WorldWideScience

Sample records for reversal-specific learning impairments

  1. Ego depletion impairs implicit learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, Kelsey R; Sanchez, Daniel J; Wesley, Abigail H; Reber, Paul J

    2014-01-01

    Implicit skill learning occurs incidentally and without conscious awareness of what is learned. However, the rate and effectiveness of learning may still be affected by decreased availability of central processing resources. Dual-task experiments have generally found impairments in implicit learning, however, these studies have also shown that certain characteristics of the secondary task (e.g., timing) can complicate the interpretation of these results. To avoid this problem, the current experiments used a novel method to impose resource constraints prior to engaging in skill learning. Ego depletion theory states that humans possess a limited store of cognitive resources that, when depleted, results in deficits in self-regulation and cognitive control. In a first experiment, we used a standard ego depletion manipulation prior to performance of the Serial Interception Sequence Learning (SISL) task. Depleted participants exhibited poorer test performance than did non-depleted controls, indicating that reducing available executive resources may adversely affect implicit sequence learning, expression of sequence knowledge, or both. In a second experiment, depletion was administered either prior to or after training. Participants who reported higher levels of depletion before or after training again showed less sequence-specific knowledge on the post-training assessment. However, the results did not allow for clear separation of ego depletion effects on learning versus subsequent sequence-specific performance. These results indicate that performance on an implicitly learned sequence can be impaired by a reduction in executive resources, in spite of learning taking place outside of awareness and without conscious intent.

  2. Communication Skills and Learning in Impaired Individuals

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    Eliöz, Murat

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to compare the communication skills of individuals with different disabilities with athletes and sedentary people and to examine their learning abilities which influence the development of communication. A total of 159 male subjects 31 sedentary, 30 visually impaired, 27 hearing impaired, 40 physically impaired and 31…

  3. Language Learning Impairment in Sequential Bilingual Children

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    Ebert, Kerry Danahy; Kohnert, Kathryn

    2016-01-01

    We review and synthesize empirical evidence at the intersection of two populations: children with language learning impairment (LLI) and children from immigrant families who learn a single language from birth and a second language beginning in early childhood. LLI is a high incidence disorder that, in recent years, has been referred to by…

  4. Acute stress selectively impairs learning to act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Berker, Archy O; Tirole, Margot; Rutledge, Robb B; Cross, Gemma F; Dolan, Raymond J; Bestmann, Sven

    2016-07-20

    Stress interferes with instrumental learning. However, choice is also influenced by non-instrumental factors, most strikingly by biases arising from Pavlovian associations that facilitate action in pursuit of rewards and inaction in the face of punishment. Whether stress impacts on instrumental learning via these Pavlovian associations is unknown. Here, in a task where valence (reward or punishment) and action (go or no-go) were orthogonalised, we asked whether the impact of stress on learning was action or valence specific. We exposed 60 human participants either to stress (socially-evaluated cold pressor test) or a control condition (room temperature water). We contrasted two hypotheses: that stress would lead to a non-selective increase in the expression of Pavlovian biases; or that stress, as an aversive state, might specifically impact action production due to the Pavlovian linkage between inaction and aversive states. We found support for the second of these hypotheses. Stress specifically impaired learning to produce an action, irrespective of the valence of the outcome, an effect consistent with a Pavlovian linkage between punishment and inaction. This deficit in action-learning was also reflected in pupillary responses; stressed individuals showed attenuated pupillary responses to action, hinting at a noradrenergic contribution to impaired action-learning under stress.

  5. Impaired Statistical Learning in Developmental Dyslexia.

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    Gabay, Yafit; Thiessen, Erik D; Holt, Lori L

    2015-06-01

    Developmental dyslexia (DD) is commonly thought to arise from phonological impairments. However, an emerging perspective is that a more general procedural learning deficit, not specific to phonological processing, may underlie DD. The current study examined if individuals with DD are capable of extracting statistical regularities across sequences of passively experienced speech and nonspeech sounds. Such statistical learning is believed to be domain-general, to draw upon procedural learning systems, and to relate to language outcomes. DD and control groups were familiarized with a continuous stream of syllables or sine-wave tones, the ordering of which was defined by high or low transitional probabilities across adjacent stimulus pairs. Participants subsequently judged two 3-stimulus test items with either high or low statistical coherence as being the most similar to the sounds heard during familiarization. As with control participants, the DD group was sensitive to the transitional probability structure of the familiarization materials as evidenced by above-chance performance. However, the performance of participants with DD was significantly poorer than controls across linguistic and nonlinguistic stimuli. In addition, reading-related measures were significantly correlated with statistical learning performance of both speech and nonspeech material. Results are discussed in light of procedural learning impairments among participants with DD.

  6. Cellular Basis for Learning Impairment in Fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-12-1-0320 TITLE: Cellular Basis for Learning Impairment in Fragile X Syndrome PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: John R. Larson...Cellular Basis for Learning Impairment in Fragile X Syndrome 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER W81XWH-12-1-0320 5b. GRANT NUMBER PR110362; IIRA 5c. PROGRAM...basis for learning impairment in Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), using olfactory learning in Fmr1-KO mice as a model system. We hypothesize that FMRP

  7. Public Computer Assisted Learning Facilities for Children with Visual Impairment: Universal Design for Inclusive Learning

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    Siu, Kin Wai Michael; Lam, Mei Seung

    2012-01-01

    Although computer assisted learning (CAL) is becoming increasingly popular, people with visual impairment face greater difficulty in accessing computer-assisted learning facilities. This is primarily because most of the current CAL facilities are not visually impaired friendly. People with visual impairment also do not normally have access to…

  8. The Learning Disabled, Hearing Impaired Students: Reality, Myth, or Overextension?

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    Laughton, Joan

    1989-01-01

    This paper focuses on definitions, incidence, and characteristics of the multihandicapping condition known as "learning disabled, hearing impaired," in order to provide a means of identifying these children and determining whether or not they require different teaching strategies. (JDD)

  9. E-LEARNING FOR THE VISION IMPAIRED: A HOLISTIC PERSPECTIVE

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    Ruchi Permvattana

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Problems faced by vision impaired students are different from those experienced by sighted students. Most e-learning environments are designed for sighted students, utilizing complex visual images and interactive features; however students with acute vision impairments are not able to utilize these features and must rely on applications to translate the contents of screen displays and documents into forms that are accessible. Learning environments for people with physical disabilities need specific considerations in design and implementation to ensure their appropriateness and accessibility. This paper initially discusses specific problems faced by students with acute vision impairments and how e-learning environments need to address these problems in order for the student to achieve the same learning outcomes as sighted students. A brief outline of the research method is followed by a description of the holistic model proposed for accessible e-learning environment design.

  10. Working memory contributions to reinforcement learning impairments in schizophrenia.

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    Collins, Anne G E; Brown, Jaime K; Gold, James M; Waltz, James A; Frank, Michael J

    2014-10-08

    Previous research has shown that patients with schizophrenia are impaired in reinforcement learning tasks. However, behavioral learning curves in such tasks originate from the interaction of multiple neural processes, including the basal ganglia- and dopamine-dependent reinforcement learning (RL) system, but also prefrontal cortex-dependent cognitive strategies involving working memory (WM). Thus, it is unclear which specific system induces impairments in schizophrenia. We recently developed a task and computational model allowing us to separately assess the roles of RL (slow, cumulative learning) mechanisms versus WM (fast but capacity-limited) mechanisms in healthy adult human subjects. Here, we used this task to assess patients' specific sources of impairments in learning. In 15 separate blocks, subjects learned to pick one of three actions for stimuli. The number of stimuli to learn in each block varied from two to six, allowing us to separate influences of capacity-limited WM from the incremental RL system. As expected, both patients (n = 49) and healthy controls (n = 36) showed effects of set size and delay between stimulus repetitions, confirming the presence of working memory effects. Patients performed significantly worse than controls overall, but computational model fits and behavioral analyses indicate that these deficits could be entirely accounted for by changes in WM parameters (capacity and reliability), whereas RL processes were spared. These results suggest that the working memory system contributes strongly to learning impairments in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413747-10$15.00/0.

  11. E-Learning Environment for Hearing Impaired Students

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    Hashim, Hisyamuddin; Tasir, Zaidatun; Mohamad, Siti Khadijah

    2013-01-01

    The usage of technology within the educational department has become more vital by each year passing. One of the most popular technological approaches used is the e-learning environment. The usage of e-learning environment in education involves a wide range of types of students, and this includes the hearing impaired ones. Some adjustment or…

  12. The Dilemma of Identifying Learning Disabled Hearing-Impaired Students.

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    Powers, Ann

    1988-01-01

    A teacher, speech-language pathologist, school principal, and audiologist rated 27 hearing-impaired elementary students on effective use of language, speech, and sign language and on presence of a learning disability and/or behavior problem. Ratings were compared with each other and with test scores purporting to identify learning disabilities or…

  13. Incidental Learning of Sound Categories is Impaired in Developmental Dyslexia

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    Gabay, Yafit; Holt, Lori L.

    2015-01-01

    Developmental dyslexia is commonly thought to arise from specific phonological impairments. However, recent evidence is consistent with the possibility that phonological impairments arise as symptoms of an underlying dysfunction of procedural learning. The nature of the link between impaired procedural learning and phonological dysfunction is unresolved. Motivated by the observation that speech processing involves the acquisition of procedural category knowledge, the present study investigates the possibility that procedural learning impairment may affect phonological processing by interfering with the typical course of phonetic category learning. The present study tests this hypothesis while controlling for linguistic experience and possible speech-specific deficits by comparing auditory category learning across artificial, nonlinguistic sounds among dyslexic adults and matched controls in a specialized first-person shooter videogame that has been shown to engage procedural learning. Nonspeech auditory category learning was assessed online via within-game measures and also with a post-training task involving overt categorization of familiar and novel sound exemplars. Each measure reveals that dyslexic participants do not acquire procedural category knowledge as effectively as age- and cognitive-ability matched controls. This difference cannot be explained by differences in perceptual acuity for the sounds. Moreover, poor nonspeech category learning is associated with slower phonological processing. Whereas phonological processing impairments have been emphasized as the cause of dyslexia, the current results suggest that impaired auditory category learning, general in nature and not specific to speech signals, could contribute to phonological deficits in dyslexia with subsequent negative effects on language acquisition and reading. Implications for the neuro-cognitive mechanisms of developmental dyslexia are discussed. PMID:26409017

  14. Working memory and reward association learning impairments in obesity.

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    Coppin, Géraldine; Nolan-Poupart, Sarah; Jones-Gotman, Marilyn; Small, Dana M

    2014-12-01

    Obesity has been associated with impaired executive functions including working memory. Less explored is the influence of obesity on learning and memory. In the current study we assessed stimulus reward association learning, explicit learning and memory and working memory in healthy weight, overweight and obese individuals. Explicit learning and memory did not differ as a function of group. In contrast, working memory was significantly and similarly impaired in both overweight and obese individuals compared to the healthy weight group. In the first reward association learning task the obese, but not healthy weight or overweight participants consistently formed paradoxical preferences for a pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer food rewards). To determine if the deficit was specific to food reward a second experiment was conducted using money. Consistent with Experiment 1, obese individuals selected the pattern associated with a negative outcome (fewer monetary rewards) more frequently than healthy weight individuals and thus failed to develop a significant preference for the most rewarded patterns as was observed in the healthy weight group. Finally, on a probabilistic learning task, obese compared to healthy weight individuals showed deficits in negative, but not positive outcome learning. Taken together, our results demonstrate deficits in working memory and stimulus reward learning in obesity and suggest that obese individuals are impaired in learning to avoid negative outcomes. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Implicit Spoken Words and Motor Sequences Learning Are Impaired in Children with Specific Language Impairment.

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    Desmottes, Lise; Meulemans, Thierry; Maillart, Christelle

    2016-05-01

    This study aims to compare verbal and motor implicit sequence learning abilities in children with and without specific language impairment (SLI). Forty-eight children (24 control and 24 SLI) were administered the Serial Search Task (SST), which enables the simultaneous assessment of implicit spoken words and visuomotor sequences learning. Results showed that control children implicitly learned both the spoken words as well as the motor sequences. In contrast, children with SLI showed deficits in both types of learning. Moreover, correlational analyses revealed that SST performance was linked with grammatical abilities in control children but with lexical abilities in children with SLI. Overall, this pattern of results supports the procedural deficit hypothesis and suggests that domain general implicit sequence learning is impaired in SLI.

  16. Toxin-Induced Experimental Models of Learning and Memory Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    More, Sandeep Vasant; Kumar, Hemant; Cho, Duk-Yeon; Yun, Yo-Sep; Choi, Dong-Kug

    2016-09-01

    Animal models for learning and memory have significantly contributed to novel strategies for drug development and hence are an imperative part in the assessment of therapeutics. Learning and memory involve different stages including acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval and each stage can be characterized using specific toxin. Recent studies have postulated the molecular basis of these processes and have also demonstrated many signaling molecules that are involved in several stages of memory. Most insights into learning and memory impairment and to develop a novel compound stems from the investigations performed in experimental models, especially those produced by neurotoxins models. Several toxins have been utilized based on their mechanism of action for learning and memory impairment such as scopolamine, streptozotocin, quinolinic acid, and domoic acid. Further, some toxins like 6-hydroxy dopamine (6-OHDA), 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) and amyloid-β are known to cause specific learning and memory impairment which imitate the disease pathology of Parkinson's disease dementia and Alzheimer's disease dementia. Apart from these toxins, several other toxins come under a miscellaneous category like an environmental pollutant, snake venoms, botulinum, and lipopolysaccharide. This review will focus on the various classes of neurotoxin models for learning and memory impairment with their specific mechanism of action that could assist the process of drug discovery and development for dementia and cognitive disorders.

  17. Toxin-Induced Experimental Models of Learning and Memory Impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep Vasant More

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Animal models for learning and memory have significantly contributed to novel strategies for drug development and hence are an imperative part in the assessment of therapeutics. Learning and memory involve different stages including acquisition, consolidation, and retrieval and each stage can be characterized using specific toxin. Recent studies have postulated the molecular basis of these processes and have also demonstrated many signaling molecules that are involved in several stages of memory. Most insights into learning and memory impairment and to develop a novel compound stems from the investigations performed in experimental models, especially those produced by neurotoxins models. Several toxins have been utilized based on their mechanism of action for learning and memory impairment such as scopolamine, streptozotocin, quinolinic acid, and domoic acid. Further, some toxins like 6-hydroxy dopamine (6-OHDA, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP and amyloid-β are known to cause specific learning and memory impairment which imitate the disease pathology of Parkinson’s disease dementia and Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Apart from these toxins, several other toxins come under a miscellaneous category like an environmental pollutant, snake venoms, botulinum, and lipopolysaccharide. This review will focus on the various classes of neurotoxin models for learning and memory impairment with their specific mechanism of action that could assist the process of drug discovery and development for dementia and cognitive disorders.

  18. Spatial reversal learning is impaired by age in pet dogs.

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    Mongillo, Paolo; Araujo, Joseph A; Pitteri, Elisa; Carnier, Paolo; Adamelli, Serena; Regolin, Lucia; Marinelli, Lieta

    2013-12-01

    Aged dogs spontaneously develop progressive decline in both cognitive and behavioral function, in addition to neuropathological changes, that collectively parallel several aspects of human aging and Alzheimer's disease progression and likely contribute to the development of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. In the current study, ethologically relevant spatial learning, retention, and reversal learning tasks were conducted, with the goal of expanding canine neuropsychological testing to pet dogs. Initially, dogs (N = 44, aged 7.8 ± 2.8 years, mean ± SD) had to learn which of two alternative routes successfully led out of a T-maze. Two weeks later, long-term memory retention was assessed, immediately followed by a reversal learning task in which the previously correct route out of the maze was reversed compared with the initial learning and memory retention tasks. No effects of age were evident on the learning or retention tasks. However, older (≥ 8 years) dogs were significantly impaired on the reversal learning task compared with younger ones (dogs across both the initial and reversal learning tasks but not on the retention task, which suggests that processing speed was impaired by increasing age during the acquisition of novel spatial information but not during performance of previously learned responses. Overall, the current study provides a framework for assessing cognitive function in pet dogs, which should improve understanding of the effects of aging on cognition in the dog population.

  19. Postnatal TLR2 activation impairs learning and memory in adulthood.

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    Madar, Ravit; Rotter, Aviva; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Mughal, Mohamed R; Arumugam, Thiruma V; Wood, W H; Becker, K G; Mattson, Mark P; Okun, Eitan

    2015-08-01

    Neuroinflammation in the central nervous system is detrimental for learning and memory, as evident form epidemiological studies linking developmental defects and maternal exposure to harmful pathogens. Postnatal infections can also induce neuroinflammatory responses with long-term consequences. These inflammatory responses can lead to motor deficits and/or behavioral disabilities. Toll like receptors (TLRs) are a family of innate immune receptors best known as sensors of microbial-associated molecular patterns, and are the first responders to infection. TLR2 forms heterodimers with either TLR1 or TLR6, is activated in response to gram-positive bacterial infections, and is expressed in the brain during embryonic development. We hypothesized that early postnatal TLR2-mediated neuroinflammation would adversely affect cognitive behavior in the adult. Our data indicate that postnatal TLR2 activation affects learning and memory in adult mice in a heterodimer-dependent manner. TLR2/6 activation improved motor function and fear learning, while TLR2/1 activation impaired spatial learning and enhanced fear learning. Moreover, developmental TLR2 deficiency significantly impairs spatial learning and enhances fear learning, stressing the involvement of the TLR2 pathway in learning and memory. Analysis of the transcriptional effects of TLR2 activation reveals both common and unique transcriptional programs following heterodimer-specific TLR2 activation. These results imply that adult cognitive behavior could be influenced in part, by activation or alterations in the TLR2 pathway at birth. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Reinforcement Learning in Young Adults with Developmental Language Impairment

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    Lee, Joanna C.; Tomblin, J. Bruce

    2012-01-01

    The aim of the study was to examine reinforcement learning (RL) in young adults with developmental language impairment (DLI) within the context of a neurocomputational model of the basal ganglia-dopamine system (Frank, Seeberger, & O'Reilly, 2004). Two groups of young adults, one with DLI and the other without, were recruited. A probabilistic…

  1. Multiple Learning Strategies Project. Dietetic Assistant. Visually Impaired. [Vol 1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackinnon, Barbara; And Others

    This instructional package is one of two designed for visually impaired students on the vocational area of dietetic assistant. The forty-seven learning modules are organized into three units: nutrition; menu planning and food ordering; and housekeeping and safety. Each module, printed in large block type, includes these elements: a performance…

  2. Statistical Learning in Specific Language Impairment: A Meta-Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lammertink, Imme; Boersma, Paul; Wijnen, Frank; Rispens, Judith

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The current meta-analysis provides a quantitative overview of published and unpublished studies on statistical learning in the auditory verbal domain in people with and without specific language impairment (SLI). The database used for the meta-analysis is accessible online and open to updates (Community-Augmented Meta-Analysis), which…

  3. Visual Speech Perception in Children with Language Learning Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knowland, Victoria C. P.; Evans, Sam; Snell, Caroline; Rosen, Stuart

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of the study was to assess the ability of children with developmental language learning impairments (LLIs) to use visual speech cues from the talking face. Method: In this cross-sectional study, 41 typically developing children (mean age: 8 years 0 months, range: 4 years 5 months to 11 years 10 months) and 27 children with…

  4. Referential Communication Skills of Learning Disabled/Language Impaired Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meline, Timothy J.

    1986-01-01

    Compares the communicative behaviors of 18 learning disabled/language impaired (LD/LI) children with two matched groups of normally developing children. LD and normal groups were matched up by age and language mates, and observed for evidence of communicative effectiveness and verbal output. Findings of the study are discussed and related to the…

  5. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arien, Yael; Dag, Arnon; Zarchin, Shlomi; Masci, Tania

    2015-01-01

    Deficiency in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly the long-chain form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been linked to health problems in mammals, including many mental disorders and reduced cognitive performance. Insects have very low long-chain PUFA concentrations, and the effect of omega-3 deficiency on cognition in insects has not been studied. We show a low omega-6:3 ratio of pollen collected by honey bee colonies in heterogenous landscapes and in many hand-collected pollens that we analyzed. We identified Eucalyptus as an important bee-forage plant particularly poor in omega-3 and high in the omega-6:3 ratio. We tested the effect of dietary omega-3 deficiency on olfactory and tactile associative learning of the economically highly valued honey bee. Bees fed either of two omega-3–poor diets, or Eucalyptus pollen, showed greatly reduced learning abilities in conditioned proboscis-extension assays compared with those fed omega-3–rich diets, or omega-3–rich pollen mixture. The effect on performance was not due to reduced sucrose sensitivity. Omega-3 deficiency also led to smaller hypopharyngeal glands. Bee brains contained high omega-3 concentrations, which were only slightly affected by diet, suggesting additional peripheral effects on learning. The shift from a low to high omega-6:3 ratio in the Western human diet is deemed a primary cause of many diseases and reduced mental health. A similar shift seems to be occurring in bee forage, possibly an important factor in colony declines. Our study shows the detrimental effect on cognitive performance of omega-3 deficiency in a nonmammal. PMID:26644556

  6. Omega-3 deficiency impairs honey bee learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arien, Yael; Dag, Arnon; Zarchin, Shlomi; Masci, Tania; Shafir, Sharoni

    2015-12-22

    Deficiency in essential omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), particularly the long-chain form of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has been linked to health problems in mammals, including many mental disorders and reduced cognitive performance. Insects have very low long-chain PUFA concentrations, and the effect of omega-3 deficiency on cognition in insects has not been studied. We show a low omega-6:3 ratio of pollen collected by honey bee colonies in heterogenous landscapes and in many hand-collected pollens that we analyzed. We identified Eucalyptus as an important bee-forage plant particularly poor in omega-3 and high in the omega-6:3 ratio. We tested the effect of dietary omega-3 deficiency on olfactory and tactile associative learning of the economically highly valued honey bee. Bees fed either of two omega-3-poor diets, or Eucalyptus pollen, showed greatly reduced learning abilities in conditioned proboscis-extension assays compared with those fed omega-3-rich diets, or omega-3-rich pollen mixture. The effect on performance was not due to reduced sucrose sensitivity. Omega-3 deficiency also led to smaller hypopharyngeal glands. Bee brains contained high omega-3 concentrations, which were only slightly affected by diet, suggesting additional peripheral effects on learning. The shift from a low to high omega-6:3 ratio in the Western human diet is deemed a primary cause of many diseases and reduced mental health. A similar shift seems to be occurring in bee forage, possibly an important factor in colony declines. Our study shows the detrimental effect on cognitive performance of omega-3 deficiency in a nonmammal.

  7. Acute stress impairs set-shifting but not reversal learning.

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    Butts, K A; Floresco, S B; Phillips, A G

    2013-09-01

    The ability to update and modify previously learned behavioral responses in a changing environment is essential for successful utilization of promising opportunities and for coping with adverse events. Valid models of cognitive flexibility that contribute to behavioral flexibility include set-shifting and reversal learning. One immediate effect of acute stress is the selective impairment of performance on higher-order cognitive control tasks mediated by the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) but not the hippocampus. Previous studies show that the mPFC is required for set-shifting but not for reversal learning, therefore the aim of the present experiment is to assess whether exposure to acute stress (15 min of mild tail-pinch stress) given immediately before testing on either a set-shifting or reversal learning tasks would impair performance selectively on the set-shifting task. An automated operant chamber-based task, confirmed that exposure to acute stress significantly disrupts set-shifting but has no effect on reversal learning. Rats exposed to an acute stressor require significantly more trials to reach criterion and make significantly more perseverative errors. Thus, these data reveal that an immediate effect of acute stress is to impair mPFC-dependent cognition selectively by disrupting the ability to inhibit the use of a previously relevant cognitive strategy. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Acute psychophysiological stress impairs human associative learning.

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    Ehlers, M R; Todd, R M

    2017-11-01

    Addiction is increasingly discussed asa disorder of associative learning processes, with both operant and classical conditioning contributing to the development of maladaptive habits. Stress has long been known to promote drug taking and relapse and has further been shown to shift behavior from goal-directed actions towards more habitual ones. However, it remains to be investigated how acute stress may influence simple associative learning processes that occur before a habit can be established. In the present study, healthy young adults were exposed to either acute stress or a control condition half an hour before performing simple classical and operant conditioning tasks. Psychophysiological measures confirmed successful stress induction. Results of the operant conditioning task revealed reduced instrumental responding under delayed acute stress that resembled behavioral responses to lower levels of reward. The classical conditioning experiment revealed successful conditioning in both experimental groups; however, explicit knowledge of conditioning as indicated by stimulus ratings differentiated the stress and control groups. These findings suggest that operant and classical conditioning are differentially influenced by the delayed effects of acute stress with important implications for the understanding of how new habitual behaviors are initially established. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Impaired learning of social compared to monetary rewards in autism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice eLin

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A leading hypothesis to explain the social dysfunction in people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD is that they exhibit a deficit in reward processing and motivation specific to social stimuli.  However, there have been few direct tests of this hypothesis to date.  Here we used an instrumental reward learning task that contrasted learning with social rewards (pictures of positive and negative faces against learning with monetary reward (winning and losing money. The two tasks were structurally identical except for the type of reward, permitting direct comparisons.  We tested ten high-functioning people with ASD (7M, 3F and ten healthy controls who were matched on gender, age and education.  We found no significant differences between the two groups in terms of overall ability behaviorally to discriminate positive from negative slot machines, reaction-times, and valence ratings,  However, there was a specific impairment in the ASD group in learning to choose social rewards, compared to monetary rewards: they had a significantly lower cumulative number of choices of the most rewarding social slot machine, and had a significantly slower initial learning rate for the socially rewarding slot machine, compared to the controls.  The findings show a deficit in reward learning in ASD that is greater for social rewards than for monetary rewards, and support the hypothesis of a disproportionate impairment in social reward processing in ASD.

  10. Procedural learning in specific language impairment: effects of sequence complexity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabriel, Audrey; Maillart, Christelle; Stefaniak, Nicolas; Lejeune, Caroline; Desmottes, Lise; Meulemans, Thierry

    2013-03-01

    According to the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH), abnormal development in the procedural memory system could account for the language deficits observed in specific language impairment (SLI). Recent studies have supported this hypothesis by using a serial reaction time (SRT) task, during which a slower learning rate is observed in children with SLI compared to controls. Recently, we obtained contrasting results, demonstrating that children with SLI were able to learn a sequence as quickly and as accurately as controls. These discrepancies could be related to differences in the statistical structure of the SRT sequence between these studies. The aim of this study was to further assess, in a group of 21 children with SLI, the PDH with second-order conditional sequences, which are more difficult to learn than those used in previous studies. Our results show that children with SLI had impaired procedural memory, as evidenced by both longer reaction times and no sign of sequence-specific learning in comparison with typically developing controls. These results are consistent with the PDH proposed by Ullman and Pierpont (2005) and suggest that procedural sequence-learning in SLI children depends on the complexity of the to-be-learned sequence.

  11. Is learning by observation impaired in children with dyslexia?

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    Menghini, Deny; Vicari, Stefano; Mandolesi, Laura; Petrosini, Laura

    2011-06-01

    Numerous studies have shown that imitating observed actions belongs to the same category of processes involved in planning and executing actions. New competencies may be acquired by actually executing a task or by executing a task after having seen how to do it. The performance of thirty dyslexic children was compared with that of an age- and gender-matched group of thirty normally reading children on tasks of learning a visuo-motor sequence by observation or by trial and error. The children observed an actor detecting a visuo-motor sequence and then performed the task reproducing either the previously observed sequence or a new one (Learning by Observation), or detected a sequence by trial and error (Learning by Doing), or first performed the task by trial and error and then performed it after an observational training (Learning by Observation after Doing). Results demonstrate that the dyslexic children were severely impaired in learning a sequence by observation, were able to detect a sequence by trial and error, and became as efficient as normal readers in reproducing an observed sequence after a task of learning by doing. Thus, the impaired ability to learn by observation could be reversed by agentive experience that supplied dyslexic children with a powerful learning mechanism, which enabled them to efficiently transfer action information across modalities. The beneficial effect of practice on the ability to learn by observation could provide dyslexic children a useful chance to acquire new cognitive abilities through more tuned teaching approach. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Verbal learning impairment in euthymic bipolar disorder: BDI v BDII.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourne, Corin; Bilderbeck, Amy; Drennan, Rebecca; Atkinson, Lauren; Price, Jonathan; Geddes, John R; Goodwin, Guy M

    2015-08-15

    Cognitive impairment is known to occur in bipolar disorder (BD), even in euthymic patients, with largest effect sizes often seen in Verbal Learning and Memory Tasks (VLT). However, comparisons between BD Type-I and Type-II have produced inconsistent results partly due to low sample sizes. This study compared the performance of 183 BDI with 96 BDII out-patients on an adapted version of the Rey Verbal Learning Task. Gender, age, years of education, mood scores and age at onset were all used as covariates. Current medication and a variety of illness variables were also investigated for potential effects on VLT performance. BDI patients were significantly impaired relative to BDII patients on all five VLT outcome measures after controlling for the other variables [Effect Sizes=.13-.17]. The impairments seem to be unrelated to drug treatment and largely unrelated to illness variables, although age of onset affected performance on three outcome measures and number of episodes of mood elevation affected performance on one. This study used historical healthy controls. Analysis of potential drug effects was limited by insufficient participants not being drug free. Cross-sectional nature of the study limited the analysis of the potential effect of illness variables. This study replicates earlier findings of increased verbal learning impairment in BDI patients relative to BDII in a substantially larger sample. Such performance cannot be wholly explained by medication effects or illness variables. Thus, the cognitive impairment is likely to reflect a phenotypic difference between bipolar sub-types. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Learning potential: a new method for assessing cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Ballesteros, Rocío; Zamarrón, María Dolores; Tàrraga, Lluís

    2005-03-01

    In recent years, it has been claimed that learning potential (also called cognitive plasticity or rehabilitation potential) may be a good predictor of the course of cognitive impairment and the process of dementia. The basic objective of this research program is to test the extent to which the "Battery of Learning Potential for Assessing Dementia" (BEPAD) discriminates healthy people from those diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Two hundred people: 100 healthy elders (51 women, 49 men, mean age: 73.13), 50 diagnosed with MCI (30 women, 20 men, mean age: 74.89), and 50 diagnosed with mild AD (36 women, 14 men, mean age: 75.07). Learning potential was assessed through dynamic assessment (or testing-the-limits), using experimental test-training-post-test, a form of evaluation closely related to functional or stress testing in medicine. In several previous studies the BEPAD was developed, with four tasks: visuo-spatial, verbal recall (including delayed verbal recall), executive control and verbal fluency. For all of these tasks, training procedures were developed, converting them into learning potential tests. All "dynamic" or learning scores (post-test) discriminate better healthy, MCI and AD subjects than all static or pre-test scores. A total of 89% of cases are correctly classified by the BEPAD: 95.7% of the healthy subjects, 90.6% of AD patients, and 71.1% of the MCI individuals were correctly classified.

  14. The Therapeutic Challenge of the Learning Impaired Sex Offender

    OpenAIRE

    Ron Langevin; Suzanne Curnoe

    2007-01-01

    Learning impairment in childhood and adolescence was examined in a sample of 1915 sex offenders and 279 non-sex offender and community controls. They were compared on school dropouts, grade failures, and placement in special education classes. The sex offenders showed significantly lower education and higher incidences of dropouts than community controls. The offender groups more often had failed grades and had been in special education classes than the population at large. Neurodevelopmenta...

  15. Later learning stages in procedural memory are impaired in children with Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desmottes, Lise; Meulemans, Thierry; Maillart, Christelle

    2016-01-01

    According to the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH), difficulties in the procedural memory system may contribute to the language difficulties encountered by children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Most studies investigating the PDH have used the sequence learning paradigm; however these studies have principally focused on initial sequence learning in a single practice session. The present study sought to extend these investigations by assessing the consolidation stage and longer-term retention of implicit sequence-specific knowledge in 42 children with or without SLI. Both groups of children completed a serial reaction time task and were tested 24h and one week after practice. Results showed that children with SLI succeeded as well as children with typical development (TD) in the early acquisition stage of the sequence learning task. However, as training blocks progressed, only TD children improved their sequence knowledge while children with SLI did not appear to evolve any more. Moreover, children with SLI showed a lack of the consolidation gains in sequence knowledge displayed by the TD children. Overall, these results were in line with the predictions of the PDH and suggest that later learning stages in procedural memory are impaired in SLI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Learning impairment in honey bees caused by agricultural spray adjuvants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Ciarlo

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Spray adjuvants are often applied to crops in conjunction with agricultural pesticides in order to boost the efficacy of the active ingredient(s. The adjuvants themselves are largely assumed to be biologically inert and are therefore subject to minimal scrutiny and toxicological testing by regulatory agencies. Honey bees are exposed to a wide array of pesticides as they conduct normal foraging operations, meaning that they are likely exposed to spray adjuvants as well. It was previously unknown whether these agrochemicals have any deleterious effects on honey bee behavior. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An improved, automated version of the proboscis extension reflex (PER assay with a high degree of trial-to-trial reproducibility was used to measure the olfactory learning ability of honey bees treated orally with sublethal doses of the most widely used spray adjuvants on almonds in the Central Valley of California. Three different adjuvant classes (nonionic surfactants, crop oil concentrates, and organosilicone surfactants were investigated in this study. Learning was impaired after ingestion of 20 µg organosilicone surfactant, indicating harmful effects on honey bees caused by agrochemicals previously believed to be innocuous. Organosilicones were more active than the nonionic adjuvants, while the crop oil concentrates were inactive. Ingestion was required for the tested adjuvant to have an effect on learning, as exposure via antennal contact only induced no level of impairment. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: A decrease in percent conditioned response after ingestion of organosilicone surfactants has been demonstrated here for the first time. Olfactory learning is important for foraging honey bees because it allows them to exploit the most productive floral resources in an area at any given time. Impairment of this learning ability may have serious implications for foraging efficiency at the colony level, as well as potentially many

  17. Acute Ethanol Withdrawal Impairs Contextual Learning and Enhances Cued Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tipps, Megan E.; Raybuck, Jonathan D.; Buck, Kari J.; Lattal, K. Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Background Alcohol affects many of the brain regions and neural processes that support learning and memory, and these effects are thought to underlie, at least in part, the development of addiction. Although much work has been done regarding the effects of alcohol intoxication on learning and memory, little is known about the effects of acute withdrawal from a single alcohol exposure. Methods We assess the effects of acute ethanol withdrawal (6 h post-injection with 4 g/kg ethanol) on two forms of fear conditioning (delay and trace fear conditioning) in C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice. The influence of a number of experimental parameters (pre- and post-training withdrawal exposure; foreground/background processing; training strength; non-associative effects) is also investigated. Results Acute ethanol withdrawal during training had a bidirectional effect on fear conditioned responses, decreasing contextual responses and increasing cued responses. These effects were apparent for both trace and delay conditioning in DBA/2J mice and for trace conditioning in C57BL/6J mice; however, C57BL/6J mice were selectively resistant to the effects of acute withdrawal on delay cued responses. Conclusions Our results show that acute withdrawal from a single, initial ethanol exposure is sufficient to alter long-term learning in mice. In addition, the differences between the strains and conditioning paradigms used suggest that specific learning processes can be differentially affected by acute withdrawal in a manner that is distinct from the reported effects of both alcohol intoxication and withdrawal following chronic alcohol exposure. Thus, our results suggest a unique effect of acute alcohol withdrawal on learning and memory processes. PMID:25684050

  18. Acute ethanol withdrawal impairs contextual learning and enhances cued learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tipps, Megan E; Raybuck, Jonathan D; Buck, Kari J; Lattal, K Matthew

    2015-02-01

    Alcohol affects many of the brain regions and neural processes that support learning and memory, and these effects are thought to underlie, at least in part, the development of addiction. Although much work has been done regarding the effects of alcohol intoxication on learning and memory, little is known about the effects of acute withdrawal from a single alcohol exposure. We assess the effects of acute ethanol withdrawal (6 hours postinjection with 4 g/kg ethanol) on 2 forms of fear conditioning (delay and trace fear conditioning) in C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice. The influence of a number of experimental parameters (pre- and post training withdrawal exposure; foreground/background processing; training strength; and nonassociative effects) is also investigated. Acute ethanol withdrawal during training had a bidirectional effect on fear-conditioned responses, decreasing contextual responses and increasing cued responses. These effects were apparent for both trace and delay conditioning in DBA/2J mice and for trace conditioning in C57BL/6J mice; however, C57BL/6J mice were selectively resistant to the effects of acute withdrawal on delay cued responses. Our results show that acute withdrawal from a single, initial ethanol exposure is sufficient to alter long-term learning in mice. In addition, the differences between the strains and conditioning paradigms used suggest that specific learning processes can be differentially affected by acute withdrawal in a manner that is distinct from the reported effects of both alcohol intoxication and withdrawal following chronic alcohol exposure. Thus, our results suggest a unique effect of acute alcohol withdrawal on learning and memory processes. Copyright © 2015 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

  19. Punishment insensitivity and impaired reinforcement learning in preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Nichols, Sara R.; Voss, Joel; Zobel, Elvira; Carter, Alice S.; McCarthy, Kimberly J.; Pine, Daniel S.; Blair, James; Wakschlag, Lauren S.

    2013-01-01

    Background Youth and adults with psychopathic traits display disrupted reinforcement learning. Advances in measurement now enable examination of this association in preschoolers. The current study examines relations between reinforcement learning in preschoolers and parent ratings of reduced responsiveness to socialization, conceptualized as a developmental vulnerability to psychopathic traits. Methods 157 preschoolers (mean age 4.7 ±0.8 years) participated in a substudy that was embedded within a larger project. Children completed the “Stars-in-Jars” task, which involved learning to select rewarded jars and avoid punished jars. Maternal report of responsiveness to socialization was assessed with the Punishment Insensitivity and Low Concern for Others scales of the Multidimensional Assessment of Preschool Disruptive Behavior (MAP-DB). Results Punishment Insensitivity, but not Low Concern for Others, was significantly associated with reinforcement learning in multivariate models that accounted for age and sex. Specifically, higher Punishment Insensitivity was associated with significantly lower overall performance and more errors on punished trials (“passive avoidance”). Conclusions Impairments in reinforcement learning manifest in preschoolers who are high in maternal ratings of Punishment Insensitivity. If replicated, these findings may help to pinpoint the neurodevelopmental antecedents of psychopathic tendencies and suggest novel intervention targets beginning in early childhood. PMID:24033313

  20. Working memory and novel word learning in children with hearing impairment and children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansson, K; Forsberg, J; Löfqvist, A; Mäki-Torkko, E; Sahlén, B

    2004-01-01

    Working memory is considered to influence a range of linguistic skills, i.e. vocabulary acquisition, sentence comprehension and reading. Several studies have pointed to limitations of working memory in children with specific language impairment. Few studies, however, have explored the role of working memory for language deficits in children with hearing impairment. The first aim was to compare children with mild-to-moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment, children with a preschool diagnosis of specific language impairment and children with normal language development, aged 9-12 years, for language and working memory. The special focus was on the role of working memory in learning new words for primary school age children. The assessment of working memory included tests of phonological short-term memory and complex working memory. Novel word learning was assessed according to the methods of. In addition, a range of language tests was used to assess language comprehension, output phonology and reading. Children with hearing impairment performed significantly better than children with a preschool diagnosis of specific language impairment on tasks assessing novel word learning, complex working memory, sentence comprehension and reading accuracy. No significant correlation was found between phonological short-term memory and novel word learning in any group. The best predictor of novel word learning in children with specific language impairment and in children with hearing impairment was complex working memory. Furthermore, there was a close relationship between complex working memory and language in children with a preschool diagnosis of specific language impairment but not in children with hearing impairment. Complex working memory seems to play a significant role in vocabulary acquisition in primary school age children. The interpretation is that the results support theories suggesting a weakened influence of phonological short-term memory on novel word

  1. Learning “How to Learn”: Super Declarative Motor Learning Is Impaired in Parkinson's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattapposta, Francesco; Abbruzzese, Giovanni

    2017-01-01

    Learning new information is crucial in daily activities and occurs continuously during a subject's lifetime. Retention of learned material is required for later recall and reuse, although learning capacity is limited and interference between consecutively learned information may occur. Learning processes are impaired in Parkinson's disease (PD); however, little is known about the processes related to retention and interference. The aim of this study is to investigate the retention and anterograde interference using a declarative sequence learning task in drug-naive patients in the disease's early stages. Eleven patients with PD and eleven age-matched controls learned a visuomotor sequence, SEQ1, during Day1; the following day, retention of SEQ1 was assessed and, immediately after, a new sequence of comparable complexity, SEQ2, was learned. The comparison of the learning rates of SEQ1 on Day1 and SEQ2 on Day2 assessed the anterograde interference of SEQ1 on SEQ2. We found that SEQ1 performance improved in both patients and controls on Day2. Surprisingly, controls learned SEQ2 better than SEQ1, suggesting the absence of anterograde interference and the occurrence of learning optimization, a process that we defined as “learning how to learn.” Patients with PD lacked such improvement, suggesting defective performance optimization processes. PMID:28828186

  2. Development and Evaluation of Computer-Aided Music-Learning System for the Hearing Impaired

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, H.-J.; Lay, Y.-L.; Liou, Y.-C.; Tsao, W.-Y.; Lin, C.-K.

    2007-01-01

    A computer-assisted music-learning system (CAMLS) has been developed to help the hearing impaired practice playing a musical melody. The music-learning performance is evaluated to test the usability of the system. This system can be a computer-supported learning tool for the hearing impaired to help them understand what pitch and tempo are, and…

  3. Deficits in speech perception predict language learning impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziegler, Johannes C; Pech-Georgel, Catherine; George, Florence; Alario, F-Xavier; Lorenzi, Christian

    2005-09-27

    Specific language impairment (SLI) is one of the most common childhood disorders, affecting 7% of children. These children experience difficulties in understanding and producing spoken language despite normal intelligence, normal hearing, and normal opportunities to learn language. The causes of SLI are still hotly debated, ranging from nonlinguistic deficits in auditory perception to high-level deficits in grammar. Here, we show that children with SLI have poorer-than-normal consonant identification when measured in ecologically valid conditions of stationary or fluctuating masking noise. The deficits persisted even in comparison with a younger group of normally developing children who were matched for language skills. This finding points to a fundamental deficit. Information transmission of all phonetic features (voicing, place, and manner) was impaired, although the deficits were strongest for voicing (e.g., difference between/b/and/p/). Children with SLI experienced perfectly normal "release from masking" (better identification in fluctuating than in stationary noise), which indicates a central deficit in feature extraction rather than deficits in low-level, temporal, and spectral auditory capacities. We further showed that speech identification in noise predicted language impairment to a great extent within the group of children with SLI and across all participants. Previous research might have underestimated this important link, possibly because speech perception has typically been investigated in optimal listening conditions using non-speech material. The present study suggests that children with SLI learn language deviantly because they inefficiently extract and manipulate speech features, in particular, voicing. This result offers new directions for the fast diagnosis and remediation of SLI.

  4. Depression impairs learning, whereas the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, paroxetine, impairs generalization in patients with major depressive disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzallah, Mohammad M; Moustafa, Ahmed A; Natsheh, Joman Y; Danoun, Omar A; Simon, Jessica R; Tayem, Yasin I; Sehwail, Mahmud A; Amleh, Ivona; Bannoura, Issam; Petrides, Georgios; Myers, Catherine E; Gluck, Mark A

    2013-11-01

    To better understand how medication status and task demands affect cognition in major depressive disorder (MDD), we evaluated medication-naïve patients with MDD, medicated patients with MDD receiving the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) paroxetine, and healthy controls. All three groups were administered a computer-based cognitive task with two phases, an initial phase in which a sequence is learned through reward-based feedback (which our prior studies suggest is striatal-dependent), followed by a generalization phase that involves a change in the context where learned rules are to be applied (which our prior studies suggest is hippocampal-region dependent). Medication-naïve MDD patients were slow to learn the initial sequence but were normal on subsequent generalization of that learning. In contrast, medicated patients learned the initial sequence normally, but were impaired at the generalization phase. We argue that these data suggest (i) an MDD-related impairment in striatal-dependent sequence learning which can be remediated by SSRIs and (ii) an SSRI-induced impairment in hippocampal-dependent generalization of past learning to novel contexts, not otherwise seen in the medication-naïve MDD group. Thus, SSRIs might have a beneficial effect on striatal function required for sequence learning, but a detrimental effect on the hippocampus and other medial temporal lobe structures is critical for generalization. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Depression Impairs Learning, whereas the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, Paroxetine, Impairs Generalization in Patients with Major Depressive Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzallah, Mohammad M.; Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Natsheh, Joman Y.; Danoun, Omar A.; Simon, Jessica R.; Tayem, Yasin I.; Sehwail, Mahmud A.; Amleh, Ivona; Bannoura, Issam; Petrides, Georgios; Myers, Catherine E.; Gluck, Mark A.

    2013-01-01

    To better understand how medication status and task demands affect cognition in Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), we evaluated medication-naïve patients with MDD, medicated patients with MDD receiving the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) paroxetine, and healthy controls. All three groups were administered a computer-based cognitive task with two phases, an initial phase in which a sequence is learned through reward-based feedback (which our prior studies suggest is striatal-dependent), followed by a generalization phase that involves a change in the context where learned rules are to be applied (which our prior studies suggest is hippocampal-region dependent). Medication-naïve MDD patients were slow to learn the initial sequence but were normal on subsequent generalization of that learning. In contrast, medicated patients learned the initial sequence normally, but were impaired at the generalization phase. We argue that these data suggest (i) an MDD-related impairment in striatal-dependent sequence learning which can be remediated by SSRIs and (ii) an SSRI-induced impairment in hippocampal-dependent generalization of past learning to novel contexts, not otherwise seen in the medication-naïve MDD group. Thus, SSRIs might have a beneficial effect on striatal function required for sequence learning, but a detrimental effect on the hippocampus and other medial temporal lobe structures critical for generalization. PMID:23953023

  6. Smart-system of distance learning of visually impaired people based on approaches of artificial intelligence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samigulina, Galina A.; Shayakhmetova, Assem S.

    2016-11-01

    Research objective is the creation of intellectual innovative technology and information Smart-system of distance learning for visually impaired people. The organization of the available environment for receiving quality education for visually impaired people, their social adaptation in society are important and topical issues of modern education.The proposed Smart-system of distance learning for visually impaired people can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of education of this category of people. The scientific novelty of proposed Smart-system is using intelligent and statistical methods of processing multi-dimensional data, and taking into account psycho-physiological characteristics of perception and awareness learning information by visually impaired people.

  7. Visually Impaired People with Learning Difficulties: Their Education from 1900 to 1970--Policy, Practice and Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Sally

    2008-01-01

    By means of documentary evidence and six in-depth interviews, this paper traces policy and practice relating to the education of visually impaired children with learning difficulties from 1900 to 1970. It reveals that if visually impaired children with learning difficulties were given an education at all, their needs were not usually met and they…

  8. Advanced IT Education for the Vision Impaired via e-Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armstrong, Helen L.

    2009-01-01

    Lack of accessibility in the design of e-learning courses continues to hinder students with vision impairment. E-learning materials are predominantly vision-centric, incorporating images, animation, and interactive media, and as a result students with acute vision impairment do not have equal opportunity to gain tertiary qualifications or skills…

  9. Smart-system of distance learning of visually impaired people based on approaches of artificial intelligence

    OpenAIRE

    Samigulina Galina A.; Shayakhmetova Assem S.

    2016-01-01

    Research objective is the creation of intellectual innovative technology and information Smart-system of distance learning for visually impaired people. The organization of the available environment for receiving quality education for visually impaired people, their social adaptation in society are important and topical issues of modern education.The proposed Smart-system of distance learning for visually impaired people can significantly improve the efficiency and qualit...

  10. Analysing the physics learning environment of visually impaired students in high schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toenders, Frank G. C.; de Putter-Smits, Lesley G. A.; Sanders, Wendy T. M.; den Brok, Perry

    2017-07-01

    Although visually impaired students attend regular high school, their enrolment in advanced science classes is dramatically low. In our research we evaluated the physics learning environment of a blind high school student in a regular Dutch high school. For visually impaired students to grasp physics concepts, time and additional materials to support the learning process are key. Time for teachers to develop teaching methods for such students is scarce. Suggestions for changes to the learning environment and of materials used are given.

  11. Declarative and Sequential learning in Spanish-speaking children with Language Impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Roa-Rojas, Paloma; Silva-Pereyra, Juan; Jackson-Maldonado, Donna; Villa-Rodríguez, Miguel M. A.; Gillon-Dowens, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    Language Impairment (LI) is a developmental disorder that mainly manifests impaired language learning and processing. Evidence, largely from English-speaking population studies, has shown that children with LI compared to typically developing (TD) children have low scores in sequential learning tasks but similar performance in declarative learning tasks. According to the declarative/procedural model, LI children compensate for their deficiency in syntactic skills (i.e., deficits in the proced...

  12. The hippocampus is necessary for enhancements and impairments of learning following stress

    OpenAIRE

    Bangasser, Debra A; Shors, Tracey J

    2007-01-01

    The hippocampus is often considered to be an important site for stress and learning interactions; however, it has never been demonstrated whether these effects require the hippocampus. In the current study, hippocampal lesions prevented both enhancements of learning after stress in male rats and impairments of learning after stress in female rats without disrupting learning itself in either sex. Thus, the hippocampus is necessary for modifying learning in males and females after acute stressf...

  13. Observing Iconic Gestures Enhances Word Learning in Typically Developing Children and Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Susanne; Kauschke, Christina

    2017-01-01

    Research has shown that observing iconic gestures helps typically developing children (TD) and children with specific language impairment (SLI) learn new words. So far, studies mostly compared word learning with and without gestures. The present study investigated word learning under two gesture conditions in children with and without language…

  14. Implicit and explicit learning: applications from basic research to sports for individuals with impaired movement dynamics.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenbergen, B.; Kamp, J. van der; Verneau, M.; Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Masters, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    PURPOSE: Motor skills can be learned in an explicit or an implicit manner. Explicit learning places high demands on working memory capacity, but engagement of working memory is largely circumvented when skills are learned implicitly. We propose that individuals with impaired movement dynamics may

  15. Implicit and explicit learning: applications from basic research to sports for individuals with impaired movement dynamics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steenbergen, B.; Kamp, J. van der; Verneau, M.; Jongbloed-Pereboom, M.; Masters, R.S.W.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose - Motor skills can be learned in an explicit or an implicit manner. Explicit learning places high demands on working memory capacity, but engagement of working memory is largely circumvented when skills are learned implicitly. We propose that individuals with impaired movement dynamics may

  16. Implicit and explicit learning: applications from basic research to sports for individuals with impaired movement dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenbergen, Bert; van der Kamp, John; Verneau, Marion; Jongbloed-Pereboom, Marjolein; Masters, Rich S W

    2010-01-01

    Motor skills can be learned in an explicit or an implicit manner. Explicit learning places high demands on working memory capacity, but engagement of working memory is largely circumvented when skills are learned implicitly. We propose that individuals with impaired movement dynamics may benefit from implicit learning methods when acquiring sports-related motor skills. We discuss converging evidence that individuals with cerebral palsy and children born prematurely have compromised working memory capacity. This may in part explain the difficulties they encounter when learning motor and other skills. We also review tentative evidence that older people, whose movement dynamics deteriorate, can implicitly learn sports-related motor skills and that this results in more durable performance gains than explicit learning. Individuals with altered movement dynamics and compromised working memory can benefit from implicit motor learning. We conclude with an appeal for more extensive evaluation of the merits of implicit motor learning in individuals with impaired movement dynamics.

  17. Impairment of Procedural Learning and Motor Intracortical Inhibition in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Máximo Zimerman

    2015-10-01

    Interpretations: Collectively, the present results provide evidence that learning of a motor skill is impaired even in clinically intact NF1 patients based, at least partially, on a GABAergic-cortical dysfunctioning as suggested in previous animal work.

  18. Perceptual Learning in Children With Visual Impairment Improves Near Visual Acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F. Nienke; Cox, Ralf F. A.; van Rens, Ger; Cillessen, Antonius H. N.

    PURPOSE. This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four-to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. METHODS. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  19. Perceptual learning in children with visual impairment improves near visual acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, B.; Boonstra, F.N.; Cox, R.F.; Rens, G. van; Cillessen, A.H.N.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE: This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four- to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. METHODS: Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  20. Perceptual Learning in Children With Visual Impairment Improves Near Visual Acuity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Huurneman, B.; Boonstra, F.N.; Cox, R.F.A.; Rens, G.H.M.B. van; Cillessen, A.H.N.

    2013-01-01

    PURPOSE. This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four-to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. METHODS. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children

  1. How Students with Hearing Impairments: Can Learn and Flourish in Your Music Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butler, Maureen

    2004-01-01

    Activities in music class allow students, especially students with hearing impairments, to explore new means of expression and to enhance existing ones. Additional benefits may include increases in auditory awareness, cognitive ability, attention span, memory recall, and vocabulary. Students with hearing impairments can learn and flourish in music…

  2. Psychological Characteristics of Children with Visual Impairments: Learning, Memory and Imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pring, Linda

    2008-01-01

    The performance of children (and sometimes adults) with visual impairments (VI) on a range of tasks that reflect learning, memory and mental imagery is considered in this article. Sometimes the evidence suggests that there are impairments in performance in comparison with typically developing children with vision, and sometimes some advantages…

  3. Working Memory and Learning in Children with Developmental Coordination Disorder and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alloway, Tracy Packiam; Archibald, Lisa

    2008-01-01

    The authors compared 6- to 11-year-olds with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) and those with specific language impairment (SLI) on measures of memory (verbal and visuospatial short-term and working memory) and learning (reading and mathematics). Children with DCD with typical language skills were impaired in all four areas of memory…

  4. Procedural Motor Learning in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanjeevan, Teenu; Mainela-Arnold, Elina

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Specific language impairment (SLI) is a developmental disorder that affects language and motor development in the absence of a clear cause. An explanation for these impairments is offered by the procedural deficit hypothesis (PDH), which argues that motor difficulties in SLI are due to deficits in procedural memory. The aim of this study…

  5. Perceptual learning in children with visual impairment improves near visual acuity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F Nienke; Cox, Ralf F A; van Rens, Ger; Cillessen, Antonius H N

    2013-09-17

    This study investigated whether visual perceptual learning can improve near visual acuity and reduce foveal crowding effects in four- to nine-year-old children with visual impairment. Participants were 45 children with visual impairment and 29 children with normal vision. Children with visual impairment were divided into three groups: a magnifier group (n = 12), a crowded perceptual learning group (n = 18), and an uncrowded perceptual learning group (n = 15). Children with normal vision also were divided in three groups, but were measured only at baseline. Dependent variables were single near visual acuity (NVA), crowded NVA, LH line 50% crowding NVA, number of trials, accuracy, performance time, amount of small errors, and amount of large errors. Children with visual impairment trained during six weeks, two times per week, for 30 minutes (12 training sessions). After training, children showed significant improvement of NVA in addition to specific improvements on the training task. The crowded perceptual learning group showed the largest acuity improvements (1.7 logMAR lines on the crowded chart, P visual impairment benefit from perceptual training. While task-specific improvements were observed in all training groups, transfer to crowded NVA was largest in the crowded perceptual learning group. To our knowledge, this is the first study to provide evidence for the improvement of NVA by perceptual learning in children with visual impairment. (http://www.trialregister.nl number, NTR2537.).

