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Sample records for individual neurons encode

  1. Single Neurons in the Avian Auditory Cortex Encode Individual Identity and Propagation Distance in Naturally Degraded Communication Calls.

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    Mouterde, Solveig C; Elie, Julie E; Mathevon, Nicolas; Theunissen, Frédéric E

    2017-03-29

    One of the most complex tasks performed by sensory systems is "scene analysis": the interpretation of complex signals as behaviorally relevant objects. The study of this problem, universal to species and sensory modalities, is particularly challenging in audition, where sounds from various sources and localizations, degraded by propagation through the environment, sum to form a single acoustical signal. Here we investigated in a songbird model, the zebra finch, the neural substrate for ranging and identifying a single source. We relied on ecologically and behaviorally relevant stimuli, contact calls, to investigate the neural discrimination of individual vocal signature as well as sound source distance when calls have been degraded through propagation in a natural environment. Performing electrophysiological recordings in anesthetized birds, we found neurons in the auditory forebrain that discriminate individual vocal signatures despite long-range degradation, as well as neurons discriminating propagation distance, with varying degrees of multiplexing between both information types. Moreover, the neural discrimination performance of individual identity was not affected by propagation-induced degradation beyond what was induced by the decreased intensity. For the first time, neurons with distance-invariant identity discrimination properties as well as distance-discriminant neurons are revealed in the avian auditory cortex. Because these neurons were recorded in animals that had prior experience neither with the vocalizers of the stimuli nor with long-range propagation of calls, we suggest that this neural population is part of a general-purpose system for vocalizer discrimination and ranging. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding how the brain makes sense of the multitude of stimuli that it continually receives in natural conditions is a challenge for scientists. Here we provide a new understanding of how the auditory system extracts behaviorally relevant information

  2. Encoding of Spatial Attention by Primate Prefrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensembles

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    Treue, Stefan

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Single neurons in the primate lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) encode information about the allocation of visual attention and the features of visual stimuli. However, how this compares to the performance of neuronal ensembles at encoding the same information is poorly understood. Here, we recorded the responses of neuronal ensembles in the LPFC of two macaque monkeys while they performed a task that required attending to one of two moving random dot patterns positioned in different hemifields and ignoring the other pattern. We found single units selective for the location of the attended stimulus as well as for its motion direction. To determine the coding of both variables in the population of recorded units, we used a linear classifier and progressively built neuronal ensembles by iteratively adding units according to their individual performance (best single units), or by iteratively adding units based on their contribution to the ensemble performance (best ensemble). For both methods, ensembles of relatively small sizes (n decoding performance relative to individual single units. However, the decoder reached similar performance using fewer neurons with the best ensemble building method compared with the best single units method. Our results indicate that neuronal ensembles within the LPFC encode more information about the attended spatial and nonspatial features of visual stimuli than individual neurons. They further suggest that efficient coding of attention can be achieved by relatively small neuronal ensembles characterized by a certain relationship between signal and noise correlation structures. PMID:29568798

  3. Error-backpropagation in temporally encoded networks of spiking neurons

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    S.M. Bohte (Sander); J.A. La Poutré (Han); J.N. Kok (Joost)

    2000-01-01

    textabstractFor a network of spiking neurons that encodes information in the timing of individual spike-times, we derive a supervised learning rule, emph{SpikeProp, akin to traditional error-backpropagation and show how to overcome the discontinuities introduced by thresholding. With this algorithm,

  4. Do dorsal raphe 5-HT neurons encode "beneficialness"?

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    Luo, Minmin; Li, Yi; Zhong, Weixin

    2016-11-01

    The neurotransmitter serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) affects numerous behavioral and physiological processes. Drugs that alter 5-HT signaling treat several major psychiatric disorders and may lead to widespread abuse. The dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) in the midbrain provides a majority of 5-HT for the forebrain. The importance of 5-HT signaling propels the search for a general theoretical framework under which the diverse functions of the DRN 5-HT neurons can be interpreted and additional therapeutic solutions may be developed. However, experimental data so far support several seeming irreconcilable theories, suggesting that 5-HT neurons mediate behavioral inhibition, aversive processing, or reward signaling. Here, we review recent progresses and propose that DRN 5-HT neurons encode "beneficialness" - how beneficial the current environmental context represents for an individual. Specifically, we speculate that the activity of these neurons reflects the possible net benefit of the current context as determined by p·R-C, in which p indicates reward probability, R the reward value, and C the cost. Through the widespread projections of these neurons to the forebrain, the beneficialness signal may reconfigure neural circuits to bias perception, boost positive emotions, and switch behavioral choices. The "beneficialness" hypothesis can explain many conflicting observations, and at the same time raises new questions. We suggest additional experiments that will help elucidate the exact computational functions of the DRN 5-HT neurons. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Noise and neuronal populations conspire to encode simple waveforms reliably

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    Parnas, B. R.

    1996-01-01

    Sensory systems rely on populations of neurons to encode information transduced at the periphery into meaningful patterns of neuronal population activity. This transduction occurs in the presence of intrinsic neuronal noise. This is fortunate. The presence of noise allows more reliable encoding of the temporal structure present in the stimulus than would be possible in a noise-free environment. Simulations with a parallel model of signal processing at the auditory periphery have been used to explore the effects of noise and a neuronal population on the encoding of signal information. The results show that, for a given set of neuronal modeling parameters and stimulus amplitude, there is an optimal amount of noise for stimulus encoding with maximum fidelity.

  6. Neuronal representation of individual heroin choices in the orbitofrontal cortex.

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    Guillem, Karine; Brenot, Viridiana; Durand, Audrey; Ahmed, Serge H

    2018-05-01

    Drug addiction is a harmful preference for drug use over and at the expense of other non-drug-related activities. We previously identified in the rat orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) a mechanism that influences individual preferences between cocaine use and an alternative action rewarded by a non-drug reward (i.e. sweet water). Here, we sought to test the generality of this mechanism to a different addictive drug, heroin. OFC neuronal activity was recorded while rats responded for heroin or the alternative non-drug reward separately or while they chose between the two. First, we found that heroin-rewarded and sweet water-rewarded actions were encoded by two non-overlapping OFC neuronal populations and that the relative size of the heroin population represented individual drug choices. Second, OFC neurons encoding the preferred action-which was the non-drug action in the large majority of individuals-progressively fired more than non-preferred action-coding neurons 1 second after the onset of choice trials and around 1 second before the preferred action was actually chosen, suggesting a pre-choice neuronal competition for action selection. Together with a previous study on cocaine choice, the present study on heroin choice reveals important commonalities in how OFC neurons encode individual drug choices and preferences across different classes of drugs. It also reveals some drug-specific differences in OFC encoding activity. Notably, the proportion of neurons that non-selectively encode both the drug and the non-drug reward was higher when the drug was heroin (present study) than when it was cocaine (previous study). We will discuss the potential functional significance of these commonalities and differences in OFC neuronal activity across different drugs for understanding drug choice. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  7. Dynamical Encoding by Networks of Competing Neuron Groups: Winnerless Competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rabinovich, M.; Volkovskii, A.; Lecanda, P.; Huerta, R.; Abarbanel, H. D. I.; Laurent, G.

    2001-01-01

    Following studies of olfactory processing in insects and fish, we investigate neural networks whose dynamics in phase space is represented by orbits near the heteroclinic connections between saddle regions (fixed points or limit cycles). These networks encode input information as trajectories along the heteroclinic connections. If there are N neurons in the network, the capacity is approximately e(N-1) ! , i.e., much larger than that of most traditional network structures. We show that a small winnerless competition network composed of FitzHugh-Nagumo spiking neurons efficiently transforms input information into a spatiotemporal output

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

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    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

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

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    Yu, Lianchun; Yu, Yuguo

    2017-11-01

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

  10. Thalamic neuron models encode stimulus information by burst-size modulation

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    Daniel Henry Elijah

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Thalamic neurons have been long assumed to fire in tonic mode during perceptive states, and in burst mode during sleep and unconsciousness. However, recent evidence suggests that bursts may also be relevant in the encoding of sensory information. Here we explore the neural code of such thalamic bursts. In order to assess whether the burst code is generic or whether it depends on the detailed properties of each bursting neuron, we analyzed two neuron models incorporating different levels of biological detail. One of the models contained no information of the biophysical processes entailed in spike generation, and described neuron activity at a phenomenological level. The second model represented the evolution of the individual ionic conductances involved in spiking and bursting, and required a large number of parameters. We analyzed the models' input selectivity using reverse correlation methods and information theory. We found that n-spike bursts from both models transmit information by modulating their spike count in response to changes to instantaneous input features, such as slope, phase, amplitude, etc. The stimulus feature that is most efficiently encoded by bursts, however, need not coincide with one of such classical features. We therefore searched for the optimal feature among all those that could be expressed as a linear transformation of the time-dependent input current. We found that bursting neurons transmitted 6 times more information about such more general features. The relevant events in the stimulus were located in a time window spanning ~100 ms before and ~20 ms after burst onset. Most importantly, the neural code employed by the simple and the biologically realistic models was largely the same, implying that the simple thalamic neuron model contains the essential ingredients that account for the computational properties of the thalamic burst code. Thus, our results suggest the n-spike burst code is a general property of

  11. Thalamic neuron models encode stimulus information by burst-size modulation.

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    Elijah, Daniel H; Samengo, Inés; Montemurro, Marcelo A

    2015-01-01

    Thalamic neurons have been long assumed to fire in tonic mode during perceptive states, and in burst mode during sleep and unconsciousness. However, recent evidence suggests that bursts may also be relevant in the encoding of sensory information. Here, we explore the neural code of such thalamic bursts. In order to assess whether the burst code is generic or whether it depends on the detailed properties of each bursting neuron, we analyzed two neuron models incorporating different levels of biological detail. One of the models contained no information of the biophysical processes entailed in spike generation, and described neuron activity at a phenomenological level. The second model represented the evolution of the individual ionic conductances involved in spiking and bursting, and required a large number of parameters. We analyzed the models' input selectivity using reverse correlation methods and information theory. We found that n-spike bursts from both models transmit information by modulating their spike count in response to changes to instantaneous input features, such as slope, phase, amplitude, etc. The stimulus feature that is most efficiently encoded by bursts, however, need not coincide with one of such classical features. We therefore searched for the optimal feature among all those that could be expressed as a linear transformation of the time-dependent input current. We found that bursting neurons transmitted 6 times more information about such more general features. The relevant events in the stimulus were located in a time window spanning ~100 ms before and ~20 ms after burst onset. Most importantly, the neural code employed by the simple and the biologically realistic models was largely the same, implying that the simple thalamic neuron model contains the essential ingredients that account for the computational properties of the thalamic burst code. Thus, our results suggest the n-spike burst code is a general property of thalamic neurons.

  12. Injection of fully-defined signal mixtures: a novel high-throughput tool to study neuronal encoding and computations.

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    Vladimir Ilin

    Full Text Available Understanding of how neurons transform fluctuations of membrane potential, reflecting input activity, into spike responses, which communicate the ultimate results of single-neuron computation, is one of the central challenges for cellular and computational neuroscience. To study this transformation under controlled conditions, previous work has used a signal immersed in noise paradigm where neurons are injected with a current consisting of fluctuating noise that mimics on-going synaptic activity and a systematic signal whose transmission is studied. One limitation of this established paradigm is that it is designed to examine the encoding of only one signal under a specific, repeated condition. As a result, characterizing how encoding depends on neuronal properties, signal parameters, and the interaction of multiple inputs is cumbersome. Here we introduce a novel fully-defined signal mixture paradigm, which allows us to overcome these problems. In this paradigm, current for injection is synthetized as a sum of artificial postsynaptic currents (PSCs resulting from the activity of a large population of model presynaptic neurons. PSCs from any presynaptic neuron(s can be now considered as "signal", while the sum of all other inputs is considered as "noise". This allows us to study the encoding of a large number of different signals in a single experiment, thus dramatically increasing the throughput of data acquisition. Using this novel paradigm, we characterize the detection of excitatory and inhibitory PSCs from neuronal spike responses over a wide range of amplitudes and firing-rates. We show, that for moderately-sized neuronal populations the detectability of individual inputs is higher for excitatory than for inhibitory inputs during the 2-5 ms following PSC onset, but becomes comparable after 7-8 ms. This transient imbalance of sensitivity in favor of excitation may enhance propagation of balanced signals through neuronal networks. Finally, we

  13. Duration of inhibition of ventral tegmental area dopamine neurons encodes a level of conditioned fear.

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    Mileykovskiy, Boris; Morales, Marisela

    2011-05-18

    It is widely accepted that midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons encode actual and expected reward values by phasic alterations in firing rate. However, how DA neurons encode negative events in the environment is still unclear because some DA neurons appear to be depressed and others excited by aversive stimuli. Here, we show that exposing fear-conditioned rats to stimuli predicting electrical shock elicited three types of biphasic responses, each of which contained an inhibitory pause, in neurochemically identified ventral tegmental area (VTA) DA neurons. The duration of the inhibitory pause in these responses of VTA DA neurons was in direct proportion to the increase in respiratory rate reflecting the level of conditioned fear. Our results suggest that the duration of inhibition of VTA DA neurons encodes negative emotional values of signals predicting aversive events in the environment.

  14. The dependence of neuronal encoding efficiency on Hebbian plasticity and homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release

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    Faghihi, Faramarz; Moustafa, Ahmed A.

    2015-01-01

    Synapses act as information filters by different molecular mechanisms including retrograde messenger that affect neuronal spiking activity. One of the well-known effects of retrograde messenger in presynaptic neurons is a change of the probability of neurotransmitter release. Hebbian learning describe a strengthening of a synapse between a presynaptic input onto a postsynaptic neuron when both pre- and postsynaptic neurons are coactive. In this work, a theory of homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release by retrograde messenger and Hebbian plasticity in neuronal encoding is presented. Encoding efficiency was measured for different synaptic conditions. In order to gain high encoding efficiency, the spiking pattern of a neuron should be dependent on the intensity of the input and show low levels of noise. In this work, we represent spiking trains as zeros and ones (corresponding to non-spike or spike in a time bin, respectively) as words with length equal to three. Then the frequency of each word (here eight words) is measured using spiking trains. These frequencies are used to measure neuronal efficiency in different conditions and for different parameter values. Results show that neurons that have synapses acting as band-pass filters show the highest efficiency to encode their input when both Hebbian mechanism and homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release exist in synapses. Specifically, the integration of homeostatic regulation of feedback inhibition with Hebbian mechanism and homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release in the synapses leads to even higher efficiency when high stimulus intensity is presented to the neurons. However, neurons with synapses acting as high-pass filters show no remarkable increase in encoding efficiency for all simulated synaptic plasticity mechanisms. This study demonstrates the importance of cooperation of Hebbian mechanism with regulation of neurotransmitter release induced by rapid diffused retrograde

  15. Neurons in Primary Motor Cortex Encode Hand Orientation in a Reach-to-Grasp Task.

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    Ma, Chaolin; Ma, Xuan; Fan, Jing; He, Jiping

    2017-08-01

    It is disputed whether those neurons in the primary motor cortex (M1) that encode hand orientation constitute an independent channel for orientation control in reach-to-grasp behaviors. Here, we trained two monkeys to reach forward and grasp objects positioned in the frontal plane at different orientation angles, and simultaneously recorded the activity of M1 neurons. Among the 2235 neurons recorded in M1, we found that 18.7% had a high correlation exclusively with hand orientation, 15.9% with movement direction, and 29.5% with both movement direction and hand orientation. The distributions of neurons encoding hand orientation and those encoding movement direction were not uniform but coexisted in the same region. The trajectory of hand rotation was reproduced by the firing patterns of the orientation-related neurons independent of the hand reaching direction. These results suggest that hand orientation is an independent component for the control of reaching and grasping activity.

  16. Encoding of Naturalistic Optic Flow by a Population of Blowfly Motion-Sensitive Neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karmeier, K.; Hateren, J.H. van; Kern, R.; Egelhaaf, M.

    In sensory systems information is encoded by the activity of populations of neurons. To analyze the coding properties of neuronal populations sensory stimuli have usually been used that were much simpler than those encountered in real life. It has been possible only recently to stimulate visual

  17. Fast two-photon imaging of subcellular voltage dynamics in neuronal tissue with genetically encoded indicators.

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    Chamberland, Simon; Yang, Helen H; Pan, Michael M; Evans, Stephen W; Guan, Sihui; Chavarha, Mariya; Yang, Ying; Salesse, Charleen; Wu, Haodi; Wu, Joseph C; Clandinin, Thomas R; Toth, Katalin; Lin, Michael Z; St-Pierre, François

    2017-07-27

    Monitoring voltage dynamics in defined neurons deep in the brain is critical for unraveling the function of neuronal circuits but is challenging due to the limited performance of existing tools. In particular, while genetically encoded voltage indicators have shown promise for optical detection of voltage transients, many indicators exhibit low sensitivity when imaged under two-photon illumination. Previous studies thus fell short of visualizing voltage dynamics in individual neurons in single trials. Here, we report ASAP2s, a novel voltage indicator with improved sensitivity. By imaging ASAP2s using random-access multi-photon microscopy, we demonstrate robust single-trial detection of action potentials in organotypic slice cultures. We also show that ASAP2s enables two-photon imaging of graded potentials in organotypic slice cultures and in Drosophila . These results demonstrate that the combination of ASAP2s and fast two-photon imaging methods enables detection of neural electrical activity with subcellular spatial resolution and millisecond-timescale precision.

  18. The dependence of neuronal encoding efficiency on Hebbian plasticity and homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release

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    Faramarz eFaghihi

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Synapses act as information filters by different molecular mechanisms including retrograde messenger that affect neuronal spiking activity. One of the well-known effects of retrograde messenger in presynaptic neurons is a change of the probability of neurotransmitter release. Hebbian learning describe a strengthening of a synapse between a presynaptic input onto a postsynaptic neuron when both pre- and postsynaptic neurons are coactive. In this work, a theory of homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release by retrograde messenger and Hebbian plasticity in neuronal encoding is presented. Encoding efficiency was measured for different synaptic conditions. In order to gain high encoding efficiency, the spiking pattern of a neuron should be dependent on the intensity of the input and show low levels of noise. In this work, we represent spiking trains as zeros and ones (corresponding to non-spike or spike in a time bin, respectively as words with length equal to three. Then the frequency of each word (here eight words is measured using spiking trains. These frequencies are used to measure neuronal efficiency in different conditions and for different parameter values. Results show that neurons that have synapses acting as band-pass filters show the highest efficiency to encode their input when both Hebbian mechanism and homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release exist in synapses. Specifically, the integration of homeostatic regulation of feedback inhibition with Hebbian mechanism and homeostatic regulation of neurotransmitter release in the synapses leads to even higher efficiency when high stimulus intensity is presented to the neurons. However, neurons with synapses acting as high-pass filters show no remarkable increase in encoding efficiency for all simulated synaptic plasticity mechanisms.

  19. Encoding audio motion: spatial impairment in early blind individuals

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    Sara eFinocchietti

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The consequence of blindness on auditory spatial localization has been an interesting issue of research in the last decade providing mixed results. Enhanced auditory spatial skills in individuals with visual impairment have been reported by multiple studies, while some aspects of spatial hearing seem to be impaired in the absence of vision. In this study, the ability to encode the trajectory of a 2 dimensional sound motion, reproducing the complete movement, and reaching the correct end-point sound position, is evaluated in 12 early blind individuals, 8 late blind individuals, and 20 age-matched sighted blindfolded controls. Early blind individuals correctly determine the direction of the sound motion on the horizontal axis, but show a clear deficit in encoding the sound motion in the lower side of the plane. On the contrary, late blind individuals and blindfolded controls perform much better with no deficit in the lower side of the plane. In fact the mean localization error resulted 271 ± 10 mm for early blind individuals, 65 ± 4 mm for late blind individuals, and 68 ± 2 mm for sighted blindfolded controls.These results support the hypothesis that i it exists a trade-off between the development of enhanced perceptual abilities and role of vision in the sound localization abilities of early blind individuals, and ii the visual information is fundamental in calibrating some aspects of the representation of auditory space in the brain.

  20. Strategic neuronal encoding in medial prefrontal cortex of spatial working memory in the T-maze.

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    Yang, Yang; Mailman, Richard B

    2018-05-02

    Strategic neuronal encoding in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of the rat was correlated with spatial working memory (sWM) assessed by behavior in the T-maze. Neurons increased their firing rate around choice, with the increase largely occurring before choice as a prospective encode of behavior. This could be classified as sensitive-to-spatial information or sensitive-to-choice outcome. The sensitivity-to-spatial choice was defined by distinct firing rate changes before left- or right-choice. The percentage of left-choice sensitive neurons was not different from the percentage of right-choice sensitive neurons. There was also location-related neuronal activity in which neurons fired at distinct rates when rats were in a left- or right-location. More neurons were sensitive to left-location, as most of them were recorded from rats preferring to enter the right-location. The sensitivity to outcome was defined by a distinct firing rate around correct or error choice. Significantly more neurons were sensitive to error outcome, and, among these, more preferred to encode prospectively, increasing firing in advance of an error outcome. Similar to single neuron activity, the mPFC enhanced its neuronal network as measured by the oscillation of local field potential. The maximum power of oscillation was around choice, and occurred slightly earlier before error versus before correct outcome. Thus, sWM modulation in the mPFC includes not only spatial, but also outcome-related inputs, and neuronal ensembles monitor behavioral outcome to make strategic adjustments ensuring successful task performance. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Single neurons in prefrontal cortex encode abstract rules.

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    Wallis, J D; Anderson, K C; Miller, E K

    2001-06-21

    The ability to abstract principles or rules from direct experience allows behaviour to extend beyond specific circumstances to general situations. For example, we learn the 'rules' for restaurant dining from specific experiences and can then apply them in new restaurants. The use of such rules is thought to depend on the prefrontal cortex (PFC) because its damage often results in difficulty in following rules. Here we explore its neural basis by recording from single neurons in the PFC of monkeys trained to use two abstract rules. They were required to indicate whether two successively presented pictures were the same or different depending on which rule was currently in effect. The monkeys performed this task with new pictures, thus showing that they had learned two general principles that could be applied to stimuli that they had not yet experienced. The most prevalent neuronal activity observed in the PFC reflected the coding of these abstract rules.

  2. Populations of striatal medium spiny neurons encode vibrotactile frequency in rats: modulation by slow wave oscillations.

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    Hawking, Thomas G; Gerdjikov, Todor V

    2013-01-01

    Dorsolateral striatum (DLS) is implicated in tactile perception and receives strong projections from somatosensory cortex. However, the sensory representations encoded by striatal projection neurons are not well understood. Here we characterized the contribution of DLS to the encoding of vibrotactile information in rats by assessing striatal responses to precise frequency stimuli delivered to a single vibrissa. We applied stimuli in a frequency range (45-90 Hz) that evokes discriminable percepts and carries most of the power of vibrissa vibration elicited by a range of complex fine textures. Both medium spiny neurons and evoked potentials showed tactile responses that were modulated by slow wave oscillations. Furthermore, medium spiny neuron population responses represented stimulus frequency on par with previously reported behavioral benchmarks. Our results suggest that striatum encodes frequency information of vibrotactile stimuli which is dynamically modulated by ongoing brain state.

  3. Restoring the encoding properties of a stochastic neuron model by an exogenous noise

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    Paffi, Alessandra; Camera, Francesca; Apollonio, Francesca; d'Inzeo, Guglielmo; Liberti, Micaela

    2015-01-01

    Here we evaluate the possibility of improving the encoding properties of an impaired neuronal system by superimposing an exogenous noise to an external electric stimulation signal. The approach is based on the use of mathematical neuron models consisting of stochastic HH-like circuit, where the impairment of the endogenous presynaptic inputs is described as a subthreshold injected current and the exogenous stimulation signal is a sinusoidal voltage perturbation across the membrane. Our results indicate that a correlated Gaussian noise, added to the sinusoidal signal can significantly increase the encoding properties of the impaired system, through the Stochastic Resonance (SR) phenomenon. These results suggest that an exogenous noise, suitably tailored, could improve the efficacy of those stimulation techniques used in neuronal systems, where the presynaptic sensory neurons are impaired and have to be artificially bypassed. PMID:25999845

  4. Restoring the encoding properties of a stochastic neuron model by an exogenous noise

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    Alessandra ePaffi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Here we evaluate the possibility of improving the encoding properties of an impaired neuronal system by superimposing an exogenous noise to an external electric stimulation signal. The approach is based on the use of mathematical neuron models consisting of stochastic HH-like circuit, where the impairment of the endogenous presynaptic inputs is described as a subthreshold injected current and the exogenous stimulation signal is a sinusoidal voltage perturbation across the membrane. Our results indicate that a correlated Gaussian noise, added to the sinusoidal signal can significantly increase the encoding properties of the impaired system, through the Stochastic Resonance (SR phenomenon. These results suggest that an exogenous noise, suitably tailored, could improve the efficacy of those stimulation techniques used in neuronal systems, where the presynaptic sensory neurons are impaired and have to be artificially bypassed.

  5. Dopaminergic neurons encode a distributed, asymmetric representation of temperature in Drosophila.

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    Tomchik, Seth M

    2013-01-30

    Dopaminergic circuits modulate a wide variety of innate and learned behaviors in animals, including olfactory associative learning, arousal, and temperature-preference behavior. It is not known whether distinct or overlapping sets of dopaminergic neurons modulate these behaviors. Here, I have functionally characterized the dopaminergic circuits innervating the Drosophila mushroom body with in vivo calcium imaging and conditional silencing of genetically defined subsets of neurons. Distinct subsets of PPL1 dopaminergic neurons innervating the vertical lobes of the mushroom body responded to decreases in temperature, but not increases, with rapidly adapting bursts of activity. PAM neurons innervating the horizontal lobes did not respond to temperature shifts. Ablation of the antennae and maxillary palps reduced, but did not eliminate, the responses. Genetic silencing of dopaminergic neurons innervating the vertical mushroom body lobes substantially reduced behavioral cold avoidance, but silencing smaller subsets of these neurons had no effect. These data demonstrate that overlapping dopaminergic circuits encode a broadly distributed, asymmetric representation of temperature that overlays regions implicated previously in learning, memory, and forgetting. Thus, diverse behaviors engage overlapping sets of dopaminergic neurons that encode multimodal stimuli and innervate a single anatomical target, the mushroom body.

  6. Nucleus accumbens neurons encode Pavlovian approach behaviors: evidence from an autoshaping paradigm.

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    Day, Jeremy J; Wheeler, Robert A; Roitman, Mitchell F; Carelli, Regina M

    2006-03-01

    Environmental stimuli predictive of appetitive events can elicit Pavlovian approach responses that enhance an organism's ability to track and secure natural rewards, but may also contribute to the compulsive nature of drug addiction. Here, we examined the activity of individual nucleus accumbens (NAc) neurons during an autoshaping paradigm. One conditioned stimulus (CS+, a retractable lever presented for 10 s) was immediately followed by the delivery of a 45-mg sucrose pellet to a food receptacle, while another stimulus (CS-, a separate retractable lever presented for 10 s) was never followed by sucrose. Approach responses directed at the CS+ and CS- were recorded as lever presses and had no experimental consequence. Rats (n = 9) selectively approached the CS+ on more than 80% of trials and were surgically prepared for electrophysiological recording. Of 76 NAc neurons, 57 cells (75%) exhibited increases and/or decreases in firing rate (i.e. termed 'phasically active') during the CS+ presentation and corresponding approach response. Forty-seven percent of phasically active cells (27 out of 57) were characterized by time-locked but transient increases in cell firing, while 53% (30 out of 57) showed a significant reduction in firing for the duration of the CS+. In contrast, the same excitatory subpopulation exhibited smaller increases in activity relative to CS- onset, while the inhibitory subpopulation showed no change in firing during the CS- period. The magnitude and prevalence of cue-related neural responses reported here indicates that the NAc encodes biologically significant, repetitive approach responses that may model the compulsive nature of drug addiction in humans.

  7. Cue combination encoding via contextual modulation of V1 and V2 neurons

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    Zarella MD

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Mark D Zarella, Daniel Y Ts’o Department of Neurosurgery, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA Abstract: Neurons in early visual cortical areas encode the local properties of a stimulus in a number of different feature dimensions such as color, orientation, and motion. It has been shown, however, that stimuli presented well beyond the confines of the classical receptive field can augment these responses in a way that emphasizes these local attributes within the greater context of the visual scene. This mechanism imparts global information to cells that are otherwise considered local feature detectors and can potentially serve as an important foundation for surface segmentation, texture representation, and figure–ground segregation. The role of early visual cortex toward these functions remains somewhat of an enigma, as it is unclear how surface segmentation cues are integrated from multiple feature dimensions. We examined the impact of orientation- and motion-defined surface segmentation cues in V1 and V2 neurons using a stimulus in which the two features are completely separable. We find that, although some cells are modulated in a cue-invariant manner, many cells are influenced by only one cue or the other. Furthermore, cells that are modulated by both cues tend to be more strongly affected when both cues are presented together than when presented individually. These results demonstrate two mechanisms by which cue combinations can enhance salience. We find that feature-specific populations are more frequently encountered in V1, while cue additivity is more prominent in V2. These results highlight how two strongly interconnected areas at different stages in the cortical hierarchy can potentially contribute to scene segmentation. Keywords: striate, extrastriate, extraclassical, texture, segmentation

  8. How does the sparse memory "engram" neurons encode the memory of a spatial-temporal event?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Song Guan

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Episodic memory in human brain is not a fixed 2-D picture but a highly dynamic movie serial, integrating information at both the temporal and the spatial domains. Recent studies in neuroscience reveal that memory storage and recall are closely related to the activities in discrete memory engram (trace neurons within the dentate gyrus region of hippocampus and the layer 2/3 of neocortex. More strikingly, optogenetic reactivation of those memory trace neurons is able to trigger the recall of naturally encoded memory. It is still unknown how the discrete memory traces encode and reactivate the memory. Considering a particular memory normally represents a natural event, which consists of information at both the temporal and spatial domains, it is unknown how the discrete trace neurons could reconstitute such enriched information in the brain. Furthermore, as the optogenetic-stimuli induced recall of memory did not depend on firing pattern of the memory traces, it is most likely that the spatial activation pattern, but not the temporal activation pattern of the discrete memory trace neurons encodes the memory in the brain. How does the neural circuit convert the activities in the spatial domain into the temporal domain to reconstitute memory of a natural event? By reviewing the literature, here we present how the memory engram (trace neurons are selected and consolidated in the brain. Then, we will discuss the main challenges in the memory trace theory. In the end, we will provide a plausible model of memory trace cell network, underlying the conversion of neural activities between the spatial domain and the temporal domain. We will also discuss on how the activation of sparse memory trace neurons might trigger the replay of neural activities in specific temporal patterns.

  9. Separate populations of neurons in ventral striatum encode value and motivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bissonette, Gregory B; Burton, Amanda C; Gentry, Ronny N; Goldstein, Brandon L; Hearn, Taylor N; Barnett, Brian R; Kashtelyan, Vadim; Roesch, Matthew R

    2013-01-01

    Neurons in the ventral striatum (VS) fire to cues that predict differently valued rewards. It is unclear whether this activity represents the value associated with the expected reward or the level of motivation induced by reward anticipation. To distinguish between the two, we trained rats on a task in which we varied value independently from motivation by manipulating the size of the reward expected on correct trials and the threat of punishment expected upon errors. We found that separate populations of neurons in VS encode expected value and motivation.

  10. Cochlear nucleus neuron analysis in individuals with presbycusis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinojosa, Raul; Nelson, Erik G

    2011-12-01

    The aim of this study was to analyze the cochlear nucleus neuron population in individuals with normal hearing and presbycusis. Retrospective study of archival human temporal bone and brain stem tissues. Using strict inclusion criteria, the temporal bones and cochlear nuclei from six normal hearing individuals and four individuals with presbycusis were selected for analysis. The spiral ganglion cell population, the cochlear nucleus neuron population, and the cell body size of the neurons were quantified in these cases. A relationship was not observed between age and the spiral ganglion cell population in the normal hearing group. Presbycusis subjects exhibited a reduced spiral ganglion cell population. The mean cochlear nucleus neuron population was observed to be significantly higher in the presbycusis group (mean ± standard deviation: 114,170 ± 10,570) compared to the normal hearing group (91,470 ± 9,510) (P = .019). This difference was predominantly the result of greater multipolar and granule cell neuron populations. Only the fusiform neuron type exhibited a significantly different mean cell body cross-sectional area between the normal hearing group (242 ± 27) and the presbycusis group (300 ± 37) (P = .033). This investigation is the first time, to our knowledge, that the populations of the eight neuron types in the cochlear nucleus have been quantified in both normal hearing individuals and individuals with presbycusis. The data support the concept that presbycusis is not an effect of aging alone but instead may be a condition that predisposes one to hearing loss with advancing age and is characterized by a congenitally elevated cochlear nucleus neuron population. Copyright © 2011 The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society, Inc.

  11. Different populations of subthalamic neurons encode cocaine vs. sucrose reward and predict future error.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lardeux, Sylvie; Paleressompoulle, Dany; Pernaud, Remy; Cador, Martine; Baunez, Christelle

    2013-10-01

    The search for treatment of cocaine addiction raises the challenge to find a way to diminish motivation for the drug without decreasing it for natural rewards. Subthalamic nucleus (STN) inactivation decreases motivation for cocaine while increasing motivation for food, suggesting that STN can dissociate different rewards. Here, we investigated how rat STN neurons respond to cues predicting cocaine or sucrose and to reward delivery while rats are performing a discriminative stimuli task. We show that different neuronal populations of STN neurons encode cocaine and sucrose. In addition, we show that STN activity at the cue onset predicts future error. When changing the reward predicted unexpectedly, STN neurons show capacities of adaptation, suggesting a role in reward-prediction error. Furthermore, some STN neurons show a response to executive error (i.e., "oops neurons") that is specific to the missed reward. These results position the STN as a nexus where natural rewards and drugs of abuse are coded differentially and can influence the performance. Therefore, STN can be viewed as a structure where action could be taken for the treatment of cocaine addiction.

  12. Organization of Valence-Encoding and Projection-Defined Neurons in the Basolateral Amygdala

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    Anna Beyeler

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available The basolateral amygdala (BLA mediates associative learning for both fear and reward. Accumulating evidence supports the notion that different BLA projections distinctly alter motivated behavior, including projections to the nucleus accumbens (NAc, medial aspect of the central amygdala (CeM, and ventral hippocampus (vHPC. Although there is consensus regarding the existence of distinct subsets of BLA neurons encoding positive or negative valence, controversy remains regarding the anatomical arrangement of these populations. First, we map the location of more than 1,000 neurons distributed across the BLA and recorded during a Pavlovian discrimination task. Next, we determine the location of projection-defined neurons labeled with retrograde tracers and use CLARITY to reveal the axonal path in 3-dimensional space. Finally, we examine the local influence of each projection-defined populations within the BLA. Understanding the functional and topographical organization of circuits underlying valence assignment could reveal fundamental principles about emotional processing.

  13. Genetically encoded proton sensors reveal activity-dependent pH changes in neurons

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    Joseph Valentino Raimondo

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The regulation of hydrogen ion concentration (pH is fundamental to cell viability, metabolism and enzymatic function. Within the nervous system, the control of pH is also involved in diverse and dynamic processes including development, synaptic transmission and the control of network excitability. As pH affects neuronal activity, and can also itself be altered by neuronal activity, the existence of tools to accurately measure hydrogen ion fluctuations is important for understanding the role pH plays under physiological and pathological conditions. Outside of their use as a marker of synaptic release, genetically encoded pH sensors have not been utilised to study hydrogen ion fluxes associated with network activity. By combining whole-cell patch clamp with simultaneous two-photon or confocal imaging, we quantified the amplitude and time course of neuronal, intracellular, acidic transients evoked by epileptiform activity in two separate in vitro models of temporal lobe epilepsy. In doing so, we demonstrate the suitability of three genetically encoded pH sensors: deGFP4, E2GFP and Cl-sensor for investigating activity-dependent pH changes at the level of single neurons.

  14. Genetically encoded proton sensors reveal activity-dependent pH changes in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimondo, Joseph V; Irkle, Agnese; Wefelmeyer, Winnie; Newey, Sarah E; Akerman, Colin J

    2012-01-01

    The regulation of hydrogen ion concentration (pH) is fundamental to cell viability, metabolism, and enzymatic function. Within the nervous system, the control of pH is also involved in diverse and dynamic processes including development, synaptic transmission, and the control of network excitability. As pH affects neuronal activity, and can also itself be altered by neuronal activity, the existence of tools to accurately measure hydrogen ion fluctuations is important for understanding the role pH plays under physiological and pathological conditions. Outside of their use as a marker of synaptic release, genetically encoded pH sensors have not been utilized to study hydrogen ion fluxes associated with network activity. By combining whole-cell patch clamp with simultaneous two-photon or confocal imaging, we quantified the amplitude and time course of neuronal, intracellular, acidic transients evoked by epileptiform activity in two separate in vitro models of temporal lobe epilepsy. In doing so, we demonstrate the suitability of three genetically encoded pH sensors: deGFP4, E(2)GFP, and Cl-sensor for investigating activity-dependent pH changes at the level of single neurons.

  15. Neurons within the trigeminal mesencephalic nucleus encode for the kinematic parameters of the whisker pad macrovibrissae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mameli, Ombretta; Caria, Marcello A; Biagi, Francesca; Zedda, Marco; Farina, Vittorio

    2017-05-01

    It has been recently shown in rats that spontaneous movements of whisker pad macrovibrissae elicited evoked responses in the trigeminal mesencephalic nucleus (Me5). In the present study, electrophysiological and neuroanatomical experiments were performed in anesthetized rats to evaluate whether, besides the whisker displacement per se, the Me5 neurons are also involved in encoding the kinematic properties of macrovibrissae movements, and also whether, as reported for the trigeminal ganglion, even within the Me5 nucleus exists a neuroanatomical representation of the whisker pad macrovibrissae. Extracellular electrical activity of single Me5 neurons was recorded before, during, and after mechanical deflection of the ipsilateral whisker pad macrovibrissae in different directions, and with different velocities and amplitudes. In several groups of animals, single or multiple injections of the tracer Dil were performed into the whisker pad of one side, in close proximity to the vibrissae follicles, in order to label the peripheral terminals of the Me5 neurons innervating the macrovibrissae (whisking-neurons), and therefore, the respective perikaria within the nucleus. Results showed that: (1) the whisker pad macrovibrissae were represented in the medial-caudal part of the Me5 nucleus by a single cluster of cells whose number seemed to match that of the macrovibrissae; (2) macrovibrissae mechanical deflection elicited significant responses in the Me5 whisking-neurons, which were related to the direction, amplitude, and frequency of the applied deflection. The specific functional role of Me5 neurons involved in encoding proprioceptive information arising from the macrovibrissae movements is discussed within the framework of the whole trigeminal nuclei activities. © 2017 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

  16. Networks of VTA Neurons Encode Real-Time Information about Uncertain Numbers of Actions Executed to Earn a Reward

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    Jesse Wood

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Multiple and unpredictable numbers of actions are often required to achieve a goal. In order to organize behavior and allocate effort so that optimal behavioral policies can be selected, it is necessary to continually monitor ongoing actions. Real-time processing of information related to actions and outcomes is typically assigned to the prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia, but also depends on midbrain regions, especially the ventral tegmental area (VTA. We were interested in how individual VTA neurons, as well as networks within the VTA, encode salient events when an unpredictable number of serial actions are required to obtain a reward. We recorded from ensembles of putative dopamine and non-dopamine neurons in the VTA as animals performed multiple cued trials in a recording session where, in each trial, serial actions were randomly rewarded. While averaging population activity did not reveal a response pattern, we observed that different neurons were selectively tuned to low, medium, or high numbered actions in a trial. This preferential tuning of putative dopamine and non-dopamine VTA neurons to different subsets of actions in a trial allowed information about binned action number to be decoded from the ensemble activity. At the network level, tuning curve similarity was positively associated with action-evoked noise correlations, suggesting that action number selectivity reflects functional connectivity within these networks. Analysis of phasic responses to cue and reward revealed that the requirement to execute multiple and uncertain numbers of actions weakens both cue-evoked responses and cue-reward response correlation. The functional connectivity and ensemble coding scheme that we observe here may allow VTA neurons to cooperatively provide a real-time account of ongoing behavior. These computations may be critical to cognitive and motivational functions that have long been associated with VTA dopamine neurons.

  17. Premotor neurons encode torsional eye velocity during smooth-pursuit eye movements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelaki, Dora E.; Dickman, J. David

    2003-01-01

    Responses to horizontal and vertical ocular pursuit and head and body rotation in multiple planes were recorded in eye movement-sensitive neurons in the rostral vestibular nuclei (VN) of two rhesus monkeys. When tested during pursuit through primary eye position, the majority of the cells preferred either horizontal or vertical target motion. During pursuit of targets that moved horizontally at different vertical eccentricities or vertically at different horizontal eccentricities, eye angular velocity has been shown to include a torsional component the amplitude of which is proportional to half the gaze angle ("half-angle rule" of Listing's law). Approximately half of the neurons, the majority of which were characterized as "vertical" during pursuit through primary position, exhibited significant changes in their response gain and/or phase as a function of gaze eccentricity during pursuit, as if they were also sensitive to torsional eye velocity. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed a significant contribution of torsional eye movement sensitivity to the responsiveness of the cells. These findings suggest that many VN neurons encode three-dimensional angular velocity, rather than the two-dimensional derivative of eye position, during smooth-pursuit eye movements. Although no clear clustering of pursuit preferred-direction vectors along the semicircular canal axes was observed, the sensitivity of VN neurons to torsional eye movements might reflect a preservation of similar premotor coding of visual and vestibular-driven slow eye movements for both lateral-eyed and foveate species.

  18. Imaging activity in astrocytes and neurons with genetically encoded calcium indicators following in utero electroporation

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    J. Michael eGee

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Complex interactions between networks of astrocytes and neurons are beginning to be appreciated, but remain poorly understood. Transgenic mice expressing fluorescent protein reporters of cellular activity, such as the GCaMP family of genetically encoded calcium indicators, have been used to explore network behavior. However, in some cases, it may be desirable to use long-established rat models that closely mimic particular aspects of human conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and the development of epilepsy following status epilepticus. Methods for expressing reporter proteins in the rat brain are relatively limited. Transgenic rat technologies exist but are fairly immature. Viral-mediated expression is robust but unstable, requires invasive injections, and only works well for fairly small genes (< 5 kb. In utero electroporation offers a valuable alternative. IUE is a proven method for transfecting populations of astrocytes and neurons in the rat brain without the strict limitations on transgene size. We built a toolset of IUE plasmids carrying GCaMP variants 3, 6s or 6f driven by CAG and targeted to the cytosol or the plasma membrane. Because low baseline fluorescence of GCaMP can hinder identification of transfected cells, we included the option of co-expressing a cytosolic tdTomato protein. A binary system consisting of a plasmid carrying a piggyBac inverted terminal repeat-flanked CAG-GCaMP-IRES-tdTomato cassette and a separate plasmid encoding for expression of piggyBac transposase was employed to stably express GCaMP and tdTomato. The plasmids were co-electroporated on embryonic days 13.5-14.5 and astrocytic and neuronal activity was subsequently imaged in acute or cultured brain slices prepared from the cortex or hippocampus. Large spontaneous transients were detected in slices obtained from rats of varying ages up to 127 days. In this report, we demonstrate the utility of this toolset for interrogating astrocytic and neuronal

  19. Connectivity and dynamics of neuronal networks as defined by the shape of individual neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahnert, Sebastian E; A N Travencolo, Bruno; Costa, Luciano da Fontoura

    2009-01-01

    Biological neuronal networks constitute a special class of dynamical systems, as they are formed by individual geometrical components, namely the neurons. In the existing literature, relatively little attention has been given to the influence of neuron shape on the overall connectivity and dynamics of the emerging networks. The current work addresses this issue by considering simplified neuronal shapes consisting of circular regions (soma/axons) with spokes (dendrites). Networks are grown by placing these patterns randomly in the two-dimensional (2D) plane and establishing connections whenever a piece of dendrite falls inside an axon. Several topological and dynamical properties of the resulting graph are measured, including the degree distribution, clustering coefficients, symmetry of connections, size of the largest connected component, as well as three hierarchical measurements of the local topology. By varying the number of processes of the individual basic patterns, we can quantify relationships between the individual neuronal shape and the topological and dynamical features of the networks. Integrate-and-fire dynamics on these networks is also investigated with respect to transient activation from a source node, indicating that long-range connections play an important role in the propagation of avalanches.

  20. Distinct Developmental Origins Manifest in the Specialized Encoding of Movement by Adult Neurons of the External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dodson, Paul D.; Larvin, Joseph T.; Duffell, James M.; Garas, Farid N.; Doig, Natalie M.; Kessaris, Nicoletta; Duguid, Ian C.; Bogacz, Rafal; Butt, Simon J.B.; Magill, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Transcriptional codes initiated during brain development are ultimately realized in adulthood as distinct cell types performing specialized roles in behavior. Focusing on the mouse external globus pallidus (GPe), we demonstrate that the potential contributions of two GABAergic GPe cell types to voluntary action are fated from early life to be distinct. Prototypic GPe neurons derive from the medial ganglionic eminence of the embryonic subpallium and express the transcription factor Nkx2-1. These neurons fire at high rates during alert rest, and encode movements through heterogeneous firing rate changes, with many neurons decreasing their activity. In contrast, arkypallidal GPe neurons originate from lateral/caudal ganglionic eminences, express the transcription factor FoxP2, fire at low rates during rest, and encode movements with robust increases in firing. We conclude that developmental diversity positions prototypic and arkypallidal neurons to fulfil distinct roles in behavior via their disparate regulation of GABA release onto different basal ganglia targets. PMID:25843402

  1. Dorsal-CA1 Hippocampal Neuronal Ensembles Encode Nicotine-Reward Contextual Associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Li; Nygard, Stephanie K; Sobczak, Gabe G; Hourguettes, Nicholas J; Bruchas, Michael R

    2017-06-06

    Natural and drug rewards increase the motivational valence of stimuli in the environment that, through Pavlovian learning mechanisms, become conditioned stimuli that directly motivate behavior in the absence of the original unconditioned stimulus. While the hippocampus has received extensive attention for its role in learning and memory processes, less is known regarding its role in drug-reward associations. We used in vivo Ca 2+ imaging in freely moving mice during the formation of nicotine preference behavior to examine the role of the dorsal-CA1 region of the hippocampus in encoding contextual reward-seeking behavior. We show the development of specific neuronal ensembles whose activity encodes nicotine-reward contextual memories and that are necessary for the expression of place preference. Our findings increase our understanding of CA1 hippocampal function in general and as it relates to reward processing by identifying a critical role for CA1 neuronal ensembles in nicotine place preference. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. 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.

  3. Prefrontal neurons encode context-based response execution and inhibition in reward seeking and extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorman, David E.; Aston-Jones, Gary

    2015-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) guides execution and inhibition of behavior based on contextual demands. In rodents, the dorsal/prelimbic (PL) medial PFC (mPFC) is frequently considered essential for execution of goal-directed behavior (“go”) whereas ventral/infralimbic (IL) mPFC is thought to control behavioral suppression (“stop”). This dichotomy is commonly seen for fear-related behaviors, and for some behaviors related to cocaine seeking. Overall, however, data for reward-directed behaviors are ambiguous, and few recordings of PL/IL activity have been performed to demonstrate single-neuron correlates. We recorded neuronal activity in PL and IL during discriminative stimulus driven sucrose seeking followed by multiple days of extinction of the reward-predicting stimulus. Contrary to a generalized PL-go/IL-stop hypothesis, we found cue-evoked activity in PL and IL during reward seeking and extinction. Upon analyzing this activity based on resultant behavior (lever press or withhold), we found that neurons in both areas encoded contextually appropriate behavioral initiation (during reward seeking) and withholding (during extinction), where context was dictated by response–outcome contingencies. Our results demonstrate that PL and IL signal contextual information for regulation of behavior, irrespective of whether that involves initiation or suppression of behavioral responses, rather than topographically encoding go vs. stop behaviors. The use of context to optimize behavior likely plays an important role in maximizing utility-promoting exertion of activity when behaviors are rewarded and conservation of energy when not. PMID:26170333

  4. Encoding of complexity, shape and curvature by macaque infero-temporal neurons

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    Greet eKayaert

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available We recorded responses of macaque infero-temporal (IT neurons to a stimulus set of Fourier Boundary Descriptor shapes wherein complexity, general shape and curvature were systematically varied. We analyzed the response patterns of the neurons to the different stimuli using multi-dimensional scaling. The resulting neural shape space differed in important ways from the physical, image-based shape space. We found a particular sensitivity for the presence of curved versus straight contours that existed only for the simple but not for the medium and highly complex shapes. Also, IT neurons could linearly separate the simple and the complex shapes within a low-dimensional neural shape space, but no distinction was found between the medium and high levels of complexity. None of these effects could be derived from physical image metrics, either directly or by comparing the neural data with similarities yielded by two models of low-level visual processing (one using wavelet-based filters and one that models position and size invariant object selectivity through four hierarchically organized neural layers. This study highlights the relevance of complexity to IT neural encoding, both as a neurally independently represented shape property and through its influence on curvature detection.

  5. Populations of auditory cortical neurons can accurately encode acoustic space across stimulus intensity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Lee M; Recanzone, Gregg H

    2009-04-07

    The auditory cortex is critical for perceiving a sound's location. However, there is no topographic representation of acoustic space, and individual auditory cortical neurons are often broadly tuned to stimulus location. It thus remains unclear how acoustic space is represented in the mammalian cerebral cortex and how it could contribute to sound localization. This report tests whether the firing rates of populations of neurons in different auditory cortical fields in the macaque monkey carry sufficient information to account for horizontal sound localization ability. We applied an optimal neural decoding technique, based on maximum likelihood estimation, to populations of neurons from 6 different cortical fields encompassing core and belt areas. We found that the firing rate of neurons in the caudolateral area contain enough information to account for sound localization ability, but neurons in other tested core and belt cortical areas do not. These results provide a detailed and plausible population model of how acoustic space could be represented in the primate cerebral cortex and support a dual stream processing model of auditory cortical processing.

  6. Subthreshold membrane currents confer distinct tuning properties that enable neurons to encode the integral or derivative of their input

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    Stephanie eRatté

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Neurons rely on action potentials, or spikes, to encode information. But spikes can encode different stimulus features in different neurons. We show here through simulations and experiments how neurons encode the integral or derivative of their input based on the distinct tuning properties conferred upon them by subthreshold currents. Slow-activating subthreshold inward (depolarizing current mediates positive feedback control of subthreshold voltage, sustaining depolarization and allowing the neuron to spike on the basis of its integrated stimulus waveform. Slow-activating subthreshold outward (hyperpolarizing current mediates negative feedback control of subthreshold voltage, truncating depolarization and forcing the neuron to spike on the basis of its differentiated stimulus waveform. Depending on its direction, slow-activating subthreshold current cooperates or competes with fast-activating inward current during spike initiation. This explanation predicts that sensitivity to the rate of change of stimulus intensity differs qualitatively between integrators and differentiators. This was confirmed experimentally in spinal sensory neurons that naturally behave as specialized integrators or differentiators. Predicted sensitivity to different stimulus features was confirmed by covariance analysis. Integration and differentiation, which are themselves inverse operations, are thus shown to be implemented by the slow feedback mediated by oppositely directed subthreshold currents expressed in different neurons.

  7. Hierarchical encoding makes individuals in a group seem more attractive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Drew; Vul, Edward

    2014-01-01

    In the research reported here, we found evidence of the cheerleader effect-people seem more attractive in a group than in isolation. We propose that this effect arises via an interplay of three cognitive phenomena: (a) The visual system automatically computes ensemble representations of faces presented in a group, (b) individual members of the group are biased toward this ensemble average, and (c) average faces are attractive. Taken together, these phenomena suggest that individual faces will seem more attractive when presented in a group because they will appear more similar to the average group face, which is more attractive than group members' individual faces. We tested this hypothesis in five experiments in which subjects rated the attractiveness of faces presented either alone or in a group with the same gender. Our results were consistent with the cheerleader effect.

  8. Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aso, Yoshinori; Sitaraman, Divya; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Kaun, Karla R; Vogt, Katrin; Belliart-Guérin, Ghislain; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Robie, Alice A; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schnaitmann, Christopher; Rowell, William J; Johnston, Rebecca M; Ngo, Teri-T B; Chen, Nan; Korff, Wyatt; Nitabach, Michael N; Heberlein, Ulrike; Preat, Thomas; Branson, Kristin M; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Rubin, Gerald M

    2014-12-23

    Animals discriminate stimuli, learn their predictive value and use this knowledge to modify their behavior. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) plays a key role in these processes. Sensory stimuli are sparsely represented by ∼2000 Kenyon cells, which converge onto 34 output neurons (MBONs) of 21 types. We studied the role of MBONs in several associative learning tasks and in sleep regulation, revealing the extent to which information flow is segregated into distinct channels and suggesting possible roles for the multi-layered MBON network. We also show that optogenetic activation of MBONs can, depending on cell type, induce repulsion or attraction in flies. The behavioral effects of MBON perturbation are combinatorial, suggesting that the MBON ensemble collectively represents valence. We propose that local, stimulus-specific dopaminergic modulation selectively alters the balance within the MBON network for those stimuli. Our results suggest that valence encoded by the MBON ensemble biases memory-based action selection.

  9. Vertical binocular disparity is encoded implicitly within a model neuronal population tuned to horizontal disparity and orientation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenny C A Read

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Primary visual cortex is often viewed as a "cyclopean retina", performing the initial encoding of binocular disparities between left and right images. Because the eyes are set apart horizontally in the head, binocular disparities are predominantly horizontal. Yet, especially in the visual periphery, a range of non-zero vertical disparities do occur and can influence perception. It has therefore been assumed that primary visual cortex must contain neurons tuned to a range of vertical disparities. Here, I show that this is not necessarily the case. Many disparity-selective neurons are most sensitive to changes in disparity orthogonal to their preferred orientation. That is, the disparity tuning surfaces, mapping their response to different two-dimensional (2D disparities, are elongated along the cell's preferred orientation. Because of this, even if a neuron's optimal 2D disparity has zero vertical component, the neuron will still respond best to a non-zero vertical disparity when probed with a sub-optimal horizontal disparity. This property can be used to decode 2D disparity, even allowing for realistic levels of neuronal noise. Even if all V1 neurons at a particular retinotopic location are tuned to the expected vertical disparity there (for example, zero at the fovea, the brain could still decode the magnitude and sign of departures from that expected value. This provides an intriguing counter-example to the common wisdom that, in order for a neuronal population to encode a quantity, its members must be tuned to a range of values of that quantity. It demonstrates that populations of disparity-selective neurons encode much richer information than previously appreciated. It suggests a possible strategy for the brain to extract rarely-occurring stimulus values, while concentrating neuronal resources on the most commonly-occurring situations.

  10. Transient receptor potential channels encode volatile chemicals sensed by rat trigeminal ganglion neurons.

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    Matthias Lübbert

    Full Text Available Primary sensory afferents of the dorsal root and trigeminal ganglia constantly transmit sensory information depicting the individual's physical and chemical environment to higher brain regions. Beyond the typical trigeminal stimuli (e.g. irritants, environmental stimuli comprise a plethora of volatile chemicals with olfactory components (odorants. In spite of a complete loss of their sense of smell, anosmic patients may retain the ability to roughly discriminate between different volatile compounds. While the detailed mechanisms remain elusive, sensory structures belonging to the trigeminal system seem to be responsible for this phenomenon. In order to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the activation of the trigeminal system by volatile chemicals, we investigated odorant-induced membrane potential changes in cultured rat trigeminal neurons induced by the odorants vanillin, heliotropyl acetone, helional, and geraniol. We observed the dose-dependent depolarization of trigeminal neurons upon application of these substances occurring in a stimulus-specific manner and could show that distinct neuronal populations respond to different odorants. Using specific antagonists, we found evidence that TRPA1, TRPM8, and/or TRPV1 contribute to the activation. In order to further test this hypothesis, we used recombinantly expressed rat and human variants of these channels to investigate whether they are indeed activated by the odorants tested. We additionally found that the odorants dose-dependently inhibit two-pore potassium channels TASK1 and TASK3 heterologously expressed In Xenopus laevis oocytes. We suggest that the capability of various odorants to activate different TRP channels and to inhibit potassium channels causes neuronal depolarization and activation of distinct subpopulations of trigeminal sensory neurons, forming the basis for a specific representation of volatile chemicals in the trigeminal ganglia.

  11. MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY OF CLOSTRIDIAL TOXINS - EXPRESSION OF MESSENGER-RNAS ENCODING TETANUS AND BOTULINUM NEUROTOXINS IN APLYSIA NEURONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MOCHIDA, S; POULAIN, B; EISEL, U; BINZ, T; KURAZONO, H; NIEMANN, H; TAUC, L

    1990-01-01

    mRNAs encoding the light chain of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins were transcribed, in vitro, from the cloned and specifically truncated genes of Clostridium tetani and Clostridium botulinum, respectively, and injected into presynaptic identified cholinergic neurons of the buccal ganglia of

  12. Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aso, Yoshinori; Sitaraman, Divya; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Kaun, Karla R; Vogt, Katrin; Belliart-Guérin, Ghislain; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Robie, Alice A; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schnaitmann, Christopher; Rowell, William J; Johnston, Rebecca M; Ngo, Teri-T B; Chen, Nan; Korff, Wyatt; Nitabach, Michael N; Heberlein, Ulrike; Preat, Thomas; Branson, Kristin M; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Rubin, Gerald M

    2014-01-01

    Animals discriminate stimuli, learn their predictive value and use this knowledge to modify their behavior. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) plays a key role in these processes. Sensory stimuli are sparsely represented by ∼2000 Kenyon cells, which converge onto 34 output neurons (MBONs) of 21 types. We studied the role of MBONs in several associative learning tasks and in sleep regulation, revealing the extent to which information flow is segregated into distinct channels and suggesting possible roles for the multi-layered MBON network. We also show that optogenetic activation of MBONs can, depending on cell type, induce repulsion or attraction in flies. The behavioral effects of MBON perturbation are combinatorial, suggesting that the MBON ensemble collectively represents valence. We propose that local, stimulus-specific dopaminergic modulation selectively alters the balance within the MBON network for those stimuli. Our results suggest that valence encoded by the MBON ensemble biases memory-based action selection. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04580.001 PMID:25535794

  13. Spectrotemporal dynamics of the EEG during working memory encoding and maintenance predicts individual behavioral capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashivan, Pouya; Bidelman, Gavin M; Yeasin, Mohammed

    2014-12-01

    We investigated the effect of memory load on encoding and maintenance of information in working memory. Electroencephalography (EEG) signals were recorded while participants performed a modified Sternberg visual memory task. Independent component analysis (ICA) was used to factorise the EEG signals into distinct temporal activations to perform spectrotemporal analysis and localisation of source activities. We found 'encoding' and 'maintenance' operations were correlated with negative and positive changes in α-band power, respectively. Transient activities were observed during encoding of information in the bilateral cuneus, precuneus, inferior parietal gyrus and fusiform gyrus, and a sustained activity in the inferior frontal gyrus. Strong correlations were also observed between changes in α-power and behavioral performance during both encoding and maintenance. Furthermore, it was also found that individuals with higher working memory capacity experienced stronger neural oscillatory responses during the encoding of visual objects into working memory. Our results suggest an interplay between two distinct neural pathways and different spatiotemporal operations during the encoding and maintenance of information which predict individual differences in working memory capacity observed at the behavioral level. © 2014 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Emotional Encoding Context Leads to Memory Bias in Individuals with High Anxiety

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Lee

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated whether anxious individuals, who adopt an inherently negative mindset, demonstrate a particularly salient memory bias for words tainted by negative contexts. To this end, sequentially presented target words, overlayed onto negative or neutral pictures, were studied in separate blocks (within-subjects using a deep or shallow encoding instruction (between-subjects. Following study, in Test 1, participants completed separate recognition test blocks for the words overlayed onto the negative and the neutral contexts. Following this, in Test 2, participants completed a recognition test for the foils from each Test 1 block. We found a significant three-way interaction on Test 2, such that individuals with high anxiety who initially studied target words using a shallow encoding instruction, demonstrated significantly elevated memory for foils that were contained within the negative Test 1 block. Results show that during retrieval (Test 1, participants re-entered the mode of processing (negative or neutral engaged at encoding, tainting the encoding of foils with that same mode of processing. The findings suggest that individuals with high relative to low anxiety, adopt a particularly salient negative retrieval mode, and this creates a downstream bias in encoding and subsequent retrieval of otherwise neutral information.

