossi, F; Chinain, M; Laurent, D; Guillemin, G J

    2014-02-01

    Ciguatoxin (CTX), is a toxic compound produced by microalgae (dinoflagellate) Gambierdiscus spp., and is bio-accumulated and bio-transformed through the marine food chain causing neurological deficits. To determine the mechanism of CTX-mediated cytotoxicity in human neurons, we measured extracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity, intracellular levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) and H2AX phosphorylation at serine 139 as a measure for DNA damage in primary cultures of human neurons treated with Pacific (P)-CTX-1B and P-CTX-3C. We found these marine toxins can induce a time and dose-dependent increase in extracellular LDH activity, with a concomitant decline in intracellular NAD(+) levels and increased DNA damage at the concentration range of 5-200 nM. We also showed that pre- and post-treatment with rosmarinic acid (RA), the active constituent of the Heliotropium foertherianum (Boraginaceae) can attenuate CTX-mediated neurotoxicity. These results further highlight the potential of RA in the treatment of CTX-induced neurological deficits.

  12. Neuronal density, size and shape in the human anterior cingulate cortex: a comparison of Nissl and NeuN staining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gittins, Rebecca; Harrison, Paul J

    2004-03-15

    There are an increasing number of quantitative morphometric studies of the human cerebral cortex, especially as part of comparative investigations of major psychiatric disorders. In this context, the present study had two aims. First, to provide quantitative data regarding key neuronal morphometric parameters in the anterior cingulate cortex. Second, to compare the results of conventional Nissl staining with those observed after immunostaining with NeuN, an antibody becoming widely used as a selective neuronal marker. We stained adjacent sections of area 24b from 16 adult brains with cresyl violet or NeuN. We measured the density of pyramidal and non-pyramidal neurons, and the size and shape of pyramidal neurons, in laminae II, III, Va, Vb and VI, using two-dimensional counting methods. Strong correlations between the two modes of staining were seen for all variables. However, NeuN gave slightly higher estimates of neuronal density and size, and a more circular perikaryal shape. Brain pH was correlated with neuronal size, measured with both methods, and with neuronal shape. Age and post-mortem interval showed no correlations with any parameter. These data confirm the value of NeuN as a tool for quantitative neuronal morphometric studies in routinely processed human brain tissue. Absolute values are highly correlated between NeuN and cresyl violet stains, but cannot be interchanged. NeuN may be particularly useful when it is important to distinguish small neurons from glia, such as in cytoarchitectural studies of the cerebral cortex in depression and schizophrenia.

  13. Estrogen receptor beta-selective agonists stimulate calcium oscillations in human and mouse embryonic stem cell-derived neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lili Zhang

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Estrogens are used extensively to treat hot flashes in menopausal women. Some of the beneficial effects of estrogens in hormone therapy on the brain might be due to nongenomic effects in neurons such as the rapid stimulation of calcium oscillations. Most studies have examined the nongenomic effects of estrogen receptors (ER in primary neurons or brain slices from the rodent brain. However, these cells can not be maintained continuously in culture because neurons are post-mitotic. Neurons derived from embryonic stem cells could be a potential continuous, cell-based model to study nongenomic actions of estrogens in neurons if they are responsive to estrogens after differentiation. In this study ER-subtype specific estrogens were used to examine the role of ERalpha and ERbeta on calcium oscillations in neurons derived from human (hES and mouse embryonic stem cells. Unlike the undifferentiated hES cells the differentiated cells expressed neuronal markers, ERbeta, but not ERalpha. The non-selective ER agonist 17beta-estradiol (E(2 rapidly increased [Ca2+]i oscillations and synchronizations within a few minutes. No change in calcium oscillations was observed with the selective ERalpha agonist 4,4',4''-(4-Propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyltrisphenol (PPT. In contrast, the selective ERbeta agonists, 2,3-bis(4-Hydroxyphenyl-propionitrile (DPN, MF101, and 2-(3-fluoro-4-hydroxyphenyl-7-vinyl-1,3 benzoxazol-5-ol (ERB-041; WAY-202041 stimulated calcium oscillations similar to E(2. The ERbeta agonists also increased calcium oscillations and phosphorylated PKC, AKT and ERK1/2 in neurons derived from mouse ES cells, which was inhibited by nifedipine demonstrating that ERbeta activates L-type voltage gated calcium channels to regulate neuronal activity. Our results demonstrate that ERbeta signaling regulates nongenomic pathways in neurons derived from ES cells, and suggest that these cells might be useful to study the nongenomic mechanisms of estrogenic compounds.

  14. Increasing Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation Dose Alters Oligodendroglial and Neuronal Differentiation after Spinal Cord Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katja M. Piltti

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Multipotent human central nervous system-derived neural stem cells transplanted at doses ranging from 10,000 (low to 500,000 (very high cells differentiated predominantly into the oligodendroglial lineage. However, while the number of engrafted cells increased linearly in relationship to increasing dose, the proportion of oligodendrocytic cells declined. Increasing dose resulted in a plateau of engraftment, enhanced neuronal differentiation, and increased distal migration caudal to the transplantation sites. Dose had no effect on terminal sensory recovery or open-field locomotor scores. However, total human cell number and decreased oligodendroglial proportion were correlated with hindlimb girdle coupling errors. Conversely, greater oligodendroglial proportion was correlated with increased Ab step pattern, decreased swing speed, and increased paw intensity, consistent with improved recovery. These data suggest that transplant dose, and/or target niche parameters can regulate donor cell engraftment, differentiation/maturation, and lineage-specific migration profiles.

  15. Human neuronal cell based assay: A new in vitro model for toxicity evaluation of ciguatoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coccini, Teresa; Caloni, Francesca; De Simone, Uliana

    2017-06-01

    Ciguatoxins (CTXs) are emerging marine neurotoxins representing the main cause of ciguatera fish poisoning, an intoxication syndrome which configures a health emergency and constitutes an evolving issue constantly changing due to new vectors and derivatives of CTXs, as well as their presence in new non-endemic areas. The study applied the neuroblastoma cell model of human origin (SH-SY5Y) to evaluate species-specific mechanistic information on CTX toxicity. Metabolic functionality, cell morphology, cytosolic Ca 2+ i responses, neuronal cell growth and proliferation were assessed after short- (4-24h) and long-term exposure (10days) to P-CTX-3C. In SH-SY5Y, P-CTX-3C displayed a powerful cytotoxicity requiring the presence of both Veratridine and Ouabain. SH-SY5Y were very sensitive to Ouabain: 10 and 0.25nM appeared the optimal concentrations, for short- and long-term toxicity studies, respectively, to be used in co-incubation with Veratridine (25μM), simulating the physiological and pathological endogenous Ouabain levels in humans. P-CTX-3C cytotoxic effect, on human neurons co-incubated with OV (Ouabain+Veratridine) mix, was expressed starting from 100pM after short- and 25pM after long-term exposure. Notably, P-CTX-3C alone at 25nM induced cytotoxicity after 24h and prolonged exposure. This human brain-derived cell line appears a suitable cell-based-model to evaluate cytotoxicity of CTX present in marine food contaminated at low toxic levels and to characterize the toxicological profile of other/new congeners. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Generation of human cortical neurons from a new immortal fetal neural stem cell line

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cacci, E.; Villa, A.; Parmar, M.; Cavallaro, M.; Mandahl, N.; Lindvall, O.; Martinez-Serrano, A.; Kokaia, Z.

    2007-01-01

    Isolation and expansion of neural stem cells (NSCs) of human origin are crucial for successful development of cell therapy approaches in neurodegenerative diseases. Different epigenetic and genetic immortalization strategies have been established for long-term maintenance and expansion of these cells in vitro. Here we report the generation of a new, clonal NSC (hc-NSC) line, derived from human fetal cortical tissue, based on v-myc immortalization. Using immunocytochemistry, we show that these cells retain the characteristics of NSCs after more than 50 passages. Under proliferation conditions, when supplemented with epidermal and basic fibroblast growth factors, the hc-NSCs expressed neural stem/progenitor cell markers like nestin, vimentin and Sox2. When growth factors were withdrawn, proliferation and expression of v-myc and telomerase were dramatically reduced, and the hc-NSCs differentiated into glia and neurons (mostly glutamatergic and GABAergic, as well as tyrosine hydroxylase-positive, presumably dopaminergic neurons). RT-PCR analysis showed that the hc-NSCs retained expression of Pax6, Emx2 and Neurogenin2, which are genes associated with regionalization and cell commitment in cortical precursors during brain development. Our data indicate that this hc-NSC line could be useful for exploring the potential of human NSCs to replace dead or damaged cortical cells in animal models of acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases. Taking advantage of its clonality and homogeneity, this cell line will also be a valuable experimental tool to study the regulatory role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors in human NSC biology

  17. Thiamine deficiency induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Xin; Xu, Mei; Frank, Jacqueline A. [Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536 (United States); Ke, Zun-ji [Department of Biochemistry, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China 201203 (China); Luo, Jia, E-mail: jialuo888@uky.edu [Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536 (United States); Department of Biochemistry, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China 201203 (China)

    2017-04-01

    Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) plays a major role in the etiology of Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) which is a severe neurological disorder. TD induces selective neuronal cell death, neuroinflammation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress in the brain which are commonly observed in many aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The progress in this line of research is hindered due to the lack of appropriate in vitro models. The neurons derived for the human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide a relevant and powerful tool for the research in pharmaceutical and environmental neurotoxicity. In this study, we for the first time used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-derived neurons (iCell neurons) to investigate the mechanisms of TD-induced neurodegeneration. We showed that TD caused a concentration- and duration-dependent death of iCell neurons. TD induced ER stress which was evident by the increase in ER stress markers, such as GRP78, XBP-1, CHOP, ATF-6, phosphorylated eIF2α, and cleaved caspase-12. TD also triggered oxidative stress which was shown by the increase in the expression 2,4-dinitrophenyl (DNP) and 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). ER stress inhibitors (STF-083010 and salubrinal) and antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) were effective in alleviating TD-induced death of iCell neurons, supporting the involvement of ER stress and oxidative stress. It establishes that the iCell neurons are a novel tool to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms for TD-induced neurodegeneration. - Highlights: • Thiamine deficiency (TD) causes death of human neurons in culture. • TD induces both endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress. • Alleviating ER stress and oxidative stress reduces TD