  6. Implicit perceptual-motor skill learning in mild cognitive impairment and Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gobel, Eric W; Blomeke, Kelsey; Zadikoff, Cindy; Simuni, Tanya; Weintraub, Sandra; Reber, Paul J

    2013-05-01

    Implicit skill learning is hypothesized to depend on nondeclarative memory that operates independent of the medial temporal lobe (MTL) memory system and instead depends on cortico striatal circuits between the basal ganglia and cortical areas supporting motor function and planning. Research with the Serial Reaction Time (SRT) task suggests that patients with memory disorders due to MTL damage exhibit normal implicit sequence learning. However, reports of intact learning rely on observations of no group differences, leading to speculation as to whether implicit sequence learning is fully intact in these patients. Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) often exhibit impaired sequence learning, but this impairment is not universally observed. Implicit perceptual-motor sequence learning was examined using the Serial Interception Sequence Learning (SISL) task in patients with amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI; n = 11) and patients with PD (n = 15). Sequence learning in SISL is resistant to explicit learning and individually adapted task difficulty controls for baseline performance differences. Patients with MCI exhibited robust sequence learning, equivalent to healthy older adults (n = 20), supporting the hypothesis that the MTL does not contribute to learning in this task. In contrast, the majority of patients with PD exhibited no sequence-specific learning in spite of matched overall task performance. Two patients with PD exhibited performance indicative of an explicit compensatory strategy suggesting that impaired implicit learning may lead to greater reliance on explicit memory in some individuals. The differences in learning between patient groups provides strong evidence in favor of implicit sequence learning depending solely on intact basal ganglia function with no contribution from the MTL memory system.

  7. Fluoxetine does not enhance visual perceptual learning and triazolam specifically impairs learning transfer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alice Kitty Lagas

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine significantly enhances adult visual cortex plasticity within the rat. This effect is related to decreased gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA mediated inhibition and identifies fluoxetine as a potential agent for enhancing plasticity in the adult human brain. We tested the hypothesis that fluoxetine would enhance visual perceptual learning of a motion direction discrimination (MDD task in humans. We also investigated 1 the effect of fluoxetine on visual and motor cortex excitability and 2 the impact of increased GABA mediated inhibition following a single dose of triazolam on post-training MDD task performance. Within a double blind, placebo controlled design, 20 healthy adult participants completed a 19-day course of fluoxetine (n = 10, 20mg per day or placebo (n = 10. Participants were trained on the MDD task over the final five days of fluoxetine administration. Accuracy for the trained MDD stimulus and an untrained MDD stimulus configuration was assessed before and after training, after triazolam and one week after triazolam. Motor and visual cortex excitability was measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation. Fluoxetine did not enhance the magnitude or rate of perceptual learning and full transfer of learning to the untrained stimulus was observed for both groups. After training was complete, trazolam had no effect on trained task performance but significantly impaired untrained task performance. No consistent effects of fluoxetine on cortical excitability were observed. The results do not support the hypothesis that fluoxetine can enhance learning in humans. However, the specific effect of triazolam on MDD task performance for the untrained stimulus suggests that learning and learning transfer relay on dissociable neural mechanisms.

  8. Age-related impairments of new memories reflect failures of learning, not retention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matzel, Louis D.; Wass, Christopher; Kolata, Stefan; Light, Kenneth; Colas, Danielle C.

    2009-01-01

    Learning impairments and the instability of memory are defining characteristics of cognitive aging. However, it is unclear if deficits in the expression of new memories reflect an accelerated decay of the target memory or a consequence of inefficient learning. Here, aged mice (19–21-mo old) exhibited acquisition deficits (relative to 3–5-mo old mice) on three learning tasks, although these deficits were overcome with additional training. When tested after a 30-d retention interval, the performance of aged animals was impaired if initial learning had been incomplete. However, if trained to equivalent levels of competence, aged animals exhibited no retention deficits relative to their young counterparts. These results suggest that age-related “memory” impairments can be overcome through a more effective learning regimen. PMID:19794183

  9. Statistical Learning in Specific Language Impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obeid, Rita; Brooks, Patricia J; Powers, Kasey L; Gillespie-Lynch, Kristen; Lum, Jarrad A G

    2016-01-01

    Impairments in statistical learning might be a common deficit among individuals with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using meta-analysis, we examined statistical learning in SLI (14 studies, 15 comparisons) and ASD (13 studies, 20 comparisons) to evaluate this hypothesis. Effect sizes were examined as a function of diagnosis across multiple statistical learning tasks (Serial Reaction Time, Contextual Cueing, Artificial Grammar Learning, Speech Stream, Observational Learning, and Probabilistic Classification). Individuals with SLI showed deficits in statistical learning relative to age-matched controls. In contrast, statistical learning was intact in individuals with ASD relative to controls. Effect sizes did not vary as a function of task modality or participant age. Our findings inform debates about overlapping social-communicative difficulties in children with SLI and ASD by suggesting distinct underlying mechanisms. In line with the procedural deficit hypothesis (Ullman and Pierpont, 2005), impaired statistical learning may account for phonological and syntactic difficulties associated with SLI. In contrast, impaired statistical learning fails to account for the social-pragmatic difficulties associated with ASD.

  10. Statistical Learning in Specific Language Impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rita Obeid

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Impairments in statistical learning might be a common deficit among individuals with Specific Language Impairment (SLI and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD. Using meta-analysis, we examined statistical learning in SLI (14 studies, 15 comparisons and ASD (13 studies, 20 comparisons to evaluate this hypothesis. Effect sizes were examined as a function of diagnosis across multiple statistical learning tasks (Serial Reaction Time, Contextual Cueing, Artificial Grammar Learning, Speech Stream, Observational Learning, Probabilistic Classification. Individuals with SLI showed deficits in statistical learning relative to age-matched controls g = .47, 95% CI [.28, .66], p < .001. In contrast, statistical learning was intact in individuals with ASD relative to controls, g = –.13, 95% CI [–.34, .08], p = .22. Effect sizes did not vary as a function of task modality or participant age. Our findings inform debates about overlapping social-communicative difficulties in children with SLI and ASD by suggesting distinct underlying mechanisms. In line with the procedural deficit hypothesis (Ullman & Pierpont, 2005, impaired statistical learning may account for phonological and syntactic difficulties associated with SLI. In contrast, impaired statistical learning fails to account for the social-pragmatic difficulties associated with ASD.

  11. Statistical word learning in children with autism spectrum disorder and specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haebig, Eileen; Saffran, Jenny R; Ellis Weismer, Susan

    2017-11-01

    Word learning is an important component of language development that influences child outcomes across multiple domains. Despite the importance of word knowledge, word-learning mechanisms are poorly understood in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examined underlying mechanisms of word learning, specifically, statistical learning and fast-mapping, in school-aged children with typical and atypical development. Statistical learning was assessed through a word segmentation task and fast-mapping was examined in an object-label association task. We also examined children's ability to map meaning onto newly segmented words in a third task that combined exposure to an artificial language and a fast-mapping task. Children with SLI had poorer performance on the word segmentation and fast-mapping tasks relative to the typically developing and ASD groups, who did not differ from one another. However, when children with SLI were exposed to an artificial language with phonemes used in the subsequent fast-mapping task, they successfully learned more words than in the isolated fast-mapping task. There was some evidence that word segmentation abilities are associated with word learning in school-aged children with typical development and ASD, but not SLI. Follow-up analyses also examined performance in children with ASD who did and did not have a language impairment. Children with ASD with language impairment evidenced intact statistical learning abilities, but subtle weaknesses in fast-mapping abilities. As the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) predicts, children with SLI have impairments in statistical learning. However, children with SLI also have impairments in fast-mapping. Nonetheless, they are able to take advantage of additional phonological exposure to boost subsequent word-learning performance. In contrast to the PDH, children with ASD appear to have intact statistical learning, regardless of

  12. Statistical Word Learning in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haebig, Eileen; Saffran, Jenny R.; Ellis Weismer, Susan

    2017-01-01

    Background: Word learning is an important component of language development that influences child outcomes across multiple domains. Despite the importance of word knowledge, word-learning mechanisms are poorly understood in children with specific language impairment (SLI) and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study examined…

  13. Sequence-Specific Procedural Learning Deficits in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Hsinjen Julie; Bishop, Dorothy V. M.

    2014-01-01

    This study tested the procedural deficit hypothesis of specific language impairment (SLI) by comparing children's performance in two motor procedural learning tasks and an implicit verbal sequence learning task. Participants were 7- to 11-year-old children with SLI (n = 48), typically developing age-matched children (n = 20) and younger…

  14. Working Memory Functioning in Children with Learning Disorders and Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuchardt, Kirsten; Bockmann, Ann-Katrin; Bornemann, Galina; Maehler, Claudia

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: On the basis of Baddeley's working memory model (1986), we examined working memory functioning in children with learning disorders with and without specific language impairment (SLI). We pursued the question whether children with learning disorders exhibit similar working memory deficits as children with additional SLI. Method: In…

  15. Dynamic Assessment of Word Learning Skills: Identifying Language Impairment in Bilingual Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapantzoglou, Maria; Restrepo, M. Adelaida; Thompson, Marilyn S.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: Bilingual children are often diagnosed with language impairment, although they may simply have fewer opportunities to learn English than English-speaking monolingual children. This study examined whether dynamic assessment (DA) of word learning skills is an effective method for identifying bilingual children with primary language…

  16. Learning, forgetting, and relearning: skill learning in children with language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adi-Japha, Esther; Abu-Asba, Haia

    2014-11-01

    The current study tested whether the difficulties of children with specific language impairment (SLI) in skill acquisition are related to learning processes that occur while practicing a new skill or to the passage of time between practice and later performance. The acquisition and retention of a new complex grapho-motor symbol were studied in 5-year-old children with SLI and peers matched for age and nonverbal IQ. The children practiced the production of the symbol for 4 consecutive days. Retention testing took place 10 days later. Children with SLI began each practice day slower than their peers but attained similar levels of performance by its end. Although they increased their performance speed within sessions more than their peers, they did not retain their learning as well between sessions. The loss in speed was largest in the 10-day retention interval. They were also less accurate, but accuracy differences decreased over time. Between-session group differences in speed could not fully be accounted for based on fine motor skills. In spite of effective within-session learning, children with SLI did not retain the new skill well. The deficit may be attributed to task forgetting in the presence of delayed consolidation processes.

  17. Striatal dopamine D1 receptor suppression impairs reward-associative learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Higa, Kerin K; Young, Jared W; Ji, Baohu; Nichols, David E; Geyer, Mark A; Zhou, Xianjin

    2017-04-14

    Dopamine (DA) is required for reinforcement learning. Hence, disruptions in DA signaling may contribute to the learning deficits associated with psychiatric disorders. The DA D1 receptor (D1R) has been linked to learning and is a target for cognitive/motivational enhancement in patients with schizophrenia. Separating the striatal D1R contribution to learning vs. motivation, however, has been challenging. We suppressed striatal D1R expression in mice using a D1R-targeting short hairpin RNA (shRNA), delivered locally to the striatum via an adeno-associated virus (AAV). We then assessed reward- and punishment-associative learning using a probabilistic learning task and motivation using a progressive-ratio breakpoint procedure. We confirmed suppression of striatal D1Rs immunohistochemically and by testing locomotor activity after the administration of (+)-doxanthrine, a full D1R agonist, in control mice and those treated with the D1RshRNA. D1RshRNA-treated mice exhibited impaired reward-associative learning, while punishment-associative learning was spared. This deficit was unrelated to general learning impairments or amotivation, because the D1shRNA-treated mice exhibited normal Barnes maze learning and normal motivation in the progressive-ratio breakpoint procedure. Suppression of striatal D1Rs selectively impaired reward-associative learning whereas punishment-associative learning, aversion-motivated learning, and appetitive motivation were spared. Because patients with schizophrenia exhibit similar reward-associative learning deficits, D1R-targeted treatments should be investigated to improve reward learning in these patients. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Why segmentation matters: experience-driven segmentation errors impair “morpheme” learning

    OpenAIRE

    Amy S Finn; Hudson Kam, Carla L.

    2015-01-01

    We ask whether an adult learner’s knowledge of their native language impedes statistical learning in a new language beyond just word segmentation (as previously shown). In particular, we examine the impact of native-language word-form phonotactics on learners’ ability to segment words into their component morphemes and learn phonologically triggered variation of morphemes. We find that learning is impaired when words and component morphemes are structured to conflict with a learner’s native-l...

  19. Feedback-based probabilistic category learning is selectively impaired in attention/hyperactivity deficit disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabay, Yafit; Goldfarb, Liat

    2017-07-01

    Although Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is closely linked to executive function deficits, it has recently been attributed to procedural learning impairments that are quite distinct from the former. These observations challenge the ability of the executive function framework solely to account for the diverse range of symptoms observed in ADHD. A recent neurocomputational model emphasizes the role of striatal dopamine (DA) in explaining ADHD's broad range of deficits, but the link between this model and procedural learning impairments remains unclear. Significantly, feedback-based procedural learning is hypothesized to be disrupted in ADHD because of the involvement of striatal DA in this type of learning. In order to test this assumption, we employed two variants of a probabilistic category learning task known from the neuropsychological literature. Feedback-based (FB) and paired associate-based (PA) probabilistic category learning were employed in a non-medicated sample of ADHD participants and neurotypical participants. In the FB task, participants learned associations between cues and outcomes initially by guessing and subsequently through feedback indicating the correctness of the response. In the PA learning task, participants viewed the cue and its associated outcome simultaneously without receiving an overt response or corrective feedback. In both tasks, participants were trained across 150 trials. Learning was assessed in a subsequent test without a presentation of the outcome or corrective feedback. Results revealed an interesting disassociation in which ADHD participants performed as well as control participants in the PA task, but were impaired compared with the controls in the FB task. The learning curve during FB training differed between the two groups. Taken together, these results suggest that the ability to incrementally learn by feedback is selectively disrupted in ADHD participants. These results are discussed in relation to both

  20. Chronic Stress During Adolescence Impairs and Improves Learning and Memory in Adulthood

    OpenAIRE

    Chaby, Lauren E.; Cavigelli, Sonia A.; Hirrlinger, Amy M.; Lim, James; Warg, Kendall M.; Braithwaite, Victoria A.

    2015-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS This study tested the effects of adolescent-stress on adult learning and memory. Adolescent-stressed rats had enhanced reversal learning compared to unstressed rats. Adolescent-stress exposure made working memory more vulnerable to disturbance. Adolescent-stress did not affect adult associative learning or reference memory. Exposure to acute stress can cause a myriad of cognitive impairments, but whether negative experiences continue to hinder individual as they ag...

  1. Providing Hearing-Impaired Students with Learning Care after Classes through Smart Phones and the GPRS Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chen-Chung; Hong, Yi-Ching

    2007-01-01

    Although computers and network technology have been widely utilised to assist students learn, few technical supports have been developed to help hearing-impaired students learn in Taiwan. A significant challenge for teachers is to provide after-class learning care and assistance to hearing-impaired students that sustain their motivation to…

  2. Impaired implicit sequence learning in Parkinson's disease patients with freezing of gait.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbossche, Jochen; Deroost, Natacha; Soetens, Eric; Coomans, Daphné; Spildooren, Joke; Vercruysse, Sarah; Nieuwboer, Alice; Kerckhofs, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Freezing of gait (FOG) in Parkinson's disease (PD) may involve specific impairments in acquiring automaticity under working memory load. This study examined whether implicit sequence learning, with or without a secondary task, is impaired in patients with FOG. Fourteen freezers (FRs), 14 nonfreezers (nFRs), and 14 matched healthy controls (HCs) performed a serial reaction time (SRT) task with a deterministic stimulus sequence under single-task (ST) and dual-task (DT) conditions. The increase in reaction times (RTs) for random compared with sequenced blocks was used as a measure of implicit sequence learning. Neuropsychological tests assessing global cognitive functioning and executive dysfunction were administered in order to investigate their relation to sequence learning. nFRs and HCs showed significant implicit sequence learning effects (p < 0.001). FRs demonstrated a tendency to learn sequence-specific information in the SRT-ST task (p = 0.07) but not in the SRT-DT task (p = 0.69). Severity of FOG, however, correlated positively with SRT-DT task performance (r = -0.56; p < 0.05). The present results suggest that PD patients suffering from FOG pathology exhibit a specific impairment in the acquisition of automaticity. When working memory capacity is supplementarily loaded by adding a DT, sequence learning in FRs becomes increasingly impaired. These findings indicate that therapies should focus on extensive training in acquiring novel motor activities and reducing working memory load to improve learning in FOG.

  3. Instrumental learning and cognitive flexibility processes are impaired in children exposed to early life stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harms, Madeline B; Shannon Bowen, Katherine E; Hanson, Jamie L; Pollak, Seth D

    2017-10-19

    Children who experience severe early life stress show persistent deficits in many aspects of cognitive and social adaptation. Early stress might be associated with these broad changes in functioning because it impairs general learning mechanisms. To explore this possibility, we examined whether individuals who experienced abusive caregiving in childhood had difficulties with instrumental learning and/or cognitive flexibility as adolescents. Fifty-three 14-17-year-old adolescents (31 exposed to high levels of childhood stress, 22 control) completed an fMRI task that required them to first learn associations in the environment and then update those pairings. Adolescents with histories of early life stress eventually learned to pair stimuli with both positive and negative outcomes, but did so more slowly than their peers. Furthermore, these stress-exposed adolescents showed markedly impaired cognitive flexibility; they were less able than their peers to update those pairings when the contingencies changed. These learning problems were reflected in abnormal activity in learning- and attention-related brain circuitry. Both altered patterns of learning and neural activation were associated with the severity of lifetime stress that the adolescents had experienced. Taken together, the results of this experiment suggest that basic learning processes are impaired in adolescents exposed to early life stress. These general learning mechanisms may help explain the emergence of social problems observed in these individuals. © 2017 The Authors. Developmental Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Medication Impairs Probabilistic Classification Learning in Parkinson's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahanshahi, Marjan; Wilkinson, Leonora; Gahir, Harpreet; Dharminda, Angeline; Lagnado, David A.

    2010-01-01

    In Parkinson's disease (PD), it is possible that tonic increase of dopamine associated with levodopa medication overshadows phasic release of dopamine, which is essential for learning. Thus while the motor symptoms of PD are improved with levodopa medication, learning would be disrupted. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the effect of…

  5. Concurrent Movement Impairs Incidental but Not Intentional Statistical Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, David J.; Arciuli, Joanne; Anderson, David I.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of concurrent movement on incidental versus intentional statistical learning was examined in two experiments. In Experiment 1, participants learned the statistical regularities embedded within familiarization stimuli implicitly, whereas in Experiment 2 they were made aware of the embedded regularities and were instructed explicitly to…

  6. Punishment Insensitivity and Impaired Reinforcement Learning in Preschoolers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs-Gowan, Margaret J.; Nichols, Sara R.; Voss, Joel; Zobel, Elvira; Carter, Alice S.; McCarthy, Kimberly J.; Pine, Daniel S.; Blair, James; Wakschlag, Lauren S.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Youth and adults with psychopathic traits display disrupted reinforcement learning. Advances in measurement now enable examination of this association in preschoolers. The current study examines relations between reinforcement learning in preschoolers and parent ratings of reduced responsiveness to socialization, conceptualized as a…

  7. Spatial reversal learning is impaired by age in pet dogs

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Mongillo, Paolo; Araujo, Joseph A; Pitteri, Elisa; Carnier, Paolo; Adamelli, Serena; Regolin, Lucia; Marinelli, Lieta

    2013-01-01

    .... In the current study, ethologically relevant spatial learning, retention, and reversal learning tasks were conducted, with the goal of expanding canine neuropsychological testing to pet dogs. Initially, dogs (N = 44, aged 7.8 ± 2.8 years, mean ± SD...

  8. Grammar predicts procedural learning and consolidation deficits in children with Specific Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedenius, Martina; Persson, Jonas; Tremblay, Antoine; Adi-Japha, Esther; Veríssimo, João; Dye, Cristina D; Alm, Per; Jennische, Margareta; Bruce Tomblin, J; Ullman, Michael T

    2011-01-01

    The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) posits that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) can be largely explained by abnormalities of brain structures that subserve procedural memory. The PDH predicts impairments of procedural memory itself, and that such impairments underlie the grammatical deficits observed in the disorder. Previous studies have indeed reported procedural learning impairments in SLI, and have found that these are associated with grammatical difficulties. The present study extends this research by examining consolidation and longer-term procedural sequence learning in children with SLI. The Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task was given to children with SLI and typically developing (TD) children in an initial learning session and an average of three days later to test for consolidation and longer-term learning. Although both groups showed evidence of initial sequence learning, only the TD children showed clear signs of consolidation, even though the two groups did not differ in longer-term learning. When the children were re-categorized on the basis of grammar deficits rather than broader language deficits, a clearer pattern emerged. Whereas both the grammar impaired and normal grammar groups showed evidence of initial sequence learning, only those with normal grammar showed consolidation and longer-term learning. Indeed, the grammar-impaired group appeared to lose any sequence knowledge gained during the initial testing session. These findings held even when controlling for vocabulary or a broad non-grammatical language measure, neither of which were associated with procedural memory. When grammar was examined as a continuous variable over all children, the same relationships between procedural memory and grammar, but not vocabulary or the broader language measure, were observed. Overall, the findings support and further specify the PDH. They suggest that consolidation and longer-term procedural learning are impaired in SLI, but that these

  9. Grammar Predicts Procedural Learning and Consolidation Deficits in Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hedenius, Martina; Persson, Jonas; Tremblay, Antoine; Adi-Japha, Esther; Veríssimo, João; Dye, Cristina D.; Alm, Per; Jennische, Margareta; Tomblin, J. Bruce; Ullman, Michael T.

    2011-01-01

    The Procedural Deficit Hypothesis (PDH) posits that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) can be largely explained by abnormalities of brain structures that subserve procedural memory. The PDH predicts impairments of procedural memory itself, and that such impairments underlie the grammatical deficits observed in the disorder. Previous studies have indeed reported procedural learning impairments in SLI, and have found that these are associated with grammatical difficulties. The present study extends this research by examining the consolidation and longer-term procedural sequence learning in children with SLI. The Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task was given to children with SLI and typically-developing (TD) children in an initial learning session and an average of three days later to test for consolidation and longer-term learning. Although both groups showed evidence of initial sequence learning, only the TD children showed clear signs of consolidation, even though the two groups did not differ in longer-term learning. When the children were re-categorized on the basis of grammar deficits rather than broader language deficits, a clearer pattern emerged. Whereas both the grammar impaired and normal grammar groups showed evidence of initial sequence learning, only those with normal grammar showed consolidation and longer-term learning. Indeed, the grammar-impaired group appeared to lose any sequence knowledge gained during the initial testing session. These findings held even when controlling for vocabulary or a broad non-grammatical language measure, neither of which were associated with procedural memory. When grammar was examined as a continuous variable over all children, the same relationships between procedural memory and grammar, but not vocabulary or the broader language measure, were observed. Overall, the findings support and further specify the PDH. They suggest that consolidation and longer-term procedural learning are impaired in SLI, but that

  10. Exploring the relation between learning style and cognitive impairment in patients with acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boosman, H; Visser-Meily, J M A; Post, M W M; Lindeman, E; Van Heugten, C M

    2012-01-01

    The way a patient prefers to approach or choose a learning situation represents the patient's learning style. The objective of this chart review study was to explore the relation between learning style and cognitive impairment in patients with acquired brain injury (ABI). We used data from files of 92 adult patients with ABI referred to inpatient rehabilitation, who completed the Adapted Learning Style Inventory (A-LSI) and at least one of the following neuropsychological tests: Trail Making Test, Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test, WAIS-III Digit Span, Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test-Copy, Stroop Color-Word Test, or the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test. The A-LSI yielded the following distribution of learning styles: 4 doers, 48 observers, 2 deciders and 38 thinkers. No significant correlation coefficients were found between the neuropsychological tests and the A-LSI. Furthermore, Chi-square tests revealed no significant associations between learning style (observer, thinker) and cognitive impairment. The results of this exploratory study suggest that learning style and cognitive impairment are independent in patients with ABI.

  11. 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

  12. Impaired Motor Learning in a Disorder of the Inferior Olive: Is the Cerebellum Confused?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaikh, Aasef G; Wong, Aaron L; Optican, Lance M; Zee, David S

    2017-02-01

    An attractive hypothesis about how the brain learns to keep its motor commands accurate is centered on the idea that the cerebellar cortex associates error signals carried by climbing fibers with simultaneous activity in parallel fibers. Motor learning can be impaired if the error signals are not transmitted, are incorrect, or are misinterpreted by the cerebellar cortex. Learning might also be impaired if the brain is overwhelmed with a sustained barrage of meaningless information unrelated to simultaneously appearing error signals about incorrect performance. We test this concept in subjects with syndrome of oculopalatal tremor (OPT), a rare disease with spontaneous, irregular, roughly pendular oscillations of the eyes thought to reflect an abnormal, synchronous, spontaneous discharge to the cerebellum from the degenerating neurons in the inferior olive. We examined motor learning during a short-term, saccade adaptation paradigm in patients with OPT and found a unique pattern of disturbed adaptation, quite different from the abnormal adaption when the cerebellum is involved directly. Both fast (seconds) and slow (minutes) timescales of learning were impaired. We suggest that the spontaneous, continuous, synchronous output from the inferior olive prevents the cerebellum from receiving the error signals it needs for appropriate motor learning. The important message from this study is that impaired motor adaptation and resultant dysmetria is not the exclusive feature of cerebellar disorders, but it also highlights disorders of the inferior olive and its connections to the cerebellum.

  13. Crocin Improved Learning and Memory Impairments in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Esmaeal Tamaddonfard

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective(s: Crocin influences many biological functions including memory and learning. The present study was aimed to investigate the effects of crocin on learning and memory impairments in streptozotocine-induced diabetic rats. Materials and Methods: Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal (IP injection of streptozotocin (STZ, 45 mg/kg. Transfer latency (TL paradigm in elevated plus-maze (EPM was used as an index of learning and memory. Plasma levels of total antioxidant capacity (TAC and malondialdehyde (MDA, blood levels of glucose, and serum concentrations of insulin were measured. The number of hippocampal neurons was also counted. Results: STZ increased acquisition transfer latency (TL1 and retention transfer latency (TL2, and MDA, decreased transfer latency shortening (TLs and TCA, produced hyperglycemia and hypoinsulinemia, and reduced the number of neurons in the hippocampus. Learning and memory impairments and blood TCA, MDA, glucose, and insulin changes induced by streptozotocin were improved with long-term IP injection of crocin at doses of 15 and 30 mg/kg. Crocin prevented hippocampal neurons number loss in diabetic rats. Conclusion: The results indicate that oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, hypoinsulinemia, and reduction of hippocampal neurons may be involved in learning and memory impairments in STZ-induced diabetic rats. Antioxidant, antihyperglycemic, antihypoinsulinemic, and neuroprotective activities of crocin might be involved in improving learning and memory impairments.

  14. An fMRI study of implicit language learning in developmental language impairment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena Plante

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Individuals with developmental language impairment can show deficits into adulthood. This suggests that neural networks related to their language do not normalize with time. We examined the ability of 16 adults with and without impaired language to learn individual words in an unfamiliar language. Adults with impaired language were able to segment individual words from running speech, but needed more time to do so than their normal-language peers. ICA analysis of fMRI data indicated that adults with language impairment activate a neural network that is comparable to that of adults with normal language. However, a regional analysis indicated relative hyperactivation of a collection of regions associated with language processing. These results are discussed with reference to the Statistical Learning Framework and the sub-skills thought to relate to word segmentation.

  15. An fMRI study of implicit language learning in developmental language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Elena; Patterson, Dianne; Sandoval, Michelle; Vance, Christopher J; Asbjørnsen, Arve E

    2017-01-01

    Individuals with developmental language impairment can show deficits into adulthood. This suggests that neural networks related to their language do not normalize with time. We examined the ability of 16 adults with and without impaired language to learn individual words in an unfamiliar language. Adults with impaired language were able to segment individual words from running speech, but needed more time to do so than their normal-language peers. ICA analysis of fMRI data indicated that adults with language impairment activate a neural network that is comparable to that of adults with normal language. However, a regional analysis indicated relative hyperactivation of a collection of regions associated with language processing. These results are discussed with reference to the Statistical Learning Framework and the sub-skills thought to relate to word segmentation.

  16. Learning impairment by Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in adolescence is attributable to deficits in chunking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steel, Ryan W J; Miller, John H; Sim, Dalice A; Day, Darren John

    2011-12-01

    Cannabis is the most popular illicit drug used by adolescents. Yet, there are only a few studies that have examined the effects of cannabis use on learning and memory during this sensitive and important neurodevelopmental stage. Male adolescent Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, 6 mg/kg) daily for 27 days and concurrently trained in a spatial learning and memory task. The chronic effects of cannabis use were specifically examined by assessing animal behaviour during the 'postacute' period (17 h after drug exposure), when minimal acute drug burden is expected to be present. The postacute period is a good model for cannabis use patterns in human adolescents. In addition, we investigated whether the hierarchical organization of working memory (chunking) was impaired by THC-treatment. We show that THC exposure impairs adolescent learning when tested in the postacute period, and that THC impairs the ability of animals to use a chunking strategy.

  17. Age-related impairments in active learning and strategic visual exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly L Brandstatt

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Old age could impair memory by disrupting learning strategies used by younger individuals. We tested this possibility by manipulating the ability to use visual-exploration strategies during learning. Subjects controlled visual exploration during active learning, thus permitting the use of strategies, whereas strategies were limited during passive learning via predetermined exploration patterns. Performance on tests of object recognition and object-location recall was matched for younger and older subjects for objects studied passively, when learning strategies were restricted. Active learning improved object recognition similarly for younger and older subjects. However, active learning improved object-location recall for younger subjects, but not older subjects. Exploration patterns were used to identify a learning strategy involving repeat viewing. Older subjects used this strategy less frequently and it provided less memory benefit compared to younger subjects. In previous experiments, we linked hippocampal-prefrontal co-activation to improvements in object-location recall from active learning and to the exploration strategy. Collectively, these findings suggest that age-related memory problems result partly from impaired strategies during learning, potentially due to reduced hippocampal-prefrontal co-engagement.

  18. Impaired learning of punishments in Parkinson's disease with and without impulse control disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leplow, Bernd; Sepke, Maria; Schönfeld, Robby; Pohl, Johannes; Oelsner, Henriette; Latzko, Lea; Ebersbach, Georg

    2017-02-01

    To document specific learning mechanisms in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) with and without impulse control disorder (ICD). Thirty-two PD patients receiving dopamine replacement therapy (DRT) were investigated. Sixteen were diagnosed with ICD (ICD + ) and 16 PD patients matched for levodopa equivalence dosage, and DRT duration and severity of disease did not show impulsive behavior (non-ICD). Short-term learning of inhibitory control was assessed by an experimental procedure which was intended to mimic everyday life. Correct inhibition especially, had to be learned without reward (passive avoidance), and the failure to inhibit a response was punished (punishment learning). Results were compared to 16 healthy controls (HC) matched for age and sex. In ICD+ patients within-session learning of non-rewarded inhibition was at chance levels. Whereas healthy controls rapidly developed behavioral inhibition, non-ICD patients were also significantly impaired compared to HC, but gradually developed some degree of control. Both patient groups showed significantly decreased learning if the failure to withhold a response was punished. PD patients receiving DRT show impaired ability to acquire both punishment learning and passive avoidance learning, irrespective of whether or not ICD was developed. In ICD + PD patients, behavioral inhibition is nearly absent. Results demonstrate that by means of subtle learning paradigms it is possible to identify PD-DRT patients who show subtle alterations of punishment learning. This may be a behavioral measure for the identification of PD patients who are prone to develop ICD if DRT is continued.

  19. Using principles of learning to inform language therapy design for children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alt, Mary; Meyers, Christina; Ancharski, Alexandra

    2012-01-01

    Language treatment for children with specific language impairment (SLI) often takes months to achieve moderate results. Interventions often do not incorporate the principles that are known to affect learning in unimpaired learners. To outline some key findings about learning in typical populations and to suggest a model of how they might be applied to language treatment design as a catalyst for further research and discussion. Three main principles of implicit learning are reviewed: variability, complexity and sleep-dependent consolidation. After explaining these principles, evidence is provided as to how they influence learning tasks in unimpaired learners. Information is reviewed on principles of learning as they apply to impaired populations, current treatment designs are also reviewed that conform to the principles, and ways in which principles of learning might be incorporated into language treatment design are demonstrated. This paper provides an outline for how theoretical knowledge might be applied to clinical practice in an effort to promote discussion. Although the authors look forward to more specific details on how the principles of learning relate to impaired populations, there is ample evidence to suggest that these principles should be considered during treatment design. © 2012 Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

  20. The Teaching and Learning Process of Reading Comprehension to Students with Visual Impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Koeswiryono, Dika Pranadwipa; Asrori, Muh; Setyaningsih, Endang

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to describe (1) the teaching and learning process of reading comprehension to students with visual impairment ; (2) the problem faced by the school, the teacher of English and the students in the teaching and learning process of reading comprehension and (3) the solution applied to solve those problems. The research was conducted at SMP YKAB Surakarta. YKAB itself stands for Yayasan Kesejahteraan Anak Buta, or Blind Children Prosperity Foundation. The research subject was the ...

  1. Intracerebroventricular administration of taurine impairs learning and memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Koichi; Arko, Matevž; Kawaguchi, Tomohiro; Kikusui, Takefumi; Kuwahara, Masayoshi; Tsubone, Hirokazu

    2012-03-01

    Taurine is a semi-essential amino acid widely distributed in the body and we take in it from a wide range of nutritive-tonic drinks to improve health. To date, we have elucidated that oral supplementation of taurine does not affect learning and memory in the rat. However, there are few studies concerning the direct effects of taurine in the brain at the behavior level. In this study, we intracerebroventricularly administered taurine to rats and aimed to elucidate the acute effects on learning and memory using the Morris water maze method. Escape latency, swim distance, and distance to zone, which is the integral of the distance between the rats and the platform for every 0.16 seconds, were adopted as parameters of the ability of learning and memory. We also tried to evaluate the effect of intraperitoneal taurine administration. Escape latency, swim distance, and distance to zone were significantly longer in the intracerebroventricularly taurine-administered rats than in the saline-administered rats. Mean swimming velocity was comparable between these two groups, although the physical performance was improved by taurine administration. Probe trials showed that the manner of the rats in finding the platform was comparable. In contrast, no significant differences were found between the intraperitoneally taurine-administered rats and the saline-administered rats. These results indicate that taurine administered directly into the brain ventricle suppresses and delays the ability of learning and memory in rats. In contrast, it is implied that taurine administered peripherally was not involved in learning and memory.

  2. Selective learning impairment of delayed reinforcement autoshaped behavior caused by low doses of trimethyltin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, C A; Messing, R B; Sparber, S B

    1987-01-01

    The organometal neurotoxin trimethyltin (TMT), induces impaired learning and memory for various tasks. However, administration is also associated with other "non-specific" behavioral changes which may be responsible for effects on conditioned behaviors. To determine if TMT treatment causes a specific learning impairment, three experiments were done using variations of a delay of reinforcement autoshaping task in which rats learn to associate the presentation and retraction of a lever with the delivery of a food pellet reinforcer. No significant effects of TMT treatment were found with a short (4 s) delay of reinforcement, indicating that rats were motivated and had the sensorimotor capacity for learning. When the delay was increased to 6 s, 3.0 or 6.0 mg TMT/kg produced dose-related reductions in behaviors directed towards the lever. Performance of a group given 7.5 mg TMT/kg, while still impaired relative to controls, appeared to be better than the performance of groups given lower doses. This paradoxical effect was investigated with a latent inhibition paradigm, in which rats were pre-exposed to the Skinner boxes for several sessions without delivery of food reinforcement. Control rats showed retardation of autoshaping when food reinforcement was subsequently introduced. Rats given 7.5 mg TMT/kg exhibited elevated levels of lever responding during pre-exposure and autoshaping sessions. The results indicate that 7.5 mg TMT/kg produces learning impairments which are confounded by hyperreactivity to the environment and an inability to suppress behavior toward irrelevant stimuli. In contrast, low doses of TMT cause learning impairments which are not confounded by hyperreactivity, and may prove to be useful models for studying specific associational dysfunctions.

  3. Sleep deprivation impairs hippocampus-mediated contextual learning but not amygdala-mediated cued learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruskin, David N; Liu, Caiqin; Dunn, Kelly E; Bazan, Nicolas G; LaHoste, Gerald J

    2004-06-01

    Prolonged sleep deprivation results in cognitive deficits. In rats, for example, sleep deprivation impairs spatial learning and hippocampal long-term potentiation. We tested the effects of sleep deprivation on learning in a Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm, choosing a sleep deprivation paradigm in which REM sleep was completely prevented and non-REM sleep was strongly decreased. During conditioning, rats were given footshocks, either alone or paired with a tone, and tested 24 h later for freezing responses to the conditioning context, and to the tone in a novel environment. Whereas control animals had robust contextual learning in both background and foreground contextual conditioning paradigms, 72 h of sleep deprivation before conditioning dramatically impaired both types of contextual learning (by more than 50%) without affecting cued learning. Increasing the number of footshocks did not overcome the sleep deprivation-induced deficit. The results provide behavioural evidence that REM/non-REM sleep deprivation has neuroanatomically selective actions, differentially interfering with the neural systems underlying contextual learning (i.e. the hippocampus) and cued learning (i.e. the amygdala), and support the involvement of the hippocampus in both foreground and background contextual conditioning.

  4. Impairments in learning, memory, and metamemory following childhood head injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowther, Jason E; Hanten, Gerri; Li, Xiaoqi; Dennis, Maureen; Chapman, Sandra B; Levin, Harvey S

    2011-01-01

    To assess postinjury changes in learning, memory, and metamemory abilities following childhood traumatic brain injury. Prospective, longitudinal with 5 assessments made from baseline to 24 months postinjury. A total of 167 children (aged 5-15 years) with traumatic brain injury (TBI; 64 severe, 55 moderate, and 48 mild). Children completed a judgment of learning task with 4 recall trials and made 3 metamemory judgments. Relative to those with mild TBI, children with moderate or severe TBI performed worse at earlier times postinjury and had a greater change in performance over time. Performance for moderate and severe groups peaked at 12 months and the performance gap between them and mild TBI group increased slightly from 12 to 24 months. Traumatic brain injury severity did not affect initial study-recall trial performance, but groups did diverge in performance with repeated study. Greater TBI severity was associated with poorer performance on prospective metamemory judgments, but not retrospective judgments. Traumatic brain injury severity affected prospective judgments of memory performance and learning strategies, but did not appear to affect either word retention or the forgetting of words over a delay. Implications for rehabilitation are discussed.

  5. Beyond W3C: TruVision--Enhanced Online Learning for People Blind or Vision Impaired.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bate, Frank; Oliver, Ron

    This paper describes the design and development of TruVision, an online learning environment designed to enable blind and vision impaired students to develop skills and expertise in elementary and advanced information processing strategies to enable them to seek full-time employment within industry in such positions as administrative assistants,…

  6. Applying Response to Intervention to Identify Learning Disabilities in Students with Visual Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Beth A.; Smith, Heather Haynes; Hensley-Maloney, Lauren; Gansle, Kristin A.

    2015-01-01

    When visual impairments (VI) and learning disabilities (LD) coexist, it is common for one (i.e., typically LD) to go unidentified. Some school districts may be reluctant to identify students with both VI and LD, potentially causing students to miss out on much-needed services. Child study teams can find support to address this dual diagnosis using…

  7. An Assessment-for-Learning System in Mathematics for Individuals with Visual Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Eric G.; Shute, Valerie J.; Landau, Steven

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the usability of an assessment-for-learning (AfL) system that provides audio-tactile graphics for algebra content (geometric sequences) for individuals with visual impairments--two who are blind and two with low vision. It found that the system is generally usable as a mathematics AfL system. (Contains 4 tables.)

  8. Using Discrete Trial Training to Identify Specific Learning Impairments in Boys with Fragile X Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Scott S.; Hustyi, Kristin M.; Hammond, Jennifer L.; Hirt, Melissa; Reiss, Allan L.

    2014-01-01

    We examined whether "discrete trial training" (DTT) could be used to identify learning impairments in mathematical reasoning in boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Boys with FXS, aged 10-23 years, and age and IQ-matched controls, were trained to match fractions to pie-charts and pie-charts to decimals either on a computer or with a…

  9. Using electronic storybooks to support word learning in children with severe language impairments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smeets, Daisy J. H.; van Dijken, Marianne J.; Bus, Adriana G

    2012-01-01

    Novel word learning is reported to be problematic for children with severe language impairments (SLI). In this study, we tested electronic storybooks as a tool to support vocabulary acquisition in SLI children. In Experiment 1, 29 kindergarten SLI children heard four e-books each four times: (a) two

  10. Building a Learning Readiness Program for the Mainstreamed Visually Impaired Child in Israel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohl, Aryeh; Eshet, Shari

    1985-01-01

    The paper describes the beginnings of a total developmental language learning system for mainstreamed visually impaired children in Israel. The readiness program is divided into five sections: auditory perception and discrimination, tactile perception and discrimination and fine motor coordination, gross motor coordination, body image awareness,…

  11. Communicating Science Concepts to Individuals with Visual Impairments Using Short Learning Modules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stender, Anthony S.; Newell, Ryan; Villarreal, Eduardo; Swearer, Dayne F.; Bianco, Elisabeth; Ringe, Emilie

    2016-01-01

    Of the 6.7 million individuals in the United States who are visually impaired, 63% are unemployed, and 59% have not attained an education beyond a high school diploma. Providing a basic science education to children and adults with visual disabilities can be challenging because most scientific learning relies on visual demonstrations. Creating…

  12. Brain Substrates of Learning and Retention in Mild Cognitive Impairment Diagnosis and Progression to Alzheimer's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Yu-Ling; Bondi, Mark W.; Fennema-Notestine, Christine; McEvoy, Linda K.; Hagler, Donald J., Jr.; Jacobson, Mark W.; Dale, Anders M.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding the underlying qualitative features of memory deficits in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) can provide critical information for early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD). This study sought to investigate the utility of both learning and retention measures in (a) the diagnosis of MCI, (b) predicting progression to AD, and (c)…

  13. Meeting the Needs of Students with Coexisting Visual Impairments and Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Beth A.; Hensley-Maloney, Lauren

    2015-01-01

    The coexistence of visual impairments and learning disabilities presents unique challenges. It is imperative that teachers be apprised of the characteristics of this population as well as instructional strategies targeted at meeting their unique needs. The authors highlight typical patterns of performance and provide suggestions for effective…

  14. Diabetes impairs learning performance and affects the mitochondrial function of hippocampal pyramidal neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Lin; Wang, Feng; Yang, Rui-Hua

    2011-09-09

    Previous research has demonstrated that diabetes induces learning and memory deficits. However, the mechanism of memory impairment induced by diabetes is poorly understood. The present study investigated the effect of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes on spatial learning and memory using the Morris Water Maze. The effects of diabetes on CA1 pyramidal neurons in hippocampus were also examined. Diabetes impaired spatial learning and memory of rats. Diabetes induced the apoptosis of neurons and translocation of Bax from cytoplasm to mitochondria. On the contrary, diabetes induced cytochrome c release into the cytoplasm from mitochondria. Release of Cyt-c from mitochondria into cytoplasm may play a role in apoptosis of the CA1 pyramidal neurons, which resulted in a decrease of the number of neurons in hippocampus and impaired the performance function. These results partially explain the mechanism of the effect of diabetes on learning and memory. To protect mitochondrial function is possible candidate for preventing the impairments of diabetes on hippocampal function. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Developmental stress impairs performance on an association task in male and female songbirds, but impairs auditory learning in females only.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrell, Tara M; Morgan, Amanda; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2016-01-01

    In songbirds, early-life environments critically shape song development. Many studies have demonstrated that developmental stress impairs song learning and the development of song-control regions of the brain in males. However, song has evolved through signaller-receiver networks and the effect stress has on the ability to receive auditory signals is equally important, especially for females who use song as an indicator of mate quality. Female song preferences have been the metric used to evaluate how developmental stress affects auditory learning, but preferences are shaped by many non-cognitive factors and preclude the evaluation of auditory learning abilities in males. To determine whether developmental stress specifically affects auditory learning in both sexes, we subjected juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris, to either an ad libitum or an unpredictable food supply treatment from 35 to 115 days of age. In adulthood, we assessed learning of both auditory and visual discrimination tasks. Females reared in the experimental group were slower than females in the control group to acquire a relative frequency auditory task, and slower than their male counterparts to acquire an absolute frequency auditory task. There was no difference in auditory performance between treatment groups for males. However, on the colour association task, birds from the experimental group committed more errors per trial than control birds. There was no correlation in performance across the cognitive tasks. Developmental stress did not affect all cognitive processes equally across the sexes. Our results suggest that the male auditory system may be more robust to developmental stress than that of females.

  16. Vortioxetine restores reversal learning impaired by 5-HT depletion or chronic intermittent cold stress in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Ashley; Pehrson, Alan L; Sánchez, Connie; Morilak, David A

    2014-10-01

    Current treatments for depression, including serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are only partially effective, with a high incidence of residual symptoms, relapse, and treatment resistance. Loss of cognitive flexibility, a component of depression, is associated with dysregulation of the prefrontal cortex. Reversal learning, a form of cognitive flexibility, is impaired by chronic stress, a risk factor for depression, and the stress-induced impairment in reversal learning is sensitive to chronic SSRI treatment, and is mimicked by serotonin (5-HT) depletion. Vortioxetine, a novel, multimodal-acting antidepressant, is a 5-HT3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist, and inhibits the 5-HT transporter. Using adult male rats, we first investigated the direct effects of vortioxetine, acting at post-synaptic 5-HT receptors, on reversal learning that was compromised by 5-HT depletion using 4-chloro-DL-phenylalanine methyl ester hydrochloride (PCPA), effectively eliminating any contribution of 5-HT reuptake blockade. PCPA induced a reversal learning impairment that was alleviated by acute or sub-chronic vortioxetine administration, suggesting that post-synaptic 5-HT receptor activation contributes to the effects of vortioxetine. We then investigated the effects of chronic dietary administration of vortioxetine on reversal learning that had been compromised in intact animals exposed to chronic intermittent cold (CIC) stress, to assess vortioxetine's total pharmacological effect. CIC stress impaired reversal learning, and chronic vortioxetine administration prevented the reversal-learning deficit. Together, these results suggest that the direct effect of vortioxetine at 5-HT receptors may contribute to positive effects on cognitive flexibility deficits, and may enhance the effect of 5-HT reuptake blockade.

  17. The Effects of Online Interactions on the Relationship between Learning-Related Anxiety and Intention to Persist among E-Learning Students with Visual Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, Yunjin; Lee, Soon Min

    2016-01-01

    This study explored whether learning-related anxiety would negatively affect intention to persist with e-learning among students with visual impairment, and examined the roles of three online interactions in the relationship between learning-related anxiety and intention to persist with e-learning. For this study, a convenience sample of…

  18. Chronic stress impairs learning and hippocampal cell proliferation in senescence-accelerated prone mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Weihong; Zhang, Ting; Jia, Weiping; Sun, Xiaojiang; Liu, Xueyuan

    2011-02-25

    Chronic stress can induce cognitive impairment. It is unclear whether a higher susceptibility to chronic stress is associated with the progression of pathological brain aging. Senescence-accelerated prone mouse 8 (SAMP8) is a naturally occurring animal model of accelerated brain aging. Senescence-accelerated resistant mouse 1 (SAMR1) is usually used as the normal control. In this study, we examined the effects of chronic restraint stress (CRS) on learning in the Y-maze, hippocampal cell proliferation, and the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus of 4-month-old SAMP8 and SAMR1. The results showed that exposure to CRS impaired learning and hippocampal cell proliferation in SAMP8 and SAMR1 but to a much greater extent in SAMP8. Furthermore, CRS significantly decreased the expression of BDNF protein and mRNA in the hippocampus of SAMP8 and SAMR1. These data indicated that SAMP8 is more sensitive to the deleterious effects of CRS on learning than SAMR1. A greater decrease in hippocampal cell proliferation caused by chronic stress may be part of the underlying mechanism for the more severe learning deficit observed in SAMP8. In addition, our findings suggested a role of BDNF in the stress-induced impairment of learning and hippocampal cell proliferation in both strains. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. A teaching and learning programme to enhance the teaching and learning needs of visually impaired learners in an inclusive natural sciences classroom / Moses Mojaki Maloka

    OpenAIRE

    Maloka, Mojaki Moses

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate perceptions of visually impaired learners and their teachers regarding the extent to which the teaching and learning needs of learners with visual impairment are addressed in inclusive classrooms. The first phase of the study was characterized by a literature review. A literature review was undertaken to elucidate the concept visual impairment and to highlight the magnitude of visual impairment in South Africa. Attention was also paid to the place ...

  20. Communication between hearing impaired and normal hearing students: a facilitative proposal of learning in higher education

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krysne Kelly de França Oliveira

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: There has been an increase in the number of hearing impaired people with access to higher education. Most of them are young people from a different culture who present difficulties in communication, inter-relationship, and learning in a culture of normal hearing people, because they use a different language, the Brazilian Sign Language - LIBRAS. Objective: The present study aimed to identify the forms of communication used between hearing impaired and normal hearing students, verifying how they can interfere with the learning process of the first. Methods: A qualitative study that used the space of a private university in the city of Fortaleza, Ceará state, Brazil, from February to April 2009. We carried out semi-structured interviews with three hearing impaired students, three teachers, three interpreters, and three normal hearing students. The content of the speeches was categorized and organized by the method of thematic analysis. Results: We verified that the forms of communication used ranged from mime and gestures to writing and drawing, but the most accepted by the hearing impaired students was LIBRAS. As a method of communication, it supports the learning of hearing impaired students, and with the mediation of interpreters, it gives them conditions to settle in their zones of development, according to the precepts of Vygotsky. Conclusion: Thus, we recognize the importance of LIBRAS as predominant language, essential to the full academic achievement of hearing impaired students; however, their efforts and dedication, as well as the interest of institutions and teachers on the deaf culture, are also important for preparing future professionals.

  1. Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitor Improves Learning and Memory Impairment Induced by Toxoplasma gondii Infection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein MAHMOUDVAND

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background: Here, we established the mouse models of chronic toxoplasmosis by T. gondii Tehran strain to provide a good understanding about defining the possible association between T. gondii exposure and learning and memory impairments. Moreover, as secondary objective of the present study, we hypothesized whether administration of an acetylcholinesterase (AChE inhibitor could reduce learning and memory impairments induced by T. gondii infection.Methods: Twenty-four male BALB/c mice were used to establishment of latent toxoplasmosis. The animal model of Toxoplasma infection was established by the intraperitoneal inoculation of 20-25 tissue cysts from Tehran strain of T. gondii. Donepezil (2 mg/kg an AChE inhibitor to treat Alzheimer disease was injected intraperitoneally once a day for two weeks starting from post-infection day 90. Morris water maze (MWM task was used to assay spatial learning and short term spatial memory in all groups. One-way ANOVA with Tukey’s post-hoc test was used to assess differences between experimental groups.  P<0.05 was considered statistically significant.Results: Toxoplasma infection impaired spatial leaning and short term spatial memory of the infected BALB/c mice, whereas donepezil, an AChE inhibitor, improved impairments induced by Toxoplasma infection.Conclusion: T. gondii infection through increasing AChE reduces the level of Acetylcholine (Ach and consequently affects learning and memory activity in infected hosts, whereas, donepezil as an AChE inhibitor improves these impairments by restoring ACh levels at synapses of neurons in brain.

  2. Verbal learning and memory impairment in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Catherine E; Thomas, Kevin G F; Dodge, Neil C; Molteno, Christopher D; Meintjes, Ernesta M; Jacobson, Joseph L; Jacobson, Sandra W

    2015-04-01

    Previous studies using the California Verbal Learning Test-Children's Version (CVLT-C) to examine effects of heavy prenatal alcohol exposure on verbal learning and memory have reported impaired information acquisition (i.e., encoding), rather than retrieval, as the primary mechanism underlying learning and memory impairment. We administered the CVLT-C to 2 independent cohorts to determine whether (i) effects on encoding are also seen at moderate exposure levels, using both categorical (diagnostic/exposure group) and continuous exposure measures; (ii) these deficits are specific or secondary to alcohol-related impairment in IQ; (iii) effects on retrieval can be detected over and above effects on initial encoding; and (iv) effects on learning are attributable to less efficient learning strategy use. We administered the CVLT-C and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children to 151 Cape Town heavy and nonexposed children (M = 10.3 years), and 291 Detroit adolescents recruited to over-represent moderate-to-heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (M = 14.4 years). Effects on encoding in the heavily exposed Cape Town cohort and on retrieval in both cohorts were significant after adjustment for IQ. Although effects on retrieval were no longer significant in Cape Town after control for initial encoding, effects on recognition memory continued to be evident in Detroit. Children with full or partial fetal alcohol syndrome were less able to use the semantic cluster encoding strategy implicit in the CVLT-C. Effects on verbal learning were seen primarily in the more heavily exposed Cape Town cohort; effects on recall and recognition memory were also seen at moderate exposure levels in Detroit. These effects were not attributable to alcohol-related impairment in overall intellectual competence. The finding that effects on retention continued to be evident after statistical adjustment for initial encoding in Detroit suggests that a fetal alcohol-related deficit in retrieval is not

  3. Scopolamine during the paradoxical sleep window impairs radial arm maze learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legault, Glenn; Smith, Carlyle T; Beninger, Richard J

    2004-12-01

    It has been proposed that there are paradoxical sleep windows (PSW) during which REM sleep is required for effective learning. Thus, rats deprived of REM sleep during 0-4 (but not 5-8) h after training show impaired learning of a radial maze task. As cholinergic (ACh) systems are active during REM sleep and may be involved in learning, this experiment investigated the effects on learning of pharmacological manipulation of the cholinergic system during the period identified as the PSW. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to groups that were physically deprived of REM for 4 h either immediately after training or beginning 4 h after training or treated with the ACh receptor antagonist scopolamine (0-0.4 mg/kg at 0 and 2 h after training or 0.006 mg/kg at 4 and 6 h after training) on each of 9 days of radial maze training. Post-training REM deprivation (0-4 h but not 5-8 h after training) and scopolamine dose-dependently impaired learning. Results suggest that REM sleep and intact ACh neurotransmission are required during the PSW for rats to learn the radial maze task.