  15. Emotional Encoding Context Leads to Memory Bias in Individuals with High Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Christopher; Fernandes, Myra A

    2017-12-27

    We investigated whether anxious individuals, who adopt an inherently negative mindset, demonstrate a particularly salient memory bias for words tainted by negative contexts. To this end, sequentially presented target words, overlayed onto negative or neutral pictures, were studied in separate blocks (within-subjects) using a deep or shallow encoding instruction (between-subjects). Following study, in Test 1, participants completed separate recognition test blocks for the words overlayed onto the negative and the neutral contexts. Following this, in Test 2, participants completed a recognition test for the foils from each Test 1 block. We found a significant three-way interaction on Test 2, such that individuals with high anxiety who initially studied target words using a shallow encoding instruction, demonstrated significantly elevated memory for foils that were contained within the negative Test 1 block. Results show that during retrieval (Test 1), participants re-entered the mode of processing (negative or neutral) engaged at encoding, tainting the encoding of foils with that same mode of processing. The findings suggest that individuals with high relative to low anxiety, adopt a particularly salient negative retrieval mode, and this creates a downstream bias in encoding and subsequent retrieval of otherwise neutral information.

  16. Neuron-specific specificity protein 4 bigenomically regulates the transcription of all mitochondria- and nucleus-encoded cytochrome c oxidase subunit genes in neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johar, Kaid; Priya, Anusha; Dhar, Shilpa; Liu, Qiuli; Wong-Riley, Margaret T T

    2013-11-01

    Neurons are highly dependent on oxidative metabolism for their energy supply, and cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is a key energy-generating enzyme in the mitochondria. A unique feature of COX is that it is one of only four proteins in mammalian cells that are bigenomically regulated. Of its thirteen subunits, three are encoded in the mitochondrial genome and ten are nuclear-encoded on nine different chromosomes. The mechanism of regulating this multisubunit, bigenomic enzyme poses a distinct challenge. In recent years, we found that nuclear respiratory factors 1 and 2 (NRF-1 and NRF-2) mediate such bigenomic coordination. The latest candidate is the specificity factor (Sp) family of proteins. In N2a cells, we found that Sp1 regulates all 13 COX subunits. However, we discovered recently that in primary neurons, it is Sp4 and not Sp1 that regulates some of the key glutamatergic receptor subunit genes. The question naturally arises as to the role of Sp4 in regulating COX in primary neurons. The present study utilized multiple approaches, including chromatin immunoprecipitation, promoter mutational analysis, knockdown and over-expression of Sp4, as well as functional assays to document that Sp4 indeed functionally regulate all 13 subunits of COX as well as mitochondrial transcription factors A and B. The present study discovered that among the specificity family of transcription factors, it is the less known neuron-specific Sp4 that regulates the expression of all 13 subunits of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase (COX) enzyme in primary neurons. Sp4 also regulates the three mitochondrial transcription factors (TFAM, TFB1M, and TFB2M) and a COX assembly protein SURF-1 in primary neurons. © 2013 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  17. Separate groups of dopamine neurons innervate caudate head and tail encoding flexible and stable value memories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyoung F Kim

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine neurons are thought to be critical for reward value-based learning by modifying synaptic transmissions in the striatum. Yet, different regions of the striatum seem to guide different kinds of learning. Do dopamine neurons contribute to the regional differences of the striatum in learning? As a first step to answer this question, we examined whether the head and tail of the caudate nucleus of the monkey (Macaca mulatta receive inputs from the same or different dopamine neurons. We chose these caudate regions because we previously showed that caudate head neurons learn values of visual objects quickly and flexibly, whereas caudate tail neurons learn object values slowly but retain them stably. Here we confirmed the functional difference by recording single neuronal activity while the monkey performed the flexible and stable value tasks, and then injected retrograde tracers in the functional domains of caudate head and tail. The projecting dopaminergic neurons were identified using tyrosine hydroxylase immunohistochemistry. We found that two groups of dopamine neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta project largely separately to the caudate head and tail. These groups of dopamine neurons were mostly separated topographically: head-projecting neurons were located in the rostral-ventral-medial region, while tail-projecting neurons were located in the caudal-dorsal-lateral regions of the substantia nigra. Furthermore, they showed different morphological features: tail-projecting neurons were larger and less circular than head-projecting neurons. Our data raise the possibility that different groups of dopamine neurons selectively guide learning of flexible (short-term and stable (long-term memories of object values.

  18. Engineering connectivity by multiscale micropatterning of individual populations of neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albers, Jonas; Toma, Koji; Offenhäusser, Andreas

    2015-02-01

    Functional networks are the basis of information processing in the central nervous system. Essential for their formation are guided neuronal growth as well as controlled connectivity and information flow. The basis of neuronal development is generated by guiding cues and geometric constraints. To investigate the neuronal growth and connectivity of adjacent neuronal networks, two-dimensional protein patterns were created. A mixture of poly-L-lysine and laminin was transferred onto a silanized glass surface by microcontact printing. The structures were populated with dissociated primary cortical embryonic rat neurons. Triangular structures with diverse opening angles, height, and design were chosen as two-dimensional structures to allow network formation with constricted gateways. Neuronal development was observed by immunohistochemistry to pursue the influence of the chosen structures on the neuronal outgrowth. Neurons were stained for MAP2, while poly-L-lysine was FITC labeled. With this study we present an easy-to-use technique to engineer two-dimensional networks in vitro with defined gateways. The presented micropatterning method is used to generate daisy-chained neuronal networks with predefined connectivity. Signal propagation among geometrically constrained networks can easily be monitored by calcium-sensitive dyes, providing insights into network communication in vitro. Copyright © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Emotional Encoding Context Leads to Memory Bias in Individuals with High Anxiety

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Christopher; Fernandes, Myra A.

    2017-01-01

    We investigated whether anxious individuals, who adopt an inherently negative mindset, demonstrate a particularly salient memory bias for words tainted by negative contexts. To this end, sequentially presented target words, overlayed onto negative or neutral pictures, were studied in separate blocks (within-subjects) using a deep or shallow encoding instruction (between-subjects). Following study, in Test 1, participants completed separate recognition test blocks for the words overlayed onto ...

  20. Working memory and individual differences in the encoding of vertical, horizontal and diagonal symmetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi-Arnaud, Clelia; Pieroni, Laura; Spataro, Pietro; Baddeley, Alan

    2012-09-01

    Previous studies, using a modified version of the sequential Corsi block task to examine the impact of symmetry on visuospatial memory, showed an advantage of vertical symmetry over non-symmetrical sequences, but no effect of horizontal or diagonal symmetry. The present four experiments investigated the mechanisms underlying the encoding of vertical, horizontal and diagonal configurations using simultaneous presentation and a dual-task paradigm. Results indicated that the recall of vertically symmetric arrays was always better than that of all other patterns and was not influenced by any of the concurrent tasks. Performance with horizontally or diagonally symmetrical patterns differed, with high performing participants showing little effect of concurrent tasks, while low performers were disrupted by concurrent visuospatial and executive tasks. A verbal interference had no effect on either group. Implications for processes involved in the encoding of symmetry are discussed, together with the crucial importance of individual differences. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Junchol

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Primate Prefrontal Neurons Encode the Association of Paired Visual Stimuli during the Pair-Association Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreau, Jorge Mario; Funahashi, Shintaro

    2011-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is known to contribute to memory processes such as encoding representations into long-term-memory (LTM) and retrieving these representations from LTM. However, the details of the PFC's contribution to LTM processes are not well known. To examine the characteristics of the PFC's contribution to LTM processes, we analyzed…

  3. Design-based estimation of neuronal number and individual neuronal volume in the rat hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hosseini-Sharifabad, Mohammad; Nyengaard, Jens Randel

    2007-01-01

    Tools recently developed in stereology were employed for unbiased estimation of the neuronal number and volume in three major subdivisions of rat hippocampus (dentate granular, CA1 and CA3 pyramidal layers). The optical fractionator is used extensively in quantitative studies of the hippocampus; ...

  4. Reduced Neuronal Transcription of Escargot, the Drosophila Gene Encoding a Snail-Type Transcription Factor, Promotes Longevity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symonenko, Alexander V.; Roshina, Natalia V.; Krementsova, Anna V.; Pasyukova, Elena G.

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, several genes involved in complex neuron specification networks have been shown to control life span. However, information on these genes is scattered, and studies to discover new neuronal genes and gene cascades contributing to life span control are needed, especially because of the recognized role of the nervous system in governing homeostasis, aging, and longevity. Previously, we demonstrated that several genes that encode RNA polymerase II transcription factors and that are involved in the development of the nervous system affect life span in Drosophila melanogaster. Among other genes, escargot (esg) was demonstrated to be causally associated with an increase in the life span of male flies. Here, we present new data on the role of esg in life span control. We show that esg affects the life spans of both mated and unmated males and females to varying degrees. By analyzing the survival and locomotion of the esg mutants, we demonstrate that esg is involved in the control of aging. We show that increased longevity is caused by decreased esg transcription. In particular, we demonstrate that esg knockdown in the nervous system increased life span, directly establishing the involvement of the neuronal esg function in life span control. Our data invite attention to the mechanisms regulating the esg transcription rate, which is changed by insertions of DNA fragments of different sizes downstream of the structural part of the gene, indicating the direction of further research. Our data agree with the previously made suggestion that alterations in gene expression during development might affect adult lifespan, due to epigenetic patterns inherited in cell lineages or predetermined during the development of the structural and functional properties of the nervous system. PMID:29760717

  5. Optical recording of neuronal activity with a genetically-encoded calcium indicator in anesthetized and freely moving mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Henry Lütcke

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Fluorescent calcium (Ca2+ indicator proteins (FCIPs are promising tools for functional imaging of cellular activity in living animals. However, they have still not reached their full potential for in vivo imaging of neuronal activity due to limitations in expression levels, dynamic range, and sensitivity for reporting action potentials. Here, we report that viral expression of the ratiometric Ca2+ sensor yellow cameleon 3.60 (YC3.60 in pyramidal neurons of mouse barrel cortex enables in vivo measurement of neuronal activity with high dynamic range and sensitivity across multiple spatial scales. By combining juxtacellular recordings and two-photon imaging in vitro and in vivo, we demonstrate that YC3.60 can resolve single action potential (AP-evoked Ca2+ transients and reliably reports bursts of APs with negligible saturation. Spontaneous and whisker-evoked Ca2+ transients were detected in individual apical dendrites and somata as well as in local neuronal populations. Moreover, bulk measurements using wide-field imaging or fiber-optics revealed sensory-evoked YC3.60 signals in large areas of the barrel field. Fiber-optic recordings in particular enabled measurements in awake, freely moving mice and revealed complex Ca2+ dynamics, possibly reflecting different behavior-related brain states. Viral expression of YC3.60 - in combination with various optical techniques - thus opens a multitude of opportunities for functional studies of the neural basis of animal behavior, from dendrites to the levels of local and large-scale neuronal populations.

  6. Neuronal encoding of object and distance information: A model simulation study on naturalistic optic flow processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick eHennig

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available We developed a model of the input circuitry of the FD1 cell, an identified motion-sensitive interneuron in the blowfly’s visual system. The model circuit successfully reproduces the FD1 cell’s most conspicuous property: Its larger responses to objects than to spatially extended patterns. The model circuit also mimics the time-dependent responses of FD1 to dynamically complex naturalistic stimuli, shaped by the blowfly’s saccadic flight and gaze strategy: The FD1 responses are enhanced when, as a consequence of self-motion, a nearby object crosses the receptive field during intersaccadic intervals. Moreover, the model predicts that these object-induced responses are superimposed by pronounced pattern-dependent fluctuations during movements on virtual test flights in a three-dimensional environment with systematic modifications of the environmental patterns. Hence, the FD1 cell is predicted to detect not unambiguously objects defined by the spatial layout of the environment, but to be also sensitive to objects distinguished by textural features. These ambiguous detection abilities suggest an encoding of information about objects - irrespective of the features by which the objects are defined - by a population of cells, with the FD1 cell presumably playing a prominent role in such an ensemble.

  7. A High Density Electrophysiological Data Analysis System for a Peripheral Nerve Interface Communicating with Individual Neurons in the Brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-11-14

    of-the-art instrumentation to communicate with individual neurons in the brain and the peripheral nervous system. The major theme of the research is...Nerve Interface Communicating with Individual Neurons in the Brain The views, opinions and/or findings contained in this report are those of the author... Communicating with Individual Neurons in the Brain Report Title The high density electrophysiological data acquisition system obtained through this

  8. Individual differences in rate of encoding predict estimates of visual short-term memory capacity (K).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jannati, Ali; McDonald, John J; Di Lollo, Vincent

    2015-06-01

    The capacity of visual short-term memory (VSTM) is commonly estimated by K scores obtained with a change-detection task. Contrary to common belief, K may be influenced not only by capacity but also by the rate at which stimuli are encoded into VSTM. Experiment 1 showed that, contrary to earlier conclusions, estimates of VSTM capacity obtained with a change-detection task are constrained by temporal limitations. In Experiment 2, we used change-detection and backward-masking tasks to obtain separate within-subject estimates of K and of rate of encoding, respectively. A median split based on rate of encoding revealed significantly higher K estimates for fast encoders. Moreover, a significant correlation was found between K and the estimated rate of encoding. The present findings raise the prospect that the reported relationships between K and such cognitive concepts as fluid intelligence may be mediated not only by VSTM capacity but also by rate of encoding. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  9. Hypocretin/Orexin Peptides Alter Spike Encoding by Serotonergic Dorsal Raphe Neurons through Two Distinct Mechanisms That Increase the Late Afterhyperpolarization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishibashi, Masaru; Gumenchuk, Iryna; Miyazaki, Kenichi; Inoue, Takafumi; Ross, William N; Leonard, Christopher S

    2016-09-28

    Orexins (hypocretins) are neuropeptides that regulate multiple homeostatic processes, including reward and arousal, in part by exciting serotonergic dorsal raphe neurons, the major source of forebrain serotonin. Here, using mouse brain slices, we found that, instead of simply depolarizing these neurons, orexin-A altered the spike encoding process by increasing the postspike afterhyperpolarization (AHP) via two distinct mechanisms. This orexin-enhanced AHP (oeAHP) was mediated by both OX1 and OX2 receptors, required Ca(2+) influx, reversed near EK, and decayed with two components, the faster of which resulted from enhanced SK channel activation, whereas the slower component decayed like a slow AHP (sAHP), but was not blocked by UCL2077, an antagonist of sAHPs in some neurons. Intracellular phospholipase C inhibition (U73122) blocked the entire oeAHP, but neither component was sensitive to PKC inhibition or altered PKA signaling, unlike classical sAHPs. The enhanced SK current did not depend on IP3-mediated Ca(2+) release but resulted from A-current inhibition and the resultant spike broadening, which increased Ca(2+) influx and Ca(2+)-induced-Ca(2+) release, whereas the slower component was insensitive to these factors. Functionally, the oeAHP slowed and stabilized orexin-induced firing compared with firing produced by a virtual orexin conductance lacking the oeAHP. The oeAHP also reduced steady-state firing rate and firing fidelity in response to stimulation, without affecting the initial rate or fidelity. Collectively, these findings reveal a new orexin action in serotonergic raphe neurons and suggest that, when orexin is released during arousal and reward, it enhances the spike encoding of phasic over tonic inputs, such as those related to sensory, motor, and reward events. Orexin peptides are known to excite neurons via slow postsynaptic depolarizations. Here we elucidate a significant new orexin action that increases and prolongs the postspike

  10. Individual mediodorsal thalamic neurons project to multiple areas of the rat prefrontal cortex: A single neuron-tracing study using virus vectors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuramoto, Eriko; Pan, Shixiu; Furuta, Takahiro; Tanaka, Yasuhiro R; Iwai, Haruki; Yamanaka, Atsushi; Ohno, Sachi; Kaneko, Takeshi; Goto, Tetsuya; Hioki, Hiroyuki

    2017-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex has an important role in a variety of cognitive and executive processes, and is generally defined by its reciprocal connections with the mediodorsal thalamic nucleus (MD). The rat MD is mainly subdivided into three segments, the medial (MDm), central (MDc), and lateral (MDl) divisions, on the basis of the cytoarchitecture and chemoarchitecture. The MD segments are known to topographically project to multiple prefrontal areas at the population level: the MDm mainly to the prelimbic, infralimbic, and agranular insular areas; the MDc to the orbital and agranular insular areas; and the MDl to the prelimbic and anterior cingulate areas. However, it is unknown whether individual MD neurons project to single or multiple prefrontal cortical areas. In the present study, we visualized individual MD neurons with Sindbis virus vectors, and reconstructed whole structures of MD neurons. While the main cortical projection targets of MDm, MDc, and MDl neurons were generally consistent with those of previous results, it was found that individual MD neurons sent their axon fibers to multiple prefrontal areas, and displayed various projection patterns in the target areas. Furthermore, the axons of single MD neurons were not homogeneously spread, but were rather distributed to form patchy axon arbors approximately 1 mm in diameter. The multiple-area projections and patchy axon arbors of single MD neurons might be able to coactivate cortical neuron groups in distant prefrontal areas simultaneously. Furthermore, considerable heterogeneity of the projection patterns is likely, to recruit the different sets of cortical neurons, and thus contributes to a variety of prefrontal functions. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:166-185, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Individual Neurons Confined to Distinct Antennal-Lobe Tracts in the Heliothine Moth: Morphological Characteristics and Global Projection Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian, Elena; Zhao, Xin C.; Lande, Andreas; Berg, Bente G.

    2016-01-01

    To explore fundamental principles characterizing chemosensory information processing, we have identified antennal-lobe projection neurons in the heliothine moth, including several neuron types not previously described. Generally, odor information is conveyed from the primary olfactory center of the moth brain, the antennal lobe, to higher brain centers via projection neuron axons passing along several parallel pathways, of which the medial, mediolateral, and lateral antennal-lobe tract are considered the classical ones. Recent data have revealed the projections of the individual tracts more in detail demonstrating three main target regions in the protocerebrum; the calyces are innervated mainly by the medial tract, the superior intermediate protocerebrum by the lateral tract exclusively, and the lateral horn by all tracts. In the present study, we have identified, via iontophoretic intracellular staining combined with confocal microscopy, individual projection neurons confined to the tracts mentioned above, plus two additional ones. Further, using the visualization software AMIRA, we reconstructed the stained neurons and registered the models into a standard brain atlas, which allowed us to compare the termination areas of individual projection neurons both across and within distinct tracts. The data demonstrate a morphological diversity of the projection neurons within distinct tracts. Comparison of the output areas of the neurons confined to the three main tracts in the lateral horn showed overlapping terminal regions for the medial and mediolateral tracts; the lateral tract neurons, on the contrary, targeted mostly other output areas in the protocerebrum. PMID:27822181

  12. Activation of orexin/hypocretin neurons is associated with individual differences in cued fear extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharko, Amanda C; Fadel, Jim R; Kaigler, Kris F; Wilson, Marlene A

    2017-09-01

    Identifying the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie differential sensitivity to stress is critical for understanding the development and expression of stress-induced disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preclinical studies have suggested that rodents display different phenotypes associated with extinction of Pavlovian conditioned fear responses, with some rodent populations being resistant to extinction. An emerging literature also suggests a role for orexins in the consolidation processes associated with fear learning and extinction. To examine the possibility that the orexin system might be involved in individual differences in fear extinction, we used a Pavlovian conditioning paradigm in outbred Long-Evans rats. Rats showed significant variability in the extinction of cue-conditioned freezing and extinction recall, and animals were divided into groups based on their extinction profiles based on a median split of percent freezing behavior during repeated exposure to the conditioned cue. Animals resistant to extinction (high freezers) showed more freezing during repeated cue presentations during the within trial and between trial extinction sessions compared with the group showing significant extinction (low freezers), although there were no differences between these groups in freezing upon return to the conditioned context or during the conditioning session. Following the extinction recall session, activation of orexin neurons was determined using dual label immunohistochemistry for cFos in orexin positive neurons in the hypothalamus. Individual differences in the extinction of cue conditioned fear were associated with differential activation of hypothalamic orexin neurons. Animals showing poor extinction of cue-induced freezing (high freezers) had significantly greater percentage of orexin neurons with Fos in the medial hypothalamus than animals displaying significant extinction and good extinction recall (low freezers). Further, the

  13. Visualizing presynaptic calcium dynamics and vesicle fusion with a single genetically encoded reporter at individual synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E Jackson

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission depends on the influx of calcium into the presynaptic compartment, which drives neurotransmitter release. Genetically encoded reporters are widely used tools to understand these processes, particularly pHluorin-based reporters that report vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis through pH dependent changes in fluorescence, and genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs that exhibit changes in fluorescence upon binding to calcium. The recent expansion of the color palette of available indicators has made it possible to image multiple probes simultaneously within a cell. We have constructed a single molecule reporter capable of concurrent imaging of both presynaptic calcium influx and exocytosis, by fusion of sypHy, the vesicle associated protein synaptophysin containing a GFP-based pHluorin sensor, with the red-shifted GECI R-GECO1. Due to the fixed stoichiometry of the two probes, the ratio of the two responses can also be measured, providing an all optical correlate of the calcium dependence of release. Here, we have characterized stimulus-evoked sypHy-RGECO responses of hippocampal synapses in vitro, exploring the effects of different stimulus strengths and frequencies as well as variations in external calcium concentrations. By combining live sypHy-RGECO imaging with post-hoc fixation and immunofluorescence, we have also investigated correlations between structural and functional properties of synapses.

  14. Mapping to mouse chromosome 3 of the gene encoding latexin (Lxn) expressed in neocortical neurons in a region-specific manner

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jin, Ming-hao; Uratani, Yoshihiko; Arimatsu, Yasuyoshi [Mitsubishi Kasei Institute of Life Sciences, Tokyo (Japan)

    1997-02-01

    Latexin was first found as a 29-kDa antigen expressed in a subset of neurons in infragranular layers of lateral, but not dorsal, neocortical areas in the rat using a monoclonal antibody PC3.1. It was found that the vast majority of latexin-expressing neurons in both layers V and VI within the lateral neocortex were generated concurrently at Embryonic Day 15, demonstrating a strict correlation between the molecular identity of neurons and the time of their generation. Since neurons expressing latexin are located in the restricted part of the neocortex, latexin has been used as a useful molecular marker to elucidate the mechanism underlying cortical regional specification. The latexin cDNA isolated from a cDNA library of the rat cerebral cortex encodes a protein composed of 223-amino-acid residues containing two potential Ca{sup 2+}/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase sites and one cGMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation site. The absence of any signal peptide or potential transmembrane domain is consistent with the apparent cytosolic localization of latexin in the rat brain. The transcripts of latexin were expressed in not only neutral but also nonneural tissues (e.g., lung, spleen, kidney, heart, and digestive tracts). Recently, it has been demonstrated that latexin purified from the rat brain has inhibitory activity against carboxypeptidase A1, carboxypeptidase A2, and mast cell carboxypeptidase A, with less carboxypeptidase B-inhibiting activity. The amino acid sequence deduced from the rat latexin cDNA has no strict homology to any sequences so far known. Genomic Southern blot analysis using a cDNA probe of rat latexin suggested that the gene encoding latexin in the rat has homologues in other mammalian species and in the chicken, but not in the nematode, fly, or frog. 9 refs., 1 fig.

  15. Encoding of naturalistic optic flow by motion sensitive neurons of nucleus rotundus in the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dennis eEckmeier

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The retinal image changes that occur during locomotion, the optic flow, carry information about self-motion and the three-dimensional structure of the environment. Especially fast moving animals with only little binocular vision depend on these depth cues for manoeuvring. They actively control their gaze to facilitate perception of depth based on cues in the optic flow. In the visual system of birds, nucleus rotundus neurons were originally found to respond to object motion but not to background motion. However, when background and object were both moving, responses increase the more the direction and velocity of object and background motion on the retina differed. These properties may play a role in representing depth cues in the optic flow. We therefore investigated how neurons in nucleus rotundus respond to optic flow that contains depth cues. We presented simplified and naturalistic optic flow on a panoramic LED display while recording from single neurons in nucleus rotundus of anaesthetized zebra finches. Unlike most studies on motion vision in birds, our stimuli included depth information.We found extensive responses of motion selective neurons in nucleus rotundus to optic flow stimuli. Simplified stimuli revealed preferences for optic flow reflecting translational or rotational self-motion. Naturalistic optic flow stimuli elicited complex response modulations, but the presence of objects was signalled by only few neurons. The neurons that did respond to objects in the optic flow, however, show interesting properties.

  16. Medial prefrontal-hippocampal connectivity during emotional memory encoding predicts individual differences in the loss of associative memory specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkers, Ruud M W J; Klumpers, Floris; Fernández, Guillén

    2016-10-01

    Emotionally charged items are often remembered better, whereas a paradoxical loss of specificity is found for associative emotional information (specific memory). The balance between specific and generalized emotional memories appears to show large individual differences, potentially related to differences in (the risk for) affective disorders that are characterized by 'overgeneralized' emotional memories. Here, we investigate the neural underpinnings of individual differences in emotional associative memory. A large group of healthy male participants were scanned while encoding associations of face-photographs and written occupational identities that were of either neutral ('driver') or negative ('murderer') valence. Subsequently, memory was tested by prompting participants to retrieve the occupational identities corresponding to each face. Whereas in both valence categories a similar amount of faces was labeled correctly with 'neutral' and 'negative' identities, (gist memory), specific associations were found to be less accurately remembered when the occupational identity was negative compared to neutral (specific memory). This pattern of results suggests reduced memory specificity for associations containing a negatively valenced component. The encoding of these negative associations was paired with a selective increase in medial prefrontal cortex activity and medial prefrontal-hippocampal connectivity. Individual differences in valence-specific neural connectivity were predictive of valence-specific reduction of memory specificity. The relationship between loss of emotional memory specificity and medial prefrontal-hippocampal connectivity is in line with the hypothesized role of a medial prefrontal-hippocampal circuit in regulating memory specificity, and warrants further investigations in individuals displaying 'overgeneralized' emotional memories. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Evidence that hidden hearing loss underlies amplitude modulation encoding deficits in individuals with and without tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Brandon T; Bruce, Ian C; Roberts, Larry E

    2017-02-01

    Damage to auditory nerve fibers that expresses with suprathreshold sounds but is hidden from the audiogram has been proposed to underlie deficits in temporal coding ability observed among individuals with otherwise normal hearing, and to be present in individuals experiencing chronic tinnitus with clinically normal audiograms. We tested whether these individuals may have hidden synaptic losses on auditory nerve fibers with low spontaneous rates of firing (low-SR fibers) that are important for coding suprathreshold sounds in noise while high-SR fibers determining threshold responses in quiet remain relatively unaffected. Tinnitus and control subjects were required to detect the presence of amplitude modulation (AM) in a 5 kHz, suprathreshold tone (a frequency in the tinnitus frequency region of the tinnitus subjects, whose audiometric thresholds were normal to 12 kHz). The AM tone was embedded within background noise intended to degrade the contribution of high-SR fibers, such that AM coding was preferentially reliant on low-SR fibers. We also recorded by electroencephalography the "envelope following response" (EFR, generated in the auditory midbrain) to a 5 kHz, 85 Hz AM tone presented in the same background noise, and also in quiet (both low-SR and high-SR fibers contributing to AM coding in the latter condition). Control subjects with EFRs that were comparatively resistant to the addition of background noise had better AM detection thresholds than controls whose EFRs were more affected by noise. Simulated auditory nerve responses to our stimulus conditions using a well-established peripheral model suggested that low-SR fibers were better preserved in the former cases. Tinnitus subjects had worse AM detection thresholds and reduced EFRs overall compared to controls. Simulated auditory nerve responses found that in addition to severe low-SR fiber loss, a degree of high-SR fiber loss that would not be expected to affect audiometric thresholds was needed to

  18. UV-laser microdissection and mRNA expression analysis of individual neurons from postmortem Parkinson's disease brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gründemann, Jan; Schlaudraff, Falk; Liss, Birgit

    2011-01-01

    Cell specificity of gene expression analysis is essential to avoid tissue sample related artifacts, in particular when the relative number of target cells present in the compared tissues varies dramatically, e.g., when comparing dopamine neurons in midbrain tissues from control subjects with those from Parkinson's disease (PD) cases. Here, we describe a detailed protocol that combines contact-free UV-laser microdissection and quantitative PCR of reverse-transcribed RNA of individual neurons from postmortem human midbrain tissue from PD patients and unaffected controls. Among expression changes in a variety of dopamine neuron marker, maintenance, and cell-metabolism genes, we found that α-synuclein mRNA levels were significantly elevated in individual neuromelanin-positive dopamine midbrain neurons from PD brains when compared to those from matched controls.

  19. Integrated cannabinoid CB1 receptor transmission within the amygdala-prefrontal cortical pathway modulates neuronal plasticity and emotional memory encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Huibing; Lauzon, Nicole M; Bishop, Stephanie F; Bechard, Melanie A; Laviolette, Steven R

    2010-06-01

    The cannabinoid CB1 receptor system is functionally involved in the processing and encoding of emotionally salient sensory information, learning and memory. The CB1 receptor is found in high concentrations in brain structures that are critical for emotional processing, including the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). In addition, synaptic plasticity in the form of long-term potentiation (LTP) within the BLA > mPFC pathway is an established correlate of exposure to emotionally salient events. We performed a series of in vivo LTP studies by applying tetanic stimulation to the BLA combined with recordings of local field potentials within prelimbic cortical (PLC) region of the rat mPFC. Systemic pretreatment with AM-251 dose dependently blocked LTP along the BLA-PLC pathway and also the behavioral acquisition of conditioned fear memories. We next performed a series of microinfusion experiments wherein CB1 receptor transmission within the BLA > PLC circuit was pharmacologically blocked. Asymmetrical, interhemispheric blockade of CB1 receptor transmission along the BLA > PLC pathway prevented the acquisition of emotionally salient associative memory. Our results indicate that coordinated CB1 receptor transmission within the BLA > PLC pathway is critically involved in the encoding of emotional fear memories and modulates neural plasticity related to the encoding of emotionally salient associative learning.

  20. Brain connectivity during encoding and retrieval of spatial information: individual differences in navigation skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Greeshma; Gramann, Klaus; Chandra, Sushil; Singh, Vijander; Mittal, Alok Prakash

    2017-09-01

    Emerging evidence suggests that the variations in the ability to navigate through any real or virtual environment are accompanied by distinct underlying cortical activations in multiple regions of the brain. These activations may appear due to the use of different frame of reference (FOR) for representing an environment. The present study investigated the brain dynamics in the good and bad navigators using Graph Theoretical analysis applied to low-density electroencephalography (EEG) data. Individual navigation skills were rated according to the performance in a virtual reality (VR)-based navigation task and the effect of navigator's proclivity towards a particular FOR on the navigation performance was explored. Participants were introduced to a novel virtual environment that they learned from a first-person or an aerial perspective and were subsequently assessed on the basis of efficiency with which they learnt and recalled. The graph theoretical parameters, path length (PL), global efficiency (GE), and clustering coefficient (CC) were computed for the functional connectivity network in the theta and alpha frequency bands. During acquisition of the spatial information, good navigators were distinguished by a lower degree of dispersion in the functional connectivity compared to the bad navigators. Within the groups of good and bad navigators, better performers were characterised by the formation of multiple hubs at various sites and the percentage of connectivity or small world index. The proclivity towards a specific FOR during exploration of a new environment was not found to have any bearing on the spatial learning. These findings may have wider implications for how the functional connectivity in the good and bad navigators differs during spatial information acquisition and retrieval in the domains of rescue operations and defence systems.

  1. Immunocytochemistry and fluorescence imaging efficiently identify individual neurons with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in primary cortical cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsunematsu, Hiroto; Uyeda, Akiko; Yamamoto, Nobuhiko; Sugo, Noriyuki

    2017-08-01

    CRISPR/Cas9 system is a powerful method to investigate the role of genes by introducing a mutation selectively and efficiently to specific genome positions in cell and animal lines. However, in primary neuron cultures, this method is affected by the issue that the effectiveness of CRISPR/Cas9 is different in each neuron. Here, we report an easy, quick and reliable method to identify mutants induced by the CRISPR/Cas9 system at a single neuron level, using immunocytochemistry (ICC) and fluorescence imaging. Dissociated cortical cells were transfected with CRISPR/Cas9 plasmids targeting the transcription factor cAMP-response element binding protein (CREB). Fluorescence ICC with CREB antibody and quantitative analysis of fluorescence intensity demonstrated that CREB expression disappeared in a fraction of the transfected neurons. The downstream FOS expression was also decreased in accordance with suppressed CREB expression. Moreover, dendritic arborization was decreased in the transfected neurons which lacked CREB immunoreactivity. Detection of protein expression is efficient to identify individual postmitotic neurons with CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene disruption in primary cortical cultures. The present method composed of CRISPR/Cas9 system, ICC and fluorescence imaging is applicable to study the function of various genes at a single-neuron level.

  2. The Role of Inhibition in a Computational Model of an Auditory Cortical Neuron during the Encoding of Temporal Information

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendor, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    In auditory cortex, temporal information within a sound is represented by two complementary neural codes: a temporal representation based on stimulus-locked firing and a rate representation, where discharge rate co-varies with the timing between acoustic events but lacks a stimulus-synchronized response. Using a computational neuronal model, we find that stimulus-locked responses are generated when sound-evoked excitation is combined with strong, delayed inhibition. In contrast to this, a non-synchronized rate representation is generated when the net excitation evoked by the sound is weak, which occurs when excitation is coincident and balanced with inhibition. Using single-unit recordings from awake marmosets (Callithrix jacchus), we validate several model predictions, including differences in the temporal fidelity, discharge rates and temporal dynamics of stimulus-evoked responses between neurons with rate and temporal representations. Together these data suggest that feedforward inhibition provides a parsimonious explanation of the neural coding dichotomy observed in auditory cortex. PMID:25879843

  3. Haploinsufficiency of Dmxl2, encoding a synaptic protein, causes infertility associated with a loss of GnRH neurons in mouse.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brooke Tata

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Characterization of the genetic defects causing gonadotropic deficiency has made a major contribution to elucidation of the fundamental role of Kisspeptins and Neurokinin B in puberty onset and reproduction. The absence of puberty may also reveal neurodevelopmental disorders caused by molecular defects in various cellular pathways. Investigations of these neurodevelopmental disorders may provide information about the neuronal processes controlling puberty onset and reproductive capacity. We describe here a new syndrome observed in three brothers, which involves gonadotropic axis deficiency, central hypothyroidism, peripheral demyelinating sensorimotor polyneuropathy, mental retardation, and profound hypoglycemia, progressing to nonautoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. High-throughput sequencing revealed a homozygous in-frame deletion of 15 nucleotides in DMXL2 in all three affected patients. This homozygous deletion was associated with lower DMXL2 mRNA levels in the blood lymphocytes of the patients. DMXL2 encodes the synaptic protein rabconnectin-3α, which has been identified as a putative scaffold protein for Rab3-GAP and Rab3-GEP, two regulators of the GTPase Rab3a. We found that rabconnectin-3α was expressed in exocytosis vesicles in gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH axonal extremities in the median eminence of the hypothalamus. It was also specifically expressed in cells expressing luteinizing hormone (LH and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH within the pituitary. The conditional heterozygous deletion of Dmxl2 from mouse neurons delayed puberty and resulted in very low fertility. This reproductive phenotype was associated with a lower number of GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus of adult mice. Finally, Dmxl2 knockdown in an insulin-secreting cell line showed that rabconnectin-3α controlled the constitutive and glucose-induced secretion of insulin. In conclusion, this study shows that low levels of DMXL2 expression cause a

  4. Population coding in sparsely connected networks of noisy neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Tripp, Bryan P.; Orchard, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the relationship between population coding and spatial connection statistics in networks of noisy neurons. Encoding of sensory information in the neocortex is thought to require coordinated neural populations, because individual cortical neurons respond to a wide range of stimuli, and exhibit highly variable spiking in response to repeated stimuli. Population coding is rooted in network structure, because cortical neurons receive information only from other neurons, and be...

  5. The Networks of Genes Encoding Palmitoylated Proteins in Axonal and Synaptic Compartments Are Affected in PPT1 Overexpressing Neuronal-Like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francesco Pezzini

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available CLN1 disease (OMIM #256730 is an early childhood ceroid-lipofuscinosis associated with mutated CLN1, whose product Palmitoyl-Protein Thioesterase 1 (PPT1 is a lysosomal enzyme involved in the removal of palmitate residues from S-acylated proteins. In neurons, PPT1 expression is also linked to synaptic compartments. The aim of this study was to unravel molecular signatures connected to CLN1. We utilized SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells overexpressing wild type CLN1 (SH-p.wtCLN1 and five selected CLN1 patients’ mutations. The cellular distribution of wtPPT1 was consistent with regular processing of endogenous protein, partially detected inside Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 2 (LAMP2 positive vesicles, while the mutants displayed more diffuse cytoplasmic pattern. Transcriptomic profiling revealed 802 differentially expressed genes (DEGs in SH-p.wtCLN1 (as compared to empty-vector transfected cells, whereas the number of DEGs detected in the two mutants (p.L222P and p.M57Nfs*45 was significantly lower. Bioinformatic scrutiny linked DEGs with neurite formation and neuronal transmission. Specifically, neuritogenesis and proliferation of neuronal processes were predicted to be hampered in the wtCLN1 overexpressing cell line, and these findings were corroborated by morphological investigations. Palmitoylation survey identified 113 palmitoylated protein-encoding genes in SH-p.wtCLN1, including 25 ones simultaneously assigned to axonal growth and synaptic compartments. A remarkable decrease in the expression of palmitoylated proteins, functionally related to axonal elongation (GAP43, CRMP1 and NEFM and of the synaptic marker SNAP25, specifically in SH-p.wtCLN1 cells was confirmed by immunoblotting. Subsequent, bioinformatic network survey of DEGs assigned to the synaptic annotations linked 81 DEGs, including 23 ones encoding for palmitoylated proteins. Results obtained in this experimental setting outlined two affected functional modules (connected to

  6. Development and application of an optogenetic platform for controlling and imaging a large number of individual neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Ali Ibrahim Ali

    The understanding and treatment of brain disorders as well as the development of intelligent machines is hampered by the lack of knowledge of how the brain fundamentally functions. Over the past century, we have learned much about how individual neurons and neural networks behave, however new tools are critically needed to interrogate how neural networks give rise to complex brain processes and disease conditions. Recent innovations in molecular techniques, such as optogenetics, have enabled neuroscientists unprecedented precision to excite, inhibit and record defined neurons. The impressive sensitivity of currently available optogenetic sensors and actuators has now enabled the possibility of analyzing a large number of individual neurons in the brains of behaving animals. To promote the use of these optogenetic tools, this thesis integrates cutting edge optogenetic molecular sensors which is ultrasensitive for imaging neuronal activity with custom wide field optical microscope to analyze a large number of individual neurons in living brains. Wide-field microscopy provides a large field of view and better spatial resolution approaching the Abbe diffraction limit of fluorescent microscope. To demonstrate the advantages of this optical platform, we imaged a deep brain structure, the Hippocampus, and tracked hundreds of neurons over time while mouse was performing a memory task to investigate how those individual neurons related to behavior. In addition, we tested our optical platform in investigating transient neural network changes upon mechanical perturbation related to blast injuries. In this experiment, all blasted mice show a consistent change in neural network. A small portion of neurons showed a sustained calcium increase for an extended period of time, whereas the majority lost their activities. Finally, using optogenetic silencer to control selective motor cortex neurons, we examined their contributions to the network pathology of basal ganglia related to

  7. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estes, Patricia S; Daniel, Scott G; McCallum, Abigail P; Boehringer, Ashley V; Sukhina, Alona S; Zwick, Rebecca A; Zarnescu, Daniela C

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  8. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia S. Estes

    2013-05-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS is a fatal disease characterized by complex neuronal and glial phenotypes. Recently, RNA-based mechanisms have been linked to ALS via RNA-binding proteins such as TDP-43, which has been studied in vivo using models ranging from yeast to rodents. We have developed a Drosophila model of ALS based on TDP-43 that recapitulates several aspects of pathology, including motor neuron loss, locomotor dysfunction and reduced survival. Here we report the phenotypic consequences of expressing wild-type and four different ALS-linked TDP-43 mutations in neurons and glia. We show that TDP-43-driven neurodegeneration phenotypes are dose- and age-dependent. In motor neurons, TDP-43 appears restricted to nuclei, which are significantly misshapen due to mutant but not wild-type protein expression. In glia and in the developing neuroepithelium, TDP-43 associates with cytoplasmic puncta. TDP-43-containing RNA granules are motile in cultured motor neurons, although wild-type and mutant variants exhibit different kinetic properties. At the neuromuscular junction, the expression of TDP-43 in motor neurons versus glia leads to seemingly opposite synaptic phenotypes that, surprisingly, translate into comparable locomotor defects. Finally, we explore sleep as a behavioral readout of TDP-43 expression and find evidence of sleep fragmentation consistent with hyperexcitability, a suggested mechanism in ALS. These findings support the notion that although motor neurons and glia are both involved in ALS pathology, at the cellular level they can exhibit different responses to TDP-43. In addition, our data suggest that individual TDP-43 alleles utilize distinct molecular mechanisms, which will be important for developing therapeutic strategies.

  9. When larger brains do not have more neurons: Increased numbers of cells are compensated by decreased average cell size across mouse individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana eHerculano-Houzel

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available There is a strong trend toward increased brain size in mammalian evolution, with larger brains composed of more and larger neurons than smaller brains across species within each mammalian order. Does the evolution of increased numbers of brain neurons, and thus larger brain size, occur simply through the selection of individuals with more and larger neurons, and thus larger brains, within a population? That is, do individuals with larger brains also have more, and larger, neurons than individuals with smaller brains, such that allometric relationships across species are simply an extension of intraspecific scaling? Here we show that this is not the case across adult male mice of a similar age. Rather, increased numbers of neurons across individuals are accompanied by increased numbers of other cells and smaller average cell size of both types, in a trade-off that explains how increased brain mass does not necessarily ensue. Fundamental regulatory mechanisms thus must exist that tie numbers of neurons to numbers of other cells and to average cell size within individual brains. Finally, our results indicate that changes in brain size in evolution are not an extension of individual variation in numbers of neurons, but rather occur through step changes that must simultaneously increase numbers of neurons and cause cell size to increase, rather than decrease.

  10. Correlating Anatomy and Function with Gene Expression in Individual Neurons by Combining in Vivo Labeling, Patch Clamp, and Single Cell RNA-seq

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    Carsten K. Pfeffer

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The classification of neurons into distinct types is an ongoing effort aimed at revealing and understanding the diversity of the components of the nervous system. Recently available methods allow us to determine the gene expression pattern of individual neurons in the mammalian cerebral cortex to generate powerful categorization schemes. For a thorough understanding of neuronal diversity such genetic categorization schemes need to be combined with traditional classification parameters like position, axonal projection or response properties to sensory stimulation. Here we describe a method to link the gene expression of individual neurons with their position, axonal projection, or sensory response properties. Neurons are labeled in vivo based on their anatomical or functional properties and, using patch clamp pipettes, their RNA individually harvested in vitro for RNAseq. We validate the methodology using multiple established molecularly and anatomically distinct cell populations and explore molecular differences between uncharacterized neurons in mouse visual cortex. Gene expression patterns between L5 neurons projecting to frontal or contralateral cortex are distinct while L2 neurons differing in position, projection, or function are molecularly similar. With this method we can determine the genetic expression pattern of functionally and anatomically identified individual neurons.

  11. Individual sympathetic postganglionic neurons coinnervate myenteric ganglia and smooth muscle layers in the gastrointestinal tract of the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Gary C; Phillips, Robert J; McAdams, Jennifer L; Powley, Terry L

    2016-09-01

    A full description of the terminal architecture of sympathetic axons innervating the gastrointestinal (GI) tract has not been available. To label sympathetic fibers projecting to the gut muscle wall, dextran biotin was injected into the celiac and superior mesenteric ganglia (CSMG) of rats. Nine days postinjection, animals were euthanized and stomachs and small intestines were processed as whole mounts (submucosa and mucosa removed) to examine CSMG efferent terminals. Myenteric neurons were counterstained with Cuprolinic Blue; catecholaminergic axons were stained immunohistochemically for tyrosine hydroxylase. Essentially all dextran-labeled axons (135 of 136 sampled) were tyrosine hydroxylase-positive. Complete postganglionic arbors (n = 154) in the muscle wall were digitized and analyzed morphometrically. Individual sympathetic axons formed complex arbors of varicose neurites within myenteric ganglia/primary plexus and, concomitantly, long rectilinear arrays of neurites within circular muscle/secondary plexus or longitudinal muscle/tertiary plexus. Very few CSMG neurons projected exclusively (i.e., ∼100% of an arbor's varicose branches) to myenteric plexus (∼2%) or smooth muscle (∼14%). With less stringent inclusion criteria (i.e., ≥85% of an axon's varicose branches), larger minorities of neurons projected predominantly to either myenteric plexus (∼13%) or smooth muscle (∼27%). The majority (i.e., ∼60%) of all individual CSMG postganglionics formed mixed, heterotypic arbors that coinnervated extensively (>15% of their varicose branches per target) both myenteric ganglia and smooth muscle. The fact that ∼87% of all sympathetics projected either extensively or even predominantly to smooth muscle, while simultaneously contacting myenteric plexus, is consistent with the view that these neurons control GI muscle directly, if not exclusively. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2577-2603, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. The effects of overfeeding on the neuronal response to visual food cues in thin and reduced-obese individuals.

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    Marc-Andre Cornier

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available The regulation of energy intake is a complex process involving the integration of homeostatic signals and both internal and external sensory inputs. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of short-term overfeeding on the neuronal response to food-related visual stimuli in individuals prone and resistant to weight gain.22 thin and 19 reduced-obese (RO individuals were studied. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI was performed in the fasted state after two days of eucaloric energy intake and after two days of 30% overfeeding in a counterbalanced design. fMRI was performed while subjects viewed images of foods of high hedonic value and neutral non-food objects. In the eucaloric state, food as compared to non-food images elicited significantly greater activation of insula and inferior visual cortex in thin as compared to RO individuals. Two days of overfeeding led to significant attenuation of not only insula and visual cortex responses but also of hypothalamus response in thin as compared to RO individuals.These findings emphasize the important role of food-related visual cues in ingestive behavior and suggest that there are important phenotypic differences in the interactions between external visual sensory inputs, energy balance status, and brain regions involved in the regulation of energy intake. Furthermore, alterations in the neuronal response to food cues may relate to the propensity to gain weight.

  13. S36. DIFFERENTIAL ENCODING OF SENSITIZATION AND CROSS SENSITIZATION TO PSYCHOSTIMULANTS AND ANTIPSYCHOTICS IN NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS D1- AND D2- RECEPTOR EXPRESSING MEDIUM SPINY NEURONS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amato, Davide; Heinsbroek, Jasper; Kalivas, Peter W

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Background Nearly half of all individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia abuse addictive substances such as cocaine. Currently, the neurobiological mechanisms in patients with schizophrenia that lead to cocaine abuse are unknown. A possible explanation for the co-morbidity between schizophrenia and addiction is that the rewarding properties of cocaine reverse the diminished motivational drive caused by chronic antipsychotic regimen. Moreover, chronic antipsychotic treatment can sensitize and amplify cocaine rewarding effects and exacerbate psychoses. Methods The rewarding properties of cocaine are attributed to the differential effects of dopamine on D1 and D2 receptor-expressing medium spiny neurons (MSNs) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Using in vivo Ca2+ miniature microscopic imaging, we characterize the role of D1 and D2 MSN in mono- and a cross- sensitization paradigms. D1- and D2-Cre mice were injected with a Cre dependent calcium indicator (gCaMP6f) and implanted with a gradient index (GRIN) lens above the nucleus accumbens and calcium activity was recorded using a head mounted miniature microscope. Cocaine sensitization was measured after a classic repeated cocaine regiment and antipsychotic and psychostimulant cross-sensitization was measured by a single cocaine injection after chronic pre-treatment with haloperidol. Results We found that both D1-MSN and D2-MSN populations are modulated by initial cocaine experience and further modulated during the expression of cocaine sensitization. A subpopulation of D1-MSN displayed initial activation, but reduced activity during the expression of sensitization. By contrast, the majority of D2-MSNs were suppressed by initial cocaine experience, but became active during the expression of sensitization. Furthermore, activity of D1- and D2-MSNs bidirectionally related with the observed behavioral responses to cocaine. Cross-sensitization following haloperidol treatment led to increased behavioral responses to

  14. Intensified neuronal investment in the processing of chemosensory anxiety signals in non-socially anxious and socially anxious individuals.

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    Bettina M Pause

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ability to communicate anxiety through chemosensory signals has been documented in humans by behavioral, perceptual and brain imaging studies. Here, we investigate in a time-sensitive manner how chemosensory anxiety signals, donated by humans awaiting an academic examination, are processed by the human brain, by analyzing chemosensory event-related potentials (CSERPs, 64-channel recording with current source density analysis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In the first study cerebral stimulus processing was recorded from 28 non-socially anxious participants and in the second study from 16 socially anxious individuals. Each individual participated in two sessions, smelling sweat samples donated from either female or male donors (88 sessions; balanced session order. Most of the participants of both studies were unable to detect the stimuli olfactorily. In non-socially anxious females, CSERPs demonstrate an increased magnitude of the P3 component in response to chemosensory anxiety signals. The source of this P3 activity was allocated to medial frontal brain areas. In socially anxious females chemosensory anxiety signals require more neuronal resources during early pre-attentive stimulus processing (N1. The neocortical sources of this activity were located within medial and lateral frontal brain areas. In general, the event-related neuronal brain activity in males was much weaker than in females. However, socially anxious males processed chemosensory anxiety signals earlier (N1 latency than the control stimuli collected during an ergometer training. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: It is concluded that the processing of chemosensory anxiety signals requires enhanced neuronal energy. Socially anxious individuals show an early processing bias towards social fear signals, resulting in a repression of late attentional stimulus processing.

  15. Discrimination of Communication Vocalizations by Single Neurons and Groups of Neurons in the Auditory Midbrain

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider, David M.; Woolley, Sarah M. N.

    2010-01-01

    Many social animals including songbirds use communication vocalizations for individual recognition. The perception of vocalizations depends on the encoding of complex sounds by neurons in the ascending auditory system, each of which is tuned to a particular subset of acoustic features. Here, we examined how well the responses of single auditory neurons could be used to discriminate among bird songs and we compared discriminability to spectrotemporal tuning. We then used biologically realistic...

  16. Elevated mRNA-levels of distinct mitochondrial and plasma membrane Ca2+ transporters in individual hypoglossal motor neurons of endstage SOD1 transgenic mice.

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    Tobias eMühling

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Disturbances in Ca2+ homeostasis and mitochondrial dysfunction have emerged as major pathogenic features in familial and sporadic forms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, a fatal degenerative motor neuron disease. However, the distinct molecular ALS-pathology remains unclear. Recently, an activity-dependent Ca2+ homeostasis deficit, selectively in highly vulnerable cholinergic motor neurons in the hypoglossal nucleus (hMNs from a common ALS mouse model, endstage superoxide dismutase SOD1G93A transgenic mice, was described. This functional deficit was defined by a reduced hMN mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake capacity and elevated Ca2+ extrusion across the plasma membrane. To address the underlying molecular mechanisms, here we quantified mRNA-levels of respective potential mitochondrial and plasma membrane Ca2+ transporters in individual, choline-acetyltransferase (ChAT positive hMNs from wildtype (WT and endstage SOD1G93A mice, by combining UV laser microdissection with RT-qPCR techniques, and specific data normalization. As ChAT cDNA levels as well as cDNA and genomic DNA levels of the mitochondrially encoded NADH dehydrogenase ND1 were not different between hMNs from WT and endstage SOD1G93A mice, these genes were used to normalize hMN-specific mRNA-levels of plasma membrane and mitochondrial Ca2+ transporters, respectively. We detected about 2-fold higher levels of the mitochondrial Ca2+ transporters MCU/MICU1, Letm1 and UCP2 in remaining hMNs from endstage SOD1G93A mice. These higher expression-levels of mitochondrial Ca2+ transporters in individual hMNs were not associated with a respective increase in number of mitochondrial genomes, as evident from hMN specific ND1 DNA quantification. Normalized mRNA-levels for the plasma membrane Na2+/Ca2+exchanger NCX1 was also about 2-fold higher in hMNs from SOD1G93A mice. Thus, pharmacological stimulation of Ca2+ transporters in highly vulnerable hMNs might offer a novel neuroprotective strategy for ALS.

  17. Medial prefrontal-hippocampal connectivity during emotional memory encoding predicts individual differences in the loss of associative memory specificity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berkers, R.M.W.J.; Klumpers, F.; Fernandez, G.S.E.

    2016-01-01

    Emotionally charged items are often remembered better, whereas a paradoxical loss of specificity is found for associative emotional information (specific memory). The balance between specific and generalized emotional memories appears to show large individual differences, potentially related to

  18. Medial prefrontal–hippocampal connectivity during emotional memory encoding predicts individual differences in the loss of associative memory specificity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berkers, R.M.W.J.; Klumpers, F.; Fernandez, G.S.E.

    2016-01-01

    Emotionally charged items are often remembered better, whereas a paradoxical loss of specificity is found for associative emotional information (specific memory). The balance between specific and generalized emotional memories appears to show large individual differences, potentially related to

  19. The Prdm13 histone methyltransferase encoding gene is a Ptf1a-Rbpj downstream target that suppresses glutamatergic and promotes GABAergic neuronal fate in the dorsal neural tube

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanotel, Julie; Bessodes, Nathalie; Thélie, Aurore

    2014-01-01

    The basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcriptional activator Ptf1a determines inhibitory GABAergic over excitatory glutamatergic neuronal cell fate in progenitors of the vertebrate dorsal spinal cord, cerebellum and retina. In an in situ hybridization expression survey of PR domain containing genes...... encoding putative chromatin-remodeling zinc finger transcription factors in Xenopus embryos, we identified Prdm13 as a histone methyltransferase belonging to the Ptf1a synexpression group. Gain and loss of Ptf1a function analyses in both frog and mice indicates that Prdm13 is positively regulated by Ptf1a...

  20. Neuronal Intra-Individual Variability Masks Response Selection Differences between ADHD Subtypes—A Need to Change Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annet Bluschke

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Due to the high intra-individual variability in attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, there may be considerable bias in knowledge about altered neurophysiological processes underlying executive dysfunctions in patients with different ADHD subtypes. When aiming to establish dimensional cognitive-neurophysiological constructs representing symptoms of ADHD as suggested by the initiative for Research Domain Criteria, it is crucial to consider such processes independent of variability. We examined patients with the predominantly inattentive subtype (attention deficit disorder, ADD and the combined subtype of ADHD (ADHD-C in a flanker task measuring conflict control. Groups were matched for task performance. Besides using classic event-related potential (ERP techniques and source localization, neurophysiological data was also analyzed using residue iteration decomposition (RIDE to statistically account for intra-individual variability and S-LORETA to estimate the sources of the activations. The analysis of classic ERPs related to conflict monitoring revealed no differences between patients with ADD and ADHD-C. When individual variability was accounted for, clear differences became apparent in the RIDE C-cluster (analog to the P3 ERP-component. While patients with ADD distinguished between compatible and incompatible flanker trials early on, patients with ADHD-C seemed to employ more cognitive resources overall. These differences are reflected in inferior parietal areas. The study demonstrates differences in neuronal mechanisms related to response selection processes between ADD and ADHD-C which, according to source localization, arise from the inferior parietal cortex. Importantly, these differences could only be detected when accounting for intra-individual variability. The results imply that it is very likely that differences in neurophysiological processes between ADHD subtypes are underestimated and have not been recognized because intra-individual

  1. Brain dynamics of visual attention during anticipation and encoding of threat- and safe-cues in spider-phobic individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michalowski, Jaroslaw M; Pané-Farré, Christiane A; Löw, Andreas; Hamm, Alfons O

    2015-09-01

    This study systematically investigated the sensitivity of the phobic attention system by measuring event-related potentials (ERPs) in spider-phobic and non-phobic volunteers in a context where spider and neutral pictures were presented (phobic threat condition) and in contexts where no phobic but unpleasant and neutral or only neutral pictures were displayed (phobia-irrelevant conditions). In a between-group study, participants were assigned to phobia-irrelevant conditions either before or after the exposure to spider pictures (pre-exposure vs post-exposure participants). Additionally, each picture was preceded by a fixation cross presented in one of three different colors that were informative about the category of an upcoming picture. In the phobic threat condition, spider-phobic participants showed a larger P1 than controls for all pictures and signal cues. Moreover, individuals with spider phobia who were sensitized by the exposure to phobic stimuli (i.e. post-exposure participants) responded with an increased P1 also in phobia-irrelevant conditions. In contrast, no group differences between spider-phobic and non-phobic individuals were observed in the P1-amplitudes during viewing of phobia-irrelevant stimuli in the pre-exposure group. In addition, cues signaling neutral pictures elicited decreased stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN) compared with cues signaling emotional pictures. Moreover, emotional pictures and cues signaling emotional pictures evoked larger early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) than neutral stimuli. Spider phobics showed greater selective attention effects than controls for phobia-relevant pictures (increased EPN and LPP) and cues (increased LPP and SPN). Increased sensitization of the attention system observed in spider-phobic individuals might facilitate fear conditioning and promote generalization of fear playing an important role in the maintenance of anxiety disorders. © The Author (2015). Published by

  2. Discrimination of communication vocalizations by single neurons and groups of neurons in the auditory midbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, David M; Woolley, Sarah M N

    2010-06-01

    Many social animals including songbirds use communication vocalizations for individual recognition. The perception of vocalizations depends on the encoding of complex sounds by neurons in the ascending auditory system, each of which is tuned to a particular subset of acoustic features. Here, we examined how well the responses of single auditory neurons could be used to discriminate among bird songs and we compared discriminability to spectrotemporal tuning. We then used biologically realistic models of pooled neural responses to test whether the responses of groups of neurons discriminated among songs better than the responses of single neurons and whether discrimination by groups of neurons was related to spectrotemporal tuning and trial-to-trial response variability. The responses of single auditory midbrain neurons could be used to discriminate among vocalizations with a wide range of abilities, ranging from chance to 100%. The ability to discriminate among songs using single neuron responses was not correlated with spectrotemporal tuning. Pooling the responses of pairs of neurons generally led to better discrimination than the average of the two inputs and the most discriminating input. Pooling the responses of three to five single neurons continued to improve neural discrimination. The increase in discriminability was largest for groups of neurons with similar spectrotemporal tuning. Further, we found that groups of neurons with correlated spike trains achieved the largest gains in discriminability. We simulated neurons with varying levels of temporal precision and measured the discriminability of responses from single simulated neurons and groups of simulated neurons. Simulated neurons with biologically observed levels of temporal precision benefited more from pooling correlated inputs than did neurons with highly precise or imprecise spike trains. These findings suggest that pooling correlated neural responses with the levels of precision observed in the

  3. Serotonin-immunoreactivity in the ventral nerve cord of Pycnogonida--support for individually identifiable neurons as ancestral feature of the arthropod nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenneis, Georg; Scholtz, Gerhard

    2015-07-10

    The arthropod ventral nerve cord features a comparably low number of serotonin-immunoreactive neurons, occurring in segmentally repeated arrays. In different crustaceans and hexapods, these neurons have been individually identified and even inter-specifically homologized, based on their soma positions and neurite morphologies. Stereotypic sets of serotonin-immunoreactive neurons are also present in myriapods, whereas in the investigated chelicerates segmental neuron clusters with higher and variable cell numbers have been reported. This led to the suggestion that individually identifiable serotonin-immunoreactive neurons are an apomorphic feature of the Mandibulata. To test the validity of this neurophylogenetic hypothesis, we studied serotonin-immunoreactivity in three species of Pycnogonida (sea spiders). This group of marine arthropods is nowadays most plausibly resolved as sister group to all other extant chelicerates, rendering its investigation crucial for a reliable reconstruction of arthropod nervous system evolution. In all three investigated pycnogonids, the ventral walking leg ganglia contain different types of serotonin-immunoreactive neurons, the somata of which occurring mostly singly or in pairs within the ganglionic cortex. Several of these neurons are readily and consistently identifiable due to their stereotypic soma position and characteristic neurite morphology. They can be clearly homologized across different ganglia and different specimens as well as across the three species. Based on these homologous neurons, we reconstruct for their last common ancestor (presumably the pycnogonid stem species) a minimal repertoire of at least seven identified serotonin-immunoreactive neurons per hemiganglion. Beyond that, each studied species features specific pattern variations, which include also some neurons that were not reliably labeled in all specimens. Our results unequivocally demonstrate the presence of individually identifiable serotonin

  4. Structural encoding processes contribute to individual differences in face and object cognition: Inferences from psychometric test performance and event-related brain potentials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowparast Rostami, Hadiseh; Sommer, Werner; Zhou, Changsong; Wilhelm, Oliver; Hildebrandt, Andrea

    2017-10-01

    The enhanced N1 component in event-related potentials (ERP) to face stimuli, termed N170, is considered to indicate the structural encoding of faces. Previously, individual differences in the latency of the N170 have been related to face and object cognition abilities. By orthogonally manipulating content domain (faces vs objects) and task demands (easy/speed vs difficult/accuracy) in both psychometric and EEG tasks, we investigated the uniqueness of the processes underlying face cognition as compared with object cognition and the extent to which the N1/N170 component can explain individual differences in face and object cognition abilities. Data were recorded from N = 198 healthy young adults. Structural equation modeling (SEM) confirmed that the accuracies of face perception (FP) and memory are specific abilities above general object cognition; in contrast, the speed of face processing was not differentiable from the speed of object cognition. Although there was considerable domain-general variance in the N170 shared with the N1, there was significant face-specific variance in the N170. The brain-behavior relationship showed that faster face-specific processes for structural encoding of faces are associated with higher accuracy in both perceiving and memorizing faces. Moreover, in difficult task conditions, qualitatively different processes are additionally needed for recognizing face and object stimuli as compared with easy tasks. The difficulty-dependent variance components in the N170 amplitude were related with both face and object memory (OM) performance. We discuss implications for understanding individual differences in face cognition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Population Coding in Sparsely Connected Networks of Noisy Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bryan Patrick Tripp

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the relationship between population coding and spatial connection statistics in networks of noisy neurons. Encoding of sensory information in the neocortex is thought to require coordinated neural populations, because individual cortical neurons respond to a wide range of stimuli, and exhibit highly variable spiking in response to repeated stimuli. Population coding is rooted in network structure, because cortical neurons receive information only from other neurons, and because the information they encode must be decoded by other neurons, if it is to affect behaviour. However, population coding theory has often ignored network structure, or assumed discrete, fully-connected populations (in contrast with the sparsely connected, continuous sheet of the cortex. In this study, we model a sheet of cortical neurons with sparse, primarily local connections, and find that a network with this structure can encode multiple internal state variables with high signal-to-noise ratio. However, in our model, although connection probability varies with the distance between neurons, we find that the connections cannot be instantiated at random according to these probabilities, but must have additional structure if information is to be encoded with high fidelity.

