WorldWideScience

Sample records for plasticity underlying learning

  1. Plasticity under rough surface contact and friction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sun, F.

    2016-01-01

    The ultimate objective of this work is to gain a better understanding of the plastic behavior of rough metal surfaces under contact loading. Attention in this thesis focuses on the study of single and multiple asperities with micrometer scale dimensions, a scale at which plasticity is known to be si

  2. Neural Circuitry and Plasticity Mechanisms Underlying Delay Eyeblink Conditioning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, John H.; Steinmetz, Adam B.

    2011-01-01

    Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning has been used extensively as a model system for examining the neural mechanisms underlying associative learning. Delay eyeblink conditioning depends on the intermediate cerebellum ipsilateral to the conditioned eye. Evidence favors a two-site plasticity model within the cerebellum with long-term depression of…

  3. Can previous learning alter future plasticity mechanisms?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crestani, Ana Paula; Quillfeldt, Jorge Alberto

    2016-02-01

    The dynamic processes related to mnemonic plasticity have been extensively researched in the last decades. More recently, studies have attracted attention because they show an unusual plasticity mechanism that is independent of the receptor most usually related to first-time learning--that is, memory acquisition-the NMDA receptor. An interesting feature of this type of learning is that a previous experience may cause modifications in the plasticity mechanism of a subsequent learning, suggesting that prior experience in a very similar task triggers a memory acquisition process that does not depend on NMDARs. The intracellular molecular cascades necessary to assist the learning process seem to depend on the activation of hippocampal CP-AMPARs. Moreover, most of these studies were performed on hippocampus-dependent tasks, even though other brain areas, such as the basolateral amygdala, also display NMDAR-independent learning.

  4. A Calcium-Dependent Plasticity Rule for HCN Channels Maintains Activity Homeostasis and Stable Synaptic Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical and computational frameworks for synaptic plasticity and learning have a long and cherished history, with few parallels within the well-established literature for plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels. In this study, we derive rules for plasticity in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, and assess the synergy between synaptic and HCN channel plasticity in establishing stability during synaptic learning. To do this, we employ a conductance-based model for the hippocampal pyramidal neuron, and incorporate synaptic plasticity through the well-established Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM)-like rule for synaptic plasticity, wherein the direction and strength of the plasticity is dependent on the concentration of calcium influx. Under this framework, we derive a rule for HCN channel plasticity to establish homeostasis in synaptically-driven firing rate, and incorporate such plasticity into our model. In demonstrating that this rule for HCN channel plasticity helps maintain firing rate homeostasis after bidirectional synaptic plasticity, we observe a linear relationship between synaptic plasticity and HCN channel plasticity for maintaining firing rate homeostasis. Motivated by this linear relationship, we derive a calcium-dependent rule for HCN-channel plasticity, and demonstrate that firing rate homeostasis is maintained in the face of synaptic plasticity when moderate and high levels of cytosolic calcium influx induced depression and potentiation of the HCN-channel conductance, respectively. Additionally, we show that such synergy between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity enhances the stability of synaptic learning through metaplasticity in the BCM-like synaptic plasticity profile. Finally, we demonstrate that the synergistic interaction between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity preserves robustness of information transfer across the neuron under a rate-coding schema. Our results establish specific physiological roles

  5. Severe early life stress hampers spatial learning and neurogenesis, but improves hippocampal synaptic plasticity and emotional learning under high-stress conditions in adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oomen, Charlotte A; Soeters, Heleen; Audureau, Nathalie; Vermunt, Lisa; van Hasselt, Felisa N; Manders, Erik M M; Joëls, Marian; Lucassen, Paul J; Krugers, Harm

    2010-05-12

    Early life stress increases the risk for developing stress-related pathologies later in life. Recent studies in rats suggest that mild early life stress, rather than being overall unfavorable, may program the hippocampus such that it is optimally adapted to a stressful context later in life. Here, we tested whether this principle of "adaptive programming" also holds under severely adverse early life conditions, i.e., 24 h of maternal deprivation (MD), a model for maternal neglect. In young adult male rats subjected to MD on postnatal day 3, we observed reduced levels of adult hippocampal neurogenesis as measured by cell proliferation, cell survival, and neuronal differentiation. Also, mature dentate granule cells showed a change in their dendritic morphology that was most noticeable in the proximal part of the dendritic tree. Lasting structural changes due to MD were paralleled by impaired water maze acquisition but did not affect long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus. Importantly, in the presence of high levels of the stress hormone corticosterone, even long-term potentiation in the dentate gyrus of MD animals was facilitated. In addition to this, contextual learning in a high-stress environment was enhanced in MD rats. These morphological, electrophysiological, and behavioral observations show that even a severely adverse early life environment does not evolve into overall impaired hippocampal functionality later in life. Rather, adversity early in life can prepare the organism to perform optimally under conditions associated with high corticosteroid levels in adulthood.

  6. Structural plasticity upon learning: regulation and functions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroni, Pico; Donato, Flavio; Muller, Dominique

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies have provided long-sought evidence that behavioural learning involves specific synapse gain and elimination processes, which lead to memory traces that influence behaviour. The connectivity rearrangements are preceded by enhanced synapse turnover, which can be modulated through changes in inhibitory connectivity. Behaviourally related synapse rearrangement events tend to co-occur spatially within short stretches of dendrites, and involve signalling pathways partially overlapping with those controlling the functional plasticity of synapses. The new findings suggest that a mechanistic understanding of learning and memory processes will require monitoring ensembles of synapses in situ and the development of synaptic network models that combine changes in synaptic function and connectivity.

  7. Computational neurorehabilitation: modeling plasticity and learning to predict recovery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinkensmeyer, David J; Burdet, Etienne; Casadio, Maura; Krakauer, John W; Kwakkel, Gert; Lang, Catherine E; Swinnen, Stephan P; Ward, Nick S; Schweighofer, Nicolas

    2016-01-01

    Despite progress in using computational approaches to inform medicine and neuroscience in the last 30 years, there have been few attempts to model the mechanisms underlying sensorimotor rehabilitation. We argue that a fundamental understanding of neurologic recovery, and as a result accurate predictions at the individual level, will be facilitated by developing computational models of the salient neural processes, including plasticity and learning systems of the brain, and integrating them into a context specific to rehabilitation. Here, we therefore discuss Computational Neurorehabilitation, a newly emerging field aimed at modeling plasticity and motor learning to understand and improve movement recovery of individuals with neurologic impairment. We first explain how the emergence of robotics and wearable sensors for rehabilitation is providing data that make development and testing of such models increasingly feasible. We then review key aspects of plasticity and motor learning that such models will incorporate. We proceed by discussing how computational neurorehabilitation models relate to the current benchmark in rehabilitation modeling - regression-based, prognostic modeling. We then critically discuss the first computational neurorehabilitation models, which have primarily focused on modeling rehabilitation of the upper extremity after stroke, and show how even simple models have produced novel ideas for future investigation. Finally, we conclude with key directions for future research, anticipating that soon we will see the emergence of mechanistic models of motor recovery that are informed by clinical imaging results and driven by the actual movement content of rehabilitation therapy as well as wearable sensor-based records of daily activity.

  8. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. CORTICOSTRIATAL PLASTICITY IS NECESSARY FOR LEARNING INTENTIONAL NEUROPROSTHETIC SKILLS

    OpenAIRE

    Koralek, Aaron C.; Jin, Xin; Long, John D.; Costa, Rui M.; Jose M Carmena

    2012-01-01

    The ability to learn new skills and perfect them with practice applies not only to physical skills but also to abstract skills1, like motor planning or neuroprosthetic actions. Although plasticity in corticostriatal circuits has been implicated in learning physical skills2–4, it remains unclear if similar circuits or processes are required for abstract skill learning. We utilized a novel behavioral paradigm in rodents to investigate the role of corticostriatal plasticity in abstract skill lea...

  10. Corticostriatal plasticity is necessary for learning intentional neuroprosthetic skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koralek, Aaron C; Jin, Xin; Long, John D; Costa, Rui M; Carmena, Jose M

    2012-03-04

    The ability to learn new skills and perfect them with practice applies not only to physical skills but also to abstract skills, like motor planning or neuroprosthetic actions. Although plasticity in corticostriatal circuits has been implicated in learning physical skills, it remains unclear if similar circuits or processes are required for abstract skill learning. Here we use a novel behavioural task in rodents to investigate the role of corticostriatal plasticity in abstract skill learning. Rodents learned to control the pitch of an auditory cursor to reach one of two targets by modulating activity in primary motor cortex irrespective of physical movement. Degradation of the relation between action and outcome, as well as sensory-specific devaluation and omission tests, demonstrate that these learned neuroprosthetic actions are intentional and goal-directed, rather than habitual. Striatal neurons change their activity with learning, with more neurons modulating their activity in relation to target-reaching as learning progresses. Concomitantly, strong relations between the activity of neurons in motor cortex and the striatum emerge. Specific deletion of striatal NMDA receptors impairs the development of this corticostriatal plasticity, and disrupts the ability to learn neuroprosthetic skills. These results suggest that corticostriatal plasticity is necessary for abstract skill learning, and that neuroprosthetic movements capitalize on the neural circuitry involved in natural motor learning.

  11. Shaping the learning curve: epigenetic dynamics in neural plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zohar Ziv Bronfman

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A key characteristic of learning and neural plasticity is state-dependent acquisition dynamics reflected by the non-linear learning curve that links increase in learning with practice. Here we propose that the manner by which epigenetic states of individual cells change during learning contributes to the shape of the neural and behavioral learning curve. We base our suggestion on recent studies showing that epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation, histone acetylation and RNA-mediated gene regulation are intimately involved in the establishment and maintenance of long-term neural plasticity, reflecting specific learning-histories and influencing future learning. Our model, which is the first to suggest a dynamic molecular account of the shape of the learning curve, leads to several testable predictions regarding the link between epigenetic dynamics at the promoter, gene-network and neural-network levels. This perspective opens up new avenues for therapeutic interventions in neurological pathologies.

  12. Regulation of Parvalbumin Basket cell plasticity in rule learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caroni, Pico

    2015-04-24

    Local inhibitory Parvalbumin (PV)-expressing Basket cell networks shift to one of two possible opposite configurations depending on whether behavioral learning involves acquisition of new information or consolidation of validated rules. This reflects the existence of PV Basket cell subpopulations with distinct schedules of neurogenesis, output target neurons and roles in learning. Plasticity of hippocampal early-born PV neurons is recruited in rule consolidation, whereas plasticity of late-born PV neurons is recruited in new information acquisition. This involves regulation of early-born PV neuron plasticity specifically through excitation, and of late-born PV neuron plasticity specifically through inhibition. Therefore, opposite learning requirements are implemented by distinct local networks involving PV Basket cell subpopulations specifically regulated through inhibition or excitation.

  13. Learning strategy trumps motivational level in determining learning-induced auditory cortical plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bieszczad, Kasia M; Weinberger, Norman M

    2010-02-01

    Associative memory for auditory-cued events involves specific plasticity in the primary auditory cortex (A1) that facilitates responses to tones which gain behavioral significance, by modifying representational parameters of sensory coding. Learning strategy, rather than the amount or content of learning, can determine this learning-induced cortical (high order) associative representational plasticity (HARP). Thus, tone-contingent learning with signaled errors can be accomplished either by (1) responding only during tone duration ("tone-duration" strategy, T-Dur), or (2) responding from tone onset until receiving an error signal for responses made immediately after tone offset ("tone-onset-to-error", TOTE). While rats using both strategies achieve the same high level of performance, only those using the TOTE strategy develop HARP, viz., frequency-specific decreased threshold (increased sensitivity) and decreased bandwidth (increased selectivity) (Berlau & Weinberger, 2008). The present study challenged the generality of learning strategy by determining if high motivation dominates in the formation of HARP. Two groups of adult male rats were trained to bar-press during a 5.0kHz (10s, 70dB) tone for a water reward under either high (HiMot) or moderate (ModMot) levels of motivation. The HiMot group achieved a higher level of correct performance. However, terminal mapping of A1 showed that only the ModMot group developed HARP, i.e., increased sensitivity and selectivity in the signal-frequency band. Behavioral analysis revealed that the ModMot group used the TOTE strategy while HiMot subjects used the T-Dur strategy. Thus, type of learning strategy, not level of learning or motivation, is dominant for the formation of cortical plasticity.

  14. Immune modulation of learning, memory, neural plasticity and neurogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirmiya, Raz; Goshen, Inbal

    2011-02-01

    Over the past two decades it became evident that the immune system plays a central role in modulating learning, memory and neural plasticity. Under normal quiescent conditions, immune mechanisms are activated by environmental/psychological stimuli and positively regulate the remodeling of neural circuits, promoting memory consolidation, hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) and neurogenesis. These beneficial effects of the immune system are mediated by complex interactions among brain cells with immune functions (particularly microglia and astrocytes), peripheral immune cells (particularly T cells and macrophages), neurons, and neural precursor cells. These interactions involve the responsiveness of non-neuronal cells to classical neurotransmitters (e.g., glutamate and monoamines) and hormones (e.g., glucocorticoids), as well as the secretion and responsiveness of neurons and glia to low levels of inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and TNFα, as well as other mediators, such as prostaglandins and neurotrophins. In conditions under which the immune system is strongly activated by infection or injury, as well as by severe or chronic stressful conditions, glia and other brain immune cells change their morphology and functioning and secrete high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins. The production of these inflammatory mediators disrupts the delicate balance needed for the neurophysiological actions of immune processes and produces direct detrimental effects on memory, neural plasticity and neurogenesis. These effects are mediated by inflammation-induced neuronal hyper-excitability and adrenocortical stimulation, followed by reduced production of neurotrophins and other plasticity-related molecules, facilitating many forms of neuropathology associated with normal aging as well as neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Chronic pain: the role of learning and brain plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansour, A R; Farmer, M A; Baliki, M N; Apkarian, A Vania

    2014-01-01

    Based on theoretical considerations and recent observations, we argue that continued suffering of chronic pain is critically dependent on the state of motivational and emotional mesolimbic-prefrontal circuitry of the brain. The plastic changes that occur within this circuitry in relation to nociceptive inputs dictate the transition to chronic pain, rendering the pain less somatic and more affective in nature. This theoretical construct is a strong departure from the traditional scientific view of pain, which has focused on encoding and representation of nociceptive signals. We argue that the definition of chronic pain can be recast, within the associative learning and valuation concept, as an inability to extinguish the associated memory trace, implying that supraspinal/cortical manipulations may be a more fruitful venue for adequately modulating suffering and related behavior for chronic pain. We briefly review the evidence generated to date for the proposed model and emphasize that the details of underlying mechanisms remain to be expounded.

  16. Photocatalytic degradation of polystyrene plastic under fluorescent light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Jing; Chai, Ming; Zhu, Yongfa

    2003-10-01

    Plastic is used widely all over the world, due to the fact that it is low cost, is easily processable, and has lightweight properties. However, the hazard of discarding waste plastic, so-called "white pollution", is becoming more and more severe. In this paper, solid-phase photocatalytic degradation of polystyrene (PS) plastic, one of the most common commercial plastics, over copper phthalocyanine (CuPc) sensitized TiO2 photocatalyst (TiO2/CuPc) has been investigated under fluorescent light irradiation in the air. UV-vis spectra show that TiO2/CuPc extends its photoresponse range to visible light, contrasting to only UV light absorption of pure TiO2. The PS photodegradation experiments exhibit that higher PS weight loss rate, lower PS average molecular weight, less amount of volatile organic compounds, and more CO2 can be obtained in the system of PS-(TiO2/CuPc), in comparison with the PS-TiO2 system. Therefore, PS photodegradation over TiO2 CuPc composite is more complete and efficient than over pure TiO2, suggesting the potential application of dye-sensitized TiO2 catalyst in the thorough photodegradation of PS plastic under fluorescent light. During the photodegradation of PS plastic, the reactive oxygen species generated on TiO2 or TiO2/CuPc particle surfaces play important roles in chain scission. The present study demonstrates that the combination of polymer plastic with dye-sensitized TiO2 catalyst in the form of thin film is a practical and useful way to photodegrade plastic contaminants in the sunlight.

  17. Motor cortical plasticity induced by motor learning through mental practice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura eAvanzino

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Several investigations suggest that actual and mental actions trigger similar neural substrates. Motor learning via physical practice results in long-term potentiation (LTP-like plasticity processes, namely potentiation of M1 and a temporary occlusion of additional LTP-like plasticity. However, whether this neuroplasticity process contributes to improve motor performance through mental practice remains to be determined. Here, we tested skill learning-dependent changes in primary motor cortex (M1 excitability and plasticity by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation in subjects trained to physically execute or mentally perform a sequence of finger opposition movements. Before and after physical practice and motor-imagery practice, M1 excitability was evaluated by measuring the input-output (IO curve of motor evoked potentials. M1 long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD-like plasticity was assessed with paired-associative stimulation (PAS of the median nerve and motor cortex using an interstimulus interval of 25 ms (PAS25 or 10 ms (PAS10, respectively. We found that even if after both practice sessions subjects significantly improved their movement speed, M1 excitability and plasticity were differentially influenced by the two practice sessions. First, we observed an increase in the slope of IO curve after physical but not after motor-imagery practice. Second, there was a reversal of the PAS25 effect from LTP-like plasticity to LTD-like plasticity following physical and motor-imagery practice. Third, LTD-like plasticity (PAS10 protocol increased after physical practice, whilst it was occluded after motor-imagery practice. In conclusion, we demonstrated that motor-imagery practice lead to the development of neuroplasticity, as it affected the PAS25- and PAS10- induced plasticity in M1. These results, expanding the current knowledge on how motor-imagery training shapes M1 plasticity, might have a potential impact in

  18. Robustness of learning that is based on covariance-driven synaptic plasticity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonatan Loewenstein

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available It is widely believed that learning is due, at least in part, to long-lasting modifications of the strengths of synapses in the brain. Theoretical studies have shown that a family of synaptic plasticity rules, in which synaptic changes are driven by covariance, is particularly useful for many forms of learning, including associative memory, gradient estimation, and operant conditioning. Covariance-based plasticity is inherently sensitive. Even a slight mistuning of the parameters of a covariance-based plasticity rule is likely to result in substantial changes in synaptic efficacies. Therefore, the biological relevance of covariance-based plasticity models is questionable. Here, we study the effects of mistuning parameters of the plasticity rule in a decision making model in which synaptic plasticity is driven by the covariance of reward and neural activity. An exact covariance plasticity rule yields Herrnstein's matching law. We show that although the effect of slight mistuning of the plasticity rule on the synaptic efficacies is large, the behavioral effect is small. Thus, matching behavior is robust to mistuning of the parameters of the covariance-based plasticity rule. Furthermore, the mistuned covariance rule results in undermatching, which is consistent with experimentally observed behavior. These results substantiate the hypothesis that approximate covariance-based synaptic plasticity underlies operant conditioning. However, we show that the mistuning of the mean subtraction makes behavior sensitive to the mistuning of the properties of the decision making network. Thus, there is a tradeoff between the robustness of matching behavior to changes in the plasticity rule and its robustness to changes in the properties of the decision making network.

  19. Learning about the Types of Plastic Wastes: Effectiveness of Inquiry Learning Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    So, Wing-Mui Winnie; Cheng, Nga-Yee Irene; Chow, Cheuk-Fai; Zhan, Ying

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to examine the impacts of the inquiry learning strategies employed in a "Plastic Education Project" on primary students' knowledge, beliefs and intended behaviour in Hong Kong. Student questionnaires and a test on plastic types were adopted for data collection. Results reveal that the inquiry learning strategies…

  20. Reproductive efficiency and shade avoidance plasticity under simulated competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fazlioglu, Fatih; Al-Namazi, Ali; Bonser, Stephen P

    2016-07-01

    Plant strategy and life-history theories make different predictions about reproductive efficiency under competition. While strategy theory suggests under intense competition iteroparous perennial plants delay reproduction and semelparous annuals reproduce quickly, life-history theory predicts both annual and perennial plants increase resource allocation to reproduction under intense competition. We tested (1) how simulated competition influences reproductive efficiency and competitive ability (CA) of different plant life histories and growth forms; (2) whether life history or growth form is associated with CA; (3) whether shade avoidance plasticity is connected to reproductive efficiency under simulated competition. We examined plastic responses of 11 herbaceous species representing different life histories and growth forms to simulated competition (spectral shade). We found that both annual and perennial plants invested more to reproduction under simulated competition in accordance with life-history theory predictions. There was no significant difference between competitive abilities of different life histories, but across growth forms, erect species expressed greater CA (in terms of leaf number) than other growth forms. We also found that shade avoidance plasticity can increase the reproductive efficiency by capitalizing on the early life resource acquisition and conversion of these resources into reproduction. Therefore, we suggest that a reassessment of the interpretation of shade avoidance plasticity is necessary by revealing its role in reproduction, not only in competition of plants.

  1. Genetic variation and plasticity of Plantago coronopus under saline conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smekens, Marret J.; van Tienderen, Peter H.

    2001-08-01

    Phenotypic plasticity may allow organisms to cope with variation in the environmental conditions they encounter in their natural habitats. Salt adaptation appears to be an excellent example of such a plastic response. Many plant species accumulate organic solutes in response to saline conditions. Comparative and molecular studies suggest that this is an adaptation to osmotic stress. However, evidence relating the physiological responses to fitness parameters is rare and requires assessing the potential costs and benefits of plasticity. We studied the response of thirty families derived from plants collected in three populations of Plantago coronopus in a greenhouse experiment under saline and non-saline conditions. We indeed found a positive selection gradient for the sorbitol percentage under saline conditions: plant families with a higher proportion of sorbitol produced more spikes. No effects of sorbitol on fitness parameters were found under non-saline conditions. Populations also differed genetically in leaf number, spike number, sorbitol concentration and percentages of different soluble sugars. Salt treatment led to a reduction of vegetative biomass and spike production but increased leaf dry matter percentage and leaf thickness. Both under saline and non-saline conditions there was a negative trade-off between vegetative growth and reproduction. Families with a high plasticity in leaf thickness had a lower total spike length under non-saline conditions. This would imply that natural selection under predominantly non-saline conditions would lead to a decrease in the ability to change leaf morphology in response to exposure to salt. All other tests revealed no indication for any costs of plasticity to saline conditions.

  2. Elasto-plastic frame under horizontal and vertical Gaussian excitation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ditlevsen, Ove Dalager; Tarp-Johansen, Niels Jacob; Randrup-Thomsen, S.

    1999-01-01

    Taking geometric non-linearity into account anoscillator of the form as aportal frame with a rigid traverse and with ideal-elastic ideal-plasticclamped-in columns behaves under horizontalexcitation as an ideal-elastic hardening / softening-plastic oscilator given that the columns carry atension/c...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Albers

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

  4. Salt Contents in Soils Under Plastic Greenhouse Gardening in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Field experiments were conducted on three main soils, brown soil, meadow soil and cinnamon soil, of Shandong Province to study the effect of plastic greenhouse gardening on soil salt contents. As compared to the open fields, the soil nutrient contents in the fields under plastic greenhouse gardening all increased significantly. The organic matter, quickly available N and P increases were extremely significant and the quickly available K increase was also significant. Along with the nutrient increases the soil salt contents increased clearly in all the soils investigated not only in the top layer but also in the deeper layers, being extremely significant in the 0~10 cm layer and significant in the 10~40 cm layers. The salt contents in the plastic greenhouses had significant correlations with the soil available nitrogen and phosphorous. Soils with longer plastic greenhouse gardening time tended to have more salt. The plastic greenhouse soils contained less CO32- and much more NO3- than the open soils, which indicated a higher influence of human intervention in plastic greenhouses. Among the constituent ions, Cl-, NO3-, Ca2+ and Mg2+ had positive while HCO3- had negative significant or extremely significant correlations with total salt, with correlation coefficients being 0.66*, 0.80**, 0.92**, 0.80** and -0.64*, respectively. Nitrate decreased from the top to deeper layers both in the plastic greenhouses and in the open fields. The plastic greenhouse soils contained much more nitrate than the open fields in every layer and even the nitrate contents of the 80~100 cm layer were still several times those of the top layer in the open fields. The main reason for the salt increases was considered to be the inappropriate fertilization and selective absorption of nutrients by plants in the plastic greenhouses. The methods recommended to avoid soil salt increase in the plastic greenhouses were to apply fertilizers rationally according to the soils, vegetables and

  5. 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

  6. Olfactory bulb encoding during learning under anesthesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicol, Alister U.; Sanchez-Andrade, Gabriela; Collado, Paloma; Segonds-Pichon, Anne; Kendrick, Keith M.

    2014-01-01

    Neural plasticity changes within the olfactory bulb are important for olfactory learning, although how neural encoding changes support new associations with specific odors and whether they can be investigated under anesthesia, 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 odor smelled on the breath of a demonstrator animal occurs under isofluorane anesthesia. Furthermore, subsequent exposure to this cued odor under anesthesia promotes the same pattern of increased release of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (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 anesthesia before, during and after a novel scented food odor was paired with carbon disulfide. Results showed significant increases in overall firing frequency to the cued-odor during and after learning and decreases in response to an uncued odor. 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 odors prior to learning were either excited or inhibited afterwards. With the uncued odor 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 anesthesia promotes extensive, but spatially distinct, changes in mitral cell networks to both cued and uncued odors as well as in evoked glutamate and GABA

  7. Studying plastic shear localization in aluminum alloys under dynamic loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bilalov, D. A.; Sokovikov, M. A.; Chudinov, V. V.; Oborin, V. A.; Bayandin, Yu. V.; Terekhina, A. I.; Naimark, O. B.

    2016-12-01

    An experimental and theoretical study of plastic shear localization mechanisms observed under dynamic deformation using the shear-compression scheme on a Hopkinson-Kolsky bar has been carried out using specimens of AMg6 alloy. The mechanisms of plastic shear instability are associated with collective effects in the microshear ensemble in spatially localized areas. The lateral surface of the specimens was photographed in the real-time mode using a CEDIP Silver 450M high-speed infrared camera. The temperature distribution obtained at different times allowed us to trace the evolution of the localization of the plastic strain. Based on the equations that describe the effect of nonequilibrium transitions on the mechanisms of structural relaxation and plastic flow, numerical simulation of plastic shear localization has been performed. A numerical experiment relevant to the specimen-loading scheme was carried out using a system of constitutive equations that reflect the part of the structural relaxation mechanisms caused by the collective behavior of microshears with the autowave modes of the evolution of the localized plastic flow. Upon completion of the experiment, the specimens were subjected to microstructure analysis using a New View-5010 optical microscope-interferometer. After the dynamic deformation, the constancy of the Hurst exponent, which reflects the relationship between the behavior of defects and roughness induced by the defects on the surfaces of the specimens is observed in a wider range of spatial scales. These investigations revealed the distinctive features in the localization of the deformation followed by destruction to the script of the adiabatic shear. These features may be caused by the collective multiscale behavior of defects, which leads to a sharp decrease in the stress-relaxation time and, consequently, a localized plastic flow and generation of fracture nuclei in the form of adiabatic shear. Infrared scanning of the localization zone of the

  8. MicroRNAs regulate synaptic plasticity underlying drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A C W; Kenny, P J

    2017-09-05

    Chronic use of drugs of abuse results in neurochemical, morphological and behavioral plasticity that underlies the emergence of compulsive drug seeking and vulnerability to relapse during periods of attempted abstinence. Identifying and reversing addiction-relevant plasticity is seen as a potential point of pharmacotherapeutic intervention in drug-addicted individuals. Despite considerable advances in our understanding of the actions of drugs of abuse in the brain this information has thus far yielded few novel treatment options addicted individuals. MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that can each regulate the translation of hundreds to thousands of messenger RNAs. The highly pleiotropic nature of miRNAs has focused attention on their contribution to addiction-relevant structural and functional plasticity in the brain and their potential utility as targets for medications development. In this review, we discuss the roles of miRNAs in synaptic plasticity underlying the development of addiction and then briefly discuss the possibility of using circulating miRNA as biomarkers for addiction. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  9. Cerebellar motor learning: when is cortical plasticity not enough?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Porrill

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Classical Marr-Albus theories of cerebellar learning employ only cortical sites of plasticity. However, tests of these theories using adaptive calibration of the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR have indicated plasticity in both cerebellar cortex and the brainstem. To resolve this long-standing conflict, we attempted to identify the computational role of the brainstem site, by using an adaptive filter version of the cerebellar microcircuit to model VOR calibration for changes in the oculomotor plant. With only cortical plasticity, introducing a realistic delay in the retinal-slip error signal of 100 ms prevented learning at frequencies higher than 2.5 Hz, although the VOR itself is accurate up to at least 25 Hz. However, the introduction of an additional brainstem site of plasticity, driven by the correlation between cerebellar and vestibular inputs, overcame the 2.5 Hz limitation and allowed learning of accurate high-frequency gains. This "cortex-first" learning mechanism is consistent with a wide variety of evidence concerning the role of the flocculus in VOR calibration, and complements rather than replaces the previously proposed "brainstem-first" mechanism that operates when ocular tracking mechanisms are effective. These results (i describe a process whereby information originally learnt in one area of the brain (cerebellar cortex can be transferred and expressed in another (brainstem, and (ii indicate for the first time why a brainstem site of plasticity is actually required by Marr-Albus type models when high-frequency gains must be learned in the presence of error delay.

  10. Fructose consumption reduces hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying cognitive performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cisternas, Pedro; Salazar, Paulina; Serrano, Felipe G.; Montecinos-Oliva, Carla; Arredondo, Sebastián B.; Varela-Nallar, Lorena; Barja, Salesa; Vio, Carlos P.; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a global epidemic, which involves a spectrum of metabolic disorders comprising diabetes and obesity. The impact of MetS on the brain is becoming to be a concern, however, the poor understanding of mechanisms involved has limited the development of therapeutic strategies. We induced a MetS-like condition by exposing mice to fructose feeding for 7 weeks. There was a dramatic deterioration in the capacity of the hippocampus to sustain synaptic plasticity in the forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). Mice exposed to fructose showed a reduction in the number of contact zones and the size of postsynaptic densities (PSDs) in the hippocampus, as well as a decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. There was an increase in lipid peroxidation likely associated with a deficiency in plasma membrane excitability. Consistent with an overall hippocampal dysfunction, there was a subsequent decrease in hippocampal dependent learning and memory performance, i.e., spatial learning and episodic memory. Most of the pathological sequel of MetS in the brain was reversed three month after discontinue fructose feeding. These results are novel to show that MetS triggers a cascade of molecular events, which disrupt hippocampal functional plasticity, and specific aspects of learning and memory function. The overall information raises concerns about the risk imposed by excessive fructose consumption on the pathology of neurological disorders. PMID:26300486

  11. Learning, plasticity, and atypical generalization in children with autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Church, Barbara A; Rice, Courtney L; Dovgopoly, Alexander; Lopata, Christopher J; Thomeer, Marcus L; Nelson, Andrew; Mercado, Eduardo

    2015-10-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show accelerated learning in some tasks, degraded learning in others, and distinct deficits when generalizing to novel situations. Recent simulations with connectionist models suggest that deficits in cortical plasticity mechanisms can account for atypical patterns of generalization shown by some children with ASD. We tested the surprising theoretical prediction, from past simulations, that the children with ASD who show atypical generalization in perceptual categorization tasks will benefit more from training with a single prototypical member of the category than from training with multiple examples, but children with ASD who generalize normally will be comparatively harmed. The experimental results confirmed this prediction, suggesting that plasticity deficits may well underlie the difficulties that some children with ASD have generalizing skills, and these deficits are not specific to the acquisition of social skills, but rather reflect a more general perceptual learning deficit that may impact many abilities.

  12. Filopodia: A Rapid Structural Plasticity Substrate for Fast Learning

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    Ahmet S. Ozcan

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Formation of new synapses between neurons is an essential mechanism for learning and encoding memories. The vast majority of excitatory synapses occur on dendritic spines, therefore, the growth dynamics of spines is strongly related to the plasticity timescales. Especially in the early stages of the developing brain, there is an abundant number of long, thin and motile protrusions (i.e., filopodia, which develop in timescales of seconds and minutes. Because of their unique morphology and motility, it has been suggested that filopodia can have a dual role in both spinogenesis and environmental sampling of potential axonal partners. I propose that filopodia can lower the threshold and reduce the time to form new dendritic spines and synapses, providing a substrate for fast learning. Based on this proposition, the functional role of filopodia during brain development is discussed in relation to learning and memory. Specifically, it is hypothesized that the postnatal brain starts with a single-stage memory system with filopodia playing a significant role in rapid structural plasticity along with the stability provided by the mushroom-shaped spines. Following the maturation of the hippocampus, this highly-plastic unitary system transitions to a two-stage memory system, which consists of a plastic temporary store and a long-term stable store. In alignment with these architectural changes, it is posited that after brain maturation, filopodia-based structural plasticity will be preserved in specific areas, which are involved in fast learning (e.g., hippocampus in relation to episodic memory. These propositions aim to introduce a unifying framework for a diversity of phenomena in the brain such as synaptogenesis, pruning and memory consolidation.

  13. Functional Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex Supports Motor Learning by Observing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Heather R; Cashaback, Joshua G A; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-04-04

    An influential idea in neuroscience is that the sensory-motor system is activated when observing the actions of others [1, 2]. This idea has recently been extended to motor learning, in which observation results in sensory-motor plasticity and behavioral changes in both motor and somatosensory domains [3-9]. However, it is unclear how the brain maps visual information onto motor circuits for learning. Here we test the idea that the somatosensory system, and specifically primary somatosensory cortex (S1), plays a role in motor learning by observing. In experiment 1, we applied stimulation to the median nerve to occupy the somatosensory system with unrelated inputs while participants observed a tutor learning to reach in a force field. Stimulation disrupted motor learning by observing in a limb-specific manner. Stimulation delivered to the right arm (the same arm used by the tutor) disrupted learning, whereas left arm stimulation did not. This is consistent with the idea that a somatosensory representation of the observed effector must be available during observation for learning to occur. In experiment 2, we assessed S1 cortical processing before and after observation by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) associated with median nerve stimulation. SEP amplitudes increased only for participants who observed learning. Moreover, SEPs increased more for participants who exhibited greater motor learning following observation. Taken together, these findings support the idea that motor learning by observing relies on functional plasticity in S1. We propose that visual signals about the movements of others are mapped onto motor circuits for learning via the somatosensory system.

  14. Key Metabolic Enzymes Underlying Astrocytic Upregulation of GABAergic Plasticity

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    Przemysław T. Kaczor

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available GABAergic plasticity is recognized as a key mechanism of shaping the activity of the neuronal networks. However, its description is challenging because of numerous neuron-specific mechanisms. In particular, while essential role of glial cells in the excitatory plasticity is well established, their involvement in GABAergic plasticity only starts to emerge. To address this problem, we used two models: neuronal cell culture (NC and astrocyte-neuronal co-culture (ANCC, where we chemically induced long-term potentiation at inhibitory synapses (iLTP. iLTP could be induced both in NC and ANCC but in ANCC its extent was larger. Importantly, this functional iLTP manifestation was accompanied by an increase in gephyrin puncta size. Furthermore, blocking astrocyte Krebs cycle with fluoroacetate (FA in ANCC prevented enhancement of both mIPSC amplitude and gephyrin puncta size but this effect was not observed in NC, indicating a key role in neuron-astrocyte cross-talk. Blockade of monocarboxylate transport with α-Cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid (4CIN abolished iLTP both in NC and ANCC and in the latter model prevented also enlargement of gephyrin puncta. Similarly, blockade of glycogen phosphorylase with BAYU6751 prevented enlargement of gephyrin puncta upon iLTP induction. Finally, block of glutamine synthetase with methionine sulfoxide (MSO nearly abolished mIPSC increase in both NMDA stimulated cell groups but did not prevent enlargement of gephyrin puncta. In conclusion, we provide further evidence that GABAergic plasticity is strongly regulated by astrocytes and the underlying mechanisms involve key metabolic enzymes. Considering the strategic role of GABAergic interneurons, the plasticity described here indicates possible mechanism whereby metabolism regulates the network activity.

  15. Reorganization and plastic changes of the human brain associated with skill learning and expertise

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongmin eChang

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Novel experience and learning new skills are known as modulators of brain function. Advances in non-invasive brain imaging have provided new insight into structural and functional reorganization associated with skill learning and expertise. Especially, significant imaging evidences come from the domains of sports and music. Data from in vivo imaging studies in sports and music have provided vital information on plausible neural substrates contributing to brain reorganization underlying skill acquisition in humans. This mini review will attempt to take a narrow snapshot of imaging findings demonstrating functional and structural plasticity that mediate skill learning and expertise while identifying converging areas of interest and possible avenues for future research.

  16. Updating temporal expectancy of an aversive event engages striatal plasticity under amygdala control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallérac, Glenn; Graupner, Michael; Knippenberg, Jeroen; Martinez, Raquel Chacon Ruiz; Tavares, Tatiane Ferreira; Tallot, Lucille; El Massioui, Nicole; Verschueren, Anna; Höhn, Sophie; Bertolus, Julie Boulanger; Reyes, Alex; LeDoux, Joseph E.; Schafe, Glenn E.; Diaz-Mataix, Lorenzo; Doyère, Valérie

    2017-01-01

    Pavlovian aversive conditioning requires learning of the association between a conditioned stimulus (CS) and an unconditioned, aversive stimulus (US) but also involves encoding the time interval between the two stimuli. The neurobiological bases of this time interval learning are unknown. Here, we show that in rats, the dorsal striatum and basal amygdala belong to a common functional network underlying temporal expectancy and learning of a CS–US interval. Importantly, changes in coherence between striatum and amygdala local field potentials (LFPs) were found to couple these structures during interval estimation within the lower range of the theta rhythm (3–6 Hz). Strikingly, we also show that a change to the CS–US time interval results in long-term changes in cortico-striatal synaptic efficacy under the control of the amygdala. Collectively, this study reveals physiological correlates of plasticity mechanisms of interval timing that take place in the striatum and are regulated by the amygdala. PMID:28067224

  17. Brain plasticity through the life span: learning to learn and action video games.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bavelier, Daphne; Green, C Shawn; Pouget, Alexandre; Schrater, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The ability of the human brain to learn is exceptional. Yet, learning is typically quite specific to the exact task used during training, a limiting factor for practical applications such as rehabilitation, workforce training, or education. The possibility of identifying training regimens that have a broad enough impact to transfer to a variety of tasks is thus highly appealing. This work reviews how complex training environments such as action video game play may actually foster brain plasticity and learning. This enhanced learning capacity, termed learning to learn, is considered in light of its computational requirements and putative neural mechanisms.

  18. A model of human motor sequence learning explains facilitation and interference effects based on spike-timing dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Quan; Rothkopf, Constantin A; Triesch, Jochen

    2017-08-01

    The ability to learn sequential behaviors is a fundamental property of our brains. Yet a long stream of studies including recent experiments investigating motor sequence learning in adult human subjects have produced a number of puzzling and seemingly contradictory results. In particular, when subjects have to learn multiple action sequences, learning is sometimes impaired by proactive and retroactive interference effects. In other situations, however, learning is accelerated as reflected in facilitation and transfer effects. At present it is unclear what the underlying neural mechanism are that give rise to these diverse findings. Here we show that a recently developed recurrent neural network model readily reproduces this diverse set of findings. The self-organizing recurrent neural network (SORN) model is a network of recurrently connected threshold units that combines a simplified form of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) with homeostatic plasticity mechanisms ensuring network stability, namely intrinsic plasticity (IP) and synaptic normalization (SN). When trained on sequence learning tasks modeled after recent experiments we find that it reproduces the full range of interference, facilitation, and transfer effects. We show how these effects are rooted in the network's changing internal representation of the different sequences across learning and how they depend on an interaction of training schedule and task similarity. Furthermore, since learning in the model is based on fundamental neuronal plasticity mechanisms, the model reveals how these plasticity mechanisms are ultimately responsible for the network's sequence learning abilities. In particular, we find that all three plasticity mechanisms are essential for the network to learn effective internal models of the different training sequences. This ability to form effective internal models is also the basis for the observed interference and facilitation effects. This suggests that STDP, IP, and SN

  19. Plasticity of the Arabidopsis root system under nutrient deficiencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Benjamin D; Giehl, Ricardo F H; Friedel, Swetlana; von Wirén, Nicolaus

    2013-09-01

    Plant roots show a particularly high variation in their morphological response to different nutrient deficiencies. Although such changes often determine the nutrient efficiency or stress tolerance of plants, it is surprising that a comprehensive and comparative analysis of root morphological responses to different nutrient deficiencies has not yet been conducted. Since one reason for this is an inherent difficulty in obtaining nutrient-deficient conditions in agar culture, we first identified conditions appropriate for producing nutrient-deficient plants on agar plates. Based on a careful selection of agar specifically for each nutrient being considered, we grew Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants at four levels of deficiency for 12 nutrients and quantified seven root traits. In combination with measurements of biomass and elemental concentrations, we observed that the nutritional status and type of nutrient determined the extent and type of changes in root system architecture (RSA). The independent regulation of individual root traits further pointed to a differential sensitivity of root tissues to nutrient limitations. To capture the variation in RSA under different nutrient supplies, we used principal component analysis and developed a root plasticity chart representing the overall modulations in RSA under a given treatment. This systematic comparison of RSA responses to nutrient deficiencies provides a comprehensive view of the overall changes in root plasticity induced by the deficiency of single nutrients and provides a solid basis for the identification of nutrient-sensitive steps in the root developmental program.

  20. Fatigue behaviour of carbon fibre reinforced plastic under spectrum loading

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sudha, J. [Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India)], E-mail: sudhaj@platinum.materials.iisc.ernet.in; Kumar, Subodh [Department of Materials Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India); Srinivasan, Prabha; Vijayaraju, K. [Aeronautical Development Agency, Bangalore (India)

    2009-02-15

    In the present investigation the fatigue behaviour of carbon fibre reinforced plastic laminates under realistic service loading conditions has been examined. Laminates with different lay-up sequences have been tested for fatigue under spectrum loading with three different peak load levels. The damage in the laminates was characterized by using ultrasonic C-Scan as well as dynamic mechanical analysis and the damage mechanism was analyzed using scanning electron microscope. A similar investigation was also conducted on laminates with a hole. The results indicate that the spectrum loading did affect the modulus and fibre/matrix interfacial properties of all type of laminates investigated and also caused delamination in the laminate with a hole due to stress concentration around the hole.

  1. Biodegradable kinetics of plastics under controlled composting conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leejarkpai, Thanawadee; Suwanmanee, Unchalee; Rudeekit, Yosita; Mungcharoen, Thumrongrut

    2011-06-01

    This study models and evaluates the kinetics of C-CO(2) evolution during biodegradation of plastic materials including Polyethylene (PE), PE/starch blend (PE/starch), microcrystalline cellulose (MCE), and Polylactic acid (PLA). The aerobic biodegradation under controlled composting conditions was monitorated according to ISO 14855-1, 2004. The kinetics model was based on first order reaction in series with a flat lag phase. A non-linear regression technique was used to analyze the experimental data. SEM studies of the morphology of the samples before and after biodegradation testing were used to confirm the biodegradability of plastics and the accuracy of the model. The work showed that MCE and PLA produced the high amounts of C-CO(2) evolution, which gave readily hydrolysable carbon values of 55.49% and 40.17%, respectively with readily hydrolysis rates of 0.338 day(-1) and 0.025 day(-1), respectively. Whereas, a lower amount of C-CO(2) evolution was found in PE/starch, which had a high concentration of moderately hydrolysable carbon of 97.74% and a moderate hydrolysis rate of 0.00098 day(-1). The mineralization rate of PLA was 0.500 day(-1) as a lag phase was observed at the beginning of the biodegradability test. No lag phase was observed in the biodegradability testing of the PE/starch and MCE. The mineralization rates of the PE/starch and MCE were found to be 1.000 day(-1), and 1.234 day(-1), respectively. No C-CO(2) evolution was observed during biodegradability testing of PE, which was used for reference as a non-biodegradable plastics sample.

  2. Word learning under infinite uncertainty

    CERN Document Server

    Blythe, Richard A; Smith, Kenny

    2014-01-01

    Language learners learn the meanings of many thousands of words, despite encountering them in complex environments where infinitely many meanings might be inferred by the learner as their true meaning. This problem of infinite referential uncertainty is often attributed to Willard Van Orman Quine. We provide a mathematical formalisation of an ideal cross-situational learner attempting to learn under infinite referential uncertainty, and identify conditions under which this can happen. As Quine's intuitions suggest, learning under infinite uncertainty is possible, provided that learners have some means of ranking candidate word meanings in terms of their plausibility; furthermore, our analysis shows that this ranking could in fact be exceedingly weak, implying that constraints allowing learners to infer the plausibility of candidate word meanings could also be weak.

  3. Role of immediate-early genes in synaptic plasticity and neuronal ensembles underlying the memory trace

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiichiro eMinatohara

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas.

  4. Role of Immediate-Early Genes in Synaptic Plasticity and Neuronal Ensembles Underlying the Memory Trace.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minatohara, Keiichiro; Akiyoshi, Mika; Okuno, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-01

    In the brain, neuronal gene expression is dynamically changed in response to neuronal activity. In particular, the expression of immediate-early genes (IEGs) such as egr-1, c-fos, and Arc is rapidly and selectively upregulated in subsets of neurons in specific brain regions associated with learning and memory formation. IEG expression has therefore been widely used as a molecular marker for neuronal populations that undergo plastic changes underlying formation of long-term memory. In recent years, optogenetic and pharmacogenetic studies of neurons expressing c-fos or Arc have revealed that, during learning, IEG-positive neurons encode and store information that is required for memory recall, suggesting that they may be involved in formation of the memory trace. However, despite accumulating evidence for the role of IEGs in synaptic plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with this process remain unclear. In this review, we first summarize recent literature concerning the role of IEG-expressing neuronal ensembles in organizing the memory trace. We then focus on the physiological significance of IEGs, especially Arc, in synaptic plasticity, and describe our hypotheses about the importance of Arc expression in various types of input-specific circuit reorganization. Finally, we offer perspectives on Arc function that would unveil the role of IEG-expressing neurons in the formation of memory traces in the hippocampus and other brain areas.

  5. Determining biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled and natural composting environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohee, R; Unmar, G

    2007-01-01

    With the advent of recently promulgated Government regulations on plastics in Mauritius, a study was initiated to examine the biodegradability of two different types of plastic, namely Willow Ridge Plastics - PDQ-H additive (Plastic A) and Ecosafe Plastic - TDPA additive (Plastic B) under controlled and natural composting environments. The results obtained from the controlled composting environment showed that the cumulative carbon dioxide evolution for Plastic A was much higher than that for Plastic B. Plastic A therefore showed a higher level of biodegradation in terms of CO2 evolution than Plastic B. However, from the regression analysis, it was found that the level of CO2 varying with time fitted the sigmoid type curves with very high correlation coefficients (R2 values: 0.9928, 0.9921 and 0.9816, for reference material, inoculum and Plastic A, respectively). The corresponding F-values obtained from the ANOVA analysis together with significance levels of pbiodegradability experiment were significant. The other experiment was undertaken to observe any physical change of Plastics A and B as compared to a reference plastic, namely, compostable plastic bag (Mater-Bi product-Plastic C), when exposed to a natural composting environment. Thermophilic temperatures were obtained for about 3-5 days of composting and the moisture content was in the range of 60-80% throughout the degradation process. It was observed that after 55 days of composting, Plastic C degraded completely while Plastic A and Plastic B did not undergo any significant degradation. It can be concluded that naturally based plastic made of starch would degrade completely in a time frame of 60 days, whereas plastics with biodegradable additive would require a longer time.

  6. Epigenetic Mechanisms Underlying Developmental Plasticity in Horned Beetles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie Valena

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available All developmental plasticity arises through epigenetic mechanisms. In this paper we focus on the nature, origins, and consequences of these mechanisms with a focus on horned beetles, an emerging model system in evolutionary developmental genetics. Specifically, we introduce the biological significance of developmental plasticity and summarize the most important facets of horned beetle biology. We then compare and contrast the epigenetic regulation of plasticity in horned beetles to that of other organisms and discuss how epigenetic mechanisms have facilitated innovation and diversification within and among taxa. We close by highlighting opportunities for future studies on the epigenetic regulation of plastic development in these and other organisms.

  7. Genetic variation and plasticity of Plantago coronopus under saline conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smekens, Marret; Van Tienderen, P.H.

    2001-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity may allow organisms to cope with variation in the environmental conditions they encounter in their natural habitats. Salt adaptation appears to be an excellent example of such a plastic response. Many plant species accumulate organic solutes in response to saline conditions. Co

  8. Unusual predator-prey dynamics under reciprocal phenotypic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mougi, Akihiko

    2012-07-21

    Recent theories and experiments have shown that plasticity, such as an inducible defense or an inducible offense in predator-prey interactions, strongly influences the stability of the population dynamics. However, such plastic adaptation has not been expected to cause unusual dynamics such as antiphase cycles, which occur in experimental predator-prey systems with evolutionary adaptation in the defensive trait of prey. Here I show that antiphase cycles and cryptic cycles (a large population fluctuation in one species with almost no change in the population of the other species) can occur in a predator-prey system when both member species can change their phenotypes through adaptive plasticity (inducible defenses and offenses). I consider a familiar type of predator-prey system in which both species can change their morphology or behavior through phenotypic plasticity. The plasticity, that is, the ability to change between distinct phenotypes, is assumed to occur so as to maximize their fitness. I examined how the reciprocal adaptive plasticity influences the population dynamics. The results show that unusual dynamics such as antiphase population cycles and cryptic cycles can occur when both species show inducible plasticity. The unusual dynamics are particularly likely to occur when the carrying capacity of the prey is small (the density dependence of the prey's growth is strong). The unusual predator-prey dynamics may be induced by phenotypic plasticity as long as the phenotypic change occurs to maximize fitness.

  9. Molecular mechanisms underlying neuronal synaptic plasticity: systems biology meets computational neuroscience in the wilds of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blackwell, Kim T; Jedrzejewska-Szmek, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    Interactions among signaling pathways that are activated by transmembrane receptors produce complex networks and emergent dynamical behaviors that are implicated in synaptic plasticity. Temporal dynamics and spatial aspects are critical determinants of cell responses such as synaptic plasticity, although the mapping between spatiotemporal activity pattern and direction of synaptic plasticity is not completely understood. Computational modeling of neuronal signaling pathways has significantly contributed to understanding signaling pathways underlying synaptic plasticity. Spatial models of signaling pathways in hippocampal neurons have revealed mechanisms underlying the spatial distribution of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK) activation in hippocampal neurons. Other spatial models have demonstrated that the major role of anchoring proteins in striatal and hippocampal synaptic plasticity is to place molecules near their activators. Simulations of yet other models have revealed that the spatial distribution of synaptic plasticity may differ for potentiation versus depression. In general, the most significant advances have been made by interactive modeling and experiments; thus, an interdisciplinary approach should be applied to investigate critical issues in neuronal signaling pathways. These issues include identifying which transmembrane receptors are key for activating ERK in neurons, and the crucial targets of kinases that produce long-lasting synaptic plasticity. Although the number of computer programs for computationally efficient simulation of large reaction-diffusion networks is increasing, parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis in these spatial models remain more difficult than in single compartment models. Advances in live cell imaging coupled with further software development will continue to accelerate the development of spatial models of synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Contributions of Matrix Metalloproteinases to Neural Plasticity, Habituation, Associative Learning and Drug Addiction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John W. Wright

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The premise of this paper is that increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs permits the reconfiguration of synaptic connections (i.e., neural plasticity by degrading cell adhesion molecules (CAMs designed to provide stability to those extracellular matrix (ECM proteins that form scaffolding supporting neurons and glia. It is presumed that while these ECM proteins are weakened, and/or detached, synaptic connections can form resulting in new neural pathways. Tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs are designed to deactivate MMPs permitting the reestablishment of CAMs, thus returning the system to a reasonably fixed state. This review considers available findings concerning the roles of MMPs and TIMPs in reorganizing ECM proteins thus facilitating the neural plasticity underlying long-term potentiation (LTP, habituation, and associative learning. We conclude with a consideration of the influence of these phenomena on drug addiction, given that these same processes may be instrumental in the formation of addiction and subsequent relapse. However, our knowledge concerning the precise spatial and temporal relationships among the mechanisms of neural plasticity, habituation, associative learning, and memory consolidation is far from complete and the possibility that these phenomena mediate drug addiction is a new direction of research.

  11. Becoming a mother-circuit plasticity underlying maternal behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elyada, Yishai M; Mizrahi, Adi

    2015-12-01

    The transition to motherhood is a dramatic event during the lifetime of many animals. In mammals, motherhood is accompanied by hormonal changes in the brain that start during pregnancy, followed by experience dependent plasticity after parturition. Together, these changes prime the nervous system of the mother for efficient nurturing of her offspring. Recent work has described how neural circuits are modified during the transition to motherhood. Here we discuss changes in the auditory cortex during motherhood as a model for maternal plasticity in sensory systems. We compare classical plasticity paradigms with changes that arise naturally in mothers, highlighting current efforts to establish a mechanistic understanding of plasticity and its different components in the context of maternal behavior.

  12. Pannexin1 stabilizes synaptic plasticity and is needed for learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nora Prochnow

    Full Text Available Pannexin 1 (Panx1 represents a class of vertebrate membrane channels, bearing significant sequence homology with the invertebrate gap junction proteins, the innexins and more distant similarities in the membrane topologies and pharmacological sensitivities with gap junction proteins of the connexin family. In the nervous system, cooperation among pannexin channels, adenosine receptors, and K(ATP channels modulating neuronal excitability via ATP and adenosine has been recognized, but little is known about the significance in vivo. However, the localization of Panx1 at postsynaptic sites in hippocampal neurons and astrocytes in close proximity together with the fundamental role of ATP and adenosine for CNS metabolism and cell signaling underscore the potential relevance of this channel to synaptic plasticity and higher brain functions. Here, we report increased excitability and potently enhanced early and persistent LTP responses in the CA1 region of acute slice preparations from adult Panx1(-/- mice. Adenosine application and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR-blocking normalized this phenotype, suggesting that absence of Panx1 causes chronic extracellular ATP/adenosine depletion, thus facilitating postsynaptic NMDAR activation. Compensatory transcriptional up-regulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 4 (grm4 accompanies these adaptive changes. The physiological modification, promoted by loss of Panx1, led to distinct behavioral alterations, enhancing anxiety and impairing object recognition and spatial learning in Panx1(-/- mice. We conclude that ATP release through Panx1 channels plays a critical role in maintaining synaptic strength and plasticity in CA1 neurons of the adult hippocampus. This result provides the rationale for in-depth analysis of Panx1 function and adenosine based therapies in CNS disorders.

  13. A peptide mimetic targeting trans-homophilic NCAM binding sites promotes spatial learning and neural plasticity in the hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraev, Igor; Henneberger, Christian; Rossetti, Clara

    2011-01-01

    a homophilic trans-binding site in Ig2 and binds to Ig3--was developed as a tool for studying NCAM's trans-interactions. In this study, we investigated plannexin's ability to affect neural plasticity and memory formation. We found that plannexin facilitates neurite outgrowth in primary hippocampal neuronal......The key roles played by the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in plasticity and cognition underscore this membrane protein as a relevant target to develop cognitive-enhancing drugs. However, NCAM is a structurally and functionally complex molecule with multiple domains engaged in a variety...... cultures and improves spatial learning in rats, both under basal conditions and under conditions involving a deficit in a key plasticity-promoting posttranslational modification of NCAM, its polysialylation. We also found that plannexin enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1...

  14. Predispositions and plasticity in music and speech learning: neural correlates and implications

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Zatorre, Robert J

    2013-01-01

    .... Here, neuroimaging findings are reviewed that reiterate evidence of experience-dependent brain plasticity, but also point to the predictive validity of such data in relation to new learning in speech and music domains...

  15. Performance of chromium nitride based coatings under plastic processing conditions

    OpenAIRE

    Cunha, l.; Andritschky, M.; Pischow, K.; Wang, Z.(Institute of High Energy Physics, Beijing, China); Zarychta, A.; Miranda, A. S.; A.M. Cunha

    2000-01-01

    Chromium nitride based coatings were produced in the form of monolithic and multilayer coatings, by DC and RF reactive magnetron sputtering. These coatings were deposited onto stainless steel and tool steel substrates. Chromium nitride coatings have;proved to be wear and corrosion resistant. The combination of these characteristics was necessary to protect surfaces during plastic processing. In order to select the best coatings, some mechanical and tribological tests were performed. Har...

  16. A saturation hypothesis to explain both enhanced and impaired learning with enhanced plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen-Vu, TD Barbara; Zhao, Grace Q; Lahiri, Subhaneil; Kimpo, Rhea R; Lee, Hanmi; Ganguli, Surya; Shatz, Carla J; Raymond, Jennifer L

    2017-01-01

    Across many studies, animals with enhanced synaptic plasticity exhibit either enhanced or impaired learning, raising a conceptual puzzle: how enhanced plasticity can yield opposite learning outcomes? Here, we show that the recent history of experience can determine whether mice with enhanced plasticity exhibit enhanced or impaired learning in response to the same training. Mice with enhanced cerebellar LTD, due to double knockout (DKO) of MHCI H2-Kb/H2-Db (KbDb−/−), exhibited oculomotor learning deficits. However, the same mice exhibited enhanced learning after appropriate pre-training. Theoretical analysis revealed that synapses with history-dependent learning rules could recapitulate the data, and suggested that saturation may be a key factor limiting the ability of enhanced plasticity to enhance learning. Optogenetic stimulation designed to saturate LTD produced the same impairment in WT as observed in DKO mice. Overall, our results suggest that the recent history of activity and the threshold for synaptic plasticity conspire to effect divergent learning outcomes. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20147.001 PMID:28234229

  17. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kenney, Jana; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2013-01-01

    The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate, and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24 h) when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: in the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of long-term potentiation (LTP), whereas novel spatial content facilitates long-term depression (LTD). We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience. In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200 Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli) elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4 h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in LTP that lasted for over 24 h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1 Hz, 900 pulses) resulted in short-term depression (STD) that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark) cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike (PS) but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation. PMID:24194716

  18. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity occurs in the intermediate hippocampus in association with spatial learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana eKenney

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The dorsoventral axis of the hippocampus is differentiated into dorsal, intermediate and ventral parts. Whereas the dorsal part is believed to specialize in processing spatial information, the ventral may be equipped to process non-spatial information. The precise role of the intermediate hippocampus is unclear, although recent data suggests it is functionally distinct, at least from the dorsal hippocampus. Learning-facilitated synaptic plasticity describes the ability of hippocampal synapses to respond with robust synaptic plasticity (>24h when a spatial learning event is coupled with afferent stimulation that would normally not lead to a lasting plasticity response: In the dorsal hippocampus novel space facilitates robust expression of LTP, whereas novel spatial content facilitates LTD. We explored whether the intermediate hippocampus engages in this kind of synaptic plasticity in response to novel spatial experience.In freely moving rats, high-frequency stimulation at 200Hz (3 bursts of 15 stimuli elicited synaptic potentiation that lasted for at least 4h. Coupling of this stimulation with the exploration of a novel holeboard resulted in long-term potentiation (LTP that lasted for over 24h. Low frequency afferent stimulation (1Hz, 900 pulses resulted in short-term depression (STD that was significantly enhanced and prolonged by exposure to a novel large orientational (landmark cues, however LTD was not enabled. Exposure to a holeboard that included novel objects in the holeboard holes elicited a transient enhancement of STD of the population spike but not field EPSP, and also failed to facilitate the expression of LTD. Our data suggest that the intermediate dentate gyrus engages in processing of spatial information, but is functionally distinct to the dorsal dentate gyrus. This may in turn reflect their assumed different roles in synaptic information processing and memory formation.

  19. Histone acetylation in the olfactory bulb of young rats facilitates aversive olfactory learning and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Y-J; Okutani, F; Murata, Y; Taniguchi, M; Namba, T; Kaba, H

    2013-03-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in memory formation and synaptic plasticity. Specifically, histone-associated heterochromatin undergoes changes in structure during the early stages of long-term memory formation. In keeping with the classical conditioning paradigm, young rats have been shown to exhibit aversion to an odor stimulus initially presented during foot shock. We previously showed that synaptic plasticity at the dendrodendritic synapses between mitral and granule cells in the olfactory bulb (OB) underlies this aversive olfactory learning. However, the epigenetic mechanisms involved are not well characterized. Therefore, we examined whether intrabulbar infusion of trichostatin A (TSA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, facilitates olfactory learning in young rats. TSA infusion during odor-shock training enhanced a conditioned odor aversion in a dose-dependent manner and prolonged the learned aversion. Western blot and immunohistochemical analyses showed that the level of histone H4 acetylation significantly increased until 4 h after odor-shock training in both mitral and granule cells in the OB, whereas histone H3 acetylation returned to the control level at 2 h after the training. We also obtained evidence that TSA infusion elevated acetylation of histone H4 or H3. Furthermore, in vitro electrophysiological analysis using slices of the OB revealed that application of TSA significantly enhanced the long-term potentiation induced in synaptic transmission from mitral to granule cells at dendrodendritic synapses. Taken together, these results provide evidence that histone H4 and H3 acetylation in the OB is an epigenetic mechanism associated with aversive olfactory learning in young rats.

  20. Analysis of plastic properties of titanium alloys under severe deformation conditions in machining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander I. Khaimovich

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The present paper presents a method of analysis of titanium alloys plastic properties under severe deformation conditions during milling with registration of the cutting force components Fx, Fy, Fz in real time using a special stand. The obtained constitutive relations in the form the Johnson-Cook law for stresses and dependence for a friction coefficient describing the titanium alloy VT9 plastic properties under simulate operating conditions.