  4. (-)Epigallocatechin-3-gallate decreases the stress-induced impairment of learning and memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soung, Hung-Sheng; Wang, Mao-Hsien; Tseng, Hsiang-Chien; Fang, Hsu-Wei; Chang, Kuo-Chi

    2015-08-18

    Stress induces reactive oxygen species (ROS) and causes alterations in brain cytoarchitecture and cognition. Green tea has potent antioxidative properties especially the tea catechin (-) epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). These powerful antioxidative properties are able to protect against various oxidative damages. In this study we investigated the impact of stress on rats' locomotor activity, learning and memory. Many tea catechins, including EGCG, were examined for their possible therapeutic effects in treating stress-induced impairment. Our results indicated that locomotor activity was decreased, and the learning and memory were impaired in stressed rats (SRs). EGCG treatment was able to prevent the decreased locomotor activity as well as improve the learning and memory in SRs. EGCG treatment was also able to reduce the increased oxidative status in SRs' hippocampi. The above results suggest a therapeutic effect of EGCG in treating stress-induced impairment of learning and memory, most likely by means of its powerful antioxidative properties. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Puerarin attenuates learning and memory impairments and inhibits oxidative stress in STZ-induced SAD mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Shan-shan; Yang, Wei-na; Jin, Hui; Ma, Kai-ge; Feng, Gai-feng

    2015-12-01

    Puerarin (PUE), an isoflavone purified from the root of Pueraria lobata (Chinese herb), has been reported to attenuate learning and memory impairments in the transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the present study, we tested PUE in a sporadic AD (SAD) mouse model which was induced by the intracerebroventricular injection of streptozotocin (STZ). The mice were administrated PUE (25, 50, or 100mg/kg/d) for 28 days. Learning and memory abilities were assessed by the Morris water maze test. After behavioral test, the biochemical parameters of oxidative stress (glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutases (SOD), and malondialdehyde (MDA)) were measured in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. The SAD mice exhibited significantly decreased learning and memory ability, while PUE attenuated these impairments. The activities of GSH-Px and SOD were decreased while MDA was increased in the SAD animals. After PUE treatment, the activities of GSH-Px and SOD were elevated, and the level of MDA was decreased. The middle dose PUE was more effective than others. These results indicate that PUE attenuates learning and memory impairments and inhibits oxidative stress in STZ-induced SAD mice. PUE may be a promising therapeutic agent for SAD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Neurotoxicity induced by alkyl nitrites: Impairment in learning/memory and motor coordination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cha, Hye Jin; Kim, Yun Ji; Jeon, Seo Young; Kim, Young-Hoon; Shin, Jisoon; Yun, Jaesuk; Han, Kyoungmoon; Park, Hye-Kyung; Kim, Hyung Soo

    2016-04-21

    Although alkyl nitrites are used as recreational drugs, there is only little research data regarding their effects on the central nervous system including their neurotoxicity. This study investigated the neurotoxicity of three representative alkyl nitrites (isobutyl nitrite, isoamyl nitrite, and butyl nitrite), and whether it affected learning/memory function and motor coordination in rodents. Morris water maze test was performed in mice after administrating the mice with varying doses of the substances in two different injection schedules of memory acquisition and memory retention. A rota-rod test was then performed in rats. All tested alkyl nitrites lowered the rodents' capacity for learning and memory, as assessed by both the acquisition and retention tests. The results of the rota-rod test showed that isobutyl nitrite in particular impaired motor coordination in chronically treated rats. The mice chronically injected with isoamyl nitrite also showed impaired function, while butyl nitrite had no significant effect. The results of the water maze test suggest that alkyl nitrites may impair learning and memory. Additionally, isoamyl nitrite affected the rodents' motor coordination ability. Collectively, our findings suggest that alkyl nitrites may induce neurotoxicity, especially on the aspect of learning and memory function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Aberrant light directly impairs mood and learning through melanopsin-expressing neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeGates, Tara A; Altimus, Cara M; Wang, Hui; Lee, Hey-Kyoung; Yang, Sunggu; Zhao, Haiqing; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Weber, E Todd; Hattar, Samer

    2012-11-22

    The daily solar cycle allows organisms to synchronize their circadian rhythms and sleep-wake cycles to the correct temporal niche. Changes in day-length, shift-work, and transmeridian travel lead to mood alterations and cognitive function deficits. Sleep deprivation and circadian disruption underlie mood and cognitive disorders associated with irregular light schedules. Whether irregular light schedules directly affect mood and cognitive functions in the context of normal sleep and circadian rhythms remains unclear. Here we show, using an aberrant light cycle that neither changes the amount and architecture of sleep nor causes changes in the circadian timing system, that light directly regulates mood-related behaviours and cognitive functions in mice. Animals exposed to the aberrant light cycle maintain daily corticosterone rhythms, but the overall levels of corticosterone are increased. Despite normal circadian and sleep structures, these animals show increased depression-like behaviours and impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation and learning. Administration of the antidepressant drugs fluoxetine or desipramine restores learning in mice exposed to the aberrant light cycle, suggesting that the mood deficit precedes the learning impairments. To determine the retinal circuits underlying this impairment of mood and learning, we examined the behavioural consequences of this light cycle in animals that lack intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. In these animals, the aberrant light cycle does not impair mood and learning, despite the presence of the conventional retinal ganglion cells and the ability of these animals to detect light for image formation. These findings demonstrate the ability of light to influence cognitive and mood functions directly through intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells.

  8. Reduced autobiographical memory specificity is associated with impaired discrimination learning in anxiety disorder patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaert, Bert; Boddez, Yannick; Vervliet, Bram; Schruers, Koen; Hermans, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning plays an important role in the development of anxiety disorders, but a thorough understanding of the variables that impact such learning is still lacking. We investigated whether individual differences in autobiographical memory specificity are related to discrimination learning and generalization. In an associative learning task, participants learned the association between two pictures of female faces and a non-aversive outcome. Subsequently, six morphed pictures functioning as generalization stimuli (GSs) were introduced. In a sample of healthy participants (Study 1), we did not find evidence for differences in discrimination learning as a function of memory specificity. In a sample of anxiety disorder patients (Study 2), individuals who were characterized by low memory specificity showed deficient discrimination learning relative to high specific individuals. In contrast to previous findings, results revealed no effect of memory specificity on generalization. These results indicate that impaired discrimination learning, previously shown in patients suffering from an anxiety disorder, may be-in part-due to limited memory specificity. Together, these studies emphasize the importance of incorporating cognitive variables in associative learning theories and their implications for the development of anxiety disorders. In addition, re-analyses of the data (Study 3) showed that patients suffering from panic disorder showed higher outcome expectancies in the presence of the stimulus that was never followed by an outcome during discrimination training, relative to patients suffering from other anxiety disorders and healthy participants. Because we used a neutral, non-aversive outcome (i.e., drawing of a lightning bolt), these data suggest that learning abnormalities in panic disorder may not be restricted to fear learning, but rather reflect a more general associative learning deficit that also manifests in fear irrelevant contexts.

  9. Reduced autobiographical memory specificity is associated with impaired discrimination learning in anxiety disorder patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bert eLenaert

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Associative learning plays an important role in the development of anxiety disorders, but a thorough understanding of the variables that impact such learning is still lacking. We investigated whether individual differences in autobiographical memory specificity are related to discrimination learning and generalization. In an associative learning task, participants learned the association between two pictures of female faces and a non-aversive outcome. Subsequently, six morphed pictures functioning as generalization stimuli (GSs were introduced. In a sample of healthy participants (Study 1, we did not find evidence for differences in discrimination learning as a function of memory specificity. In a sample of anxiety disorder patients (Study 2, individuals who were characterized by low memory specificity showed deficient discrimination learning relative to high specific individuals. In contrast to previous findings, results revealed no effect of memory specificity on generalization. These results indicate that impaired discrimination learning, previously shown in patients suffering from an anxiety disorder, may be – in part – due to limited memory specificity. Together, these studies emphasize the importance of incorporating cognitive variables in associative learning theories and their implications for the development of anxiety disorders. In addition, re-analyses of the data (Study 3 showed that patients suffering from panic disorder showed higher outcome expectancies in the presence of the stimulus that was never followed by an outcome during discrimination training, relative to patients suffering from other anxiety disorders and healthy participants. Because we used a neutral, non-aversive outcome (i.e., drawing of a lightning bolt, these data suggest that learning abnormalities in panic disorder may not be restricted to fear learning, but rather reflect a more general associative learning deficit that also manifests in fear irrelevant

  10. Reduced autobiographical memory specificity is associated with impaired discrimination learning in anxiety disorder patients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lenaert, Bert; Boddez, Yannick; Vervliet, Bram; Schruers, Koen; Hermans, Dirk

    2015-01-01

    Associative learning plays an important role in the development of anxiety disorders, but a thorough understanding of the variables that impact such learning is still lacking. We investigated whether individual differences in autobiographical memory specificity are related to discrimination learning and generalization. In an associative learning task, participants learned the association between two pictures of female faces and a non-aversive outcome. Subsequently, six morphed pictures functioning as generalization stimuli (GSs) were introduced. In a sample of healthy participants (Study 1), we did not find evidence for differences in discrimination learning as a function of memory specificity. In a sample of anxiety disorder patients (Study 2), individuals who were characterized by low memory specificity showed deficient discrimination learning relative to high specific individuals. In contrast to previous findings, results revealed no effect of memory specificity on generalization. These results indicate that impaired discrimination learning, previously shown in patients suffering from an anxiety disorder, may be—in part—due to limited memory specificity. Together, these studies emphasize the importance of incorporating cognitive variables in associative learning theories and their implications for the development of anxiety disorders. In addition, re-analyses of the data (Study 3) showed that patients suffering from panic disorder showed higher outcome expectancies in the presence of the stimulus that was never followed by an outcome during discrimination training, relative to patients suffering from other anxiety disorders and healthy participants. Because we used a neutral, non-aversive outcome (i.e., drawing of a lightning bolt), these data suggest that learning abnormalities in panic disorder may not be restricted to fear learning, but rather reflect a more general associative learning deficit that also manifests in fear irrelevant contexts. PMID

  11. Selective impairments of motor sequence learning in multiple sclerosis patients with minimal disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tacchino, Andrea; Bove, Marco; Roccatagliata, Luca; Luigi Mancardi, Giovanni; Uccelli, Antonio; Bonzano, Laura

    2014-10-17

    Patients with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) with severe sensorimotor and cognitive deficits show reduced ability in motor sequence learning. Conversely, in PwMS with minimal disability (EDSS≤2), showing only subtle neurological impairments and no particular deficits in everyday life activities, motor sequence learning has been poorly addressed. Here, we investigated whether PwMS with minimal disability already show a specific impairment in motor sequence learning and which component of this process can be first affected in MS. We implemented a serial reaction time task based on thumb-to-finger opposition movements in response to visual stimuli. Each session included 14 blocks of 120 stimuli presented randomly or in ten repetitions of a 12-item sequence. Random (R) and sequence (S) blocks were temporally alternated (R1, R2, S1/S5, R3, S6/S10, R4). Random blocks were designed to evaluate the motor component; sequence blocks, beside the motor component, allowed to discriminate the procedural performance. Twenty-two PwMS and 22 control healthy subjects were asked to perform the task under implicit or explicit instructions (11 subjects for each experimental condition). PwMS with minimal disability improved motor performance in random blocks reducing response time with practice with a trend similar to control subjects, suggesting that short-term learning of simple motor tasks is nearly preserved at this disease stage. Conversely, they found difficulties in sequence-specific learning in implicit and explicit condition, with more pronounced impairment in the implicit condition. These findings could suggest an involvement of different circuits in implicit and explicit sequence learning that could deteriorate at different disease stages. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Learning trajectories for speech motor performance in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richtsmeier, Peter T; Goffman, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Children with specific language impairment (SLI) often perform below expected levels, including on tests of motor skill and in learning tasks, particularly procedural learning. In this experiment we examined the possibility that children with SLI might also have a motor learning deficit. Twelve children with SLI and thirteen children with typical development (TD) produced complex nonwords in an imitation task. Productions were collected across three blocks, with the first and second blocks on the same day and the third block one week later. Children's lip movements while producing the nonwords were recorded using an Optotrak camera system. Movements were then analyzed for production duration and stability. Movement analyses indicated that both groups of children produced shorter productions in later blocks (corroborated by an acoustic analysis), and the rate of change was comparable for the TD and SLI groups. A nonsignificant trend for more stable productions was also observed in both groups. SLI is regularly accompanied by a motor deficit, and this study does not dispute that. However, children with SLI learned to make more efficient productions at a rate similar to their peers with TD, revealing some modification of the motor deficit associated with SLI. The reader will learn about deficits commonly associated with specific language impairment (SLI) that often occur alongside the hallmark language deficit. The authors present an experiment showing that children with SLI improved speech motor performance at a similar rate compared to typically developing children. The implication is that speech motor learning is not impaired in children with SLI. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Dynamic assessment of word learning skills: identifying language impairment in bilingual children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kapantzoglou, Maria; Restrepo, M Adelaida; Thompson, Marilyn S

    2012-01-01

    Bilingual children are often diagnosed with language impairment, although they may simply have fewer opportunities to learn English than English-speaking monolingual children. This study examined whether dynamic assessment (DA) of word learning skills is an effective method for identifying bilingual children with primary language impairment (PLI). Fifteen 4- and 5-year-old predominantly Spanish-speaking children with typical language development (TLD) and 13 with PLI each participated in a 30- to 40-min session of DA of word learning skills following a pretest-teach-posttest design. Results indicated that TLD children made associations between the phonological and semantic representations of the new words faster than children with PLI did, showing greater modifiability. Further, a combination of word learning in the receptive modality and the Learning Strategies Checklist (Lidz, 1991; Peña, 1993) provided the best accuracy in identifying PLI in these children. Findings suggest that a brief DA is a promising method for accurately differentiating children with TLD from children with PLI.

  14. Serial-order learning impairment and hypersensitivity-to-interference in dyscalculia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Visscher, Alice; Szmalec, Arnaud; Van Der Linden, Lize; Noël, Marie-Pascale

    2015-11-01

    In the context of heterogeneity, the different profiles of dyscalculia are still hypothetical. This study aims to link features of mathematical difficulties to certain potential etiologies. First, we wanted to test the hypothesis of a serial-order learning deficit in adults with dyscalculia. For this purpose we used a Hebb repetition learning task. Second, we wanted to explore a recent hypothesis according to which hypersensitivity-to-interference hampers the storage of arithmetic facts and leads to a particular profile of dyscalculia. We therefore used interfering and non-interfering repeated sequences in the Hebb paradigm. A final test was used to assess the memory trace of the non-interfering sequence and the capacity to manipulate it. In line with our predictions, we observed that people with dyscalculia who show good conceptual knowledge in mathematics but impaired arithmetic fluency suffer from increased sensitivity-to-interference compared to controls. Secondly, people with dyscalculia who show a deficit in a global mathematical test suffer from a serial-order learning deficit characterized by a slow learning and a quick degradation of the memory trace of the repeated sequence. A serial-order learning impairment could be one of the explanations for a basic numerical deficit, since it is necessary for the number-word sequence acquisition. Among the different profiles of dyscalculia, this study provides new evidence and refinement for two particular profiles. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Impaired Value Learning for Faces in Preschoolers With Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Quan; DiNicola, Lauren; Heymann, Perrine; Hampson, Michelle; Chawarska, Katarzyna

    2018-01-01

    One of the common findings in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited selective attention toward social objects, such as faces. Evidence from both human and nonhuman primate studies suggests that selection of objects for processing is guided by the appraisal of object values. We hypothesized that impairments in selective attention in ASD may reflect a disruption of a system supporting learning about object values in the social domain. We examined value learning in social (faces) and nonsocial (fractals) domains in preschoolers with ASD (n = 25) and typically developing (TD) controls (n = 28), using a novel value learning task implemented on a gaze-contingent eye-tracking platform consisting of value learning and a selective attention choice test. Children with ASD performed more poorly than TD controls on the social value learning task, but both groups performed similarly on the nonsocial task. Within-group comparisons indicated that value learning in TD children was enhanced on the social compared to the nonsocial task, but no such enhancement was seen in children with ASD. Performance in the social and nonsocial conditions was correlated in the ASD but not in the TD group. The study provides support for a domain-specific impairment in value learning for faces in ASD, and suggests that, in ASD, value learning in social and nonsocial domains may rely on a shared mechanism. These findings have implications both for models of selective social attention deficits in autism and for identification of novel treatment targets. Copyright © 2017 American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Linking memory and language: Evidence for a serial-order learning impairment in dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bogaerts, Louisa; Szmalec, Arnaud; Hachmann, Wibke M; Page, Mike P A; Duyck, Wouter

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated long-term serial-order learning impairments, operationalized as reduced Hebb repetition learning (HRL), in people with dyslexia. In a first multi-session experiment, we investigated both the persistence of a serial-order learning impairment as well as the long-term retention of serial-order representations, both in a group of Dutch-speaking adults with developmental dyslexia and in a matched control group. In a second experiment, we relied on the assumption that HRL mimics naturalistic word-form acquisition and we investigated the lexicalization of novel word-forms acquired through HRL. First, our results demonstrate that adults with dyslexia are fundamentally impaired in the long-term acquisition of serial-order information. Second, dyslexic and control participants show comparable retention of the long-term serial-order representations in memory over a period of 1 month. Third, the data suggest weaker lexicalization of newly acquired word-forms in the dyslexic group. We discuss the integration of these findings into current theoretical views of dyslexia. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Global hypoxia induced impairment in learning and spatial memory is associated with precocious hippocampal aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswal, Suryanarayan; Sharma, Deepti; Kumar, Kushal; Nag, Tapas Chandra; Barhwal, Kalpana; Hota, Sunil Kumar; Kumar, Bhuvnesh

    2016-09-01

    Both chronological aging and chronic hypoxia stress have been reported to cause degeneration of hippocampal CA3 neurons and spatial memory impairment through independent pathways. However, the possible occurrence of precocious biological aging on exposure to single episode of global hypoxia resulting in impairment of learning and memory remains to be established. The present study thus aimed at bridging this gap in existing literature on hypoxia induced biological aging. Male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to simulated hypobaric hypoxia (25,000ft) for different durations and were compared with aged rats. Behavioral studies in Morris Water Maze showed decline in learning abilities of both chronologically aged as well as hypoxic rats as evident from increased latency and pathlength to reach target platform. These behavioral changes in rats exposed to global hypoxia were associated with deposition of lipofuscin and ultrastructural changes in the mitochondria of hippocampal neurons that serve as hallmarks of aging. A single episode of chronic hypobaric hypoxia exposure also resulted in the up-regulation of pro-aging protein, S100A9 and down regulation of Tau, SNAP25, APOE and Sod2 in the hippocampus similar to that in aged rats indicating hypoxia induced accelerated aging. The present study therefore provides evidence for role of biological aging of hippocampal neurons in hypoxia induced impairment of learning and memory. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  18. Impaired Learning Due to Noise Stress During Pregnancy in Rats Offspring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A Sarkaki

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Environmental noise is a known stressful factor,that induces alterations of various physiological responses in the exposed individuals. Extensive evidences from animal and human studies have indicated that stress influences cognitive functions. Studies have shown that chronic exposure to noise during pregnancy impairs neurobehavioral and reproductive functions and also reduces the body weight of the offspring. It seems that prenatal noise stress during last three months of fetal life damages the neurons in special areas of brain involved in cognition and impairs the activity of hypothalamuspituitary- adrenal (HPA axis. It is known very little about the effect of prenatal noise stress on learning. The aim of present work was to determine the effect of prenatal chronic intermittent noise stress on learning in rats. Methods: Fifteen Wistar pregnant rats were exposed chronically to intermittent white noise (90-120dB, 350Hz during the last two weeks of their pregnancy periods (dark cycle, 07:00Pm-07:00Am. Stressed and nonstressed puppies bred under normal condition up to 3 months of age. Both stressed and nonstressed adult male and female rats were trained in an equal 3 arms Y-maze with 20-25 Volts D.C. electrical footshock and a 12 Watts light stimuli as an active avoidance learning. Animals were trained one session daily and criterion condition response (CCR was 90 percent of last session of training. Results: Data showed that chronic exposure to noise during pregnancy impairs learning of stressed male rats significantly at all sessions (P<0.01. However, in the stressed female rats the response was decreased significantly only at the first two sessions (P<0.05. Conclusion: The results indicate that prenatal noise stress may damage the neurons in special areas of brain such as hippocampus and alters cognition and behavioral functions. Keywords: noise stress, pregnancy, learning, rat.

  19. Structural Abnormalities and Learning Impairments Induced by Low Level Thyroid Hormone Insufficiency: A Cross-Fostering Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severe reductions in thyroid hormones (TH) during development alter brain structure and impair learning. Uncertainty surrounds both the impact oflower levels of TH disruption and the sensitivity of available metrics to detect neurodevelopmental deficits of this disruption. We ha...

  20. Chronic administration of docosahexaenoic acid ameliorates the impairment of spatial cognition learning ability in amyloid beta-infused rats

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hashimoto, Michio; Tanabe, Yoko; Fujii, Yoshimi; Kikuta, Toshihiko; Shibata, Hitoshi; Shido, Osamu

    2005-01-01

    We investigated whether administration of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a major (n-3) fatty acid of the brain, ameliorates the impairment of learning ability in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease...

  1. Evidence-Based Diagnosis and Treatment for Specific Learning Disabilities Involving Impairments in Written and/or Oral Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berninger, Virginia W.; May, Maggie O'Malley

    2011-01-01

    Programmatic, multidisciplinary research provided converging brain, genetic, and developmental support for evidence-based diagnoses of three specific learning disabilities based on hallmark phenotypes (behavioral expression of underlying genotypes) with treatment relevance: dysgraphia (impaired legible automatic letter writing, orthographic…

  2. Pre- and/or postnatal protein restriction in rats impairs learning and motivation in male offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Castro, L A; Rodriguez, J S; Rodríguez-González, G L; Wimmer, R D; McDonald, T J; Larrea, F; Nathanielsz, P W; Zambrano, E

    2011-04-01

    Suboptimal developmental environments program offspring to lifelong health complications including affective and cognitive disorders. Little is known about the effects of suboptimal intra-uterine environments on associative learning and motivational behavior. We hypothesized that maternal isocaloric low protein diet during pregnancy and lactation would impair offspring associative learning and motivation as measured by operant conditioning and the progressive ratio task, respectively. Control mothers were fed 20% casein (C) and restricted mothers (R) 10% casein to provide four groups: CC, RR, CR, and RC (first letter pregnancy diet and second letter lactation diet), to evaluate effects of maternal diet on male offspring behavior. Impaired learning was observed during fixed ratio-1 operant conditioning in RC offspring that required more sessions to learn vs. the CC offspring (9.4±0.8 and 3.8±0.3 sessions, respectively, pmotivational effects during the progressive ratio test revealed less responding in the RR (48.1±17), CR (74.7±8.4), and RC (65.9±11.2) for positive reinforcement vs. the CC offspring (131.5±7.5, plearning and motivation behavior with the nutritional challenge in the prenatal period showing more vulnerability in offspring behavior. Copyright © 2010 ISDN. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The impairment of learning and memory and synaptic loss in mouse after chronic nitrite exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yongfang; Cui, Zhanjun; Wang, Lai; Liu, Hongliang; Fan, Wenjuan; Deng, Jinbo; Deng, Jiexin

    2016-12-01

    The objective of this study is to understand the impairment of learning and memory in mouse after chronic nitrite exposure. The animal model of nitrite exposure in mouse was created with the daily intubation of nitrite in adult healthy male mice for 3 months. Furthermore, the mouse's learning and memory abilities were tested with Morris water maze, and the expression of Synaptophysin and γ-Synuclein was visualized with immunocytochemistry and Western blot. Our results showed that nitrite exposure significantly prolonged the escape latency period (ELP) and decreased the values of the frequency across platform (FAP) as well as the accumulative time in target quadrant (ATITQ) compared to control, in dose-dependent manner. In addition, after nitrite exposure, synaptophysin (SYN) positive buttons in the visual cortex was reduced, in contrast the increase of γ-synuclein positive cells. The results above were supported by Western blot as well. We conclude that nitrite exposure could lead to a decline in mice's learning and memory. The overexpression of γ-synuclein contributed to the synaptic loss, which is most likely the cause of learning and memory impairment. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 31: 1720-1730, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Learning and serial effects on verbal memory in mild cognitive impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campos-Magdaleno, María; Díaz-Bóveda, Rosalía; Juncos-Rabadán, Onésimo; Facal, David; Pereiro, Arturo X

    2016-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine different patterns of learning and episodic memory in 3 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) groups and a control group by administering the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) and using serial position effect as a principal variable. The study sample included 3 groups of patients with MCI (n = 90) divided into single-domain amnestic, multiple-domain amnestic, and multiple-domain nonamnestic MCI and a group of healthy controls (n = 60). We compared the performance of each group on several CVLT measures used in previous research, and we included a new measure that provides specific information about the serial effect. Data showed a similar pattern of learning and memory impairment in both amnestic MCI groups (i.e., no differences between the multiple-domain and single-domain subtypes); the recency effect was significantly higher in both amnestic MCI groups than in all other groups, and the primacy effect was only lower in the multiple-domain amnestic MCI subtype. Verbal learning and memory profiles of patients with amnestic MCI were very similar, independent of the presence of deficits in cognitive domains other than episodic memory. Results are discussed in light of the unitary-store model of memory.

  5. Cognitive deficits are a matter of emotional context: inflexible strategy use mediates context-specific learning impairments in OCD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zetsche, Ulrike; Rief, Winfried; Westermann, Stefan; Exner, Cornelia

    2015-01-01

    The present study examines the interplay between cognitive deficits and emotional context in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social phobia (SP). Specifically, this study examines whether the inflexible use of efficient learning strategies in an emotional context underlies impairments in probabilistic classification learning (PCL) in OCD, and whether PCL impairments are specific to OCD. Twenty-three participants with OCD, 30 participants with SP and 30 healthy controls completed a neutral and an OCD-specific PCL task. OCD participants failed to adopt efficient learning strategies and showed fewer beneficial strategy switches than controls only in an OCD-specific context, but not in a neutral context. Additionally, OCD participants did not show any explicit memory impairments. Number of beneficial strategy switches in the OCD-specific task mediated the difference in PCL performance between OCD and control participants. Individuals with SP were impaired in both PCL tasks. In contrast to neuropsychological models postulating general cognitive impairments in OCD, the present findings suggest that it is the interaction between cognition and emotion that is impaired in OCD. Specifically, activated disorder-specific fears may impair the flexible adoption of efficient learning strategies and compromise otherwise unimpaired PCL. Impairments in PCL are not specific to OCD.

  6. Measuring anhedonia: impaired ability to pursue, experience, and learn about reward

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristine eRømer Thomsen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Ribot’s long standing definition of anhedonia as the inability to experience pleasure has been challenged recently following progress in affective neuroscience. In particular, accumulating evidence suggests that reward consists of multiple subcomponents of wanting, liking and learning, as initially outlined by Berridge and Robinson, and these processes have been proposed to relate to appetitive, consummatory and satiety phases of a pleasure cycle. Building on this work, we recently proposed to reconceptualize anhedonia as impairments in the ability to pursue, experience and/or learn about pleasure, which is often, but not always accessible to conscious awareness. This framework is in line with Treadway and Zald’s proposal to differentiate between motivational and consummatory types of anhedonia, and stresses the need to combine traditional self-report measures with behavioral measures or procedures. In time, this approach may lead to improved clinical assessment and treatment. In line with our reconceptualization, increasing evidence suggests that reward processing deficits are not restricted to impaired hedonic impact in major psychiatric disorders. Successful translations of animal models have led to strong evidence of impairments in the ability to pursue and learn about reward in psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder, schizophrenia and addiction. It is of high importance that we continue to systematically target impairments in all phases of reward processing across disorders using behavioral testing in combination with neuroimaging techniques. This in turn has implications for diagnosis and treatment, and is essential for the purposes of identifying the underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Here I review recent progress in the development and application of behavioral procedures that measure subcomponents of anhedonia across relevant patient groups, and discuss methodological caveats as well as implications for

  7. Comparing language profiles and learning impairment in pupils in special schools.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winter, P

    2001-01-01

    Children were selected from schools for pupils with learning difficulties. Non-verbal ability measures classified them with what was previously termed moderate learning difficulties (MLD). A Surrey Speech, Language and Communication Profile (Surrey Profile) (Cave and McGregor 1996) was completed for each child and the children's cognition scores were compared. Specific language impairment (SLI) was determined by the discrepancy between general language functioning and non-verbal ability, with a focus on three Surrey Profile items. Three groups were derived using a discrepancy model to view the relationship between language and cognition. Groups 1 and 2 showed commensurate and mild language difficulties in relation to cognition. For Group 3 results indicate that difficulties in learning are due to severe and specific language difficulties. Implications emerge for assessment, educational placement, provision and intervention.

  8. New perspectives on e-learning for the blind and severely visually impaired

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linder, Roland

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available In the late 90s different options has been established for media supported learning, so-called e-learning. The underlying mechanisms provide an appropriate platform for a novel learning environment that might help the blind and severely visually impaired. The options represent visual information provided by tactile analogies. A haptic device is used, i.e., a hardware device that helps present tactile information. The haptic device can generate a tactile representation of geometric objects and physical bodies. This can be provided with or without visual information and/or a teacher’s instructions. Respective requirements have been met by developing the prototypical software make2Dhaptic. In this paper applications of the haptic device and make2Dhaptic in combination with histological slides are discussed. The results of initial tests are promising.

  9. [Effects of ketamine and alcohol on learning and memory impairment in mice].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mei-Yu; Ding, Fei; Jiang, Xiao-Gang; Wu, Xie-Xing; Gu, Zhen-Lun; Guo, Ci-Yi; Bian, Shi-Zhong

    2012-04-01

    To study the effects of ketamine and alcohol on learning and memory in mice and its possible mechanism. Forty mice were divided into 4 groups: normal control group, ketamine group, alcohol group, and alcohol plus ketamine group. Ketamine and alcohol were given by intraperitoneal injection and intragastric administration, respectively, 1 time per day, for 14 days. The ability of learning and memory in mice was tested by the method of step-down and Morris water maze. Acetylcholine (ACh) and 5-hydroxy tryptamine(5-HT) in mice brain tissue were analyzed for the possible mechanism. (1) Step-down: The treatment groups lessened the latency and added wrong times (P effect with alcohol on learning and memory impairment in mice, which may be related to the common inhibitive effect on the ACh and 5-HT.

  10. General health status measures for people with cognitive impairment: learning disability and acquired brain injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riemsma, R P; Forbes, C A; Glanville, J M; Eastwood, A J; Kleijnen, J

    2001-01-01

    Currently there is a wide range of health status measures that aim to assess general health status in people with cognitive impairment. However, the validity and/or applicability to this patient group are largely unknown. This has implications for the assessment of treatment outcomes and rehabilitation, for prognostic purposes, for planning services, and for determining the benefits and adverse effects of health technologies targeted at these patient groups. (1) To identify the general health status measures that have been validated in patients with cognitive impairment. (2) To assess the extent to which these measures have been validated. (3) To draw out the implications of the findings for the use of existing measures and for future primary research in this area. METHODS. Studies that assessed general health status in people with cognitive impairment due to acquired brain injury (traumatic brain injury, cerebro-vascular accident or multiple sclerosis (MS)) or learning disability (LD) were included in the review. Studies that used general health status instruments measuring only one general health dimension, and studies that only featured participants with cognitive impairment due to dementia were excluded. METHODS. A wide range of relevant databases were searched for studies on cognitive impairment, general health status measures, and validation of health status measures. A handsearch of general health status bibliographies was also conducted. Data were collected on the general health status measure used, the population characteristics, aims of the study, validity details, and conclusions. The review includes data from 71 studies, reported in 83 separate publications. In total 34 different general health status measures were described in the 83 publications, with the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36) the most frequently used measures (20 and 19 studies, respectively). These studies included a total of 98 instrument validations, 52 of

  11. Sleep Restriction Impairs Vocabulary Learning when Adolescents Cram for Exams: The Need for Sleep Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Sha; Deshpande, Aadya; Yeo, Sing-Chen; Lo, June C.; Chee, Michael W.L.; Gooley, Joshua J.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: The ability to recall facts is improved when learning takes place at spaced intervals, or when sleep follows shortly after learning. However, many students cram for exams and trade sleep for other activities. The aim of this study was to examine the interaction of study spacing and time in bed (TIB) for sleep on vocabulary learning in adolescents. Methods: In the Need for Sleep Study, which used a parallel-group design, 56 adolescents aged 15–19 years were randomly assigned to a week of either 5 h or 9 h of TIB for sleep each night as part of a 14-day protocol conducted at a boarding school. During the sleep manipulation period, participants studied 40 Graduate Record Examination (GRE)-type English words using digital flashcards. Word pairs were presented over 4 consecutive days (spaced items), or all at once during single study sessions (massed items), with total study time kept constant across conditions. Recall performance was examined 0 h, 24 h, and 120 h after all items were studied. Results: For all retention intervals examined, recall of massed items was impaired by a greater amount in adolescents exposed to sleep restriction. In contrast, cued recall performance on spaced items was similar between sleep groups. Conclusions: Spaced learning conferred strong protection against the effects of sleep restriction on recall performance, whereas students who had insufficient sleep were more likely to forget items studied over short time intervals. These findings in adolescents demonstrate the importance of combining good study habits and good sleep habits to optimize learning outcomes. Citation: Huang S, Deshpande A, Yeo SC, Lo JC, Chee MW, Gooley JJ. Sleep restriction impairs vocabulary learning when adolescents cram for exams: the Need for Sleep Study. SLEEP 2016;39(9):1681–1690. PMID:27253768

  12. Cognitive decision modelling of emotion-based learning impairment in schizophrenia: the role of awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cella, Matteo; Dymond, Simon; Cooper, Andrew; Turnbull, Oliver H

    2012-03-30

    Individuals with schizophrenia often lack insight or awareness. Resulting impairment has been observed in various cognitive domains and, recently, linked to problems in emotion-based learning. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) has been used to assess emotion-based decision-making in patients with schizophrenia, but results have been inconclusive. The current study further investigates emotion-based decision-making in schizophrenia by elucidating the unique contribution of awareness. Twenty-five patients with schizophrenia and 24 healthy controls were assessed with a modified version of the IGT recording awareness at regular intervals. Symptom assessment, medication and medical history were recorded for the clinical group. Patients with schizophrenia underperformed on the IGT compared to controls. Subjective awareness levels were significantly lower in the schizophrenia group and were associated with hallucination severity. Cognitive decision modelling further indicated that patients with schizophrenia had impaired attention to losses, compared to controls. This parameter was positively correlated with awareness. We also found that positive symptoms altered awareness levels and suggest that this disruption may contribute to sub-optimal decision-making. Overall, a lack of awareness may be an important aspect in understanding impaired social cognitive functioning and emotion-based learning observed in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Early exposure to volatile anesthetics impairs long-term associative learning and recognition memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bradley H Lee

    Full Text Available Anesthetic exposure early in life affects neural development and long-term cognitive function, but our understanding of the types of memory that are altered is incomplete. Specific cognitive tests in rodents that isolate different memory processes provide a useful approach for gaining insight into this issue.Postnatal day 7 (P7 rats were exposed to either desflurane or isoflurane at 1 Minimum Alveolar Concentration for 4 h. Acute neuronal death was assessed 12 h later in the thalamus, CA1-3 regions of hippocampus, and dentate gyrus. In separate behavioral experiments, beginning at P48, subjects were evaluated in a series of object recognition tests relying on associative learning, as well as social recognition.Exposure to either anesthetic led to a significant increase in neuroapoptosis in each brain region. The extent of neuronal death did not differ between groups. Subjects were unaffected in simple tasks of novel object and object-location recognition. However, anesthetized animals from both groups were impaired in allocentric object-location memory and a more complex task requiring subjects to associate an object with its location and contextual setting. Isoflurane exposure led to additional impairment in object-context association and social memory.Isoflurane and desflurane exposure during development result in deficits in tasks relying on associative learning and recognition memory. Isoflurane may potentially cause worse impairment than desflurane.

  14. Nondeclarative learning in children with specific language impairment: predicting regularities in the visuomotor, phonological, and cognitive domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayor-Dubois, C; Zesiger, P; Van der Linden, M; Roulet-Perez, E

    2014-01-01

    Ullman (2004) suggested that Specific Language Impairment (SLI) results from a general procedural learning deficit. In order to test this hypothesis, we investigated children with SLI via procedural learning tasks exploring the verbal, motor, and cognitive domains. Results showed that compared with a Control Group, the children with SLI (a) were unable to learn a phonotactic learning task, (b) were able but less efficiently to learn a motor learning task and (c) succeeded in a cognitive learning task. Regarding the motor learning task (Serial Reaction Time Task), reaction times were longer and learning slower than in controls. The learning effect was not significant in children with an associated Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), and future studies should consider comorbid motor impairment in order to clarify whether impairments are related to the motor rather than the language disorder. Our results indicate that a phonotactic learning but not a cognitive procedural deficit underlies SLI, thus challenging Ullmans' general procedural deficit hypothesis, like a few other recent studies.

  15. Chronic Stress During Adolescence Impairs and Improves Learning and Memory in Adulthood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaby, Lauren E; Cavigelli, Sonia A; Hirrlinger, Amy M; Lim, James; Warg, Kendall M; Braithwaite, Victoria A

    2015-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS This study tested the effects of adolescent-stress on adult learning and memory.Adolescent-stressed rats had enhanced reversal learning compared to unstressed rats.Adolescent-stress exposure made working memory more vulnerable to disturbance.Adolescent-stress did not affect adult associative learning or reference memory. Exposure to acute stress can cause a myriad of cognitive impairments, but whether negative experiences continue to hinder individual as they age is not as well understood. We determined how chronic unpredictable stress during adolescence affects multiple learning and memory processes in adulthood. Using male Sprague Dawley rats, we measured learning (both associative and reversal) and memory (both reference and working) starting 110 days after completion of an adolescent-stress treatment. We found that adolescent-stress affected adult cognitive abilities in a context-dependent way. Compared to rats reared without stress, adolescent-stressed rats exhibited enhanced reversal learning, an indicator of behavioral flexibility, but showed no change in associative learning and reference memory abilities. Working memory, which in humans is thought to underpin reasoning, mathematical skills, and reading comprehension, may be enhanced by exposure to adolescent-stress. However, when adolescent-stressed animals were tested after a novel disturbance, they exhibited a 5-fold decrease in working memory performance while unstressed rats continued to exhibit a linear learning curve. These results emphasize the capacity for stress during adolescence to transform the cognitive abilities of adult animals, even after stress exposure has ceased and animals have resided in safe environments for the majority of their lifespans.

  16. Tunicamycin impairs olfactory learning and synaptic plasticity in the olfactory bulb.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tong, Jia; Okutani, Fumino; Murata, Yoshihiro; Taniguchi, Mutsuo; Namba, Toshiharu; Wang, Yu-Jie; Kaba, Hideto

    2017-03-06

    Tunicamycin (TM) induces endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inhibits N-glycosylation in cells. ER stress is associated with neuronal death in neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, and most patients complain of the impairment of olfactory recognition. Here we examined the effects of TM on aversive olfactory learning and the underlying synaptic plasticity in the main olfactory bulb (MOB). Behavioral experiments demonstrated that the intrabulbar infusion of TM disabled aversive olfactory learning without affecting short-term memory. Histological analyses revealed that TM infusion upregulated C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), a marker of ER stress, in the mitral and granule cell layers of MOB. Electrophysiological data indicated that TM inhibited tetanus-induced long-term potentiation (LTP) at the dendrodendritic excitatory synapse from mitral to granule cells. A low dose of TM (250nM) abolished the late phase of LTP, and a high dose (1μM) inhibited the early and late phases of LTP. Further, high-dose, but not low-dose, TM reduced the paired-pulse facilitation ratio, suggesting that the inhibitory effects of TM on LTP are partially mediated through the presynaptic machinery. Thus, our results support the hypothesis that TM-induced ER stress impairs olfactory learning by inhibiting synaptic plasticity via presynaptic and postsynaptic mechanisms in MOB. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. BDNF protects against stress-induced impairments in spatial learning and memory and LTP.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radecki, Daniel T; Brown, Laurie M; Martinez, James; Teyler, Timothy J

    2005-01-01

    The present study investigated whether infusion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) could ameliorate stress-induced impairments in spatial learning and memory as well as hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP) of rats. Chronic immobilization stress (2 h/day x 7 days) significantly impaired spatial performance in the Morris water maze, elevated plasma corticosterone, and attenuated LTP in hippocampal slices from these animals as compared with normal control subjects. BDNF was infused into the left hippocampus (0.5 mul/h) for 14 days, beginning 7 days before the stress exposure. The BDNF group was protected from the deleterious effects of stress and performed at a level indistinguishable from normal control animals despite the presence of elevated corticosterone. BDNF alone and sham infusions had no effect on performance or LTP. These results demonstrate that spatial learning and memory, and LTP, a candidate neural substrate of learning and memory, are compromised during chronic stress, and may be protected by BDNF administration. (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Learning and memory performance of children with specific language impairment (SLI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riccio, Cynthia A; Cash, Deborah L; Cohen, Morris J

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine learning and memory in children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) as compared to 30 normally functioning children on the Children's Memory Scale. Results indicated that children in the SLI group exhibited impaired performance on the Attention/Concentration Index (working memory), as well as significantly lower scores on both the immediate and delayed auditory/verbal indices and subtests relative to the control group. In contrast, no between group differences emerged for the visual/non-verbal indices and subtests. Results demonstrated that children with SLI possess normal ability to process, maintain and manipulate visual/non-verbal information in working memory along with normal ability to store and retrieve visual/non-verbal material from long-term storage. These results provide support for the contention that children with SLI have a "diminished verbal capacity" to process, organize, and maintain auditory information in working memory.

  19. Profound Expressive Language Impairment in Low Functioning Children with Autism: An Investigation of Syntactic Awareness Using a Computerised Learning Task

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGonigle-Chalmers, Maggie; Alderson-Day, Ben; Fleming, Joanna; Monsen, Karl

    2013-01-01

    Nine low-functioning children with profound expressive language impairment and autism were studied in terms of their responsiveness to a computer-based learning program designed to assess syntactic awareness. The children learned to touch words on a screen in the correct sequence in order to see a corresponding animation, such as "monkey…

  20. Using electronic storybooks to support word learning in children with severe language impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smeets, Daisy J H; van Dijken, Marianne J; Bus, Adriana G

    2014-01-01

    Novel word learning is reported to be problematic for children with severe language impairments (SLI). In this study, we tested electronic storybooks as a tool to support vocabulary acquisition in SLI children. In Experiment 1, 29 kindergarten SLI children heard four e-books each four times: (a) two stories were presented as video books with motion pictures, music, and sounds, and (b) two stories included only static illustrations without music or sounds. Two other stories served as the control condition. Both static and video books were effective in increasing knowledge of unknown words, but static books were most effective. Experiment 2 was designed to examine which elements in video books interfere with word learning: video images or music or sounds. A total of 23 kindergarten SLI children heard 8 storybooks each four times: (a) two static stories without music or sounds, (b) two static stories with music or sounds, (c) two video stories without music or sounds, and (d) two video books with music or sounds. Video images and static illustrations were equally effective, but the presence of music or sounds moderated word learning. In children with severe SLI, background music interfered with learning. Problems with speech perception in noisy conditions may be an underlying factor of SLI and should be considered in selecting teaching aids and learning environments. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2012.

  1. Chronic stress during adolescence impairs and improves learning and memory in adulthood

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Evelyn Chaby

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to acute stress can cause a myriad of cognitive impairments, but whether negative experiences continue to hinder individual as they age is not well understood. We determined how chronic unpredictable stress during adolescence affects multiple learning and memory processes in adulthood. Using male Sprague Dawley rats, we measured learning (both associative and reversal and memory (both reference and working starting 110 days after completion of the adolescent-stress treatment. We found that adolescent stress affected adult cognitive abilities in a context-dependent way. Compared to rats reared without stress, adolescent-stressed rats exhibited enhanced reversal learning, an indicator of behavioral flexibility, but showed no change in associative learning and reference memory abilities. Working memory, which in humans is thought to underpin reasoning, mathematical skills, and reading comprehension, may be enhanced by exposure to adolescent stress. However, when adolescent-stressed animals were tested after a novel disturbance, they exhibited a 5-fold decrease in working memory performance while unstressed rats continued to exhibit a linear learning curve. These results emphasize the capacity for stress during adolescence to transform the cognitive abilities of adult animals, even after stress exposure has ceased and animals have resided in safe environments for the majority of their lifespans.

  2. Word learning by preschoolers with specific language impairment: effect of phonological or semantic cues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Shelley

    2005-12-01

    This study investigated whether phonological or semantic encoding cues promoted better word learning for children with specific language impairment (SLI) and whether this treatment differentially affected children with SLI and normal language (NL). Twenty-four preschoolers ages 4;0 (years;months) to 5;11 with SLI and 24 age- and gender-matched children with NL participated. The between-group factor was language group (NL, SLI) and within-group factors were language modality (comprehension, recognition, production) and treatment condition (phonological, semantic). Word learning was assessed during fast mapping, word learning, and post-testing with trials to criterion calculated for the number of words learned. A drawing task assessed the change in semantic representation of words. The SLI group comprehended more words in the semantic condition and produced more words in the phonological condition, but the NL group performed similarly in both. The NL group required significantly fewer trials than the SLI group to comprehend words in the semantic and phonological conditions and to produce words in the semantic condition, but between-group differences for production were not significant for the phonological condition. The results suggest that preschoolers with SLI may benefit from cues that highlight the phonological or semantic properties of words but that different cues may aid different aspects of word learning.

  3. No solid empirical evidence for the SOLID (serial order learning impairment) hypothesis of dyslexia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staels, Eva; Van den Broeck, Wim

    2015-05-01

    This article reports on 2 studies that attempted to replicate the findings of a study by Szmalec, Loncke, Page, and Duyck (2011) on Hebb repetition learning in dyslexic individuals, from which these authors concluded that dyslexics suffer from a deficit in long-term learning of serial order information. In 2 experiments, 1 on adolescents (N = 59) and 1 on children (N = 57), no empirical evidence was obtained for impaired Hebb learning in dyslexics, whether the same data-analytical procedure as Szmalec et al. was used or whether some methodological improvements were applied (e.g., using a more sensitive index of Hebb learning, and equating groups on filler performance with state trace analysis). In an additional state trace analysis, aggregating data over participants, it was shown that performance on the repeated Hebb sequences was almost perfectly predictable from performance on the nonrepeated sequences (fillers). The implications of these findings are outlined for the current discussion on the mechanisms for encoding immediate serial recall and long-term sequence learning and for computational models attempting to simulate these mechanisms. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  4. Exposure to multiple cholinergic pesticides impairs olfactory learning and memory in honeybees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Sally M; Wright, Geraldine A

    2013-05-15

    Pesticides are important agricultural tools often used in combination to avoid resistance in target pest species, but there is growing concern that their widespread use contributes to the decline of pollinator populations. Pollinators perform sophisticated behaviours while foraging that require them to learn and remember floral traits associated with food, but we know relatively little about the way that combined exposure to multiple pesticides affects neural function and behaviour. The experiments reported here show that prolonged exposure to field-realistic concentrations of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid and the organophosphate acetylcholinesterase inhibitor coumaphos and their combination impairs olfactory learning and memory formation in the honeybee. Using a method for classical conditioning of proboscis extension, honeybees were trained in either a massed or spaced conditioning protocol to examine how these pesticides affected performance during learning and short- and long-term memory tasks. We found that bees exposed to imidacloprid, coumaphos, or a combination of these compounds, were less likely to express conditioned proboscis extension towards an odor associated with reward. Bees exposed to imidacloprid were less likely to form a long-term memory, whereas bees exposed to coumaphos were only less likely to respond during the short-term memory test after massed conditioning. Imidacloprid, coumaphos and a combination of the two compounds impaired the bees' ability to differentiate the conditioned odour from a novel odour during the memory test. Our results demonstrate that exposure to sublethal doses of combined cholinergic pesticides significantly impairs important behaviours involved in foraging, implying that pollinator population decline could be the result of a failure of neural function of bees exposed to pesticides in agricultural landscapes.

  5. STUDENTS’ MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE NATURE OF MATTER AND HOW IT IMPAIRS BIOCHEMISTRY LEARNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Montagna

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: It is widely known that misconceptions impairs student’s learning. IUBMB proposed a concept inventory which defines biochemistry’s teaching scope. Even though it is known that many of them are subject of misconceptions by students, we collected informal data suggesting a deeper and most pervasive misconception related to the students’ perceptions about what is and is not a molecule through their classroom statements and tests. We hypothesize that students’ impairments on biochemistry learning possibly come from failure to assume that names are related to well defined molecules indicating lack of matter’s representative levels of integration. Objectives The present work aims to detect in freshmen students’ misconceptions about the chemical nature of main small and macromolecules which potentialy impairs biochemistry learning. Materials and methods: A list of assertions about real life situations involving and citing main biomolecules – ATP, DNA, protein, lipid, carbohydrate, enzyme, hormon, vitamin – were mixed with other containing vague common terms – toxin, transgenic, healthy, unwanted elements, chemical compound – not suggesting hazardous situations in order to capture students’ impressions. More than 150 students from five courses in three different higher education institutions answered true or false on 35 assertions. Results and discussion: More than 70% of students had more than 80% error in this task designed to be not tricky, misleading or with unpreviously studied concepts. Results suggests students do not understand compounds as molecules but as entities unrelated to real life situations; on the other hand vague terms triggers a negative perception not necessarily related to harm or hazardous situations. We suggest that it is originated by poor scientific literacy from previous scholarity as well as lack of criteria on media vehicles about the topics here cited. Conclusion: We conclude that many

  6. Lexical learning and lexical processing in children with developmental language impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nation, Kate

    2014-01-01

    Lexical skills are a crucial component of language comprehension and production. This paper reviews evidence for lexical-level deficits in children and young people with developmental language impairment (LI). Across a range of tasks, LI is associated with reduced vocabulary knowledge in terms of both breadth and depth and difficulty with learning and retaining new words; evidence is emerging from on-line tasks to suggest that low levels of language skill are associated with differences in lexical competition in spoken word recognition. The role of lexical deficits in understanding the nature of LI is also discussed. PMID:24324231

  7. Lexical learning and lexical processing in children with developmental language impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nation, Kate

    2014-01-01

    Lexical skills are a crucial component of language comprehension and production. This paper reviews evidence for lexical-level deficits in children and young people with developmental language impairment (LI). Across a range of tasks, LI is associated with reduced vocabulary knowledge in terms of both breadth and depth and difficulty with learning and retaining new words; evidence is emerging from on-line tasks to suggest that low levels of language skill are associated with differences in lexical competition in spoken word recognition. The role of lexical deficits in understanding the nature of LI is also discussed.

  8. Narrative discourse productions in older language impaired learning disabled children: employing stricter reliability measures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henshilwood, L; Ogilvy, D

    1999-01-01

    This study aimed to describe narrative discourse productions of older language impaired learning disabled (LILD) children, using stringent reliability measures. Coherence and cohesion were the measures of analysis employed. Content and clarity ratings provided a subjective analysis of narrative productions. Interrater and intrarater reliability measures were calculated and testing for stability of scores across three testing sessions were undertaken. The results indicated subtle differences in the coherence and cohesion of narrative productions in the LILD compared with controls. The findings of this study support past literature, which calls for greater research in this area using stricter reliability measures.

  9. Isoflurane induces learning impairment that is mediated by interleukin 1β in rodents.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Cao

    Full Text Available Postoperative cognitive decline is a clinical syndrome. Volatile anesthetics are commonly used during surgery. It is conceivable that volatile anesthetics may contribute to postoperative cognitive decline. Isoflurane can impair cognitive functions of animals under certain conditions. However, the mechanisms for this impairment are not clear. Here, male 18-month old Fisher 344 rats or 10-week old mice were exposed to 1.2 or 1.4% isoflurane for 2 h. Our studies showed that isoflurane impaired the cognitive functions of the rats in Barnes maze. Isoflurane-exposed rats had reduced freezing behavior during the training sessions in the fear conditioning test. This isoflurane effect was attenuated by lidocaine, a local anesthetic with anti-inflammatory property. Rats that had training sessions and were exposed to isoflurane 30 min later had freezing behavior similar to that of control animals. Isoflurane increased the expression of interleukin 1β (IL-1β, interleukin-6 and activated caspase 3 in the hippocampus of the 18-month old rats. IL-1β positive staining was co-localized with that of NeuN, a neuronal marker. The increase of IL-1β and activated caspase 3 but not interleukin-6 was attenuated by lidocaine. Isoflurane also impaired the cognitive functions of 10-week old C57BL/6J mice and increased IL-1β in their hippocampi. However, isoflurane did not affect the cognitive functions of IL-1β deficient mice. Our results suggest that isoflurane impairs the learning but may not affect the recall of the aged rats. IL-1β may play an important role in this isoflurane effect.

  10. Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children with Specific Language Impairment: Identifying Adequate Progress and Successful Learning Patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkel, Holly L.; Komesidou, Rouzana; Fleming, Kandace K.; Romine, Rebecca Swinburne

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The goal of this study was to provide guidance to clinicians on early benchmarks of successful word learning in an interactive book reading treatment and to examine how encoding and memory evolution during treatment contribute to word learning outcomes by kindergarten children with specific language impairment (SLI). Method: Twenty-seven…

  11. Repeated Sleep Restriction in Adolescent Rats Altered Sleep Patterns and Impaired Spatial Learning/Memory Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Su-Rong; Sun, Hui; Huang, Zhi-Li; Yao, Ming-Hui; Qu, Wei-Min

    2012-01-01

    Study Objectives: To investigate possible differences in the effect of repeated sleep restriction (RSR) during adolescence and adulthood on sleep homeostasis and spatial learning and memory ability. Design: The authors examined electroencephalograms of rats as they were subjected to 4-h daily sleep deprivation that continued for 7 consecutive days and assessed the spatial learning and memory by Morris water maze test (WMT). Participants: Adolescent and adult rats. Measurements and Results: Adolescent rats exhibited a similar amount of rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep with higher slow wave activity (SWA, 0.5-4 Hz) and fewer episodes and conversions with prolonged durations, indicating they have better sleep quality than adult rats. After RSR, adult rats showed strong rebound of REM sleep by 31% on sleep deprivation day 1; this value was 37% on sleep deprivation day 7 in adolescents compared with 20-h baseline level. On sleep deprivation day 7, SWA in adult and adolescent rats increased by 47% and 33%, and such elevation lasted for 5 h and 7 h, respectively. Furthermore, the authors investigated the effects of 4-h daily sleep deprivation immediately after the water maze training sessions on spatial cognitive performance. Adolescent rats sleep-restricted for 7 days traveled a longer distance to find the hidden platform during the acquisition training and had fewer numbers of platform crossings in the probe trial than those in the control group, something that did not occur in the sleep-deprived adult rats. Conclusions: Repeated sleep restriction (RSR) altered sleep profiles and mildly impaired spatial learning and memory capability in adolescent rats. Citation: Yang SR; Sun H; Huang ZL; Yao MH; Qu WM. Repeated sleep restriction in adolescent rats altered sleep patterns and impaired spatial learning/memory ability. SLEEP 2012;35(6):849-859. PMID:22654204

  12. Reduction in size of perforated postsynaptic densities in hippocampal axospinous synapses and age-related spatial learning impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Daniel A; Yoshida, Rie; Berry, Robert W; Gallagher, Michela; Geinisman, Yuri

    2004-09-01

    A central problem in the neurobiology of normal aging is why learning is preserved in some aged individuals yet impaired in others. To investigate this issue, we examined whether age-related deficits in spatial learning are associated with a reduction in postsynaptic density (PSD) area in hippocampal excitatory synapses (i.e., with a structural modification that is likely to have a deleterious effect on synaptic function). A hippocampus-dependent version of the Morris water maze task was used to separate Long-Evans male rats into young adult, aged learning-unimpaired, and equally aged learning-impaired groups. Axospinous synapses from the CA1 stratum radiatum were analyzed using systematic random sampling and serial section analyses. We report that aged learning-impaired rats exhibit a marked ( approximately 30%) and significant reduction in PSD area, whereas aged learning-unimpaired rats do not. The observed structural alteration involves a substantial proportion of perforated synapses but is not observed in nonperforated synapses. These findings support the notion that many hippocampal perforated synapses become less efficient in aged learning-impaired rats, which may contribute to cognitive decline during normal aging.