  18. Thiamine deficiency induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Xin; Xu, Mei; Frank, Jacqueline A.; Ke, Zun-ji; Luo, Jia

    2017-01-01

    Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) plays a major role in the etiology of Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) which is a severe neurological disorder. TD induces selective neuronal cell death, neuroinflammation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress in the brain which are commonly observed in many aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The progress in this line of research is hindered due to the lack of appropriate in vitro models. The neurons derived for the human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide a relevant and powerful tool for the research in pharmaceutical and environmental neurotoxicity. In this study, we for the first time used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-derived neurons (iCell neurons) to investigate the mechanisms of TD-induced neurodegeneration. We showed that TD caused a concentration- and duration-dependent death of iCell neurons. TD induced ER stress which was evident by the increase in ER stress markers, such as GRP78, XBP-1, CHOP, ATF-6, phosphorylated eIF2α, and cleaved caspase-12. TD also triggered oxidative stress which was shown by the increase in the expression 2,4-dinitrophenyl (DNP) and 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). ER stress inhibitors (STF-083010 and salubrinal) and antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) were effective in alleviating TD-induced death of iCell neurons, supporting the involvement of ER stress and oxidative stress. It establishes that the iCell neurons are a novel tool to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms for TD-induced neurodegeneration. - Highlights: • Thiamine deficiency (TD) causes death of human neurons in culture. • TD induces both endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress. • Alleviating ER stress and oxidative stress reduces TD

  19. Neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 promoted human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Chang-Guo; Lei, Wei; Li, Chang; Zeng, Da-Xiong; Huang, Jian-An

    2015-05-01

    As a transcription factor of the nuclear receptor superfamily, neuron-derived orphan receptor 1 (NOR1) is induced rapidly in response to various extracellular stimuli. But, it is still unclear its role in pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells proliferation. Human PASMCs were cultured in vitro and stimulated by serum. The special antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (AS-ODNs) were used to knockdown human NOR1 gene expression. Real-time PCR and Western-blot were used to evaluate the gene expression and protein levels. Fetal bovine serum (FBS) induced human PASMCs proliferation in a dose dependent manner. Furthermore, FBS promoted NOR1 gene expression in a dose dependent manner and a time dependent manner. 10% FBS induced a maximal NOR1 mRNA levels at 2 h. FBS also induced a significant higher NOR1 protein levels as compared with control. The NOR1 over-expressed plasmid significantly promoted DNA synthesis and cells proliferation. Moreover, the special AS-ODNs against human NOR1 not only prevented NOR1 expression but also inhibited DNA synthesis and cells proliferation significantly. The NOR1 over-expression plasmid could up-regulate cyclin D1 expression markedly, but the AS-ODNs inhibited cyclin D1 expression significantly. So, we concluded that NOR1 could promote human PASMCs proliferation. Cyclin D1 might be involved in this process.

  20. Human Na(v)1.8: enhanced persistent and ramp currents contribute to distinct firing properties of human DRG neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Chongyang; Estacion, Mark; Huang, Jianying; Vasylyev, Dymtro; Zhao, Peng; Dib-Hajj, Sulayman D; Waxman, Stephen G

    2015-05-01

    Although species-specific differences in ion channel properties are well-documented, little has been known about the properties of the human Nav1.8 channel, an important contributor to pain signaling. Here we show, using techniques that include voltage clamp, current clamp, and dynamic clamp in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, that human Na(v)1.8 channels display slower inactivation kinetics and produce larger persistent current and ramp current than previously reported in other species. DRG neurons expressing human Na(v)1.8 channels unexpectedly produce significantly longer-lasting action potentials, including action potentials with half-widths in some cells >10 ms, and increased firing frequency compared with the narrower and usually single action potentials generated by DRG neurons expressing rat Na(v)1.8 channels. We also show that native human DRG neurons recapitulate these properties of Na(v)1.8 current and the long-lasting action potentials. Together, our results demonstrate strikingly distinct properties of human Na(v)1.8, which contribute to the firing properties of human DRG neurons.

  1. Mutation at Glu23 eliminates the neuron growth inhibitory activity of human metallothionein-3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ding Zhichun; Teng Xinchen; Cai Bin; Wang Hui; Zheng Qi; Wang Yang; Zhou Guoming; Zhang Mingjie; Wu Houming; Sun Hongzhe; Huang Zhongxian

    2006-01-01

    Human metallothionein-3 (hMT3), first isolated and identified as a neuronal growth inhibitory factor (GIF), is a metalloprotein expressed predominantly in brain. However, untill now, the exact mechanism of the bioactivity of hMT3 is still unknown. In order to study the influence of acid-base catalysis on S-nitrosylation of hMT3, we constructed the E23K mutant of hMT3. During the course of bioassay, we found out unexpectedly that mutation at E23 of hMT3 eliminates the neuronal growth inhibitory activity completely. To the best of our knowledge, it is First report that other residues, besides the TCPCP motif, in the β-domain can alter the bioactivity of hMT3. In order to figure out the causes for the loss of bioactivity of the E23K mutant, the biochemical properties were characterized by UV-vis spectroscopy, CD spectroscopy, pH titration, DTNB reaction, EDTA reaction, and SNOC reaction. All data demonstrated that stability of the metal-thiolate cluster and overall structure of the E23K mutant were not altered too much. However, the reaction of the E23K mutant with SNOC exhibited biphasic kinetics and the mutant protein released zinc ions much faster than hMT3 in the initial step, while hMT3 exhibited single kinetic process. The 2D [ 1 H- 15 N] HSQC was also employed to characterize structural changes during the reaction of hMT3 with varying mounts of nitric oxide. It was shown that the resonance of Glu23 disappeared at a molar ratio of NO to protein of 4. Based on these results, we suggest that mutation at Glu23 may alter the NO metabolism and/or affect zinc homeostasis in brain, thus altering the neuronal growth inhibitory activity

  2. Inhibition of apoptosis blocks human motor neuron cell death in a stem cell model of spinal muscular atrophy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhruv Sareen

    Full Text Available Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA is a genetic disorder caused by a deletion of the survival motor neuron 1 gene leading to motor neuron loss, muscle atrophy, paralysis, and death. We show here that induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC lines generated from two Type I SMA subjects-one produced with lentiviral constructs and the second using a virus-free plasmid-based approach-recapitulate the disease phenotype and generate significantly fewer motor neurons at later developmental time periods in culture compared to two separate control subject iPSC lines. During motor neuron development, both SMA lines showed an increase in Fas ligand-mediated apoptosis and increased caspase-8 and-3 activation. Importantly, this could be mitigated by addition of either a Fas blocking antibody or a caspase-3 inhibitor. Together, these data further validate this human stem cell model of SMA, suggesting that specific inhibitors of apoptotic pathways may be beneficial for patients.

  3. The human coronary vasodilatory response to acute mental stress is mediated by neuronal nitric oxide synthase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sitara G; Melikian, Narbeh; Shabeeh, Husain; Cabaco, Ana R; Martin, Katherine; Khan, Faisal; O'Gallagher, Kevin; Chowienczyk, Philip J; Shah, Ajay M

    2017-09-01

    Mental stress-induced ischemia approximately doubles the risk of cardiac events in patients with coronary artery disease, yet the mechanisms underlying changes in coronary blood flow in response to mental stress are poorly characterized. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) regulates basal coronary blood flow in healthy humans and mediates mental stress-induced vasodilation in the forearm. However, its possible role in mental stress-induced increases in coronary blood flow is unknown. We studied 11 patients (6 men and 5 women, mean age: 58 ± 14 yr) undergoing elective diagnostic cardiac catheterization and assessed the vasodilator response to mental stress elicited by the Stroop color-word test. Intracoronary substance P (20 pmol/min) and isosorbide dinitrate (1 mg) were used to assess endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation, respectively. Coronary blood flow was estimated using intracoronary Doppler recordings and quantitative coronary angiography to measure coronary artery diameter. Mental stress increased coronary flow by 34 ± 7.0% over the preceding baseline during saline infusion ( P stress increased coronary artery diameter by 6.9 ± 3.7% ( P = 0.02) and 0.5 ± 2.8% ( P = 0.51) in the presence of S -methyl-l-thiocitrulline. The response to substance P did not predict the response to mental stress ( r 2 = -0.22, P = 0.83). nNOS mediates the human coronary vasodilator response to mental stress, predominantly through actions at the level of coronary resistance vessels. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Acute mental stress induces vasodilation of the coronary microvasculature. Here, we show that this response involves neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the human coronary circulation.Listen to this article's corresponding podcast at http://ajpheart.podbean.com/e/nnos-and-coronary-flow-during-mental-stress/. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  4. GROα regulates human embryonic stem cell self-renewal or adoption of a neuronal fate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krtolica, Ana; Larocque, Nick; Genbacev, Olga; Ilic, Dusko; Coppe, Jean-Philippe; Patil, Christopher K.; Zdravkovic, Tamara; McMaster, Michael; Campisi, Judith; Fisher, Susan J.

    2012-01-01

    Previously we reported that feeders formed from human placental fibroblasts (hPFs) support derivation and long-term self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) under serum-free conditions. Here, we show, using antibody array and ELISA platforms, that hPFs secrete ~6-fold higher amounts of the CXC-type chemokine, GROα, than IMR 90, a human lung fibroblast line, which does not support hESC growth. Furthermore, immunocytochemistry and immunoblot approaches revealed that hESCs express CXCR, a GROα receptor. We used this information to develop defined culture medium for feeder-free propagation of hESCs in an undifferentiated state. Cells passaged as small aggregates and maintained in the GROα-containing medium had a normal karyotype, expressed pluripotency markers, and exhibited apical–basal polarity, i.e., had the defining features of pluripotent hESCs. They also differentiated into the three primary (embryonic) germ layers and formed teratomas in immunocompromised mice. hESCs cultured as single cells in the GROα-containing medium also had a normal karyotype, but they downregulated markers of pluripotency, lost apical–basal polarity, and expressed markers that are indicative of the early stages of neuronal differentiation—βIII tubulin, vimentin, radial glial protein, and nestin. These data support our hypothesis that establishing and maintaining cell polarity is essential for the long-term propagation of hESCs in an undifferentiated state and that disruption of cell–cell contacts can trigger adoption of a neuronal fate. PMID:21396766

  5. The human coronary vasodilatory response to acute mental stress is mediated by neuronal nitric oxide synthase

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Sitara G.; Melikian, Narbeh; Shabeeh, Husain; Cabaco, Ana R.; Martin, Katherine; Khan, Faisal; O’Gallagher, Kevin; Chowienczyk, Philip J.