  6. STD-dependent and independent encoding of input irregularity as spike rate in a computational model of a cerebellar nucleus neuron

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. Luthman (Johannes); F.E. Hoebeek (Freek); R. Maex (Reinoud); N. Davey (Neil); R. Adams (Rod); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); V. Steuber (Volker)

    2011-01-01

    textabstractNeurons in the cerebellar nuclei (CN) receive inhibitory inputs from Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex and provide the major output from the cerebellum, but their computational function is not well understood. It has recently been shown that the spike activity of Purkinje cells is

  7. The self-imagination effect: benefits of a self-referential encoding strategy on cued recall in memory-impaired individuals with neurological damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grilli, Matthew D; Glisky, Elizabeth L

    2011-09-01

    Knowledge of oneself is preserved in many memory-impaired individuals with neurological damage. Therefore, cognitive strategies that capitalize on mechanisms related to the self may be particularly effective at enhancing memory in this population. The present study investigated the effect of "self-imagining," imagining an event from a personal perspective, on short and long delayed cued recall in memory-impaired individuals with neurological damage. Sixteen patients intentionally encoded word pairs under four separate conditions: visual imagery, semantic elaboration, other person imagining, and self-imagining. The results revealed that self-imagining led to better performance than other-imagining, semantic elaboration, and visual imagery. Furthermore, the "self-imagination effect" (SIE) was preserved after a 30-min delay and was independent of memory functioning. These findings indicate that self-imagining provides a mnemonic advantage in brain-injured individuals, even those with relatively poor memory functioning, and suggest that self-imagining may tap into mnemonic mechanisms related to the self.

  8. 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.

  9. Automatically tracking neurons in a moving and deforming brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey P Nguyen

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Advances in optical neuroimaging techniques now allow neural activity to be recorded with cellular resolution in awake and behaving animals. Brain motion in these recordings pose a unique challenge. The location of individual neurons must be tracked in 3D over time to accurately extract single neuron activity traces. Recordings from small invertebrates like C. elegans are especially challenging because they undergo very large brain motion and deformation during animal movement. Here we present an automated computer vision pipeline to reliably track populations of neurons with single neuron resolution in the brain of a freely moving C. elegans undergoing large motion and deformation. 3D volumetric fluorescent images of the animal's brain are straightened, aligned and registered, and the locations of neurons in the images are found via segmentation. Each neuron is then assigned an identity using a new time-independent machine-learning approach we call Neuron Registration Vector Encoding. In this approach, non-rigid point-set registration is used to match each segmented neuron in each volume with a set of reference volumes taken from throughout the recording. The way each neuron matches with the references defines a feature vector which is clustered to assign an identity to each neuron in each volume. Finally, thin-plate spline interpolation is used to correct errors in segmentation and check consistency of assigned identities. The Neuron Registration Vector Encoding approach proposed here is uniquely well suited for tracking neurons in brains undergoing large deformations. When applied to whole-brain calcium imaging recordings in freely moving C. elegans, this analysis pipeline located 156 neurons for the duration of an 8 minute recording and consistently found more neurons more quickly than manual or semi-automated approaches.

  10. Spiking Neurons for Analysis of Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terrance

    2008-01-01

    Artificial neural networks comprising spiking neurons of a novel type have been conceived as improved pattern-analysis and pattern-recognition computational systems. These neurons are represented by a mathematical model denoted the state-variable model (SVM), which among other things, exploits a computational parallelism inherent in spiking-neuron geometry. Networks of SVM neurons offer advantages of speed and computational efficiency, relative to traditional artificial neural networks. The SVM also overcomes some of the limitations of prior spiking-neuron models. There are numerous potential pattern-recognition, tracking, and data-reduction (data preprocessing) applications for these SVM neural networks on Earth and in exploration of remote planets. Spiking neurons imitate biological neurons more closely than do the neurons of traditional artificial neural networks. A spiking neuron includes a central cell body (soma) surrounded by a tree-like interconnection network (dendrites). Spiking neurons are so named because they generate trains of output pulses (spikes) in response to inputs received from sensors or from other neurons. They gain their speed advantage over traditional neural networks by using the timing of individual spikes for computation, whereas traditional artificial neurons use averages of activity levels over time. Moreover, spiking neurons use the delays inherent in dendritic processing in order to efficiently encode the information content of incoming signals. Because traditional artificial neurons fail to capture this encoding, they have less processing capability, and so it is necessary to use more gates when implementing traditional artificial neurons in electronic circuitry. Such higher-order functions as dynamic tasking are effected by use of pools (collections) of spiking neurons interconnected by spike-transmitting fibers. The SVM includes adaptive thresholds and submodels of transport of ions (in imitation of such transport in biological

  11. Population coding in sparsely connected networks of noisy neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tripp, Bryan P; Orchard, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the relationship between population coding and spatial connection statistics in networks of noisy neurons. Encoding of sensory information in the neocortex is thought to require coordinated neural populations, because individual cortical neurons respond to a wide range of stimuli, and exhibit highly variable spiking in response to repeated stimuli. Population coding is rooted in network structure, because cortical neurons receive information only from other neurons, and because the information they encode must be decoded by other neurons, if it is to affect behavior. However, population coding theory has often ignored network structure, or assumed discrete, fully connected populations (in contrast with the sparsely connected, continuous sheet of the cortex). In this study, we modeled a sheet of cortical neurons with sparse, primarily local connections, and found that a network with this structure could encode multiple internal state variables with high signal-to-noise ratio. However, we were unable to create high-fidelity networks by instantiating connections at random according to spatial connection probabilities. In our models, high-fidelity networks required additional structure, with higher cluster factors and correlations between the inputs to nearby neurons.

  12. Long-term subregion-specific encoding of enhanced ethanol intake by D1DR medium spiny neurons of the nucleus accumbens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renteria, Rafael; Buske, Tavanna R; Morrisett, Richard A

    2018-03-01

    The nucleus accumbens (NAc) is a critical component of the mesocorticolimbic system and is involved in mediating the motivational and reinforcing aspects of ethanol consumption. Chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure is a reliable model to induce ethanol dependence and increase volitional ethanol consumption in mice. Following a CIE-induced escalation of ethanol consumption, NMDAR (N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor)-dependent long-term depression in D1 dopamine receptor expressing medium spiny neurons of the NAc shell was markedly altered with no changes in plasticity in D1 dopamine receptor medium spiny neurons from the NAc core. This disruption of plasticity persisted for up to 2 weeks after cessation of ethanol access. To determine if changes in AMPA receptor (AMPAR) composition contribute to this ethanol-induced neuroadaptation, we monitored the rectification of AMPAR excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). We observed a marked decrease in the rectification index in the NAc shell, suggesting the presence of GluA2-lacking AMPARs. There was no change in the amplitude of spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs), but there was a transient increase in sEPSC frequency in the NAc shell. Using the paired pulse ratio, we detected a similar transient increase in the probability of neurotransmitter release. With no change in sEPSC amplitude, the change in the rectification index suggests that GluA2-containing AMPARs are removed and replaced with GluA2-lacking AMPARs in the NAc shell. This CIE-induced alteration in AMPAR subunit composition may contribute to the loss of NMDAR-dependent long-term depression in the NAc shell and therefore may constitute a critical neuroadaptive response underlying the escalation of ethanol intake in the CIE model. © 2017 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  13. Displacement encoder

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hesketh, T.G.

    1983-01-01

    In an optical encoder, light from an optical fibre input A is encoded by means of the encoding disc and is subsequently collected for transmission via optical fibre B. At some point in the optical path between the fibres A and B, the light is separated into component form by means of a filtering or dispersive system and each colour component is associated with a respective one of the coding channels of the disc. In this way, the significance of each bit of the coded information is represented by a respective colour thereby enabling the components to be re-combined for transmission by the fibre B without loss of information. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deneve, Sophie; Chalk, Matthew

    2016-04-01

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

  15. The Languages of Neurons: An Analysis of Coding Mechanisms by Which Neurons Communicate, Learn and Store Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Morris H. Baslow

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available In this paper evidence is provided that individual neurons possess language, and that the basic unit for communication consists of two neurons and their entire field of interacting dendritic and synaptic connections. While information processing in the brain is highly complex, each neuron uses a simple mechanism for transmitting information. This is in the form of temporal electrophysiological action potentials or spikes (S operating on a millisecond timescale that, along with pauses (P between spikes constitute a two letter “alphabet” that generates meaningful frequency-encoded signals or neuronal S/P “words” in a primary language. However, when a word from an afferent neuron enters the dendritic-synaptic-dendritic field between two neurons, it is translated into a new frequency-encoded word with the same meaning, but in a different spike-pause language, that is delivered to and understood by the efferent neuron. It is suggested that this unidirectional inter-neuronal language-based word translation step is of utmost importance to brain function in that it allows for variations in meaning to occur. Thus, structural or biochemical changes in dendrites or synapses can produce novel words in the second language that have changed meanings, allowing for a specific signaling experience, either external or internal, to modify the meaning of an original word (learning, and store the learned information of that experience (memory in the form of an altered dendritic-synaptic-dendritic field.

  16. 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.

  17. Humoral Responses to Rv1733c, Rv0081, Rv1735c, and Rv1737c DosR Regulon-Encoded Proteins of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Individuals with Latent Tuberculosis Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon G. Kimuda

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI is evidence of immunological control of tuberculosis. Dormancy survival regulator (DosR regulon-encoded proteins may have a role in the maintenance of LTBI. T cell responses to Rv1733c, Rv0081, Rv1735c, and Rv1737c DosR regulon-encoded proteins were found to be most frequent among household contacts of TB cases from Uganda compared to other DosR proteins, but antibody responses were not described. We characterized antibody responses to these proteins in individuals from Uganda. Antibodies to Rv1733c, Rv0081, Rv1735c, and Rv1737c DosR regulon-encoded proteins were measured in 68 uninfected individuals, 62 with LTBI, and 107 with active pulmonary tuberculosis (APTB cases. There were no differences in the concentrations of antibodies to Rv0081, Rv1735c, and Rv1737c DosR regulon-encoded proteins between individuals with LTBI and APTB and those who were uninfected. LTBI was associated with higher concentrations of antibodies to Rv1733c in female participants [adjusted geometric mean ratio: 1.812, 95% confidence interval (CI: 1.105 2.973, and p=0.019] but not in males (p value for interaction = 0.060. Antibodies to the four DosR regulon-encoded proteins investigated may not serve as good biomarkers of LTBI in the general population. More of the M.tb proteome needs to be screened to identify proteins that induce strong antibody responses in LTBI.

  18. [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.

  19. Pictures as cues or as support to verbal cues at encoding and execution of prospective memories in individuals with intellectual disability

    OpenAIRE

    Levén, Anna; Lyxell, Björn; Andersson, Jan; Danielsson, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on prospective memory in persons with intellectual disability and age-matched controls. Persons with intellectual disability have limited prospective memory function. We investigated prospective memory with words and pictures as cues at encoding and retrieval. Prospective and episodic memory was estimated from Prospective Memory Game performance. Pictures at retrieval were important for prospective memory in particular in the intellectual disability group. Prospective memor...

  20. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Bozorg Nia, Shahrzad; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I

    2014-02-10

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons are identified by their Go-like immunoreactivity, and show a distinct spatial distribution within the olfactory epithelium, similar to, but significantly different from that of crypt neurons. Furthermore, kappe neurons project to a single identified target glomerulus within the olfactory bulb, mdg5 of the mediodorsal cluster, whereas crypt neurons are known to project exclusively to the mdg2 glomerulus. Kappe neurons are negative for established markers of ciliated, microvillous and crypt neurons, but appear to have microvilli. Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system.

  1. 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.

  2. Neuronal Correlates of Individual Differences in the Big Five Personality Traits: Evidences from Cortical Morphology and Functional Homogeneity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ting Li

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available There have been many neuroimaging studies of human personality traits, and it have already provided glimpse into the neurobiology of complex traits. And most of previous studies adopt voxel-based morphology (VBM analysis to explore the brain-personality mechanism from two levels (vertex and regional based, the findings are mixed with great inconsistencies and the brain-personality relations are far from a full understanding. Here, we used a new method of surface-based morphology (SBM analysis, which provides better alignment of cortical landmarks to generate about the associations between cortical morphology and the personality traits across 120 healthy individuals at both vertex and regional levels. While to further reveal local functional correlates of the morphology-personality relationships, we related surface-based functional homogeneity measures to the regions identified in the regional-based SBM correlation. Vertex-wise analysis revealed that people with high agreeableness exhibited larger areas in the left superior temporal gyrus. Based on regional parcellation we found that extroversion was negatively related with the volume of the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus and agreeableness was negatively associated with the sulcus depth of the left superior parietal lobule. Moreover, increased regional homogeneity in the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus is related to the scores of extroversion, and increased regional homogeneity in the left superior parietal lobule is related to the scores of agreeableness. These findings provide supporting evidence of a link between personality and brain structural mysteries with a method of SBM, and further suggest that local functional homogeneity of personality traits has neurobiological relevance that is likely based on anatomical substrates.

  3. Neuronal Correlates of Individual Differences in the Big Five Personality Traits: Evidences from Cortical Morphology and Functional Homogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ting; Yan, Xu; Li, Yuan; Wang, Junjie; Li, Qiang; Li, Hong; Li, Junfeng

    2017-01-01

    There have been many neuroimaging studies of human personality traits, and it have already provided glimpse into the neurobiology of complex traits. And most of previous studies adopt voxel-based morphology (VBM) analysis to explore the brain-personality mechanism from two levels (vertex and regional based), the findings are mixed with great inconsistencies and the brain-personality relations are far from a full understanding. Here, we used a new method of surface-based morphology (SBM) analysis, which provides better alignment of cortical landmarks to generate about the associations between cortical morphology and the personality traits across 120 healthy individuals at both vertex and regional levels. While to further reveal local functional correlates of the morphology-personality relationships, we related surface-based functional homogeneity measures to the regions identified in the regional-based SBM correlation. Vertex-wise analysis revealed that people with high agreeableness exhibited larger areas in the left superior temporal gyrus. Based on regional parcellation we found that extroversion was negatively related with the volume of the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus and agreeableness was negatively associated with the sulcus depth of the left superior parietal lobule. Moreover, increased regional homogeneity in the left lateral occipito-temporal gyrus is related to the scores of extroversion, and increased regional homogeneity in the left superior parietal lobule is related to the scores of agreeableness. These findings provide supporting evidence of a link between personality and brain structural mysteries with a method of SBM, and further suggest that local functional homogeneity of personality traits has neurobiological relevance that is likely based on anatomical substrates.

  4. NeuronBank: a tool for cataloging neuronal circuitry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul S Katz

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe NeuronBank.org, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models.

  5. Modeling task-specific neuronal ensembles improves decoding of grasp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Ryan J.; Soares, Alcimar B.; Rouse, Adam G.; Schieber, Marc H.; Thakor, Nitish V.

    2018-06-01

    Objective. Dexterous movement involves the activation and coordination of networks of neuronal populations across multiple cortical regions. Attempts to model firing of individual neurons commonly treat the firing rate as directly modulating with motor behavior. However, motor behavior may additionally be associated with modulations in the activity and functional connectivity of neurons in a broader ensemble. Accounting for variations in neural ensemble connectivity may provide additional information about the behavior being performed. Approach. In this study, we examined neural ensemble activity in primary motor cortex (M1) and premotor cortex (PM) of two male rhesus monkeys during performance of a center-out reach, grasp and manipulate task. We constructed point process encoding models of neuronal firing that incorporated task-specific variations in the baseline firing rate as well as variations in functional connectivity with the neural ensemble. Models were evaluated both in terms of their encoding capabilities and their ability to properly classify the grasp being performed. Main results. Task-specific ensemble models correctly predicted the performed grasp with over 95% accuracy and were shown to outperform models of neuronal activity that assume only a variable baseline firing rate. Task-specific ensemble models exhibited superior decoding performance in 82% of units in both monkeys (p  <  0.01). Inclusion of ensemble activity also broadly improved the ability of models to describe observed spiking. Encoding performance of task-specific ensemble models, measured by spike timing predictability, improved upon baseline models in 62% of units. Significance. These results suggest that additional discriminative information about motor behavior found in the variations in functional connectivity of neuronal ensembles located in motor-related cortical regions is relevant to decode complex tasks such as grasping objects, and may serve the basis for more

  6. A fast analysis method for non-invasive imaging of blood flow in individual cerebral arteries using vessel-encoded arterial spin labelling angiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chappell, Michael A.; Okell, Thomas W.; Payne, Stephen J.; Jezzard, Peter; Woolrich, Mark W.

    2012-01-01

    Arterial spin labelling (ASL) MRI offers a non-invasive means to create blood-borne contrast in vivo for dynamic angiographic imaging. By spatial modulation of the ASL process it is possible to uniquely label individual arteries over a series of measurements, allowing each to be separately identified in the resulting angiographic images. This separation requires appropriate analysis for which a general Bayesian framework has previously been proposed. Here this framework is adapted for clinical dynamic angiographic imaging. This specifically addresses the issues of computational speed of the algorithm and the robustness required to deal with real patient data. An algorithm is proposed that can incorporate planning information about the arteries being imaged whilst adapting for subsequent patient movement. A fast maximum a posteriori solution is adopted and shown to be only marginally less accurate than Monte Carlo sampling under simulation. The final algorithm is demonstrated on in vivo data with analysis on a time scale of the order of 10 min, from both a healthy control and a patient with a vertebro-basilar occlusion. PMID:22322066

  7. 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.

  8. A Preliminary Study of DBH (Encoding Dopamine Beta-Hydroxylase) Genetic Variation and Neural Correlates of Emotional and Motivational Processing in Individuals With and Without Pathological Gambling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bao-Zhu; Balodis, Iris M; Lacadie, Cheryl M; Xu, Jiansong; Potenza, Marc N

    2016-06-01

    Background and aims Corticostriatal-limbic neurocircuitry, emotional and motivational processing, dopaminergic and noradrenergic systems and genetic factors have all been implicated in pathological gambling (PG). However, allelic variants of genes influencing dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurotransmitters have not been investigated with respect to the neural correlates of emotional and motivational states in PG. Dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) converts dopamine to norepinephrine; the T allele of a functional single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1611115 (C-1021T) in the DBH gene is associated with less DBH activity and has been linked to emotional processes and addiction. Here, we investigate the influence of rs1611115 on the neural correlates of emotional and motivational processing in PG and healthy comparison (HC) participants. Methods While undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging, 18 PG and 25 HC participants, all European Americans, viewed gambling-, sad-, and cocaine-related videotapes. Analyses focused on brain activation differences related to DBH genotype (CC/T-carrier [i.e., CT and TT]) and condition (sad/gambling/cocaine). Results CC participants demonstrated greater recruitment of corticostriatal-limbic regions, relative to T-carriers. DBH variants were also associated with altered corticostriatal-limbic activations across the different videotape conditions, and this association appeared to be driven by greater activation in CC participants relative to T-carriers during the sad condition. CC relative to T-carrier subjects also reported greater subjective sadness to the sad videotapes. Conclusions Individual differences in genetic composition linked to aminergic function contribute significantly to emotional regulation across diagnostic groups and warrant further investigation in PG.

  9. Dynamic Information Encoding With Dynamic Synapses in Neural Adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Luozheng; Mi, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Wenhao; Wang, Da-Hui; Wu, Si

    2018-01-01

    Adaptation refers to the general phenomenon that the neural system dynamically adjusts its response property according to the statistics of external inputs. In response to an invariant stimulation, neuronal firing rates first increase dramatically and then decrease gradually to a low level close to the background activity. This prompts a question: during the adaptation, how does the neural system encode the repeated stimulation with attenuated firing rates? It has been suggested that the neural system may employ a dynamical encoding strategy during the adaptation, the information of stimulus is mainly encoded by the strong independent spiking of neurons at the early stage of the adaptation; while the weak but synchronized activity of neurons encodes the stimulus information at the later stage of the adaptation. The previous study demonstrated that short-term facilitation (STF) of electrical synapses, which increases the synchronization between neurons, can provide a mechanism to realize dynamical encoding. In the present study, we further explore whether short-term plasticity (STP) of chemical synapses, an interaction form more common than electrical synapse in the cortex, can support dynamical encoding. We build a large-size network with chemical synapses between neurons. Notably, facilitation of chemical synapses only enhances pair-wise correlations between neurons mildly, but its effect on increasing synchronization of the network can be significant, and hence it can serve as a mechanism to convey the stimulus information. To read-out the stimulus information, we consider that a downstream neuron receives balanced excitatory and inhibitory inputs from the network, so that the downstream neuron only responds to synchronized firings of the network. Therefore, the response of the downstream neuron indicates the presence of the repeated stimulation. Overall, our study demonstrates that STP of chemical synapse can serve as a mechanism to realize dynamical neural

  10. Reward-modulated motor information in identified striatum neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isomura, Yoshikazu; Takekawa, Takashi; Harukuni, Rie; Handa, Takashi; Aizawa, Hidenori; Takada, Masahiko; Fukai, Tomoki

    2013-06-19

    It is widely accepted that dorsal striatum neurons participate in either the direct pathway (expressing dopamine D1 receptors) or the indirect pathway (expressing D2 receptors), controlling voluntary movements in an antagonistically balancing manner. The D1- and D2-expressing neurons are activated and inactivated, respectively, by dopamine released from substantia nigra neurons encoding reward expectation. However, little is known about the functional representation of motor information and its reward modulation in individual striatal neurons constituting the two pathways. In this study, we juxtacellularly recorded the spike activity of single neurons in the dorsolateral striatum of rats performing voluntary forelimb movement in a reward-predictable condition. Some of these neurons were identified morphologically by a combination of juxtacellular visualization and in situ hybridization for D1 mRNA. We found that the striatal neurons exhibited distinct functional activations before and during the forelimb movement, regardless of the expression of D1 mRNA. They were often positively, but rarely negatively, modulated by expecting a reward for the correct motor response. The positive reward modulation was independent of behavioral differences in motor performance. In contrast, regular-spiking and fast-spiking neurons in any layers of the motor cortex displayed only minor and unbiased reward modulation of their functional activation in relation to the execution of forelimb movement. Our results suggest that the direct and indirect pathway neurons cooperatively rather than antagonistically contribute to spatiotemporal control of voluntary movements, and that motor information is subcortically integrated with reward information through dopaminergic and other signals in the skeletomotor loop of the basal ganglia.

  11. Time-warp invariant pattern detection with bursting neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gollisch, Tim

    2008-01-01

    Sound patterns are defined by the temporal relations of their constituents, individual acoustic cues. Auditory systems need to extract these temporal relations to detect or classify sounds. In various cases, ranging from human speech to communication signals of grasshoppers, this pattern detection has been found to display invariance to temporal stretching or compression of the sound signal ('linear time-warp invariance'). In this work, a four-neuron network model is introduced, designed to solve such a detection task for the example of grasshopper courtship songs. As an essential ingredient, the network contains neurons with intrinsic bursting dynamics, which allow them to encode durations between acoustic events in short, rapid sequences of spikes. As shown by analytical calculations and computer simulations, these neuronal dynamics result in a powerful mechanism for temporal integration. Finally, the network reads out the encoded temporal information by detecting equal activity of two such bursting neurons. This leads to the recognition of rhythmic patterns independent of temporal stretching or compression

  12. Behavioral and Single-Neuron Sensitivity to Millisecond Variations in Temporally Patterned Communication Signals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Christa A; Ma, Lisa; Casareale, Chelsea R; Carlson, Bruce A

    2016-08-24

    In many sensory pathways, central neurons serve as temporal filters for timing patterns in communication signals. However, how a population of neurons with diverse temporal filtering properties codes for natural variation in communication signals is unknown. Here we addressed this question in the weakly electric fish Brienomyrus brachyistius, which varies the time intervals between successive electric organ discharges to communicate. These fish produce an individually stereotyped signal called a scallop, which consists of a distinctive temporal pattern of ∼8-12 electric pulses. We manipulated the temporal structure of natural scallops during behavioral playback and in vivo electrophysiology experiments to probe the temporal sensitivity of scallop encoding and recognition. We found that presenting time-reversed, randomized, or jittered scallops increased behavioral response thresholds, demonstrating that fish's electric signaling behavior was sensitive to the precise temporal structure of scallops. Next, using in vivo intracellular recordings and discriminant function analysis, we found that the responses of interval-selective midbrain neurons were also sensitive to the precise temporal structure of scallops. Subthreshold changes in membrane potential recorded from single neurons discriminated natural scallops from time-reversed, randomized, and jittered sequences. Pooling the responses of multiple neurons improved the discriminability of natural sequences from temporally manipulated sequences. Finally, we found that single-neuron responses were sensitive to interindividual variation in scallop sequences, raising the question of whether fish may analyze scallop structure to gain information about the sender. Collectively, these results demonstrate that a population of interval-selective neurons can encode behaviorally relevant temporal patterns with millisecond precision. The timing patterns of action potentials, or spikes, play important roles in representing

  13. Integration of multiple determinants in the neuronal computation of economic values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raghuraman, Anantha P; Padoa-Schioppa, Camillo

    2014-08-27

    Economic goods may vary on multiple dimensions (determinants). A central conjecture in decision neuroscience is that choices between goods are made by comparing subjective values computed through the integration of all relevant determinants. Previous work identified three groups of neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) of monkeys engaged in economic choices: (1) offer value cells, which encode the value of individual offers; (2) chosen value cells, which encode the value of the chosen good; and (3) chosen juice cells, which encode the identity of the chosen good. In principle, these populations could be sufficient to generate a decision. Critically, previous work did not assess whether offer value cells (the putative input to the decision) indeed encode subjective values as opposed to physical properties of the goods, and/or whether offer value cells integrate multiple determinants. To address these issues, we recorded from the OFC while monkeys chose between risky outcomes. Confirming previous observations, three populations of neurons encoded the value of individual offers, the value of the chosen option, and the value-independent choice outcome. The activity of both offer value cells and chosen value cells encoded values defined by the integration of juice quantity and probability. Furthermore, both populations reflected the subjective risk attitude of the animals. We also found additional groups of neurons encoding the risk associated with a particular option, the risky nature of the chosen option, and whether the trial outcome was positive or negative. These results provide substantial support for the conjecture described above and for the involvement of OFC in good-based decisions. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3311583-21$15.00/0.

  14. Coherence resonance in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ning Wei-Lian; Zhang Zheng-Zhen; Zeng Shang-You; Luo Xiao-Shu; Hu Jin-Lin; Zeng Shao-Wen; Qiu Yi; Wu Hui-Si

    2012-01-01

    Because a brain consists of tremendous neuronal networks with different neuron numbers ranging from tens to tens of thousands, we study the coherence resonance due to ion channel noises in globally coupled neuronal networks with different neuron numbers. We confirm that for all neuronal networks with different neuron numbers there exist the array enhanced coherence resonance and the optimal synaptic conductance to cause the maximal spiking coherence. Furthermoremore, the enhancement effects of coupling on spiking coherence and on optimal synaptic conductance are almost the same, regardless of the neuron numbers in the neuronal networks. Therefore for all the neuronal networks with different neuron numbers in the brain, relative weak synaptic conductance (0.1 mS/cm 2 ) is sufficient to induce the maximal spiking coherence and the best sub-threshold signal encoding. (interdisciplinary physics and related areas of science and technology)

  15. Primate amygdala neurons evaluate the progress of self-defined economic choice sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grabenhorst, Fabian; Hernadi, Istvan; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-10-12

    The amygdala is a prime valuation structure yet its functions in advanced behaviors are poorly understood. We tested whether individual amygdala neurons encode a critical requirement for goal-directed behavior: the evaluation of progress during sequential choices. As monkeys progressed through choice sequences toward rewards, amygdala neurons showed phasic, gradually increasing responses over successive choice steps. These responses occurred in the absence of external progress cues or motor preplanning. They were often specific to self-defined sequences, typically disappearing during instructed control sequences with similar reward expectation. Their build-up rate reflected prospectively the forthcoming choice sequence, suggesting adaptation to an internal plan. Population decoding demonstrated a high-accuracy progress code. These findings indicate that amygdala neurons evaluate the progress of planned, self-defined behavioral sequences. Such progress signals seem essential for aligning stepwise choices with internal plans. Their presence in amygdala neurons may inform understanding of human conditions with amygdala dysfunction and deregulated reward pursuit.

  16. Ensemble encoding of nociceptive stimulus intensity in the rat medial and lateral pain systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Woodward Donald J

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ability to encode noxious stimulus intensity is essential for the neural processing of pain perception. It is well accepted that the intensity information is transmitted within both sensory and affective pathways. However, it remains unclear what the encoding patterns are in the thalamocortical brain regions, and whether the dual pain systems share similar responsibility in intensity coding. Results Multichannel single-unit recordings were used to investigate the activity of individual neurons and neuronal ensembles in the rat brain following the application of noxious laser stimuli of increasing intensity to the hindpaw. Four brain regions were monitored, including two within the lateral sensory pain pathway, namely, the ventral posterior lateral thalamic nuclei and the primary somatosensory cortex, and two in the medial pathway, namely, the medial dorsal thalamic nuclei and the anterior cingulate cortex. Neuron number, firing rate, and ensemble spike count codings were examined in this study. Our results showed that the noxious laser stimulation evoked double-peak responses in all recorded brain regions. Significant correlations were found between the laser intensity and the number of responsive neurons, the firing rates, as well as the mass spike counts (MSCs. MSC coding was generally more efficient than the other two methods. Moreover, the coding capacities of neurons in the two pathways were comparable. Conclusion This study demonstrated the collective contribution of medial and lateral pathway neurons to the noxious intensity coding. Additionally, we provide evidence that ensemble spike count may be the most reliable method for coding pain intensity in the brain.

  17. HIV exposed seronegative (HESN compared to HIV infected individuals have higher frequencies of telomeric Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR B motifs; Contribution of KIR B motif encoded genes to NK cell responsiveness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elise Jackson

    Full Text Available Previously, we showed that Killer Immunoglobulin-like Receptor (KIR3DS1 homozygotes (hmz are more frequent in HIV exposed seronegative (HESN than in recently HIV infected (HIV+ individuals. KIR3DS1 encodes an activating Natural Killer (NK cell receptor (NKR. The link between KIR genotype and HIV outcomes likely arises from the function that NK cells acquire through expression of particular NKRs. An initial screen of 97 HESN and 123 HIV+ subjects for the frequency of KIR region gene carriage observed between-group differences for several telomeric KIR region loci. In a larger set of up to 106 HESN and 439 HIV+ individuals, more HESN than HIV+ subjects were KIR3DS1 homozygotes, lacked a full length KIR2DS4 gene and carried the telomeric group B KIR haplotype motif, TB01. TB01 is characterized by the presence of KIR3DS1, KIR2DL5A, KIR2DS3/5 and KIR2DS1, in linkage disequilibrium with each other. We assessed which of the TB01 encoded KIR gene products contributed to NK cell responsiveness by stimulating NK cells from 8 HIV seronegative KIR3DS1 and TB01 motif homozygotes with 721.221 HLA null cells and evaluating the frequency of KIR3DS1+/-KIR2DL5+/-, KIR3DS1+/-KIR2DS1+/-, KIR3DS1+/-KIR2DS5+/- NK cells secreting IFN-γ and/or expressing CD107a. A higher frequency of NK cells expressing, versus not, KIR3DS1 responded to 721.221 stimulation. KIR2DL5A+, KIR2DS1+ and KIR2DS5+ NK cells did not contribute to 721.221 responses or modulate those by KIR3DS1+ NK cells. Thus, of the TB01 KIR gene products, only KIR3DS1 conferred responsiveness to HLA-null stimulation, demonstrating its ligation can activate ex vivo NK cells.

  18. Transfection in Primary Cultured Neuronal Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marwick, Katie F M; Hardingham, Giles E

    2017-01-01

    Transfection allows the introduction of foreign nucleic acid into eukaryotic cells. It is an important tool in understanding the roles of NMDARs in neurons. Here, we describe using lipofection-mediated transfection to introduce cDNA encoding NMDAR subunits into postmitotic rodent primary cortical neurons maintained in culture.

  19. 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.

  20. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Zhe Charles; Yu, Chunxiu; Sellers, Kristin K; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2016-03-30

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contrast visual input. About two-thirds of all recorded neurons in dl-FC were modulated by at least one of the two task variables, task difficulty and target location. More neurons in dl-FC preferred the hard trials; no such preference bias was found for target location. In individual neurons, this preference for specific task types was limited to brief epochs. Finally, optogenetic stimulation confirmed the functional role of the activity in dl-FC before target touch; suppression of activity in pyramidal neurons with the ArchT silencing opsin resulted in a decrease in reaction time to touch the target but not to retrieve reward. In conclusion, dl-FC activity is differentially recruited for high perceptual difficulty in the freely-moving ferret and the resulting signal may provide top-down behavioral inhibition.

  1. [Physiopathology of cAMP/PKA signaling in neurons].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Liliana; Yapo, Cedric; Vincent, Pierre

    2016-01-01

    Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the cyclic-AMP dependent protein kinase (PKA) regulate a plethora of cellular functions in virtually all eukaryotic cells. In neurons, the cAMP/PKA signaling cascade controls a number of biological properties such as axonal growth, synaptic transmission, regulation of excitability or long term changes in the nucleus. Genetically-encoded optical biosensors for cAMP or PKA considerably improved our understanding of these processes by providing a real-time measurement in living neurons. In this review, we describe the recent progresses made in the creation of biosensors for cAMP or PKA activity. These biosensors revealed profound differences in the amplitude of the cAMP signal evoked by neuromodulators between various neuronal preparations. These responses can be resolved at the level of individual neurons, also revealing differences related to the neuronal type. At the subcellular level, biosensors reported different signal dynamics in domains like dendrites, cell body, nucleus and axon. Combining this imaging approach with pharmacology or genetical models points at phosphodiesterases and phosphatases as critical regulatory proteins. Biosensor imaging will certainly help understand the mechanism of action of current drugs as well as help in devising novel therapeutic strategies for neuropsychiatric diseases. © Société de Biologie, 2017.

  2. Coding of vocalizations by single neurons in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plakke, Bethany; Diltz, Mark D; Romanski, Lizabeth M

    2013-11-01

    Neuronal activity in single prefrontal neurons has been correlated with behavioral responses, rules, task variables and stimulus features. In the non-human primate, neurons recorded in ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) have been found to respond to species-specific vocalizations. Previous studies have found multisensory neurons which respond to simultaneously presented faces and vocalizations in this region. Behavioral data suggests that face and vocal information are inextricably linked in animals and humans and therefore may also be tightly linked in the coding of communication calls in prefrontal neurons. In this study we therefore examined the role of VLPFC in encoding vocalization call type information. Specifically, we examined previously recorded single unit responses from the VLPFC in awake, behaving rhesus macaques in response to 3 types of species-specific vocalizations made by 3 individual callers. Analysis of responses by vocalization call type and caller identity showed that ∼19% of cells had a main effect of call type with fewer cells encoding caller. Classification performance of VLPFC neurons was ∼42% averaged across the population. When assessed at discrete time bins, classification performance reached 70 percent for coos in the first 300 ms and remained above chance for the duration of the response period, though performance was lower for other call types. In light of the sub-optimal classification performance of the majority of VLPFC neurons when only vocal information is present, and the recent evidence that most VLPFC neurons are multisensory, the potential enhancement of classification with the addition of accompanying face information is discussed and additional studies recommended. Behavioral and neuronal evidence has shown a considerable benefit in recognition and memory performance when faces and voices are presented simultaneously. In the natural environment both facial and vocalization information is present simultaneously and

  3. Lafora disease offers a unique window into neuronal glycogen metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, Matthew S; Guinovart, Joan J; Minassian, Berge A; Roach, Peter J; Serratosa, Jose M

    2018-05-11

    Lafora disease (LD) is a fatal, autosomal recessive, glycogen-storage disorder that manifests as severe epilepsy. LD results from mutations in the gene encoding either the glycogen phosphatase laforin or the E3 ubiquitin ligase malin. Individuals with LD develop cytoplasmic, aberrant glycogen inclusions in nearly all tissues that more closely resemble plant starch than human glycogen. This Minireview discusses the unique window into glycogen metabolism that LD research offers. It also highlights recent discoveries, including that glycogen contains covalently bound phosphate and that neurons synthesize glycogen and express both glycogen synthase and glycogen phosphorylase. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Coding of auditory temporal and pitch information by hippocampal individual cells and cell assemblies in the rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Y

    2002-01-01

    This study reports how hippocampal individual cells and cell assemblies cooperate for neural coding of pitch and temporal information in memory processes for auditory stimuli. Each rat performed two tasks, one requiring discrimination of auditory pitch (high or low) and the other requiring discrimination of their duration (long or short). Some CA1 and CA3 complex-spike neurons showed task-related differential activity between the high and low tones in only the pitch-discrimination task. However, without exception, neurons which showed task-related differential activity between the long and short tones in the duration-discrimination task were always task-related neurons in the pitch-discrimination task. These results suggest that temporal information (long or short), in contrast to pitch information (high or low), cannot be coded independently by specific neurons. The results also indicate that the two different behavioral tasks cannot be fully differentiated by the task-related single neurons alone and suggest a model of cell-assembly coding of the tasks. Cross-correlation analysis among activities of simultaneously recorded multiple neurons supported the suggested cell-assembly model.Considering those results, this study concludes that dual coding by hippocampal single neurons and cell assemblies is working in memory processing of pitch and temporal information of auditory stimuli. The single neurons encode both auditory pitches and their temporal lengths and the cell assemblies encode types of tasks (contexts or situations) in which the pitch and the temporal information are processed.

  5. The ADAR RNA editing enzyme controls neuronal excitability in Drosophila melanogaster

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianghua; Overton, Ian M.; Baines, Richard A.; Keegan, Liam P.; O’Connell, Mary A.

    2014-01-01

    RNA editing by deamination of specific adenosine bases to inosines during pre-mRNA processing generates edited isoforms of proteins. Recoding RNA editing is more widespread in Drosophila than in vertebrates. Editing levels rise strongly at metamorphosis, and Adar5G1 null mutant flies lack editing events in hundreds of CNS transcripts; mutant flies have reduced viability, severely defective locomotion and age-dependent neurodegeneration. On the other hand, overexpressing an adult dADAR isoform with high enzymatic activity ubiquitously during larval and pupal stages is lethal. Advantage was taken of this to screen for genetic modifiers; Adar overexpression lethality is rescued by reduced dosage of the Rdl (Resistant to dieldrin), gene encoding a subunit of inhibitory GABA receptors. Reduced dosage of the Gad1 gene encoding the GABA synthetase also rescues Adar overexpression lethality. Drosophila Adar5G1 mutant phenotypes are ameliorated by feeding GABA modulators. We demonstrate that neuronal excitability is linked to dADAR expression levels in individual neurons; Adar-overexpressing larval motor neurons show reduced excitability whereas Adar5G1 null mutant or targeted Adar knockdown motor neurons exhibit increased excitability. GABA inhibitory signalling is impaired in human epileptic and autistic conditions, and vertebrate ADARs may have a relevant evolutionarily conserved control over neuronal excitability. PMID:24137011

  6. Reliability of neural encoding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrøm, Preben; Beierholm, Ulrik; Nielsen, Carsten Dahl

    2002-01-01

    The reliability with which a neuron is able to create the same firing pattern when presented with the same stimulus is of critical importance to the understanding of neuronal information processing. We show that reliability is closely related to the process of phaselocking. Experimental results f...

  7. The path to memory is guided by strategy: distinct networks are engaged in associative encoding under visual and verbal strategy and influence memory performance in healthy and impaired individuals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hales, J. B.; Brewer, J. B.

    2018-01-01

    Given the diversity of stimuli encountered in daily life, a variety of strategies must be used for learning new information. Relating and encoding visual and verbal stimuli into memory has been probed using various tasks and stimulus-types. Engagement of specific subsequent memory and cortical processing regions depends on the stimulus modality of studied material; however, it remains unclear whether different encoding strategies similarly influence regional activity when stimulus-type is held constant. In this study, subjects encoded object pairs using a visual or verbal associative strategy during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and subsequent memory was assessed for pairs encoded under each strategy. Each strategy elicited distinct regional processing and subsequent memory effects: middle / superior frontal, lateral parietal, and lateral occipital for visually-associated pairs and inferior frontal, medial frontal, and medial occipital for verbally-associated pairs. This regional selectivity mimics the effects of stimulus modality, suggesting that cortical involvement in associative encoding is driven by strategy, and not simply by stimulus-type. The clinical relevance of these findings, probed in two patients with recent aphasic strokes, suggest that training with strategies utilizing unaffected cortical regions might improve memory ability in patients with brain damage. PMID:22390467

  8. Rapid de novo shape encoding: a challenge to connectionist modeling

    OpenAIRE

    Greene, Ernest

    2018-01-01

    Neural network (connectionist) models are designed to encode image features and provide the building blocks for object and shape recognition. These models generally call for: a) initial diffuse connections from one neuron population to another, and b) training to bring about a functional change in those connections so that one or more high-tier neurons will selectively respond to a specific shape stimulus. Advanced models provide for translation, size, and rotation invariance. The present dis...

  9. First-spike latency in Hodgkin's three classes of neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hengtong; Chen, Yueling; Chen, Yong

    2013-07-07

    We study the first-spike latency (FSL) in Hodgkin's three classes of neurons with the Morris-Lecar neuron model. It is found that all the three classes of neurons can encode an external stimulus into FSLs. With DC inputs, the FSLs of all of the neurons decrease with input intensity. With input current decreased to the threshold, class 1 neurons show an arbitrary long FSL whereas class 2 and 3 neurons exhibit the short-limit FSLs. When the input current is sinusoidal, the amplitude, frequency and initial phase can be encoded by all the three classes of neurons. The FSLs of all of the neurons decrease with the input amplitude and frequency. When the input frequency is too high, all of the neurons respond with infinite FSLs. When the initial phase increases, the FSL decreases and then jumps to a maximal value and finally decreases linearly. With changes in the input parameters, the FSLs of the class 1 and 2 neurons exhibit similar properties. However, the FSL of the class 3 neurons became slightly longer and only produces responses for a narrow range of initial phase if input frequencies are low. Moreover, our results also show that the FSL and firing rate responses are mutually independent processes and that neurons can encode an external stimulus into different FSLs and firing rates simultaneously. This finding is consistent with the current theory of dual or multiple complementary coding mechanisms. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Landscape encodings enhance optimization.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantin Klemm

    Full Text Available Hard combinatorial optimization problems deal with the search for the minimum cost solutions (ground states of discrete systems under strong constraints. A transformation of state variables may enhance computational tractability. It has been argued that these state encodings are to be chosen invertible to retain the original size of the state space. Here we show how redundant non-invertible encodings enhance optimization by enriching the density of low-energy states. In addition, smooth landscapes may be established on encoded state spaces to guide local search dynamics towards the ground state.

  11. Landscape Encodings Enhance Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemm, Konstantin; Mehta, Anita; Stadler, Peter F.

    2012-01-01

    Hard combinatorial optimization problems deal with the search for the minimum cost solutions (ground states) of discrete systems under strong constraints. A transformation of state variables may enhance computational tractability. It has been argued that these state encodings are to be chosen invertible to retain the original size of the state space. Here we show how redundant non-invertible encodings enhance optimization by enriching the density of low-energy states. In addition, smooth landscapes may be established on encoded state spaces to guide local search dynamics towards the ground state. PMID:22496860

  12. Olfactory bulb encoding during learning under anaesthesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alister U Nicol

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Neural plasticity changes within the olfactory bulb are important for olfactory learning, although how neural encoding changes support new associations with specific odours and whether they can be investigated under anaesthesia, remain unclear. Using the social transmission of food preference olfactory learning paradigm in mice in conjunction with in vivo microdialysis sampling we have shown firstly that a learned preference for a scented food odour smelled on the breath of a demonstrator animal occurs under isofluorane anaesthesia. Furthermore, subsequent exposure to this cued odour under anaesthesia promotes the same pattern of increased release of glutamate and GABA in the olfactory bulb as previously found in conscious animals following olfactory learning, and evoked GABA release was positively correlated with the amount of scented food eaten. In a second experiment, multiarray (24 electrodes electrophysiological recordings were made from olfactory bulb mitral cells under isofluorane anaesthesia before, during and after a novel scented food odour was paired with carbon disulfide. Results showed significant increases in overall firing frequency to the cued-odour during and after learning and decreases in response to an uncued odour. Analysis of patterns of changes in individual neurons revealed that a substantial proportion (>50% of them significantly changed their response profiles during and after learning with most of those previously inhibited becoming excited. A large number of cells exhibiting no response to the odours prior to learning were either excited or inhibited afterwards. With the uncued odour many previously responsive cells became unresponsive or inhibited. Learning associated changes only occurred in the posterior part of the olfactory bulb. Thus olfactory learning under anaesthesia promotes extensive, but spatially distinct, changes in mitral cell networks to both cued and uncued odours as well as in evoked glutamate and

  13. Blind encoding into qudits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaari, J.S.; Wahiddin, M.R.B.; Mancini, S.

    2008-01-01

    We consider the problem of encoding classical information into unknown qudit states belonging to any basis, of a maximal set of mutually unbiased bases, by one party and then decoding by another party who has perfect knowledge of the basis. Working with qudits of prime dimensions, we point out a no-go theorem that forbids 'shift' operations on arbitrary unknown states. We then provide the necessary conditions for reliable encoding/decoding

  14. An encoding device and a method of encoding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2012-01-01

    The present invention relates to an encoding device, such as an optical position encoder, for encoding input from an object, and a method for encoding input from an object, for determining a position of an object that interferes with light of the device. The encoding device comprises a light source...... in the area in the space and may interfere with the light, which interference may be encoded into a position or activation....

  15. Motor Neurons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hounsgaard, Jorn

    2017-01-01

    Motor neurons translate synaptic input from widely distributed premotor networks into patterns of action potentials that orchestrate motor unit force and motor behavior. Intercalated between the CNS and muscles, motor neurons add to and adjust the final motor command. The identity and functional...... in in vitro preparations is far from complete. Nevertheless, a foundation has been provided for pursuing functional significance of intrinsic response properties in motoneurons in vivo during motor behavior at levels from molecules to systems....

  16. Acute Consumption of Bordo Grape Juice and Wine Improves Serum Antioxidant Status in Healthy Individuals and Inhibits Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Human Neuron-Like Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copetti, Cristiane; Franco, Fernanda Wouters; Machado, Eduarda da Rosa; Soquetta, Marcela Bromberger; Quatrin, Andréia; Ramos, Vitor de Miranda; Moreira, José Cláudio Fonseca; Emanuelli, Tatiana; Sautter, Cláudia Kaehler; Penna, Neidi Garcia

    2018-01-01

    Few studies investigated the biological effects of American grape cultivars. We investigated the metabolic response after acute consumption of grape juice or wine from Bordo grapes ( Vitis labrusca ) in a placebo-controlled crossover study with fifteen healthy volunteers. Blood samples were collected 1 hour after the intake of 100 mL of water, juice, or wine to measure TBARS, ABTS, FRAP, glucose, and uric acid levels. To evaluate differences in cellular response, intracellular reactive species production (DCFH-DA) and metabolic mitochondrial viability (MTT) were assessed after exposure of human neuron-like cells (SH-SY5Y) to juice or wine. Glycemia was reduced after juice or wine consumption, whereas blood levels of uric acid were reduced after juice consumption but increased after wine consumption. Juice and wine consumption reduced plasma lipid peroxidation and increased plasma antioxidant capacity (ABTS and FRAP assays). Furthermore, juice inhibited H 2 O 2 -induced intracellular production of reactive species (RS) and increased the viability of SH-SY5Y cells. In contrast, wine (dealcoholized) exhibited a per se effect by inducing the production of RS and reducing cell viability. These results indicate a positive impact of acute consumption of Bordo juice and wine on human oxidative status, whereas only juice had protective effects against oxidative stress-induced cytotoxicity.

  17. Acute Consumption of Bordo Grape Juice and Wine Improves Serum Antioxidant Status in Healthy Individuals and Inhibits Reactive Oxygen Species Production in Human Neuron-Like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane Copetti

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Few studies investigated the biological effects of American grape cultivars. We investigated the metabolic response after acute consumption of grape juice or wine from Bordo grapes (Vitis labrusca in a placebo-controlled crossover study with fifteen healthy volunteers. Blood samples were collected 1 hour after the intake of 100 mL of water, juice, or wine to measure TBARS, ABTS, FRAP, glucose, and uric acid levels. To evaluate differences in cellular response, intracellular reactive species production (DCFH-DA and metabolic mitochondrial viability (MTT were assessed after exposure of human neuron-like cells (SH-SY5Y to juice or wine. Glycemia was reduced after juice or wine consumption, whereas blood levels of uric acid were reduced after juice consumption but increased after wine consumption. Juice and wine consumption reduced plasma lipid peroxidation and increased plasma antioxidant capacity (ABTS and FRAP assays. Furthermore, juice inhibited H2O2-induced intracellular production of reactive species (RS and increased the viability of SH-SY5Y cells. In contrast, wine (dealcoholized exhibited a per se effect by inducing the production of RS and reducing cell viability. These results indicate a positive impact of acute consumption of Bordo juice and wine on human oxidative status, whereas only juice had protective effects against oxidative stress-induced cytotoxicity.

  18. A model for visual memory encoding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodolphe Nenert

    Full Text Available Memory encoding engages multiple concurrent and sequential processes. While the individual processes involved in successful encoding have been examined in many studies, a sequence of events and the importance of modules associated with memory encoding has not been established. For this reason, we sought to perform a comprehensive examination of the network for memory encoding using data driven methods and to determine the directionality of the information flow in order to build a viable model of visual memory encoding. Forty healthy controls ages 19-59 performed a visual scene encoding task. FMRI data were preprocessed using SPM8 and then processed using independent component analysis (ICA with the reliability of the identified components confirmed using ICASSO as implemented in GIFT. The directionality of the information flow was examined using Granger causality analyses (GCA. All participants performed the fMRI task well above the chance level (>90% correct on both active and control conditions and the post-fMRI testing recall revealed correct memory encoding at 86.33 ± 5.83%. ICA identified involvement of components of five different networks in the process of memory encoding, and the GCA allowed for the directionality of the information flow to be assessed, from visual cortex via ventral stream to the attention network and then to the default mode network (DMN. Two additional networks involved in this process were the cerebellar and the auditory-insular network. This study provides evidence that successful visual memory encoding is dependent on multiple modules that are part of other networks that are only indirectly related to the main process. This model may help to identify the node(s of the network that are affected by a specific disease processes and explain the presence of memory encoding difficulties in patients in whom focal or global network dysfunction exists.

  19. A model for visual memory encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nenert, Rodolphe; Allendorfer, Jane B; Szaflarski, Jerzy P

    2014-01-01

    Memory encoding engages multiple concurrent and sequential processes. While the individual processes involved in successful encoding have been examined in many studies, a sequence of events and the importance of modules associated with memory encoding has not been established. For this reason, we sought to perform a comprehensive examination of the network for memory encoding using data driven methods and to determine the directionality of the information flow in order to build a viable model of visual memory encoding. Forty healthy controls ages 19-59 performed a visual scene encoding task. FMRI data were preprocessed using SPM8 and then processed using independent component analysis (ICA) with the reliability of the identified components confirmed using ICASSO as implemented in GIFT. The directionality of the information flow was examined using Granger causality analyses (GCA). All participants performed the fMRI task well above the chance level (>90% correct on both active and control conditions) and the post-fMRI testing recall revealed correct memory encoding at 86.33 ± 5.83%. ICA identified involvement of components of five different networks in the process of memory encoding, and the GCA allowed for the directionality of the information flow to be assessed, from visual cortex via ventral stream to the attention network and then to the default mode network (DMN). Two additional networks involved in this process were the cerebellar and the auditory-insular network. This study provides evidence that successful visual memory encoding is dependent on multiple modules that are part of other networks that are only indirectly related to the main process. This model may help to identify the node(s) of the network that are affected by a specific disease processes and explain the presence of memory encoding difficulties in patients in whom focal or global network dysfunction exists.

  20. Necdin, a Prader-Willi syndrome candidate gene, regulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons during development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Nichol L G; Wevrick, Rachel; Mellon, Pamela L

    2009-01-15

    Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex genetic disorder characterized by hyperphagia, obesity and hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, all highly suggestive of hypothalamic dysfunction. The NDN gene, encoding the MAGE family protein, necdin, maps to the PWS chromosome region and is highly expressed in mature hypothalamic neurons. Adult mice lacking necdin have reduced numbers of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, but the mechanism for this reduction is unknown. Herein, we show that, although necdin is not expressed in an immature, migratory GnRH neuronal cell line (GN11), high levels are present in a mature GnRH neuronal cell line (GT1-7). Furthermore, overexpression of necdin activates GnRH transcription through cis elements bound by the homeodomain repressor Msx that are located in the enhancer and promoter of the GnRH gene, and knock-down of necdin expression reduces GnRH gene expression. In fact, overexpression of Necdin relieves Msx repression of GnRH transcription through these elements and necdin co-immunoprecipitates with Msx from GnRH neuronal cells, indicating that necdin may activate GnRH gene expression by preventing repression of GnRH gene expression by Msx. Finally, necdin is necessary for generation of the full complement of GnRH neurons during mouse development and extension of GnRH axons to the median eminence. Together, these results indicate that lack of necdin during development likely contributes to the hypogonadotrophic hypogonadal phenotype in individuals with PWS.

  1. Necdin, a Prader–Willi syndrome candidate gene, regulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons during development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Nichol L.G.; Wevrick, Rachel; Mellon, Pamela L.

    2009-01-01

    Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS) is a complex genetic disorder characterized by hyperphagia, obesity and hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism, all highly suggestive of hypothalamic dysfunction. The NDN gene, encoding the MAGE family protein, necdin, maps to the PWS chromosome region and is highly expressed in mature hypothalamic neurons. Adult mice lacking necdin have reduced numbers of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons, but the mechanism for this reduction is unknown. Herein, we show that, although necdin is not expressed in an immature, migratory GnRH neuronal cell line (GN11), high levels are present in a mature GnRH neuronal cell line (GT1-7). Furthermore, overexpression of necdin activates GnRH transcription through cis elements bound by the homeodomain repressor Msx that are located in the enhancer and promoter of the GnRH gene, and knock-down of necdin expression reduces GnRH gene expression. In fact, overexpression of Necdin relieves Msx repression of GnRH transcription through these elements and necdin co-immunoprecipitates with Msx from GnRH neuronal cells, indicating that necdin may activate GnRH gene expression by preventing repression of GnRH gene expression by Msx. Finally, necdin is necessary for generation of the full complement of GnRH neurons during mouse development and extension of GnRH axons to the median eminence. Together, these results indicate that lack of necdin during development likely contributes to the hypogonadotrophic hypogonadal phenotype in individuals with PWS. PMID:18930956

  2. Stochastic neuron models

    CERN Document Server

    Greenwood, Priscilla E

    2016-01-01

    This book describes a large number of open problems in the theory of stochastic neural systems, with the aim of enticing probabilists to work on them. This includes problems arising from stochastic models of individual neurons as well as those arising from stochastic models of the activities of small and large networks of interconnected neurons. The necessary neuroscience background to these problems is outlined within the text, so readers can grasp the context in which they arise. This book will be useful for graduate students and instructors providing material and references for applying probability to stochastic neuron modeling. Methods and results are presented, but the emphasis is on questions where additional stochastic analysis may contribute neuroscience insight. An extensive bibliography is included. Dr. Priscilla E. Greenwood is a Professor Emerita in the Department of Mathematics at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Lawrence M. Ward is a Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Brain...

  3. Understanding how discrete populations of hypothalamic neurons orchestrate complicated behavioral states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison eGraebner

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A major question in systems neuroscience is how a single population of neurons can interact with the rest of the brain to orchestrate complex behavioral states. The hypothalamus contains many such discrete neuronal populations that individually regulate arousal, feeding, and drinking. For example, hypothalamic neurons that express hypocretin (Hcrt neuropeptides can sense homeostatic and metabolic factors affecting wakefulness and orchestrate organismal arousal. Neurons that express agouti-related protein (AgRP can sense the metabolic needs of the body and orchestrate a state of hunger. The organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT can detect the hypertonicity of blood and orchestrate a state of thirst. Each hypothalamic population is sufficient to generate complicated behavioral states through the combined efforts of distinct efferent projections. The principal challenge to understanding these brain systems is therefore to determine the individual roles of each downstream projection for each behavioral state. In recent years, the development and application of temporally precise, genetically encoded tools have greatly improved our understanding of the structure and function of these neural systems. This review will survey recent advances in our understanding of how these individual hypothalamic populations can orchestrate complicated behavioral states due to the combined efforts of individual downstream projections.

  4. Temporal encoding in a nervous system.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zane N Aldworth

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available We examined the extent to which temporal encoding may be implemented by single neurons in the cercal sensory system of the house cricket Acheta domesticus. We found that these neurons exhibit a greater-than-expected coding capacity, due in part to an increased precision in brief patterns of action potentials. We developed linear and non-linear models for decoding the activity of these neurons. We found that the stimuli associated with short-interval patterns of spikes (ISIs of 8 ms or less could be predicted better by second-order models as compared to linear models. Finally, we characterized the difference between these linear and second-order models in a low-dimensional subspace, and showed that modification of the linear models along only a few dimensions improved their predictive power to parity with the second order models. Together these results show that single neurons are capable of using temporal patterns of spikes as fundamental symbols in their neural code, and that they communicate specific stimulus distributions to subsequent neural structures.

  5. Encoding efficiency of suprathreshold stochastic resonance on stimulus-specific information

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duan, Fabing, E-mail: fabing.duan@gmail.com [Institute of Complexity Science, Qingdao University, Qingdao 266071 (China); Chapeau-Blondeau, François, E-mail: chapeau@univ-angers.fr [Laboratoire Angevin de Recherche en Ingénierie des Systèmes (LARIS), Université d' Angers, 62 avenue Notre Dame du Lac, 49000 Angers (France); Abbott, Derek, E-mail: derek.abbott@adelaide.edu.au [Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CBME) and School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005 (Australia)

    2016-01-08

    In this paper, we evaluate the encoding efficiency of suprathreshold stochastic resonance (SSR) based on a local information-theoretic measure of stimulus-specific information (SSI), which is the average specific information of responses associated with a particular stimulus. The theoretical and numerical analyses of SSIs reveal that noise can improve neuronal coding efficiency for a large population of neurons, which leads to produce increased information-rich responses. The SSI measure, in contrast to the global measure of average mutual information, can characterize the noise benefits in finer detail for describing the enhancement of neuronal encoding efficiency of a particular stimulus, which may be of general utility in the design and implementation of a SSR coding scheme. - Highlights: • Evaluating the noise-enhanced encoding efficiency via stimulus-specific information. • New form of stochastic resonance based on the measure of encoding efficiency. • Analyzing neural encoding schemes from suprathreshold stochastic resonance detailedly.