  1. PERFORATION OF PLASTIC SPHERICAL SHELLS UNDER IMPACT BY CYLINDRICAL PROJECTILES

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    NING Jian-guo; SONG Wei-dong

    2006-01-01

    The objective is to study the perforation of a plastic spherical shell impacted by a cylindrical projectile. First, the deformation modes of the shell were given by introducing an isometric transformation. Then, the perforation mechanism of the shell was analyzed and an analytical model was advanced. Based on Hamilton principle, the governing equation was obtained and solved using Runge-Kuta method. Finally, some important theoretical predictions were given to describe the perforation mechanism of the shell. The results will play an important role in understanding the perforation mechanism of spherical shells impacted by a projectile.

  2. Temporal entrainment of cognitive functions: musical mnemonics induce brain plasticity and oscillatory synchrony in neural networks underlying memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C

    2005-12-01

    In a series of experiments, we have begun to investigate the effect of music as a mnemonic device on learning and memory and the underlying plasticity of oscillatory neural networks. We used verbal learning and memory tests (standardized word lists, AVLT) in conjunction with electroencephalographic analysis to determine differences between verbal learning in either a spoken or musical (verbal materials as song lyrics) modality. In healthy adults, learning in both the spoken and music condition was associated with significant increases in oscillatory synchrony across all frequency bands. A significant difference between the spoken and music condition emerged in the cortical topography of the learning-related synchronization. When using EEG measures as predictors during learning for subsequent successful memory recall, significantly increased coherence (phase-locked synchronization) within and between oscillatory brain networks emerged for music in alpha and gamma bands. In a similar study with multiple sclerosis patients, superior learning and memory was shown in the music condition when controlled for word order recall, and subjects were instructed to sing back the word lists. Also, the music condition was associated with a significant power increase in the low-alpha band in bilateral frontal networks, indicating increased neuronal synchronization. Musical learning may access compensatory pathways for memory functions during compromised PFC functions associated with learning and recall. Music learning may also confer a neurophysiological advantage through the stronger synchronization of the neuronal cell assemblies underlying verbal learning and memory. Collectively our data provide evidence that melodic-rhythmic templates as temporal structures in music may drive internal rhythm formation in recurrent cortical networks involved in learning and memory.

  3. Maladaptive spinal plasticity opposes spinal learning and recovery in spinal cord injury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Adam R.; Huie, J. Russell; Crown, Eric D.; Baumbauer, Kyle M.; Hook, Michelle A.; Garraway, Sandra M.; Lee, Kuan H.; Hoy, Kevin C.; Grau, James W.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity within the spinal cord has great potential to facilitate recovery of function after spinal cord injury (SCI). Spinal plasticity can be induced in an activity-dependent manner even without input from the brain after complete SCI. A mechanistic basis for these effects is provided by research demonstrating that spinal synapses have many of the same plasticity mechanisms that are known to underlie learning and memory in the brain. In addition, the lumbar spinal cord can sustain several forms of learning and memory, including limb-position training. However, not all spinal plasticity promotes recovery of function. Central sensitization of nociceptive (pain) pathways in the spinal cord may emerge in response to various noxious inputs, demonstrating that plasticity within the spinal cord may contribute to maladaptive pain states. In this review we discuss interactions between adaptive and maladaptive forms of activity-dependent plasticity in the spinal cord below the level of SCI. The literature demonstrates that activity-dependent plasticity within the spinal cord must be carefully tuned to promote adaptive spinal training. Prior work from our group has shown that stimulation that is delivered in a limb position-dependent manner or on a fixed interval can induce adaptive plasticity that promotes future spinal cord learning and reduces nociceptive hyper-reactivity. On the other hand, stimulation that is delivered in an unsynchronized fashion, such as randomized electrical stimulation or peripheral skin injuries, can generate maladaptive spinal plasticity that undermines future spinal cord learning, reduces recovery of locomotor function, and promotes nociceptive hyper-reactivity after SCI. We review these basic phenomena, how these findings relate to the broader spinal plasticity literature, discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and finally discuss implications of these and other findings for improved rehabilitative therapies after SCI. PMID

  4. Learning, neural plasticity and sensitive periods: implications for language acquisition, music training and transfer across the lifespan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Erin J; Hutka, Stefanie A; Williams, Lynne J; Moreno, Sylvain

    2013-11-20

    Sensitive periods in human development have often been proposed to explain age-related differences in the attainment of a number of skills, such as a second language (L2) and musical expertise. It is difficult to reconcile the negative consequence this traditional view entails for learning after a sensitive period with our current understanding of the brain's ability for experience-dependent plasticity across the lifespan. What is needed is a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying auditory learning and plasticity at different points in development. Drawing on research in language development and music training, this review examines not only what we learn and when we learn it, but also how learning occurs at different ages. First, we discuss differences in the mechanism of learning and plasticity during and after a sensitive period by examining how language exposure versus training forms language-specific phonetic representations in infants and adult L2 learners, respectively. Second, we examine the impact of musical training that begins at different ages on behavioral and neural indices of auditory and motor processing as well as sensorimotor integration. Third, we examine the extent to which childhood training in one auditory domain can enhance processing in another domain via the transfer of learning between shared neuro-cognitive systems. Specifically, we review evidence for a potential bi-directional transfer of skills between music and language by examining how speaking a tonal language may enhance music processing and, conversely, how early music training can enhance language processing. We conclude with a discussion of the role of attention in auditory learning for learning during and after sensitive periods and outline avenues of future research.

  5. Learning, neural plasticity and sensitive periods: implications for language acquisition, music training and transfer across the lifespan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Jacquelyn White

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Sensitive periods in human development have often been proposed to explain age-related differences in the attainment of a number of skills, such as a second language and musical expertise. It is difficult to reconcile the negative consequence this traditional view entails for learning after a sensitive period with our current understanding of the brain’s ability for experience-dependent plasticity across the lifespan. What is needed is a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying auditory learning and plasticity at different points in development. Drawing on research in language development and music training, this review examines not only what we learn and when we learn it, but also how learning occurs at different ages. First, we discuss differences in the mechanism of learning and plasticity during and after a sensitive period by examining how language exposure versus training forms language-specific phonetic representations in infants and adult second language learners, respectively. Second, we examine the impact of musical training that begins at different ages on behavioural and neural indices of auditory and motor processing as well as sensorimotor integration. Third, we examine the extent to which childhood training in one auditory domain can enhance processing in another domain via the transfer of learning between shared neuro-cognitive systems. Specifically, we review evidence for a potential bi-directional transfer of skills between music and language by examining how speaking a tonal language may enhance music processing and, conversely, how early music training can enhance language processing. We conclude with a discussion of the role of attention in auditory learning for learning during and after sensitive periods and outline avenues of future research.

  6. Learning, neural plasticity and sensitive periods: implications for language acquisition, music training and transfer across the lifespan

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Erin J.; Hutka, Stefanie A.; Williams, Lynne J.; Moreno, Sylvain

    2013-01-01

    Sensitive periods in human development have often been proposed to explain age-related differences in the attainment of a number of skills, such as a second language (L2) and musical expertise. It is difficult to reconcile the negative consequence this traditional view entails for learning after a sensitive period with our current understanding of the brain’s ability for experience-dependent plasticity across the lifespan. What is needed is a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying auditory learning and plasticity at different points in development. Drawing on research in language development and music training, this review examines not only what we learn and when we learn it, but also how learning occurs at different ages. First, we discuss differences in the mechanism of learning and plasticity during and after a sensitive period by examining how language exposure versus training forms language-specific phonetic representations in infants and adult L2 learners, respectively. Second, we examine the impact of musical training that begins at different ages on behavioral and neural indices of auditory and motor processing as well as sensorimotor integration. Third, we examine the extent to which childhood training in one auditory domain can enhance processing in another domain via the transfer of learning between shared neuro-cognitive systems. Specifically, we review evidence for a potential bi-directional transfer of skills between music and language by examining how speaking a tonal language may enhance music processing and, conversely, how early music training can enhance language processing. We conclude with a discussion of the role of attention in auditory learning for learning during and after sensitive periods and outline avenues of future research. PMID:24312022

  7. Avalanches, plasticity, and ordering in colloidal crystals under compression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDermott, D; Reichhardt, C J Olson; Reichhardt, C

    2016-06-01

    Using numerical simulations we examine colloids with a long-range Coulomb interaction confined in a two-dimensional trough potential undergoing dynamical compression. As the depth of the confining well is increased, the colloids move via elastic distortions interspersed with intermittent bursts or avalanches of plastic motion. In these avalanches, the colloids rearrange to minimize their colloid-colloid repulsive interaction energy by adopting an average lattice constant that is isotropic despite the anisotropic nature of the compression. The avalanches take the form of shear banding events that decrease or increase the structural order of the system. At larger compression, the avalanches are associated with a reduction of the number of rows of colloids that fit within the confining potential, and between avalanches the colloids can exhibit partially crystalline or anisotropic ordering. The colloid velocity distributions during the avalanches have a non-Gaussian form with power-law tails and exponents that are consistent with those found for the velocity distributions of gliding dislocations. We observe similar behavior when we subsequently decompress the system, and find a partially hysteretic response reflecting the irreversibility of the plastic events.

  8. Neural Mechanisms underlying Motor Learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    H.J. Boele (Henk-Jan)

    2014-01-01

    markdownabstract__Abstract__ Learning new things is pleasant. Moreover, learning is crucial for our survival. In contrast to trees and plants, members of the animal kingdom, including us humans, can move freely in a constantly changing world. Therefore, all forms of animal life need the capacity to

  9. Counter-Learning under Oppression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucukaydin, Ilhan

    2010-01-01

    This qualitative study utilized the method of narrative analysis to explore the counter-learning process of an oppressed Kurdish woman from Turkey. Critical constructivism was utilized to analyze counter-learning; Frankfurt School-based Marcusian critical theory was used to analyze the sociopolitical context and its impact on the oppressed. Key…

  10. Soil Air Regime of Corn Field Under Plastic Mulching

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHENYONG-XIANG; LIUXIAO-YI; 等

    1995-01-01

    The effects of plastic mulching on soil aeration at the soil depth of 0-100 cm were studied in a corn field.The results indicated that the CO2 concentration of unmulched soil in the 0-100 cm layer ranged from 0.001 to 0.016 m3/m3,and that of mulched oil 0.002 to 0.018m3/m3,about 32,39% higher than the former on the average.Such a CO2 concentration in the soil air is still sutiable for crop growth.The O2 concentration was inversely correlated with CO2 concentration in the soil air (unmulching r=-0.92,mulching r=-0.79*).O2 concentration raged from 0.11 to 0.17m3/m3 in the mulched soil and 0.13 to 0.18m3/m3 in the unmulched soil.By contrast,N2 concentration in soil air remained relatively steady,with no difference between the two treatments.The relationship between the soil respiratory intensity and the depth of a soil layer appeard to be a power function.At the layer of 0-20cm,the soil respiration intensity in the mulched soil was obviously higher than that in the unmulched.Plastic mulching could also affect soil structure.In comparison with the unmulched soil,the content of >0.25mm aggregate and 0.05-0.001mm microaggregate in the mulched soil was reduced by 82.1% and 35.8%,respectively;the soil total porotity,gaseous phase rate and aeration porosity in the depth of 10-20cm were reduced by 2.85%,19.89%and 26.54% respectively ,but contrary at the depth of 0-10cm.

  11. Maladaptive spinal plasticity opposes spinal learning and recovery in spinal cord injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam R Ferguson

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic plasticity within the spinal cord has great potential to facilitate recovery of function after spinal cord injury (SCI. Spinal plasticity can be induced in an activity-dependent manner even without input from the brain after complete SCI. The mechanistic basis for these effects is provided by research demonstrating that spinal synapses have many of the same plasticity mechanisms that are known to underlie learning and memory in the brain. In addition, the lumbar spinal cord can sustain several forms of learning and memory, including limb-position training. However, not all spinal plasticity promotes recovery of function. Central sensitization of nociceptive (pain pathways in the spinal cord may emerge with certain patterns of activity, demonstrating that plasticity within the spinal cord may contribute to maladaptive pain states. In this review we discuss interactions between adaptive and maladaptive forms of activity-dependent plasticity in the spinal cord. The literature demonstrates that activity-dependent plasticity within the spinal cord must be carefully tuned to promote adaptive spinal training. Stimulation that is delivered in a limb position-dependent manner or on a fixed interval can induce adaptive plasticity that promotes future spinal cord learning and reduces nociceptive hyper-reactivity. On the other hand, stimulation that is delivered in an unsynchronized fashion, such as randomized electrical stimulation or peripheral skin injuries, can generate maladaptive spinal plasticity that undermines future spinal cord learning, reduces recovery of locomotor function, and promotes nociceptive hyper-reactivity after spinal cord injury. We review these basic phenomena, discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and discuss implications of these findings for improved rehabilitative therapies after spinal cord injury.

  12. Water maze learning and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin diabetic rats: effects of insulin treatment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gispen, W.H.; Biessels, G.J.; Kamal, A.; Urban, I.J.A.; Spruijt, B.M.; Erkelens, D.W.

    1998-01-01

    Streptozotocin-diabetic rats express deficits in water maze learning and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. The present study examined whether these deficits could be prevented and/or reversed with insulin treatment. In addition, the water maze learning deficit in diabetic rats was further characteriz

  13. Plasticity Tool for Predicting Shear Nonlinearity of Unidirectional Laminates Under Multiaxial Loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, John T.; Bomarito, Geoffrey F.

    2016-01-01

    This study implements a plasticity tool to predict the nonlinear shear behavior of unidirectional composite laminates under multiaxial loadings, with an intent to further develop the tool for use in composite progressive damage analysis. The steps for developing the plasticity tool include establishing a general quadratic yield function, deriving the incremental elasto-plastic stress-strain relations using the yield function with associated flow rule, and integrating the elasto-plastic stress-strain relations with a modified Euler method and a substepping scheme. Micromechanics analyses are performed to obtain normal and shear stress-strain curves that are used in determining the plasticity parameters of the yield function. By analyzing a micromechanics model, a virtual testing approach is used to replace costly experimental tests for obtaining stress-strain responses of composites under various loadings. The predicted elastic moduli and Poisson's ratios are in good agreement with experimental data. The substepping scheme for integrating the elasto-plastic stress-strain relations is suitable for working with displacement-based finite element codes. An illustration problem is solved to show that the plasticity tool can predict the nonlinear shear behavior for a unidirectional laminate subjected to multiaxial loadings.

  14. Fast convergence of learning requires plasticity between inferior olive and deep cerebellar nuclei in a manipulation task: a closed-loop robotic simulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, Niceto R; Garrido, Jesús A; Carrillo, Richard R; D'Angelo, Egidio; Ros, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    The cerebellum is known to play a critical role in learning relevant patterns of activity for adaptive motor control, but the underlying network mechanisms are only partly understood. The classical long-term synaptic plasticity between parallel fibers (PFs) and Purkinje cells (PCs), which is driven by the inferior olive (IO), can only account for limited aspects of learning. Recently, the role of additional forms of plasticity in the granular layer, molecular layer and deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) has been considered. In particular, learning at DCN synapses allows for generalization, but convergence to a stable state requires hundreds of repetitions. In this paper we have explored the putative role of the IO-DCN connection by endowing it with adaptable weights and exploring its implications in a closed-loop robotic manipulation task. Our results show that IO-DCN plasticity accelerates convergence of learning by up to two orders of magnitude without conflicting with the generalization properties conferred by DCN plasticity. Thus, this model suggests that multiple distributed learning mechanisms provide a key for explaining the complex properties of procedural learning and open up new experimental questions for synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar network.

  15. Fast convergence of learning requires plasticity between inferior olive and deep cerebellar nuclei in a manipulation task: a closed-loop robotic simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luque, Niceto R.; Garrido, Jesús A.; Carrillo, Richard R.; D'Angelo, Egidio; Ros, Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    The cerebellum is known to play a critical role in learning relevant patterns of activity for adaptive motor control, but the underlying network mechanisms are only partly understood. The classical long-term synaptic plasticity between parallel fibers (PFs) and Purkinje cells (PCs), which is driven by the inferior olive (IO), can only account for limited aspects of learning. Recently, the role of additional forms of plasticity in the granular layer, molecular layer and deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) has been considered. In particular, learning at DCN synapses allows for generalization, but convergence to a stable state requires hundreds of repetitions. In this paper we have explored the putative role of the IO-DCN connection by endowing it with adaptable weights and exploring its implications in a closed-loop robotic manipulation task. Our results show that IO-DCN plasticity accelerates convergence of learning by up to two orders of magnitude without conflicting with the generalization properties conferred by DCN plasticity. Thus, this model suggests that multiple distributed learning mechanisms provide a key for explaining the complex properties of procedural learning and open up new experimental questions for synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar network. PMID:25177290

  16. Utilizing intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity to bolster agricultural and forest productivity under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aspinwall, Michael J; Loik, Michael E; Resco de Dios, Victor; Tjoelker, Mark G; Payton, Paxton R; Tissue, David T

    2015-09-01

    Climate change threatens the ability of agriculture and forestry to meet growing global demands for food, fibre and wood products. Information gathered from genotype-by-environment interactions (G × E), which demonstrate intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity (the ability of a genotype to alter its phenotype in response to environmental change), may prove important for bolstering agricultural and forest productivity under climate change. Nonetheless, very few studies have explicitly quantified genotype plasticity-productivity relationships in agriculture or forestry. Here, we conceptualize the importance of intraspecific variation in agricultural and forest species plasticity, and discuss the physiological and genetic factors contributing to intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity. Our discussion highlights the need for an integrated understanding of the mechanisms of G × E, more extensive assessments of genotypic responses to climate change under field conditions, and explicit testing of genotype plasticity-productivity relationships. Ultimately, further investigation of intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity in agriculture and forestry may prove important for identifying genotypes capable of increasing or sustaining productivity under more extreme climatic conditions.

  17. A role for calcium-permeable AMPA receptors in synaptic plasticity and learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian J Wiltgen

    Full Text Available A central concept in the field of learning and memory is that NMDARs are essential for synaptic plasticity and memory formation. Surprisingly then, multiple studies have found that behavioral experience can reduce or eliminate the contribution of these receptors to learning. The cellular mechanisms that mediate learning in the absence of NMDAR activation are currently unknown. To address this issue, we examined the contribution of Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs to learning and plasticity in the hippocampus. Mutant mice were engineered with a conditional genetic deletion of GluR2 in the CA1 region of the hippocampus (GluR2-cKO mice. Electrophysiology experiments in these animals revealed a novel form of long-term potentiation (LTP that was independent of NMDARs and mediated by GluR2-lacking Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs. Behavioral analyses found that GluR2-cKO mice were impaired on multiple hippocampus-dependent learning tasks that required NMDAR activation. This suggests that AMPAR-mediated LTP interferes with NMDAR-dependent plasticity. In contrast, NMDAR-independent learning was normal in knockout mice and required the activation of Ca(2+-permeable AMPARs. These results suggest that GluR2-lacking AMPARs play a functional and previously unidentified role in learning; they appear to mediate changes in synaptic strength that occur after plasticity has been established by NMDARs.

  18. Direct current stimulation promotes BDNF-dependent synaptic plasticity: potential implications for motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritsch, Brita; Reis, Janine; Martinowich, Keri; Schambra, Heidi M; Ji, Yuanyuan; Cohen, Leonardo G; Lu, Bai

    2010-04-29

    Despite its increasing use in experimental and clinical settings, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) remain unknown. Anodal tDCS applied to the human motor cortex (M1) improves motor skill learning. Here, we demonstrate in mouse M1 slices that DCS induces a long-lasting synaptic potentiation (DCS-LTP), which is polarity specific, NMDA receptor dependent, and requires coupling of DCS with repetitive low-frequency synaptic activation (LFS). Combined DCS and LFS enhance BDNF-secretion and TrkB activation, and DCS-LTP is absent in BDNF and TrkB mutant mice, suggesting that BDNF is a key mediator of this phenomenon. Moreover, the BDNF val66met polymorphism known to partially affect activity-dependent BDNF secretion impairs motor skill acquisition in humans and mice. Motor learning is enhanced by anodal tDCS, as long as activity-dependent BDNF secretion is in place. We propose that tDCS may improve motor skill learning through augmentation of synaptic plasticity that requires BDNF secretion and TrkB activation within M1.

  19. Microstructure Evolution of Grade X100 Pipeline under Plastic Deformation Condition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lihua Qi

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of plastic deformation on the microstructure evolution of grade X100 pipeline were investigated by SEM, TEM and EBSD tests. The result shows that quasipolygon ferrite deforms firstly under plastic strain initial stage, then both acicular ferrite and granular bainite change remarkably with the value of plastic strain increase. When the tension stress reaches the tensile strength, microcracks nucleate around the inclusion and M/A constitute, expand with the plastic deformation increases, and finally cracks connection causes the crack penetration until the expiration. Furthermore, the microscopic orientation concentrates in {110} 〈111〉 direction before the deformation, while crystal orientation in {110} and {112} direction enhanced after the deformation.

  20. Switching of the electrical conductivity of plasticized PVC films under uniaxial pressure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlasov, D. V.; Apresyan, L. A.; Vlasova, T. V.; Kryshtob, V. I.

    2011-11-01

    The jumplike switching of the electrical conductivity in wide-band-gap polymer (antistatic plasticized polyvinylchloride) films under uniaxial pressure is studied. In various plasticized PVC materials, the uniaxial pressure inducing a conductivity jump by four orders of magnitude or higher changes from several to several hundreds of bars, and this effect is retained at a film thickness of several hundred microns, which is two orders of magnitude larger than the critical film thicknesses known for other wide-band-gap polymers. In addition to the earlier interpretation of the conductivity anomalies in plasticized PVC, we proposed a phenomenological electron-molecular dynamic nanotrap model, in which local charge transfer is provided by mobile molecule segments in a plasticized polymer.

  1. Spike timing dependent plasticity: a consequence of more fundamental learning rules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harel Z Shouval

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP is a phenomenon in which the precise timing of spikes affects the sign and magnitude of changes in synaptic strength. STDP is often interpreted as the comprehensive learning rule for a synapse - the “first law” of synaptic plasticity. This interpretation is made explicit in theoretical models in which the total plasticity produced by complex spike patterns results from a superposition of the effects of all spike pairs. Although such models are appealing for their simplicity, they can fail dramatically. For example, the measured single-spike learning rule between hippocampal CA3 and CA1 pyramidal neurons does not predict the existence of long-term potentiation. Layers of complexity have been added to the basic STDP model to repair predictive failures, but they have been outstripped by experimental data. We propose an alternate first law: neural activity triggers changes in key biochemical intermediates, which act as a more direct trigger of plasticity mechanisms. One particularly successful model uses intracellular calcium as the intermediate and can account for many observed properties of bidirectional plasticity. In this formulation, STDP is not itself the basis for explaining other forms of plasticity, but is instead a consequence of changes in the biochemical intermediate, calcium. Eventually a mechanism-based framework for learning rules should include other messengers, discrete change at individual synapses, spread of plasticity among neighboring synapses, and priming of hidden processes that change a synapse’s susceptibility to future change. Mechanism-based models provide a rich framework for the computational representation of synaptic plasticity.

  2. Altered synaptic plasticity in Tourette's syndrome and its relationship to motor skill learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Cathérine Brandt

    Full Text Available Gilles de la Tourette syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by motor and phonic tics that can be considered motor responses to preceding inner urges. It has been shown that Tourette patients have inferior performance in some motor learning tasks and reduced synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. However, it has not been investigated whether altered synaptic plasticity is directly linked to impaired motor skill acquisition in Tourette patients. In this study, cortical plasticity was assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials before and after paired associative stimulation in 14 Tourette patients (13 male; age 18-39 and 15 healthy controls (12 male; age 18-33. Tic and urge severity were assessed using the Yale Global Tic Severity Scale and the Premonitory Urges for Tics Scale. Motor learning was assessed 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity and 9 months later, using the rotary pursuit task. On average, long-term potentiation-like effects in response to the paired associative stimulation were present in healthy controls but not in patients. In Tourette patients, long-term potentiation-like effects were associated with more and long-term depression-like effects with less severe urges and tics. While motor learning did not differ between patients and healthy controls 45 minutes after inducing synaptic plasticity, the learning curve of the healthy controls started at a significantly higher level than the Tourette patients' 9 months later. Induced synaptic plasticity correlated positively with motor skills in healthy controls 9 months later. The present study confirms previously found long-term improvement in motor performance after paired associative stimulation in healthy controls but not in Tourette patients. Tourette patients did not show long-term potentiation in response to PAS and also showed reduced levels of motor skill consolidation after 9 months compared to healthy controls. Moreover

  3. A Computational Model of the Temporal Dynamics of Plasticity in Procedural Learning: Sensitivity to Feedback Timing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivian V. Valentin

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The evidence is now good that different memory systems mediate the learning of different types of category structures. In particular, declarative memory dominates rule-based (RB category learning and procedural memory dominates information-integration (II category learning. For example, several studies have reported that feedback timing is critical for II category learning, but not for RB category learning – results that have broad support within the memory systems literature. Specifically, II category learning has been shown to be best with feedback delays of 500ms compared to delays of 0 and 1000ms, and highly impaired with delays of 2.5 seconds or longer. In contrast, RB learning is unaffected by any feedback delay up to 10 seconds. We propose a neurobiologically detailed theory of procedural learning that is sensitive to different feedback delays. The theory assumes that procedural learning is mediated by plasticity at cortical-striatal synapses that are modified by dopamine-mediated reinforcement learning. The model captures the time-course of the biochemical events in the striatum that cause synaptic plasticity, and thereby accounts for the empirical effects of various feedback delays on II category learning.

  4. Learning under stress impairs memory formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwabe, Lars; Wolf, Oliver T

    2010-02-01

    Converging lines of evidence indicate that stress either before or after learning influences memory. Surprisingly little is known about how memory is affected when people learn while they are stressed. Here, we examined the impact of learning under stress in 48 healthy young men and women. Participants were exposed to stress (socially evaluated cold pressor test) or a control condition while they learned emotional words and neutral words that were either conceptually associated with or unrelated to the stressor. Memory was assessed in free recall and recognition tests 24h after learning. Learning under stress reduced both free recall and recognition performance, irrespective of the emotionality and the stress context relatedness of the words. While the effect of stress was comparable in men and women, women outperformed men in the free recall test. These findings show a memory impairing effect of learning under stress in humans and challenge some assumptions of current theories about the impact of stress around the time of learning on memory formation.

  5. Triatominae as a model of morphological plasticity under ecological pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dujardin JP

    1999-01-01

    Full Text Available The use of biochemical and genetic characters to explore species or population relationships has been applied to taxonomic questions since the 60s. In responding to the central question of the evolutionary history of Triatominae, i.e. their monophyletic or polyphyletic origin, two important questions arise (i to what extent is the morphologically-based classification valid for assessing phylogenetic relationships? and (ii what are the main mechanisms underlying speciation in Triatominae? Phenetic and genetic studies so far developed suggest that speciation in Triatominae may be a rapid process mainly driven by ecological factors.

  6. Evolution of Plastic Learning in Spiking Networks via Memristive Connections

    OpenAIRE

    Howard, Gerard; Gale, Ella; Bull, Larry; Costello, Ben de Lacy; Adamatzky, Andy

    2012-01-01

    This article presents a spiking neuroevolutionary system which implements memristors as plastic connections, i.e. whose weights can vary during a trial. The evolutionary design process exploits parameter self-adaptation and variable topologies, allowing the number of neurons, connection weights, and inter-neural connectivity pattern to emerge. By comparing two phenomenological real-world memristor implementations with networks comprised of (i) linear resistors (ii) constant-valued connections...

  7. Organizational Learning in Schools under Sanction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kara S. Finnigan

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The focus on “school turnaround” has become central to policy and practice in the United States as a result of school accountability, yet little remains known about school improvement under sanction. This study uses theories of organizational learning to understand the processes through which educators search for and adopt reform strategies, as well as the extent to which these schools’ organizational culture and climate are conducive to this type of learning. Our mixed methods study involves document analysis, intensive case studies, and a survey of teachers in schools under sanction in a large urban school district in the USA. We found limited evidence of organizational learning, and instead evidence suggested superficial use of restructuring planning, rare diagnoses of root causes of low performance, and limited engagement in learning processes of school staff. In addition, schools relied on exploitation resulting in the recycling of previous practices. In part, the limited organizational learning in evidence was the result of structures and climates within these low-performing schools that inhibited a more learning-oriented approach to reform. Our study has implications for school improvement under accountability policies as it uncovers important challenges that limit organizational learning and, as a result, school improvement under sanction.

  8. Plastic Buckling of Cylindrical Shells Under Transverse Loading

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Chonghou; LIU Yansheng; Yoshiaki Goto

    2008-01-01

    Thick cylindrical shells under transverse loading exhibit an elephant foot buckling mode, whereas moderately thick cylindrical shells show a diamond buckling mode. There exists some intermediate geome- try at which the transition between buckling modes can take place. This behavior is significantly influenced by the radius-to-thickness ratio and the material yield strength, rather than the length-to-radius ratio and the axial force. This paper presents a critical value at which the transition of buckling modes occurs as a func- tion of the radius-to-thickness ratio and the material yield strength. The result shows that the circumferential wave number of the diamond buckling mode increases with decreasing wall thickness. The strain concentra- tion is also intensified for the diamond buckling modes compared with the elephant foot buckling modes.

  9. Phenotypic plasticity of avian social-learning strategies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Riebel, Katharina; Spierings, Michelle J.; Holveck, Marie-Jeanne; Verhulst, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Social learning, whereby animals learn from others, mediates the spread of information through social networks. To make this process adaptive, animals should be selective with respect to when and whom to copy. The cost of decision making can be curbed by cognitive biases favouring particular categor

  10. Brain Plasticity and the Art of Teaching to Learn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself, "wrote Leo Tolstoy. Have you ever thought about how learning changes your brain? If yes, this paper may help you explore the research that will change our learning landscape in the next few years! Recent developers in the neurosciences and education research…

  11. Gene Expression Patterns Underlying the Reinstatement of Plasticity in the Adult Visual System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ettore Tiraboschi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The nervous system is highly sensitive to experience during early postnatal life, but this phase of heightened plasticity decreases with age. Recent studies have demonstrated that developmental-like plasticity can be reactivated in the visual cortex of adult animals through environmental or pharmacological manipulations. These findings provide a unique opportunity to study the cellular and molecular mechanisms of adult plasticity. Here we used the monocular deprivation paradigm to investigate large-scale gene expression patterns underlying the reinstatement of plasticity produced by fluoxetine in the adult rat visual cortex. We found changes, confirmed with RT-PCRs, in gene expression in different biological themes, such as chromatin structure remodelling, transcription factors, molecules involved in synaptic plasticity, extracellular matrix, and excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission. Our findings reveal a key role for several molecules such as the metalloproteases Mmp2 and Mmp9 or the glycoprotein Reelin and open up new insights into the mechanisms underlying the reopening of the critical periods in the adult brain.

  12. Voluntary running-enhanced synaptic plasticity, learning and memory are mediated by Notch1 signal pathway in C57BL mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaochen; Yang, Chunxiao; Gao, Jing; Yin, Hongqiang; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Tao; Yang, Zhuo

    2017-09-20

    It is well known that voluntary running can enhance synaptic plasticity and improve learning and memory abilities. The Notch1 receptor is also reported to be associated with these processes, but its role in running-induced alterations is unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the Notch1 signalling pathway was involved in voluntary running-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Notch1 heterozygous deficient (Notch1(+/-)) mice and wildtype (WT) C57BL littermates were randomly divided into runner group and non-runner group. Mice were given free access to running wheels for 14 days in both the Notch1(+/-) runner group and the WT runner group. Our results demonstrate that Notch1 knockdown impairs the performance in the novel object recognition (NOR) test and Morris water maze test and decreases the synaptic plasticity. Voluntary running improves spatial learning and memory abilities, promotes synaptic plasticity and increases expressions of postsynaptic proteins in WT mice but not in Notch1(+/-) mice. Our results suggest that Notch1 plays a vital role in spatial learning and memory, synaptic plasticity under normal physiological conditions and voluntary running conditions. These findings will set the groundwork and fill in some gaps for understanding the role of Notch1 signalling in voluntary running-induced phenomena.

  13. Plasticity in sunflower leaf and cell growth under high salinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Céccoli, G; Bustos, D; Ortega, L I; Senn, M E; Vegetti, A; Taleisnik, E

    2015-01-01

    A group of sunflower lines that exhibit a range of leaf Na(+) concentrations under high salinity was used to explore whether the responses to the osmotic and ionic components of salinity can be distinguished in leaf expansion kinetics analysis. It was expected that at the initial stages of the salt treatment, leaf expansion kinetics changes would be dominated by responses to the osmotic component of salinity, and that later on, ion inclusion would impose further kinetics changes. It was also expected that differential leaf Na(+) accumulation would be reflected in specific changes in cell division and expansion rates. Plants of four sunflower lines were gradually treated with a relatively high (130 mm NaCl) salt treatment. Leaf expansion kinetics curves were compared in leaves that were formed before, during and after the initiation of the salt treatment. Leaf areas were smaller in salt-treated plants, but the analysis of growth curves did not reveal differences that could be attributed to differential Na(+) accumulation, since similar changes in leaf expansion kinetics were observed in lines with different magnitudes of salt accumulation. Nevertheless, in a high leaf Na(+) -including line, cell divisions were affected earlier, resulting in leaves with proportionally fewer cells than in a Na(+) -excluding line. A distinct change in leaf epidermal pavement shape caused by salinity is reported for the first time. Mature pavement cells in leaves of control plants exhibited typical lobed, jigsaw-puzzle shape, whereas in treated plants, they tended to retain closer-to-circular shapes and a lower number of lobes.

  14. Plasticity in the rat prefrontal cortex: linking gene expression and an operant learning with a computational theory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano Rapanelli

    Full Text Available The plasticity in the medial Prefrontal Cortex (mPFC of rodents or lateral prefrontal cortex in non human primates (lPFC, plays a key role neural circuits involved in learning and memory. Several genes, like brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, cAMP response element binding (CREB, Synapsin I, Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CamKII, activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc, c-jun and c-fos have been related to plasticity processes. We analysed differential expression of related plasticity genes and immediate early genes in the mPFC of rats during learning an operant conditioning task. Incompletely and completely trained animals were studied because of the distinct events predicted by our computational model at different learning stages. During learning an operant conditioning task, we measured changes in the mRNA levels by Real-Time RT-PCR during learning; expression of these markers associated to plasticity was incremented while learning and such increments began to decline when the task was learned. The plasticity changes in the lPFC during learning predicted by the model matched up with those of the representative gene BDNF. Herein, we showed for the first time that plasticity in the mPFC in rats during learning of an operant conditioning is higher while learning than when the task is learned, using an integrative approach of a computational model and gene expression.

  15. Effect of high molecular weight plasticizers on the gelatinization of starch under static and shear conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghizadeh, Ata; Favis, Basil D

    2013-02-15

    Starch gelatinization in the presence of high molecular weight polyol plasticizers and water was studied under static and dynamic conditions and was compared to a glycerol reference. For static gelatinization, glycerol, sorbitol, diglycerol and polyglycerol were examined using polarized light microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry. A wide range of starch/water/plasticizer compositions were prepared to explore the gelatinization regime for each plasticizer. The plasticizers show that the onset and conclusion temperatures for sorbitol and glycerol are in the same range and are lower than the other two plasticizers. On the other hand, polyglycerol shows a higher gelatinization temperature than diglycerol because of its higher molecular weight and viscosity. The results indicate that in the case of all plasticizers, increasing the water content tends to decrease the gelatinization temperature and, except for polyglycerol, increasing the plasticizer content increases the gelatinization temperature. In the case of polyglycerol, however, increasing the plasticizer content had the opposite effect and this was found to be related to the borderline solubility of polyglycerol in water. When the polyglycerol/water solubility was increased by increasing the temperature of the water/plasticizer/starch slurry, the gelatinization temperature dependence was found to be similar to the other polyols. A rheological technique was developed to study the dynamic gelatinization process by tracking the influence of shear on the complex viscosity in a couette flow system. Glycerol, diglycerol and sorbitol were subjected to different dynamic gelatinization treatments and the results were compared with static gelatinization. It is quantitatively shown that shear has a major effect on the gelatinization process. The conclusion temperature of gelatinization is significantly diminished (up to 21 °C) in the presence of shear whereas the onset temperature of gelatinization remains

  16. Ratcheting deformation of advanced 316 steel under creep-plasticity condition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kawashima, Fumiko; Ishikawa, Akiyoshi; Asada, Yasuhide [Tokai Univ., Tokyo (Japan). Dept. of Mechanical Engineering

    1998-11-01

    Tension-torsion biaxial ratcheting tests have been conducted with Advanced 316 Steel (316FR Steel) at 650 C under a cyclic strain rate of 10{sup -3} to 10{sup -5} s{sup -1}. Accumulation of ratcheting strain has been measured. Accumulated ratchet strain has shown to be much larger than predicted based on a usual method of the linear superposition of strains due to creep and plasticity. The result shows there observed the creep-plasticity interaction in the observation. (orig.)

  17. Self-organization of a recurrent network under ongoing synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aoki, Takaaki

    2015-02-01

    We investigated the organization of a recurrent network under ongoing synaptic plasticity using a model of neural oscillators coupled by dynamic synapses. In this model, the coupling weights changed dynamically, depending on the timing between the oscillators. We determined the phase coupling function of the oscillator model, Γ(ϕ), using conductance-based neuron models. Furthermore, we examined the effects of the Fourier zero mode of Γ(ϕ), which has a critical role in the case of spike-time-dependent plasticity-organized recurrent networks. Heterogeneous layered clusters with different frequencies emerged from homogeneous populations as the Fourier zero mode increased. Our findings may provide new insights into the self-assembly mechanisms of neural networks related to synaptic plasticity.

  18. Biodegradability of biodegradable/degradable plastic materials under aerobic and anaerobic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohee, R; Unmar, G D; Mudhoo, A; Khadoo, P

    2008-01-01

    A study was conducted on two types of plastic materials, Mater-Bi Novamont (MB) and Environmental Product Inc. (EPI), to assess their biodegradability under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. For aerobic conditions, organic fractions of municipal solid wastes were composted. For the anaerobic process, anaerobic inoculum from a wastewater treatment plant was used. Cellulose filter papers (CFP) were used as a positive control for both mediums. The composting process was monitored in terms of temperature, moisture and volatile solids and the biodegradation of the samples were monitored in terms of mass loss. Monitoring results showed a biodegradation of 27.1% on a dry basis for MB plastic within a period of 72 days of composting. Biodegradability under an anaerobic environment was monitored in terms of biogas production. A cumulative methane gas production of 245 ml was obtained for MB, which showed good degradation as compared to CFP (246.8 ml). However, EPI plastic showed a cumulative methane value of 7.6 ml for a period of 32 days, which was close to the blank (4.0 ml). The EPI plastic did not biodegrade under either condition. The cumulative carbon dioxide evolution after 32 days was as follows: CFP 4.406 cm3, MB 2.198 cm3 and EPI 1.328 cm3. The cumulative level of CO2 varying with time fitted sigmoid type curves with R2 values of 0.996, 0.996 and 0.995 for CFP, MB and EPI, respectively.

  19. Plasticity in the adult language system: a longitudinal electrophysiological study on second language learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, M; Dierks, T; Brandeis, D; Wirth, M; Strik, W; Koenig, T

    2006-11-01

    Event-related potentials (ERPs) were used to trace changes in brain activity related to progress in second language learning. Twelve English-speaking exchange students learning German in Switzerland were recruited. ERPs to visually presented single words from the subjects' native language (English), second language (German) and an unknown language (Romansh) were measured before (day 1) and after (day 2) 5 months of intense German language learning. When comparing ERPs to German words from day 1 and day 2, we found topographic differences between 396 and 540 ms. These differences could be interpreted as a latency shift indicating faster processing of German words on day 2. Source analysis indicated that the topographic differences were accounted for by shorter activation of left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) on day 2. In ERPs to English words, we found Global Field Power differences between 472 and 644 ms. This may due to memory traces related to English words being less easily activated on day 2. Alternatively, it might reflect the fact that--with German words becoming familiar on day 2--English words loose their oddball character and thus produce a weaker P300-like effect on day 2. In ERPs to Romansh words, no differences were observed. Our results reflect plasticity in the neuronal networks underlying second language acquisition. They indicate that with a higher level of second language proficiency, second language word processing is faster and requires shorter frontal activation. Thus, our results suggest that the reduced IFG activation found in previous fMRI studies might not reflect a generally lower activation but rather a shorter duration of activity.

  20. Neuroimaging Evidence for 2 Types of Plasticity in Association with Visual Perceptual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shibata, Kazuhisa; Sasaki, Yuka; Kawato, Mitsuo; Watanabe, Takeo

    2016-09-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) is long-term performance improvement as a result of perceptual experience. It is unclear whether VPL is associated with refinement in representations of the trained feature (feature-based plasticity), improvement in processing of the trained task (task-based plasticity), or both. Here, we provide empirical evidence that VPL of motion detection is associated with both types of plasticity which occur predominantly in different brain areas. Before and after training on a motion detection task, subjects' neural responses to the trained motion stimuli were measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In V3A, significant response changes after training were observed specifically to the trained motion stimulus but independently of whether subjects performed the trained task. This suggests that the response changes in V3A represent feature-based plasticity in VPL of motion detection. In V1 and the intraparietal sulcus, significant response changes were found only when subjects performed the trained task on the trained motion stimulus. This suggests that the response changes in these areas reflect task-based plasticity. These results collectively suggest that VPL of motion detection is associated with the 2 types of plasticity, which occur in different areas and therefore have separate mechanisms at least to some degree. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press.

  1. Dynamic learning and memory, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis: An update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ales eStuchlik

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian memory is the result of the interaction of millions of neurons in the brain and their coordinated activity. Candidate mechanisms for memory are synaptic plasticity changes, such as long-term potentiation (LTP. LTP is essentially an electrophysiological phenomenon manifested in hours-lasting increase on postsynaptic potentials after synapse tetanization. It is thought to ensure long-term changes in synaptic efficacy in distributed networks, leading to persistent changes in the behavioral patterns, actions and choices, which are often interpreted as the retention of information, i.e., memory. Interestingly, new neurons are born in the mammalian brain and adult hippocampal neurogenesis is proposed to provide a substrate for dynamic and flexible aspects of behavior such as pattern separation, prevention of interference, flexibility of behavior and memory resolution. This work provides a brief review on the memory and involvement of LTP and adult neurogenesis in memory phenomena.

  2. Learning to see again: biological constraints on cortical plasticity and the implications for sight restoration technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyeler, Michael; Rokem, Ariel; Boynton, Geoffrey M.; Fine, Ione

    2017-10-01

    The ‘bionic eye’—so long a dream of the future—is finally becoming a reality with retinal prostheses available to patients in both the US and Europe. However, clinical experience with these implants has made it apparent that the visual information provided by these devices differs substantially from normal sight. Consequently, the ability of patients to learn to make use of this abnormal retinal input plays a critical role in whether or not some functional vision is successfully regained. The goal of the present review is to summarize the vast basic science literature on developmental and adult cortical plasticity with an emphasis on how this literature might relate to the field of prosthetic vision. We begin with describing the distortion and information loss likely to be experienced by visual prosthesis users. We then define cortical plasticity and perceptual learning, and describe what is known, and what is unknown, about visual plasticity across the hierarchy of brain regions involved in visual processing, and across different stages of life. We close by discussing what is known about brain plasticity in sight restoration patients and discuss biological mechanisms that might eventually be harnessed to improve visual learning in these patients.

  3. a Method to Correct Yield Surface Drift in Soil Plasticity Under Mixed Control and Explicit Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattsson, Hans; Axelsson, Kennet; Klisinski, Marek

    1997-03-01

    When applying an explicit integration algorithm in e.g. soil plasticity, the predicted stress point at the end of an elastoplastic increment of loading might not be situated on the updated current yield surface. This so-called yield surface drift could generally be held under control by using small integration steps. Another possibility, when circumstances might demand larger steps, is to adopt a drift correction method. In this paper, a drift correction method for mixed control in soil plasticity, under drained as well as undrained conditions, is proposed. By simulating triaxial tests in a Constitutive Driver, the capability and efficiency of this correction method, under different choices of implementation, have been analysed. It was concluded that the proposed drift correction method, for quite marginal additional computational cost, was able to correct successfully for yield surface drift giving results in close agreement to those obtained with a very large number of integration steps.

  4. Anatomy, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic potential in grapevine leaves under plastic cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo Chavarria

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated the anatomy, chlorophyll content and photosynthetic potential of grapevine leaves grown under plastic cover. The experiment was carried out in vineyards of Moscato Giallo cultivar covered and uncovered with plastic. A block design with 10 selected plants was used for each area (covered and uncovered. Twelve leaves (six of them fully exposed to solar radiation and six grown under shaded conditions were collected from each area and were fixed and analyzed microscopically (thickness of the adaxial and abaxial epidermis and of the palisade and spongy parenchymas. Chlorophyll content and photosynthetic potential were determined in the vineyard at veraison and after harvest. Plastic covering increased the thickness of the palisade parenchyma in exposed and shaded leaves due to solar radiation restriction. However, the leaves from the covered vineyard did not have the same response to the restriction of solar radiation, as observed in the uncovered vineyard. The thickness of the adaxial and abaxial epidermis and of the spongy parenchyma did not vary due to solar radiation restriction. Chlorophyll content increased in the leaves of covered plants. The photosynthetic potential of the vines is not affected by solar radiation restriction imposed by plastic cover due to anatomical modification in leaves.

  5. The Learning Hippocampus: Education and Experience-Dependent Plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenger, Elisabeth; Lövdén, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampal formation of the brain plays a crucial role in declarative learning and memory while at the same time being particularly susceptible to environmental influences. Education requires a well-functioning hippocampus, but may also influence the development of this brain structure. Understanding these bidirectional influences may have…

  6. On Analysis of Quantifying Learning Creativity Phenomenon Considering Brain Synaptic Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hassan Mustafa

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Generally, Analysis of learning creativity phenomenon is an interesting and challenging issue associated with educational practice. Moreover, that phenomenon is tightly related to main human brain functions (Learning and Memory. So, creative individuals are characterized by their distinct capabilities in performing both brain functions. Additionally, educationalists as well as psychologists, for a long time ago and until recently, have been interesting in searching for quantitative investigation of that challenging issue. In the field of education, practical evaluation of learners' performance, -during tutoring session(s - may result in observation of creativity phenomenon. Herein, this work introduces an interdisciplinary novel approach concerned with analysis of quantifying learning creativity phenomenon. That is fulfilled by adopting Artificial Neural Networks modeling for realistic simulation of synaptic connectivity dynamics (equivalently, synaptic plasticity. By some details, presented work considered two main design parameters of Artificial Neural Networks. Namely they are, gain factor (of neuronal sigmoid activation function, and learning rate value. Both parameters Synaptic Plasticity inside the brain. Obviously, individuals characterized by various values of gain factor value as well as learning rate parameter are well relevant to quantify there learning creativity. Conclusively, obtained results motivate future research for systematical investigational study in depth considering the effect of congenital and/or hereditary factors on learning creativity phenomenon.

  7. The Radical Plasticity Thesis: How the brain learns to be conscious

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Axel eCleeremans

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterise and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the Radical Plasticity Thesis. In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further outwards. Consciousness involves signal detection on the mind; the mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks.

  8. The plasticity of extinction: contribution of the prefrontal cortex in treating addiction though inhibitory learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lawrence Judson Chandler

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Theories of drug addiction that incorporate various concepts from the fields of learning and memory have led to the idea that classical and operant conditioning principles underlie the compulsiveness of addictive behaviors. Relapse often results from exposure to drug-associated cues, and the ability to extinguish these conditioned behaviors through inhibitory learning could serve as a potential therapeutic mechanism for those who suffer from addiction. This review will examine the evidence that extinction learning alters neuronal plasticity in specific brain regions and pathways. In particular, subregions of the prefrontal cortex and their projections to other brain regions have been shown to differentially modulate drug-seeking and extinction behavior. Additionally, there is a growing body of research demonstrating that manipulation of neuronal plasticity can alter extinction learning. Therefore, the ability to alter plasticity within areas of the prefrontal cortex through pharmacological manipulation could facilitate the acquisition of extinction and provide a novel intervention to aid in the extinction of drug-related memories.

  9. Inferring compositional style in the neo-plastic paintings of Piet Mondrian by machine learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrzejewski, David; Stork, David G.; Zhu, Xiaojin; Spronk, Ron

    2010-02-01

    We trained generative models and decision tree classifiers with positive and negative examples of the neo-plastic works of Piet Mondrian to infer his compositional principles, to generate "faux" works, and to explore the possibility of computer-based aids in authentication and attribution studies. Unlike previous computer work on this and other artists, we used "earlier state" works-intermediate versions of works created by Mondrian revealed through x-radiography and infra-red reflectography-when training our classifiers. Such intermediate state works provide a great deal of information to a classifier as they differ only slightly from the final works. We used methods from machine learning such as leave-one-out cross validation. Our decision tree classifier had accuracy of roughly 70% in recognizing the genuine works of Mondrian versus computer-generated replicas with similar statistical properties. Our trained classifier reveals implicit compositional principles underlying Mondrian's works, for instance the relative visual "weights" of the four colors (red, yellow, blue and black) he used in his rectangles. We used our trained generative model to generate "faux" Mondrians, which informally possess some of the compositional attributes of genuine works by this artist.

  10. Plastic mechanism analysis of T-joints in RHS under concentrated force

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Xiao-Ling; Hancock, Gregory J.

    1991-11-01

    A new plastic mechanism is developed for T-joints in rectangular hollow sections (RHS) under concentrated loads. This model includes the plastic hinges in the web, the membrane force in the flange and the strain hardening of the material. It can predict the yield load, the post-yield response, and the ultimate load of a T-joint under concentrated force. The model developed is compared with the CIDECT model, the Kato model, and the modified Kato model. The yield load, the post-yield response, and the ultimate load determined from the present model are compared with 6 T-joint tests performed by Zhao and Hancock (1991) and 20 T-joint tests performed by Kato and Nishiyama (1979). The ratio (beta) of the T-joints tested varied from 0.291 to 0.890.

  11. Dopamine Promotes Motor Cortex Plasticity and Motor Skill Learning via PLC Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia-Seraina; Pekanovic, Ana; Atiemo, Clement Osei; Marshall, John; Luft, Andreas Rüdiger

    2015-01-01

    Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, the major midbrain nucleus projecting to the motor cortex, play a key role in motor skill learning and motor cortex synaptic plasticity. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonists exert parallel effects in the motor system: they impair motor skill learning and reduce long-term potentiation. Traditionally, D1 and D2 receptor modulate adenylyl cyclase activity and cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation in opposite directions via different G-proteins and bidirectionally modulate protein kinase A (PKA), leading to distinct physiological and behavioral effects. Here we show that D1 and D2 receptor activity influences motor skill acquisition and long term synaptic potentiation via phospholipase C (PLC) activation in rat primary motor cortex. Learning a new forelimb reaching task is severely impaired in the presence of PLC, but not PKA-inhibitor. Similarly, long term potentiation in motor cortex, a mechanism involved in motor skill learning, is reduced when PLC is inhibited but remains unaffected by the PKA inhibitor. Skill learning deficits and reduced synaptic plasticity caused by dopamine antagonists are prevented by co-administration of a PLC agonist. These results provide evidence for a role of intracellular PLC signaling in motor skill learning and associated cortical synaptic plasticity, challenging the traditional view of bidirectional modulation of PKA by D1 and D2 receptors. These findings reveal a novel and important action of dopamine in motor cortex that might be a future target for selective therapeutic interventions to support learning and recovery of movement resulting from injury and disease.

  12. Dopamine Promotes Motor Cortex Plasticity and Motor Skill Learning via PLC Activation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mengia-Seraina Rioult-Pedotti

    Full Text Available Dopaminergic neurons in the ventral tegmental area, the major midbrain nucleus projecting to the motor cortex, play a key role in motor skill learning and motor cortex synaptic plasticity. Dopamine D1 and D2 receptor antagonists exert parallel effects in the motor system: they impair motor skill learning and reduce long-term potentiation. Traditionally, D1 and D2 receptor modulate adenylyl cyclase activity and cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation in opposite directions via different G-proteins and bidirectionally modulate protein kinase A (PKA, leading to distinct physiological and behavioral effects. Here we show that D1 and D2 receptor activity influences motor skill acquisition and long term synaptic potentiation via phospholipase C (PLC activation in rat primary motor cortex. Learning a new forelimb reaching task is severely impaired in the presence of PLC, but not PKA-inhibitor. Similarly, long term potentiation in motor cortex, a mechanism involved in motor skill learning, is reduced when PLC is inhibited but remains unaffected by the PKA inhibitor. Skill learning deficits and reduced synaptic plasticity caused by dopamine antagonists are prevented by co-administration of a PLC agonist. These results provide evidence for a role of intracellular PLC signaling in motor skill learning and associated cortical synaptic plasticity, challenging the traditional view of bidirectional modulation of PKA by D1 and D2 receptors. These findings reveal a novel and important action of dopamine in motor cortex that might be a future target for selective therapeutic interventions to support learning and recovery of movement resulting from injury and disease.

  13. Separation of plastic waste via the hydraulic separator Multidune under different geometric configurations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Marca, Floriana; Moroni, Monica; Cherubini, Lorenzo; Lupo, Emanuela; Cenedese, Antonio

    2012-07-01

    The recovery of high-quality plastic materials is becoming an increasingly challenging issue for the recycling sector. Technologies for plastic recycling have to guarantee high-quality secondary raw material, complying with specific standards, for use in industrial applications. The variability in waste plastics does not always correspond to evident differences in physical characteristics, making traditional methodologies ineffective for plastic separation. The Multidune separator is a hydraulic channel allowing the sorting of solid particles on the basis of differential transport mechanisms by generating particular fluid dynamic conditions due to its geometric configuration and operational settings. In this paper, the fluid dynamic conditions were investigated by an image analysis technique, allowing the reconstruction of velocity fields generated inside the Multidune, considering two different geometric configurations of the device, Configuration A and Configuration B. Furthermore, tests on mono- and bi-material samples were completed with varying operational conditions under both configurations. In both series of experiments, the bi-material samples were composed of differing proportions (85% vs. 15%) to simulate real conditions in an industrial plant for the purifying of a useful fraction from a contaminating fraction. The separation results were evaluated in terms of grade and recovery of the useful fraction.

  14. Computer Modeling of the Dynamic Strength of Metal-Plastic Cylindrical Shells Under Explosive Loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrosimov, N. A.; Novosel'tseva, N. A.

    2017-05-01

    A technique for numerically analyzing the dynamic strength of two-layer metal-plastic cylindrical shells under an axisymmetric internal explosive loading is developed. The kinematic deformation model of the layered package is based on a nonclassical theory of shells. The geometric relations are constructed using relations of the simplest quadratic version of the nonlinear elasticity theory. The stress and strain tensors in the composite macrolayer are related by Hooke's law for an orthotropic body with account of degradation of the stiffness characteristics of the multilayer package due to local failure of some its elementary layers. The physical relations in the metal layer are formulated in terms of a differential theory of plasticity. An energy-correlated resolving system of dynamic equations for the metal-plastic cylindrical shells is derived by minimizing the functional of total energy of the shells as three-dimensional bodies. The numerical method for solving the initial boundary-value problem formulated is based on an explicit variational-difference scheme. The reliability of the technique considered is verified by comparing numerical results with experimental data. An analysis of the ultimate strains and strength of one-layer basalt-and glass-fiber-reinforced plastic and two-layer metalplastic cylindrical shells is carried out.

  15. Influencing factors on elastic-plastic deformation of multi-layered surfaces under sliding contact

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YAN Li; PAN Xin-xiang; XU Jiu-jun; CHENG Dong

    2004-01-01

    Stress distribution in the gradient multi-layered surface under a sliding contact was investigated using finite element method(FEM). The main structure parameters of layered surface discussed are total layer thickness,layer number and elastic modulus ratio of layer to the substrate. A model of multi-layered surface contact with rough slider was studied. The effect of the surface structure parameters on the elastic-plastic deformation was analyzed.

  16. On the localization of plastic strain under compression of LiF crystals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barannikova, S. A.; Nadezhkin, M. V.; Zuev, L. B.

    2010-07-01

    The plastic flow localization patterns for alkali halide LiF crystals under compression have been investigated. The main spatiotemporal regularities of the strain localization at different stages of deformation hardening in the single crystals have been established. The relation has been traced between the orientation of localized strain zones and the crystallography of slip systems of the test specimens studied simultaneously by the double-exposure speckle photography and photoelasticity methods.

  17. Parvalbumin-expressing basket-cell network plasticity induced by experience regulates adult learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donato, Flavio; Rompani, Santiago Belluco; Caroni, Pico

    2013-12-12

    Learning and memory processes can be influenced by recent experience, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Enhanced plasticity during critical periods of early life is linked to differentiating parvalbumin (PV)-interneuron networks, suggesting that recent experience may modulate learning by targeting the differentiation state of PV neurons in the adult. Here we show that environmental enrichment and Pavlovian contextual fear conditioning induce opposite, sustained and reversible hippocampal PV-network configurations in adult mice. Specifically, enrichment promotes the emergence of large fractions of low-differentiation (low PV and GAD67 expression) basket cells with low excitatory-to-inhibitory synaptic-density ratios, whereas fear conditioning leads to large fractions of high-differentiation (high PV and GAD67 expression) basket cells with high excitatory-to-inhibitory synaptic-density ratios. Pharmacogenetic inhibition or activation of PV neurons was sufficient to induce such opposite low-PV-network or high-PV-network configurations, respectively. The low-PV-network configuration enhanced structural synaptic plasticity, and memory consolidation and retrieval, whereas these were reduced by the high-PV-network configuration. We then show that maze navigation learning induces a hippocampal low-PV-network configuration paralleled by enhanced memory and structural synaptic plasticity throughout training, followed by a shift to a high-PV-network configuration after learning completion. The shift to a low-PV-network configuration specifically involved increased vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-positive GABAergic boutons and synaptic transmission onto PV neurons. Closely comparable low- and high-PV-network configurations involving VIP boutons were specifically induced in primary motor cortex upon rotarod motor learning. These results uncover a network plasticity mechanism induced after learning through VIP-PV microcircuit modulation, and involving

  18. CCR5 is a suppressor for cortical plasticity and hippocampal learning and memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Miou; Greenhill, Stuart; Huang, Shan; Silva, Tawnie K; Sano, Yoshitake; Wu, Shumin; Cai, Ying; Nagaoka, Yoshiko; Sehgal, Megha; Cai, Denise J; Lee, Yong-Seok; Fox, Kevin; Silva, Alcino J

    2016-01-01

    Although the role of CCR5 in immunity and in HIV infection has been studied widely, its role in neuronal plasticity, learning and memory is not understood. Here, we report that decreasing the function of CCR5 increases MAPK/CREB signaling, long-term potentiation (LTP), and hippocampus-dependent memory in mice, while neuronal CCR5 overexpression caused memory deficits. Decreasing CCR5 function in mouse barrel cortex also resulted in enhanced spike timing dependent plasticity and consequently, dramatically accelerated experience-dependent plasticity. These results suggest that CCR5 is a powerful suppressor for plasticity and memory, and CCR5 over-activation by viral proteins may contribute to HIV-associated cognitive deficits. Consistent with this hypothesis, the HIV V3 peptide caused LTP, signaling and memory deficits that were prevented by Ccr5 knockout or knockdown. Overall, our results demonstrate that CCR5 plays an important role in neuroplasticity, learning and memory, and indicate that CCR5 has a role in the cognitive deficits caused by HIV. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.20985.001 PMID:27996938

  19. A peptide mimetic targeting trans-homophilic NCAM binding sites promotes spatial learning and neural plasticity in the hippocampus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor Kraev

    Full Text Available The key roles played by the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM in plasticity and cognition underscore this membrane protein as a relevant target to develop cognitive-enhancing drugs. However, NCAM is a structurally and functionally complex molecule with multiple domains engaged in a variety of actions, which raise the question as to which NCAM fragment should be targeted. Synthetic NCAM mimetic peptides that mimic NCAM sequences relevant to specific interactions allow identification of the most promising targets within NCAM. Recently, a decapeptide ligand of NCAM--plannexin, which mimics a homophilic trans-binding site in Ig2 and binds to Ig3--was developed as a tool for studying NCAM's trans-interactions. In this study, we investigated plannexin's ability to affect neural plasticity and memory formation. We found that plannexin facilitates neurite outgrowth in primary hippocampal neuronal cultures and improves spatial learning in rats, both under basal conditions and under conditions involving a deficit in a key plasticity-promoting posttranslational modification of NCAM, its polysialylation. We also found that plannexin enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1, where it also increases the number of mushroom spines and the synaptic expression of the AMPAR subunits GluA1 and GluA2. Altogether, these findings provide compelling evidence that plannexin is an important facilitator of synaptic functional, structural and molecular plasticity in the hippocampal CA1 region, highlighting the fragment in NCAM's Ig3 module where plannexin binds as a novel target for the development of cognition-enhancing drugs.

  20. Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) Inhibitors - emerging roles in neuronal memory, learning, synaptic plasticity and neural regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganai, Shabir Ahmad; Ramadoss, Mahalakshmi; Mahadevan, Vijayalakshmi

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic regulation of neuronal signalling through histone acetylation dictates transcription programs that govern neuronal memory, plasticity and learning paradigms. Histone Acetyl Transferases (HATs) and Histone Deacetylases (HDACs) are antagonistic enzymes that regulate gene expression through acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins around which DNA is wrapped inside a eukaryotic cell nucleus. The epigenetic control of HDACs and the cellular imbalance between HATs and HDACs dictate disease states and have been implicated in muscular dystrophy, loss of memory, neurodegeneration and autistic disorders. Altering gene expression profiles through inhibition of HDACs is now emerging as a powerful technique in therapy. This review presents evolving applications of HDAC inhibitors as potential drugs in neurological research and therapy. Mechanisms that govern their expression profiles in neuronal signalling, plasticity and learning will be covered. Promising and exciting possibilities of HDAC inhibitors in memory formation, fear conditioning, ischemic stroke and neural regeneration have been detailed.