  13. A high-fat diet impairs learning that is dependent on the dorsal hippocampus but spares other forms of learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stouffer, Eric M; Warninger, Elizabeth E; Michener, Paige N

    2015-12-01

    Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of a high-fat diet (HFD) on two tasks that were either dependent on the dorsal hippocampus (DH) or independent of the DH. A total of 80 adult male Sprague Dawley rats were administered either a lard-based HFD (60% of calories from fat) or a control diet (10% of calories from fat) for 8 weeks, and then were trained and tested on either the latent cue preference (LCP) task or the conditioned cue preference (CCP) task in a 3-compartment box apparatus (2 end-compartments and 1 middle-compartment). The end compartments of the box apparatus contained either a single environmental cue (DH-independent) or multiple environmental cues (DH-dependent). During training trials for the LCP and CCP tasks, on alternating days, rats were given access to water in 1 of the 2 end compartments and no water in the opposite end compartment. Rats were water-replete during LCP training and were water-deprived during CCP training. During testing for both tasks, all rats were water-deprived and given free access to all compartments while the amounts of time spent in each compartment were recorded. Results showed that rats given the HFD demonstrated no compartment preferences during both LCP and CCP testing when the compartments contained multiple cues, while rats fed the control diet demonstrated normal compartment preference behavior. However, when the compartments contained a single environmental cue, rats given either the HFD and control diet demonstrated normal LCP and CCP learning. These results demonstrate that consumption of a HFD disrupted both LCP and CCP learning in a multiple-cue (DH-dependent) environment, but did not impair either type of learning in a single-cue (DH-independent) environment. This may be due to selective impairment of the DH caused by increased oxidative stress, inflammation, and/or disrupted neurotransmission produced by consumption of the HFD. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Word learning in children with primary language impairment: a meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Pui Fong; Windsor, Jennifer

    2010-06-01

    The present study is a meta-analysis that examines the difference in novel word learning performance between children with primary language impairment (LI) and typically developing children. Participant and task characteristics were examined as variables that potentially moderated children's word learning. Eight hundred and forty-six published studies were retrieved from conventional databases (PsycINFO, MEDLINE, and Web of Science). Of these studies, 28 met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis, yielding 244 effect sizes across experimental conditions. LI groups showed significantly lower word learning performance than typical age-matched groups and equivalent performance to typical language-matched groups. Moderator analyses showed that the magnitude of the group difference relative to age peers was significantly associated with participants' chronological age, receptive language and cognitive abilities, task and novel word type, and the extent of novel word exposure. The difference in novel word learning performance between children with LI and age-matched children is strongly affected by task and participant characteristics in the primary studies.

  15. Design of a Braille Learning Application for Visually Impaired Students in Bangladesh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nahar, Lutfun; Jaafar, Azizah; Ahamed, Eistiak; Kaish, A B M A

    2015-01-01

    Visually impaired students (VIS) are unable to get visual information, which has made their learning process complicated. This paper discusses the overall situation of VIS in Bangladesh and identifies major challenges that they are facing in getting education. The Braille system is followed to educate blind students in Bangladesh. However, lack of Braille based educational resources and technological solutions have made the learning process lengthy and complicated for VIS. As a developing country, Bangladesh cannot afford for the costly Braille related technological tools for VIS. Therefore, a mobile phone based Braille application, "mBRAILLE", for Android platform is designed to provide an easy Braille learning technology for VIS in Bangladesh. The proposed design is evaluated by experts in assistive technology for students with disabilities, and advanced learners of Braille. The application aims to provide a Bangla and English Braille learning platform for VIS. In this paper, we depict iterative (participatory) design of the application along with a preliminary evaluation with 5 blind subjects, and 1 sighted and 2 blind experts. The results show that the design scored an overall satisfaction level of 4.53 out of 5 by all respondents, indicating that our design is ready for the next step of development.

  16. Protective Effect of Vitamin E Against Lead-induced Memory and Learning Impairment in Male Rats

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    Salehi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Background Lead (Pb2+ is a neurotoxin substance that has been known for its adverse effects on central nervous system and memory. Previous studies reported the potential effect of vitamin E as a memory enhancer. Objectives The purpose of the present study was to assess the protective effects of vitamin E against Pb-induced amnesia. Materials and Methods Forty-eight male Wistar rats (200-250 g were divided equally into the saline, Pb, Pb + vitamin E, and vitamin E alone groups. To induce Pb toxicity, rats received water that contained 0.2% Pb instead of regular water for 1 month. Rats pretreated, treated or post treated with vitamin E (150 mg/kg for 2 months. Passive avoidance learning was assessed using Shuttle-Box after two months. Retention was tested 24 and 48 hours after training. Results The results showed that Pb caused impairment in acquisition and retrieval processes in passive avoidance learning. Vitamin E reversed learning and memory deficits in pre, post or co- exposure with Pb (P < 0.001. Conclusions According to the results of this study, administration of vitamin E to rats counteracts the negative effects of Pb on learning and memory. To more precisely extrapolate these findings to humans, future clinical studies are warranted.

  17. Whole brain radiation-induced impairments in learning and memory are time-sensitive and reversible by systemic hypoxia.

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    Junie P Warrington

    Full Text Available Whole brain radiation therapy (WBRT is commonly used for treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors; however, cognitive impairment occurs in 40-50% of brain tumor survivors. The etiology of the cognitive impairment following WBRT remains elusive. We recently reported that radiation-induced cerebrovascular rarefaction within hippocampal subregions could be completely reversed by systemic hypoxia. However, the effects of this intervention on learning and memory have not been reported. In this study, we assessed the time-course for WBRT-induced impairments in contextual and spatial learning and the capacity of systemic hypoxia to reverse WBRT-induced deficits in spatial memory. A clinical fractionated series of 4.5Gy WBRT was administered to mice twice weekly for 4 weeks, and after various periods of recovery, behavioral analyses were performed. To study the effects of systemic hypoxia, mice were subjected to 11% (hypoxia or 21% oxygen (normoxia for 28 days, initiated 1 month after the completion of WBRT. Our results indicate that WBRT induces a transient deficit in contextual learning, disruption of working memory, and progressive impairment of spatial learning. Additionally, systemic hypoxia completely reversed WBRT-induced impairments in learning and these behavioral effects as well as increased vessel density persisted for at least 2 months following hypoxia treatment. Our results provide critical support for the hypothesis that cerebrovascular rarefaction is a key component of cognitive impairment post-WBRT and indicate that processes of learning and memory, once thought to be permanently impaired after WBRT, can be restored.

  18. Chronic mitragynine (kratom) enhances punishment resistance in natural reward seeking and impairs place learning in mice.

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    Ismail, Nurul Iman W; Jayabalan, Nanthini; Mansor, Sharif Mahsufi; Müller, Christian P; Muzaimi, Mustapha

    2017-07-01

    Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a widely abused herbal drug preparation in Southeast Asia. It is often consumed as a substitute for heroin, but imposing itself unknown harms and addictive burdens. Mitragynine is the major psychostimulant constituent of kratom that has recently been reported to induce morphine-like behavioural and cognitive effects in rodents. The effects of chronic consumption on non-drug related behaviours are still unclear. In the present study, we investigated the effects of chronic mitragynine treatment on spontaneous activity, reward-related behaviour and cognition in mice in an IntelliCage® system, and compared them with those of morphine and Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). We found that chronic mitragynine treatment significantly potentiated horizontal exploratory activity. It enhanced spontaneous sucrose preference and also its persistence when the preference had aversive consequences. Furthermore, mitragynine impaired place learning and its reversal. Thereby, mitragynine effects closely resembled that of morphine and THC sensitisation. These findings suggest that chronic mitragynine exposure enhances spontaneous locomotor activity and the preference for natural rewards, but impairs learning and memory. These findings confirm pleiotropic effects of mitragynine (kratom) on human lifestyle, but may also support the recognition of the drug's harm potential. © 2016 Society for the Study of Addiction.

  19. 3',4'-Dihydroxyflavonol attenuates spatial learning and memory impairments in global cerebral ischemia.

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    Oz, Mehmet; Demir, Enver Ahmet; Caliskan, Merve; Mogulkoc, Rasim; Baltaci, Abdulkerim Kasım; Nurullahoglu Atalik, K Esra

    2017-02-01

    In the present study, effects of 3',4'-dihydroxyflavonol (DiOHF) on anxiety-like behavior, and learning and memory were investigated in a model of transient global cerebral ischemia and reperfusion. The animals were assigned to sham-operated, ischemia, and two DiOHF-treated (10 mg/kg i.p.) groups. DiOHF was administered at 1 hour before and immediately after the ischemia. Male rats were subjected to bilateral common carotid artery occlusion to induce acute cerebral ischemia for 20 minutes, followed by reperfusion for 7 days. The openfield, elevated plus maze (EPM), and Morris water maze tests were used to evaluate the effects of DiOHF treatment on ischemia-induced locomotor activity, anxiety-like behavior, and spatial and recognition memory impairments, respectively. In the open field test, locomotor activity in the ischemic rats was not altered 6 days after the ischemia, nor was anxiety-like behavior, which was evaluated with the EPM (P > 0.05). In the water-maze test, cerebral ischemia significantly decreased the exploration time in the target quadrant, and the platform crossing counts were lower (P memory impairment was significantly improved by DiOHF applied 1 hour before and immediately after ischemia (P learning and memory deficits resulting from transient global ischemia but has no significant effect on anxiety-like behavior.

  20. Pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus lesions impair probabilistic reversal learning by reducing sensitivity to positive reward feedback.

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    Syed, Anam; Baker, Phillip M; Ragozzino, Michael E

    2016-05-01

    Recent findings indicate that pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg) neurons encode reward-related information that is context-dependent. This information is critical for behavioral flexibility when reward outcomes change signaling a shift in response patterns should occur. The present experiment investigated whether NMDA lesions of the PPTg affects the acquisition and/or reversal learning of a spatial discrimination using probabilistic reinforcement. Male Long-Evans rats received a bilateral infusion of NMDA (30nmoles/side) or saline into the PPTg. Subsequently, rats were tested in a spatial discrimination test using a probabilistic learning procedure. One spatial location was rewarded with an 80% probability and the other spatial location rewarded with a 20% probability. After reaching acquisition criterion of 10 consecutive correct trials, the spatial location - reward contingencies were reversed in the following test session. Bilateral and unilateral PPTg-lesioned rats acquired the spatial discrimination test comparable to that as sham controls. In contrast, bilateral PPTg lesions, but not unilateral PPTg lesions, impaired reversal learning. The reversal learning deficit occurred because of increased regressions to the previously 'correct' spatial location after initially selecting the new, 'correct' choice. PPTg lesions also reduced the frequency of win-stay behavior early in the reversal learning session, but did not modify the frequency of lose-shift behavior during reversal learning. The present results suggest that the PPTg contributes to behavioral flexibility under conditions in which outcomes are uncertain, e.g. probabilistic reinforcement, by facilitating sensitivity to positive reward outcomes that allows the reliable execution of a new choice pattern. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Neuropsychological Test Selection for Cognitive Impairment Classification: A Machine Learning Approach

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    Williams, Jennifer A.; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; Cook, Diane J.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Reducing the amount of testing required to accurately detect cognitive impairment is clinically relevant. The aim of this research was to determine the fewest number of clinical measures required to accurately classify participants as healthy older adult, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or dementia using a suite of classification techniques. Methods Two variable selection machine learning models (i.e., naive Bayes, decision tree), a logistic regression, and two participant datasets (i.e., clinical diagnosis, clinical dementia rating; CDR) were explored. Participants classified using clinical diagnosis criteria included 52 individuals with dementia, 97 with MCI, and 161 cognitively healthy older adults. Participants classified using CDR included 154 individuals CDR = 0, 93 individuals with CDR = 0.5, and 25 individuals with CDR = 1.0+. Twenty-seven demographic, psychological, and neuropsychological variables were available for variable selection. Results No significant difference was observed between naive Bayes, decision tree, and logistic regression models for classification of both clinical diagnosis and CDR datasets. Participant classification (70.0 – 99.1%), geometric mean (60.9 – 98.1%), sensitivity (44.2 – 100%), and specificity (52.7 – 100%) were generally satisfactory. Unsurprisingly, the MCI/CDR = 0.5 participant group was the most challenging to classify. Through variable selection only 2 – 9 variables were required for classification and varied between datasets in a clinically meaningful way. Conclusions The current study results reveal that machine learning techniques can accurately classifying cognitive impairment and reduce the number of measures required for diagnosis. PMID:26332171

  2. Exercise improves learning and memory impairments in sleep deprived female rats.

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    Saadati, Hakimeh; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Esmaeilpour, Khadije; Nazeri, Masoud; Mazhari, Shahrzad; Sheibani, Vahid

    2015-01-01

    Inadequate sleep is a common problem in modern societies. It has been previously shown that female rats are more vulnerable to the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive functions. Physical exercise has been suggested to attenuate the cognitive impairments induced by sleep deprivation in male rats. The objective of the current study was to investigate the effects of physical exercise on cognitive functions of female rats following paradoxical sleep deprivation. Intact and ovariectomized (OVX) female Wistar rats were used in the present study. The exercise protocol was 4 weeks of treadmill running. The multiple platform method was applied for the induction of 72h paradoxical sleep deprivation and the cognitive function was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM). Plasma corticosterone level was evaluated in separate groups of study. ANOVA and repeated measures were used to analyze the data and Psleep-deprived OVX rats compared to the intact and the other OVX groups. Short term memory impairment was observed in both sleep-deprived OVX and intact groups. Physical exercise alleviated the PSD-induced learning and memory impairments in both intact and OVX groups. Corticosterone levels were not statistically significant among the different groups. The results of our study confirmed the negative effects of PSD on cognitive functions in female rats and regular physical exercise seems to protect rats from these effects. Further studies are suggested to be carried out in order to evaluate the possible underlying mechanisms, and also to evaluate the possible interactions between sex hormones and PSD-induced cognitive impairments. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. A neonicotinoid impairs olfactory learning in Asian honey bees (Apis cerana) exposed as larvae or as adults.

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    Tan, Ken; Chen, Weiwen; Dong, Shihao; Liu, Xiwen; Wang, Yuchong; Nieh, James C

    2015-06-18

    Xenobiotics such as the neonicotinoid pesticide, imidacloprid, are used globally, but their effects on native bee species are poorly understood. We studied the effects of sublethal doses of imidacloprid on olfactory learning in the native honey bee species, Apis cerana, an important pollinator of agricultural and native plants throughout Asia. We provide the first evidence that imidacloprid can impair learning in A. cerana workers exposed as adults or as larvae. Adults that ingested a single imidacloprid dose as low as 0.1 ng/bee had significantly reduced olfactory learning acquisition, which was 1.6-fold higher in control bees. Longer-term learning (1-17 h after the last learning trial) was also impaired. Bees exposed as larvae to a total dose of 0.24 ng/bee did not have reduced survival to adulthood. However, these larval-treated bees had significantly impaired olfactory learning when tested as adults: control bees exhibited up to 4.8-fold better short-term learning acquisition, though longer-term learning was not affected. Thus, sublethal cognitive deficits elicited by neonicotinoids on a broad range of native bee species deserve further study.

  4. The effects of vitamin C on hypothyroidism-associated learning and memory impairment in juvenile rats.

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    Beheshti, Farimah; Karimi, Sareh; Vafaee, Farzaneh; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Sadeghnia, Hamid Reza; Hadjzadeh, Mosa Al Reza; Hosseini, Mahmoud

    2017-06-01

    In this study the effects of Vitamin C (Vit C) on hypothyroidism-associated learning and memory impairment in juvenile rats was investigated. The pregnant rats were kept in separate cages. After delivery, they were randomly divided into six groups and treated: (1) Control; (2) Propylthiouracil (PTU) which 0.005% PTU in their drinking; (3-5) Propylthiouracil- Vit C groups; besides PTU, dams in these groups received 10, 100 and 500 mg/kg Vit C respectively, (6) one group as a positive control; the intact rats received an effective dose, 100 mg/kg Vit. C. After delivery, the pups were continued to receive the experimental treatments in their drinking water up to 56th day of their life. Ten male offspring of each group were randomly selected and tested in the Morris water maze (MWM) and passive avoidance (PA) which were started at 63th day (one week after stopping of the treatments). Brains were then removed for biochemical measurements. PTU increased time latency and traveled distance during 5 days in MWM while, reduced the spent time in target quadrant in MWM and step-trough latency (STL) in PA. PTU decreased thiol content, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities in the brain while, increased molondialdehyde (MDA). In MWM test, 10, 100 and 500 mg/kg Vit C reduced time latency and traveled distance without affecting the traveling speed during 5 days. All doses of Vit C increased the spent time in target quadrant in probe trail of MWM and also increased STL in PA test. Vit C increased thiol, SOD and CAT in the brain tissues while, reduced MDA. Results of present study confirmed the beneficial effects of Vit C on learning and memory. It also demonstrated that Vit C has protective effects on hypothyroidism-associated learning and memory impairment in juvenile rats which might be elucidated by the antioxidative effects.

  5. Resveratrol ameliorates spatial learning memory impairment induced by Aβ1-42 in rats.

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    Wang, Rui; Zhang, Yu; Li, Jianguo; Zhang, Ce

    2017-03-06

    β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition is considered partially responsible for cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Recently, resveratrol has been reported to play a potential role as a neuroprotective biofactor by modulating Aβ pathomechanisms, including through anti-neuronal apoptotic, anti-oxidative stress, and anti-neuroinflammatory effects. In addition, SIRT1 has been demonstrated to modulate learning and memory function by regulating the expression of cAMP response binding protein (CREB), which involves in modulating the expression of SIRT1. However, whether resveratrol can alleviate Aβ-induced cognitive dysfunction, whether SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation in the hippocampus are affected by Aβ, and whether resveratrol influences these effects remain unknown. In the present study, we used a hippocampal injection model in rats to investigate the effects of resveratrol on Aβ1-42-induced impairment of spatial learning, memory and synaptic plasticity as well as on alterations of SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation. We found that resveratrol significantly reversed the water maze behavioral impairment and the attenuation of long-term potentiation (LTP) in area CA1 that were induced by hippocampal injection of Aβ1-42. Interestingly, resveratrol also prevented the Aβ1-42-induced reductions in SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation in rat hippocampus. In conclusion, in rats, resveratrol protects neurons against Aβ1-42-induced disruption of spatial learning, memory and hippocampal LTP. The mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects may involve rescue of SIRT1 expression and CREB phosphorylation. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Learning and memory impairments in a neuroendocrine mouse model of anxiety/depression

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    Flavie eDarcet

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive disturbances are often reported as serious incapacitating symptoms by patients suffering from major depressive disorders. Such deficits have been observed in various animal models based on environmental stress.Here, we performed a complete characterization of cognitive functions in a neuroendocrine mouse model of depression based on a chronic (4 weeks corticosterone administration (CORT. Cognitive performances were assessed using behavioral tests measuring episodic (novel object recognition test, NORT, associative (one-trial contextual fear conditioning, CFC and visuo-spatial (Morris water maze, MWM; Barnes maze, BM learning/memory. Altered emotional phenotype after chronic corticosterone treatment was confirmed in mice using tests predictive of anxiety or depression-related behaviors.In the NORT, CORT-treated mice showed a decrease in time exploring the novel object during the test session and a lower discrimination index compared to control mice, characteristic of recognition memory impairment. Associative memory was also impaired, as observed with a decrease in freezing duration in CORT-treated mice in the CFC, thus pointing out the cognitive alterations in this model. In the MWM and in the BM, spatial learning performance but also short-term spatial memory were altered in CORT-treated mice. In the MWM, unlike control animals, CORT-treated animals failed to learn a new location during the reversal phase, suggesting a loss of cognitive flexibility. Finally, in the BM, the lack of preference for the target quadrant during the recall probe trial in animals receiving corticosterone regimen demonstrates that long-term retention was also affected in this paradigm. Taken together, our results highlight that CORT-induced anxio-depressive-like phenotype is associated with a cognitive deficit affecting all aspects of memory tested.

  7. Sleep Restriction Impairs Vocabulary Learning when Adolescents Cram for Exams: The Need for Sleep Study.

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    Huang, Sha; Deshpande, Aadya; Yeo, Sing-Chen; Lo, June C; Chee, Michael W L; Gooley, Joshua J

    2016-09-01

    The ability to recall facts is improved when learning takes place at spaced intervals, or when sleep follows shortly after learning. However, many students cram for exams and trade sleep for other activities. The aim of this study was to examine the interaction of study spacing and time in bed (TIB) for sleep on vocabulary learning in adolescents. In the Need for Sleep Study, which used a parallel-group design, 56 adolescents aged 15-19 years were randomly assigned to a week of either 5 h or 9 h of TIB for sleep each night as part of a 14-day protocol conducted at a boarding school. During the sleep manipulation period, participants studied 40 Graduate Record Examination (GRE)-type English words using digital flashcards. Word pairs were presented over 4 consecutive days (spaced items), or all at once during single study sessions (massed items), with total study time kept constant across conditions. Recall performance was examined 0 h, 24 h, and 120 h after all items were studied. For all retention intervals examined, recall of massed items was impaired by a greater amount in adolescents exposed to sleep restriction. In contrast, cued recall performance on spaced items was similar between sleep groups. Spaced learning conferred strong protection against the effects of sleep restriction on recall performance, whereas students who had insufficient sleep were more likely to forget items studied over short time intervals. These findings in adolescents demonstrate the importance of combining good study habits and good sleep habits to optimize learning outcomes. © 2016 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  8. Chronic pravastatin but not atorvastatin treatment impairs cognitive function in two rodent models of learning and memory.

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    Sarah A Stuart

    Full Text Available Statins are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs and are used to reduce blood cholesterol. Recent evidence suggests that, in some patients, they may adversely influence cognitive function including causing memory impairments. These clinical observations have led to statin prescriptions now including a warning about possible cognitive impairments. In order to better understand the relationship between statin treatment and cognitive function, studies in animals are needed. The present study investigated the effects of chronic treatment with two statins, pravastatin and atorvastatin, in two rodent models of learning and memory. Adult rats were treated once daily with pravastatin (10 mg/kg, orally or atorvostatin (10 mg/kg, orally for 18 days. Before, during and after treatment, animals were tested in a simple discrimination and reversal learning task. On the last day of treatment and following one week withdrawal, animals were also tested in a task of novel object discrimination. Pravastatin tended to impair learning over the last few days of treatment and this effect was fully reversed once treatment ceased. In the novel object discrimination task, pravastatin significantly impaired object recognition memory. No effects were observed for atorvostatin in either task. These data suggest that chronic treatment with pravastatin impairs working and recognition memory in rodents. The reversibility of the effects on cessation of treatment is similar to what has been observed in patients, but the lack of effect of atorvostatin suggests that lipophilicity may not be a major factor influencing statin-induced cognitive impairments.

  9. CONTINUOUS EVALUATION OF THE LITERACY AND LEARNING MEDIA OF STUDENTS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENT

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    Renata T. PANDUREVIKJ

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The procedure for determining an adequate literacy and learning method among students with visual impairments consists two components: an initial choice of mode of literacy, to be conducted during the early childhood and continuing evaluation of the literacy and learning method, which is carried out over students who have already been involved in the educational process for a certain period and with whom a mediums for literacy and learning has already been determined.PURPOSE: The purpose of this research is to conduct a re-evaluation of the initial decision regarding the choice of media through which education is conducted among students with visual impairment.DISCUSSION: The speed of reading is substantially below the predicted minimum level both with students who read Braille and with students who read regular print. It should be mentioned that only 3 respondents out of 15 Braille readers were cooperative in this part of the research, so they obtained results regarding them should not be taken as reliable ones. 100% of the respondents who are educated using the Braille alphabet independently read unfamiliar formal and also familiar educational material. Among the students who use regular print, 62.5% read independently and the other 37.5% need additional instruction. 45.5% of them successfully completed their school assignments using their initially chosen medium for literacy and learning, but only 18.2% of them do it in an acceptable time period. 53.6% of respondents know how to use available resources and facilities that exist within the school, while the other 46, 4% need additional training and instructions.CONCLUSION: Continuous evaluation should be implemented consistently throughout the schooling of the child, or at least once a year, for a relevant "justification" for any change, addition or selection of another sensory channel for learning and literacy of the child, as a result of certain changes in visual functioning of

  10. Sleep disorder in childhood impairs declarative but not nondeclarative forms of learning.

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    Csábi, Eszter; Benedek, Pálma; Janacsek, Karolina; Katona, Gábor; Nemeth, Dezso

    2013-01-01

    A large amount of studies have investigated the association between sleep and memory systems. However, remarkably little is known of the effect of sleep disorders on declarative and nondeclarative memory for children. In the present study we examined the effects of sleep disorders on different aspects of memory functions by testing children with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), which is characterized by disrupted sleep patterns. We used "The War of the Ghosts" test to measure declarative memory and the Alternating Serial Reaction Time (ASRT) task. This enabled us to measure two aspects of nondeclarative memory--general skill learning and sequence-specific learning--separately. Ten children with SDB and 10 healthy controls participated in this study. Our data showed dissociation between declarative and nondeclarative memory in children with SDB. They showed impaired declarative memory, while the sequence-specific and general skill learning was similar to that of healthy controls, in spite of sleep disruption. Our findings suggest that sleep-disordered breathing affects declarative and nondeclarative memory differently in children. Moreover, these findings imply that the disrupted sleep pattern influences the more attention-demanding and cortical structure-guided explicit processes, while the less attention-demanding implicit processes mediated by subcortical structures are preserved.

  11. Triggering word learning in children with Language Impairment: the effect of phonotactic probability and neighbourhood density.

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    McKean, Cristina; Letts, Carolyn; Howard, David

    2014-11-01

    The effect of phonotactic probability (PP) and neighbourhood density (ND) on triggering word learning was examined in children with Language Impairment (3;04-6;09) and compared to Typically Developing children. Nonwords, varying PP and ND orthogonally, were presented in a story context and their learning tested using a referent identification task. Group comparisons with receptive vocabulary as a covariate found no group differences in overall scores or in the influence of PP or ND. Therefore, there was no evidence of atypical lexical or phonological processing. 'Convergent' PP/ND (High PP/High ND; Low PP/Low ND) was optimal for word learning in both groups. This bias interacted with vocabulary knowledge. 'Divergent' PP/ND word scores (High PP/Low ND; Low PP/High ND) were positively correlated with vocabulary so the 'divergence disadvantage' reduced as vocabulary knowledge grew; an interaction hypothesized to represent developmental changes in lexical-phonological processing linked to the emergence of phonological representations.

  12. Anabolic-androgenic steroids impair set-shifting and reversal learning in male rats.

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    Wallin, Kathryn G; Wood, Ruth I

    2015-04-01

    Anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) abuse is prevalent not only among elite athletes, but is increasingly common in high school and collegiate sports. AAS are implicated in maladaptive behaviors such as increased aggression and risk taking, which may result from impaired cognition. Because they affect dopamine function in prefrontal cortical (PFC)-striatal circuitry, AAS may disrupt PFC-dependent processes such as behavioral flexibility. This was the focus of the present study. Adolescent male Long-Evans rats were treated chronically with high-dose testosterone (7.5mg/kg in water with 13% cyclodextrin) or vehicle sc, and tested for set-shifting and reversal-learning. For set-shifting, rats were trained on a visual cue task (VCT), then were shifted to a direction cue task (DCT), or vice-versa. For reversal learning, rats were first trained on VCT and were then required to press the opposite lever. 2-cue set-shifting introduced a novel paradigm in which rats shifted from a 1-Light Visual Task (1LVT) to a tone cue task (TCT). Testosterone-treated rats were significantly impaired on the set-shift from DCT to VCT compared to vehicle-treated controls (trials to criterion: vehicle 240.9±29.9, testosterone 388.3±59.3, p<0.05). However, on the set-shift from VCT to DCT, testosterone did not affect performance. During reversal-learning, testosterone significantly increased trials to criterion (vehicle: 495.9±91.8 trials, testosterone: 793.7±96.7 trials, p<0.05). In 2-cue set-shifting, testosterone diminished performance and the difference showed borderline significance (vehicle: 443.2±84.4 trials, testosterone: 800.4±178.2 trials, p=0.09). Our results show that testosterone impairs behavioral flexibility and have implications for understanding cognitive and behavioral changes in human AAS users. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.

  13. Mice lacking collapsin response mediator protein 1 manifest hyperactivity, impaired learning and memory, and impaired prepulse inhibition

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    Naoya eYamashita

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Collapsin response mediator protein 1 (CRMP1 is one of the CRMP family members that are involved in various aspects of neuronal development such as axonal guidance and neuronal migration. Here we provide evidence that crmp1-/- mice exhibited behavioral abnormalities related to schizophrenia. The crmp1-/- mice exhibited hyperactivity and/or impaired emotional behavioral phenotype. These mice also exhibited impaired context-dependent memory and long-term memory retention. Furthermore, crmp1-/- mice exhibited decreased prepulse inhibition, and this phenotype was rescued by administration of chlorpromazine, a typical antipsychotic drug. In addition, in vivo microdialysis revealed that the methamphetamine-induced release of dopamine in prefrontal cortex was exaggerated in crmp1-/- mice, suggesting that enhanced mesocortical dopaminergic transmission contributes to their hyperactivity phenotype. These observations suggest that impairment of CRMP1 function may be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. We propose that crmp1-/- mouse may model endophenotypes present in this neuropsychiatric disorder.

  14. Treadmill exercise alleviates impairment of spatial learning ability through enhancing cell proliferation in the streptozotocin-induced Alzheimer's disease rats.

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    Sim, Young-Je

    2014-04-01

    Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia. This disease is a progressive and irreversible brain disorder accompanied with severe learning and memory impairment. Exercise increases cognitive ability, attenuates motor deficits, increases new neuron formation, and ameliorates neurological impairments in several neurodegenerative diseases. This study investigated the effects of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with cell proliferation in the hippocampus. The rat model of Alzheimer's disease was induced by intracerebroventricular (ICV) injection of streptozotocin (STZ) using a stereotaxic instrument. The rats in the exercise groups were forced to run on a treadmill for once 30 min daily for 28 consecutive days starting at 3 days after the ICV injection of STZ. Radial 8-arm maze test was conducted for the spatial learning ability. New neuron formation in the hippocampus was detected by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) immunohistochemistry. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) expressions were examined by western blot analysis. The present results show that ICV injection of STZ impaired spatial learning ability. Decreased cell proliferation with decrement of BDNF and TrkB expressions in the hippocampus were observed in the STZ-induced Alzheimer's disease rats. However, treadmill exercise alleviated deficits of spatial learning ability. Treadmill exercise enhanced cell proliferation and increased BDNF and TrkB expressions in the rats with ICV injection of STZ. The present study suggests that treadmill exercise can be a useful strategy for treating memory impairment induced by several neurodegenerative diseases.

  15. Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane.

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    Hernández-Rabaza, Vicente; Cabrera-Pastor, Andrea; Taoro-González, Lucas; Malaguarnera, Michele; Agustí, Ana; Llansola, Marta; Felipo, Vicente

    2016-02-16

    Patients with liver cirrhosis and minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) show mild cognitive impairment and spatial learning dysfunction. Hyperammonemia acts synergistically with inflammation to induce cognitive impairment in MHE. Hyperammonemia-induced neuroinflammation in hippocampus could contribute to spatial learning impairment in MHE. Two main aims of this work were: (1) to assess whether chronic hyperammonemia increases inflammatory factors in the hippocampus and if this is associated with microglia and/or astrocytes activation and (2) to assess whether hyperammonemia-induced neuroinflammation in the hippocampus is associated with altered membrane expression of glutamate and GABA receptors and spatial learning impairment. There are no specific treatments for cognitive alterations in patients with MHE. A third aim was to assess whether treatment with sulforaphane enhances endogenous the anti-inflammatory system, reduces neuroinflammation in the hippocampus of hyperammonemic rats, and restores spatial learning and if normalization of receptor membrane expression is associated with learning improvement. We analyzed the following in control and hyperammonemic rats, treated or not with sulforaphane: (1) microglia and astrocytes activation by immunohistochemistry, (2) markers of pro-inflammatory (M1) (IL-1β, IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (M2) microglia (Arg1, YM-1) by Western blot, (3) membrane expression of GABA, AMPA, and NMDA receptors using the BS3 cross-linker, and (4) spatial learning using the radial maze. The results reported show that hyperammonemia induces astrocytes and microglia activation in the hippocampus, increasing pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-6. This is associated with altered membrane expression of AMPA, NMDA, and GABA receptors which would be responsible for altered neurotransmission and impairment of spatial learning in the radial maze. Treatment with sulforaphane promotes microglia differentiation from pro-inflammatory M1 to anti

  16. Classifying cognitive profiles using machine learning with privileged information in Mild Cognitive Impairment

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    Hanin Hamdan Alahmadi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Early diagnosis of dementia is critical for assessing disease progression and potential treatment. State-or-the-art machine learning techniques have been increasingly employed to take on this diagnostic task. In this study, we employed Generalised Matrix Learning Vector Quantization (GMLVQ classifiers to discriminate patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI from healthy controls based on their cognitive skills. Further, we adopted a ``Learning with privileged information'' approach to combine cognitive and fMRI data for the classification task. The resulting classifier operates solely on the cognitive data while it incorporates the fMRI data as privileged information (PI during training. This novel classifier is of practical use as the collection of brain imaging data is not always possible with patients and older participants.MCI patients and healthy age-matched controls were trained to extract structure from temporal sequences. We ask whether machine learning classifiers can be used to discriminate patients from controls based on the learning performance and whether differences between these groups relate to individual cognitive profiles. To this end, we tested participants in four cognitive tasks: working memory, cognitive inhibition, divided attention, and selective attention. We also collected fMRI data before and after training on the learning task and extracted fMRI responses and connectivity as features for machine learning classifiers. Our results show that the PI guided GMLVQ classifiers outperform the baseline classifier that only used the cognitive data. In addition, we found that for the baseline classifier, divided attention is the only relevant cognitive feature. When PI was incorporated, divided attention remained the most relevant feature while cognitive inhibition became also relevant for the task. Interestingly, this analysis for the fMRI GMLVQ classifier suggests that (1 when overall fMRI signal for structured stimuli is

  17. Gift from statistical learning: Visual statistical learning enhances memory for sequence elements and impairs memory for items that disrupt regularities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otsuka, Sachio; Saiki, Jun

    2016-02-01

    Prior studies have shown that visual statistical learning (VSL) enhances familiarity (a type of memory) of sequences. How do statistical regularities influence the processing of each triplet element and inserted distractors that disrupt the regularity? Given that increased attention to triplets induced by VSL and inhibition of unattended triplets, we predicted that VSL would promote memory for each triplet constituent, and degrade memory for inserted stimuli. Across the first two experiments, we found that objects from structured sequences were more likely to be remembered than objects from random sequences, and that letters (Experiment 1) or objects (Experiment 2) inserted into structured sequences were less likely to be remembered than those inserted into random sequences. In the subsequent two experiments, we examined an alternative account for our results, whereby the difference in memory for inserted items between structured and random conditions is due to individuation of items within random sequences. Our findings replicated even when control letters (Experiment 3A) or objects (Experiment 3B) were presented before or after, rather than inserted into, random sequences. Our findings suggest that statistical learning enhances memory for each item in a regular set and impairs memory for items that disrupt the regularity. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Impaired reward learning and intact motivation after serotonin depletion in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Izquierdo, Alicia; Carlos, Kathleen; Ostrander, Serena; Rodriguez, Danilo; McCall-Craddolph, Aaron; Yagnik, Gargey; Zhou, Feimeng

    2012-08-01

    Aside from the well-known influence of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) on emotional regulation, more recent investigations have revealed the importance of this monoamine in modulating cognition. Parachlorophenylalanine (PCPA) depletes 5-HT by inhibiting tryptophan hydroxylase, the enzyme required for 5-HT synthesis and, if administered at sufficiently high doses, can result in a depletion of at least 90% of the brain's 5-HT levels. The present study assessed the long-lasting effects of widespread 5-HT depletions on two tasks of cognitive flexibility in Long Evans rats: effort discounting and reversal learning. We assessed performance on these tasks after administration of either 250 or 500 mg/kg PCPA or saline (SAL) on two consecutive days. Consistent with a previous report investigating the role of 5-HT on effort discounting, pretreatment with either dose of PCPA resulted in normal effortful choice: All rats continued to climb tall barriers to obtain large rewards and were not work-averse. Additionally, rats receiving the lower dose of PCPA displayed normal reversal learning. However, despite intact motivation to work for food rewards, rats receiving the largest dose of PCPA were unexpectedly impaired relative to SAL rats on the pretraining stages leading up to reversal learning, ultimately failing to approach and respond to the stimuli associated with reward. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with electrochemical detection confirmed 5-HT, and not dopamine, levels in the ventromedial frontal cortex were correlated with this measure of associative reward learning. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 (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.

  1. Galantamine counteracts development of learning impairment in guinea pigs exposed to the organophosphorus poison soman: clinical significance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamczarz, Jacek; Kulkarni, Girish S; Pereira, Edna F R; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2011-12-01

    Galantamine, a drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease, protects guinea pigs against the acute toxicity and lethality of organophosphorus (OP) compounds, including soman. Here, we tested the hypothesis that a single exposure of guinea pigs to 1xLD50 soman triggers cognitive impairments that can be counteracted by galantamine. Thus, animals were injected intramuscularly with saline (0.5 ml/kg) or galantamine (8 mg/kg) and 30 min later injected subcutaneously with soman (26.3 μg/kg) or saline. Cognitive performance was analyzed in the Morris water maze (MWM) four days or three months after the soman challenge. Fifty percent of the saline-injected animals that were challenged with soman survived with mild-to-moderate signs of acute toxicity that subsided within a few hours. These animals showed no learning impairment and no memory retention deficit, when training in the MWM started four days post-soman challenge. In contrast, animals presented significant learning impairment when testing started three months post-challenge. Though the magnitude of the impairment correlated with the severity of the acute toxicity, animals that presented no or only mild signs of toxicity were also learning impaired. All guinea pigs that were treated with galantamine survived the soman challenge with no signs of acute toxicity and learned the MWM task as control animals, regardless of when testing began. Galantamine also prevented memory extinction in both saline- and soman-challenged animals. In conclusion, learning impairment develops months after a single exposure to 1xLD50 soman, and galantamine prevents both the acute toxicity and the delayed cognitive deficits triggered by this OP poison. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Optimizing Neuropsychological Assessments for Cognitive, Behavioral, and Functional Impairment Classification: A Machine Learning Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petronilla Battista

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Subjects with Alzheimer’s disease (AD show loss of cognitive functions and change in behavioral and functional state affecting the quality of their daily life and that of their families and caregivers. A neuropsychological assessment plays a crucial role in detecting such changes from normal conditions. However, despite the existence of clinical measures that are used to classify and diagnose AD, a large amount of subjectivity continues to exist. Our aim was to assess the potential of machine learning in quantifying this process and optimizing or even reducing the amount of neuropsychological tests used to classify AD patients, also at an early stage of impairment. We investigated the role of twelve state-of-the-art neuropsychological tests in the automatic classification of subjects with none, mild, or severe impairment as measured by the clinical dementia rating (CDR. Data were obtained from the ADNI database. In the groups of measures used as features, we included measures of both cognitive domains and subdomains. Our findings show that some tests are more frequently best predictors for the automatic classification, namely, LM, ADAS-Cog, AVLT, and FAQ, with a major role of the ADAS-Cog measures of delayed and immediate memory and the FAQ measure of financial competency.

  3. Optimizing Neuropsychological Assessments for Cognitive, Behavioral, and Functional Impairment Classification: A Machine Learning Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battista, Petronilla; Salvatore, Christian; Castiglioni, Isabella

    2017-01-01

    Subjects with Alzheimer's disease (AD) show loss of cognitive functions and change in behavioral and functional state affecting the quality of their daily life and that of their families and caregivers. A neuropsychological assessment plays a crucial role in detecting such changes from normal conditions. However, despite the existence of clinical measures that are used to classify and diagnose AD, a large amount of subjectivity continues to exist. Our aim was to assess the potential of machine learning in quantifying this process and optimizing or even reducing the amount of neuropsychological tests used to classify AD patients, also at an early stage of impairment. We investigated the role of twelve state-of-the-art neuropsychological tests in the automatic classification of subjects with none, mild, or severe impairment as measured by the clinical dementia rating (CDR). Data were obtained from the ADNI database. In the groups of measures used as features, we included measures of both cognitive domains and subdomains. Our findings show that some tests are more frequently best predictors for the automatic classification, namely, LM, ADAS-Cog, AVLT, and FAQ, with a major role of the ADAS-Cog measures of delayed and immediate memory and the FAQ measure of financial competency.

  4. Cafeteria diet impairs expression of sensory-specific satiety and stimulus-outcome learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amy Claire Reichelt

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available A range of animal and human data demonstrates that excessive consumption of palatable food leads to neuroadaptive responses in brain circuits underlying reward. Unrestrained consumption of palatable food has been shown to increase the reinforcing value of food and weaken inhibitory control; however whether it impacts upon the sensory representations of palatable solutions has not been formally tested. These experiments sought to determine whether exposure to a cafeteria diet consisting of palatable high fat foods impacts upon the ability of rats to learn about food-associated cues and the sensory properties of ingested foods. We found that rats fed a cafeteria diet for 2 weeks were impaired in the control of Pavlovian responding in accordance to the incentive value of palatable outcomes associated with auditory cues following devaluation by sensory-specific satiety. Sensory-specific satiety is one mechanism by which a diet containing different foods increases ingestion relative to one lacking variety. Hence, choosing to consume greater quantities of a range of foods may contribute to the current prevalence of obesity. We observed that rats fed a cafeteria diet for 2 weeks showed impaired sensory-specific satiety following consumption of a high calorie solution. The deficit in expression of sensory-specific satiety was also present 1 week following the withdrawal of cafeteria foods. Thus, exposure to obesogenic diets may impact upon neurocircuitry involved in motivated control of behaviour.

  5. A review study on medicinal plants used in the treatment of learning and memory impairments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nahid Jivad

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Alzheimer's disease (AD is a progressive brain disorder that gradually impairs the person's memory and ability to learn, reasoning, judgment, communication and daily activities. AD is characterized clinically by cognitive impairment and pathologically by the deposition of β amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, and the degeneration of the cholinergic basal forebrain. During the progression of AD patients may produce changes in personality and behavior, such as anxiety, paranoia, confusion, hallucinations and also to experience delusions and fantasies. The first neurotransmitter defect discovered in AD involved acetylcholine as cholinergic function is required for short-term memory. Oxidative stress may underlie the progressive neurodegeneration characteristic of AD. Brain structures supporting memory are uniquely sensitive to oxidative stress due to their elevated demand for oxygen. The neurodegenerative process in AD may involve β amyloid toxicity. Neurotoxicity of β amyloid appears to involve oxidative stress. Currently, there is no cure for this disease but in new treatments, reveals a new horizon on the biology of this disease. This paper reviews the effects of a number of commonly used types of herbal medicines for the treatment of AD. The objective of this article was to review evidences from controlled studies in order to determine whether herbs can be useful in the treatment of cognitive disorders in the elderly.

  6. The Visual Spatial Learning Test: differential impairment during the premanifest and manifest stages of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirogovsky, Eva; Nicoll, Diane R; Challener, Dillon M; Breen, Elizabeth; Gluhm, Shea; Corey-Bloom, Jody; Gilbert, Paul E

    2015-03-01

    Visual spatial memory was assessed using the Visual Spatial Learning Test (VSLT) in individuals with mild to moderate Huntington's disease (HD), pre-manifest gene carriers for HD, and demographically similar controls. The VSLT has been demonstrated to be a valid, normed measure of non-verbal memory involving minimal motoric responses. The VSLT assesses immediate and delayed memory for designs, positions of the designs, and design/position associations. The HD group was significantly impaired (p < .05) relative to both the control and Pre-HD groups on immediate and delayed memory for the designs, positions, and design/position associations. Although there were no differences between the Pre-HD and control groups on immediate or delayed memory for designs or positions, the Pre-HD group was significantly impaired (p < .05) relative to the control group on immediate and delayed memory for design/position associations. The results offer novel insight into a relatively unexamined memory deficit that may occur in gene carriers for HD prior to phenoconversion. The data indicate that the VSLT may be a useful measure of visuospatial memory during the premanifest and manifest stages of HD. © 2013 The British Psychological Society.

  7. Cafeteria diet impairs expression of sensory-specific satiety and stimulus-outcome learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichelt, Amy C; Morris, Margaret J; Westbrook, R F

    2014-01-01

    A range of animal and human data demonstrates that excessive consumption of palatable food leads to neuroadaptive responses in brain circuits underlying reward. Unrestrained consumption of palatable food has been shown to increase the reinforcing value of food and weaken inhibitory control; however, whether it impacts upon the sensory representations of palatable solutions has not been formally tested. These experiments sought to determine whether exposure to a cafeteria diet consisting of palatable high fat foods impacts upon the ability of rats to learn about food-associated cues and the sensory properties of ingested foods. We found that rats fed a cafeteria diet for 2 weeks were impaired in the control of Pavlovian responding in accordance to the incentive value of palatable outcomes associated with auditory cues following devaluation by sensory-specific satiety. Sensory-specific satiety is one mechanism by which a diet containing different foods increases ingestion relative to one lacking variety. Hence, choosing to consume greater quantities of a range of foods may contribute to the current prevalence of obesity. We observed that rats fed a cafeteria diet for 2 weeks showed impaired sensory-specific satiety following consumption of a high calorie solution. The deficit in expression of sensory-specific satiety was also present 1 week following the withdrawal of cafeteria foods. Thus, exposure to obesogenic diets may impact upon neurocircuitry involved in motivated control of behavior.

  8. Impairment mitigation in noncoherent optical transmission enabled with machine learning for intra-datacenter networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Keisuke; Niwa, Masaki; Ueda, Koh; Mori, Yojiro; Hasegawa, Hiroshi; Sato, Ken-ichi

    2017-01-01

    Ever-increasing intra-datacenter traffic will spur the introduction of high-baud rates and high-order modulation formats. Increasing symbol rates and modulation levels decreases tolerance against transmission impairment that includes chromatic dispersion. Transmission distance in warehouse-scale datacenters can be several kilometers, and then management of chromatic dispersion is necessary. Dispersion-compensating fibers are widely deployed in backbone networks, however, applying them in datacenters is not cost-effective since wavelength channels are coarsely multiplexed. In digital coherent systems, signal distortion due to chromatic dispersion can be resolved in digital domain; however, it will take long time before coherent systems can be introduced in datacenter networks because of their high cost. In this paper, we propose a novel impairment mitigation method employing machine learning. The proposed method is effective even after non-coherent detection and hence it can be applied to cost-sensitive intra-datacenter networks. The machine learns optimum symbol-decision criteria from a sequence of dispersed training signals, and it discriminates payload signals in accordance with the established decision criteria. With the scheme, the received signals can be demodulated in the presence of large chromatic dispersion. The transmission distance thus can be extended without relying on costly optical dispersion compensation. Since information of transmission links is not a priori required, the proposed scheme can easily be applied to any datacenter network. We conduct transmission experiments using 400-Gbps channels each of which comprises 8-subcarrier 28-Gbaud 4-ary pulse-amplitude-modulation (PAM-4) signals, and confirm the effectiveness of the proposed scheme.

  9. Classifying Cognitive Profiles Using Machine Learning with Privileged Information in Mild Cognitive Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alahmadi, Hanin H; Shen, Yuan; Fouad, Shereen; Luft, Caroline Di B; Bentham, Peter; Kourtzi, Zoe; Tino, Peter

    2016-01-01

    Early diagnosis of dementia is critical for assessing disease progression and potential treatment. State-or-the-art machine learning techniques have been increasingly employed to take on this diagnostic task. In this study, we employed Generalized Matrix Learning Vector Quantization (GMLVQ) classifiers to discriminate patients with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) from healthy controls based on their cognitive skills. Further, we adopted a "Learning with privileged information" approach to combine cognitive and fMRI data for the classification task. The resulting classifier operates solely on the cognitive data while it incorporates the fMRI data as privileged information (PI) during training. This novel classifier is of practical use as the collection of brain imaging data is not always possible with patients and older participants. MCI patients and healthy age-matched controls were trained to extract structure from temporal sequences. We ask whether machine learning classifiers can be used to discriminate patients from controls and whether differences between these groups relate to individual cognitive profiles. To this end, we tested participants in four cognitive tasks: working memory, cognitive inhibition, divided attention, and selective attention. We also collected fMRI data before and after training on a probabilistic sequence learning task and extracted fMRI responses and connectivity as features for machine learning classifiers. Our results show that the PI guided GMLVQ classifiers outperform the baseline classifier that only used the cognitive data. In addition, we found that for the baseline classifier, divided attention is the only relevant cognitive feature. When PI was incorporated, divided attention remained the most relevant feature while cognitive inhibition became also relevant for the task. Interestingly, this analysis for the fMRI GMLVQ classifier suggests that (1) when overall fMRI signal is used as inputs to the classifier, the post

  10. Capacity Limitations in Working Memory: The Impact on Lexical and Morphological Learning by Children with Language Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weismer, Susan Ellis

    1996-01-01

    This article examines the role of capacity limitations in working memory for children with specific language impairment (SLI). Preliminary findings support the contention that capacity constraints play a role in language disorders and that variations in the presentation rate of linguistic models affect the ability of children with SLI to learn new…

  11. Preschoolers with Down Syndrome Do Not yet Show the Learning and Memory Impairments Seen in Adults with Down Syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Lynette V.; Richmond, Jenny L.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) exhibit a behavioral phenotype of specific strengths and weaknesses, in addition to a generalized cognitive delay. In particular, adults with DS exhibit specific deficits in learning and memory processes that depend on the hippocampus, and there is some suggestion of impairments on executive function tasks that…

  12. Docosahexaenoic acid intake ameliorates ketamine-induced impairment of spatial cognition and learning ability in ICR mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Shucai; Dai, Yuanyuan; Zhang, Zhiwen; Hao, Wei; Chen, Hongxian

    2014-09-19

    Several studies have reported the ketamine-induced cognitive impairment. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation improves cognitive function in human infants and protects against learning impairment in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this study, we investigated the effect of DHA on ketamine-induced impairment of spatial cognition and learning ability in Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice. Morris water maze (MWM) was used to assess spatial learning and memory. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The results showed that intraperitoneal injection of ketamine (30mg/kg, twice per day) for 4 weeks led to the decline of spatial cognitive ability in mice, and 420mg/(kgd) DHA supplementation for 6 weeks improved ketamine-induced spatial cognitive impairment to a certain extent. The up-regulation of GABA levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex was related to the improvement in spatial learning. Our results suggested that DHA supplementation would be a promising intervention to improve ketamine-induced spatial memory and cognitive dysfunction, and this effect of DHA might be correlated with the up-regulation of GABA levels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Nonadjacent Dependency Learning in Cantonese-Speaking Children with and without a History of Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iao, Lai-Sang; Ng, Lai Yan; Wong, Anita Mei Yin; Lee, Oi Ting

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This study investigated nonadjacent dependency learning in Cantonese-speaking children with and without a history of specific language impairment (SLI) in an artificial linguistic context. Method: Sixteen Cantonese-speaking children with a history of SLI and 16 Cantonese-speaking children with typical language development (TLD) were…

  14. The Synergistic Roles of the Chronic Prenatal and Offspring Stress Exposures in Impairing Offspring Learning and Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Wei; Cheng, Juan; Wang, Zheng-Yu; Chen, Ke-Yang; Han, Zhen-Min; Wang, Qi-Hong; Yao, Yu-You

    2016-04-23

    In Alzheimer's disease (AD), extensive experimental studies have demonstrated a negative impact of chronic stress during various stages of life (including prenatal phase) on some aspects of AD pathology. Nevertheless, presently, few studies have been involved in the learning and memory impairments, as well as neuropathology elicited by the chronic prenatal stress (CPS) and the chronic offspring stress (COS) exposures simultaneously, particularly for the adult male APPswe/PS1dE9 murine offspring. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the influence of CPS on learning and memory impairments induced by COS in 6-month-old male APPswe/PS1dE9 offspring mice and the related mechanism. Our study firstly demonstrates that 14-day exposure to CPS could exacerbate the learning and memory impairments, as well as neuropathological damages in the CA3 regions of the hippocampus and cortex neurons, which is induced by the 28-day exposure to COS in 6-month-old male APPswe/PS1dE9 offspring mice. In addition, CPS could potentiate the production of AβPP, Aβ42, and corticosterone in 6-month-old male APPswe/PS1dE9 offspring that also suffer COS. In conclusion, our novel findings strongly implicate the synergistic roles of the CPS and COS exposures in impairing offspring learning and memory. Moreover, CPS potentiating the production of Aβ42 might be mediated by glucocorticoids through increasing the expression of APP and BACE1 gene.

  15. Dynamic assessment of word learning skills of pre-school children with primary language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camilleri, Bernard; Law, James

    2014-10-01

    Dynamic assessment has been shown to have considerable theoretical and clinical significance in the assessment of socially disadvantaged and culturally and linguistically diverse children. In this study it is used to enhance assessment of pre-school children with primary language impairment. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a dynamic assessment (DA) has the potential to enhance the predictive capacity of a static measure of receptive vocabulary in pre-school children. Forty pre-school children were assessed using the static British Picture Vocabulary Scale (BPVS), a DA of word learning potential and an assessment of non-verbal cognitive ability. Thirty-seven children were followed up 6 months later and re-assessed using the BPVS. Although the predictive capacity of the static measure was found to be substantial, the DA increased this significantly especially for children with static scores below the 25th centile. The DA of children's word learning has the potential to add value to the static assessment of the child with low language skills, to predict subsequent receptive vocabulary skills and to increase the chance of correctly identifying children in need of ongoing support.