  6. A new supervised learning algorithm for spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yan; Zeng, Xiaoqin; Zhong, Shuiming

    2013-06-01

    The purpose of supervised learning with temporal encoding for spiking neurons is to make the neurons emit a specific spike train encoded by the precise firing times of spikes. If only running time is considered, the supervised learning for a spiking neuron is equivalent to distinguishing the times of desired output spikes and the other time during the running process of the neuron through adjusting synaptic weights, which can be regarded as a classification problem. Based on this idea, this letter proposes a new supervised learning method for spiking neurons with temporal encoding; it first transforms the supervised learning into a classification problem and then solves the problem by using the perceptron learning rule. The experiment results show that the proposed method has higher learning accuracy and efficiency over the existing learning methods, so it is more powerful for solving complex and real-time problems.

  7. Imaging Voltage in Genetically Defined Neuronal Subpopulations with a Cre Recombinase-Targeted Hybrid Voltage Sensor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayguinov, Peter O; Ma, Yihe; Gao, Yu; Zhao, Xinyu; Jackson, Meyer B

    2017-09-20

    Genetically encoded voltage indicators create an opportunity to monitor electrical activity in defined sets of neurons as they participate in the complex patterns of coordinated electrical activity that underlie nervous system function. Taking full advantage of genetically encoded voltage indicators requires a generalized strategy for targeting the probe to genetically defined populations of cells. To this end, we have generated a mouse line with an optimized hybrid voltage sensor (hVOS) probe within a locus designed for efficient Cre recombinase-dependent expression. Crossing this mouse with Cre drivers generated double transgenics expressing hVOS probe in GABAergic, parvalbumin, and calretinin interneurons, as well as hilar mossy cells, new adult-born neurons, and recently active neurons. In each case, imaging in brain slices from male or female animals revealed electrically evoked optical signals from multiple individual neurons in single trials. These imaging experiments revealed action potentials, dynamic aspects of dendritic integration, and trial-to-trial fluctuations in response latency. The rapid time response of hVOS imaging revealed action potentials with high temporal fidelity, and enabled accurate measurements of spike half-widths characteristic of each cell type. Simultaneous recording of rapid voltage changes in multiple neurons with a common genetic signature offers a powerful approach to the study of neural circuit function and the investigation of how neural networks encode, process, and store information. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Genetically encoded voltage indicators hold great promise in the study of neural circuitry, but realizing their full potential depends on targeting the sensor to distinct cell types. Here we present a new mouse line that expresses a hybrid optical voltage sensor under the control of Cre recombinase. Crossing this line with Cre drivers generated double-transgenic mice, which express this sensor in targeted cell types. In

  8. Nonlinear transfer function encodes synchronization in a neural network from the mammalian brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menendez de la Prida, L; Sanchez-Andres, J V

    1999-09-01

    Synchronization is one of the mechanisms by which the brain encodes information. The observed synchronization of neuronal activity has, however, several levels of fluctuations, which presumably regulate local features of specific areas. This means that biological neural networks should have an intrinsic mechanism able to synchronize the neuronal activity but also to preserve the firing capability of individual cells. Here, we investigate the input-output relationship of a biological neural network from developing mammalian brain, i.e., the hippocampus. We show that the probability of occurrence of synchronous output activity (which consists in stereotyped population bursts recorded throughout the hippocampus) is encoded by a sigmoidal transfer function of the input frequency. Under this scope, low-frequency inputs will not produce any coherent output while high-frequency inputs will determine a synchronous pattern of output activity (population bursts). We analyze the effect of the network size (N) on the parameters of the transfer function (threshold and slope). We found that sigmoidal functions realistically simulate the synchronous output activity of hippocampal neural networks. This outcome is particularly important in the application of results from neural network models to neurobiology.

  9. Criticality in Neuronal Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Nir; Ito, Shinya; Brinkman, Braden A. W.; Shimono, Masanori; Deville, R. E. Lee; Beggs, John M.; Dahmen, Karin A.; Butler, Tom C.

    2012-02-01

    In recent years, experiments detecting the electrical firing patterns in slices of in vitro brain tissue have been analyzed to suggest the presence of scale invariance and possibly criticality in the brain. Much of the work done however has been limited in two ways: 1) the data collected is from local field potentials that do not represent the firing of individual neurons; 2) the analysis has been primarily limited to histograms. In our work we examine data based on the firing of individual neurons (spike data), and greatly extend the analysis by considering shape collapse and exponents. Our results strongly suggest that the brain operates near a tuned critical point of a highly distinctive universality class.

  10. From Neurons to Brain: Adaptive Self-Wiring of Neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Segev, Ronen; Ben-Jacob, Eshel

    1998-01-01

    During embryonic morpho-genesis, a collection of individual neurons turns into a functioning network with unique capabilities. Only recently has this most staggering example of emergent process in the natural world, began to be studied. Here we propose a navigational strategy for neurites growth cones, based on sophisticated chemical signaling. We further propose that the embryonic environment (the neurons and the glia cells) acts as an excitable media in which concentric and spiral chemical ...

  11. Task relevant variables are encoded in OFC neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ramon Nogueira

    2015-04-01

    Our results demonstrate that OFC in rats might not only be involved in reward processing but it also conveys a wide variety of task relevant variables. Our hypothesis is that OFC acts as a hub for complex decision-making tasks where all possible information is processed and conveyed to other brain regions responsible for decision execution.

  12. A Dynamic Bayesian Model for Characterizing Cross-Neuronal Interactions During Decision-Making.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Bo; Moorman, David E; Behseta, Sam; Ombao, Hernando; Shahbaba, Babak

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this paper is to develop a novel statistical model for studying cross-neuronal spike train interactions during decision making. For an individual to successfully complete the task of decision-making, a number of temporally-organized events must occur: stimuli must be detected, potential outcomes must be evaluated, behaviors must be executed or inhibited, and outcomes (such as reward or no-reward) must be experienced. Due to the complexity of this process, it is likely the case that decision-making is encoded by the temporally-precise interactions between large populations of neurons. Most existing statistical models, however, are inadequate for analyzing such a phenomenon because they provide only an aggregated measure of interactions over time. To address this considerable limitation, we propose a dynamic Bayesian model which captures the time-varying nature of neuronal activity (such as the time-varying strength of the interactions between neurons). The proposed method yielded results that reveal new insight into the dynamic nature of population coding in the prefrontal cortex during decision making. In our analysis, we note that while some neurons in the prefrontal cortex do not synchronize their firing activity until the presence of a reward, a different set of neurons synchronize their activity shortly after stimulus onset. These differentially synchronizing sub-populations of neurons suggests a continuum of population representation of the reward-seeking task. Secondly, our analyses also suggest that the degree of synchronization differs between the rewarded and non-rewarded conditions. Moreover, the proposed model is scalable to handle data on many simultaneously-recorded neurons and is applicable to analyzing other types of multivariate time series data with latent structure. Supplementary materials (including computer codes) for our paper are available online.

  13. Zbtb20 Defines a Hippocampal Neuronal Identity Through Direct Repression of Genes That Control Projection Neuron Development in the Isocortex

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jakob V; Thomassen, Mads; Møllgård, Kjeld

    2014-01-01

    Hippocampal pyramidal neurons are important for encoding and retrieval of spatial maps and episodic memories. While previous work has shown that Zbtb20 is a cell fate determinant for CA1 pyramidal neurons, the regulatory mechanisms governing this process are not known. In this study, we demonstrate...

  14. Place field assembly distribution encodes preferred locations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omar Mamad

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is the main locus of episodic memory formation and the neurons there encode the spatial map of the environment. Hippocampal place cells represent location, but their role in the learning of preferential location remains unclear. The hippocampus may encode locations independently from the stimuli and events that are associated with these locations. We have discovered a unique population code for the experience-dependent value of the context. The degree of reward-driven navigation preference highly correlates with the spatial distribution of the place fields recorded in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. We show place field clustering towards rewarded locations. Optogenetic manipulation of the ventral tegmental area demonstrates that the experience-dependent place field assembly distribution is directed by tegmental dopaminergic activity. The ability of the place cells to remap parallels the acquisition of reward context. Our findings present key evidence that the hippocampal neurons are not merely mapping the static environment but also store the concurrent context reward value, enabling episodic memory for past experience to support future adaptive behavior.

  15. Neuronal basis for evaluating selected action in the primate striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamada, Hiroshi; Inokawa, Hitoshi; Matsumoto, Naoyuki; Ueda, Yasumasa; Kimura, Minoru

    2011-08-01

    Humans and animals optimize their behavior by evaluating outcomes of individual actions and predicting how much reward the actions will yield. While the estimated values of actions guide choice behavior, the choices are also governed by other behavioral norms, such as rules and strategies. Values, rules and strategies are represented in neuronal activity, and the striatum is one of the best qualified brain loci where these signals meet. To understand the role of the striatum in value- and strategy-based decision-making, we recorded striatal neurons in macaque monkeys performing a behavioral task in which they searched for a reward target by trial-and-error among three alternatives, earned a reward for a target choice, and then earned additional rewards for choosing the same target. This task allowed us to examine whether and how values of targets and strategy, which were defined as negative-then-search and positive-then-repeat (or win-stay-lose-switch), are represented in the striatum. Large subsets of striatal neurons encoded positive and negative outcome feedbacks of individual decisions and actions. Once monkeys made a choice, signals related to chosen actions, their values and search- or repeat-type actions increased and persisted until the outcome feedback appeared. Subsets of neurons exhibited a tonic increase in activity after the search- and repeat-choices following negative and positive feedback in the last trials as the task strategy monkeys adapted. These activity profiles as a heterogeneous representation of decision variables may underlie a part of the process for reinforcement- and strategy-based evaluation of selected actions in the striatum. © 2011 The Authors. European Journal of Neuroscience © 2011 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. a permutation encoding te algorithm solution of reso tation encoding

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    eobe

    Keywords: Genetic algorithm, resource constrained. 1. INTRODUCTION. 1. .... Nigerian Journal of Technology. Vol. 34, No. 1, January 2015. 128 ... 4. ENCODING OF CHROMOSOME. ENCODING OF CHROMOSOME .... International Multi conference of Engineers and ... method”, Naval Research Logistics, vol 48, issue 2,.

  17. Decoding spatial and temporal features of neuronal cAMP/PKA signaling with FRET biosensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Liliana R V; Guiot, Elvire; Polito, Marina; Paupardin-Tritsch, Daniéle; Vincent, Pierre

    2014-02-01

    Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and the cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) regulate a plethora of cellular functions in virtually all eukaryotic cells. In neurons, the cAMP/PKA signaling cascade controls a number of biological properties such as axonal growth, pathfinding, efficacy of synaptic transmission, regulation of excitability, or long term changes. Genetically encoded optical biosensors for cAMP or PKA are considerably improving our understanding of these processes by providing a real-time measurement in living neurons. In this review, we describe the recent progress made in the creation of biosensors for cAMP or PKA activity. These biosensors revealed profound differences in the amplitude of the cAMP signal evoked by neuromodulators between various neuronal preparations. These responses can be resolved at the level of individual neurons, also revealing differences related to the neuronal type. At the sub-cellular level, biosensors reported different signal dynamics in domains like dendrites, cell body, nucleus, and axon. Combining this imaging approach with pharmacology or genetic models points at phosphodiesterases and phosphatases as critical regulatory proteins. Biosensor imaging will certainly emerge as a forefront tool to decipher the subtle mechanics of intracellular signaling. This will certainly help us to understand the mechanism of action of current drugs and foster the development of novel molecules for neuropsychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. 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.

  19. Voltage imaging to understand connections and functions of neuronal circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antic, Srdjan D.; Empson, Ruth M.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying brain functions such as cognition and emotions requires monitoring of membrane voltage at the cellular, circuit, and system levels. Seminal voltage-sensitive dye and calcium-sensitive dye imaging studies have demonstrated parallel detection of electrical activity across populations of interconnected neurons in a variety of preparations. A game-changing advance made in recent years has been the conceptualization and development of optogenetic tools, including genetically encoded indicators of voltage (GEVIs) or calcium (GECIs) and genetically encoded light-gated ion channels (actuators, e.g., channelrhodopsin2). Compared with low-molecular-weight calcium and voltage indicators (dyes), the optogenetic imaging approaches are 1) cell type specific, 2) less invasive, 3) able to relate activity and anatomy, and 4) facilitate long-term recordings of individual cells' activities over weeks, thereby allowing direct monitoring of the emergence of learned behaviors and underlying circuit mechanisms. We highlight the potential of novel approaches based on GEVIs and compare those to calcium imaging approaches. We also discuss how novel approaches based on GEVIs (and GECIs) coupled with genetically encoded actuators will promote progress in our knowledge of brain circuits and systems. PMID:27075539

  20. Distinct roles of presynaptic dopamine receptors in the differential modulation of the intrinsic synapses of medium-spiny neurons in the nucleus accumbens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schmauss Claudia

    2007-01-01

    medium-spiny neuron varicosities, the heterogeneous distribution of dopamine receptors on individual varicosities is likely to encode patterns in striatal information processing.

  1. Neurons other than motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruffoli, Riccardo; Biagioni, Francesca; Busceti, Carla L; Gaglione, Anderson; Ryskalin, Larisa; Gambardella, Stefano; Frati, Alessandro; Fornai, Francesco

    2017-11-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is typically defined by a loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system. Accordingly, morphological analysis for decades considered motor neurons (in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord) as the neuronal population selectively involved in ALS. Similarly, this was considered the pathological marker to score disease severity ex vivo both in patients and experimental models. However, the concept of non-autonomous motor neuron death was used recently to indicate the need for additional cell types to produce motor neuron death in ALS. This means that motor neuron loss occurs only when they are connected with other cell types. This concept originally emphasized the need for resident glia as well as non-resident inflammatory cells. Nowadays, the additional role of neurons other than motor neurons emerged in the scenario to induce non-autonomous motor neuron death. In fact, in ALS neurons diverse from motor neurons are involved. These cells play multiple roles in ALS: (i) they participate in the chain of events to produce motor neuron loss; (ii) they may even degenerate more than and before motor neurons. In the present manuscript evidence about multi-neuronal involvement in ALS patients and experimental models is discussed. Specific sub-classes of neurons in the whole spinal cord are reported either to degenerate or to trigger neuronal degeneration, thus portraying ALS as a whole spinal cord disorder rather than a disease affecting motor neurons solely. This is associated with a novel concept in motor neuron disease which recruits abnormal mechanisms of cell to cell communication.

  2. Spike timing precision of neuronal circuits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilinc, Deniz; Demir, Alper

    2018-04-17

    Spike timing is believed to be a key factor in sensory information encoding and computations performed by the neurons and neuronal circuits. However, the considerable noise and variability, arising from the inherently stochastic mechanisms that exist in the neurons and the synapses, degrade spike timing precision. Computational modeling can help decipher the mechanisms utilized by the neuronal circuits in order to regulate timing precision. In this paper, we utilize semi-analytical techniques, which were adapted from previously developed methods for electronic circuits, for the stochastic characterization of neuronal circuits. These techniques, which are orders of magnitude faster than traditional Monte Carlo type simulations, can be used to directly compute the spike timing jitter variance, power spectral densities, correlation functions, and other stochastic characterizations of neuronal circuit operation. We consider three distinct neuronal circuit motifs: Feedback inhibition, synaptic integration, and synaptic coupling. First, we show that both the spike timing precision and the energy efficiency of a spiking neuron are improved with feedback inhibition. We unveil the underlying mechanism through which this is achieved. Then, we demonstrate that a neuron can improve on the timing precision of its synaptic inputs, coming from multiple sources, via synaptic integration: The phase of the output spikes of the integrator neuron has the same variance as that of the sample average of the phases of its inputs. Finally, we reveal that weak synaptic coupling among neurons, in a fully connected network, enables them to behave like a single neuron with a larger membrane area, resulting in an improvement in the timing precision through cooperation.

  3. Early monocular defocus disrupts the normal development of receptive-field structure in V2 neurons of macaque monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Xiaofeng; Zhang, Bin; Shen, Guofu; Wensveen, Janice; Smith, Earl L; Nishimoto, Shinji; Ohzawa, Izumi; Chino, Yuzo M

    2014-10-08

    Experiencing different quality images in the two eyes soon after birth can cause amblyopia, a developmental vision disorder. Amblyopic humans show the reduced capacity for judging the relative position of a visual target in reference to nearby stimulus elements (position uncertainty) and often experience visual image distortion. Although abnormal pooling of local stimulus information by neurons beyond striate cortex (V1) is often suggested as a neural basis of these deficits, extrastriate neurons in the amblyopic brain have rarely been studied using microelectrode recording methods. The receptive field (RF) of neurons in visual area V2 in normal monkeys is made up of multiple subfields that are thought to reflect V1 inputs and are capable of encoding the spatial relationship between local stimulus features. We created primate models of anisometropic amblyopia and analyzed the RF subfield maps for multiple nearby V2 neurons of anesthetized monkeys by using dynamic two-dimensional noise stimuli and reverse correlation methods. Unlike in normal monkeys, the subfield maps of V2 neurons in amblyopic monkeys were severely disorganized: subfield maps showed higher heterogeneity within each neuron as well as across nearby neurons. Amblyopic V2 neurons exhibited robust binocular suppression and the strength of the suppression was positively correlated with the degree of hereogeneity and the severity of amblyopia in individual monkeys. Our results suggest that the disorganized subfield maps and robust binocular suppression of amblyopic V2 neurons are likely to adversely affect the higher stages of cortical processing resulting in position uncertainty and image distortion. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413840-15$15.00/0.

  4. Parallel encoders for pixel detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikityuk, N.M.

    1991-01-01

    A new method of fast encoding and determining the multiplicity and coordinates of fired pixels is described. A specific example construction of parallel encodes and MCC for n=49 and t=2 is given. 16 refs.; 6 figs.; 2 tabs

  5. How to make spinal motor neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis-Dusenbery, Brandi N; Williams, Luis A; Klim, Joseph R; Eggan, Kevin

    2014-02-01

    All muscle movements, including breathing, walking, and fine motor skills rely on the function of the spinal motor neuron to transmit signals from the brain to individual muscle groups. Loss of spinal motor neuron function underlies several neurological disorders for which treatment has been hampered by the inability to obtain sufficient quantities of primary motor neurons to perform mechanistic studies or drug screens. Progress towards overcoming this challenge has been achieved through the synthesis of developmental biology paradigms and advances in stem cell and reprogramming technology, which allow the production of motor neurons in vitro. In this Primer, we discuss how the logic of spinal motor neuron development has been applied to allow generation of motor neurons either from pluripotent stem cells by directed differentiation and transcriptional programming, or from somatic cells by direct lineage conversion. Finally, we discuss methods to evaluate the molecular and functional properties of motor neurons generated through each of these techniques.

  6. Indirect Encoding in Neuroevolutionary Ship Handling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miroslaw Lacki

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the author compares the efficiency of two encoding schemes for artificial intelligence methods used in the neuroevolutionary ship maneuvering system. This may be also be seen as the ship handling system that simulates a learning process of a group of artificial helmsmen - autonomous control units, created with an artificial neural network. The helmsman observes input signals derived form an enfironment and calculates the values of required parameters of the vessel maneuvering in confined waters. In neuroevolution such units are treated as individuals in population of artificial neural networks, which through environmental sensing and evolutionary algorithms learn to perform given task efficiently. The main task of this project is to evolve a population of helmsmen with indirect encoding and compare results of simulation with direct encoding method.

  7. Encoding of natural and artificial stimuli in the auditory midbrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyzwa, Dominika

    How complex acoustic stimuli are encoded in the main center of convergence in the auditory midbrain is not clear. Here, the representation of neural spiking responses to natural and artificial sounds across this subcortical structure is investigated based on neurophysiological recordings from the mammalian midbrain. Neural and stimulus correlations of neuronal pairs are analyzed with respect to the neurons' distance, and responses to different natural communication sounds are discriminated. A model which includes linear and nonlinear neural response properties of this nucleus is presented and employed to predict temporal spiking responses to new sounds. Supported by BMBF Grant 01GQ0811.

  8. Efficient computation in networks of spiking neurons: simulations and theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Natschlaeger, T.

    1999-01-01

    One of the most prominent features of biological neural systems is that individual neurons communicate via short electrical pulses, the so called action potentials or spikes. In this thesis we investigate possible mechanisms which can in principle explain how complex computations in spiking neural networks (SNN) can be performed very fast, i.e. within a few 10 milliseconds. Some of these models are based on the assumption that relevant information is encoded by the timing of individual spikes (temporal coding). We will also discuss a model which is based on a population code and still is able to perform fast complex computations. In their natural environment biological neural systems have to process signals with a rich temporal structure. Hence it is an interesting question how neural systems process time series. In this context we explore possible links between biophysical characteristics of single neurons (refractory behavior, connectivity, time course of postsynaptic potentials) and synapses (unreliability, dynamics) on the one hand and possible computations on times series on the other hand. Furthermore we describe a general model of computation that exploits dynamic synapses. This model provides a general framework for understanding how neural systems process time-varying signals. (author)

  9. Biallelic Mutations in TBCD, Encoding the Tubulin Folding Cofactor D, Perturb Microtubule Dynamics and Cause Early-Onset Encephalopathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Flex, Elisabetta; Niceta, Marcello; Cecchetti, Serena; Thiffault, Isabelle; Au, Margaret G.; Capuano, Alessandro; Piermarini, Emanuela; Ivanova, Anna A.; Francis, Joshua W.; Chillemi, Giovanni; Chandramouli, Balasubramanian; Carpentieri, Giovanna; Haaxma, Charlotte A.; Ciolfi, Andrea; Pizzi, Simone; Douglas, Ganka V.; Levine, Kara; Sferra, Antonella; Dentici, Maria Lisa; Pfundt, Rolph R.; Le Pichon, Jean-Baptiste; Farrow, Emily; Baas, Frank; Piemonte, Fiorella; Dallapiccola, Bruno; Graham, John M.; Saunders, Carol J.; Bertini, Enrico; Kahn, Richard A.; Koolen, David A.; Tartaglia, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal elements coordinating and supporting a variety of neuronal processes, including cell division, migration, polarity, intracellular trafficking, and signal transduction. Mutations in genes encoding tubulins and microtubule-associated proteins are known to cause

  10. Toward functional classification of neuronal types.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharpee, Tatyana O

    2014-09-17

    How many types of neurons are there in the brain? This basic neuroscience question remains unsettled despite many decades of research. Classification schemes have been proposed based on anatomical, electrophysiological, or molecular properties. However, different schemes do not always agree with each other. This raises the question of whether one can classify neurons based on their function directly. For example, among sensory neurons, can a classification scheme be devised that is based on their role in encoding sensory stimuli? Here, theoretical arguments are outlined for how this can be achieved using information theory by looking at optimal numbers of cell types and paying attention to two key properties: correlations between inputs and noise in neural responses. This theoretical framework could help to map the hierarchical tree relating different neuronal classes within and across species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The olfactory tubercle encodes odor valence in behaving mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gadziola, Marie A; Tylicki, Kate A; Christian, Diana L; Wesson, Daniel W

    2015-03-18

    Sensory information acquires meaning to adaptively guide behaviors. Despite odors mediating a number of vital behaviors, the components of the olfactory system responsible for assigning meaning to odors remain unclear. The olfactory tubercle (OT), a ventral striatum structure that receives monosynaptic input from the olfactory bulb, is uniquely positioned to transform odor information into behaviorally relevant neural codes. No information is available, however, on the coding of odors among OT neurons in behaving animals. In recordings from mice engaged in an odor discrimination task, we report that the firing rate of OT neurons robustly and flexibly encodes the valence of conditioned odors over identity, with rewarded odors evoking greater firing rates. This coding of rewarded odors occurs before behavioral decisions and represents subsequent behavioral responses. We predict that the OT is an essential region whereby odor valence is encoded in the mammalian brain to guide goal-directed behaviors. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/354515-13$15.00/0.

  12. Implementing Signature Neural Networks with Spiking Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Medina, José Luis; Latorre, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Spiking Neural Networks constitute the most promising approach to develop realistic Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs). Unlike traditional firing rate-based paradigms, information coding in spiking models is based on the precise timing of individual spikes. It has been demonstrated that spiking ANNs can be successfully and efficiently applied to multiple realistic problems solvable with traditional strategies (e.g., data classification or pattern recognition). In recent years, major breakthroughs in neuroscience research have discovered new relevant computational principles in different living neural systems. Could ANNs benefit from some of these recent findings providing novel elements of inspiration? This is an intriguing question for the research community and the development of spiking ANNs including novel bio-inspired information coding and processing strategies is gaining attention. From this perspective, in this work, we adapt the core concepts of the recently proposed Signature Neural Network paradigm-i.e., neural signatures to identify each unit in the network, local information contextualization during the processing, and multicoding strategies for information propagation regarding the origin and the content of the data-to be employed in a spiking neural network. To the best of our knowledge, none of these mechanisms have been used yet in the context of ANNs of spiking neurons. This paper provides a proof-of-concept for their applicability in such networks. Computer simulations show that a simple network model like the discussed here exhibits complex self-organizing properties. The combination of multiple simultaneous encoding schemes allows the network to generate coexisting spatio-temporal patterns of activity encoding information in different spatio-temporal spaces. As a function of the network and/or intra-unit parameters shaping the corresponding encoding modality, different forms of competition among the evoked patterns can emerge even in the absence

  13. 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…

  14. 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 ...

  15. Brain Circuits Encoding Reward from Pain Relief.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navratilova, Edita; Atcherley, Christopher W; Porreca, Frank

    2015-11-01

    Relief from pain in humans is rewarding and pleasurable. Primary rewards, or reward-predictive cues, are encoded in brain reward/motivational circuits. While considerable advances have been made in our understanding of reward circuits underlying positive reinforcement, less is known about the circuits underlying the hedonic and reinforcing actions of pain relief. We review findings from electrophysiological, neuroimaging, and behavioral studies supporting the concept that the rewarding effect of pain relief requires opioid signaling in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), activation of midbrain dopamine neurons, and the release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Understanding of circuits that govern the reward of pain relief may allow the discovery of more effective and satisfying therapies for patients with acute or chronic pain.

  16. Premotor and Motor Cortices Encode Reward.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavan Ramkumar

    Full Text Available Rewards associated with actions are critical for motivation and learning about the consequences of one's actions on the world. The motor cortices are involved in planning and executing movements, but it is unclear whether they encode reward over and above limb kinematics and dynamics. Here, we report a categorical reward signal in dorsal premotor (PMd and primary motor (M1 neurons that corresponds to an increase in firing rates when a trial was not rewarded regardless of whether or not a reward was expected. We show that this signal is unrelated to error magnitude, reward prediction error, or other task confounds such as reward consumption, return reach plan, or kinematic differences across rewarded and unrewarded trials. The availability of reward information in motor cortex is crucial for theories of reward-based learning and motivational influences on actions.

  17. Bayesian Ising approximation for learning dictionaries of multispike timing patterns in premotor neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez Lahme, Damian; Sober, Samuel; Nemenman, Ilya

    Important questions in computational neuroscience are whether, how much, and how information is encoded in the precise timing of neural action potentials. We recently demonstrated that, in the premotor cortex during vocal control in songbirds, spike timing is far more informative about upcoming behavior than is spike rate (Tang et al, 2014). However, identification of complete dictionaries that relate spike timing patterns with the controled behavior remains an elusive problem. Here we present a computational approach to deciphering such codes for individual neurons in the songbird premotor area RA, an analog of mammalian primary motor cortex. Specifically, we analyze which multispike patterns of neural activity predict features of the upcoming vocalization, and hence are important codewords. We use a recently introduced Bayesian Ising Approximation, which properly accounts for the fact that many codewords overlap and hence are not independent. Our results show which complex, temporally precise multispike combinations are used by individual neurons to control acoustic features of the produced song, and that these code words are different across individual neurons and across different acoustic features. This work was supported, in part, by JSMF Grant 220020321, NSF Grant 1208126, NIH Grant NS084844 and NIH Grant 1 R01 EB022872.

  18. Learning Spatiotemporally Encoded Pattern Transformations in Structured Spiking Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardner, Brian; Sporea, Ioana; Grüning, André

    2015-12-01

    Information encoding in the nervous system is supported through the precise spike timings of neurons; however, an understanding of the underlying processes by which such representations are formed in the first place remains an open question. Here we examine how multilayered networks of spiking neurons can learn to encode for input patterns using a fully temporal coding scheme. To this end, we introduce a new supervised learning rule, MultilayerSpiker, that can train spiking networks containing hidden layer neurons to perform transformations between spatiotemporal input and output spike patterns. The performance of the proposed learning rule is demonstrated in terms of the number of pattern mappings it can learn, the complexity of network structures it can be used on, and its classification accuracy when using multispike-based encodings. In particular, the learning rule displays robustness against input noise and can generalize well on an example data set. Our approach contributes to both a systematic understanding of how computations might take place in the nervous system and a learning rule that displays strong technical capability.

  19. Selecting Operations for Assembler Encoding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Praczyk

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Assembler Encoding is a neuro-evolutionary method in which a neural network is represented in the form of a simple program called Assembler Encoding Program. The task of the program is to create the so-called Network Definition Matrix which maintains all the information necessary to construct the network. To generate Assembler Encoding Programs and the subsequent neural networks evolutionary techniques are used.
    The performance of Assembler Encoding strongly depends on operations used in Assembler Encoding Programs. To select the most effective operations, experiments in the optimization and the predator-prey problem were carried out. In the experiments, Assembler Encoding Programs equipped with different types of operations were tested. The results of the tests are presented at the end of the paper.

  20. Contextual Learning Requires Functional Diversity at Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapses onto CA1 Pyramidal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dai Mitsushima

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Although the hippocampus is processing temporal and spatial information in particular context, the encoding rule creating memory is completely unknown. To examine the mechanism, we trained rats on an inhibitory avoidance (IA task, a hippocampus-dependent rapid one-trial contextual learning paradigm. By combining Herpes virus-mediated in vivo gene delivery with in vitro patch-clamp recordings, I reported contextual learning drives GluR1-containing AMPA receptors into CA3-CA1 synapses. The molecular event is required for contextual memory, since bilateral expression of delivery blocker in CA1 successfully blocked IA learning. Moreover, I found a logarithmic correlation between the number of delivery blocking cells and learning performance. Considering that one all-or-none device can process 1-bit of data per clock (Nobert Wiener 1961, the logarithmic correlation may provides evidence that CA1 neurons transmit essential data of contextual information. Further, I recently reported critical role of acetylcholine as an intrinsic trigger of learning-dependent synaptic plasticity. IA training induced ACh release in CA1 that strengthened not only AMPA receptor-mediated excitatory synapses, but also GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory synapses on each CA1 neuron. More importantly, IA-trained rats showed individually different excitatory and inhibitory synaptic inputs with wide variation on each CA1 neuron. Here I propose a new hypothesis that the diversity of synaptic inputs on CA1 neurons may depict cell-specific outputs processing experienced episodes after training.

  1. Leptin-dependent neuronal NO signaling in the preoptic hypothalamus facilitates reproduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellefontaine, Nicole; Chachlaki, Konstantina; Parkash, Jyoti; Vanacker, Charlotte; Colledge, William; d'Anglemont de Tassigny, Xavier; Garthwaite, John; Bouret, Sebastien G; Prevot, Vincent

    2014-06-01

    The transition to puberty and adult fertility both require a minimum level of energy availability. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin signals the long-term status of peripheral energy stores and serves as a key metabolic messenger to the neuroendocrine reproductive axis. Humans and mice lacking leptin or its receptor fail to complete puberty and are infertile. Restoration of leptin levels in these individuals promotes sexual maturation, which requires the pulsatile, coordinated delivery of gonadotropin-releasing hormone to the pituitary and the resulting surge of luteinizing hormone (LH); however, the neural circuits that control the leptin-mediated induction of the reproductive axis are not fully understood. Here, we found that leptin coordinated fertility by acting on neurons in the preoptic region of the hypothalamus and inducing the synthesis of the freely diffusible volume-based transmitter NO, through the activation of neuronal NO synthase (nNOS) in these neurons. The deletion of the gene encoding nNOS or its pharmacological inhibition in the preoptic region blunted the stimulatory action of exogenous leptin on LH secretion and prevented the restoration of fertility in leptin-deficient female mice by leptin treatment. Together, these data indicate that leptin plays a central role in regulating the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis in vivo through the activation of nNOS in neurons of the preoptic region.

  2. 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

  3. Dynamical encoding of looming, receding, and focussing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longtin, Andre; Clarke, Stephen Elisha; Maler, Leonard; CenterNeural Dynamics Collaboration

    This talk will discuss a non-conventional neural coding task that may apply more broadly to many senses in higher vertebrates. We ask whether and how a non-visual sensory system can focus on an object. We present recent experimental and modeling work that shows how the early sensory circuitry of electric sense can perform such neuronal focusing that is manifested behaviorally. This sense is the main one used by weakly electric fish to navigate, locate prey and communicate in the murky waters of their natural habitat. We show that there is a distance at which the Fisher information of a neuron's response to a looming and receding object is maximized, and that this distance corresponds to a behaviorally relevant one chosen by these animals. Strikingly, this maximum occurs at a bifurcation between tonic firing and bursting. We further discuss how the invariance of this distance to signal attributes can arise, a process that first involves power-law spike frequency adaptation. The talk will also highlight the importance of expanding the classic dual neural encoding of contrast using ON and OFF cells in the context of looming and receding stimuli. The authors acknowledge support from CIHR and NSERC.

  4. Age-Dependence and Aging-Dependence: Neuronal Loss and Lifespan in a C. elegans Model of Parkinson's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apfeld, Javier; Fontana, Walter

    2017-12-23

    It is often assumed, but not established, that the major neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, are not just age-dependent (their incidence changes with time) but actually aging-dependent (their incidence is coupled to the process that determines lifespan). To determine a dependence on the aging process requires the joint probability distribution of disease onset and lifespan. For human Parkinson's disease, such a joint distribution is not available, because the disease cuts lifespan short. To acquire a joint distribution, we resorted to an established C. elegans model of Parkinson's disease in which the loss of dopaminergic neurons is not fatal. We find that lifespan is not correlated with the loss of individual neurons. Therefore, neuronal loss is age-dependent and aging-independent. We also find that a lifespan-extending intervention into insulin/IGF1 signaling accelerates the loss of specific dopaminergic neurons, while leaving death and neuronal loss times uncorrelated. This suggests that distinct and compartmentalized instances of the same genetically encoded insulin/IGF1 signaling machinery act independently to control neurodegeneration and lifespan in C. elegans . Although the human context might well be different, our study calls attention to the need to maintain a rigorous distinction between age-dependence and aging-dependence.

  5. Synaptic Circuit Organization of Motor Corticothalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamawaki, Naoki

    2015-01-01

    Corticothalamic (CT) neurons in layer 6 constitute a large but enigmatic class of cortical projection neurons. How they are integrated into intracortical and thalamo-cortico-thalamic circuits is incompletely understood, especially outside of sensory cortex. Here, we investigated CT circuits in mouse forelimb motor cortex (M1) using multiple circuit-analysis methods. Stimulating and recording from CT, intratelencephalic (IT), and pyramidal tract (PT) projection neurons, we found strong CT↔ CT and CT↔ IT connections; however, CT→IT connections were limited to IT neurons in layer 6, not 5B. There was strikingly little CT↔ PT excitatory connectivity. Disynaptic inhibition systematically accompanied excitation in these pathways, scaling with the amplitude of excitation according to both presynaptic (class-specific) and postsynaptic (cell-by-cell) factors. In particular, CT neurons evoked proportionally more inhibition relative to excitation (I/E ratio) than IT neurons. Furthermore, the amplitude of inhibition was tuned to match the amount of excitation at the level of individual neurons; in the extreme, neurons receiving no excitation received no inhibition either. Extending these studies to dissect the connectivity between cortex and thalamus, we found that M1-CT neurons and thalamocortical neurons in the ventrolateral (VL) nucleus were remarkably unconnected in either direction. Instead, VL axons in the cortex excited both IT and PT neurons, and CT axons in the thalamus excited other thalamic neurons, including those in the posterior nucleus, which additionally received PT excitation. These findings, which contrast in several ways with previous observations in sensory areas, illuminate the basic circuit organization of CT neurons within M1 and between M1 and thalamus. PMID:25653383

  6. Calcium signals in olfactory neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tareilus, E; Noé, J; Breer, H

    1995-11-09

    Laser scanning confocal microscopy in combination with the fluorescent calcium indicators Fluo-3 and Fura-Red was employed to estimate the intracellular concentration of free calcium ions in individual olfactory receptor neurons and to monitor temporal and spatial changes in the Ca(2+)-level upon stimulation. The chemosensory cells responded to odorants with a significant increase in the calcium concentration, preferentially in the dendritic knob. Applying various stimulation paradigma, it was found that in a population of isolated cells, subsets of receptor neurons display distinct patterns of responsiveness.

  7. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamphlett, Roger; Kum Jew, Stephen

    2013-12-12

    The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons.

  8. Heavy metals in locus ceruleus and motor neurons in motor neuron disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The causes of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (SALS) and other types of motor neuron disease (MND) remain largely unknown. Heavy metals have long been implicated in MND, and it has recently been shown that inorganic mercury selectively enters human locus ceruleus (LC) and motor neurons. We therefore used silver nitrate autometallography (AMG) to look for AMG-stainable heavy metals (inorganic mercury and bismuth) in LC and motor neurons of 24 patients with MND (18 with SALS and 6 with familial MND) and in the LC of 24 controls. Results Heavy metals in neurons were found in significantly more MND patients than in controls when comparing: (1) the presence of any versus no heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 88%, controls 42%), (2) the median percentage of heavy metal-containing LC neurons (MND 9.5%, control 0.0%), and (3) numbers of individuals with heavy metal-containing LC neurons in the upper half of the percentage range (MND 75%, controls 25%). In MND patients, 67% of remaining spinal motor neurons contained heavy metals; smaller percentages were found in hypoglossal, nucleus ambiguus and oculomotor neurons, but none in cortical motor neurons. The majority of MND patients had heavy metals in both LC and spinal motor neurons. No glia or other neurons, including neuromelanin-containing neurons of the substantia nigra, contained stainable heavy metals. Conclusions Uptake of heavy metals by LC and lower motor neurons appears to be fairly common in humans, though heavy metal staining in the LC, most likely due to inorganic mercury, was seen significantly more often in MND patients than in controls. The LC innervates many cell types that are affected in MND, and it is possible that MND is triggered by toxicant-induced interactions between LC and motor neurons. PMID:24330485

  9. Role of neuronal activity in regulating the structure and function of auditory neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Born, D.E.

    1986-01-01

    The role of afferent activity in maintaining neuronal structure and function was investigated in second order auditory neurons in nucleus magnocellularis (NM) of the chicken. The cochlea provides the major excitatory input to NM neurons via the eighth nerve. Removal of the cochlea causes dramatic changes in NM neurons. To determine if the elimination of neuronal activity is responsible for the changes in NM seen after cochlea removal, tetrodotoxin was used block action potentials in the cochlear ganglion cells. Tetrodotoxin injections into the perilymph reliably blocked neuronal activity in the cochlear nerve and NM. Far field recordings of sound-evoked potentials revealed that responses returned within 6 hours. Changes in amino acid incorporation in NM neurons were measured by giving intracardiac injections of 3 H-leucine and preparing tissue for autoradiographic demonstration of incorporated amino acid. Grain counts over individual neurons revealed that a single injection of tetrodotoxin produced a 40% decrease in grain density in ipsilateral NM neurons. It is concluded that neuronal activity plays an important contribution to the maintenance of the normal properties of NM neurons

  10. A cascade model of information processing and encoding for retinal prosthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pei, Zhi-Jun; Gao, Guan-Xin; Hao, Bo; Qiao, Qing-Li; Ai, Hui-Jian

    2016-04-01

    Retinal prosthesis offers a potential treatment for individuals suffering from photoreceptor degeneration diseases. Establishing biological retinal models and simulating how the biological retina convert incoming light signal into spike trains that can be properly decoded by the brain is a key issue. Some retinal models have been presented, ranking from structural models inspired by the layered architecture to functional models originated from a set of specific physiological phenomena. However, Most of these focus on stimulus image compression, edge detection and reconstruction, but do not generate spike trains corresponding to visual image. In this study, based on state-of-the-art retinal physiological mechanism, including effective visual information extraction, static nonlinear rectification of biological systems and neurons Poisson coding, a cascade model of the retina including the out plexiform layer for information processing and the inner plexiform layer for information encoding was brought forward, which integrates both anatomic connections and functional computations of retina. Using MATLAB software, spike trains corresponding to stimulus image were numerically computed by four steps: linear spatiotemporal filtering, static nonlinear rectification, radial sampling and then Poisson spike generation. The simulated results suggested that such a cascade model could recreate visual information processing and encoding functionalities of the retina, which is helpful in developing artificial retina for the retinally blind.

  11. Parallel, but Dissociable, Processing in Discrete Corticostriatal Inputs Encodes Skill Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kupferschmidt, David A; Juczewski, Konrad; Cui, Guohong; Johnson, Kari A; Lovinger, David M

    2017-10-11

    Changes in cortical and striatal function underlie the transition from novel actions to refined motor skills. How discrete, anatomically defined corticostriatal projections function in vivo to encode skill learning remains unclear. Using novel fiber photometry approaches to assess real-time activity of associative inputs from medial prefrontal cortex to dorsomedial striatum and sensorimotor inputs from motor cortex to dorsolateral striatum, we show that associative and sensorimotor inputs co-engage early in action learning and disengage in a dissociable manner as actions are refined. Disengagement of associative, but not sensorimotor, inputs predicts individual differences in subsequent skill learning. Divergent somatic and presynaptic engagement in both projections during early action learning suggests potential learning-related in vivo modulation of presynaptic corticostriatal function. These findings reveal parallel processing within associative and sensorimotor circuits that challenges and refines existing views of corticostriatal function and expose neuronal projection- and compartment-specific activity dynamics that encode and predict action learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Scaling of Brain Metabolism with a Fixed Energy Budget per Neuron: Implications for Neuronal Activity, Plasticity and Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2011-01-01

    It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodent...

  13. Artificial neural networks using complex numbers and phase encoded weights.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Howard E; Awwal, Abdul Ahad S

    2010-04-01

    The model of a simple perceptron using phase-encoded inputs and complex-valued weights is proposed. The aggregation function, activation function, and learning rule for the proposed neuron are derived and applied to Boolean logic functions and simple computer vision tasks. The complex-valued neuron (CVN) is shown to be superior to traditional perceptrons. An improvement of 135% over the theoretical maximum of 104 linearly separable problems (of three variables) solvable by conventional perceptrons is achieved without additional logic, neuron stages, or higher order terms such as those required in polynomial logic gates. The application of CVN in distortion invariant character recognition and image segmentation is demonstrated. Implementation details are discussed, and the CVN is shown to be very attractive for optical implementation since optical computations are naturally complex. The cost of the CVN is less in all cases than the traditional neuron when implemented optically. Therefore, all the benefits of the CVN can be obtained without additional cost. However, on those implementations dependent on standard serial computers, CVN will be more cost effective only in those applications where its increased power can offset the requirement for additional neurons.

  14. 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.

  15. Direct encoding of orientation variance in the visual system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, Liam J; Heywood, Charles A; Kentridge, Robert W

    2015-01-01

    Our perception of regional irregularity, an example of which is orientation variance, seems effortless when we view two patches of texture that differ in this attribute. Little is understood, however, of how the visual system encodes a regional statistic like orientation variance, but there is some evidence to suggest that it is directly encoded by populations of neurons tuned broadly to high or low levels. The present study shows that selective adaptation to low or high levels of variance results in a perceptual aftereffect that shifts the perceived level of variance of a subsequently viewed texture in the direction away from that of the adapting stimulus (Experiments 1 and 2). Importantly, the effect is durable across changes in mean orientation, suggesting that the encoding of orientation variance is independent of global first moment orientation statistics (i.e., mean orientation). In Experiment 3 it was shown that the variance-specific aftereffect did not show signs of being encoded in a spatiotopic reference frame, similar to the equivalent aftereffect of adaptation to the first moment orientation statistic (the tilt aftereffect), which is represented in the primary visual cortex and exists only in retinotopic coordinates. Experiment 4 shows that a neuropsychological patient with damage to ventral areas of the cortex but spared intact early areas retains sensitivity to orientation variance. Together these results suggest that orientation variance is encoded directly by the visual system and possibly at an early cortical stage.

  16. Merkel cells and neurons keep in touch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woo, Seung-Hyun; Lumpkin, Ellen A.; Patapoutian, Ardem

    2014-01-01

    The Merkel cell-neurite complex is a unique vertebrate touch receptor comprising two distinct cell types in the skin. Its presence in touch-sensitive skin areas was recognized more than a century ago, but the functions of each cell type in sensory transduction have been unclear. Three recent studies demonstrate that Merkel cells are mechanosensitive cells that function in touch transduction via Piezo2. One study concludes that Merkel cells rather than sensory neurons are principal sites of mechanotransduction, whereas the other two studies report that both Merkel cells and neurons encode mechanical inputs. Together, these studies settle a longstanding debate on whether Merkel cells are mechanosensory cells, and enable future investigations of how these skin cells communicate with neurons. PMID:25480024

  17. Odor-evoked inhibition of olfactory sensory neurons drives olfactory perception in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Li-Hui; Yang, Dong; Wu, Wei; Zeng, Xiankun; Jing, Bi-Yang; Li, Meng-Tong; Qin, Shanshan; Tang, Chao; Tu, Yuhai; Luo, Dong-Gen

    2017-11-07

    Inhibitory response occurs throughout the nervous system, including the peripheral olfactory system. While odor-evoked excitation in peripheral olfactory cells is known to encode odor information, the molecular mechanism and functional roles of odor-evoked inhibition remain largely unknown. Here, we examined Drosophila olfactory sensory neurons and found that inhibitory odors triggered outward receptor currents by reducing the constitutive activities of odorant receptors, inhibiting the basal spike firing in olfactory sensory neurons. Remarkably, this odor-evoked inhibition of olfactory sensory neurons elicited by itself a full range of olfactory behaviors from attraction to avoidance, as did odor-evoked olfactory sensory neuron excitation. These results indicated that peripheral inhibition is comparable to excitation in encoding sensory signals rather than merely regulating excitation. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a bidirectional code with both odor-evoked inhibition and excitation in single olfactory sensory neurons increases the odor-coding capacity, providing a means of efficient sensory encoding.

  18. Reduced neuronal size and mTOR pathway activity in the Mecp2 A140V Rett syndrome mouse model [version 1; referees: 2 approved

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sampathkumar Rangasamy

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Rett syndrome (RTT is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutation in the X-linked MECP2 gene, encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2. We have created a mouse model (Mecp2 A140V “knock-in” mutant expressing the recurrent human MECP2 A140V mutation linked to an X-linked mental retardation/Rett syndrome phenotype. Morphological analyses focused on quantifying soma and nucleus size were performed on primary hippocampus and cerebellum granule neuron (CGN cultures from mutant (Mecp2A140V/y and wild type (Mecp2+/y male mice. Cultured hippocampus and cerebellar granule neurons from mutant animals were significantly smaller than neurons from wild type animals. We also examined soma size in hippocampus neurons from individual female transgenic mice that express both a mutant  (maternal allele and a wild type Mecp2 gene linked to an eGFP transgene (paternal allele. In cultures from such doubly heterozygous female mice, the size of neurons expressing the mutant (A140V allele also showed a significant reduction compared to neurons expressing wild type MeCP2, supporting a cell-autonomous role for MeCP2 in neuronal development. IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1 treatment of neuronal cells from Mecp2 mutant mice rescued the soma size phenotype. We also found that Mecp2  mutation leads to down-regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway, known to be involved in neuronal size regulation. Our results suggest that i reduced neuronal size is an important in vitro cellular phenotype of Mecp2 mutation in mice, and ii MeCP2 might play a critical role in the maintenance of neuronal structure by modulation of the mTOR pathway. The definition of a quantifiable cellular phenotype supports using neuronal size as a biomarker in the development of a high-throughput, in vitro assay to screen for compounds that rescue small neuronal phenotype (“phenotypic assay”.

  19. Analysing and Comparing Encodability Criteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kirstin Peters

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Encodings or the proof of their absence are the main way to compare process calculi. To analyse the quality of encodings and to rule out trivial or meaningless encodings, they are augmented with quality criteria. There exists a bunch of different criteria and different variants of criteria in order to reason in different settings. This leads to incomparable results. Moreover it is not always clear whether the criteria used to obtain a result in a particular setting do indeed fit to this setting. We show how to formally reason about and compare encodability criteria by mapping them on requirements on a relation between source and target terms that is induced by the encoding function. In particular we analyse the common criteria full abstraction, operational correspondence, divergence reflection, success sensitiveness, and respect of barbs; e.g. we analyse the exact nature of the simulation relation (coupled simulation versus bisimulation that is induced by different variants of operational correspondence. This way we reduce the problem of analysing or comparing encodability criteria to the better understood problem of comparing relations on processes.

  20. Central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlov, Andrei S; Gentner, Timothy Q

    2016-02-02

    High-level neurons processing complex, behaviorally relevant signals are sensitive to conjunctions of features. Characterizing the receptive fields of such neurons is difficult with standard statistical tools, however, and the principles governing their organization remain poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate multiple distinct receptive-field features in individual high-level auditory neurons in a songbird, European starling, in response to natural vocal signals (songs). We then show that receptive fields with similar characteristics can be reproduced by an unsupervised neural network trained to represent starling songs with a single learning rule that enforces sparseness and divisive normalization. We conclude that central auditory neurons have composite receptive fields that can arise through a combination of sparseness and normalization in neural circuits. Our results, along with descriptions of random, discontinuous receptive fields in the central olfactory neurons in mammals and insects, suggest general principles of neural computation across sensory systems and animal classes.

  1. Protocol for culturing low density pure rat hippocampal neurons supported by mature mixed neuron cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Qian; Ke, Yini; Luo, Jianhong; Tang, Yang

    2017-02-01

    primary hippocampal neuron cultures allow for subcellular morphological dissection, easy access to drug treatment and electrophysiology analysis of individual neurons, and is therefore an ideal model for the study of neuron physiology. While neuron and glia mixed cultures are relatively easy to prepare, pure neurons are particular hard to culture at low densities which are suitable for morphology studies. This may be due to a lack of neurotrophic factors such as brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT3) and Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). In this study we used a two step protocol in which neuron-glia mixed cultures were initially prepared for maturation to support the growth of young neurons plated at very low densities. Our protocol showed that neurotrophic support resulted in physiologically functional hippocampal neurons with larger cell body, increased neurite length and decreased branching and complexity compared to cultures prepared using a conventional method. Our protocol provides a novel way to culture highly uniformed hippocampal neurons for acquiring high quality, neuron based data. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Dcc regulates asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingxia Gao

    Full Text Available The guidance receptor DCC (deleted in colorectal cancer ortholog UNC-40 regulates neuronal asymmetry development in Caenorhabditis elegans, but it is not known whether DCC plays a role in the specification of neuronal polarity in vertebrates. To examine the roles of DCC in neuronal asymmetry regulation in vertebrates, we studied zebrafish anterior dorsal telencephalon (ADt neuronal axons. We generated transgenic zebrafish animals expressing the photo-convertible fluorescent protein Kaede in ADt neurons and then photo-converted Kaede to label specifically the ADt neuron axons. We found that ADt axons normally project ventrally. Knock down of Dcc function by injecting antisense morpholino oligonucleotides caused the ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. To examine the axon projection pattern of individual ADt neurons, we labeled single ADt neurons using a forebrain-specific promoter to drive fluorescent protein expression. We found that individual ADt neurons projected axons dorsally or formed multiple processes after morpholino knock down of Dcc function. We further found that knock down of the Dcc ligand, Netrin1, also caused ADt neurons to project axons dorsally. Knockdown of Neogenin1, a guidance receptor closely related to Dcc, enhanced the formation of aberrant dorsal axons in embryos injected with Dcc morpholino. These experiments provide the first evidence that Dcc regulates polarized axon initiation and asymmetric outgrowth of forebrain neurons in vertebrates.

  3. Inhibitory neurons modulate spontaneous signaling in cultured cortical neurons: density-dependent regulation of excitatory neuronal signaling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Serra, Michael; Guaraldi, Mary; Shea, Thomas B

    2010-01-01

    Cortical neuronal activity depends on a balance between excitatory and inhibitory influences. Culturing of neurons on multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) has provided insight into the development and maintenance of neuronal networks. Herein, we seeded MEAs with murine embryonic cortical/hippocampal neurons at different densities ( 1000 cells mm −2 ) and monitored resultant spontaneous signaling. Sparsely seeded cultures displayed a large number of bipolar, rapid, high-amplitude individual signals with no apparent temporal regularity. By contrast, densely seeded cultures instead displayed clusters of signals at regular intervals. These patterns were observed even within thinner and thicker areas of the same culture. GABAergic neurons (25% of total neurons in our cultures) mediated the differential signal patterns observed above, since addition of the inhibitory antagonist bicuculline to dense cultures and hippocampal slice cultures induced the signal pattern characteristic of sparse cultures. Sparsely seeded cultures likely lacked sufficient inhibitory neurons to modulate excitatory activity. Differential seeding of MEAs can provide a unique model for analyses of pertubation in the interaction between excitatory and inhibitory function during aging and neuropathological conditions where dysregulation of GABAergic neurons is a significant component

  4. Neuronal Migration Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Understanding Sleep The Life and Death of a Neuron Genes At Work In The Brain Order Publications ... birth defects caused by the abnormal migration of neurons in the developing brain and nervous system. In ...

  5. Motor Neuron Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ... and other neurodegenerative diseases to better understand the function of neurons and other support cells and identify candidate therapeutic ...

  6. A Subset of Serotonergic Neurons Evokes Hunger in Adult Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin, Stephanie D; Kaun, Karla R; Knapp, Jon-Michael; Chung, Phuong; Heberlein, Ulrike; Simpson, Julie H

    2015-09-21

    Hunger is a complex motivational state that drives multiple behaviors. The sensation of hunger is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. One immediate response to hunger is increased food consumption. Hunger also modulates behaviors related to food seeking such as increased locomotion and enhanced sensory sensitivity in both insects and vertebrates. In addition, hunger can promote the expression of food-associated memory. Although progress is being made, how hunger is represented in the brain and how it coordinates these behavioral responses is not fully understood in any system. Here, we use Drosophila melanogaster to identify neurons encoding hunger. We found a small group of neurons that, when activated, induced a fed fly to eat as though it were starved, suggesting that these neurons are downstream of the metabolic regulation of hunger. Artificially activating these neurons also promotes appetitive memory performance in sated flies, indicating that these neurons are not simply feeding command neurons but likely play a more general role in encoding hunger. We determined that the neurons relevant for the feeding effect are serotonergic and project broadly within the brain, suggesting a possible mechanism for how various responses to hunger are coordinated. These findings extend our understanding of the neural circuitry that drives feeding and enable future exploration of how state influences neural activity within this circuit. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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...

  8. Visualization of Plasticity in Fear-Evoked Calcium Signals in Midbrain Dopamine Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gore, Bryan B.; Soden, Marta E.; Zweifel, Larry S.

    2014-01-01

    Dopamine is broadly implicated in fear-related processes, yet we know very little about signaling dynamics in these neurons during active fear conditioning. We describe the direct imaging of calcium signals of dopamine neurons during Pavlovian fear conditioning using fiber-optic confocal microscopy coupled with the genetically encoded calcium…

  9. A single gene target of an ETS-family transcription factor determines neuronal CO2-chemosensitivity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brandt, Julia P; Aziz-Zaman, Sonya; Juozaityte, Vaida

    2012-01-01

    . We report here a mechanism that endows C. elegans neurons with the ability to detect CO(2). The ETS-5 transcription factor is necessary for the specification of CO(2)-sensing BAG neurons. Expression of a single ETS-5 target gene, gcy-9, which encodes a receptor-type guanylate cyclase, is sufficient...

  10. Functional circuits of new neurons in the dentate gyrus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen eVivar

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The hippocampus is crucial for memory formation. New neurons are added throughout life to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG, a brain area considered important for differential storage of similar experiences and contexts. To better understand the functional contribution of adult neurogenesis to pattern separation processes, we recently used a novel synapse specific trans-neuronal tracing approach to identify the (sub cortical inputs to new dentate granule cells. It was observed that newly born neurons receive sequential innervation from structures important for memory function. Initially, septal-hippocampal cells provide input to new neurons, followed after about one month by perirhinal and lateral entorhinal cortex. These cortical areas are deemed relevant to encoding of novel environmental information and may enable pattern separation. Here, we review the developmental time-course and proposed functional relevance of new neurons, within the context of their unique neural circuitry.  

  11. Individualizing Services, Individualizing Responsibility

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Garsten, Christina; Hollertz, Katarina; Jacobsson, Kerstin

    possibilities for individual voice, autonomy and self-determination in the local delivery of activation policy? What barriers do specific organisational models and practices imply for clients to choose, determine and access tailor-made programmes and services? What policy technologies are at work in governing......-oriented, and the normative demands placed on individuals appear increasingly totalizing, concerning the whole individual rather than the job-related aspects only. The paper is based on 23 in-depth interviews with individual clients as well as individual caseworkers and other professionals engaged in client-related work...

  12. Multidimensionally encoded magnetic resonance imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Fa-Hsuan

    2013-07-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) typically achieves spatial encoding by measuring the projection of a q-dimensional object over q-dimensional spatial bases created by linear spatial encoding magnetic fields (SEMs). Recently, imaging strategies using nonlinear SEMs have demonstrated potential advantages for reconstructing images with higher spatiotemporal resolution and reducing peripheral nerve stimulation. In practice, nonlinear SEMs and linear SEMs can be used jointly to further improve the image reconstruction performance. Here, we propose the multidimensionally encoded (MDE) MRI to map a q-dimensional object onto a p-dimensional encoding space where p > q. MDE MRI is a theoretical framework linking imaging strategies using linear and nonlinear SEMs. Using a system of eight surface SEM coils with an eight-channel radiofrequency coil array, we demonstrate the five-dimensional MDE MRI for a two-dimensional object as a further generalization of PatLoc imaging and O-space imaging. We also present a method of optimizing spatial bases in MDE MRI. Results show that MDE MRI with a higher dimensional encoding space can reconstruct images more efficiently and with a smaller reconstruction error when the k-space sampling distribution and the number of samples are controlled. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. New technologies for examining the role of neuronal ensembles in drug addiction and fear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Fabio C; Koya, Eisuke; Guez-Barber, Danielle H; Bossert, Jennifer M; Lupica, Carl R; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T

    2013-11-01

    Correlational data suggest that learned associations are encoded within neuronal ensembles. However, it has been difficult to prove that neuronal ensembles mediate learned behaviours because traditional pharmacological and lesion methods, and even newer cell type-specific methods, affect both activated and non-activated neurons. In addition, previous studies on synaptic and molecular alterations induced by learning did not distinguish between behaviourally activated and non-activated neurons. Here, we describe three new approaches--Daun02 inactivation, FACS sorting of activated neurons and Fos-GFP transgenic rats--that have been used to selectively target and study activated neuronal ensembles in models of conditioned drug effects and relapse. We also describe two new tools--Fos-tTA transgenic mice and inactivation of CREB-overexpressing neurons--that have been used to study the role of neuronal ensembles in conditioned fear.

  14. New technologies for examining neuronal ensembles in drug addiction and fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Fabio C.; Koya, Eisuke; Guez-Barber, Danielle H.; Bossert, Jennifer M.; Lupica, Carl R.; Shaham, Yavin; Hope, Bruce T.