    2017-01-01

    Mental stress-induced ischemia approximately doubles the risk of cardiac events in patients with coronary artery disease, yet the mechanisms underlying changes in coronary blood flow in response to mental stress are poorly characterized. Neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) regulates basal coronary blood flow in healthy humans and mediates mental stress-induced vasodilation in the forearm. However, its possible role in mental stress-induced increases in coronary blood flow is unknown. We studied 11 patients (6 men and 5 women, mean age: 58 ± 14 yr) undergoing elective diagnostic cardiac catheterization and assessed the vasodilator response to mental stress elicited by the Stroop color-word test. Intracoronary substance P (20 pmol/min) and isosorbide dinitrate (1 mg) were used to assess endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation, respectively. Coronary blood flow was estimated using intracoronary Doppler recordings and quantitative coronary angiography to measure coronary artery diameter. Mental stress increased coronary flow by 34 ± 7.0% over the preceding baseline during saline infusion (P coronary artery diameter by 6.9 ± 3.7% (P = 0.02) and 0.5 ± 2.8% (P = 0.51) in the presence of S-methyl-l-thiocitrulline. The response to substance P did not predict the response to mental stress (r2 = −0.22, P = 0.83). nNOS mediates the human coronary vasodilator response to mental stress, predominantly through actions at the level of coronary resistance vessels. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Acute mental stress induces vasodilation of the coronary microvasculature. Here, we show that this response involves neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the human coronary circulation. Listen to this article’s corresponding podcast at http://ajpheart.podbean.com/e/nnos-and-coronary-flow-during-mental-stress/. PMID:28646032

  6. Near infrared laser stimulation of human neural stem cells into neurons on graphene nanomesh semiconductors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akhavan, Omid; Ghaderi, Elham; Shirazian, Soheil A

    2015-02-01

    Reduced graphene oxide nanomeshes (rGONMs), as p-type semiconductors with band-gap energy of ∼ 1 eV, were developed and applied in near infrared (NIR) laser stimulation of human neural stem cells (hNSCs) into neurons. The biocompatibility of the rGONMs in growth of hNSCs was found similar to that of the graphene oxide (GO) sheets. Proliferation of the hNSCs on the GONMs was assigned to the excess oxygen functional groups formed on edge defects of the GONMs, resulting in superhydrophilicity of the surface. Under NIR laser stimulation, the graphene layers (especially the rGONMs) exhibited significant cell differentiations, including more elongations of the cells and higher differentiation of neurons than glia. The higher hNSC differentiation on the rGONM than the reduced GO (rGO) was assigned to the stimulation effects of the low-energy photoexcited electrons injected from the rGONM semiconductors into the cells, while the high-energy photoelectrons of the rGO (as a zero band-gap semiconductor) could suppress the cell proliferation and/or even cause cell damages. Using conventional heating of the culture media up to ∼ 43 °C (the temperature typically reached under the laser irradiation), no significant differentiation was observed in dark. This further confirmed the role of photoelectrons in the hNSC differentiation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Speech-specific tuning of neurons in human superior temporal gyrus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Alexander M; Dykstra, Andrew R; Jayaram, Vinay; Leonard, Matthew K; Travis, Katherine E; Gygi, Brian; Baker, Janet M; Eskandar, Emad; Hochberg, Leigh R; Halgren, Eric; Cash, Sydney S

    2014-10-01

    How the brain extracts words from auditory signals is an unanswered question. We recorded approximately 150 single and multi-units from the left anterior superior temporal gyrus of a patient during multiple auditory experiments. Against low background activity, 45% of units robustly fired to particular spoken words with little or no response to pure tones, noise-vocoded speech, or environmental sounds. Many units were tuned to complex but specific sets of phonemes, which were influenced by local context but invariant to speaker, and suppressed during self-produced speech. The firing of several units to specific visual letters was correlated with their response to the corresponding auditory phonemes, providing the first direct neural evidence for phonological recoding during reading. Maximal decoding of individual phonemes and words identities was attained using firing rates from approximately 5 neurons within 200 ms after word onset. Thus, neurons in human superior temporal gyrus use sparse spatially organized population encoding of complex acoustic-phonetic features to help recognize auditory and visual words. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Somal and dendritic development of human CA3 pyramidal neurons from midgestation to middle childhood: a quantitative Golgi study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Dahua; He, Lixin; Xiang, Wei; Ai, Wei-Min; Cao, Ye; Wang, Xiao-Sheng; Pan, Aihua; Luo, Xue-Gang; Li, Zhiyuan; Yan, Xiao-Xin

    2013-01-01

    The CA3 area serves a key relay on the tri-synaptic loop of the hippocampal formation which supports multiple forms of mnemonic processing, especially spatial learning and memory. To date, morphometric data about human CA3 pyramidal neurons are relatively rare, with little information available for their pre- and postnatal development. Herein, we report a set of developmental trajectory data, including somal growth, dendritic elongation and branching, and spine formation, of human CA3 pyramidal neurons from midgestation stage to middle childhood. Golgi-impregnated CA3 pyramidal neurons in fetuses at 19, 20, 26, 35, and 38 weeks of gestation (GW) and a child at 8 years of age (Y) were analyzed by Neurolucida morphometry. Somal size of the impregnated CA3 cells increased age-dependently among the cases. The length of the apical and basal dendrites of these neurons increased between 26 GW to 38 GW, and appeared to remain stable afterward until 8 Y. Dendritic branching points increased from 26 GW to 38 GW, with that on the apical dendrites slightly reduced at 8 Y. Spine density on the apical and basal dendrites increased progressively from 26 GW to 8 Y. These data suggest that somal growth and dendritic arborization of human CA3 pyramidal neurons occur largely during the second to third trimester. Spine development and likely synaptogenesis on CA3 pyramidal cells progress during the third prenatal trimester and may continue throughout childhood. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Evaluation of motor neuron differentiation potential of human umbilical cord blood- derived mesenchymal stem cells, in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi, Behnam; Sanooghi, Davood; Faghihi, Faezeh; Joghataei, Mohammad Taghi; Latifi, Nourahmad

    2017-04-01

    Many people suffer from spinal cord injuries annually. These deficits usually threaten the quality of life of patients. As a postpartum medically waste product, human Umbilical Cord Blood (UCB) is a rich source of stem cells with self- renewal properties and neural differentiation capacity which made it useful in regenerative medicine. Since there is no report on potential of human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells into motor neurons, we set out to evaluate the differentiation properties of these cells into motor neuron-like cells through administration of Retinoic Acid(RA), Sonic Hedgehog(Shh) and BDNF using a three- step in vitro procedure. The results were evaluated using Real-time PCR, Flowcytometry and Immunocytochemistry for two weeks. Our data showed that the cells changed into bipolar morphology and could express markers related to motor neuron; including Hb-9, Pax-6, Islet-1, NF-H, ChAT at the level of mRNA and protein. We could also quantitatively evaluate the expression of Islet-1, ChAT and NF-H at 7 and 14days post- induction using flowcytometry. It is concluded that human UCB-MSCs is potent to express motor neuron- related markers in the presence of RA, Shh and BDNF through a three- step protocol; thus it could be a suitable cell candidate for regeneration of motor neurons in spinal cord injuries. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Characterizing human stem cell-derived sensory neurons at the single-cell level reveals their ion channel expression and utility in pain research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Gareth T; Gutteridge, Alex; Fox, Heather DE; Wilbrey, Anna L; Cao, Lishuang; Cho, Lily T; Brown, Adam R; Benn, Caroline L; Kammonen, Laura R; Friedman, Julia H; Bictash, Magda; Whiting, Paul; Bilsland, James G; Stevens, Edward B

    2014-08-01

    The generation of human sensory neurons by directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells opens new opportunities for investigating the biology of pain. The inability to generate this cell type has meant that up until now their study has been reliant on the use of rodent models. Here, we use a combination of population and single-cell techniques to perform a detailed molecular, electrophysiological, and pharmacological phenotyping of sensory neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells. We describe the evolution of cell populations over 6 weeks of directed differentiation; a process that results in the generation of a largely homogeneous population of neurons that are both molecularly and functionally comparable to human sensory neurons derived from mature dorsal root ganglia. This work opens the prospect of using pluripotent stem-cell-derived sensory neurons to study human neuronal physiology and as in vitro models for drug discovery in pain and sensory disorders.

  11. Characterizing Human Stem Cell–derived Sensory Neurons at the Single-cell Level Reveals Their Ion Channel Expression and Utility in Pain Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Gareth T; Gutteridge, Alex; Fox, Heather DE; Wilbrey, Anna L; Cao, Lishuang; Cho, Lily T; Brown, Adam R; Benn, Caroline L; Kammonen, Laura R; Friedman, Julia H; Bictash, Magda; Whiting, Paul; Bilsland, James G; Stevens, Edward B

    2014-01-01

    The generation of human sensory neurons by directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells opens new opportunities for investigating the biology of pain. The inability to generate this cell type has meant that up until now their study has been reliant on the use of rodent models. Here, we use a combination of population and single-cell techniques to perform a detailed molecular, electrophysiological, and pharmacological phenotyping of sensory neurons derived from human embryonic stem cells. We describe the evolution of cell populations over 6 weeks of directed differentiation; a process that results in the generation of a largely homogeneous population of neurons that are both molecularly and functionally comparable to human sensory neurons derived from mature dorsal root ganglia. This work opens the prospect of using pluripotent stem-cell–derived sensory neurons to study human neuronal physiology and as in vitro models for drug discovery in pain and sensory disorders. PMID:24832007

  12. Corticospinal inhibition of transmission in propriospinal-like neurones during human walking

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iglesias, Caroline; Nielsen, Jens Bo; Marchand-Pauvert, Véronique

    2008-01-01

    It is crucial for human walking that muscles acting at different joints are optimally coordinated in relation to each other. This is ensured by interaction between spinal neuronal networks, sensory feedback and supraspinal control. Here we investigated the cortical control of spinal excitation from...... ankle dorsiflexor afferents to quadriceps motoneurones mediated by propriospinal-like interneurones. During walking and tonic contraction of ankle dorsiflexors and knee extensors while standing [at matched electromyography (EMG) levels], the effect of common peroneal nerve (CPN) stimulation...... was enhanced during walking, and when CPN stimulation was combined with FN or TMS, the resulting H-reflexes and MEPs were inhibited. The CPQ-reflex was also depressed when CPN stimulation was combined with subthreshold TMS. The peripheral (in CPN and FN) and corticospinal volleys may activate inhibitory non...