  16. Learning-Dependent Plasticity of the Barrel Cortex Is Impaired by Restricting GABA-Ergic Transmission.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Posluszny

    Full Text Available Experience-induced plastic changes in the cerebral cortex are accompanied by alterations in excitatory and inhibitory transmission. Increased excitatory drive, necessary for plasticity, precedes the occurrence of plastic change, while decreased inhibitory signaling often facilitates plasticity. However, an increase of inhibitory interactions was noted in some instances of experience-dependent changes. We previously reported an increase in the number of inhibitory markers in the barrel cortex of mice after fear conditioning engaging vibrissae, observed concurrently with enlargement of the cortical representational area of the row of vibrissae receiving conditioned stimulus (CS. We also observed that an increase of GABA level accompanied the conditioning. Here, to find whether unaltered GABAergic signaling is necessary for learning-dependent rewiring in the murine barrel cortex, we locally decreased GABA production in the barrel cortex or reduced transmission through GABAA receptors (GABAARs at the time of the conditioning. Injections of 3-mercaptopropionic acid (3-MPA, an inhibitor of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD, into the barrel cortex prevented learning-induced enlargement of the conditioned vibrissae representation. A similar effect was observed after injection of gabazine, an antagonist of GABAARs. At the behavioral level, consistent conditioned response (cessation of head movements in response to CS was impaired. These results show that appropriate functioning of the GABAergic system is required for both manifestation of functional cortical representation plasticity and for the development of a conditioned response.

  17. Melatonin improves learning and memory performances impaired by hyperhomocysteinemia in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baydas, Giyasettin; Ozer, Mehmet; Yasar, Abdullah; Tuzcu, Mehmet; Koz, Sema T

    2005-06-07

    Oxidative stress has been proposed as a possible mechanism underlying many neurodegenerative diseases associated with hyperhomocysteinemia. In the present study, we investigated the possible link between oxidative stress, expression of neural cell adhesion molecules and spatial learning deficits induced by chronic hyperhomocysteinemia. Furthermore, the effectiveness of antioxidant melatonin against homocysteine neurotoxicity was also examined. Male Wistar rats were treated with either saline or methionine to induce hyperhomocysteinemia and half of methionine-treated rats administered daily melatonin in a dose of 10 mg/kg. We observed that chronic administration of melatonin significantly reduced the lipid peroxidation and restored the decreased glutathione levels induced by chronic hyperhomocysteinemia. Chronic hyperhomocysteinemia significantly impaired learning and memory performance in the passive avoidance test and Morris water maze task. We also found that these cognitive deficits were reversed by chronic treatment with antioxidant melatonin. Furthermore, melatonin administration was able to modulate the expression pattern of neural cell adhesion molecules in hippocampus. The results provide evidence that homocysteine induces long-lasting behavioral deficits, which are possibly caused by oxygen reactive species generation, and by changing in synaptic plasticity and also suggest that melatonin treatment has the ability to prevent nervous system against homocysteine toxicity.

  18. Impaired visuocortical discrimination learning of socially conditioned stimuli in social anxiety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahrens, Lea M; Mühlberger, Andreas; Pauli, Paul; Wieser, Matthias J

    2015-07-01

    In search of causative factors of social anxiety disorder (SAD), classical conditioning has been discussed as a potential trigger mechanism for many years. Recent findings suggest that the social relevance of the unconditioned stimulus (US) might play a major role in learning theories of SAD. Thus, this study applied a social conditioning paradigm with disorder-relevant US to examine the electrocortical correlates of affective learning. Twenty-four high socially anxious (HSA) and 23 age- and gender-matched low socially anxious (LSA) subjects were conditioned to 3 different faces flickering at a frequency of 15 Hz which were paired with auditory insults, compliments or neutral comments (US). The face-evoked electrocortical response was measured via steady-state visually evoked potentials and subjective measures of valence and arousal were obtained. Results revealed a significant interaction of social anxiety and conditioning, with LSA showing highest cortical activity to faces paired with insults and lowest activity to faces paired with compliments, while HSA did not differentiate between faces. No group differences were discovered in the affective ratings. The findings indicate a potentially impaired ability of HSA to discriminate between relevant and irrelevant social stimuli, which may constitute a perpetuating factor of SAD. © The Author (2014). Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Repeated sleep restriction in adolescent rats altered sleep patterns and impaired spatial learning/memory ability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Su-Rong; Sun, Hui; Huang, Zhi-Li; Yao, Ming-Hui; Qu, Wei-Min

    2012-06-01

    To investigate possible differences in the effect of repeated sleep restriction (RSR) during adolescence and adulthood on sleep homeostasis and spatial learning and memory ability. The authors examined electroencephalograms of rats as they were subjected to 4-h daily sleep deprivation that continued for 7 consecutive days and assessed the spatial learning and memory by Morris water maze test (WMT). Adolescent and adult rats. Adolescent rats exhibited a similar amount of rapid eye movement (REM) and nonrapid eye movement (NREM) sleep with higher slow wave activity (SWA, 0.5-4 Hz) and fewer episodes and conversions with prolonged durations, indicating they have better sleep quality than adult rats. After RSR, adult rats showed strong rebound of REM sleep by 31% on sleep deprivation day 1; this value was 37% on sleep deprivation day 7 in adolescents compared with 20-h baseline level. On sleep deprivation day 7, SWA in adult and adolescent rats increased by 47% and 33%, and such elevation lasted for 5 h and 7 h, respectively. Furthermore, the authors investigated the effects of 4-h daily sleep deprivation immediately after the water maze training sessions on spatial cognitive performance. Adolescent rats sleep-restricted for 7 days traveled a longer distance to find the hidden platform during the acquisition training and had fewer numbers of platform crossings in the probe trial than those in the control group, something that did not occur in the sleep-deprived adult rats. Repeated sleep restriction (RSR) altered sleep profiles and mildly impaired spatial learning and memory capability in adolescent rats.

  20. Association learning for emotional harbinger cues: when do previous emotional associations impair and when do they facilitate subsequent learning of new associations?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakaki, Michiko; Ycaza-Herrera, Alexandra E; Mather, Mara

    2014-02-01

    Neutral cues that predict emotional events (emotional harbingers) acquire emotional properties and attract attention. Given the importance of emotional harbingers for future survival, it is desirable to flexibly learn new facts about emotional harbingers when needed. However, recent research revealed that it is harder to learn new associations for emotional harbingers than cues that predict non-emotional events (neutral harbingers). In the current study, we addressed whether this impaired association learning for emotional harbingers is altered by one's awareness of the contingencies between cues and emotional outcomes. Across 3 studies, we found that one's awareness of the contingencies determines subsequent association learning of emotional harbingers. Emotional harbingers produced worse association learning than neutral harbingers when people were not aware of the contingencies between cues and emotional outcomes, but produced better association learning when people were aware of the contingencies. These results suggest that emotional harbingers do not always suffer from impaired association learning and can show facilitated learning depending on one's contingency awareness. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved.

  1. Formaldehyde impairs learning and memory involving the disturbance of hydrogen sulfide generation in the hippocampus of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xiao-Qing; Zhuang, Yuan-Yuan; Zhang, Ping; Fang, Heng-Rong; Zhou, Cheng-Fang; Gu, Hong-Feng; Zhang, Hui; Wang, Chun-Yan

    2013-01-01

    Formaldehyde (FA), a well-known indoor and outdoor pollutant, has been implicated as the responsible agent in the development of neurocognitive disorders. Hydrogen sulfide (H(2)S), the third gasotransimitter, is an endogenous neuromodulator, which facilitates the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation, involving the functions of learning and memory. In the present study, we analyzed the effects of intracerebroventricular injection of FA on the formation of learning and memory and the generation of endogenous H(2)S in the hippocampus of rats. We found that the intracerebroventricular injection of FA in rats impairs the function of learning and memory in the Morris water maze and novel object recognition test and increases the formation of apoptosis and lipid peroxidation in the hippocampus. We also showed that FA exposure inhibits the expression of cystathionine β-synthase, the major enzyme responsible for endogenous H(2)S generation in hippocampus and decreases the production of endogenous H(2)S in hippocampus in rats. These results suggested that FA-disturbed generation of endogenous H(2)S in hippocampus leads to the oxidative stress-mediated neuron damage, ultimately impairing the function of learning and memory. Our findings imply that the disturbance of endogenous H(2)S generation in hippocampus is a potential contributing mechanism underling FA-caused learning and memory impairment.

  2. Effect of an NCAM mimetic peptide FGL on impairment in spatial learning and memory after neonatal phencyclidine treatment in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Secher, Thomas; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    treatment regimen where FGL was administered throughout development. Rats were tested as adults for spatial reference memory, reversal learning, and working memory in the Morris water maze. The PCP-treated rats demonstrated a robust impairment in working memory and reversal learning. However, the long......The FGL peptide is a neural cell adhesion molecule-derived fibroblast growth factor receptor agonist. FGL has both neurotrophic and memory enhancing properties. Neonatal phencyclidine (PCP) treatment on postnatal days 7, 9, and 11 has been shown to result in long-lasting behavioral abnormalities......, including cognitive impairment relevant to schizophrenia. The present study investigated the effect of FGL on spatial learning and memory deficits induced by neonatal PCP treatment. Rat pups were treated with 30mg/kg PCP on postnatal days 7, 9, and 11. Additionally, the rats were subjected to a chronic FGL...

  3. Conceptualizing science learning as a collective social practice: changing the social pedagogical compass for a child with visual impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleer, Marilyn; March, Sue

    2015-09-01

    The international literature on science learning in inclusive settings has a long history, but it is generally very limited in scope. Few studies have been undertaken that draw upon a cultural-historical reading of inclusive pedagogy, and even less in the area of science education. In addition, we know next to nothing about the science learning of preschool children with visual impairment using cultural-historical theory. This paper seeks to fill this gap by presenting a study of one child with Albinism who participated in a unit of early childhood science where fairy tales were used for learning about the concepts of sound and growth. This paper reports upon the social and material conditions that were created to support learning in the preschool, whilst also examining how the learning of growth and sound were supported at home. The study found three new pedagogical features for inclusion: Imagination in science; Ongoing scientific narrative; and Scientific mirroring. It was found that when a dialectical reading of home and centre practices feature, greater insights into inclusive pedagogy for science learning are afforded, and a view of science as a collective enterprise emerges. It is argued that a cultural-historical conception of inclusion demands that the social conditions, rather than the biology of the child, is foregrounded, and through this greater insights into how science learning for children with visual impairment is gained.

  4. Stress impairs retrieval of extinguished and unextinguished associations in a predictive learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher-Dang, Tanja C; Uengoer, Metin; Wolf, Oliver T

    2013-09-01

    Recovery effects which can frequently be observed after a seemingly successful extinction procedure indicate that extinction does not lead to an erasure of the memory trace. Investigating factors which modulate the retrieval of extinction memory is highly relevant for basic science and clinical applications alike. This study investigated the effect of stress on the retrieval of extinguished and unextinguished stimulus-outcome associations in a predictive learning task. In this task, participants had to imagine being the doctor of a patient who sometimes suffers from stomach trouble after meals in his favorite restaurants. They were presented with different food stimuli while having to predict the occurrence or non-occurrence of stomach trouble. As extinction memory is modulated by context, we manipulated contextual cues so that initial acquisition of critical associations occurred in context (restaurant frame) A on day one, whereas associations were reversed in context B (extinction, day two). On the third day, participants were either stressed (exposed to the socially evaluated cold pressor task (SECPT); n=21) or subjected to a control condition (n=21) shortly before extinction memory retrieval was tested (in contexts A and B). Salivary cortisol and blood pressure measures as well as subjective ratings indicated that stress induction was successful. When retrieval of extinguished associations was tested on day three, participants' predictions reflected a renewal effect, as indicated by stronger recovery of responding in the acquisition context compared to the extinction context. Compared to controls, stressed participants showed impaired retrieval of extinguished and unextinguished associations. Contextual cues abolished the stress-induced memory impairment for unextinguished but not for extinguished associations. These findings might help to explain why stress leads to the reoccurrence of symptoms in affective disorders. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights

  5. Procedural learning is impaired in dyslexia: Evidence from a meta-analysis of serial reaction time studies☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lum, Jarrad A.G.; Ullman, Michael T.; Conti-Ramsden, Gina

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have investigated procedural learning in dyslexia using serial reaction time (SRT) tasks. Overall, the results have been mixed, with evidence of both impaired and intact learning reported. We undertook a systematic search of studies that examined procedural learning using SRT tasks, and synthesized the data using meta-analysis. A total of 14 studies were identified, representing data from 314 individuals with dyslexia and 317 typically developing control participants. The results indicate that, on average, individuals with dyslexia have worse procedural learning abilities than controls, as indexed by sequence learning on the SRT task. The average weighted standardized mean difference (the effect size) was found to be 0.449 (CI95: .204, .693), and was significant (p dyslexia. PMID:23920029

  6. Verbal learning on depressive pseudodementia: accentuate impairment of free recall, moderate on learning processes, and spared short-term and recognition memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonas Jardim de Paula

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Objective Depressive pseudodementia (DPD is a clinical condition characterized by depressive symptoms followed by cognitive and functional impairment characteristics of dementia. Memory complaints are one of the most related cognitive symptoms in DPD. The present study aims to assess the verbal learning profile of elderly patients with DPD. Methods Ninety-six older adults (34 DPD and 62 controls were assessed by neuropsychological tests including the Rey auditory-verbal learning test (RAVLT. A multivariate general linear model was used to assess group differences and controlled for demographic factors. Results Moderate or large effects were found on all RAVLT components, except for short-term and recognition memory. Conclusion DPD impairs verbal memory, with large effect size on free recall and moderate effect size on the learning. Short-term storage and recognition memory are useful in clinical contexts when the differential diagnosis is required.

  7. Protective effects of ginsenoside Rg1 on chronic restraint stress induced learning and memory impairments in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yuchan; Kan, Hongwei; Yin, Yanyan; Wu, Wangyang; Hu, Wen; Wang, Mingming; Li, Weiping; Li, Weizu

    2014-05-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is one of the major neurological diseases of the elderly. Chronic stress, which can induce atrophy and functional impairments in several key brain areas such as the frontal cortex and hippocampus, plays an important role in the generation and progression of AD. Currently, there are no effective drug treatment options for preventing chronic stress induced learning and memory impairments and neuronal damage. Ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1) is a steroidal saponin abundantly contained in ginseng. This study explored the neuroprotective effects of Rg1 on chronic restraint stress (CRS) induced learning and memory impairments in a mouse model. Our results showed that Rg1 (5mg/kg) significantly protected against learning and memory impairments induced by CRS in a Morris water maze. Besides, Rg1 (2, 5mg/kg) was able to decrease ROS generation and attenuate the neuronal oxidative damage in the frontal cortex and hippocampus CA1 in mice. Additionally, the inhibition of NOX2, p47phox and RAC1 expression is also involved in the action mechanisms of Rg1 in this experimental model. This study provided an experimental basis for the clinical application of Rg1 in chronic stress induced neuronal oxidative damage. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Neurochemical changes in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex associated with electroacupuncture for learning and memory impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Jian; Zhao, Congkuai; Liu, Weilin; Huang, Jia; Liang, Shengxiang; Chen, Lidian; Tao, Jing

    2018-02-01

    Electroacupuncture (EA) has been widely used to treat cognitive impairment following cerebral ischemia. However, the functional mechanisms of EA have not been fully elucidated. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether EA at the GV 20 and DU 24 acupoints can improve the learning and memory ability via alteration of the neurochemical metabolism in the hippocampus (HPC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) of rats with ischemia and reperfusion (I/R) injury. Sprague‑Dawley male rats were randomly divided into three groups, namely the sham group (n=12), the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) group (n=12) and the EA treatment (MCAO + EA) group (n=12). MCAO was performed to establish the left focal cerebral I/R injury model, and the GV 20 and DU 24 acupoints were then stimulated with EA for 30 min per time, once daily, for 7 consecutive days. The Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to assess learning and memory ability. T2‑weighted imaging was used to assess the cerebral infarct volume. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to assess neurochemical metabolism of HPC and PFC. The neurological scores of the MCAO + EA group were significantly reduced compared with those of the MCAO group 7 days after EA treatment (Pplatform area was significantly higher in the MCAO + EA group compared with that in the MCAO group (P0.05). The ratios of NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr and Glu/Cr of left‑to‑right PFC were elevated (Plearning and memory ability, possibly through increasing the levels of NAA and Cho in the HPC and PFC of rats with I/R injury.

  9. Learning and memory are impaired in the object recognition task during metestrus/diestrus and after sleep deprivation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeira, Joshua; Kolluru, Sai Saroja; Rosenblatt, Heather; Kry, Jenny; Strecker, Robert E; McCarley, Robert W

    2017-11-24

    Females are an under-represented research model and the mechanisms through which sleep loss impairs cognition are not clear. Since levels of reproductive hormones and the estrous cycle are sensitive to sleep loss and necessary for learning and memory, we hypothesized that sleep deprivation impacts learning and memory in female mice by interfering with the estrous cycle. We used the object recognition task to assess learning and memory in female mice during separate phases of the estrous cycle and after sleep loss. Mice in metestrus/diestrus attended to sample objects less than mice in proestrus/estrus during object acquisition, the first phase of the object recognition task. Subsequently, during the recognition phase of the task, only mice in proestrus/estrus displayed a preference for the novel object. Sleep deprivation for 12h immediately before the object recognition task reduced time attending to sample objects and novel object preference for mice in proestrus/estrus, without changing length of the estrous cycle. These results show that sleep deprived mice in proestrus/estrus had learning deficits and memory impairments, like mice in metestrus/diestrus. Since sleep deprivation did not disrupt the estrous cycle, however, results did not support the hypothesis. Cognitive impairments due to acute sleep loss were not due to alterations to the estrous cycle. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Are Cardiovascular Risk Factors Associated with Verbal Learning and Memory Impairment in Patients with Schizophrenia? A Cross-Sectional Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christophe Lancon

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective. The aim of this study is to assess the relationships of cardiovascular risk factors with verbal learning and memory in patients with schizophrenia. Methods and Design. cross-sectional study. Inclusion Criteria. Diagnosis of schizophrenia according to the DSM-IV-TR criteria. Data Collection. Sociodemographic information, clinical characteristics, anthropometric measurements, blood tests, and episodic memory using the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT. Analysis. A multivariate analysis using multiple linear regressions was performed to determine variables that are potentially associated with verbal learning and memory. Results. One hundred and sixty-eight outpatients participated in our study. An association was found between the metabolic syndrome (MetS and memory impairment on measures of verbal learning, and short- and long-term memory. Among the different components of MeTS, hypertriglycerides, abdominal obesity, and low HDL cholesterol were the only factors associated with memory impairment. Alcohol dependence or abuse was associated with a higher rate of forgetting. Conclusion. Our findings suggest that MetS and alcohol use may be linked with memory impairment in schizophrenia. These findings provide important insights into the interdependencies of cardiovascular risk factors and cognitive disorders and support novel strategies for treating and preventing cognitive disorders in patients with schizophrenia.

  11. Impaired associative fear learning in mice with complete loss or haploinsufficiency of AMPA GluR1 receptors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Feyder

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available There is compelling evidence that L-alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA glutamate receptors containing the GluR1 subunit contribute to the molecular mechanisms associated with learning. AMPA GluR1 glutamate receptor knockout mice (KO exhibit abnormal hippocampal and amygdala plasticity, and deficits on various assays for cognition including Pavlovian fear conditioning. Here we examined associative fear learning in mice with complete absence (KO or partial loss (heterozygous mutant, HET of GluR1 on multiple fear conditioning paradigms. After multi-trial delay or trace conditioning, KO displayed impaired tone and context fear recall relative to WT, whereas HET were normal. After one-trial delay conditioning, both KO and HET showed impaired tone and context recall. HET and KO showed normal nociceptive sensitivity in the hot plate and tail flick tests. These data demonstrate that the complete absence of GluR1 subunit-containing receptors prevents the formation of associative fear memories, while GluR1 haploinsufficiency is sufficient to impair one-trial fear learning. These findings support growing evidence of a major role for GluR1-containing AMPA receptors in amygdalamediated forms of learning and memory.

  12. Green tea polyphenols protect against okadaic acid-induced acute learning and memory impairments in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongyu; Wu, Xiukui; Wu, Qiong; Gong, Dezheng; Shi, Meijun; Guan, Lili; Zhang, Jun; Liu, Jing; Yuan, Bo; Han, Guozhu; Zou, Yuan

    2014-03-01

    Green tea polyphenols (GTPs) are now being considered possible protective agents in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previous studies suggested that GTPs could inhibit amyloid fibril formation and protect neurons from toxicity induced by β-amyloid. However, whether GTPs can ameliorate learning and memory impairments and also reduce tau hyperphosphorylation induced by okadaic acid (OA) in rats remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine if GTPs have neuroprotection against OA-induced neurotoxicity. In this work, rats were pretreated with GTPs by intragastric administration for 4 wk. Then OA was microinjected into the right dorsal hippocampus. Morris water maze tests were used to test the ethologic changes in all groups, and tau protein hyperphosphorylation was detected both in vivo and in vitro. The ethologic test indicated that the staying time and swimming distance in the target quadrant were significantly decreased after OA treatment, whereas rats pretreated with GTPs stayed longer in the target quadrant. Methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay and lactate dehydrogenase leakage showed that GTPs greatly ameliorated primary hippocampal neurons damage induced by OA. Furthermore, reduced hyperphosphorylated tau protein was detected with GTPs pretreatment. Taken together, our results suggest that GTPs have neuroprotection against OA-induced neurotoxicity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Electrocortical Dynamics in Children with a Language-Learning Impairment Before and After Audiovisual Training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Sabine; Choudhury, Naseem; Benasich, April A

    2016-05-01

    Detecting and discriminating subtle and rapid sound changes in the speech environment is a fundamental prerequisite of language processing, and deficits in this ability have frequently been observed in individuals with language-learning impairments (LLI). One approach to studying associations between dysfunctional auditory dynamics and LLI, is to implement a training protocol tapping into this potential while quantifying pre- and post-intervention status. Event-related potentials (ERPs) are highly sensitive to the brain correlates of these dynamic changes and are therefore ideally suited for examining hypotheses regarding dysfunctional auditory processes. In this study, ERP measurements to rapid tone sequences (standard and deviant tone pairs) along with behavioral language testing were performed in 6- to 9-year-old LLI children (n = 21) before and after audiovisual training. A non-treatment group of children with typical language development (n = 12) was also assessed twice at a comparable time interval. The results indicated that the LLI group exhibited considerable gains on standardized measures of language. In terms of ERPs, we found evidence of changes in the LLI group specifically at the level of the P2 component, later than 250 ms after the onset of the second stimulus in the deviant tone pair. These changes suggested enhanced discrimination of deviant from standard tone sequences in widespread cortices, in LLI children after training.

  14. Inherent Structure-Guided Multi-view Learning for Alzheimer's Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment Classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Mingxia; Zhang, Daoqiang; Shen, Dinggang

    2015-10-01

    Multi-atlas based morphometric pattern analysis has been recently proposed for the automatic diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its early stage, i.e., mild cognitive impairment (MCI), where multi-view feature representations for subjects are generated by using multiple atlases. However, existing multi-atlas based methods usually assume that each class is represented by a specific type of data distribution (i.e., a single cluster), while the underlying distribution of data is actually a prior unknown. In this paper, we propose an inherent structure-guided multi-view leaning (ISML) method for AD/MCI classification. Specifically, we first extract multi-view features for subjects using multiple selected atlases, and then cluster subjects in the original classes into several sub-classes (i.e., clusters) in each atlas space. Then, we encode each subject with a new label vector, by considering both the original class labels and the coding vectors for those sub-classes, followed by a multi-task feature selection model in each of multi-atlas spaces. Finally, we learn multiple SVM classifiers based on the selected features, and fuse them together by an ensemble classification method. Experimental results on the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database demonstrate that our method achieves better performance than several state-of-the-art methods in AD/MCI classification.

  15. Chronic administration of R-flurbiprofen attenuates learning impairments in transgenic amyloid precursor protein mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Koo Edward H

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs is associated with a reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease (AD. We and others have shown that certain NSAIDs reduce secretion of Aβ42 in cell culture and animal models, and that the effect of NSAIDs on Aβ42 is independent of the inhibition of cyclooxygenase by these compounds. Since Aβ42 is hypothesized to be the initiating pathologic molecule in AD, the ability of these compounds to lower Aβ42 selectively may be associated with their protective effect. We have previously identified R-flurbiprofen (tarenflurbil as a selective Aβ42 lowering agent with greatly reduced cyclooxygenase activity that shows promise for testing this hypothesis. In this study we report the effect of chronic R-flurbiprofen treatment on cognition and Aβ loads in Tg2576 APP mice. Results A four-month preventative treatment regimen with R-flurbiprofen (10 mg/kg/day was administered to young Tg2576 mice prior to robust plaque or Aβ pathology. This treatment regimen improved spatial learning as assessed by the Morris water maze, indicated by an increased spatial bias during the third probe trial and an increased utilization of a place strategy to solve the water maze. These results are consistent with an improvement in hippocampal- and medial temporal lobe-dependent memory function. A modest, though not statistically significant, reduction in formic acid-soluble levels of Aβ was also observed. To determine if R-flurbiprofen could reverse cognitive deficits in Tg2576 mice where plaque pathology was already robust, a two-week therapeutic treatment was given to older Tg2576 mice with the same dose of R-flurbiprofen. This approach resulted in a significant decrease in Aβ plaque burden but no significant improvement in spatial learning. Conclusion We have found that chronic administration of R-flurbiprofen is able to attenuate spatial learning deficits if given prior to plaque deposition

  16. Deleting Both PHLPP1 and CANP1 Rescues Impairments in Long-Term Potentiation and Learning in Both Single Knockout Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yan; Sun, Jiandong; Wang, Yubin; Lopez, Dulce; Tran, Jennifer; Bi, Xiaoning; Baudry, Michel

    2016-01-01

    Calpain-1 (CANP1) has been shown to play a critical role in synaptic plasticity and learning and memory, as its deletion in mice results in impairment in theta-burst stimulation (TBS)-induced LTP and various forms of learning and memory. Likewise, PHLPP1 (aka SCOP) has also been found to participate in learning and memory, as PHLPP1 overexpression…

  17. Isoflurane anesthesia exacerbates learning and memory impairment in zinc-deficient APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Chunsheng; Liu, Ya; Yuan, Ye; Cui, Weiwei; Zheng, Feng; Ma, Yuan; Piao, Meihua

    2016-12-01

    Zinc (Zn) is known to play crucial roles in numerous brain functions including learning and memory. Zn deficiency is believed to be widespread throughout the world, particularly in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). A number of studies have shown that volatile anesthetics, such as isoflurane, might be potential risk factors for the development of AD. However, whether isoflurane exposure accelerates the process of AD and cognitive impairment in AD patients with Zn deficiency is yet to be documented. The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of 1.4% isoflurane exposure for 2 h on learning and memory function, and neuropathogenesis in 10-month-old Zn-adequate, Zn-deficient, and Zn-treated APP/PS1 mice with the following parameters: behavioral tests, neuronal apoptosis, Aβ, and tau pathology. The results demonstrated that isoflurane exposure showed no impact on learning and memory function, but induced transient elevation of neuroapoptosis in Zn-adequate APP/PS1 mice. Exposure of isoflurane exhibited significant neuroapoptosis, Aβ generation, tau phosphorylation, and learning and memory impairment in APP/PS1 mice in the presence of Zn deficiency. Appropriate Zn treatment improved learning and memory function, and prevented isoflurane-induced neuroapoptosis in APP/PS1 mice. Isoflurane exposure may cause potential neurotoxicity, which is tolerated to some extent in Zn-adequate APP/PS1 mice. When this tolerance is limited, like in AD with Zn deficiency, isoflurane exposure markedly exacerbated learning and memory impairment, and neuropathology, indicating that AD patients with certain conditions such as Zn deficiency may be vulnerable to volatile anesthetic isoflurane. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Vitamin C protects against and reverses specific hypochlorous acid- and chloramine-dependent modifications of low-density lipoprotein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, A C; Tijerina, T; Frei, B

    2000-01-01

    Activated phagocytes produce the highly reactive oxidant hypochlorous acid (HOCl) via the myeloperoxidase-catalysed reaction of hydrogen peroxide with chloride ions. HOCl reacts readily with a number of susceptible targets on apolipoprotein B-100 of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), resulting in uncontrolled uptake of HOCl-modified LDL by macrophages. We have investigated the effects of vitamin C (ascorbate), an effective water-soluble antioxidant, on the HOCl- and chloramine-dependent modification of LDL. Co-incubation of vitamin C (25-200 microM) with LDL resulted in concentration-dependent protection against HOCl (25-200 microM)-mediated oxidation of tryptophan and lysine residues, formation of chloramines and increases in the relative electrophoretic mobility of LDL. Vitamin C also partially protected against oxidation of cysteine residues by HOCl, and fully protected against oxidation of these residues by the low-molecular-mass chloramines, N(alpha)-acetyl-lysine chloramine and taurine chloramine, and to a lesser extent monochloramine (each at 25-200 microM). Further, we found that HOCl (25-200 microM)-dependent formation of chloramines on apolipoprotein B-100 was fully reversed by 200 microM vitamin C; however, the loss of lysine residues and increase in relative electrophoretic mobility of LDL were only partially reversed, and the loss of tryptophan and cysteine residues was not reversed. Time-course experiments showed that the reversal by vitamin C of HOCl-dependent modifications became less efficient as the LDL was incubated for up to 4 h at 37 degrees C. These data show that vitamin C not only protects against, but also reverses, specific HOCl- and chloramine-dependent modifications of LDL. As HOCl-mediated LDL modifications have been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, our data indicate that vitamin C could contribute to the anti-atherogenic defence against HOCl. PMID:10677371

  19. Impaired Retention of Motor Learning of Writing Skills in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease with Freezing of Gait

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heremans, Elke; Nackaerts, Evelien; Vervoort, Griet; Broeder, Sanne; Swinnen, Stephan P.; Nieuwboer, Alice

    2016-01-01

    Background Patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and freezing of gait (FOG) suffer from more impaired motor and cognitive functioning than their non-freezing counterparts. This underlies an even higher need for targeted rehabilitation programs in this group. However, so far it is unclear whether FOG affects the ability for consolidation and generalization of motor learning and thus the efficacy of rehabilitation. Objective To investigate the hallmarks of motor learning in people with FOG compared to those without by comparing the effects of an intensive motor learning program to improve handwriting. Methods Thirty five patients with PD, including 19 without and 16 with FOG received six weeks of handwriting training consisting of exercises provided on paper and on a touch-sensitive writing tablet. Writing training was based on single- and dual-task writing and was supported by means of visual target zones. To investigate automatization, generalization and retention of learning, writing performance was assessed before and after training in the presence and absence of cues and dual tasking and after a six-week retention period. Writing amplitude was measured as primary outcome measure and variability of writing and dual-task accuracy as secondary outcomes. Results Significant learning effects were present on all outcome measures in both groups, both for writing under single- and dual-task conditions. However, the gains in writing amplitude were not retained after a retention period of six weeks without training in the patient group without FOG. Furthermore, patients with FOG were highly dependent on the visual target zones, reflecting reduced generalization of learning in this group. Conclusions Although short-term learning effects were present in both groups, generalization and retention of motor learning were specifically impaired in patients with PD and FOG. The results of this study underscore the importance of individualized rehabilitation protocols. PMID

  20. Impaired Retention of Motor Learning of Writing Skills in Patients with Parkinson's Disease with Freezing of Gait.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elke Heremans

    Full Text Available Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD and freezing of gait (FOG suffer from more impaired motor and cognitive functioning than their non-freezing counterparts. This underlies an even higher need for targeted rehabilitation programs in this group. However, so far it is unclear whether FOG affects the ability for consolidation and generalization of motor learning and thus the efficacy of rehabilitation.To investigate the hallmarks of motor learning in people with FOG compared to those without by comparing the effects of an intensive motor learning program to improve handwriting.Thirty five patients with PD, including 19 without and 16 with FOG received six weeks of handwriting training consisting of exercises provided on paper and on a touch-sensitive writing tablet. Writing training was based on single- and dual-task writing and was supported by means of visual target zones. To investigate automatization, generalization and retention of learning, writing performance was assessed before and after training in the presence and absence of cues and dual tasking and after a six-week retention period. Writing amplitude was measured as primary outcome measure and variability of writing and dual-task accuracy as secondary outcomes.Significant learning effects were present on all outcome measures in both groups, both for writing under single- and dual-task conditions. However, the gains in writing amplitude were not retained after a retention period of six weeks without training in the patient group without FOG. Furthermore, patients with FOG were highly dependent on the visual target zones, reflecting reduced generalization of learning in this group.Although short-term learning effects were present in both groups, generalization and retention of motor learning were specifically impaired in patients with PD and FOG. The results of this study underscore the importance of individualized rehabilitation protocols.

  1. The perilipin homologue, lipid storage droplet 2, regulates sleep homeostasis and prevents learning impairments following sleep loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew S Thimgan

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Extended periods of waking result in physiological impairments in humans, rats, and flies. Sleep homeostasis, the increase in sleep observed following sleep loss, is believed to counter the negative effects of prolonged waking by restoring vital biological processes that are degraded during sleep deprivation. Sleep homeostasis, as with other behaviors, is influenced by both genes and environment. We report here that during periods of starvation, flies remain spontaneously awake but, in contrast to sleep deprivation, do not accrue any of the negative consequences of prolonged waking. Specifically, the homeostatic response and learning impairments that are a characteristic of sleep loss are not observed following prolonged waking induced by starvation. Recently, two genes, brummer (bmm and Lipid storage droplet 2 (Lsd2, have been shown to modulate the response to starvation. bmm mutants have excess fat and are resistant to starvation, whereas Lsd2 mutants are lean and sensitive to starvation. Thus, we hypothesized that bmm and Lsd2 may play a role in sleep regulation. Indeed, bmm mutant flies display a large homeostatic response following sleep deprivation. In contrast, Lsd2 mutant flies, which phenocopy aspects of starvation as measured by low triglyceride stores, do not exhibit a homeostatic response following sleep loss. Importantly, Lsd2 mutant flies are not learning impaired after sleep deprivation. These results provide the first genetic evidence, to our knowledge, that lipid metabolism plays an important role in regulating the homeostatic response and can protect against neuronal impairments induced by prolonged waking.

  2. Learning and memory impairment induced by salvinorin A, the principal ingredient of Salvia divinorum, in wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braida, Daniela; Donzelli, Andrea; Martucci, Roberta; Capurro, Valeria; Sala, Mariaelvina

    2011-12-01

    The effects of salvinorin A (Salvia divinorum principal ingredient), a potent κ-opioid natural hallucinogen, on learning and memory were investigated. Wistar rats were tested in the 8-arm radial maze, for object recognition and passive avoidance tasks for spatial, episodic, and aversive memory. Attention was assessed using a latent inhibition task. Salvinorin A (80-640 μg/kg subcutaneous [sc]) did not affect short-term memory, but it impaired spatial long-term memory. Episodic and aversive memories were impaired by salvinorin A (160-640 μg/kg). Memory impairment was blocked by the selective κ-opioid receptor antagonist, nor-binaltorphimine ([nor-B]; 0.5-1 mg/kg, intraperitoneal [ip]). Salvinorin A (160 μg/kg) disrupted latent inhibition, after LiCl treatment, such as reduced sucrose intake, suggesting an attention would result in an impairment of cognitive behavior. These findings demonstrate for the first time that salvinorin A has deleterious effects on learning and memory, through a κ-opioid receptor mechanism.

  3. Impairments of memory and learning in older adults exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls via consumption of Great Lakes fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schantz, S L; Gasior, D M; Polverejan, E; McCaffrey, R J; Sweeney, A M; Humphrey, H E; Gardiner, J C

    2001-06-01

    An association between in utero polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure and impaired childhood intellectual functioning has been reported, but the potential impact of PCB exposure during adulthood on intellectual functioning has received little attention. We assessed the impact of PCBs and other fish-borne contaminants on intellectual functioning in older adults. The subjects were 49- to 86-year-old Michigan residents recruited from an existing cohort. Fish eaters ate > 24 lb of sport-caught Lake Michigan fish per year and non-fish eaters ate tests including tests of memory and learning, executive function, and visual-spatial function was administered to 180 subjects (101 fish eaters and 79 non-fish eaters). Blood samples were analyzed for PCBs and 10 other contaminants. We evaluated cognitive outcomes using multiple regression. PCBs and dichlorodiphenyl dichloroethene (DDE) were markedly elevated in fish eaters. After controlling for potential confounders PCB, but not DDE, exposure was associated with lower scores on several measures of memory and learning. These included the Weschler Memory Scale verbal delayed recall (p = 0.001), the semantic cluster ratio (p = 0.006), and list A, trial 1 (p = 0.037), from the California Verbal Learning Test. In contrast, executive and visual-spatial function were not impaired by exposure to either PCBs or DDE. In conclusion, PCB exposure during adulthood was associated with impairments in memory and learning, whereas executive and visual-spatial function were unaffected. These results are consistent with previous research showing an association between in utero PCB exposure and impairments of memory during infancy and childhood.

  4. Hippocampal gene expression meta-analysis identifies aging and age-associated spatial learning impairment (ASLI genes and pathways.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raihan K Uddin

    Full Text Available A number of gene expression microarray studies have been carried out in the past, which studied aging and age-associated spatial learning impairment (ASLI in the hippocampus in animal models, with varying results. Data from such studies were never integrated to identify the most significant ASLI genes and to understand their effect. In this study we integrated these data involving rats using meta-analysis. Our results show that proper removal of batch effects from microarray data generated from different laboratories is necessary before integrating them for meta-analysis. Our meta-analysis has identified a number of significant differentially expressed genes across age or across ASLI. These genes affect many key functions in the aged compared to the young rats, which include viability of neurons, cell-to-cell signalling and interaction, migration of cells, neuronal growth, and synaptic plasticity. These functional changes due to the altered gene expression may manifest into various neurodegenerative diseases and disorders, some of which leading into syndromic memory impairments. While other aging related molecular changes can result into altered synaptic plasticity simply causing normal aging related non-syndromic learning or spatial learning impairments such as ASLI.

  5. ABT-724 alleviated hyperactivity and spatial learning impairment in the spontaneously hypertensive rat model of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Ping; Cao, Ai-Hua; Yu, Lin; Guo, Liang-Jing; Sun, Ruo-Peng; Lei, Ge-Fei

    2014-09-19

    Dysfunction of dopamine D4 receptor (D4R) is linked to attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as ADHD associated cognitive impairment. Here, we tested the possible therapeutic benefit of the D4R-selective agonist ABT-724 in adolescent spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). ABT-724-treated SHRs were administered ABT-724 (0.04mg/kg, 0.16mg/kg or 0.64mg/kg) from postnatal day (P) 28 to P32. Control SHRs and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were injected with saline. Then two cohorts of rats were tested in the open field and Làt maze that measured locomotion and non-selective attention (NSA), respectively. Another cohort of rats was subjected to water maze task for evaluation of spatial learning and memory. We found that control SHRs displayed hyperactivity as well as impaired NSA and spatial learning compared with normotensive SD rats. ABT-724 (0.16 and 0.64mg/kg) treatment alleviated hyperactivity and spatial learning impairment in SHRs. No dose of ABT-724 tested altered NSA in SHRs. Our results raise the possibility that ABT-724 may be used as a therapeutic intervention for ADHD patients during adolescence. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Spatial learning impairment in prepubertal guinea pigs prenatally exposed to the organophosphorus pesticide chlorpyrifos: Toxicological implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mamczarz, Jacek; Pescrille, Joseph D; Gavrushenko, Lisa; Burke, Richard D; Fawcett, William P; DeTolla, Louis J; Chen, Hegang; Pereira, Edna F R; Albuquerque, Edson X

    2016-09-01

    Exposure of the developing brain to chlorpyrifos (CPF), an organophosphorus (OP) pesticide used extensively in agriculture worldwide, has been associated with increased prevalence of cognitive deficits in children, particularly boys. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that cognitive deficits induced by prenatal exposure to sub-acute doses of CPF can be reproduced in precocial small species. To address this hypothesis, pregnant guinea pigs were injected daily with CPF (25mg/kg,s.c.) or vehicle (peanut oil) for 10days starting on presumed gestation day (GD) 53-55. Offspring were born around GD 65, weaned on postnatal day (PND) 20, and subjected to behavioral tests starting around PND 30. On the day of birth, butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE), an OP bioscavenger used as a biomarker of OP exposures, and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), a major molecular target of OP compounds, were significantly inhibited in the blood of CPF-exposed offspring. In their brains, BuChE, but not AChE, was significantly inhibited. Prenatal CPF exposure had no significant effect on locomotor activity or on locomotor habituation, a form of non-associative memory assessed in open fields. Spatial navigation in the Morris water maze (MWM) was found to be sexually dimorphic among guinea pigs, with males outperforming females. Prenatal CPF exposure impaired spatial learning more significantly among male than female guinea pigs and, consequently, reduced the sexual dimorphism of the task. The results presented here, which strongly support the test hypothesis, reveal that the guinea pig is a valuable animal model for preclinical assessment of the developmental neurotoxicity of OP pesticides. These findings are far reaching as they lay the groundwork for future studies aimed at identifying therapeutic interventions to treat and/or prevent the neurotoxic effects of CPF in the developing brain. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  7. Inferior frontal gyrus preserves working memory and emotional learning under conditions of impaired noradrenergic signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin eBecker

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Compensation has been widely applied to explain neuroimaging findings in neuropsychiatric patients. Functional compensation is often invoked when patients display equal performance and increased neural activity in comparison to healthy controls. According to the compensatory hypothesis increased activity allows the brain to maintain cognitive performance despite underlying neuropathological changes. Due to methodological and pathology-related issues, however, the functional relevance of the increased activity and the specific brain regions involved in the compensatory response remain unclear. An experimental approach that allows a transient induction of compensatory responses in the healthy brain could help to overcome these issues. To this end we used the nonselective beta-blocker propranolol to pharmacologically induce sub-optimal noradrenergic signaling in healthy participants. In two independent fMRI experiments participants received either placebo or propranolol before they underwent a cognitive challenge (experiment 1: working memory; experiment 2: emotional learning: Pavlovian fear conditioning. In experiment 1 propranolol had no effects on working memory performance, but evoked stronger activity in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG. In experiment 2 propranolol produced no effects on emotional memory formation, but evoked stronger activity in the right IFG. The present finding that sub-optimal beta-adrenergic signaling did not disrupt performance and concomitantly increased IFG activity is consistent with, and extends, current perspectives on functional compensation. Together, our findings suggest that under conditions of impaired noradrenergic signaling, heightened activity in brain regions located within the cognitive control network, particularly the IFG, may reflect compensatory operations subserving the maintenance of behavioral performance.

  8. School based factors affecting learning of Kenyan sign language in primary schools for hearing impaired in Embu and Isiolo counties, Kenya

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Muthomi Samuel, Rwaimba

    2016-01-01

    This was a descriptive survey study design which sought to establish the school based factors that affect the learning of Kenyan Sign Language in primary schools for learners with hearing impairment...

  9. Phonological memory and word learning deficits in children with specific language impairment: A role for perceptual context?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moav-Scheff, Ronny; Yifat, Rachel; Banai, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Sensitivity to perceptual context (anchoring) has been suggested to contribute to the development of both oral- and written-language skills, but studies of this idea in children have been rare. To determine whether deficient anchoring contributes to the phonological memory and word learning deficits of children with specific language impairment (SLI). 84 preschool children with and without SLI participated in the study. Anchoring to repeated items was evaluated in two tasks - a phonological memory task and a pseudo-word learning task. Compared to children with typical development, children with SLI had poorer phonological memory spans and learned fewer words during the word learning task. In both tasks the poorer performance of children with SLI reflected a smaller effect of anchoring that was manifested in a smaller effect of item repetition on performance. Furthermore, across the entire sample anchoring was significantly correlated with performance in vocabulary and grammar tasks. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that anchoring contributes to language skills and that children with SLI have impaired anchoring, although further studies are required to determine the role of anchoring in language development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Detecting Memory Impairment in Deaf People: A New Test of Verbal Learning and Memory in British Sign Language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denmark, Tanya; Marshall, Jane; Mummery, Cath; Roy, Penny; Woll, Bencie; Atkinson, Joanna

    2016-06-26

    Most existing tests of memory and verbal learning in adults were created for spoken languages, and are unsuitable for assessing deaf people who rely on signed languages. In response to this need for sign language measures, the British Sign Language Verbal Learning and Memory Test (BSL-VLMT) was developed. It follows the format of the English language Hopkins Verbal Learning Test Revised, using standardized video-presentation with novel stimuli and instructions wholly in British Sign Language, and no English language requirement. Data were collected from 223 cognitively healthy deaf signers aged 50-89 and 12 deaf patients diagnosed with dementia. Normative data percentiles were derived for clinical use, and receiver-operating characteristic curves computed to explore the clinical potential and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. The test showed good discrimination between the normative and clinical samples, providing preliminary evidence of clinical utility for identifying learning and memory impairment in older deaf signers with neurodegeneration. This innovative video testing approach transforms the ability to accurately detect memory impairments in deaf people and avoids the problems of using interpreters, with international potential for adapting similar tests into other signed languages. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  11. School Based Factors Affecting Learning of Kenyan Sign Language in Primary Schools for Hearing Impaired in Embu and Isiolo Counties, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rwaimba, Samuel Muthomi

    2016-01-01

    This was a descriptive survey study design which sought to establish the school based factors that affect the learning of Kenyan Sign Language in primary schools for learners with hearing impairment in Embu and Isiolo counties in Kenya. The target population was all teachers teaching in primary schools for learners with hearing impairment in the…

  12. Midazolam-induced learning and memory impairment is modulated by cannabinoid CB1 receptor agonist and antagonist

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdolaziz Ronaghi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: Memory impairment is a well-known effect of many benzodiazepine compounds which is mediated through their action on gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA receptors. On the other hand, cannabinoids can affect learning and memory process through presynaptic modulation of the release of both excitatory glutamate and inhibitory GABA transmitters in brain regions involved in learning and memory. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of cannabinoids on memory impairment and long-term potentiation (LTP reduction properties of the short acting benzodiazepine midazolam.Materials and Methods: One week after insertion of guide cannula by stereotaxic surgery, cannabinoid compounds or midazolam were administered by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v. injection into lateral ventricle of male rats. Spatial memory task was evaluated using Morris water maze (MWM test. Electrophysiological evaluation was done by field potential recording of hippocampal neurons in unconscious rats.Results: In MWM test, while i.c.v. administration of AM251 (200 and 500 ng per se could not change learning and memory function in rats, pretreatment of rats with AM251 (500 ng; i.c.v. attenuated midazolam-induced memory impairment. In field potential recording, while i.c.v. administration of AM251 (500 ng and WIN55212-2 (10 μg did not have any effect on population spike amplitude, pretreatment of rats with both AM251 and WIN55212-2 significantly diminished midazolam-induced PS amplitude reduction in hippocampal neurons.Conclusion: OurOur results suggest the involvement of cannabinoid CB1 receptors in both memory impairment and LTP reduction in hippocampal neurons which was produced by midazolam. This interaction is likely through their effect on both GABAergic and glutamatergic receptors in hippocampus.

  13. Levothyroxin restores hypothyroidism-induced impairment of hippocampus-dependent learning and memory: Behavioral, electrophysiological, and molecular studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alzoubi, Karem H; Gerges, Nashaat Z; Aleisa, Abdulaziz M; Alkadhi, Karim A

    2009-01-01

    Hypothyroidism induces cognitive impairment in experimental animals and patients. Clinical reports are conflicting about the ability of thyroid hormone replacement therapy to fully restore the hypothyroidism-induced learning and memory impairment. In this study, we investigated the effects of L-thyroxin (thyroxin) treatment on hippocampus-dependent learning and memory in thyroidectomized adult rats. In the radial arm water maze (RAWM) task, thyroxin treated thyroidectomized animals made significantly fewer errors than the untreated hypothyroid animals in Trial 3 of the acquisition phase, short-term memory and long-term memory tests. In addition, the number of errors made by the thyroxin treated thyroidectomized animals was not different from that of the control group. Furthermore, the days-to-criterion (DTC) values for thyroxin treated thyroidectomized animals were not different from those of the control group but significantly lower than those of the untreated hypothyroid animals. In anesthetized rats, extracellular recording from hippocampal area CA1 of hypothyroid rats shows that thyroxin treatment restores impaired Late-phase long-term potentiation (L-LTP). Immunoblot analysis of signaling molecules, including cyclic-AMP response element binding protein (CREB), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKp44/42; ERK1/2), in area CA1 revealed that thyroxin treatment reversed hypothyroidism-induced reduction of signaling molecules essential for learning and memory, and L-LTP. This study shows that thyroxin treatment reverses hypothyroidism-induced impairment of hippocampus-dependent cognition, and L-LTP, probably by restoring the levels of signaling molecule important for these processes. Copyright 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Damage to the Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex Impairs Learning from Observed Outcomes

    OpenAIRE

    Kumaran, D.; Warren, D. E.; Tranel, D.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals learn both from the outcomes of their own internally generated actions ("experiential learning") and from the observation of the consequences of externally generated actions ("observational learning"). While neuroscience research has focused principally on the neural mechanisms by which brain structures such as the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) support experiential learning, relatively less is known regarding how learning proceeds through passive observation. We explored ...

  15. Profound expressive language impairment in low functioning children with autism: an investigation of syntactic awareness using a computerised learning task.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGonigle-Chalmers, Maggie; Alderson-Day, Ben; Fleming, Joanna; Monsen, Karl

    2013-09-01

    Nine low-functioning children with profound expressive language impairment and autism were studied in terms of their responsiveness to a computer-based learning program designed to assess syntactic awareness. The children learned to touch words on a screen in the correct sequence in order to see a corresponding animation, such as 'monkey flies'. The game progressed in levels from 2 to 4 word sequences, contingent upon success at each stage. Although performance was highly variable across participants, a detailed review of their learning profiles suggested that no child lacked syntactic awareness and that elementary syntactic control in a non-speech domain was superior to that manifest in their spoken language. The reasons for production failures at the level of speech in children with autism are discussed.

  16. Student Attitudes toward Impairment: An Assessment of Passive and Active Learning Methods in Urban Planning Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, John L.

    2011-01-01

    Designing for the needs of people with impairments has rarely been a significant feature of urban planning theory and education. Given the role of urban planners as shapers of the built environment and public policy, the prevalence of negative and misinformed attitudes among planners toward impaired populations has been highlighted as requiring…

  17. Learning Not to Listen: The Experiences of Musicians with Hearing Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, Robert; Ginsborg, Jane; Goldbart, Juliet

    2011-01-01

    The journey from playful musical exploration in childhood to an adult identity as a skilled musician is likely to be problematic for people with hearing impairments. Although a number of subjective accounts have been published, there is a lack of empirical research in the area. In this study, twelve musicians with hearing impairments were…

  18. Sticking with the nice guy: trait warmth information impairs learning and modulates person perception brain network activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Victoria K; Harris, Lasana T

    2014-12-01

    Social learning requires inferring social information about another person, as well as evaluating outcomes. Previous research shows that prior social information biases decision making and reduces reliance on striatal activity during learning (Delgado, Frank, & Phelps, Nature Neuroscience 8 (11): 1611-1618, 2005). A rich literature in social psychology on person perception demonstrates that people spontaneously infer social information when viewing another person (Fiske & Taylor, 2013) and engage a network of brain regions, including the medial prefrontal cortex, temporal parietal junction, superior temporal sulcus, and precuneus (Amodio & Frith, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7(4), 268-277, 2006; Haxby, Gobbini, & Montgomery, 2004; van Overwalle Human Brain Mapping, 30, 829-858, 2009). We investigate the role of these brain regions during social learning about well-established dimensions of person perception-trait warmth and trait competence. We test the hypothesis that activity in person perception brain regions interacts with learning structures during social learning. Participants play an investment game where they must choose an agent to invest on their behalf. This choice is guided by cues signaling trait warmth or trait competence based on framing of monetary returns. Trait warmth information impairs learning about human but not computer agents, while trait competence information produces similar learning rates for human and computer agents. We see increased activation to warmth information about human agents in person perception brain regions. Interestingly, activity in person perception brain regions during the decision phase negatively predicts activity in the striatum during feedback for trait competence inferences about humans. These results suggest that social learning may engage additional processing within person perception brain regions that hampers learning in economic contexts.

  19. Overall Memory Impairment Identification with Mathematical Modeling of the CVLT-II Learning Curve in Multiple Sclerosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor I. Stepanov

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The CVLT-II provides standardized scores for each of the List A five learning trials, so that the clinician can compare the patient's raw trials 1–5 scores with standardized ones. However, frequently, a patient's raw scores fluctuate making a proper interpretation difficult. The CVLT-II does not offer any other methods for classifying a patient's learning and memory status on the background of the learning curve. The main objective of this research is to illustrate that discriminant analysis provides an accurate assessment of the learning curve, if suitable predictor variables are selected. Normal controls were ninety-eight healthy volunteers (78 females and 20 males. A group of MS patients included 365 patients (266 females and 99 males with clinically defined multiple sclerosis. We show that the best predictor variables are coefficients 3 and 4 of our mathematical model 3∗exp(−2∗(−1+4∗(1−exp(−2∗(−1 because discriminant functions, calculated separately for 3 and 4, allow nearly 100% correct classification. These predictors allow identification of separate impairment of readiness to learn or ability to learn, or both.