    2015-01-01

    Correlational data suggest that learned associations are encoded within neuronal ensembles. However, it has been difficult to prove that neuronal ensembles mediate learned behaviours because traditional pharmacological and lesion methods, and even newer cell type-specific methods, affect both activated and non-activated neurons. Additionally, previous studies on synaptic and molecular alterations induced by learning did not distinguish between behaviourally activated and non-activated neurons. Here, we describe three new approaches—Daun02 inactivation, FACS sorting of activated neurons and c-fos-GFP transgenic rats — that have been used to selectively target and study activated neuronal ensembles in models of conditioned drug effects and relapse. We also describe two new tools — c-fos-tTA mice and inactivation of CREB-overexpressing neurons — that have been used to study the role of neuronal ensembles in conditioned fear. PMID:24088811

  15. Color encoding in biologically-inspired convolutional neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafegas, Ivet; Vanrell, Maria

    2018-05-11

    Convolutional Neural Networks have been proposed as suitable frameworks to model biological vision. Some of these artificial networks showed representational properties that rival primate performances in object recognition. In this paper we explore how color is encoded in a trained artificial network. It is performed by estimating a color selectivity index for each neuron, which allows us to describe the neuron activity to a color input stimuli. The index allows us to classify whether they are color selective or not and if they are of a single or double color. We have determined that all five convolutional layers of the network have a large number of color selective neurons. Color opponency clearly emerges in the first layer, presenting 4 main axes (Black-White, Red-Cyan, Blue-Yellow and Magenta-Green), but this is reduced and rotated as we go deeper into the network. In layer 2 we find a denser hue sampling of color neurons and opponency is reduced almost to one new main axis, the Bluish-Orangish coinciding with the dataset bias. In layers 3, 4 and 5 color neurons are similar amongst themselves, presenting different type of neurons that detect specific colored objects (e.g., orangish faces), specific surrounds (e.g., blue sky) or specific colored or contrasted object-surround configurations (e.g. blue blob in a green surround). Overall, our work concludes that color and shape representation are successively entangled through all the layers of the studied network, revealing certain parallelisms with the reported evidences in primate brains that can provide useful insight into intermediate hierarchical spatio-chromatic representations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Behavioral plasticity through the modulation of switch neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassiliades, Vassilis; Christodoulou, Chris

    2016-02-01

    A central question in artificial intelligence is how to design agents capable of switching between different behaviors in response to environmental changes. Taking inspiration from neuroscience, we address this problem by utilizing artificial neural networks (NNs) as agent controllers, and mechanisms such as neuromodulation and synaptic gating. The novel aspect of this work is the introduction of a type of artificial neuron we call "switch neuron". A switch neuron regulates the flow of information in NNs by selectively gating all but one of its incoming synaptic connections, effectively allowing only one signal to propagate forward. The allowed connection is determined by the switch neuron's level of modulatory activation which is affected by modulatory signals, such as signals that encode some information about the reward received by the agent. An important aspect of the switch neuron is that it can be used in appropriate "switch modules" in order to modulate other switch neurons. As we show, the introduction of the switch modules enables the creation of sequences of gating events. This is achieved through the design of a modulatory pathway capable of exploring in a principled manner all permutations of the connections arriving on the switch neurons. We test the model by presenting appropriate architectures in nonstationary binary association problems and T-maze tasks. The results show that for all tasks, the switch neuron architectures generate optimal adaptive behaviors, providing evidence that the switch neuron model could be a valuable tool in simulations where behavioral plasticity is required. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. BDNF gene delivery mediated by neuron-targeted nanoparticles is neuroprotective in peripheral nerve injury

    OpenAIRE

    Lopes, CDF; Gonçalves, NP; Gomes, CP; Saraiva, MJ; Pêgo, AP

    2017-01-01

    Neuron-targeted gene delivery is a promising strategy to treat peripheral neuropathies. Here we propose the use of polymeric nanoparticles based on thiolated trimethyl chitosan (TMCSH) to mediate targeted gene delivery to peripheral neurons upon a peripheral and minimally invasive intramuscular administration. Nanoparticles were grafted with the non-toxic carboxylic fragment of the tetanus neurotoxin (HC) to allow neuron targeting and were explored to deliver a plasmid DNA encoding for the br...

  18. Binding by asynchrony: the neuronal phase code

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltan Nadasdy

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Neurons display continuous subthreshold oscillations and discrete action potentials. When action potentials are phase-locked to the subthreshold oscillation, we hypothesize they represent two types of information: the presence/absence of a sensory feature and the phase of subthreshold oscillation. If subthreshold oscillation phases are neuron-specific, then the sources of action potentials can be recovered based on the action potential times. If the spatial information about the stimulus is converted to action potential phases, then action potentials from multiple neurons can be combined into a single axon and the spatial configuration reconstructed elsewhere. For the reconstruction to be successful, we introduce two assumptions: that a subthreshold oscillation field has a constant phase gradient and that coincidences between action potentials and intracellular subthreshold oscillations are neuron-specific as defined by the "interference principle." Under these assumptions, a phase coding model enables information transfer between structures and reproduces experimental phenomenons such as phase precession, grid cell architecture, and phase modulation of cortical spikes. This article reviews a recently proposed neuronal algorithm for information encoding and decoding from the phase of action potentials (Nadasdy 2009. The focus is given to the principles common across different systems instead of emphasizing system specific differences.

  19. Spin orbit torque based electronic neuron

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sengupta, Abhronil, E-mail: asengup@purdue.edu; Choday, Sri Harsha; Kim, Yusung; Roy, Kaushik [School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907 (United States)

    2015-04-06

    A device based on current-induced spin-orbit torque (SOT) that functions as an electronic neuron is proposed in this work. The SOT device implements an artificial neuron's thresholding (transfer) function. In the first step of a two-step switching scheme, a charge current places the magnetization of a nano-magnet along the hard-axis, i.e., an unstable point for the magnet. In the second step, the SOT device (neuron) receives a current (from the synapses) which moves the magnetization from the unstable point to one of the two stable states. The polarity of the synaptic current encodes the excitatory and inhibitory nature of the neuron input and determines the final orientation of the magnetization. A resistive crossbar array, functioning as synapses, generates a bipolar current that is a weighted sum of the inputs. The simulation of a two layer feed-forward artificial neural network based on the SOT electronic neuron shows that it consumes ∼3× lower power than a 45 nm digital CMOS implementation, while reaching ∼80% accuracy in the classification of 100 images of handwritten digits from the MNIST dataset.

  20. Spin orbit torque based electronic neuron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sengupta, Abhronil; Choday, Sri Harsha; Kim, Yusung; Roy, Kaushik

    2015-01-01

    A device based on current-induced spin-orbit torque (SOT) that functions as an electronic neuron is proposed in this work. The SOT device implements an artificial neuron's thresholding (transfer) function. In the first step of a two-step switching scheme, a charge current places the magnetization of a nano-magnet along the hard-axis, i.e., an unstable point for the magnet. In the second step, the SOT device (neuron) receives a current (from the synapses) which moves the magnetization from the unstable point to one of the two stable states. The polarity of the synaptic current encodes the excitatory and inhibitory nature of the neuron input and determines the final orientation of the magnetization. A resistive crossbar array, functioning as synapses, generates a bipolar current that is a weighted sum of the inputs. The simulation of a two layer feed-forward artificial neural network based on the SOT electronic neuron shows that it consumes ∼3× lower power than a 45 nm digital CMOS implementation, while reaching ∼80% accuracy in the classification of 100 images of handwritten digits from the MNIST dataset

  1. Virally encoded 7TM receptors

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosenkilde, M M; Waldhoer, M; Lüttichau, H R

    2001-01-01

    expression of this single gene in certain lymphocyte cell lineages leads to the development of lesions which are remarkably similar to Kaposi's sarcoma, a human herpesvirus 8 associated disease. Thus, this and other virally encoded 7TM receptors appear to be attractive future drug targets.......A number of herpes- and poxviruses encode 7TM G-protein coupled receptors most of which clearly are derived from their host chemokine system as well as induce high expression of certain 7TM receptors in the infected cells. The receptors appear to be exploited by the virus for either immune evasion...

  2. Physiological, anatomical and genetic identification of CPG neurons in the developing mammalian spinal cord

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kiehn, Ole; Butt, Simon J.B.

    2003-01-01

    . These latter experiments have defined EphA4 as a molecular marker for mammalian excitatory hindlimb CPG neurons. We also review genetic approaches that can be applied to the mouse spinal cord. These include methods for identifying sub-populations of neurons by genetically encoded reporters, techniques to trace...... network connectivity with cell-specific genetically encoded tracers, and ways to selectively ablate or eliminate neuron populations from the CPG. We propose that by applying a multidisciplinary approach it will be possible to understand the network structure of the mammalian locomotor CPG...

  3. Advantages and limitations of the use of optogenetic approach in studying fast-scale spike encoding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksey Malyshev

    Full Text Available Understanding single-neuron computations and encoding performed by spike-generation mechanisms of cortical neurons is one of the central challenges for cell electrophysiology and computational neuroscience. An established paradigm to study spike encoding in controlled conditions in vitro uses intracellular injection of a mixture of signals with fluctuating currents that mimic in vivo-like background activity. However this technique has two serious limitations: it uses current injection, while synaptic activation leads to changes of conductance, and current injection is technically most feasible in the soma, while the vast majority of synaptic inputs are located on the dendrites. Recent progress in optogenetics provides an opportunity to circumvent these limitations. Transgenic expression of light-activated ionic channels, such as Channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2, allows induction of controlled conductance changes even in thin distant dendrites. Here we show that photostimulation provides a useful extension of the tools to study neuronal encoding, but it has its own limitations. Optically induced fluctuating currents have a low cutoff (~70 Hz, thus limiting the dynamic range of frequency response of cortical neurons. This leads to severe underestimation of the ability of neurons to phase-lock their firing to high frequency components of the input. This limitation could be worked around by using short (2 ms light stimuli which produce membrane potential responses resembling EPSPs by their fast onset and prolonged decay kinetics. We show that combining application of short light stimuli to different parts of dendritic tree for mimicking distant EPSCs with somatic injection of fluctuating current that mimics fluctuations of membrane potential in vivo, allowed us to study fast encoding of artificial EPSPs photoinduced at different distances from the soma. We conclude that dendritic photostimulation of ChR2 with short light pulses provides a powerful tool to

  4. Familial frontotemporal dementia with neuronal intranuclear inclusions is not a polyglutamine expansion disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neal Scott J

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Many cases of frontotemporal dementia (FTD are familial, often with an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance. Some are due to a mutation in the tau- encoding gene, on chromosome 17, and show an accumulation of abnormal tau in brain tissue (FTDP-17T. Most of the remaining familial cases do not exhibit tau pathology, but display neuropathology similar to patients with dementia and motor neuron disease, characterized by the presence of ubiquitin-immunoreactive (ub-ir, dystrophic neurites and neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions in the neocortex and hippocampus (FTLD-U. Recently, we described a subset of patients with familial FTD with autopsy-proven FTLD-U pathology and with the additional finding of ub-ir neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NII. NII are a characteristic feature of several other neurodegenerative conditions for which the genetic basis is abnormal expansion of a polyglutamine-encoding trinucleotide repeat region. The genetic basis of familial FTLD-U is currently not known, however the presence of NII suggests that a subset of cases may represent a polyglutamine expansion disease. Methods We studied DNA and post mortem brain tissue from 5 affected members of 4 different families with NII and one affected individual with familial FTLD-U without NII. Patient DNA was screened for CAA/CAG trinucleotide expansion in a set of candidate genes identified using a genome-wide computational approach. Genes containing CAA/CAG trinucleotide repeats encoding at least five glutamines were examined (n = 63, including the nine genes currently known to be associated with human disease. CAA/CAG tract sizes were compared with published normal values (where available and with those of healthy controls (n = 94. High-resolution agarose gel electrophoresis was used to measure allele size (number of CAA/CAG repeats. For any alleles estimated to be equal to or larger than the maximum measured in the control population, the CAA/CAG tract

  5. An Excitatory Neural Assembly Encodes Short-Term Memory in the Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonglu Tian

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Short-term memory (STM is crucial for animals to hold information for a small period of time. Persistent or recurrent neural activity, together with neural oscillations, is known to encode the STM at the cellular level. However, the coding mechanisms at the microcircuitry level remain a mystery. Here, we performed two-photon imaging on behaving mice to monitor the activity of neuronal microcircuitry. We discovered a neuronal subpopulation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC that exhibited emergent properties in a context-dependent manner underlying a STM-like behavior paradigm. These neuronal subpopulations exclusively comprise excitatory neurons and mainly represent a group of neurons with stronger functional connections. Microcircuitry plasticity was maintained for minutes and was absent in an animal model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD. Thus, these results point to a functional coding mechanism that relies on the emergent behavior of a functionally defined neuronal assembly to encode STM.

  6. DNA-encoded chemical libraries - achievements and remaining challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favalli, Nicholas; Bassi, Gabriele; Scheuermann, Jörg; Neri, Dario

    2018-04-23

    DNA-encoded chemical libraries (DECLs) are collections of compounds, individually coupled to DNA tags serving as amplifiable identification barcodes. Since individual compounds can be identified by the associated DNA tag, they can be stored as a mixture, allowing the synthesis and screening of combinatorial libraries of unprecedented size, facilitated by the implementation of split-and-pool synthetic procedures or other experimental methodologies. In this review, we briefly present relevant concepts and technologies, which are required for the implementation and interpretation of screening procedures with DNA-encoded chemical libraries. Moreover, we illustrate some success stories, detailing how novel ligands were discovered from encoded libraries. Finally, we critically review what can realistically be achieved with the technology at the present time, highlighting challenges and opportunities for the future. © 2018 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  7. Short-term memory in networks of dissociated cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dranias, Mark R; Ju, Han; Rajaram, Ezhilarasan; VanDongen, Antonius M J

    2013-01-30

    Short-term memory refers to the ability to store small amounts of stimulus-specific information for a short period of time. It is supported by both fading and hidden memory processes. Fading memory relies on recurrent activity patterns in a neuronal network, whereas hidden memory is encoded using synaptic mechanisms, such as facilitation, which persist even when neurons fall silent. We have used a novel computational and optogenetic approach to investigate whether these same memory processes hypothesized to support pattern recognition and short-term memory in vivo, exist in vitro. Electrophysiological activity was recorded from primary cultures of dissociated rat cortical neurons plated on multielectrode arrays. Cultures were transfected with ChannelRhodopsin-2 and optically stimulated using random dot stimuli. The pattern of neuronal activity resulting from this stimulation was analyzed using classification algorithms that enabled the identification of stimulus-specific memories. Fading memories for different stimuli, encoded in ongoing neural activity, persisted and could be distinguished from each other for as long as 1 s after stimulation was terminated. Hidden memories were detected by altered responses of neurons to additional stimulation, and this effect persisted longer than 1 s. Interestingly, network bursts seem to eliminate hidden memories. These results are similar to those that have been reported from similar experiments in vivo and demonstrate that mechanisms of information processing and short-term memory can be studied using cultured neuronal networks, thereby setting the stage for therapeutic applications using this platform.

  8. Fitting neuron models to spike trains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrille eRossant

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Computational modeling is increasingly used to understand the function of neural circuitsin systems neuroscience.These studies require models of individual neurons with realisticinput-output properties.Recently, it was found that spiking models can accurately predict theprecisely timed spike trains produced by cortical neurons in response tosomatically injected currents,if properly fitted. This requires fitting techniques that are efficientand flexible enough to easily test different candidate models.We present a generic solution, based on the Brian simulator(a neural network simulator in Python, which allowsthe user to define and fit arbitrary neuron models to electrophysiological recordings.It relies on vectorization and parallel computing techniques toachieve efficiency.We demonstrate its use on neural recordings in the barrel cortex andin the auditory brainstem, and confirm that simple adaptive spiking modelscan accurately predict the response of cortical neurons. Finally, we show how a complexmulticompartmental model can be reduced to a simple effective spiking model.

  9. Alpha oscillations and early stages of visual encoding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang eKlimesch

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available For a long time alpha oscillations have been functionally linked to the processing of visual information. Here we propose an new theory about the functional meaning of alpha. The central idea is that synchronized alpha reflects a basic processing mode that controls access to information stored in a complex long-term memory system, which we term knowledge system (KS in order to emphasize that it comprises not only declarative memories but any kind of knowledge comprising also procedural information. Based on this theoretical background, we assume that during early stages of perception, alpha ‘directs the flow of information’ to those neural structures which represent information that is relevant for encoding. The physiological function of alpha is interpreted in terms of inhibition. We assume that alpha enables access to stored information by inhibiting task irrelevant neuronal structures and by timing cortical activity in task relevant neuronal structures. We discuss a variety findings showing that evoked alpha and phase locking reflect successful encoding of global stimulus features in an early poststimulus interval of about 0 - 150 ms.

  10. Encoding information into precipitation structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martens, Kirsten; Bena, Ioana; Droz, Michel; Rácz, Zoltan

    2008-01-01

    Material design at submicron scales would be profoundly affected if the formation of precipitation patterns could be easily controlled. It would allow the direct building of bulk structures, in contrast to traditional techniques which consist of removing material in order to create patterns. Here, we discuss an extension of our recent proposal of using electrical currents to control precipitation bands which emerge in the wake of reaction fronts in A + + B – → C reaction–diffusion processes. Our main result, based on simulating the reaction–diffusion–precipitation equations, is that the dynamics of the charged agents can be guided by an appropriately designed time-dependent electric current so that, in addition to the control of the band spacing, the width of the precipitation bands can also be tuned. This makes straightforward the encoding of information into precipitation patterns and, as an amusing example, we demonstrate the feasibility by showing how to encode a musical rhythm

  11. Postnatal Gene Therapy Improves Spatial Learning Despite the Presence of Neuronal Ectopia in a Model of Neuronal Migration Disorder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huaiyu Hu

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Patients with type II lissencephaly, a neuronal migration disorder with ectopic neurons, suffer from severe mental retardation, including learning deficits. There is no effective therapy to prevent or correct the formation of neuronal ectopia, which is presumed to cause cognitive deficits. We hypothesized that learning deficits were not solely caused by neuronal ectopia and that postnatal gene therapy could improve learning without correcting the neuronal ectopia formed during fetal development. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated spatial learning of cerebral cortex-specific protein O-mannosyltransferase 2 (POMT2, an enzyme required for O-mannosyl glycosylation knockout mice and compared to the knockout mice that were injected with an adeno-associated viral vector (AAV encoding POMT2 into the postnatal brains with Barnes maze. The data showed that the knockout mice exhibited reduced glycosylation in the cerebral cortex, reduced dendritic spine density on CA1 neurons, and increased latency to the target hole in the Barnes maze, indicating learning deficits. Postnatal gene therapy restored functional glycosylation, rescued dendritic spine defects, and improved performance on the Barnes maze by the knockout mice even though neuronal ectopia was not corrected. These results indicate that postnatal gene therapy improves spatial learning despite the presence of neuronal ectopia.

  12. Performance limitations of relay neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahul Agarwal

    Full Text Available Relay cells are prevalent throughout sensory systems and receive two types of inputs: driving and modulating. The driving input contains receptive field properties that must be transmitted while the modulating input alters the specifics of transmission. For example, the visual thalamus contains relay neurons that receive driving inputs from the retina that encode a visual image, and modulating inputs from reticular activating system and layer 6 of visual cortex that control what aspects of the image will be relayed back to visual cortex for perception. What gets relayed depends on several factors such as attentional demands and a subject's goals. In this paper, we analyze a biophysical based model of a relay cell and use systems theoretic tools to construct analytic bounds on how well the cell transmits a driving input as a function of the neuron's electrophysiological properties, the modulating input, and the driving signal parameters. We assume that the modulating input belongs to a class of sinusoidal signals and that the driving input is an irregular train of pulses with inter-pulse intervals obeying an exponential distribution. Our analysis applies to any [Formula: see text] order model as long as the neuron does not spike without a driving input pulse and exhibits a refractory period. Our bounds on relay reliability contain performance obtained through simulation of a second and third order model, and suggest, for instance, that if the frequency of the modulating input increases or the DC offset decreases, then relay increases. Our analysis also shows, for the first time, how the biophysical properties of the neuron (e.g. ion channel dynamics define the oscillatory patterns needed in the modulating input for appropriately timed relay of sensory information. In our discussion, we describe how our bounds predict experimentally observed neural activity in the basal ganglia in (i health, (ii in Parkinson's disease (PD, and (iii in PD during

  13. Upregulation of transmitter release probability improves a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into neuronal digital spikes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Action potentials at the neurons and graded signals at the synapses are primary codes in the brain. In terms of their functional interaction, the studies were focused on the influence of presynaptic spike patterns on synaptic activities. How the synapse dynamics quantitatively regulates the encoding of postsynaptic digital spikes remains unclear. We investigated this question at unitary glutamatergic synapses on cortical GABAergic neurons, especially the quantitative influences of release probability on synapse dynamics and neuronal encoding. Glutamate release probability and synaptic strength are proportionally upregulated by presynaptic sequential spikes. The upregulation of release probability and the efficiency of probability-driven synaptic facilitation are strengthened by elevating presynaptic spike frequency and Ca2+. The upregulation of release probability improves spike capacity and timing precision at postsynaptic neuron. These results suggest that the upregulation of presynaptic glutamate release facilitates a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into digital spikes in postsynaptic neurons, i.e., a functional compatibility between presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. PMID:22852823

  14. Temporal-pattern recognition by single neurons in a sensory pathway devoted to social communication behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Bruce A

    2009-07-29

    Sensory systems often encode stimulus information into the temporal pattern of action potential activity. However, little is known about how the information contained within these patterns is extracted by postsynaptic neurons. Similar to temporal coding by sensory neurons, social information in mormyrid fish is encoded into the temporal patterning of an electric organ discharge. In the current study, sensitivity to temporal patterns of electrosensory stimuli was found to arise within the midbrain posterior exterolateral nucleus (ELp). Whole-cell patch recordings from ELp neurons in vivo revealed three patterns of interpulse interval (IPI) tuning: low-pass neurons tuned to long intervals, high-pass neurons tuned to short intervals, and bandpass neurons tuned to intermediate intervals. Many neurons within each class also responded preferentially to either increasing or decreasing IPIs. Playback of electric signaling patterns recorded from freely behaving fish revealed that the IPI and direction tuning of ELp neurons resulted in selective responses to particular social communication displays characterized by distinct IPI patterns. The postsynaptic potential responses of many neurons indicated a combination of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input, and the IPI tuning of ELp neurons was directly related to rate-dependent changes in the direction and amplitude of postsynaptic potentials. These results suggest that differences in the dynamics of short-term synaptic plasticity in excitatory and inhibitory pathways may tune central sensory neurons to particular temporal patterns of presynaptic activity. This may represent a general mechanism for the processing of behaviorally relevant stimulus information encoded into temporal patterns of activity by sensory neurons.

  15. Critical time window of neuronal cholesterol synthesis during neurite outgrowth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fünfschilling, Ursula; Jockusch, Wolf J; Sivakumar, Nandhini; Möbius, Wiebke; Corthals, Kristina; Li, Sai; Quintes, Susanne; Kim, Younghoon; Schaap, Iwan A T; Rhee, Jeong-Seop; Nave, Klaus-Armin; Saher, Gesine

    2012-05-30

    Cholesterol is an essential membrane component enriched in plasma membranes, growth cones, and synapses. The brain normally synthesizes all cholesterol locally, but the contribution of individual cell types to brain cholesterol metabolism is unknown. To investigate whether cortical projection neurons in vivo essentially require cholesterol biosynthesis and which cell types support neurons, we have conditionally ablated the cholesterol biosynthesis in these neurons in mice either embryonically or postnatally. We found that cortical projection neurons synthesize cholesterol during their entire lifetime. At all stages, they can also benefit from glial support. Adult neurons that lack cholesterol biosynthesis are mainly supported by astrocytes such that their functional integrity is preserved. In contrast, microglial cells support young neurons. However, compensatory efforts of microglia are only transient leading to layer-specific neuronal death and the reduction of cortical projections. Hence, during the phase of maximal membrane growth and maximal cholesterol demand, neuronal cholesterol biosynthesis is indispensable. Analysis of primary neurons revealed that neurons tolerate only slight alteration in the cholesterol content and plasma membrane tension. This quality control allows neurons to differentiate normally and adjusts the extent of neurite outgrowth, the number of functional growth cones and synapses to the available cholesterol. This study highlights both the flexibility and the limits of horizontal cholesterol transfer in vivo and may have implications for the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.

  16. Bayesian population decoding of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerwinn, Sebastian; Macke, Jakob; Bethge, Matthias

    2009-01-01

    The timing of action potentials in spiking neurons depends on the temporal dynamics of their inputs and contains information about temporal fluctuations in the stimulus. Leaky integrate-and-fire neurons constitute a popular class of encoding models, in which spike times depend directly on the temporal structure of the inputs. However, optimal decoding rules for these models have only been studied explicitly in the noiseless case. Here, we study decoding rules for probabilistic inference of a continuous stimulus from the spike times of a population of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with threshold noise. We derive three algorithms for approximating the posterior distribution over stimuli as a function of the observed spike trains. In addition to a reconstruction of the stimulus we thus obtain an estimate of the uncertainty as well. Furthermore, we derive a 'spike-by-spike' online decoding scheme that recursively updates the posterior with the arrival of each new spike. We use these decoding rules to reconstruct time-varying stimuli represented by a Gaussian process from spike trains of single neurons as well as neural populations.

  17. Bayesian population decoding of spiking neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Gerwinn

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available The timing of action potentials in spiking neurons depends on the temporal dynamics of their inputs and contains information about temporal fluctuations in the stimulus. Leaky integrate-and-fire neurons constitute a popular class of encoding models, in which spike times depend directly on the temporal structure of the inputs. However, optimal decoding rules for these models have only been studied explicitly in the noiseless case. Here, we study decoding rules for probabilistic inference of a continuous stimulus from the spike times of a population of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons with threshold noise. We derive three algorithms for approximating the posterior distribution over stimuli as a function of the observed spike trains. In addition to a reconstruction of the stimulus we thus obtain an estimate of the uncertainty as well. Furthermore, we derive a `spike-by-spike' online decoding scheme that recursively updates the posterior with the arrival of each new spike. We use these decoding rules to reconstruct time-varying stimuli represented by a Gaussian process from spike trains of single neurons as well as neural populations.

  18. Neuron-glia metabolic coupling and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magistretti, Pierre J

    2006-06-01

    The coupling between synaptic activity and glucose utilization (neurometabolic coupling) is a central physiological principle of brain function that has provided the basis for 2-deoxyglucose-based functional imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). Astrocytes play a central role in neurometabolic coupling, and the basic mechanism involves glutamate-stimulated aerobic glycolysis; the sodium-coupled reuptake of glutamate by astrocytes and the ensuing activation of the Na-K-ATPase triggers glucose uptake and processing via glycolysis, resulting in the release of lactate from astrocytes. Lactate can then contribute to the activity-dependent fuelling of the neuronal energy demands associated with synaptic transmission. An operational model, the 'astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle', is supported experimentally by a large body of evidence, which provides a molecular and cellular basis for interpreting data obtained from functional brain imaging studies. In addition, this neuron-glia metabolic coupling undergoes plastic adaptations in parallel with adaptive mechanisms that characterize synaptic plasticity. Thus, distinct subregions of the hippocampus are metabolically active at different time points during spatial learning tasks, suggesting that a type of metabolic plasticity, involving by definition neuron-glia coupling, occurs during learning. In addition, marked variations in the expression of genes involved in glial glycogen metabolism are observed during the sleep-wake cycle, with in particular a marked induction of expression of the gene encoding for protein targeting to glycogen (PTG) following sleep deprivation. These data suggest that glial metabolic plasticity is likely to be concomitant with synaptic plasticity.

  19. Interactions among emotional attention, encoding, and retrieval of ambiguous information: an eye-tracking study

    OpenAIRE

    Everaert, Jonas; Koster, Ernst

    2015-01-01

    Emotional biases in attention modulate encoding of emotional material into long-term memory, but little is known about the role of such attentional biases during emotional memory retrieval. The present study investigated how emotional biases in memory are related to attentional allocation during retrieval. Forty-nine individuals encoded emotionally positive and negative meanings derived from ambiguous information and then searched their memory for encoded meanings in response to a set of retr...

  20. Kappe neurons, a novel population of olfactory sensory neurons

    OpenAIRE

    Ahuja, Gaurav; Nia, Shahrzad Bozorg; Zapilko, Veronika; Shiriagin, Vladimir; Kowatschew, Daniel; Oka, Yuichiro; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2014-01-01

    Perception of olfactory stimuli is mediated by distinct populations of olfactory sensory neurons, each with a characteristic set of morphological as well as functional parameters. Beyond two large populations of ciliated and microvillous neurons, a third population, crypt neurons, has been identified in teleost and cartilaginous fishes. We report here a novel, fourth olfactory sensory neuron population in zebrafish, which we named kappe neurons for their characteristic shape. Kappe neurons ar...

  1. Neuron-specific feeding RNAi in C. elegans and its use in a screen for essential genes required for GABA neuron function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firnhaber, Christopher; Hammarlund, Marc

    2013-11-01

    Forward genetic screens are important tools for exploring the genetic requirements for neuronal function. However, conventional forward screens often have difficulty identifying genes whose relevant functions are masked by pleiotropy. In particular, if loss of gene function results in sterility, lethality, or other severe pleiotropy, neuronal-specific functions cannot be readily analyzed. Here we describe a method in C. elegans for generating cell-specific knockdown in neurons using feeding RNAi and its application in a screen for the role of essential genes in GABAergic neurons. We combine manipulations that increase the sensitivity of select neurons to RNAi with manipulations that block RNAi in other cells. We produce animal strains in which feeding RNAi results in restricted gene knockdown in either GABA-, acetylcholine-, dopamine-, or glutamate-releasing neurons. In these strains, we observe neuron cell-type specific behavioral changes when we knock down genes required for these neurons to function, including genes encoding the basal neurotransmission machinery. These reagents enable high-throughput, cell-specific knockdown in the nervous system, facilitating rapid dissection of the site of gene action and screening for neuronal functions of essential genes. Using the GABA-specific RNAi strain, we screened 1,320 RNAi clones targeting essential genes on chromosomes I, II, and III for their effect on GABA neuron function. We identified 48 genes whose GABA cell-specific knockdown resulted in reduced GABA motor output. This screen extends our understanding of the genetic requirements for continued neuronal function in a mature organism.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2011-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzana Herculano-Houzel

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

  4. Scaling of Brain Metabolism with a Fixed Energy Budget per Neuron: Implications for Neuronal Activity, Plasticity and Evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herculano-Houzel, Suzana

    2011-01-01

    It is usually considered that larger brains have larger neurons, which consume more energy individually, and are therefore accompanied by a larger number of glial cells per neuron. These notions, however, have never been tested. Based on glucose and oxygen metabolic rates in awake animals and their recently determined numbers of neurons, here I show that, contrary to the expected, the estimated glucose use per neuron is remarkably constant, varying only by 40% across the six species of rodents and primates (including humans). The estimated average glucose use per neuron does not correlate with neuronal density in any structure. This suggests that the energy budget of the whole brain per neuron is fixed across species and brain sizes, such that total glucose use by the brain as a whole, by the cerebral cortex and also by the cerebellum alone are linear functions of the number of neurons in the structures across the species (although the average glucose consumption per neuron is at least 10× higher in the cerebral cortex than in the cerebellum). These results indicate that the apparently remarkable use in humans of 20% of the whole body energy budget by a brain that represents only 2% of body mass is explained simply by its large number of neurons. Because synaptic activity is considered the major determinant of metabolic cost, a conserved energy budget per neuron has several profound implications for synaptic homeostasis and the regulation of firing rates, synaptic plasticity, brain imaging, pathologies, and for brain scaling in evolution. PMID:21390261

  5. Neuron's eye view: Inferring features of complex stimuli from neural responses.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xin Chen

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Experiments that study neural encoding of stimuli at the level of individual neurons typically choose a small set of features present in the world-contrast and luminance for vision, pitch and intensity for sound-and assemble a stimulus set that systematically varies along these dimensions. Subsequent analysis of neural responses to these stimuli typically focuses on regression models, with experimenter-controlled features as predictors and spike counts or firing rates as responses. Unfortunately, this approach requires knowledge in advance about the relevant features coded by a given population of neurons. For domains as complex as social interaction or natural movement, however, the relevant feature space is poorly understood, and an arbitrary a priori choice of features may give rise to confirmation bias. Here, we present a Bayesian model for exploratory data analysis that is capable of automatically identifying the features present in unstructured stimuli based solely on neuronal responses. Our approach is unique within the class of latent state space models of neural activity in that it assumes that firing rates of neurons are sensitive to multiple discrete time-varying features tied to the stimulus, each of which has Markov (or semi-Markov dynamics. That is, we are modeling neural activity as driven by multiple simultaneous stimulus features rather than intrinsic neural dynamics. We derive a fast variational Bayesian inference algorithm and show that it correctly recovers hidden features in synthetic data, as well as ground-truth stimulus features in a prototypical neural dataset. To demonstrate the utility of the algorithm, we also apply it to cluster neural responses and demonstrate successful recovery of features corresponding to monkeys and faces in the image set.

  6. Changes in Appetitive Associative Strength Modulates Nucleus Accumbens, But Not Orbitofrontal Cortex Neuronal Ensemble Excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziminski, Joseph J; Hessler, Sabine; Margetts-Smith, Gabriella; Sieburg, Meike C; Crombag, Hans S; Koya, Eisuke

    2017-03-22

    Cues that predict the availability of food rewards influence motivational states and elicit food-seeking behaviors. If a cue no longer predicts food availability, then animals may adapt accordingly by inhibiting food-seeking responses. Sparsely activated sets of neurons, coined "neuronal ensembles," have been shown to encode the strength of reward-cue associations. Although alterations in intrinsic excitability have been shown to underlie many learning and memory processes, little is known about these properties specifically on cue-activated neuronal ensembles. We examined the activation patterns of cue-activated orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) shell ensembles using wild-type and Fos-GFP mice, which express green fluorescent protein (GFP) in activated neurons, after appetitive conditioning with sucrose and extinction learning. We also investigated the neuronal excitability of recently activated, GFP+ neurons in these brain areas using whole-cell electrophysiology in brain slices. Exposure to a sucrose cue elicited activation of neurons in both the NAc shell and OFC. In the NAc shell, but not the OFC, these activated GFP+ neurons were more excitable than surrounding GFP- neurons. After extinction, the number of neurons activated in both areas was reduced and activated ensembles in neither area exhibited altered excitability. These data suggest that learning-induced alterations in the intrinsic excitability of neuronal ensembles is regulated dynamically across different brain areas. Furthermore, we show that changes in associative strength modulate the excitability profile of activated ensembles in the NAc shell. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Sparsely distributed sets of neurons called "neuronal ensembles" encode learned associations about food and cues predictive of its availability. Widespread changes in neuronal excitability have been observed in limbic brain areas after associative learning, but little is known about the excitability changes that

  7. Expression of diverse neuropeptide cotransmitters by identified motor neurons in Aplysia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Church, P.J.; Lloyd, P.E.

    1991-01-01

    Neuropeptide synthesis was determined for individual identified ventral-cluster neurons in the buccal ganglia of Aplysia. Each of these cells was shown to be a motor neuron that innervates buccal muscles that generate biting and swallowing movements during feeding. Individual neurons were identified by a battery of physiological criteria and stained with intracellular injection of a vital dye, and the ganglia were incubated in 35S-methionine. Peptide synthesis was determined by measuring labeled peptides in extracts from individually dissected neuronal cell bodies analyzed by HPLC. Previously characterized peptides found to be synthesized included buccalin, FMRFamide, myomodulin, and the 2 small cardioactive peptides (SCPs). Each of these neuropeptides has been shown to modulate buccal muscle responses to motor neuron stimulation. Two other peptides were found to be synthesized in individual motor neurons. One peptide, which was consistently observed in neurons that also synthesized myomodulin, is likely to be the recently sequenced myomodulin B. The other peptide was observed in a subset of the neurons that synthesize FMRFamide. While identified motor neurons consistently synthesized the same peptide(s), neurons that innervate the same muscle often express different peptides. Neurons that synthesized the SCPs also contained SCP-like activity, as determined by snail heart bioassay. Our results indicate that every identified motor neuron synthesizes a subset of these methionine-containing peptides, and that several neurons consistently synthesize peptides that are likely to be processed from multiple precursors

  8. Can natural selection encode Bayesian priors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez, Juan Camilo; Marshall, James A R

    2017-08-07

    The evolutionary success of many organisms depends on their ability to make decisions based on estimates of the state of their environment (e.g., predation risk) from uncertain information. These decision problems have optimal solutions and individuals in nature are expected to evolve the behavioural mechanisms to make decisions as if using the optimal solutions. Bayesian inference is the optimal method to produce estimates from uncertain data, thus natural selection is expected to favour individuals with the behavioural mechanisms to make decisions as if they were computing Bayesian estimates in typically-experienced environments, although this does not necessarily imply that favoured decision-makers do perform Bayesian computations exactly. Each individual should evolve to behave as if updating a prior estimate of the unknown environment variable to a posterior estimate as it collects evidence. The prior estimate represents the decision-maker's default belief regarding the environment variable, i.e., the individual's default 'worldview' of the environment. This default belief has been hypothesised to be shaped by natural selection and represent the environment experienced by the individual's ancestors. We present an evolutionary model to explore how accurately Bayesian prior estimates can be encoded genetically and shaped by natural selection when decision-makers learn from uncertain information. The model simulates the evolution of a population of individuals that are required to estimate the probability of an event. Every individual has a prior estimate of this probability and collects noisy cues from the environment in order to update its prior belief to a Bayesian posterior estimate with the evidence gained. The prior is inherited and passed on to offspring. Fitness increases with the accuracy of the posterior estimates produced. Simulations show that prior estimates become accurate over evolutionary time. In addition to these 'Bayesian' individuals, we also

  9. NEURON and Python.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hines, Michael L; Davison, Andrew P; Muller, Eilif

    2009-01-01

    The NEURON simulation program now allows Python to be used, alone or in combination with NEURON's traditional Hoc interpreter. Adding Python to NEURON has the immediate benefit of making available a very extensive suite of analysis tools written for engineering and science. It also catalyzes NEURON software development by offering users a modern programming tool that is recognized for its flexibility and power to create and maintain complex programs. At the same time, nothing is lost because all existing models written in Hoc, including graphical user interface tools, continue to work without change and are also available within the Python context. An example of the benefits of Python availability is the use of the xml module in implementing NEURON's Import3D and CellBuild tools to read MorphML and NeuroML model specifications.

  10. [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.

  11. The neurobiology of individuality

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bivort, Benjamin

    2015-03-01

    Individuals often display conspicuously different patterns of behavior, even when they are very closely related genetically. These differences give rise to our sense of individuality, but what is their molecular and neurobiological basis? Individuals that are nominally genetically identical differ at various molecular and neurobiological levels: cell-to-cell variation in somatic genomes, cell-to-cell variation in expression patterns, individual-to-individual variation in neuronal morphology and physiology, and individual-to-individual variation in patterns of brain activity. It is unknown which of these levels is fundamentally causal of behavioral differences. To investigate this problem, we use the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, whose genetic toolkit allows the manipulation of each of these mechanistic levels, and whose rapid lifecycle and small size allows for high-throughput automation of behavioral assays. This latter point is crucial; identifying inter-individual behavioral differences requires high sample sizes both within and across individual animals. Automated behavioral characterization is at the heart of our research strategy. In every behavior examined, individual flies have individual behavioral preferences, and we have begun to identify both neural genes and circuits that control the degree of behavioral variability between individuals.

  12. Spinal cord: motor neuron diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rezania, Kourosh; Roos, Raymond P

    2013-02-01

    Spinal cord motor neuron diseases affect lower motor neurons in the ventral horn. This article focuses on the most common spinal cord motor neuron disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which also affects upper motor neurons. Also discussed are other motor neuron diseases that only affect the lower motor neurons. Despite the identification of several genes associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the pathogenesis of this complex disease remains elusive. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Hall effect encoding of brushless dc motors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berard, C. A.; Furia, T. J.; Goldberg, E. A.; Greene, R. C.

    1970-01-01

    Encoding mechanism integral to the motor and using the permanent magnets embedded in the rotor eliminates the need for external devices to encode information relating the position and velocity of the rotating member.

  14. Exposure to an organophosphate pesticide, individually or in combination with other Gulf War agents, impairs synaptic integrity and neuronal differentiation, and is accompanied by subtle microvascular injury in a mouse model of Gulf War agent exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojo, Joseph O; Abdullah, Laila; Evans, James; Reed, Jon Mike; Montague, Hannah; Mullan, Michael J; Crawford, Fiona C

    2014-04-01

    Gulf War illness (GWI) is a currently untreatable multi-symptom disorder experienced by 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War (GW) veterans. The characteristic hallmarks of GWI include cognitive dysfunction, tremors, migraine, and psychological disturbances such as depression and anxiety. Meta-analyses of epidemiological studies have consistently linked these symptomatic profiles to the combined exposure of GW agents such as organophosphate-based and pyrethroid-based pesticides (e.g. chlorpyrifos (CPF) and permethrin (PER) respectively) and the prophylactic use of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) as a treatment against neurotoxins. Due to the multi-symptomatic presentation of this illness and the lack of available autopsy tissue from GWI patients, very little is currently known about the distinct early pathological profile implicated in GWI (including its influence on synaptic function and aspects of neurogenesis). In this study, we used preclinical models of GW agent exposure to investigate whether 6-month-old mice exposed to CPF alone, or a combined dose of CPF, PB and PER daily for 10 days, demonstrate any notable pathological changes in hippocampal, cortical (motor, piriform) or amygdalar morphometry. We report that at an acute post-exposure time point (after 3 days), both exposures resulted in the impairment of synaptic integrity (reducing synaptophysin levels) in the CA3 hippocampal region and altered neuronal differentiation in the dentate gyrus (DG), demonstrated by a significant reduction in doublecortin positive cells. Both exposures also significantly increased astrocytic GFAP immunoreactivity in the piriform cortex, motor cortex and the basolateral amygdala and this was accompanied by an increase in (basal) brain acetylcholine (ACh) levels. There was no evidence of microglial activation or structural deterioration of principal neurons in these regions following exposure to CPF alone or in combination with PB and PER. Evidence of subtle microvascular injury was

  15. Flipped-Adversarial AutoEncoders

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Jiyi; Dang, Hung; Lee, Hwee Kuan; Chang, Ee-Chien

    2018-01-01

    We propose a flipped-Adversarial AutoEncoder (FAAE) that simultaneously trains a generative model G that maps an arbitrary latent code distribution to a data distribution and an encoder E that embodies an "inverse mapping" that encodes a data sample into a latent code vector. Unlike previous hybrid approaches that leverage adversarial training criterion in constructing autoencoders, FAAE minimizes re-encoding errors in the latent space and exploits adversarial criterion in the data space. Exp...

  16. Reciprocal cholinergic and GABAergic modulation of the small ventrolateral pacemaker neurons of Drosophila's circadian clock neuron network.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lelito, Katherine R; Shafer, Orie T

    2012-04-01

    The relatively simple clock neuron network of Drosophila is a valuable model system for the neuronal basis of circadian timekeeping. Unfortunately, many key neuronal classes of this network are inaccessible to electrophysiological analysis. We have therefore adopted the use of genetically encoded sensors to address the physiology of the fly's circadian clock network. Using genetically encoded Ca(2+) and cAMP sensors, we have investigated the physiological responses of two specific classes of clock neuron, the large and small ventrolateral neurons (l- and s-LN(v)s), to two neurotransmitters implicated in their modulation: acetylcholine (ACh) and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Live imaging of l-LN(v) cAMP and Ca(2+) dynamics in response to cholinergic agonist and GABA application were well aligned with published electrophysiological data, indicating that our sensors were capable of faithfully reporting acute physiological responses to these transmitters within single adult clock neuron soma. We extended these live imaging methods to s-LN(v)s, critical neuronal pacemakers whose physiological properties in the adult brain are largely unknown. Our s-LN(v) experiments revealed the predicted excitatory responses to bath-applied cholinergic agonists and the predicted inhibitory effects of GABA and established that the antagonism of ACh and GABA extends to their effects on cAMP signaling. These data support recently published but physiologically untested models of s-LN(v) modulation and lead to the prediction that cholinergic and GABAergic inputs to s-LN(v)s will have opposing effects on the phase and/or period of the molecular clock within these critical pacemaker neurons.

  17. Neuronal-glial trafficking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachelard, H.S.

    2001-01-01

    Full text: The name 'glia' originates from the Greek word for glue, because astro glia (or astrocytes) were thought only to provide an anatomical framework for the electrically-excitable neurones. However, awareness that astrocytes perform vital roles in protecting the neurones, which they surround, emerged from evidence that they act as neuroprotective K + -sinks, and that they remove potentially toxic extracellular glutamate from the vicinity of the neurones. The astrocytes convert the glutamate to non-toxic glutamine which is returned to the neurones and used to replenish transmitter glutamate. This 'glutamate-glutamine cycle' (established in the 1960s by Berl and his colleagues) also contributes to protecting the neurones against a build-up of toxic ammonia. Glial cells also supply the neurones with components for free-radical scavenging glutathione. Recent studies have revealed that glial cells play a more positive interactive role in furnishing the neurones with fuels. Studies using radioactive 14 C, 13 C-MRS and 15 N-GCMS have revealed that glia produce alanine, lactate and proline for consumption by neurones, with increased formation of neurotransmitter glutamate. On neuronal activation the release of NH 4 + and glutamate from the neurones stimulates glucose uptake and glycolysis in the glia to produce more alanine, which can be regarded as an 'alanine-glutamate cycle' Use of 14 C-labelled precursors provided early evidence that neurotransmitter GABA may be partly derived from glial glutamine, and this has been confirmed recently in vivo by MRS isotopomer analysis of the GABA and glutamine labelled from 13 C-acetate. Relative rates of intermediary metabolism in glia and neurones can be calculated using a combination of [1- 13 C] glucose and [1,2- 13 C] acetate. When glutamate is released by neurones there is a net neuronal loss of TCA intermediates which have to be replenished. Part of this is derived from carboxylation of pyruvate, (pyruvate carboxylase

  18. Mechanical Dissociation of Retinal Neurons with Vibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motomura, Tamami; Hayashida, Yuki; Murayama, Nobuki

    The neuromorphic device, which implements the functions of biological neural circuits by means of VLSI technology, has been collecting much attention in the engineering fields in the last decade. Concurrently, progress in neuroscience research has revealed the nonlinear computation in single neuron levels, suggesting that individual neurons are not merely the circuit elements but computational units. Thus, elucidating the properties of neuronal signal processing is thought to be an essential step for developing the next generation of neuromorphic devices. In the present study, we developed a method for dissociating single neurons from specific sublayers of mammalian retinas with using no proteolytic enzymes but rather combining tissue incubation in a low-Ca2+ medium and the vibro-dissociation technique developed for the slices of brains and spinal cords previously. Our method took shorter time of the procedure, and required less elaborated skill, than the conventional enzymatic method did; nevertheless it yielded enough number of the cells available for acute electrophysiological experiments. The isolated retinal neurons were useful for measuring the nonlinear membrane conductances as well as the spike firing properties under the perforated-patch whole-cell configuration. These neurons also enabled us to examine the effects of proteolytic enzymes on the membrane excitability in those cells.

  19. Genome-wide identification of structural variants in genes encoding drug targets

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Henrik Berg; Dahmcke, Christina Mackeprang

    2012-01-01

    The objective of the present study was to identify structural variants of drug target-encoding genes on a genome-wide scale. We also aimed at identifying drugs that are potentially amenable for individualization of treatments based on knowledge about structural variation in the genes encoding...

  20. Multiple time scales of adaptation in auditory cortex neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ulanovsky, Nachum; Las, Liora; Farkas, Dina; Nelken, Israel

    2004-11-17

    Neurons in primary auditory cortex (A1) of cats show strong stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). In probabilistic settings, in which one stimulus is common and another is rare, responses to common sounds adapt more strongly than responses to rare sounds. This SSA could be a correlate of auditory sensory memory at the level of single A1 neurons. Here we studied adaptation in A1 neurons, using three different probabilistic designs. We showed that SSA has several time scales concurrently, spanning many orders of magnitude, from hundreds of milliseconds to tens of seconds. Similar time scales are known for the auditory memory span of humans, as measured both psychophysically and using evoked potentials. A simple model, with linear dependence on both short-term and long-term stimulus history, provided a good fit to A1 responses. Auditory thalamus neurons did not show SSA, and their responses were poorly fitted by the same model. In addition, SSA increased the proportion of failures in the responses of A1 neurons to the adapting stimulus. Finally, SSA caused a bias in the neuronal responses to unbiased stimuli, enhancing the responses to eccentric stimuli. Therefore, we propose that a major function of SSA in A1 neurons is to encode auditory sensory memory on multiple time scales. This SSA might play a role in stream segregation and in binding of auditory objects over many time scales, a property that is crucial for processing of natural auditory scenes in cats and of speech and music in humans.

  1. Unbroken Mirror Neurons in Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  2. Convergent processing of both positive and negative motivational signals by the VTA dopamine neuronal populations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dong V Wang

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA have been traditionally studied for their roles in reward-related motivation or drug addiction. Here we study how the VTA dopamine neuron population may process fearful and negative experiences as well as reward information in freely behaving mice. Using multi-tetrode recording, we find that up to 89% of the putative dopamine neurons in the VTA exhibit significant activation in response to the conditioned tone that predict food reward, while the same dopamine neuron population also respond to the fearful experiences such as free fall and shake events. The majority of these VTA putative dopamine neurons exhibit suppression and offset-rebound excitation, whereas ∼25% of the recorded putative dopamine neurons show excitation by the fearful events. Importantly, VTA putative dopamine neurons exhibit parametric encoding properties: their firing change durations are proportional to the fearful event durations. In addition, we demonstrate that the contextual information is crucial for these neurons to respectively elicit positive or negative motivational responses by the same conditioned tone. Taken together, our findings suggest that VTA dopamine neurons may employ the convergent encoding strategy for processing both positive and negative experiences, intimately integrating with cues and environmental context.

  3. Dynamic binding of visual features by neuronal/stimulus synchrony.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwabuchi, A

    1998-05-01

    When people see a visual scene, certain parts of the visual scene are treated as belonging together and we regard them as a perceptual unit, which is called a "figure". People focus on figures, and the remaining parts of the scene are disregarded as "ground". In Gestalt psychology this process is called "figure-ground segregation". According to current perceptual psychology, a figure is formed by binding various visual features in a scene, and developments in neuroscience have revealed that there are many feature-encoding neurons, which respond to such features specifically. It is not known, however, how the brain binds different features of an object into a coherent visual object representation. Recently, the theory of binding by neuronal synchrony, which argues that feature binding is dynamically mediated by neuronal synchrony of feature-encoding neurons, has been proposed. This review article portrays the problem of figure-ground segregation and features binding, summarizes neurophysiological and psychophysical experiments and theory relevant to feature binding by neuronal/stimulus synchrony, and suggests possible directions for future research on this topic.

  4. Diverse coupling of neurons to populations in sensory cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okun, Michael; Steinmetz, Nicholas; Cossell, Lee; Iacaruso, M Florencia; Ko, Ho; Barthó, Péter; Moore, Tirin; Hofer, Sonja B; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D; Carandini, Matteo; Harris, Kenneth D

    2015-05-28

    A large population of neurons can, in principle, produce an astronomical number of distinct firing patterns. In cortex, however, these patterns lie in a space of lower dimension, as if individual neurons were "obedient members of a huge orchestra". Here we use recordings from the visual cortex of mouse (Mus musculus) and monkey (Macaca mulatta) to investigate the relationship between individual neurons and the population, and to establish the underlying circuit mechanisms. We show that neighbouring neurons can differ in their coupling to the overall firing of the population, ranging from strongly coupled 'choristers' to weakly coupled 'soloists'. Population coupling is largely independent of sensory preferences, and it is a fixed cellular attribute, invariant to stimulus conditions. Neurons with high population coupling are more strongly affected by non-sensory behavioural variables such as motor intention. Population coupling reflects a causal relationship, predicting the response of a neuron to optogenetically driven increases in local activity. Moreover, population coupling indicates synaptic connectivity; the population coupling of a neuron, measured in vivo, predicted subsequent in vitro estimates of the number of synapses received from its neighbours. Finally, population coupling provides a compact summary of population activity; knowledge of the population couplings of n neurons predicts a substantial portion of their n(2) pairwise correlations. Population coupling therefore represents a novel, simple measure that characterizes the relationship of each neuron to a larger population, explaining seemingly complex network firing patterns in terms of basic circuit variables.

  5. Synchronization of ;light-sensitive; Hindmarsh-Rose neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castanedo-Guerra, Isaac; Steur, Erik; Nijmeijer, Henk

    2018-04-01

    The suprachiasmatic nucleus is a network of synchronized neurons whose electrical activity follows a 24 h cycle. The synchronization phenomenon (among these neurons) is not completely understood. In this work we study, via experiments and numerical simulations, the phenomenon in which the synchronization threshold changes under the influence of an external (bifurcation) parameter in coupled Hindmarsh-Rose neurons. This parameter ;shapes; the activity of the individual neurons the same way as some neurons in the brain react to light. We corroborate this experimental finding with numerical simulations by quantifying the amount of synchronization using Pearson's correlation coefficient. In order to address the local stability problem of the synchronous state, Floquet theory is applied in the case where the dynamic systems show continuous periodic solutions. These results show how the sufficient coupling strength for synchronization between these neurons is affected by an external cue (e.g. light).

  6. Representation of dynamical stimuli in populations of threshold neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatjana Tchumatchenko

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Many sensory or cognitive events are associated with dynamic current modulations in cortical neurons. This raises an urgent demand for tractable model approaches addressing the merits and limits of potential encoding strategies. Yet, current theoretical approaches addressing the response to mean- and variance-encoded stimuli rarely provide complete response functions for both modes of encoding in the presence of correlated noise. Here, we investigate the neuronal population response to dynamical modifications of the mean or variance of the synaptic bombardment using an alternative threshold model framework. In the variance and mean channel, we provide explicit expressions for the linear and non-linear frequency response functions in the presence of correlated noise and use them to derive population rate response to step-like stimuli. For mean-encoded signals, we find that the complete response function depends only on the temporal width of the input correlation function, but not on other functional specifics. Furthermore, we show that both mean- and variance-encoded signals can relay high-frequency inputs, and in both schemes step-like changes can be detected instantaneously. Finally, we obtain the pairwise spike correlation function and the spike triggered average from the linear mean-evoked response function. These results provide a maximally tractable limiting case that complements and extends previous results obtained in the integrate and fire framework.

  7. Single neuron computation

    CERN Document Server

    McKenna, Thomas M; Zornetzer, Steven F

    1992-01-01

    This book contains twenty-two original contributions that provide a comprehensive overview of computational approaches to understanding a single neuron structure. The focus on cellular-level processes is twofold. From a computational neuroscience perspective, a thorough understanding of the information processing performed by single neurons leads to an understanding of circuit- and systems-level activity. From the standpoint of artificial neural networks (ANNs), a single real neuron is as complex an operational unit as an entire ANN, and formalizing the complex computations performed by real n

  8. 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.

  9. Spectral fingerprints of large-scale neuronal interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Siegel, M.; Donner, T.H.; Engel, A.K.

    2012-01-01

    Cognition results from interactions among functionally specialized but widely distributed brain regions; however, neuroscience has so far largely focused on characterizing the function of individual brain regions and neurons therein. Here we discuss recent studies that have instead investigated the

  10. Successive neuron loss in the thalamus and cortex in a mouse model of infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kielar, Catherine; Maddox, Lucy; Bible, Ellen; Pontikis, Charlie C; Macauley, Shannon L; Griffey, Megan A; Wong, Michael; Sands, Mark S; Cooper, Jonathan D

    2007-01-01

    Infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (INCL) is caused by deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme, palmitoyl protein thioesterase 1 (PPT1). We have investigated the onset and progression of pathological changes in Ppt1 deficient mice (Ppt1-/-) and the development of their seizure phenotype. Surprisingly, cortical atrophy and neuron loss occurred only late in disease progression but were preceded by localized astrocytosis within individual thalamic nuclei and the progressive loss of thalamic neurons that relay different sensory modalities to the cortex. This thalamic neuron loss occurred first within the visual system and only subsequently in auditory and somatosensory relay nuclei or the inhibitory reticular thalamic nucleus. The loss of granule neurons and GABAergic interneurons followed in each corresponding cortical region, before the onset of seizure activity. These findings provide novel evidence for successive neuron loss within the thalamus and cortex in Ppt1-/- mice, revealing the thalamus as an important early focus of INCL pathogenesis.

  11. Conditional Viral Tract Tracing Delineates the Projections of the Distinct Kisspeptin Neuron Populations to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone (GnRH) Neurons in the Mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yip, Siew Hoong; Boehm, Ulrich; Herbison, Allan E; Campbell, Rebecca E

    2015-07-01

    Kisspeptin neurons play an essential role in the regulation of fertility through direct regulation of the GnRH neurons. However, the relative contributions of the two functionally distinct kisspeptin neuron subpopulations to this critical regulation are not fully understood. Here we analyzed the specific projection patterns of kisspeptin neurons originating from either the rostral periventricular nucleus of the third ventricle (RP3V) or the arcuate nucleus (ARN) using a cell-specific, viral-mediated tract-tracing approach. We stereotaxically injected a Cre-dependent recombinant adenovirus encoding farnesylated enhanced green fluorescent protein into the ARN or RP3V of adult male and female mice expressing Cre recombinase in kisspeptin neurons. Fibers from ARN kisspeptin neurons projected widely; however, we did not find any evidence for direct contact with GnRH neuron somata or proximal dendrites in either sex. In contrast, we identified RP3V kisspeptin fibers in close contact with GnRH neuron somata and dendrites in both sexes. Fibers originating from both the RP3V and ARN were observed in close contact with distal GnRH neuron processes in the ARN and in the lateral and internal aspects of the median eminence. Furthermore, GnRH nerve terminals were found in close contact with the proximal dendrites of ARN kisspeptin neurons in the ARN, and ARN kisspeptin fibers were found contacting RP3V kisspeptin neurons in both sexes. Together these data delineate selective zones of kisspeptin neuron inputs to GnRH neurons and demonstrate complex interconnections between the distinct kisspeptin populations and GnRH neurons.

  12. Primary motor cortex of the parkinsonian monkey: altered encoding of active movement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasquereau, Benjamin; DeLong, Mahlon R.

    2016-01-01

    Abnormalities in the movement-related activation of the primary motor cortex (M1) are thought to be a major contributor to the motor signs of Parkinson’s disease. The existing evidence, however, variably indicates that M1 is under-activated with movement, overactivated (due to a loss of functional specificity) or activated with abnormal timing. In addition, few models consider the possibility that distinct cortical neuron subtypes may be affected differently. Those gaps in knowledge were addressed by studying the extracellular activity of antidromically-identified lamina 5b pyramidal-tract type neurons (n = 153) and intratelencephalic-type corticostriatal neurons (n = 126) in the M1 of two monkeys as they performed a step-tracking arm movement task. We compared movement-related discharge before and after the induction of parkinsonism by administration of MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) and quantified the spike rate encoding of specific kinematic parameters of movement using a generalized linear model. The fraction of M1 neurons with movement-related activity declined following MPTP but only marginally. The strength of neuronal encoding of parameters of movement was reduced markedly (mean 29% reduction in the coefficients from the generalized linear model). This relative decoupling of M1 activity from kinematics was attributable to reductions in the coefficients that estimated the spike rate encoding of movement direction (−22%), speed (−40%), acceleration (−49%) and hand position (−33%). After controlling for MPTP-induced changes in motor performance, M1 activity related to movement itself was reduced markedly (mean 36% hypoactivation). This reduced activation was strong in pyramidal tract-type neurons (−50%) but essentially absent in corticostriatal neurons. The timing of M1 activation was also abnormal, with earlier onset times, prolonged response durations, and a 43% reduction in the prevalence of movement-related changes

  13. Neuromorphic Silicon Neuron Circuits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Indiveri, Giacomo; Linares-Barranco, Bernabé; Hamilton, Tara Julia; van Schaik, André; Etienne-Cummings, Ralph; Delbruck, Tobi; Liu, Shih-Chii; Dudek, Piotr; Häfliger, Philipp; Renaud, Sylvie; Schemmel, Johannes; Cauwenberghs, Gert; Arthur, John; Hynna, Kai; Folowosele, Fopefolu; Saighi, Sylvain; Serrano-Gotarredona, Teresa; Wijekoon, Jayawan; Wang, Yingxue; Boahen, Kwabena

    2011-01-01

    Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain–machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance-based Hodgkin–Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive integrate and fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips. PMID:21747754

  14. Neuromorphic silicon neuron circuits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giacomo eIndiveri

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Hardware implementations of spiking neurons can be extremely useful for a large variety of applications, ranging from high-speed modeling of large-scale neural systems to real-time behaving systems, to bidirectional brain-machine interfaces. The specific circuit solutions used to implement silicon neurons depend on the application requirements. In this paper we describe the most common building blocks and techniques used to implement these circuits, and present an overview of a wide range of neuromorphic silicon neurons, which implement different computational models, ranging from biophysically realistic and conductance based Hodgkin-Huxley models to bi-dimensional generalized adaptive Integrate and Fire models. We compare the different design methodologies used for each silicon neuron design described, and demonstrate their features with experimental results, measured from a wide range of fabricated VLSI chips.