  13. Generation of a Motor Nerve Organoid with Human Stem Cell-Derived Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiro Kawada

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available During development, axons spontaneously assemble into a fascicle to form nerves and tracts in the nervous system as they extend within a spatially constrained path. However, understanding of the axonal fascicle has been hampered by lack of an in vitro model system. Here, we report generation of a nerve organoid composed of a robust fascicle of axons extended from a spheroid of human stem cell-derived motor neurons within our custom-designed microdevice. The device is equipped with a narrow channel providing a microenvironment that facilitates the growing axons to spontaneously assemble into a unidirectional fascicle. The fascicle was specifically made with axons. We found that it was electrically active and elastic and could serve as a model to evaluate degeneration of axons in vitro. This nerve organoid model should facilitate future studies on the development of the axonal fascicle and drug screening for diseases affecting axon fascicles.

  14. On the Photonic Cellular Interaction and the Electric Activity of Neurons in the Human Brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salari, V; Tuszynski, J; Bokkon, I; Rahnama, M; Cifra, M

    2011-01-01

    The subject of Ultraweak Photon Emission (UPE) by biological systems is very fascinating, and both evidence of its effects and applications are growing rapidly due to improvements in experimental techniques. Since the relevant equipment should be ultrasensitive with high quantum efficiencies and very low noise levels, the subject of UPE is still hotly debated and some of the interpretations need stronger empirical evidence to be accepted at face value. In this paper we first review different types of interactions between light and living systems based on recent publications. We then discuss the feasibility of UPE production in the human brain. The subject of UPE in the brain is still in early stages of development and needs more accurate experimental methods for proper analysis. In this work we also discuss a possible role of mitochondria in the production of UPE in the neurons of the brain and the plausibility of their effects on microtubules (MTs). MTs have been implicated as playing an important role in the signal and information processing taking place in the mammalian (especially human) brain. Finally, we provide a short discussion about the feasible effects of MTs on electric neural activity in the human brain.

  15. Cell-to-Cell Measles Virus Spread between Human Neurons Is Dependent on Hemagglutinin and Hyperfusogenic Fusion Protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, Yuma; Watanabe, Shumpei; Fukuda, Yoshinari; Hashiguchi, Takao; Yanagi, Yusuke; Ohno, Shinji

    2018-03-15

    Measles virus (MV) usually causes acute infection but in rare cases persists in the brain, resulting in subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). Since human neurons, an important target affected in the disease, do not express the known MV receptors (signaling lymphocyte activation molecule [SLAM] and nectin 4), how MV infects neurons and spreads between them is unknown. Recent studies have shown that many virus strains isolated from SSPE patients possess substitutions in the extracellular domain of the fusion (F) protein which confer enhanced fusion activity. Hyperfusogenic viruses with such mutations, unlike the wild-type MV, can induce cell-cell fusion even in SLAM- and nectin 4-negative cells and spread efficiently in human primary neurons and the brains of animal models. We show here that a hyperfusogenic mutant MV, IC323-F(T461I)-EGFP (IC323 with a fusion-enhancing T461I substitution in the F protein and expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein), but not the wild-type MV, spreads in differentiated NT2 cells, a widely used human neuron model. Confocal time-lapse imaging revealed the cell-to-cell spread of IC323-F(T461I)-EGFP between NT2 neurons without syncytium formation. The production of virus particles was strongly suppressed in NT2 neurons, also supporting cell-to-cell viral transmission. The spread of IC323-F(T461I)-EGFP was inhibited by a fusion inhibitor peptide as well as by some but not all of the anti-hemagglutinin antibodies which neutralize SLAM- or nectin-4-dependent MV infection, suggesting the presence of a distinct neuronal receptor. Our results indicate that MV spreads in a cell-to-cell manner between human neurons without causing syncytium formation and that the spread is dependent on the hyperfusogenic F protein, the hemagglutinin, and the putative neuronal receptor for MV. IMPORTANCE Measles virus (MV), in rare cases, persists in the human central nervous system (CNS) and causes subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) several

  16. Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure differentially alters nucleus tractus solitarius neurons at two different ages in developing non-human primates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sekizawa, Shin-ichi; Joad, Jesse P.; Pinkerton, Kent E.; Bonham, Ann C.

    2010-01-01

    Exposing children to secondhand tobacco smoke (SHS) is associated with increased risk for asthma, bronchiolitis and SIDS. The role for changes in the developing CNS contributing to these problems has not been fully explored. We used rhesus macaques to test the hypothesis that SHS exposure during development triggers neuroplastic changes in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS), where lung sensory information related to changes in airway and lung function is first integrated. Pregnant monkeys were exposed to filtered air (FA) or SHS for 6 h/day, 5 days/week starting at 50-day gestational age. Mother/infant pairs continued the exposures postnatally to age 3 or 13 months, which may be equivalent to approximately 1 or 4 years of human age, respectively. Whole-cell recordings were made of second-order NTS neurons in transverse brainstem slices. To target the consequences of SHS exposure based on neuronal subgroups, we classified NTS neurons into two phenotypes, rapid-onset spiking (RS) and delayed-onset spiking (DS), and then evaluated intrinsic and synaptic excitabilities in FA-exposed animals. RS neurons showed greater cell excitability especially at age of 3 months while DS neurons received greater amplitudes of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Developmental neuroplasticity such as increases in intrinsic and synaptic excitabilities were detected especially in DS neurons. In 3 month olds, SHS exposure effects were limited to excitatory changes in RS neurons, specifically increases in evoked EPSC amplitudes and increased spiking responses accompanied by shortened action potential width. By 13 months, the continued SHS exposure inhibited DS neuronal activity; decreases in evoked EPSC amplitudes and blunted spiking responses accompanied by prolonged action potential width. The influence of SHS exposure on age-related and phenotype specific changes may be associated with age-specific respiratory problems, for which SHS exposure can increase the risk, such as SIDS

  17. SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line: in vitro cell model of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hong-rong; Hu, Lin-sen; Li, Guo-yi

    2010-04-20

    To evaluate the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line as an in vitro model of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons for Parkinson's disease (PD) research and to determine the effect of differentiation on this cell model. The data of this review were selected from the original reports and reviews related to SH-SY5Y cells published in Chinese and foreign journals (Pubmed 1973 to 2009). After searching the literature, 60 articles were selected to address this review. The SH-SY5Y cell line has become a popular cell model for PD research because this cell line posses many characteristics of DAergic neurons. For example, these cells express tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, as well as the dopamine transporter. Moreover, this cell line can be differentiated into a functionally mature neuronal phenotype in the presence of various agents. Upon differentiation, SH-SY5Y cells stop proliferating and a constant cell number is subsequently maintained. However, different differentiating agents induce different neuronal phenotypes and biochemical changes. For example, retinoic acid induces differentiation toward a cholinergic neuronal phenotype and increases the susceptibility of SH-SY5Y cells to neurotoxins and neuroprotective agents, whereas treatment with retinoic acid followed by phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate results in a DAergic neuronal phenotype and decreases the susceptibility of cells to neurotoxins and neuroprotective agents. Some differentiating agents also alter kinetics of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP(+)) uptake, making SH-SY5Y cells more similar to primary mesencephalic neurons. Differentiated and undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells have been widely used as a cell model of DAergic neurons for PD research. Some differentiating agents afford SH-SY5Y cells with more potential for studying neurotoxicity and neuroprotection and are thus more relevant to experimental PD research.

  18. Impact of morphometry, myelinization and synaptic current strength on spike conduction in human and cat spiral ganglion neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Rattay

    Full Text Available Our knowledge about the neural code in the auditory nerve is based to a large extent on experiments on cats. Several anatomical differences between auditory neurons in human and cat are expected to lead to functional differences in speed and safety of spike conduction.Confocal microscopy was used to systematically evaluate peripheral and central process diameters, commonness of myelination and morphology of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs along the cochlea of three human and three cats. Based on these morphometric data, model analysis reveales that spike conduction in SGNs is characterized by four phases: a postsynaptic delay, constant velocity in the peripheral process, a presomatic delay and constant velocity in the central process. The majority of SGNs are type I, connecting the inner hair cells with the brainstem. In contrast to those of humans, type I neurons of the cat are entirely myelinated. Biophysical model evaluation showed delayed and weak spikes in the human soma region as a consequence of a lack of myelin. The simulated spike conduction times are in accordance with normal interwave latencies from auditory brainstem response recordings from man and cat. Simulated 400 pA postsynaptic currents from inner hair cell ribbon synapses were 15 times above threshold. They enforced quick and synchronous spiking. Both of these properties were not present in type II cells as they receive fewer and much weaker (∼26 pA synaptic stimuli.Wasting synaptic energy boosts spike initiation, which guarantees the rapid transmission of temporal fine structure of auditory signals. However, a lack of myelin in the soma regions of human type I neurons causes a large delay in spike conduction in comparison with cat neurons. The absent myelin, in combination with a longer peripheral process, causes quantitative differences of temporal parameters in the electrically stimulated human cochlea compared to the cat cochlea.