  20. Neuroprotective effect and mechanism of daucosterol palmitate in ameliorating learning and memory impairment in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Zhi-Hong; Xu, Zhong-Qi; Zhao, Hong; Yu, Xin-Yu

    2017-03-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an age-related neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive memory decline and cognitive impairment. Amyloid beta (Aβ) has been proposed as the causative role for the pathogenesis of AD. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that Aβ neurotoxicity is mediated by glutamate excitotoxicity. Daucosterol palmitate (DSP), a plant steroid with anti-glutamate excitotoxicity effect, was isolated from the anti-aging traditional Chinese medicinal herb Alpinia oxyphylla Miq. in our previous study. Based on the anti-glutamate excitotoxicity effect of DSP, in this study we investigated potential benefit and mechanism of DSP in ameliorating learning and memory impairment in AD model rats. Results from this study showed that DSP administration effectively ameliorated Aβ-induced learning and memory impairment in rats, markedly inhibited Aβ-induced hippocampal ROS production, effectively prevented Aβ-induced hippocampal neuronal damage and significantly restored hippocampal synaptophysin expression level. This study suggests that DSP may be a potential candidate for development as a therapeutic agent for AD cognitive decline. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Novel-word learning deficits in Mandarin-speaking preschool children with specific language impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Yuchun; Liu, Huei-Mei

    2014-01-01

    Children with SLI exhibit overall deficits in novel word learning compared to their age-matched peers. However, the manifestation of the word learning difficulty in SLI was not consistent across tasks and the factors affecting the learning performance were not yet determined. Our aim is to examine the extent of word learning difficulties in Mandarin-speaking preschool children with SLI, and to explore the potent influence of existing lexical knowledge on to the word learning process. Preschool children with SLI (n=37) and typical language development (n=33) were exposed to novel words for unfamiliar objects embedded in stories. Word learning tasks including the initial mapping and short-term repetitive learning were designed. Results revealed that Mandarin-speaking preschool children with SLI performed as well as their age-peers in the initial form-meaning mapping task. Their word learning difficulty was only evidently shown in the short-term repetitive learning task under a production demand, and their learning speed was slower than the control group. Children with SLI learned the novel words with a semantic head better in both the initial mapping and repetitive learning tasks. Moderate correlations between stand word learning performances and scores on standardized vocabulary were found after controlling for children's age and nonverbal IQ. The results suggested that the word learning difficulty in children with SLI occurred in the process of establishing a robust phonological representation at the beginning stage of word learning. Also, implicit compound knowledge is applied to aid word learning process for children with and without SLI. We also provide the empirical data to validate the relationship between preschool children's word learning performance and their existing receptive vocabulary ability. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children With Specific Language Impairment: Identifying Adequate Progress and Successful Learning Patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkel, Holly L; Komesidou, Rouzana; Fleming, Kandace K; Romine, Rebecca Swinburne

    2017-04-20

    The goal of this study was to provide guidance to clinicians on early benchmarks of successful word learning in an interactive book reading treatment and to examine how encoding and memory evolution during treatment contribute to word learning outcomes by kindergarten children with specific language impairment (SLI). Twenty-seven kindergarten children with SLI participated in a preliminary clinical trial using interactive book reading to teach 30 new words. Word learning was assessed at 4 points during treatment through a picture naming test. The results indicate that the following performance during treatment was cause for concern, indicating a need to modify the treatment: naming 0-1 treated words correctly at Naming Test 1; naming 0-2 treated words correctly at Naming Test 2; naming 0-3 treated words correctly at Naming Test 3. In addition, the results showed that encoding was the primary limiting factor in word learning, but rmemory evolution also contributed (albeit to a lesser degree) to word learning success. Case illustrations demonstrate how a clinician's understanding of a child's word learning strengths and weaknesses develop over the course of treatment, substantiating the importance of regular data collection and clinical decision-making to ensure the best possible outcomes for each individual child.

  3. More Is Generally Better: Higher Working Memory Capacity Does Not Impair Perceptual Category Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalish, Michael L.; Newell, Ben R.; Dunn, John C.

    2017-01-01

    It is sometimes supposed that category learning involves competing explicit and procedural systems, with only the former reliant on working memory capacity (WMC). In 2 experiments participants were trained for 3 blocks on both filtering (often said to be learned explicitly) and condensation (often said to be learned procedurally) category…

  4. Impaired spatial learning and unaltered neurogenesis in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease after oral aluminum exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribes, D; Colomina, M T; Vicens, P; Domingo, J L

    2010-08-01

    Although it is well established that aluminum (Al) is neurotoxic, the potential role of this element in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is not well established. In this study, we evaluated the effects of oral Al exposure on spatial learning, memory and neurogenesis in Tg2576 mice, an animal model of AD in which Abeta plaques start to be deposited at 9 months of age. Aluminum was given as Al lactate (11 mg/g of food) for 6 months. At 11 months of age a water maze test was carried out to evaluate learning and memory. Subsequently, mice were injected with bromo-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and sacrificed 24 hours or 28 days after the last injection in order to assess proliferation, survival and differentiation of neurons. We observed impaired acquisition in the water maze task in Al-treated Tg2576 mice, as well as worse memory in the Al-exposed groups. In terms of neurogenesis, no effects of aluminum were observed in proliferation, survival and differentiation. The results of this investigation suggest that Tg2576 mice fed for 210 days with rodent chow supplemented with Al lactate at 11 mg/g of food have impaired spatial learning although their neurogenesis remains unmodified.

  5. Longitudinal Assessment of Verbal Learning and Memory in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment: Practice Effects and Meaningful Changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    María Campos-Magdaleno

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: To identify learning effects and meaningful changes in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI at a follow-up assessment.Method: The Spanish version of the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT was administered to a sample of 274 adults of age over 50 years with subjective memory complains (SMC, including single and multiple domain aMCI groups and participants with SMC but without cognitive impairment (SMC group. The Wilcoxon test was used to compare results at baseline and after 18 months in short and long recall, and standardized regression-based (SRB methods were used to study meaningful changes.Results: Scores were significantly higher at follow-up for short and long-delayed recall in all groups indicating generalized practice effect. SRB scores indicated a significant decline in recall in a higher proportion of participants with aMCI than in SMC group.Discussion: Patients with multiple and single domain aMCI benefit from practice in a verbal learning memory test. The SRB approach revealed a higher incidence of meaningful decline in short and long-delay recall and recognition in the aMCI groups than in the SMC group. Specifically, compared to SMC participants, single-domain aMCI individuals declined in a higher proportion in all measures, and multiple-domain aMCI individuals in long delay free recall.

  6. Comparison of the impact of melatonin on chronic ethanol-induced learning and memory impairment between young and aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baydas, Giyasettin; Yasar, Abdullah; Tuzcu, Mehmet

    2005-11-01

    Chronic alcohol exposure causes functional and structural changes in nervous system which have all been associated with learning and memory impairments. Furthermore, alcohol consumption has been shown to alter the pattern of neural cell adhesion molecules (NCAM) which are involved in memory processes. In the current work, we investigated the effects of melatonin on learning and memory deficits induced by alcohol exposure in young and aged rats. A group of young rats (3 months old) were administered ethanol for 45 days and half of them were co-treated with melatonin. Similar treatments were performed in the aged (19 months old) rats. Morris water maze test and passive avoidance task were used to assess cognitive performance. Lipid peroxidation (LPO) and glutathione (GSH) levels were determined to characterize the level of oxidative stress in the hippocampus and cortex. NCAM levels were determined by Western blotting in the hippocampal homogenates. There was a significant elevation in LPO levels and a reduction in GSH levels in aged and alcohol-exposed rats. Furthermore, both young and aged rats displayed some cognitive impairment when given with alcohol for 45 days. Co-administration of melatonin with ethanol significantly reduced LPO and elevated GSH levels while improving the learning and memory deficits induced by ethanol; the aged rats exhibited a greater response to melatonin supplementation. Moreover, melatonin modulated NCAM expression in hippocampus. Present findings indicate that exposure to ethanol induces learning and memory deficits probably by generating reactive oxygen species and downregulating NCAM 180 in hippocampus of aged rats. Melatonin improves learning and memory deficits and the behavioral responses of rats to melatonin supplementation are age dependent.

  7. Hippocampal dysregulation of neurofibromin-dependent pathways is associated with impaired spatial learning in engrailed 2 knock-out mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Provenzano, Giovanni; Pangrazzi, Luca; Poli, Andrea; Pernigo, Mattia; Sgadò, Paola; Genovesi, Sacha; Zunino, Giulia; Berardi, Nicoletta; Casarosa, Simona; Bozzi, Yuri

    2014-10-01

    Genome-wide association studies indicated the homeobox-containing transcription factor Engrailed-2 (En2) as a candidate gene for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Accordingly, En2 knock-out (En2(-/-)) mice show anatomical and behavioral "ASD-like" features, including decreased sociability and learning deficits. The molecular pathways underlying these deficits in En2(-/-) mice are not known. Deficits in signaling pathways involving neurofibromin and extracellular-regulated kinase (ERK) have been associated with impaired learning. Here we investigated the neurofibromin-ERK cascade in the hippocampus of wild-type (WT) and En2(-/-) mice before and after spatial learning testing. When compared with WT littermates, En2(-/-) mice showed impaired performance in the Morris water maze (MWM), which was accompanied by lower expression of the activity-dependent gene Arc. Quantitative RT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry experiments showed a marked downregulation of neurofibromin expression in the dentate gyrus of both naive and MWM-treated En2(-/-) mice. ERK phosphorylation, known to be induced in the presence of neurofibromin deficiency, was increased in the dentate gyrus of En2(-/-) mice after MWM. Treatment of En2(-/-) mice with lovastatin, an indirect inhibitor of ERK phosphorylation, markedly reduced ERK phosphorylation in the dentate gyrus, but was unable to rescue learning deficits in MWM-trained mutant mice. Further investigation is needed to unravel the complex molecular mechanisms linking dysregulation of neurofibromin-dependent pathways to spatial learning deficits in the En2 mouse model of ASD. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413281-08$15.00/0.

  8. Social Networking as a Tool for Lifelong Learning with Orthopedically Impaired Learners

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Metin Ersoy; Ahmet Güneyli

    2016-01-01

      This paper discusses how Turkish Cypriot orthopedically impaired learners who are living in North Cyprus use social networking as a tool for leisure and education, and to what extent they satisfy...

  9. Protective effect of polydatin on learning and memory impairments in neonatal rats with hypoxic‑ischemic brain injury by up‑regulating brain‑derived neurotrophic factor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Jin; Qu, Yunxia; He, Huiming; Fan, Xiaolei; Qin, Yuanhua; Mao, Weifeng; Xu, Lixin

    2014-12-01

    Polydatin is a key component of Polygonum cuspidatum, a herb with medical and nutritional value. The present study investigated the protective effect of polydatin against learning and memory impairment in neonatal rats with hypoxic‑ischemic brain injury (HIBI). The unilateral common carotid artery ligation method was used to generate neonatal HIBI rats. Y‑maze testing revealed that rats with HIBI exhibited memory impairment, while rats with HIBI treated with polydatin displayed enhanced long‑term learning and memory. Of note, polydatin was found to upregulate the expression of hippocampal brain‑derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in rats with HIBI. BDNF has a role in protecting HIBI‑induced brain tissue injury and alleviating memory impairment. These findings showed that polydatin had a protective effect against learning and memory impairment in neonatal rats with HIBI and that the protective effect may be mediated through the upregulation of BDNF.

  10. Functional electrical stimulation mediated by iterative learning control and 3D robotics reduces motor impairment in chronic stroke

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meadmore Katie L

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Novel stroke rehabilitation techniques that employ electrical stimulation (ES and robotic technologies are effective in reducing upper limb impairments. ES is most effective when it is applied to support the patients’ voluntary effort; however, current systems fail to fully exploit this connection. This study builds on previous work using advanced ES controllers, and aims to investigate the feasibility of Stimulation Assistance through Iterative Learning (SAIL, a novel upper limb stroke rehabilitation system which utilises robotic support, ES, and voluntary effort. Methods Five hemiparetic, chronic stroke participants with impaired upper limb function attended 18, 1 hour intervention sessions. Participants completed virtual reality tracking tasks whereby they moved their impaired arm to follow a slowly moving sphere along a specified trajectory. To do this, the participants’ arm was supported by a robot. ES, mediated by advanced iterative learning control (ILC algorithms, was applied to the triceps and anterior deltoid muscles. Each movement was repeated 6 times and ILC adjusted the amount of stimulation applied on each trial to improve accuracy and maximise voluntary effort. Participants completed clinical assessments (Fugl-Meyer, Action Research Arm Test at baseline and post-intervention, as well as unassisted tracking tasks at the beginning and end of each intervention session. Data were analysed using t-tests and linear regression. Results From baseline to post-intervention, Fugl-Meyer scores improved, assisted and unassisted tracking performance improved, and the amount of ES required to assist tracking reduced. Conclusions The concept of minimising support from ES using ILC algorithms was demonstrated. The positive results are promising with respect to reducing upper limb impairments following stroke, however, a larger study is required to confirm this.

  11. Maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced hypomyelination, synaptic alterations, and learning impairment in mouse offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Ayumi; Iinuma, Mitsuo; Hayashi, Sakurako; Sato, Yuichi; Azuma, Kagaku; Kubo, Kin-Ya

    2016-11-15

    Maternal chewing during prenatal stress attenuates both the development of stress-induced learning deficits and decreased cell proliferation in mouse hippocampal dentate gyrus. Hippocampal myelination affects spatial memory and the synaptic structure is a key mediator of neuronal communication. We investigated whether maternal chewing during prenatal stress ameliorates stress-induced alterations of hippocampal myelin and synapses, and impaired development of spatial memory in adult offspring. Pregnant mice were divided into control, stress, and stress/chewing groups. Stress was induced by placing mice in a ventilated restraint tube, and was initiated on day 12 of pregnancy and continued until delivery. Mice in the stress/chewing group were given a wooden stick to chew during restraint. In 1-month-old pups, spatial memory was assessed in the Morris water maze, and hippocampal oligodendrocytes and synapses in CA1 were assayed by immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. Prenatal stress led to impaired learning ability, and decreased immunoreactivity of myelin basic protein (MBP) and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNPase) in the hippocampal CA1 in adult offspring. Numerous myelin sheath abnormalities were observed. The G-ratio [axonal diameter to axonal fiber diameter (axon plus myelin sheath)] was increased and postsynaptic density length was decreased in the hippocampal CA1 region. Maternal chewing during stress attenuated the prenatal stress-induced impairment of spatial memory, and the decreased MBP and CNPase immunoreactivity, increased G-ratios, and decreased postsynaptic-density length in the hippocampal CA1 region. These findings suggest that chewing during prenatal stress in dams could be an effective coping strategy to prevent hippocampal behavioral and morphologic impairments in their offspring. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Benefits of augmentative signs in word learning: Evidence from children who are deaf/hard of hearing and children with specific language impairment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berkel-van Hoof, L. van; Hermans, D.; Knoors, H.E.T.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Augmentative signs may facilitate word learning in children with vocabulary difficulties, for example, children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) and children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Despite the fact that augmentative signs may aid second language learning in

  13. WISC-IV Intellectual Profiles in Italian Children with Specific Learning Disorder and Related Impairments in Reading, Written Expression, and Mathematics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poletti, Michele

    2016-01-01

    The fifth edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" grouped specific learning disabilities in the single diagnostic category of specific learning disorder (SLD), with specifiers for impairments in reading, written expression, and mathematics. This study aimed at investigating the intellectual profile,…

  14. Ripple-Triggered Stimulation of the Locus Coeruleus during Post-Learning Sleep Disrupts Ripple/Spindle Coupling and Impairs Memory Consolidation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novitskaya, Yulia; Sara, Susan J.; Logothetis, Nikos K.; Eschenko, Oxana

    2016-01-01

    Experience-induced replay of neuronal ensembles occurs during hippocampal high-frequency oscillations, or ripples. Post-learning increase in ripple rate is predictive of memory recall, while ripple disruption impairs learning. Ripples may thus present a fundamental component of a neurophysiological mechanism of memory consolidation. In addition to…

  15. The Mainstream Primary Classroom as a Language-Learning Environment for Children with Severe and Persistent Language Impairment--Implications of Recent Language Intervention Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCartney, Elspeth; Ellis, Sue; Boyle, James

    2009-01-01

    Many UK children with severe and persistent language impairment (SLI) attend local mainstream schools. Although this should provide an excellent language-learning environment, opportunities may be limited by difficulties in sustaining time-consuming, child-specific learning activities; restricted co-professional working, and the complex classroom…

  16. Mice with deficient BK channel function show impaired prepulse inhibition and spatial learning, but normal working and spatial reference memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Typlt, Marei; Mirkowski, Magdalena; Azzopardi, Erin; Ruettiger, Lukas; Ruth, Peter; Schmid, Susanne

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variations in the large-conductance, voltage- and calcium activated potassium channels (BK channels) have been recently implicated in mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia which all come along with severe cognitive impairments. In the present study we investigate the effects of functional BK channel deletion on cognition using a genetic mouse model with a knock-out of the gene for the pore forming α-subunit of the channel. We tested the F1 generation of a hybrid SV129/C57BL6 mouse line in which the slo1 gene was deleted in both parent strains. We first evaluated hearing and motor function to establish the suitability of this model for cognitive testing. Auditory brain stem responses to click stimuli showed no threshold differences between knockout mice and their wild-type littermates. Despite of muscular tremor, reduced grip force, and impaired gait, knockout mice exhibited normal locomotion. These findings allowed for testing of sensorimotor gating using the acoustic startle reflex, as well as of working memory, spatial learning and memory in the Y-maze and the Morris water maze, respectively. Prepulse inhibition on the first day of testing was normal, but the knockout mice did not improve over the days of testing as their wild-type littermates did. Spontaneous alternation in the y-maze was normal as well, suggesting that the BK channel knock-out does not impair working memory. In the Morris water maze knock-out mice showed significantly slower acquisition of the task, but normal memory once the task was learned. Thus, we propose a crucial role of the BK channels in learning, but not in memory storage or recollection.

  17. SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION IMPAIRS ATTENTION AND COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY BUT NOT ASSOCIATIVE LEARNING IN AGED RATS: Possible Implications for Delirium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Deborah J Culley

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Delirium is a common and morbid condition in elderly hospitalized patients. Its pathophysiology is poorly understood but inflammation has been implicated based on a clinical association with systemic infection and surgery and preclinical data showing that systemic inflammation adversely affects hippocampus-dependent memory. However, clinical manifestations and imaging studies point to abnormalities not in the hippocampus but in cortical circuits. We therefore tested the hypothesis that systemic inflammation impairs prefrontal cortex function by assessing attention and executive function in aged animals. Aged (24-month-old Fischer-344 rats received a single intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 50 ug/kg or saline and were tested on the attentional shifting task (AST, an index of integrity of the prefrontal cortex, on days 1-3 post-injection. Plasma and frontal cortex concentrations of the cytokine TNFα and the chemokine CCL2 were measured by ELISA in separate groups of identically treated, age-matched rats. LPS selectively impaired reversal learning and attentional shifts without affecting discrimination learning in the AST, indicating a deficit in attention and cognitive flexibility but not learning globally. LPS increased plasma TNFα and CCL2 acutely but this resolved within 24-48 h. TNFα in the frontal cortex did not change whereas CCL2 increased nearly 3-fold 2 h after LPS but normalized by the time behavioral testing started 24 h later. Together, our data indicate that systemic inflammation selectively impairs attention and executive function in aged rodents and that the cognitive deficit is independent of concurrent changes in frontal cortical TNFα and CCL2. Because inattention is a prominent feature of clinical delirium, our data support a role for inflammation in the pathogenesis of this clinical syndrome and suggest this animal model could be useful for studying that relationship further.

  18. Mice with deficient BK channel function show impaired prepulse inhibition and spatial learning, but normal working and spatial reference memory.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marei Typlt

    Full Text Available Genetic variations in the large-conductance, voltage- and calcium activated potassium channels (BK channels have been recently implicated in mental retardation, autism and schizophrenia which all come along with severe cognitive impairments. In the present study we investigate the effects of functional BK channel deletion on cognition using a genetic mouse model with a knock-out of the gene for the pore forming α-subunit of the channel. We tested the F1 generation of a hybrid SV129/C57BL6 mouse line in which the slo1 gene was deleted in both parent strains. We first evaluated hearing and motor function to establish the suitability of this model for cognitive testing. Auditory brain stem responses to click stimuli showed no threshold differences between knockout mice and their wild-type littermates. Despite of muscular tremor, reduced grip force, and impaired gait, knockout mice exhibited normal locomotion. These findings allowed for testing of sensorimotor gating using the acoustic startle reflex, as well as of working memory, spatial learning and memory in the Y-maze and the Morris water maze, respectively. Prepulse inhibition on the first day of testing was normal, but the knockout mice did not improve over the days of testing as their wild-type littermates did. Spontaneous alternation in the y-maze was normal as well, suggesting that the BK channel knock-out does not impair working memory. In the Morris water maze knock-out mice showed significantly slower acquisition of the task, but normal memory once the task was learned. Thus, we propose a crucial role of the BK channels in learning, but not in memory storage or recollection.

  19. Vaccinium uliginosum L. Improves Amyloid ? Protein-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment in Alzheimer?s Disease in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Choi, Yoon-Hee; Kwon, Hyuck-Se; Shin, Se-Gye; Chung, Cha-Kwon

    2014-01-01

    The present study investigated the effects of Vaccinium uliginosum L. (bilberry) on the learning and memory impairments induced by amyloid-? protein (A?P) 1-42. ICR Swiss mice were divided into 4 groups: the control (A?40-1A), control with 5% bilberry group (A?40-1B), amyloid ? protein 1-42 treated group (A?1-42A), and A?1-42 with 5% bilberry group (A?1-42B). The control was treated with amyloid ?-protein 40-1 for placebo effect, and Alzheimer?s disease (AD) group was treated with amyloid ?-p...

  20. Procedural learning in Parkinson's disease, specific language impairment, dyslexia, schizophrenia, developmental coordination disorder, and autism spectrum disorders: A second-order meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Gillian M; Lum, Jarrad A G

    2017-10-01

    The serial reaction time task (SRTT) has been used to study procedural learning in clinical populations. In this report, second-order meta-analysis was used to investigate whether disorder type moderates performance on the SRTT. Using this approach to quantitatively summarise past research, it was tested whether autism spectrum disorder, developmental coordination disorder, dyslexia, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and specific language impairment differentially affect procedural learning on the SRTT. The main analysis revealed disorder type moderated SRTT performance (p=0.010). This report demonstrates comparable levels of procedural learning impairment in developmental coordination disorder, dyslexia, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, and specific language impairment. However, in autism, procedural learning is spared. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. The Effect of an NCAM Mimetic on Learning and Memory Impairment in an Animal Model of Schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Secher, Thomas

    2009-01-01

    , and synaptic plasticity. Furthermore, it can act as a memory enhancer in normal animals. Schizophrenia is a heterogeneous psychiatric disorder. Disturbances in information processing and higher cognitive function including deficits in working memory are believed represent a core feature of schizophrenia...... learning and memory. The effect of FGL on these deficits was, in general, very small; however, the peptide had some normalizing effect in the working memory task. The weak effects of FGL in this animal model limit the prospect of this peptide as a possible treatment for the cognitive impairment seen....... The cognitive dysfunction is strongly related to the functional outcome of patients, but is only minimally affected by existing antipsychotic treatment. The general aim on the present project was to investigate if FGL could have a beneficial effect on learning and memory deficits in a rat model...

  2. Effects of meclofenoxate and Extr. Rhodiolae roseae L. on electroconvulsive shock-impaired learning and memory in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarova, M B; Petkov, V D; Markovska, V L; Petkov, V V; Mosharrof, A

    1986-09-01

    In experiments on albino rats, the authors studied the effects of meclofenoxate and Extr. Rhodiolae roseae on the memory-impairing action of convulsant electroshock. "Step-down" passive avoidance training with negative reinforcement was used to trace the changes in memory. Meclofenoxate administered i.p. in a dose of 100 mg/kg body weight for five days prevented the retrograde amnesia observed after convulsant electroshock upon retention testing on the 3rd and 24th hr after the end of the training session. The Rhodiola extract administered orally in a dose of 0.10 ml/rat for 10 days, which in other experimental approaches improved learning and memory, remained ineffective here. The role of biogenic monoamines in the learning- and memory-improving effects of meclofenoxate is considered on the basis of earlier studies by the authors.

  3. Unpredictable chronic mild stress differentially impairs social and contextual discrimination learning in two inbred mouse strains.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michiel van Boxelaere

    Full Text Available Alterations in the social and cognitive domain are considered important indicators for increased disability in many stress-related disorders. Similar impairments have been observed in rodents chronically exposed to stress, mimicking potential endophenotypes of stress-related psychopathologies such as major depression disorder (MDD, anxiety, conduct disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD. Data from numerous studies suggest that deficient plasticity mechanisms in hippocampus (HC and prefrontal cortex (PFC might underlie these social and cognitive deficits. Specifically, stress-induced deficiencies in neural plasticity have been associated with a hypodopaminergic state and reduced neural plasticity persistence. Here we assessed the effects of unpredictable chronic mild stress (UCMS on exploratory, social and cognitive behavior of females of two inbred mouse strains (C57BL/6J and DBA/2J that differ in their dopaminergic profile. Exposure to chronic stress resulted in impaired circadian rhythmicity, sociability and social cognition in both inbred strains, but differentially affected activity patterns and contextual discrimination performance. These stress-induced behavioral impairments were accompanied by reduced expression levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF in the prefrontal cortex. The strain-specific cognitive impairment was coexistent with enhanced plasma corticosterone levels and reduced expression of genes related to dopamine signaling in hippocampus. These results underline the importance of assessing different strains with multiple test batteries to elucidate the neural and genetic basis of social and cognitive impairments related to chronic stress.

  4. Acute hypoxic gas breathing severely impairs cognition and task learning in humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turner, Clare E; Barker-Collo, Suzanne L; Connell, Charlotte J W; Gant, Nicholas

    2015-04-01

    Impairments in neural function are common when oxygen supply to the brain is reduced. This study examined neurocognitive processes that are vulnerable to oxygen deprivation. We induced moderate-to-severe hypoxia in healthy adults, thereby inducing impairments caused by low brain oxygen availability. 22 healthy adults participated in this matched-pairs study with a single-blind, randomised design. Baseline neurocognitive function was examined during a familiarisation trial and participants were assigned to hypoxia (10% O2) or sham (21% O2) groups. Neurocognitive performance was assessed via computerised test battery after 50 min of breathing a gas mixture that reduced arterial oxygen saturation by 20% (pcognitive flexibility (-18%; all pcognitive flexibility (+14%), and overall cognitive functioning (+9%; all pcognitive domains impaired with high altitude exposure and mild traumatic brain injury. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Propofol ameliorates electroconvulsive shock-induced learning and memory impairment by regulation of synaptic metaplasticity via autophosphorylation of CaMKIIa at Thr 305 in stressed rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Li; Zhang, Fan; Min, Su; Hao, Xuechao; Qin, Peipei; Zhu, Xianlin

    2016-06-30

    Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective treatment for depression, but it can induce learning and memory impairment. Our previous study found propofol (γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor agonist) could ameliorate electroconvulsive shock (ECS, an analog of ECT to animals)-induced cognitive impairment, however, the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of propofol on metaplasticity and autophosphorylation of CaMKIIa in stressed rats receiving ECS. Depressive-like behavior and learning and memory function were assessed by sucrose preference test and Morris water test respectively. LTP were tested by electrophysiological experiment, the expression of CaMKIIa, p-T305-CaMKII in hippocampus and CaMKIIα in hippocampal PSD fraction were evaluated by western blot. Results suggested ECS raised the baseline fEPSP and impaired the subsequent LTP, increased the expression of p-T305-CaMKII and decreased the expression of CaMKIIα in hippocampal PSD fraction, leading to cognitive dysfunction in stressed rats. Propofol could down-regulate the baseline fEPSP and reversed the impairment of LTP partly, decreased the expression of p-T305-CaMKII and increased the expression of CaMKIIα in hippocampal PSD fraction and alleviated ECS-induced learning and memory impairment. In conclusion, propofol ameliorates ECS-induced learning and memory impairment, possibly by regulation of synaptic metaplasticity via p-T305-CaMKII. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Low dose prenatal alcohol exposure does not impair spatial learning and memory in two tests in adult and aged rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlie L Cullen

    Full Text Available Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can have detrimental impacts on the developing hippocampus, which can lead to deficits in learning and memory function. Although high levels of alcohol exposure can lead to severe deficits, there is a lack of research examining the effects of low levels of exposure. This study used a rat model to determine if prenatal exposure to chronic low dose ethanol would result in deficits in learning and memory performance and if this was associated with morphological changes within the hippocampus. Sprague Dawley rats were fed a liquid diet containing 6% (vol/vol ethanol (EtOH or an isocaloric control diet throughout gestation. Male and Female offspring underwent behavioural testing at 8 (Adult or 15 months (Aged of age. Brains from these animals were collected for stereological analysis of pyramidal neuron number and dendritic morphology within the CA1 and CA3 regions of the dorsal hippocampus. Prenatal ethanol exposed animals did not differ in spatial learning or memory performance in the Morris water maze or Y maze tasks compared to Control offspring. There was no effect of prenatal ethanol exposure on pyramidal cell number or density within the dorsal hippocampus. Overall, this study indicates that chronic low dose prenatal ethanol exposure in this model does not have long term detrimental effects on pyramidal cells within the dorsal hippocampus or impair spatial learning and memory performance.

  7. Prenatal complex rhythmic music sound stimulation facilitates postnatal spatial learning but transiently impairs memory in the domestic chick.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kauser, H; Roy, S; Pal, A; Sreenivas, V; Mathur, R; Wadhwa, S; Jain, S

    2011-01-01

    Early experience has a profound influence on brain development, and the modulation of prenatal perceptual learning by external environmental stimuli has been shown in birds, rodents and mammals. In the present study, the effect of prenatal complex rhythmic music sound stimulation on postnatal spatial learning, memory and isolation stress was observed. Auditory stimulation with either music or species-specific sounds or no stimulation (control) was provided to separate sets of fertilized eggs from day 10 of incubation. Following hatching, the chicks at age 24, 72 and 120 h were tested on a T-maze for spatial learning and the memory of the learnt task was assessed 24 h after training. In the posthatch chicks at all ages, the plasma corticosterone levels were estimated following 10 min of isolation. The chicks of all ages in the three groups took less (p improvement with training. In both sound-stimulated groups, the total time taken to reach the target decreased significantly (p memory after 24 h of training, only the music-stimulated chicks at posthatch age 24 h took a significantly longer (p music sounds facilitates spatial learning, though the music stimulation transiently impairs postnatal memory. 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Severity-Dependent Long-Term Spatial Learning-Memory Impairment in a Mouse Model of Traumatic Brain Injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Chengrui; Jiang, Xiaoyan; Pu, Hongjian; Hong, Dandan; Zhang, Wenting; Hu, Xiaoming; Gao, Yanqin

    2016-12-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in young adults. Long-term mental disability often occurs in patients suffering moderate and severe TBI while not as frequent in the victims of mild TBI. To explore the potential mechanism underlying this severity-dependent cognitive deficit, we subjected C57/BL6 mice to different severities of controlled cortical impact (CCI) and assessed their learning-memory functions. The mice subjected to moderate and severe TBI exhibited significantly impaired long-term spatial learning-memory ability, which was accompanied by marked white matter injury and hippocampus damage. In contrast, long-term learning-memory deficits or structural abnormalities within the hippocampus or white matter were not significant in the case of mild TBI. According to a correlation analysis, the hippocampus or white matter injury severity was more relevant to Morris water maze outcome than tissue volume. This study revealed that long-term spatial learning-memory deficits are dependent on the severity of destruction in the white matter and hippocampus. Therapeutic strategies targeting both the white matter and hippocampus may be needed to improve the neurological functions in TBI victims.

  9. Low dose prenatal alcohol exposure does not impair spatial learning and memory in two tests in adult and aged rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, Carlie L; Burne, Thomas H J; Lavidis, Nickolas A; Moritz, Karen M

    2014-01-01

    Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can have detrimental impacts on the developing hippocampus, which can lead to deficits in learning and memory function. Although high levels of alcohol exposure can lead to severe deficits, there is a lack of research examining the effects of low levels of exposure. This study used a rat model to determine if prenatal exposure to chronic low dose ethanol would result in deficits in learning and memory performance and if this was associated with morphological changes within the hippocampus. Sprague Dawley rats were fed a liquid diet containing 6% (vol/vol) ethanol (EtOH) or an isocaloric control diet throughout gestation. Male and Female offspring underwent behavioural testing at 8 (Adult) or 15 months (Aged) of age. Brains from these animals were collected for stereological analysis of pyramidal neuron number and dendritic morphology within the CA1 and CA3 regions of the dorsal hippocampus. Prenatal ethanol exposed animals did not differ in spatial learning or memory performance in the Morris water maze or Y maze tasks compared to Control offspring. There was no effect of prenatal ethanol exposure on pyramidal cell number or density within the dorsal hippocampus. Overall, this study indicates that chronic low dose prenatal ethanol exposure in this model does not have long term detrimental effects on pyramidal cells within the dorsal hippocampus or impair spatial learning and memory performance.

  10. Prenatal alcohol exposure modifies glucocorticoid receptor subcellular distribution in the medial prefrontal cortex and impairs frontal cortex-dependent learning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea M Allan

    Full Text Available Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE has been shown to impair learning, memory and executive functioning in children. Perseveration, or the failure to respond adaptively to changing contingencies, is a hallmark on neurobehavioral assessment tasks for human fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD. Adaptive responding is predominantly a product of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and is regulated by corticosteroids. In our mouse model of PAE we recently reported deficits in hippocampal formation-dependent learning and memory and a dysregulation of hippocampal formation glucocorticoid receptor (GR subcellular distribution. Here, we examined the effect of PAE on frontal cortical-dependent behavior, as well as mPFC GR subcellular distribution and the levels of regulators of intracellular GR transport. PAE mice displayed significantly reduced response flexibility in a Y-maze reversal learning task. While the levels of total nuclear GR were reduced in PAE mPFC, levels of GR phosphorylated at serines 203, 211 and 226 were not significantly changed. Cytosolic, but not nuclear, MR levels were elevated in the PAE mPFC. The levels of critical GR trafficking proteins, FKBP51, Hsp90, cyclophilin 40, dynamitin and dynein intermediate chain, were altered in PAE mice, in favor of the exclusion of GR from the nucleus, indicating dysregulation of GR trafficking. Our findings suggest that there may be a link between a deficit in GR nuclear localization and frontal cortical learning deficits in prenatal alcohol-exposed mice.

  11. Patterns of cognitive impairments among heroin and cocaine users: the association with self-reported learning disabilities and infectious disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severtson, Stevan G; Hedden, Sarra L; Martins, Silvia S; Latimer, William W

    2012-01-01

    This study used data from six neuropsychological measures of executive function (EF) and general intellectual functioning (GIF) administered to 303 regular users of heroin and/or cocaine as indicators in a latent profile analysis (LPA). Results indicated the presence of three profiles: impaired GIF and EF profile (30.8%), intact GIF and EF profile (58.8%), and high GIF/intact EF profile (10.4%). Using a multinomial logistic regression, it was determined that individuals who reported being diagnosed with either a learning disability (LD) and/or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were more likely to be in the impaired GIF and EF profile than other profiles. Results from a logistic regression indicated that the impaired GIF and EF profile was associated with a greater prevalence of past hepatitis B and/or C infection. Implication for harm reduction and treatment programs and the need to take into account individuals with LD and ADHD are discussed. © Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2012.

  12. Why Segmentation Matters: Experience-Driven Segmentation Errors Impair "Morpheme" Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finn, Amy S.; Hudson Kam, Carla L.

    2015-01-01

    We ask whether an adult learner's knowledge of their native language impedes statistical learning in a new language beyond just word segmentation (as previously shown). In particular, we examine the impact of native-language word-form phonotactics on learners' ability to segment words into their component morphemes and learn phonologically…

  13. Computer-Assisted Learning for the Hearing Impaired: An Interactive Written Language Enviroment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, R. D.; Rostron, A. B.

    1983-01-01

    To help hearing-impaired children develop their linguistic competence, a computer system that can process sentences and give feedback about their acceptability was developed. Suggestions are made of ways to use the system as an environment for interactive written communication. (Author/CL)

  14. Development of a Math-Learning App for Students with Visual Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beal, Carole R.; Rosenblum, L. Penny

    2015-01-01

    The project was conducted to make an online tutoring program for math word problem solving accessible to students with visual impairments (VI). An online survey of teachers of students with VI (TVIs) guided the decision to provide the math content in the form of an iPad app, accompanied by print and braille materials. The app includes audio…

  15. What we can learn from naming errors of children with language impairment at preschool age.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biran, Michal; Novogrodsky, Rama; Harel-Nov, Efrat; Gil, Mali; Mimouni-Bloch, Aviva

    2017-08-30

    Naming is a complex, multi-level process. It is composed of distinct semantic and phonological levels. Children with naming deficits produce different error types when failing to retrieve the target word. This study explored the error characteristics of children with language impairment compared to those with typical language development. 46 preschool children were tested on a naming test: 16 with language impairment and a naming deficit and 30 with typical language development. The analysis compared types of error in both groups. In a group level, children with language impairment produced different error patterns compared to the control group. Based on naming error analysis and performance on other language tests, two case studies of contrasting profiles suggest different sources for lexical retrieval difficulties in children. The findings reveal differences between the two groups in naming scores and naming errors, and support a qualitative impairment in early development of children with naming deficits. The differing profiles of naming deficits emphasise the importance of including error analysis in the diagnosis.

  16. RALLI: An Internet Campaign for Raising Awareness of Language Learning Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Dorothy V. M.; Clark, Becky; Conti-Ramsden, Gina; Norbury, Courtenay Frazier; Snowling, Margaret J

    2012-01-01

    In contrast to dyslexia and autism, specific language impairment (SLI) is a neglected condition not only in research, but also in debates about policy and practice. A recent analysis of research publications and grants confirmed this impression, showing that SLI attracted far less research funding and led to fewer publications than many other…

  17. The Role of Frequency in Learning Morphophonological Alternations: Implications for Children with Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomas, Ekaterina; Demuth, Katherine; Petrocz, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of this article was to explore how the type of allomorph (e.g., past tense buzz[ d ] vs. nod[ ?d ]) influences the ability to perceive and produce grammatical morphemes in children with typical development and with specific language impairment (SLI). Method: The participants were monolingual Australian English--speaking children.…

  18. How Students with Visual Impairments Can Learn Components of the Expanded Core Curriculum through Physical Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lieberman, Lauren J.; Haegele, Justin A.; Columna, Luis; Conroy, Paula

    2014-01-01

    Research indicates that children with visual impairments demonstrate delays in fundamental motor skills, including locomotor, object control, and balance skills (Haibach, Lieberman, & Pritchett, 2011; Houwen, Hartman, & Visscher, 2010; Wagner, Haibach, & Lieberman, 2013). All of these skills are prerequisites to living an independent…

  19. Developmental Levels and Suggested Learning Activities for the Visually Impaired Preschool Child. A Special Report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrell, Lois, Comp.

    The paper presents developmental charts detailing the needs and patterns of very young visually impaired children. Five age levels are considered (0-6 months, 6-12 months, 1-.25 years, 2.5-4 years, and 4-5 years) within the context of auditory awareness, body image, development of meaningful language, tactual awareness and manipulative skills,…

  20. Social Networking as a Tool for Lifelong Learning with Orthopedically Impaired Learners

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ersoy, Metin; Güneyli, Ahmet

    2016-01-01

    This paper discusses how Turkish Cypriot orthopedically impaired learners who are living in North Cyprus use social networking as a tool for leisure and education, and to what extent they satisfy their personal development needs by means of these digital platforms. The case study described, conducted in North Cyprus in 2015 followed a qualitative…

  1. Spatial learning impairment induced by chronic stress is related to individual differences in novelty reactivity: search for neurobiological correlates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Touyarot, K; Venero, C; Sandi, C

    2004-02-01

    Although chronic stress has been reported to induce deleterious effects on hippocampal structure and function, the possible existence of individual differences in the vulnerability to develop stress-induced cognitive alterations was hypothesized. This study was designed to evaluate (i) whether individual variability in behavioural reactivity to novelty could be related to a differential vulnerability to show spatial learning deficits after chronic stress in young adult rats, and (ii) to what extent, could individual differences in stress-induced cognitive alterations be related to alterations in specific neurobiological substrates. Four month-old Wistar male rats were classified according to their locomotor reactivity to a novel environment, as either low (LR) or highly (HR) reactive, and then either submitted to psychosocial stress for 21-days (consisting of the daily cohabitation of each young adult rat with a new middle-aged rat) or left undisturbed. The results showed that psychosocial stress induced a marked deficit in spatial learning in the water maze in HR, but not in LR, rats. Then, a second experiment investigated the possible differential expression of corticosteroid receptors (MR and GR) and cell adhesion molecules (NCAM and L1) in the hippocampus of HR and LR rats, both under basal conditions and after exposure to chronic social stress. Although chronic stress induced a reduction on the hippocampal expression of MRs and the NCAM-140 isoform, the levels of these molecules did not differ between stressed rats with and without spatial learning impairments; i.e., between HR- and LR-stressed rats, respectively. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the reduction of the hippocampal expression of NCAM-140 induced by psychosocial stress was particularly marked in HR stressed rats. However, the expression of GRs, NCAM-120 and NCAM-180 isoforms, and L1, was not affected by stress, regardless of the reactivity of the animals. Therefore, although we failed to find

  2. Statistical Learning, Syllable Processing, and Speech Production in Healthy Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Preschool Children: A Mismatch Negativity Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studer-Eichenberger, Esther; Studer-Eichenberger, Felix; Koenig, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    The objectives of the present study were to investigate temporal/spectral sound-feature processing in preschool children (4 to 7 years old) with peripheral hearing loss compared with age-matched controls. The results verified the presence of statistical learning, which was diminished in children with hearing impairments (HIs), and elucidated possible perceptual mediators of speech production. Perception and production of the syllables /ba/, /da/, /ta/, and /na/ were recorded in 13 children with normal hearing and 13 children with HI. Perception was assessed physiologically through event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded by EEG in a multifeature mismatch negativity paradigm and behaviorally through a discrimination task. Temporal and spectral features of the ERPs during speech perception were analyzed, and speech production was quantitatively evaluated using speech motor maximum performance tasks. Proximal to stimulus onset, children with HI displayed a difference in map topography, indicating diminished statistical learning. In later ERP components, children with HI exhibited reduced amplitudes in the N2 and early parts of the late disciminative negativity components specifically, which are associated with temporal and spectral control mechanisms. Abnormalities of speech perception were only subtly reflected in speech production, as the lone difference found in speech production studies was a mild delay in regulating speech intensity. In addition to previously reported deficits of sound-feature discriminations, the present study results reflect diminished statistical learning in children with HI, which plays an early and important, but so far neglected, role in phonological processing. Furthermore, the lack of corresponding behavioral abnormalities in speech production implies that impaired perceptual capacities do not necessarily translate into productive deficits.

  3. Fingolimod (FTY720) attenuates social deficits, learning and memory impairments, neuronal loss and neuroinflammation in the rat model of autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Hongmei; Wang, Xuelai; Gao, Jingquan; Liang, Shuang; Hao, Yanqiu; Sun, Caihong; Xia, Wei; Cao, Yonggang; Wu, Lijie

    2017-03-15

    To investigate the effect of FTY720 on the valproic acid (VPA) rat model of autism. As an animal model of autism, we used intraperitoneal injection of VPA on embryonic day 12.5 in Wistar rats. The pups were given FTY720 orally at doses of 0.25, 0.5 and 1mg/kg daily from postnatal day 15 to 35. Social behavior, spatial learning and memory were assessed at the end of FTY720 treatment. The histological change, oxidative stress, neuroinflammatory responses, and apoptosis-related proteins in the hippocampus were evaluated. FTY720 (1mg/kg) administration to VPA-exposed rats (1) improved social behavior, spatial learning and memory impairment; (2) resulted in a reduction in neuronal loss and apoptosis of pyramidal cells in hippocampal CA1 regions; (3) inhibited activation of microglial cells, in turn lowering the level of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-6 in the hippocampus; (4) changed Malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, Glutathione (GSH) levels, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and Glutathione Peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity in the hippocampus; (6) inhibited the elevated Bax and caspase-3 protein levels and enhanced the relative expression level of Bcl-2 in the hippocampus; and (7) increased phospho-Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (p-CaMKII), phospho-cAMP-response element binding protein (p-CREB) and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) protein expression in the hippocampus. FTY720 rescues social deficit, spatial learning and memory impairment in VPA-exposed rats. FTY720 exerts both a direct protection for neurons and an indirect modulation of inflammation-mediated neuron loss as a possible mechanism of neuroprotection. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Cluttering identified : Differential diagnostics between cluttering, stuttering and speech impairment related to learning disability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    op 't Hof, Y.

    2009-01-01

    This study had the two following objectives: (1) clinical, diagnostic classification of the syndrome of cluttering and particularly the difference in symptomatology between cluttering and stuttering and between cluttering and speaking problems associated with learning disability; (2) to contribute

  5. Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Attenuates Impairment of Learning and Memory in Chronic Unpredictable Mild Stress-Treated Rats by Restoring Hippocampal Autophagic Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Ya-Ling; Zeng, Yang; Jing, Kai-Quan; Zheng, Xi-Long; Liao, Duan-Fang

    2014-01-01

    Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is a major polyphenol in green tea with beneficial effects on the impairment in learning and memory. Autophagy is a cellular process that protects neurons from stressful conditions. The present study was designed to investigate whether EGCG can rescue chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS)-induced cognitive impairment in rats and whether its protective effect involves improvement of autophagic flux. As expected, our results showed that CUMS significantly impaired memory performance and inhibited autophagic flux as indicated by elevated LC3-II and p62 protein levels. At the same time, we observed an increased neuronal loss and activated mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6k) signaling in the CA1 regions. Interestingly, chronic treatment with EGCG (25 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly improved those behavioral alterations, attenuated histopathological abnormalities in hippocampal CA1 regions, reduced amyloid beta1–42 (Aβ1−42) levels, and restored autophagic flux. However, blocking autophagic flux with chloroquine, an inhibitor of autophagic flux, reversed these effects of EGCG. Taken together, these findings suggest that the impaired autophagy in CA1 regions of CUMS rats may contribute to learning and memory impairment. Therefore, we conclude that EGCG attenuation of CUMS-induced learning and memory impairment may be through rescuing autophagic flux. PMID:25393306

  6. Exploring the academic and social challenges of visually impaired students in learning high school mathematics

    OpenAIRE

    Bayram, Gözde İrem

    2014-01-01

    Ankara : The Program of Curriculum and Instruction Bilkent University, 2014. Thesis (Master's) -- Bilkent University, 2014. Includes bibliographical references leaves 80-94. Inclusive education is the practice of integrating visually impaired students into regular classrooms. Differentiation becomes critically important in inclusive education in order to address the academic and social development of all students within the same classroom. However, there is a need to examine...

  7. Dynamic assessment of word learning skills of preschool children with primary language impairment

    OpenAIRE

    Camilleri, B.; Law, J.

    2013-01-01

    Dynamic assessment has been shown to have considerable theoretical and clinical significance in the assessment of socially disadvantaged and culturally and linguistically diverse children. In this study it is used to enhance assessment of pre-school children with primary language impairment. The purpose of the study was to determine whether a dynamic assessment (DA) has the potential to enhance the predictive capacity of a static measure of receptive vocabulary in pre-school children. Forty p...

  8. Mitochondrial impairments contribute to spatial learning and memory dysfunction induced by chronic tramadol administration in rat: Protective effect of physical exercise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehdizadeh, Hajar; Pourahmad, Jalal; Taghizadeh, Ghorban; Vousooghi, Nasim; Yoonessi, Ali; Naserzadeh, Parvaneh; Behzadfar, Ladan; Rouini, Mohammad Reza; Sharifzadeh, Mohammad

    2017-10-03

    Despite the worldwide use of tramadol, few studies have been conducted about its effects on memory and mitochondrial function, and controversial results have been reported. Recently, there has been an increasing interest in physical exercise as a protective approach to neuronal and cognitive impairments. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of physical exercise on spatial learning and memory and brain mitochondrial function in tramadol-treated rats. After completion of 2-week (short-term) and 4-week (long-term) treadmill exercise regimens, male Wistar rats received tramadol (20, 40, 80mg/kg/day) intraperitoneally for 30days. Then spatial learning and memory was assessed by Morris water maze test (MWM). Moreover, brain mitochondrial function was evaluated by determination of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS) level, mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP), mitochondrial swelling and cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Chronic administration of tramadol impaired spatial learning and memory as well as brain mitochondrial function as indicated by increased ROS level, MMP collapse, increased mitochondrial swelling and cytochrome c release from mitochondria. Conversely, treadmill exercise significantly attenuated the impairments of spatial learning and memory and brain mitochondrial dysfunction induced by tramadol. The results revealed that chronic tramadol treatment caused memory impairments through induction of brain mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, pre-exposure to physical exercise markedly mitigated these impairments through its positive effects on brain mitochondrial function. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Effects of in-vitro cultured calculus bovis on learning and memory impairments of hyperlipemia vascular dementia rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Xiao-Ming; Ren, Xue-Cong; Lou, Ye-Liang; Chen, Meng-Jing; Li, Guan-Ze; Gong, Xue-Yuan; Huang, Zhen

    2016-11-04

    In-vitro cultured calculus bovis (ICCB) is a quality substitute for natural bezoar which is used for the therapeutic purpose of treating encephalopathy. ICCB has been authorized to use on clinic. The aim of the study is to evaluate the effects and the potential mechanisms of in-vitro cultured calculus bovis (ICCB) on learning and memory impairments of hyperlipemia vascular dementia (HVD) rats. The HVD model was established by permanent occlusion of bilateral common carotid arteries based on hyperlipemia rats. Learning and memory abilities were evaluated by morris water maze test and shuttle box test. Ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry (UV-vis) was employed to determine the SOD, MDA and NO in cerebral tissue, as well as the TG in serum. HE staining and toluidine blue staining were employed to evaluate cone cells damage in hippocampus CA1. An immunohistochemistry was used to measure the Bax and Bcl-2 expressions in cerebral tissue. Compared with control group, the abilities of spatial learning and memory and conditional memory were decreased significantly in HVD group (Plearning and memory, elevated the SOD activity (Plearning and memory in HVD rats. It might be related to anti-oxidative, regulation of Bax and Bcl-2 expressions, and the alleviation of cone cells damage. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Possible roles of COX-1 in learning and memory impairment induced by traumatic brain injury in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, J L; Cheng, Q; Yang, W F; Zhang, M; Cui, Y; Wang, Y F

    2014-12-01

    People who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) often experience cognitive deficits in spatial reference and working memory. The possible roles of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) in learning and memory impairment in mice with TBI are far from well known. Adult mice subjected to TBI were treated with the COX-1 selective inhibitor SC560. Performance in the open field and on the beam walk was then used to assess motor and behavioral function 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 days following injury. Acquisition of spatial learning and memory retention was assessed using the Morris water maze on day 15 post-TBI. The expressions of COX-1, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), interleukin (IL)-6, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB), synapsin-I, and synaptophysin were detected in TBI mice. Administration of SC560 improved performance of beam walk tasks as well as spatial learning and memory after TBI. SC560 also reduced expressions of inflammatory markers IL-6 and PGE2, and reversed the expressions of COX-1, BDNF, PDGF-BB, synapsin-I, and synaptophysin in TBI mice. The present findings demonstrated that COX-1 might play an important role in cognitive deficits after TBI and that selective COX-1 inhibition should be further investigated as a potential therapeutic approach for TBI.

  11. Possible roles of COX-1 in learning and memory impairment induced by traumatic brain injury in mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.L. Shang

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available People who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI often experience cognitive deficits in spatial reference and working memory. The possible roles of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1 in learning and memory impairment in mice with TBI are far from well known. Adult mice subjected to TBI were treated with the COX-1 selective inhibitor SC560. Performance in the open field and on the beam walk was then used to assess motor and behavioral function 1, 3, 7, 14, and 21 days following injury. Acquisition of spatial learning and memory retention was assessed using the Morris water maze on day 15 post-TBI. The expressions of COX-1, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2, interleukin (IL-6, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB, synapsin-I, and synaptophysin were detected in TBI mice. Administration of SC560 improved performance of beam walk tasks as well as spatial learning and memory after TBI. SC560 also reduced expressions of inflammatory markers IL-6 and PGE2, and reversed the expressions of COX-1, BDNF, PDGF-BB, synapsin-I, and synaptophysin in TBI mice. The present findings demonstrated that COX-1 might play an important role in cognitive deficits after TBI and that selective COX-1 inhibition should be further investigated as a potential therapeutic approach for TBI.

  12. Children with Motor Impairments Play a Kinect Learning Game: First Findings from a Pilot Case in an Authentic Classroom Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Symeon Retalis

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the first very positive findings from an empirical study about the effectiveness of the use of a Kinect learning game for children with gross motor skills problems and motor impairments. This game follows the principles of a newly presented approach, called Kinems, which advocates that special educators and therapists should use learning games that via embodied touchless interaction – thanks to the Microsoft Kinect camera- children with dyspraxia and other related disorders such as autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Disorder, can improve related skills. Several Kinems games have been proposed (http://www.kinems.com. These games are innovative and are played with hand and body gestures. Kinems suggests that games should be highly configurable so that a teacher can modify the settings (e.g. difficult level, time settings, etc. for the individual needs of each child. Also, a teacher should have access to kinetic and learning analytics of the child’s interaction progress and achievements should be safely stored and vividly presented.

  13. A single early life seizure impairs short-term memory but does not alter spatial learning, recognition memory, or anxiety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cornejo, Brandon J.; Mesches, Michael H.; Benke, Timothy A.

    2008-01-01

    The impact of a single seizure on cognition remains controversial. We hypothesized that a single early life seizure (sELS) on rat post-natal day (P) 7 would alter only hippocampal-dependent learning and memory in mature (P60) rats. The Morris Water Maze (MWM), Novel Object and Novel Place Recognition (NOR/NPR) tasks, and Contextual Fear Conditioning (CFC) were used to assess learning and memory associated with hippocampal/prefrontal cortex, perirhinal/hippocampal cortex, and amygdala function, respectively. The Elevated Plus Maze (EPM) and Open Field Test (OFT) were used to assess anxiety associated with the septum. We report that sELS impaired hippocampal-dependent short-term memory but not spatial learning or recall. sELS did not disrupt performance in the NOR/NPR. CFC performance suggested intact amydgala function. sELS did not change anxiety levels as measured by the EPM or OFT. Our data suggests that the long-term cognitive impacts of sELS are largely limited to the hippocampus/prefrontal cortex. PMID:18678283

  14. Sequential Prediction of Literacy Achievement for Specific Learning Disabilities Contrasting in Impaired Levels of Language in Grades 4 to 9.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Elizabeth A; Berninger, Virginia W; Abbott, Robert D

    2017-02-01

    Sequential regression was used to evaluate whether language-related working memory components uniquely predict reading and writing achievement beyond cognitive-linguistic translation for students in Grades 4 through 9 ( N = 103) with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) in subword handwriting (dysgraphia, n = 25), word reading and spelling (dyslexia, n = 60), or oral and written language (oral and written language learning disabilities, n = 18). That is, SLDs are defined on the basis of cascading level of language impairment (subword, word, and syntax/text). A five-block regression model sequentially predicted literacy achievement from cognitive-linguistic translation (Block 1); working memory components for word-form coding (Block 2), phonological and orthographic loops (Block 3), and supervisory focused or switching attention (Block 4); and SLD groups (Block 5). Results showed that cognitive-linguistic translation explained an average of 27% and 15% of the variance in reading and writing achievement, respectively, but working memory components explained an additional 39% and 27% of variance. Orthographic word-form coding uniquely predicted nearly every measure, whereas attention switching uniquely predicted only reading. Finally, differences in reading and writing persisted between dyslexia and dysgraphia, with dysgraphia higher, even after controlling for Block 1 to 4 predictors. Differences in literacy achievement between students with dyslexia and oral and written language learning disabilities were largely explained by the Block 1 predictors. Applications to identifying and teaching students with these SLDs are discussed.