  1. Practice-Oriented Retest Learning as the Basic Form of Cognitive Plasticity of the Aging Brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lixia Yang

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It has been well documented that aging is associated with declines in a variety of cognitive functions. A growing body of research shows that the age-related cognitive declines are reversible through cognitive training programs, suggesting maintained cognitive plasticity of the aging brain. Retest learning represents a basic form of cognitive plasticity. It has been consistently demonstrated for adults in young-old and old-old ages. Accumulated research indicates that retest learning is effective, robust, endurable and could occur at a more conceptual level beyond item-specific memorization. Recent studies also demonstrate promisingly broader transfer effects from retest practice of activities involving complex executive functioning to other untrained tasks. The results shed light on the development of self-guided mental exercise programs to improve cognitive performance and efficiency of the aging brain. The relevant studies were reviewed, and the findings were discussed in light of their limitations, implications, and future directions.

  2. Computer simulation of model cohesive powders: Plastic consolidation, structural changes, and elasticity under isotropic loads

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilabert, F. A.; Roux, J.-N.; Castellanos, A.

    2008-09-01

    The quasistatic behavior of a simple two-dimensional model of a cohesive powder under isotropic loads is investigated by discrete element simulations. We ignore contact plasticity and focus on the effect of geometry and collective rearrangements on the material behavior. The loose packing states, as assembled and characterized in a previous numerical study [Gilabert, Roux, and Castellanos, Phys. Rev. E 75, 011303 (2007)], are observed, under growing confining pressure P , to undergo important structural changes, while solid fraction Φ irreversibly increases (typically, from 0.4-0.5 to 0.75-0.8). The system state goes through three stages, with different forms of the plastic consolidation curve, i.e., Φ as a function of the growing reduced pressure P*=Pa/F0 , defined with adhesion force F0 and grain diameter a . In the low-confinement regime (I), the system undergoes negligible plastic compaction, and its structure is influenced by the assembling process. In regime II the material state is independent of initial conditions, and the void ratio varies linearly with lnP [i.e., Δ(1/Φ)=λΔ(lnP*) ], as described in the engineering literature. Plasticity index λ is reduced in the presence of a small rolling resistance (RR). In the last stage of compaction (III), Φ approaches an asymptotic, maximum solid fraction Φmax , as a power law Φmax-Φ∝(P*)-α , with α≃1 , and properties of cohesionless granular packs are gradually retrieved. Under consolidation, while the range ξ of fractal density correlations decreases, force patterns reorganize from self-balanced clusters to force chains, with correlative evolutions of force distributions, and elastic moduli increase by a large amount. Plastic deformation events correspond to very small changes in the network topology, while the denser regions tend to move like rigid bodies. Elastic properties are dominated by the bending of thin junctions in loose systems. For growing RR those tend to form particle chains, the

  3. Cellular Plasticity within the Pancreas— Lessons Learned from Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puri, Sapna; Hebrok, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    The pancreas has been the subject of intense research due to the debilitating diseases that result from its dysfunction. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the critical tissue interactions and intracellular regulatory events that take place during formation of the pancreas from a small cluster of cells in the foregut domain of the mouse embryo. Importantly, an understanding of principles that govern the development of this organ has equipped us with the means to manipulate both embryonic and differentiated adult cells in the context of regenerative medicine. The emerging area of lineage modulation within the adult pancreas is of particular interest, and this review summarizes recent findings that exemplify how lessons learned from development are being applied to reveal the potential of fully differentiated cells to change fate. PMID:20230744

  4. Cellular plasticity within the pancreas--lessons learned from development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puri, Sapna; Hebrok, Matthias

    2010-03-16

    The pancreas has been the subject of intense research due to the debilitating diseases that result from its dysfunction. In this review, we summarize current understanding of the critical tissue interactions and intracellular regulatory events that take place during formation of the pancreas from a small cluster of cells in the foregut domain of the mouse embryo. Importantly, an understanding of principles that govern the development of this organ has equipped us with the means to manipulate both embryonic and differentiated adult cells in the context of regenerative medicine. The emerging area of lineage modulation within the adult pancreas is of particular interest, and this review summarizes recent findings that exemplify how lessons learned from development are being applied to reveal the potential of fully differentiated cells to change fate.

  5. Big Data and Machine Learning in Plastic Surgery: A New Frontier in Surgical Innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanevsky, Jonathan; Corban, Jason; Gaster, Richard; Kanevsky, Ari; Lin, Samuel; Gilardino, Mirko

    2016-05-01

    Medical decision-making is increasingly based on quantifiable data. From the moment patients come into contact with the health care system, their entire medical history is recorded electronically. Whether a patient is in the operating room or on the hospital ward, technological advancement has facilitated the expedient and reliable measurement of clinically relevant health metrics, all in an effort to guide care and ensure the best possible clinical outcomes. However, as the volume and complexity of biomedical data grow, it becomes challenging to effectively process "big data" using conventional techniques. Physicians and scientists must be prepared to look beyond classic methods of data processing to extract clinically relevant information. The purpose of this article is to introduce the modern plastic surgeon to machine learning and computational interpretation of large data sets. What is machine learning? Machine learning, a subfield of artificial intelligence, can address clinically relevant problems in several domains of plastic surgery, including burn surgery; microsurgery; and craniofacial, peripheral nerve, and aesthetic surgery. This article provides a brief introduction to current research and suggests future projects that will allow plastic surgeons to explore this new frontier of surgical science.

  6. On the relationships between generative encodings, regularity, and learning abilities when evolving plastic artificial neural networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tonelli, Paul; Mouret, Jean-Baptiste

    2013-01-01

    A major goal of bio-inspired artificial intelligence is to design artificial neural networks with abilities that resemble those of animal nervous systems. It is commonly believed that two keys for evolving nature-like artificial neural networks are (1) the developmental process that links genes to nervous systems, which enables the evolution of large, regular neural networks, and (2) synaptic plasticity, which allows neural networks to change during their lifetime. So far, these two topics have been mainly studied separately. The present paper shows that they are actually deeply connected. Using a simple operant conditioning task and a classic evolutionary algorithm, we compare three ways to encode plastic neural networks: a direct encoding, a developmental encoding inspired by computational neuroscience models, and a developmental encoding inspired by morphogen gradients (similar to HyperNEAT). Our results suggest that using a developmental encoding could improve the learning abilities of evolved, plastic neural networks. Complementary experiments reveal that this result is likely the consequence of the bias of developmental encodings towards regular structures: (1) in our experimental setup, encodings that tend to produce more regular networks yield networks with better general learning abilities; (2) whatever the encoding is, networks that are the more regular are statistically those that have the best learning abilities.

  7. On the relationships between generative encodings, regularity, and learning abilities when evolving plastic artificial neural networks.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Tonelli

    Full Text Available A major goal of bio-inspired artificial intelligence is to design artificial neural networks with abilities that resemble those of animal nervous systems. It is commonly believed that two keys for evolving nature-like artificial neural networks are (1 the developmental process that links genes to nervous systems, which enables the evolution of large, regular neural networks, and (2 synaptic plasticity, which allows neural networks to change during their lifetime. So far, these two topics have been mainly studied separately. The present paper shows that they are actually deeply connected. Using a simple operant conditioning task and a classic evolutionary algorithm, we compare three ways to encode plastic neural networks: a direct encoding, a developmental encoding inspired by computational neuroscience models, and a developmental encoding inspired by morphogen gradients (similar to HyperNEAT. Our results suggest that using a developmental encoding could improve the learning abilities of evolved, plastic neural networks. Complementary experiments reveal that this result is likely the consequence of the bias of developmental encodings towards regular structures: (1 in our experimental setup, encodings that tend to produce more regular networks yield networks with better general learning abilities; (2 whatever the encoding is, networks that are the more regular are statistically those that have the best learning abilities.

  8. The long-term structural plasticity of cerebellar parallel fiber axons and its modulation by motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo, Jennifer; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Ko, Kwang Woo; Jones, Theresa A; Nishiyama, Hiroshi

    2013-05-08

    Presynaptic axonal varicosities, like postsynaptic spines, are dynamically added and eliminated even in mature neuronal circuitry. To study the role of this axonal structural plasticity in behavioral learning, we performed two-photon in vivo imaging of cerebellar parallel fibers (PFs) in adult mice. PFs make excitatory synapses on Purkinje cells (PCs) in the cerebellar cortex, and long-term potentiation and depression at PF-PC synapses are thought to play crucial roles in cerebellar-dependent learning. Time-lapse vital imaging of PFs revealed that, under a control condition (no behavioral training), ∼10% of PF varicosities appeared and disappeared over a period of 2 weeks without changing the total number of varicosities. The fraction of dynamic PF varicosities significantly diminished during training on an acrobatic motor skill learning task, largely because of reduced addition of new varicosities. Thus, this form of motor learning was associated with greater structural stability of PFs and a slight decrease in the total number of varicosities. Together with prior findings that the number of PF-PC synapses increases during similar training, our results suggest that acrobatic motor skill learning involves a reduction of some PF inputs and a strengthening of others, probably via the conversion of some preexisting PF varicosities into multisynaptic terminals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  10. DESIGN OPTIMIZATION FOR TRUSS STRUCTURES UNDER ELASTO-PLASTIC LOADING CONDITION

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liu Tao; Deng Zichen

    2006-01-01

    In this paper, a method for the design optimization of elasto-plastic truss structures is proposed based on parametric variational principles (PVPs). The optimization aims to find the minimum weight/volume solution under the constraints of allowable node displacements. The design optimization is a formulation of mathematical programming with equilibrium constraints (MPECs). To overcome the numerical difficulties of the complementary constraints in optimization, an iteration process, comprising a quadratic programming (QP) and an updating process,is employed as the optimization method. Furthermore, the elasto-plastic buckling of truss members is considered as a constraint in design optimization. A combinational optimization strategy is proposed for the displacement constraints and the buckling constraint, which comprises the method mentioned above and an optimal criterion. Three numerical examples are presented to show the validity of the methods proposed.

  11. It's practice, with sleep, that makes perfect: implications of sleep-dependent learning and plasticity for skill performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Matthew P; Stickgold, Robert

    2005-04-01

    Although there is no consensus regarding the functions of sleep, one exciting hypothesis is that sleep contributes importantly to learning and memory. Over the last decade, several studies have provided substantive evidence supporting the role of sleep in memory processing. This article focuses on sleep-dependent learning and brain plasticity in humans, specifically in the development of skill performance that is the foundation of many sports actions. The different forms and stages of human memory are discussed, then evidence of sleep-dependent skill learning and associated sleep-dependent brain plasticity is described. In conclusion, a consideration of the fundamental importance of sleep in real-life skill learning is provided.

  12. Damage and Plastic Deformation Modeling of Beishan Granite Under Compressive Stress Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, L.; Wang, C. P.; Liu, J. F.; Liu, J.; Wang, J.; Jia, Y.; Shao, J. F.

    2015-07-01

    Based on experimental investigations, we propose a coupled elastoplastic damage model to simulate the mechanical behavior of granite under compressive stress conditions. The granite is taken from the Beishan area, a preferable region for China's high-level radioactive waste repository. Using a 3D acoustic emission monitoring system in mechanical tests, we focus on the cracking process and its influence on the macroscopic mechanical behavior of the granite samples. It is verified that the crack propagation coupled with fractional sliding along the cracks is the principal mechanism controlling the failure process and nonlinear mechanical behavior of granite under compressive stress conditions. Based on this understanding, the coupled elastoplastic damage model is formulated in the framework of the thermodynamics theory. In the model, the coupling between damage and plastic deformation is simulated by introducing the independent damage variable in the plastic yield surface. As a preliminary validation of the model, a series of numerical simulations are performed for compressive tests conducted under different confining pressures. Comparisons between the numerical and simulated results show that the proposed model can reproduce the main features of the mechanical behavior of Beishan granite, particularly the damage evolution under compressive stress conditions.

  13. The Radical Plasticity Thesis: How the Brain Learns to be Conscious

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterize and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the “Radical Plasticity Thesis.” In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further) outwards. Consciousness involves “signal detection on the mind”; the conscious mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit) theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks. PMID:21687455

  14. Plasticity in variation of xylem and phloem cell characteristics of Norway spruce under different local conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozica eGricar

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available There is limited information on intra-annual plasticity of secondary tissues of tree species growing under different environmental conditions. To increase the knowledge about the plasticity of secondary growth, which allows trees to adapt to specific local climatic regimes, we examined climate–radial growth relationships of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L. H. Karst. from three contrasting locations in the temperate climatic zone by analyzing tree-ring widths for the period 1932–2010, and cell characteristics in xylem and phloem increments formed in the years 2009–2011. Variation in the structure of xylem and phloem increments clearly shows that plasticity in seasonal dynamics of cambial cell production and cell differentiation exists on xylem and phloem sides. Anatomical characteristics of xylem and phloem cells are predominantly site-specific characteristics, because they varied among sites but were fairly uniform among years in trees from the same site. Xylem and phloem tissues formed in the first part of the growing season seemed to be more stable in structure, indicating their priority over latewood and late phloem for tree performance. Long-term climate and radial growth analyses revealed that growth was in general less dependent on precipitation than on temperature; however, growth sensitivity to local conditions differed among the sites. Only partial dependence of radial growth of spruce on climatic factors on the selected sites confirms its strategy to adapt the structure of wood and phloem increments to function optimally in local conditions.

  15. Ultrasound Velocity Measurements in High-Chromium Steel Under Plastic Deformation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunev, Aleksey; Bochkareva, Anna; Barannikova, Svetlana; Zuev, Lev

    2016-04-01

    In the present study, the variation of the propagation velocity of ultrasound in the plastic deformation of corrosion-resistant high-chromium steel 40X13 with ferrite-carbide (delivery status), martensitic (quenched) and sorbitol (after high-temperature tempering) structures have beem studied/ It is found that each state shows its view of the loading curve. In the delivery state diagram loading is substantially parabolic throughout, while in the martensitic state contains only linear strain hardening step and in the sorbitol state the plastic flow curve is three-step. The velocity of ultrasonic surface waves (Rayleigh waves) was measured simultaneously with the registration of the loading curve in the investigated steel in tension. It is shown that the dependence of the velocity of ultrasound in active loading is determined by the law of plastic flow, that is, the staging of the corresponding diagram of loading. Structural state of the investigated steel is not only changing the type of the deformation curve under uniaxial tension, but also changes the nature of ultrasound speed of deformation.

  16. PKMζ is essential for spinal plasticity underlying the maintenance of persistent pain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laferrière Andre

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Chronic pain occurs when normally protective acute pain becomes pathologically persistent. We examined here whether an isoform of protein kinase C (PKC, PKMζ, that underlies long-term memory storage in various brain regions, also sustains nociceptive plasticity in spinal cord dorsal horn (SCDH mediating persistent pain. Results Cutaneous injury or spinal stimulation produced persistent increases of PKMζ, but not other atypical PKCs in SCDH. Inhibiting spinal PKMζ, but not full-length PKCs, reversed plasticity-dependent persistent painful responses to hind paw formalin and secondary mechanical hypersensitivity and SCDH neuron sensitization after hind paw capsaicin, without affecting peripheral sensitization-dependent primary heat hypersensitivity after hind paw capsaicin. Inhibiting spinal PKMζ, but not full-length PKCs, also reversed mechanical hypersensitivity in the rat hind paw induced by spinal stimulation with intrathecal dihydroxyphenylglycine. Spinal PKMζ inhibition also alleviated allodynia 3 weeks after ischemic injury in rats with chronic post-ischemia pain (CPIP, at a point when allodynia depends on spinal changes. In contrast, spinal PKMζ inhibition did not affect allodynia in rats with chronic contriction injury (CCI of the sciatic nerve, or CPIP rats early after ischemic injury, when allodynia depends on ongoing peripheral inputs. Conclusions These results suggest spinal PKMζ is essential for the maintenance of persistent pain by sustaining spinal nociceptive plasticity.

  17. Plasticity in variation of xylem and phloem cell characteristics of Norway spruce under different local conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gričar, Jožica; Prislan, Peter; de Luis, Martin; Gryc, Vladimír; Hacurová, Jana; Vavrčík, Hanuš; Čufar, Katarina

    2015-01-01

    There is limited information on intra-annual plasticity of secondary tissues of tree species growing under different environmental conditions. To increase the knowledge about the plasticity of secondary growth, which allows trees to adapt to specific local climatic regimes, we examined climate-radial growth relationships of Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.] from three contrasting locations in the temperate climatic zone by analyzing tree-ring widths for the period 1932-2010, and cell characteristics in xylem and phloem increments formed in the years 2009-2011. Variation in the structure of xylem and phloem increments clearly shows that plasticity in seasonal dynamics of cambial cell production and cell differentiation exists on xylem and phloem sides. Anatomical characteristics of xylem and phloem cells are predominantly site-specific characteristics, because they varied among sites but were fairly uniform among years in trees from the same site. Xylem and phloem tissues formed in the first part of the growing season seemed to be more stable in structure, indicating their priority over latewood and late phloem for tree performance. Long-term climate and radial growth analyses revealed that growth was in general less dependent on precipitation than on temperature; however, growth sensitivity to local conditions differed among the sites. Only partial dependence of radial growth of spruce on climatic factors on the selected sites confirms its strategy to adapt the structure of wood and phloem increments to function optimally in local conditions.

  18. Learning, memory and brain plasticity in posttraumatic stress disorder: context matters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flor, Herta; Nees, Frauke

    2014-01-01

    We review evidence from our laboratory that suggests that in addition to enhanced cue conditioning and delayed cue extinction disturbed contextual learning may play an important role in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder. Based on data from a longitudinal sample of rescue workers at high risk for posttraumatic stress disorder and data on single trauma exposed persons with and without posttraumatic stress disorder we show the crucial role of the hippocampus for contextual memory and impaired contextual learning along with enhanced cue conditioning and delayed extinction in PTSD. Using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging we confirmed animal data on the role of the hippocampus in contextual and the importance of the amygdala in cue conditioning and the role of the frontal cortex in extinction. Genetic variants related to the modulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis are associated with cue and genetic variants related to calcium signaling and memory processes and the regulation of the stress response are associated with context conditioning. These genes also play a role in PTSD. Further research needs to identify the predictive nature of these learning processes and plastic brain changes and their interaction with genetic characteristics changes for the transition into PTSD and its maintenance. A further focus needs to be on the identification of learning and memory mechanisms and the associated brain plasticity across disorders.

  19. Sequential steps underlying neuronal plasticity induced by a transient exposure to gabazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pegoraro, Silvia; Broccard, Frédéric D; Ruaro, Maria Elisabetta; Bianchini, Daniele; Avossa, Daniela; Pastore, Giada; Bisson, Giacomo; Altafini, Claudio; Torre, Vincent

    2010-03-01

    Periods of intense electrical activity can initiate neuronal plasticity leading to long lasting changes of network properties. By combining multielectrode extracellular recordings with DNA microarrays, we have investigated in rat hippocampal cultures the temporal sequence of events of neuronal plasticity triggered by a transient exposure to the GABA(A) receptor antagonist gabazine (GabT). GabT induced a synchronous bursting pattern of activity. The analysis of electrical activity identified three main phases during neuronal plasticity induced by GabT: (i) immediately after termination of GabT, an early synchronization (E-Sync) of the spontaneous electrical activity appears that progressively decay after 3-6 h. E-Sync is abolished by inhibitors of the ERK1/2 pathway but not by inhibitors of gene transcription; (ii) the evoked response (induced by a single pulse of extracellular electrical stimulation) was maximally potentiated 3-10 h after GabT (M-LTP); and (iii) at 24 h the spontaneous electrical activity became more synchronous (L-Sync). The genome-wide analysis identified three clusters of genes: (i) an early rise of transcription factors (Cluster 1), primarily composed by members of the EGR and Nr4a families, maximally up-regulated 1.5 h after GabT; (ii) a successive up-regulation of some hundred genes, many of which known to be involved in LTP (Cluster 2), 3 h after GabT likely underlying M-LTP. Moreover, in Cluster 2 several genes coding for K(+) channels are down-regulated at 24 h. (iii) Genes in Cluster 3 are up-regulated at 24 h and are involved in cellular homeostasis. This approach allows relating different steps of neuronal plasticity to specific transcriptional profiles.

  20. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning - Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey's auditory verbal learning test. We defined the "learning-related synchronization" (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances "deep encoding" during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS.

  1. musical mnemonics aid verbal memory and induce learning related brain plasticity in multiple sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eThaut

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Recent research in music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music andrhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory weinvestigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis and ifmusic assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measuredsystems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music assisted learning.Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG in alpha andbeta frequency bands in 54 patients with multiple sclerosis (MS. The study sample was randomlydivided into 2 groups, either hearing a spoken or musical (sung presentation of Rey’s Auditory VerbalLearning Test (RAVLT. We defined the learning-related synchronization (LRS as the percent changein EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent wordencoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and spoken conditions in low alpha andupper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better wordorder memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. Theevidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization inprefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicitin musical stimuli enhances ‘deep encoding’ during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neuraldynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS

  2. Learning under uncertainty in smart home environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuai; McClean, Sally; Scotney, Bryan; Nugent, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Technologies and services for the home environment can provide levels of independence for elderly people to support 'ageing in place'. Learning inhabitants' patterns of carrying out daily activities is a crucial component of these technological solutions with sensor technologies being at the core of such smart environments. Nevertheless, identifying high-level activities from low-level sensor events can be a challenge, as information may be unreliable resulting in incomplete data. Our work addresses the issues of learning in the presence of incomplete data along with the identification and the prediction of inhabitants and their activities under such uncertainty. We show via the evaluation results that our approach also offers the ability to assess the impact of various sensors in the activity recognition process. The benefit of this work is that future predictions can be utilised in a proposed intervention mechanism in a real smart home environment.

  3. Fatigue Crack Propagation Under Variable Amplitude Loading Analyses Based on Plastic Energy Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sofiane Maachou

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Plasticity effects at the crack tip had been recognized as “motor” of crack propagation, the growth of cracks is related to the existence of a crack tip plastic zone, whose formation and intensification is accompanied by energy dissipation. In the actual state of knowledge fatigue crack propagation is modeled using crack closure concept. The fatigue crack growth behavior under constant amplitude and variable amplitude loading of the aluminum alloy 2024 T351 are analyzed using in terms energy parameters. In the case of VAL (variable amplitude loading tests, the evolution of the hysteretic energy dissipated per block is shown similar with that observed under constant amplitude loading. A linear relationship between the crack growth rate and the hysteretic energy dissipated per block is obtained at high growth rates. For lower growth rates values, the relationship between crack growth rate and hysteretic energy dissipated per block can represented by a power law. In this paper, an analysis of fatigue crack propagation under variable amplitude loading based on energetic approach is proposed.

  4. A Bingham-Plastic Model for Fluid Mud Transport Under Waves and Currents

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘春嵘; 吴博; 呼和敖德

    2014-01-01

    Simplified equations of fluid mud motion, which is described as Bingham-Plastic model under waves and currents, are presented by order analysis. The simplified equations are non-linear ordinary differential equations which are solved by hybrid numerical-analytical technique. As the computational cost is very low, the effects of wave current parameters and fluid mud properties on the transportation velocity of the fluid mud are studied systematically. It is found that the fluid mud can move toward one direction even if the shear stress acting on the fluid mud bed is much smaller than the fluid mud yield stress under the condition of wave and current coexistence. Experiments of the fluid mud motion under current with fluctuation water surface are carried out. The fluid mud transportation velocity predicted by the presented mathematical model can roughly match that measured in experiments.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph eChrol-Cannon

    2015-08-01

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

  6. Evaluation of the AZ31 cyclic elastic-plastic behaviour under multiaxial loading conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Anes

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Components and structures are designed based in their material’s mechanical properties such as Young's modulus or yield stress among others. Often those properties are obtained under monotonic mechanical tests but rarely under cyclic ones. It is assumed that those properties are maintained during the material fatigue life. However, under cyclic loadings, materials tend to change their mechanical properties, which can improve their strength (material hardening or degrade their mechanical capabilities (material softening or even a mix of both. This type of material behaviour is the so-called cyclic plasticity that is dependent of several factors such as the load type, load level, and microstructure. This subject is of most importance in design of structures and components against fatigue failures in particular in the case of magnesium alloys. Magnesium alloys due to their hexagonal compact microstructure have only 3 slip planes plus 1 twining plane which results in a peculiar mechanical behaviour under cyclic loading conditions especially under multiaxial loadings. Therefore, it is necessary to have a cyclic elastic-plastic model that allows estimating the material mechanical properties for a certain stress level and loading type. In this paper it is discussed several aspects of the magnesium alloys cyclic properties under uniaxial and multiaxial loading conditions at several stress levels taking into account experimental data. A series of fatigue tests under strain control were performed in hour glass specimens test made of a magnesium alloy, AZ31BF. The strain/stress relation for uniaxial loadings, axial and shear was experimentally obtained and compared with the estimations obtained from the theoretical elastic-plastic models found in the state-of-the-art. Results show that the AZ31BF magnesium alloy has a peculiar mechanical behaviour, which is quite different from the steel one. Moreover, the state of the art cyclic models do not capture in

  7. Estimation of transient creep C(t)-integrals for SE(B) specimen under elastic-plastic creep

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Han Sang; Je, Jin Ho; Kim, Dong Jun; Kim, Yun Jae [Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-09-15

    In this paper, we estimate the time-dependent C(t) integrals under elastic-plastic-creep conditions. Finite-element (FE) transient creep analyses have been performed for single-edge-notched-bend (SEB) specimens. We investigate the effect of the initial plasticity on the transient creep by systematically varying the magnitude of the initial step load. We consider both the same stress exponent and different stress exponents in the power-law creep and plasticity to elastic-plastic-creep behavior. To estimate the C(t) integrals, we compare the FE analysis results with those obtained using formulas. In this paper, we propose a modified equation to predict the C(t) integrals for the case of creep exponents that are different from the plastic exponent.

  8. Estimation of transient creep crack-tip stress fields for SE(B) specimen under elastic-plastic-creep conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Han Sang; Je, Jin Ho; Kim, Dong Jun; Kim, Yun Jae [Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    This paper estimates the time-dependent crack-tip stress fields under elastic-plastic-creep conditions. We perform Finite-Element (FE) transient creep analyses for a Single-Edge-notched-Bend (SEB) specimen. We investigate the effect of the initial plasticity on the transient creep by systematically varying the magnitude of the initial step-load. We consider both the same stress exponent and different stress exponent in the power-law creep and plasticity to determine the elastic-plastic-creep behaviour. To estimation of the crack-tip stress fields, we compare FE analysis results with those obtained numerically formulas. In addition, we propose a new equation to predict the crack-tip stress fields when the creep exponent is different from the plastic exponent.

  9. Leaching of plasticizers from polyvinylchloride perfusion lines by different lipid emulsions for premature infants under clinical conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faessler, David; McCombie, Gregor; Biedermann, Maurus; Felder, Florian; Subotic, Ulrike

    2017-03-30

    Plasticizers migrate from polyvinylchloride (PVC) infusion systems into lipid emulsions. The aim of this study was to investigate the leaching of different plasticizers from PVC perfusion lines by a selection of lipid emulsions under clinical conditions. Seven PVC perfusion lines with an equal length of 150cm and three internal diameters were perfused with three lipid emulsions: Intralipid(®) 20%, ClinOleic(®) 20% and SMOFlipid(®) 20%, mimicking clinical conditions. The concentrations of the plasticizers were measured directly in the emulsions by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry. Of the four plasticizers examined in this study, di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) leached the most and was found, on average, at 46.5μg/ml in the emulsions - around one order of magnitude higher than the other plasticizers. This study demonstrates that the leaching of DEHP by lipid emulsions in conditions of total parenteral nutrition is many times higher than should be accepted and higher when compared to the other plasticizers. There was no significant difference in leaching of plasticizers in relation to the type of lipid emulsion. The influence of tube diameter on the leaching rate of plasticizers should be taken into account especially in particular exposed patients.

  10. Sustained Cortical and Subcortical Measures of Auditory and Visual Plasticity following Short-Term Perceptual Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lau, Bonnie K; Ruggles, Dorea R; Katyal, Sucharit; Engel, Stephen A; Oxenham, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Short-term training can lead to improvements in behavioral discrimination of auditory and visual stimuli, as well as enhanced EEG responses to those stimuli. In the auditory domain, fluency with tonal languages and musical training has been associated with long-term cortical and subcortical plasticity, but less is known about the effects of shorter-term training. This study combined electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures to investigate short-term learning and neural plasticity in both auditory and visual domains. Forty adult participants were divided into four groups. Three groups trained on one of three tasks, involving discrimination of auditory fundamental frequency (F0), auditory amplitude modulation rate (AM), or visual orientation (VIS). The fourth (control) group received no training. Pre- and post-training tests, as well as retention tests 30 days after training, involved behavioral discrimination thresholds, steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEP) to the flicker frequencies of visual stimuli, and auditory envelope-following responses simultaneously evoked and measured in response to rapid stimulus F0 (EFR), thought to reflect subcortical generators, and slow amplitude modulation (ASSR), thought to reflect cortical generators. Enhancement of the ASSR was observed in both auditory-trained groups, not specific to the AM-trained group, whereas enhancement of the SSVEP was found only in the visually-trained group. No evidence was found for changes in the EFR. The results suggest that some aspects of neural plasticity can develop rapidly and may generalize across tasks but not across modalities. Behaviorally, the pattern of learning was complex, with significant cross-task and cross-modal learning effects.

  11. Plasticity of the Arabidopsis Root System under Nutrient Deficiencies1[C][W][OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, Benjamin D.; Giehl, Ricardo F.H.; Friedel, Swetlana; von Wirén, Nicolaus

    2013-01-01

    Plant roots show a particularly high variation in their morphological response to different nutrient deficiencies. Although such changes often determine the nutrient efficiency or stress tolerance of plants, it is surprising that a comprehensive and comparative analysis of root morphological responses to different nutrient deficiencies has not yet been conducted. Since one reason for this is an inherent difficulty in obtaining nutrient-deficient conditions in agar culture, we first identified conditions appropriate for producing nutrient-deficient plants on agar plates. Based on a careful selection of agar specifically for each nutrient being considered, we grew Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants at four levels of deficiency for 12 nutrients and quantified seven root traits. In combination with measurements of biomass and elemental concentrations, we observed that the nutritional status and type of nutrient determined the extent and type of changes in root system architecture (RSA). The independent regulation of individual root traits further pointed to a differential sensitivity of root tissues to nutrient limitations. To capture the variation in RSA under different nutrient supplies, we used principal component analysis and developed a root plasticity chart representing the overall modulations in RSA under a given treatment. This systematic comparison of RSA responses to nutrient deficiencies provides a comprehensive view of the overall changes in root plasticity induced by the deficiency of single nutrients and provides a solid basis for the identification of nutrient-sensitive steps in the root developmental program. PMID:23852440

  12. Somatic and Reinforcement-Based Plasticity in the Initial Stages of Human Motor Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidarta, Ananda; Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Bernardi, Nicolò F; Ostry, David J

    2016-11-16

    As one learns to dance or play tennis, the desired somatosensory state is typically unknown. Trial and error is important as motor behavior is shaped by successful and unsuccessful movements. As an experimental model, we designed a task in which human participants make reaching movements to a hidden target and receive positive reinforcement when successful. We identified somatic and reinforcement-based sources of plasticity on the basis of changes in functional connectivity using resting-state fMRI before and after learning. The neuroimaging data revealed reinforcement-related changes in both motor and somatosensory brain areas in which a strengthening of connectivity was related to the amount of positive reinforcement during learning. Areas of prefrontal cortex were similarly altered in relation to reinforcement, with connectivity between sensorimotor areas of putamen and the reward-related ventromedial prefrontal cortex strengthened in relation to the amount of successful feedback received. In other analyses, we assessed connectivity related to changes in movement direction between trials, a type of variability that presumably reflects exploratory strategies during learning. We found that connectivity in a network linking motor and somatosensory cortices increased with trial-to-trial changes in direction. Connectivity varied as well with the change in movement direction following incorrect movements. Here the changes were observed in a somatic memory and decision making network involving ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and second somatosensory cortex. Our results point to the idea that the initial stages of motor learning are not wholly motor but rather involve plasticity in somatic and prefrontal networks related both to reward and exploration.

  13. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity thresholds and changes in exploratory and learning behavior in dominant negative NPR-B mutant rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barmashenko, Gleb; Buttgereit, Jens; Herring, Neil; Bader, Michael; Özcelik, Cemil; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise; Braunewell, Karl H.

    2014-01-01

    The second messenger cyclic GMP affects synaptic transmission and modulates synaptic plasticity and certain types of learning and memory processes. The impact of the natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR-B) and its ligand C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), one of several cGMP producing signaling systems, on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning is, however, less well understood. We have previously shown that the NPR-B ligand CNP increases the magnitude of long-term depression (LTD) in hippocampal area CA1, while reducing the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP). We have extended this line of research to show that bidirectional plasticity is affected in the opposite way in rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B (NSE-NPR-BΔKC) lacking the intracellular guanylyl cyclase domain under control of a promoter for neuron-specific enolase. The brain cells of these transgenic rats express functional dimers of the NPR-B receptor containing the dominant-negative NPR-BΔKC mutant, and therefore show decreased CNP-stimulated cGMP-production in brain membranes. The NPR-B transgenic rats display enhanced LTP but reduced LTD in hippocampal slices. When the frequency-dependence of synaptic modification to afferent stimulation in the range of 1–100 Hz was assessed in transgenic rats, the threshold for both, LTP and LTD induction, was shifted to lower frequencies. In parallel, NPR-BΔKC rats exhibited an enhancement in exploratory and learning behavior. These results indicate that bidirectional plasticity and learning and memory mechanism are affected in transgenic rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B. Our data substantiate the hypothesis that NPR-B-dependent cGMP signaling has a modulatory role for synaptic information storage and learning. PMID:25520616

  14. Regulation of hippocampal synaptic plasticity thresholds and changes in exploratory and learning behavior in dominant negative NPR-B mutant rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gleb eBarmashenko

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The second messenger cyclic GMP affects synaptic transmission and modulates synaptic plasticity and certain types of learning and memory processes. The impact of the natriuretic peptide receptor B (NPR-B and its ligand C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP, one of several cGMP producing signalling systems, on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning is, however, less well understood. We have previously shown that the NPR-B ligand CNP increases the magnitude of long-term depression (LTD in hippocampal area CA1, while reducing the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP. We have extended this line of research to show that bidirectional plasticity is affected in the opposite way in rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B (NSE-NPR-BdeltaKC lacking the intracellular guanylyl cyclase domain under control of a promoter for neuron-specific enolase. The brain cells of these transgenic rats express functional dimers of the NPR-B receptor containing the dominant-negative NPR-BdeltaKC mutant, and therefore show decreased CNP-stimulated cGMP-production in brain membranes. The NPR-B transgenic rats display enhanced LTP but reduced LTD in hippocampal slices. When the frequency-dependence of synaptic modification to afferent stimulation in the range of 1-100 Hz was assessed in transgenic rats the threshold for LTP induction was raised, but LTD induction was facilitated. In parallel, NPR-BdeltaKC rats exhibited an enhancement in exploratory and learning behavior. These results indicate that bidirectional plasticity and learning and memory mechanism are affected in transgenic rats expressing a dominant-negative mutant of NPR-B. Our data substantiate the hypothesis that NPR-B-dependent cGMP signalling has a modulatory role for synaptic information storage and learning.

  15. Influence of localized plasticity on oxidation behaviour of austenitic stainless steels under primary water reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cissé, Sarata [CEA Saclay, DEN/DANS/DMN/SEMI, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Laffont, Lydia, E-mail: lydia.laffont@ensiacet.fr [Institut CARNOT, CIRIMAT-ENSIACET, 4 allée Emile Monso, 31030 Toulouse Cedex 4 (France); Lafont, Marie-Christine [Institut CARNOT, CIRIMAT-ENSIACET, 4 allée Emile Monso, 31030 Toulouse Cedex 4 (France); Tanguy, Benoit [CEA Saclay, DEN/DANS/DMN/SEMI, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Andrieu, Eric [Institut CARNOT, CIRIMAT-ENSIACET, 4 allée Emile Monso, 31030 Toulouse Cedex 4 (France)

    2013-02-15

    The sensitivity of precipitation-strengthened A286 austenitic stainless steel to stress corrosion cracking was studied by means of slow-strain-rate tests. First, alloy cold working by low cycle fatigue (LCF) was investigated. Fatigue tests under plastic strain control were performed at different strain levels (Δε{sub p}/2 = 0.2%, 0.5%, 0.8% and 2%) to establish correlations between stress softening and the deformation microstructure resulting from the LCF tests. Deformed microstructures were identified through TEM investigations. The interaction between oxidation and localized deformation bands was also studied and it resulted that localized deformation bands are not preferential oxide growth channels. The pre-cycling of the alloy did not modify its oxidation behaviour. However, intergranular oxidation in the subsurface under the oxide layer formed after exposure to PWR primary water was shown.

  16. Global and local missions of cAMP signaling in neural plasticity, learning and memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daewoo eLee

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been a popular model to study cAMP signaling and resultant behaviors due to its powerful genetic approaches. All molecular components (AC, PDE, PKA, CREB, etc essential for cAMP signaling have been identified in the fly. Among them, adenylyl cyclase (AC gene rutabaga and phosphodiesterase (PDE gene dunce have been intensively studied to understand the role of cAMP signaling. Interestingly, these two mutant genes were originally identified on the basis of associative learning deficits. This commentary summarizes findings on the role of cAMP in Drosophila neuronal excitability, synaptic plasticity and memory. It mainly focuses on two distinct mechanisms (global versus local regulating excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity related to cAMP homeostasis. This dual regulatory role of cAMP is to increase the strength of excitatory neural circuits on one hand, but to act locally on postsynaptic GABA receptors to decrease inhibitory synaptic plasticity on the other. Thus the action of cAMP could result in a global increase in the neural circuit excitability and memory. Implications of this cAMP signaling related to drug discovery for neural diseases are also described.

  17. Effects of drip irrigation under plastic film with saline water on cotton growth and yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, B.; Jin, M.; He, Y.; Zhou, J.; Brusseau, M. L.

    2012-12-01

    To study the influence of different irrigation system for drip irrigation under plastic film with saline water on cotton growth and yields, field experiments at key irrigation experiment station of water resources management division in Bayingolin Mongol Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang, China were set up consist of different irrigation ratio (5250, 4500, 3750, 3000m3/hm2), different irrigation times (24, 12 and 8 times) and different rotation irrigation modes. The results show that: with the larger irrigation ratio, the cotton growth and yields was also better, and the significant influence on cotton growth and yields for irrigation ratio is between 3750-4500 m3/hm2. When the irrigation ratio is smaller (3000m3/hm2), cotton growth and yields for irrigation times of 8 times are higher, When the irrigation ratio is bigger (4500m3/hm2), cotton growth for irrigation times of 12 times are better and its cotton yields are higher correspondingly. According to the growth of cotton, yields and water productivity, the suitable irrigation system of cotton is the irrigation ratio of 4500-3750 m3/ hm2 and the irrigation times of 18 times for drip irrigation under plastic film with saline water. For different rotation drip irrigation experiments with saline water and fresh water, the cotton yields and irrigation water productivity is higher under the disposal of SF (rotation irrigation in first 6 times with saline water irrigation and then 6 times with fresh water irrigation) compared to FS (rotation irrigation in first 6 times with fresh water and then 6 times with saline water) and SSFA (rotation irrigation with twice saline water and once fresh water) compared to SFA (alternative irrigation with saline water and fresh water). Compared to the different alternate irrigation experiments, the cotton yields and water productivity for pure saline water irrigation is higher. In addition, the trend is the larger the irrigation ratio and the higher the yields. It maybe dues to the low

  18. Procedure to predict the storey where plastic drift dominates in two-storey building under strong ground motion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hibino, Y.; Ichinose, T.; Costa, J.L.D.

    2009-01-01

    A procedure is presented to predict the storey where plastic drift dominates in two-storey buildings under strong ground motion. The procedure utilizes the yield strength and the mass of each storey as well as the peak ground acceleration. The procedure is based on two different assumptions: (1....... The efficiency of the procedure is verified by dynamic response analyses using elasto-plastic model....

  19. Elastic-plastic Transition of Transversely Isotropic Thick-walled Rotating Cylinder under Internal Pressure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Sharma

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Elastic-plastic stresses for a transversely isotropic thick-walled rotating cylinder under internal pressure have been obtained by using Seth’s transition theory. It has been observed that a thick-walled circular cylinder made of isotropic material yields at the internal surface at a high pressure as compared to cylinder made of transversely isotropic material. With the increase in angular speed, much less pressure is required for initial yielding at the internal surface for transversely isotropic material as compared to isotropic material. For fullyplastic state, circumferential stress is maximum at the external surface. Thick-walled circular cylinder made of transversely isotropic material requires high percentage increase in pressure to become fully plastic as compared to isotropic cylinder. Therefore, circular cylinder made of transversely isotropic material is on the safer side of the design as compared to cylinder made of  isotropic material.Defence Science Journal, 2009, 59(3, pp.260-264, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.14429/dsj.59.1519

  20. Mathematical modelling of phenotypic plasticity and conversion to a stem-cell state under hypoxia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhawan, Andrew; Madani Tonekaboni, Seyed Ali; Taube, Joseph H.; Hu, Stephen; Sphyris, Nathalie; Mani, Sendurai A.; Kohandel, Mohammad

    2016-02-01

    Hypoxia, or oxygen deficiency, is known to be associated with breast tumour progression, resistance to conventional therapies and poor clinical prognosis. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process that confers invasive and migratory capabilities as well as stem cell properties to carcinoma cells thus promoting metastatic progression. In this work, we examined the impact of hypoxia on EMT-associated cancer stem cell (CSC) properties, by culturing transformed human mammary epithelial cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions, and applying in silico mathematical modelling to simulate the impact of hypoxia on the acquisition of CSC attributes and the transitions between differentiated and stem-like states. Our results indicate that both the heterogeneity and the plasticity of the transformed cell population are enhanced by exposure to hypoxia, resulting in a shift towards a more stem-like population with increased EMT features. Our findings are further reinforced by gene expression analyses demonstrating the upregulation of EMT-related genes, as well as genes associated with therapy resistance, in hypoxic cells compared to normoxic counterparts. In conclusion, we demonstrate that mathematical modelling can be used to simulate the role of hypoxia as a key contributor to the plasticity and heterogeneity of transformed human mammary epithelial cells.

  1. Maladaptive Plasticity in Aphasia: Brain Activation Maps Underlying Verb Retrieval Errors

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    Kerstin Spielmann

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery.

  2. Maladaptive Plasticity in Aphasia: Brain Activation Maps Underlying Verb Retrieval Errors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, Edith; Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés

    2016-01-01

    Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming) in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery. PMID:27429808

  3. Learning to Produce Syllabic Speech Sounds via Reward-Modulated Neural Plasticity.

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    Anne S Warlaumont

    Full Text Available At around 7 months of age, human infants begin to reliably produce well-formed syllables containing both consonants and vowels, a behavior called canonical babbling. Over subsequent months, the frequency of canonical babbling continues to increase. How the infant's nervous system supports the acquisition of this ability is unknown. Here we present a computational model that combines a spiking neural network, reinforcement-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity, and a human-like vocal tract to simulate the acquisition of canonical babbling. Like human infants, the model's frequency of canonical babbling gradually increases. The model is rewarded when it produces a sound that is more auditorily salient than sounds it has previously produced. This is consistent with data from human infants indicating that contingent adult responses shape infant behavior and with data from deaf and tracheostomized infants indicating that hearing, including hearing one's own vocalizations, is critical for canonical babbling development. Reward receipt increases the level of dopamine in the neural network. The neural network contains a reservoir with recurrent connections and two motor neuron groups, one agonist and one antagonist, which control the masseter and orbicularis oris muscles, promoting or inhibiting mouth closure. The model learns to increase the number of salient, syllabic sounds it produces by adjusting the base level of muscle activation and increasing their range of activity. Our results support the possibility that through dopamine-modulated spike-timing-dependent plasticity, the motor cortex learns to harness its natural oscillations in activity in order to produce syllabic sounds. It thus suggests that learning to produce rhythmic mouth movements for speech production may be supported by general cortical learning mechanisms. The model makes several testable predictions and has implications for our understanding not only of how syllabic

  4. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning – Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaut, Michael H.; Peterson, David A.; McIntosh, Gerald C.; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey’s auditory verbal learning test. We defined the “learning-related synchronization” (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances “deep encoding” during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626

  5. Sparing of descending axons rescues interneuron plasticity in the lumbar cord to allow adaptive learning after thoracic spinal cord injury

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    Christopher Nelson Hansen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This study evaluated the role of spared axons on structural and behavioral neuroplasticity in the lumbar enlargement after a thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI. Previous work has demonstrated that recovery in the presence of spared axons after an incomplete lesion increases behavioral output after a subsequent complete spinal cord transection (TX. This suggests that spared axons direct adaptive changes in below-level neuronal networks of the lumbar cord. In response to spared fibers, we postulate that lumbar neuron networks support behavioral gains by preventing aberrant plasticity. As such, the present study measured histological and functional changes in the isolated lumbar cord after complete TX or incomplete contusion (SCI. To measure functional plasticity in the lumbar cord, we used an established instrumental learning paradigm. In this paradigm, neural circuits within isolated lumbar segments demonstrate learning by an increase in flexion duration that reduces exposure to a noxious leg shock. We employed this model using a proof-of-principle design to evaluate the role of sparing on lumbar learning and plasticity early (7 days or late (42 days after midthoracic SCI in a rodent model. Early after SCI or TX at 7d, spinal learning was unattainable regardless of whether the animal recovered with or without axonal substrate. Failed learning occurred alongside measures of cell soma atrophy and aberrant dendritic spine expression within interneuron populations responsible for sensorimotor integration and learning. Alternatively, exposure of the lumbar cord to a small amount of spared axons for 6 weeks produced near-normal learning late after SCI. This coincided with greater cell soma volume and fewer aberrant dendritic spines on interneurons. Thus, an opportunity to influence activity-based learning in locomotor networks depends on spared axons limiting maladaptive plasticity. Together, this work identifies a time dependent interaction between

  6. The brain-tumor related protein podoplanin regulates synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cicvaric, Ana; Yang, Jiaye; Krieger, Sigurd; Khan, Deeba; Kim, Eun-Jung; Dominguez-Rodriguez, Manuel; Cabatic, Maureen; Molz, Barbara; Acevedo Aguilar, Juan Pablo; Milicevic, Radoslav; Smani, Tarik; Breuss, Johannes M; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Pollak, Daniela D; Uhrin, Pavel; Monje, Francisco J

    2016-12-01

    Podoplanin is a cell-surface glycoprotein constitutively expressed in the brain and implicated in human brain tumorigenesis. The intrinsic function of podoplanin in brain neurons remains however uncharacterized. Using an established podoplanin-knockout mouse model and electrophysiological, biochemical, and behavioral approaches, we investigated the brain neuronal role of podoplanin. Ex-vivo electrophysiology showed that podoplanin deletion impairs dentate gyrus synaptic strengthening. In vivo, podoplanin deletion selectively impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory without affecting amygdala-dependent cued fear conditioning. In vitro, neuronal overexpression of podoplanin promoted synaptic activity and neuritic outgrowth whereas podoplanin-deficient neurons exhibited stunted outgrowth and lower levels of p-Ezrin, TrkA, and CREB in response to nerve growth factor (NGF). Surface Plasmon Resonance data further indicated a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. This work proposes podoplanin as a novel component of the neuronal machinery underlying neuritogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and hippocampus-dependent memory functions. The existence of a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and the NGF/TrkA signaling pathway is also for the first time proposed here, thus providing a novel molecular complex as a target for future multidisciplinary studies of the brain function in the physiology and the pathology. Key messages Podoplanin, a protein linked to the promotion of human brain tumors, is required in vivo for proper hippocampus-dependent learning and memory functions. Deletion of podoplanin selectively impairs activity-dependent synaptic strengthening at the neurogenic dentate-gyrus and hampers neuritogenesis and phospho Ezrin, TrkA and CREB protein levels upon NGF stimulation. Surface plasmon resonance data indicates a physical interaction between podoplanin and NGF. On these grounds, a relevant cross-talk between podoplanin and NGF as well

  7. Protective effect of tetrahydroxy stilbene glucoside on learning and memory by regulating synaptic plasticity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hong-bo Luo; Yun Li; Zun-jing Liu; Li Cao; Zhi-qiang Zhang; Yong Wang; Xiao-yan Zhang; Zhao Liu; Xiang-qun Shi

    2016-01-01

    Damage to synaptic plasticity induced by neurotoxicity of amyloid-beta is regarded to be one of the pathological mechanisms of learning and memory disabilities in Alzheimer’s disease patients. This study assumed that the damage of amyloid-beta to learning and memory abilities was strongly associated with the changes in the Fyn/N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B (NR2B) expression. An APP695V7171 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease was used and treatment with tetrahydroxy-stilbene glucoside was administered intragas-trically. Results showed that intragastric administration of tetrahydroxy-stilbene glucoside improved the learning and memory abilities of the transgenic mice through increasing NR2B receptors and Fyn expression. It also reversed parameters for synaptic interface structure of gray type I. These ifndings indicate that tetrahydroxy stilbene glucoside has protective effects on the brain, and has prospects for its clinical application to improve the learning and memory abilities and treat Alzheimer’s disease.

  8. Learning-induced plasticity regulates hippocampal sharp wave-ripple drive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Girardeau, Gabrielle; Cei, Anne; Zugaro, Michaël

    2014-04-01

    Hippocampal sharp wave-ripples (SPW-Rs) and associated place-cell reactivations are crucial for spatial memory consolidation during sleep and rest. However, it remains unclear how learning and consolidation requirements influence and regulate subsequent SPW-R activity. Indeed, SPW-R activity has been observed not only following complex behavioral tasks, but also after random foraging in familiar environments, despite markedly different learning requirements. Because transient increases in SPW-R rates have been reported following training on memory tasks, we hypothesized that SPW-R activity following learning (but not routine behavior) could involve specific regulatory processes related to ongoing consolidation. Interfering with ripples would then result in a dynamic compensatory response only when initial memory traces required consolidation. Here we trained rats on a spatial memory task, and showed that subsequent sleep periods where ripple activity was perturbed by timed electrical stimulation were indeed characterized by increased SPW-R occurrence rates compared with control sleep periods where stimulations were slightly delayed in time and did not interfere with ripples. Importantly, this did not occur following random foraging in a familiar environment. We next showed that this dynamic response was abolished following injection of an NMDA receptor blocker (MK-801) before, but not after training. Our results indicate that NMDA receptor-dependent processes occurring during learning, such as network "tagging" and plastic changes, regulate subsequent ripple-mediated consolidation of spatial memory during sleep.

  9. The role of astrocytic aquaporin-4 in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory

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    Jenny I. Szu

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 is the predominant water channel expressed by astrocytes in the central nervous system. AQP4 is widely expressed throughout the brain, especially at the blood-brain barrier where AQP4 is highly polarized to astrocytic foot processes in contact with blood vessels. The bidirectional water transport function of AQP4 suggests its role in cerebral water balance in the CNS. The regulation of AQP4 has been extensively investigated in various neuropathological conditions such as cerebral edema, epilepsy, and ischemia, however, the functional role of AQP4 in synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is only beginning to be elucidated. In this review, we explore the current literature on AQP4 and its influence on LTP and LTD in the hippocampus as well as the potential relationship between AQP4 in learning and memory. We begin by discussing recent in vitro and in vivo studies using AQP4 knockout (KO and wild-type mice, in particular, the impairment of LTP and LTD observed in the hippocampus. Early evidence using AQP4 KO mice have suggested that impaired LTP and LTD is BDNF dependent. Others have indicated a possible link between defective LTP and the downregulation of glutamate transporter-1 which is rescued by chronic treatment of β-lactam antibiotic ceftriaxone. Furthermore, behavioral studies may shed some light into the functional role of AQP4 in learning and memory. AQP4 KO mice performances utilizing Morris water maze, object placement tests, and contextual fear conditioning proposed a specific role of AQP4 in memory consolidation. All together, these studies highlight the potential influence AQP4 may have on long term synaptic plasticity and memory.

  10. Investment-Cost Optimization of Plastic Recycling System under Reliability Constraints

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    Abdelkader ZEBLAH

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes and uses an ant colony meta-heuristic optimization method to solve the redundancy optimization problem in plastic recycling industry. This problem is known as total investment-cost minimization of series-parallel plastic recycling system. Redundant components are included to achieve a desired level of availability. System availability is represented by a multi-state availability function. The plastic machines are characterized by their capacity, availability and cost. These machines are chosen among a list of products available on the market. The proposed meta-heuristic seeks to find the best minimal cost plastic recycling system configuration with desired availability. To estimate the series-parallel plastic machines availability, a fast method based on universal moment generating function (UMGF is suggested. The ant colony approach is used as an optimization technique. An example of plastic recycling system is presented.

  11. Microscopic Approaches to Decomposition and Burning Processes of a Micro Plastic Resin Particle under Abrupt Heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohiwa, Norio; Ishino, Yojiro; Yamamoto, Atsunori; Yamakita, Ryuji

    To elucidate the possibility and availability of thermal recycling of waste plastic resin from a basic and microscopic viewpoint, a series of abrupt heating processes of a spherical micro plastic particle having a diameter of about 200 μm is observed, when it is abruptly exposed to hot oxidizing combustion gas. Three ingenious devices are introduced and two typical plastic resins of polyethylene terephthalate and polyethylene are used. In this paper the dependency of internal and external appearances of residual plastic embers on the heating time and the ingredients of plastic resins is optically analyzed, along with appearances of internal micro bubbling, multiple micro explosions and jets, and micro diffusion flames during abrupt heating. Based on temporal variations of the surface area of a micro plastic particle, the apparent burning rate constant is also evaluated and compared with those of well-known volatile liquid fuels.

  12. Prediction of plastic instabilities under thermo-mechanical loadings in tension and simple shear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manach, P. Y.; Mansouri, L. F.; Thuillier, S.

    2016-08-01

    Plastic instabilities like Portevin-Le Châtelier were quite thoroughly investigated experimentally in tension, under a large range of strain rates and temperatures. Such instabilities are characterized both by a jerky flow and a localization of the strain in bands. Similar phenomena were also recorded for example in simple shear [1]. Modelling of this phenomenon is mainly performed at room temperature, taking into account the strain rate sensitivity, though an extension of the classical Estrin-Kubin-McCormick was proposed in the literature, by making some of the material parameters dependent on temperature. A similar approach is considered in this study, furthermore extended for anisotropic plasticity with Hill's 1948 yield criterion. Material parameters are identified at 4 different temperatures, ranging from room temperature up to 250°C. The identification procedure is split in 3 steps, related to the elasticity, the average stress level and the magnitude of the stress drops. The anisotropy is considered constant in this temperature range, as evidenced by experimental results [2]. The model is then used to investigate the temperature dependence of the critical strain, as well as its capability to represent the propagation of the bands. Numerical predictions of the instabilities in tension and simple shear at room temperature and up to 250°C are compared with experimental results [3]. In the case of simple shear, a monotonic loading followed by unloading and reloading in the reverse direction (“Bauschinger-type” test) is also considered, showing that (i) kinematic hardening should be taken into account to fully describe the transition at re-yielding (ii) the modelling of the critical strain has to be improved.

  13. Oscillations, phase-of-firing coding, and spike timing-dependent plasticity: an efficient learning scheme.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masquelier, Timothée; Hugues, Etienne; Deco, Gustavo; Thorpe, Simon J

    2009-10-28

    Recent experiments have established that information can be encoded in the spike times of neurons relative to the phase of a background oscillation in the local field potential-a phenomenon referred to as "phase-of-firing coding" (PoFC). These firing phase preferences could result from combining an oscillation in the input current with a stimulus-dependent static component that would produce the variations in preferred phase, but it remains unclear whether these phases are an epiphenomenon or really affect neuronal interactions-only then could they have a functional role. Here we show that PoFC has a major impact on downstream learning and decoding with the now well established spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). To be precise, we demonstrate with simulations how a single neuron equipped with STDP robustly detects a pattern of input currents automatically encoded in the phases of a subset of its afferents, and repeating at random intervals. Remarkably, learning is possible even when only a small fraction of the afferents ( approximately 10%) exhibits PoFC. The ability of STDP to detect repeating patterns had been noted before in continuous activity, but it turns out that oscillations greatly facilitate learning. A benchmark with more conventional rate-based codes demonstrates the superiority of oscillations and PoFC for both STDP-based learning and the speed of decoding: the oscillation partially formats the input spike times, so that they mainly depend on the current input currents, and can be efficiently learned by STDP and then recognized in just one oscillation cycle. This suggests a major functional role for oscillatory brain activity that has been widely reported experimentally.

  14. Changes in soil parameters under continuous plastic mulching in strawberry cultivation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz, Katherine; Diehl, Dörte; Scopchanova, Sirma; Schaumann, Gabriele E.

    2016-04-01

    Plastic mulching (PM) is a widely used practice in modern agriculture because they generate conditions for optimal yield rates and quality. However, information about long-term effects of PC on soil quality parameters is scarce. The aim of this study is to compare the effect of three different mulching managements on soil quality parameters. Sampling and methodology: Three different managements were studied: Organic mulching (OM), 2-years PM and 4-years PM. Soil samples were collected from irrigated fields in 0-5, 5-10 and 10-30 cm depths and analyzed for water content (WC), pH, dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total soil carbon (Ctot) and cation exchange capacity (CECeff). Results and discussion: Mulching management has an influence on soil parameters. The magnitude of the effects is influenced by the type (organic agriculture practice vs. plastic mulching practice) and duration of the mulching. PM modified the water distribution through the soil column. WC values at the root zone were in average 10% higher compared to those measured at the topsoil. Under OM, the WC was lower than under PM. The pH was mainly influenced by the duration of the managements with slightly higher values after 4 than after 2-years PM. Under PM, aqueous extracts of the topsoil (0-5 cm depth) contained in average with 8.5±1.8 mg/L higher DOC than in 10-30 cm depth with 5.6±0.5 mg/L, which may indicate a mobilization of organic components in the upper layers. After 4-years PM, Ctot values were slightly higher than after 2-years PM and after OM. Surprisingly, after 4-years PM, CECeff values were with 138 - 157 mmolc/kg almost 2-fold higher than after 2-years PM and OM which had with 74 - 102 mmolc/kg comparable CECeff values. Long-term PM resulted in changes of soil pH and slightly increased Ctot which probably enhanced the CECeff of the soil. However, further investigations of the effect of PM on stability of soil organic matter and microbial community structure are needed.

  15. Functional consequences of experience-dependent plasticity on tactile perception following perceptual learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S

    2016-09-01

    Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for 9 days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs. Participants were required to detect consecutive indentations of bar stimuli spanning multiple digits. Throughout the training regime we tracked participants' discrimination thresholds on spatial (grating orientation) and temporal tasks on the trained and untrained hands in separate sessions. We hypothesized that training on the multi-digit task would decrease perceptual thresholds on tasks that require stimulus processing across multiple digits, while also increasing thresholds on tasks requiring discrimination on single digits. We observed an increase in orientation thresholds on a single digit. Importantly, this effect was selective for the stimulus orientation and hand used during multi-digit training. We also found that temporal acuity between digits improved across trained digits, suggesting that discriminating the temporal order of multi-digit stimuli can transfer to temporal discrimination of other tactile stimuli. These results suggest that experience-dependent plasticity following perceptual learning improves and interferes with tactile abilities in manners predictive of the task and stimulus features used during training.

  16. Functional consequences of experience-dependent plasticity on tactile perception following perceptual learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trzcinski, Natalie K; Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hsiao, Steven S.

    2016-01-01

    Continuous training enhances perceptual discrimination and promotes neural changes in areas encoding the experienced stimuli. This type of experience-dependent plasticity has been demonstrated in several sensory and motor systems. Particularly, non-human primates trained to detect consecutive tactile bar indentations across multiple digits showed expanded excitatory receptive fields (RFs) in somatosensory cortex. However, the perceptual implications of these anatomical changes remain undetermined. Here, we trained human participants for nine days on a tactile task that promoted expansion of multi-digit RFs. Participants were required to detect consecutive indentations of bar stimuli spanning multiple digits. Throughout the training regime we tracked participants’ discrimination thresholds on spatial (grating orientation) and temporal tasks on the trained and untrained hands in separate sessions. We hypothesized that training on the multi-digit task would decrease perceptual thresholds on tasks that require stimulus processing across multiple digits, while also increasing thresholds on tasks requiring discrimination on single digits. We observed an increase in orientation thresholds on a single-digit. Importantly, this effect was selective for the stimulus orientation and hand used during multi-digit training. We also found that temporal acuity between digits improved across trained digits, suggesting that discriminating the temporal order of multi-digit stimuli can transfer to temporal discrimination of other tactile stimuli. These results suggest that experience-dependent plasticity following perceptual learning improves and interferes with tactile abilities in manners predictive of the task and stimulus features used during training. PMID:27422224

  17. UBE3A Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning and Memory by Controlling SK2 Channel Endocytosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiandong Sun

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Gated solely by activity-induced changes in intracellular calcium, small-conductance potassium channels (SKs are critical for a variety of functions in the CNS, from learning and memory to rhythmic activity and sleep. While there is a wealth of information on SK2 gating, kinetics, and Ca2+ sensitivity, little is known regarding the regulation of SK2 subcellular localization. We report here that synaptic SK2 levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase UBE3A, whose deficiency results in Angelman syndrome and overexpression in increased risk of autistic spectrum disorder. UBE3A directly ubiquitinates SK2 in the C-terminal domain, which facilitates endocytosis. In UBE3A-deficient mice, increased postsynaptic SK2 levels result in decreased NMDA receptor activation, thereby impairing hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity. Impairments in both synaptic plasticity and fear conditioning memory in UBE3A-deficient mice are significantly ameliorated by blocking SK2. These results elucidate a mechanism by which UBE3A directly influences cognitive function.