  19. Impact of Morphometry, Myelinization and Synaptic Current Strength on Spike Conduction in Human and Cat Spiral Ganglion Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rattay, Frank; Potrusil, Thomas; Wenger, Cornelia; Wise, Andrew K.; Glueckert, Rudolf; Schrott-Fischer, Anneliese

    2013-01-01

    Background Our knowledge about the neural code in the auditory nerve is based to a large extent on experiments on cats. Several anatomical differences between auditory neurons in human and cat are expected to lead to functional differences in speed and safety of spike conduction. Methodology/Principal Findings Confocal microscopy was used to systematically evaluate peripheral and central process diameters, commonness of myelination and morphology of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) along the cochlea of three human and three cats. Based on these morphometric data, model analysis reveales that spike conduction in SGNs is characterized by four phases: a postsynaptic delay, constant velocity in the peripheral process, a presomatic delay and constant velocity in the central process. The majority of SGNs are type I, connecting the inner hair cells with the brainstem. In contrast to those of humans, type I neurons of the cat are entirely myelinated. Biophysical model evaluation showed delayed and weak spikes in the human soma region as a consequence of a lack of myelin. The simulated spike conduction times are in accordance with normal interwave latencies from auditory brainstem response recordings from man and cat. Simulated 400 pA postsynaptic currents from inner hair cell ribbon synapses were 15 times above threshold. They enforced quick and synchronous spiking. Both of these properties were not present in type II cells as they receive fewer and much weaker (∼26 pA) synaptic stimuli. Conclusions/Significance Wasting synaptic energy boosts spike initiation, which guarantees the rapid transmission of temporal fine structure of auditory signals. However, a lack of myelin in the soma regions of human type I neurons causes a large delay in spike conduction in comparison with cat neurons. The absent myelin, in combination with a longer peripheral process, causes quantitative differences of temporal parameters in the electrically stimulated human cochlea compared to the cat

  20. Thiamine deficiency induces endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xin; Xu, Mei; Frank, Jacqueline A; Ke, Zun-Ji; Luo, Jia

    2017-04-01

    Thiamine (vitamin B1) deficiency (TD) plays a major role in the etiology of Wernicke's encephalopathy (WE) which is a severe neurological disorder. TD induces selective neuronal cell death, neuroinflammation, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and oxidative stress in the brain which are commonly observed in many aging-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). However, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain unclear. The progress in this line of research is hindered due to the lack of appropriate in vitro models. The neurons derived for the human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) provide a relevant and powerful tool for the research in pharmaceutical and environmental neurotoxicity. In this study, we for the first time used human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs)-derived neurons (iCell neurons) to investigate the mechanisms of TD-induced neurodegeneration. We showed that TD caused a concentration- and duration-dependent death of iCell neurons. TD induced ER stress which was evident by the increase in ER stress markers, such as GRP78, XBP-1, CHOP, ATF-6, phosphorylated eIF2α, and cleaved caspase-12. TD also triggered oxidative stress which was shown by the increase in the expression 2,4-dinitrophenyl (DNP) and 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE). ER stress inhibitors (STF-083010 and salubrinal) and antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) were effective in alleviating TD-induced death of iCell neurons, supporting the involvement of ER stress and oxidative stress. It establishes that the iCell neurons are a novel tool to investigate cellular and molecular mechanisms for TD-induced neurodegeneration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Mirror system based therapy for autism spectrum disorders

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wei CHEN; Jing ZHANG; Jun DING

    2008-01-01

    This paper reviews the present theories and empirical research of autisms' cognitive research and mir-ror systems and introduces a new hypothesis about the causes of autism spectrum disorders (ASD): autistic mir-ror neuron dysfunction hypothesis. ASD subjects show obvious lack of the activation of the mirror system during the task of observation or emotional cognition. It is sig-nificant to investigate the mirror system for revealing the causes of autism and it is also helpful for developing new ways to diagnose or treat this disorder.

  2. Migration Pathways of Thalamic Neurons and Development of Thalamocortical Connections in Humans Revealed by Diffusion MR Tractography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, Molly; Kane, Tara; Wang, Rongpin; Takahashi, Emi

    2017-12-01

    The thalamus plays an important role in signal relays in the brain, with thalamocortical (TC) neuronal pathways linked to various sensory/cognitive functions. In this study, we aimed to see fetal and postnatal development of the thalamus including neuronal migration to the thalamus and the emergence/maturation of the TC pathways. Pathways from/to the thalami of human postmortem fetuses and in vivo subjects ranging from newborns to adults with no neurological histories were studied using high angular resolution diffusion MR imaging (HARDI) tractography. Pathways likely linked to neuronal migration from the ventricular zone and ganglionic eminence (GE) to the thalami were both successfully detected. Between the ventricular zone and thalami, more tractography pathways were found in anterior compared with posterior regions, which was well in agreement with postnatal observations that the anterior TC segment had more tract count and volume than the posterior segment. Three different pathways likely linked to neuronal migration from the GE to the thalami were detected. No hemispheric asymmetry of the TC pathways was quantitatively observed during development. These results suggest that HARDI tractography is useful to identify multiple differential neuronal migration pathways in human brains, and regional differences in brain development in fetal ages persisted in postnatal development. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Cryopreservation Maintains Functionality of Human iPSC Dopamine Neurons and Rescues Parkinsonian Phenotypes In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dustin R. Wakeman

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available A major challenge for clinical application of pluripotent stem cell therapy for Parkinson's disease (PD is large-scale manufacturing and cryopreservation of neurons that can be efficiently prepared with minimal manipulation. To address this obstacle, midbrain dopamine neurons were derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC-mDA and cryopreserved in large production lots for biochemical and transplantation studies. Cryopreserved, post-mitotic iPSC-mDA neurons retained high viability with gene, protein, and electrophysiological signatures consistent with midbrain floor-plate lineage. To test therapeutic efficacy, cryopreserved iPSC-mDA neurons were transplanted without subculturing into the 6-OHDA-lesioned rat and MPTP-lesioned non-human-primate models of PD. Grafted neurons retained midbrain lineage with extensive fiber innervation in both rodents and monkeys. Behavioral assessment in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats demonstrated significant reversal in functional deficits up to 6 months post transplantation with reinnervation of the host striatum and no aberrant growth, supporting the translational development of pluripotent cell-based therapies in PD.

  4. Quantitative analysis of basal dendritic tree of layer III pyramidal neurons in different areas of adult human frontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeba, Martina; Jovanov-Milosević, Natasa; Petanjek, Zdravko

    2008-01-01

    Large long projecting (cortico-cortical) layer IIIc pyramidal neurons were recently disclosed to be in the basis of cognitive processing in primates. Therefore, we quantitatively examined the basal dendritic morphology of these neurons by using rapid Golgi and Golgi Cox impregnation methods among three distinct Brodmann areas (BA) of an adult human frontal cortex: the primary motor BA4 and the associative magnopyramidal BA9 from left hemisphere and the Broca's speech BA45 from both hemispheres. There was no statistically significant difference in basal dendritic length or complexity, as dendritic spine number or their density between analyzed BA's. In addition, we analyzed each of these BA's immunocytochemically for distribution of SMI-32, a marker of largest long distance projecting neurons. Within layer IIIc, the highest density of SMI-32 immunopositive pyramidal neurons was observed in associative BA9, while in primary BA4 they were sparse. Taken together, these data suggest that an increase in the complexity of cortico-cortical network within human frontal areas of different functional order may be principally based on the increase in density of large, SMI-32 immunopositive layer IIIc neurons, rather than by further increase in complexity of their dendritic tree and synaptic network.

  5. Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neuron as a human model for testing environmentally induced developmental neurotoxicity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons as a human model for testing environmentally induced developmental neurotoxicity Ingrid L. Druwe1, Timothy J. Shafer2, Kathleen Wallace2, Pablo Valdivia3 ,and William R. Mundy2. 1University of North Carolina, Curriculum in Toxicology...

  6. Pyramidal neurons in the septal and temporal CA1 field of the human and hedgehog tenrec hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liagkouras, Ioannis; Michaloudi, Helen; Batzios, Christos; Psaroulis, Dimitrios; Georgiadis, Marios; Künzle, Heinz; Papadopoulos, Georgios C

    2008-07-07

    The present study examines comparatively the cellular density of disector-counted/Nissl-stained CA1 pyramidal neurons and the morphometric characteristics (dendritic number/length, spine number/density and Sholl-counted dendritic branch points/20 microm) of the basal and apical dendritic systems of Golgi-impregnated CA1 neurons, in the septal and temporal hippocampus of the human and hedgehog tenrec brain. The obtained results indicate that in both hippocampal parts the cellular density of the CA1 pyramidal neurons is lower in human than in tenrec. However, while the human pyramidal cell density is higher in the septal hippocampal part than in the temporal one, in the tenrec the density of these cells is higher in the temporal part. The dendritic tree of the CA1 pyramidal cells, more developed in the septal than in temporal hippocampus in both species studied, is in general more complex in the human hippocampus. The basal and the apical dendritic systems exhibit species related morphometric differences, while dendrites of different orders exhibit differences in their number and length, and in their spine density. Finally, in both species, as well as hippocampal parts and dendritic systems, changes of dendritic morphometric features along ascending dendritic orders fluctuate in a similar way, as do the number of dendritic branch points in relation to the distance from the neuron soma.

  7. A Case of Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia, Hemorrhagic Anemia-Induced Fetal Hydrops, Maternal Mirror Syndrome, and Human Chorionic Gonadotropin–Induced Thyrotoxicosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venu Jain

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Fetal/neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT can be a cause of severe fetal thrombocytopenia, with the common presentation being intracranial hemorrhage in the fetus, usually in the third trimester. A very unusual case of fetal anemia progressed to hydrops. This was further complicated by maternal Mirror syndrome and human chorionic gonadotropin–induced thyrotoxicosis. Without knowledge of etiology, and possibly due to associated cardiac dysfunction, fetal transfusion resulted in fetal demise. Subsequent testing revealed FNAIT as the cause of severe hemorrhagic anemia. In cases with fetal anemia without presence of red blood cell antibodies, FNAIT must be ruled out as a cause prior to performing fetal transfusion. Fetal heart may adapt differently to acute hemorrhagic anemia compared with a more subacute hemolytic anemia.

  8. Topological mirror superconductivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fan; Kane, C L; Mele, E J

    2013-08-02

    We demonstrate the existence of topological superconductors (SCs) protected by mirror and time-reversal symmetries. D-dimensional (D=1, 2, 3) crystalline SCs are characterized by 2(D-1) independent integer topological invariants, which take the form of mirror Berry phases. These invariants determine the distribution of Majorana modes on a mirror symmetric boundary. The parity of total mirror Berry phase is the Z(2) index of a class DIII SC, implying that a DIII topological SC with a mirror line must also be a topological mirror SC but not vice versa and that a DIII SC with a mirror plane is always time-reversal trivial but can be mirror topological. We introduce representative models and suggest experimental signatures in feasible systems. Advances in quantum computing, the case for nodal SCs, the case for class D, and topological SCs protected by rotational symmetries are pointed out.