  15. Learning Recruits Neurons Representing Previously Established Associations in the Corvid Endbrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veit, Lena; Pidpruzhnykova, Galyna; Nieder, Andreas

    2017-10-01

    Crows quickly learn arbitrary associations. As a neuronal correlate of this behavior, single neurons in the corvid endbrain area nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL) change their response properties during association learning. In crows performing a delayed association task that required them to map both familiar and novel sample pictures to the same two choice pictures, NCL neurons established a common, prospective code for associations. Here, we report that neuronal tuning changes during learning were not distributed equally in the recorded population of NCL neurons. Instead, such learning-related changes relied almost exclusively on neurons which were already encoding familiar associations. Only in such neurons did behavioral improvements during learning of novel associations coincide with increasing selectivity over the learning process. The size and direction of selectivity for familiar and newly learned associations were highly correlated. These increases in selectivity for novel associations occurred only late in the delay period. Moreover, NCL neurons discriminated correct from erroneous trial outcome based on feedback signals at the end of the trial, particularly in newly learned associations. Our results indicate that task-relevant changes during association learning are not distributed within the population of corvid NCL neurons but rather are restricted to a specific group of association-selective neurons. Such association neurons in the multimodal cognitive integration area NCL likely play an important role during highly flexible behavior in corvids.

  16. An introduction to modeling neuronal dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Börgers, Christoph

    2017-01-01

    This book is intended as a text for a one-semester course on Mathematical and Computational Neuroscience for upper-level undergraduate and beginning graduate students of mathematics, the natural sciences, engineering, or computer science. An undergraduate introduction to differential equations is more than enough mathematical background. Only a slim, high school-level background in physics is assumed, and none in biology. Topics include models of individual nerve cells and their dynamics, models of networks of neurons coupled by synapses and gap junctions, origins and functions of population rhythms in neuronal networks, and models of synaptic plasticity. An extensive online collection of Matlab programs generating the figures accompanies the book. .

  17. Peafowl antipredator calls encode information about signalers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yorzinski, Jessica L

    2014-02-01

    Animals emit vocalizations that convey information about external events. Many of these vocalizations, including those emitted in response to predators, also encode information about the individual that produced the call. The relationship between acoustic features of antipredator calls and information relating to signalers (including sex, identity, body size, and social rank) were examined in peafowl (Pavo cristatus). The "bu-girk" antipredator calls of male and female peafowl were recorded and 20 acoustic parameters were automatically extracted from each call. Both the bu and girk elements of the antipredator call were individually distinctive and calls were classified to the correct signaler with over 90% and 70% accuracy in females and males, respectively. Females produced calls with a higher fundamental frequency (F0) than males. In both females and males, body size was negatively correlated with F0. In addition, peahen rank was related to the duration, end mean frequency, and start harmonicity of the bu element. Peafowl antipredator calls contain detailed information about the signaler and can potentially be used by receivers to respond to dangerous situations.

  18. Elucidating the Neuronal Architecture of Olfactory Glomeruli in the Drosophila Antennal Lobe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veit Grabe

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Olfactory glomeruli are morphologically conserved spherical compartments of the olfactory system, distinguishable solely by their chemosensory repertoire, anatomical position, and volume. Little is known, however, about their numerical neuronal composition. We therefore characterized their neuronal architecture and correlated these anatomical features with their functional properties in Drosophila melanogaster. We quantitatively mapped all olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs innervating each glomerulus, including sexually dimorphic distributions. Our data reveal the impact of OSN number on glomerular dimensions and demonstrate yet unknown sex-specific differences in several glomeruli. Moreover, we quantified uniglomerular projection neurons for each glomerulus, which unraveled a glomerulus-specific numerical innervation. Correlation between morphological features and functional specificity showed that glomeruli innervated by narrowly tuned OSNs seem to possess a larger number of projection neurons and are involved in less lateral processing than glomeruli targeted by broadly tuned OSNs. Our study demonstrates that the neuronal architecture of each glomerulus encoding crucial odors is unique.

  19. 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

  20. Tagging, Encoding, and Jones Optimality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Danvy, Olivier; Lopez, Pablo E. Martinez

    2003-01-01

    A partial evaluator is said to be Jones-optimal if the result of specializing a self-interpreter with respect to a source program is textually identical to the source program, modulo renaming. Jones optimality has already been obtained if the self-interpreter is untyped. If the selfinterpreter...... is typed, however, residual programs are cluttered with type tags. To obtain the original source program, these tags must be removed. A number of sophisticated solutions have already been proposed. We observe, however, that with a simple representation shift, ordinary partial evaluation is already Jones......-optimal, modulo an encoding. The representation shift amounts to reading the type tags as constructors for higherorder abstract syntax. We substantiate our observation by considering a typed self-interpreter whose input syntax is higher-order. Specializing this interpreter with respect to a source program yields...

  1. Temporal characteristics of gustatory responses in rat parabrachial neurons vary by stimulus and chemosensitive neuron type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geran, Laura; Travers, Susan

    2013-01-01

    It has been demonstrated that temporal features of spike trains can increase the amount of information available for gustatory processing. However, the nature of these temporal characteristics and their relationship to different taste qualities and neuron types are not well-defined. The present study analyzed the time course of taste responses from parabrachial (PBN) neurons elicited by multiple applications of "sweet" (sucrose), "salty" (NaCl), "sour" (citric acid), and "bitter" (quinine and cycloheximide) stimuli in an acute preparation. Time course varied significantly by taste stimulus and best-stimulus classification. Across neurons, the ensemble code for the three electrolytes was similar initially but quinine diverged from NaCl and acid during the second 500 ms of stimulation and all four qualities became distinct just after 1s. This temporal evolution was reflected in significantly broader tuning during the initial response. Metric space analyses of quality discrimination by individual neurons showed that increases in information (H) afforded by temporal factors was usually explained by differences in rate envelope, which had a greater impact during the initial 2s (22.5% increase in H) compared to the later response (9.5%). Moreover, timing had a differential impact according to cell type, with between-quality discrimination in neurons activated maximally by NaCl or citric acid most affected. Timing was also found to dramatically improve within-quality discrimination (80% increase in H) in neurons that responded optimally to bitter stimuli (B-best). Spikes from B-best neurons were also more likely to occur in bursts. These findings suggest that among PBN taste neurons, time-dependent increases in mutual information can arise from stimulus- and neuron-specific differences in response envelope during the initial dynamic period. A stable rate code predominates in later epochs.

  2. Semantic encoding and retrieval in the left inferior prefrontal cortex: a functional MRI study of task difficulty and process specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Demb, J B; Desmond, J E; Wagner, A D; Vaidya, C J; Glover, G H; Gabrieli, J D

    1995-09-01

    Prefrontal cortical function was examined during semantic encoding and repetition priming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a noninvasive technique for localizing regional changes in blood oxygenation, a correlate of neural activity. Words studied in a semantic (deep) encoding condition were better remembered than words studied in both easier and more difficult nonsemantic (shallow) encoding conditions, with difficulty indexed by response time. The left inferior prefrontal cortex (LIPC) (Brodmann's areas 45, 46, 47) showed increased activation during semantic encoding relative to nonsemantic encoding regardless of the relative difficulty of the nonsemantic encoding task. Therefore, LIPC activation appears to be related to semantic encoding and not task difficulty. Semantic encoding decisions are performed faster the second time words are presented. This represents semantic repetition priming, a facilitation in semantic processing for previously encoded words that is not dependent on intentional recollection. The same LIPC area activated during semantic encoding showed decreased activation during repeated semantic encoding relative to initial semantic encoding of the same words. This decrease in activation during repeated encoding was process specific; it occurred when words were semantically reprocessed but not when words were nonsemantically reprocessed. The results were apparent in both individual and averaged functional maps. These findings suggest that the LIPC is part of a semantic executive system that contributes to the on-line retrieval of semantic information.

  3. Emotional arousal and memory after deep encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leventon, Jacqueline S; Camacho, Gabriela L; Ramos Rojas, Maria D; Ruedas, Angelica

    2018-05-22

    Emotion often enhances long-term memory. One mechanism for this enhancement is heightened arousal during encoding. However, reducing arousal, via emotion regulation (ER) instructions, has not been associated with reduced memory. In fact, the opposite pattern has been observed: stronger memory for emotional stimuli encoded with an ER instruction to reduce arousal. This pattern may be due to deeper encoding required by ER instructions. In the current research, we examine the effects of emotional arousal and deep-encoding on memory across three studies. In Study 1, adult participants completed a writing task (deep-encoding) for encoding negative, neutral, and positive picture stimuli, whereby half the emotion stimuli had the ER instruction to reduce the emotion. Memory was strong across conditions, and no memory enhancement was observed for any condition. In Study 2, adult participants completed the same writing task as Study 1, as well as a shallow-encoding task for one-third of negative, neutral, and positive trials. Memory was strongest for deep vs. shallow encoding trials, with no effects of emotion or ER instruction. In Study 3, adult participants completed a shallow-encoding task for negative, neutral, and positive stimuli, with findings indicating enhanced memory for negative emotional stimuli. Findings suggest that deep encoding must be acknowledged as a source of memory enhancement when examining manipulations of emotion-related arousal. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  4. Dense reconstruction of brain-wide neuronal population close to the ground truth

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yun; Zhou, Hang; Li, Shiwei; Li, Jing; Su, Lei; Li, Anan; Feng, Xiong; Li, Ning; Han, Jiacheng; Kang, Hongtao; Chen, Yijun; Fang, Wenqian; Liu, Yidong; Lin, Huimin; Jin, Sen

    2017-01-01

    Neuron is the basic structure and functional unit of the brain, its projection and connections with other neurons provide a basic physical infrastructure for neural signal storage, allocation, processing, and integration. Recent technique progresses allow for labeling and imaging specific neuronal populations at single axonal level across a whole mouse brain. However, digital reconstruction of these neuron individuals needs months of human labor or sometimes is even an impossible task. Here w...

  5. Dorso-Lateral Frontal Cortex of the Ferret Encodes Perceptual Difficulty during Visual Discrimination

    OpenAIRE

    Zhe Charles Zhou; Chunxiu Yu; Kristin K. Sellers; Flavio Fröhlich

    2016-01-01

    Visual discrimination requires sensory processing followed by a perceptual decision. Despite a growing understanding of visual areas in this behavior, it is unclear what role top-down signals from prefrontal cortex play, in particular as a function of perceptual difficulty. To address this gap, we investigated how neurons in dorso-lateral frontal cortex (dl-FC) of freely-moving ferrets encode task variables in a two-alternative forced choice visual discrimination task with high- and low-contr...

  6. Stimulus encoding and feature extraction by multiple pyramidal cells in the hindbrain of weakly electric fish

    OpenAIRE

    Krahe, Rüdiger; Kreiman, Gabriel; Gabbiani, Fabrizio; Koch, Christof; Metzner, Walter

    2002-01-01

    Neighboring cells in topographical sensory maps may transmit similar information to the next higher level of processing. How information transmission by groups of nearby neurons compares with the performance of single cells is a very important question for understanding the functioning of the nervous system. To tackle this problem, we quantified stimulus-encoding and feature extraction performance by pairs of simultaneously recorded electrosensory pyramidal cells in the hindbrain of weakly el...

  7. Direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase pump function in alternating hemiplegia of childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Christine Q; Thompson, Christopher H; Cawthon, Bryan E; Westlake, Grant; Swoboda, Kathryn J; Kiskinis, Evangelos; Ess, Kevin C; George, Alfred L

    2018-03-19

    Mutations in ATP1A3 encoding the catalytic subunit of the Na/K-ATPase expressed in mammalian neurons cause alternating hemiplegia of childhood (AHC) as well as an expanding spectrum of other neurodevelopmental syndromes and neurological phenotypes. Most AHC cases are explained by de novo heterozygous ATP1A3 mutations, but the fundamental molecular and cellular consequences of these mutations in human neurons are not known. In this study, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of neurons generated from AHC patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to ascertain functional disturbances underlying this neurological disease. Fibroblasts derived from two subjects with AHC, a male and a female, both heterozygous for the common ATP1A3 mutation G947R, were reprogrammed to iPSCs. Neuronal differentiation of iPSCs was initiated by neurogenin-2 (NGN2) induction followed by co-culture with mouse glial cells to promote maturation of cortical excitatory neurons. Whole-cell current clamp recording demonstrated that, compared with control iPSC-derived neurons, neurons differentiated from AHC iPSCs exhibited a significantly lower level of ouabain-sensitive outward current ('pump current'). This finding correlated with significantly depolarized potassium equilibrium potential and depolarized resting membrane potential in AHC neurons compared with control neurons. In this cellular model, we also observed a lower evoked action potential firing frequency when neurons were held at their resting potential. However, evoked action potential firing frequencies were not different between AHC and control neurons when the membrane potential was clamped to -80 mV. Impaired neuronal excitability could be explained by lower voltage-gated sodium channel availability at the depolarized membrane potential observed in AHC neurons. Our findings provide direct evidence of impaired neuronal Na/K-ATPase ion transport activity in human AHC neurons and demonstrate the potential

  8. 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.

  9. SnoVault and encodeD: A novel object-based storage system and applications to ENCODE metadata.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin C Hitz

    Full Text Available The Encyclopedia of DNA elements (ENCODE project is an ongoing collaborative effort to create a comprehensive catalog of functional elements initiated shortly after the completion of the Human Genome Project. The current database exceeds 6500 experiments across more than 450 cell lines and tissues using a wide array of experimental techniques to study the chromatin structure, regulatory and transcriptional landscape of the H. sapiens and M. musculus genomes. All ENCODE experimental data, metadata, and associated computational analyses are submitted to the ENCODE Data Coordination Center (DCC for validation, tracking, storage, unified processing, and distribution to community resources and the scientific community. As the volume of data increases, the identification and organization of experimental details becomes increasingly intricate and demands careful curation. The ENCODE DCC has created a general purpose software system, known as SnoVault, that supports metadata and file submission, a database used for metadata storage, web pages for displaying the metadata and a robust API for querying the metadata. The software is fully open-source, code and installation instructions can be found at: http://github.com/ENCODE-DCC/snovault/ (for the generic database and http://github.com/ENCODE-DCC/encoded/ to store genomic data in the manner of ENCODE. The core database engine, SnoVault (which is completely independent of ENCODE, genomic data, or bioinformatic data has been released as a separate Python package.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Synchronous spikes are necessary but not sufficient for a synchrony code in populations of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grewe, Jan; Kruscha, Alexandra; Lindner, Benjamin; Benda, Jan

    2017-03-07

    Synchronous activity in populations of neurons potentially encodes special stimulus features. Selective readout of either synchronous or asynchronous activity allows formation of two streams of information processing. Theoretical work predicts that such a synchrony code is a fundamental feature of populations of spiking neurons if they operate in specific noise and stimulus regimes. Here we experimentally test the theoretical predictions by quantifying and comparing neuronal response properties in tuberous and ampullary electroreceptor afferents of the weakly electric fish Apteronotus leptorhynchus These related systems show similar levels of synchronous activity, but only in the more irregularly firing tuberous afferents a synchrony code is established, whereas in the more regularly firing ampullary afferents it is not. The mere existence of synchronous activity is thus not sufficient for a synchrony code. Single-cell features such as the irregularity of spiking and the frequency dependence of the neuron's transfer function determine whether synchronous spikes possess a distinct meaning for the encoding of time-dependent signals.

  13. [Functional organization and structure of the serotonergic neuronal network of terrestrial snail].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikitin, E S; Balaban, P M

    2011-01-01

    The extension of knowledge how the brain works requires permanent improvement of methods of recording of neuronal activity and increase in the number of neurons recorded simultaneously to better understand the collective work of neuronal networks and assemblies. Conventional methods allow simultaneous intracellular recording up to 2-5 neurons and their membrane potentials, currents or monosynaptic connections or observation of spiking of neuronal groups with subsequent discrimination of individual spikes with loss of details of the dynamics of membrane potential. We recorded activity of a compact group of serotonergic neurons (up to 56 simultaneously) in the ganglion of a terrestrial mollusk using the method of optical recording of membrane potential that allowed to record individual action potentials in details with action potential parameters and to reveal morphology of the neurons rcorded. We demonstrated clear clustering in the group in relation with the dynamics of action potentials and phasic or tonic components in the neuronal responses to external electrophysiological and tactile stimuli. Also, we showed that identified neuron Pd2 could induce activation of a significant number of neurons in the group whereas neuron Pd4 did not induce any activation. However, its activation is delayed with regard to activation of the reacting group of neurons. Our data strongly support the concept of possible delegation of the integrative function by the network to a single neuron.

  14. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de, E-mail: dearcangelis@na.infn.it [Department of Information Engineering and CNISM, Second University of Naples, 81031 Aversa (Italy)

    2011-05-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

  15. Neuronal avalanches and learning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arcangelis, Lucilla de

    2011-01-01

    Networks of living neurons represent one of the most fascinating systems of biology. If the physical and chemical mechanisms at the basis of the functioning of a single neuron are quite well understood, the collective behaviour of a system of many neurons is an extremely intriguing subject. Crucial ingredient of this complex behaviour is the plasticity property of the network, namely the capacity to adapt and evolve depending on the level of activity. This plastic ability is believed, nowadays, to be at the basis of learning and memory in real brains. Spontaneous neuronal activity has recently shown features in common to other complex systems. Experimental data have, in fact, shown that electrical information propagates in a cortex slice via an avalanche mode. These avalanches are characterized by a power law distribution for the size and duration, features found in other problems in the context of the physics of complex systems and successful models have been developed to describe their behaviour. In this contribution we discuss a statistical mechanical model for the complex activity in a neuronal network. The model implements the main physiological properties of living neurons and is able to reproduce recent experimental results. Then, we discuss the learning abilities of this neuronal network. Learning occurs via plastic adaptation of synaptic strengths by a non-uniform negative feedback mechanism. The system is able to learn all the tested rules, in particular the exclusive OR (XOR) and a random rule with three inputs. The learning dynamics exhibits universal features as function of the strength of plastic adaptation. Any rule could be learned provided that the plastic adaptation is sufficiently slow.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Measure of synchrony in the activity of intrinsic cardiac neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Longpré, Jean-Philippe; Salavatian, Siamak; Jacquemet, Vincent; Beaumont, Eric; Armour, J Andrew; Ardell, Jeffrey L

    2014-01-01

    Recent multielectrode array recordings in ganglionated plexi of canine atria have opened the way to the study of population dynamics of intrinsic cardiac neurons. These data provide critical insights into the role of local processing that these ganglia play in the regulation of cardiac function. Low firing rates, marked non-stationarity, interplay with the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems and artifacts generated by myocardial activity create new constraints not present in brain recordings for which almost all neuronal analysis techniques have been developed. We adapted and extended the jitter-based synchrony index (SI) to (1) provide a robust and computationally efficient tool for assessing the level and statistical significance of SI between cardiac neurons, (2) estimate the bias on SI resulting from neuronal activity possibly hidden in myocardial artifacts, (3) quantify the synchrony or anti-synchrony between neuronal activity and the phase in the cardiac and respiratory cycles. The method was validated on firing time series from a total of 98 individual neurons identified in 8 dog experiments. SI ranged from −0.14 to 0.66, with 23 pairs of neurons with SI > 0.1. The estimated bias due to artifacts was typically <1%. Strongly cardiovascular- and pulmonary-related neurons (SI > 0.5) were found. Results support the use of jitter-based SI in the context of intrinsic cardiac neurons. (paper)

  18. Synchronous behavior of two coupled electronic neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pinto, R. D.; Varona, P.; Volkovskii, A. R.; Szuecs, A.; Abarbanel, Henry D. I.; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2000-01-01

    We report on experimental studies of synchronization phenomena in a pair of analog electronic neurons (ENs). The ENs were designed to reproduce the observed membrane voltage oscillations of isolated biological neurons from the stomatogastric ganglion of the California spiny lobster Panulirus interruptus. The ENs are simple analog circuits which integrate four-dimensional differential equations representing fast and slow subcellular mechanisms that produce the characteristic regular/chaotic spiking-bursting behavior of these cells. In this paper we study their dynamical behavior as we couple them in the same configurations as we have done for their counterpart biological neurons. The interconnections we use for these neural oscillators are both direct electrical connections and excitatory and inhibitory chemical connections: each realized by analog circuitry and suggested by biological examples. We provide here quantitative evidence that the ENs and the biological neurons behave similarly when coupled in the same manner. They each display well defined bifurcations in their mutual synchronization and regularization. We report briefly on an experiment on coupled biological neurons and four-dimensional ENs, which provides further ground for testing the validity of our numerical and electronic models of individual neural behavior. Our experiments as a whole present interesting new examples of regularization and synchronization in coupled nonlinear oscillators. (c) 2000 The American Physical Society

  19. Dendrites Enable a Robust Mechanism for Neuronal Stimulus Selectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazé, Romain D; Jarvis, Sarah; Foust, Amanda J; Schultz, Simon R

    2017-09-01

    Hearing, vision, touch: underlying all of these senses is stimulus selectivity, a robust information processing operation in which cortical neurons respond more to some stimuli than to others. Previous models assume that these neurons receive the highest weighted input from an ensemble encoding the preferred stimulus, but dendrites enable other possibilities. Nonlinear dendritic processing can produce stimulus selectivity based on the spatial distribution of synapses, even if the total preferred stimulus weight does not exceed that of nonpreferred stimuli. Using a multi-subunit nonlinear model, we demonstrate that stimulus selectivity can arise from the spatial distribution of synapses. We propose this as a general mechanism for information processing by neurons possessing dendritic trees. Moreover, we show that this implementation of stimulus selectivity increases the neuron's robustness to synaptic and dendritic failure. Importantly, our model can maintain stimulus selectivity for a larger range of loss of synapses or dendrites than an equivalent linear model. We then use a layer 2/3 biophysical neuron model to show that our implementation is consistent with two recent experimental observations: (1) one can observe a mixture of selectivities in dendrites that can differ from the somatic selectivity, and (2) hyperpolarization can broaden somatic tuning without affecting dendritic tuning. Our model predicts that an initially nonselective neuron can become selective when depolarized. In addition to motivating new experiments, the model's increased robustness to synapses and dendrites loss provides a starting point for fault-resistant neuromorphic chip development.

  20. Functional characterisation of filamentous actin probe expression in neuronal cells.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shrujna Patel

    Full Text Available Genetically encoded filamentous actin probes, Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin, are used as tools to label the actin cytoskeleton. Recent evidence in several different cell types indicates that these probes can cause changes in filamentous actin dynamics, altering cell morphology and function. Although these probes are commonly used to visualise actin dynamics in neurons, their effects on axonal and dendritic morphology has not been systematically characterised. In this study, we quantitatively analysed the effect of Lifeact, Utrophin and F-tractin on neuronal morphogenesis in primary hippocampal neurons. Our data show that the expression of actin-tracking probes significantly impacts on axonal and dendrite growth these neurons. Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a pBABE promoter, caused a significant decrease in total axon length, while another Lifeact-GFP expression, under the control of a CAG promoter, decreased the length and complexity of dendritic trees. Utr261-EGFP resulted in increased dendritic branching but Utr230-EGFP only accumulated in cell soma, without labelling any neurites. Lifeact-7-mEGFP and F-tractin-EGFP in a pEGFP-C1 vector, under the control of a CMV promoter, caused only minor changes in neuronal morphology as detected by Sholl analysis. The results of this study demonstrate the effects that filamentous actin tracking probes can have on the axonal and dendritic compartments of neuronal cells and emphasise the care that must be taken when interpreting data from experiments using these probes.

  1. NMDA receptors and memory encoding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard G M

    2013-11-01

    It is humbling to think that 30 years have passed since the paper by Collingridge, Kehl and McLennan showing that one of Jeff Watkins most interesting compounds, R-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoate (d-AP5), blocked the induction of long-term potentiation in vitro at synapses from area CA3 of the hippocampus to CA1 without apparent effect on baseline synaptic transmission (Collingridge et al., 1983). This dissociation was one of the key triggers for an explosion of interest in glutamate receptors, and much has been discovered since that collectively contributes to our contemporary understanding of glutamatergic synapses - their biophysics and subunit composition, of the agonists and antagonists acting on them, and their diverse functions in different networks of the brain and spinal cord. It can be fairly said that Collingridge et al.'s (1983) observation was the stimulus that has led, on the one hand, to structural biological work at the atomic scale describing the key features of NMDA receptors that enables their coincidence function to happen; and, on the other, to work with whole animals investigating the contributions that calcium signalling via this receptor can have on rhythmical activities controlled by spinal circuits, memory encoding in the hippocampus (the topic of this article), visual cortical plasticity, sensitization in pain, and other functions. In this article, I lay out how my then interest in long-term potentiation (LTP) as a model of memory enabled me to recognise the importance of Collingridge et al.'s discovery - and how I and my colleagues endeavoured to take things forward in the area of learning and memory. This is in some respects a personal story, and I tell it as such. The idea that NMDA receptor activation is essential for memory encoding, though not for storage, took time to develop and to be accepted. Along the way, there have been confusions, challenges, and surprises surrounding the idea that activation of NMDA receptors can

  2. Neuronal Networks on Nanocellulose Scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonsson, Malin; Brackmann, Christian; Puchades, Maja; Brattås, Karoline; Ewing, Andrew; Gatenholm, Paul; Enejder, Annika

    2015-11-01

    Proliferation, integration, and neurite extension of PC12 cells, a widely used culture model for cholinergic neurons, were studied in nanocellulose scaffolds biosynthesized by Gluconacetobacter xylinus to allow a three-dimensional (3D) extension of neurites better mimicking neuronal networks in tissue. The interaction with control scaffolds was compared with cationized nanocellulose (trimethyl ammonium betahydroxy propyl [TMAHP] cellulose) to investigate the impact of surface charges on the cell interaction mechanisms. Furthermore, coatings with extracellular matrix proteins (collagen, fibronectin, and laminin) were investigated to determine the importance of integrin-mediated cell attachment. Cell proliferation was evaluated by a cellular proliferation assay, while cell integration and neurite propagation were studied by simultaneous label-free Coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering and second harmonic generation microscopy, providing 3D images of PC12 cells and arrangement of nanocellulose fibrils, respectively. Cell attachment and proliferation were enhanced by TMAHP modification, but not by protein coating. Protein coating instead promoted active interaction between the cells and the scaffold, hence lateral cell migration and integration. Irrespective of surface modification, deepest cell integration measured was one to two cell layers, whereas neurites have a capacity to integrate deeper than the cell bodies in the scaffold due to their fine dimensions and amoeba-like migration pattern. Neurites with lengths of >50 μm were observed, successfully connecting individual cells and cell clusters. In conclusion, TMAHP-modified nanocellulose scaffolds promote initial cellular scaffold adhesion, which combined with additional cell-scaffold treatments enables further formation of 3D neuronal networks.

  3. Circuit variability interacts with excitatory-inhibitory diversity of interneurons to regulate network encoding capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Kuo-Ting; Hu, Chin-Kun; Li, Kuan-Wei; Hwang, Wen-Liang; Chou, Ya-Hui

    2018-05-23

    Local interneurons (LNs) in the Drosophila olfactory system exhibit neuronal diversity and variability, yet it is still unknown how these features impact information encoding capacity and reliability in a complex LN network. We employed two strategies to construct a diverse excitatory-inhibitory neural network beginning with a ring network structure and then introduced distinct types of inhibitory interneurons and circuit variability to the simulated network. The continuity of activity within the node ensemble (oscillation pattern) was used as a readout to describe the temporal dynamics of network activity. We found that inhibitory interneurons enhance the encoding capacity by protecting the network from extremely short activation periods when the network wiring complexity is very high. In addition, distinct types of interneurons have differential effects on encoding capacity and reliability. Circuit variability may enhance the encoding reliability, with or without compromising encoding capacity. Therefore, we have described how circuit variability of interneurons may interact with excitatory-inhibitory diversity to enhance the encoding capacity and distinguishability of neural networks. In this work, we evaluate the effects of different types and degrees of connection diversity on a ring model, which may simulate interneuron networks in the Drosophila olfactory system or other biological systems.

  4. Branch-specific plasticity of a bifunctional dopamine circuit encodes protein hunger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Qili; Tabuchi, Masashi; Liu, Sha; Kodama, Lay; Horiuchi, Wakako; Daniels, Jay; Chiu, Lucinda; Baldoni, Daniel; Wu, Mark N

    2017-05-05

    Free-living animals must not only regulate the amount of food they consume but also choose which types of food to ingest. The shifting of food preference driven by nutrient-specific hunger can be essential for survival, yet little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We identified a dopamine circuit that encodes protein-specific hunger in Drosophila The activity of these neurons increased after substantial protein deprivation. Activation of this circuit simultaneously promoted protein intake and restricted sugar consumption, via signaling to distinct downstream neurons. Protein starvation triggered branch-specific plastic changes in these dopaminergic neurons, thus enabling sustained protein consumption. These studies reveal a crucial circuit mechanism by which animals adjust their dietary strategy to maintain protein homeostasis. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  5. Encoder designed to work in harsh environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toop, L.

    2007-05-15

    Dynapar has developed the Acuro AX71 absolute encoder for use on offshore or land-based oil rig operations. It provides feedback on the operation of automated systems such as draw works, racking systems, rotary tables and top drives. By ensuring that automated systems function properly, this encoder responds to a need by the oil and gas industry to keep workers safe and improve efficiency, particularly for operations in rugged situations. The encoder provides feedback from motor systems to controllers, giving information about position and speed of downhole drill bits. This newly developed encoder is better than commonly used incremental encoders which are not precise in strong electrical noise environments. Rather, the absolute encoder uses a different method of reporting to the controller. A digital signal is transmitted constantly as the device operates. It is less susceptible to noise issues. It is highly accurate, tolerant of noise and is not affected by power outages. However, the absolute encoder is generally more delicate in drilling applications with high ambient temperatures and shock levels. Dynapar addressed this issue by developing compact stainless steel housing that is useful for corrosion resistance in marine applications. The AX71 absolute encoder can withstand up to 100 G of mechanical shock and ambient temperatures of up to 60 degrees C. The encoder is ATEX certified without barriers, and offers the high resolution feedback of 4,000 counts of multiturn rotation and 16,000 counts of position. 1 fig.

  6. Metrics for comparing neuronal tree shapes based on persistent homology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yanjie Li

    Full Text Available As more and more neuroanatomical data are made available through efforts such as NeuroMorpho.Org and FlyCircuit.org, the need to develop computational tools to facilitate automatic knowledge discovery from such large datasets becomes more urgent. One fundamental question is how best to compare neuron structures, for instance to organize and classify large collection of neurons. We aim to develop a flexible yet powerful framework to support comparison and classification of large collection of neuron structures efficiently. Specifically we propose to use a topological persistence-based feature vectorization framework. Existing methods to vectorize a neuron (i.e, convert a neuron to a feature vector so as to support efficient comparison and/or searching typically rely on statistics or summaries of morphometric information, such as the average or maximum local torque angle or partition asymmetry. These simple summaries have limited power in encoding global tree structures. Based on the concept of topological persistence recently developed in the field of computational topology, we vectorize each neuron structure into a simple yet informative summary. In particular, each type of information of interest can be represented as a descriptor function defined on the neuron tree, which is then mapped to a simple persistence-signature. Our framework can encode both local and global tree structure, as well as other information of interest (electrophysiological or dynamical measures, by considering multiple descriptor functions on the neuron. The resulting persistence-based signature is potentially more informative than simple statistical summaries (such as average/mean/max of morphometric quantities-Indeed, we show that using a certain descriptor function will give a persistence-based signature containing strictly more information than the classical Sholl analysis. At the same time, our framework retains the efficiency associated with treating neurons as

  7. Selective disruption of acetylcholine synthesis in subsets of motor neurons: a new model of late-onset motor neuron disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecomte, Marie-José; Bertolus, Chloé; Santamaria, Julie; Bauchet, Anne-Laure; Herbin, Marc; Saurini, Françoise; Misawa, Hidemi; Maisonobe, Thierry; Pradat, Pierre-François; Nosten-Bertrand, Marika; Mallet, Jacques; Berrard, Sylvie

    2014-05-01

    Motor neuron diseases are characterized by the selective chronic dysfunction of a subset of motor neurons and the subsequent impairment of neuromuscular function. To reproduce in the mouse these hallmarks of diseases affecting motor neurons, we generated a mouse line in which ~40% of motor neurons in the spinal cord and the brainstem become unable to sustain neuromuscular transmission. These mice were obtained by conditional knockout of the gene encoding choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), the biosynthetic enzyme for acetylcholine. The mutant mice are viable and spontaneously display abnormal phenotypes that worsen with age including hunched back, reduced lifespan, weight loss, as well as striking deficits in muscle strength and motor function. This slowly progressive neuromuscular dysfunction is accompanied by muscle fiber histopathological features characteristic of neurogenic diseases. Unexpectedly, most changes appeared with a 6-month delay relative to the onset of reduction in ChAT levels, suggesting that compensatory mechanisms preserve muscular function for several months and then are overwhelmed. Deterioration of mouse phenotype after ChAT gene disruption is a specific aging process reminiscent of human pathological situations, particularly among survivors of paralytic poliomyelitis. These mutant mice may represent an invaluable tool to determine the sequence of events that follow the loss of function of a motor neuron subset as the disease progresses, and to evaluate therapeutic strategies. They also offer the opportunity to explore fundamental issues of motor neuron biology. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Spatially Compact Neural Clusters in the Dorsal Striatum Encode Locomotion Relevant Information.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbera, Giovanni; Liang, Bo; Zhang, Lifeng; Gerfen, Charles R; Culurciello, Eugenio; Chen, Rong; Li, Yun; Lin, Da-Ting

    2016-10-05

    An influential striatal model postulates that neural activities in the striatal direct and indirect pathways promote and inhibit movement, respectively. Normal behavior requires coordinated activity in the direct pathway to facilitate intended locomotion and indirect pathway to inhibit unwanted locomotion. In this striatal model, neuronal population activity is assumed to encode locomotion relevant information. Here, we propose a novel encoding mechanism for the dorsal striatum. We identified spatially compact neural clusters in both the direct and indirect pathways. Detailed characterization revealed similar cluster organization between the direct and indirect pathways, and cluster activities from both pathways were correlated with mouse locomotion velocities. Using machine-learning algorithms, cluster activities could be used to decode locomotion relevant behavioral states and locomotion velocity. We propose that neural clusters in the dorsal striatum encode locomotion relevant information and that coordinated activities of direct and indirect pathway neural clusters are required for normal striatal controlled behavior. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Neuronal control of locomotor handedness in Drosophila.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchanan, Sean M; Kain, Jamey S; de Bivort, Benjamin L

    2015-05-26

    Genetically identical individuals display variability in their physiology, morphology, and behaviors, even when reared in essentially identical environments, but there is little mechanistic understanding of the basis of such variation. Here, we investigated whether Drosophila melanogaster displays individual-to-individual variation in locomotor behaviors. We developed a new high-throughout platform capable of measuring the exploratory behavior of hundreds of individual flies simultaneously. With this approach, we find that, during exploratory walking, individual flies exhibit significant bias in their left vs. right locomotor choices, with some flies being strongly left biased or right biased. This idiosyncrasy was present in all genotypes examined, including wild-derived populations and inbred isogenic laboratory strains. The biases of individual flies persist for their lifetime and are nonheritable: i.e., mating two left-biased individuals does not yield left-biased progeny. This locomotor handedness is uncorrelated with other asymmetries, such as the handedness of gut twisting, leg-length asymmetry, and wing-folding preference. Using transgenics and mutants, we find that the magnitude of locomotor handedness is under the control of columnar neurons within the central complex, a brain region implicated in motor planning and execution. When these neurons are silenced, exploratory laterality increases, with more extreme leftiness and rightiness. This observation intriguingly implies that the brain may be able to dynamically regulate behavioral individuality.

  10. Joint Probability-Based Neuronal Spike Train Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Chen

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Neuronal spike trains are used by the nervous system to encode and transmit information. Euclidean distance-based methods (EDBMs have been applied to quantify the similarity between temporally-discretized spike trains and model responses. In this study, using the same discretization procedure, we developed and applied a joint probability-based method (JPBM to classify individual spike trains of slowly adapting pulmonary stretch receptors (SARs. The activity of individual SARs was recorded in anaesthetized, paralysed adult male rabbits, which were artificially-ventilated at constant rate and one of three different volumes. Two-thirds of the responses to the 600 stimuli presented at each volume were used to construct three response models (one for each stimulus volume consisting of a series of time bins, each with spike probabilities. The remaining one-third of the responses where used as test responses to be classified into one of the three model responses. This was done by computing the joint probability of observing the same series of events (spikes or no spikes, dictated by the test response in a given model and determining which probability of the three was highest. The JPBM generally produced better classification accuracy than the EDBM, and both performed well above chance. Both methods were similarly affected by variations in discretization parameters, response epoch duration, and two different response alignment strategies. Increasing bin widths increased classification accuracy, which also improved with increased observation time, but primarily during periods of increasing lung inflation. Thus, the JPBM is a simple and effective method performing spike train classification.

  11. 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...

  12. That's not quite me: limb ownership encoding in the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limanowski, Jakub; Blankenburg, Felix

    2016-07-01

    With congruent stimulation of one's limb together with a fake counterpart, an illusory self-attribution of the fake limb can be induced. Such illusions have brought profound insights into the cognitive and neuronal mechanisms underlying temporary changes in body representation, but to put them in perspective, they need to be compared with ownership as experienced for one's real body. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the neuronal correlates of touch under different degrees of body ownership. Participants' left and right arms were stimulated either alone or together with a fake counterpart while this stimulation was synchronous, ambiguous or asynchronous. Synchronous stimulation induced illusory fake arm ownership, but the brain still differentiated between touch to one's real arm and to an illusory 'owned' arm: the degree of arm ownership was encoded positively by activity in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and lateral occipitotemporal cortex and negatively in the temporoparietal cortex. Conversely, the ventral premotor cortex responded more strongly to synchronous stimulation compared with asynchronous stimulation and with real arm only stimulation. These results offer new insights into the differential representation of the real body vs a body that is temporarily self-attributed following the resolution of multisensory conflict. © The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. Chromatic detection from cone photoreceptors to V1 neurons to behavior in rhesus monkeys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hass, Charles A; Angueyra, Juan M; Lindbloom-Brown, Zachary; Rieke, Fred; Horwitz, Gregory D

    2015-01-01

    Chromatic sensitivity cannot exceed limits set by noise in the cone photoreceptors. To determine how close neurophysiological and psychophysical chromatic sensitivity come to these limits, we developed a parameter-free model of stimulus encoding in the cone outer segments, and we compared the sensitivity of the model to the psychophysical sensitivity of monkeys performing a detection task and to the sensitivity of individual V1 neurons. Modeled cones had a temporal impulse response and a noise power spectrum that were derived from in vitro recordings of macaque cones, and V1 recordings were made during performance of the detection task. The sensitivity of the simulated cone mosaic, the V1 neurons, and the monkeys were tightly yoked for low-spatiotemporal-frequency isoluminant modulations, indicating high-fidelity signal transmission for this class of stimuli. Under the conditions of our experiments and the assumptions for our model, the signal-to-noise ratio for these stimuli dropped by a factor of ∼3 between the cones and perception. Populations of weakly correlated V1 neurons narrowly exceeded the monkeys' chromatic sensitivity but fell well short of the cones' chromatic sensitivity, suggesting that most of the behavior-limiting noise lies between the cone outer segments and the output of V1. The sensitivity gap between the cones and behavior for achromatic stimuli was larger than for chromatic stimuli, indicating greater postreceptoral noise. The cone mosaic model provides a means to compare visual sensitivity across disparate stimuli and to identify sources of noise that limit visual sensitivity.

  14. BC-Box Motif-Mediated Neuronal Differentiation of Somatic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroshi Kanno

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Von Hippel-Lindau tumor suppressor protein (pVHL functions to induce neuronal differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs and skin-derived precursors (SKPs. Here we identified a neuronal differentiation domain (NDD in pVHL. Neuronal differentiation of SKPs was induced by intracellular delivery of a peptide composed of the amino-acid sequences encoded by the NDD. Neuronal differentiation mediated by the NDD was caused by the binding between it and elongin C followed by Janus kinase-2 (JAK2 ubiquitination of JAK2 and inhibition of the JAK2/the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3(STAT3 pathway. The NDD in pVHL contained the BC-box motif ((A,P,S,TLXXX (A,C XXX(A,I,L,V corresponding to the binding site of elongin C. Therefore, we proposed that other BC-box proteins might also contain an NDD; and subsequently also identified in them an NDD containing the amino-acid sequence encoded by the BC-box motif in BC-box proteins. Furthermore, we showed that different NDD peptide-delivered cells differentiated into different kinds of neuron-like cells. That is, dopaminergic neuron-like cells, cholinergic neuron-like cells, GABAnergic neuron-like cells or rhodopsin-positive neuron-like cells were induced by different NDD peptides. These novel findings might contribute to the development of a new method for promoting neuronal differentiation and shed further light on the mechanism of neuronal differentiation of somatic stem cells.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Răzvan V Florian

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

  16. Encoding of temporal intervals in the rat hindlimb sensorimotor cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Bean Knudsen

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The gradual buildup of neural activity over experimentally imposed delay periods, termed climbing activity, is well documented and is a potential mechanism by which interval time is encoded by distributed cortico-thalamico-striatal networks in the brain. Additionally, when multiple delay periods are incorporated, this activity has been shown to scale its rate of climbing proportional to the delay period. However, it remains unclear whether these patterns of activity occur within areas of motor cortex dedicated to hindlimb movement. Moreover, the effects of behavioral training (e.g. motor tasks under different reward conditions but with similar behavioral output are not well addressed. To address this, we recorded activity from the hindlimb sensorimotor cortex (HLSMC of two groups of rats performing a skilled hindlimb press task. In one group, rats were trained only to a make a valid press within a finite window after cue presentation for reward (non-interval trained, nIT; n=5, while rats in the second group were given duration-specific cues in which they had to make presses of either short or long duration to receive reward (interval trained, IT; n=6. Using PETH analyses, we show that cells recorded from both groups showed climbing activity during the task in similar proportions (35% IT and 47% nIT, however only climbing activity from IT rats was temporally scaled to press duration. Furthermore, using single trial decoding techniques (Wiener filter, we show that press duration can be inferred using climbing activity from IT animals (R=0.61 significantly better than nIT animals (R=0.507, p<0.01, suggesting IT animals encode press duration through temporally scaled climbing activity. Thus, if temporal intervals are behaviorally relevant then the activity of climbing neurons is temporally scaled to encode the passage of time.

  17. Neural Encoding of Relative Position

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayworth, Kenneth J.; Lescroart, Mark D.; Biederman, Irving

    2011-01-01

    Late ventral visual areas generally consist of cells having a significant degree of translation invariance. Such a "bag of features" representation is useful for the recognition of individual objects; however, it seems unable to explain our ability to parse a scene into multiple objects and to understand their spatial relationships. We…

  18. Neuronal Migration and Neuronal Migration Disorder in Cerebral Cortex

    OpenAIRE

    SUN, Xue-Zhi; TAKAHASHI, Sentaro; GUI, Chun; ZHANG, Rui; KOGA, Kazuo; NOUYE, Minoru; MURATA, Yoshiharu

    2002-01-01

    Neuronal cell migration is one of the most significant features during cortical development. After final mitosis, neurons migrate from the ventricular zone into the cortical plate, and then establish neuronal lamina and settle onto the outermost layer, forming an "inside-out" gradient of maturation. Neuronal migration is guided by radial glial fibers and also needs proper receptors, ligands, and other unknown extracellular factors, requests local signaling (e.g. some emitted by the Cajal-Retz...

  19. Dendrosomatic Sonic Hedgehog Signaling in Hippocampal Neurons Regulates Axon Elongation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petralia, Ronald S.; Ott, Carolyn; Wang, Ya-Xian; Lippincott-Schwartz, Jennifer; Mattson, Mark P.

    2015-01-01

    The presence of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) and its signaling components in the neurons of the hippocampus raises a question about what role the Shh signaling pathway may play in these neurons. We show here that activation of the Shh signaling pathway stimulates axon elongation in rat hippocampal neurons. This Shh-induced effect depends on the pathway transducer Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli1. The axon itself does not respond directly to Shh; instead, the Shh signal transduction originates from the somatodendritic region of the neurons and occurs in neurons with and without detectable primary cilia. Upon Shh stimulation, Smo localization to dendrites increases significantly. Shh pathway activation results in increased levels of profilin1 (Pfn1), an actin-binding protein. Mutations in Pfn1's actin-binding sites or reduction of Pfn1 eliminate the Shh-induced axon elongation. These findings indicate that Shh can regulate axon growth, which may be critical for development of hippocampal neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Although numerous signaling mechanisms have been identified that act directly on axons to regulate their outgrowth, it is not known whether signals transduced in dendrites may also affect axon outgrowth. We describe here a transcellular signaling pathway in embryonic hippocampal neurons in which activation of Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) receptors in dendrites stimulates axon growth. The pathway involves the dendritic-membrane-associated Shh signal transducer Smoothened (Smo) and the transcription factor Gli, which induces the expression of the gene encoding the actin-binding protein profilin 1. Our findings suggest scenarios in which stimulation of Shh in dendrites results in accelerated outgrowth of the axon, which therefore reaches its presumptive postsynaptic target cell more quickly. By this mechanism, Shh may play critical roles in the development of hippocampal neuronal circuits. PMID:26658865

  20. Spatially tuned normalization explains attention modulation variance within neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Amy M; Maunsell, John H R

    2017-09-01

    Spatial attention improves perception of attended parts of a scene, a behavioral enhancement accompanied by modulations of neuronal firing rates. These modulations vary in size across neurons in the same brain area. Models of normalization explain much of this variance in attention modulation with differences in tuned normalization across neurons (Lee J, Maunsell JHR. PLoS One 4: e4651, 2009; Ni AM, Ray S, Maunsell JHR. Neuron 73: 803-813, 2012). However, recent studies suggest that normalization tuning varies with spatial location both across and within neurons (Ruff DA, Alberts JJ, Cohen MR. J Neurophysiol 116: 1375-1386, 2016; Verhoef BE, Maunsell JHR. eLife 5: e17256, 2016). Here we show directly that attention modulation and normalization tuning do in fact covary within individual neurons, in addition to across neurons as previously demonstrated. We recorded the activity of isolated neurons in the middle temporal area of two rhesus monkeys as they performed a change-detection task that controlled the focus of spatial attention. Using the same two drifting Gabor stimuli and the same two receptive field locations for each neuron, we found that switching which stimulus was presented at which location affected both attention modulation and normalization in a correlated way within neurons. We present an equal-maximum-suppression spatially tuned normalization model that explains this covariance both across and within neurons: each stimulus generates equally strong suppression of its own excitatory drive, but its suppression of distant stimuli is typically less. This new model specifies how the tuned normalization associated with each stimulus location varies across space both within and across neurons, changing our understanding of the normalization mechanism and how attention modulations depend on this mechanism. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Tuned normalization studies have demonstrated that the variance in attention modulation size seen across neurons from the same cortical

  1. Orexin receptor activation generates gamma band input to cholinergic and serotonergic arousal system neurons and drives an intrinsic Ca2+-dependent resonance in LDT and PPT cholinergic neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masaru eIshibashi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A hallmark of the waking state is a shift in EEG power to higher frequencies with epochs of synchronized intracortical gamma activity (30-60 Hz - a process associated with high-level cognitive functions. The ascending arousal system, including cholinergic laterodorsal (LDT and pedunculopontine (PPT tegmental neurons and serotonergic dorsal raphe (DR neurons, promotes this state. Recently, this system has been proposed as a gamma wave generator, in part, because some neurons produce high-threshold, Ca2+-dependent oscillations at gamma frequencies. However, it is not known whether arousal-related inputs to these neurons generate such oscillations, or whether such oscillations are ever transmitted to neuronal targets. Since key arousal input arises from hypothalamic orexin (hypocretin neurons, we investigated whether the unusually noisy, depolarizing orexin current could provide significant gamma input to cholinergic and serotonergic neurons, and whether such input could drive Ca2+-dependent oscillations. Whole-cell recordings in brain slices were obtained from mice expressing Cre-induced fluorescence in cholinergic LDT and PPT, and serotonergic DR neurons. After first quantifying reporter expression accuracy in cholinergic and serotonergic neurons, we found that the orexin current produced significant high frequency, including gamma, input to both cholinergic and serotonergic neurons. Then, by using a dynamic clamp, we found that adding a noisy orexin conductance to cholinergic neurons induced a Ca2+-dependent resonance that peaked in the theta and alpha frequency range (4 - 14 Hz and extended up to 100 Hz. We propose that this orexin current noise and the Ca2+ dependent resonance work synergistically to boost the encoding of high-frequency synaptic inputs into action potentials and to help ensure cholinergic neurons fire during EEG activation. This activity could reinforce thalamocortical states supporting arousal, REM sleep and intracortical

  2. The Arabic Diatessaron Project: Digitalizing, Encoding, Lemmatization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuliano Lancioni

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The Arabic Diatessaron Project (henceforth ADP is an international research project in Digital Humanities that aims to collect, digitalise and encode all known manuscripts of the Arabic Diatessaron (henceforth AD, a text that has been relatively neglected in scholarly research. ADP’s final goal is to provide a number of tools that can enable scholars to effectively query, compare and investigate all known variants of the text that will be encoded as far as possible in compliance with the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI guidelines. The paper addresses a number of issues involved in the process of digitalising manuscripts included in the two existing editions (Ciasca 1888 and Marmardji 1935, adding variants in unedited manuscripts, encoding and lemmatising the text. Issues involved in the design of the ADP include presentation of variants, choice of the standard text, applicability of TEI guidelines, automatic translation between different encodings, cross-edition concordances and principles of lemmatisation.

  3. Pattern separation: a common function for new neurons in hippocampus and olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahay, Amar; Wilson, Donald A; Hen, René

    2011-05-26

    While adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) and the dentate gyrus (DG) subregion of the hippocampus have fundamentally different properties, they may have more in common than meets the eye. Here, we propose that new granule cells in the OB and DG may function as modulators of principal neurons to influence pattern separation and that adult neurogenesis constitutes an adaptive mechanism to optimally encode contextual or olfactory information. See the related Perspective from Aimone, Deng, and Gage, "Resolving New Memories: A Critical Look at the Dentate Gyrus, Adult Neurogenesis, and Pattern Separation," in this issue of Neuron. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Glucose-responsive neurons of the paraventricular thalamus control sucrose-seeking behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Labouèbe, Gwenaël; Boutrel, Benjamin; Tarussio, David; Thorens, Bernard

    2016-08-01

    Feeding behavior is governed by homeostatic needs and motivational drive to obtain palatable foods. Here, we identify a population of glutamatergic neurons in the paraventricular thalamus of mice that express the glucose transporter Glut2 (encoded by Slc2a2) and project to the nucleus accumbens. These neurons are activated by hypoglycemia and, in freely moving mice, their activation by optogenetics or Slc2a2 inactivation increases motivated sucrose-seeking but not saccharin-seeking behavior. These neurons may control sugar overconsumption in obesity and diabetes.

  5. Determination of relevant neuron-neuron connections for neural prosthetics using time-delayed mutual information: tutorial and preliminary results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghva, Alexander; Song, Dong; Hampson, Robert E; Deadwyler, Sam A; Berger, Theodore W

    2012-12-01

    Identification of functional dependence among neurons is a necessary component in both the rational design of neural prostheses as well as in the characterization of network physiology. The objective of this article is to provide a tutorial for neurosurgeons regarding information theory, specifically time-delayed mutual information, and to compare time-delayed mutual information, an information theoretic quantity based on statistical dependence, with cross-correlation, a commonly used metric for this task in a preliminary analysis of rat hippocampal neurons. Spike trains were recorded from rats performing delayed nonmatch-to-sample task using an array of electrodes surgically implanted into the hippocampus of each hemisphere of the brain. In addition, spike train simulations of positively correlated neurons, negatively correlated neurons, and neurons correlated by nonlinear functions were generated. These were evaluated by time-delayed mutual information (MI) and cross-correlation. Application of time-delayed MI to experimental data indicated the optimal bin size for information capture in the CA3-CA1 system was 40 ms, which may provide some insight into the spatiotemporal nature of encoding in the rat hippocampus. On simulated data, time-delayed MI showed peak values at appropriate time lags in positively correlated, negatively correlated, and complexly correlated data. Cross-correlation showed peak and troughs with positively correlated and negatively correlated data, but failed to capture some higher order correlations. Comparison of time-delayed MI to cross-correlation in identification of functionally dependent neurons indicates that the methods are not equivalent. Time-delayed MI appeared to capture some interactions between CA3-CA1 neurons at physiologically plausible time delays missed by cross-correlation. It should be considered as a method for identification of functional dependence between neurons and may be useful in the development of neural

  6. Neuronal nets in robotics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jimenez Sanchez, Raul

    1999-01-01

    The paper gives a generic idea of the solutions that the neuronal nets contribute to the robotics. The advantages and the inconveniences are exposed that have regarding the conventional techniques. It also describe the more excellent applications as the pursuit of trajectories, the positioning based on images, the force control or of the mobile robots management, among others

  7. Sound sensitivity of neurons in rat hippocampus during performance of a sound-guided task

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinnik, Ekaterina; Honey, Christian; Schnupp, Jan; Diamond, Mathew E.

    2012-01-01

    To investigate how hippocampal neurons encode sound stimuli, and the conjunction of sound stimuli with the animal's position in space, we recorded from neurons in the CA1 region of hippocampus in rats while they performed a sound discrimination task. Four different sounds were used, two associated with water reward on the right side of the animal and the other two with water reward on the left side. This allowed us to separate neuronal activity related to sound identity from activity related to response direction. To test the effect of spatial context on sound coding, we trained rats to carry out the task on two identical testing platforms at different locations in the same room. Twenty-one percent of the recorded neurons exhibited sensitivity to sound identity, as quantified by the difference in firing rate for the two sounds associated with the same response direction. Sensitivity to sound identity was often observed on only one of the two testing platforms, indicating an effect of spatial context on sensory responses. Forty-three percent of the neurons were sensitive to response direction, and the probability that any one neuron was sensitive to response direction was statistically independent from its sensitivity to sound identity. There was no significant coding for sound identity when the rats heard the same sounds outside the behavioral task. These results suggest that CA1 neurons encode sound stimuli, but only when those sounds are associated with actions. PMID:22219030

  8. Piriform cortical glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons express coordinated plasticity for whisker-induced odor recall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yahui; Gao, Zilong; Chen, Changfeng; Wen, Bo; Huang, Li; Ge, Rongjing; Zhao, Shidi; Fan, Ruichen; Feng, Jing; Lu, Wei; Wang, Liping; Wang, Jin-Hui

    2017-11-10

    Neural plasticity occurs in learning and memory. Coordinated plasticity at glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons during memory formation remains elusive, which we investigate in a mouse model of associative learning by cellular imaging and electrophysiology. Paired odor and whisker stimulations lead to whisker-induced olfaction response. In mice that express this cross-modal memory, the neurons in the piriform cortex are recruited to encode newly acquired whisker signal alongside innate odor signal, and their response patterns to these associated signals are different. There are emerged synaptic innervations from barrel cortical neurons to piriform cortical neurons from these mice. These results indicate the recruitment of associative memory cells in the piriform cortex after associative memory. In terms of the structural and functional plasticity at these associative memory cells in the piriform cortex, glutamatergic neurons and synapses are upregulated, GABAergic neurons and synapses are downregulated as well as their mutual innervations are refined in the coordinated manner. Therefore, the associated activations of sensory cortices triggered by their input signals induce the formation of their mutual synapse innervations, the recruitment of associative memory cells and the coordinated plasticity between the GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons, which work for associative memory cells to encode cross-modal associated signals in their integration, associative storage and distinguishable retrieval.

  9. Inhibitory coherence in a heterogeneous population of subthreshold and suprathreshold type-I neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Sang-Yoon; Hong, Duk-Geun; Kim, Jean; Lim, Woochang

    2012-01-01

    We study inhibitory coherence (i.e. collective coherence by synaptic inhibition) in a population of globally coupled type-I neurons, which can fire at arbitrarily low frequency. No inhibitory coherence is observed in a homogeneous population composed of only subthreshold neurons, which exhibit noise-induced firings. In addition to subthreshold neurons, there exist spontaneously firing suprathreshold neurons in a noisy environment of a real brain. To take into consideration the effect of suprathreshold neurons on inhibitory coherence, we consider a heterogeneous population of subthreshold and suprathreshold neurons and investigate the inhibitory coherence by increasing the fraction of suprathreshold neurons P supra . As P supra passes a threshold P* supra , suprathreshold neurons begin to synchronize and play the role of coherent inhibitors for the emergence of inhibitory coherence. Thus, regularly oscillating population-averaged global potential appears for P supra > P* supra . For this coherent case, suprathreshold neurons exhibit sparse spike synchronization (i.e. individual potentials of suprathreshold neurons consist of coherent sparse spikings and coherent subthreshold small-amplitude hoppings). By virtue of their coherent inhibition, sparsely synchronized suprathreshold neurons suppress the noisy activity of subthreshold neurons. Thus, subthreshold neurons exhibit hopping synchronization (i.e. only coherent subthreshold hopping oscillations without spikings appear in the individual potentials of subthreshold neurons). We also characterize the inhibitory coherence in terms of the ‘statistical-mechanical’ spike-based and correlation-based measures, which quantify the average contributions of the microscopic individual spikes and individual potentials to the macroscopic global potential. Finally, the effect of sparse randomness of synaptic connectivity on the inhibitory coherence is briefly discussed. (paper)

  10. Vasculo-Neuronal Coupling: Retrograde Vascular Communication to Brain Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ki Jung; Ramiro Diaz, Juan; Iddings, Jennifer A; Filosa, Jessica A

    2016-12-14

    Continuous cerebral blood flow is essential for neuronal survival, but whether vascular tone influences resting neuronal function is not known. Using a multidisciplinary approach in both rat and mice brain slices, we determined whether flow/pressure-evoked increases or decreases in parenchymal arteriole vascular tone, which result in arteriole constriction and dilation, respectively, altered resting cortical pyramidal neuron activity. We present evidence for intercellular communication in the brain involving a flow of information from vessel to astrocyte to neuron, a direction opposite to that of classic neurovascular coupling and referred to here as vasculo-neuronal coupling (VNC). Flow/pressure increases within parenchymal arterioles increased vascular tone and simultaneously decreased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. On the other hand, flow/pressure decreases evoke parenchymal arteriole dilation and increased resting pyramidal neuron firing activity. In GLAST-CreERT2; R26-lsl-GCaMP3 mice, we demonstrate that increased parenchymal arteriole tone significantly increased intracellular calcium in perivascular astrocyte processes, the onset of astrocyte calcium changes preceded the inhibition of cortical pyramidal neuronal firing activity. During increases in parenchymal arteriole tone, the pyramidal neuron response was unaffected by blockers of nitric oxide, GABA A , glutamate, or ecto-ATPase. However, VNC was abrogated by TRPV4 channel, GABA B , as well as an adenosine A 1 receptor blocker. Differently to pyramidal neuron responses, increases in flow/pressure within parenchymal arterioles increased the firing activity of a subtype of interneuron. Together, these data suggest that VNC is a complex constitutive active process that enables neurons to efficiently adjust their resting activity according to brain perfusion levels, thus safeguarding cellular homeostasis by preventing mismatches between energy supply and demand. We present evidence for vessel-to-neuron

  11. 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.

  12. Enhanced tactile encoding and memory recognition in congenital blindness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Angiulli, Amedeo; Waraich, Paul

    2002-06-01

    Several behavioural studies have shown that early-blind persons possess superior tactile skills. Since neurophysiological data show that early-blind persons recruit visual as well as somatosensory cortex to carry out tactile processing (cross-modal plasticity), blind persons' sharper tactile skills may be related to cortical re-organisation resulting from loss of vision early in their life. To examine the nature of blind individuals' tactile superiority and its implications for cross-modal plasticity, we compared the tactile performance of congenitally totally blind, low-vision and sighted children on raised-line picture identification test and re-test, assessing effects of task familiarity, exploratory strategy and memory recognition. What distinguished the blind from the other children was higher memory recognition and higher tactile encoding associated with efficient exploration. These results suggest that enhanced perceptual encoding and recognition memory may be two cognitive correlates of cross-modal plasticity in congenital blindness.