  18. Experimental Evidence Shows the Importance of Behavioural Plasticity and Body Size under Competition in Waterfowl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yong; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Versluijs, Martijn; Wessels, Rick; Cao, Lei; de Boer, Willem Frederik

    2016-01-01

    When differently sized species feed on the same resources, interference competition may occur, which may negatively affect their food intake rate. It is expected that competition between species also alters behaviour and feeding patch selection. To assess these changes in behaviour and patch selection, we applied an experimental approach using captive birds of three differently sized Anatidae species: wigeon (Anas penelope) (~600 g), swan goose (Anser cygnoides) (~2700 g) and bean goose (Anser fabalis) (~3200 g). We quantified the functional response for each species and then recorded their behaviour and patch selection with and without potential competitors, using different species combinations. Our results showed that all three species acquired the highest nitrogen intake at relatively tall swards (6, 9 cm) when foraging in single species flocks in the functional response experiment. Goose species were offered foraging patches differing in sward height with and without competitors, and we tested for the effect of competition on foraging behaviour. The mean percentage of time spent feeding and being vigilant did not change under competition for all species. However, all species utilized strategies that increased their peck rate on patches across different sward heights, resulting in the same instantaneous and nitrogen intake rate. Our results suggest that variation in peck rate over different swards height permits Anatidae herbivores to compensate for the loss of intake under competition, illustrating the importance of behavioural plasticity in heterogeneous environments when competing with other species for resources. PMID:27727315

  19. Plasticity of Streptomyces coelicolor membrane composition under different growth conditions and during development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario eSandoval-Calderón

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Streptomyces coelicolor is a model actinomycete that is well known for the diversity of its secondary metabolism and its complex life cycle. As a soil inhabitant, it is exposed to heterogeneous and frequently changing environmental circumstances. In the present work, we studied the effect of diverse growth conditions and phosphate depletion on its lipid profile and the relationship between membrane lipid composition and development in S. coelicolor. The lipid profile from cultures grown on solid media, which is closer to the natural habitat of this microorganism, does not resemble the previously reported lipid composition from liquid grown cultures of S. coelicolor. Wide variations were also observed across different media, growth phases, and developmental stages indicating active membrane remodeling. Ornithine lipids (OL are phosphorus-free polar lipids that were accumulated mainly during sporulation stages, but were also major components of the membrane under phosphorus limitation. In contrast, phosphatidylethanolamine, which had been reported as one of the major polar lipids in the genus Streptomyces, is almost absent under these conditions. We identified one of the genes responsible for the synthesis of OL (SCO0921 and found that its inactivation causes the absence of OL, precocious morphological development and actinorhodin production. Our observations indicate a remarkable plasticity of the membrane composition in this bacterial species, reveal a higher metabolic complexity than expected, and suggest a relationship between cytoplasmic membrane components and the differentiation programs in S. coelicolor.

  20. Neuromagnetic fields reveal cortical plasticity when learning an auditory discrimination task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cansino, S; Williamson, S J

    1997-08-01

    Auditory evoked neuromagnetic fields of the primary and association auditory cortices were recorded while subjects learned to discriminate small differences in frequency and intensity between two consecutive tones. When discrimination was no better than chance, evoked field patterns across the scalp manifested no significant differences between correct and incorrect responses. However, when performance was correct on at least 75% of the trials, the spatial pattern of magnetic field differed significantly between correct and incorrect responses during the first 70 ms following the onset of the second tone. In this respect, the magnetic field pattern predicted when the subject would make an incorrect judgment more than 100 ms prior to indicating the judgment by a button press. One subject improved discrimination for much smaller differences between stimuli after 200 h of training. Evidence of cortical plasticity with improved discrimination is provided by an accompanying decrease of the relative magnetic field amplitude of the 100 ms response components in the primary and association auditory cortices.

  1. Modeling learning in brain stem and cerebellar sites responsible for VOR plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, K. J.; Didier, A. J.; Baker, J. F.; Peterson, B. W.

    1998-01-01

    A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response.

  2. Impact of plastic mulching on nitrous oxide emissions in China's arid agricultural region under climate change conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Yongxiang; Tao, Hui; Jia, Hongtao; Zhao, Chengyi

    2017-06-01

    The denitrification-decomposition (DNDC) model is a useful tool for integrating the effects of agricultural practices and climate change on soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from agricultural ecosystems. In this study, the DNDC model was evaluated against observations and used to simulate the effect of plastic mulching on soil N2O emissions and crop growth. The DNDC model performed well in simulating temporal variations in N2O emissions and plant growth during the observation period, although it slightly underestimated the cumulative N2O emissions, and was able to simulate the effects of plastic mulching on N2O emissions and crop yield. Both the observations and simulations demonstrated that the application of plastic film increased cumulative N2O emissions and cotton lint yield compared with the non-mulched treatment. The sensitivity test showed that the N2O emissions and lint yield were sensitive to changes in climate and management practices, and the application of plastic film made the N2O emissions and lint yield less sensitive to changes in temperature and irrigation. Although the simulations showed that the beneficial impacts of plastic mulching on N2O emissions were not gained under high fertilizer and irrigation scenarios, our simulations suggest that the application of plastic film effectively reduced soil N2O emissions while promoting yields under suitable fertilizer rates and irrigation. Compared with the baseline scenario, future climate change significantly increased N2O emissions by 15-17% without significantly influencing the lint yields in the non-mulched treatment; in the mulched treatment, climate change significantly promoted the lint yield by 5-6% and significantly reduced N2O emissions by 14% in the RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 scenarios. Overall, our results demonstrate that the application of plastic film is an efficient way to address increased N2O emissions and simultaneously enhance crop yield in the future.

  3. Late-Life Environmental Enrichment Induces Acetylation Events and Nuclear Factor κB-Dependent Regulations in the Hippocampus of Aged Rats Showing Improved Plasticity and Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neidl, Romain; Schneider, Anne; Bousiges, Olivier; Majchrzak, Monique; Barbelivien, Alexandra; de Vasconcelos, Anne Pereira; Dorgans, Kevin; Doussau, Frédéric; Loeffler, Jean-Philippe; Cassel, Jean-Christophe; Boutillier, Anne-Laurence

    2016-04-13

    Aging weakens memory functions. Exposing healthy rodents or pathological rodent models to environmental enrichment (EE) housing improves their cognitive functions by changing neuronal levels of excitation, cellular signaling, and plasticity, notably in the hippocampus. At the molecular level, brain derived-neurotrophic factor (BDNF) represents an important player that supports EE-associated changes. EE facilitation of learning was also shown to correlate with chromatin acetylation in the hippocampus. It is not known, however, whether such mechanisms are still into play during aging. In this study, we exposed a cohort of aged rats (18-month-old) to either a 6 month period of EE or standard housing conditions and investigated chromatin acetylation-associated events [histone acetyltranferase activity, gene expression, and histone 3 (H3) acetylation] and epigenetic modulation of the Bdnf gene under rest conditions and during learning. We show that EE leads to upregulation of acetylation-dependent mechanisms in aged rats, whether at rest or following a learning challenge. We found an increased expression of Bdnf through Exon-I-dependent transcription, associated with an enrichment of acetylated H3 at several sites of Bdnf promoter I, more particularly on a proximal nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) site under learning conditions. We further evidenced p65/NF-κB binding to chromatin at promoters of genes important for plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning (e.g., Bdnf, CamK2D). Altogether, our findings demonstrate that aged rats respond to a belated period of EE by increasing hippocampal plasticity, together with activating sustained acetylation-associated mechanisms recruiting NF-κB and promoting related gene transcription. These responses are likely to trigger beneficial effects associated with EE during aging. Aging weakens memory functions. Optimizing the neuronal circuitry required for normal brain function can be achieved by increasing sensory, motor, and

  4. Cortical plasticity induced by rapid Hebbian learning of novel tonal word-forms : Evidence from mismatch negativity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yue, Jinxing; Bastiaanse, Roelien; Alter, Kai

    2014-01-01

    Although several experiments reported rapid cortical plasticity induced by passive exposure to novel segmental patterns, few studies have devoted attention to the neural dynamics during the rapid learning of novel tonal word-forms in tonal languages, such as Chinese. In the current study, native

  5. Learning Discloses Abnormal Structural and Functional Plasticity at Hippocampal Synapses in the APP23 Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middei, Silvia; Roberto, Anna; Berretta, Nicola; Panico, Maria Beatrice; Lista, Simone; Bernardi, Giorgio; Mercuri, Nicola B.; Ammassari-Teule, Martine; Nistico, Robert

    2010-01-01

    B6-Tg/Thy1APP23Sdz (APP23) mutant mice exhibit neurohistological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease but show intact basal hippocampal neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. Here, we examine whether spatial learning differently modifies the structural and electrophysiological properties of hippocampal synapses in APP23 and wild-type mice. While…

  6. Humans with Type-2 Diabetes Show Abnormal Long-Term Potentiation-Like Cortical Plasticity Associated with Verbal Learning Deficits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fried, Peter J.; Schilberg, Lukas; Brem, Anna-Katharine; Saxena, Sadhvi; Wong, Bonnie; Cypess, Aaron M.; Horton, Edward S.; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro

    2016-01-01

    Background Type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) accelerates cognitive aging and increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Rodent models of T2DM show altered synaptic plasticity associated with reduced learning and memory. Humans with T2DM also show cognitive deficits, including reduced learning and memory, but the relationship of these impairments to the efficacy of neuroplastic mechanisms has never been assessed. Objective Our primary objective was to compare mechanisms of cortical plasticity in humans with and without T2DM. Our secondary objective was to relate plasticity measures to standard measures of cognition. Methods A prospective cross-sectional cohort study was conducted on 21 adults with T2DM and 15 demographically-similar non-diabetic controls. Long-term potentiation-like plasticity was assessed in primary motor cortex by comparing the amplitude of motor evoked potentials (MEPs) from single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation before and after intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Plasticity measures were compared between groups and related to neuropsychological scores. Results In T2DM, iTBS-induced modulation of MEPs was significantly less than controls, even after controlling for potential confounds. Furthermore, in T2DM, modulation of MEPs 10-min post-iTBS was significantly correlated with Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Task (RAVLT) performance. Conclusion Humans with T2DM show abnormal cortico-motor plasticity that is correlated with reduced verbal learning. Since iTBS after-effects and the RAVLT are both NMDA receptor-dependent measures, their relationship in T2DM may reflect brain-wide alterations in the efficacy of NMDA receptors. These findings offer novel mechanistic insights into the brain consequences of T2DM and provide a reliable means to monitor brain health and evaluate the efficacy of clinical interventions. PMID:27636847

  7. On learning dynamics underlying the evolution of learning rules.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dridi, Slimane; Lehmann, Laurent

    2014-02-01

    In order to understand the development of non-genetically encoded actions during an animal's lifespan, it is necessary to analyze the dynamics and evolution of learning rules producing behavior. Owing to the intrinsic stochastic and frequency-dependent nature of learning dynamics, these rules are often studied in evolutionary biology via agent-based computer simulations. In this paper, we show that stochastic approximation theory can help to qualitatively understand learning dynamics and formulate analytical models for the evolution of learning rules. We consider a population of individuals repeatedly interacting during their lifespan, and where the stage game faced by the individuals fluctuates according to an environmental stochastic process. Individuals adjust their behavioral actions according to learning rules belonging to the class of experience-weighted attraction learning mechanisms, which includes standard reinforcement and Bayesian learning as special cases. We use stochastic approximation theory in order to derive differential equations governing action play probabilities, which turn out to have qualitative features of mutator-selection equations. We then perform agent-based simulations to find the conditions where the deterministic approximation is closest to the original stochastic learning process for standard 2-action 2-player fluctuating games, where interaction between learning rules and preference reversal may occur. Finally, we analyze a simplified model for the evolution of learning in a producer-scrounger game, which shows that the exploration rate can interact in a non-intuitive way with other features of co-evolving learning rules. Overall, our analyses illustrate the usefulness of applying stochastic approximation theory in the study of animal learning.

  8. On learning dynamics underlying the evolution of learning rules.

    OpenAIRE

    Dridi, S; Lehmann, L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to understand the development of non-genetically encoded actions during an animal's lifespan, it is necessary to analyze the dynamics and evolution of learning rules producing behavior. Owing to the intrinsic stochastic and frequency-dependent nature of learning dynamics, these rules are often studied in evolutionary biology via agent-based computer simulations. In this paper, we show that stochastic approximation theory can help to qualitatively understand learning dynamics and form...

  9. Synaptic Ensemble Underlying the Selection and Consolidation of Neuronal Circuits during Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoshiba, Yoshio; Wada, Takeyoshi; Hayashi-Takagi, Akiko

    2017-01-01

    Memories are crucial to the cognitive essence of who we are as human beings. Accumulating evidence has suggested that memories are stored as a subset of neurons that probably fire together in the same ensemble. Such formation of cell ensembles must meet contradictory requirements of being plastic and responsive during learning, but also stable in order to maintain the memory. Although synaptic potentiation is presumed to be the cellular substrate for this process, the link between the two remains correlational. With the application of the latest optogenetic tools, it has been possible to collect direct evidence of the contributions of synaptic potentiation in the formation and consolidation of cell ensemble in a learning task specific manner. In this review, we summarize the current view of the causative role of synaptic plasticity as the cellular mechanism underlying the encoding of memory and recalling of learned memories. In particular, we will be focusing on the latest optoprobe developed for the visualization of such “synaptic ensembles.” We further discuss how a new synaptic ensemble could contribute to the formation of cell ensembles during learning and memory. With the development and application of novel research tools in the future, studies on synaptic ensembles will pioneer new discoveries, eventually leading to a comprehensive understanding of how the brain works. PMID:28303092

  10. Dynamic Microenvironment Induces Phenotypic Plasticity of Esophageal Cancer Cells Under Flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calibasi Kocal, Gizem; Güven, Sinan; Foygel, Kira; Goldman, Aaron; Chen, Pu; Sengupta, Shiladitya; Paulmurugan, Ramasamy; Baskin, Yasemin; Demirci, Utkan

    2016-12-01

    Cancer microenvironment is a remarkably heterogeneous composition of cellular and non-cellular components, regulated by both external and intrinsic physical and chemical stimuli. Physical alterations driven by increased proliferation of neoplastic cells and angiogenesis in the cancer microenvironment result in the exposure of the cancer cells to elevated levels of flow-based shear stress. We developed a dynamic microfluidic cell culture platform utilizing eshopagael cancer cells as model cells to investigate the phenotypic changes of cancer cells upon exposure to fluid shear stress. We report the epithelial to hybrid epithelial/mesenchymal transition as a result of decreasing E-Cadherin and increasing N-Cadherin and vimentin expressions, higher clonogenicity and ALDH positive expression of cancer cells cultured in a dynamic microfluidic chip under laminar flow compared to the static culture condition. We also sought regulation of chemotherapeutics in cancer microenvironment towards phenotypic control of cancer cells. Such in vitro microfluidic system could potentially be used to monitor how the interstitial fluid dynamics affect cancer microenvironment and plasticity on a simple, highly controllable and inexpensive bioengineered platform.

  11. Evolution of Robustness and Plasticity under Environmental Fluctuation: Formulation in Terms of Phenotypic Variances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2012-09-01

    The characterization of plasticity, robustness, and evolvability, an important issue in biology, is studied in terms of phenotypic fluctuations. By numerically evolving gene regulatory networks, the proportionality between the phenotypic variances of epigenetic and genetic origins is confirmed. The former is given by the variance of the phenotypic fluctuation due to noise in the developmental process; and the latter, by the variance of the phenotypic fluctuation due to genetic mutation. The relationship suggests a link between robustness to noise and to mutation, since robustness can be defined by the sharpness of the distribution of the phenotype. Next, the proportionality between the variances is demonstrated to also hold over expressions of different genes (phenotypic traits) when the system acquires robustness through the evolution. Then, evolution under environmental variation is numerically investigated and it is found that both the adaptability to a novel environment and the robustness are made compatible when a certain degree of phenotypic fluctuations exists due to noise. The highest adaptability is achieved at a certain noise level at which the gene expression dynamics are near the critical state to lose the robustness. Based on our results, we revisit Waddington's canalization and genetic assimilation with regard to the two types of phenotypic fluctuations.

  12. Phenotypic plasticity of Neonotonia wightii and Pueraria phaseoloidesgrown under different light intensities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    LEONARDO D.T. SANTOS

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Plants have the ability to undergo morphophysiological changes based on availability of light. The present study evaluated biomass accumulation, leaf morphoanatomy and physiology of Neonotonia wightii andPueraria phaseoloides grown in full sunlight, as well as in 30% and 50% shade. Two assays were performed, one for each species, using a randomized block design with 10 replicates. A higher accumulation of fresh mass in the shoot of the plants was observed for both species under cultivation in 50% shade, while no differences were detected between the full sunlight and 30% shade. N. wightii and P. phaseoloides showed increase in area and reduction in thickness leaf when cultivated in 50% shade. There were no changes in photosynthetic rate, stomatal conductance, water use efficiency and evapotranspiration of P. phaseoloidesplants because growth environment. However, the shade treatments caused alterations in physiological parameters of N. wightii. In both species, structural changes in the mesophyll occurred depending on the availability of light; however, the amount of leaf blade tissue remained unaltered. Despite the influence of light intensity variation on the morphophysiological plasticity ofN. wightiiand P. phaseoloides, no effects on biomass accumulation were observed in response to light.

  13. Pyrolysis of municipal plastic wastes II: Influence of raw material composition under catalytic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, A; de Marco, I; Caballero, B M; Laresgoiti, M F; Adrados, A; Torres, A

    2011-01-01

    In this work, the results obtained in catalytic pyrolysis of three plastic waste streams which are the rejects of an industrial packing wastes sorting plant are presented. The samples have been pyrolysed in a 3.5 dm(3) reactor under semi-batch conditions at 440 °C for 30 min in nitrogen atmosphere. Commercial ZSM-5 zeolite has been used as catalyst in liquid phase contact. In every case, high HHV gases and liquids which can be useful as fuels or source of chemicals are obtained. A solid fraction composed of the inorganic material contained in the raw materials and some char formed in the pyrolysis process is also obtained. The zeolite has shown to be very effective to produce liquids with great aromatics content and C3-C4 fraction rich gases, even though the raw material was mainly composed of polyolefins. The characteristics of the pyrolysis products as well as the effect of the catalyst vary depending on the composition of the raw material. When paper rich samples are pyrolysed, ZSM-5 zeolite increases water production and reduces CO and CO(2) generation. If stepwise pyrolysis is applied to such sample, the aqueous liquid phase can be separated from the organic liquid fraction in a first low temperature step.

  14. microRNAs and the regulation of neuronal plasticity under stress conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schouten, M; Aschrafi, A; Bielefeld, P; Doxakis, E; Fitzsimons, C P

    2013-06-25

    In the brain, the connection between sensory information triggered by the presence of a stressor and the organism's reaction involves limbic areas such as the hippocampus, amygdala and prefrontal cortex. Consequently, these brain regions are the most sensitive to stress-induced changes in neuronal plasticity. However, the specific effects of stress on neuronal plasticity in these regions largely differ. Despite these regional differences, in many cases the steps leading to brain adaptation to stress involve highly coordinated changes in gene expression affecting cell metabolism, neuronal plasticity and synaptic transmission. In adult life the effects of stress on neuronal plasticity are largely reversible but stress in early life induces persistent changes in neuronal plasticity that increases vulnerability to develop psychopathologies and aging-related cognitive decline, suggesting the involvement of epigenetic mechanisms. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that microRNAs (miRs) are key players in epigenetic regulation. In this forefront review we present a critical look on the literature demonstrating the regulation of neuronal plasticity by miRs and the molecular mechanisms of target specificity in neurons. We propose that further progress in the identification of miR's function beyond single target identification would require a combination of developmental expression studies, bioinformatics and a deeper understanding of large networks of targets involved in epigenetic regulation. This will help to extend our understanding of the role miRs play in the regulation of stress-induced neuronal plasticity. Copyright © 2013 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Closed-form critical earthquake response of elastic-plastic structures on compliant ground under near-fault ground motions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotaro eKojima

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The double impulse is introduced as a substitute of the fling-step near-fault ground motion. A closed-form solution of the elastic-plastic response of a structure on compliant (flexible ground by the ‘critical double impulse’ is derived for the first time based on the solution for the corresponding structure with fixed base. As in the case of fixed-base model, only the free-vibration appears under such double impulse and the energy approach plays an important role in the derivation of the closed-form solution of a complicated elastic-plastic response on compliant ground. It is remarkable that no iteration is needed in the derivation of the critical elastic-plastic response. It is shown via the closed-form expression that, in the case of a smaller input level of double impulse to the structural strength, as the ground stiffness becomes larger, the maximum plastic deformation becomes larger. On the other hand, in the case of a larger input level of double impulse to the structural strength, as the ground stiffness becomes smaller, the maximum plastic deformation becomes larger. The criticality and validity of the proposed theory are investigated through the comparison with the response analysis to the corresponding one-cycle sinusoidal input as a representative of the fling-step near-fault ground motion. The applicability of the proposed theory to actual recorded pulse-type ground motions is also discussed.

  16. Phenotypic plasticity and its genetic regulation for yield, nitrogen fixation and δ13C in chickpea crops under varying water regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadras, Victor O; Lake, Lachlan; Li, Yongle; Farquharson, Elizabeth A; Sutton, Tim

    2016-07-01

    We measured yield components, nitrogen fixation, soil nitrogen uptake and carbon isotope composition (δ(13)C) in a collection of chickpea genotypes grown in environments where water availability was the main source of yield variation. We aimed to quantify the phenotypic plasticity of these traits using variance ratios, and to explore their genetic basis using FST genome scan. Fifty-five genes in three genomic regions were found to be under selection for plasticity of yield; 54 genes in four genomic regions for the plasticity of seeds per m(2); 48 genes in four genomic regions for the plasticity of δ(13)C; 54 genes in two genomic regions for plasticity of flowering time; 48 genes in five genomic regions for plasticity of nitrogen fixation and 49 genes in three genomic regions for plasticity of nitrogen uptake from soil. Plasticity of yield was related to plasticity of nitrogen uptake from soil, and unrelated to plasticity of nitrogen fixation, highlighting the need for closer attention to nitrogen uptake in legumes. Whereas the theoretical link between δ(13)C and transpiration efficiency is strong, the actual link with yield is erratic due to trade-offs and scaling issues. Genes associated with plasticity of δ(13)C were identified that may help to untangle the δ(13)C-yield relationship. Combining a plasticity perspective to deal with complex G×E interactions with FST genome scan may help understand and improve both crop adaptation to stress and yield potential.

  17. Corn Growth as Affected by Plastic Cover Under Drip Irrigation Condition in the Desert

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANGXUE-FENG; U.SHANI

    1994-01-01

    Plastic cover,as a method to minimize soil water evaporation and improve water use efficiency,was used for corn during the whole growing period in a desert area.Field Studies were conducted to determine the effect of plastic covering nmanagement on corn growth and rooting pattern and its relationship with changes in climate.Four treatments.0) bared soil without cover,1) covering one side of the crop,2) covering both sides of the crop,and 3) covering the surface totally,were established on a sandy loam soil.Results showed that treatment 0 was significantly different from others and revealed that plastic covering was not always good to corn growht.Improper usage of plastic cover might weaken root development and thereafter lower the total yield of the crop.Suitable practices cvombining different methods discussed could not only improve water use efficiency but also increase the crop yield.

  18. Establishing sustainable design and development for plastic mold under product service system

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Huang, Yu-Chen; Tu, Jui-Che; Kuo, Kuo-Pin

    2017-01-01

    Face the energy recovery and environmental concerns and policy, the plastic molds design and develop have to focus on the issues of the lead-free, non-toxic, recyclable, re-manufactured, and integrate...

  19. Revealing homogeneous plastic deformation in dendrite-reinforced Ti-based metallic glass composites under tension

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, F. F.; Wei, J. S.; Chan, K. C.; Chen, S. H.; Zhao, R. D.; Zhang, G. A.; Wu, X. F.

    2017-01-01

    The tensile plastic deformation of dendrite-reinforced Ti-based metallic glass composites (MGCs) was investigated. It was found that there is a critical normalized strain-hardening rate (NSHR) that determines the plastic stability of MGCs: if the NSHR is larger than the critical value, the plastic deformation of the MGCs will be stable, i.e. the necking and strain localization can be effectively suppressed, resulting in homogeneous plastic elongation. In addition, dendrite-reinforce MGCs are verified as being intrinsically ductile, and can be used as good coatings for improving the surface properties of pure titanium or titanium alloys. These findings are helpful in designing, producing, and using MGCs with improved performance properties. PMID:28195216

  20. Survey analysis of volatile organics released from plastics under thermal stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalman, D.A.

    1986-05-01

    Irritating or toxic vapors can be produced from plastic process materials by a variety of operations, such as injection molding, hot wire cutting, bandsawing and milling. These components typically are not reported in the combustion toxicology literature for the materials used, but rather represent the volatilization of plasticizers, unreacted monomer, mold-release agents or other additives, or lubricants. A method for the characterization of the complex mixtures that can result from thermal stressing of plastic and of relating quantitatively to process temperatures and amounts of plastic used is presented. The method utilizes both Thermo-Gravimetric analysis (TGA) and dynamic headspace GC/MS with on-column cryogenic focusing. Application to actual occupational situations is illustrated with three examples.

  1. Phase field simulations of plastic strain-induced phase transformations under high pressure and large shear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Javanbakht, Mahdi; Levitas, Valery I.

    2016-12-01

    Pressure and shear strain-induced phase transformations (PTs) in a nanograined bicrystal at the evolving dislocations pile-up have been studied utilizing a phase field approach (PFA). The complete system of PFA equations for coupled martensitic PT, dislocation evolution, and mechanics at large strains is presented and solved using the finite element method (FEM). The nucleation pressure for the high-pressure phase (HPP) under hydrostatic conditions near a single dislocation was determined to be 15.9 GPa. Under shear, a dislocation pile-up that appears in the left grain creates strong stress concentration near its tip and significantly increases the local thermodynamic driving force for PT, which causes nucleation of HPP even at zero pressure. At pressures of 1.59 and 5 GPa and shear, a major part of a grain transforms to HPP. When dislocations are considered in the transforming grain as well, they relax stresses and lead to a slightly smaller stationary HPP region than without dislocations. However, they strongly suppress nucleation of HPP and require larger shear. Unexpectedly, the stationary HPP morphology is governed by the simplest thermodynamic equilibrium conditions, which do not contain contributions from plasticity and surface energy. These equilibrium conditions are fulfilled either for the majority of points of phase interfaces or (approximately) in terms of stresses averaged over the HPP region or for the entire grain, despite the strong heterogeneity of stress fields. The major part of the driving force for PT in the stationary state is due to deviatoric stresses rather than pressure. While the least number of dislocations in a pile-up to nucleate HPP linearly decreases with increasing applied pressure, the least corresponding shear strain depends on pressure nonmonotonously. Surprisingly, the ratio of kinetic coefficients for PT and dislocations affect the stationary solution and the nanostructure. Consequently, there are multiple stationary solutions

  2. CYCLIC PLASTIC BEHAVIOUR OF UFG COPPER UNDER CONTROLLED STRESS AND STRAIN LOADING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Navrátilová

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The influence of stress- and strain-controlled loading on microstructure and cyclic plastic behaviour of ultrafine-grained copper prepared by equal channel angular pressing was examined. The stability of microstructure is a characteristic feature for stress-controlled test whereas grain coarsening and development of bimodal structure was observed after plastic strain-controlled tests. An attempt to explain the observed behaviour was made.

  3. Loss of FMRP Impaired Hippocampal Long-Term Plasticity and Spatial Learning in Rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Yonglu; Yang, Chaojuan; Shang, Shujiang; Cai, Yijun; Deng, Xiaofei; Zhang, Jian; Shao, Feng; Zhu, Desheng; Liu, Yunbo; Chen, Guiquan; Liang, Jing; Sun, Qiang; Qiu, Zilong; Zhang, Chen

    2017-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the FMR1 gene that inactivate expression of the gene product, the fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP). In this study, we used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) technology to generate Fmr1 knockout (KO) rats by disruption of the fourth exon of the Fmr1 gene. Western blotting analysis confirmed that the FMRP was absent from the brains of the Fmr1 KO rats (Fmr1(exon4-KO) ). Electrophysiological analysis revealed that the theta-burst stimulation (TBS)-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) and the low-frequency stimulus (LFS)-induced long-term depression (LTD) were decreased in the hippocampal Schaffer collateral pathway of the Fmr1(exon4-KO) rats. Short-term plasticity, measured as the paired-pulse ratio, remained normal in the KO rats. The synaptic strength mediated by the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR) was also impaired. Consistent with previous reports, the Fmr1(exon4-KO) rats demonstrated an enhanced 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG)-induced LTD in the present study, and this enhancement is insensitive to protein translation. In addition, the Fmr1(exon4-KO) rats showed deficits in the probe trial in the Morris water maze test. These results demonstrate that deletion of the Fmr1 gene in rats specifically impairs long-term synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning in a manner resembling the key symptoms of FXS. Furthermore, the Fmr1(exon4-KO) rats displayed impaired social interaction and macroorchidism, the results consistent with those observed in patients with FXS. Thus, Fmr1(exon4-KO) rats constitute a novel rat model of FXS that complements existing mouse models.

  4. Loss of FMRP Impaired Hippocampal Long-Term Plasticity and Spatial Learning in Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonglu Tian

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Fragile X syndrome (FXS is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the FMR1 gene that inactivate expression of the gene product, the fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP. In this study, we used clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9 technology to generate Fmr1 knockout (KO rats by disruption of the fourth exon of the Fmr1 gene. Western blotting analysis confirmed that the FMRP was absent from the brains of the Fmr1 KO rats (Fmr1exon4-KO. Electrophysiological analysis revealed that the theta-burst stimulation (TBS–induced long-term potentiation (LTP and the low-frequency stimulus (LFS–induced long-term depression (LTD were decreased in the hippocampal Schaffer collateral pathway of the Fmr1exon4-KO rats. Short-term plasticity, measured as the paired-pulse ratio, remained normal in the KO rats. The synaptic strength mediated by the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPAR was also impaired. Consistent with previous reports, the Fmr1exon4-KO rats demonstrated an enhanced 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG–induced LTD in the present study, and this enhancement is insensitive to protein translation. In addition, the Fmr1exon4-KO rats showed deficits in the probe trial in the Morris water maze test. These results demonstrate that deletion of the Fmr1 gene in rats specifically impairs long-term synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning in a manner resembling the key symptoms of FXS. Furthermore, the Fmr1exon4-KO rats displayed impaired social interaction and macroorchidism, the results consistent with those observed in patients with FXS. Thus, Fmr1exon4-KO rats constitute a novel rat model of FXS that complements existing mouse models.

  5. Enhancement of extinction learning attenuates ethanol-seeking behavior and alters plasticity in the prefrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gass, Justin T; Trantham-Davidson, Heather; Kassab, Amanda S; Glen, William B; Olive, M Foster; Chandler, L Judson

    2014-05-28

    Addiction is a chronic relapsing disorder in which relapse is often initiated by exposure to drug-related cues. The present study examined the effects of mGluR5 activation on extinction of ethanol-cue-maintained responding, relapse-like behavior, and neuronal plasticity. Rats were trained to self-administer ethanol and then exposed to extinction training during which they were administered either vehicle or the mGluR5 positive allosteric modulator 3-cyano-N-(1,3-diphenyl-1H-pyrazol-5-yl) or CDPPB. CDPPB treatment reduced active lever responding during extinction, decreased the total number of extinction sessions required to meet criteria, and attenuated cue-induced reinstatement of ethanol seeking. CDPPB facilitation of extinction was blocked by the local infusion of the mGluR5 antagonist 3-((2-methyl-4-thiazolyl)ethynyl) pyridine into the infralimbic (IfL) cortex, but had no effect when infused into the prelimbic (PrL) cortex. Analysis of dendritic spines revealed alterations in structural plasticity, whereas electrophysiological recordings demonstrated differential alterations in glutamatergic neurotransmission in the PrL and IfL cortex. Extinction was associated with increased amplitude of evoked synaptic PrL and IfL NMDA currents but reduced amplitude of PrL AMPA currents. Treatment with CDPPB prevented the extinction-induced enhancement of NMDA currents in PrL without affecting NMDA currents in the IfL. Whereas CDPPB treatment did not alter the amplitude of PrL or IfL AMPA currents, it did promote the expression of IfL calcium-permeable GluR2-lacking receptors in both abstinence- and extinction-trained rats, but had no effect in ethanol-naive rats. These results confirm changes in the PrL and IfL cortex in glutamatergic neurotransmission during extinction learning and demonstrate that manipulation of mGluR5 facilitates extinction of ethanol cues in association with neuronal plasticity.

  6. PKC in motorneurons underlies self-learning, a form of motor learning in Drosophila

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julien Colomb

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Tethering a fly for stationary flight allows for exquisite control of its sensory input, such as visual or olfactory stimuli or a punishing infrared laser beam. A torque meter measures the turning attempts of the tethered fly around its vertical body axis. By punishing, say, left turning attempts (in a homogeneous environment, one can train a fly to restrict its behaviour to right turning attempts. It was recently discovered that this form of operant conditioning (called operant self-learning, may constitute a form of motor learning in Drosophila. Previous work had shown that Protein Kinase C (PKC and the transcription factor dFoxP were specifically involved in self-learning, but not in other forms of learning. These molecules are specifically involved in various forms of motor learning in other animals, such as compulsive biting in Aplysia, song-learning in birds, procedural learning in mice or language acquisition in humans. Here we describe our efforts to decipher which PKC gene is involved in self-learning in Drosophila. We also provide evidence that motorneurons may be one part of the neuronal network modified during self-learning experiments. The collected evidence is reminiscent of one of the simplest, clinically relevant forms of motor learning in humans, operant reflex conditioning, which also relies on motorneuron plasticity.

  7. Learning processes underlying avoidance of negative outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreatta, Marta; Michelmann, Sebastian; Pauli, Paul; Hewig, Johannes

    2017-04-01

    Successful avoidance of a threatening event may negatively reinforce the behavior due to activation of brain structures involved in reward processing. Here, we further investigated the learning-related properties of avoidance using feedback-related negativity (FRN). The FRN is modulated by violations of an intended outcome (prediction error, PE), that is, the bigger the difference between intended and actual outcome, the larger the FRN amplitude is. Twenty-eight participants underwent an operant conditioning paradigm, in which a behavior (button press) allowed them to avoid a painful electric shock. During two learning blocks, participants could avoid an electric shock in 80% of the trials by pressing one button (avoidance button), or by not pressing another button (punishment button). After learning, participants underwent two test blocks, which were identical to the learning ones except that no shocks were delivered. Participants pressed the avoidance button more often than the punishment button. Importantly, response frequency increased throughout the learning blocks but it did not decrease during the test blocks, indicating impaired extinction and/or habit formation. In line with a PE account, FRN amplitude to negative feedback after correct responses (i.e., unexpected punishment) was significantly larger than to positive feedback (i.e., expected omission of punishment), and it increased throughout the blocks. Highly anxious individuals showed equal FRN amplitudes to negative and positive feedback, suggesting impaired discrimination. These results confirm the role of negative reinforcement in motivating behavior and learning, and reveal important differences between high and low anxious individuals in the processing of prediction errors.

  8. Failure of delayed nonsynaptic neuronal plasticity underlies age-associated long-term associative memory impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Watson Shawn N

    2012-08-01

    learning and memory impairment in Lymnaea and buttress the hypothesis that lipid peroxidation-dependent depression of intrinsic excitability is a hallmark of normal neuronal aging. The data implicate both lipid peroxidation-dependent non-synaptic as well as apparently lipid peroxidation-independent synaptic mechanisms in the age-dependent decline in behavioural plasticity in this model system.

  9. Insulin signaling as a mechanism underlying developmental plasticity: the role of FOXO in a nutritional polyphenism.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie C Snell-Rood

    Full Text Available We investigated whether insulin signaling, known to mediate physiological plasticity in response to changes in nutrition, also facilitates discrete phenotypic responses such as polyphenisms. We test the hypothesis that the gene FOXO--which regulates growth arrest under nutrient stress--mediates a nutritional polyphenism in the horned beetle, Onthophagus nigriventris. Male beetles in the genus Onthophagus vary their mating strategy with body size: large males express horns and fight for access to females while small males invest heavily in genitalia and sneak copulations with females. Given that body size and larval nutrition are linked, we predicted that 1 FOXO expression would differentially scale with body size (nutritional status between males and females, and 2 manipulation of FOXO expression would affect the nutritional polyphenism in horns and genitalia. First, we found that FOXO expression varied with body size in a tissue- and sex-specific manner, being more highly expressed in the abdominal tissue of large (horned males, in particular in regions associated with genitalia development. Second, we found that knockdown of FOXO through RNA-interference resulted in the growth of relatively larger copulatory organs compared to control-injected individuals and significant, albeit modest, increases in relative horn length. Our results support the hypothesis that FOXO expression in the abdominal tissue limits genitalia growth, and provides limited support for the hypothesis that FOXO regulates relative horn length through direct suppression of horn growth. Both results support the idea that tissue-specific FOXO expression may play a general role in regulating scaling relationships in nutritional polyphenisms by signaling traits to be relatively smaller.

  10. Characteristics of bacterial and fungal growth in plastic bottled beverages under a consuming condition model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Maiko; Ohnishi, Takahiro; Araki, Emiko; Kanda, Takashi; Tomita, Atsuko; Ozawa, Kazuhiro; Goto, Keiichi; Sugiyama, Kanji; Konuma, Hirotaka; Hara-Kudo, Yukiko

    2014-01-01

    Microbial contamination in unfinished beverages can occur when drinking directly from the bottle. Various microorganisms, including foodborne pathogens, are able to grow in these beverages at room temperature or in a refrigerator. In this study, we elucidated the characteristics of microorganism growth in bottled beverages under consuming condition models. Furthermore, we provide insight into the safety of partially consumed bottled beverages with respect to food hygiene. We inoculated microorganisms, including foodborne pathogens, into various plastic bottled beverages and analysed the dynamic growth of microorganisms as well as bacterial toxin production in the beverages. Eight bottled beverage types were tested in this study, namely green tea, apple juice drink, tomato juice, carbonated drink, sport drink, coffee with milk, isotonic water and mineral water, and in these beverages several microorganism types were used: nine bacteria including three toxin producers, three yeasts, and five moulds. Following inoculation, the bottles were incubated at 35°C for 48 h for bacteria, 25°C for 48 h for yeasts, and 25°C for 28 days for moulds. During the incubation period, the number of bacteria and yeasts and visible changes in mould-growth were determined over time. Our results indicated that combinations of the beverage types and microorganism species correlated with the degree of growth. Regarding factors that affect the growth and toxin-productivity of microorganisms in beverages, it is speculated that the pH, static/shaking culture, temperature, additives, or ingredients, such as carbon dioxide or organic matter (especially of plant origin), may be important for microorganism growth in beverages. Our results suggest that various types of unfinished beverages have microorganism growth and can include food borne pathogens and bacterial toxins. Therefore, our results indicate that in terms of food hygiene it is necessary to consume beverages immediately after opening

  11. Strain-dependent variations in spatial learning and in hippocampal synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely behaving rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise eManahan-Vaughan

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Hippocampal synaptic plasticity is believed to comprise the cellular basis for spatial learning. Strain-dependent differences in synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region have been reported. However, it is not known whether these differences extend to other synapses within the trisynaptic circuit, although there is evidence for morphological variations within that path. We investigated whether Wistar and Hooded Lister (HL rat strains express differences in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in vivo. We also explored whether they exhibit differences in the ability to engage in spatial learning in an 8-arm radial maze. Basal synaptic transmission was stable over a 24h period in both rat strains, and the input-output relationship of both strains was not significantly different. Paired-pulse analysis revealed significantly less paired-pulse facilitation in the Hooded Lister strain when pulses were given 40-100 msec apart. Low frequency stimulation at 1Hz evoked long-term depression (>24h in Wistar and short-term depression (<2h in HL rats; 200Hz stimulation induced long-term potentiation (>24h in Wistar, and a transient, significantly smaller potentiation (<1h in HL rats, suggesting that HL rats have higher thresholds for expression of persistent synaptic plasticity. Training for 10d in an 8-arm radial maze revealed that HL rats master the working memory task faster than Wistar rats, although both strains show an equivalent performance by the end of the trial period. HL rats also perform more efficiently in a double working and reference memory task. On the other hand, Wistar rats show better reference memory performance on the final (8-10 days of training. Wistar rats were less active and more anxious than HL rats.These data suggest that strain-dependent variations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity occur in different hippocampal synapses. A clear correlation with differences in spatial learning is not evident however.

  12. Functional networks underlying latent inhibition learning in the mouse brain

    OpenAIRE

    Puga, Frank; Barrett, Douglas W.; Bastida, Christel C.; Gonzalez-Lima, F.

    2007-01-01

    The present study reports the first comprehensive map of brain networks underlying latent inhibition learning and the first application of structural equation modeling to cytochrome oxidase data. In latent inhibition, repeated exposure to a stimulus results in a latent form of learning that inhibits subsequent associations with that stimulus. As neuronal energy demand to form learned associations changes, so does the induction of the respiratory enzyme cytochrome oxidase. Therefore, cytochrom...

  13. The tetrapartite synapse: Extracellular matrix remodeling contributes to corticoaccumbens plasticity underlying drug addiction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Alexander C W; Scofield, Michael D; Kalivas, Peter W

    2015-12-02

    Synaptic plasticity has long been known to involve three key elements of neuropil, the presynapse, the postsynapse and adjacent glia. Here we review the role of the extracellular matrix in synaptic plasticity as a necessary component forming the tetrapartite synapse. We describe the role of matrix metalloproteinases as enzymes sculpting extracellular proteins and thereby creating an extracellular signaling domain required for synaptic plasticity. Specifically we focus on the role of the tetrapartite synapse in mediating the effects of addictive drugs at cortico-striatal synapses, and conclude that the extracellular signaling domain and its regulation by matrix metalloproteinases is critical for developing and expressing drug seeking behaviors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Learning Strategies Under the Process Writing Approach

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    肖青芝

    2008-01-01

    Learning strategies play an important role in second language writing.It is even believed by some linguists that experienced writers and novice writers differ mainly in their writing strategies instead of language proficiency.Within the theoretical framework of the process writing approach,this article introduces the writing strategies with all attempt to increase students'awareness of strategy use and improve their English writing.

  15. The effects of phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation on forecasts of species range shifts under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valladares, Fernando; Matesanz, Silvia; Guilhaumon, François; Araújo, Miguel B; Balaguer, Luis; Benito-Garzón, Marta; Cornwell, Will; Gianoli, Ernesto; van Kleunen, Mark; Naya, Daniel E; Nicotra, Adrienne B; Poorter, Hendrik; Zavala, Miguel A

    2014-11-01

    Species are the unit of analysis in many global change and conservation biology studies; however, species are not uniform entities but are composed of different, sometimes locally adapted, populations differing in plasticity. We examined how intraspecific variation in thermal niches and phenotypic plasticity will affect species distributions in a warming climate. We first developed a conceptual model linking plasticity and niche breadth, providing five alternative intraspecific scenarios that are consistent with existing literature. Secondly, we used ecological niche-modeling techniques to quantify the impact of each intraspecific scenario on the distribution of a virtual species across a geographically realistic setting. Finally, we performed an analogous modeling exercise using real data on the climatic niches of different tree provenances. We show that when population differentiation is accounted for and dispersal is restricted, forecasts of species range shifts under climate change are even more pessimistic than those using the conventional assumption of homogeneously high plasticity across a species' range. Suitable population-level data are not available for most species so identifying general patterns of population differentiation could fill this gap. However, the literature review revealed contrasting patterns among species, urging greater levels of integration among empirical, modeling and theoretical research on intraspecific phenotypic variation.

  16. Closed-form dynamic stability criterion for elastic-plastic structures under near-fault ground motions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kotaro eKojima

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available A dynamic stability criterion for elastic-plastic structures under near-fault ground motions is derived in closed-form. A negative post-yield stiffness is treated in order to consider the P-delta effect. The double impulse is used as a substitute of the fling-step near-fault ground motion. Since only the free-vibration appears under such double impulse, the energy approach plays a critical role in the derivation of the closed-form solution of a complicated elastic-plastic response of structures with the P-delta effect. It is remarkable that no iteration is needed in the derivation of the closed-form dynamic stability criterion on the critical elastic-plastic response. It is shown via the closed-form expression that several patterns of unstable behaviors exist depending on the ratio of the input level of the double impulse to the structural strength and on the ratio of the negative post-yield stiffness to the initial elastic stiffness. The validity of the proposed dynamic stability criterion is investigated by the numerical response analysis for structures under double impulses with stable or unstable parameters. Furthermore the reliability of the proposed theory is tested through the comparison with the response analysis to the corresponding one-cycle sinusoidal input as a representative of the fling-step near-fault ground motion. The applicability of the proposed theory to actual recorded pulse-type ground motions is also discussed.

  17. Epigenetic mechanisms underlying learning and the inheritance of learned behaviors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias, Brian G; Maddox, Stephanie A; Klengel, Torsten; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-02-01

    Gene expression and regulation is an important sculptor of the behavior of organisms. Epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression not by altering the genetic alphabet but rather by the addition of chemical modifications to proteins associated with the alphabet or of methyl marks to the alphabet itself. Being dynamic, epigenetic mechanisms of gene regulation serve as an important bridge between environmental stimuli and genotype. In this review, we outline epigenetic mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated in animals and humans. Using fear learning as a framework, we then delineate how such mechanisms underlie learning and stress responsiveness. Finally, we discuss how epigenetic mechanisms might inform us about the transgenerational inheritance of behavioral traits that are being increasingly reported.

  18. Mechanisms operating during plastic deformation of metals under concurrent production of cascades and dislocations

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trinkaus, H.; Singh, Bachu Narain

    Recent in-reactor tensile tests (IRTs) on pure copper have revealed a deformation behaviour which is significantly different from that observed in post-irradiation tensile tests (PITs). In IRTs, the material deforms uniformly and homogeneously without yield drop and plastic instability as commonly...

  19. Plastic Deformation and Rupture of Ring-Stiffened Cylinders under Localized Pressure Pulse Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle S. Hoo Fatt

    1994-01-01

    Full Text Available An analytical solution for the dynamic plastic deformation of a ring-stiffened cylindrical shell subject to high intensity pressure pulse loading is presented. By using an analogy between a cylindrical shell that undergoes large plastic deformation and a rigid-plastic string resting on a rigid-plastic foundation, one derives closed-form solutions for the transient and final deflection profiles and fracture initiation of the shell. Discrete masses' and springs are used to describe the ring stiffeners in the stiffened shell. The problem of finding the transient deflection profile of the central bay is reduced to solving an inhomogeneous wave equation with inhomogeneous boundary conditions using the method of eigenfunction expansion. The overall deflection profile consists of both global (stiffener and local (bay components. This division of the shell deflection profile reveals a complex interplay between the motions of the stiffener and the bay. Furthermore, a parametric study on a ring-stiffened shell damaged by a succession of underwater explosions shows that the string-on-foundation model with ring stiffeners described by lumped masses and springs is a promising method of analyzing the structure.

  20. Mechanisms operating during plastic deformation of metals under concurrent production of cascades and dislocations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Trinkaus, H. [Institut fuer Festkoerperforschung, Forschungszentrum Juelich (Germany); Singh, B.N. [Technical Univ. of Denmark, Risoe National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Materials Research Dept., Roskilde (Denmark)

    2008-04-15

    Recent in-reactor tensile tests (IRTs) on pure copper have revealed a deformation behaviour which is significantly different from that observed in post-irradiation tensile tests (PITs). In IRTs, the material deforms uniformly and homogeneously without yield drop and plastic instability as commonly observed in PITs. An increase in the pre-yield dose results in an increase in the level of hardening over the whole test periods and a decrease in the uniform elongation suggesting that the materials 'remember' the impact of the pre-yield damage level. These features are modelled in terms of the decoration of dislocations with glissile dislocation loops. During pre-yield irradiation, dislocation decoration is due to the one-dimensional (1D) diffusion of cascade induced self-interstitial (SIA) clusters and their trapping in the stress field of the static grown-in dislocations. During post-yield irradiation and deformation, moving dislocations are decorated by the sweeping of matrix loops. The interaction of dislocations with loops and between loops is discussed as a function of the relevant parameters. On this basis, the kinetics of decoration is treated in terms of fluxes of loops to and reactions with each other in a conceived 2D space of decoration. In this space, loop coalescence, alignment and mutual blocking reactions are characterised by appropriate reaction cross sections. In the kinetic equations for 'dynamic decoration' under deformation, the evolution of the dislocation density is taken into account. Simple solutions of the kinetic equations are discussed. The apparent memory of the system for the pre-yield dose is identified as the result of simultaneous and closely parallel transient evolutions of the cascade damage and the dislocations up to the end of the IRTs. The contributions of dislocation decoration to yield and flow stresses are attributed to the interaction of dislocations with aligned loops temporarily or permanently immobilized

  1. Cognitive Framework Underlying Learning Strategies for Academic Speaking

    OpenAIRE

    Irawati, Lulus

    2015-01-01

    This article aims to discuss about cognitive framework underlying learning strategies for acadeic speaking. Cognitive framework underlies learning strategies, since there are four stages of encoding process that cover not only the way store things to be learnt but also the way people organize way store things to be learnt but also the way people organize. Moreover, the learning strategies are helpful for motivating the students  to  be  active  and  creative  in  order  to  develop  their  co...

  2. Differential modulation of motor cortical plasticity and excitability in early and late phases of human motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenkranz, Karin; Kacar, Aleksandra; Rothwell, John C

    2007-10-31

    Different phases of motor skill learning appear to involve different physiological processes, with long-term potentiation (LTP) occurring at existing synapses in early and cortical reorganization involving synaptogenesis in later phases. Here, we test the evolution of skill learning-dependent changes in motor plasticity and excitability in six subjects trained to perform rapid thumb abductions over 5 d. Plasticity was examined using paired-associative stimulation (PAS) of the median nerve and motor cortex to induce LTP-like "PAS given with an interstimulus interval of 25 ms (PAS25)" or long-term depression (LTD)-like "PAS given with an interstimulus interval of 10 ms (PAS10)" plasticity. Excitability was tested by measuring recruitment of motor-evoked-potentials "input-output (IO) curve" and of short-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI curve), and sensorimotor organization (SMO). Task performance improved continuously over 5 d. After practice on day 1, the PAS25 effect reversed from facilitation to inhibition whereas the slope of the IO curve increased and the level of SICI decreased. These effects on IO curve and SICI were still present or even enhanced before the last practice on day 5, and were not changed by it. The effect of proprioceptive input from the trained muscle on SMO was also strengthened before practice on day 5. In contrast, PAS-induced plasticity was not influenced by motor practice on day 5, and had returned to prepractice values. The interference with PAS-induced plasticity suggests that the initial performance improvement relies on increasing the efficacy of existing synaptic connections. However, the long-lasting changes in the IO curve, SICI curve, and SMO suggest that continued practice enhances performance by changing Motor cortical organization. We hypothesize that new synaptic connections might have formed that allow LTP/LTD-susceptibility to be restored without reducing synaptic strength and performance skill.

  3. Mechanisms underlying the social enhancement of vocal learning in songbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yining; Matheson, Laura E; Sakata, Jon T

    2016-06-14

    Social processes profoundly influence speech and language acquisition. Despite the importance of social influences, little is known about how social interactions modulate vocal learning. Like humans, songbirds learn their vocalizations during development, and they provide an excellent opportunity to reveal mechanisms of social influences on vocal learning. Using yoked experimental designs, we demonstrate that social interactions with adult tutors for as little as 1 d significantly enhanced vocal learning. Social influences on attention to song seemed central to the social enhancement of learning because socially tutored birds were more attentive to the tutor's songs than passively tutored birds, and because variation in attentiveness and in the social modulation of attention significantly predicted variation in vocal learning. Attention to song was influenced by both the nature and amount of tutor song: Pupils paid more attention to songs that tutors directed at them and to tutors that produced fewer songs. Tutors altered their song structure when directing songs at pupils in a manner that resembled how humans alter their vocalizations when speaking to infants, that was distinct from how tutors changed their songs when singing to females, and that could influence attention and learning. Furthermore, social interactions that rapidly enhanced learning increased the activity of noradrenergic and dopaminergic midbrain neurons. These data highlight striking parallels between humans and songbirds in the social modulation of vocal learning and suggest that social influences on attention and midbrain circuitry could represent shared mechanisms underlying the social modulation of vocal learning.

  4. The neuropeptide F/nitric oxide pathway is essential for shaping locomotor plasticity underlying locust phase transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Li; Yang, Pengcheng; Jiang, Feng; Liu, Qing; Wang, Xianhui; Kang, Le

    2017-01-01

    Behavioral plasticity is widespread in swarming animals, but little is known about its underlying neural and molecular mechanisms. Here, we report that a neuropeptide F (NPF)/nitric oxide (NO) pathway plays a critical role in the locomotor plasticity of swarming migratory locusts. The transcripts encoding two related neuropeptides, NPF1a and NPF2, show reduced levels during crowding, and the transcript levels of NPF1a and NPF2 receptors significantly increase during locust isolation. Both NPF1a and NPF2 have suppressive effects on phase-related locomotor activity. A key downstream mediator for both NPFs is nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which regulates phase-related locomotor activity by controlling NO synthesis in the locust brain. Mechanistically, NPF1a and NPF2 modify NOS activity by separately suppressing its phosphorylation and by lowering its transcript level, effects that are mediated by their respective receptors. Our results uncover a hierarchical neurochemical mechanism underlying behavioral plasticity in the swarming locust and provide insights into the NPF/NO axis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.22526.001 PMID:28346142

  5. Plasticity of cortical inhibition in dystonia is impaired after motor learning and paired-associative stimulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meunier, Sabine; Russmann, Heike; Shamim, Ejaz; Lamy, Jean-Charles; Hallett, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Artificial induction of plasticity by paired associative stimulation (PAS) in healthy volunteers (HV) demonstrates Hebbian-like plasticity in selected inhibitory networks as well as excitatory networks. In a group of 17 patients with focal hand dystonia and a group of 19 HV, we evaluated how PAS and

  6. On the bifurcation and postbifurcation analysis of elastic-plastic solids under general prebifurcation conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triantafyllidis, N.

    IN THIS work we have studied the bifurcation and postbifurcation of elastic-plastic solids whose behavior near the critical point could not be idealized as hypoelastic and thus the "hypoelastic comparison solid" concept of R. Hill's theory is no longer applicable. First a simple continuous model is considered in order to illustrate the different possibilities in the stability behavior of the structures considered here. Next, a general three-dimensional stability analysis for a broad class of rate independent elastic-plastic solids is presented. It is found that for all the constitutive theories considered and for all possible prebifurcation solutions, the bifurcation functional is a simple generalization of Hill's. A completely different postbifurcation analysis is needed, however, in the case where the "hypoelastic comparison solid" concept cannot be used.

  7. Stochastic Online Learning in Dynamic Networks under Unknown Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-02

    setting where multiple distributed players share the arms without information exchange. Under both an exogenous restless model and an endogenous ...decision making under unknown models and incomplete observations. The technical approach rests on a stochastic online learning framework based on...general, potentially heavy-tailed distribution. In [1], we developed a general approach based on a Deterministic Sequencing of Exploration and

  8. Mechanical Properties of a Unidirectional Basalt-Fiber-Reinforced Plastic Under a Loading Simulating Operation Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lobanov, D. S.; Slovikov, S. V.

    2017-01-01

    The results of experimental investigations of unidirectional composites based on basalt fibers and different marks of epoxy resins are presented. Uniaxial tensile tests were carried out using a specimen fixation technique simulating the operation conditions of structures. The mechanical properties of the basalt-fiber-reinforced plastics (BFRPs) were determined. The diagrams of loading and deformation of BFRP specimens were obtain. The formulations of the composites with the highest mechanical properties were revealed.

  9. Evolution of Robustness and Plasticity under Environmental Fluctuation: Formulation in terms of Phenotypic Variances

    OpenAIRE

    Kaneko, Kunihiko

    2013-01-01

    The characterization of plasticity, robustness, and evolvability, an important issue in biology, is studied in terms of phenotypic fluctuations. By numerically evolving gene regulatory networks, the proportionality between the phenotypic variances of epigenetic and genetic origins is confirmed. The former is given by the variance of the phenotypic fluctuation due to noise in the developmental process; and the latter, by the variance of the phenotypic fluctuation due to genetic mutation. The r...

  10. Brain Plasticity in Speech Training in Native English Speakers Learning Mandarin Tones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinzen, Christina Carolyn

    The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns

  11. Plasticity of parental care under the risk of predation: how much should parents reduce care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2013-01-01

    Predation can be an important agent of natural selection shaping parental care behaviours, and can also favour behavioural plasticity. Parent birds often decrease the rate that they visit the nest to provision offspring when perceived risk is high. Yet, the plasticity of such responses may differ among species as a function of either their relative risk of predation, or the mean rate of provisioning. Here, we report parental provisioning responses to experimental increases in the perceived risk of predation. We tested responses of 10 species of bird in north temperate Arizona and subtropical Argentina that differed in their ambient risk of predation. All species decreased provisioning rates in response to the nest predator but not to a control. However, provisioning rates decreased more in species that had greater ambient risk of predation on natural nests. These results support theoretical predictions that the extent of plasticity of a trait that is sensitive to nest predation risk should vary among species in accordance with predation risk.

  12. Learning under Concept Drift: an Overview

    CERN Document Server

    e, Indr\\ e Žliobait\\

    2010-01-01

    Concept drift refers to a non stationary learning problem over time. The training and the application data often mismatch in real life problems. In this report we present a context of concept drift problem 1. We focus on the issues relevant to adaptive training set formation. We present the framework and terminology, and formulate a global picture of concept drift learners design. We start with formalizing the framework for the concept drifting data in Section 1. In Section 2 we discuss the adaptivity mechanisms of the concept drift learners. In Section 3 we overview the principle mechanisms of concept drift learners. In this chapter we give a general picture of the available algorithms and categorize them based on their properties. Section 5 discusses the related research fields and Section 5 groups and presents major concept drift applications. This report is intended to give a bird's view of concept drift research field, provide a context of the research and position it within broad spectrum of research fi...

  13. Differential contributions of microglial and neuronal IKKβ to synaptic plasticity and associative learning in alert behaving mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyrargyri, Vasiliki; Vega-Flores, Germán; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M; Probert, Lesley

    2015-04-01

    Microglia are CNS resident immune cells and a rich source of neuroactive mediators, but their contribution to physiological brain processes such as synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory is not fully understood. In this study, we used mice with partial depletion of IκB kinase β, the main activating kinase in the inducible NF-κB pathway, selectively in myeloid lineage cells (mIKKβKO) or excitatory neurons (nIKKβKO) to measure synaptic strength at hippocampal Schaffer collaterals during long-term potentiation (LTP) and instrumental conditioning in alert behaving individuals. Resting microglial cells in mIKKβKO mice showed less Iba1-immunoreactivity, and brain IL-1β mRNA levels were selectively reduced compared with controls. Measurement of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) evoked by stimulation of the CA3-CA1 synapse in mIKKβKO mice showed higher facilitation in response to paired pulses and enhanced LTP following high frequency stimulation. In contrast, nIKKβKO mice showed normal basic synaptic transmission and LTP induction but impairments in late LTP. To understand the consequences of such impairments in synaptic plasticity for learning and memory, we measured CA1 fEPSPs in behaving mice during instrumental conditioning. IKKβ was not necessary in either microglia or neurons for mice to learn lever-pressing (appetitive behavior) to obtain food (consummatory behavior) but was required in both for modification of their hippocampus-dependent appetitive, not consummatory behavior. Our results show that microglia, through IKKβ and therefore NF-κB activity, regulate hippocampal synaptic plasticity and that both microglia and neurons, through IKKβ, are necessary for animals to modify hippocampus-driven behavior during associative learning. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Sex differences in high-fat diet-induced obesity, metabolic alterations and learning, and synaptic plasticity deficits in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Ling-Ling; Wang, Chien-Hua; Li, Tzu-Ling; Chang, Shih-Dar; Lin, Li-Chun; Chen, Ching-Ping; Chen, Chiung-Tong; Liang, Keng-Chen; Ho, Ing-Kang; Yang, Wei-Shiung; Chiou, Lih-Chu

    2010-03-01

    Obesity is a potential risk factor for cognitive deficits in the elder humans. Using a high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mouse model, we investigated the impacts of HFD on obesity, metabolic and stress hormones, learning performance, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity. Both male and female C57BL/6J mice fed with HFD (3 weeks to 9-12 months) gained significantly more weights than the sex-specific control groups. Compared with the obese female mice, the obese males had similar energy intake but developed more weight gains. The obese male mice developed hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesterolemia, and hyperleptinemia, but not hypertriglyceridemia. The obese females had less hyperinsulinemia and hypercholesterolemia than the obese males, and no hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia. In the contextual fear conditioning and step-down passive avoidance tasks, the obese male, but not female, mice showed poorer learning performance than their normal counterparts. These learning deficits were not due to sensorimotor impairment as verified by the open-field and hot-plate tests. Although, basal synaptic transmission characteristics (input-output transfer and paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) ratio) were not significantly different between normal and HFD groups, the magnitudes of synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD)) were lower at the Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses of the hippocampal slices isolated from the obese male, but not female, mice, as compared with their sex-specific controls. Our results suggest that male mice are more vulnerable than the females to the impacts of HFD on weight gains, metabolic alterations and deficits of learning, and hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  15. Learning Dynamics for Robot Control under Varying Contexts

    OpenAIRE

    Petkos, Georgios

    2008-01-01

    High fidelity, compliant robot control requires a sufficiently accurate dynamics model. Often though, it is not possible to obtain a dynamics model sufficiently accurately or at all using analytical methods. In such cases, an alternative is to learn the dynamics model from movement data. This thesis discusses the problems specific to dynamics learning for control under nonstationarity of the dynamics. We refer to the cause of the nonstationarity as the context of the dynamics. ...