  9. Neurons in primary motor cortex engaged during action observation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dushanova, Juliana; Donoghue, John

    2010-01-01

    Neurons in higher cortical areas appear to become active during action observation, either by mirroring observed actions (termed mirror neurons) or by eliciting mental rehearsal of observed motor acts. We report the existence of neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1), an area that is generally considered to initiate and guide movement performance, responding to viewed actions. Multielectrode recordings in monkeys performing or observing a well-learned step-tracking task showed that approximately half of the M1 neurons that were active when monkeys performed the task were also active when they observed the action being performed by a human. These 'view' neurons were spatially intermingled with 'do' neurons, which are active only during movement performance. Simultaneously recorded 'view' neurons comprised two groups: approximately 38% retained the same preferred direction (PD) and timing during performance and viewing, and the remainder (62%) changed their PDs and time lag during viewing as compared with performance. Nevertheless, population activity during viewing was sufficient to predict the direction and trajectory of viewed movements as action unfolded, although less accurately than during performance. 'View' neurons became less active and contained poorer representations of action when only subcomponents of the task were being viewed. M1 'view' neurons thus appear to reflect aspects of a learned movement when observed in others, and form part of a broadly engaged set of cortical areas routinely responding to learned behaviors. These findings suggest that viewing a learned action elicits replay of aspects of M1 activity needed to perform the observed action, and could additionally reflect processing related to understanding, learning or mentally rehearsing action.

  10. Cell culture chamber with gas supply for prolonged recording of human neuronal cells on microelectrode array.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kreutzer, Joose; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Mäki, Antti-Juhana; Ristola, Mervi; Narkilahti, Susanna; Kallio, Pasi

    2017-03-15

    Typically, live cell analyses are performed outside an incubator in an ambient air, where the lack of sufficient CO 2 supply results in a fast change of pH and the high evaporation causes concentration drifts in the culture medium. That limits the experiment time for tens of minutes. In many applications, e.g. in neurotoxicity studies, a prolonged measurement of extracellular activity is, however, essential. We demonstrate a simple cell culture chamber that enables stable culture conditions during prolonged extracellular recordings on a microelectrode array (MEA) outside an incubator. The proposed chamber consists of a gas permeable silicone structure that enables gas transfer into the chamber. We show that the culture chamber supports the growth of the human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived neurons both inside and outside an incubator. The structure provides very low evaporation, stable pH and osmolarity, and maintains strong signaling of hESC-derived neuronal networks over three-day MEA experiments. Existing systems are typically complex including continuous perfusion of medium or relatively large amount of gas to supply. The proposed chamber requires only a supply of very low flow rate (1.5ml/min) of non-humidified 5% CO 2 gas. Utilizing dry gas supply makes the proposed chamber simple to use. Using the proposed culture structure on top of MEA, we can maintain hESC-derived neural networks over three days outside an incubator. Technically, the structure requires very low flow rate of dry gas supporting, however, low evaporation and maintaining the pH of the culture. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Characterization of neurons in the cortical white matter in human temporal lobe epilepsy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Zsófia; Janszky, József; Sétáló, György; Horváth, Réka; Horváth, Zsolt; Dóczi, Tamás; Seress, László; Ábrahám, Hajnalka

    2016-10-01

    The aim of the present work was to characterize neurons in the archi- and neocortical white matter, and to investigate their distribution in mesial temporal sclerosis. Immunohistochemistry and quantification of neurons were performed on surgically resected tissue sections of patients with therapy-resistant temporal lobe epilepsy. Temporal lobe tissues of patients with tumor but without epilepsy and that from autopsy were used as controls. Neurons were identified with immunohistochemistry using antibodies against NeuN, calcium-binding proteins, transcription factor Tbr1 and neurofilaments. We found significantly higher density of neurons in the archi- and neocortical white matter of patients with temporal lobe epilepsy than in that of controls. Based on their morphology and neurochemical content, both excitatory and inhibitory cells were present among these neurons. A subset of neurons in the white matter was Tbr-1-immunoreactive and these neurons coexpressed NeuN and neurofilament marker SMI311R. No colocalization of Tbr1 was observed with the inhibitory neuronal markers, calcium-binding proteins. We suggest that a large population of white matter neurons comprises remnants of the subplate. Furthermore, we propose that a subset of white matter neurons was arrested during migration, highlighting the role of cortical maldevelopment in epilepsy associated with mesial temporal sclerosis. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Mirror machine reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlson, G.A.; Moir, R.W.

    1976-01-01

    Recent mirror reactor conceptual design studies are described. Considered in detail is the design of ''standard'' Yin-Yang fusion power reactors with classical and enhanced confinement. It is shown that to be economically competitive with estimates for other future energy sources, mirror reactors require a considerable increase in Q, or major design simplifications, or preferably both. These improvements may require a departure from the ''standard'' configuration. Two attractive possibilities, both of which would use much of the same physics and technology as the ''standard'' mirror, are the field reversed mirror and the end-stoppered mirror

  13. Differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells into neuronal by resveratrol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Ya-Wei; Zhang, Zhen; Liu, Ming-Yue; Hu, Wei-Ping

    2017-12-01

    Dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) have been proposed as a promising source of stem cells in nerve regeneration due to their close embryonic origin and ease of harvest. Resveratrol (RSV) is a natural polyphenolic and possesses many biological functions such as anti-inflammatory activity and protection against atherosclerosis and neuroprotective activities. There is increasing evidence showing that RSV plays a pivotal role in neuron protection and neuronal differentiation. In this study, we isolated DPSCs from impacted third molars and investigated whether RSV induces neuronal differentiation of DPSCs. To avoid loss of DPSCs multipotency, all the experiments were conducted on cells at early passages. RT-PCR results showed that RSV-treated DPSCs (RSV-DPSCs) significantly increased the expression of the neuroprogenitor marker Nestin. When RSV-DPSCs were differentiated with neuronal induction media (RSV-dDPSCs), they showed a cell morphology similar to neurons. The expression of neuronal-specific marker genes Nestin, Musashi, and NF-M in RSV-dDPSCs was significantly increased. Immunocytochemical staining and Western blot analysis showed that the expression of neuronal marker proteins, Nestin, and NF-M, was significantly increased in RSV-dDPSCs. Therefore, we have shown that RSV treatment, along with the use of neuronal induction media, effectively promotes neuronal cell differentiation of DPSCs. © 2017 International Federation for Cell Biology.

  14. Mirroring Facial Expressions and Emotions in Dyadic Conversations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Navarretta, Costanza

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents an investigation of mirroring facial expressions and the emotions which they convey in dyadic naturally occurring first encounters. Mirroring facial expressions are a common phenomenon in face-to-face interactions, and they are due to the mirror neuron system which has been...... and overlapping facial expressions are very frequent. In this study, we want to determine whether the overlapping facial expressions are mirrored or are otherwise correlated in the encounters, and to what extent mirroring facial expressions convey the same emotion. The results of our study show that the majority...... of smiles and laughs, and one fifth of the occurrences of raised eyebrows are mirrored in the data. Moreover some facial traits in co-occurring expressions co-occur more often than it would be expected by chance. Finally, amusement, and to a lesser extent friendliness, are often emotions shared by both...

  15. Β-amyloid 1-42 oligomers impair function of human embryonic stem cell-derived forebrain cholinergic neurons.

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    Linn Wicklund

    Full Text Available Cognitive impairment in Alzheimer's disease (AD patients is associated with a decline in the levels of growth factors, impairment of axonal transport and marked degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs. Neurogenesis persists in the adult human brain, and the stimulation of regenerative processes in the CNS is an attractive prospect for neuroreplacement therapy in neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. Currently, it is still not clear how the pathophysiological environment in the AD brain affects stem cell biology. Previous studies investigating the effects of the β-amyloid (Aβ peptide on neurogenesis have been inconclusive, since both neurogenic and neurotoxic effects on progenitor cell populations have been reported. In this study, we treated pluripotent human embryonic stem (hES cells with nerve growth factor (NGF as well as with fibrillar and oligomeric Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 (nM-µM concentrations and thereafter studied the differentiation in vitro during 28-35 days. The process applied real time quantitative PCR, immunocytochemistry as well as functional studies of intracellular calcium signaling. Treatment with NGF promoted the differentiation into functionally mature BFCNs. In comparison to untreated cells, oligomeric Aβ1-40 increased the number of functional neurons, whereas oligomeric Aβ1-42 suppressed the number of functional neurons. Interestingly, oligomeric Aβ exposure did not influence the number of hES cell-derived neurons compared with untreated cells, while in contrast fibrillar Aβ1-40 and Aβ1-42 induced gliogenesis. These findings indicate that Aβ1-42 oligomers may impair the function of stem cell-derived neurons. We propose that it may be possible for future AD therapies to promote the maturation of functional stem cell-derived neurons by altering the brain microenvironment with trophic support and by targeting different aggregation forms of Aβ.

  16. Plasticity of marrow mesenchymal stem cells from human first-trimester fetus: from single-cell clone to neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yihua; Shen, Wenzheng; Sun, Bingjie; Lv, Changrong; Dou, Zhongying

    2011-02-01

    Recent results have shown that bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) from human first-trimester abortus (hfBMSCs) are closer to embryonic stem cells and perform greater telomerase activity and faster propagation than mid- and late-prophase fetal and adult BMSCs. However, no research has been done on the plasticity of hfBMSCs into neuronal cells using single-cell cloned strains without cell contamination. In this study, we isolated five single cells from hfBMSCs and obtained five single-cell cloned strains, and investigated their biological property and neuronal differentiation potential. We found that four of the five strains showed similar expression profile of surface antigen markers to hfBMSCs, and most of them differentiated into neuron-like cells expressing Nestin, Pax6, Sox1, β-III Tubulin, NF-L, and NSE under induction. One strain showed different expression profile of surface antigen markers from the four strains and hfBMSCs, and did not differentiate toward neuronal cells. We demonstrated for the first time that some of single-cell cloned strains from hfBMSCs can differentiate into nerve tissue-like cell clusters under induction in vitro, and that the plasticity of each single-cell cloned strain into neuronal cells is different.