  15. Severely impaired learning and altered neuronal morphology in mice lacking NMDA receptors in medium spiny neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa R Beutler

    Full Text Available The striatum is composed predominantly of medium spiny neurons (MSNs that integrate excitatory, glutamatergic inputs from the cortex and thalamus, and modulatory dopaminergic inputs from the ventral midbrain to influence behavior. Glutamatergic activation of AMPA, NMDA, and metabotropic receptors on MSNs is important for striatal development and function, but the roles of each of these receptor classes remain incompletely understood. Signaling through NMDA-type glutamate receptors (NMDARs in the striatum has been implicated in various motor and appetitive learning paradigms. In addition, signaling through NMDARs influences neuronal morphology, which could underlie their role in mediating learned behaviors. To study the role of NMDARs on MSNs in learning and in morphological development, we generated mice lacking the essential NR1 subunit, encoded by the Grin1 gene, selectively in MSNs. Although these knockout mice appear normal and display normal 24-hour locomotion, they have severe deficits in motor learning, operant conditioning and active avoidance. In addition, the MSNs from these knockout mice have smaller cell bodies and decreased dendritic length compared to littermate controls. We conclude that NMDAR signaling in MSNs is critical for normal MSN morphology and many forms of learning.

  16. Implicit learning deficit in children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Evidence for a cerebellar cognitive impairment?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vicari, Stefano; Piccini, Giorgia; Mercuri, Eugenio; Battini, Roberta; Chieffo, Daniela; Bulgheroni, Sara; Pecini, Chiara; Lucibello, Simona; Lenzi, Sara; Moriconi, Federica; Pane, Marika; D'Amico, Adele; Astrea, Guja; Baranello, Giovanni; Riva, Daria; Cioni, Giovanni; Alfieri, Paolo

    2018-01-01

    This study aimed at comparing implicit sequence learning in individuals affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy without intellectual disability and age-matched typically developing children. A modified version of the Serial Reaction Time task was administered to 32 Duchenne children and 37 controls of comparable chronological age. The Duchenne group showed a reduced rate of implicit learning even if in the absence of global intellectual disability. This finding provides further evidence of the involvement of specific aspects of cognitive function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and on its possible neurobiological substrate.

  17. Impairments of learning and memory in the rats after brain irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takai, Nobuhiko [National Inst. of Radiological Sciences, Chiba (Japan)

    2002-06-01

    Clinical trials of hadrontherapy have been carried out world wide at several facilities including National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS). Cerebral dysfunction is one of the major concerns associated with radiotherapy of brain tumors. However, little is known about the neurochemical basis of brain dysfunction induced by proton irradiation. We investigated and reported here the early consequences of brain damages caused by proton beam. The animals that had memorized the location of the standard position were locally irradiated to brain with either 70 MeV protons or 290 MeV carbon ions. At 24 hr after irradiation, impairment of the long-term memory was not observed in the irradiated rats compared to control. Irradiated animals, however, required substantially longer time finding out the standard position than control rats when the standard platform displaced to a position different from memorized position. This follows that a single doses of 30 Gy, either protons or carbon ions, impairs the working memory of animals. Function of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors was analyzed by an in vivo binding assay using radioligand quinuclidinyl benzilate (QNB). Irradiated rats were intravenously injected with 5.5 MBq of {sup 3}H-QNB 24 hr after the irradiation, and decapitated 60 min after tracer injection. The autoradiographic studies showed an transitional increase of {sup 3}H-QNB in vivo binding in the early phase after proton irradiation, even though no change in in-vitro {sup 3}H-QNB binding was see in brain autoradiograms of irradiated rats. The cerebral blood flow and the histrogical features of brain were also changed at 3 months post-irradiation. These results indicate that the memory impairment caused by radiation is closely related to the early change of acetylcholine receptor in vivo. (author)

  18. Prenatal Stress Impairs Spatial Learning and Memory Associated with Lower mRNA Level of the CAMKII and CREB in the Adult Female Rat Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Hongli; Wu, Haibin; Liu, Jianping; Wen, Jun; Zhu, Zhongliang; Li, Hui

    2017-05-01

    Prenatal stress (PS) results in various behavioral and emotional alterations observed in later life. In particular, PS impairs spatial learning and memory processes but the underlying mechanism involved in this pathogenesis still remains unknown. Here, we reported that PS lowered the body weight in offspring rats, particularly in female rats, and impaired spatial learning and memory of female offspring rats in the Morris water maze. Correspondingly, the decreased CaMKII and CREB mRNA in the hippocampus were detected in prenatally stressed female offspring, which partially explained the effect of PS on the spatial learning and memory. Our findings suggested that CaMKII and CREB may be involved in spatial learning and memory processes in the prenatally stressed adult female offspring.

  19. 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.

  20. Sleep deprivation impairs spatial retrieval but not spatial learning in the non-human primate grey mouse lemur.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anisur Rahman

    Full Text Available A bulk of studies in rodents and humans suggest that sleep facilitates different phases of learning and memory process, while sleep deprivation (SD impairs these processes. Here we tested the hypothesis that SD could alter spatial learning and memory processing in a non-human primate, the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus, which is an interesting model of aging and Alzheimer's disease (AD. Two sets of experiments were performed. In a first set of experiments, we investigated the effects of SD on spatial learning and memory retrieval after one day of training in a circular platform task. Eleven male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in three different conditions: without SD as a baseline reference, 8 h of SD before the training and 8 h of SD before the testing. The SD was confirmed by electroencephalographic recordings. Results showed no effect of SD on learning when SD was applied before the training. When the SD was applied before the testing, it induced an increase of the amount of errors and of the latency prior to reach the target. In a second set of experiments, we tested the effect of 8 h of SD on spatial memory retrieval after 3 days of training. Twenty male mouse lemurs aged between 2 to 3 years were tested in this set of experiments. In this condition, the SD did not affect memory retrieval. This is the first study that documents the disruptive effects of the SD on spatial memory retrieval in this primate which may serve as a new validated challenge to investigate the effects of new compounds along physiological and pathological aging.

  1. The effects of doxepin on stress-induced learning, memory impairments, and TNF-α level in the rat hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azadbakht, Ali Ahmad; Radahmadi, Maryam; Javanmard, Shaghayegh Haghjooye; Reisi, Parham

    2015-01-01

    Stress has a profound impact on the nervous system and causes cognitive problems that are partly related to the inflammatory effects. Besides influencing the content of neurotransmitters, antidepressants such as doxepin are likely to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-apoptotic effects. Therefore, the present study investigated the effects of doxepin on passive avoidance learning and the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) in the rat hippocampus following repeated restraint stress. Male Wistar rats were divided into five groups. Chronic stress was induced by keeping animals within an adjustable restraint chamber for 6 h every day for 21 successive days. In stress-doxepin group, stressed rats were given 1, 5 and 10 mg/kg of doxepin intraperitoneally (i.p) for 21 days and before placing them in restraint chamber. Healthy animals who served as control group and stressed rats received normal saline i.p. For evaluation of learning and memory, initial latency and step-through latency were determined using passive avoidance learning test. TNF-α levels were measured in hippocampus by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) at the end of experiment. Induced stress considerably decreased the step through latencies in the rats (PStress-doxepin groups did not reveal any differences compared to control group at any given doses. TNF-α level was increased significantly (Pstress group. Only the low dose of doxepin (1 mg/kg) decreased TNF-α level. The present findings indicated that learning and memory are impaired in stressful conditions and doxepin prevented memory deficit. It seems that inflammation may involve in induced stress memory deficits, and that doxepin is helpful in alleviating the neural complications due to stress.

  2. Increasing Accessibility: Using Universal Design Principles to Address Disability Impairments in the Online Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, Candice N.; Heiselt, April K.

    2014-01-01

    With the increasing number of students enrolling in distance education, there is a need to consider the accessibility of course materials in online learning environments. Four major groups of disabilities: mobility, auditory, visual, and cognitive are explored as they relate to their implementation into instructional design and their impact on…

  3. The Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Students With Learning and Behavioral Impairments Due to Neurological Dysfunction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, E. V.; Brzozowski, Walter T.

    The effects of chiropractic treatment on children with learning and behavioral problems was investigated with 24 elementary and secondary level students, 12 receiving regular chiropractic treatment and 12 receiving medication. Results indicated that chiropractic treatment was more effective for the wide range symptoms common in the neurological…

  4. Impairments of Multisensory Integration and Cross-Sensory Learning as Pathways to Dyslexia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Noemi; Foxe, John J.; Molholm, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    Two sensory systems are intrinsic to learning to read. Written words enter the brain through the visual system and associated sounds through the auditory system. The task before the beginning reader is quite basic. She must learn correspondences between orthographic tokens and phonemic utterances, and she must do this to the point that there is seamless automatic ‘connection’ between these sensorially distinct units of language. It is self-evident then that learning to read requires formation of cross-sensory associations to the point that deeply encoded multisensory representations are attained. While the majority of individuals manage this task to a high degree of expertise, some struggle to attain even rudimentary capabilities. Why do dyslexic individuals, who learn well in myriad other domains, fail at this particular task? Here, we examine the literature as it pertains to multisensory processing in dyslexia. We find substantial support for multisensory deficits in dyslexia, and make the case that to fully understand its neurological basis, it will be necessary to thoroughly probe the integrity of auditory-visual integration mechanisms. PMID:25265514

  5. Learning and Memory Impairments in Children and Adolescents with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Per N.; Egeland, Jens; Øie, Merete

    2013-01-01

    There are relatively few studies on learning and delayed memory with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The objective of the present study was to examine acquisition, free delayed memory, and recognition skills in medication naive children and adolescents aged 8-16 years with ADHD combined subtype (36 participants) and inattentive…

  6. Blockade of Dopamine Activity in the Nucleus Accumbens Impairs Learning Extinction of Conditioned Fear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holtzman-Assif, Orit; Laurent, Vincent; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2010-01-01

    Three experiments used rats to investigate the role of dopamine activity in learning to inhibit conditioned fear responses (freezing) in extinction. In Experiment 1, rats systemically injected with the D2 dopamine antagonist, haloperidol, froze more across multiple extinction sessions and on a drug-free retention test than control rats. In…

  7. Repeated blockade of mineralocorticoid receptors, but not of glucocorticoid receptors impairs food rewarded spatial learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Douma, B. R.; Korte, S. M.; Buwalda, B.; La Fleur, S. E.; Bohus, B.; Luiten, P. G.

    1998-01-01

    Corticosteroids from the adrenal cortex influence a variety of behaviours including cognition, learning and memory. These hormones act via two intracellular receptors, the mineralo-corticoid receptor (MR) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). These two receptor types display a high concentration and

  8. Repeated blockade of mineralocorticoid receptors, but not of glucocorticoid receptors impairs food rewarded spatial learning

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Douma, BRK; Korte, SM; Buwalda, B; la Fleur, SE; Bohus, B; Luiten, PGM

    Corticosteroids from the adrenal cortex influence a variety of behaviours including cognition, learning and memory. These hormones act via two intracellular receptors, the mineralo-corticoid receptor (MR) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). These two receptor types display a high concentration and

  9. Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder are impaired in associative learning based on external feedback

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielen, M. M.; den Boer, J. A.; Smid, H. G. O. M.

    Background. Patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have to repeat their actions before feeling satisfied that the action reached its intended goal. Learning theory predicts that this may be due to a failure in the processing of external feedback. Method. We examined the performance of 29

  10. Impaired Acuity of the Approximate Number System Underlies Mathematical Learning Disability (Dyscalculia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzocco, Michele M. M.; Feigenson, Lisa; Halberda, Justin

    2011-01-01

    Many children have significant mathematical learning disabilities (MLD, or dyscalculia) despite adequate schooling. The current study hypothesizes that MLD partly results from a deficiency in the Approximate Number System (ANS) that supports nonverbal numerical representations across species and throughout development. In this study of 71 ninth…

  11. Maternal DHA supplementation protects rat offspring against impairment of learning and memory following prenatal exposure to valproic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Jingquan; Wu, Hongmei; Cao, Yonggang; Liang, Shuang; Sun, Caihong; Wang, Peng; Wang, Ji; Sun, Hongli; Wu, Lijie

    2016-09-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3; DHA) is known to play a critical role in postnatal brain development. However, there have been no studies investigating the preventive effect of DHA on prenatal valproic acid (VPA)-induced behavioral and molecular alterations in offspring. The present study was to evaluate the neuroprotective effects in offspring using maternal feeding of DHA to rats exposed to VPA in pregnancy. In the present study, rats were exposed to VPA on day 12.5 of pregnancy; DHA was administered at the dosages of 100, 300 and 500 mg/kg/day for 3 weeks from day 1 to 21 of pregnancy. The results showed that maternal feeding of DHA to the prenatal exposed to VPA (1) prevented VPA-induced learning and memory impairment but did not change social-related behavior, (2) increased total DHA content in offspring plasma and hippocampus, (3) rescued VPA-induced neuronal loss and apoptosis of pyramidal cells in hippocampal CA1, (4) influenced the content of malondialdehyde and glutathione and the activities of superoxide dismutase and glutathione in the hippocampus, (5) altered levels of apoptosis-related proteins (Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3) and inhibited the activity of caspase-3 in offspring hippocampus and (6) enhanced relative levels of p-CaMKII and p-CREB proteins in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that maternal feeding with DHA may prevent prenatal VPA-induced impairment of learning and memory, normalize several different molecules associated with oxidative stress and apoptosis in the hippocampus of offspring, and exert preventive effects on prenatal VPA-induced brain dysfunction. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Prothymosin alpha-deficiency enhances anxiety-like behaviors and impairs learning/memory functions and neurogenesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ueda, Hiroshi; Sasaki, Keita; Halder, Sebok Kumar; Deguchi, Yuichi; Takao, Keizo; Miyakawa, Tsuyoshi; Tajima, Atsushi

    2017-04-01

    Prothymosin alpha (ProTα) is expressed in various mammalian organs including the neuronal nuclei in the brain, and is involved in multiple functions, such as chromatin remodeling, transcriptional regulation, cell proliferation, and survival. ProTα has beneficial actions against ischemia-induced necrosis and apoptosis in the brain and retina. However, characterizing the physiological roles of endogenous ProTα in the brain without stress remains elusive. Here, we generated ProTα-deficiency mice to explore whether endogenous ProTα is involved in normal brain functions. We successfully generated heterozygous ProTα knockout (ProTα +/- ) mice, while all homozygous ProTα knockout (ProTα -/- ) offspring died at early embryonic stage, suggesting that ProTα has crucial roles in embryonic development. In the evaluation of different behavioral tests, ProTα +/- mice exhibited hypolocomotor activity in the open-field test and enhanced anxiety-like behaviors in the light/dark transition test and the novelty induced hypophagia test. ProTα +/- mice also showed impaired learning and memory in the step-through passive avoidance test and the KUROBOX test. Depression-like behaviors in ProTα +/- mice in the forced swim and tail suspension tests were comparable with that of wild-type mice. Furthermore, adult hippocampal neurogenesis was significantly decreased in ProTα +/- mice. ProTα +/- mice showed an impaired long-term potentiation induction in the evaluation of electrophysiological recordings from acute hippocampal slices. Microarray analysis revealed that the candidate genes related to anxiety, learning/memory-functions, and neurogenesis were down-regulated in ProTα +/- mice. Thus, this study suggests that ProTα has crucial physiological roles in the robustness of brain. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  13. Nicotine?prevented learning and memory impairment in REM sleep?deprived rat is modulated by DREAM protein in the hippocampus

    OpenAIRE

    Abd Rashid, Norlinda; Hapidin, Hermizi; Abdullah, Hasmah; Ismail, Zalina; Long, Idris

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Introduction REM sleep deprivation is associated with impairment in learning and memory, and nicotine treatment has been shown to attenuate this effect. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of DREAM protein in learning and memory processes. This study investigates the association of DREAM protein in REM sleep?deprived rats hippocampus upon nicotine treatment. Methods Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to normal condition, REM sleep deprivation and control wide platfor...

  14. Thymoquinone reverses learning and memory impairments and brain tissue oxidative damage in hypothyroid juvenile rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yousef Baghcheghi

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT In this study, the effect of thymoquinone (TQ on propylthiouracil (PTU-induced memory impairment was investigated in juvenile rats. The rats were grouped into control, Hypo, Hypo-TQ5 and Hypo-TQ10. Propylthiouracil increased latency time in the Morris water maze test and decreased delay in entering the dark compartment in the passive avoidance test. Both 5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg doses of TQ decreased latency time in the Morris water maze test and increased delay in entering the dark compartment in a passive avoidance test. The PTU also increased malondialdehyde and nitric oxide metabolites in the brain while reduced the thiol content and superoxide dismutase and catalase activities and serum T4 level. Both doses of TQ decreased malondialdehyde and nitric oxide metabolites in the brain while enhanced the thiol content and superoxide dismutase and catalase activities and serum T4 level. The results of the present study showed that TQ protected against PTU-induced memory impairments in rats.

  15. Rule-based learning of regular past tense in children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith-Lock, Karen M

    2015-01-01

    The treatment of children with specific language impairment was used as a means to investigate whether a single- or dual-mechanism theory best conceptualizes the acquisition of English past tense. The dual-mechanism theory proposes that regular English past-tense forms are produced via a rule-based process whereas past-tense forms of irregular verbs are stored in the lexicon. Single-mechanism theories propose that both regular and irregular past-tense verbs are stored in the lexicon. Five 5-year-olds with specific language impairment received treatment for regular past tense. The children were tested on regular past-tense production and third-person singular "s" twice before treatment and once after treatment, at eight-week intervals. Treatment consisted of one-hour play-based sessions, once weekly, for eight weeks. Crucially, treatment focused on different lexical items from those in the test. Each child demonstrated significant improvement on the untreated past-tense test items after treatment, but no improvement on the untreated third-person singular "s". Generalization to untreated past-tense verbs could not be attributed to a frequency effect or to phonological similarity of trained and tested items. It is argued that the results are consistent with a dual-mechanism theory of past-tense inflection.

  16. Environmental stimulation rescues maternal high fructose intake-impaired learning and memory in female offspring: Its correlation with redistribution of histone deacetylase 4.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Kay L H; Wu, Chih-Wei; Tain, You-Lin; Huang, Li-Tung; Chao, Yung-Mei; Hung, Chun-Ying; Wu, Jin-Cheng; Chen, Siang-Ru; Tsai, Pei-Chia; Chan, Julie Y H

    2016-04-01

    Impairment of learning and memory has been documented in the later life of offspring to maternal consumption with high energy diet. Environmental stimulation enhances the ability of learning and memory. However, potential effects of environmental stimulation on the programming-associated deficit of learning and memory have not been addressed. Here, we examined the effects of enriched-housing on hippocampal learning and memory in adult female offspring rats from mother fed with 60% high fructose diet (HFD) during pregnancy and lactation. Impairment of spatial learning and memory performance in HFD group was observed in offspring at 3-month-old. Hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was decreased in the offspring. Moreover, the HFD group showed an up-regulation of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) in the nuclear fractions of hippocampal neurons. Stimulation to the offspring for 4weeks after winning with an enriched-housing environment effectively rescued the decrease in cognitive function and hippocampal BDNF level; alongside a reversal of the increased distribution of nuclear HDAC4. Together these results suggest that later life environmental stimulation effectively rescues the impairment of hippocampal learning and memory in female offspring to maternal HFD intake through redistributing nuclear HDAC4 to increase BDNF expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Reduced tonic inhibition in the dentate gyrus contributes to chronic stress-induced impairments in learning and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Vallent; MacKenzie, Georgina; Hooper, Andrew; Maguire, Jamie

    2016-10-01

    in dentate gyrus granule cells contributes, at least in part, to deficits in learning and memory associated with chronic stress. These findings have significant implications regarding the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying impairments in learning and memory associated with stress and suggest a role for GABAA R δ subunit containing receptors in dentate gyrus granule cells. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Dopaminergic modulation of hippocampus-dependent learning: blockade of hippocampal D1-class receptors during learning impairs 1-trial place memory at a 30-min retention delay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezze, Marie; Bast, Tobias

    2012-09-01

    Consistent with the requirement of D1-class dopamine receptors for the induction of late (>3 h) hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), hippocampus-dependent 1-trial memory at long retention delays (>6 h) requires hippocampal D1-class receptors during learning. Hippocampal D1-class receptors also modulate the induction and magnitude of early LTP (hippocampus-dependent early (memory remains to be revealed. We addressed this conceptually important issue, using a novel modification of the watermaze delayed-matching-to-place (DMP) test with an improved measure of hippocampus-dependent 1-trial place memory. On the DMP test, rats learn the novel location of a hidden escape platform on trial 1 of every day, so that 1-trial place memory can be measured on trial 2. Our new task modification includes the measurement of search preference for the correct location on trial 2 - a very sensitive index of hippocampus-dependent place memory. We examined the effects of hippocampal D1-class receptor blockade or stimulation during learning on memory at a 30-min retention delay. Bilateral hippocampal infusion of the D1-class receptor antagonist SCH23390 (1 or 5 μg/1 μl/side) before trial 1 dose-dependently impaired such early memory: rats infused with the higher dose showed reduced search preference for the correct location and took longer paths to reach this location. Infusion of the D1-class partial agonist SKF38393 (1 or 5 μg/1 μl/side) did not affect measures of 1-trial place memory. Our data reveal a behavioural correlate of the dopaminergic modulation of early LTP, thereby supporting the close correspondence between hippocampal LTP and hippocampus-dependent learning. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Cannabis-induced impairment of learning and memory: effect of different nootropic drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel-Salam, Omar M E; Salem, Neveen A; El-Sayed El-Shamarka, Marwa; Al-Said Ahmed, Noha; Seid Hussein, Jihan; El-Khyat, Zakaria A

    2013-01-01

    Cannabis sativa preparations are the most commonly used illicit drugs worldwide. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of Cannabis sativa extract in the working memory version of the Morris water maze (MWM; Morris, 1984[43]) test and determine the effect of standard memory enhancing drugs. Cannabis sativa was given at doses of 5, 10 or 20 mg/kg (expressed as Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol) alone or co-administered with donepezil (1 mg/kg), piracetam (150 mg/ kg), vinpocetine (1.5 mg/kg) or ginkgo biloba (25 mg/kg) once daily subcutaneously (s.c.) for one month. Mice were examined three times weekly for their ability to locate a submerged platform. Mice were euthanized 30 days after starting cannabis injection when biochemical assays were carried out. Malondialdehyde (MDA), reduced glutathione (GSH), nitric oxide, glucose and brain monoamines were determined. Cannabis resulted in a significant increase in the time taken to locate the platform and enhanced the memory impairment produced by scopolamine. This effect of cannabis decreased by memory enhancing drugs with piracetam resulting in the most-shorter latency compared with the cannabis. Biochemically, cannabis altered the oxidative status of the brain with decreased MDA, increased GSH, but decreased nitric oxide and glucose. In cannabis-treated rats, the level of GSH in brain was increased after vinpocetine and donepezil and was markedly elevated after Ginkgo biloba. Piracetam restored the decrease in glucose and nitric oxide by cannabis. Cannabis caused dose-dependent increases of brain serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. After cannabis treatment, noradrenaline is restored to its normal value by donepezil, vinpocetine or Ginkgo biloba, but increased by piracetam. The level of dopamine was significantly reduced by piracetam, vinpocetine or Ginkgo biloba. These data indicate that cannabis administration is associated with impaired memory performance which is likely to involve decreased brain glucose

  20. A Multimodal Learning System for Individuals with Sensorial, Neuropsychological, and Relational Impairments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Canazza

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a system for an interactive multimodal environment able (i to train the listening comprehension in various populations of pupils, both Italian and immigrants, having different disabilities and (ii to assess speech production and discrimination. The proposed system is the result of a research project focused on pupils with sensorial, neuropsychological, and relational impairments. The project involves innovative technological systems that the users (speech terabits psychologists and preprimary and primary schools teachers could adopt for training and assessment of language and speech. Because the system is used in a real scenario (the Italian schools are often affected by poor funding for education and teachers without informatics skills, the guidelines adopted are low-cost technology; usability; customizable system; robustness.

  1. Synaptophysin and the dopaminergic system in hippocampus are involved in the protective effect of rutin against trimethyltin-induced learning and memory impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lei; Zhao, Qi; Chen, Chun-Hai; Qin, Qi-Zhong; Zhou, Zhou; Yu, Zheng-Ping

    2014-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the protective effect of rutin against trimethyltin-induced spatial learning and memory impairment in mice. This study focused on the role of synaptophysin, growth-associated protein 43 and the action of the dopaminergic system in mechanisms associated with rutin protection and trimethyltin-induced spatial learning and memory impairment. Cognitive learning and memory was measured by Morris Water Maze. The expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in hippocampus was analyzed by western blot. The concentrations of dopamine, homovanillic acid, and dihyroxyphenylacetic acid in hippocampus were detected using reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Trimethyltin-induced spatial learning impairment showed a dose-dependent mode. Synaptophysin but not growth-associated protein 43 was decreased in the hippocampus after trimethyltin administration. The concentration of dopamine decreased, while homovanillic acid increased in the hippocampus after trimethyltin administration. Mice pretreated with 20 mg/kg of rutin for 7 consecutive days exhibited improved water maze performance. Moreover, rutin pretreatment reversed the decrease of synaptophysin expression and dopamine alteration. These results suggest that rutin may protect against spatial memory impairment induced by trimethyltin. Synaptophysin and the dopaminergic system may be involved in trimethyltin-induced neuronal damage in hippocampus.

  2. Chronic restraint stress promotes learning and memory impairment due to enhanced neuronal endoplasmic reticulum stress in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in male mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Rong-Rong; Hu, Wen; Yin, Yan-Yan; Wang, Yu-Chan; Li, Wei-Ping; Li, Wei-Zu

    2015-02-01

    Chronic stress has been implicated in many types of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In our previous study, we demonstrated that chronic restraint stress (CRS) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction and oxidative damage in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in mice. In the present study, we investigated the effects of CRS (over a period of 8 weeks) on learning and memory impairment and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the frontal cortex and hippocampus in male mice. The Morris water maze was used to investigate the effects of CRS on learning and memory impairment. Immunohistochemistry and immunoblot analysis were also used to determine the expression levels of protein kinase C α (PKCα), 78 kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78), C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP) and mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF). The results revealed that CRS significantly accelerated learning and memory impairment, and induced neuronal damage in the frontal cortex and hippocampus CA1 region. Moreover, CRS significantly increased the expression of PKCα, CHOP and MANF, and decreased that of GRP78 in the frontal cortex and hippocampus. Our data suggest that exposure to CRS (for 8 weeks) significantly accelerates learning and memory impairment, and the mechanisms involved may be related to ER stress in the frontal cortex and hippocampus.

  3. The Mediator Role of Perceived Stress in the Relationship between Academic Stress and Depressive Symptoms among E-Learning Students with Visual Impairments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Soon Min; Oh, Yunjin

    2017-01-01

    Introduction: This study examined a mediator role of perceived stress on the prediction of the effects of academic stress on depressive symptoms among e-learning students with visual impairments. Methods: A convenience sample for this study was collected for three weeks from November to December in 2012 among students with visual impairments…

  4. Use of Activity Boxes with Young Children Who Are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Severe Learning Disabilities and Visual Impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunnett, Jenefer

    1999-01-01

    Describes the use of activity boxes with 43 young children with blindness, deaf-blindness, or severe learning disabilities and visual impairments. Discusses the contribution such boxes make to intellectual development, particularly the development of voluntary hand function from the integration of the primitive grasp-and-release instincts shown by…

  5. Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children with Specific Language Impairment: Identifying an Adequate Intensity and Variation in Treatment Response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkel, Holly L.; Voelmle, Krista; Fierro, Veronica; Flake, Kelsey; Fleming, Kandace K.; Romine, Rebecca Swinburne

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: This study sought to identify an adequate intensity of interactive book reading for new word learning by children with specific language impairment (SLI) and to examine variability in treatment response. Method: An escalation design adapted from nontoxic drug trials (Hunsberger, Rubinstein, Dancey, & Korn, 2005) was used in this Phase…

  6. Intra-Amygdala ZIP Injections Impair the Memory of Learned Active Avoidance Responses and Attenuate Conditioned Taste-Aversion Acquisition in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gamiz, Fernando; Gallo, Milagros

    2011-01-01

    We have investigated the effect of protein kinase Mzeta (PKM[zeta]) inhibition in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) upon the retention of a nonspatial learned active avoidance response and conditioned taste-aversion (CTA) acquisition in rats. ZIP (10 nmol/[mu]L) injected into the BLA 24 h after training impaired retention of a learned…

  7. Depletion of Serotonin Selectively Impairs Short-Term Memory without Affecting Long-Term Memory in Odor Learning in the Terrestrial Slug "Limax Valentianus"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santa, Tomofumi; Kirino, Yutaka; Watanabe, Satoshi; Shirahata, Takaaki; Tsunoda, Makoto

    2006-01-01

    The terrestrial slug "Limax" is able to acquire short-term and long-term memories during aversive odor-taste associative learning. We investigated the effect of the selective serotonergic neurotoxin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT) on memory. Behavioral studies indicated that 5,7-DHT impaired short-term memory but not long-term memory. HPLC…

  8. Vaccinium uliginosum L. Improves Amyloid β Protein-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment in Alzheimer's Disease in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Yoon-Hee; Kwon, Hyuck-Se; Shin, Se-Gye; Chung, Cha-Kwon

    2014-12-01

    The present study investigated the effects of Vaccinium uliginosum L. (bilberry) on the learning and memory impairments induced by amyloid-β protein (AβP) 1-42. ICR Swiss mice were divided into 4 groups: the control (Aβ40-1A), control with 5% bilberry group (Aβ40-1B), amyloid β protein 1-42 treated group (Aβ1-42A), and Aβ1-42 with 5% bilberry group (Aβ1-42B). The control was treated with amyloid β-protein 40-1 for placebo effect, and Alzheimer's disease (AD) group was treated with amyloid β-protein 1-42. Amyloid β-protein 1-42 was intracerebroventricular (ICV) micro injected into the hippocampus in 35% acetonitrile and 0.1% trifluoroacetic acid. Although bilberry added groups tended to decrease the finding time of hidden platform, no statistical significance was found. On the other hand, escape latencies of AβP injected mice were extended compared to that of Aβ40-1. In the Probe test, bilberry added Aβ1-42B group showed a significant (Pworking memory compared to Aβ40-1 control group. In passive avoidance test, bilberry significantly (Pmemory and learning capability in chemically induced Alzheimer's disease in experimental animal models.

  9. Adult-onset hyperthyroidism impairs spatial learning: possible involvement of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bitiktaş, Soner; Kandemir, Başak; Tan, Burak; Kavraal, Şehrazat; Liman, Narin; Dursun, Nurcan; Dönmez-Altuntaş, Hamiyet; Aksan-Kurnaz, Işil; Suer, Cem

    2016-08-03

    Given evidence that mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation is part of the nongenomic actions of thyroid hormones, we investigated the possible consequences of hyperthyroidism for the cognitive functioning of adult rats. Young adult rats were treated with L-thyroxine or saline. Twenty rats in each group were exposed to Morris water maze testing, measuring their performance in a hidden-platform spatial task. In a separate set of rats not exposed to Morris water maze testing (untrained rats), the expression and phosphorylated levels of p38-MAPK and of its two downstream effectors, Elk-1 and cAMP response element-binding protein, were evaluated using quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR and western blotting. Rats with hyperthyroidism showed delayed acquisition of learning compared with their wild-type counterparts, as shown by increased escape latencies and distance moved on the last two trials of daily training in the water maze. The hyperthyroid rats, however, showed no difference during probe trials. Western blot analyses of the hippocampus showed that hyperthyroidism increased phosphorylated p38-MAPK levels in untrained rats. Although our study is correlative in nature and does not exclude the contribution of other molecular targets, our findings suggest that the observed impairments in acquisition during actual learning in rats with hyperthyroidism may result from the increased phosphorylation of p38-MAPK.

  10. Δ⁹Tetrahydrocannabinol impairs visuo-spatial associative learning and spatial working memory in rhesus macaques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taffe, Michael A

    2012-10-01

    Cannabis remains the most commonly abused illicit drug and is rapidly expanding in quasi-licit use in some jurisdictions under medical marijuana laws. Effects of the psychoactive constituent Δ⁹tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ⁹THC) on cognitive function remain of pressing concern. Prior studies in monkeys have not shown consistent evidence of memory-specific effects of Δ⁹THC on recognition tasks, and it remains unclear to what extent Δ⁹THC causes sedative versus specific cognitive effects. In this study, adult male rhesus monkeys were trained on tasks which assess spatial working memory, visuo-spatial associative memory and learning as well as motivation for food reward. Subjects were subsequently challenged with 0.1-0.3 mg/kg Δ⁹THC, i.m., in randomized order and evaluated on the behavioral measures. The performance of both vsPAL and SOSS tasks was impaired by Δ⁹THC in a dose and task-difficulty dependent manner. It is concluded that Δ⁹THC disrupts cognition in a way that is consistent with a direct effect on memory. There was evidence for interference with spatial working memory, visuo-spatial associative memory and incremental learning in the latter task. These results and the lack of specific effect of Δ⁹THC in prior visual recognition studies imply a sensitivity of spatial memory processing and/or working memory to endocannabinoid perturbation.

  11. NADPH oxidase-derived production of reactive oxygen species is involved in learning and memory impairments in 16-month-old female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kan, Hongwei; Hu, Wen; Wang, Yuchan; Wu, Wangyang; Yin, Yanyan; Liang, Yan; Wang, Chunyan; Huang, Dake; Li, Weizu

    2015-09-01

    Women undergoing the natural menopause can experience progressive cognitive dysfunction, particularly in the form of memory impairment. However, the mechanisms underlying memory impairments in the menopause remain to be elucidated. There is increasing evidence that oxidative damage caused by excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) production may correlate with age‑associated cognitive impairment. The nicotinamide adenosine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) family is important in the generation of ROS in the brain. It has been hypothesized that the accumulation of ROS, derived from NOX, may be involved in menopause‑associated learning and memory impairments. The present study investigated whether NOX‑derived ROS generation affected the learning and memory ability in 3‑month and 16‑month‑old female rats. The results of a morris water maze assessment revealed that there were significant learning and memory impairments in the 16‑month‑old female rats. Furthermore, the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), level of malondialdehyde (MDA), production of ROS and expression levels of NOX2, p47phox, Ras‑related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (RAC1) and protein kinase C α (PKCα) were investigated in the cortex and hippocampus of 3‑month and 16‑month old female rats. The results demonstrated that the activity of SOD was significantly decreased, whereas the levels of MDA, production of ROS and expression levels of NOX2, p47phox, RAC1 and PKCα were significantly increased in the 16‑month old female rats. These results suggested that NOX‑mediated oxidative stress may be important in menopause‑associated learning and memory impairments.

  12. An RCT to Treat Learning Impairment in Traumatic Brain Injury: The TBI-MEM Trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiaravalloti, Nancy D; Sandry, Joshua; Moore, Nancy B; DeLuca, John

    2016-07-01

    To examine the efficacy of the modified Story Memory Technique (mSMT) to improve learning (ie, acquisition) and memory in participants with TBI. The mSMT is a behavioral intervention that teaches context and imagery to facilitate learning within 10 sessions over 5 weeks. A total of 69 participants with moderate-severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), 35 in the treatment group and 34 in the placebo control group, completed this double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. A baseline neuropsychological assessment was administered, including questionnaires assessing everyday memory. Repeat assessments were conducted immediately posttreatment and 6 months following treatment. Participants in the treatment group were randomly assigned to a booster session or a non-booster session group after completion of treatment with the mSMT to examine the efficacy of monthly booster sessions in facilitating the treatment effect over time. The treatment group demonstrated significant improvement on a prose memory task relative to the placebo group posttreatment (η(2) = 0.064 medium effect). Similar results were noted on objective measures of everyday memory, specifically prospective memory (Cohen's w = 0.43, medium effect), and family report of disinhibition in daily life (η(2) = 0.046, medium effect). The mSMT is effective for improving learning and memory in TBI. Based on widely accepted classification systems for treatment study design, this study provides class I evidence that the mSMT behavioral intervention improves both objective memory and everyday memory in persons with TBI over 5 weeks. Thus, this study extends the evidence for efficacy of the treatment protocol to a sample of persons with TBI. © The Author(s) 2015.

  13. Learning and Overnight Retention in Declarative Memory in Specific Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukács, Ágnes; Kemény, Ferenc; Lum, Jarrad A. G.; Ullman, Michael T.

    2017-01-01

    We examined learning and retention in nonverbal and verbal declarative memory in Hungarian children with (n = 21) and without (n = 21) SLI. Recognition memory was tested both 10 minutes and one day after encoding. On nonverbal items, only the children with SLI improved overnight, with no resulting group differences in performance. In the verbal domain, the children with SLI consistently showed worse performance than the typically-developing children, but the two groups showed similar overnight changes. The findings suggest the possibility of spared or even enhanced declarative memory consolidation in SLI. PMID:28046095

  14. Hearing Aid Use and Mild Hearing Impairment: Learnings from Big Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timmer, Barbra H B; Hickson, Louise; Launer, Stefan

    2017-09-01

    Previous research, mostly reliant on self-reports, has indicated that hearing aid (HA) use is related to the degree of hearing impairment (HI). No large-scale investigation of the relationship between data-logged HA use and HI has been conducted to date. This study aimed to investigate if objective measures of overall daily HA use and HA use in various listening environments are different for adults with mild HI compared to adults with moderate HI. This retrospective study used data extracted from a database of fitting appointments from an international group of HA providers. Only data from the participants' most recent fitting appointment were included in the final dataset. A total of 8,489 bilateral HA fittings of adults over the age of 18 yr, conducted between January 2013 and June 2014, were included. Participants were subsequently allocated to HI groups, based on British Society of Audiology and American Speech-Language-Hearing Association audiometric descriptors. Fitting data from participating HA providers were regularly transferred to a central server. The data, with all personal information except age and gender removed, contained participants' four-frequency average (at 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 Hz) as well as information on HA characteristics and usage. Following data cleaning, bivariate and post hoc statistical analyses were conducted. The total sample of adults' average daily HA use was 8.52 hr (interquartile range [IQR] = 5.49-11.77) in the left ear and 8.51 hr (IQR = 5.49-11.72) in the right ear. With a few exceptions, there were no statistical differences between hours of HA use for participants with mild HI compared to those with moderate impairment. Across all mild and moderate HI groups, the most common overall HA usage was between 8 and 12 hr per day. Other factors such as age, gender, and HA style also showed no relationship to hours of use. HAs were used, on average, for 7 hr (IQR = 4.27-9.96) per day in quiet and 1 hr (IQR = 0.33-1.41) per

  15. Nicotine-prevented learning and memory impairment in REM sleep-deprived rat is modulated by DREAM protein in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abd Rashid, Norlinda; Hapidin, Hermizi; Abdullah, Hasmah; Ismail, Zalina; Long, Idris

    2017-06-01

    REM sleep deprivation is associated with impairment in learning and memory, and nicotine treatment has been shown to attenuate this effect. Recent studies have demonstrated the importance of DREAM protein in learning and memory processes. This study investigates the association of DREAM protein in REM sleep-deprived rats hippocampus upon nicotine treatment. Male Sprague Dawley rats were subjected to normal condition, REM sleep deprivation and control wide platform condition for 72 hr. During this procedure, saline or nicotine (1 mg/kg) was given subcutaneously twice a day. Then, Morris water maze (MWM) test was used to assess learning and memory performance of the rats. The rats were sacrificed and the brain was harvested for immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. MWM test found that REM sleep deprivation significantly impaired learning and memory performance without defect in locomotor function associated with a significant increase in hippocampus DREAM protein expression in CA1, CA2, CA3, and DG regions and the mean relative level of DREAM protein compared to other experimental groups. Treatment with acute nicotine significantly prevented these effects and decreased expression of DREAM protein in all the hippocampus regions but only slightly reduce the mean relative level of DREAM protein. This study suggests that changes in DREAM protein expression in CA1, CA2, CA3, and DG regions of rat's hippocampus and mean relative level of DREAM protein may involve in the mechanism of nicotine treatment-prevented REM sleep deprivation-induced learning and memory impairment in rats.

  16. Effect of Diethyldithiocarbamate on Radiation-induced Learning and Memory Impairment in Mouse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jang, Jong Sik [Faculty of Animal Science and Biotechnology, Kyungpook National University, Daegu (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jong Choon; Moon, Chang Jong; Kim, Ho Sung [College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Medical Center, Chonnam National University, Kwangju (Korea, Republic of); Jung, Uhee; Jo, Sung Kee [Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2012-09-15

    Evidence suggests that even low-dose irradiation can lead to progressive cognitive decline and memory deficits, which implicates, in part, hippocampal dysfunction in both humans and experimental animals. This study examined whether diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) could attenuate memory impairment, using passive avoidance and object recognition test, and suppression of hippocampal neurogenesis, using the TUNEL assay and immunohistochemical detection with markers of neurogenesis (Kiel 67 (Ki-67) and doublecortin (DCX)) in adult mice treated with gamma radiation (0.5 or 2 Gy). DDC was administered intraperitonially at a dosage of 1,000 mg{center_dot}kg{sup -1} of body weight at 30 min. before irradiation. In passive avoidance and object recognition memory test, the mice, trained for 1 day after acute irradiation (2 Gy) showed significant memory deficits compared with the sham controls. The number of TUNEL-positive apoptotic nuclei in the dentate gyrus (DG) was increased 12 h after irradiation. In addition, the number of Ki-67- and DCX-positive cells were significantly decreased. DDC treatment prior to irradiation attenuated the memory defect, and blocked the apoptotic death. DDC may attenuate memory defect in a relatively low-dose exposure of radiation in adult mice, possibly by inhibiting a detrimental effect of irradiation on hippocampal neurogenesis.

  17. Assessment of the impact chemistry text and figures have on visually impaired students' learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayo, Provi M.

    Most of the literature fails to address how blind students visualize abstract science, specifically chemistry material. It also fails to discuss or access mental imageries of highly visual and abstract material and how blind students as well as the professors cope with this type of concepts in a science course. Chemistry texts and figures are being translated into braille and tactile paper for blind science students, yet there has not been an assessment of their impact on students' learning. This study describes what blind students visualize or understand when they read a text describing abstract chemistry material with words with high visual context; how their visualizations differ when they are reading the chemistry text from tactual perception versus reading a description in braille; and how blind students reconcile the discrepancy between their perception of molecular models from the text and tactual perception of the figures.

  18. Disease-specific monoclonal antibodies targeting glutamate decarboxylase impair GABAergic neurotransmission and affect motor learning and behavioral functions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mario U Manto

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Autoantibodies to the smaller isoform of glutamate decarboxylase can be found in patients with type 1 diabetes and a number of neurological disorders, including stiff-person syndrome, cerebellar ataxia and limbic encephalitis. The detection of disease-specific autoantibody epitopes led to the hypothesis that distinct glutamate decarboxylase autoantibodies may elicit specific neurological phenotypes. We explored the in vitro/in vivo effects of well-characterized monoclonal glutamate decarboxylase antibodies. We found that glutamate decarboxylase autoantibodies present in patients with stiff person syndrome (n = 7 and cerebellar ataxia (n = 15 recognized an epitope distinct from that recognized by glutamate decarboxylase autoantibodies present in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (n = 10 or limbic encephalitis (n = 4. We demonstrated that the administration of a monoclonal glutamate decarboxylase antibody representing this epitope specificity (1 disrupted in vitro the association of glutamate decarboxylase with γ-Aminobutyric acid containing synaptic vesicles, (2 depressed the inhibitory synaptic transmission in cerebellar slices with a gradual time course and a lasting suppressive effect, (3 significantly decreased conditioned eyelid responses evoked in mice, with no modification of learning curves in the classical eyeblink-conditioning task, (4 markedly impaired the facilitatory effect exerted by the premotor cortex over the motor cortex in a paired-pulse stimulation paradigm, and (5 induced decreased exploratory behavior and impaired locomotor function in rats. These findings support the specific targeting of glutamate decarboxylase by its autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of stiff-person syndrome and cerebellar ataxia. Therapies of these disorders based on selective removal of such glutamate decarboxylase antibodies could be envisioned.

  19. Overexpression of STIM1 in neurons in mouse brain improves contextual learning and impairs long-term depression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewski, Łukasz; Maciąg, Filip; Boguszewski, Paweł M; Wasilewska, Iga; Wiera, Grzegorz; Wójtowicz, Tomasz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy; Kuznicki, Jacek

    2017-06-01

    STIM1 is an endoplasmic reticulum calcium sensor that is involved in several processes in neurons, including store-operated calcium entry. STIM1 also inhibits voltage-gated calcium channels, such as Cav1.2 and Cav3.1, and is thus considered a multifunctional protein. The aim of this work was to investigate the ways in which transgenic neuronal overexpression of STIM1 in FVB/NJ mice affects animal behavior and the electrophysiological properties of neurons in acute hippocampal slices. We overexpressed STIM1 from the Thy1.2 promoter and verified neuronal expression by quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry. Mature primary hippocampal cultures expressed STIM1 but exhibited no changes in calcium homeostasis. Basal synaptic transmission efficiency and short-term plasticity were comparable in slices that were isolated from transgenic mice, similarly as the magnitude of long-term potentiation. However, long-term depression that was induced by the glutamate receptor 1/5 agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine was impaired in STIM1 slices. Interestingly, transgenic mice exhibited a decrease in anxiety-like behavior and improvements in contextual learning. In summary, our data indicate that STIM1 overexpression in neurons in the brain perturbs metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling, leading to impairments in long-term depression and alterations in animal behavior. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: ECS Meeting edited by Claus Heizmann, Joachim Krebs and Jacques Haiech. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The mechanism of 5-lipoxygenase in the impairment of learning and memory in rats subjected to chronic unpredictable mild stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Ying; Kuang, Shengnan; Xue, Lai; Yang, Junqing

    2016-12-01

    To examine the mechanism of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) in the learning and memory dysfunction in rats subjected to chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Eighty rats were divided into eight groups: the 0.5% sodium carboxymethyl cellulose solution (NaCMC)-treated group, empty vector (LV-Mock)-treated group, CUMS+NaCMC-treated group, CUMS+sertraline-treated group, CUMS+caffeic acid (10mg/kg)-treated group, CUMS+caffeic acid (30mg/kg)-treated group, CUMS+LV-Mock-treated group, and CUMS+5-LO-silencers lentiviral vectors (LV-si-5-LO)-treated group, n=10. Sucrose preference tests were performed to assess depression-like behavior. The Morris water maze and step-down tests were used to evaluate learning and memory performance. The levels of inflammatory cytokines, malondialdehyde, and the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) were detected to estimate inflammation and oxidative stress. Changes in 5-LO mRNA and protein were detected using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting. The expression of synaptophysin, postsynaptic density-95 (PSD-95), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the hippocampus were measured using immunohistochemical staining. Treatment with caffeic acid or LV-si-5-LO increased sucrose consumption, decreased escape latency and increased the number of platform crosses in the Morris water maze test, and decreased the number of errors and prolonged the latency in the step-down test. We observed a decreased expression of 5-LO, and levels of malondialdehyde, leukotriene-B4, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6, while the protein levels of synaptophysin, PSD-95, BDNF, and the activity of SOD were increased in the hippocampus of the CUMS-treated rats. CUMS-induced impairment in learning and memory could be triggered by an inflammatory response in the rat hippocampus, which results in oxidative stress injury and impacts the synaptic plasticity of hippocampal neurons. Inhibition of the activity or expression of 5-LO

  1. Effects of electroacupuncture on ethanol-induced impairments of spatial learning and memory and Fos expression in the hippocampus in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Bin; Ma, Zhao; Cheng, Fei; Zhao, Yan; Zhang, Xin; Mao, Huijuan; Shen, Xueyong; Liu, Sheng

    2014-07-25

    It is well established that alcohol impairs spatial learning and memory. Here, we investigated the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) at ST36 or nonacupoint on ethanol-induced learning and memory impairment and the expression of Fos in the hippocampus. Ethanol (5g/kg) was administered intragastrically once a day for 5 consecutive days; 2Hz EA was administered immediately after ethanol exposure. After a 2-day ethanol abstinence, for 6 consecutive days, the rats were submitted to Morris water maze training. Probe trials were performed on 1 day after the final training session. We also applied immunohistochemistry to detect Fos-positive nuclei in the hippocampus. We found that 5-day ethanol exposure markedly decreased spatial learning and memory abilities in the Morris water maze task as indicated by escape latency and time in the target quadrant. EA treatment shortened the time of reaching platform and increased times traveled in the target quadrant (Plearning and memory, which may be involved in the hippocampal CA1 area. EA treatment may provide a novel nonpharmacological strategy for ethanol-induced learning and memory impairment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Errorless (re)learning of daily living routines by a woman with impaired memory and initiation: transferrable to a new home?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferland, Mark B; Larente, Johanne; Rowland, Julia; Davidson, Patrick S R

    2013-01-01

    To use errorless learning to train a memory- and initiation-impaired woman on two activities of daily living routines and then to transfer these routines to a new home. Single case quasi-experimental. Over 9 months, a young woman with an anterior cerebral haemorrhagic stroke (secondary to a ruptured arteriovenous malformation) was trained on routines of morning self-care and diabetes management, involving extensive practice on a structured series of steps with intervention as needed to prevent errors. Once routines were established, family members were trained in the supervision and rating of the routines at home. Following discharge, caregivers continued to monitor the routines daily for 3 months. Errorless learning of self-care and diabetes routines was successful. The routines were transferred to a new home environment and maintained at a near perfect level over a 3-month follow-up period. The patient remained severely memory-impaired, indicating that her functional gains were not attributable to any recovery of her memory abilities over time. This case offers evidence that even people with severe memory and initiation impairments can be trained on new routines using errorless learning and that, once learned, these routines can be carried out in novel contexts.

  3. Early administration of nicotinamide prevents learning and memory impairment in mice induced by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jun; He, Lina; Wang, Jing; Adams, James D

    2004-05-01

    NAD has been reported to improve the dementia of the Alzheimer type or sensory register, short- and long-term memory loss in the aged. Although nicotinamide has been confirmed to decrease infarct volumes and neurological deficit findings in several animal stroke models, it is not clear whether its neuroprotective effects can prevent memory damage sequelae. We have addressed this topic by designing two behavioral paradigms. A memory impairment and cognitive change model was used in mice following 1-methyl-4-phenyl-l, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) exposure. Step-down and step-through tests were performed to examine the effects of nicotinamide on learning and memory impairment. It was found that the early administration of nicotinamide (2 h after the injection of MPTP) could decrease error numbers, lessen stimulation time and prolong residence duration on the safety platform in the step-down test. Delayed administration of nicotinamide resulted in decreased effects. Similar results were found in the step-through test. Nicotinamide administrated 12 h after the induction of a memory-impairment model still exerted its effects on memory dysfunction. The injection of MPTP can cause a loss of brain functions including learning and memory. Learning and memory dysfunction probably occurs secondary to damage to arterioles and dopaminergic neurons by MPTP. By inhibiting oxidative stress, increasing NAD synthesis and ATP production and inhibiting poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, nicotinamide is known to rescue the still viable, but injured, cells. This rescue process may partially restore learning and memory.

  4. Auditory discrimination predicts linguistic outcome in Italian infants with and without familial risk for language learning impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cantiani, Chiara; Riva, Valentina; Piazza, Caterina; Bettoni, Roberta; Molteni, Massimo; Choudhury, Naseem; Marino, Cecilia; Benasich, April A

    2016-08-01

    Infants' ability to discriminate between auditory stimuli presented in rapid succession and differing in fundamental frequency (Rapid Auditory Processing [RAP] abilities) has been shown to be anomalous in infants at familial risk for Language Learning Impairment (LLI) and to predict later language outcomes. This study represents the first attempt to investigate RAP in Italian infants at risk for LLI (FH+), examining two critical acoustic features: frequency and duration, both embedded in a rapidly-presented acoustic environment. RAP skills of 24 FH+ and 32 control (FH-) Italian 6-month-old infants were characterized via EEG/ERP using a multi-feature oddball paradigm. Outcome measures of expressive vocabulary were collected at 20 months. Group differences favoring FH- infants were identified: in FH+ infants, the latency of the N2* peak was delayed and the mean amplitude of the positive mismatch response was reduced, primarily for frequency discrimination and within the right hemisphere. Moreover, both EEG measures were correlated with language scores at 20 months. Results indicate that RAP abilities are atypical in Italian infants with a first-degree relative affected by LLI and that this impacts later linguistic skills. These findings provide a compelling cross-linguistic comparison with previous research on American infants, supporting the biological unity hypothesis of LLI. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  5. Prediction of conversion from mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer disease based on bayesian data mining with ensemble learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, R; Young, K; Chao, L L; Miller, B; Yaffe, K; Weiner, M W; Herskovits, E H

    2012-03-01

    Prediction of disease progress is of great importance to Alzheimer disease (AD) researchers and clinicians. Previous attempts at constructing predictive models have been hindered by undersampling, and restriction to linear associations among variables, among other problems. To address these problems, we propose a novel Bayesian data-mining method called Bayesian Outcome Prediction with Ensemble Learning (BOPEL). BOPEL uses a Bayesian-network representation with boosting, to allow the detection of nonlinear multivariate associations, and incorporates resampling-based feature selection to prevent over-fitting caused by undersampling. We demonstrate the use of this approach in predicting conversion to AD in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), based on structural magnetic-resonance and magnetic-resonance- spectroscopy data. This study includes 26 subjects with amnestic MCI: the converter group (n = 8) met MCI criteria at baseline, but converted to AD within five years, whereas the non-converter group (n = 18) met MCI criteria at baseline and at follow-up. We found that BOPEL accurately differentiates MCI converters from non-converters, based on the baseline volumes of the left hippocampus, the banks of the right superior temporal sulcus, the right entorhinal cortex, the left lingual gyrus, and the rostral aspect of the left middle frontal gyrus. Prediction accuracy was 0.81, sensitivity was 0.63 and specificity was 0.89. We validated the generated predictive model with an independent data set constructed from the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative database, and again found high predictive accuracy (0.75).