  16. A Bayesian foundation for individual learning under uncertainty

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph eMathys

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Computational learning models are critical for understanding mechanisms of adaptive behavior. However, the two major current frameworks, reinforcement learning (RL and Bayesian learning, both have certain limitations. For example, many Bayesian models are agnostic of inter-individual variability and involve complicated integrals, making online learning difficult. Here, we introduce a generic hierarchical Bayesian framework for individual learning under multiple forms of uncertainty (e.g., environmental volatility and perceptual uncertainty. The model assumes Gaussian random walks of states at all but the first level, with the step size determined by the next higher level. The coupling between levels is controlled by parameters that shape the influence of uncertainty on learning in a subject-specific fashion. Using variational Bayes under a mean field approximation and a novel approximation to the posterior energy function, we derive trial-by-trial update equations which (i are analytical and extremely efficient, enabling real-time learning, (ii have a natural interpretation in terms of RL, and (iii contain parameters representing processes which play a key role in current theories of learning, e.g., precision-weighting of prediction error. These parameters allow for the expression of individual differences in learning and may relate to specific neuromodulatory mechanisms in the brain. Our model is very general: it can deal with both discrete and continuous states and equally accounts for deterministic and probabilistic relations between environmental events and perceptual states (i.e., situations with and without perceptual uncertainty. These properties are illustrated by simulations and analyses of empirical time series. Overall, our framework provides a novel foundation for understanding normal and pathological learning that contextualizes RL within a generic Bayesian scheme and thus connects it to principles of optimality from probability

  17. A bayesian foundation for individual learning under uncertainty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathys, Christoph; Daunizeau, Jean; Friston, Karl J; Stephan, Klaas E

    2011-01-01

    Computational learning models are critical for understanding mechanisms of adaptive behavior. However, the two major current frameworks, reinforcement learning (RL) and Bayesian learning, both have certain limitations. For example, many Bayesian models are agnostic of inter-individual variability and involve complicated integrals, making online learning difficult. Here, we introduce a generic hierarchical Bayesian framework for individual learning under multiple forms of uncertainty (e.g., environmental volatility and perceptual uncertainty). The model assumes Gaussian random walks of states at all but the first level, with the step size determined by the next highest level. The coupling between levels is controlled by parameters that shape the influence of uncertainty on learning in a subject-specific fashion. Using variational Bayes under a mean-field approximation and a novel approximation to the posterior energy function, we derive trial-by-trial update equations which (i) are analytical and extremely efficient, enabling real-time learning, (ii) have a natural interpretation in terms of RL, and (iii) contain parameters representing processes which play a key role in current theories of learning, e.g., precision-weighting of prediction error. These parameters allow for the expression of individual differences in learning and may relate to specific neuromodulatory mechanisms in the brain. Our model is very general: it can deal with both discrete and continuous states and equally accounts for deterministic and probabilistic relations between environmental events and perceptual states (i.e., situations with and without perceptual uncertainty). These properties are illustrated by simulations and analyses of empirical time series. Overall, our framework provides a novel foundation for understanding normal and pathological learning that contextualizes RL within a generic Bayesian scheme and thus connects it to principles of optimality from probability theory.

  18. Elastic Plastic Stress Distributions in Weld-bonded Lap Joint under Axial Loading

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Essam A. Al-Bahkali

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Weld-bonding process is increasingly used in many industries such like automobile and aerospace. It offers significant improvements of sheet metal joints in static, dynamic, corrosion, noise resistance, stiffness and impact toughness properties. A full understanding of this process, including the elastic-plastic stress distribution in the joint, is a must for joints design and automation of manufacturing. Also, the modelling and analysis of this process, though it is complex, proves to be of prime importance. Thus, in this study a systematic experimental and theoretical study employing Finite Element Analysis (FEA is conducted on the weld-bonded joint, fabricated from Austenitic Stainless steel (AISI 304 sheets of 1.00 mm thickness and Epoxy adhesive Araldite 2011, subjected to axial loading. Complete 3-D finite element models are developed to evaluate the normal, shear and triaxial Von Mises stresses distributions across the entire joint, in both the elastic and plastic regions. The, needed quantities and properties, for the FE modelling and analysis, of the base metals and the adhesive, such like the elastic-plastic properties, modulus of elasticity, fracture limit, the nugget and Heat Affected Zones (HAZ properties, etc., are obtained from the experiments. The stress distribution curves obtained are found to be consistent with those obtained from the FE models and in excellent agreement with the experimental and theoretical published data, particularly in the elastic region. Furthermore, the stress distribution curves obtained for the weld-bonded joint display the best uniform smooth distribution curves compared to those obtained for the spot and bonded joint cases. The stress concentration peaks at the edges of the weld-bonded region, are almost eliminated resulting in achieving the strongest joint.

  19. Fragile X mental retardation protein in learning-related synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercaldo, Valentina; Descalzi, Giannina; Zhuo, Min

    2009-12-31

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by a lack of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) due to silencing of the Fmr1 gene. As an RNA binding protein, FMRP is thought to contribute to synaptic plasticity by regulating plasticity-related protein synthesis and other signaling pathways. Previous studies have mostly focused on the roles of FMRP within the hippocampus--a key structure for spatial memory. However, recent studies indicate that FMRP may have a more general contribution to brain functions, including synaptic plasticity and modulation within the prefrontal cortex. In this brief review, we will focus on recent studies reported in the prefrontal cortex, including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). We hypothesize that alterations in ACC-related plasticity and synaptic modulation may contribute to various forms of cognitive deficits associated with FXS.

  20. Neto1 is a novel CUB-domain NMDA receptor-interacting protein required for synaptic plasticity and learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Ng

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available The N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR, a major excitatory ligand-gated ion channel in the central nervous system (CNS, is a principal mediator of synaptic plasticity. Here we report that neuropilin tolloid-like 1 (Neto1, a complement C1r/C1s, Uegf, Bmp1 (CUB domain-containing transmembrane protein, is a novel component of the NMDAR complex critical for maintaining the abundance of NR2A-containing NMDARs in the postsynaptic density. Neto1-null mice have depressed long-term potentiation (LTP at Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses, with the subunit dependency of LTP induction switching from the normal predominance of NR2A- to NR2B-NMDARs. NMDAR-dependent spatial learning and memory is depressed in Neto1-null mice, indicating that Neto1 regulates NMDA receptor-dependent synaptic plasticity and cognition. Remarkably, we also found that the deficits in LTP, learning, and memory in Neto1-null mice were rescued by the ampakine CX546 at doses without effect in wild-type. Together, our results establish the principle that auxiliary proteins are required for the normal abundance of NMDAR subunits at synapses, and demonstrate that an inherited learning defect can be rescued pharmacologically, a finding with therapeutic implications for humans.

  1. A central role for the small GTPase Rac1 in hippocampal plasticity and spatial learning and memory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haditsch, Ursula; Leone, Dino P; Farinelli, Mélissa

    2009-01-01

    in excitatory neurons in the forebrain in vivo not only affects spine structure, but also impairs synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus with consequent defects in hippocampus-dependent spatial learning. Furthermore, Rac1 mutants display deficits in working/episodic-like memory in the delayed matching......Rac1 is a member of the Rho family of small GTPases that are important for structural aspects of the mature neuronal synapse including basal spine density and shape, activity-dependent spine enlargement, and AMPA receptor clustering in vitro. Here we demonstrate that selective elimination of Rac1...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yongmei Xiao

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

  3. BDNF and Schizophrenia: from Neurodevelopment to Neuronal Plasticity, Learning and Memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo eNieto

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF is a neurotrophin that has been related not only to neurodevelopment and neuroprotection, but also to synapse regulation, learning and memory. Research focused on the neurobiology of schizophrenia has emphasized the relevance of neurodevelompental and neurotoxicity-related elements in the pathogenesis of this disease. Research focused on the clinical features of schizophrenia in the past decades has emphasized the relevance of cognitive deficits of this illness, considered a core manifestation and an important predictor for functional outcome. Variations in neurotrophins such as BDNF may have a role as part of the molecular mechanisms underlying these processes, from the neurodevelopmental alterations to the molecular mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia.

  4. Oligo cyclic plastic fatigue of Zircaloy-4 under vacuum and in iodinated methanol; Fatigue plastique oligocyclique du Zircaloy-4 sous vide et dans le methanol iode

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beloucif, A.

    1995-01-01

    Our study was bound to the Zircaloy-4 fuel can damage in PWR type reactors. The topic was the damage mechanisms of Zircaloy-4 by oligo-cyclic plastic fatigue in inert atmosphere and in iodinated methanol. The oligo-cyclic plastic fatigue tests, under vacuum, were performed with steady plastic deformation and deformation speed. The corrosion fatigue tests in iodinated methanol put to the fore one obvious harmful part of iodine on Zircaloy-4 resistance to cyclic solicitations. The observations proved the existence of a very strong synergic effect between cyclic mechanical damage and corrosion. (MML). 84 refs., 117 figs., 3 tabs.

  5. Progress in neural plasticity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    POO; Mu-Ming

    2010-01-01

    One of the properties of the nervous system is the use-dependent plasticity of neural circuits.The structure and function of neural circuits are susceptible to changes induced by prior neuronal activity,as reflected by short-and long-term modifications of synaptic efficacy and neuronal excitability.Regarded as the most attractive cellular mechanism underlying higher cognitive functions such as learning and memory,activity-dependent synaptic plasticity has been in the spotlight of modern neuroscience since 1973 when activity-induced long-term potentiation(LTP) of hippocampal synapses was first discovered.Over the last 10 years,Chinese neuroscientists have made notable contributions to the study of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity,as well as of the plasticity beyond synapses,including activity-dependent changes in intrinsic neuronal excitability,dendritic integration functions,neuron-glia signaling,and neural network activity.This work highlight some of these significant findings.

  6. Switched-capacitor realization of presynaptic short-term-plasticity and stop-learning synapses in 28 nm CMOS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noack, Marko; Partzsch, Johannes; Mayr, Christian G; Hänzsche, Stefan; Scholze, Stefan; Höppner, Sebastian; Ellguth, Georg; Schüffny, Rene

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic dynamics, such as long- and short-term plasticity, play an important role in the complexity and biological realism achievable when running neural networks on a neuromorphic IC. For example, they endow the IC with an ability to adapt and learn from its environment. In order to achieve the millisecond to second time constants required for these synaptic dynamics, analog subthreshold circuits are usually employed. However, due to process variation and leakage problems, it is almost impossible to port these types of circuits to modern sub-100nm technologies. In contrast, we present a neuromorphic system in a 28 nm CMOS process that employs switched capacitor (SC) circuits to implement 128 short term plasticity presynapses as well as 8192 stop-learning synapses. The neuromorphic system consumes an area of 0.36 mm(2) and runs at a power consumption of 1.9 mW. The circuit makes use of a technique for minimizing leakage effects allowing for real-time operation with time constants up to several seconds. Since we rely on SC techniques for all calculations, the system is composed of only generic mixed-signal building blocks. These generic building blocks make the system easy to port between technologies and the large digital circuit part inherent in an SC system benefits fully from technology scaling.

  7. Switched-Capacitor Realization of Presynaptic Short-Term Plasticity and Stop-Learning Synapses in 28 nm CMOS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marko eNoack

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic dynamics, such as long- and short-term plasticity, play an important role in the complexity and biological realism achievable when running neural networks on a neuromorphic IC. For example, they endow the IC with an ability to adapt and learn from its environment. In order to achieve the millisecond to second time constants required for these synaptic dynamics, analog subthreshold circuits are usually employed. However, due to process variation and leakage problems, it is almost impossible to port these types of circuits to modern sub-100nm technologies. In contrast, we present a neuromorphic system in a 28 nm CMOS process that employs switched capacitor (SC circuits to implement 128 short-term plasticity presynapses as well as 8192 stop-learning synapses. The neuromorphic system consumes an area of 0.36 mm² and runs at a power consumption of 1.9 mW. The circuit makes use of a technique for minimizing leakage effects allowing for real-time operation with time constants up to several seconds. Since we rely on SC techniques for all calculations, the system is composed of only generic mixed-signal building blocks. These generic building blocks make the system easy to port between technologies and the large digital circuit part inherent in an SC system benefits fully from technology scaling.

  8. Neuronal Plasticity in the Mammalian Brain: Relevance to Behavioral Learning and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teyler, Timothy J.; Fountain, Stephen B.

    1987-01-01

    Data suggesting that different brain circuits may underlie different forms of learning and memory are reviewed. Several current theories of learning and memory with respect to hippocampal and other brain circuit involvement are considered. (PCB)

  9. Amygdala’s involvement in facilitating associative learning-induced plasticity: a promiscuous role for the amygdala in memory acquisition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lily S Chau

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of fear-related memories. Some of the more widely employed behavioral paradigms that have assisted in solidifying the amygdala’s role in fear-related memories are associative learning paradigms. With most associative learning tasks, a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS is paired with a salient unconditioned stimulus (US that elicits an unconditioned response (UR. After multiple CS-US pairings, the subject learns that the CS predicts the onset or delivery of the US, and thus elicits a learned conditioned response (CR. Most fear-related associative paradigms have suggested that an aspect of the fear association is stored in the amygdala; however, some fear-motivated associative paradigms suggest that the amygdala is not a site of storage, but rather facilitates consolidation in other brain regions. Based upon various learning theories, one of the most likely sites for storage of long-term memories is the neocortex. In support of these theories, findings from our laboratory, and others, have demonstrated that trace-conditioning, an associative paradigm where there is a separation in time between the CS and US, induces learning-specific neocortical plasticity. The following review will discuss the amygdala’s involvement, either as a site of storage or facilitating storage in other brain regions such as the neocortex, in fear- and non-fear-motivated associative paradigms. In this review, we will discuss recent findings suggesting a broader role for the amygdala in increasing the saliency of behaviorally relevant information, thus facilitating acquisition for all forms of memory, both fear- and non-fear-related. This proposed promiscuous role of the amygdala in facilitating acquisition for all memories further suggests a potential role of the amygdala in general learning disabilities.

  10. Amygdala's involvement in facilitating associative learning-induced plasticity: a promiscuous role for the amygdala in memory acquisition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chau, Lily S; Galvez, Roberto

    2012-01-01

    It is widely accepted that the amygdala plays a critical role in acquisition and consolidation of fear-related memories. Some of the more widely employed behavioral paradigms that have assisted in solidifying the amygdala's role in fear-related memories are associative learning paradigms. With most associative learning tasks, a neutral conditioned stimulus (CS) is paired with a salient unconditioned stimulus (US) that elicits an unconditioned response (UR). After multiple CS-US pairings, the subject learns that the CS predicts the onset or delivery of the US, and thus elicits a learned conditioned response (CR). Most fear-related associative paradigms have suggested that an aspect of the fear association is stored in the amygdala; however, some fear-motivated associative paradigms suggest that the amygdala is not a site of storage, but rather facilitates consolidation in other brain regions. Based upon various learning theories, one of the most likely sites for storage of long-term memories is the neocortex. In support of these theories, findings from our laboratory, and others, have demonstrated that trace-conditioning, an associative paradigm where there is a separation in time between the CS and US, induces learning-specific neocortical plasticity. The following review will discuss the amygdala's involvement, either as a site of storage or facilitating storage in other brain regions such as the neocortex, in fear- and non-fear-motivated associative paradigms. In this review, we will discuss recent findings suggesting a broader role for the amygdala in increasing the saliency of behaviorally relevant information, thus facilitating acquisition for all forms of memory, both fear- and non-fear-related. This proposed promiscuous role of the amygdala in facilitating acquisition for all memories further suggests a potential role of the amygdala in general learning disabilities.

  11. Plastic deformation behavior of Fe–Co–B–Si–Nb–Cr bulk metallic glasses under nanoindentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, J.T.; Hong, S.H.; Lee, C.H. [HMC, Faculty of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Engineering, Sejong University, 98 Gunja-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-747 (Korea, Republic of); Park, J.M., E-mail: jinman_park@hotmail.com [Materials Research Center, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), San 14-1, Nongseo-dong, Giheung-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 446-712 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, T.W.; Lee, W.H. [HMC, Faculty of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Engineering, Sejong University, 98 Gunja-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-747 (Korea, Republic of); Yim, H.I. [Department of Physics, Sookmyung Women’s University, Hyochangwongil 52, Yongsan-ku, Seoul 140-742 (Korea, Republic of); Kim, K.B., E-mail: kbkim@sejong.ac.kr [HMC, Faculty of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials Engineering, Sejong University, 98 Gunja-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-747 (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-02-25

    Highlights: • Additional Cr modulation of atomic structure of Fe-Co-B-Si-Nb BMGs. • An amount of free volume characterized by a combination of nanoindentation and AFM. • Free volume determined by height measurement of AFM after nanoindentation. -- Abstract: In this work, we investigate the effect of Cr addition on thermal properties and indentation behavior of Fe{sub 52}Co{sub 20−x}B{sub 20}Si{sub 4}Nb{sub 4}Cr{sub x} alloys with x = 0, 1, 3 and 5 at.%, respectively. Among all studied alloys, the Fe{sub 52}Co{sub 17}B{sub 20}Si{sub 4}Nb{sub 4}Cr{sub 3} bulk metallic glass (BMG) exhibits the highest thermal stability with large supercooled liquid region of 40 K and the pronounced plastic deformation features which is serrated flow (pop-in event) and significant pile-up of materials around indents. This demonstrates that the appropriate addition of Cr in Fe-based BMG can induce the internal atomic structure modulation and promote the mechanical softening, which are discussed in terms of free volume concept.

  12. Hygienic effects and gas production of plastic bio-digesters under tropical conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen-Phi, Vo Thi; Clemens, Joachim; Rechenburg, Andrea; Vinneras, Björn; Lenssen, Christina; Kistemann, Thomas

    2009-12-01

    Plastic plug-flow bio-digesters have been promoted as a good option for improved treatment of manure and wastewater in developing countries although minimal information has been published on their hygienic status. This bench-scale study replicates bio-digester conditions to evaluate the reduction of pathogen and indicator microorganisms at three different hydraulic retention times (HRT) in the anaerobic treatment of pig manures at 30 degrees C for 50 days. Results showed that physicochemical values differed between HRTs. Gas production efficiency was better for longer HRTS. The accumulated sludge at the reactor's base increased with longer HRT. Phages and bacteria examined were reduced, but none was completely eliminated. Log10 reduction of bacteria ranged from 0.54 to 2.47. Phages ranged from 1.60 to 3.42. The reduction of organisms at HRT = 30 days was about one log10 unit higher than HRT = 15 days and about two log10 units higher than HRT = 3 days. The results indicate that the reduction of tested organisms increases with HRT. However the hygienic quality of the liquid effluent does not meet required quality values for surface and irrigation water. Longer HRTs are recommended to increase gas yield and achieve higher pathogen reduction. More barriers should be applied while handling bio-digester outputs to minimise risks to environmental and human health.

  13. Flow behavior and plasticity of Ti-6Al-4V under different electrically assisted treatments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Tianhao; Peng, Linfa; Yi, Peiyun; Lai, Xinmin

    2016-12-01

    Both electrically assisted tension (EAT) and electrically assisted pre-treatment tension (EAPT) were conducted to compare different effects on improving deformation resistance and ductility of Ti-6Al-4V. It is found EAPT obviously enhanced the ductility of Ti-6Al-4V compared with that obtained in EAT. In order to decouple the thermal effect from electro-plastic effect, thermally assisted tension (TAT) as well as thermally assisted pre-treatment tension (TAPT) were also conducted. The result indicates deformation mechanism of alpha phase with h.c.p crystal structure in Ti-6Al-4V was insensitive to electric current when current duty is less than 20%. However, the elevated temperature alone is insufficient to account for additional stress drop in the initial yielding stress observed in EAT and EAPT when current duty is higher than 20%. According to XRD investigation on specimens treated in original state, TAPT and EAPT, it is found electric current accelerates the annihilation of alpha phase and formation of beta phase in Ti-6Al-4V more effectively than the rising temperature does and such microstructure evolution also throws light on the improvement of flow stress and ductility observed in EAPT both experimentally and theoretically.

  14. Process industries - graphic arts, paint, plastics, and textiles: all cousins under the skin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Frederick T.

    2002-06-01

    The origin and selection of colors in the process industries is different depending upon how the creative process is applied and what are the capabilities of the manufacturing process. The fashion industry (clothing) with its supplier of textiles is the leader of color innovation. Color may be introduced into textile products at several stages in the manufacturing process from fiber through yarn and finally into fabric. The paint industry is divided into two major applications: automotive and trades sales. Automotive colors are selected by stylists who are in the employ of the automobile manufacturers. Trade sales paint on the other hand can be decided by paint manufactureres or by invididuals who patronize custom mixing facilities. Plastics colors are for the most part decided by the industrial designers who include color as part of the design. Graphic Arts (painting) is a burgeoning industry that uses color in image reproduction and package design. Except for text, printed material in color today has become the norm rather than an exception.

  15. Energetic plasticity underlies a variable response to ocean acidification in the pteropod, Limacina helicina antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brad A Seibel

    Full Text Available Ocean acidification, caused by elevated seawater carbon dioxide levels, may have a deleterious impact on energetic processes in animals. Here we show that high PCO(2 can suppress metabolism, measured as oxygen consumption, in the pteropod, L. helicina forma antarctica, by ∼20%. The rates measured at 180-380 µatm (MO(2  =  1.25 M(-0.25, p  =  0.007 were significantly higher (ANCOVA, p  =  0.004 than those measured at elevated target CO(2 levels in 2007 (789-1000 µatm,  =  0.78 M(-0.32, p  =  0.0008; Fig. 1. However, we further demonstrate metabolic plasticity in response to regional phytoplankton concentration and that the response to CO(2 is dependent on the baseline level of metabolism. We hypothesize that reduced regional Chl a levels in 2008 suppressed metabolism and masked the effect of ocean acidification. This effect of food limitation was not, we postulate, merely a result of gut clearance and specific dynamic action, but rather represents a sustained metabolic response to regional conditions. Thus, pteropod populations may be compromised by climate change, both directly via CO(2-induced metabolic suppression, and indirectly via quantitative and qualitative changes to the phytoplankton community. Without the context provided by long-term observations (four seasons and a multi-faceted laboratory analysis of the parameters affecting energetics, the complex response of polar pteropods to ocean acidification may be masked or misinterpreted.

  16. Fast Brain Plasticity during Word Learning in Musically-Trained Children

    OpenAIRE

    Dittinger, Eva,; Chobert, Julie; Ziegler, Johannes; Besson, Mireille

    2017-01-01

    International audience; Children learn new words every day and this ability requires auditory perception, phoneme discrimination, attention, associative learning and semantic memory. Based on previous results showing that some of these functions are enhanced by music training, we investigated learning of novel words through picture-word associations in musically-trained and control children (8–12 year-old) to determine whether music training would positively influence word learning. Results s...

  17. Fast Brain Plasticity during Word Learning in Musically-Trained Children

    OpenAIRE

    Dittinger, Eva,; Chobert, Julie; Johannes C Ziegler; Besson, Mireille

    2017-01-01

    Children learn new words every day and this ability requires auditory perception, phoneme discrimination, attention, associative learning and semantic memory. Based on previous results showing that some of these functions are enhanced by music training, we investigated learning of novel words through picture-word associations in musically-trained and control children (8–12 year-old) to determine whether music training would positively influence word learning. Results showed that musically-tra...

  18. NT-3 Facilitates Hippocampal Plasticity and Learning and Memory by Regulating Neurogenesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakata, Kazuko; Akbarian, Schahram; Bates, Brian; Jaenisch, Rudolf; Lu, Bai; Shimazu, Kazuhiro; Zhao, Mingrui

    2006-01-01

    In the adult brain, the expression of NT-3 is largely confined to the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG), an area exhibiting significant neurogenesis. Using a conditional mutant line in which the "NT-3" gene is deleted in the brain, we investigated the role of NT-3 in adult neurogenesis, hippocampal plasticity, and memory. Bromodeoxyuridine…

  19. Learning to Perceive Structure from Motion and Neural Plasticity in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Nam-Gyoon; Park, Jong-Hee

    2010-01-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that Alzheimer's disease (AD) affects the visual sensory pathways, producing a variety of visual deficits, including the capacity to perceive structure-from-motion (SFM). Because the sensory areas of the adult brain are known to retain a large degree of plasticity, the present study was conducted to explore whether…

  20. Effects of reduced-rate methyl bromide applications under conventional and virtually impermeable plastic film in perennial crop field nurseries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Bradley D; Gerik, James S; Schneider, Sally M

    2010-08-01

    Producers of perennial crop nursery stock in California use preplant soil fumigation to meet state phytosanitary requirements. Although methyl bromide (MB) has been phased out in many agricultural industries, it is still the preferred treatment in the perennial nursery industry and is used under Critical Use Exemptions and Quarantine/Preshipment provisions of the Montreal Protocol. The present research was conducted to evaluate reduced-rate MB applications sealed with conventional and low-permeability plastic films compared with the primary alternative material. Reduced rates (100-260 kg ha(-1)) of MB applied in combination with chloropicrin (Pic) and sealed with a low-permeability plastic film provided weed and nematode control similar to the industry standard rate of 392 kg ha(-1) MB:Pic (98:2) sealed with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film. However, the primary alternative chemical, 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), tended to provide slightly lower pest control even on sites with relatively low plant parasitic nematode, soil-borne pathogen and weed pest pressure. If California regulations change to allow the use of low-permeability films in broadcast fumigant applications, the results of this research suggest that reduced rates of MB in perennial crop nurseries could serve as a bridge strategy until more technically, economically and environmentally acceptable alternatives are developed. Published 2010 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Plastic collapse and energy absorption of circular filled tubes under quasi-static loads by computational analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beng, Yeo Kiam; Tzeng, Woo Wen [Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Sabah (Malaysia)

    2017-02-15

    This study presents the finite element analysis of plastic collapse and energy absorption of polyurethane-filled aluminium circular tubes under quasi-static transverse loading. Increasing focuses were given to impact damage of structures where energy absorbed during impact could be controlled to avoid total structure collapse of energy absorbers and devices designed to dissipate energy. ABAQUS finite element analysis application was utilized for modelling and simulating the polyurethane-filled aluminium tubes, different set of diameterto- thickness ratios and span lengths, subjected to transverse three-point-bending load. Different sets of polyurethane-filled aluminium tubes subjected to the transverse loading were modelled and simulated. The failure modes and mechanisms of filled tubes and its capabilities as energy absorbers to further improve and strengthening of empty tube were also identified. The results showed that plastic deformation response was affected by the geometric constraints and parameters of the specimens. The diameter-to-thickness ratio and span lengths had shown to play crucial role in optimizing the PU-filled tube as energy absorber.

  2. Numerical modelling of the plasticity of Ringwoodite under transition zone conditions in the Earth's mantle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ritterbex, S.; Carrez, P.; Gouriet, K.; Cordier, P.

    2013-12-01

    (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 ringwoodite spinel, a high-pressure polymorph of the main upper mantle constituent olivine, is considered to be the weakest phase in the lower half of the transition zone, generally a confined region between 410-660 km depth in the Earth's mantle which couples the upper and lower mantle. It is therefore believed to be an important phase in subducting slabs from 510-660 km depth. Knowledge of ductile deformation mechanisms of ringwoodite may therefore provide a framework for a better understanding of solid-state flow within the transition zone over which the viscosity is thought to increase rapidly. The glide of linear defects or dislocations in a crystal is one of the effective mechanisms responsible for creep of mantle minerals such as ringwoodite. A description of the core structures of the active dislocations is essentiel to obtain information about the dislocation mobility and hence the rate of deformation controlled by glide. Computer simulations at the atomic-scale are used to investigate the structure and properties of dislocation cores of Mg2SiO4 ringwoodite at a pressure of 20 GPa1. This approach is a good alternative to study intracrystalline plasticity since experimental study is more than challanging at the pressure and temperature conditions of the Earth's transition zone. The Peierls2-Nabarro3-Galerkin approach is used to understand and predict the plastic properties of Mg2SiO4 ringwoodite at 20 GPa4. In this semi-continuum model, the dislocation is described as a distribution of infinitesimal mismatches across the assumed glide planes. Ballancing the elastic forces within the crystal with the non-elastic interaction forces across the glide plane provide information about the localization of the planar core. The non-elastic forces across the glide plane can be deduced from atomic scale density functional theory based calculations of generalized stacking fault surfaces, which are energy landscapes due to the general stacking of one half of

  3. Synaptic Plasticity and Nociception

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ChenJianguo

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Fast Brain Plasticity during Word Learning in Musically-Trained Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittinger, Eva; Chobert, Julie; Ziegler, Johannes C; Besson, Mireille

    2017-01-01

    Children learn new words every day and this ability requires auditory perception, phoneme discrimination, attention, associative learning and semantic memory. Based on previous results showing that some of these functions are enhanced by music training, we investigated learning of novel words through picture-word associations in musically-trained and control children (8-12 year-old) to determine whether music training would positively influence word learning. Results showed that musically-trained children outperformed controls in a learning paradigm that included picture-sound matching and semantic associations. Moreover, the differences between unexpected and expected learned words, as reflected by the N200 and N400 effects, were larger in children with music training compared to controls after only 3 min of learning the meaning of novel words. In line with previous results in adults, these findings clearly demonstrate a correlation between music training and better word learning. It is argued that these benefits reflect both bottom-up and top-down influences. The present learning paradigm might provide a useful dynamic diagnostic tool to determine which perceptive and cognitive functions are impaired in children with learning difficulties.

  5. Fast Brain Plasticity during Word Learning in Musically-Trained Children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Dittinger

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Children learn new words every day and this ability requires auditory perception, phoneme discrimination, attention, associative learning and semantic memory. Based on previous results showing that some of these functions are enhanced by music training, we investigated learning of novel words through picture-word associations in musically-trained and control children (8–12 year-old to determine whether music training would positively influence word learning. Results showed that musically-trained children outperformed controls in a learning paradigm that included picture-sound matching and semantic associations. Moreover, the differences between unexpected and expected learned words, as reflected by the N200 and N400 effects, were larger in children with music training compared to controls after only 3 min of learning the meaning of novel words. In line with previous results in adults, these findings clearly demonstrate a correlation between music training and better word learning. It is argued that these benefits reflect both bottom-up and top-down influences. The present learning paradigm might provide a useful dynamic diagnostic tool to determine which perceptive and cognitive functions are impaired in children with learning difficulties.

  6. Fast Brain Plasticity during Word Learning in Musically-Trained Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittinger, Eva; Chobert, Julie; Ziegler, Johannes C.; Besson, Mireille

    2017-01-01

    Children learn new words every day and this ability requires auditory perception, phoneme discrimination, attention, associative learning and semantic memory. Based on previous results showing that some of these functions are enhanced by music training, we investigated learning of novel words through picture-word associations in musically-trained and control children (8–12 year-old) to determine whether music training would positively influence word learning. Results showed that musically-trained children outperformed controls in a learning paradigm that included picture-sound matching and semantic associations. Moreover, the differences between unexpected and expected learned words, as reflected by the N200 and N400 effects, were larger in children with music training compared to controls after only 3 min of learning the meaning of novel words. In line with previous results in adults, these findings clearly demonstrate a correlation between music training and better word learning. It is argued that these benefits reflect both bottom-up and top-down influences. The present learning paradigm might provide a useful dynamic diagnostic tool to determine which perceptive and cognitive functions are impaired in children with learning difficulties. PMID:28553213

  7. Application of Reproducing Kernel Particle Method in an Analysis of Elasto-plastic Deformation Under Taylor Impact

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Guang-ming; SONG Shun-cheng; MENG Xiang-rui

    2006-01-01

    The Reproducing Kernel Particle Method (RKPM) is one of several new meshless numerical methods developed internationally in recent years. The ideal elasto-plastic constitutive model of material under a Taylor impact is characterized by the Jaumann stress- and strain-rates. An updated Lagrangian format is used for the calculation in a numerical analysis. With the RKPM, this paper deals with the calculation model for the Taylor impact and deduces the control equation for the impact process. A program was developed to simulate numerically the Taylor impact of projectiles composed of several kinds of material. The simulation result is in good accordance with both the test results and the Taylor analysis outcome. Since the meshless method is not limited by meshes, it is believed to be widely applicable to such complicated processes as the Taylor impact, including large deformation and strain and to the study of the dynamic qualities of materials.

  8. 1,3-dichloropropene and chloropicrin emissions following simulated drip irrigation to raised beds under plastic films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashworth, D J; Luo, L; Xuan, R; Yates, S R

    2010-08-01

    Using laboratory soil chambers a nonscaled representation of an agricultural raised bed was constructed. For a sandy loam soil, 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin (CP) were applied at 5 cm depth with an excess of water (simulated drip irrigation). Application was made under both high density polyethylene (HDPE) and virtually impermeable film (VIF) covering the soil bed (the furrow was left uncovered). Soil gas distribution of the fumigants, together with emissions into the headspace above the bed, sidewall and furrow were determined over time. Total emissions from the HDPE treatment were cis 1,3-D 28%, trans 1,3-D 24%, and CP 8%. Due to its lower permeability, the values for VIF were 13%, 7%, and 1.5%, respectively. With HDPE, the majority (86-93%) of the emissions occurred from the bed, while for VIF the majority (92-99%) of the emissions was from the furrow. Compared to a range of literature values for shank injection, the use of drip application appears to offer a benefit in reducing 1,3-D and CP emissions. However, the most meaningful comparison is with our previous data for simulated shank injection where the same soil was covered (completely) with the same plastic films (1). In this comparison, only 1,3-D emissions under HDPE were lower with drip application; 1,3-D emissions under VIF and CP emissions under both films were greater with the drip application.

  9. DTI Image Registration under Probabilistic Fiber Bundles Tractography Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Tao; Fan, Yangyu; Zhang, Xiuwei

    2016-01-01

    Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) image registration is an essential step for diffusion tensor image analysis. Most of the fiber bundle based registration algorithms use deterministic fiber tracking technique to get the white matter fiber bundles, which will be affected by the noise and volume. In order to overcome the above problem, we proposed a Diffusion Tensor Imaging image registration method under probabilistic fiber bundles tractography learning. Probabilistic tractography technique can more reasonably trace to the structure of the nerve fibers. The residual error estimation step in active sample selection learning is improved by modifying the residual error model using finite sample set. The calculated deformation field is then registered on the DTI images. The results of our proposed registration method are compared with 6 state-of-the-art DTI image registration methods under visualization and 3 quantitative evaluation standards. The experimental results show that our proposed method has a good comprehensive performance.

  10. Cotton’s Water Demand and Water-Saving Benefits under Drip Irrigation with Plastic Film Mulch

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yingyu YAN; Juyan LI

    2016-01-01

    The primary purpose of this research was to give suitable irrigation program according to the growth period and water requirement.A cotton field experiment with mulched drip irrigation was conducted at the National Field Observation and Research Station for Oasis Farmland Ecosystem in Aksu of Xinjiang in 2008.Water balance method was adopted to study the water requirement and water consumption law of cotton under mulched drip irrigation in Tarim Irrigated Area.Statistical analysis of experimental data of irrigation indicates that the relationship between yield of cotton and irrigation presents a quadratic parabola.We fit the model of cotton water production on the basis of field experimental data of cotton.And the analysis on water saving benefit of cotton under mulched drip irrigation was done.Results indicate that water requirements for the irrigated cotton are 543 mm in Tarim Irrigated Area.The water requirements of seedling stage is 252 mm,budding stage is 186 mm,bolling stage is 316 mm and wadding stage is 139 mm.the irrigation amount determines the spatial distribution of soil moisture and water consumption during cotton life cycle.However,water consumption at different growth stages was inconsistent with irrigation.Quantitatively,the water consumed by cotton decreases upon the increase of irrigation amount.From the perspective of water saving,the maximal water use efficiency can reach 3 091 m3/ha.But the highest cotton yield needs 3464 m3/ha irrigation water.In summary,compared to the conventional drip irrigation,a number of benefits in water saving and yield increase were observed when using plastic mulch.At the same amount of irrigation,the cotton yield with plastic mulch was 30.2% higher than conventional approaches,and the efficiency of water utilization increased by30.2%.While at the same yield level,29.3% water was saved by using plastic mulch,and the efficiency increased by 41.5%.

  11. Role of motor cortex NMDA receptors in learning-dependent synaptic plasticity of behaving mice

    OpenAIRE

    Mazahir T Hasan; Hernández-González, Samuel; Dogbevia, Godwin; Treviño, Mario; Bertocchi, Ilaria; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José M.

    2013-01-01

    The primary motor cortex has an important role in the precise execution of learned motor responses. During motor learning, synaptic efficacy between sensory and primary motor cortical neurons is enhanced, possibly involving long-term potentiation and N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA)-specific glutamate receptor function. To investigate whether NMDA receptor in the primary motor cortex can act as a coincidence detector for activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength and associative learning, her...

  12. MODULATING EXCITATION THROUGH PLASTICITY AT INHIBITORY SYNAPSES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vivien eChevaleyre

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning is believed to depend on lasting changes in synaptic efficacy such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression. As a result, a profusion of studies has tried to elucidate the mechanisms underlying these forms of plasticity. Traditionally, experience-dependent changes at excitatory synapses were assumed to underlie learning and memory formation. However, with the relatively more recent investigation of inhibitory transmission, it had become evident that inhibitory synapses are not only plastic, but also provide an additional way to modulate excitatory transmission and the induction of plasticity at excitatory synapses.Thanks to recent technological advances, progress has been made in understanding synaptic transmission and plasticity from particular interneuron subtypes. In this review article, we will describe various forms of synaptic plasticity that have been ascribed to two fairly well characterized populations of interneurons in the hippocampus, those expressing cholecystokinin (CCK and parvalbumin (PV. We will discuss the resulting changes in the strength and plasticity of excitatory transmission that occur in the local circuit as a result of the modulation of inhibitory transmission. We will focus on the hippocampus because this region has a relatively well-understood circuitry, numerous forms of activity-dependent plasticity and a multitude of identified interneuron subclasses.

  13. Sensory representation and learning-related plasticity in mushroom body extrinsic feedback neurons of the protocerebral tract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haehnel, Melanie; Menzel, Randolf

    2010-01-01

    Gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactive feedback neurons of the protocerebral tract are a major component of the honeybee mushroom body. They have been shown to be subject to learning-related plasticity and provide putative inhibitory input to Kenyon cells and the pedunculus extrinsic neuron, PE1. We hypothesize, that learning-related modulation in these neurons is mediated by varying the amount of inhibition provided by feedback neurons. We performed Ca(2+) imaging recordings of populations of neurons of the protocerebral-calycal tract (PCT) while the bees were conditioned in an appetitive olfactory paradigm and their behavioral responses were quantified using electromyographic recordings from M17, the muscle which controls the proboscis extension response. The results corroborate findings from electrophysiological studies showing that PCT neurons respond to sucrose and odor stimuli. The odor responses are concentration dependent. Odor and sucrose responses are modulated by repeated stimulus presentations. Furthermore, animals that learned to associate an odor with sucrose reward responded to the repeated presentations of the rewarded odor with less depression than they did to an unrewarded and a control odor.

  14. Molecular Dynamics for Elastic and Plastic Deformation of a Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Under Nanoindentation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG Te-Hua; JIAN Sheng-Rui; CHUU Der-San

    2004-01-01

    @@ Mechanical characteristics of a suspended (10, 10) single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) during atomic force microscopy (AFM) nanoindentation are investigated at different temperatures by molecular dynamics simulations.The results indicate that the Young modulus of the (10, 10) SWCNT under temperatures of 300-600K is 1.2-1.3 TPa. As the temperature increases, the Young modulus of the SWCNT increases, but the axial strain of the SWCNT decreases. The strain-induced spontaneous formation of the Stone-Wales defects and the rippled behaviour under inhomogeneous stress are studied. The rippled behaviour of the SWCNT is enhanced with the increasing axial strain. The adhesive phenomenon between the probe and the nanotube and the elastic recovery of the nanotube during the retraction are also investigated.

  15. Plasticity in stomatal size and density of potato leaves under different irrigation and phosphorus regimes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sun, Yanqi; Yan, Fei; Cui, Xiaoyong

    2014-01-01

    The morphological features of stomata including their size and density could be modulated by environmental cues; however, the underlying mechanisms remain largely elusive. Here, the effect of different irrigation and phosphorus (P) regimes on stomatal size (SS) and stomatal density (SD) of potato...... leaves was investigated. The plants were grown in split-root pots under two P fertilization rates (viz., 0 and 100mgkg-1 soil, denoted as P0 and P1, respectively) and subjected to full (FI), deficit (DI), and partial root-zone drying (PRD) irrigation regimes. Results showed that SS and SD were...... unresponsive to P but significantly affected by the irrigation treatment. FI plants had the largest SS, followed by DI, and PRD the smallest; and the reverse was the case for SD. Compared to FI and DI, PRD plants had significantly lower values of specific leaf area (SLA) and leaf carbon isotope discrimination...

  16. Development time plasticity of the pine processionary moth (Thaumetopoea pityocampa populations under laboratory conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Berardi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The pine processionary moth Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Lepidoptera, Notodontidae is a univoltine defoliator that is active over a wide range of latitudes and elevations, being largely influenced by temperature variations, especially during larval development across the winter. This work compares field development time with that observed in the laboratory rearing under controlled conditions, in four Th. pityocampa populations characterized by different life history phenology: two populations from the Italian Alps characterized by early and late adult emergence, and two populations from Portugal, the first characterized by winter feeding and late adult emergence, the second by a switch of the larval feeding from winter to summer. The rearing started from the egg stage and was maintained in the laboratory at 20-25°C under natural light in transparent boxes. In spite of the different geographic origins and asynchrony of the period of larval development, all populations maintained an annual life cycle under laboratory conditions, as well as a phenology similar to that of the field populations. Such an outcome was possible due to a trade-off in the duration of the larval and pupal stages, the latter being identified as the phase of development when an efficient regulatory mechanism is acting to maintain the univoltine life cycle.

  17. Learning and memory under stress: implications for the classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Susanne; Schwabe, Lars

    2016-06-01

    Exams, tight deadlines and interpersonal conflicts are just a few examples of the many events that may result in high levels of stress in both students and teachers. Research over the past two decades identified stress and the hormones and neurotransmitters released during and after a stressful event as major modulators of human learning and memory processes, with critical implications for educational contexts. While stress around the time of learning is thought to enhance memory formation, thus leading to robust memories, stress markedly impairs memory retrieval, bearing, for instance, the risk of underachieving at exams. Recent evidence further indicates that stress may hamper the updating of memories in the light of new information and induce a shift from a flexible, 'cognitive' form of learning towards rather rigid, 'habit'-like behaviour. Together, these stress-induced changes may explain some of the difficulties of learning and remembering under stress in the classroom. Taking these insights from psychology and neuroscience into account could bear the potential to facilitate processes of education for both students and teachers.

  18. Analogy learning and the performance of motor skills under pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Wing Kai; Maxwell, Jon P; Masters, Richard

    2009-06-01

    The efficacy of analogical instruction, relative to explicit instruction, for the acquisition of a complex motor skill and subsequent performance under pressure was investigated using a modified (seated) basketball shooting task. Differences in attentional resource allocation associated with analogy and explicit learning were also examined using probe reaction times (PRT). Access to task-relevant explicit (declarative) knowledge was assessed. The analogy and explicit learning groups performed equally well during learning and delayed retention tests. The explicit group experienced a drop in performance during a pressured transfer test, relative to their performance during a preceding retention test. However, the analogy group's performance was unaffected by the pressure manipulation. Results from PRTs suggested that both groups allocated equal amounts of attentional resources to the task throughout learning and test trials. Analogy learners had significantly less access to rules about the mechanics of their movements, relative to explicit learners. The results are interpreted in the context of Eysenck and Calvo's (1992) processing efficiency theory and Masters's (1992) theory of reinvestment.

  19. An elasto-plastic approach to estimate lifetime of notched components under variable amplitude fatigue loading: a preliminary investigation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zuhair Faruq

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The present paper is concerned with the formulation of an elasto-plastic strain based approach suitable for assessing fatigue strength of notched components subjected to in-service variable amplitude cyclic loading. The hypothesis is formed that the crack initiation plane is closely aligned with the plane of maximum shear strain amplitude, its orientation and the associated stress/strain quantities being determined using the Maximum Variance Method. Fatigue damage is estimated by applying the Modified Manson-Coffin Curve Method (MMCCM along with the Point Method (PM. In the proposed approach, the required critical distance is treated as a material property whose value is not affected either by the sharpness of the notch being assessed or by the profile of the load spectrum being applied. The detrimental effect of non-zero mean stresses and degree of multiaxiality of the local stress/strain histories is also considered. The accuracy and reliability of the proposed design methodology was checked against several experimental data taken from the literature and generated under different uniaxial variable amplitude load histories. In order to determine the required local stress/strain states, refined elasto-plastic finite element models were solved using commercial software ANSYS®. This preliminary validation exercise allowed us to prove that the proposed approach is capable of estimates laying within an error factor of about 2. These preliminary results are certainly promising, strongly supporting the idea that the proposed design strategy can successfully be used to assess the fatigue lifetime of notched metallic components subjected to in-service multiaxial variable amplitude loading sequences.

  20. Plastic Surgery

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Surgery? A Week of Healthy Breakfasts Shyness Plastic Surgery KidsHealth > For Teens > Plastic Surgery Print A A ... forehead lightened with a laser? What Is Plastic Surgery? Just because the name includes the word "plastic" ...

  1. Differences in motor evoked potentials induced in rats by transcranial magnetic stimulation under two separate anesthetics: implications for plasticity studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Sykes

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS is primarily used in humans to change the state of corticospinal excitability. To assess the efficacy of different rTMS stimulation protocols, motor evoked potentials (MEPs are used as a readout due to their non-invasive nature. Stimulation of the motor cortex produces a response in a targeted muscle, and the amplitude of this twitch provides an indirect measure of the current state of the cortex. When applied to the motor cortex, rTMS can alter MEP amplitude, however results are variable between participants and across studies. In addition, the mechanisms underlying any change and its locus are poorly understood. In order to better understand these effects, MEPs have been investigated in vivo in animal models, primarily in rats. One major difference in protocols between rats and humans is the use of general anesthesia in animal experiments. Anesthetics are known to affect plasticity-like mechanisms and so may contaminate the effects of an rTMS protocol. In the present study, we explored the effect of anesthetic on MEP amplitude, recorded before and after intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS, a patterned rTMS protocol with reported facilitatory effects. MEPs were assessed in the brachioradialis muscle of the upper forelimb under two anesthetics: a xylazine/zoletil combination and urethane. We found MEPs could be induced under both anesthetics, with no differences in the resting motor threshold or the average baseline amplitudes. However, MEPs were highly variable between animals under both anesthetics, with the xylazine/zoletil combination showing higher variability and most prominently a rise in amplitude across the baseline recording period. Interestingly, application of iTBS did not facilitate MEP amplitude under either anesthetic condition. Although it is important to underpin human application of TMS with mechanistic examination of effects in animals, caution must be taken when

  2. Octopus arm movements under constrained conditions: adaptation, modification and plasticity of motor primitives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Jonas N; Hochner, Binyamin; Kuba, Michael J

    2015-04-01

    The motor control of the eight highly flexible arms of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris) has been the focus of several recent studies. Our study is the first to manage to introduce a physical constraint to an octopus arm and investigate the adaptability of stereotypical bend propagation in reaching movements and the pseudo-limb articulation during fetching. Subjects (N=6) were placed inside a transparent Perspex box with a hole at the center that allowed the insertion of a single arm. Animals had to reach out through the hole toward a target, to retrieve a food reward and fetch it. All subjects successfully adjusted their movements to the constraint without an adaptation phase. During reaching tasks, the animals showed two movement strategies: stereotypical bend propagation reachings, which were established at the hole of the Perspex box and variant waving-like movements that showed no bend propagations. During fetching movements, no complete pseudo-joint fetching was observed outside the box and subjects pulled their arms through the hole in a pull-in like movement. Our findings show that there is some flexibility in the octopus motor system to adapt to a novel situation. However, at present, it seems that these changes are more an effect of random choices between different alternative motor programs, without showing clear learning effects in the choice between the alternatives. Interestingly, animals were able to adapt the fetching movements to the physical constraint, or as an alternative explanation, they could switch the motor primitive fetching to a different motor primitive 'arm pulling'.

  3. An Example of Learning about Plastics and Their Evaluation as a Contribution to Education for Sustainable Development in Secondary School Chemistry Teaching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burmeister, Mareike; Eilks, Ingo

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the development and evaluation of a secondary school lesson plan for chemistry education on the topic Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The lessons focus both on the chemistry of plastics and on learning about the societal evaluation of competing, chemistry-based industrial products. A specific teaching method was…

  4. BAI1 regulates spatial learning and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhu, Dan; Li, Chenchen; Swanson, Andrew M

    2015-01-01

    levels of the canonical PSD component PSD-95 in the brain, which stems from protein destabilization. We determined that BAI1 prevents PSD-95 polyubiquitination and degradation through an interaction with murine double minute 2 (MDM2), the E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates PSD-95 stability. Restoration...... of PSD-95 expression in hippocampal neurons in BAI1-deficient mice by viral gene therapy was sufficient to compensate for Bai1 loss and rescued deficits in synaptic plasticity. Together, our results reveal that interaction of BAI1 with MDM2 in the brain modulates PSD-95 levels and thereby regulates...

  5. Direct and crossed effects of somatosensory electrical stimulation on motor learning and neuronal plasticity in humans

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veldman, M. P.; Zijdewind, I.; Solnik, S.; Maffiuletti, N. A.; Berghuis, K. M. M.; Javet, M.; Negyesi, J.; Hortobagyi, T.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Sensory input can modify voluntary motor function. We examined whether somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) added to motor practice (MP) could augment motor learning, interlimb transfer, and whether physiological changes in neuronal excitability underlie these changes. Methods Particip

  6. Learning under stress: the inverted-U-shape function revisited.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salehi, Basira; Cordero, M Isabel; Sandi, Carmen

    2010-10-01

    Although the relationship between stress intensity and memory function is generally believed to follow an inverted-U-shaped curve, strikingly this phenomenon has not been demonstrated under the same experimental conditions. We investigated this phenomenon for rats' performance in a hippocampus-dependent learning task, the radial arm water maze (RAWM). Variations in stress intensity were induced using different water temperatures (25°C, 19°C, and 16°C), which elicited increased plasma corticosterone levels. During spatial training over three consecutive days, an inverted-U shape was found, with animals trained at 19°C making fewer errors than animals trained at either higher (16°C) or lower (25°C) stress conditions. Interestingly, this function was already observed by the last trial of day 1 and maintained on the first day trial of day 2. A long-term recall probe test administered under equal temperature conditions (20°C) revealed differences in performance according to the animals' former training conditions; i.e., platform searching for rats trained at 25°C was less accurate than for rats trained at either 16°C or 19°C. In reversal learning, groups trained at both 19°C and 25°C showed better performance than the 16°C group. We also found an interaction between anxiety and exploration traits on how individuals were affected by stressors during spatial learning. In summary, our findings confirm, for the first time, the existence of an inverted-U-shape memory function according to stressor intensity during the early learning and memory phases in a hippocampus-dependent task, and indicate the existence of individual differences related to personality-like profiles for performance at either high or low stress conditions.

  7. Experimental investigation of fibre reinforced plastics with hybrid layups under high-velocity impact loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Romano

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with experimental investigations concerning energy dissipation capacity of different kinds of reinforcement fibres in monolithic and hybrid layups under high-velocity impact loads. The investigated kinds of fibres are carbon, glass and basalt fibres. Therefore test panels, using the same thermoset resin, were built up and cured by autoclave processing. The fibre volume content of the test panels has been determined. Furthermore the influence of a separating layer at selected positions in the hybrid stacked panels was investigated. The results show the influence and the energy dissipation capacity of each single kind of fibre and the enhanced properties for the hybrid layups by hybrid stacking sequences and the use of a separating core material.

  8. Modulation of Hippocampus-Dependent Learning and Synaptic Plasticity by Nicotine

    OpenAIRE

    Kenney, Justin W.; Gould, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    A long-standing relationship between nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and cognition exists. Drugs that act at nAChRs can have cognitive-enhancing effects and diseases that disrupt cognition such as Alzheimer’s disease and schizophrenia are associated with altered nAChR function. Specifically, hippocampus-dependent learning is particularly sensitive to the effects of nicotine. However, the effects of nicotine on hippocampus-dependent learning vary not only with the doses of nicotine ...

  9. Coupled hydro-mechanical analysis of slope under rainfall using modified elasto-plastic model for unsaturated soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Liu-jiang; LIU Si-hong; FU Zhong-zhi; LI Zhuo

    2015-01-01

    Two modifications for the basic Barcelona model (BBM) are present. One is the replacement of the net stress by the average skeleton stress in unsaturated soil modeling, and the other is the adoption of an expression for the load-collapse (LC) yield surface that can match flexibly the normal compression lines at different suctions. The predictions of the modified BBM for the controlled-suction triaxial test on the unsaturated compacted clay are presented and compared with the experimental results. A good agreement between the predicted and experimental results demonstrates the reasonability of the modified BBM. On this basis, the coupled processes of groundwater flow and soil deformation in a homogeneous soil slope under a long heavy rainfall are simulated with the proposed elasto-plastic model. The numerical results reveal that the failure of a slope under rainfall infiltration is due to both the reduction of soil suction and the significant rise in groundwater table. The evolution of the displacements is greatly related to the change of suction. The maximum collapse deformation happens near the surface of slope where infiltrated rainwater can quickly reach. The results may provide a helpful reference for hazard assessment and control of rainfall-induced landslides.

  10. Effect of plastic film mulching on the grain filling and hormonal changes of maize under different irrigation conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Liu

    Full Text Available Plastic film mulching (PM is widely utilized for maize production in China. However, the effect of PM on the grain yield of crops has not been established, and the biochemical mechanism underlying the increase or decrease in grain yield under PM is not yet understood. Grain filling markedly affects the grain yield. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of PM on maize grain filling under different irrigation levels and the relationship of such effects with hormonal changes. In the present study, PM was compared with traditional nonmulching management (TN under 220 mm, 270 mm and 320 mm irrigation amount, and the grain filling characters of the grains located in various parts of the ear and the hormonal changes in the grains were measured. The results indicated that at 220 mm irrigation, PM significantly increased the grain filling rate of the middle and basal grains and decreased the grain filling rate of the upper grains. At 270 mm irrigation, the PM significantly increased the grain filling rate of the all grains. At 320 mm irrigation, the PM only significantly increased the grain filling rate of the upper grains. The IAA, Z+ZR and ABA content in the grains was positively correlated with the grain weight and grain-filling rates; however, the ETH evolution rate of the grains was negatively correlated with the grain weight and grain-filling rates. These results show that the effect of PM on maize grain filling is related to the irrigation amount and that the grain position on the ear and the grain filling of the upper grains was more sensitive to PM and irrigation than were the other grains. In addition, the PM and irrigation regulated the balance of hormones rather than the content of individual hormones to affect the maize grain filling.

  11. Adenosine A(2A) receptor modulation of hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapse plasticity during associative learning in behaving mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontinha, Bruno M; Delgado-García, José M; Madroñal, Noelia; Ribeiro, Joaquim A; Sebastião, Ana M; Gruart, Agnès

    2009-06-01

    Previous in vitro studies have characterized the electrophysiological and molecular signaling pathways of adenosine tonic modulation on long-lasting synaptic plasticity events, particularly for hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). However, it remains to be elucidated whether the long-term changes produced by endogenous adenosine in the efficiency of synapses are related to those required for learning and memory formation. Our goal was to understand how endogenous activation of adenosine excitatory A(2A) receptors modulates the associative learning evolution in conscious behaving mice. We have studied here the effects of the application of a highly selective A(2A) receptor antagonist, SCH58261, upon a well-known associative learning paradigm-classical eyeblink conditioning. We used a trace paradigm, with a tone as the conditioned stimulus (CS) and an electric shock presented to the supraorbital nerve as the unconditioned stimulus (US). A single electrical pulse was presented to the Schaffer collateral-commissural pathway to evoke field EPSPs (fEPSPs) in the pyramidal CA1 area during the CS-US interval. In vehicle-injected animals, there was a progressive increase in the percentage of conditioning responses (CRs) and in the slope of fEPSPs through conditioning sessions, an effect that was completely prevented (and lost) in SCH58261 (0.5 mg/kg, i.p.) -injected animals. Moreover, experimentally evoked LTP was impaired in SCH58261-injected mice. In conclusion, the endogenous activation of adenosine A(2A) receptors plays a pivotal effect on the associative learning process and its relevant hippocampal circuits, including activity-dependent changes at the CA3-CA1 synapse.

  12. Environmental controls on the phenology of moths: predicting plasticity and constraint under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valtonen, Anu; Ayres, Matthew P; Roininen, Heikki; Pöyry, Juha; Leinonen, Reima

    2011-01-01

    Ecological systems have naturally high interannual variance in phenology. Component species have presumably evolved to maintain appropriate phenologies under historical climates, but cases of inappropriate phenology can be expected with climate change. Understanding controls on phenology permits predictions of ecological responses to climate change. We studied phenological control systems in Lepidoptera by analyzing flight times recorded at a network of sites in Finland. We evaluated the strength and form of controls from temperature and photoperiod, and tested for geographic variation within species. Temperature controls on phenology were evident in 51% of 112 study species and for a third of those thermal controls appear to be modified by photoperiodic cues. For 24% of the total, photoperiod by itself emerged as the most likely control system. Species with thermal control alone should be most immediately responsive in phenology to climate warming, but variably so depending upon the minimum temperature at which appreciable development occurs and the thermal responsiveness of development rate. Photoperiodic modification of thermal controls constrains phenotypic responses in phenologies to climate change, but can evolve to permit local adaptation. Our results suggest that climate change will alter the phenological structure of the Finnish Lepidoptera community in ways that are predictable with knowledge of the proximate physiological controls. Understanding how phenological controls in Lepidoptera compare to that of their host plants and enemies could permit general inferences regarding climatic effects on mid- to high-latitude ecosystems.

  13. Plasticity of mesenchymal stem cells under microgravity: from cytoskeletal reorganization to commitment shift

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buravkova, Ludmila

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be used to examine osteogenesis of uncommitted cells maintaining the bone differentiation potential such as osteogenic gene expression, osteogenic markers, matrix maturation and mineralization. MSCs are therefore a good model for studying osteogenesis in the space environment. Recent investigations have demonstrated that MSCs change in response to microgravity and, consequently, can be involved in the development of osteopenia detected in space travelers. This is a factor that can limit human space missions due to potential risks of osteoporosis and its aftereffects during and after flight. Simulated microgravity inhibited MSC differentiation towards osteoblasts and accelerated adipocyte development due to cytoskeleton modifications, including its structure and regulation associated with signal transduction cascades. We identified transient changes in the actin cytoskeleton of non-committed human bone marrow MSCs in short-term RPM experiments. In addition, we detected transient changes in the expression of genes encoding actin cytoskeleton proteins and associated elements (ACTA1, ACTG, RHOA, CFL1, VCL). When discussing the microgravity effects on MSC osteogenic differentiation, it should be mentioned the inhibition of Runx2 and ALPL and stimulation of PPARg2 in the MSCs induced for osteogenesis. It is probable that the reciprocal regulation of the two transcription factors is a molecular mechanism underlying progenitor cell response to microgravity. It is very likely that these genes are involved in the universal circuits within which mechanical (or gravity ) signals are sensed by MSCs. Recently, the list of osteogenic markers was extended to include several new proteins as microgravity targets (proteoglycans, osteomodulin, osteoglycin). It can be believed that exposure to microgravity produces similar effects on mature bone cells (osteoblasts) and non-committed osteogenic cells (MSCs). This finds a support in the fact that

  14. Development of plastic deformations in 12Kh18N10T steel under cyclic symmetrical bending of specimens of various length

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pisarenko, G.S.; Leonets, V.A.; Bega, N.D. (AN Ukrainskoj SSR, Kiev. Inst. Problem Prochnosti)

    1983-08-01

    Effect of specimen length on intensity of plastic deformation development and cyclic strength is studied for annealed 12Kh18N10T steel under cyclic symmetrical bending. The intensity of microplastic deformations and cyclic strength of annealed 12Kh18N10T steel in the considered case is due to self-heating.

  15. Quality changes of 'Sanguinello' oranges wrapped with different plastic films under simulated marketing conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Aquino, S; Malinconico, M; Avella, M; Di Lorenzo, M L; Mura; Palma, A

    2013-01-01

    significant. No decay was detected in fruit treated with IMZ. 'Sanguinello' oranges can be stored under retail conditions for a month by the only means of film wrapping without important changes in chemical, eating and marketing quality provided fruit are treated with an effective fungicide to prevent decay and that in-package gas composition is not markedly changed with respect to air.

  16. Plastic changes to dendritic spines on layer V pyramidal neurons are involved in the rectifying role of the prefrontal cortex during the fast period of motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-Tapia, David; Martínez-Torres, Nestor I; Hernández-González, Marisela; Guevara, Miguel Angel; González-Burgos, Ignacio

    2016-02-01

    The prefrontal cortex participates in the rectification of information related to motor activity that favors motor learning. Dendritic spine plasticity is involved in the modifications of motor patterns that underlie both motor activity and motor learning. To study this association in more detail, adult male rats were trained over six days in an acrobatic motor learning paradigm and they were subjected to a behavioral evaluation on each day of training. Also, a Golgi-based morphological study was carried out to determine the spine density and the proportion of the different spine types. In the learning paradigm, the number of errors diminished as motor training progressed. Concomitantly, spine density increased on days 1 and 3 of training, particularly reflecting an increase in the proportion of thin (day 1), stubby (day 1) and branched (days 1, 2 and 5) spines. Conversely, mushroom spines were less prevalent than in the control rats on days 5 and 6, as were stubby spines on day 6, together suggesting that this plasticity might enhance motor learning. The increase in stubby spines on day 1 suggests a regulation of excitability related to the changes in synaptic input to the prefrontal cortex. The plasticity to thin spines observed during the first 3 days of training could be related to the active rectification induced by the information relayed to the prefrontal cortex -as the behavioral findings indeed showed-, which in turn could be linked to the lower proportion of mushroom and stubby spines seen in the last days of training.