  17. Human neuron-astrocyte 3D co-culture-based assay for evaluation of neuroprotective compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrasso, Ana Paula; Silva, Ana Carina; Filipe, Augusto; Pedroso, Pedro; Ferreira, Ana Lúcia; Alves, Paula Marques; Brito, Catarina

    Central nervous system drug development has registered high attrition rates, mainly due to the lack of efficacy of drug candidates, highlighting the low reliability of the models used in early-stage drug development and the need for new in vitro human cell-based models and assays to accurately identify and validate drug candidates. 3D human cell models can include different tissue cell types and represent the spatiotemporal context of the original tissue (co-cultures), allowing the establishment of biologically-relevant cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Nevertheless, exploitation of these 3D models for neuroprotection assessment has been limited due to the lack of data to validate such 3D co-culture approaches. In this work we combined a 3D human neuron-astrocyte co-culture with a cell viability endpoint for the implementation of a novel in vitro neuroprotection assay, over an oxidative insult. Neuroprotection assay robustness and specificity, and the applicability of Presto Blue, MTT and CytoTox-Glo viability assays to the 3D co-culture were evaluated. Presto Blue was the adequate endpoint as it is non-destructive and is a simpler and reliable assay. Semi-automation of the cell viability endpoint was performed, indicating that the assay setup is amenable to be transferred to automated screening platforms. Finally, the neuroprotection assay setup was applied to a series of 36 test compounds and several candidates with higher neuroprotective effect than the positive control, Idebenone, were identified. The robustness and simplicity of the implemented neuroprotection assay with the cell viability endpoint enables the use of more complex and reliable 3D in vitro cell models to identify and validate drug candidates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. The GluN2B subunit represents a major functional determinant of NMDA receptors in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cortical neurons

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    Ioana Neagoe

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Abnormal signaling pathways mediated by N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs have been implicated in the pathogenesis of various CNS disorders and have been long considered as promising points of therapeutic intervention. However, few efforts have been previously described concerning evaluation of therapeutic modulators of NMDARs and their downstream pathways in human neurons with endogenous expression of NMDARs. In the present study, we assessed expression, functionality, and subunit composition of endogenous NMDARs in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC-derived cortical neurons (iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons. We initially confirmed the expected pharmacological response of iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons to NMDA by patch-clamp recordings. Subsequent pharmacological interrogation using GluN2 subunit-selective antagonists revealed the predominance of GluN2B in both iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons. This observation was also supported by qRT-PCR and Western blot analyses of GluN2 subunit expression as well as pharmacological experiments using positive allosteric modulators with distinct GluN2 subunit selectivity. We conclude that iCell Neurons and iCell GlutaNeurons express functional GluN2B-containing NMDARs and could serve as a valuable system for development and validation of GluN2B-modulating pharmaceutical agents. Keywords: Human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons, iCell Neurons, iCell GlutaNeurons, NMDA receptors, GluN2B, Positive allosteric modulators

  19. Selective expression of KCNS3 potassium channel α-subunit in parvalbumin-containing GABA neurons in the human prefrontal cortex.

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    Danko Georgiev

    Full Text Available The cognitive deficits of schizophrenia appear to be associated with altered cortical GABA neurotransmission in the subsets of inhibitory neurons that express either parvalbumin (PV or somatostatin (SST. Identification of molecular mechanisms that operate selectively in these neurons is essential for developing targeted therapeutic strategies that do not influence other cell types. Consequently, we sought to identify, in the human cortex, gene products that are expressed selectively by PV and/or SST neurons, and that might contribute to their distinctive functional properties. Based on previously reported expression patterns in the cortex of mice and humans, we selected four genes: KCNS3, LHX6, KCNAB1, and PPP1R2, encoding K(+ channel Kv9.3 modulatory α-subunit, LIM homeobox protein 6, K(+ channel Kvβ1 subunit, and protein phosphatase 1 regulatory subunit 2, respectively, and examined their colocalization with PV or SST mRNAs in the human prefrontal cortex using dual-label in situ hybridization with (35S- and digoxigenin-labeled antisense riboprobes. KCNS3 mRNA was detected in almost all PV neurons, but not in SST neurons, and PV mRNA was detected in >90% of KCNS3 mRNA-expressing neurons. LHX6 mRNA was detected in almost all PV and >90% of SST neurons, while among all LHX6 mRNA-expressing neurons 50% expressed PV mRNA and >44% expressed SST mRNA. KCNAB1 and PPP1R2 mRNAs were detected in much larger populations of cortical neurons than PV or SST neurons. These findings indicate that KCNS3 is a selective marker of PV neurons, whereas LHX6 is expressed by both PV and SST neurons. KCNS3 and LHX6 might be useful for characterizing cell-type specific molecular alterations of cortical GABA neurotransmission and for the development of novel treatments targeting PV and/or SST neurons in schizophrenia.

  20. Do Human-Figure Drawings of Children and Adolescents Mirror Their Cognitive Style and Self-Esteem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Anindita; Ghosh, Paromita

    2016-01-01

    The investigation probed relationships among human-figure drawing, field-dependent-independent cognitive style and self-esteem of 10-15 year olds. It also attempted to predict human-figure drawing scores of participants based on their field-dependence-independence and self-esteem. Area, stratified and multi-stage random sampling were used to…

  1. Human iPSC-Derived Cerebellar Neurons from a Patient with Ataxia-Telangiectasia Reveal Disrupted Gene Regulatory Networks

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    Sam P. Nayler

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T is a rare genetic disorder caused by loss of function of the ataxia-telangiectasia-mutated kinase and is characterized by a predisposition to cancer, pulmonary disease, immune deficiency and progressive degeneration of the cerebellum. As animal models do not faithfully recapitulate the neurological aspects, it remains unclear whether cerebellar degeneration is a neurodevelopmental or neurodegenerative phenotype. To address the necessity for a human model, we first assessed a previously published protocol for the ability to generate cerebellar neuronal cells, finding it gave rise to a population of precursors highly enriched for markers of the early hindbrain such as EN1 and GBX2, and later more mature cerebellar markers including PTF1α, MATH1, HOXB4, ZIC3, PAX6, and TUJ1. RNA sequencing was used to classify differentiated cerebellar neurons generated from integration-free A-T and control induced pluripotent stem cells. Comparison of RNA sequencing data with datasets from the Allen Brain Atlas reveals in vitro-derived cerebellar neurons are transcriptionally similar to discrete regions of the human cerebellum, and most closely resemble the cerebellum at 22 weeks post-conception. We show that patient-derived cerebellar neurons exhibit disrupted gene regulatory networks associated with synaptic vesicle dynamics and oxidative stress, offering the first molecular insights into early cerebellar pathogenesis of ataxia-telangiectasia.

  2. Induction of apoptotic death and retardation of neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cells by sodium arsenite treatment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanov, Vladimir N.; Hei, Tom K.

    2013-01-01

    Chronic arsenic toxicity is a global health problem that affects more than 100 million people worldwide. Long-term health effects of inorganic sodium arsenite in drinking water may result in skin, lung and liver cancers and in severe neurological abnormalities. We investigated in the present study whether sodium arsenite affects signaling pathways that control cell survival, proliferation and neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cells (NSC). We demonstrated that the critical signaling pathway, which was suppressed by sodium arsenite in NSC, was the protective PI3K–AKT pathway. Sodium arsenite (2–4 μM) also caused down-regulation of Nanog, one of the key transcription factors that control pluripotency and self-renewal of stem cells. Mitochondrial damage and cytochrome-c release induced by sodium arsenite exposure was followed by initiation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in NSC. Beside caspase-9 and caspase-3 inhibitors, suppression of JNK activity decreased levels of arsenite-induced apoptosis in NSC. Neuronal differentiation of NSC was substantially inhibited by sodium arsenite exposure. Overactivation of JNK1 and ERK1/2 and down-regulation of PI3K–AKT activity induced by sodium arsenite were critical factors that strongly affected neuronal differentiation. In conclusion, sodium arsenite exposure of human NSC induces the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, which is substantially accelerated due to the simultaneous suppression of PI3K–AKT. Sodium arsenite also negatively affects neuronal differentiation of NSC through overactivation of MEK–ERK and suppression of PI3K–AKT. - Highlights: ► Arsenite induces the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in human neural stem cells. ► Arsenite-induced apoptosis is strongly upregulated by suppression of PI3K–AKT. ► Arsenite-induced apoptosis is strongly down-regulated by inhibition of JNK–cJun. ► Arsenite negatively affects neuronal differentiation by inhibition of PI3K–AKT

  3. Induction of apoptotic death and retardation of neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cells by sodium arsenite treatment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ivanov, Vladimir N., E-mail: vni3@columbia.edu [Center for Radiological Research, Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, NY 10032 (United States); Hei, Tom K. [Center for Radiological Research, Department of Radiation Oncology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, NY 10032 (United States)

    2013-04-01

    Chronic arsenic toxicity is a global health problem that affects more than 100 million people worldwide. Long-term health effects of inorganic sodium arsenite in drinking water may result in skin, lung and liver cancers and in severe neurological abnormalities. We investigated in the present study whether sodium arsenite affects signaling pathways that control cell survival, proliferation and neuronal differentiation of human neural stem cells (NSC). We demonstrated that the critical signaling pathway, which was suppressed by sodium arsenite in NSC, was the protective PI3K–AKT pathway. Sodium arsenite (2–4 μM) also caused down-regulation of Nanog, one of the key transcription factors that control pluripotency and self-renewal of stem cells. Mitochondrial damage and cytochrome-c release induced by sodium arsenite exposure was followed by initiation of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in NSC. Beside caspase-9 and caspase-3 inhibitors, suppression of JNK activity decreased levels of arsenite-induced apoptosis in NSC. Neuronal differentiation of NSC was substantially inhibited by sodium arsenite exposure. Overactivation of JNK1 and ERK1/2 and down-regulation of PI3K–AKT activity induced by sodium arsenite were critical factors that strongly affected neuronal differentiation. In conclusion, sodium arsenite exposure of human NSC induces the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway, which is substantially accelerated due to the simultaneous suppression of PI3K–AKT. Sodium arsenite also negatively affects neuronal differentiation of NSC through overactivation of MEK–ERK and suppression of PI3K–AKT. - Highlights: ► Arsenite induces the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway in human neural stem cells. ► Arsenite-induced apoptosis is strongly upregulated by suppression of PI3K–AKT. ► Arsenite-induced apoptosis is strongly down-regulated by inhibition of JNK–cJun. ► Arsenite negatively affects neuronal differentiation by inhibition of PI3K–AKT.