  13. Sound Rhythms Are Encoded by Postinhibitory Rebound Spiking in the Superior Paraolivary Nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, Richard A.; Fridberger, Anders; Leijon, Sara; Berrebi, Albert S.; Magnusson, Anna K.

    2013-01-01

    The superior paraolivary nucleus (SPON) is a prominent structure in the auditory brainstem. In contrast to the principal superior olivary nuclei with identified roles in processing binaural sound localization cues, the role of the SPON in hearing is not well understood. A combined in vitro and in vivo approach was used to investigate the cellular properties of SPON neurons in the mouse. Patch-clamp recordings in brain slices revealed that brief and well timed postinhibitory rebound spiking, generated by the interaction of two subthreshold-activated ion currents, is a hallmark of SPON neurons. The Ih current determines the timing of the rebound, whereas the T-type Ca2+ current boosts the rebound to spike threshold. This precisely timed rebound spiking provides a physiological explanation for the sensitivity of SPON neurons to sinusoidally amplitude-modulated (SAM) tones in vivo, where peaks in the sound envelope drive inhibitory inputs and SPON neurons fire action potentials during the waveform troughs. Consistent with this notion, SPON neurons display intrinsic tuning to frequency-modulated sinusoidal currents (1–15Hz) in vitro and discharge with strong synchrony to SAMs with modulation frequencies between 1 and 20 Hz in vivo. The results of this study suggest that the SPON is particularly well suited to encode rhythmic sound patterns. Such temporal periodicity information is likely important for detection of communication cues, such as the acoustic envelopes of animal vocalizations and speech signals. PMID:21880918

  14. Neuronal survival in the brain: neuron type-specific mechanisms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pfisterer, Ulrich Gottfried; Khodosevich, Konstantin

    2017-01-01

    Neurogenic regions of mammalian brain produce many more neurons that will eventually survive and reach a mature stage. Developmental cell death affects both embryonically produced immature neurons and those immature neurons that are generated in regions of adult neurogenesis. Removal of substantial...... numbers of neurons that are not yet completely integrated into the local circuits helps to ensure that maturation and homeostatic function of neuronal networks in the brain proceed correctly. External signals from brain microenvironment together with intrinsic signaling pathways determine whether...... for survival in a certain brain region. This review focuses on how immature neurons survive during normal and impaired brain development, both in the embryonic/neonatal brain and in brain regions associated with adult neurogenesis, and emphasizes neuron type-specific mechanisms that help to survive for various...

  15. Encoding of coordination complexes with XML.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinoth, P; Sankar, P

    2017-09-01

    An in-silico system to encode structure, bonding and properties of coordination complexes is developed. The encoding is achieved through a semantic XML markup frame. Composition of the coordination complexes is captured in terms of central atom and ligands. Structural information of central atom is detailed in terms of electron status of valence electron orbitals. The ligands are encoded with specific reference to the electron environment of ligand centre atoms. Behaviour of ligands to form low or high spin complexes is accomplished by assigning a Ligand Centre Value to every ligand based on the electronic environment of ligand centre atom. Chemical ontologies are used for categorization purpose and to control different hybridization schemes. Complexes formed by the central atoms of transition metal, non-transition elements belonging to s-block, p-block and f-block are encoded with a generic encoding platform. Complexes of homoleptic, heteroleptic and bridged types are also covered by this encoding system. Utility of the encoded system to predict redox electron transfer reaction in the coordination complexes is demonstrated with a simple application. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Mode-locking behavior of Izhikevich neurons under periodic external forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farokhniaee, AmirAli; Large, Edward W.

    2017-06-01

    Many neurons in the auditory system of the brain must encode periodic signals. These neurons under periodic stimulation display rich dynamical states including mode locking and chaotic responses. Periodic stimuli such as sinusoidal waves and amplitude modulated sounds can lead to various forms of n :m mode-locked states, in which a neuron fires n action potentials per m cycles of the stimulus. Here, we study mode-locking in the Izhikevich neurons, a reduced model of the Hodgkin-Huxley neurons. The Izhikevich model is much simpler in terms of the dimension of the coupled nonlinear differential equations compared with other existing models, but excellent for generating the complex spiking patterns observed in real neurons. We obtained the regions of existence of the various mode-locked states on the frequency-amplitude plane, called Arnold tongues, for the Izhikevich neurons. Arnold tongue analysis provides useful insight into the organization of mode-locking behavior of neurons under periodic forcing. We find these tongues for both class-1 and class-2 excitable neurons in both deterministic and noisy regimes.

  17. Determining the Neural Substrate for Encoding a Memory of Human Pain and the Influence of Anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tseng, Ming-Tsung; Kong, Yazhuo; Eippert, Falk; Tracey, Irene

    2017-12-06

    To convert a painful stimulus into a briefly maintainable construct when the painful stimulus is no longer accessible is essential to guide human behavior and avoid dangerous situations. Because of the aversive nature of pain, this encoding process might be influenced by emotional aspects and could thus vary across individuals, but we have yet to understand both the basic underlying neural mechanisms as well as potential interindividual differences. Using fMRI in combination with a delayed-discrimination task in healthy volunteers of both sexes, we discovered that brain regions involved in this working memory encoding process were dissociable according to whether the to-be-remembered stimulus was painful or not, with the medial thalamus and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex encoding painful and the primary somatosensory cortex encoding nonpainful stimuli. Encoding of painful stimuli furthermore significantly enhanced functional connectivity between the thalamus and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). With regards to emotional aspects influencing encoding processes, we observed that more anxious participants showed significant performance advantages when encoding painful stimuli. Importantly, only during the encoding of pain, the interindividual differences in anxiety were associated with the strength of coupling between medial thalamus and mPFC, which was furthermore related to activity in the amygdala. These results indicate not only that there is a distinct signature for the encoding of a painful experience in humans, but also that this encoding process involves a strong affective component. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT To convert the sensation of pain into a briefly maintainable construct is essential to guide human behavior and avoid dangerous situations. Although this working memory encoding process is implicitly contained in the majority of studies, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. Using fMRI in a delayed-discrimination task, we found that the

  18. Channel noise effects on first spike latency of a stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley neuron

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maisel, Brenton; Lindenberg, Katja

    2017-02-01

    While it is widely accepted that information is encoded in neurons via action potentials or spikes, it is far less understood what specific features of spiking contain encoded information. Experimental evidence has suggested that the timing of the first spike may be an energy-efficient coding mechanism that contains more neural information than subsequent spikes. Therefore, the biophysical features of neurons that underlie response latency are of considerable interest. Here we examine the effects of channel noise on the first spike latency of a Hodgkin-Huxley neuron receiving random input from many other neurons. Because the principal feature of a Hodgkin-Huxley neuron is the stochastic opening and closing of channels, the fluctuations in the number of open channels lead to fluctuations in the membrane voltage and modify the timing of the first spike. Our results show that when a neuron has a larger number of channels, (i) the occurrence of the first spike is delayed and (ii) the variation in the first spike timing is greater. We also show that the mean, median, and interquartile range of first spike latency can be accurately predicted from a simple linear regression by knowing only the number of channels in the neuron and the rate at which presynaptic neurons fire, but the standard deviation (i.e., neuronal jitter) cannot be predicted using only this information. We then compare our results to another commonly used stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley model and show that the more commonly used model overstates the first spike latency but can predict the standard deviation of first spike latencies accurately. We end by suggesting a more suitable definition for the neuronal jitter based upon our simulations and comparison of the two models.

  19. Encoding entanglement-assisted quantum stabilizer codes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Yun-Jiang; Bai Bao-Ming; Li Zhuo; Xiao He-Ling; Peng Jin-Ye

    2012-01-01

    We address the problem of encoding entanglement-assisted (EA) quantum error-correcting codes (QECCs) and of the corresponding complexity. We present an iterative algorithm from which a quantum circuit composed of CNOT, H, and S gates can be derived directly with complexity O(n 2 ) to encode the qubits being sent. Moreover, we derive the number of each gate consumed in our algorithm according to which we can design EA QECCs with low encoding complexity. Another advantage brought by our algorithm is the easiness and efficiency of programming on classical computers. (general)

  20. 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.

  1. Beyond the frontiers of neuronal types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, Demian; Karagiannis, Anastassios; Gallopin, Thierry; Gutch, Harold W.; Cauli, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Cortical neurons and, particularly, inhibitory interneurons display a large diversity of morphological, synaptic, electrophysiological, and molecular properties, as well as diverse embryonic origins. Various authors have proposed alternative classification schemes that rely on the concomitant observation of several multimodal features. However, a broad variability is generally observed even among cells that are grouped into a same class. Furthermore, the attribution of specific neurons to a single defined class is often difficult, because individual properties vary in a highly graded fashion, suggestive of continua of features between types. Going beyond the description of representative traits of distinct classes, we focus here on the analysis of atypical cells. We introduce a novel paradigm for neuronal type classification, assuming explicitly the existence of a structured continuum of diversity. Our approach, grounded on the theory of fuzzy sets, identifies a small optimal number of model archetypes. At the same time, it quantifies the degree of similarity between these archetypes and each considered neuron. This allows highlighting archetypal cells, which bear a clear similarity to a single model archetype, and edge cells, which manifest a convergence of traits from multiple archetypes. PMID:23403725

  2. Beyond the frontiers of neuronal types

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Demian eBattaglia

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Cortical neurons and, particularly, inhibitory interneurons display a large diversity of morphological, synaptic, electrophysiological and molecular properties, as well as diverse embryonic origins. Various authors have proposed alternative classification schemes that rely on the concomitant observation of several multimodal features. However, a broad variability is generally observed even among cells that are grouped into a same class. Furthermore, the attribution of specific neurons to a single defined class is often difficult, because individual properties vary in a highly graded fashion, suggestive of continua of features between types. Going beyond the description of representative traits of distinct classes, we focus here on the analysis of atypical cells. We introduce a novel paradigm for neuronal type classification, assuming explicitly the existence of a structured continuum of diversity. Our approach, grounded on the theory of fuzzy sets, identifies a small optimal number of model archetypes. At the same time, it quantifies the degree of similarity between these archetypes and each considered neuron. This allows highlighting archetypal cells, which bear a clear similarity to a single model archetype, and edge cells, which manifest a convergence of traits from multiple archetypes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-30

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

  4. Differential encoding of factors influencing predicted reward value in monkey rostral anterior cingulate cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toda, Koji; Sugase-Miyamoto, Yasuko; Mizuhiki, Takashi; Inaba, Kiyonori; Richmond, Barry J; Shidara, Munetaka

    2012-01-01

    The value of a predicted reward can be estimated based on the conjunction of both the intrinsic reward value and the length of time to obtain it. The question we addressed is how the two aspects, reward size and proximity to reward, influence the responses of neurons in rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC), a brain region thought to play an important role in reward processing. We recorded from single neurons while two monkeys performed a multi-trial reward schedule task. The monkeys performed 1-4 sequential color discrimination trials to obtain a reward of 1-3 liquid drops. There were two task conditions, a valid cue condition, where the number of trials and reward amount were associated with visual cues, and a random cue condition, where the cue was picked from the cue set at random. In the valid cue condition, the neuronal firing is strongly modulated by the predicted reward proximity during the trials. Information about the predicted reward amount is almost absent at those times. In substantial subpopulations, the neuronal responses decreased or increased gradually through schedule progress to the predicted outcome. These two gradually modulating signals could be used to calculate the effect of time on the perception of reward value. In the random cue condition, little information about the reward proximity or reward amount is encoded during the course of the trial before reward delivery, but when the reward is actually delivered the responses reflect both the reward proximity and reward amount. Our results suggest that the rACC neurons encode information about reward proximity and amount in a manner that is dependent on utility of reward information. The manner in which the information is represented could be used in the moment-to-moment calculation of the effect of time and amount on predicted outcome value.

  5. Spiking, Bursting, and Population Dynamics in a Network of Growth Transform Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gangopadhyay, Ahana; Chakrabartty, Shantanu

    2017-04-27

    This paper investigates the dynamical properties of a network of neurons, each of which implements an asynchronous mapping based on polynomial growth transforms. In the first part of this paper, we present a geometric approach for visualizing the dynamics of the network where each of the neurons traverses a trajectory in a dual optimization space, whereas the network itself traverses a trajectory in an equivalent primal optimization space. We show that as the network learns to solve basic classification tasks, different choices of primal-dual mapping produce unique but interpretable neural dynamics like noise shaping, spiking, and bursting. While the proposed framework is general enough, in this paper, we demonstrate its use for designing support vector machines (SVMs) that exhibit noise-shaping properties similar to those of ΣΔ modulators, and for designing SVMs that learn to encode information using spikes and bursts. It is demonstrated that the emergent switching, spiking, and burst dynamics produced by each neuron encodes its respective margin of separation from a classification hyperplane whose parameters are encoded by the network population dynamics. We believe that the proposed growth transform neuron model and the underlying geometric framework could serve as an important tool to connect well-established machine learning algorithms like SVMs to neuromorphic principles like spiking, bursting, population encoding, and noise shaping.

  6. The effect of noise correlations in populations of diversely tuned neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecker, Alexander S; Berens, Philipp; Tolias, Andreas S; Bethge, Matthias

    2011-10-05

    The amount of information encoded by networks of neurons critically depends on the correlation structure of their activity. Neurons with similar stimulus preferences tend to have higher noise correlations than others. In homogeneous populations of neurons, this limited range correlation structure is highly detrimental to the accuracy of a population code. Therefore, reduced spike count correlations under attention, after adaptation, or after learning have been interpreted as evidence for a more efficient population code. Here, we analyze the role of limited range correlations in more realistic, heterogeneous population models. We use Fisher information and maximum-likelihood decoding to show that reduced correlations do not necessarily improve encoding accuracy. In fact, in populations with more than a few hundred neurons, increasing the level of limited range correlations can substantially improve encoding accuracy. We found that this improvement results from a decrease in noise entropy that is associated with increasing correlations if the marginal distributions are unchanged. Surprisingly, for constant noise entropy and in the limit of large populations, the encoding accuracy is independent of both structure and magnitude of noise correlations.

  7. From rule to response: neuronal processes in the premotor and prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, Jonathan D; Miller, Earl K

    2003-09-01

    The ability to use abstract rules or principles allows behavior to generalize from specific circumstances (e.g., rules learned in a specific restaurant can subsequently be applied to any dining experience). Neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) encode such rules. However, to guide behavior, rules must be linked to motor responses. We investigated the neuronal mechanisms underlying this process by recording from the PFC and the premotor cortex (PMC) of monkeys trained to use two abstract rules: "same" or "different." The monkeys had to either hold or release a lever, depending on whether two successively presented pictures were the same or different, and depending on which rule was in effect. The abstract rules were represented in both regions, although they were more prevalent and were encoded earlier and more strongly in the PMC. There was a perceptual bias in the PFC, relative to the PMC, with more PFC neurons encoding the presented pictures. In contrast, neurons encoding the behavioral response were more prevalent in the PMC, and the selectivity was stronger and appeared earlier in the PMC than in the PFC.

  8. The UNC-4 homeobox protein represses mab-9 expression in DA motor neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jafari, Gholamali; Appleford, Peter J; Seago, Julian

    2011-01-01

    , an RNAi screen designed to identify upstream transcriptional regulators of mab-9 showed that silencing of unc-4 (encoding a paired-class homeodomain protein) increases mab-9::gfp expression in the nervous system, specifically in posterior DA motor neurons. Over-expression of unc-4 from a heat...

  9. Neuronal synchrony: peculiarity and generality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowotny, Thomas; Huerta, Ramon; Rabinovich, Mikhail I

    2008-09-01

    Synchronization in neuronal systems is a new and intriguing application of dynamical systems theory. Why are neuronal systems different as a subject for synchronization? (1) Neurons in themselves are multidimensional nonlinear systems that are able to exhibit a wide variety of different activity patterns. Their "dynamical repertoire" includes regular or chaotic spiking, regular or chaotic bursting, multistability, and complex transient regimes. (2) Usually, neuronal oscillations are the result of the cooperative activity of many synaptically connected neurons (a neuronal circuit). Thus, it is necessary to consider synchronization between different neuronal circuits as well. (3) The synapses that implement the coupling between neurons are also dynamical elements and their intrinsic dynamics influences the process of synchronization or entrainment significantly. In this review we will focus on four new problems: (i) the synchronization in minimal neuronal networks with plastic synapses (synchronization with activity dependent coupling), (ii) synchronization of bursts that are generated by a group of nonsymmetrically coupled inhibitory neurons (heteroclinic synchronization), (iii) the coordination of activities of two coupled neuronal networks (partial synchronization of small composite structures), and (iv) coarse grained synchronization in larger systems (synchronization on a mesoscopic scale). (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics.

  10. Distinct medial temporal networks encode surprise during motivation by reward versus punishment

    OpenAIRE

    Murty, Vishnu P.; LaBar, Kevin S.; Adcock, R. Alison

    2016-01-01

    Adaptive motivated behavior requires predictive internal representations of the environment, and surprising events are indications for encoding new representations of the environment. The medial temporal lobe memory system, including the hippocampus and surrounding cortex, encodes surprising events and is influenced by motivational state. Because behavior reflects the goals of an individual, we investigated whether motivational valence (i.e., pursuing rewards versus avoiding punishments) also...

  11. Neuronal coupling by endogenous electric fields: cable theory and applications to coincidence detector neurons in the auditory brain stem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldwyn, Joshua H; Rinzel, John

    2016-04-01

    The ongoing activity of neurons generates a spatially and time-varying field of extracellular voltage (Ve). This Ve field reflects population-level neural activity, but does it modulate neural dynamics and the function of neural circuits? We provide a cable theory framework to study how a bundle of model neurons generates Ve and how this Ve feeds back and influences membrane potential (Vm). We find that these "ephaptic interactions" are small but not negligible. The model neural population can generate Ve with millivolt-scale amplitude, and this Ve perturbs the Vm of "nearby" cables and effectively increases their electrotonic length. After using passive cable theory to systematically study ephaptic coupling, we explore a test case: the medial superior olive (MSO) in the auditory brain stem. The MSO is a possible locus of ephaptic interactions: sounds evoke large (millivolt scale)Vein vivo in this nucleus. The Ve response is thought to be generated by MSO neurons that perform a known neuronal computation with submillisecond temporal precision (coincidence detection to encode sound source location). Using a biophysically based model of MSO neurons, we find millivolt-scale ephaptic interactions consistent with the passive cable theory results. These subtle membrane potential perturbations induce changes in spike initiation threshold, spike time synchrony, and time difference sensitivity. These results suggest that ephaptic coupling may influence MSO function. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  12. From Neurons to Newtons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Bjørn Gilbert

    2001-01-01

    proteins generate forces, to the macroscopic levels where overt arm movements are vol- untarily controlled within an unpredictable environment by legions of neurons¯ring in orderly fashion. An extensive computer simulation system has been developed for this thesis, which at present contains a neural...... network scripting language for specifying arbitrary neural architectures, de¯nition ¯les for detailed spinal networks, various biologically realistic models of neurons, and dynamic synapses. Also included are structurally accurate models of intrafusal and extra-fusal muscle ¯bers and a general body...... that an explicit function may be derived which expresses the force that the spindle contractile elements must produce to exactly counter spindle unloading during muscle shortening. This information was used to calculate the corresponding "optimal" °-motoneuronal activity level. For some simple arm movement tasks...

  13. Chemical Space of DNA-Encoded Libraries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franzini, Raphael M; Randolph, Cassie

    2016-07-28

    In recent years, DNA-encoded chemical libraries (DECLs) have attracted considerable attention as a potential discovery tool in drug development. Screening encoded libraries may offer advantages over conventional hit discovery approaches and has the potential to complement such methods in pharmaceutical research. As a result of the increased application of encoded libraries in drug discovery, a growing number of hit compounds are emerging in scientific literature. In this review we evaluate reported encoded library-derived structures and identify general trends of these compounds in relation to library design parameters. We in particular emphasize the combinatorial nature of these libraries. Generally, the reported molecules demonstrate the ability of this technology to afford hits suitable for further lead development, and on the basis of them, we derive guidelines for DECL design.

  14. Encoding information using laguerre gaussian modes

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Trichili, A

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The authors experimentally demonstrate an information encoding protocol using the two degrees of freedom of Laguerre Gaussian modes having different radial and azimuthal components. A novel method, based on digital holography, for information...

  15. Molecular mechanisms for protein-encoded inheritance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiltzius, Jed J. W.; Landau, Meytal; Nelson, Rebecca; Sawaya, Michael R.; Apostol, Marcin I.; Goldschmidt, Lukasz; Soriaga, Angela B.; Cascio, Duilio; Rajashankar, Kanagalaghatta; Eisenberg, David

    2013-01-01

    Strains are phenotypic variants, encoded by nucleic acid sequences in chromosomal inheritance and by protein “conformations” in prion inheritance and transmission. But how is a protein “conformation” stable enough to endure transmission between cells or organisms? Here new polymorphic crystal structures of segments of prion and other amyloid proteins offer structural mechanisms for prion strains. In packing polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by alternative packings (polymorphs) of β-sheets formed by the same segment of a protein; in a second mechanism, segmental polymorphism, prion strains are encoded by distinct β-sheets built from different segments of a protein. Both forms of polymorphism can produce enduring “conformations,” capable of encoding strains. These molecular mechanisms for transfer of information into prion strains share features with the familiar mechanism for transfer of information by nucleic acid inheritance, including sequence specificity and recognition by non-covalent bonds. PMID:19684598

  16. Amygdala Contributions to Stimulus–Reward Encoding in the Macaque Medial and Orbital Frontal Cortex during Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Averbeck, Bruno B.

    2017-01-01

    Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala mediate stimulus–reward learning, but the mechanisms through which they interact are unclear. Here, we investigated how neurons in macaque OFC and MFC signaled rewards and the stimuli that predicted them during learning with and without amygdala input. Macaques performed a task that required them to evaluate two stimuli and then choose one to receive the reward associated with that option. Four main findings emerged. First, amygdala lesions slowed the acquisition and use of stimulus–reward associations. Further analyses indicated that this impairment was due, at least in part, to ineffective use of negative feedback to guide subsequent decisions. Second, the activity of neurons in OFC and MFC rapidly evolved to encode the amount of reward associated with each stimulus. Third, amygdalectomy reduced encoding of stimulus–reward associations during the evaluation of different stimuli. Reward encoding of anticipated and received reward after choices were made was not altered. Fourth, amygdala lesions led to an increase in the proportion of neurons in MFC, but not OFC, that encoded the instrumental response that monkeys made on each trial. These correlated changes in behavior and neural activity after amygdala lesions strongly suggest that the amygdala contributes to the ability to learn stimulus–reward associations rapidly by shaping encoding within OFC and MFC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered functional interactions among orbital frontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala are thought to underlie several psychiatric conditions, many related to reward learning. Here, we investigated the causal contribution of the amygdala to the development of neuronal activity in macaque OFC and MFC related to rewards and the stimuli that predict them during learning. Without amygdala inputs, neurons in both OFC and MFC showed decreased encoding of stimulus–reward associations. MFC also

  17. Amygdala Contributions to Stimulus-Reward Encoding in the Macaque Medial and Orbital Frontal Cortex during Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudebeck, Peter H; Ripple, Joshua A; Mitz, Andrew R; Averbeck, Bruno B; Murray, Elisabeth A

    2017-02-22

    Orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala mediate stimulus-reward learning, but the mechanisms through which they interact are unclear. Here, we investigated how neurons in macaque OFC and MFC signaled rewards and the stimuli that predicted them during learning with and without amygdala input. Macaques performed a task that required them to evaluate two stimuli and then choose one to receive the reward associated with that option. Four main findings emerged. First, amygdala lesions slowed the acquisition and use of stimulus-reward associations. Further analyses indicated that this impairment was due, at least in part, to ineffective use of negative feedback to guide subsequent decisions. Second, the activity of neurons in OFC and MFC rapidly evolved to encode the amount of reward associated with each stimulus. Third, amygdalectomy reduced encoding of stimulus-reward associations during the evaluation of different stimuli. Reward encoding of anticipated and received reward after choices were made was not altered. Fourth, amygdala lesions led to an increase in the proportion of neurons in MFC, but not OFC, that encoded the instrumental response that monkeys made on each trial. These correlated changes in behavior and neural activity after amygdala lesions strongly suggest that the amygdala contributes to the ability to learn stimulus-reward associations rapidly by shaping encoding within OFC and MFC. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Altered functional interactions among orbital frontal cortex (OFC), medial frontal cortex (MFC), and amygdala are thought to underlie several psychiatric conditions, many related to reward learning. Here, we investigated the causal contribution of the amygdala to the development of neuronal activity in macaque OFC and MFC related to rewards and the stimuli that predict them during learning. Without amygdala inputs, neurons in both OFC and MFC showed decreased encoding of stimulus-reward associations. MFC also showed

  18. The Biological Basis of Learning and Individuality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kandel, Eric R.; Hawkins, Robert D.

    1992-01-01

    Describes the biological basis of learning and individuality. Presents an overview of recent discoveries that suggest learning engages a simple set of rules that modify the strength of connection between neurons in the brain. The changes are cited as playing an important role in making each individual unique. (MCO)

  19. Stochastic resonance in models of neuronal ensembles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chialvo, D.R.; Longtin, A.; Mueller-Gerkin, J.

    1997-01-01

    Two recently suggested mechanisms for the neuronal encoding of sensory information involving the effect of stochastic resonance with aperiodic time-varying inputs are considered. It is shown, using theoretical arguments and numerical simulations, that the nonmonotonic behavior with increasing noise of the correlation measures used for the so-called aperiodic stochastic resonance (ASR) scenario does not rely on the cooperative effect typical of stochastic resonance in bistable and excitable systems. Rather, ASR with slowly varying signals is more properly interpreted as linearization by noise. Consequently, the broadening of the open-quotes resonance curveclose quotes in the multineuron stochastic resonance without tuning scenario can also be explained by this linearization. Computation of the input-output correlation as a function of both signal frequency and noise for the model system further reveals conditions where noise-induced firing with aperiodic inputs will benefit from stochastic resonance rather than linearization by noise. Thus, our study clarifies the tuning requirements for the optimal transduction of subthreshold aperiodic signals. It also shows that a single deterministic neuron can perform as well as a network when biased into a suprathreshold regime. Finally, we show that the inclusion of a refractory period in the spike-detection scheme produces a better correlation between instantaneous firing rate and input signal. copyright 1997 The American Physical Society

  20. Quantum Logical Operations on Encoded Qubits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zurek, W.H.; Laflamme, R.

    1996-01-01

    We show how to carry out quantum logical operations (controlled-not and Toffoli gates) on encoded qubits for several encodings which protect against various 1-bit errors. This improves the reliability of these operations by allowing one to correct for 1-bit errors which either preexisted or occurred in the course of operation. The logical operations we consider allow one to carry out the vast majority of the steps in the quantum factoring algorithm. copyright 1996 The American Physical Society

  1. Using XML to encode TMA DES metadata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver Lyttleton

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Tissue Microarray Data Exchange Specification (TMA DES is an XML specification for encoding TMA experiment data. While TMA DES data is encoded in XML, the files that describe its syntax, structure, and semantics are not. The DTD format is used to describe the syntax and structure of TMA DES, and the ISO 11179 format is used to define the semantics of TMA DES. However, XML Schema can be used in place of DTDs, and another XML encoded format, RDF, can be used in place of ISO 11179. Encoding all TMA DES data and metadata in XML would simplify the development and usage of programs which validate and parse TMA DES data. XML Schema has advantages over DTDs such as support for data types, and a more powerful means of specifying constraints on data values. An advantage of RDF encoded in XML over ISO 11179 is that XML defines rules for encoding data, whereas ISO 11179 does not. Materials and Methods: We created an XML Schema version of the TMA DES DTD. We wrote a program that converted ISO 11179 definitions to RDF encoded in XML, and used it to convert the TMA DES ISO 11179 definitions to RDF. Results: We validated a sample TMA DES XML file that was supplied with the publication that originally specified TMA DES using our XML Schema. We successfully validated the RDF produced by our ISO 11179 converter with the W3C RDF validation service. Conclusions: All TMA DES data could be encoded using XML, which simplifies its processing. XML Schema allows datatypes and valid value ranges to be specified for CDEs, which enables a wider range of error checking to be performed using XML Schemas than could be performed using DTDs.

  2. Using XML to encode TMA DES metadata.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyttleton, Oliver; Wright, Alexander; Treanor, Darren; Lewis, Paul

    2011-01-01

    The Tissue Microarray Data Exchange Specification (TMA DES) is an XML specification for encoding TMA experiment data. While TMA DES data is encoded in XML, the files that describe its syntax, structure, and semantics are not. The DTD format is used to describe the syntax and structure of TMA DES, and the ISO 11179 format is used to define the semantics of TMA DES. However, XML Schema can be used in place of DTDs, and another XML encoded format, RDF, can be used in place of ISO 11179. Encoding all TMA DES data and metadata in XML would simplify the development and usage of programs which validate and parse TMA DES data. XML Schema has advantages over DTDs such as support for data types, and a more powerful means of specifying constraints on data values. An advantage of RDF encoded in XML over ISO 11179 is that XML defines rules for encoding data, whereas ISO 11179 does not. We created an XML Schema version of the TMA DES DTD. We wrote a program that converted ISO 11179 definitions to RDF encoded in XML, and used it to convert the TMA DES ISO 11179 definitions to RDF. We validated a sample TMA DES XML file that was supplied with the publication that originally specified TMA DES using our XML Schema. We successfully validated the RDF produced by our ISO 11179 converter with the W3C RDF validation service. All TMA DES data could be encoded using XML, which simplifies its processing. XML Schema allows datatypes and valid value ranges to be specified for CDEs, which enables a wider range of error checking to be performed using XML Schemas than could be performed using DTDs.

  3. Using XML to encode TMA DES metadata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyttleton, Oliver; Wright, Alexander; Treanor, Darren; Lewis, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Background: The Tissue Microarray Data Exchange Specification (TMA DES) is an XML specification for encoding TMA experiment data. While TMA DES data is encoded in XML, the files that describe its syntax, structure, and semantics are not. The DTD format is used to describe the syntax and structure of TMA DES, and the ISO 11179 format is used to define the semantics of TMA DES. However, XML Schema can be used in place of DTDs, and another XML encoded format, RDF, can be used in place of ISO 11179. Encoding all TMA DES data and metadata in XML would simplify the development and usage of programs which validate and parse TMA DES data. XML Schema has advantages over DTDs such as support for data types, and a more powerful means of specifying constraints on data values. An advantage of RDF encoded in XML over ISO 11179 is that XML defines rules for encoding data, whereas ISO 11179 does not. Materials and Methods: We created an XML Schema version of the TMA DES DTD. We wrote a program that converted ISO 11179 definitions to RDF encoded in XML, and used it to convert the TMA DES ISO 11179 definitions to RDF. Results: We validated a sample TMA DES XML file that was supplied with the publication that originally specified TMA DES using our XML Schema. We successfully validated the RDF produced by our ISO 11179 converter with the W3C RDF validation service. Conclusions: All TMA DES data could be encoded using XML, which simplifies its processing. XML Schema allows datatypes and valid value ranges to be specified for CDEs, which enables a wider range of error checking to be performed using XML Schemas than could be performed using DTDs. PMID:21969921

  4. Single-Cell Gene Expression Analysis of Cholinergic Neurons in the Arcuate Nucleus of the Hypothalamus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jae Hoon Jeong

    Full Text Available The cholinoceptive system in the hypothalamus, in particular in the arcuate nucleus (ARC, plays a role in regulating food intake. Neurons in the ARC contain multiple neuropeptides, amines, and neurotransmitters. To study molecular and neurochemical heterogeneity of ARC neurons, we combine single-cell qRT-PCR and single-cell whole transcriptome amplification methods to analyze expression patterns of our hand-picked 60 genes in individual neurons in the ARC. Immunohistochemical and single-cell qRT-PCR analyses show choline acetyltransferase (ChAT-expressing neurons in the ARC. Gene expression patterns are remarkably distinct in each individual cholinergic neuron. Two-thirds of cholinergic neurons express tyrosine hydroxylase (Th mRNA. A large subset of these Th-positive cholinergic neurons is GABAergic as they express the GABA synthesizing enzyme glutamate decarboxylase and vesicular GABA transporter transcripts. Some cholinergic neurons also express the vesicular glutamate transporter transcript gene. POMC and POMC-processing enzyme transcripts are found in a subpopulation of cholinergic neurons. Despite this heterogeneity, gene expression patterns in individual cholinergic cells appear to be highly regulated in a cell-specific manner. In fact, membrane receptor transcripts are clustered with their respective intracellular signaling and downstream targets. This novel population of cholinergic neurons may be part of the neural circuitries that detect homeostatic need for food and control the drive to eat.

  5. Phase-locking and chaos in a silent Hodgkin-Huxley neuron exposed to sinusoidal electric field

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Che Yanqiu; Wang Jiang; Si Wenjie; Fei Xiangyang

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal firing patterns are related to the information processing in neural system. This paper investigates the response characteristics of a silent Hodgkin-Huxley neuron to the stimulation of externally-applied sinusoidal electric field. The neuron exhibits both p:q phase-locked (i.e. a periodic oscillation defined as p action potentials generated by q cycle stimulations) and chaotic behaviors, depending on the values of stimulus frequencies and amplitudes. In one-parameter space, a rich bifurcation structure including period-adding without chaos and phase-locking alternated with chaos suggests frequency discrimination of the neuronal firing patterns. Furthermore, by mapping out Arnold tongues, we partition the amplitude-frequency parameter space in terms of the qualitative behaviors of the neuron. Thus the neuron's information (firing patterns) encodes the stimulus information (amplitude and frequency), and vice versa

  6. Statistical learning of recurring sound patterns encodes auditory objects in songbird forebrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Kai; Vicario, David S

    2014-10-07

    Auditory neurophysiology has demonstrated how basic acoustic features are mapped in the brain, but it is still not clear how multiple sound components are integrated over time and recognized as an object. We investigated the role of statistical learning in encoding the sequential features of complex sounds by recording neuronal responses bilaterally in the auditory forebrain of awake songbirds that were passively exposed to long sound streams. These streams contained sequential regularities, and were similar to streams used in human infants to demonstrate statistical learning for speech sounds. For stimulus patterns with contiguous transitions and with nonadjacent elements, single and multiunit responses reflected neuronal discrimination of the familiar patterns from novel patterns. In addition, discrimination of nonadjacent patterns was stronger in the right hemisphere than in the left, and may reflect an effect of top-down modulation that is lateralized. Responses to recurring patterns showed stimulus-specific adaptation, a sparsening of neural activity that may contribute to encoding invariants in the sound stream and that appears to increase coding efficiency for the familiar stimuli across the population of neurons recorded. As auditory information about the world must be received serially over time, recognition of complex auditory objects may depend on this type of mnemonic process to create and differentiate representations of recently heard sounds.

  7. Dynamic state estimation based on Poisson spike trains—towards a theory of optimal encoding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Susemihl, Alex; Opper, Manfred; Meir, Ron

    2013-01-01

    Neurons in the nervous system convey information to higher brain regions by the generation of spike trains. An important question in the field of computational neuroscience is how these sensory neurons encode environmental information in a way which may be simply analyzed by subsequent systems. Many aspects of the form and function of the nervous system have been understood using the concepts of optimal population coding. Most studies, however, have neglected the aspect of temporal coding. Here we address this shortcoming through a filtering theory of inhomogeneous Poisson processes. We derive exact relations for the minimal mean squared error of the optimal Bayesian filter and, by optimizing the encoder, obtain optimal codes for populations of neurons. We also show that a class of non-Markovian, smooth stimuli are amenable to the same treatment, and provide results for the filtering and prediction error which hold for a general class of stochastic processes. This sets a sound mathematical framework for a population coding theory that takes temporal aspects into account. It also formalizes a number of studies which discussed temporal aspects of coding using time-window paradigms, by stating them in terms of correlation times and firing rates. We propose that this kind of analysis allows for a systematic study of temporal coding and will bring further insights into the nature of the neural code. (paper)

  8. The Limited Utility of Multiunit Data in Differentiating Neuronal Population Activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corey J Keller

    Full Text Available To date, single neuron recordings remain the gold standard for monitoring the activity of neuronal populations. Since obtaining single neuron recordings is not always possible, high frequency or 'multiunit activity' (MUA is often used as a surrogate. Although MUA recordings allow one to monitor the activity of a large number of neurons, they do not allow identification of specific neuronal subtypes, the knowledge of which is often critical for understanding electrophysiological processes. Here, we explored whether prior knowledge of the single unit waveform of specific neuron types is sufficient to permit the use of MUA to monitor and distinguish differential activity of individual neuron types. We used an experimental and modeling approach to determine if components of the MUA can monitor medium spiny neurons (MSNs and fast-spiking interneurons (FSIs in the mouse dorsal striatum. We demonstrate that when well-isolated spikes are recorded, the MUA at frequencies greater than 100Hz is correlated with single unit spiking, highly dependent on the waveform of each neuron type, and accurately reflects the timing and spectral signature of each neuron. However, in the absence of well-isolated spikes (the norm in most MUA recordings, the MUA did not typically contain sufficient information to permit accurate prediction of the respective population activity of MSNs and FSIs. Thus, even under ideal conditions for the MUA to reliably predict the moment-to-moment activity of specific local neuronal ensembles, knowledge of the spike waveform of the underlying neuronal populations is necessary, but not sufficient.

  9. Impaired odour discrimination on desynchronization of odour-encoding neural assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stopfer, Mark; Bhagavan, Seetha; Smith, Brian H.; Laurent, Gilles

    1997-11-01

    Stimulus-evoked oscillatory synchronization of neural assemblies has been described in the olfactory and visual systems of several vertebrates and invertebrates. In locusts, information about odour identity is contained in the timing of action potentials in an oscillatory population response, suggesting that oscillations may reflect a common reference for messages encoded in time. Although the stimulus-evoked oscillatory phenomenon is reliable, its roles in sensation, perception, memory formation and pattern recognition remain to be demonstrated - a task requiring a behavioural paradigm. Using honeybees, we now demonstrate that odour encoding involves, as it does in locusts, the oscillatory synchronization of assemblies of projection neurons and that this synchronization is also selectively abolished by picrotoxin, an antagonist of the GABAA (γ-aminobutyric acid) receptor. By using a behavioural learning paradigm, we show that picrotoxin-induced desynchronization impairs the discrimination of molecularly similar odorants, but not that of dissimilar odorants. It appears, therefore, that oscillatory synchronization of neuronal assemblies is functionally relevant, and essential for fine sensory discrimination. This suggests that oscillatory synchronization and the kind of temporal encoding it affords provide an additional dimension by which the brain could segment spatially overlapping stimulus representations.

  10. Dopamine suppresses neuronal activity of Helisoma B5 neurons via a D2-like receptor, activating PLC and K channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, L R; Artinian, L; Rehder, V

    2013-01-03

    Dopamine (DA) plays fundamental roles as a neurotransmitter and neuromodulator in the central nervous system. How DA modulates the electrical excitability of individual neurons to elicit various behaviors is of great interest in many systems. The buccal ganglion of the freshwater pond snail Helisoma trivolvis contains the neuronal circuitry for feeding and DA is known to modulate the feeding motor program in Helisoma. The buccal neuron B5 participates in the control of gut contractile activity and is surrounded by dopaminergic processes, which are expected to release DA. In order to study whether DA modulates the electrical activity of individual B5 neurons, we performed experiments on physically isolated B5 neurons in culture and on B5 neurons within the buccal ganglion in situ. We report that DA application elicited a strong hyperpolarization in both conditions and turned the electrical activity from a spontaneously firing state to an electrically silent state. Using the cell culture system, we demonstrated that the strong hyperpolarization was inhibited by the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride and the phospholipase C (PLC) inhibitor U73122, indicating that DA affected the membrane potential of B5 neurons through the activation of a D2-like receptor and PLC. Further studies revealed that the DA-induced hyperpolarization was inhibited by the K channel blockers 4-aminopyridine and tetraethylammonium, suggesting that K channels might serve as the ultimate target of DA signaling. Through its modulatory effect on the electrical activity of B5 neurons, the release of DA in vivo may contribute to a neuronal output that results in a variable feeding motor program. Copyright © 2012 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. A network of spiking neurons that can represent interval timing: mean field analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavornik, Jeffrey P; Shouval, Harel Z

    2011-04-01

    Despite the vital importance of our ability to accurately process and encode temporal information, the underlying neural mechanisms are largely unknown. We have previously described a theoretical framework that explains how temporal representations, similar to those reported in the visual cortex, can form in locally recurrent cortical networks as a function of reward modulated synaptic plasticity. This framework allows networks of both linear and spiking neurons to learn the temporal interval between a stimulus and paired reward signal presented during training. Here we use a mean field approach to analyze the dynamics of non-linear stochastic spiking neurons in a network trained to encode specific time intervals. This analysis explains how recurrent excitatory feedback allows a network structure to encode temporal representations.

  12. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M; Hegeman, Daniel J; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A; Fiske, Michael P; Glajch, Kelly E; Pitt, Jason E; Huang, Tina Y; Justice, Nicholas J; Chan, C Savio

    2015-08-26

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping expression of the

  13. Parvalbumin+ Neurons and Npas1+ Neurons Are Distinct Neuron Classes in the Mouse External Globus Pallidus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, Vivian M.; Hegeman, Daniel J.; Cui, Qiaoling; Kelver, Daniel A.; Fiske, Michael P.; Glajch, Kelly E.; Pitt, Jason E.; Huang, Tina Y.; Justice, Nicholas J.

    2015-01-01

    Compelling evidence suggests that pathological activity of the external globus pallidus (GPe), a nucleus in the basal ganglia, contributes to the motor symptoms of a variety of movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Recent studies have challenged the idea that the GPe comprises a single, homogenous population of neurons that serves as a simple relay in the indirect pathway. However, we still lack a full understanding of the diversity of the neurons that make up the GPe. Specifically, a more precise classification scheme is needed to better describe the fundamental biology and function of different GPe neuron classes. To this end, we generated a novel multicistronic BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) transgenic mouse line under the regulatory elements of the Npas1 gene. Using a combinatorial transgenic and immunohistochemical approach, we discovered that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons in the GPe represent two nonoverlapping cell classes, amounting to 55% and 27% of the total GPe neuron population, respectively. These two genetically identified cell classes projected primarily to the subthalamic nucleus and to the striatum, respectively. Additionally, parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons were distinct in their autonomous and driven firing characteristics, their expression of intrinsic ion conductances, and their responsiveness to chronic 6-hydroxydopamine lesion. In summary, our data argue that parvalbumin-expressing neurons and Npas1-expressing neurons are two distinct functional classes of GPe neurons. This work revises our understanding of the GPe, and provides the foundation for future studies of its function and dysfunction. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Until recently, the heterogeneity of the constituent neurons within the external globus pallidus (GPe) was not fully appreciated. We addressed this knowledge gap by discovering two principal GPe neuron classes, which were identified by their nonoverlapping

  14. Metabolic reprogramming during neuronal differentiation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agostini, M; Romeo, F; Inoue, S; Niklison-Chirou, M V; Elia, A J; Dinsdale, D; Morone, N; Knight, R A; Mak, T W; Melino, G

    2016-09-01

    Newly generated neurons pass through a series of well-defined developmental stages, which allow them to integrate into existing neuronal circuits. After exit from the cell cycle, postmitotic neurons undergo neuronal migration, axonal elongation, axon pruning, dendrite morphogenesis and synaptic maturation and plasticity. Lack of a global metabolic analysis during early cortical neuronal development led us to explore the role of cellular metabolism and mitochondrial biology during ex vivo differentiation of primary cortical neurons. Unexpectedly, we observed a huge increase in mitochondrial biogenesis. Changes in mitochondrial mass, morphology and function were correlated with the upregulation of the master regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis, TFAM and PGC-1α. Concomitant with mitochondrial biogenesis, we observed an increase in glucose metabolism during neuronal differentiation, which was linked to an increase in glucose uptake and enhanced GLUT3 mRNA expression and platelet isoform of phosphofructokinase 1 (PFKp) protein expression. In addition, glutamate-glutamine metabolism was also increased during the differentiation of cortical neurons. We identified PI3K-Akt-mTOR signalling as a critical regulator role of energy metabolism in neurons. Selective pharmacological inhibition of these metabolic pathways indicate existence of metabolic checkpoint that need to be satisfied in order to allow neuronal differentiation.

  15. 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.

  16. Using neuronal populations to study the mechanisms underlying spatial and feature attention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Marlene R.; Maunsell, John H.R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Visual attention affects both perception and neuronal responses. Whether the same neuronal mechanisms mediate spatial attention, which improves perception of attended locations, and non-spatial forms of attention has been a subject of considerable debate. Spatial and feature attention have similar effects on individual neurons. Because visual cortex is retinotopically organized, however, spatial attention can co-modulate local neuronal populations, while feature attention generally requires more selective modulation. We compared the effects of feature and spatial attention on local and spatially separated populations by recording simultaneously from dozens of neurons in both hemispheres of V4. Feature and spatial attention affect the activity of local populations similarly, modulating both firing rates and correlations between pairs of nearby neurons. However, while spatial attention appears to act on local populations, feature attention is coordinated across hemispheres. Our results are consistent with a unified attentional mechanism that can modulate the responses of arbitrary subgroups of neurons. PMID:21689604

  17. Mapping cortical mesoscopic networks of single spiking cortical or sub-cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Dongsheng; Vanni, Matthieu P; Mitelut, Catalin C; Chan, Allen W; LeDue, Jeffrey M; Xie, Yicheng; Chen, Andrew Cn; Swindale, Nicholas V; Murphy, Timothy H

    2017-02-04

    Understanding the basis of brain function requires knowledge of cortical operations over wide-spatial scales, but also within the context of single neurons. In vivo, wide-field GCaMP imaging and sub-cortical/cortical cellular electrophysiology were used in mice to investigate relationships between spontaneous single neuron spiking and mesoscopic cortical activity. We make use of a rich set of cortical activity motifs that are present in spontaneous activity in anesthetized and awake animals. A mesoscale spike-triggered averaging procedure allowed the identification of motifs that are preferentially linked to individual spiking neurons by employing genetically targeted indicators of neuronal activity. Thalamic neurons predicted and reported specific cycles of wide-scale cortical inhibition/excitation. In contrast, spike-triggered maps derived from single cortical neurons yielded spatio-temporal maps expected for regional cortical consensus function. This approach can define network relationships between any point source of neuronal spiking and mesoscale cortical maps.

  18. ERP Correlates of Encoding Success and Encoding Selectivity in Attention Switching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeung, Nick

    2016-01-01

    Long-term memory encoding depends critically on effective processing of incoming information. The degree to which participants engage in effective encoding can be indexed in electroencephalographic (EEG) data by studying event-related potential (ERP) subsequent memory effects. The current study investigated ERP correlates of memory success operationalised with two different measures—memory selectivity and global memory—to assess whether previously observed ERP subsequent memory effects reflect focused encoding of task-relevant information (memory selectivity), general encoding success (global memory), or both. Building on previous work, the present study combined an attention switching paradigm—in which participants were presented with compound object-word stimuli and switched between attending to the object or the word across trials—with a later recognition memory test for those stimuli, while recording their EEG. Our results provided clear evidence that subsequent memory effects resulted from selective attentional focusing and effective top-down control (memory selectivity) in contrast to more general encoding success effects (global memory). Further analyses addressed the question of whether successful encoding depended on similar control mechanisms to those involved in attention switching. Interestingly, differences in the ERP correlates of attention switching and successful encoding, particularly during the poststimulus period, indicated that variability in encoding success occurred independently of prestimulus demands for top-down cognitive control. These results suggest that while effects of selective attention and selective encoding co-occur behaviourally their ERP correlates are at least partly dissociable. PMID:27907075

  19. Exogenous mRNA encoding tetanus or botulinum neurotoxins expressed in Aplysia neurons

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mochida, Sumiko; Poulain, Bernard; Eisel, Ulrich; Binz, Thomas; Kurazono, Hisao; Niemann, Heiner; Tauc, Ladislav; Bullock, Theodore H.

    1990-01-01

    Injection of exogenous mRNA purified from various tissue preparations into cellular translation systems such as Xenopus oocytes has allowed expression of complex proteins (e.g., receptors for neurotransmitters). No evidence for expression of injected exogenous mRNA, however, has been reported in

  20. Metabolic sensing neurons and the control of energy homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levin, Barry E

    2006-11-30

    The brain and periphery carry on a constant conversation; the periphery informs the brain about its metabolic needs and the brain provides for these needs through its control of somatomotor, autonomic and neurohumoral pathways involved in energy intake, expenditure and storage. Metabolic sensing neurons are the integrators of a variety of metabolic, humoral and neural inputs from the periphery. Such neurons, originally called "glucosensing", also respond to fatty acids, hormones and metabolites from the periphery. They are integrated within neural pathways involved in the regulation of energy homeostasis. Unlike most neurons, they utilize glucose and other metabolites as signaling molecules to regulate their membrane potential and firing rate. For glucosensing neurons, glucokinase acts as the rate-limiting step in glucosensing while the pathways that mediate responses to metabolites like lactate, ketone bodies and fatty acids are less well characterized. Many metabolic sensing neurons also respond to insulin and leptin and other peripheral hormones and receive neural inputs from peripheral organs. Each set of afferent signals arrives with different temporal profiles and by different routes and these inputs are summated at the level of the membrane potential to produce a given neural firing pattern. In some obese individuals, the relative sensitivity of metabolic sensing neurons to various peripheral inputs is genetically reduced. This may provide one mechanism underlying their propensity to become obese when exposed to diets high in fat and caloric density. Thus, metabolic sensing neurons may provide a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of obesity.

  1. Artificial spatiotemporal touch inputs reveal complementary decoding in neocortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oddo, Calogero M; Mazzoni, Alberto; Spanne, Anton; Enander, Jonas M D; Mogensen, Hannes; Bengtsson, Fredrik; Camboni, Domenico; Micera, Silvestro; Jörntell, Henrik

    2017-04-04

    Investigations of the mechanisms of touch perception and decoding has been hampered by difficulties in achieving invariant patterns of skin sensor activation. To obtain reproducible spatiotemporal patterns of activation of sensory afferents, we used an artificial fingertip equipped with an array of neuromorphic sensors. The artificial fingertip was used to transduce real-world haptic stimuli into spatiotemporal patterns of spikes. These spike patterns were delivered to the skin afferents of the second digit of rats via an array of stimulation electrodes. Combined with low-noise intra- and extracellular recordings from neocortical neurons in vivo, this approach provided a previously inaccessible high resolution analysis of the representation of tactile information in the neocortical neuronal circuitry. The results indicate high information content in individual neurons and reveal multiple novel neuronal tactile coding features such as heterogeneous and complementary spatiotemporal input selectivity also between neighboring neurons. Such neuronal heterogeneity and complementariness can potentially support a very high decoding capacity in a limited population of neurons. Our results also indicate a potential neuroprosthetic approach to communicate with the brain at a very high resolution and provide a potential novel solution for evaluating the degree or state of neurological disease in animal models.

  2. Candidate glutamatergic neurons in the visual system of Drosophila.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shamprasad Varija Raghu

    Full Text Available The visual system of Drosophila contains approximately 60,000 neurons that are organized in parallel, retinotopically arranged columns. A large number of these neurons have been characterized in great anatomical detail. However, studies providing direct evidence for synaptic signaling and the neurotransmitter used by individual neurons are relatively sparse. Here we present a first layout of neurons in the Drosophila visual system that likely release glutamate as their major neurotransmitter. We identified 33 different types of neurons of the lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate. Based on the previous Golgi-staining analysis, the identified neurons are further classified into 16 major subgroups representing lamina monopolar (L, transmedullary (Tm, transmedullary Y (TmY, Y, medulla intrinsic (Mi, Mt, Pm, Dm, Mi Am, bushy T (T, translobula plate (Tlp, lobula intrinsic (Lcn, Lt, Li, lobula plate tangential (LPTCs and lobula plate intrinsic (LPi cell types. In addition, we found 11 cell types that were not described by the previous Golgi analysis. This classification of candidate glutamatergic neurons fosters the future neurogenetic dissection of information processing in circuits of the fly visual system.

  3. Multichannel compressive sensing MRI using noiselet encoding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamlesh Pawar

    Full Text Available The incoherence between measurement and sparsifying transform matrices and the restricted isometry property (RIP of measurement matrix are two of the key factors in determining the performance of compressive sensing (CS. In CS-MRI, the randomly under-sampled Fourier matrix is used as the measurement matrix and the wavelet transform is usually used as sparsifying transform matrix. However, the incoherence between the randomly under-sampled Fourier matrix and the wavelet matrix is not optimal, which can deteriorate the performance of CS-MRI. Using the mathematical result that noiselets are maximally incoherent with wavelets, this paper introduces the noiselet unitary bases as the measurement matrix to improve the incoherence and RIP in CS-MRI. Based on an empirical RIP analysis that compares the multichannel noiselet and multichannel Fourier measurement matrices in CS-MRI, we propose a multichannel compressive sensing (MCS framework to take the advantage of multichannel data acquisition used in MRI scanners. Simulations are presented in the MCS framework to compare the performance of noiselet encoding reconstructions and Fourier encoding reconstructions at different acceleration factors. The comparisons indicate that multichannel noiselet measurement matrix has better RIP than that of its Fourier counterpart, and that noiselet encoded MCS-MRI outperforms Fourier encoded MCS-MRI in preserving image resolution and can achieve higher acceleration factors. To demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed noiselet encoding scheme, a pulse sequences with tailored spatially selective RF excitation pulses was designed and implemented on a 3T scanner to acquire the data in the noiselet domain from a phantom and a human brain. The results indicate that noislet encoding preserves image resolution better than Fouirer encoding.

  4. Development of on-off spiking in superior paraolivary nucleus neurons of the mouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felix, Richard A.; Vonderschen, Katrin; Berrebi, Albert S.

    2013-01-01

    The superior paraolivary nucleus (SPON) is a prominent cell group in the auditory brain stem that has been increasingly implicated in representing temporal sound structure. Although SPON neurons selectively respond to acoustic signals important for sound periodicity, the underlying physiological specializations enabling these responses are poorly understood. We used in vitro and in vivo recordings to investigate how SPON neurons develop intrinsic cellular properties that make them well suited for encoding temporal sound features. In addition to their hallmark rebound spiking at the stimulus offset, SPON neurons were characterized by spiking patterns termed onset, adapting, and burst in response to depolarizing stimuli in vitro. Cells with burst spiking had some morphological differences compared with other SPON neurons and were localized to the dorsolateral region of the nucleus. Both membrane and spiking properties underwent strong developmental regulation, becoming more temporally precise with age for both onset and offset spiking. Single-unit recordings obtained in young mice demonstrated that SPON neurons respond with temporally precise onset spiking upon tone stimulation in vivo, in addition to the typical offset spiking. Taken together, the results of the present study demonstrate that SPON neurons develop sharp on-off spiking, which may confer sensitivity to sound amplitude modulations or abrupt sound transients. These findings are consistent with the proposed involvement of the SPON in the processing of temporal sound structure, relevant for encoding communication cues. PMID:23515791

  5. Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    A reason why the thalamus is more than a passive gateway for sensory signals is that two-third of the synapses of thalamocortical neurons are directly or indirectly related to the activity of corticothalamic axons. While the responses of thalamocortical neurons evoked by sensory stimuli are well characterized, with ON- and OFF-center receptive field structures, the prevalence of synaptic noise resulting from neocortical feedback in intracellularly recorded thalamocortical neurons in vivo has attracted little attention. However, in vitro and modeling experiments point to its critical role for the integration of sensory signals. Here we combine our recent findings in a unified framework suggesting the hypothesis that corticothalamic synaptic activity is adapted to modulate the transfer efficiency of thalamocortical neurons during selective attention at three different levels: First, on ionic channels by interacting with intrinsic membrane properties, second at the neuron level by impacting on the input-output gain, and third even more effectively at the cell assembly level by boosting the information transfer of sensory features encoded in thalamic subnetworks. This top-down population control is achieved by tuning the correlations in subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and is adapted to modulate the transfer of sensory features encoded by assemblies of thalamocortical relay neurons. We thus propose that cortically-controlled (de-)correlation of subthreshold noise is an efficient and swift dynamic mechanism for selective attention in the thalamus. PMID:26733818

  6. Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Bal, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    A reason why the thalamus is more than a passive gateway for sensory signals is that two-third of the synapses of thalamocortical neurons are directly or indirectly related to the activity of corticothalamic axons. While the responses of thalamocortical neurons evoked by sensory stimuli are well characterized, with ON- and OFF-center receptive field structures, the prevalence of synaptic noise resulting from neocortical feedback in intracellularly recorded thalamocortical neurons in vivo has attracted little attention. However, in vitro and modeling experiments point to its critical role for the integration of sensory signals. Here we combine our recent findings in a unified framework suggesting the hypothesis that corticothalamic synaptic activity is adapted to modulate the transfer efficiency of thalamocortical neurons during selective attention at three different levels: First, on ionic channels by interacting with intrinsic membrane properties, second at the neuron level by impacting on the input-output gain, and third even more effectively at the cell assembly level by boosting the information transfer of sensory features encoded in thalamic subnetworks. This top-down population control is achieved by tuning the correlations in subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and is adapted to modulate the transfer of sensory features encoded by assemblies of thalamocortical relay neurons. We thus propose that cortically-controlled (de-)correlation of subthreshold noise is an efficient and swift dynamic mechanism for selective attention in the thalamus.

  7. Corticothalamic Synaptic Noise as a Mechanism for Selective Attention in Thalamic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sébastien eBéhuret

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available A reason why the thalamus is more than a passive gateway for sensory signals is that two-third of the synapses of thalamocortical neurons are directly or indirectly related to the activity of corticothalamic axons. While the responses of thalamocortical neurons evoked by sensory stimuli are well characterized, with ON- and OFF-center receptive field structures, the prevalence of synaptic noise resulting from neocortical feedback in intracellularly recorded thalamocortical neurons in vivo has attracted little attention. However, in vitro and modeling experiments point to its critical role for the integration of sensory signals. Here we combine our recent findings in a unified framework suggesting the hypothesis that corticothalamic synaptic activity is adapted to modulate the transfer efficiency of thalamocortical neurons during selective attention at three different levels: First, on ionic channels by interacting with intrinsic membrane properties, second at the neuron level by impacting on the input-output gain, and third even more effectively at the cell assembly level by boosting the information transfer of sensory features encoded in thalamic subnetworks. This top-down population control is achieved by tuning the correlations in subthreshold membrane potential fluctuations and is adapted to modulate the transfer of sensory features encoded by assemblies of thalamocortical relay neurons. We thus propose that cortically-controlled (de-correlation of subthreshold noise is an efficient and swift dynamic mechanism for selective attention in the thalamus.

  8. Individual Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corsini, Raymond

    1981-01-01

    Paper presented at the 66th Convention of the International Association of Pupil Personnel Workers, October 20, 1980, Baltimore, Maryland, describes individual education based on the principles of Alfred Adler. Defines six advantages of individual education, emphasizing student responsibility, mutual respect, and allowing students to progress at…

  9. A map of octopaminergic neurons in the Drosophila brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, Sebastian; Selcho, Mareike; Ito, Kei; Tanimoto, Hiromu

    2009-04-20

    The biogenic amine octopamine modulates diverse behaviors in invertebrates. At the single neuron level, the mode of action is well understood in the peripheral nervous system owing to its simple structure and accessibility. For elucidating the role of individual octopaminergic neurons in the modulation of complex behaviors, a detailed analysis of the connectivity in the central nervous system is required. Here we present a comprehensive anatomical map of candidate octopaminergic neurons in the adult Drosophila brain: including the supra- and subesophageal ganglia. Application of the Flp-out technique enabled visualization of 27 types of individual octopaminergic neurons. Based on their morphology and distribution of genetic markers, we found that most octopaminergic neurons project to multiple brain structures with a clear separation of dendritic and presynaptic regions. Whereas their major dendrites are confined to specific brain regions, each cell type targets different, yet defined, neuropils distributed throughout the central nervous system. This would allow them to constitute combinatorial modules assigned to the modulation of distinct neuronal processes. The map may provide an anatomical framework for the functional constitution of the octopaminergic system. It also serves as a model for the single-cell organization of a particular neurotransmitter in the brain. 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  10. 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...