  17. Brain Acetaldehyde Exposure Impacts upon Neonatal Respiratory Plasticity and Ethanol-Related Learning in Rodents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acevedo, María B.; D'Aloisio, Génesis; Haymal, Olga B.; Molina, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    Prior studies indicate that neonates are very sensitive to ethanol's positive reinforcing effects and to its depressant effects upon breathing. Acetaldehyde (ACD) appears to play a major role in terms of modulating early reinforcing effects of the drug. Yet, there is no pre-existing literature relative to the incidence of this metabolite upon respiratory plasticity. The present study analyzed physiological and behavioral effects of early central administrations of ethanol, acetaldehyde or vehicle. Respiration rates (breaths/min) were registered at post-natal days (PDs) 2 and 4 (post-administration time: 5, 60, or 120 min). At PD5, all pups were placed in a context (plethysmograph) where they had previously experienced the effects of central administrations and breathing patterns were recorded. Following this test, pups were evaluated using and operant conditioning procedure where ethanol or saccharin served as positive reinforcers. Body temperatures were also registered prior to drug administrations as well as at the beginning and the end of each specific evaluation. Across days, breathing responses were high at the beginning of the evaluation session and progressively declined as a function of the passage of time. At PDs 2 and 4, shortly after central administration (5 min), ACD exerted a significant depression upon respiration frequencies. At PD5, non-intoxicated pups with a prior history of ACD central administrations, exhibited a marked increase in respiratory frequencies; a result that probably indicates a conditioned compensatory response. When operant testing procedures were conducted, prior ethanol or ACD central administrations were found to reduce the reinforcing effects of ethanol. This was not the case when saccharin was employed as a reinforcer. As a whole, the results indicate a significant role of central ACD upon respiratory plasticity of the neonate and upon ethanol's reinforcing effects; phenomena that affect the physiological integrity of the

  18. Synapse-associated protein 102/dlgh3 couples the NMDA receptor to specific plasticity pathways and learning strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuthbert, Peter C; Stanford, Lianne E; Coba, Marcelo P; Ainge, James A; Fink, Ann E; Opazo, Patricio; Delgado, Jary Y; Komiyama, Noboru H; O'Dell, Thomas J; Grant, Seth G N

    2007-03-07

    Understanding the mechanisms whereby information encoded within patterns of action potentials is deciphered by neurons is central to cognitive psychology. The multiprotein complexes formed by NMDA receptors linked to synaptic membrane-associated guanylate kinase (MAGUK) proteins including synapse-associated protein 102 (SAP102) and other associated proteins are instrumental in these processes. Although humans with mutations in SAP102 show mental retardation, the physiological and biochemical mechanisms involved are unknown. Using SAP102 knock-out mice, we found specific impairments in synaptic plasticity induced by selective frequencies of stimulation that also required extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling. This was paralleled by inflexibility and impairment in spatial learning. Improvement in spatial learning performance occurred with extra training despite continued use of a suboptimal search strategy, and, in a separate nonspatial task, the mutants again deployed a different strategy. Double-mutant analysis of postsynaptic density-95 and SAP102 mutants indicate overlapping and specific functions of the two MAGUKs. These in vivo data support the model that specific MAGUK proteins couple the NMDA receptor to distinct downstream signaling pathways. This provides a mechanism for discriminating patterns of synaptic activity that lead to long-lasting changes in synaptic strength as well as distinct aspects of cognition in the mammalian nervous system.

  19. Learning and memory in Octopus vulgaris: a case of biological plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarrella, Ilaria; Ponte, Giovanna; Baldascino, Elena; Fiorito, Graziano

    2015-12-01

    Here we concisely summarize major aspects of the learning capabilities of the cephalopod mollusc Octopus vulgaris, a solitary living marine invertebrate. We aim to provide a backdrop against which neurobiology of these animals can be further interpreted and thus soliciting further interest for one of the most advanced members of invertebrate animals.

  20. Spred1 is required for synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E. Denayer (Ellen); T. Ahmed (Tariq); H. Brems (Hilde); G.M. van Woerden (Geeske); N.Z. Borgesius; Z. Callaerts-Vegh (Zsuzsanna); A. Yoshimura (Akihiko); D. Hartmann (Dieter); Y. Elgersma (Ype); R. D'Hooge (Rudi); E. Legius (Eric); D. Balschun (Detlef)

    2008-01-01

    textabstractGermline mutations in SPRED1, a negative regulator of Ras, have been described in a neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-like syndrome (NFLS) that included learning difficulties in some affected individuals. NFLS belongs to the group of phenotypically overlapping neurocardio-facial-cutaneous s

  1. Spring maize yield, soil water use and water use efficiency under plastic film and straw mulches in the Loess Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Wen; Liu, Wenzhao; Xue, Qingwu

    2016-12-01

    To compare the soil water balance, yield and water use efficiency (WUE) of spring maize under different mulching types in the Loess Plateau, a 7-year field experiment was conducted in the Changwu region of the Loess Plateau. Three treatments were used in this experiment: straw mulch (SM), plastic film mulch (PM) and conventional covering without mulch (CK). Results show that the soil water change of dryland spring maize was as deep as 300 cm depth and hence 300 cm is recommended as the minimum depth when measure the soil water in this region. Water use (ET) did not differ significantly among the treatments. However, grain yield was significantly higher in PM compared with CK. WUE was significantly higher in PM than in CK for most years of the experiment. Although ET tended to be higher in PM than in the other treatments (without significance), the evaporation of water in the fallow period also decreased. Thus, PM is sustainable with respect to soil water balance. The 7-year experiment and the supplemental experiment thus confirmed that straw mulching at the seedling stage may lead to yield reduction and this effect can be mitigated by delaying the straw application to three-leaf stage.

  2. [Effect of controlled release fertilizer on nitrous oxide emission from paddy field under plastic film mulching cultivation].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Lü, Shi-Hua; Ma, Jing; Xu, Hua; Yuan, Jiang; Dong, Yu-Jiao

    2014-03-01

    A field experiment was conducted to assess the effect of controlled release fertilizer on N2O emission in paddy field under plastic film mulching cultivation (PM) with water-saving irrigation. Results showed that in the rice growing season, cumulative N2O emissions from the plots applied with urea (PM+U) and with controlled release fertilizer (PM+CRF) were (38.2 +/- 4.4) and (21.5 +/- 5.2) mg N x m(-2), respectively. The N2O emission factors were 0.25% and 0.14% in the treatments PM+U and PM+CRF, respectively. The controlled release fertilizer decreased the total N2O emission by 43.6% compared with urea, of which 49.6% was reduced before the drying period. It also reduced the peak of N2O emission by 52.6%. However, it did not affect soil microbial biomass N and soil NH(4+)-N content at any rice growing stage, and grain yield either. No significant correlation was observed between N2O flux and soil Eh or soil temperature at the depth of 5 cm.

  3. Strain-based plastic instability acceptance criteria for ferritic steel safety class 1 nuclear components under level D service loads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Su Kim

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes strain-based acceptance criteria for assessing plastic instability of the safety class 1 nuclear components made of ferritic steel during level D service loads. The strain-based criteria were proposed with two approaches: (1 a section average approach and (2 a critical location approach. Both approaches were based on the damage initiation point corresponding to the maximum load-carrying capability point instead of the fracture point via tensile tests and finite element analysis (FEA for the notched specimen under uni-axial tensile loading. The two proposed criteria were reviewed from the viewpoint of design practice and philosophy to select a more appropriate criterion. As a result of the review, it was found that the section average approach is more appropriate than the critical location approach from the viewpoint of design practice and philosophy. Finally, the criterion based on the section average approach was applied to a simplified reactor pressure vessel (RPV outlet nozzle subject to SSE loads. The application shows that the strain-based acceptance criteria can consider cumulative damages caused by the sequential loads unlike the stress-based acceptance criteria and can reduce the overconservatism of the stress-based acceptance criteria, which often occurs for level D service loads.

  4. Pathological Plasticity in Fragile X Syndrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon S. Martin

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Deficits in neuronal plasticity are common hallmarks of many neurodevelopmental disorders. In the case of fragile-X syndrome (FXS, disruption in the function of a single gene, FMR1, results in a variety of neurological consequences directly related to problems with the development, maintenance, and capacity of plastic neuronal networks. In this paper, we discuss current research illustrating the mechanisms underlying plasticity deficits in FXS. These processes include synaptic, cell intrinsic, and homeostatic mechanisms both dependent on and independent of abnormal metabotropic glutamate receptor transmission. We place particular emphasis on how identified deficits may play a role in developmental critical periods to produce neuronal networks with permanently decreased capacity to dynamically respond to changes in activity central to learning, memory, and cognition in patients with FXS. Characterizing early developmental deficits in plasticity is fundamental to develop therapies that not only treat symptoms but also minimize the developmental pathology of the disease.

  5. Phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation in leaf ecophysiological traits of 13 contrasting cork oak populations under different water availabilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramírez-Valiente, Jose Alberto; Sánchez-Gómez, David; Aranda, Ismael; Valladares, Fernando

    2010-05-01

    years. Overall, the study supports the adaptive value of SLA and LS for cork oak under a Mediterranean climate and their potentially important role for dealing with varying temperature and rainfall regimes through both local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity.

  6. Elevated temperature is more effective than elevated [CO2 ] in exposing genotypic variation in Telopea speciosissima growth plasticity: implications for woody plant populations under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Guomin; Rymer, Paul D; Duan, Honglang; Smith, Renee A; Tissue, David T

    2015-10-01

    Intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity is a critical determinant of plant species capacity to cope with climate change. A long-standing hypothesis states that greater levels of environmental variability will select for genotypes with greater phenotypic plasticity. However, few studies have examined how genotypes of woody species originating from contrasting environments respond to multiple climate change factors. Here, we investigated the main and interactive effects of elevated [CO2 ] (CE ) and elevated temperature (TE ) on growth and physiology of Coastal (warmer, less variable temperature environment) and Upland (cooler, more variable temperature environment) genotypes of an Australian woody species Telopea speciosissima. Both genotypes were positively responsive to CE (35% and 29% increase in whole-plant dry mass and leaf area, respectively), but only the Coastal genotype exhibited positive growth responses to TE . We found that the Coastal genotype exhibited greater growth response to TE (47% and 85% increase in whole-plant dry mass and leaf area, respectively) when compared with the Upland genotype (no change in dry mass or leaf area). No intraspecific variation in physiological plasticity was detected under CE or TE , and the interactive effects of CE and TE on intraspecific variation in phenotypic plasticity were also largely absent. Overall, TE was a more effective climate factor than CE in exposing genotypic variation in our woody species. Our results contradict the paradigm that genotypes from more variable climates will exhibit greater phenotypic plasticity in future climate regimes.

  7. Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Dendritic Plasticity Support Running-Improved Spatial Learning and Depression-Like Behaviour in Stressed Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Jian-Bin; Wong, Richard; Ching, Yick-Pang; Qiu, Guang; Tang, Siu-Wa; Lee, Tatia M. C.; So, Kwok-Fai

    2011-01-01

    Exercise promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity while stress shows the opposite effects, suggesting a possible mechanism for exercise to counteract stress. Changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic modification occur simultaneously in rats with stress or exercise; however, it is unclear whether neurogenesis or dendritic remodeling has a greater impact on mediating the effect of exercise on stress since they have been separately examined. Here we examined hippocampal cell proliferation in runners treated with different doses (low: 30 mg/kg; moderate: 40 mg/kg; high: 50 mg/kg) of corticosterone (CORT) for 14 days. Water maze task and forced swim tests were applied to assess hippocampal-dependent learning and depression-like behaviour respectively the day after the treatment. Repeated CORT treatment resulted in a graded increase in depression-like behaviour and impaired spatial learning that is associated with decreased hippocampal cell proliferation and BDNF levels. Running reversed these effects in rats treated with low or moderate, but not high doses of CORT. Using 40 mg/kg CORT-treated rats, we further studied the role of neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling in mediating the effects of exercise on stress. Co-labelling with BrdU (thymidine analog) /doublecortin (immature neuronal marker) showed that running increased neuronal differentiation in vehicle- and CORT-treated rats. Running also increased dendritic length and spine density in CA3 pyramidal neurons in 40 mg/kg CORT-treated rats. Ablation of neurogenesis with Ara-c infusion diminished the effect of running on restoring spatial learning and decreasing depression-like behaviour in 40 mg/kg CORT-treated animals in spite of dendritic and spine enhancement. but not normal runners with enhanced dendritic length. The results indicate that both restored hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic remodelling within the hippocampus are essential for running to counteract stress. PMID:21935393

  8. Hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity support running-improved spatial learning and depression-like behaviour in stressed rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suk-Yu Yau

    Full Text Available Exercise promotes hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic plasticity while stress shows the opposite effects, suggesting a possible mechanism for exercise to counteract stress. Changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic modification occur simultaneously in rats with stress or exercise; however, it is unclear whether neurogenesis or dendritic remodeling has a greater impact on mediating the effect of exercise on stress since they have been separately examined. Here we examined hippocampal cell proliferation in runners treated with different doses (low: 30 mg/kg; moderate: 40 mg/kg; high: 50 mg/kg of corticosterone (CORT for 14 days. Water maze task and forced swim tests were applied to assess hippocampal-dependent learning and depression-like behaviour respectively the day after the treatment. Repeated CORT treatment resulted in a graded increase in depression-like behaviour and impaired spatial learning that is associated with decreased hippocampal cell proliferation and BDNF levels. Running reversed these effects in rats treated with low or moderate, but not high doses of CORT. Using 40 mg/kg CORT-treated rats, we further studied the role of neurogenesis and dendritic remodeling in mediating the effects of exercise on stress. Co-labelling with BrdU (thymidine analog /doublecortin (immature neuronal marker showed that running increased neuronal differentiation in vehicle- and CORT-treated rats. Running also increased dendritic length and spine density in CA3 pyramidal neurons in 40 mg/kg CORT-treated rats. Ablation of neurogenesis with Ara-c infusion diminished the effect of running on restoring spatial learning and decreasing depression-like behaviour in 40 mg/kg CORT-treated animals in spite of dendritic and spine enhancement. but not normal runners with enhanced dendritic length. The results indicate that both restored hippocampal neurogenesis and dendritic remodelling within the hippocampus are essential for running to counteract

  9. Limit analysis of viscoplastic thick-walled cylinder and spherical shell under internal pressure using a strain gradient plasticity theory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    Plastic limit load of viscoplastic thick-walled cylinder and spherical shell subjected to internal pressure is investigated analytically using a strain gradient plastic-itv theory. As a result, the current solutions can capture the size effect at the micron scale. Numerical results show that the smaller the inner radius of the cylinder or spherical shell, the more significant the scale effects. Results also show that the size effect is more evident with increasing strain or strain-rate sensitivity index. The classical plastic-based solutions of the same problems are shown to be a special case of the present solution.

  10. Effects of gasket on coupled plastic flow and strain-induced phase transformations under high pressure and large torsion in a rotational diamond anvil cell

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Biao; Levitas, Valery I.

    2016-01-01

    Combined plastic flow and strain-induced phase transformations (PTs) under high pressure in a sample within a gasket subjected to three dimensional compression and torsion in a rotational diamond anvil cell (RDAC) are studied using a finite element approach. The results are obtained for the weaker, equal-strength, and stronger high-pressure phases in comparison with low-pressure phases. It is found that, due to the strong gasket, the pressure in the sample is relatively homogenous and the geometry of the transformed zones is mostly determined by heterogeneity in plastic flow. For the equal-strength phases, the PT rate is higher than for the weaker and stronger high-pressure phases. For the weaker high-pressure phase, transformation softening induces material instability and leads to strain and PT localization. For the stronger high-pressure phase, the PT is suppressed by strain hardening during PT. The effect of the kinetic parameter k that scales the PT rate in the strain-controlled kinetic equation is also examined. In comparison with a traditional diamond anvil cell without torsion, the PT progress is much faster in RDAC under the same maximum pressure in the sample. Finally, the gasket size and strength effects are discussed. For a shorter and weaker gasket, faster plastic flow in radial and thickness directions leads to faster PT kinetics in comparison with a longer and stronger gasket. The rates of PT and plastic flows are not very sensitive to the modest change in a gasket thickness. Multiple experimental results are reproduced and interpreted. Obtained results allow one to design the desired pressure-plastic strain loading program in the experiments for searching new phases, reducing PT pressure by plastic shear, extracting kinetic properties from experiments with heterogeneous fields, and controlling homogeneity of all fields and kinetics of PTs.

  11. The role of plastic changes in the motor cortex and spinal cord for motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    Adaptive changes of the efficacy of neural circuitries at different sites of the central nervous system is the basis of acquisition of new motor skills. Non-invasive human imaging and electrophysiological experiments have demonstrated that the primary motor cortex and spinal cord circuitries...... are key players in the early stages of skill acquisition and consolidation of motor learning. Expansion of the cortical representation of the trained muscles, changes in corticomuscular coupling and changes in stretch reflex activity are thus all markers of neuroplastic changes accompanying early skill...... acquisition. We have shown in recent experiments that sensory feedback from the active muscles play a surprisingly specific role at this stage of learning. Following motor skill training, repeated activation of sensory afferents from the muscle that has been involved in a previous training session, interfered...

  12. Plastic changes in hand proprioception following force-field motor learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goble, Daniel J; Anguera, Joaquin A

    2010-09-01

    Motor neurophysiologists are placing greater emphasis on sensory feedback processing than ever before. In line with this shift, a recent article by Ostry and colleagues provided timely new evidence that force-field motor learning influences not only motor output, but also proprioceptive sense. In this Neuro Forum, the merits and limitations of Ostry and colleagues are explored in the context of recent work on proprioceptive function, including several recent studies from this journal.

  13. Depression-biased reverse plasticity rule is required for stable learning at top-down connections.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kendra S Burbank

    Full Text Available Top-down synapses are ubiquitous throughout neocortex and play a central role in cognition, yet little is known about their development and specificity. During sensory experience, lower neocortical areas are activated before higher ones, causing top-down synapses to experience a preponderance of post-synaptic activity preceding pre-synaptic activity. This timing pattern is the opposite of that experienced by bottom-up synapses, which suggests that different versions of spike-timing dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP rules may be required at top-down synapses. We consider a two-layer neural network model and investigate which STDP rules can lead to a distribution of top-down synaptic weights that is stable, diverse and avoids strong loops. We introduce a temporally reversed rule (rSTDP where top-down synapses are potentiated if post-synaptic activity precedes pre-synaptic activity. Combining analytical work and integrate-and-fire simulations, we show that only depression-biased rSTDP (and not classical STDP produces stable and diverse top-down weights. The conclusions did not change upon addition of homeostatic mechanisms, multiplicative STDP rules or weak external input to the top neurons. Our prediction for rSTDP at top-down synapses, which are distally located, is supported by recent neurophysiological evidence showing the existence of temporally reversed STDP in synapses that are distal to the post-synaptic cell body.

  14. Dynamic Strength and Accumulated Plastic Strain Development Laws and Models of the Remolded Red Clay under Long-Term Cyclic Loads: Laboratory Test Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jian

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The dynamic strength and accumulated plastic strain are two important parameters for evaluating the dynamic response of soil. As a special clay, the remolded red clay is often used as the high speed railway subgrade filling, but studies on its dynamic characteristics are few. For a thorough analysis of the suitability of the remolded red clay as the subgrade filling, a series of long-term cyclic load triaxial test under different load histories are carried out. Considering the influence of compactness, confining pressure, consolidation ratio, vibration frequency and dynamic load to the remolded red clay dynamic property, the tests obtain the development curves of the dynamic strength and accumulated plastic strain under different test conditions. Then, through curve fitting method, two different hyperbolic models respectively for the dynamic strength and accumulated plastic strain are built, which can match the test datum well. By applying the dynamic strength model, the critical dynamic strength of the remolded red clay are gained. Meanwhile, for providing basic datum and reference for relevant projects, all key parameters for the dynamic strength and accumulated plastic strain of the remolded red clay are given in the paper.

  15. Local Feature Learning for Face Recognition under Varying Poses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Duan, Xiaodong; Tan, Zheng-Hua

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present a local feature learning method for face recognition to deal with varying poses. As opposed to the commonly used approaches of recovering frontal face images from profile views, the proposed method extracts the subject related part from a local feature by removing the pose...... related part in it on the basis of a pose feature. The method has a closed-form solution, hence being time efficient. For performance evaluation, cross pose face recognition experiments are conducted on two public face recognition databases FERET and FEI. The proposed method shows a significant...... recognition improvement under varying poses over general local feature approaches and outperforms or is comparable with related state-of-the-art pose invariant face recognition approaches. Copyright ©2015 by IEEE....

  16. Plasticity predicts evolution in a marine alga.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaum, C Elisa; Collins, Sinéad

    2014-10-22

    Under global change, populations have four possible responses: 'migrate, acclimate, adapt or die' (Gienapp et al. 2008 Climate change and evolution: disentangling environmental and genetic response. Mol. Ecol. 17, 167-178. (doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2007.03413.x)). The challenge is to predict how much migration, acclimatization or adaptation populations are capable of. We have previously shown that populations from more variable environments are more plastic (Schaum et al. 2013 Variation in plastic responses of a globally distributed picoplankton species to ocean acidification. Nature 3, 298-230. (doi:10.1038/nclimate1774)), and here we use experimental evolution with a marine microbe to learn that plastic responses predict the extent of adaptation in the face of elevated partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2). Specifically, plastic populations evolve more, and plastic responses in traits other than growth can predict changes in growth in a marine microbe. The relationship between plasticity and evolution is strongest when populations evolve in fluctuating environments, which favour the evolution and maintenance of plasticity. Strikingly, plasticity predicts the extent, but not direction of phenotypic evolution. The plastic response to elevated pCO2 in green algae is to increase cell division rates, but the evolutionary response here is to decrease cell division rates over 400 generations until cells are dividing at the same rate their ancestors did in ambient CO2. Slow-growing cells have higher mitochondrial potential and withstand further environmental change better than faster growing cells. Based on this, we hypothesize that slow growth is adaptive under CO2 enrichment when associated with the production of higher quality daughter cells.

  17. Patterns of phenotypic plasticity in common and rare environments: a study of host use and color learning in the cabbage white butterfly Pieris rapae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snell-Rood, Emilie C; Papaj, Daniel R

    2009-05-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is adaptive in variable environments but, given its costs, may be disfavored if only one environment is commonly encountered. Yet species in relatively constant environments often adjust phenotypes successfully in rare or novel environments. Developmental biases may reduce the costs of plasticity in common environments, favoring the maintenance of plasticity. We explored this proposition by studying the flexibility of visually guided host-selection behavior in cabbage white butterflies (Pieris rapae), wherein common and rare environments consisted of green and red host types, respectively. We demonstrated in greenhouse assays that adult females display an innate bias toward green color during host search but alter that bias through learning in red-host assemblages such that, after several hours of experience, red hosts are located as efficiently as green hosts. Full-sib analyses suggested there was genetic variation in host and color choice that was more pronounced in the red-host environment. We found no evidence of genetic correlations in behavior across host environments or of fitness costs of plasticity in color choice. Our results support the idea that learning may persist in less variable environments through the evolution of innate biases that reduce operating costs in common environments.

  18. Glassy metallic plastics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2010-01-01

    This paper reports a class of bulk metallic glass including Ce-, LaCe-, CaLi-, Yb-, and Sr-based metallic glasses, which are regarded as glassy metallic plastics because they combine some unique properties of both plastics and metallic alloys. These glassy metallic plastics have very low glass transition temperature (Tg~25oC to 150oC) and low Young’s modulus (~20 GPa to 35 GPa). Similar to glassy plastics, these metallic plastics show excellent plastic-like deformability on macro-, micro- and even nano-scale in their supercooled liquid range and can be processed, such as elongated, compressed, bent, and imprinted at low temperatures, in hot water for instance. Under ambient conditions, they display such metallic properties as high thermal and electric conductivities and excellent mechanical properties and other unique properties. The metallic plastics have potential applications and are also a model system for studying issues in glass physics.

  19. Are all hands-on activities equally effective? Effect of using plastic models, organ dissections, and virtual dissections on student learning and perceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Sara A; Hicks, Reimi E; Thompson, Katerina V; Marbach-Ad, Gili

    2014-03-01

    This study investigated the impact of three commonly used cardiovascular model-assisted activities on student learning and student attitudes and perspectives about science. College students enrolled in a Human Anatomy and Physiology course were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups (organ dissections, virtual dissections, or plastic models). Each group received a 15-min lecture followed by a 45-min activity with one of the treatments. Immediately after the lesson and then 2 mo later, students were tested on anatomy and physiology knowledge and completed an attitude survey. Students who used plastic models achieved significantly higher overall scores on both the initial and followup exams than students who performed organ or virtual dissections. On the initial exam, students in the plastic model and organ dissection treatments scored higher on anatomy questions than students who performed virtual dissections. Students in the plastic model group scored higher than students who performed organ dissections on physiology questions. On the followup exam, when asked anatomy questions, students in the plastic model group scored higher than dissection students and virtual dissection students. On attitude surveys, organ dissections had higher perceived value and were requested for inclusion in curricula twice as often as any other activity. Students who performed organ dissections were more likely than the other treatment groups to agree with the statement that "science is fun," suggesting that organ dissections may promote positive attitudes toward science. The findings of this study provide evidence for the importance of multiple types of hands-on activities in anatomy laboratory courses.

  20. Morphological plasticity of root growth under mild water stress increases water use efficiency without reducing yield in maize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Qian; Zhang, Yulong; Sun, Zhanxiang; Zheng, Jiaming; Bai, Wei; Zhang, Yue; Liu, Yang; Feng, Liangshan; Feng, Chen; Zhang, Zhe; Yang, Ning; Evers, Jochem B.; Zhang, Lizhen

    2017-08-01

    A large yield gap exists in rain-fed maize (Zea mays L.) production in semi-arid regions, mainly caused by frequent droughts halfway through the crop-growing period due to uneven distribution of rainfall. It is questionable whether irrigation systems are economically required in such a region since the total amount of rainfall does generally meet crop requirements. This study aimed to quantitatively determine the effects of water stress from jointing to grain filling on root and shoot growth and the consequences for maize grain yield, above- and below-ground dry matter, water uptake (WU) and water use efficiency (WUE). Pot experiments were conducted in 2014 and 2015 with a mobile rain shelter to achieve conditions of no, mild or severe water stress. Maize yield was not affected by mild water stress over 2 years, while severe stress reduced yield by 56 %. Both water stress levels decreased root biomass slightly but shoot biomass substantially. Mild water stress decreased root length but increased root diameter, resulting in no effect on root surface area. Due to the morphological plasticity in root growth and the increase in root / shoot ratio, WU under water stress was decreased, and overall WUE for both above-ground dry matter and grain yield increased. Our results demonstrate that an irrigation system might be not economically and ecologically necessary because the frequently occurring mild water stress did not reduce crop yield much. The study helps us to understand crop responses to water stress during a critical water-sensitive period (middle of the crop-growing season) and to mitigate drought risk in dry-land agriculture.

  1. Field comparison of solar water disinfection (SODIS) efficacy between glass and polyethylene terephalate (PET) plastic bottles under sub-Saharan weather conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asiimwe, J K; Quilty, B; Muyanja, C K; McGuigan, K G

    2013-12-01

    Concerns about photodegradation products leaching from plastic bottle material into water during solar water disinfection (SODIS) are a major psychological barrier to increased uptake of SODIS. In this study, a comparison of SODIS efficacy using glass and plastic polyethylene terephalate (PET) bottles was carried out under strong real sunlight and overcast weather conditions at Makerere University in central Uganda. Both clear and turbid natural water samples from shallow wells and open dug wells, respectively, were used. Efficacy was determined from the inactivation of a wild strain of Escherichia coli in solar-exposed contaminated water in both glass and PET bottles. The studies reveal no significant difference in SODIS inactivation between glass and PET bottles (95% CI, p > 0.05), for all water samples under the different weather conditions except for clear water under overcast conditions where there was a small but significant difference (95% CI, p = 0.047) with less viable bacterial counts in PET bottles at two intermediate time points but not at the end of the exposure. The results demonstrate that SODIS efficacy in glass under tropical field conditions is comparable to PET plastic. SODIS users in these regions can choose either of reactors depending on availability and preference of the user.

  2. Learning outdoors: male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Daniel W A; Carazo, Pau; Whiting, Martin J

    2012-12-23

    Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures under similar conditions to those experienced by lizards in the wild. To evaluate the flexibility of spatial learning, we conducted a reversal spatial-learning task in which positive and negative reinforcements of learnt spatial stimuli were switched. Nineteen (32%) male lizards learnt both tasks within 10 days (spatial task mean: 8.16 ± 0.69 (s.e.) and reversal spatial task mean: 10.74 ± 0.98 (s.e.) trials). We demonstrate that E. quoyii are capable of flexible spatial learning and suggest that future studies focus on a range of lizard species which differ in phylogeny and/or ecology, using biologically relevant cognitive tasks, in an effort to bridge the cognitive divide between ecto- and endotherms.

  3. The role of plastic changes in the motor cortex and spinal cord for motor learning

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

    2010-01-01

    acquisition. We have shown in recent experiments that sensory feedback from the active muscles play a surprisingly specific role at this stage of learning. Following motor skill training, repeated activation of sensory afferents from the muscle that has been involved in a previous training session, interfered...... the consolidation of increased performance of a different previously trained task involving the same movement direction and muscle group, whereas training of other muscles had no effect. This emphasizes the role of specific sensory error signals in the acquisition of new motor skills and illustrates the functional......Adaptive changes of the efficacy of neural circuitries at different sites of the central nervous system is the basis of acquisition of new motor skills. Non-invasive human imaging and electrophysiological experiments have demonstrated that the primary motor cortex and spinal cord circuitries...

  4. Learning rules and persistence of dendritic spines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasai, Haruo; Hayama, Tatsuya; Ishikawa, Motoko; Watanabe, Satoshi; Yagishita, Sho; Noguchi, Jun

    2010-07-01

    Structural plasticity of dendritic spines underlies learning, memory and cognition in the cerebral cortex. We here summarize fifteen rules of spine structural plasticity, or 'spine learning rules.' Together, they suggest how the spontaneous generation, selection and strengthening (SGSS) of spines represents the physical basis for learning and memory. This SGSS mechanism is consistent with Hebb's learning rule but suggests new relations between synaptic plasticity and memory. We describe the cellular and molecular bases of the spine learning rules, such as the persistence of spine structures and the fundamental role of actin, which polymerizes to form a 'memory gel' required for the selection and strengthening of spine synapses. We also discuss the possible link between transcriptional and translational regulation of structural plasticity. The SGSS mechanism and spine learning rules elucidate the integral nature of synaptic plasticity in neuronal network operations within the actual brain tissue.

  5. Relationship among phenotypic plasticity, phenotypic fluctuations, robustness, and evolvability; Waddington's legacy revisited under the spirit of Einstein

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Kunihiko Kaneko

    2009-10-01

    Questions on possible relationship between phenotypic plasticity and evolvability, and that between robustness and evolution have been addressed over decades in the field of evolution-development. Based on laboratory evolution experiments and numerical simulations of gene expression dynamics model with an evolving transcription network, we propose quantitative relationships on plasticity, phenotypic fluctuations, and evolvability. By introducing an evolutionary stability assumption on the distribution of phenotype and genotype, the proportionality among phenotypic plasticity against environmental change, variances of phenotype fluctuations of genetic and developmental origins, and evolution speed is obtained. The correlation between developmental robustness to noise and evolutionary robustness to mutation is analysed by simulations of the gene network model. These results provide quantitative formulation on canalization and genetic assimilation, in terms of fluctuations of gene expression levels.

  6. Interaction of heat production, strain rate and stress power in a plastically deforming body under tensile test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paglietti, A.

    1982-01-01

    At high strain rates the heat produced by plastic deformation can give rise to a rate dependent response even if the material has rate independent constitutive equations. This effect has to be evaluated when interpreting a material test, or else it could erroneously be ascribed to viscosity. A general thermodynamic theory of tensile testing of elastic-plastic materials is given in this paper; it is valid for large strain at finite strain rates. It enables discovery of the parameters governing the thermodynamic strain rate effect, provides a method for proper interpretation of the results of the tests of dynamic plasticity, and suggests a way of planning experiments in order to detect the real contribution of viscosity.

  7. Interaction of heat production, strain rate and stress power in a plastically deforming body under tensile test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paglietti, A.

    1982-01-01

    At high strain rates the heat produced by plastic deformation can give rise to a rate dependent response even if the material has rate independent constitutive equations. This effect has to be evaluated when interpreting a material test, or else it could erroneously be ascribed to viscosity. A general thermodynamic theory of tensile testing of elastic-plastic materials is given in this paper; it is valid for large strain at finite strain rates. It enables discovery of the parameters governing the thermodynamic strain rate effect, provides a method for proper interpretation of the results of the tests of dynamic plasticity, and suggests a way of planning experiments in order to detect the real contribution of viscosity.

  8. Motor learning in animal models of Parkinson's disease: Aberrant synaptic plasticity in the motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Tonghui; Wang, Shaofang; Lalchandani, Rupa R; Ding, Jun B

    2017-04-01

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), dopamine depletion causes major changes in the brain, resulting in the typical cardinal motor features of the disease. PD neuropathology has been restricted to postmortem examinations, which are limited to only a single time of PD progression. Models of PD in which dopamine tone in the brain is chemically or physically disrupted are valuable tools in understanding the mechanisms of the disease. The basal ganglia have been well studied in the context of PD, and circuit changes in response to dopamine loss have been linked to the motor dysfunctions in PD. However, the etiology of the cognitive dysfunctions that are comorbid in PD patients has remained unclear until now. In this article, we review recent studies exploring how dopamine depletion affects the motor cortex at the synaptic level. In particular, we highlight our recent findings on abnormal spine dynamics in the motor cortex of PD mouse models through in vivo time-lapse imaging and motor skill behavior assays. In combination with previous studies, a role of the motor cortex in skill learning and the impairment of this ability with the loss of dopamine are becoming more apparent. Taken together, we conclude with a discussion on the potential role for the motor cortex in PD, with the possibility of targeting the motor cortex for future PD therapeutics. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2017 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  9. Plasticity theory

    CERN Document Server

    Lubliner, Jacob

    2008-01-01

    The aim of Plasticity Theory is to provide a comprehensive introduction to the contemporary state of knowledge in basic plasticity theory and to its applications. It treats several areas not commonly found between the covers of a single book: the physics of plasticity, constitutive theory, dynamic plasticity, large-deformation plasticity, and numerical methods, in addition to a representative survey of problems treated by classical methods, such as elastic-plastic problems, plane plastic flow, and limit analysis; the problem discussed come from areas of interest to mechanical, structural, and

  10. Activity-Dependent NPAS4 Expression and the Regulation of Gene Programs Underlying Plasticity in the Central Nervous System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Fernando Maya-Vetencourt

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The capability of the brain to change functionally in response to sensory experience is most active during early stages of development but it decreases later in life when major alterations of neuronal network structures no longer take place in response to experience. This view has been recently challenged by experimental strategies based on the enhancement of environmental stimulation levels, genetic manipulations, and pharmacological treatments, which all have demonstrated that the adult brain retains a degree of plasticity that allows for a rewiring of neuronal circuitries over the entire life course. A hot spot in the field of neuronal plasticity centres on gene programs that underlie plastic phenomena in adulthood. Here, I discuss the role of the recently discovered neuronal-specific and activity-dependent transcription factor NPAS4 as a critical mediator of plasticity in the nervous system. A better understanding of how modifications in the connectivity of neuronal networks occur may shed light on the treatment of pathological conditions such as brain damage or disease in adult life, some of which were once considered untreatable.

  11. Activity-Dependent NPAS4 Expression and the Regulation of Gene Programs Underlying Plasticity in the Central Nervous System

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    The capability of the brain to change functionally in response to sensory experience is most active during early stages of development but it decreases later in life when major alterations of neuronal network structures no longer take place in response to experience. This view has been recently challenged by experimental strategies based on the enhancement of environmental stimulation levels, genetic manipulations, and pharmacological treatments, which all have demonstrated that the adult brain retains a degree of plasticity that allows for a rewiring of neuronal circuitries over the entire life course. A hot spot in the field of neuronal plasticity centres on gene programs that underlie plastic phenomena in adulthood. Here, I discuss the role of the recently discovered neuronal-specific and activity-dependent transcription factor NPAS4 as a critical mediator of plasticity in the nervous system. A better understanding of how modifications in the connectivity of neuronal networks occur may shed light on the treatment of pathological conditions such as brain damage or disease in adult life, some of which were once considered untreatable. PMID:24024041

  12. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.

    2015-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity functions play a crucial role in the transmission of neural signals in the brain. Short-term plasticity is required for the transmission, encoding, and filtering of the neural signal, whereas long-term plasticity establishes more permanent changes in neural microcircuitry and thus underlies memory and learning. The realization of bioinspired circuits that can actually mimic signal processing in the brain demands the reproduction of both short- and long-term aspects of synaptic plasticity in a single device. Here, we demonstrate the implementation of neuromorphic functions similar to biological memory, such as short- to long-term memory transition, in non-volatile organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Depending on the training of the OECT, the device displays either short- or long-term plasticity, therefore, exhibiting non von Neumann characteristics with merged processing and storing functionalities. These results are a first step towards the implementation of organic-based neuromorphic circuits.

  13. NMDA受体与听觉发育可塑性及学习记忆研究的进展%Development of study on NMDA receptor with auditory plasticity and learning memory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李建红; 王淑玉; 李晓明

    2012-01-01

    Neural plasticity is one of the most important research area of developmental neurobiology. NM-DA(N-Methyl-D-aspartale) receptor is one of the glulamate receptors in nervous system, which palys an important role in many biological and pathological changes, such as development of neural network, neural plasticity, learning and memory, degeneration of the neurons and so on. The studies on NMDA receptor with auditory plasticity and learning and memory were reviewed in order to make early intervention for hearing impaired children and provide a theoretical basis.

  14. Role of the plasticity-associated transcription factor zif268 in the early phase of instrumental learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthieu Maroteaux

    Full Text Available Gene transcription is essential for learning, but the precise role of transcription factors that control expression of many other genes in specific learning paradigms is yet poorly understood. Zif268 (Krox24/Egr-1 is a transcription factor and an immediate-early gene associated with memory consolidation and reconsolidation, and induced in the striatum after addictive drugs exposure. In contrast, very little is known about its physiological role at early stages of operant learning. We investigated the role of Zif268 in operant conditioning for food. Zif268 expression was increased in all regions of the dorsal striatum and nucleus accumbens in mice subjected to the first session of operant conditioning. In contrast, Zif268 increase in the dorsomedial caudate-putamen and nucleus accumbens core was not detected in yoked mice passively receiving the food reward. This indicates that Zif268 induction in these structures is linked to experiencing or learning contingency, but not to reward delivery. When the task was learned (5 sessions, Zif268 induction disappeared in the nucleus accumbens and decreased in the medial caudate-putamen, whereas it remained high in the lateral caudate-putamen, previously implicated in habit formation. In transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP in the striatonigral neurons, Zif268 induction occured after the first training session in both GFP-positive and negative neurons indicating an enhanced Zif268 expression in both striatonigral and striatopallidal neurons. Mutant mice lacking Zif268 expression obtained less rewards, but displayed a normal discrimination between reinforced and non-reinforced targets, and an unaltered approach to food delivery box. In addition, their motivation to obtain food rewards, evaluated in a progressive ratio schedule, was blunted. In conclusion, Zif268 participates in the processes underlying performance and motivation to execute food-conditioned instrumental task.

  15. Post-learning molecular reactivation underlies taste memory consolidation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kioko eGuzman-Ramos

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available It is considered that memory consolidation is a progressive process that requires post-trial stabilization of the information. In this regard, it has been speculated that waves of receptors activation, expression of immediate early genes and replenishment of receptor subunit pools occur to induce functional or morphological changes to maintain the information for longer periods. In this paper, we will review data related to neuronal changes in the post-acquisition stage of taste aversion learning that could be involved in further stabilization of the memory trace. In order to achieve such stabilization, evidence suggests that the functional integrity of the insular cortex (IC and the amygdala (AMY is required. Particularly the increase of extracellular levels of glutamate and activation of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptors within the IC shows a main role in the consolidation process. Additionally the modulatory actions of the dopaminergic system in the IC appear to be involved in the mechanisms that lead to taste aversion memory consolidation through the activation of pathways related to enhancement of protein synthesis such as the Protein Kinase A pathway. In summary, we suggest that post-acquisition molecular and neuronal changes underlying memory consolidation are dependent on the interactions between the AMY and the IC.

  16. Microstructural and superficial modification in a Cu-Al-Be shape memory alloy due to superficial severe plastic deformation under sliding wear conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, C. G.; Garcia-Castillo, F. N.; Jacobo, V. H.; Cortés-Pérez, J.; Schouwenaars, R.

    2017-05-01

    Stress induced martensitic transformation in copper-based shape memory alloys has been studied mainly in monocrystals. This limits the use of such results for practical applications as most engineering applications use polycristals. In the present work, a coaxial tribometer developed by the authors was used to characterise the tribological behaviour of polycrystalline Cu-11.5%Al-0.5%Be shape memory alloy in contact with AISI 9840 steel under sliding wear conditions. The surface and microstructure characterization of the worn material was conducted by conventional scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, while the mechanical properties along the transversal section were measured by means of micro-hardness testing. The tribological behaviour of Cu-Al-Be showed to be optimal under sliding wear conditions since the surface only presented a slight damage consisting in some elongated flakes produced by strong plastic deformation. The combination of the plastically modified surface and the effects of mechanically induced martensitic transformation is well-suited for sliding wear conditions since the modified surface provides the necessary strength to avoid superficial damage while superelasticity associated to martensitic transformation is an additional mechanism which allows absorbing mechanical energy associated to wear phenomena as opposed to conventional ductile alloys where severe plastic deformation affects several tens of micrometres below the surface.

  17. Synaptic Plasticity and Learning Behaviors Mimicked in Single Inorganic Synapses of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN Memristive System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Lai-Guo; Zhang, Wei; Chen, Yan; Cao, Yan-Qiang; Li, Ai-Dong; Wu, Di

    2017-01-01

    In this work, a kind of new memristor with the simple structure of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN was fabricated completely via combination of thermal-atomic layer deposition (TALD) and plasma-enhanced ALD (PEALD). The synaptic plasticity and learning behaviors of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN memristive system have been investigated deeply. Multilevel resistance states are obtained by varying the programming voltage amplitudes during the pulse cycling. The device conductance can be continuously increased or decreased from cycle to cycle with better endurance characteristics up to about 3 × 103 cycles. Several essential synaptic functions are simultaneously achieved in such a single double-layer of HfOx/ZnOx device, including nonlinear transmission properties, such as long-term plasticity (LTP), short-term plasticity (STP), and spike-timing-dependent plasticity. The transformation from STP to LTP induced by repetitive pulse stimulation is confirmed in Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN memristive device. Above all, simple structure of Pt/HfOx/ZnOx/TiN by ALD technique is a kind of promising memristor device for applications in artificial neural network.

  18. Nonconvergence to Saddle Boundary Points under Perturbed Reinforcement Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-07

    This paper presents a novel reinforcement learning algorithm and provides conditions for global convergence to Nash equilibria. For several classes...of reinforcement learning schemes, including the ones proposed here, excluding convergence to action profiles which are not Nash equilibria may not be...perturbed reinforcement learning scheme where the strategy of each agent is perturbed by a strategy-dependent perturbation (or mutations) function

  19. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Yu-feng; Jackson, Michael F; Macdonald, John F

    2013-11-01

    The intricate and complex interaction between different populations of neurons in the brain has imposed limits on our ability to gain detailed understanding of synaptic transmission and its integration when employing classical electrophysiological approaches. Indeed, electrical field stimulation delivered via traditional microelectrodes does not permit the targeted, precise and selective control of neuronal activity amongst a varied population of neurons and their inputs (eg, cholinergic, dopaminergic or glutamatergic neurons). Recently established optogenetic techniques overcome these limitations allowing precise control of the target neuron populations, which is essential for the elucidation of the neural substrates underlying complex animal behaviors. Indeed, by introducing light-activated channels (ie, microbial opsin genes) into specific neuronal populations, optogenetics enables non-invasive optical control of specific neurons with milliseconds precision. These approaches can readily be applied to freely behaving live animals. Recently there is increased interests in utilizing optogenetics tools to understand synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Here, we summarize recent progress in applying optogenetics in in the study of synaptic plasticity.

  20. Longitudinal investigation on learned helplessness tested under negative and positive reinforcement involving stimulus control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveira, Emileane C; Hunziker, Maria Helena

    2014-07-01

    In this study, we investigated whether (a) animals demonstrating the learned helplessness effect during an escape contingency also show learning deficits under positive reinforcement contingencies involving stimulus control and (b) the exposure to positive reinforcement contingencies eliminates the learned helplessness effect under an escape contingency. Rats were initially exposed to controllable (C), uncontrollable (U) or no (N) shocks. After 24h, they were exposed to 60 escapable shocks delivered in a shuttlebox. In the following phase, we selected from each group the four subjects that presented the most typical group pattern: no escape learning (learned helplessness effect) in Group U and escape learning in Groups C and N. All subjects were then exposed to two phases, the (1) positive reinforcement for lever pressing under a multiple FR/Extinction schedule and (2) a re-test under negative reinforcement (escape). A fourth group (n=4) was exposed only to the positive reinforcement sessions. All subjects showed discrimination learning under multiple schedule. In the escape re-test, the learned helplessness effect was maintained for three of the animals in Group U. These results suggest that the learned helplessness effect did not extend to discriminative behavior that is positively reinforced and that the learned helplessness effect did not revert for most subjects after exposure to positive reinforcement. We discuss some theoretical implications as related to learned helplessness as an effect restricted to aversive contingencies and to the absence of reversion after positive reinforcement. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: insert SI title.

  1. COOPERATIVE LEARNING AND TEACHING OF GEOGRAPHY UNDER THE EHEA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana María Luque Gil

    Full Text Available The university is in the process of change by the new society of knowledge that emerged with globalization. The working methods of teachers must adapt to new needs of the European Higher Education Area. The article has the following objectives clarify what is cooperative learning, present the advantages and disadvantages of cooperative learning, learn the main techniques and present the results of an innovative educational project which has experimented with these techniques in two courses geography; methodology values the opinion of students and teachers on cooperative learning. The results are clarifying and highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of these techniques.

  2. a Heterosynaptic Learning Rule for Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmert-Streib, Frank

    In this article we introduce a novel stochastic Hebb-like learning rule for neural networks that is neurobiologically motivated. This learning rule combines features of unsupervised (Hebbian) and supervised (reinforcement) learning and is stochastic with respect to the selection of the time points when a synapse is modified. Moreover, the learning rule does not only affect the synapse between pre- and postsynaptic neuron, which is called homosynaptic plasticity, but effects also further remote synapses of the pre- and postsynaptic neuron. This more complex form of synaptic plasticity has recently come under investigations in neurobiology and is called heterosynaptic plasticity. We demonstrate that this learning rule is useful in training neural networks by learning parity functions including the exclusive-or (XOR) mapping in a multilayer feed-forward network. We find, that our stochastic learning rule works well, even in the presence of noise. Importantly, the mean learning time increases with the number of patterns to be learned polynomially, indicating efficient learning.

  3. Adaptation of short-term plasticity parameters via error-driven learning may explain the correlation between activity-dependent synaptic properties, connectivity motifs and target specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Umberto; Giugliano, Michele; Vasilaki, Eleni

    2014-01-01

    The anatomical connectivity among neurons has been experimentally found to be largely non-random across brain areas. This means that certain connectivity motifs occur at a higher frequency than would be expected by chance. Of particular interest, short-term synaptic plasticity properties were found to colocalize with specific motifs: an over-expression of bidirectional motifs has been found in neuronal pairs where short-term facilitation dominates synaptic transmission among the neurons, whereas an over-expression of unidirectional motifs has been observed in neuronal pairs where short-term depression dominates. In previous work we found that, given a network with fixed short-term properties, the interaction between short- and long-term plasticity of synaptic transmission is sufficient for the emergence of specific motifs. Here, we introduce an error-driven learning mechanism for short-term plasticity that may explain how such observed correspondences develop from randomly initialized dynamic synapses. By allowing synapses to change their properties, neurons are able to adapt their own activity depending on an error signal. This results in more rich dynamics and also, provided that the learning mechanism is target-specific, leads to specialized groups of synapses projecting onto functionally different targets, qualitatively replicating the experimental results of Wang and collaborators.

  4. Heightened reward learning under stress in generalized anxiety disorder: a predictor of depression resistance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Bethany H; Rottenberg, Jonathan

    2015-02-01

    Stress-induced anhedonia is associated with depression vulnerability (Bogdan & Pizzagalli, 2006). We investigated stress-induced deficits in reward learning in a depression-vulnerable group with analogue generalized anxiety disorder (GAD, n = 34), and never-depressed healthy controls (n = 41). Utilizing a computerized signal detection task, reward learning was assessed under stressor and neutral conditions. Controls displayed intact reward learning in the neutral condition, and the expected stress-induced blunting. The GAD group as a whole also showed intact reward learning in the neutral condition. When GAD subjects were analyzed as a function of prior depression history, never-depressed GAD subjects showed heightened reward learning in the stressor condition. Better reward learning under stress among GAD subjects predicted lower depression symptoms 1 month later. Robust reward learning under stress may indicate depression resistance among anxious individuals.

  5. Biohydrogen production from glucose in upflow biofilm reactors with plastic carriers under extreme thermophilic conditions (70(degree)C)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zheng, H.; Zeng, Raymond Jianxiong; Angelidaki, Irini

    2008-01-01

    Biohydrogen could efficiently be produced in glucose-fed biofilm reactors filled with plastic carriers and operated at 70°C. Batch experiments were, in addition, conducted to enrich and cultivate glucose-fed extremethermophilic hydrogen producing microorganisms from a biohydrogen CSTR reactor fed...... with household solid waste. Kinetic analysis of the biohydrogen enrichment cultures show that substrate (glucose) likely inhibited hydrogen production when its concentration was higher than 1 g/L. Different start up strategies were applied for biohydrogen production in biofilm reactors operated at 70°C, and fed...... with synthetic medium with glucose as the only carbon and energy source. A biofilm reactor, started up with plastic carriers, that were previously inoculated with the enrichment cultures, resulted in higher hydrogen yield (2.21 mol H2/mol glucose consumed) but required longer start up time (1 month), while...

  6. Mechanisms of translation control underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity and the consolidation of long-term memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santini, Emanuela; Huynh, Thu N; Klann, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The complexity of memory formation and its persistence is a phenomenon that has been studied intensely for centuries. Memory exists in many forms and is stored in various brain regions. Generally speaking, memories are reorganized into broadly distributed cortical networks over time through systems level consolidation. At the cellular level, storage of information is believed to initially occur via altered synaptic strength by processes such as long-term potentiation. New protein synthesis is required for long-lasting synaptic plasticity as well as for the formation of long-term memory. The mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a critical regulator of cap-dependent protein synthesis and is required for numerous forms of long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. As such, the study of mTORC1 and protein factors that control translation initiation and elongation has enhanced our understanding of how the process of protein synthesis is regulated during memory formation. Herein we discuss the molecular mechanisms that regulate protein synthesis as well as pharmacological and genetic manipulations that demonstrate the requirement for proper translational control in long-lasting synaptic plasticity and long-term memory formation. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Perceptual and motor learning underlies human stick-balancing skill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kwee-Yum; O'Dwyer, Nicholas; Halaki, Mark; Smith, Richard

    2015-01-01

    We investigated the acquisition of skill in balancing a stick (52 cm, 34 g) on the fingertip in nine participants using three-dimensional motion analysis. After 3.5 h of practice over 6 wk, the participants could more consistently balance the stick for longer durations with greatly reduced magnitude and speed of stick and finger movements. Irrespective of level of skill, the balanced stick behaved like a normal noninverted pendulum oscillating under greater-than-gravity torque with simple harmonic motion about a virtual pivot located at the radius of gyration above the center of mass. The control input parameter was the magnitude ratio between the torque applied on the stick by the participant and the torque due to gravity. The participants utilized only a narrow range of this parameter, which did not change with practice, to rotate the stick like a linear mass-spring system. With increased skill, the stick therefore maintained the same period of oscillation but showed marked reductions in magnitude of both oscillation and horizontal translation. Better balancing was associated with 1) more accurate visual localization of the stick and proprioceptive localization of the finger and 2) reduced cross-coupling errors between finger and stick movements in orthogonal directions; i.e., finger movements in the anteroposterior plane became less coupled with stick tip movements in the mediolateral plane, and vice versa. Development of this fine motor skill therefore depended on perceptual and motor learning to provide improved estimation of sensorimotor state and precision of motor commands to an unchanging internal model of the rotational dynamics.

  8. B-learning under examination: Advantages, disadvantages, and opinions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Bemposta Rosende

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, learning management systems (LMS have become very popular in almost all traditional universities, generating a new learning strategy approach, mixing elements from both traditional and online learning: the blended learning or b-learning. How these new environments influence teaching activities and learning processes are the main topic of this paper.  References about this subject are also analyzed, enriching them with the expertise and opinion of authors and other teachers. Finally, the students’ point of view is presented, through the results of a survey of Polytechnic School students at Universidad Europea de Madrid. ------ El b-learning a examen: Ventajas, desventajas y opiniones Resumen Desde hace ya varios años, han proliferado los espacios virtuales de enseñanza en la práctica totalidad de centros universitarios de enseñanza presencial, dando origen a una nueva modalidad de enseñanza que recoge elementos de la enseñanza presencial y de la enseñanza en línea: el blended learning o b-learning. La posible influencia de estos espacios en la actividad docente y en el proceso de aprendizaje es el objeto de este artículo. Se analizan referencias sobre el tema, enriqueciéndolas con la opinión y experiencia de los autores y su entorno laboral concreto. Finalmente, se presenta la opinión de los alumnos a través de los resultados de una encuesta realizada a un grupo de estudiantes de la Escuela Politécnica de la Universidad Europea de Madrid. DOI: 10.18870/hlrc.v1i1.36 PDF document contains both the original in Spanish and an English translation.

  9. Corticosterone alters AMPAR mobility and facilitates bidirectional synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martin, S.; Henley, J.M.; Holman, D.; Zhou, M.; Wiegert, O.; van Spronsen, M.; Joëls, M.; Hoogenraad, C.C.; Krugers, H.J.

    2009-01-01

    Background: The stress hormone corticosterone has the ability both to enhance and suppress synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes. However, until today there is very little known about the molecular mechanism that underlies the bidirectional effects of stress and corticosteroid hormon

  10. Corticosterone alters AMPAR mobility and facilitates bidirectional synaptic plasticity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    S. Martin (Stéphane); J.M. Henley (Jeremy); D. Holman (David); M. Zhou (Ming); O. Wiegert (Olof); M. van Spronsena (Myrrhe); M. Joëls (Marian); C.C. Hoogenraad (Casper); H.J. Krugers (Harmen)

    2009-01-01

    textabstractBackground: The stress hormone corticosterone has the ability both to enhance and suppress synaptic plasticity and learning and memory processes. However, until today there is very little known about the molecular mechanism that underlies the bidirectional effects of stress and corticost

  11. Plastic Jellyfish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moseley, Christine

    2000-01-01

    Presents an environmental science activity designed to enhance students' awareness of the hazards of plastic waste for wildlife in aquatic environments. Discusses how students can take steps to reduce the effects of plastic waste. (WRM)

  12. Bifurcation routes to volatility clustering under evolutionary learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaunersdorfer, A.; Hommes, C.H.; Wagener, F.O.O.

    2008-01-01

    A simple asset pricing model with two types of boundedly rational traders, fundamentalists and chartists, is studied. Fractions of trader types change over time according to evolutionary learning, with chartists conditioning their forecasting rule upon deviations from a benchmark fundamental.

  13. Human operant learning under concurrent reinforcement of response variability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maes, J.H.R.; Goot, M.H. van der

    2006-01-01

    This study asked whether the concurrent reinforcement of behavioral variability facilitates learning to emit a difficult target response. Sixty students repeatedly pressed sequences of keys, with an originally infrequently occurring target sequence consistently being followed by positive feedback. T

  14. Mechanisms underlying REBT in mood disordered patients: predicting depression from the hybrid model of learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Chris J; Izadikah, Zahra; Oei, Tian P S

    2012-06-01

    Jackson's (2005, 2008a) hybrid model of learning identifies a number of learning mechanisms that lead to the emergence and maintenance of the balance between rationality and irrationality. We test a general hypothesis that Jackson's model will predict depressive symptoms, such that poor learning is related to depression. We draw comparisons between Jackson's model and Ellis' (2004) Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and Theory (REBT) and thereby provide a set of testable learning mechanisms potentially underlying REBT. Results from 80 patients diagnosed with depression completed the learning styles profiler (LSP; Jackson, 2005) and two measures of depression. Results provide support for the proposed model of learning and further evidence that low rationality is a key predictor of depression. We conclude that the hybrid model of learning has the potential to explain some of the learning and cognitive processes related to the development and maintenance of irrational beliefs and depression. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Biohydrogen production from glucose in upflow biofilm reactors with plastic carriers under extreme thermophilic conditions (70 degrees C).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hang; Zeng, Raymond J; Angelidaki, Irini

    2008-08-01

    Biohydrogen could efficiently be produced in glucose-fed biofilm reactors filled with plastic carriers and operated at 70 degrees C. Batch experiments were, in addition, conducted to enrich and cultivate glucose-fed extreme-thermophilic hydrogen producing microorganisms from a biohydrogen CSTR reactor fed with household solid waste. Kinetic analysis of the biohydrogen enrichment cultures show that substrate (glucose) likely inhibited hydrogen production when its concentration was higher than 1 g/L. Different start up strategies were applied for biohydrogen production in biofilm reactors operated at 70 degrees C, and fed with synthetic medium with glucose as the only carbon and energy source. A biofilm reactor, started up with plastic carriers, that were previously inoculated with the enrichment cultures, resulted in higher hydrogen yield (2.21 mol H(2)/mol glucose consumed) but required longer start up time (1 month), while a biofilm reactor directly inoculated with the enrichment cultures reached stable state much faster (8 days) but with very low hydrogen yield (0.69 mol H(2)/mol glucose consumed). These results indicate that hydraulic pressure is necessary for successful immobilization of bacteria on carriers, while there is the risk of washing out specific high yielding bacteria.

  16. Stochastic synaptic plasticity with memristor crossbar arrays

    KAUST Repository

    Naous, Rawan

    2016-11-01

    Memristive devices have been shown to exhibit slow and stochastic resistive switching behavior under low-voltage, low-current operating conditions. Here we explore such mechanisms to emulate stochastic plasticity in memristor crossbar synapse arrays. Interfaced with integrate-and-fire spiking neurons, the memristive synapse arrays are capable of implementing stochastic forms of spike-timing dependent plasticity which parallel mean-rate models of stochastic learning with binary synapses. We present theory and experiments with spike-based stochastic learning in memristor crossbar arrays, including simplified modeling as well as detailed physical simulation of memristor stochastic resistive switching characteristics due to voltage and current induced filament formation and collapse. © 2016 IEEE.

  17. Cortical plasticity and rehabilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moucha, Raluca; Kilgard, Michael P

    2006-01-01

    The brain is constantly adapting to environmental and endogenous changes (including injury) that occur at every stage of life. The mechanisms that regulate neural plasticity have been refined over millions of years. Motivation and sensory experience directly shape the rewiring that makes learning and neurological recovery possible. Guiding neural reorganization in a manner that facilitates recovery of function is a primary goal of neurological rehabilitation. As the rules that govern neural plasticity become better understood, it will be possible to manipulate the sensory and motor experience of patients to induce specific forms of plasticity. This review summarizes our current knowledge regarding factors that regulate cortical plasticity, illustrates specific forms of reorganization induced by control of each factor, and suggests how to exploit these factors for clinical benefit.

  18. Towards an intelligent learning management system under blended learning trends, profiles and modeling perspectives

    CERN Document Server

    Dias, Sofia B; Hadjileontiadis, Leontios J

    2013-01-01

    This book offers useful information that evokes initiatives towards rethinking of the value, efficiency, inclusiveness, effectiveness and personalization of the intelligent learning management systems-based blended-learning environment.

  19. Consciousness and neural plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    In contemporary consciousness studies the phenomenon of neural plasticity has received little attention despite the fact that neural plasticity is of still increased interest in neuroscience. We will, however, argue that neural plasticity could be of great importance to consciousness studies....... If consciousness is related to neural processes it seems, at least prima facie, that the ability of the neural structures to change should be reflected in a theory of this relationship "Neural plasticity" refers to the fact that the brain can change due to its own activity. The brain is not static but rather...... the relation between consciousness and brain functions. If consciousness is connected to specific brain structures (as a function or in identity) what happens to consciousness when those specific underlying structures change? It is therefore possible that the understanding and theories of neural plasticity can...