  4. γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    D’Avanzo, Carla; Sliwinski, Christopher; Wagner, Steven L.; Tanzi, Rudolph E.; Kim, Doo Yeon; Kovacs, Dora M.

    2015-01-01

    Soluble γ-secretase modulators (SGSMs) selectively decrease toxic amyloid β (Aβ) peptides (Aβ42). However, their effect on the physiologic functions of γ-secretase has not been tested in human model systems. γ-Secretase regulates fate determination of neural progenitor cells. Thus, we studied the impact of SGSMs on the neuronal differentiation of ReNcell VM (ReN) human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs). Quantitative PCR analysis showed that treatment of neurosphere-like ReN cell aggregate cultures with γ-secretase inhibitors (GSIs), but not SGSMs, induced a 2- to 4-fold increase in the expression of the neuronal markers Tuj1 and doublecortin. GSI treatment also induced neuronal marker protein expression, as shown by Western blot analysis. In the same conditions, SGSM treatment selectively reduced endogenous Aβ42 levels by ∼80%. Mechanistically, we found that Notch target gene expressions were selectively inhibited by a GSI, not by SGSM treatment. We can assert, for the first time, that SGSMs do not affect the neuronal differentiation of hNPCs while selectively decreasing endogenous Aβ42 levels in the same conditions. Our results suggest that our hNPC differentiation system can serve as a useful model to test the impact of GSIs and SGSMs on both endogenous Aβ levels and γ-secretase physiologic functions including endogenous Notch signaling.—D’Avanzo, C., Sliwinski, C., Wagner, S. L., Tanzi, R. E., Kim, D. Y., Kovacs, D. M. γ-Secretase modulators reduce endogenous amyloid β42 levels in human neural progenitor cells without altering neuronal differentiation. PMID:25903103

  5. Human striatal recordings reveal abnormal discharge of projection neurons in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Arun; Mewes, Klaus; Gross, Robert E; DeLong, Mahlon R; Obeso, José A; Papa, Stella M

    2016-08-23

    Circuitry models of Parkinson's disease (PD) are based on striatal dopamine loss and aberrant striatal inputs into the basal ganglia network. However, extrastriatal mechanisms have increasingly been the focus of attention, whereas the status of striatal discharges in the parkinsonian human brain remains conjectural. We now report the activity pattern of striatal projection neurons (SPNs) in patients with PD undergoing deep brain stimulation surgery, compared with patients with essential tremor (ET) and isolated dystonia (ID). The SPN activity in ET was very low (2.1 ± 0.1 Hz) and reminiscent of that found in normal animals. In contrast, SPNs in PD fired at much higher frequency (30.2 ± 1.2 Hz) and with abundant spike bursts. The difference between PD and ET was reproduced between 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated and normal nonhuman primates. The SPN activity was also increased in ID, but to a lower level compared with the hyperactivity observed in PD. These results provide direct evidence that the striatum contributes significantly altered signals to the network in patients with PD.

  6. The anthelmintic levamisole is an allosteric modulator of human neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levandoski, Mark M; Piket, Barbara; Chang, Jane

    2003-06-13

    L-[-]-2,3,5,6-Tetrahydro-6-phenylimidazo[2,1b]-thiazole hydrochloride (levamisole) is an anthelmintic that targets the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of parasitic nematodes. We report here the effects of levamisole on human neuronal alpha 3 beta 2 and alpha 3 beta 4 nicotinic receptors, heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied with the voltage clamp method. Applied alone, levamisole was a very weak partial agonist for the two subunit combinations. When co-applied with acetylcholine, micromolar concentrations of levamisole potentiated responses, while millimolar concentrations inhibited them; these effects were complex functions of both acetylcholine and levamisole concentrations. The differences in the levamisole effects on the two receptor combinations suggest that the effects are mediated by the beta subunit. Several combinations of agonist and anthelmintic gave the dual potentiation/inhibition behavior, suggesting that the modulatory effects are general. Levamisole inhibition showed macroscopic characteristics of open channel block. Several results led us to conclude that levamisole potentiation occurs through noncompetitive binding to the receptor. We propose pseudo-site binding for noncompetitive potentiation by levamisole.

  7. Complexity and multifractality of neuronal noise in mouse and human hippocampal epileptiform dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serletis, Demitre; Bardakjian, Berj L.; Valiante, Taufik A.; Carlen, Peter L.

    2012-10-01

    Fractal methods offer an invaluable means of investigating turbulent nonlinearity in non-stationary biomedical recordings from the brain. Here, we investigate properties of complexity (i.e. the correlation dimension, maximum Lyapunov exponent, 1/fγ noise and approximate entropy) and multifractality in background neuronal noise-like activity underlying epileptiform transitions recorded at the intracellular and local network scales from two in vitro models: the whole-intact mouse hippocampus and lesional human hippocampal slices. Our results show evidence for reduced dynamical complexity and multifractal signal features following transition to the ictal epileptiform state. These findings suggest that pathological breakdown in multifractal complexity coincides with loss of signal variability or heterogeneity, consistent with an unhealthy ictal state that is far from the equilibrium of turbulent yet healthy fractal dynamics in the brain. Thus, it appears that background noise-like activity successfully captures complex and multifractal signal features that may, at least in part, be used to classify and identify brain state transitions in the healthy and epileptic brain, offering potential promise for therapeutic neuromodulatory strategies for afflicted patients suffering from epilepsy and other related neurological disorders. This paper is based on chapter 5 of Serletis (2010 PhD Dissertation Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto).

  8. Global developmental gene expression and pathway analysis of normal brain development and mouse models of human neuronal migration defects.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tiziano Pramparo

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Heterozygous LIS1 mutations are the most common cause of human lissencephaly, a human neuronal migration defect, and DCX mutations are the most common cause of X-linked lissencephaly. LIS1 is part of a protein complex including NDEL1 and 14-3-3ε that regulates dynein motor function and microtubule dynamics, while DCX stabilizes microtubules and cooperates with LIS1 during neuronal migration and neurogenesis. Targeted gene mutations of Lis1, Dcx, Ywhae (coding for 14-3-3ε, and Ndel1 lead to neuronal migration defects in mouse and provide models of human lissencephaly, as well as aid the study of related neuro-developmental diseases. Here we investigated the developing brain of these four mutants and wild-type mice using expression microarrays, bioinformatic analyses, and in vivo/in vitro experiments to address whether mutations in different members of the LIS1 neuronal migration complex lead to similar and/or distinct global gene expression alterations. Consistent with the overall successful development of the mutant brains, unsupervised clustering and co-expression analysis suggested that cell cycle and synaptogenesis genes are similarly expressed and co-regulated in WT and mutant brains in a time-dependent fashion. By contrast, focused co-expression analysis in the Lis1 and Ndel1 mutants uncovered substantial differences in the correlation among pathways. Differential expression analysis revealed that cell cycle, cell adhesion, and cytoskeleton organization pathways are commonly altered in all mutants, while synaptogenesis, cell morphology, and inflammation/immune response are specifically altered in one or more mutants. We found several commonly dysregulated genes located within pathogenic deletion/duplication regions, which represent novel candidates of human mental retardation and neurocognitive disabilities. Our analysis suggests that gene expression and pathway analysis in mouse models of a similar disorder or within a common pathway can

  9. Protocol for the Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells into Mixed Cultures of Neurons and Glia for Neurotoxicity Testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pistollato, Francesca; Canovas-Jorda, David; Zagoura, Dimitra; Price, Anna

    2017-06-09

    Human pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into various cell types that can be applied to human-based in vitro toxicity assays. One major advantage is that the reprogramming of somatic cells to produce human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) avoids the ethical and legislative issues related to the use of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). HiPSCs can be expanded and efficiently differentiated into different types of neuronal and glial cells, serving as test systems for toxicity testing and, in particular, for the assessment of different pathways involved in neurotoxicity. This work describes a protocol for the differentiation of hiPSCs into mixed cultures of neuronal and glial cells. The signaling pathways that are regulated and/or activated by neuronal differentiation are defined. This information is critical to the application of the cell model to the new toxicity testing paradigm, in which chemicals are assessed based on their ability to perturb biological pathways. As a proof of concept, rotenone, an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiratory complex I, was used to assess the activation of the Nrf2 signaling pathway, a key regulator of the antioxidant-response-element-(ARE)-driven cellular defense mechanism against oxidative stress.

  10. Human Neuronal Calcium Sensor-1 Protein Avoids Histidine Residues To Decrease pH Sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Yehong; Zhu, Yuzhen; Zou, Yu; Ma, Buyong; Nussinov, Ruth; Zhang, Qingwen

    2017-01-26

    pH is highly regulated in mammalian central nervous systems. Neuronal calcium sensor-1 (NCS-1) can interact with numerous target proteins. Compared to that in the NCS-1 protein of Caenorhabditis elegans, evolution has avoided the placement of histidine residues at positions 102 and 83 in the NCS-1 protein of humans and Xenopus laevis, possibly to decrease the conformational sensitivity to pH gradients in synaptic processes. We used all-atom molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the effects of amino acid substitutions between species on human NCS-1 by substituting Arg102 and Ser83 for histidine at neutral (R102H and S83H) and acidic pHs (R102H p and S83H p ). Our cumulative 5 μs simulations revealed that the R102H mutation slightly increases the structural flexibility of loop L2 and the R102H p mutation decreases protein stability. Community network analysis illustrates that the R102H and S83H mutations weaken the interdomain and strengthen the intradomain communications. Secondary structure contents in the S83H and S83H p mutants are similar to those in the wild type, whereas the global structural stabilities and salt-bridge probabilities decrease. This study highlights the conformational dynamics effects of the R102H and S83H mutations on the local structural flexibility and global stability of NCS-1, whereas protonated histidine decreases the stability of NCS-1. Thus, histidines at positions 102 and 83 may not be compatible with the function of NCS-1 whether in the neutral or protonated state.

  11. Imaging and quantifying ganglion cells and other transparent neurons in the living human retina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Zhuolin; Kurokawa, Kazuhiro; Zhang, Furu; Lee, John J; Miller, Donald T

    2017-11-28

    Ganglion cells (GCs) are fundamental to retinal neural circuitry, processing photoreceptor signals for transmission to the brain via their axons. However, much remains unknown about their role in vision and their vulnerability to disease leading to blindness. A m