  11. A genetically-encoded chloride and pH sensor for dissociating ion dynamics in the nervous system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimondo, Joseph V.; Joyce, Bradley; Kay, Louise; Schlagheck, Theresa; Newey, Sarah E.; Srinivas, Shankar; Akerman, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    Within the nervous system, intracellular Cl− and pH regulate fundamental processes including cell proliferation, metabolism, synaptic transmission, and network excitability. Cl− and pH are often co-regulated, and network activity results in the movement of both Cl− and H+. Tools to accurately measure these ions are crucial for understanding their role under physiological and pathological conditions. Although genetically-encoded Cl− and pH sensors have been described previously, these either lack ion specificity or are unsuitable for neuronal use. Here we present ClopHensorN—a new genetically-encoded ratiometric Cl− and pH sensor that is optimized for the nervous system. We demonstrate the ability of ClopHensorN to dissociate and simultaneously quantify Cl− and H+ concentrations under a variety of conditions. In addition, we establish the sensor's utility by characterizing activity-dependent ion dynamics in hippocampal neurons. PMID:24312004

  12. A genetically-encoded chloride and pH sensor for dissociating ion dynamics in the nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimondo, Joseph V; Joyce, Bradley; Kay, Louise; Schlagheck, Theresa; Newey, Sarah E; Srinivas, Shankar; Akerman, Colin J

    2013-01-01

    Within the nervous system, intracellular Cl(-) and pH regulate fundamental processes including cell proliferation, metabolism, synaptic transmission, and network excitability. Cl(-) and pH are often co-regulated, and network activity results in the movement of both Cl(-) and H(+). Tools to accurately measure these ions are crucial for understanding their role under physiological and pathological conditions. Although genetically-encoded Cl(-) and pH sensors have been described previously, these either lack ion specificity or are unsuitable for neuronal use. Here we present ClopHensorN-a new genetically-encoded ratiometric Cl(-) and pH sensor that is optimized for the nervous system. We demonstrate the ability of ClopHensorN to dissociate and simultaneously quantify Cl(-) and H(+) concentrations under a variety of conditions. In addition, we establish the sensor's utility by characterizing activity-dependent ion dynamics in hippocampal neurons.

  13. A genetically-encoded chloride and pH sensor for dissociating ion dynamics in the nervous system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Valentino Raimondo

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Within the nervous system, intracellular Cl- and pH regulate fundamental processes including cell proliferation, metabolism, synaptic transmission and network excitability. Cl- and pH are often co-regulated, and network activity results in the movement of both Cl- and H+. Tools to accurately measure these ions are crucial for understanding their role under physiological and pathological conditions. Although genetically-encoded Cl- and pH sensors have been described previously, these either lack ion specificity or are unsuitable for neuronal use. Here we present ClopHensorN - a new genetically-encoded ratiometric Cl- and pH sensor that is optimized for the nervous system. We demonstrate the ability of ClopHensorN to dissociate and simultaneously quantify Cl- and H+ concentrations under a variety of conditions. In addition, we establish the sensor’s utility by characterizing activity-dependent ion dynamics in hippocampal neurons.

  14. 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.

  15. Cloud-based uniform ChIP-Seq processing tools for modENCODE and ENCODE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinh, Quang M; Jen, Fei-Yang Arthur; Zhou, Ziru; Chu, Kar Ming; Perry, Marc D; Kephart, Ellen T; Contrino, Sergio; Ruzanov, Peter; Stein, Lincoln D

    2013-07-22

    Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the aim of the Model Organism ENCyclopedia of DNA Elements (modENCODE) project is to provide the biological research community with a comprehensive encyclopedia of functional genomic elements for both model organisms C. elegans (worm) and D. melanogaster (fly). With a total size of just under 10 terabytes of data collected and released to the public, one of the challenges faced by researchers is to extract biologically meaningful knowledge from this large data set. While the basic quality control, pre-processing, and analysis of the data has already been performed by members of the modENCODE consortium, many researchers will wish to reinterpret the data set using modifications and enhancements of the original protocols, or combine modENCODE data with other data sets. Unfortunately this can be a time consuming and logistically challenging proposition. In recognition of this challenge, the modENCODE DCC has released uniform computing resources for analyzing modENCODE data on Galaxy (https://github.com/modENCODE-DCC/Galaxy), on the public Amazon Cloud (http://aws.amazon.com), and on the private Bionimbus Cloud for genomic research (http://www.bionimbus.org). In particular, we have released Galaxy workflows for interpreting ChIP-seq data which use the same quality control (QC) and peak calling standards adopted by the modENCODE and ENCODE communities. For convenience of use, we have created Amazon and Bionimbus Cloud machine images containing Galaxy along with all the modENCODE data, software and other dependencies. Using these resources provides a framework for running consistent and reproducible analyses on modENCODE data, ultimately allowing researchers to use more of their time using modENCODE data, and less time moving it around.

  16. The biophysics of neuronal growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franze, Kristian; Guck, Jochen

    2010-01-01

    For a long time, neuroscience has focused on biochemical, molecular biological and electrophysiological aspects of neuronal physiology and pathology. However, there is a growing body of evidence indicating the importance of physical stimuli for neuronal growth and development. In this review we briefly summarize the historical background of neurobiophysics and give an overview over the current understanding of neuronal growth from a physics perspective. We show how biophysics has so far contributed to a better understanding of neuronal growth and discuss current inconsistencies. Finally, we speculate how biophysics may contribute to the successful treatment of lesions to the central nervous system, which have been considered incurable until very recently.

  17. 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...

  18. Covert shift of attention modulates the value encoding in the orbitofrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Yang; Nie, Chechang; Yang, Tianming

    2018-03-13

    During value-based decision making, we often evaluate the value of each option sequentially by shifting our attention, even when the options are presented simultaneously. The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to encode value during value-based decision making. Yet it is not known how its activity is modulated by attention shifts. We investigated this question by employing a passive viewing task that allowed us to disentangle effects of attention, value, choice and eye movement. We found that the attention modulated OFC activity through a winner-take-all mechanism. When we attracted the monkeys' attention covertly, the OFC neuronal activity reflected the reward value of the newly attended cue. The shift of attention could be explained by a normalization model. Our results strongly argue for the hypothesis that the OFC neuronal activity represents the value of the attended item. They provide important insights toward understanding the OFC's role in value-based decision making. © 2018, Xie et al.

  19. Adaptation can explain evidence for encoding of probabilistic information in macaque inferior temporal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinken, Kasper; Vogels, Rufin

    2017-11-20

    In predictive coding theory, the brain is conceptualized as a prediction machine that constantly constructs and updates expectations of the sensory environment [1]. In the context of this theory, Bell et al.[2] recently studied the effect of the probability of task-relevant stimuli on the activity of macaque inferior temporal (IT) neurons and observed a reduced population response to expected faces in face-selective neurons. They concluded that "IT neurons encode long-term, latent probabilistic information about stimulus occurrence", supporting predictive coding. They manipulated expectation by the frequency of face versus fruit stimuli in blocks of trials. With such a design, stimulus repetition is confounded with expectation. As previous studies showed that IT neurons decrease their response with repetition [3], such adaptation (or repetition suppression), instead of expectation suppression as assumed by the authors, could explain their effects. The authors attempted to control for this alternative interpretation with a multiple regression approach. Here we show by using simulation that adaptation can still masquerade as expectation effects reported in [2]. Further, the results from the regression model used for most analyses cannot be trusted, because the model is not uniquely defined. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Noise level and MPEG-2 encoder statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jungwoo

    1997-01-01

    Most software in the movie and broadcasting industries are still in analog film or tape format, which typically contains random noise that originated from film, CCD camera, and tape recording. The performance of the MPEG-2 encoder may be significantly degraded by the noise. It is also affected by the scene type that includes spatial and temporal activity. The statistical property of noise originating from camera and tape player is analyzed and the models for the two types of noise are developed. The relationship between the noise, the scene type, and encoder statistics of a number of MPEG-2 parameters such as motion vector magnitude, prediction error, and quant scale are discussed. This analysis is intended to be a tool for designing robust MPEG encoding algorithms such as preprocessing and rate control.

  1. An Information Theoretic Characterisation of Auditory Encoding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overath, Tobias; Cusack, Rhodri; Kumar, Sukhbinder; von Kriegstein, Katharina; Warren, Jason D; Grube, Manon; Carlyon, Robert P; Griffiths, Timothy D

    2007-01-01

    The entropy metric derived from information theory provides a means to quantify the amount of information transmitted in acoustic streams like speech or music. By systematically varying the entropy of pitch sequences, we sought brain areas where neural activity and energetic demands increase as a function of entropy. Such a relationship is predicted to occur in an efficient encoding mechanism that uses less computational resource when less information is present in the signal: we specifically tested the hypothesis that such a relationship is present in the planum temporale (PT). In two convergent functional MRI studies, we demonstrated this relationship in PT for encoding, while furthermore showing that a distributed fronto-parietal network for retrieval of acoustic information is independent of entropy. The results establish PT as an efficient neural engine that demands less computational resource to encode redundant signals than those with high information content. PMID:17958472

  2. Neurons of the dentate molecular layer in the rabbit hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco J Sancho-Bielsa

    Full Text Available The molecular layer of the dentate gyrus appears as the main entrance gate for information into the hippocampus, i.e., where the perforant path axons from the entorhinal cortex synapse onto the spines and dendrites of granule cells. A few dispersed neuronal somata appear intermingled in between and probably control the flow of information in this area. In rabbits, the number of neurons in the molecular layer increases in the first week of postnatal life and then stabilizes to appear permanent and heterogeneous over the individuals' life span, including old animals. By means of Golgi impregnations, NADPH histochemistry, immunocytochemical stainings and intracellular labelings (lucifer yellow and biocytin injections, eight neuronal morphological types have been detected in the molecular layer of developing adult and old rabbits. Six of them appear as interneurons displaying smooth dendrites and GABA immunoreactivity: those here called as globoid, vertical, small horizontal, large horizontal, inverted pyramidal and polymorphic. Additionally there are two GABA negative types: the sarmentous and ectopic granular neurons. The distribution of the somata and dendritic trees of these neurons shows preferences for a definite sublayer of the molecular layer: small horizontal, sarmentous and inverted pyramidal neurons are preferably found in the outer third of the molecular layer; vertical, globoid and polymorph neurons locate the intermediate third, while large horizontal and ectopic granular neurons occupy the inner third or the juxtagranular molecular layer. Our results reveal substantial differences in the morphology and electrophysiological behaviour between each neuronal archetype in the dentate molecular layer, allowing us to propose a new classification for this neural population.

  3. Nuclear-Encoded Mitochondrial mRNAs: A Powerful Force in Axonal Growth and Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gale, Jenna R; Aschrafi, Armaz; Gioio, Anthony E; Kaplan, Barry B

    2018-04-01

    Axons, their growth cones, and synaptic nerve terminals are neuronal subcompartments that have high energetic needs. As such, they are enriched in mitochondria, which supply the ATP necessary to meet these demands. To date, a heterogeneous population of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs has been identified in distal axons and growth cones. Accumulating evidence suggests that the local translation of these mRNAs is required for mitochondrial maintenance and axonal viability. Here, we review evidence that suggests a critical role for axonal translation of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs in axonal growth and development. Additionally, we explore the role that site-specific translation at the mitochondria itself may play in this process. Finally, we briefly review the clinical implications of dysregulation of local translation of mitochondrial-related mRNAs in neurodevelopmental disorders.

  4. Reorganization of neuronal circuits of the central olfactory system during postprandial sleep

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro eYamaguchi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Plastic changes in neuronal circuits often occur in association with specific behavioral states. In this review, we focus on an emerging view that neuronal circuits in the olfactory system are reorganized along the wake-sleep cycle. Olfaction is crucial to sustaining the animals’ life, and odor-guided behaviors have to be newly acquired or updated to successfully cope with a changing odor world. It is therefore likely that neuronal circuits in the olfactory system are highly plastic and undergo repeated reorganization in daily life. A remarkably plastic feature of the olfactory system is that newly generated neurons are continually integrated into neuronal circuits of the olfactory bulb (OB throughout life. New neurons in the OB undergo an extensive selection process, during which many are eliminated by apoptosis for the fine tuning of neuronal circuits. The life and death decision of new neurons occurs extensively during a short time window of sleep after food consumption (postprandial sleep, a typical daily olfactory behavior. We review recent studies that explain how olfactory information is transferred between the OB and the olfactory cortex (OC along the course of the wake-sleep cycle. Olfactory sensory input is effectively transferred from the OB to the OC during waking, while synchronized top-down inputs from the OC to the OB are promoted during the slow-wave sleep. We discuss possible neuronal circuit mechanisms for the selection of new neurons in the OB, which involves the encoding of olfactory sensory inputs and memory trace formation during waking and internally generated activities in the OC and OB during subsequent sleep. The plastic changes in the OB and OC are well coordinated along the course of olfactory behavior during wakefulness and postbehavioral rest and sleep. We therefore propose that the olfactory system provides an excellent model in which to understand behavioral state-dependent plastic mechanisms of the neuronal

  5. Incremental phonological encoding during unscripted sentence production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian T Jaeger

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available We investigate phonological encoding during unscripted sentence production, focusing on the effect of phonological overlap on phonological encoding. Previous work on this question has almost exclusively employed isolated word production or highly scripted multiword production. These studies have led to conflicting results: some studies found that phonological overlap between two words facilitates phonological encoding, while others found inhibitory effects. One worry with many of these paradigms is that they involve processes that are not typical to everyday language use, which calls into question to what extent their findings speak to the architectures and mechanisms underlying language production. We present a paradigm to investigate the consequences of phonological overlap between words in a sentence while leaving speakers much of the lexical and structural choices typical in everyday language use. Adult native speakers of English described events in short video clips. We annotated the presence of disfluencies and the speech rate at various points throughout the sentence, as well as the constituent order. We find that phonological overlap has an inhibitory effect on phonological encoding. Specifically, if adjacent content words share their phonological onset (e.g., hand the hammer, they are preceded by production difficulty, as reflected in fluency and speech rate. We also find that this production difficulty affects speakers’ constituent order preferences during grammatical encoding. We discuss our results and previous works to isolate the properties of other paradigms that resulted in facilitatory or inhibitory results. The data from our paradigm also speak to questions about the scope of phonological planning in unscripted speech and as to whether phonological and grammatical encoding interact.

  6. Stability Analysis on Sparsely Encoded Associative Memory with Short-Term Synaptic Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Muyuan; Katori, Yuichi; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    This study investigates the stability of sparsely encoded associative memory in a network composed of stochastic neurons. The incorporation of short-term synaptic dynamics significantly changes the stability with respect to synaptic properties. Various states including static and oscillatory states are found in the network dynamics. Specifically, the sparseness of memory patterns raises the problem of spurious states. A mean field model is used to analyze the detailed structure in the stability and show that the performance of memory retrieval is recovered by appropriate feedback.

  7. Brain-wide neuronal dynamics during motor adaptation in zebrafish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Misha B; Li, Jennifer M; Orger, Michael B; Robson, Drew N; Schier, Alexander F; Engert, Florian; Portugues, Ruben

    2012-05-09

    A fundamental question in neuroscience is how entire neural circuits generate behaviour and adapt it to changes in sensory feedback. Here we use two-photon calcium imaging to record the activity of large populations of neurons at the cellular level, throughout the brain of larval zebrafish expressing a genetically encoded calcium sensor, while the paralysed animals interact fictively with a virtual environment and rapidly adapt their motor output to changes in visual feedback. We decompose the network dynamics involved in adaptive locomotion into four types of neuronal response properties, and provide anatomical maps of the corresponding sites. A subset of these signals occurred during behavioural adjustments and are candidates for the functional elements that drive motor learning. Lesions to the inferior olive indicate a specific functional role for olivocerebellar circuitry in adaptive locomotion. This study enables the analysis of brain-wide dynamics at single-cell resolution during behaviour.

  8. Phospholipid Homeostasis Regulates Dendrite Morphogenesis in Drosophila Sensory Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shan Meltzer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Disruptions in lipid homeostasis have been observed in many neurodevelopmental disorders that are associated with dendrite morphogenesis defects. However, the molecular mechanisms of how lipid homeostasis affects dendrite morphogenesis are unclear. We find that easily shocked (eas, which encodes a kinase with a critical role in phospholipid phosphatidylethanolamine (PE synthesis, and two other enzymes in this synthesis pathway are required cell autonomously in sensory neurons for dendrite growth and stability. Furthermore, we show that the level of Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein (SREBP activity is important for dendrite development. SREBP activity increases in eas mutants, and decreasing the level of SREBP and its transcriptional targets in eas mutants largely suppresses the dendrite growth defects. Furthermore, reducing Ca2+ influx in neurons of eas mutants ameliorates the dendrite morphogenesis defects. Our study uncovers a role for EAS kinase and reveals the in vivo function of phospholipid homeostasis in dendrite morphogenesis.

  9. Bioluminescence Monitoring of Neuronal Activity in Freely Moving Zebrafish Larvae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knafo, Steven; Prendergast, Andrew; Thouvenin, Olivier; Figueiredo, Sophie Nunes; Wyart, Claire

    2017-01-01

    The proof of concept for bioluminescence monitoring of neural activity in zebrafish with the genetically encoded calcium indicator GFP-aequorin has been previously described (Naumann et al., 2010) but challenges remain. First, bioluminescence signals originating from a single muscle fiber can constitute a major pitfall. Second, bioluminescence signals emanating from neurons only are very small. To improve signals while verifying specificity, we provide an optimized 4 steps protocol achieving: 1) selective expression of a zebrafish codon-optimized GFP-aequorin, 2) efficient soaking of larvae in GFP-aequorin substrate coelenterazine, 3) bioluminescence monitoring of neural activity from motor neurons in free-tailed moving animals performing acoustic escapes and 4) verification of the absence of muscle expression using immunohistochemistry. PMID:29130058

  10. Distinct neuronal interactions in anterior inferotemporal areas of macaque monkeys during retrieval of object association memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirabayashi, Toshiyuki; Tamura, Keita; Takeuchi, Daigo; Takeda, Masaki; Koyano, Kenji W; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2014-07-09

    In macaque monkeys, the anterior inferotemporal cortex, a region crucial for object memory processing, is composed of two adjacent, hierarchically distinct areas, TE and 36, for which different functional roles and neuronal responses in object memory tasks have been characterized. However, it remains unknown how the neuronal interactions differ between these areas during memory retrieval. Here, we conducted simultaneous recordings from multiple single-units in each of these areas while monkeys performed an object association memory task and examined the inter-area differences in neuronal interactions during the delay period. Although memory neurons showing sustained activity for the presented cue stimulus, cue-holding (CH) neurons, interacted with each other in both areas, only those neurons in area 36 interacted with another type of memory neurons coding for the to-be-recalled paired associate (pair-recall neurons) during memory retrieval. Furthermore, pairs of CH neurons in area TE showed functional coupling in response to each individual object during memory retention, whereas the same class of neuron pairs in area 36 exhibited a comparable strength of coupling in response to both associated objects. These results suggest predominant neuronal interactions in area 36 during the mnemonic processing, which may underlie the pivotal role of this brain area in both storage and retrieval of object association memory. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/349377-12$15.00/0.

  11. Optical encoder based on a nondiffractive beam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutenberg, Ariel; Perez-Quintian, Fernando; Rebollo, Maria A.

    2008-01-01

    Optical encoders are used in industrial and laboratory motion equipment to measure rotations and linear displacements. We introduce a design of an optical encoder based on a nondiffractive beam. We expect that the invariant profile and radial symmetry of the nondiffractive beam provide the design with remarkable tolerance to mechanical perturbations. We experimentally demonstrate that the proposed design generates a suitable output sinusoidal signal with low harmonic distortion. Moreover, we present a numerical model of the system based on the angular spectrum approximation whose predictions are in excellent agreement with the experimental results

  12. A memristive spiking neuron with firing rate coding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina eIgnatov

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Perception, decisions, and sensations are all encoded into trains of action potentials in the brain. The relation between stimulus strength and all-or-nothing spiking of neurons is widely believed to be the basis of this coding. This initiated the development of spiking neuron models; one of today's most powerful conceptual tool for the analysis and emulation of neural dynamics. The success of electronic circuit models and their physical realization within silicon field-effect transistor circuits lead to elegant technical approaches. Recently, the spectrum of electronic devices for neural computing has been extended by memristive devices, mainly used to emulate static synaptic functionality. Their capabilities for emulations of neural activity were recently demonstrated using a memristive neuristor circuit, while a memristive neuron circuit has so far been elusive. Here, a spiking neuron model is experimentally realized in a compact circuit comprising memristive and memcapacitive devices based on the strongly correlated electron material vanadium dioxide (VO2 and on the chemical electromigration cell Ag/TiO2-x/Al. The circuit can emulate dynamical spiking patterns in response to an external stimulus including adaptation, which is at the heart of firing rate coding as first observed by E.D. Adrian in 1926.

  13. Modeling the diffusion magnetic resonance imaging signal inside neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen, D V; Li, J R; Grebenkov, D S; Le Bihan, D

    2014-01-01

    The Bloch-Torrey partial differential equation (PDE) describes the complex transverse water proton magnetization due to diffusion-encoding magnetic field gradient pulses. The integral of the solution of this PDE yields the diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI) signal. In a complex medium such as cerebral tissue, it is difficult to explicitly link the dMRI signal to biological parameters such as the cellular geometry or the cellular volume fraction. Studying the dMRI signal arising from a single neuron can provide insight into how the geometrical structure of neurons influences the measured signal. We formulate the Bloch-Torrey PDE inside a single neuron, under no water exchange condition with the extracellular space, and show how to reduce the 3D simulation in the full neuron to a 3D simulation around the soma and 1D simulations in the neurites. We show that this latter approach is computationally much faster than full 3D simulation and still gives accurate results over a wide range of diffusion times

  14. Laser nano-surgery for neuronal manipulation (Conference Presentation)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarker, Hori Pada; Chudal, Lalit; Mahapatra, Vasu; Kim, Young-tae; Mohanty, Samarendra K.

    2016-03-01

    Optical manipulation has enabled study of bio-chemical and bio-mechanical properties of the cells. Laser nanosurgery by ultrafast laser beam with appropriate laser parameters provides spatially-targeted manipulation of neurons in a minimal invasiveness manner with high efficiency. We utilized femto-second laser nano-surgery for both axotomy and sub-axotomy of rat cortical neurons. Degeneration and regeneration after axotomy was studied with and without external growth-factor(s) and biochemical(s). Further, axonal injury was studied as a function of pulse energy, exposure and site of injury. The ability to study the response of neurons to localized injury opens up opportunities for screening potential molecules for repair and regeneration after nerve injury. Sub-axotomy enabled transient opening of axonal membrane for optical delivery of impermeable molecules to the axoplasm. Fast resealing of the axonal membrane after sub-axotomy without significant long-term damage to axon (monitored by its growth) was observed. We will present these experimental results along with theoretical simulation of injury due to laser nano-surgery and delivery via the transient pore. Targeted delivery of proteins such as antibodies, genes encoding reporter proteins, ion-channels and voltage indicators will allow visualization, activation and detection of the neuronal structure and function.

  15. Angular Gyrus Involvement at Encoding and Retrieval Is Associated with Durable But Less Specific Memories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Linden, Marieke; Berkers, Ruud M W J; Morris, Richard G M; Fernández, Guillén

    2017-09-27

    After consolidation, information belonging to a mental schema is better remembered, but such memory can be less specific when it comes to details. A neuronal mechanism consistent with this behavioral pattern could result from a dynamic interaction that entails mediation by a specific cortical network with associated hippocampal disengagement. We now report that, in male and female adult human subjects, encoding and later consolidation of a series of objects embedded in a semantic schema was associated with a buildup of activity in the angular gyrus (AG) that predicted memory 24 h later. In parallel, the posterior hippocampus became less involved as schema objects were encoded successively. Hippocampal disengagement was related to an increase in falsely remembering objects that were not presented at encoding. During both encoding and retrieval, the AG and lateral occipital complex (LOC) became functionally connected and this interaction was beneficial for successful retrieval. Therefore, a network including the AG and LOC enhances the overnight retention of schema-related memories and their simultaneous detachment from the hippocampus reduces the specificity of the memory. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This study provides the first empirical evidence on how the hippocampus and the neocortex interact dynamically when acquiring and then effectively retaining durable knowledge that is associated to preexisting knowledge, but they do so at the cost of memory specificity. This interaction is a fundamental mnemonic operation that has thus far been largely overlooked in memory research. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/379474-12$15.00/0.

  16. Cholecystokinin-2 receptor mediated gene expression in neuronal PC12 cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Thomas v O; Borup, Rehannah; Marstrand, Troels

    2007-01-01

    could be identified. Comparison with forskolin- and nerve growth factor (NGF)-treated PC12 cells showed that CCK induced a separate set of target genes. Taken together, we propose that neuronal CCK may have a role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm, the metabolism of cerebral cholesterol...... of neuronal CCK are incompletely understood. To identify genes regulated by neuronal CCK, we generated neuronal PC12 cells stably expressing the CCK-2 receptor (CCK-2R) and treated the cells with sulphated CCK-8 for 2-16 h, before the global expression profile was examined. The changes in gene expression...... peaked after 2 h, with 67 differentially expressed transcripts identified. A pathway analysis indicated that CCK was implicated in the regulation of the circadian clock system, the plasminogen system and cholesterol metabolism. But transcripts encoding proteins involved in dopamine signaling, ornithine...

  17. The Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Michael J.; Rakheja, Dinesh

    2013-01-01

    The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL's, Batten disease) represent a group of severe neurodegenerative diseases, which mostly present in childhood. The phenotypes are similar and include visual loss, seizures, loss of motor and cognitive function, and early death. At autopsy, there is massive neuronal loss with characteristic storage in…

  18. The straintronic spin-neuron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biswas, Ayan K; Bandyopadhyay, Supriyo; Atulasimha, Jayasimha

    2015-01-01

    In artificial neural networks, neurons are usually implemented with highly dissipative CMOS-based operational amplifiers. A more energy-efficient implementation is a ‘spin-neuron’ realized with a magneto-tunneling junction (MTJ) that is switched with a spin-polarized current (representing weighted sum of input currents) that either delivers a spin transfer torque or induces domain wall motion in the soft layer of the MTJ to mimic neuron firing. Here, we propose and analyze a different type of spin-neuron in which the soft layer of the MTJ is switched with mechanical strain generated by a voltage (representing weighted sum of input voltages) and term it straintronic spin-neuron. It dissipates orders of magnitude less energy in threshold operations than the traditional current-driven spin neuron at 0 K temperature and may even be faster. We have also studied the room-temperature firing behaviors of both types of spin neurons and find that thermal noise degrades the performance of both types, but the current-driven type is degraded much more than the straintronic type if both are optimized for maximum energy-efficiency. On the other hand, if both are designed to have the same level of thermal degradation, then the current-driven version will dissipate orders of magnitude more energy than the straintronic version. Thus, the straintronic spin-neuron is superior to current-driven spin neurons. (paper)

  19. The bioenergetic status relates to dopamine neuron loss in familial PD with PINK1 mutations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rüediger Hilker

    Full Text Available Mutations in the PINK1 gene cause autosomal recessive familial Parkinson's disease (PD. The gene encodes a mitochondrial protein kinase that plays an important role in maintaining mitochondrial function and integrity. However, the pathophysiological link between mutation-related bioenergetic deficits and the degenerative process in dopaminergic neurons remains to be elucidated. We performed phosphorous ((31P and proton ((1H 3-T magnetic resonance spectroscopic imaging (MRSI in 11 members of a German family with hereditary PD due to PINK1 mutations (PARK6 compared to 23 age-matched controls. All family members had prior 18-Fluorodopa (FDOPA positron emission tomography (PET. The striatal FDOPA uptake was correlated with quantified metabolic brain mapping in MRSI. At group level, the heterozygous PINK1 mutation carriers did not show any MRSI abnormalities relative to controls. In contrast, homozygous individuals with manifest PD had putaminal GPC, PCr, HEP and β-ATP levels well above the 2SD range of controls. Across all subjects, the FDOPA K(i values correlated positively with MI (r = 0.879, p<0.001 and inversely with β-ATP (r = -0.784, p = 0.008 and GPC concentrations (r = -0.651, p = 0.030 in the putamen. Our combined imaging data suggest that the dopaminergic deficit in this family with PD due to PINK1 mutations relates to osmolyte dysregulation, while the delivery of high energy phosphates was preserved. Our results corroborate the hypothesis that PINK1 mutations result in reduced neuronal survival, most likely due to impaired cellular stress resistance.

  20. Autism genome-wide copy number variation reveals ubiquitin and neuronal genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glessner, Joseph T; Wang, Kai; Cai, Guiqing; Korvatska, Olena; Kim, Cecilia E; Wood, Shawn; Zhang, Haitao; Estes, Annette; Brune, Camille W; Bradfield, Jonathan P; Imielinski, Marcin; Frackelton, Edward C; Reichert, Jennifer; Crawford, Emily L; Munson, Jeffrey; Sleiman, Patrick M A; Chiavacci, Rosetta; Annaiah, Kiran; Thomas, Kelly; Hou, Cuiping; Glaberson, Wendy; Flory, James; Otieno, Frederick; Garris, Maria; Soorya, Latha; Klei, Lambertus; Piven, Joseph; Meyer, Kacie J; Anagnostou, Evdokia; Sakurai, Takeshi; Game, Rachel M; Rudd, Danielle S; Zurawiecki, Danielle; McDougle, Christopher J; Davis, Lea K; Miller, Judith; Posey, David J; Michaels, Shana; Kolevzon, Alexander; Silverman, Jeremy M; Bernier, Raphael; Levy, Susan E; Schultz, Robert T; Dawson, Geraldine; Owley, Thomas; McMahon, William M; Wassink, Thomas H; Sweeney, John A; Nurnberger, John I; Coon, Hilary; Sutcliffe, James S; Minshew, Nancy J; Grant, Struan F A; Bucan, Maja; Cook, Edwin H; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Devlin, Bernie; Schellenberg, Gerard D; Hakonarson, Hakon

    2009-05-28

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are childhood neurodevelopmental disorders with complex genetic origins. Previous studies focusing on candidate genes or genomic regions have identified several copy number variations (CNVs) that are associated with an increased risk of ASDs. Here we present the results from a whole-genome CNV study on a cohort of 859 ASD cases and 1,409 healthy children of European ancestry who were genotyped with approximately 550,000 single nucleotide polymorphism markers, in an attempt to comprehensively identify CNVs conferring susceptibility to ASDs. Positive findings were evaluated in an independent cohort of 1,336 ASD cases and 1,110 controls of European ancestry. Besides previously reported ASD candidate genes, such as NRXN1 (ref. 10) and CNTN4 (refs 11, 12), several new susceptibility genes encoding neuronal cell-adhesion molecules, including NLGN1 and ASTN2, were enriched with CNVs in ASD cases compared to controls (P = 9.5 x 10(-3)). Furthermore, CNVs within or surrounding genes involved in the ubiquitin pathways, including UBE3A, PARK2, RFWD2 and FBXO40, were affected by CNVs not observed in controls (P = 3.3 x 10(-3)). We also identified duplications 55 kilobases upstream of complementary DNA AK123120 (P = 3.6 x 10(-6)). Although these variants may be individually rare, they target genes involved in neuronal cell-adhesion or ubiquitin degradation, indicating that these two important gene networks expressed within the central nervous system may contribute to the genetic susceptibility of ASD.

  1. RNAi suppressors encoded by pathogenic human viruses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Walter; Berkhout, Ben

    2008-01-01

    RNA silencing or RNAi interference (RNAi) serves as an innate antiviral mechanism in plants, fungi and animals. Human viruses, like plant viruses, encode suppressor proteins or RNAs that block or modulate the RNAi pathway. This review summarizes the mechanisms by which pathogenic human viruses

  2. Visual Memory : The Price of Encoding Details

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nieuwenstein, Mark; Kromm, Maria

    2017-01-01

    Studies on visual long-term memory have shown that we have a tremendous capacity for remembering pictures of objects, even at a highly detailed level. What remains unclear, however, is whether encoding objects at such a detailed level comes at any cost. In the current study, we examined how the

  3. Encoders for block-circulant LDPC codes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Divsalar, Dariush (Inventor); Abbasfar, Aliazam (Inventor); Jones, Christopher R. (Inventor); Dolinar, Samuel J. (Inventor); Thorpe, Jeremy C. (Inventor); Andrews, Kenneth S. (Inventor); Yao, Kung (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    Methods and apparatus to encode message input symbols in accordance with an accumulate-repeat-accumulate code with repetition three or four are disclosed. Block circulant matrices are used. A first method and apparatus make use of the block-circulant structure of the parity check matrix. A second method and apparatus use block-circulant generator matrices.

  4. 47 CFR 11.32 - EAS Encoder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... Telecommunication FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION GENERAL EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM (EAS) Equipment Requirements § 11... operation. (vi) Indicator Display. The encoder shall be provided with a visual and/or aural indicator which... to +50 degrees C and a range of relative humidity of up to 95%. (c) Primary Supply Voltage Variation...

  5. Toward Chemical Implementation of Encoded Combinatorial Libraries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, John; Janda, Kim D.

    1994-01-01

    The recent application of "combinatorial libraries" to supplement existing drug screening processes might simplify and accelerate the search for new lead compounds or drugs. Recently, a scheme for encoded combinatorial chemistry was put forward to surmount a number of the limitations possessed...

  6. Individualizing Medicare.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chollet, D J

    1999-05-01

    Despite the enactment of significant changes to the Medicare program in 1997, Medicare's Hospital Insurance trust fund is projected to be exhausted just as the baby boom enters retirement. To address Medicare's financial difficulties, a number of reform proposals have been offered, including several to individualize Medicare financing and benefits. These proposals would attempt to increase Medicare revenues and reduce Medicare expenditures by having individuals bear risk--investment market risk before retirement and insurance market risk after retirement. Many fundamental aspects of these proposals have yet to be worked out, including how to guarantee a baseline level of saving for health insurance after retirement, how retirees might finance unanticipated health insurance price increases after retirement, the potential implications for Medicaid of inadequate individual saving, and whether the administrative cost of making the system fair and adequate ultimately would eliminate any rate-of-return advantages from allowing workers to invest their Medicare contributions in corporate stocks and bonds.

  7. Odd-skipped labels a group of distinct neurons associated with the mushroom body and optic lobe in the adult Drosophila brain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levy, Peter; Larsen, Camilla

    2013-01-01

    Olfactory processing has been intensively studied in Drosophila melanogaster. However, we still know little about the descending neural pathways from the higher order processing centers and how these connect with other neural circuits. Here we describe, in detail, the adult projections patterns that arise from a cluster of 78 neurons, defined by the expression of the Odd-skipped transcription factor. We term these neurons Odd neurons. By using expression of genetically encoded axonal and dendritic markers, we show that a subset of the Odd neurons projects dendrites into the calyx of the mushroom body (MB) and axons into the inferior protocerebrum. We exclude the possibility that the Odd neurons are part of the well-known Kenyon cells whose projections form the MB and conclude that the Odd neurons belong to a previously not described class of extrinsic MB neurons. In addition, three of the Odd neurons project into the lobula plate of the optic lobe, and two of these cells extend axons ipsi- and contralaterally in the brain. Anatomically, these cells do not resemble any previously described lobula plate tangential cells (LPTCs) in Drosophila. We show that the Odd neurons are predominantly cholinergic but also include a small number of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic neurons. Finally, we provide evidence that the Odd neurons are a hemilineage, suggesting they are born from a defined set of neuroblasts. Our anatomical analysis hints at the possibility that subgroups of Odd neurons could be involved in olfactory and visual processing. PMID:23749685

  8. Neuronal discrimination capacity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Deng Yingchun; Williams, Peter; Feng Jianfeng; Liu Feng

    2003-01-01

    We explore neuronal mechanisms of discriminating between masked signals. It is found that when the correlation between input signals is zero, the output signals are separable if and only if input signals are separable. With positively (negatively) correlated signals, the output signals are separable (mixed) even when input signals are mixed (separable). Exact values of discrimination capacity are obtained for two most interesting cases: the exactly balanced inhibitory and excitatory input case and the uncorrelated input case. Interestingly, the discrimination capacity obtained in these cases is independent of model parameters, input distribution and is universal. Our results also suggest a functional role of inhibitory inputs and correlated inputs or, more generally, the large variability of efferent spike trains observed in in vivo experiments: the larger the variability of efferent spike trains, the easier it is to discriminate between masked input signals

  9. Neuronal discrimination capacity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deng Yingchun [Department of Mathematics, Hunan Normal University 410081, Changsha (China); COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Williams, Peter; Feng Jianfeng [COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Liu Feng [COGS, University of Sussex at Brighton, BN1 9QH (United Kingdom); Physics Department, Nanjing University (China)

    2003-12-19

    We explore neuronal mechanisms of discriminating between masked signals. It is found that when the correlation between input signals is zero, the output signals are separable if and only if input signals are separable. With positively (negatively) correlated signals, the output signals are separable (mixed) even when input signals are mixed (separable). Exact values of discrimination capacity are obtained for two most interesting cases: the exactly balanced inhibitory and excitatory input case and the uncorrelated input case. Interestingly, the discrimination capacity obtained in these cases is independent of model parameters, input distribution and is universal. Our results also suggest a functional role of inhibitory inputs and correlated inputs or, more generally, the large variability of efferent spike trains observed in in vivo experiments: the larger the variability of efferent spike trains, the easier it is to discriminate between masked input signals.

  10. Orexin neurons receive glycinergic innervations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mari Hondo

    Full Text Available Glycine, a nonessential amino-acid that acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, is currently used as a dietary supplement to improve the quality of sleep, but its mechanism of action is poorly understood. We confirmed the effects of glycine on sleep/wakefulness behavior in mice when administered peripherally. Glycine administration increased non-rapid eye movement (NREM sleep time and decreased the amount and mean episode duration of wakefulness when administered in the dark period. Since peripheral administration of glycine induced fragmentation of sleep/wakefulness states, which is a characteristic of orexin deficiency, we examined the effects of glycine on orexin neurons. The number of Fos-positive orexin neurons markedly decreased after intraperitoneal administration of glycine to mice. To examine whether glycine acts directly on orexin neurons, we examined the effects of glycine on orexin neurons by patch-clamp electrophysiology. Glycine directly induced hyperpolarization and cessation of firing of orexin neurons. These responses were inhibited by a specific glycine receptor antagonist, strychnine. Triple-labeling immunofluorescent analysis showed close apposition of glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2-immunoreactive glycinergic fibers onto orexin-immunoreactive neurons. Immunoelectron microscopic analysis revealed that GlyT2-immunoreactive terminals made symmetrical synaptic contacts with somata and dendrites of orexin neurons. Double-labeling immunoelectron microscopy demonstrated that glycine receptor alpha subunits were localized in the postsynaptic membrane of symmetrical inhibitory synapses on orexin neurons. Considering the importance of glycinergic regulation during REM sleep, our observations suggest that glycine injection might affect the activity of orexin neurons, and that glycinergic inhibition of orexin neurons might play a role in physiological sleep regulation.

  11. Digital memory encoding in Chinese dyscalculia: An event-related potential study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Enguo; Qin, Shutao; Chang, MengYan; Zhu, Xiangru

    2014-10-22

    This study reports the neurophysiological and behavioral correlates of digital memory encoding features in Chinese individuals with and without dyscalculia. Eighteen children with dyscalculia (ages 11.5-13.5) and 18 matched controls were tested, and their event-related potentials (ERPs) were digitally recorded simultaneously with behavioral measures. The results showed that both groups had a significant Dm effect, and this effect was greater in the control group. In the 300-400-ms, 400-500-ms, and 600-700-ms processing stages, both groups showed significant differences of digital memory encoding in the frontal, central, and parietal regions. In the 500-600-ms period, the Dm effect in the control group was significantly greater than that in the dyscalculia group only in the parietal region. These results suggest that individuals with dyscalculia exhibit impaired digital memory encoding and deficits in psychological resource allocation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. A comparison of neuronal growth cone and cell body membrane: electrophysiological and ultrastructural properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guthrie, P B; Lee, R E; Kater, S B

    1989-10-01

    This study investigated a broad set of general electrophysiological and ultrastructural features of growth cone and cell body membrane of individual neurons where membrane from different regions of the same neuron can be directly compared. Growth cones were surgically isolated from identified adult Helisoma neurons in culture and compared with the cell body using whole-cell patch-clamp recording techniques. All isolated growth cones generated overshooting regenerative action potentials. Five neurons (buccal neurons B4, B5, and B19; pedal neurons P1 and P5) were selected that displayed distinctive action potential waveforms. In all cases, the growth cone action potential was indistinguishable from the cell body action potential and different from growth cones from other identified neurons. Two of these neurons (B5 and B19) were studied further using voltage-clamp procedures; growth cones and cell bodies again revealed major similarities within one neuron type and differences between neuron types. The only suggested difference between the growth cone and cell body was an apparent reduction in the magnitude of the A-current in the growth cone. Peak inward and outward current densities, as with other electrophysiological features, were different between neuron types, but were, again, similar between the growth cone and the cell body of the same neuron. Freeze-fracture analysis of intramembraneous particles (IMPs) was also performed on identified regions of the same neuron in culture. Both the density and the size distribution of IMPs were the same in growth cone, cell body, and neurite membranes. In these general electrophysiological and ultrastructural characteristics, therefore, growth cone membranes appear to retain the identity of the parent neuron cell body membrane.

  13. Collective individualism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baarts, Charlotte

    2009-01-01

    at a construction site. An ethnographic fieldwork, in which the researcher worked as an apprentice, will provide detailed and experiencenear insights into the complexity of these processes. Findings show that individualist and collectivist preferences influence the amount of risk the individual worker will assume...

  14. Potential role of monkey inferior parietal neurons coding action semantic equivalences as precursors of parts of speech.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamazaki, Yumiko; Yokochi, Hiroko; Tanaka, Michio; Okanoya, Kazuo; Iriki, Atsushi

    2010-01-01

    The anterior portion of the inferior parietal cortex possesses comprehensive representations of actions embedded in behavioural contexts. Mirror neurons, which respond to both self-executed and observed actions, exist in this brain region in addition to those originally found in the premotor cortex. We found that parietal mirror neurons responded differentially to identical actions embedded in different contexts. Another type of parietal mirror neuron represents an inverse and complementary property of responding equally to dissimilar actions made by itself and others for an identical purpose. Here, we propose a hypothesis that these sets of inferior parietal neurons constitute a neural basis for encoding the semantic equivalence of various actions across different agents and contexts. The neurons have mirror neuron properties, and they encoded generalization of agents, differentiation of outcomes, and categorization of actions that led to common functions. By integrating the activities of these mirror neurons with various codings, we further suggest that in the ancestral primates' brains, these various representations of meaningful action led to the gradual establishment of equivalence relations among the different types of actions, by sharing common action semantics. Such differential codings of the components of actions might represent precursors to the parts of protolanguage, such as gestural communication, which are shared among various members of a society. Finally, we suggest that the inferior parietal cortex serves as an interface between this action semantics system and other higher semantic systems, through common structures of action representation that mimic language syntax.

  15. Mutual information and redundancy in spontaneous communication between cortical neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szczepanski, J; Arnold, M; Wajnryb, E; Amigó, J M; Sanchez-Vives, M V

    2011-03-01

    An important question in neural information processing is how neurons cooperate to transmit information. To study this question, we resort to the concept of redundancy in the information transmitted by a group of neurons and, at the same time, we introduce a novel concept for measuring cooperation between pairs of neurons called relative mutual information (RMI). Specifically, we studied these two parameters for spike trains generated by neighboring neurons from the primary visual cortex in the awake, freely moving rat. The spike trains studied here were spontaneously generated in the cortical network, in the absence of visual stimulation. Under these conditions, our analysis revealed that while the value of RMI oscillated slightly around an average value, the redundancy exhibited a behavior characterized by a higher variability. We conjecture that this combination of approximately constant RMI and greater variable redundancy makes information transmission more resistant to noise disturbances. Furthermore, the redundancy values suggest that neurons can cooperate in a flexible way during information transmission. This mostly occurs via a leading neuron with higher transmission rate or, less frequently, through the information rate of the whole group being higher than the sum of the individual information rates-in other words in a synergetic manner. The proposed method applies not only to the stationary, but also to locally stationary neural signals.

  16. Inverse stochastic resonance in networks of spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzuntarla, Muhammet; Barreto, Ernest; Torres, Joaquin J

    2017-07-01

    Inverse Stochastic Resonance (ISR) is a phenomenon in which the average spiking rate of a neuron exhibits a minimum with respect to noise. ISR has been studied in individual neurons, but here, we investigate ISR in scale-free networks, where the average spiking rate is calculated over the neuronal population. We use Hodgkin-Huxley model neurons with channel noise (i.e., stochastic gating variable dynamics), and the network connectivity is implemented via electrical or chemical connections (i.e., gap junctions or excitatory/inhibitory synapses). We find that the emergence of ISR depends on the interplay between each neuron's intrinsic dynamical structure, channel noise, and network inputs, where the latter in turn depend on network structure parameters. We observe that with weak gap junction or excitatory synaptic coupling, network heterogeneity and sparseness tend to favor the emergence of ISR. With inhibitory coupling, ISR is quite robust. We also identify dynamical mechanisms that underlie various features of this ISR behavior. Our results suggest possible ways of experimentally observing ISR in actual neuronal systems.

  17. Grin1 receptor deletion within CRF neurons enhances fear memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgette Gafford

    Full Text Available Corticotropin releasing factor (CRF dysregulation is implicated in mood and anxiety disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. CRF is expressed in areas engaged in fear and anxiety processing including the central amygdala (CeA. Complicating our ability to study the contribution of CRF-containing neurons to fear and anxiety behavior is the wide variety of cell types in which CRF is expressed. To manipulate specific subpopulations of CRF containing neurons, our lab has developed a mouse with a Cre recombinase gene driven by a CRF promoter (CRFp3.0Cre (Martin et al., 2010. In these studies, mice that have the gene that encodes NR1 (Grin1 flanked by loxP sites (floxed were crossed with our previously developed CRFp3.0Cre mouse to selectively disrupt Grin1 within CRF containing neurons (Cre+/fGrin1+. We find that disruption of Grin1 in CRF neurons did not affect baseline levels of anxiety, locomotion, pain sensitivity or exploration of a novel object. However, baseline expression of Grin1 was decreased in Cre+/fGrin1+ mice as measured by RTPCR. Cre+/fGrin1+ mice showed enhanced auditory fear acquisition and retention without showing any significant effect on fear extinction. We measured Gria1, the gene that encodes AMPAR1 and the CREB activator Creb1 in the amygdala of Cre+/fGrin1+ mice after fear conditioning. Both Gria1 and Creb1 were enhanced in the amygdala after training. To determine if the Grin1-expressing CRF neurons within the CeA are responsible for the enhancement of fear memory in adults, we infused a lentivirus with Cre driven by a CRF promoter (LV pCRF-Cre/fGrin1+ into the CeA of floxed Grin1 mice. Cre driven deletion of Grin1 specifically within CRF expressing cells in the CeA also resulted in enhanced fear memory acquisition and retention. Altogether, these findings suggest that selective disruption of Grin1 within CeA CRF neurons strongly enhances fear memory.

  18. Effects of drugs of abuse on putative rostromedial tegmental neurons, inhibitory afferents to midbrain dopamine cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecca, Salvatore; Melis, Miriam; Luchicchi, Antonio; Ennas, Maria Grazia; Castelli, Maria Paola; Muntoni, Anna Lisa; Pistis, Marco

    2011-02-01

    Recent findings have underlined the rostromedial tegmental nucleus (RMTg), a structure located caudally to the ventral tegmental area, as an important site involved in the mechanisms of aversion. RMTg contains γ-aminobutyric acid neurons responding to noxious stimuli, densely innervated by the lateral habenula and providing a major inhibitory projection to reward-encoding midbrain dopamine (DA) neurons. One of the key features of drug addiction is the perseverance of drug seeking in spite of negative and unpleasant consequences, likely mediated by response suppression within neural pathways mediating aversion. To investigate whether the RMTg has a function in the mechanisms of addicting drugs, we studied acute effects of morphine, cocaine, the cannabinoid agonist WIN55212-2 (WIN), and nicotine on putative RMTg neurons. We utilized single unit extracellular recordings in anesthetized rats and whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in brain slices to identify and characterize putative RMTg neurons and their responses to drugs of abuse. Morphine and WIN inhibited both firing rate in vivo and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) evoked by stimulation of rostral afferents in vitro, whereas cocaine inhibited discharge activity without affecting EPSC amplitude. Conversely, nicotine robustly excited putative RMTg neurons and enhanced EPSCs, an effect mediated by α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Our results suggest that activity of RMTg neurons is profoundly influenced by drugs of abuse and, as important inhibitory afferents to midbrain DA neurons, they might take place in the complex interplay between the neural circuits mediating aversion and reward.

  19. In Vivo Evidence for a Lactate Gradient from Astrocytes to Neurons

    KAUST Repository

    Mä chler, Philipp; Wyss, Matthias  T.; Elsayed, Maha; Stobart, Jillian; Gutierrez, Robin; von  Faber-Castell, Alexandra; Kaelin, Vincens; Zuend, Marc; San  Martí n, Alejandro; Romero-Gó mez, Ignacio; Baeza-Lehnert, Felipe; Lengacher, Sylvain; Schneider, Bernard  L.; Aebischer, Patrick; Magistretti, Pierre J.; Barros, L.  Felipe; Weber, Bruno

    2015-01-01

    Investigating lactate dynamics in brain tissue is challenging, partly because in vivo data at cellular resolution are not available. We monitored lactate in cortical astrocytes and neurons of mice using the genetically encoded FRET sensor Laconic in combination with two-photon microscopy. An intravenous lactate injection rapidly increased the Laconic signal in both astrocytes and neurons, demonstrating high lactate permeability across tissue. The signal increase was significantly smaller in astrocytes, pointing to higher basal lactate levels in these cells, confirmed by a one-point calibration protocol. Trans-acceleration of the monocarboxylate transporter with pyruvate was able to reduce intracellular lactate in astrocytes but not in neurons. Collectively, these data provide in vivo evidence for a lactate gradient from astrocytes to neurons. This gradient is a prerequisite for a carrier-mediated lactate flux from astrocytes to neurons and thus supports the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle model, in which astrocyte-derived lactate acts as an energy substrate for neurons. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

  20. Spiking computation and stochastic amplification in a neuron-like semiconductor microstructure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samardak, A. S.; Nogaret, A.; Janson, N. B.; Balanov, A.; Farrer, I.; Ritchie, D. A.

    2011-01-01

    We have demonstrated the proof of principle of a semiconductor neuron, which has dendrites, axon, and a soma and computes information encoded in electrical pulses in the same way as biological neurons. Electrical impulses applied to dendrites diffuse along microwires to the soma. The soma is the active part of the neuron, which regenerates input pulses above a voltage threshold and transmits them into the axon. Our concept of neuron is a major step forward because its spatial structure controls the timing of pulses, which arrive at the soma. Dendrites and axon act as transmission delay lines, which modify the information, coded in the timing of pulses. We have finally shown that noise enhances the detection sensitivity of the neuron by helping the transmission of weak periodic signals. A maximum enhancement of signal transmission was observed at an optimum noise level known as stochastic resonance. The experimental results are in excellent agreement with simulations of the FitzHugh-Nagumo model. Our neuron is therefore extremely well suited to providing feedback on the various mathematical approximations of neurons and building functional networks.

  1. In Vivo Evidence for a Lactate Gradient from Astrocytes to Neurons

    KAUST Repository

    Mächler, Philipp

    2015-11-19

    Investigating lactate dynamics in brain tissue is challenging, partly because in vivo data at cellular resolution are not available. We monitored lactate in cortical astrocytes and neurons of mice using the genetically encoded FRET sensor Laconic in combination with two-photon microscopy. An intravenous lactate injection rapidly increased the Laconic signal in both astrocytes and neurons, demonstrating high lactate permeability across tissue. The signal increase was significantly smaller in astrocytes, pointing to higher basal lactate levels in these cells, confirmed by a one-point calibration protocol. Trans-acceleration of the monocarboxylate transporter with pyruvate was able to reduce intracellular lactate in astrocytes but not in neurons. Collectively, these data provide in vivo evidence for a lactate gradient from astrocytes to neurons. This gradient is a prerequisite for a carrier-mediated lactate flux from astrocytes to neurons and thus supports the astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle model, in which astrocyte-derived lactate acts as an energy substrate for neurons. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

  2. Diverse Intrinsic Properties Shape Functional Phenotype of Low-Frequency Neurons in the Auditory Brainstem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hui Hong

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available In the auditory system, tonotopy is the spatial arrangement of where sounds of different frequencies are processed. Defined by the organization of neurons and their inputs, tonotopy emphasizes distinctions in neuronal structure and function across topographic gradients and is a common feature shared among vertebrates. In this study we characterized action potential firing patterns and ion channel properties from neurons located in the extremely low-frequency region of the chicken nucleus magnocellularis (NM, an auditory brainstem structure. We found that NM neurons responsible for encoding the lowest sound frequencies (termed NMc neurons have enhanced excitability and fired bursts of action potentials to sinusoidal inputs ≤10 Hz; a distinct firing pattern compared to higher-frequency neurons. This response property was due to lower amounts of voltage dependent potassium (KV conductances, unique combination of KV subunits and specialized sodium (NaV channel properties. Particularly, NMc neurons had significantly lower KV1 and KV3 currents, but higher KV2 current. NMc neurons also showed larger and faster transient NaV current (INaT with different voltage dependence of inactivation from higher-frequency neurons. In contrast, significantly smaller resurgent sodium current (INaR was present in NMc with kinetics and voltage dependence that differed from higher-frequency neurons. Immunohistochemistry showed expression of NaV1.6 channel subtypes across the tonotopic axis. However, various immunoreactive patterns were observed between regions, likely underlying some tonotopic differences in INaT and INaR. Finally, using pharmacology and computational modeling, we concluded that KV3, KV2 channels and INaR work synergistically to regulate burst firing in NMc.

  3. Non-Cell Autonomous Influence of the Astrocyte System xc − on Hypoglycaemic Neuronal Cell Death

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole A Jackman

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Despite longstanding evidence that hypoglycaemic neuronal injury is mediated by glutamate excitotoxicity, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved remain incompletely defined. Here, we demonstrate that the excitotoxic neuronal death that follows GD (glucose deprivation is initiated by glutamate extruded from astrocytes via system xc −– – an amino acid transporter that imports L-cystine and exports L-glutamate. Specifically, we find that depriving mixed cortical cell cultures of glucose for up to 8 h injures neurons, but not astrocytes. Neuronal death is prevented by ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonism and is partially sensitive to tetanus toxin. Removal of amino acids during the deprivation period prevents – whereas addition of L-cystine restores – GD-induced neuronal death, implicating the cystine/glutamate antiporter, system xc−–. Indeed, drugs known to inhibit system xc −– ameliorate GD-induced neuronal death. Further, a dramatic reduction in neuronal death is observed in chimaeric cultures consisting of neurons derived from WT (wild-type mice plated on top of astrocytes derived from sut mice, which harbour a naturally occurring null mutation in the gene (Slc7a11 that encodes the substrate-specific light chain of system xc −– (xCT. Finally, enhancement of astrocytic system xc −– expression and function via IL-1β (interleukin-1β exposure potentiates hypoglycaemic neuronal death, the process of which is prevented by removal of L-cystine and/or addition of system xc −– inhibitors. Thus, under the conditions of GD, our studies demonstrate that astrocytes, via system xc −–, have a direct, non-cell autonomous effect on cortical neuron survival.

  4. Motor neuron disease: the impact of decreased speech intelligibility ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: The onset of motor neuron disease (MND), a neurodegenerative disease, results in physical and communication disabilities that impinge on an individual's ability to remain functionally independent. Multiple aspects of the marital relationship are affected by the continuously changing roles and responsibilities.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. An online supervised learning method based on gradient descent for spiking neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yan; Yang, Jing; Zhong, Shuiming

    2017-09-01

    The purpose of supervised learning with temporal encoding for spiking neurons is to make the neurons emit a specific spike train encoded by precise firing times of spikes. The gradient-descent-based (GDB) learning methods are widely used and verified in the current research. Although the existing GDB multi-spike learning (or spike sequence learning) methods have good performance, they work in an offline manner and still have some limitations. This paper proposes an online GDB spike sequence learning method for spiking neurons that is based on the online adjustment mechanism of real biological neuron synapses. The method constructs error function and calculates the adjustment of synaptic weights as soon as the neurons emit a spike during their running process. We analyze and synthesize desired and actual output spikes to select appropriate input spikes in the calculation of weight adjustment in this paper. The experimental results show that our method obviously improves learning performance compared with the offline learning manner and has certain advantage on learning accuracy compared with other learning methods. Stronger learning ability determines that the method has large pattern storage capacity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Growth and structural discrimination of cortical neurons on randomly oriented and vertically aligned dense carbon nanotube networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Nick

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The growth of cortical neurons on three dimensional structures of spatially defined (structured randomly oriented, as well as on vertically aligned, carbon nanotubes (CNT is studied. Cortical neurons are attracted towards both types of CNT nano-architectures. For both, neurons form clusters in close vicinity to the CNT structures whereupon the randomly oriented CNTs are more closely colonised than the CNT pillars. Neurons develop communication paths via neurites on both nanoarchitectures. These neuron cells attach preferentially on the CNT sidewalls of the vertically aligned CNT architecture instead than onto the tips of the individual CNT pillars.

  9. Pathogenesis of motor neuron disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xuefei Wang

    2006-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To summarize and analyze the factors and theories related to the attack of motor neuron disease, and comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease.DATA SOURCES: A search of Pubmed database was undertaken to identify articles about motor neuron disease published in English from January 1994 to June 2006 by using the keywords of "neurodegenerative diseases". Other literatures were collected by retrieving specific journals and articles.STUDY SELECTION: The data were checked primarily, articles related to the pathogenesis of motor neuron disease were involved, and those obviously irrelated to the articles were excluded.DATA EXTRACTION: Totally 54 articles were collected, 30 of them were involved, and the other 24 were excluded.DATA SYNTHESIS: The pathogenesis of motor neuron disease has multiple factors, and the present related theories included free radical oxidation, excitotoxicity, genetic and immune factors, lack of neurotrophic factor,injury of neurofilament, etc. The studies mainly come from transgenic animal models, cell culture in vitro and patients with familial motor neuron disease, but there are still many restrictions and disadvantages.CONCLUSION: It is necessary to try to find whether there is internal association among different mechanisms,comprehensively investigate the pathogenesis of motor neuron diseases, in order to provide reliable evidence for the clinical treatment.

  10. Vessel encoded arterial spin labeling with cerebral perfusion: preliminary study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu Bing; Xiao Jiangxi; Xie Cheng; Wang Xiaoying; Jiang Xuexiang; Wong, E.C.; Wang Jing; Guo Jia; Zhang Beiru; Zhang Jue; Fang Jing

    2008-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate a noninvasive vessel encoded imaging for selective mapping of the flow territories of the left and fight internal carotid arteries and vertebral-basilar arteries. Methods: Seven volunteers [(33.5 ± 4.1) years; 3 men, 4 women] and 6 patients [(55.2 ± 3.2) years; 2 men, 4 women] were given written informed consent approved by the institutional review board before participating in the study. A pseudo-continuous tagging pulse train is modified to encode all vessels of interest. The selectivity of this method was demonstrated. Regional perfusion imaging was developed on the same arterial spin labeling sequence. Perfusion-weighted images of the selectively labeled cerebral arteries were obtained by subtraction of the labeled from control images. The CBF values of hemisphere, white matter, and gray matter of volunteers were calculated. The vessel territories on patients were compared with DSA. The low perfusion areas were compared with high signal areas on T 2 -FLAIR. Results: High SNR maps of left carotid, right carotid, and basilar territories were generated in 8 minutes of scan time. Cerebral blood flow values measured with regional perfusion imaging in the complete hemisphere (32.6 ± 4.3) ml·min -1 · 100 g -1 , white matter (10.8 ± 0.9) ml·min -1 ·100 g -1 , and gray matter (55.6±2.9) ml·min -1 · 100 g -1 were in agreement with data in the literature. Vessel encoded imaging in patients had a good agreement with DSA. The low perfusion areas were larger than high signal areas on T 2 -FLAIR. Conclusion: We present a new method capable of evaluating both quantitatively and qualitatively the individual brain- feeding arteries in vivo. (authors)

  11. Digital hardware implementation of a stochastic two-dimensional neuron model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassia, F; Kohno, T; Levi, T

    2016-11-01

    This study explores the feasibility of stochastic neuron simulation in digital systems (FPGA), which realizes an implementation of a two-dimensional neuron model. The stochasticity is added by a source of current noise in the silicon neuron using an Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. This approach uses digital computation to emulate individual</