  20. Potencial produtivo de videiras cultivadas sob cobertura de plástico Yield potential of grapevine cultivated under plastic cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo Chavarria

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available O objetivo deste trabalho foi avaliar a influência do uso de cobertura de plástico sobre os componentes do rendimento da videira (Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Moscato Giallo. O experimento foi realizado nas safras 2005/2006 e 2006/2007, em Flores da Cunha, RS, em duas áreas de vinhedo, uma com cobertura de plástico impermeável e outra sem cobertura (controle. O microclima foi avaliado quanto à temperatura e umidade relativa do ar, radiação fotossinteticamente ativa e velocidade do vento próximo ao dossel vegetativo e a os cachos. A avaliação dos componentes de rendimento ocorreu em delineamento experimental inteiramente ao acaso, e foram identificadas dez plantas marcadas aleatoriamente em cada área. Avaliaram-se a produção por planta e por hectare, o número de cachos por planta e por metro quadrado, o número de sarmentos por metro quadrado, a massa e comprimento de cacho, a massa de engaço, o número de bagas por cacho, o diâmetro transversal de bagas e a relação entre massa de película e massa de polpa. Acobertura de plástico possibilita aumento na produtividade, não afeta a relação entre massa de casca e massa de polpa das bagas e favorece a estabilidade de produção, independentemente das condições meteorológicas no ciclo.The objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of plastic cover on the yield components of grapevine (Vitis vinifera L. cultivar Moscato Giallo. The experiment was carried out in 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 crop seasons, in Flores da Cunha, RS, Brazil, in two vineyard areas, one covered with an impermeable plastic film and other without covering (control. The microclimate was evaluated in terms of air temperature, air relative humidity, photosynthetically active radiation and wind speed above canopy and close to clusters. The yield components were evaluated in a completely randomized design, in ten plants randomly selected in each area. Measures were made for production per plant, yield per

  1. Visual attentional load influences plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamke, Marc R; Hall, Michelle G; Lye, Hayley F; Sale, Martin V; Fenlon, Laura R; Carroll, Timothy J; Riek, Stephan; Mattingley, Jason B

    2012-05-16

    Neural plasticity plays a critical role in learning, memory, and recovery from injury to the nervous system. Although much is known about the physical and physiological determinants of plasticity, little is known about the influence of cognitive factors. In this study, we investigated whether selective attention plays a role in modifying changes in neural excitability reflecting long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity. We induced LTP-like effects in the hand area of the human motor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). During the induction of plasticity, participants engaged in a visual detection task with either low or high attentional demands. Changes in neural excitability were assessed by measuring motor-evoked potentials in a small hand muscle before and after the TMS procedures. In separate experiments plasticity was induced either by paired associative stimulation (PAS) or intermittent theta-burst stimulation (iTBS). Because these procedures induce different forms of LTP-like effects, they allowed us to investigate the generality of any attentional influence on plasticity. In both experiments reliable changes in motor cortex excitability were evident under low-load conditions, but this effect was eliminated under high-attentional load. In a third experiment we investigated whether the attentional task was associated with ongoing changes in the excitability of motor cortex, but found no difference in evoked potentials across the levels of attentional load. Our findings indicate that in addition to their role in modifying sensory processing, mechanisms of attention can also be a potent modulator of cortical plasticity.

  2. How the Blind “See” Braille and the Deaf “Hear” Sign: Lessons from fMRI on the Cross-Modal Plasticity, Integration, and Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norihiro Sadato

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available What does the visual cortex of the blind do during Braille reading? This process involves converting simple tactile information into meaningful patterns that have lexical and semantic properties. The perceptual processing of Braille might be mediated by the somatosensory system, whereas visual letter identity is accomplished within the visual system in sighted people. Recent advances in functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled exploration of the neural substrates of Braille reading (Sadato et al. 1996, 1998, 2002, Cohen et al. 1997, 1999. The primary visual cortex of early-onset blind subjects is functionally relevant to Braille reading, suggesting that the brain shows remarkable plasticity that potentially permits the additional processing of tactile information in the visual cortical areas. Similar cross-modal plasticity is observed by the auditory deprivation: Sign language activates the auditory cortex of deaf subjects (Neville et al. 1999, Nishimura et al. 1999, Sadato et al. 2004. Cross-modal activation can be seen in the sighted and hearing subjects. For example, the tactile shape discrimination of two dimensional (2D shapes (Mah-Jong tiles activated the visual cortex by expert players (Saito et al. 2006, and the lip-reading (visual phonetics (Sadato et al. 2004 or key touch reading by pianists (Hasegawa et al. 2004 activates the auditory cortex of hearing subjects. Thus the cross-modal plasticity by sensory deprivation and cross-modal integration through the learning may share their neural substrates. To clarify the distribution of the neural substrates and their dynamics during cross-modal association learning within several hours, we conducted audio-visual paired association learning of delayed-matching-to-sample type tasks (Tanabe et al. 2005. Each trial consisted of the successive presentation of a pair of stimuli. Subjects had to find pre-defined audio-visual or visuo-visual pairs in a trial and error manner with feedback in

  3. Decreased synaptic plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex underlies short-term memory deficits in 6-OHDA-lesioned rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matheus, Filipe C; Rial, Daniel; Real, Joana I; Lemos, Cristina; Ben, Juliana; Guaita, Gisele O; Pita, Inês R; Sequeira, Ana C; Pereira, Frederico C; Walz, Roger; Takahashi, Reinaldo N; Bertoglio, Leandro J; Da Cunha, Cláudio; Cunha, Rodrigo A; Prediger, Rui D

    2016-03-15

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by motor dysfunction associated with dopaminergic degeneration in the dorsolateral striatum (DLS). However, motor symptoms in PD are often preceded by short-term memory deficits, which have been argued to involve deregulation of medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). We now used a 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat PD model to explore if alterations of synaptic plasticity in DLS and mPFC underlie short-term memory impairments in PD prodrome. The bilateral injection of 6-OHDA (20μg/hemisphere) in the DLS caused a marked loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (>80%) and decreased monoamine levels in the striatum and PFC, accompanied by motor deficits evaluated after 21 days in the open field and accelerated rotarod. A lower dose of 6-OHDA (10μg/hemisphere) only induced a partial degeneration (about 60%) of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra with no gross motor impairments, thus mimicking an early premotor stage of PD. Notably, 6-OHDA (10μg)-lesioned rats displayed decreased monoamine levels in the PFC as well as short-term memory deficits evaluated in the novel object discrimination and in the modified Y-maze tasks; this was accompanied by a selective decrease in the amplitude of long-term potentiation in the mPFC, but not in DLS, without changes of synaptic transmission in either brain regions. These results indicate that the short-term memory dysfunction predating the motor alterations in the 6-OHDA model of PD is associated with selective changes of information processing in PFC circuits, typified by persistent changes of synaptic plasticity.

  4. A MULTI-AGENT LOCAL-LEARNING ALGORITHM UNDER GROUP ENVIROMENT

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jiang Daoping; Yin Yixin; Ban Xiaojuan; Meng Xiangsong

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, a local-learning algorithm for multi-agent is presented based on the fact that individual agent performs local perception and local interaction under group environment. As for individual-learning, agent adopts greedy strategy to maximize its reward when interacting with environment. In group-learning, local interaction takes place between each two agents. A local-learning algorithm to choose and modify agents' actions is proposed to improve the traditional learning algorithm, respectively in the situations of zero-sum games and general-sum games with unique equilibrium or multi-equilibrium. And this local-learning algorithm is proved to be convergent and the computation complexity is lower than the NashAdditionally, through grid-game test, it is indicated that by using this local-learning algorithm, the local behaviors of agents can spread to globe.

  5. Learning and generalization under ambiguity: an fMRI study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J R Chumbley

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Adaptive behavior often exploits generalizations from past experience by applying them judiciously in new situations. This requires a means of quantifying the relative importance of prior experience and current information, so they can be balanced optimally. In this study, we ask whether the brain generalizes in an optimal way. Specifically, we used Bayesian learning theory and fMRI to test whether neuronal responses reflect context-sensitive changes in ambiguity or uncertainty about experience-dependent beliefs. We found that the hippocampus expresses clear ambiguity-dependent responses that are associated with an augmented rate of learning. These findings suggest candidate neuronal systems that may be involved in aberrations of generalization, such as over-confidence.

  6. Lessons Learned from Collapse of Zumrut Building under Gravity Loads

    OpenAIRE

    Balkaya, Can

    2017-01-01

    The 11-story reinforcedconcrete Zumrut Building in Konya, Turkey collapsed on February 2, 2004.Ninety-two people died. This study was conducted to determine the mechanism ofthe collapse and identify lessons learned to avoid future disasters. Usingstructural drawings, material samples, and soil information obtained from thesite, reasons for the collapse were investigated. A three-dimensional (3-D)structural model and analyses were performed using ETABSV8.11, and variouspossible critical cases ...

  7. Curriculums in Industrial Technology. Plastics Technology. Industrial Maintenance. Computer Numerical Control. Teacher's Manuals and Student Learning Guides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El Paso Community Coll., TX.

    Curriculum guides are provided for plastics technology, industrial maintenance, and computer numerical control. Each curriculum is divided into a number of courses. For each course these instructor materials are presented in the official course outline: course description, course objectives, unit titles, texts and materials, instructor resources,…

  8. Deep greedy learning under thermal variability in full diurnal cycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rauss, Patrick; Rosario, Dalton

    2017-08-01

    We study the generalization and scalability behavior of a deep belief network (DBN) applied to a challenging long-wave infrared hyperspectral dataset, consisting of radiance from several manmade and natural materials within a fixed site located 500 m from an observation tower. The collections cover multiple full diurnal cycles and include different atmospheric conditions. Using complementary priors, a DBN uses a greedy algorithm that can learn deep, directed belief networks one layer at a time and has two layers form to provide undirected associative memory. The greedy algorithm initializes a slower learning procedure, which fine-tunes the weights, using a contrastive version of the wake-sleep algorithm. After fine-tuning, a network with three hidden layers forms a very good generative model of the joint distribution of spectral data and their labels, despite significant data variability between and within classes due to environmental and temperature variation occurring within and between full diurnal cycles. We argue, however, that more questions than answers are raised regarding the generalization capacity of these deep nets through experiments aimed at investigating their training and augmented learning behavior.

  9. Study the Cyclic Plasticity Behavior of 508 LAS under Constant, Variable and Grid-Load-Following Loading Cycles for Fatigue Evaluation of PWR Components

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohanty, Subhasish [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Barua, Bipul [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Soppet, William K. [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Majumdar, Saurin [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Natesan, Ken [Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)

    2016-09-01

    This report provides an update of an earlier assessment of environmentally assisted fatigue for components in light water reactors. This report is a deliverable in September 2016 under the work package for environmentally assisted fatigue under DOE’s Light Water Reactor Sustainability program. In an April 2016 report, we presented a detailed thermal-mechanical stress analysis model for simulating the stress-strain state of a reactor pressure vessel and its nozzles under grid-load-following conditions. In this report, we provide stress-controlled fatigue test data for 508 LAS base metal alloy under different loading amplitudes (constant, variable, and random grid-load-following) and environmental conditions (in air or pressurized water reactor coolant water at 300°C). Also presented is a cyclic plasticity-based analytical model that can simultaneously capture the amplitude and time dependency of the component behavior under fatigue loading. Results related to both amplitude-dependent and amplitude-independent parameters are presented. The validation results for the analytical/mechanistic model are discussed. This report provides guidance for estimating time-dependent, amplitude-independent parameters related to material behavior under different service conditions. The developed mechanistic models and the reported material parameters can be used to conduct more accurate fatigue and ratcheting evaluation of reactor components.

  10. Mechanical plasticity of cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonakdar, Navid; Gerum, Richard; Kuhn, Michael; Spörrer, Marina; Lippert, Anna; Schneider, Werner; Aifantis, Katerina E.; Fabry, Ben

    2016-10-01

    Under mechanical loading, most living cells show a viscoelastic deformation that follows a power law in time. After removal of the mechanical load, the cell shape recovers only incompletely to its original undeformed configuration. Here, we show that incomplete shape recovery is due to an additive plastic deformation that displays the same power-law dynamics as the fully reversible viscoelastic deformation response. Moreover, the plastic deformation is a constant fraction of the total cell deformation and originates from bond ruptures within the cytoskeleton. A simple extension of the prevailing viscoelastic power-law response theory with a plastic element correctly predicts the cell behaviour under cyclic loading. Our findings show that plastic energy dissipation during cell deformation is tightly linked to elastic cytoskeletal stresses, which suggests the existence of an adaptive mechanism that protects the cell against mechanical damage.

  11. Reward-based learning under hardware constraints - Using a RISC processor embedded in a neuromorphic substrate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon eFriedmann

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we propose and analyze in simulations a new, highly flexible method of imple-menting synaptic plasticity in a wafer-scale, accelerated neuromorphic hardware system. Thestudy focuses on globally modulated STDP, as a special use-case of this method. Flexibility isachieved by embedding a general-purpose processor dedicated to plasticity into the wafer. Toevaluate the suitability of the proposed system, we use a reward modulated STDP rule in a spiketrain learning task. A single layer of neurons is trained to fire at specific points in time withonly the reward as feedback. This model is simulated to measure its performance, i.e. the in-crease in received reward after learning. Using this performance as baseline, we then simulatethe model with various constraints imposed by the proposed implementation and compare theperformance. The simulated constraints include discretized synaptic weights, a restricted inter-face between analog synapses and embedded processor, and mismatch of analog circuits. Wefind that probabilistic updates can increase the performance of low-resolution weights, a simpleinterface between analog synapses and processor is sufficient for learning, and performance isinsensitive to mismatch. Further, we consider communication latency between wafer and theconventional control computer system that is simulating the environment. This latency increasesthe delay, with which the reward is sent to the embedded processor. Because of the time continu-ous operation of the analog synapses, delay can cause a deviation of the updates as compared tothe not delayed situation. We find that for highly accelerated systems latency has to be kept to aminimum. This study demonstrates the suitability of the proposed implementation to emulatethe selected reward modulated STDP learning rule. It is therefore an ideal candidate for imple-mentation in an upgraded version of the wafer-scale system developed within the BrainScaleSproject.

  12. Dopamine D1/D5, But not D2/D3, Receptor Dependency of Synaptic Plasticity at Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses that Is Enabled by Patterned Afferent Stimulation, or Spatial Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagena, Hardy; Manahan-Vaughan, Denise

    2016-01-01

    Although the mossy fiber (MF) synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24 h) synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH)-CA1 and perforant path (PP)-dentate gyrus (DG) synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). These latter forms of synaptic plasticity are directly related to the learning behavior: novel exploration of generalized changes in space facilitates the expression of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses, whereas exploration of novel configurations of large environmental features facilitates the expression of LTD. In the absence of spatial novelty, synaptic plasticity is not expressed. Motivation is a potent determinant of whether learning about the spatial experience effectively occurs and the neuromodulator dopamine (DA) plays a key role in motivation-based learning. Prior research on the regulation by DA receptors of long-term synaptic plasticity in CA1 and DG synapses in vivo suggests that whereas D2/D3 receptors may modulate a general predisposition toward expressing plasticity, D1/D5 receptors may directly regulate the direction of change in synaptic strength that occurs during learning. Although the CA3 region is believed to play a pivotal role in many forms of learning, the role of dopamine receptors in persistent (>24 h) forms of synaptic plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses is unknown. Here, we report that whereas pharmacological antagonism of D2/D3 receptors had no impact on LTP or LTD, antagonism of D1/D5 receptors significantly impaired LTP and LTD that were induced by solely by means of patterned afferent stimulation, or LTP/LTD that are typically enhanced by the conjunction of afferent stimulation and novel spatial learning. These data indicate an

  13. Dopamine D1/D5, but not D2/D3, receptor dependency of synaptic plasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses that is enabled by patterned afferent stimulation, or spatial learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hardy Hagena

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Although the mossy fiber (MF synapses of the hippocampal CA3 region display quite distinct properties in terms of the molecular mechanisms that underlie synaptic plasticity, they nonetheless exhibit persistent (>24h synaptic plasticity that is akin to that observed at the Schaffer collateral (SCH-CA1 and perforant path (PP-dentate gyrus (DG synapses of freely behaving rats. In addition, they also respond to novel spatial learning with very enduring forms of long-term potentiation (LTP and long-term depression (LTD. These latter forms of synaptic plasticity are directly related to the learning behavior: novel exploration of generalized changes in space facilitates the expression of LTP at MF-CA3 synapses, whereas exploration of novel configurations of large environmental features facilitates the expression of LTD. In the absence of spatial novelty, synaptic plasticity is not expressed. Motivation is a potent determinant of whether learning about spatial experience effectively occurs and the neuromodulator dopamine plays a key role in motivation-based learning. Prior research on the regulation by dopamine receptors of long-term synaptic plasticity in CA1 and dentate gyrus synapses in vivo suggests that whereas D2/D3 receptors may modulate a general predisposition toward expressing plasticity, D1/D5 receptors may directly regulate the direction of change in synaptic strength that occurs during learning. Although the CA3 region is believed to play a pivotal role in many forms of learning, the role of these receptors in persistent (>24h forms of synaptic plasticity at MF-CA3 synapses is unknown. Here, we report that whereas pharmacological antagonism of D2/D3 receptors had no impact on LTP or LTD, antagonism of D1/D5 receptors significantly impaired LTP and LTD that were induced by solely by means of patterned afferent stimulation, or LTP/LTD that are typically enhanced by the conjunction of afferent stimulation and novel spatial learning. These data

  14. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardiles, Alvaro O.; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:25360084

  15. Pannexin 1 Regulates Bidirectional Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity in Adult Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvaro O. Ardiles

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1, a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP, it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory.

  16. Neurobiological mechanisms underlying the blocking effect in aversive learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eippert, Falk; Gamer, Matthias; Büchel, Christian

    2012-09-19

    Current theories of classical conditioning assume that learning depends on the predictive relationship between events, not just on their temporal contiguity. Here we employ the classic experiment substantiating this reasoning-the blocking paradigm-in combination with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether human amygdala responses in aversive learning conform to these assumptions. In accordance with blocking, we demonstrate that significantly stronger behavioral and amygdala responses are evoked by conditioned stimuli that are predictive of the unconditioned stimulus than by conditioned stimuli that have received the same pairing with the unconditioned stimulus, yet have no predictive value. When studying the development of this effect, we not only observed that it was related to the strength of previous conditioned responses, but also that predictive compared with nonpredictive conditioned stimuli received more overt attention, as measured by fMRI-concurrent eye tracking, and that this went along with enhanced amygdala responses. We furthermore observed that prefrontal regions play a role in the development of the blocking effect: ventromedial prefrontal cortex (subgenual anterior cingulate) only exhibited responses when conditioned stimuli had to be established as nonpredictive for an outcome, whereas dorsolateral prefrontal cortex also showed responses when conditioned stimuli had to be established as predictive. Most importantly, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex connectivity to amygdala flexibly switched between positive and negative coupling, depending on the requirements posed by predictive relationships. Together, our findings highlight the role of predictive value in explaining amygdala responses and identify mechanisms that shape these responses in human fear conditioning.

  17. Analyzing the Effects of Various Concept Mapping Techniques on Learning Achievement under Different Learning Styles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiou, Chei-Chang; Lee, Li-Tze; Tien, Li-Chu; Wang, Yu-Min

    2017-01-01

    This study explored the effectiveness of different concept mapping techniques on the learning achievement of senior accounting students and whether achievements attained using various techniques are affected by different learning styles. The techniques are computer-assisted construct-by-self-concept mapping (CACSB), computer-assisted…

  18. Storing maternal memories: hypothesizing an interaction of experience and estrogen on sensory cortical plasticity to learn infant cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Sunayana B; Liu, Robert C

    2013-10-01

    Much of the literature on maternal behavior has focused on the role of infant experience and hormones in a canonical subcortical circuit for maternal motivation and maternal memory. Although early studies demonstrated that the cerebral cortex also plays a significant role in maternal behaviors, little has been done to explore what that role may be. Recent work though has provided evidence that the cortex, particularly sensory cortices, contains correlates of sensory memories of infant cues, consistent with classical studies of experience-dependent sensory cortical plasticity in non-maternal paradigms. By reviewing the literature from both the maternal behavior and sensory cortical plasticity fields, focusing on the auditory modality, we hypothesize that maternal hormones (predominantly estrogen) may act to prime auditory cortical neurons for a longer-lasting neural trace of infant vocal cues, thereby facilitating recognition and discrimination. This couldthen more efficiently activate the subcortical circuit to elicit and sustain maternal behavior.

  19. Plastics Technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Tommy G.

    This curriculum guide is designed to assist junior high schools industrial arts teachers in planning new courses and revising existing courses in plastics technology. Addressed in the individual units of the guide are the following topics: introduction to production technology; history and development of plastics; safety; youth leadership,…

  20. Plasticity in interactions of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) N terminus with FGF receptors underlies promiscuity of FGF1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beenken, Andrew; Eliseenkova, Anna V; Ibrahimi, Omar A; Olsen, Shaun K; Mohammadi, Moosa

    2012-01-27

    Tissue-specific alternative splicing in the second half of Ig-like domain 3 (D3) of fibroblast growth factor receptors 1-3 (FGFR1 to -3) generates epithelial FGFR1b-FGFR3b and mesenchymal FGFR1c-FGFR3c splice isoforms. This splicing event establishes a selectivity filter to restrict the ligand binding specificity of FGFRb and FGFRc isoforms to mesenchymally and epithelially derived fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), respectively. FGF1 is termed the "universal FGFR ligand" because it overrides this specificity barrier. To elucidate the molecular basis for FGF1 cross-reactivity with the "b" and "c" splice isoforms of FGFRs, we determined the first crystal structure of FGF1 in complex with an FGFRb isoform, FGFR2b, at 2.1 Å resolution. Comparison of the FGF1-FGFR2b structure with the three previously published FGF1-FGFRc structures reveals that plasticity in the interactions of the N-terminal region of FGF1 with FGFR D3 is the main determinant of FGF1 cross-reactivity with both isoforms of FGFRs. In support of our structural data, we demonstrate that substitution of three N-terminal residues (Gly-19, His-25, and Phe-26) of FGF2 (a ligand that does not bind FGFR2b) for the corresponding residues of FGF1 (Phe-16, Asn-22, and Tyr-23) enables the FGF2 triple mutant to bind and activate FGFR2b. These findings taken together with our previous structural data on receptor binding specificity of FGF2, FGF8, and FGF10 conclusively show that sequence divergence at the N termini of FGFs is the primary regulator of the receptor binding specificity and promiscuity of FGFs.

  1. Constructing a Plastic Bottle Wind Turbine as a Practical Aid for Learning about Using Wind Energy to Generate Electricity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Appleyard, S. J.

    2009-01-01

    A simple horizontal axis wind turbine can be easily constructed using a 1.5 l PET plastic bottle, a compact disc and a small dynamo. The turbine operates effectively at low wind speeds and has a rotational speed of 500 rpm at a wind speed of about 14 km h[superscript -1]. The wind turbine can be used to demonstrate the relationship between open…

  2. Comportamento vegetativo e produtivo de videiras 'Cabernet sauvignon' cultivadas sob cobertura plástica Vegetative growth and yield of 'Cabernet sauvignon' grapevine under overhead plastic covering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Clenilso Sehnen Mota

    2008-03-01

    randomized block design, with two treatments (uncovered and covered plants and four replicates of 15 plants (experimental unit. The micro-environmental changes imposed by the cover did not affect grapevines phenology. The grapevines under the cover had higher values for branches growth (length and fresh mass, and leaf expansion (area and dry mass than the uncovered ones. The berries weight and diameter were superior on grapevines under covering plastic only at earlier stages of fruit growth but not at harvest. The other variables assessed were not affected by the cover. The results show that overhead plastic covering can interfere with vegetative growth without affecting yield.

  3. Looking under the Bonnet: Factors Affecting Student Adoption of E-Learning Systems in Jordan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muneer Mahmood Abbad, David Morris, Carmel de Nahlik

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available The primary questions addressed in this paper are the following: what are the factors that affect students’ adoption of an e-learning system and what are the relationships among these factors?This paper investigates and identifies some of the major factors affecting students’ adoption of an e-learning system in a university in Jordan. E-learning adoption is approached from the information systems acceptance point of view. This suggests that a prior condition for learning effectively using e-learning systems is that students must actually use them. Thus, a greater knowledge of the factors that affect IT adoption and their interrelationships is a pre-cursor to a better understanding of student acceptance of e-learning systems. In turn, this will help and guide those who develop, implement, and deliver e-learning systems.In this study, an extended version of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM was developed to investigate the underlying factors that influence students’ decisions to use an e-learning system. The TAM was populated using data gathered from a survey of 486 undergraduate students using the Moodle based e-learning system at the Arab Open University. The model was estimated using Structural Equation Modelling (SEM. A path model was developed to analyze the relationships between the factors to explain students’ adoption of the e-learning system. Whilst findings support existing literature about prior experience affecting perceptions, they also point to surprising group effects, which may merit future exploration.

  4. Glutamatergic metabolites are associated with visual plasticity in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wijtenburg, S Andrea; West, Jeffrey; Korenic, Stephanie A; Kuhney, Franchesca; Gaston, Frank E; Chen, Hongji; Roberts, Meredith; Kochunov, Peter; Hong, L Elliot; Rowland, Laura M

    2017-02-10

    Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a basic cellular mechanism underlying learning and memory. LTP-like plasticity in the visual cortex can be induced by high frequency visual stimulation in rodents and humans. Since glutamate plays a fundamental role in LTP, this study investigated if visual cortical glutamate and glutamine levels, measured by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), relate to visual plasticity in humans. Since plasticity requires a delicate excitation and inhibition balance, GABA was also explored. Eighteen healthy participants completed MRS and a visual fMRI paradigm. Results revealed enhanced fMRI activations after high frequency visual stimulation, suggesting visual plasticity occurred. Higher activations were associated with higher resting glutamine levels after family wise error-correction. Exploratory analyses revealed that higher resting glutamate and GABA levels were associated with visual plasticity, suggesting there may be a critical excitation-inhibition balance necessary for experience dependent plasticity. This is the first empirical evidence that resting glutamine levels and potentially glutamate and GABA levels are associated with visual plasticity in humans.

  5. Neuronal and cognitive plasticity: A neurocognitive framework for ameliorating cognitive aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pamela M Greenwood

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available What is the neurocognitive basis for the considerable individual differences observed in functioning of the adult mind and brain late in life? We review the evidence that in healthy old age the brain remains capable of both neuronal and cognitive plasticity, including in response to environmental and experiential factors. Neuronal plasticity (e.g. neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, cortical re-organization refers to neuron-level changes that can be stimulated by experience. Cognitive plasticity (e.g. increased dependence on executive function refers to adaptive changes in patterns of cognition related to brain activity. We hypothesize that successful cognitive aging requires interactions between these two forms of plasticity. Mechanisms of neural plasticity underpin cognitive plasticity and in turn, neural plasticity is stimulated by cognitive plasticity. We examine support for this hypothesis by considering evidence that neural plasticity is stimulated by learning and novelty and enhanced by both dietary manipulations (low-fat, dietary restriction and aerobic exercise. We also examine evidence that cognitive plasticity is affected by education and training. This is a testable hypothesis which could be assessed in humans in randomized trials comparing separate and combined effects of cognitive training, exercise, and diet on measures of cognitive and brain integrity. Greater understanding of the factors influencing the course of cognitive aging and of the mechanisms underlying those factors could provide information on which people could base choices that improve their ability to age successfully.

  6. Ruby under a microscope learning Ruby internals through experiment

    CERN Document Server

    Shaughnessy, Pat

    2013-01-01

    How Ruby Works Under the HoodRuby is a powerful programming language with a focus on simplicity, but beneath its elegant syntax it performs countless unseen tasks.Ruby Under a Microscope gives you a hands-on look at Ruby's core, using extensive diagrams and thorough explanations to show you how Ruby is implemented (no C skills required). Author Pat Shaughnessy takes a scientific approach, laying out a series of experiments with Ruby code to take you behind the scenes of how programming languages work. You'll even find information on JRuby and Rubinius (two alternative implementations of Ruby),

  7. Morphological plasticity of benghal dayflower under an artificial light gradient - doi: 10.4025/actasciagron.v36i1.17388

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Perla Novais de Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of light restriction on the growth of benghal dayflower (Commelina benghalensis. The experiment was conducted in pots under full sunlight and with 18.5, 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70% artificial light restriction treatments. Plant growth was evaluated up to 90 days after planting (DAP, and mathematical models of the major shoot length, internode length, individual area of the first leaf completely expanded, number of leaves and shoot and root dry mass weights were established depending on increasing light restriction levels. The elevation of the light gradient promoted reductions in the number of leaves and fasciculate root dry mass weight. Light restriction did not induce alterations in the plasticity of performance (alterations in total biomass accumulation of the C. benghalensis plants, the stability of which was related to an integration of the expected morphological, anatomical and physiological adjustments, constituting in a strong evidence of shading tolerance.

  8. Effects of soil moisture on cotton root length density and yield under drip irrigation with plastic mulch in Aksu Oasis farmland

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yilihamu; Yimamu

    2010-01-01

    Effects of soil moisture on cotton root length density (total root length per unit soil volume) and yield under drip irrigation with plastic mulch were studied through field experiments. The results indicate that spatial distributions of root length density of cotton under various water treatments were basically similar. Horizontally, both root length densities of cotton in wide and narrow rows were similar, and higher than that between mulches. Vertically, root length density of cotton decreased with increasing soil depth. The distribution of root length density is different under different irrigation treatments. In conditions of over-irrigation, the root length density of cotton between mulches would increase. However, it would decrease in both the wide rows and narrow rows. The mean root length density of cotton increased with increasing irrigation water. Water stress caused the root length density to increase in lower soil layers. There is a significant correlation between root length density and yields of cotton at the flower-boll and wadding stages. The regression between irrigation amount and yield of cotton can be expressed as y = -0.0026x2+18.015x-24845 (R2 = 0.959). It showed that the irrigation volume of 3,464.4 m3/hm2 led to op-timal root length density. The yield of cotton was 6,360 .8 kg/hm2 under that amount of irrigation.

  9. Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule-Associated Polysialic Acid Regulates Synaptic Plasticity and Learning by Restraining the Signaling through GluN2B-Containing NMDA Receptors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochlamazashvili, Gaga; Senkov, Oleg; Grebenyuk, Sergei; Robinson, Catrina; Xiao, Mei-Fang; Stummeyer, Katharina; Gerardy-Schahn, Rita; Engel, Andreas K.; Feig, Larry; Semyanov, Alexey; Suppiramaniam, Vishnu; Schachner, Melitta; Dityatev, Alexander

    2017-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is the predominant carrier of α2,8 polysialic acid (PSA) in the mammalian brain. Abnormalities in PSA and NCAM expression are associated with schizophrenia in humans and cause deficits in hippocampal synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning in mice. Here, we show that PSA inhibits opening of recombinant NMDA receptors composed of GluN1/2B (NR1/NR2B) or GluN1/2A/2B (NR1/NR2A/NR2B) but not of GluN1/2A (NR1/NR2A) subunits. Deficits in NCAM/PSA increase GluN2B-mediated transmission and Ca2+ transients in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. In line with elevation of GluN2B-mediated transmission, defects in long-term potentiation in the CA1 region and contextual fear memory in NCAM/PSA-deficient mice are abrogated by application of a GluN2B-selective antagonist. Furthermore, treatment with the glutamate scavenger glutamic-pyruvic transaminase, ablation of Ras-GRF1 (a mediator of GluN2B signaling to p38 MAPK), or direct inhibition of hyperactive p38 MAPK can restore impaired synaptic plasticity in brain slices lacking PSA/NCAM. Thus, PSA carried by NCAM regulates plasticity and learning by inhibition of the GluN2B-Ras-GRF1-p38 MAPK signaling pathway. These findings implicate carbohydrates carried by adhesion molecules in modulating NMDA receptor signaling in the brain and demonstrate reversibility of cognitive deficits associated with ablation of a schizophrenia-related adhesion molecule. PMID:20237287

  10. Solid-phase photocatalytic degradation of polystyrene plastic with goethite modified by boron under UV-vis light irradiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Guanglong; Zhu, Duanwei; Zhou, Wenbing; Liao, Shuijiao; Cui, Jingzhen; Wu, Kang; Hamilton, David

    2010-02-01

    A novel photodegradable polyethylene-boron-goethite (PE-B-goethite) composite film was prepared by embedding the boron-doped goethite into the commercial polyethylene. The goethite catalyst was modified by boron in order to improve its photocatalytic efficiency under the ultraviolet and visible light irradiation. Solid-phase photocatalytic degradation of the PE-B-goethite composite film was carried out in an ambient air at room temperature under ultraviolet and visible light irradiation. The properties of composite films were compared with those of the pure PE films and the PE-goethite composite films through performing weight loss monitoring, scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis, FT-IR spectroscopy and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The photo-induced degradation of PE-B-goethite composite films was higher than that of the pure PE films and the PE-goethite composite films under the UV-irradiation, while there has been little change under the visible light irradiation. The weight loss of the PE-B-goethite (0.4 wt.%) composite film reached 12.6% under the UV-irradiation for 300 h. The photocatalytic degradation mechanism of the composite films was briefly discussed.

  11. Manifestation of the shape-memory effect in polyetherurethane cellular plastics, fabric composites, and sandwich structures under microgravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Babaevskii, P. G.; Kozlov, N. A.; Agapov, I. G.; Reznichenko, G. M.; Churilo, N. V.; Churilo, I. V.

    2016-09-01

    The results of experiments that were performed to test the feasibility of creating sandwich structures (consisting of thin-layer sheaths of polymer composites and a cellular polymer core) with the shapememory effect as models of the transformable components of space structures have been given. The data obtained indicate that samples of sandwich structures under microgravity conditions on board the International Space Station have recovered their shape to almost the same degree as under terrestrial conditions, which makes it possible to recommend them for creating components of transformable space structures on their basis.

  12. Risk-Sensitive Reinforcement Learning Applied to Control under Constraints

    CERN Document Server

    Geibel, P; 10.1613/jair.1666

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, we consider Markov Decision Processes (MDPs) with error states. Error states are those states entering which is undesirable or dangerous. We define the risk with respect to a policy as the probability of entering such a state when the policy is pursued. We consider the problem of finding good policies whose risk is smaller than some user-specified threshold, and formalize it as a constrained MDP with two criteria. The first criterion corresponds to the value function originally given. We will show that the risk can be formulated as a second criterion function based on a cumulative return, whose definition is independent of the original value function. We present a model free, heuristic reinforcement learning algorithm that aims at finding good deterministic policies. It is based on weighting the original value function and the risk. The weight parameter is adapted in order to find a feasible solution for the constrained problem that has a good performance with respect to the value function. The...

  13. Developmental plasticity in Tenebrio molitor (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae): Analysis of Instar Variation in Number and Development Time under Different Diets

    Science.gov (United States)

    The variation in instar number and the pattern of sequential instar development time of Tenebrio molitor L. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) was studied under 4 different diet regimes. Addition of dietary supplements consisting of dry potato or a mix of dry potato and dry egg whites significantly reduced...

  14. Prefrontal Dynamics Underlying Rapid Instructed Task Learning Reverse with Practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cole, Michael W.; Bagic, Anto; Kass, Robert; Schneider, Walter

    2011-01-01

    The ability to rapidly reconfigure our minds to perform novel tasks is important for adapting to an ever-changing world, yet little is understood about its basis in the brain. Furthermore, it is unclear how this kind of task preparation changes with practice. Previous research suggests that prefrontal cortex (PFC) is essential when preparing to perform either novel or practiced tasks. Building upon recent evidence that PFC is organized in an anterior-to-posterior hierarchy, we postulated that novel and practiced task preparation would differentiate hierarchically distinct regions within PFC across time. Specifically, we hypothesized and confirmed using functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography with humans that novel task preparation is a bottom-up process that involves lower-level rule representations in dorsolateral PFC (DLPFC) before a higher-level rule-integrating task representation in anterior PFC (aPFC). In contrast, we identified a complete reversal of this activity pattern during practiced task preparation. Specifically, we found that practiced task preparation is a top-down process that involves a higher-level rule-integrating task representation (recalled from long-term memory) in aPFC before lower-level rule representations in DLPFC. These findings reveal two distinct yet highly inter-related mechanisms for task preparation, one involving task set formation from instructions during rapid instructed task learning and the other involving task set retrieval from long-term memory to facilitate familiar task performance. These two mechanisms demonstrate the exceptional flexibility of human PFC as it rapidly reconfigures cognitive brain networks to implement a wide variety of possible tasks. PMID:20962245

  15. Neural substrates underlying motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie eLefebvre

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Motor skill learning is critical in post-stroke motor recovery, but little is known about its underlying neural substrates. Recently, using a new visuomotor skill learning paradigm involving a speed/accuracy trade-off in healthy individuals we identified three subpopulations based on their behavioral trajectories: fitters (in whom improvement in speed or accuracy coincided with deterioration in the other parameter, shifters (in whom speed and/or accuracy improved without degradation of the other parameter, and non-learners. We aimed to identify the neural substrates underlying the first stages of motor skill learning in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients and to determine whether specific neural substrates were recruited in shifters versus fitters. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI, 23 patients learned the visuomotor skill with their paretic upper limb. In the whole-group analysis, correlation between activation and motor skill learning was restricted to the dorsal prefrontal cortex of the damaged hemisphere (DLPFCdamh: r=-0.82 and the dorsal premotor cortex (PMddamh: r=0.70; the correlations was much lesser (-0.160.25 in the other regions of interest. In a subgroup analysis, significant activation was restricted to bilateral posterior parietal cortices of the fitters and did not correlate with motor skill learning. Conversely, in shifters significant activation occurred in the primary sensorimotor cortexdamh and supplementary motor areadamh and in bilateral PMd where activation changes correlated significantly with motor skill learning (r=0.91. Finally, resting-state activity acquired before learning showed a higher functional connectivity in the salience network of shifters compared with fitters (qFDR<0.05. These data suggest a neuroplastic compensatory reorganization of brain activity underlying the first stages of motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb in chronic hemiparetic stroke patients, with a key role of

  16. The processes of neuronal and recycling under the bias of implicit learning: literacy methods in focus

    OpenAIRE

    Guaresi, Ronei

    2011-01-01

    Based on advances in neuroscience and literature resulting from these advances, this text reflects on the acquisition of writing, specifically on methods of phonetic and global literacy, under the scope of implicit and explicit learning, in the acquisition of human language, essentially complex and arbitrary. This process will occur through the recuperation of the notion of connectionist learning and understanding of implicit and explicit. This theoretical recuperation arisen from discoveries...

  17. Plastic bronchitis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Singhi, Anil Kumar; Vinoth, Bharathi; Kuruvilla, Sarah; Sivakumar, Kothandam

    2015-01-01

    Plastic bronchitis, a rare but serious clinical condition, commonly seen after Fontan surgeries in children, may be a manifestation of suboptimal adaptation to the cavopulmonary circulation with unfavorable hemodynamics...

  18. The evolutionary fate of phenotypic plasticity and functional traits under domestication in manioc: changes in stem biomechanics and the appearance of stem brittleness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ménard, Léa; McKey, Doyle; Mühlen, Gilda S; Clair, Bruno; Rowe, Nick P

    2013-01-01

    Domestication can influence many functional traits in plants, from overall life-history and growth form to wood density and cell wall ultrastructure. Such changes can increase fitness of the domesticate in agricultural environments but may negatively affect survival in the wild. We studied effects of domestication on stem biomechanics in manioc by comparing domesticated and ancestral wild taxa from two different regions of greater Amazonia. We compared mechanical properties, tissue organisation and wood characteristics including microfibril angles in both wild and domesticated plants, each growing in two different habitats (forest or savannah) and varying in growth form (shrub or liana). Wild taxa grew as shrubs in open savannah but as lianas in overgrown and forested habitats. Growth form plasticity was retained in domesticated manioc. However, stems of the domesticate showed brittle failure. Wild plants differed in mechanical architecture between shrub and liana phenotypes, a difference that diminished between shrubs and lianas of the domesticate. Stems of wild plants were generally stiffer, failed at higher bending stresses and were less prone to brittle fracture compared with shrub and liana phenotypes of the domesticate. Biomechanical differences between stems of wild and domesticated plants were mainly due to changes in wood density and cellulose microfibril angle rather than changes in secondary growth or tissue geometry. Domestication did not significantly modify "large-scale" trait development or growth form plasticity, since both wild and domesticated manioc can develop as shrubs or lianas. However, "finer-scale" developmental traits crucial to mechanical stability and thus ecological success of the plant were significantly modified. This profoundly influenced the likelihood of brittle failure, particularly in long climbing stems, thereby also influencing the survival of the domesticate in natural situations vulnerable to mechanical perturbation. We

  19. The evolutionary fate of phenotypic plasticity and functional traits under domestication in manioc: changes in stem biomechanics and the appearance of stem brittleness.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Léa Ménard

    Full Text Available Domestication can influence many functional traits in plants, from overall life-history and growth form to wood density and cell wall ultrastructure. Such changes can increase fitness of the domesticate in agricultural environments but may negatively affect survival in the wild. We studied effects of domestication on stem biomechanics in manioc by comparing domesticated and ancestral wild taxa from two different regions of greater Amazonia. We compared mechanical properties, tissue organisation and wood characteristics including microfibril angles in both wild and domesticated plants, each growing in two different habitats (forest or savannah and varying in growth form (shrub or liana. Wild taxa grew as shrubs in open savannah but as lianas in overgrown and forested habitats. Growth form plasticity was retained in domesticated manioc. However, stems of the domesticate showed brittle failure. Wild plants differed in mechanical architecture between shrub and liana phenotypes, a difference that diminished between shrubs and lianas of the domesticate. Stems of wild plants were generally stiffer, failed at higher bending stresses and were less prone to brittle fracture compared with shrub and liana phenotypes of the domesticate. Biomechanical differences between stems of wild and domesticated plants were mainly due to changes in wood density and cellulose microfibril angle rather than changes in secondary growth or tissue geometry. Domestication did not significantly modify "large-scale" trait development or growth form plasticity, since both wild and domesticated manioc can develop as shrubs or lianas. However, "finer-scale" developmental traits crucial to mechanical stability and thus ecological success of the plant were significantly modified. This profoundly influenced the likelihood of brittle failure, particularly in long climbing stems, thereby also influencing the survival of the domesticate in natural situations vulnerable to mechanical

  20. Plastic Fishes

    CERN Multimedia

    Trettnak, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    In terms of weight, the plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is estimated to be around 300,000 tonnes. This plastic comes from both land-based and ocean-based sources. A lecture at CERN by chemist Wolfgang Trettnak addressed this issue and highlighted the role of art in raising people’s awareness. The slideshow below gives you a taste of the artworks by Wolfgang Trettnak and Margarita Cimadevila.

  1. Plastic Bridge

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    履之

    1994-01-01

    Already ubiquitous in homes and cars, plastic is now appearing inbridges. An academic-industrial consortium based at the University ofCalifornia in San Diego is launching a three-year research program aimed atdeveloping the world’s first plastic highway bridge, a 450-foot span madeentirely from glass-,carbon,and polymer-fiber-reinforced composite mate-rials, the stuff of military aircraft. It will cross Interstate 5 to connect thetwo sides of the school’s campus.

  2. Multiscale modeling and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhalla, Upinder S

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is a major convergence point for theory and computation, and the process of plasticity engages physiology, cell, and molecular biology. In its many manifestations, plasticity is at the hub of basic neuroscience questions about memory and development, as well as more medically themed questions of neural damage and recovery. As an important cellular locus of memory, synaptic plasticity has received a huge amount of experimental and theoretical attention. If computational models have tended to pick specific aspects of plasticity, such as STDP, and reduce them to an equation, some experimental studies are equally guilty of oversimplification each time they identify a new molecule and declare it to be the last word in plasticity and learning. Multiscale modeling begins with the acknowledgment that synaptic function spans many levels of signaling, and these are so tightly coupled that we risk losing essential features of plasticity if we focus exclusively on any one level. Despite the technical challenges and gaps in data for model specification, an increasing number of multiscale modeling studies have taken on key questions in plasticity. These have provided new insights, but importantly, they have opened new avenues for questioning. This review discusses a wide range of multiscale models in plasticity, including their technical landscape and their implications.

  3. Interpretation on Recycling Plastics from Shredder Residue

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA is considering an interpretation of its regulations that would generally allow for recycling of plastic separated from shredder residue under the conditions described in the Voluntary Procedures for Recycling Plastics from Shredder Residue.

  4. Circuit design on plastic foils

    CERN Document Server

    Raiteri, Daniele; Roermund, Arthur H M

    2015-01-01

    This book illustrates a variety of circuit designs on plastic foils and provides all the information needed to undertake successful designs in large-area electronics.  The authors demonstrate architectural, circuit, layout, and device solutions and explain the reasons and the creative process behind each. Readers will learn how to keep under control large-area technologies and achieve robust, reliable circuit designs that can face the challenges imposed by low-cost low-temperature high-throughput manufacturing.   • Discusses implications of problems associated with large-area electronics and compares them to standard silicon; • Provides the basis for understanding physics and modeling of disordered material; • Includes guidelines to quickly setup the basic CAD tools enabling efficient and reliable designs; • Illustrates practical solutions to cope with hard/soft faults, variability, mismatch, aging and bias stress at architecture, circuit, layout, and device levels.

  5. Collaborative testing for key-term definitions under representative conditions: Efficiency costs and no learning benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wissman, Kathryn T; Rawson, Katherine A

    2017-08-28

    Students are expected to learn key-term definitions across many different grade levels and academic disciplines. Thus, investigating ways to promote understanding of key-term definitions is of critical importance for applied purposes. A recent survey showed that learners report engaging in collaborative practice testing when learning key-term definitions, with outcomes also shedding light on the way in which learners report engaging in collaborative testing in real-world contexts (Wissman & Rawson, 2016, Memory, 24, 223-239). However, no research has directly explored the effectiveness of engaging in collaborative testing under representative conditions. Accordingly, the current research evaluates the costs (with respect to efficiency) and the benefits (with respect to learning) of collaborative testing for key-term definitions under representative conditions. In three experiments (ns = 94, 74, 95), learners individually studied key-term definitions and then completed retrieval practice, which occurred either individually or collaboratively (in dyads). Two days later, all learners completed a final individual test. Results from Experiments 1-2 showed a cost (with respect to efficiency) and no benefit (with respect to learning) of engaging in collaborative testing for key-term definitions. Experiment 3 evaluated a theoretical explanation for why collaborative benefits do not emerge under representative conditions. Collectively, outcomes indicate that collaborative testing versus individual testing is less effective and less efficient when learning key-term definitions under representative conditions.

  6. Reading in the dark: neural correlates and cross-modal plasticity for learning to read entire words without visual experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sigalov, Nadine; Maidenbaum, Shachar; Amedi, Amir

    2016-03-01

    Cognitive neuroscience has long attempted to determine the ways in which cortical selectivity develops, and the impact of nature vs. nurture on it. Congenital blindness (CB) offers a unique opportunity to test this question as the brains of blind individuals develop without visual experience. Here we approach this question through the reading network. Several areas in the visual cortex have been implicated as part of the reading network, and one of the main ones among them is the VWFA, which is selective to the form of letters and words. But what happens in the CB brain? On the one hand, it has been shown that cross-modal plasticity leads to the recruitment of occipital areas, including the VWFA, for linguistic tasks. On the other hand, we have recently demonstrated VWFA activity for letters in contrast to other visual categories when the information is provided via other senses such as touch or audition. Which of these tasks is more dominant? By which mechanism does the CB brain process reading? Using fMRI and visual-to-auditory sensory substitution which transfers the topographical features of the letters we compare reading with semantic and scrambled conditions in a group of CB. We found activation in early auditory and visual cortices during the early processing phase (letter), while the later phase (word) showed VWFA and bilateral dorsal-intraparietal activations for words. This further supports the notion that many visual regions in general, even early visual areas, also maintain a predilection for task processing even when the modality is variable and in spite of putative lifelong linguistic cross-modal plasticity. Furthermore, we find that the VWFA is recruited preferentially for letter and word form, while it was not recruited, and even exhibited deactivation, for an immediately subsequent semantic task suggesting that despite only short sensory substitution experience orthographic task processing can dominate semantic processing in the VWFA. On a wider

  7. GREEN PLASTIC: A NEW PLASTIC FOR PACKAGING

    OpenAIRE

    Mr. Pankaj Kumar*, Sonia

    2016-01-01

    This paper gives a brief idea about a new type of plastic called as bio-plastic or green plastic. Plastic is used as a packaging material for various products, but this plastic is made up of non renewable raw materials. There are various disadvantages of using conventional plastic like littering, CO2 production, non-degradable in nature etc. To overcome these problems a new type of plastic is discovered called bio-plastic or green plastic. Bio-plastic is made from renewable resources and also...

  8. Cyclic electron flow provides acclimatory plasticity for the photosynthetic machinery under various environmental conditions and developmental stages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjaana eSuorsa

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Photosynthetic electron flow operates in two modes, linear and cyclic. In cyclic electron flow (CEF, electrons are recycled around photosystem I. As a result, a transthylakoid proton gradient (ΔpH is generated, leading to the production of ATP without concomitant production of NADPH, thus increasing the ATP/NADPH ratio within the chloroplast. At least two routes for CEF exist: a PGR5-PGRL1–and a chloroplast NDH-like complex mediated pathway. This review focuses on recent findings concerning the characteristics of both CEF routes in higher plants, with special emphasis paid on the crucial role of CEF in under challenging environmental conditions and developmental stages.

  9. Development of quartz c-axis crossed/single girdles under simple-pure shear deformation: Results of visco-plastic self-consistent modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nie, Guanjun; Shan, Yehua

    2014-09-01

    Quartz c-axis fabrics are widely used to determine the shear plane in ductile shear zones, based upon an assumption that the shear plane is perpendicular to both the central segment of quartz c-axis crossed girdle and single girdle. In this paper the development of quartz c-axis fabric under simple-pure shear deformation is simulated using the visco-plastic self-consistent (VPSC) model so as to re-examine this assumption. In the case of no or weak dynamic recrystallization, the simulated crossed girdles have a central segment perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to the maximum principal finite strain direction (X) and the XY finite strain plane, and at a variable angle relative to the imposed kinematic framework that is dependent on the modeled flow vorticity and finite strain. These crossed girdles have a symmetrical skeleton with respect to the finite strain axes, regardless of the bulk strain and the kinematic vorticity, and rotate in a way similar to the shear sense with increasing bulk strain ratio. The larger the vorticity number the more asymmetrical their legs tend to be. In the case of strong dynamic recrystallization and large bulk strain, under simple shear the crossed girdle switches into single girdles, sub-perpendicular to the shear plane, by losing the weak legs. The numerical results in our models do not confirm the above-mentioned assumption.

  10. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  11. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz eWiera

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed LTP that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tPA/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1 and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  12. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation enhances spatial learning and synaptic plasticity via the VEGF and BDNF-NMDAR pathways in a rat model of vascular dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, N; Xing, M; Wang, Y; Tao, H; Cheng, Y

    2015-12-17

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on learning and memory in a rat model of vascular dementia (VaD) and to analyze the associated mechanisms. Bilateral carotid artery occlusion (2-VO) was used to establish a rat model of VaD. High-frequency (5Hz) rTMS was performed on rats for four weeks. Spatial learning and memory abilities were evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM), and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was assessed via long-term potentiation (LTP). Hippocampal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and three subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR), NR1, NR2A and NR2B, was analyzed by Western blotting. Compared with the VaD group, escape latency was decreased (PCA3-CA1 synapses was enhanced by rTMS (PBDNF, NR1 and NR2B expression was decreased in the VaD group and increased by rTMS (PBDNF and NMDARs. In addition, NR2B may be more important than NR2A for LTP induction in the hippocampus during rTMS treatment of VaD.

  13. Chronic stress and brain plasticity: mechanisms underlying adaptive and maladaptive changes and implications for stress-related CNS disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radley, Jason; Morilak, David; Viau, Victor; Campeau, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Stress responses entail neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral changes to promote effective coping with real or perceived threats to one’s safety. While these responses are critical for the survival of the individual, adverse effects of repeated exposure to stress are widely known to have deleterious effects on health. Thus, a considerable effort in the search for treatments to stress-related CNS disorders necessitates unraveling the brain mechanisms responsible for adaptation under acute conditions and their perturbations following chronic stress exposure. This paper is based upon a symposium from the 2014 International Behavioral Neuroscience Meeting, summarizing some recent advances in understanding the effects of stress on adaptive and maladaptive responses subserved by limbic forebrain networks. An important theme highlighted in this review is that the same networks mediating neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral processes during adaptive coping also comprise targets of the effects of repeated stress exposure in the development of maladaptive states. Where possible, reference is made to the similarity of neurobiological substrates and effects observed following repeated exposure to stress in laboratory animals and the clinical features of stress-related disorders in humans. PMID:26116544

  14. Noise-induced plasticity of KCNQ2/3 and HCN channels underlies vulnerability and resilience to tinnitus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shuang; Kalappa, Bopanna I; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2015-08-27

    Vulnerability to noise-induced tinnitus is associated with increased spontaneous firing rate in dorsal cochlear nucleus principal neurons, fusiform cells. This hyperactivity is caused, at least in part, by decreased Kv7.2/3 (KCNQ2/3) potassium currents. However, the biophysical mechanisms underlying resilience to tinnitus, which is observed in noise-exposed mice that do not develop tinnitus (non-tinnitus mice), remain unknown. Our results show that noise exposure induces, on average, a reduction in KCNQ2/3 channel activity in fusiform cells in noise-exposed mice by 4 days after exposure. Tinnitus is developed in mice that do not compensate for this reduction within the next 3 days. Resilience to tinnitus is developed in mice that show a re-emergence of KCNQ2/3 channel activity and a reduction in HCN channel activity. Our results highlight KCNQ2/3 and HCN channels as potential targets for designing novel therapeutics that may promote resilience to tinnitus.

  15. Echoes in x-ray speckles track nanometer-scale plastic events in colloidal gels under shear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leheny, Robert; Rogers, Michael; Chen, Kui; Andrzejewski, Lukasz; Narayanan, Suresh; Ramakrishnan, Subramanian; Harden, James

    2015-03-01

    Any solid under applied stress possesses an elastic limit above which it yields. The microscopic signatures of yield are irreversible changes to the material's structure. We describe x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy experiments on a concentrated nanocolloidal gel subject to in situ oscillatory shear strain that provide information about the spatial character of rearrangements above yielding at the nanometer scale. The oscillatory strain causes periodic echoes in the x-ray speckle pattern, creating peaks in the intensity autocorrelation function. The peak amplitudes are attenuated above a threshold strain, signaling the onset of irreversible particle rearrangements. The gel displays strain softening well below the threshold, indicating a range of strains at which deformations are nonlinear but reversible. Above the threshold strain, the peak amplitudes decay exponentially with the number of shear cycles, demonstrating that all regions in the sample are equally susceptible to yielding and that the probability of a region yielding is independent of previous shear history. The wave-vector dependence of the decay rate reveals a power-law distribution in the size of rearranging regions, suggesting a nonequilibrium critical transition at yielding.

  16. Cellular and molecular connections between sleep and synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benington, Joel H; Frank, Marcos G

    2003-02-01

    The hypothesis that sleep promotes learning and memory has long been a subject of active investigation. This hypothesis implies that sleep must facilitate synaptic plasticity in some way, and recent studies have provided evidence for such a function. Our knowledge of both the cellular neurophysiology of sleep states and of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity has expanded considerably in recent years. In this article, we review findings in these areas and discuss possible mechanisms whereby the neurophysiological processes characteristic of sleep states may serve to facilitate synaptic plasticity. We address this issue first on the cellular level, considering how activation of T-type Ca(2+) channels in nonREM sleep may promote either long-term depression or long-term potentiation, as well as how cellular events of REM sleep may influence these processes. We then consider how synchronization of neuronal activity in thalamocortical and hippocampal-neocortical networks in nonREM sleep and REM sleep could promote differential strengthening of synapses according to the degree to which activity in one neuron is synchronized with activity in other neurons in the network. Rather than advocating one specific cellular hypothesis, we have intentionally taken a broad approach, describing a range of possible mechanisms whereby sleep may facilitate synaptic plasticity on the cellular and/or network levels. We have also provided a general review of evidence for and against the hypothesis that sleep does indeed facilitate learning, memory, and synaptic plasticity.

  17. Cellular, Molecular, and Genetic Substrates Underlying the Impact of Nicotine on Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Thomas J.; Leach, Prescott T.

    2013-01-01

    Addiction is a chronic disorder marked by long-lasting maladaptive changes in behavior and in reward system function. However, the factors that contribute to the behavioral and biological changes that occur with addiction are complex and go beyond reward. Addiction involves changes in cognitive control and the development of disruptive drug-stimuli associations that can drive behavior. A reason for the strong influence drugs of abuse can exert on cognition may be the striking overlap between the neurobiological substrates of addiction and of learning and memory, especially areas involved in declarative memory. Declarative memories are critically involved in the formation of autobiographical memories, and the ability of drugs of abuse to alter these memories could be particularly detrimental. A key structure in this memory system is the hippocampus, which is critically involved in binding multimodal stimuli together to form complex long-term memories. While all drugs of abuse can alter hippocampal function, this review focuses on nicotine. Addiction to tobacco products is insidious, with the majority of smokers wanting to quit; yet the majority of those that attempt to quit fail. Nicotine addiction is associated with the presence of drug-context and drug-cue associations that trigger drug seeking behavior and altered cognition during periods of abstinence, which contributes to relapse. This suggests that understanding the effects of nicotine on learning and memory will advance understanding and potentially facilitate treating nicotine addiction. The following sections examine: 1) how the effects of nicotine on hippocampus-dependent learning change as nicotine administration transitions from acute to chronic and then to withdrawal from chronic treatment and the potential impact of these changes on addiction, 2) how nicotine usurps the cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, 3) the physiological changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to nicotine withdrawal

  18. Cellular, molecular, and genetic substrates underlying the impact of nicotine on learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gould, Thomas J; Leach, Prescott T

    2014-01-01

    Addiction is a chronic disorder marked by long-lasting maladaptive changes in behavior and in reward system function. However, the factors that contribute to the behavioral and biological changes that occur with addiction are complex and go beyond reward. Addiction involves changes in cognitive control and the development of disruptive drug-stimuli associations that can drive behavior. A reason for the strong influence drugs of abuse can exert on cognition may be the striking overlap between the neurobiological substrates of addiction and of learning and memory, especially areas involved in declarative memory. Declarative memories are critically involved in the formation of autobiographical memories, and the ability of drugs of abuse to alter these memories could be particularly detrimental. A key structure in this memory system is the hippocampus, which is critically involved in binding multimodal stimuli together to form complex long-term memories. While all drugs of abuse can alter hippocampal function, this review focuses on nicotine. Addiction to tobacco products is insidious, with the majority of smokers wanting to quit; yet the majority of those that attempt to quit fail. Nicotine addiction is associated with the presence of drug-context and drug-cue associations that trigger drug seeking behavior and altered cognition during periods of abstinence, which contributes to relapse. This suggests that understanding the effects of nicotine on learning and memory will advance understanding and potentially facilitate treating nicotine addiction. The following sections examine: (1) how the effects of nicotine on hippocampus-dependent learning change as nicotine administration transitions from acute to chronic and then to withdrawal from chronic treatment and the potential impact of these changes on addiction, (2) how nicotine usurps the cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity, (3) the physiological changes in the hippocampus that may contribute to nicotine

  19. Adaptive, fast walking in a biped robot under neuronal control and learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Poramate Manoonpong

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Human walking is a dynamic, partly self-stabilizing process relying on the interaction of the biomechanical design with its neuronal control. The coordination of this process is a very difficult problem, and it has been suggested that it involves a hierarchy of levels, where the lower ones, e.g., interactions between muscles and the spinal cord, are largely autonomous, and where higher level control (e.g., cortical arises only pointwise, as needed. This requires an architecture of several nested, sensori-motor loops where the walking process provides feedback signals to the walker's sensory systems, which can be used to coordinate its movements. To complicate the situation, at a maximal walking speed of more than four leg-lengths per second, the cycle period available to coordinate all these loops is rather short. In this study we present a planar biped robot, which uses the design principle of nested loops to combine the self-stabilizing properties of its biomechanical design with several levels of neuronal control. Specifically, we show how to adapt control by including online learning mechanisms based on simulated synaptic plasticity. This robot can walk with a high speed (>3.0 leg length/s, self-adapting to minor disturbances, and reacting in a robust way to abruptly induced gait changes. At the same time, it can learn walking on different terrains, requiring only few learning experiences. This study shows that the tight coupling of physical with neuronal control, guided by sensory feedback from the walking pattern itself, combined with synaptic learning may be a way forward to better understand and solve coordination problems in other complex motor tasks.

  20. Failure to learn from feedback underlies word learning difficulties in toddlers at risk for autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedford, R; Gliga, T; Frame, K; Hudry, K; Chandler, S; Johnson, M H; Charman, T

    2013-01-01

    Children's assignment of novel words to nameless objects, over objects whose names they know (mutual exclusivity; ME) has been described as a driving force for vocabulary acquisition. Despite their ability to use ME to fast-map words (Preissler & Carey, 2005), children with autism show impaired language acquisition. We aimed to address this puzzle by building on studies showing that correct referent selection using ME does not lead to word learning unless ostensive feedback is provided on the child's object choice (Horst & Samuelson, 2008). We found that although toddlers aged 2;0 at risk for autism can use ME to choose the correct referent of a word, they do not benefit from feedback for long-term retention of the word-object mapping. Further, their difficulty using feedback is associated with their smaller receptive vocabularies. We propose that difficulties learning from social feedback, not lexical principles, limits vocabulary building during development in children at risk for autism.

  1. Network-timing-dependent plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vincent eDelattre

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Bursts of activity in networks of neurons are thought to convey salient information and drive synaptic plasticity. Here we report that network bursts also exert a profound effect on Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP. In acute slices of juvenile rat somatosensory cortex we paired a network burst, which alone induced long-term depression (LTD, with STDP-induced long-term potentiation and depression (LTP and LTD. We observed that STDP-induced LTP was either unaffected, blocked or flipped into LTD by the network burst, and that STDP-induced LTD was either saturated or flipped into LTP, depending on the relative timing of the network burst with respect to spike coincidences of the STDP event. We hypothesized that network bursts flip STDP-induced LTP to LTD by depleting resources needed for LTP and therefore developed a resource-dependent STDP learning rule. In a model neural network under the influence of the proposed resource-dependent STDP rule, we found that excitatory synaptic coupling was homeostatically regulated to produce power law distributed burst amplitudes reflecting self-organized criticality, a state that ensures optimal information coding.

  2. Network-timing-dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delattre, Vincent; Keller, Daniel; Perich, Matthew; Markram, Henry; Muller, Eilif B

    2015-01-01

    Bursts of activity in networks of neurons are thought to convey salient information and drive synaptic plasticity. Here we report that network bursts also exert a profound effect on Spike-Timing-Dependent Plasticity (STDP). In acute slices of juvenile rat somatosensory cortex we paired a network burst, which alone induced long-term depression (LTD), with STDP-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) and LTD. We observed that STDP-induced LTP was either unaffected, blocked or flipped into LTD by the network burst, and that STDP-induced LTD was either saturated or flipped into LTP, depending on the relative timing of the network burst with respect to spike coincidences of the STDP event. We hypothesized that network bursts flip STDP-induced LTP to LTD by depleting resources needed for LTP and therefore developed a resource-dependent STDP learning rule. In a model neural network under the influence of the proposed resource-dependent STDP rule, we found that excitatory synaptic coupling was homeostatically regulated to produce power law distributed burst amplitudes reflecting self-organized criticality, a state that ensures optimal information coding.

  3. A Neural Circuit for Acoustic Navigation combining Heterosynaptic and Non-synaptic Plasticity that learns Stable Trajectories

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Shaikh, Danish; Manoonpong, Poramate

    2017-01-01

    controllers be resolved in a manner that generates consistent and stable robot trajectories? We propose a neural circuit that minimises this conflict by learning sensorimotor mappings as neuronal transfer functions between the perceived sound direction and wheel velocities of a simulated non-holonomic mobile...

  4. Learning-related plasticity in PE1 and other mushroom body-extrinsic neurons in the honeybee brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Ryuichi; Rybak, Jürgen; Manz, Gisela; Menzel, Randolf

    2007-10-24

    Extracellular recording were performed from mushroom body-extrinsic neurons while the animal was exposed to differential conditioning to two odors, the forward-paired conditioned stimulus (CS+; the odor that will be or has been paired with sucrose reward) and the unpaired CS- (the odor that will be or has been specifically unpaired with sucrose reward). A single neuron, the pedunculus-extrinsic neuron number 1 (PE1), was identified on the basis of its firing pattern, and other neurons were grouped together as non-PE1 neurons. PE1 reduces its response to CS+ and does not change its response to CS- after learning. Most non-PE1 neurons do not change their responses during learning, but some decrease, and one neuron increases its response to CS+. PE1 receives inhibitory synaptic inputs, and neuroanatomical studies indicate closely attached GABA-immune reactive profiles originating at least partially from neurons of the protocerebral-calycal tract (PCT). Thus, either the associative reduction of odor responses originates within the PE1 via a long-term depression (LTD)-like mechanism, or PE1 receives stronger inhibition for the learned odor from the PCT neurons or from Kenyon cells. In any event, as the decreased firing of PE1 correlates with the increased probability of behavioral responses, our data suggest that the mushroom bodies exert general inhibition over sensory-motor connections, which relaxes selectively for learned stimuli.

  5. Genetic approaches to the molecular/neuronal mechanisms underlying learning and memory in the mouse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, Akira; Tang, Ya-Ping

    2005-09-01

    Learning and memory is an essential component of human intelligence. To understand its underlying molecular and neuronal mechanisms is currently an extensive focus in the field of cognitive neuroscience. We have employed advanced mouse genetic approaches to analyze the molecular and neuronal bases for learning and memory, and our results showed that brain region-specific genetic manipulations (including transgenic and knockout), inducible/reversible knockout, genetic/chemical kinase inactivation, and neuronal-based genetic approach are very powerful tools for studying the involvements of various molecules or neuronal substrates in the processes of learning and memory. Studies using these techniques may eventually lead to the understanding of how new information is acquired and how learned information is memorized in the brain.

  6. On the Class Culture Construction of College Students under the Individualized Learning Environment

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    谷照亮; 谷凤苗

    2016-01-01

    With the development of the times and the reform of the education system, some new ideas of education and teaching have been presented. Personalized learning has received much attention while the status and special features of personalized learning environment are becoming increasingly prominent. Therefore, the author will review briefly from the following several aspects in this paper. Firstly, the author discusses that with the progress of the times, changes in teaching philosophy lead to per-sonalized learning environment;secondly, the author explores personalization of learning environment under the new situation lead to a shift in the class structure and the status of teachers, and briefly describes the effect on the construction of class culture and analyzes the existing opportunities and challenges. Finally, the author briefly discusses the necessarity of class collective cul-ture construction and realization path of the class culture construction in this paper.

  7. Time place learning and activity profile under constant light and constant dark in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, Clarissa de Almeida; Lima, Jéssica Polyana da Silva; Silveira, Vanessa Augusta Magalhães; Miguel, Mário André Leocadio; Luchiari, Ana Carolina

    2017-02-20

    The ability to learn about the signs of variability in space and time is known as time place learning (TPL). To adjust their circadian rhythms, animals use stimuli that change regularly, such as the light-dark cycle, temperature, food availability or even social stimuli. Because light-dark cycle is the most important environmental temporal cue, we asked how a diurnal animal would perform TPL if this cue was removed. Zebrafish has been extensively studied in the chronobiology area due to it diurnal chronotype, thus, we studied the effects of constant light and constant dark on the time-place learning and activity profile in zebrafish. Our data show that while under constant light and dark condition zebrafish was not able of TPL, after 30days under the constant conditions, constant light led to higher activity level and less significant (robust) 24h rhythm.

  8. Plastic food packaging and health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raika Durusoy

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Plastics have a wide usage in our daily lives. One of their uses is for food packaging and food containers. The aim of this review is to introduce different types of chemicals that can leach from food packaging plastics into foods and cause human exposure and to mention their effects on health. The types of plastics were reviewed under the 13 headings in Turkish Codex Alimentarius and plastics recycling symbols were provided to enable the recognition of the type of plastic when applicable. Chemicals used during the production and that can cause health risks are investigated under the heading of the relevant type of plastic. The most important chemicals from plastic food packaging that can cause toxicity are styrene, 1,3-butadiene, melamine, formaldehyde, acrylamide, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, di-2-ethylhexyl adipate, vinyl chloride and bisphenol A. These chemicals have endocrine disrupting, carcinogenic and/or development disrupting effects. These chemicals may leach into foods depending on the chemical properties of the plastic or food, temperature during packaging, processing and storage, exposure to UV and duration of storage. Contact with fatty/oily or acidic foods, heating of the food inside the container, or drinking hot drinks from plastic cups, use of old and scratched plastics and some detergents increase the risk of leaching. The use of plastic containers and packaging for food and beveradges should be avoided whenever possible and when necessary, less harmful types of plastic should be preferred. [TAF Prev Med Bull 2011; 10(1.000: 87-96

  9. Plastic condoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1968-01-01

    Only simple equipment, simple technology and low initial capital investment are needed in their manufacture. The condoms can be made by people who were previously unskilled or only semi-skilled workers. Plastic condoms differ from those made of latex rubber in that the nature of the plastic film allows unlimited shelf-life. Also, the plastic has a higher degree of lubricity than latex rubber; if there is a demand for extra lubrication in a particular market, this can be provided. Because the plastic is inert, these condoms need not be packaged in hermetically sealed containers. All these attributes make it possible to put these condoms on the distributors' shelves in developing countries competitively with rubber condoms. The shape of the plastic condom is based on that of the lamb caecum, which has long been used as luxury-type condom. The plastic condom is made from plastic film (ethylene ethyl acrilate) of 0.001 inch (0.0254 mm.) thickness. In addition, a rubber ring is provided and sealed into the base of the condom for retention during coitus. The advantage of the plastic condom design and the equipment on which it is made is that production can be carried out either in labour-intensive economy or with varying degrees of mechanization and automation. The uniform, finished condom if made using previously untrained workers. Training of workers can be done in a matter of hours on the two machines which are needed to produce and test the condoms. The plastic film is provided on a double wound roll, and condom blanks are prepared by means of a heat-sealing die on the stamping machine. The rubber rings are united to the condom blanks on an assembly machine, which consists of a mandrel and heat-sealing equipment to seal the rubber ring to the base of the condom. Built into the assembly machine is a simple air-testing apparatus that can detect the smallest pinhole flaw in a condom. The manufacturing process is completed by unravelling the condom from the assembly

  10. Nitrous oxide emissions from soils amended by cover-crops and under plastic film mulching: Fluxes, emission factors and yield-scaled emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Gil Won; Das, Suvendu; Hwang, Hyun Young; Kim, Pil Joo

    2017-03-01

    Assessment of nitrous oxide (N2O) emission factor (EF) for N2O emission inventory from arable crops fertilized with different nitrogen sources are under increased scrutiny because of discrepancies between the default IPCC EFs and low EFs reported by many researchers. Mixing ratio of leguminous and non-leguminous cover crop residues incorporation and plastic film mulching (PFM) in upland soil has been recommended as a vital agronomic practice to enhance yield and soil quality. However, how these practices together affect N2O emissions, yield-scaled emissions and the EFs remain uncertain. Field experiments spanning two consecutive years were conducted to evaluate the effects of PFM on N2O emissions, yield-scaled emissions and the seasonal EFs in cover crop residues amended soil during maize cultivation. The mixture of barley (Hordeum vulgare) and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) seeds with 75% recommended dose (RD 140 kg ha-1) and 25% recommended dose (RD 90 kg ha-1), respectively, were broadcasted during the fallow period and 0, 25, 50 and 100% of the total aboveground harvested biomass that correspond to 0, 76, 152 and 304 kg N ha-1 were incorporated before maize transplanting. It was found that the mean seasonal EFs from cover crop residues amended soil under No-mulching (NM) and PFM were 1.13% (ranging from 0.81 to 1.23%) and 1.49% (ranging from 1.02 to 1.63%), respectively, which are comparable to the IPCC (2006) default EF (1%) for emission inventories of N2O from crop residues. The emission fluxes were greatly influenced by NH4+sbnd N, NO3--N, DOC and DON contents of soil. The cumulative N2O emissions markedly increased with the increase in cover crop residues application rates and it was more prominent under PFM than under NM. However, the yield-scaled emissions markedly decreased under PFM compared to NM due to the improved yield. With relatively low yield-scaled N2O emissions, 25% biomass mixing ratio of barley and hairy vetch (76 kg N ha-1) under PFM could be

  11. Learning-based encoding with soft assignment for age estimation under unconstrained imaging conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alnajar, F.; Shan, C.; Gevers, T.; Geusebroek, J.M.

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we propose to adopt a learning-based encoding method for age estimation under unconstrained imaging conditions. A similar approach [Cao et al., 2010] is applied to face recognition in real-life face images. However, the feature vectors are encoded in hard manner i.e. each feature vecto

  12. Two Projection Pursuit Algorithms for Machine Learning under Non-Stationarity

    CERN Document Server

    Blythe, Duncan A J

    2011-01-01

    This thesis derives, tests and applies two linear projection algorithms for machine learning under non-stationarity. The first finds a direction in a linear space upon which a data set is maximally non-stationary. The second aims to robustify two-way classification against non-stationarity. The algorithm is tested on a key application scenario, namely Brain Computer Interfacing.

  13. Neurochemical Manipulation of Procedural Memory Sequential Stimuli Learning Under Influence of Phentermine and Pentobarbital

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkerts, E; van Laar, M.W; Verbaten, M.N; Mulder, G.; Maes, R.A A

    1999-01-01

    Within the scope of implicit, procedural memory research a large number of empirical studies have been conducted to explore the conditions under which structured sequence learning will emerge in healthy volunteers. Up to now, a few studies have been carried out to determine the effects of scopolamin

  14. Neurochemical manipulation of procedural memory : Sequential stimuli learning under influence of phentermine and pentobarbital

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Volkerts, ER; Verbaten, MN; Mulder, G; Maes, RAA

    1999-01-01

    Within the scope of implicit, procedural memory research a large number of empirical studies have been conducted to explore the conditions under which structured sequence learning will emerge in healthy volunteers. Up to now, a few studies have been carried out to determine the effects of scopolamin

  15. From production-oriented farming towards multifunctional entrepreneurship : exploring the underlying learning process

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seuneke, P.L.M.

    2014-01-01

      This thesis unravels the learning process underlying the switch from conventional production-oriented farming towards ‘multifunctional entrepreneurship’. In other words: the process by which former production-oriented farmers (men, women and their families) re-invent themselves a

  16. Optimal dike investments under uncertainty and learning about increasing water levels

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van der T.D.; Ierland, van E.C.; Weikard, H.P.

    2014-01-01

    Water level extremes for seas and rivers are crucial to determine optimal dike heights. Future development in extremes under climate change is, however, uncertain. In this paper, we explore impacts of uncertainty and learning about increasing water levels on dike investment. We extend previous work

  17. The Effects of Hypertext Gloss on Comprehension and Vocabulary Retention under Incidental and Intentional Learning Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zandieh, Zeinab; Jafarigohar, Manoochehr

    2012-01-01

    The present study investigated comprehension, immediate and delayed vocabulary retention under incidental and intentional learning conditions via computer mediated hypertext gloss. One hundred and eighty four (N = 184) intermediate students of English as a foreign language at an English school participated in the study. They were randomly assigned…

  18. Plastic Bronchitis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, Bruce K

    2016-09-01

    Plastic bronchitis is an uncommon and probably underrecognized disorder, diagnosed by the expectoration or bronchoscopic removal of firm, cohesive, branching casts. It should not be confused with purulent mucous plugging of the airway as seen in patients with cystic fibrosis or bronchiectasis. Few medications have been shown to be effective and some are now recognized as potentially harmful. Current research directions in plastic bronchitis research include understanding the genetics of lymphatic development and maldevelopment, determining how abnormal lymphatic malformations contribute to cast formation, and developing new treatments. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Damage evaluation of fiber reinforced plastic-confined circular concrete-filled steel tubular columns under cyclic loading using the acoustic emission technique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Dongsheng; Du, Fangzhu; Ou, Jinping

    2017-03-01

    Glass-fiber reinforced plastic (GFRP)-confined circular concrete-filled steel tubular (CCFT) columns comprise of concrete, steel, and GFRP and show complex failure mechanics under cyclic loading. This paper investigated the failure mechanism and damage evolution of GFRP–CCFT columns by performing uniaxial cyclic loading tests that were monitored using the acoustic emission (AE) technique. Characteristic AE parameters were obtained during the damage evolution of GFRP–CCFT columns. Based on the relationship between the loading curve and these parameters, the damage evolution of GFRP–CCFT columns was classified into three stages that represented different damage degrees. Damage evolution and failure mode were investigated by analyzing the b-value and the ratio of rise time to waveform amplitude and average frequency. The damage severity of GFRP–CCFT columns were quantitatively estimated according to the modified index of damage and NDIS-2421 damage assessment criteria corresponding to each loading step. The proposed method can explain the damage evolution and failure mechanism for GFRP–CCFT columns and provide critical warning information for composite structures.

  20. Bilingualism yields language-specific plasticity in left hemisphere's circuitry for learning to read in young children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasińska, K K; Berens, M S; Kovelman, I; Petitto, L A

    2017-04-01

    How does bilingual exposure impact children's neural circuitry for learning to read? Theories of bilingualism suggests that exposure to two languages may yield a functional and neuroanatomical adaptation to support the learning of two languages (Klein et al., 2014). To test the hypothesis that this neural adaptation may vary as a function of structural and orthographic characteristics of bilinguals' two languages, we compared Spanish-English and French-English bilingual children, and English monolingual children, using functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy neuroimaging (fNIRS, ages 6-10, N =26). Spanish offers consistent sound-to-print correspondences ("phonologically transparent" or "shallow"); such correspondences are more opaque in French and even more opaque in English (which has both transparent and "phonologically opaque" or "deep" correspondences). Consistent with our hypothesis, both French- and Spanish-English bilinguals showed hyperactivation in left posterior temporal regions associated with direct sound-to-print phonological analyses and hypoactivation in left frontal regions associated with assembled phonology analyses. Spanish, but not French, bilinguals showed a similar effect when reading Irregular words. The findings inform theories of bilingual and cross-linguistic literacy acquisition by suggesting that structural characteristics of bilinguals' two languages and their orthographies have a significant impact on children's neuro-cognitive architecture for learning to read. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  1. Mixed plastics recycling technology

    CERN Document Server

    Hegberg, Bruce

    1995-01-01

    Presents an overview of mixed plastics recycling technology. In addition, it characterizes mixed plastics wastes and describes collection methods, costs, and markets for reprocessed plastics products.

  2. Modulation of Hippocampal Neural Plasticity by Glucose-Related Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Mainardi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hormones and peptides involved in glucose homeostasis are emerging as important modulators of neural plasticity. In this regard, increasing evidence shows that molecules such as insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, glucagon-like peptide-1, and ghrelin impact on the function of the hippocampus, which is a key area for learning and memory. Indeed, all these factors affect fundamental hippocampal properties including synaptic plasticity (i.e., synapse potentiation and depression, structural plasticity (i.e., dynamics of dendritic spines, and adult neurogenesis, thus leading to modifications in cognitive performance. Here, we review the main mechanisms underlying the effects of glucose metabolism on hippocampal physiology. In particular, we discuss the role of these signals in the modulation of cognitive functions and their potential implications in dysmetabolism-related cognitive decline.

  3. Microglia: Dynamic Mediators of Synapse Development and Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Yuwen; Dissing-Olesen, Lasse; MacVicar, Brian A; Stevens, Beth

    2015-10-01

    Neuronal communication underlies all brain activity and the genesis of complex behavior. Emerging research has revealed an unexpected role for immune molecules in the development and plasticity of neuronal synapses. Moreover microglia, the resident immune cells of the brain, express and secrete immune-related signaling molecules that alter synaptic transmission and plasticity in the absence of inflammation. When inflammation does occur, microglia modify synaptic connections and synaptic plasticity required for learning and memory. Here we review recent findings demonstrating how the dynamic interactions between neurons and microglia shape the circuitry of the nervous system in the healthy brain and how altered neuron-microglia signaling could contribute to disease. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  4. Modulation of hippocampal neural plasticity by glucose-related signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mainardi, Marco; Fusco, Salvatore; Grassi, Claudio

    2015-01-01

    Hormones and peptides involved in glucose homeostasis are emerging as important modulators of neural plasticity. In this regard, increasing evidence shows that molecules such as insulin, insulin-like growth factor-I, glucagon-like peptide-1, and ghrelin impact on the function of the hippocampus, which is a key area for learning and memory. Indeed, all these factors affect fundamental hippocampal properties including synaptic plasticity (i.e., synapse potentiation and depression), structural plasticity (i.e., dynamics of dendritic spines), and adult neurogenesis, thus leading to modifications in cognitive performance. Here, we review the main mechanisms underlying the effects of glucose metabolism on hippocampal physiology. In particular, we discuss the role of these signals in the modulation of cognitive functions and their potential implications in dysmetabolism-related cognitive decline.

  5. Plastic fish

    CERN Multimedia

    Antonella Del Rosso

    2015-01-01

    In terms of weight, the plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is estimated to be around 300,000 tonnes. This plastic comes from both land-based and ocean-based sources. A lecture at CERN by chemist Wolfgang Trettnak addressed this issue and highlighted the role of art in raising people’s awareness.   Artwork by Wolfgang Trettnak. Packaging materials, consumer goods (shoes, kids’ toys, etc.), leftovers from fishing and aquaculture activities… our oceans and beaches are full of plastic litter. Most of the debris from beaches is plastic bottles. “PET bottles have high durability and stability,” explains Wolfgang Trettnak, a chemist by education and artist from Austria, who gave a lecture on this topic organised by the Staff Association at CERN on 26 May. “PET degrades very slowly and the estimated lifetime of a bottle is 450 years.” In addition to the beach litter accumulated from human use, rivers bring several ki...

  6. Plastic zonnecellen

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roggen, Marjolein

    1998-01-01

    De zonnecel van de toekomst is in de maak. Onderzoekers van uiteenlopend pluimage werken eendrachtig aan een plastic zonnecel. De basis is technisch gelegd met een optimale, door invallend licht veroorzaakte, vorming van ladingdragers binnen een composiet van polymeren en buckyballs. Nu is het zaak

  7. Neural substrates underlying stimulation-enhanced motor skill learning after stroke.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefebvre, Stéphanie; Dricot, Laurence; Laloux, Patrice; Gradkowski, Wojciech; Desfontaines, Philippe; Evrard, Frédéric; Peeters, André; Jamart, Jacques; Vandermeeren, Yves

    2015-01-01

    Motor skill learning is one of the key components of motor function recovery after stroke, especially recovery driven by neurorehabilitation. Transcranial direct current stimulation can enhance neurorehabilitation and motor skill learning in stroke patients. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the retention of stimulation-enhanced motor skill learning involving a paretic upper limb have not been resolved. These neural substrates were explored by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging. Nineteen chronic hemiparetic stroke patients participated in a double-blind, cross-over randomized, sham-controlled experiment with two series. Each series consisted of two sessions: (i) an intervention session during which dual transcranial direct current stimulation or sham was applied during motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb; and (ii) an imaging session 1 week later, during which the patients performed the learned motor skill. The motor skill learning task, called the 'circuit game', involves a speed/accuracy trade-off and consists of moving a pointer controlled by a computer mouse along a complex circuit as quickly and accurately as possible. Relative to the sham series, dual transcranial direct current stimulation applied bilaterally over the primary motor cortex during motor skill learning with the paretic upper limb resulted in (i) enhanced online motor skill learning; (ii) enhanced 1-week retention; and (iii) superior transfer of performance improvement to an untrained task. The 1-week retention's enhancement driven by the intervention was associated with a trend towards normalization of the brain activation pattern during performance of the learned motor skill relative to the sham series. A similar trend towards normalization relative to sham was observed during performance of a simple, untrained task without a speed/accuracy constraint, despite a lack of behavioural difference between the dual transcranial direct current stimulation and sham

  8. The Study of Reinforcement Learning for Traffic Self-Adaptive Control under Multiagent Markov Game Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lun-Hui Xu

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Urban traffic self-adaptive control problem is dynamic and uncertain, so the states of traffic environment are hard to be observed. Efficient agent which controls a single intersection can be discovered automatically via multiagent reinforcement learning. However, in the majority of the previous works on this approach, each agent needed perfect observed information when interacting with the environment and learned individually with less efficient coordination. This study casts traffic self-adaptive control as a multiagent Markov game problem. The design employs traffic signal control agent (TSCA for each signalized intersection that coordinates with neighboring TSCAs. A mathematical model for TSCAs’ interaction is built based on nonzero-sum markov game which has been applied to let TSCAs learn how to cooperate. A multiagent Markov game reinforcement learning approach is constructed on the basis of single-agent Q-learning. This method lets each TSCA learn to update its Q-values under the joint actions and imperfect information. The convergence of the proposed algorithm is analyzed theoretically. The simulation results show that the proposed method is convergent and effective in realistic traffic self-adaptive control setting.

  9. Learning without training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beste, Christian; Dinse, Hubert R

    2013-06-03

    Achieving high-level skills is generally considered to require intense training, which is thought to optimally engage neuronal plasticity mechanisms. Recent work, however, suggests that intensive training may not be necessary for skill learning. Skills can be effectively acquired by a complementary approach in which the learning occurs in response to mere exposure to repetitive sensory stimulation. Such training-independent sensory learning induces lasting changes in perception and goal-directed behaviour in humans, without any explicit task training. We suggest that the effectiveness of this form of learning in different sensory domains stems from the fact that the stimulation protocols used are optimized to alter synaptic transmission and efficacy. While this approach directly links behavioural research in humans with studies on cellular plasticity, other approaches show that learning can occur even in the absence of an actual stimulus. These include learning through imagery or feedback-induced cortical activation, resulting in learning without task training. All these approaches challenge our understanding of the mechanisms that mediate learning. Apparently, humans can learn under conditions thought to be impossible a few years ago. Although the underlying mechanisms are far from being understood, training-independent sensory learning opens novel possibilities for applications aimed at augmenting human cognition.

  10. Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor is centrally involved in learning under moderate stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Morgan; Chen, Alon; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2013-08-01

    The corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neuropeptide is found to have a pivotal role in the regulation of the behavioral and neuroendocrine responses to stressful challenges. Here, we studied the involvement of the hypothalamic CRF in learning under stressful conditions. We have used a site-specific viral approach to knockdown (KD) CRF expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). The two-way shuttle avoidance (TWSA) task was chosen to assess learning and memory under stressful conditions. Control animals learned to shuttle from one side to the other to avoid electrical foot shock by responding to a tone. Novel object and social recognition tasks were used to assess memory under less stressful conditions. KD of PVN-CRF expression decreased the number of avoidance responses in a TWSA session under moderate (0.8 mA), but not strong (1.5 mA), stimulus intensity compared to control rats. On the other hand, KD of PVN-CRF had no effect on memory performance in the less stressful novel object or social recognition tasks. Interestingly, basal or stress-induced corticosterone levels in CRF KD rats were not significantly different from controls. Taken together, the data suggest that the observed impairment was not a result of alteration in HPA axis activity, but rather due to reduced PVN-CRF activity on other brain areas. We propose that hypothalamic CRF is centrally involved in learning under moderate stressful challenge. Under 'basal' (less stressful) conditions or when the intensity of the stress is more demanding, central CRF ceases to be the determinant factor, as was indicated by performances in the TWSA with higher stimulus intensity or in the less stressful tasks of object and social recognition.

  11. Plastic Surgery Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... PSN PSEN GRAFT Contact Us News Plastic Surgery Statistics Plastic surgery procedural statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Statistics by Year Print 2016 Plastic Surgery Statistics 2015 ...

  12. Plasticity modeling & computation

    CERN Document Server

    Borja, Ronaldo I

    2013-01-01

    There have been many excellent books written on the subject of plastic deformation in solids, but rarely can one find a textbook on this subject. “Plasticity Modeling & Computation” is a textbook written specifically for students who want to learn the theoretical, mathematical, and computational aspects of inelastic deformation in solids. It adopts a simple narrative style that is not mathematically overbearing, and has been written to emulate a professor giving a lecture on this subject inside a classroom. Each section is written to provide a balance between the relevant equations and the explanations behind them. Where relevant, sections end with one or more exercises designed to reinforce the understanding of the “lecture.” Color figures enhance the presentation and make the book very pleasant to read. For professors planning to use this textbook for their classes, the contents are sufficient for Parts A and B that can be taught in sequence over a period of two semesters or quarters.

  13. Effects of bursting dynamic features on the generation of multi-clustered structure of neural network with symmetric spike-timing-dependent plasticity learning rule

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Hui; Song, Yongduan; Xue, Fangzheng; Li, Xiumin, E-mail: xmli@cqu.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Dependable Service Computing in Cyber Physical Society of Ministry of Education, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China); College of Automation, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044 (China)

    2015-11-15

    In this paper, the generation of multi-clustered structure of self-organized neural network with different neuronal firing patterns, i.e., bursting or spiking, has been investigated. The initially all-to-all-connected spiking neural network or bursting neural network can be self-organized into clustered structure through the symmetric spike-timing-dependent plasticity learning for both bursting and spiking neurons. However, the time consumption of this clustering procedure of the burst-based self-organized neural network (BSON) is much shorter than the spike-based self-organized neural network (SSON). Our results show that the BSON network has more obvious small-world properties, i.e., higher clustering coefficient and smaller shortest path length than the SSON network. Also, the results of larger structure entropy and activity entropy of the BSON network demonstrate that this network has higher topological complexity and dynamical diversity, which benefits for enhancing information transmission of neural circuits. Hence, we conclude that the burst firing can significantly enhance the efficiency of clustering procedure and the emergent clustered structure renders the whole network more synchronous and therefore more sensitive to weak input. This result is further confirmed from its improved performance on stochastic resonance. Therefore, we believe that the multi-clustered neural network which self-organized from the bursting dynamics has high efficiency in information processing.

  14. Effects of bursting dynamic features on the generation of multi-clustered structure of neural network with symmetric spike-timing-dependent plasticity learning rule

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hui; Song, Yongduan; Xue, Fangzheng; Li, Xiumin

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, the generation of multi-clustered structure of self-organized neural network with different neuronal firing patterns, i.e., bursting or spiking, has been investigated. The initially all-to-all-connected spiking neural network or bursting neural network can be self-organized into clustered structure through the symmetric spike-timing-dependent plasticity learning for both bursting and spiking neurons. However, the time consumption of this clustering procedure of the burst-based self-organized neural network (BSON) is much shorter than the spike-based self-organized neural network (SSON). Our results show that the BSON network has more obvious small-world properties, i.e., higher clustering coefficient and smaller shortest path length than the SSON network. Also, the results of larger structure entropy and activity entropy of the BSON network demonstrate that this network has higher topological complexity and dynamical diversity, which benefits for enhancing information transmission of neural circuits. Hence, we conclude that the burst firing can significantly enhance the efficiency of clustering procedure and the emergent clustered structure renders the whole network more synchronous and therefore more sensitive to weak input. This result is further confirmed from its improved performance on stochastic resonance. Therefore, we believe that the multi-clustered neural network which self-organized from the bursting dynamics has high efficiency in information processing.

  15. Cross-talk induces bifurcations in nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Terry

    2012-02-01

    Linear models of synaptic plasticity provide a useful starting-point for examining the dynamics of neuronal development and learning, but their inherent problems are well known. Models of synaptic plasticity that embrace the demands of biological realism are therefore typically nonlinear. Viewed from a more abstract perspective, nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity are a subset of nonlinear dynamical systems. As such, they may therefore exhibit bifurcations under the variation of control parameters, including noise and errors in synaptic updates. One source of noise or error is the cross-talk that occurs during otherwise Hebbian plasticity. Under cross-talk, stimulation of a set of synapses can induce or modify plasticity in adjacent, unstimulated synapses. Here, we analyze two nonlinear models of developmental synaptic plasticity and a model of independent component analysis in the presence of a simple model of cross-talk. We show that cross-talk does indeed induce bifurcations in these models, entirely destroying their ability to acquire either developmentally or learning-related patterns of fixed points. Importantly, the critical level of cross-talk required to induce bifurcations in these models is very sensitive to the statistics of the afferents' activities and the number of afferents synapsing on a postsynaptic cell. In particular, the critical level can be made arbitrarily small. Because bifurcations are inevitable in nonlinear models, our results likely apply to many nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity, although the precise details vary by model. Hence, many nonlinear models of synaptic plasticity are potentially fatally compromised by the toxic influence of cross-talk and other sources of noise and errors more generally. We conclude by arguing that biologically realistic models of synaptic plasticity must be robust against noise-induced bifurcations and that biological systems may have evolved strategies to circumvent their possible dangers.

  16. Plastic Recycling Experiments in Materials Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ping; Waskom, Tommy L.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this project was to introduce a series of plastic recycling experiments to students in materials-related courses such as materials science, material technology and materials testing. With the plastic recycling experiments, students not only can learn the fundamentals of plastic processing and properties as in conventional materials courses, but also can be exposed to the issue of materials life cycle and the impact on society and environment.

  17. Plastic bronchitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anil Kumar Singhi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Plastic bronchitis, a rare but serious clinical condition, commonly seen after Fontan surgeries in children, may be a manifestation of suboptimal adaptation to the cavopulmonary circulation with unfavorable hemodynamics. They are ominous with poor prognosis. Sometimes, infection or airway reactivity may provoke cast bronchitis as a two-step insult on a vulnerable vascular bed. In such instances, aggressive management leads to longer survival. This report of cast bronchitis discusses its current understanding.

  18. Age-related similarities and differences in brain activity underlying reversal learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaoru eNashiro

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available The ability to update associative memory is an important aspect of episodic memory and a critical skill for social adaptation. Previous research with younger adults suggests that emotional arousal alters brain mechanisms underlying memory updating; however, it is unclear whether this applies to older adults. Given that the ability to update associative information declines with age, it is important to understand how emotion modulates the brain processes underlying memory updating in older adults. The current study investigated this question using reversal learning tasks, where younger and older participants (age ranges 19-35 and 61-78 respectively learn a stimulus–outcome association and then update their response when contingencies change. We found that younger and older adults showed similar patterns of activation in the frontopolar OFC and the amygdala during emotional reversal learning. In contrast, when reversal learning did not involve emotion, older adults showed greater parietal cortex activity than did younger adults. Thus, younger and older adults show more similarities in brain activity during memory updating involving emotional stimuli than during memory updating not involving emotional stimuli.

  19. Surprise responses in the human brain demonstrate statistical learning under high concurrent cognitive demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Marta Isabel; Teng, Chee Leong James; Taylor, Jeremy Alexander; Rowe, Elise Genevieve; Mattingley, Jason Brett

    2016-06-01

    The ability to learn about regularities in the environment and to make predictions about future events is fundamental for adaptive behaviour. We have previously shown that people can implicitly encode statistical regularities and detect violations therein, as reflected in neuronal responses to unpredictable events that carry a unique prediction error signature. In the real world, however, learning about regularities will often occur in the context of competing cognitive demands. Here we asked whether learning of statistical regularities is modulated by concurrent cognitive load. We compared electroencephalographic metrics associated with responses to pure-tone sounds with frequencies sampled from narrow or wide Gaussian distributions. We showed that outliers evoked a larger response than those in the centre of the stimulus distribution (i.e., an effect of surprise) and that this difference was greater for physically identical outliers in the narrow than in the broad distribution. These results demonstrate an early neurophysiological marker of the brain's ability to implicitly encode complex statistical structure in the environment. Moreover, we manipulated concurrent cognitive load by having participants perform a visual working memory task while listening to these streams of sounds. We again observed greater prediction error responses in the narrower distribution under both low and high cognitive load. Furthermore, there was no reliable reduction in prediction error magnitude under high-relative to low-cognitive load. Our findings suggest that statistical learning is not a capacity limited process, and that it proceeds automatically even when cognitive resources are taxed by concurrent demands.

  20. Model-based reinforcement learning under concurrent schedules of reinforcement in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huh, Namjung; Jo, Suhyun; Kim, Hoseok; Sul, Jung Hoon; Jung, Min Whan

    2009-05-01

    Reinforcement learning theories postulate that actions are chosen to maximize a long-term sum of positive outcomes based on value functions, which are subjective estimates of future rewards. In simple reinforcement learning algorithms, value functions are updated only by trial-and-error, whereas they are updated according to the decision-maker's knowledge or model of the environment in model-based reinforcement learning algorithms. To investigate how animals update value functions, we trained rats under two different free-choice tasks. The reward probability of the unchosen target remained unchanged in one task, whereas it increased over time since the target was last chosen in the other task. The results show that goal choice probability increased as a function of the number of consecutive alternative choices in the latter, but not the former task, indicating that the animals were aware of time-dependent increases in arming probability and used this information in choosing goals. In addition, the choice behavior in the latter task was better accounted for by a model-based reinforcement learning algorithm. Our results show that rats adopt a decision-making process that cannot be accounted for by simple reinforcement learning models even in a relatively simple binary choice task, suggesting that rats can readily improve their decision-making strategy through the knowledge of their environments.

  1. Learning-Memory Function and Swimming Capability of Rat and Ergonomic Evaluation Under Hypoxic Condition

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HU Ding-yu; DAI Rong-ji; LI Bo; MAO Jian; GENG Li-na; DENG Yu-lin

    2009-01-01

    Effects of hypoxia on learning-memory function and swimming capability of rat were studied and the ergonomics under hypoxic condition was also evaluated from the biological point of view. Three modes of hypoxia were designed and plots of oxygen concentration versus time for each group in hypoxic environment were produced. Results showed that the effects of hypoxia on learning-memory function and swimming capability were related with the time and strength of hypoxia. It had nothing to do with the individual difference of rat models. 10% O2 long-term intermittent anamorphosis hypoxia could improve the swimming capability of rat model significantly. Stimulating with proper level of hypoxia, carbon dioxide could improve ergonomics in airtight hypoxia environment. Under hypoxia condition, from the ergonomic point of view, 6% O2 is the important threshold and might belong in critical region.

  2. Oscillation-Driven Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity Allows Multiple Overlapping Pattern Recognition in Inhibitory Interneuron Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garrido, Jesús A; Luque, Niceto R; Tolu, Silvia; D'Angelo, Egidio

    2016-08-01

    The majority of operations carried out by the brain require learning complex signal patterns for future recognition, retrieval and reuse. Although learning is thought to depend on multiple forms of long-term synaptic plasticity, the way this latter contributes to pattern recognition is still poorly understood. Here, we have used a simple model of afferent excitatory neurons and interneurons with lateral inhibition, reproducing a network topology found in many brain areas from the cerebellum to cortical columns. When endowed with spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) at the excitatory input synapses and at the inhibitory interneuron-interneuron synapses, the interneurons rapidly learned complex input patterns. Interestingly, induction of plasticity required that the network be entrained into theta-frequency band oscillations, setting the internal phase-reference required to drive STDP. Inhibitory plasticity effectively distributed multiple patterns among available interneurons, thus allowing the simultaneous detection of multiple overlapping patterns. The addition of plasticity in intrinsic excitability made the system more robust allowing self-adjustment and rescaling in response to a broad range of input patterns. The combination of plasticity in lateral inhibitory connections and homeostatic mechanisms in the inhibitory interneurons optimized mutual information (MI) transfer. The storage of multiple complex patterns in plastic interneuron networks could be critical for the generation of sparse representations of information in excitatory neuron populations falling under their control.

  3. A note on sample complexity of learning binary output neural networks under fixed input distributions

    CERN Document Server

    Pestov, Vladimir

    2010-01-01

    We show that the learning sample complexity of a sigmoidal neural network constructed by Sontag (1992) required to achieve a given misclassification error under a fixed purely atomic distribution can grow arbitrarily fast: for any prescribed rate of growth there is an input distribution having this rate as the sample complexity, and the bound is asymptotically tight. The rate can be superexponential, a non-recursive function, etc. We further observe that Sontag's ANN is not Glivenko-Cantelli under any input distribution having a non-atomic part.

  4. Brain activity underlying auditory perceptual learning during short period training: simultaneous fMRI and EEG recording

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de Souza Ana Cláudia Silva

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is an accumulating body of evidence indicating that neuronal functional specificity to basic sensory stimulation is mutable and subject to experience. Although fMRI experiments have investigated changes in brain activity after relative to before perceptual learning, brain activity during perceptual learning has not been explored. This work investigated brain activity related to auditory frequency discrimination learning using a variational Bayesian approach for source localization, during simultaneous EEG and fMRI recording. We investigated whether the practice effects are determined solely by activity in stimulus-driven mechanisms or whether high-level attentional mechanisms, which are linked to the perceptual task, control the learning process. Results The results of fMRI analyses revealed significant attention and learning related activity in left and right superior temporal gyrus STG as well as the left inferior frontal gyrus IFG. Current source localization of simultaneously recorded EEG data was estimated using a variational Bayesian method. Analysis of current localized to the left inferior frontal gyrus and the right superior temporal gyrus revealed gamma band activity correlated with behavioral performance. Conclusions Rapid improvement in task performance is accompanied by plastic changes in the sensory cortex as well as superior areas gated by selective attention. Together the fMRI and EEG results suggest that gamma band activity in the right STG and left IFG plays an important role during perceptual learning.

  5. Constraints on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity: limits and costs of phenotype and plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murren, C J; Auld, J R; Callahan, H; Ghalambor, C K; Handelsman, C A; Heskel, M A; Kingsolver, J G; Maclean, H J; Masel, J; Maughan, H; Pfennig, D W; Relyea, R A; Seiter, S; Snell-Rood, E; Steiner, U K; Schlichting, C D

    2015-10-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is ubiquitous and generally regarded as a key mechanism for enabling organisms to survive in the face of environmental change. Because no organism is infinitely or ideally plastic, theory suggests that there must be limits (for example, the lack of ability to produce an optimal trait) to the evolution of phenotypic plasticity, or that plasticity may have inherent significant costs. Yet numerous experimental studies have not detected widespread costs. Explicitly differentiating plasticity costs from phenotype costs, we re-evaluate fundamental questions of the limits to the evolution of plasticity and of generalists vs specialists. We advocate for the view that relaxed selection and variable selection intensities are likely more important constraints to the evolution of plasticity than the costs of plasticity. Some forms of plasticity, such as learning, may be inherently costly. In addition, we examine opportunities to offset costs of phenotypes through ontogeny, amelioration of phenotypic costs across environments, and the condition-dependent hypothesis. We propose avenues of further inquiry in the limits of plasticity using new and classic methods of ecological parameterization, phylogenetics and omics in the context of answering questions on the constraints of plasticity. Given plasticity's key role in coping with environmental change, approaches spanning the spectrum from applied to basic will greatly enrich our understanding of the evolution of plasticity and resolve our understanding of limits.

  6. Regulatory mechanisms link phenotypic plasticity to evolvability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gestel, Jordi; Weissing, Franz J

    2016-04-18

    Organisms have a remarkable capacity to respond to environmental change. They can either respond directly, by means of phenotypic plasticity, or they can slowly adapt through evolution. Yet, how phenotypic plasticity links to evolutionary adaptability is largely unknown. Current studies of plasticity tend to adopt a phenomenological reaction norm (RN) approach, which neglects the mechanisms underlying plasticity. Focusing on a concrete question - the optimal timing of bacterial sporulation - we here also consider a mechanistic approach, the evolution of a gene regulatory network (GRN) underlying plasticity. Using individual-based simulations, we compare the RN and GRN approach and find a number of striking differences. Most importantly, the GRN model results in a much higher diversity of responsive strategies than the RN model. We show that each of the evolved strategies is pre-adapted to a unique set of unseen environmental conditions. The regulatory mechanisms that control plasticity therefore critically link phenotypic plasticity to the adaptive potential of biological populations.

  7. Under-represented students' engagement in secondary science learning: A non-equivalent control group design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vann-Hamilton, Joy J.

    Problem. A significant segment of the U.S. population, under-represented students, is under-engaged or disengaged in secondary science education. International and national assessments and various research studies illuminate the problem and/or the disparity between students' aspirations in science and the means they have to achieve them. To improve engagement and address inequities among these students, more contemporary and/or inclusive pedagogy is recommended. More specifically, multicultural science education has been suggested as a potential strategy for increased equity so that all learners have access to and are readily engaged in quality science education. While multicultural science education emphasizes the integration of students' backgrounds and experiences with science learning , multimedia has been suggested as a way to integrate the fundamentals of multicultural education into learning for increased engagement. In addition, individual characteristics such as race, sex, academic track and grades were considered. Therefore, this study examined the impact of multicultural science education, multimedia, and individual characteristics on under-represented students' engagement in secondary science. Method. The Under-represented Students Engagement in Science Survey (USESS), an adaptation of the High School Survey of Student Engagement, was used with 76 high-school participants. The USESS was used to collect pretest and posttest data concerning their types and levels of student engagement. Levels of engagement were measured with Strongly Agree ranked as 5, down to Strongly Disagree ranked at 1. Participants provided this feedback prior to and after having interacted with either the multicultural or the non-multicultural version of the multimedia science curriculum. Descriptive statistics for the study's participants and the survey items, as well as Cronbach's alpha coefficient for internal consistency reliability with respect to the survey subscales, were

  8. A Multi-Task Learning Framework for Head Pose Estimation under Target Motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Yan; Ricci, Elisa; Subramanian, Ramanathan; Liu, Gaowen; Lanz, Oswald; Sebe, Nicu

    2016-06-01

    Recently, head pose estimation (HPE) from low-resolution surveillance data has gained in importance. However, monocular and multi-view HPE approaches still work poorly under target motion, as facial appearance distorts owing to camera perspective and scale changes when a person moves around. To this end, we propose FEGA-MTL, a novel framework based on Multi-Task Learning (MTL) for classifying the head pose of a person who moves freely in an environment monitored by multiple, large field-of-view surveillance cameras. Upon partitioning the monitored scene into a dense uniform spatial grid, FEGA-MTL simultaneously clusters grid partitions into regions with similar facial appearance, while learning region-specific head pose classifiers. In the learning phase, guided by two graphs which a-priori model the similarity among (1) grid partitions based on camera geometry and (2) head pose classes, FEGA-MTL derives the optimal scene partitioning and associated pose classifiers. Upon determining the target's position using a person tracker at test time, the corresponding region-specific classifier is invoked for HPE. The FEGA-MTL framework naturally extends to a weakly supervised setting where the target's walking direction is employed as a proxy in lieu of head orientation. Experiments confirm that FEGA-MTL significantly outperforms competing single-task and multi-task learning methods in multi-view settings.

  9. Armazenamento refrigerado da uva de mesa 'Romana' (A1105 cultivada sob cobertura plástica Cold storage of 'Romana' (A1105 table grape cultivated under plastic cover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Lulu

    2005-08-01

    Full Text Available A videira é uma das principais fruteiras cultivadas em todo o mundo e atualmente a preferência por uvas do tipo "sem sementes" ou "apirênicas" vem aumentando gradativamente no mercado interno brasileiro. A cultivar 'Romana' (A1105 tem mostrado grande potencial como nova alternativa de uva de mesa apirênica na região de Jundiaí - SP. No entanto, a qualidade dos cachos tem sido afetada pela ocorrência de chuvas na época da colheita, propiciando a incidência de rachaduras nas bagas ("cracking" e podridões. Visando a solucionar essa dificuldade, foram conduzidos experimentos de campo em vinhedo cultivado em cortina dupla e sob cobertura plástica. Após a colheita, foram coletadas oito amostras com seis cachos cada, que foram armazenadas a 3 ºC e submetidas a avaliações de qualidade por um período máximo de 36 dias. A perda de massa ultrapassou o valor de 6% após três semanas de armazenamento refrigerado, quando apresentou sinais de murchamento das bagas, concluindo-se que o período máximo de armazenamento em câmara fria para a cultivar 'Romana' (A1105 foi de 21 dias.The grapevine is one of the most cultivated fruit crop and nowadays the preference for seedless grapes is gradualy increasing in the Brazilian internal market. The table grape cultivar 'Romana' (A1105 has been showing potential as a new option for the growers from Jundiaí - SP, Brazil, as a seedless grape. However the bunch quality has been affected by rain at the harvest allowing the incidence of cracking and bunch rot. Aiming to solve this problem a field trial was carried out with grapes cultivated under plastic cover and Geneva Double Curtain training system. After harvest, eight samples of six bunches each were taken and stored at 3 ºC and evaluated for quality during a period of 36 days. After three weeks of storage, the weight loss was higher than 6%, showing bunch fade and the rot bunch increased significantly. It was concluded that maximum shelf life for

  10. Process for remediation of plastic waste

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pol, Vilas G [Westmont, IL; Thiyagarajan, Pappannan [Germantown, MD

    2012-04-10

    A single step process for degrading plastic waste by converting the plastic waste into carbonaceous products via thermal decomposition of the plastic waste by placing the plastic waste into a reactor, heating the plastic waste under an inert or air atmosphere until the temperature of 700.degree. C. is achieved, allowing the reactor to cool down, and recovering the resulting decomposition products therefrom. The decomposition products that this process yields are carbonaceous materials, and more specifically egg-shaped and spherical-shaped solid carbons. Additionally, in the presence of a transition metal compound, this thermal decomposition process produces multi-walled carbon nanotubes.

  11. Nano-Ceramic Coated Plastics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Junghyun

    2013-01-01

    Plastic products, due to their durability, safety, and low manufacturing cost, are now rapidly replacing cookware items traditionally made of glass and ceramics. Despite this trend, some still prefer relatively expensive and more fragile ceramic/glassware because plastics can deteriorate over time after exposure to foods, which can generate odors, bad appearance, and/or color change. Nano-ceramic coatings can eliminate these drawbacks while still retaining the advantages of the plastic, since the coating only alters the surface of the plastic. The surface coating adds functionality to the plastics such as self-cleaning and disinfectant capabilities that result from a photocatalytic effect of certain ceramic systems. These ceramic coatings can also provide non-stick surfaces and higher temperature capabilities for the base plastics without resorting to ceramic or glass materials. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) are the candidates for a nano-ceramic coating to deposit on the plastics or plastic films used in cookware and kitchenware. Both are wide-bandgap semiconductors (3.0 to 3.2 eV for TiO2 and 3.2 to 3.3 eV for ZnO), so they exhibit a photocatalytic property under ultraviolet (UV) light. This will lead to decomposition of organic compounds. Decomposed products can be easily washed off by water, so the use of detergents will be minimal. High-crystalline film with large surface area for the reaction is essential to guarantee good photocatalytic performance of these oxides. Low-temperature processing (nano-ceramic coatings (TiO2, ZnO) on plastic materials (silicone, Teflon, PET, etc.) that can possess both photocatalytic oxide properties and flexible plastic properties. Processing cost is low and it does not require any expensive equipment investment. Processing can be scalable to current manufacturing infrastructure.

  12. An imperfect quality items with learning and inflation under two limited storage capacity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.R. Singh

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we develop a two-warehouse imperfect production model under two cases: (i model starts with shortages (ii model ends with shortages. Most of the researchers proposed the models for perfect items but we develop for imperfect quality items, which is very realistic. Demand is taken as time dependent and dependent on the production. Holding cost in rented warehouse (RW is greater than own warehouse (OW. Deterioration is taken as Weibull distribution in both OW and RW. Shortages are allowed and partially backlogged. The effect of learning on production cost is also considered. Learning from one cycle to other cycle, improve the efficiency of the organization. A numerical example including the sensitivity analysis is given to validate the results of the production-inventory model.

  13. Vocabulary Learning Under New Curriculum ---Grade Nine student in a Junior high school%Vocabulary Learning Under New Curriculum ---Grade Nine student in a Junior high school

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨灿

    2011-01-01

    1. Introduction This thesis focuses on the real situation of vocabulary learning in a junior high school, located in countryside. First, this thesis will review some research conclusions on vocabulary learning. Then the author tries to explore the real situation of vocabulary learning in the high school, by analyzing the data collected from the questionnaire done by Grade Nine students.

  14. How learning analytics can early predict under-achieving students in a blended medical education course.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saqr, Mohammed; Fors, Uno; Tedre, Matti

    2017-07-01

    Learning analytics (LA) is an emerging discipline that aims at analyzing students' online data in order to improve the learning process and optimize learning environments. It has yet un-explored potential in the field of medical education, which can be particularly helpful in the early prediction and identification of under-achieving students. The aim of this study was to identify quantitative markers collected from students' online activities that may correlate with students' final performance and to investigate the possibility of predicting the potential risk of a student failing or dropping out of a course. This study included 133 students enrolled in a blended medical course where they were free to use the learning management system at their will. We extracted their online activity data using database queries and Moodle plugins. Data included logins, views, forums, time, formative assessment, and communications at different points of time. Five engagement indicators were also calculated which would reflect self-regulation and engagement. Students who scored below 5% over the passing mark were considered to be potentially at risk of under-achieving. At the end of the course, we were able to predict the final grade with 63.5% accuracy, and identify 53.9% of at-risk students. Using a binary logistic model improved prediction to 80.8%. Using data recorded until the mid-course, prediction accuracy was 42.3%. The most important predictors were factors reflecting engagement of the students and the consistency of using the online resources. The analysis of students' online activities in a blended medical education course by means of LA techniques can help early predict underachieving students, and can be used as an early warning sign for timely intervention.

  15. Plasticidade anatômica da folha de taro cultivado sob diferentes condições de sombreamento Leaf plasticity in taro plants under different shade conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ancélio Ricardo de Oliveira Gondim

    2008-12-01

    intercropping with other taller species taro plants were grown under 0%, 18%, 30% and 50% of shading. The increase on shadding induced changes in cells and tissues proportion, such as a reduction on leaf thickness, palisade parenchyma and aerenchyma thickness and on stomata density. It is concluded that taro plants show leaf anatomical plasticity under different shade levels, what probabily changes the photosynthetic capacity and photosynthate distribution in vegetative organs.

  16. Overcoming maladaptive plasticity through plastic compensation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew R.J. MORRIS, Sean M. ROGERS

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Most species evolve within fluctuating environments, and have developed adaptations to meet the challenges posed by environmental heterogeneity. One such adaptation is phenotypic plasticity, or the ability of a single genotype to produce multiple environmentally-induced phenotypes. Yet, not all plasticity is adaptive. Despite the renewed interest in adaptive phenotypic plasticity and its consequences for evolution, much less is known about maladaptive plasticity. However, maladaptive plasticity is likely an important driver of phenotypic similarity among populations living in different environments. This paper traces four strategies for overcoming maladaptive plasticity that result in phenotypic similarity, two of which involve genetic changes (standing genetic variation, genetic compensation and two of which do not (standing epigenetic variation, plastic compensation. Plastic compensation is defined as adaptive plasticity overcoming maladaptive plasticity. In particular, plastic compensation may increase the likelihood of genetic compensation by facilitating population persistence. We provide key terms to disentangle these aspects of phenotypic plasticity and introduce examples to reinforce the potential importance of plastic compensation for understanding evolutionary change [Current Zoology 59 (4: 526–536, 2013].

  17. Overcoming maladaptive plasticity through plastic compensation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Matthew R.J.MORRIS; Sean M.ROGERS

    2013-01-01

    Most species evolve within fluctuating environments,and have developed adaptations to meet the challenges posed by environmental heterogeneity.One such adaptation is phenotypic plasticity,or the ability of a single genotype to produce multiple environmentally-induced phenotypes.Yet,not all plasticity is adaptive.Despite the renewed interest in adaptive phenotypic plasticity and its consequences for evolution,much less is known about maladaptive plasticity.However,maladaptive plasticity is likely an important driver of phenotypic similarity among populations living in different environments.This paper traces four strategies for overcoming maladaptive plasticity that result in phenotypic similarity,two of which involve genetic changes (standing genetic variation,genetic compensation) and two of which do not (standing epigenetic variation,plastic compensation).Plastic compensation is defined as adaptive plasticity overcoming maladaptive plasticity.In particular,plastic compensation may increase the likelihood of genetic compensation by facilitating population persistence.We provide key terms to disentangle these aspects of phenotypic plasticity and introduce examples to reinforce the potential importance of plastic compensation for understanding evolutionary change.

  18. Application of a model of plastic porous materials including void shape effects to the prediction of ductile failure under shear-dominated loadings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Morin, Léo; Leblond, Jean Baptiste; Tvergaard, Viggo

    2016-01-01

    An extension of Gurson's famous model (Gurson, 1977) of porous plastic solids, incorporating void shape effects, has recently been proposed by Madou and Leblond (Madou and Leblond, 2012a, 2012b, 2013; Madou et al., 2013). In this extension the voids are no longer modelled as spherical but ellipso......An extension of Gurson's famous model (Gurson, 1977) of porous plastic solids, incorporating void shape effects, has recently been proposed by Madou and Leblond (Madou and Leblond, 2012a, 2012b, 2013; Madou et al., 2013). In this extension the voids are no longer modelled as spherical...... and coworkers (Tvergaard, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2015a; Dahl et al., 2012; Nielsen et al., 2012) involving the shear loading of elementary porous cells, where softening due to changes of the void shape and orientation was very apparent. It is found that with a simple, heuristic modelling of the phenomenon...

  19. Dentate Gyrus Local Circuit is Implicated in Learning Under Stress--a Role for Neurofascin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zitman, Femke M P; Lucas, Morgan; Trinks, Sabine; Grosse-Ophoff, Laura; Kriebel, Martin; Volkmer, Hansjürgen; Richter-Levin, Gal

    2016-03-01

    The inhibitory synapses at the axon initial segment (AIS) of dentate gyrus granular cells are almost exclusively innervated by the axo-axonic chandelier interneurons. However, the role of chandelier neurons in local circuitry is poorly understood and controversially discussed. The cell adhesion molecule neurofascin is specifically expressed at the AIS. It is crucially required for the stabilization of axo-axonic synapses. Knockdown of neurofascin is therefore a convenient tool to interfere with chandelier input at the AIS of granular neurons of the dentate gyrus. In the current study, feedback and feedforward inhibition of granule cells was measured in the dentate gyrus after knockdown of neurofascin and concomitant reduction of axo-axonic input. Results show increased feedback inhibition as a result of neurofascin knockdown, while feedforward inhibition remained unaffected. This suggests that chandelier neurons are predominantly involved in feedback inhibition. Neurofascin knockdown rats also exhibited impaired learning under stress in the two-way shuttle avoidance task. Remarkably, this learning impairment was not accompanied by differences in electrophysiological measurements of dentate gyrus LTP. This indicates that the local circuit may be involved in (certain types) of learning.

  20. Complementary contributions of basolateral amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex to value learning under uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolyarova, Alexandra; Izquierdo, Alicia

    2017-01-01

    We make choices based on the values of expected outcomes, informed by previous experience in similar settings. When the outcomes of our decisions consistently violate expectations, new learning is needed to maximize rewards. Yet not every surprising event indicates a meaningful change in the environment. Even when conditions are stable overall, outcomes of a single experience can still be unpredictable due to small fluctuations (i.e., expected uncertainty) in reward or costs. In the present work, we investigate causal contributions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) and orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) in rats to learning under expected outcome uncertainty in a novel delay-based task that incorporates both predictable fluctuations and directional shifts in outcome values. We demonstrate that OFC is required to accurately represent the distribution of wait times to stabilize choice preferences despite trial-by-trial fluctuations in outcomes, whereas BLA is necessary for the facilitation of learning in response to surprising events. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.27483.001 PMID:28682238

  1. Enhanced biodegradation of low and high-density polyethylene by novel bacterial consortia formulated from plastic-contaminated cow dung under thermophilic conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skariyachan, Sinosh; Setlur, Anagha Shamsundar; Naik, Sujay Yashwant; Naik, Ashwini Amaresh; Usharani, Makam; Vasist, Kiran S

    2017-03-01

    The current study aimed to devise eco-friendly, safe, and cost-effective strategies for enhanced degradation of low- and high-density polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE) using newly formulated thermophilic microbial consortia from cow dung and to assess the biodegradation end products. The plastic-degrading bacteria from cow dung samples gathered from highly plastic-acclimated environments were enriched by standard protocols. The degradation ability was comprehended by zone of clearance method, and the percentage of degradation was monitored by weight reduction process. The best isolates were characterized by standard microbiological and molecular biology protocols. The best isolates were employed to form several combinations of microbial consortia, and the degradation end products were analyzed. The stability of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) was predicted by bioinformatics approach. This study identified 75 ± 2, 55 ± 2, 60 ± 3, and 43 ± 3% degradation for LDPE strips, pellets, HDPE strips, and pellets, respectively, for a period of 120 days (p plastic surfaces. These novel isolates were designated as Bacillus vallismortis bt-dsce01, Psuedomonas protegens bt-dsce02, Stenotrophomonas sp. bt-dsce03, and Paenibacillus sp.bt-dsce04 by 16S rDNA sequencing and suggested good gene stability with minimum Gibb's free energy. Therefore, this study imparts substantial information regarding the utilization of these thermophilic microbial consortia from cow dung for rapid polyethylene removal.

  2. Is Sleep Essential for Neural Plasticity in Humans, and How Does It Affect Motor and Cognitive Recovery?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio Gorgoni

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general consensus that sleep is strictly linked to memory, learning, and, in general, to the mechanisms of neural plasticity, and that this link may directly affect recovery processes. In fact, a coherent pattern of empirical findings points to beneficial effect of sleep on learning and plastic processes, and changes in synaptic plasticity during wakefulness induce coherent modifications in EEG slow wave cortical topography during subsequent sleep. However, the specific nature of the relation between sleep and synaptic plasticity is not clear yet. We reported findings in line with two models conflicting with respect to the underlying mechanisms, that is, the “synaptic homeostasis hypothesis” and the “consolidation” hypothesis, and some recent results that may reconcile them. Independently from the specific mechanisms involved, sleep loss is associated with detrimental effects on plastic processes at a molecular and electrophysiological level. Finally, we reviewed growing evidence supporting the notion that plasticity-dependent recovery could be improved managing sleep quality, while monitoring EEG during sleep may help to explain how specific rehabilitative paradigms work. We conclude that a better understanding of the sleep-plasticity link could be crucial from a rehabilitative point of view.

  3. Is sleep essential for neural plasticity in humans, and how does it affect motor and cognitive recovery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorgoni, Maurizio; D'Atri, Aurora; Lauri, Giulia; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Ferlazzo, Fabio; De Gennaro, Luigi

    2013-01-01

    There is a general consensus that sleep is strictly linked to memory, learning, and, in general, to the mechanisms of neural plasticity, and that this link may directly affect recovery processes. In fact, a coherent pattern of empirical findings points to beneficial effect of sleep on learning and plastic processes, and changes in synaptic plasticity during wakefulness induce coherent modifications in EEG slow wave cortical topography during subsequent sleep. However, the specific nature of the relation between sleep and synaptic plasticity is not clear yet. We reported findings in line with two models conflicting with respect to the underlying mechanisms, that is, the "synaptic homeostasis hypothesis" and the "consolidation" hypothesis, and some recent results that may reconcile them. Independently from the specific mechanisms involved, sleep loss is associated with detrimental effects on plastic processes at a molecular and electrophysiological level. Finally, we reviewed growing evidence supporting the notion that plasticity-dependent recovery could be improved managing sleep quality, while monitoring EEG during sleep may help to explain how specific rehabilitative paradigms work. We conclude that a better understanding of the sleep-plasticity link could be crucial from a rehabilitative point of view.

  4. Facial Action Unit Recognition under Incomplete Data Based on Multi-label Learning with Missing Labels

    KAUST Repository

    Li, Yongqiang

    2016-07-07

    Facial action unit (AU) recognition has been applied in a wild range of fields, and has attracted great attention in the past two decades. Most existing works on AU recognition assumed that the complete label assignment for each training image is available, which