  6. p-Coumaric acid enhances long-term potentiation and recovers scopolamine-induced learning and memory impairments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun-Bum; Lee, Seok; Hwang, Eun-Sang; Maeng, Sungho; Park, Ji-Ho

    2017-10-21

    Due to the improvement of medical level, life expectancy increased. But the increased incidence of cognitive disorders is an emerging social problem. Current drugs for dementia treatment can only delay the progress rather than cure. p-Coumaric acid is a phenylpropanoic acid derived from aromatic amino acids and known as a precursor for flavonoids such as resveratrol and naringenin. It was shown to reduce oxidative stress, inhibit genotoxicity and exert neuroprotection. Based on these findings, we evaluated whether p-coumaric acid can protect scopolamine induced learning and memory impairment by measuring LTP in organotypic hippocampal slice and cognitive behaviors in rats. p-Coumaric acid dose-dependently increased the total activity of fEPSP after high frequency stimulation and attenuated scopolamine-induced blockade of fEPSP in the hippocampal CA1 area. In addition, while scopolamine shortened the step-through latency in the passive avoidance test and prolonged the latency as well as reduced the latency in the target quadrant in the Morris water maze test, co-treatment of p-coumaric acid improved avoidance memory and long-term retention of spatial memory in behavioral tests. Since p-coumaric acid improved electrophysiological and cognitive functional deterioration by scopolamine, it may have regulatory effects on central cholinergic synapses and is expected to improve cognitive problems caused by abnormality of the cholinergic nervous system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Rapid word-learning in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired children: effects of age, receptive vocabulary, and high-frequency amplification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pittman, A L; Lewis, D E; Hoover, B M; Stelmachowicz, P G

    2005-12-01

    This study examined rapid word-learning in 5- to 14-year-old children with normal and impaired hearing. The effects of age and receptive vocabulary were examined as well as those of high-frequency amplification. Novel words were low-pass filtered at 4 kHz (typical of current amplification devices) and at 9 kHz. It was hypothesized that (1) the children with normal hearing would learn more words than the children with hearing loss, (2) word-learning would increase with age and receptive vocabulary for both groups, and (3) both groups would benefit from a broader frequency bandwidth. Sixty children with normal hearing and 37 children with moderate sensorineural hearing losses participated in this study. Each child viewed a 4-minute animated slideshow containing 8 nonsense words created using the 24 English consonant phonemes (3 consonants per word). Each word was repeated 3 times. Half of the 8 words were low-pass filtered at 4 kHz and half were filtered at 9 kHz. After viewing the story twice, each child was asked to identify the words from among pictures in the slide show. Before testing, a measure of current receptive vocabulary was obtained using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III). The PPVT-III scores of the hearing-impaired children were consistently poorer than those of the normal-hearing children across the age range tested. A similar pattern of results was observed for word-learning in that the performance of the hearing-impaired children was significantly poorer than that of the normal-hearing children. Further analysis of the PPVT and word-learning scores suggested that although word-learning was reduced in the hearing-impaired children, their performance was consistent with their receptive vocabularies. Additionally, no correlation was found between overall performance and the age of identification, age of amplification, or years of amplification in the children with hearing loss. Results also revealed a small increase in performance for both

  8. Propofol exposure during late stages of pregnancy impairs learning and memory in rat offspring via the BDNF-TrkB signalling pathway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Liang; Luo, Foquan; Zhao, Weilu; Feng, Yunlin; Wu, Liuqin; Lin, Jiamei; Liu, Tianyin; Wang, Shengqiang; You, Xuexue; Zhang, Wei

    2016-10-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) (BDNF-TrkB) signalling pathway plays a crucial role in regulating learning and memory. Synaptophysin provides the structural basis for synaptic plasticity and depends on BDNF processing and subsequent TrkB signalling. Our previous studies demonstrated that maternal exposure to propofol during late stages of pregnancy impaired learning and memory in rat offspring. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the BDNF-TrkB signalling pathway is involved in propofol-induced learning and memory impairments. Propofol was intravenously infused into pregnant rats for 4 hrs on gestational day 18 (E18). Thirty days after birth, learning and memory of offspring was assessed by the Morris water maze (MWM) test. After the MWM test, BDNF and TrkB transcript and protein levels were measured in rat offspring hippocampus tissues using real-time PCR (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. The levels of phosphorylated-TrkB (phospho-TrkB) and synaptophysin were measured by western blot. It was discovered that maternal exposure to propofol on day E18 impaired spatial learning and memory of rat offspring, decreased mRNA and protein levels of BDNF and TrkB, and decreased the levels of both phospho-TrkB and synaptophysin in the hippocampus. Furthermore, the TrkB agonist 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) reversed all of the observed changes. Treatment with 7,8-DHF had no significant effects on the offspring that were not exposed to propofol. The results herein indicate that maternal exposure to propofol during the late stages of pregnancy impairs spatial learning and memory of offspring by disturbing the BDNF-TrkB signalling pathway. The TrkB agonist 7,8-DHF might be a potential therapy for learning and memory impairments induced by maternal propofol exposure. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Foundation for Cellular and Molecular

  9. Predicting progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia using neuropsychological data: a supervised learning approach using time windows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Telma; Lemos, Luís; Cardoso, Sandra; Silva, Dina; Rodrigues, Ana; Santana, Isabel; de Mendonça, Alexandre; Guerreiro, Manuela; Madeira, Sara C

    2017-07-19

    Predicting progression from a stage of Mild Cognitive Impairment to dementia is a major pursuit in current research. It is broadly accepted that cognition declines with a continuum between MCI and dementia. As such, cohorts of MCI patients are usually heterogeneous, containing patients at different stages of the neurodegenerative process. This hampers the prognostic task. Nevertheless, when learning prognostic models, most studies use the entire cohort of MCI patients regardless of their disease stages. In this paper, we propose a Time Windows approach to predict conversion to dementia, learning with patients stratified using time windows, thus fine-tuning the prognosis regarding the time to conversion. In the proposed Time Windows approach, we grouped patients based on the clinical information of whether they converted (converter MCI) or remained MCI (stable MCI) within a specific time window. We tested time windows of 2, 3, 4 and 5 years. We developed a prognostic model for each time window using clinical and neuropsychological data and compared this approach with the commonly used in the literature, where all patients are used to learn the models, named as First Last approach. This enables to move from the traditional question "Will a MCI patient convert to dementia somewhere in the future" to the question "Will a MCI patient convert to dementia in a specific time window". The proposed Time Windows approach outperformed the First Last approach. The results showed that we can predict conversion to dementia as early as 5 years before the event with an AUC of 0.88 in the cross-validation set and 0.76 in an independent validation set. Prognostic models using time windows have higher performance when predicting progression from MCI to dementia, when compared to the prognostic approach commonly used in the literature. Furthermore, the proposed Time Windows approach is more relevant from a clinical point of view, predicting conversion within a temporal interval

  10. Microbial source tracking in impaired watersheds using PhyloChip and machine-learning classification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubinsky, Eric A; Butkus, Steven R; Andersen, Gary L

    2016-11-15

    Sources of fecal indicator bacteria are difficult to identify in watersheds that are impacted by a variety of non-point sources. We developed a molecular source tracking test using the PhyloChip microarray that detects and distinguishes fecal bacteria from humans, birds, ruminants, horses, pigs and dogs with a single test. The multiplexed assay targets 9001 different 25-mer fragments of 16S rRNA genes that are common to the bacterial community of each source type. Both random forests and SourceTracker were tested as discrimination tools, with SourceTracker classification producing superior specificity and sensitivity for all source types. Validation with 12 different mammalian sources in mixtures found 100% correct identification of the dominant source and 84-100% specificity. The test was applied to identify sources of fecal indicator bacteria in the Russian River watershed in California. We found widespread contamination by human sources during the wet season proximal to settlements with antiquated septic infrastructure and during the dry season at beaches during intense recreational activity. The test was more sensitive than common fecal indicator tests that failed to identify potential risks at these sites. Conversely, upstream beaches and numerous creeks with less reliance on onsite wastewater treatment contained no fecal signal from humans or other animals; however these waters did contain high counts of fecal indicator bacteria after rain. Microbial community analysis revealed that increased E. coli and enterococci at these locations did not co-occur with common fecal bacteria, but rather co-varied with copiotrophic bacteria that are common in freshwaters with high nutrient and carbon loading, suggesting runoff likely promoted the growth of environmental strains of E. coli and enterococci. These results indicate that machine-learning classification of PhyloChip microarray data can outperform conventional single marker tests that are used to assess health

  11. Trainable Mentally Impaired/Severely Multiply Impaired/Autistic Impaired/Severely Mentally Impaired. Product Evaluation Report 1989-1990.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claus, Richard N.; And Others

    The evaluation report describes special education services provided to trainable mentally impaired (TMI), autistic impaired (AI), severely multiply impaired (SXI), and severely mentally impaired (SMI) students at and through the Melvin G. Millet Learning Center (Bridgeport, Michigan). The eight program components are described individually and…

  12. Vitamin A deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory: the mechanism of abnormal CBP-dependent histone acetylation regulated by retinoic acid receptor alpha.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, Nali; Ren, Lan; Gong, Min; Bi, Yang; Gu, Yan; Dong, Zhifang; Liu, Youxue; Chen, Jie; Li, Tingyu

    2015-04-01

    Vitamin A (VA) is an essential micronutrient. Numerous studies have confirmed that VA deficiency (VAD) leads to a decline in learning and memory function. Our previous studies have demonstrated that retinoic acid nuclear receptor α (RARα) in the hippocampus plays a crucial role in learning and memory, but the exact mechanism for this process is unclear. Epigenetic modifications, particularly histone acetylation, are involved in nervous system development, learning and memory function, and the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Histone acetyltransferases (HATs), such as CREB-binding protein (CBP), E1A-binding protein p300 (p300), and p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), are critical for regulating memory function. The current study uses RARα and CBP as examples to study the connections between the RA signaling pathway and histone acetylation modification and to reveal the epigenetic mechanism in VAD-induced learning and memory impairment. This study examined the expression of RARα, HATs, acetylated histone H3/H4, and memory-related genes (Zif268, cFos, FosB), as well as the interaction of RARα and CBP in the hippocampus of 8-week-old rats. Additionally, the changes shown in vivo were further assessed in primary cultured neurons with the inhibition or overexpression of RARα. We found significantly lower levels of histone acetylation in the VAD rats. Furthermore, this downregulation, which impairs learning and memory, is induced by the dysregulation of CBP-dependent histone acetylation that is mediated by RARα. This work provides a solid theoretical foundation and experimental basis for the importance of ensuring sufficient nutritional VA during pregnancy and early life to prevent impairments of learning and memory in adulthood.

  13. Quantity Matters: Children With Dyslexia Are Impaired in a Small, but Not Large, Number of Exposures During Implicit Repeated Sequence Learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xinjie; Tong, Shelley Xiuli

    2017-08-10

    The present study investigated the onset of statistical learning and examined whether the number of exposures to a repeated sequence influences the learning performance of children with dyslexia on a serial reaction time task. Three groups of children (29 with dyslexia, 29 age-matched controls, and 30 reading level-matched controls) were administered a serial reaction time task, and their statistical learning performances after a small and a large number of exposures (40 vs. 180 exposures) were recorded and compared. Children with dyslexia showed impaired statistical learning after a small number of exposures to a sequence, but intact statistical learning after a large number of exposures. In contrast, the age-matched and reading level-matched control groups showed intact statistical learning after both small and large numbers of exposures. Children with dyslexia also exhibited a slower learning rate than either control group. These results suggest that the amount of exposure to statistical patterns influences statistical learning performance in children with dyslexia.

  14. The effects of captopril on lipopolysaccharide induced learning and memory impairments and the brain cytokine levels and oxidative damage in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abareshi, Azam; Hosseini, Mahmoud; Beheshti, Farimah; Norouzi, Fatemeh; Khazaei, Majid; Sadeghnia, Hamid Reza; Boskabady, Mohammad Hossein; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Anaeigoudari, Akbar

    2016-12-15

    Renin-angiotensin system has a role in inflammation and also involves in learning and memory. In the present study, the effects of captopril on lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced learning and memory impairments, hippocampal cytokine levels and brain tissues oxidative damage was investigated. The rats were divided and treated : [1] saline (Control), [2] LPS (1mg/kg), [3-5] 10, 50 or 100mg/kg captopril 30min before LPS. The treatment was started since six days before the behavioral experiments and continued during the behavioral tests (LPS injection two h before each behavioral experiment). Administration of LPS prolonged the escape latency and traveled path to find the platform in Morris water maze (MWM) test (Plearning and memory impairments in rats which were accompanied with attenuating hippocampal cytokine levels and improving the brain tissues oxidative damage criteria. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Activation of phasic pontine-wave generator prevents rapid eye movement sleep deprivation-induced learning impairment in the rat: a mechanism for sleep-dependent plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Subimal; Mavanji, Vijayakumar; Ulloor, Jagadish; Patterson, Elissa H

    2004-02-11

    Animal and human studies of sleep and learning have demonstrated that training on various tasks increases subsequent rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and phasic pontine-wave (P-wave) activity, followed by improvement in performance on the learned task. It is well documented that REM sleep deprivation after learning trials blocks the expected improvement in performance on subsequent retesting. Our aim was to test whether experimentally induced P-wave generator activation could eliminate the learning impairment produced by post-training REM sleep deprivation. Rats were trained on a two-way active avoidance-learning task. Immediately thereafter, two groups of those rats received a control vehicle (100 nl saline) microinjection and one group received a carbachol (50 ng in 100 nl saline) microinjection into the P-wave generator. The carbachol-injected group and one of the two control saline microinjected groups were selectively deprived of REM sleep during a 6 hr polygraphic recording session. All rats were then tested on the avoidance-learning task. The rats that received both the control saline injection and REM sleep deprivation showed learning deficits compared with the control saline-injected rats that were allowed to sleep normally. In contrast, the rats that received the carbachol microinjection and REM sleep deprivation demonstrated normal learning. These results demonstrate, for the first time, that carbachol-induced activation of the P-wave generator prevents the memory-impairing effects of post-training REM sleep deprivation. This evidence supports our hypothesis that the activation of the P-wave generator during REM sleep deprivation enhances a physiological process of memory, which occurs naturally during post-training REM sleep.

  16. Brevican-deficient mice display impaired hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation but show no obvious deficits in learning and memory

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brakebusch, Cord; Seidenbecher, Constanze I; Asztely, Fredrik

    2002-01-01

    to be less prominent in mutant than in wild-type mice. Brevican-deficient mice showed significant deficits in the maintenance of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). However, no obvious impairment of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission was found, suggesting a complex cause for the LTP defect....... Detailed behavioral analysis revealed no statistically significant deficits in learning and memory. These data indicate that brevican is not crucial for brain development but has restricted structural and functional roles....

  17. A systematic review on 'Foveal Crowding' in visually impaired children and perceptual learning as a method to reduce Crowding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huurneman, Bianca; Boonstra, F Nienke; Cox, Ralf Fa; Cillessen, Antonius Hn; van Rens, Ger

    2012-07-23

    This systematic review gives an overview of foveal crowding (the inability to recognize objects due to surrounding nearby contours in foveal vision) and possible interventions. Foveal crowding can have a major effect on reading rate and deciphering small pieces of information from busy visual scenes. Three specific groups experience more foveal crowding than adults with normal vision (NV): 1) children with NV, 2) visually impaired (VI) children and adults and 3) children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI). The extent and magnitude of foveal crowding as well as interventions aimed at reducing crowding were investigated in this review. The twofold goal of this review is : [A] to compare foveal crowding in children with NV, VI children and adults and CVI children and [B] to compare interventions to reduce crowding. Three electronic databases were used to conduct the literature search: PubMed, PsycINFO (Ovid), and Cochrane. Additional studies were identified by contacting experts. Search terms included visual perception, contour interaction, crowding, crowded, and contour interactions. Children with normal vision show an extent of contour interaction over an area 1.5-3× as large as that seen in adults NV. The magnitude of contour interaction normally ranges between 1-2 lines on an acuity chart and this magnitude is even larger when stimuli are arranged in a circular configuration. Adults with congenital nystagmus (CN) show interaction areas that are 2× larger than those seen adults with NV. The magnitude of the crowding effect is also 2× as large in individuals with CN as in individuals with NV. Finally, children with CVI experience a magnitude of the crowding effect that is 3× the size of that experienced by adults with NV. The methodological heterogeneity, the diversity in paradigms used to measure crowding, made it impossible to conduct a meta-analysis. This is the first systematic review to compare crowding ratios and it shows that charts with 50

  18. The hormone therapy, Premarin, impairs hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory and reduces activation of new granule neurons in response to memory in female rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barha, Cindy K; Galea, Liisa A M

    2013-03-01

    Estrogens have been implicated as possible therapeutic agents for improving cognition in postmenopausal women and have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. However, the utility of Premarin (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Markham, ON, Canada), a conjugated equine estrogen and the most commonly prescribed hormone therapy, has recently been questioned. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Premarin at 2 different doses (10 or 20 μg) on hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory, hippocampal neurogenesis, and new neuronal activation using a rodent model of surgical menopause. Rats were treated daily with subcutaneous injections of Premarin and trained on the spatial working/reference memory version of the radial arm maze. Premarin impaired spatial reference and working learning and memory, increased hippocampal neurogenesis, but either decreased or increased activation of new neurons in response to memory retrieval as indexed by the expression of the immediate early gene product zif268, depending on the maturity of cells examined. This activation of new neurons was related to impaired performance in Premarin-treated but not control-treated female rats. These results indicate that Premarin may be impairing hippocampus-dependent learning and memory by negatively altering the neurogenic environment in the dentate gyrus thus disrupting normal activity of new neurons. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. proBDNF Accelerates Brain Amyloid-β Deposition and Learning and Memory Impairment in APPswePS1dE9 Transgenic Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jia; Zhang, Tao; Jiao, Shusheng; Zhou, Xinfu; Zhong, Jinhua; Wang, Yanjiang; Liu, Juan; Deng, Juan; Wang, Shuiping; Xu, Zhiqiang

    2017-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is pathologically known for the amyloid-β (Aβ) deposition, neurofibrillary tangles, and neuronal loss in the brain. The precursor of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (proBDNF) before proteolysis has opposing functions to its mature form in neuronal survival and neurite growth. However, the role of proBDNF in the pathogenesis of AD remains unclear. To investigate the effects of proBDNF on neurons in vitro, and on learning and memory impairment and brain Aβ production in a transgenic AD mouse model (APPswePS1dE9). We here examined the effects of proBDNF on the viability (MTT assay) and neurite growth (morphologic measurement) of the primary neurons in vitro. After the intracerebroventricular injection of adeno-associated virus-proBDNF (AAV-proBDNF), we then investigated the learning and memory impairment (Morris water maze) and Aβ deposition in the brains of the AD mice. The results showed that proBDNF could inhibit neuronal viability and neurite growth in vitro, enhance Aβ levels, and accelerate its deposition in the brain, which was consistent with the learning and memory impairment of AD mice, likely dependent on the membrane receptor of p75NTR. Our findings suggest that proBDNF may exert a crucially negative effect during AD pathogenesis andprogression.

  20. Xanthoceraside Ameliorates Mitochondrial Dysfunction Contributing to the Improvement of Learning and Memory Impairment in Mice with Intracerebroventricular Injection of Aβ1-42

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xue-Fei Ji

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of xanthoceraside on learning and memory impairment were investigated and the possible mechanism associated with the protection of mitochondria was also preliminarily explored in Alzheimer’s disease (AD mice model induced by intracerebroventricular (i.c.v. injection of Aβ1-42. The results indicated that xanthoceraside (0.08–0.32 mg/kg significantly improved learning and memory impairment in Morris water maze test and Y-maze test. Xanthoceraside significantly reversed the aberrant decrease of ATP levels and attenuated the abnormal increase of ROS levels both in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus in mice injected with Aβ1-42. Moreover, xanthoceraside dose dependently reversed the decrease of COX, PDHC, and KGDHC activity in isolated cerebral cortex mitochondria of the mice compared with Aβ1-42 injected model mice. In conclusion, xanthoceraside could improve learning and memory impairment, promote the function of mitochondria, decrease the production of ROS, and inhibit oxidative stress. The improvement effects on mitochondria may be through withstanding the damage of Aβ to mitochondrial respiratory chain and the key enzymes in Kreb’s cycle. Therefore, the results from present study and previous study indicate that xanthoceraside could be a competitive candidate for the treatment of AD.

  1. Pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory in the cognitive holeboard task in piglets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C; Scholz, Gabi; Berg, Brian M; Nordquist, Rebecca E; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in humans, affecting more than two billion people worldwide. Early-life iron deficiency can lead to irreversible deficits in learning and memory. The pig represents a promising model animal for studying such deficits, because of its similarities to humans during early development. We investigated the effects of pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency in piglets on growth, blood parameters, cognitive performance, and brain histology later in life. Four to six days after birth, 10 male sibling pairs of piglets were taken from 10 different sows. One piglet of each pair was given a 200 mg iron dextran injection and fed a control milk diet for 28 days (88 mg Fe/kg), whereas the other sibling was given a saline injection and fed an iron deficient (ID) milk diet (21 mg Fe/kg). Due to severely retarded growth of two of the ID piglets, only eight ID piglets were tested behaviorally. After dietary treatment, all piglets were fed a balanced commercial pig diet (190-240 mg Fe/kg). Starting at 7.5 weeks of age, piglets were tested in a spatial cognitive holeboard task. In this task, 4 of 16 holes contain a hidden food reward, allowing measurement of working (short-term) memory and reference (long-term) memory (RM) simultaneously. All piglets received 40-60 acquisition trials, followed by a 16-trial reversal phase. ID piglets showed permanently retarded growth and a strong decrease in blood iron parameters during dietary treatment. After treatment, ID piglets' blood iron values restored to normal levels. In the holeboard task, ID piglets showed impaired RM learning during acquisition and reversal. Iron staining at necropsy at 12 weeks of age showed that ID piglets had fewer iron-containing cells in hippocampal regions CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG). The number of iron-containing cells in CA3 correlated positively with the average RM score during acquisition across all animals. Our results support the hypothesis that early

  2. The total triterpenoid saponins of Xanthoceras sorbifolia improve learning and memory impairments through against oxidative stress and synaptic damage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Xue-Fei; Chi, Tian-Yan; Liu, Peng; Li, Lu-Yi; Xu, Ji-Kai; Xu, Qian; Zou, Li-Bo; Meng, Da-Li

    2017-02-15

    could significantly improve the impairments of learning and memory. The preliminary mechanism might associate with its protection effects against oxidative stress damage, cholinergic system deficiency and synaptic damage. TSX are perfectly suitable for AD patients as medicine or functional food, which would be a new candidate to treat AD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  3. Pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory in the cognitive holeboard task in piglets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra eAntonides

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Iron deficiency (ID is the most common nutritional deficiency in humans, affecting more than two billion people worldwide. Early-life ID can lead to irreversible deficits in learning and memory. The pig represents a promising model animal for studying such deficits, because of its similarities to humans during early development. We investigated long-term effects of pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency in piglets on growth, blood parameters, cognitive performance and brain histology. Ten male sibling pairs of piglets were removed from the sow 4-6 days after birth. Ten piglets were given an iron dextran injection and were fed a control milk diet for 28 days (100 mg Fe/kg; their ten siblings were given a saline injection and fed an iron deficient milk diet (10 mg Fe/kg. Then, all piglets were fed a balanced commercial pig diet (190-240 mg Fe/kg. From 8 weeks of age, piglets were tested in a spatial cognitive holeboard task. In this task, 4 of 16 holes contain a hidden food reward, allowing measurement of working (short-term memory and reference (long-term memory (RM simultaneously. All piglets received 40-60 acquisition trials, followed by a 16-trial reversal phase. ID piglets showed permanently retarded growth and a strong decrease in blood iron parameters during dietary treatment. After treatment, ID piglets blood iron values restored to normal levels. In the holeboard task, ID piglets showed impaired RM learning during acquisition and reversal. Iron staining at necropsy at 12 weeks of age showed that ID piglets had fewer iron-containing cells in hippocampal regions CA1 and dentate gyrus. The number of iron-containing cells in CA3 correlated positively with acquisition RM performance for all animals. Our results support the hypothesis that early ID leads to lasting cognitive deficits. The piglet as a model animal, tested in the holeboard, can be useful in future research for assessing long-term cognitive effects of early-life diets or diet

  4. Pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory in the cognitive holeboard task in piglets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C.; Scholz, Gabi; Berg, Brian M.; Nordquist, Rebecca E.; van der Staay, Franz Josef

    2015-01-01

    Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in humans, affecting more than two billion people worldwide. Early-life iron deficiency can lead to irreversible deficits in learning and memory. The pig represents a promising model animal for studying such deficits, because of its similarities to humans during early development. We investigated the effects of pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency in piglets on growth, blood parameters, cognitive performance, and brain histology later in life. Four to six days after birth, 10 male sibling pairs of piglets were taken from 10 different sows. One piglet of each pair was given a 200 mg iron dextran injection and fed a control milk diet for 28 days (88 mg Fe/kg), whereas the other sibling was given a saline injection and fed an iron deficient (ID) milk diet (21 mg Fe/kg). Due to severely retarded growth of two of the ID piglets, only eight ID piglets were tested behaviorally. After dietary treatment, all piglets were fed a balanced commercial pig diet (190–240 mg Fe/kg). Starting at 7.5 weeks of age, piglets were tested in a spatial cognitive holeboard task. In this task, 4 of 16 holes contain a hidden food reward, allowing measurement of working (short-term) memory and reference (long-term) memory (RM) simultaneously. All piglets received 40–60 acquisition trials, followed by a 16-trial reversal phase. ID piglets showed permanently retarded growth and a strong decrease in blood iron parameters during dietary treatment. After treatment, ID piglets' blood iron values restored to normal levels. In the holeboard task, ID piglets showed impaired RM learning during acquisition and reversal. Iron staining at necropsy at 12 weeks of age showed that ID piglets had fewer iron-containing cells in hippocampal regions CA1 and dentate gyrus (DG). The number of iron-containing cells in CA3 correlated positively with the average RM score during acquisition across all animals. Our results support the hypothesis that early

  5. Chronic prenatal ethanol exposure alters hippocampal GABA(A) receptors and impairs spatial learning in the guinea pig.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, U; Dringenberg, H C; Brien, J F; Reynolds, J N

    2004-04-02

    Chronic prenatal ethanol exposure (CPEE) can injure the developing brain, and may lead to the fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). Previous studies have demonstrated that CPEE upregulates gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA(A)) receptor expression in the cerebral cortex, and decreases functional synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, in the adult guinea pig. This study tested the hypothesis that CPEE increases GABA(A) receptor expression in the hippocampus of guinea pig offspring that exhibit cognitive deficits in a hippocampal-dependent spatial learning task. Timed, pregnant guinea pigs were treated with ethanol (4 g/kg maternal body weight per day), isocaloric-sucrose/pair-feeding, or water throughout gestation. GABA(A) receptor subunit protein expression in the hippocampus was measured at two development ages: near-term fetus and young adult. In young adult guinea pig offspring, CPEE increased spontaneous locomotor activity in the open-field and impaired task acquisition in the Morris water maze. CPEE did not change GABA(A) receptor subunit protein expression in the near-term fetal hippocampus, but increased expression of the beta2/3-subunit of the GABA(A) receptor in the hippocampus of young adult offspring. CPEE did not change either [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding or GABA potentiation of [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding, but decreased the efficacy of allopregnanolone potentiation of [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding, to hippocampal GABA(A) receptors in adult offspring. Correlational analysis revealed a relationship between increased spontaneous locomotor activity and growth restriction in the hippocampus induced by CPEE. Similarly, an inverse relationship was found between performance in the water maze and the efficacy of allopregnanolone potentiation of [(3)H]flunitrazepam binding in the hippocampus. These data suggest that alterations in hippocampal GABA(A) receptor expression and pharmacological properties contribute to hippocampal-related behavioral and cognitive deficits

  6. Developmental exposure to paraquat and maneb can impair cognition, learning and memory in Sprague-Dawley rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bai; He, Xi; Sun, Yan; Li, Baixiang

    2016-10-20

    Paraquat and maneb are identified environmental pollutants. Combined exposure to paraquat and maneb is a latent risk factor for many diseases, particularly those of the central nervous system, including Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Hippocampus is the key structure in memory formation and babies are more sensitive to environmental stimuli than adults, so we investigated the neurotoxicity of paraquat and maneb on the hippocampi of rat pups. Female and male Sprague-Dawley rats were mated (female : male = 2 : 1) every night for a week. The gravid rats were randomly divided into three groups (one control and two experimental groups). A mixed solution of paraquat-maneb was administered twice a week by lavage at a dose of 10 or 15 mg kg(-1) bodyweight (containing 30 or 45 mg kg(-1) bodyweight maneb, respectively) from day 6 after pregnancy till ablactation. Maternal weight gain and offspring bodyweights were not affected by the drugs. However, behavioral tests showed that reaction latency and mistake frequency increased after treatment. Intuitively, we found significant changes in the hippocampal neurons in the morphological observation. Taking into account the interaction of the related genes in the cAMP-PKA-CREB pathway, we used a variety of methods to detect the gene and protein levels. Reduced expression of cAMP and related genes and proteins in the hippocampus and serum was also observed. These results indicate that PQ-MB stimulates cAMP to reduce the production of PKA, thus reducing the phosphorylation of CREB and inhibiting the activation of other elements (BDNF, C-JUN, and C-FOS). These changes lead to hippocampal damage and impaired abilities (learning, cognition, and memory). Our results demonstrate that PQ-MB induces hippocampal toxicity in the early life of rats, and they thus provide a theoretical foundation for further investigation of the bathypelagic mechanism involved and measures that can be taken to avoid PQ-MB neurotoxicity.

  7. Selective activation of M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors reverses MK-801-induced behavioral impairments and enhances associative learning in rodents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bubser, Michael; Bridges, Thomas M; Dencker, Ditte; Gould, Robert W; Grannan, Michael; Noetzel, Meredith J; Lamsal, Atin; Niswender, Colleen M; Daniels, J Scott; Poslusney, Michael S; Melancon, Bruce J; Tarr, James C; Byers, Frank W; Wess, Jürgen; Duggan, Mark E; Dunlop, John; Wood, Michael W; Brandon, Nicholas J; Wood, Michael R; Lindsley, Craig W; Conn, P Jeffrey; Jones, Carrie K

    2014-10-15

    Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) represent a novel approach for the treatment of psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. We recently reported that the selective M4 PAM VU0152100 produced an antipsychotic drug-like profile in rodents after amphetamine challenge. Previous studies suggest that enhanced cholinergic activity may also improve cognitive function and reverse deficits observed with reduced signaling through the N-methyl-d-aspartate subtype of the glutamate receptor (NMDAR) in the central nervous system. Prior to this study, the M1 mAChR subtype was viewed as the primary candidate for these actions relative to the other mAChR subtypes. Here we describe the discovery of a novel M4 PAM, VU0467154, with enhanced in vitro potency and improved pharmacokinetic properties relative to other M4 PAMs, enabling a more extensive characterization of M4 actions in rodent models. We used VU0467154 to test the hypothesis that selective potentiation of M4 receptor signaling could ameliorate the behavioral, cognitive, and neurochemical impairments induced by the noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801. VU0467154 produced a robust dose-dependent reversal of MK-801-induced hyperlocomotion and deficits in preclinical models of associative learning and memory functions, including the touchscreen pairwise visual discrimination task in wild-type mice, but failed to reverse these stimulant-induced deficits in M4 KO mice. VU0467154 also enhanced the acquisition of both contextual and cue-mediated fear conditioning when administered alone in wild-type mice. These novel findings suggest that M4 PAMs may provide a strategy for addressing the more complex affective and cognitive disruptions associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

  8. Neuroligin 2 R215H Mutant Mice Manifest Anxiety, Increased Prepulse Inhibition, and Impaired Spatial Learning and Memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chia-Hsiang Chen

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Neuroligin 2 (NLGN2 is a postsynaptic adhesion protein that plays an essential role in synaptogenesis and function of inhibitory neuron. We previously identified a missense mutation R215H of the NLGN2 in a patient with schizophrenia. This missense mutation was shown to be pathogenic in several cell-based assays. The objective of this study was to better understand the behavioral consequences of this mutation in vivo. We generated a line of transgenic mice carrying this mutation using a recombinant-based method. The mice were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests including open field locomotor activity assay, prepulse inhibition (PPI assay, accelerated rotarod test, novel location and novel recognition tests, elevated plus-maze (EPM test, and Morris water maze test. The transgenic animals were viable and fertile, but the Nlgn2 R215H knock-in (KI homozygous mice showed growth retardation, anxiety-like behavior, increased PPI, and impaired spatial learning and memory. There was no significant interaction between sex and genotype in most behavioral tests; however, we observed a significant interaction between sex and genotype in EPM test in this study. Also, we found that the Nlgn2 R215H homozygous KI mice did not express the NLGN2 protein, resembling Nlgn2 knockout mice. Our results demonstrate that Nlgn2 R215H KI homozygous mice manifest several behavioral abnormalities similar to those found in psychiatric patients carrying NLGN2 mutations, indicating that dysfunction of NLGN2 contributes to the pathogenesis of certain psychiatric symptoms commonly present in various mental disorders, not limited to schizophrenia.

  9. Neuroligin 2 R215H Mutant Mice Manifest Anxiety, Increased Prepulse Inhibition, and Impaired Spatial Learning and Memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Chia-Hsiang; Lee, Pin-Wei; Liao, Hsiao-Mei; Chang, Pi-Kai

    2017-01-01

    Neuroligin 2 ( NLGN2 ) is a postsynaptic adhesion protein that plays an essential role in synaptogenesis and function of inhibitory neuron. We previously identified a missense mutation R215H of the NLGN2 in a patient with schizophrenia. This missense mutation was shown to be pathogenic in several cell-based assays. The objective of this study was to better understand the behavioral consequences of this mutation in vivo . We generated a line of transgenic mice carrying this mutation using a recombinant-based method. The mice were subjected to a battery of behavioral tests including open field locomotor activity assay, prepulse inhibition (PPI) assay, accelerated rotarod test, novel location and novel recognition tests, elevated plus-maze (EPM) test, and Morris water maze test. The transgenic animals were viable and fertile, but the Nlgn2 R215H knock-in (KI) homozygous mice showed growth retardation, anxiety-like behavior, increased PPI, and impaired spatial learning and memory. There was no significant interaction between sex and genotype in most behavioral tests; however, we observed a significant interaction between sex and genotype in EPM test in this study. Also, we found that the Nlgn2 R215H homozygous KI mice did not express the NLGN2 protein, resembling Nlgn2 knockout mice. Our results demonstrate that Nlgn2 R215H KI homozygous mice manifest several behavioral abnormalities similar to those found in psychiatric patients carrying NLGN2 mutations, indicating that dysfunction of NLGN2 contributes to the pathogenesis of certain psychiatric symptoms commonly present in various mental disorders, not limited to schizophrenia.

  10. The role of trigeminal nucleus caudalis orexin 1 receptors in orofacial pain transmission and in orofacial pain-induced learning and memory impairment in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kooshki, Razieh; Abbasnejad, Mehdi; Esmaeili-Mahani, Saeed; Raoof, Maryam

    2016-04-01

    It is widely accepted that the spinal trigeminal nuclear complex, especially the subnucleus caudalis (Vc), receives input from orofacial structures. The neuropeptides orexin-A and -B are expressed in multiple neuronal systems. Orexin signaling has been implicated in pain-modulating system as well as learning and memory processes. Orexin 1 receptor (OX1R) has been reported in trigeminal nucleus caudalis. However, its roles in trigeminal pain modulation have not been elucidated so far. This study was designed to investigate the role of Vc OX1R in the modulation of orofacial pain as well as pain-induced learning and memory deficits. Orofacial pain was induced by subcutaneous injection of capsaicin in the right upper lip of the rats. OX1R agonist (orexin-A) and antagonist (SB-334867-A) were microinjected into Vc prior capsaicin administration. After recording nociceptive times, learning and memory was investigated using Morris water maze (MWM) test. The results indicated that, orexin-A (150 pM/rat) significantly reduced the nociceptive times, while SB334867-A (80 nM/rat) exaggerated nociceptive behavior in response to capsaicin injection. In MWM test, capsaicin-treated rats showed a significant learning and memory impairment. Moreover, SB-334867-A (80 nM/rat) significantly exaggerated learning and memory impairment in capsaicin-treated rats. However, administration of orexin-A (100 pM/rat) prevented learning and memory deficits. Taken together, these results indicate that Vc OX1R was at least in part involved in orofacial pain transmission and orexin-A has also a beneficial inhibitory effect on orofacial pain-induced deficits in abilities of spatial learning and memory. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Comparison between the story recall test and the word-list learning test in Korean patients with mild cognitive impairment and early stage of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Min Jae; Kim, Hyun Jung; Kim, Sangyun

    2012-01-01

    Among verbal memory tests, two that are commonly used to measure the ability of verbal memory function in cognitive impairment are story recall tests and word-list learning tests. However, research is limited regarding which test might be more sensitive in discriminating between normal cognitive aging and patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) in the Korean population. The purpose of the current study was to compare the word-list learning test (Seoul Verbal Learning Test; SVLT) and the story recall test (Korean Story Recall Test; KSRT) to determine which test is more sensitive in discriminating between individuals with normal cognitive aging and patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early stage of AD in Korea. A total of 53 healthy adults, 127 patients with MCI, and 72 patients with early stage of AD participated in this study. The receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve and area under the curve (AUC) were evaluated to compare these two tests. The results showed that the AUC of the SVLT was significantly larger than the AUC of the KSRT in all three groups (healthy adults vs. MCI and early stage of AD; healthy adults vs. MCI; healthy adults vs. early stage of AD). However, in comparison of patients with MCI and early stage of AD, the AUC of SVLT and the AUC of KSRT were not significant. The word-list learning test is a more useful tool for examining verbal memory function for older adults in Korea than the story recall test.

  12. Aids for visual impairment.

    OpenAIRE

    Dudley, N. J.

    1990-01-01

    This article provides only a flavour of the type and range of aids available to the visually impaired person. Many other aids for leisure, learning, and daily living are illustrated in the RNIB equipment and games catalogue.

  13. A Behavioural Approach to Helping an Older Adult with a Learning Disability and Mild Cognitive Impairment Overcome Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Paul

    2017-01-01

    Background: There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that behavioural activation for depression is an equally effective but less complex treatment than cognitive behavioural therapy. It may therefore be more suitable for those who are cognitively impaired (i.e. early-stage dementia or mild cognitive impairment) or have a learning…

  14. Map Learning with a 3D Printed Interactive Small-Scale Model: Improvement of Space and Text Memorization in Visually Impaired Students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Giraud

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Special education teachers for visually impaired students rely on tools such as raised-line maps (RLMs to teach spatial knowledge. These tools do not fully and adequately meet the needs of the teachers because they are long to produce, expensive, and not versatile enough to provide rapid updating of the content. For instance, the same RLM can barely be used during different lessons. In addition, those maps do not provide any interactivity, which reduces students’ autonomy. With the emergence of 3D printing and low-cost microcontrollers, it is now easy to design affordable interactive small-scale models (SSMs which are adapted to the needs of special education teachers. However, no study has previously been conducted to evaluate non-visual learning using interactive SSMs. In collaboration with a specialized teacher, we designed a SSM and a RLM representing the evolution of the geography and history of a fictitious kingdom. The two conditions were compared in a study with 24 visually impaired students regarding the memorization of the spatial layout and historical contents. The study showed that the interactive SSM improved both space and text memorization as compared to the RLM with braille legend. In conclusion, we argue that affordable home-made interactive small scale models can improve learning for visually impaired students. Interestingly, they are adaptable to any teaching situation including students with specific needs.

  15. Cell Death and Learning Impairment in Mice Caused by in Vitro Modified Pro-NGF Can Be Related to Its Increased Oxidative Modifications in Alzheimer Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kichev, Anton; Ilieva, Ekaterina V.; Piñol-Ripoll, Gerard; Podlesniy, Petar; Ferrer, Isidro; Portero-Otín, Manuel; Pamplona, Reinald; Espinet, Carme

    2009-01-01

    Pro-nerve growth factor (pro-NGF) is expressed at increased levels in Alzheimer’s disease (AD)-affected brains and is able to induce cell death in cultures; however, the reasons for these phenomena remain elusive. Here we show that pro-NGF in human AD-affected hippocampus and entorhinal cortex is modified by advanced glycation and lipoxidation end-products in a stage-dependent manner. These modifications block pro-NGF processing to mature NGF, thus making the proneurotrophin especially effective in inducing apoptosis of PC12 cells in culture through the p75 neurotrophin receptor. The processing of advanced glycation and lipoxidation end-products in vitro modified recombinant human pro-NGF is severely impaired, as evidenced by Western blot and by examining its physiological functionality in cell cultures. We also report that modified recombinant human pro-NGF, as well as pro-NGF isolated from human brain affected by AD, cause impairment of learning tasks when administered intracerebroventricularly in mice, which correlates with AD-associated learning impairment. Taken together, the data we present here offer a novel pathway of ethiopathogenesis in AD caused by advanced glycation and lipoxidation end-products modification of pro-NGF. PMID:19893045

  16. Map Learning with a 3D Printed Interactive Small-Scale Model: Improvement of Space and Text Memorization in Visually Impaired Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giraud, Stéphanie; Brock, Anke M.; Macé, Marc J.-M.; Jouffrais, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Special education teachers for visually impaired students rely on tools such as raised-line maps (RLMs) to teach spatial knowledge. These tools do not fully and adequately meet the needs of the teachers because they are long to produce, expensive, and not versatile enough to provide rapid updating of the content. For instance, the same RLM can barely be used during different lessons. In addition, those maps do not provide any interactivity, which reduces students’ autonomy. With the emergence of 3D printing and low-cost microcontrollers, it is now easy to design affordable interactive small-scale models (SSMs) which are adapted to the needs of special education teachers. However, no study has previously been conducted to evaluate non-visual learning using interactive SSMs. In collaboration with a specialized teacher, we designed a SSM and a RLM representing the evolution of the geography and history of a fictitious kingdom. The two conditions were compared in a study with 24 visually impaired students regarding the memorization of the spatial layout and historical contents. The study showed that the interactive SSM improved both space and text memorization as compared to the RLM with braille legend. In conclusion, we argue that affordable home-made interactive small scale models can improve learning for visually impaired students. Interestingly, they are adaptable to any teaching situation including students with specific needs. PMID:28649209

  17. Memory Impairment in Children with Language Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baird, Gillian; Dworzynski, Katharina; Slonims, Vicky; Simonoff, Emily

    2010-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study was to assess whether any memory impairment co-occurring with language impairment is global, affecting both verbal and visual domains, or domain specific. Method: Visual and verbal memory, learning, and processing speed were assessed in children aged 6 years to 16 years 11 months (mean 9y 9m, SD 2y 6mo) with current,…

  18. Transfer of three transcription factors via a lentiviral vector ameliorates spatial learning and memory impairment in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Pin; Yan, Qing; Wang, Songtao; Wang, Cunzu; Zhao, Peng

    2016-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible and progressive neurodegenerative disorder with observable memory impairment. The present study was performed to evaluate the beneficial effects of lentiviral vector-mediated overexpression of a combination of three transcription regulators, ABN (Ascl1, Brn2 and Ngn2), on learning and memory loss in a mouse model of AD. The AD model was established by injecting Aβ1-42 bilaterally into the mouse hippocampus. Lentiviral ABN was delivered bilaterally into the hippocampus of mice. Animals injected with LV-ABN showed significantly improved spatial learning and memory in the water maze test. Additionally, antibody array analysis indicated that intrahippocampal LV-ABN delivery significantly altered the expression levels of some proteins that were identified as inflammatory factors or neuroprotective and growth factors. In conclusion, our data suggest that LV-ABN delivery can ameliorate spatial learning and memory impairment in an AD mouse model, and the beneficial effect of ABN gene treatment could be linked to inhibition of the neuroinflammatory response and enhancement of neuroprotection and neurogenesis. Thus, these findings indicate that lentiviral ABN gene delivery has potential therapeutic applications for AD. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  19. Hippocampal mechanisms in impaired spatial learning and memory in male offspring of rats fed a low-protein isocaloric diet in pregnancy and/or lactation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes-Castro, L A; Padilla-Gómez, E; Parga-Martínez, N J; Castro-Rodríguez, D C; Quirarte, G L; Díaz-Cintra, S; Nathanielsz, P W; Zambrano, E

    2018-01-01

    Maternal nutritional challenges during fetal and neonatal development result in developmental programming of multiple offspring organ systems including brain maturation and function. A maternal low-protein diet during pregnancy and lactation impairs associative learning and motivation. We evaluated effects of a maternal low-protein diet during gestation and/or lactation on male offspring spatial learning and hippocampal neural structure. Control mothers (C) ate 20% casein and restricted mothers (R) 10% casein, providing four groups: CC, RR, CR, and RC (first letter pregnancy, second lactation diet). We evaluated the behavior of young adult male offspring around postnatal day 110. Corticosterone and ACTH were measured. Males were tested for 2 days in the Morris water maze (MWM). Stratum lucidum mossy fiber (MF) area, total and spine type in basal dendrites of stratum oriens in the hippocampal CA3 field were measured. Corticosterone and ACTH were higher in RR vs. CC. In the MWM acquisition test CC offspring required two, RC three, and CR seven sessions to learn the maze. RR did not learn in eight trials. In a retention test 24 h later, RR, CR, and RC spent more time locating the platform and performed fewer target zone entries than CC. RR and RC offspring spent less time in the target zone than CC. MF area, total, and thin spines were lower in RR, CR, and RC than CC. Mushroom spines were lower in RR and RC than CC. Stubby spines were higher in RR, CR, and RC than CC. We conclude that maternal low-protein diet impairs spatial acquisition and memory retention in male offspring, and that alterations in hippocampal presynaptic (MF), postsynaptic (spines) elements and higher glucocorticoid levels are potential mechanisms to explain these learning and memory deficits. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Dizocilpine (MK-801) impairs learning in the active place avoidance task but has no effect on the performance during task/context alternation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vojtechova, Iveta; Petrasek, Tomas; Hatalova, Hana; Pistikova, Adela; Vales, Karel; Stuchlik, Ales

    2016-05-15

    The prevention of engram interference, pattern separation, flexibility, cognitive coordination and spatial navigation are usually studied separately at the behavioral level. Impairment in executive functions is often observed in patients suffering from schizophrenia. We have designed a protocol for assessing these functions all together as behavioral separation. This protocol is based on alternated or sequential training in two tasks testing different hippocampal functions (the Morris water maze and active place avoidance), and alternated or sequential training in two similar environments of the active place avoidance task. In Experiment 1, we tested, in adult rats, whether the performance in two different spatial tasks was affected by their order in sequential learning, or by their day-to-day alternation. In Experiment 2, rats learned to solve the active place avoidance task in two environments either alternately or sequentially. We found that rats are able to acquire both tasks and to discriminate both similar contexts without obvious problems regardless of the order or the alternation. We used two groups of rats, controls and a rat model of psychosis induced by a subchronic intraperitoneal application of 0.08mg/kg of dizocilpine (MK-801), a non-competitive antagonist of NMDA receptors. Dizocilpine had no selective effect on parallel/sequential learning of tasks/contexts. However, it caused hyperlocomotion and a significant deficit in learning in the active place avoidance task regardless of the task alternation. Cognitive coordination tested by this task is probably more sensitive to dizocilpine than spatial orientation because no hyperactivity or learning impairment was observed in the Morris water maze. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Modern 'junk food' and minimally-processed 'natural food' cafeteria diets alter the response to sweet taste but do not impair flavor-nutrient learning in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palframan, Kristen M; Myers, Kevin P

    2016-04-01

    Animals learn to prefer and increase consumption of flavors paired with postingestive nutrient sensing. Analogous effects have been difficult to observe in human studies. One possibility is experience with the modern, processed diet impairs learning. Food processing manipulates flavor, texture, sweetness, and nutrition, obscuring ordinary correspondences between sensory cues and postingestive consequences. Over time, a diet of these processed 'junk' foods may impair flavor-nutrient learning. This 'flavor-confusion' hypothesis was tested by providing rats long-term exposure to cafeteria diets of unusual breadth (2 or 3 foods per day, 96 different foods over 3 months, plus ad libitum chow). One group was fed processed foods (PF) with added sugars/fats and manipulated flavors, to mimic the sensory-nutrient properties of the modern processed diet. Another group was fed only 'natural' foods (NF) meaning minimally-processed foods without manipulated flavors or added sugars/fats (e.g., fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains) ostensibly preserving the ordinary correspondence between flavors and nutrition. A CON group was fed chow only. In subsequent tests of flavor-nutrient learning, PF and NF rats consistently acquired strong preferences for novel nutrient-paired flavors and PF rats exhibited enhanced learned acceptance, contradicting the 'flavor-confusion' hypothesis. An unexpected finding was PF and NF diets both caused lasting reduction in ad lib sweet solution intake. Groups did not differ in reinforcing value of sugar in a progressive ratio task. In lick microstructure analysis the NF group paradoxically showed increased sucrose palatability relative to PF and CON, suggesting the diets have different effects on sweet taste evaluation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The strengths and weaknesses in verbal short-term memory and visual working memory in children with hearing impairment and additional language learning difficulties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Suzi; Goldbart, Juliet; Stansfield, Jois

    2014-07-01

    To compare verbal short-term memory and visual working memory abilities of six children with congenital hearing-impairment identified as having significant language learning difficulties with normative data from typically hearing children using standardized memory assessments. Six children with hearing loss aged 8-15 years were assessed on measures of verbal short-term memory (Non-word and word recall) and visual working memory annually over a two year period. All children had cognitive abilities within normal limits and used spoken language as the primary mode of communication. The language assessment scores at the beginning of the study revealed that all six participants exhibited delays of two years or more on standardized assessments of receptive and expressive vocabulary and spoken language. The children with hearing-impairment scores were significantly higher on the non-word recall task than the "real" word recall task. They also exhibited significantly higher scores on visual working memory than those of the age-matched sample from the standardized memory assessment. Each of the six participants in this study displayed the same pattern of strengths and weaknesses in verbal short-term memory and visual working memory despite their very different chronological ages. The children's poor ability to recall single syllable words in relation to non-words is a clinical indicator of their difficulties in verbal short-term memory. However, the children with hearing-impairment do not display generalized processing difficulties and indeed demonstrate strengths in visual working memory. The poor ability to recall words, in combination with difficulties with early word learning may be indicators of children with hearing-impairment who will struggle to develop spoken language equal to that of their normally hearing peers. This early identification has the potential to allow for target specific intervention that may remediate their difficulties. Copyright © 2014. Published

  3. The declarative system in children with specific language impairment: a comparison of meaningful and meaningless auditory-visual paired associate learning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bishop, Dorothy V M; Hsu, Hsinjen Julie

    2015-01-01

    It has been proposed that children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI) have a selective deficit in procedural learning, with relatively spared declarative learning. In previous studies we and others confirmed deficits in procedural learning of sequences, using both verbal and nonverbal materials. Here we studied the same children using a task that implicates the declarative system, auditory-visual paired associate learning. There were parallel tasks for verbal materials (vocabulary learning) and nonverbal materials (meaningless patterns and sounds). Participants were 28 children with SLI aged 7-11 years, 28 younger typically-developing children matched for raw scores on a test of receptive grammar, and 20 typically-developing children matched on chronological age. Children were given four sessions of paired-associate training using a computer game adopting an errorless learning procedure, during which they had to select a picture from an array of four to match a heard stimulus. In each session they did both vocabulary training, where the items were eight names and pictures of rare animals, and nonverbal training, where stimuli were eight visual patterns paired with complex nonverbal sounds. A total of 96 trials of each type was presented over four days. In all groups, accuracy improved across the four sessions for both types of material. For the vocabulary task, the age-matched control group outperformed the other two groups in the starting level of performance, whereas for the nonverbal paired-associate task, there were no reliable differences between groups. In both tasks, rate of learning was comparable for all three groups. These results are consistent with the Procedural Deficit Hypothesis of SLI, in finding spared declarative learning on a nonverbal auditory-visual paired associate task. On the verbal version of the task, the SLI group had a deficit in learning relative to age-matched controls, which was evident on the first block in the first session

  4. Effect of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on word-learning configuration by preschoolers with typical development and specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, Shelley; Pittman, Andrea; Weinhold, Juliet

    2014-06-01

    In this study, the authors assessed the effects of phonotactic probability and neighborhood density on word-learning configuration by preschoolers with specific language impairment (SLI) and typical language development (TD). One hundred thirty-one children participated: 48 with SLI, 44 with TD matched on age and gender, and 39 with TD matched on vocabulary and gender. Referent identification and naming were assessed in a computer-based learning context. For referent identification, preschoolers with TD benefited from high phonotactic probability, and the younger group also benefited from low neighborhood density. In contrast, the SLI group benefited only from high neighborhood density. For naming, older preschoolers with TD benefited most from low-density words, younger preschoolers with TD benefited most from words with high phonotactic probability, and the SLI group showed no advantage. Phonotactic probability and neighborhood density had different effects on each group that may be related to children's ability to store well-specified word forms and to the size of their extant lexicon. The authors argue that cross-study comparisons of word learning are needed; therefore, researchers should describe word, referent, and learner characteristics and the learning context and should situate their studies in a triggering → configuration + engagement model of word learning.

  5. Predicting psychosis across diagnostic boundaries: Behavioral and computational modeling evidence for impaired reinforcement learning in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with a history of psychosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauss, Gregory P; Thaler, Nicholas S; Matveeva, Tatyana M; Vogel, Sally J; Sutton, Griffin P; Lee, Bern G; Allen, Daniel N

    2015-08-01

    There is increasing evidence that schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) share a number of cognitive, neurobiological, and genetic markers. Shared features may be most prevalent among SZ and BD with a history of psychosis. This study extended this literature by examining reinforcement learning (RL) performance in individuals with SZ (n = 29), BD with a history of psychosis (BD+; n = 24), BD without a history of psychosis (BD-; n = 23), and healthy controls (HC; n = 24). RL was assessed through a probabilistic stimulus selection task with acquisition and test phases. Computational modeling evaluated competing accounts of the data. Each participant's trial-by-trial decision-making behavior was fit to 3 computational models of RL: (a) a standard actor-critic model simulating pure basal ganglia-dependent learning, (b) a pure Q-learning model simulating action selection as a function of learned expected reward value, and (c) a hybrid model where an actor-critic is "augmented" by a Q-learning component, meant to capture the top-down influence of orbitofrontal cortex value representations on the striatum. The SZ group demonstrated greater reinforcement learning impairments at acquisition and test phases than the BD+, BD-, and HC groups. The BD+ and BD- groups displayed comparable performance at acquisition and test phases. Collapsing across diagnostic categories, greater severity of current psychosis was associated with poorer acquisition of the most rewarding stimuli as well as poor go/no-go learning at test. Model fits revealed that reinforcement learning in SZ was best characterized by a pure actor-critic model where learning is driven by prediction error signaling alone. In contrast, BD-, BD+, and HC were best fit by a hybrid model where prediction errors are influenced by top-down expected value representations that guide decision making. These findings suggest that abnormalities in the reward system are more prominent in SZ than BD; however, current psychotic

  6. Visual Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Staying Safe Videos for Educators Search English Español Visual Impairment KidsHealth / For Teens / Visual Impairment What's in ... with the brain, making vision impossible. What Is Visual Impairment? Many people have some type of visual ...

  7. Benefits of augmentative signs in word learning: Evidence from children who are deaf/hard of hearing and children with specific language impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Berkel-van Hoof, Lian; Hermans, Daan; Knoors, Harry; Verhoeven, Ludo

    2016-12-01

    Augmentative signs may facilitate word learning in children with vocabulary difficulties, for example, children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) and children with Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Despite the fact that augmentative signs may aid second language learning in populations with a typical language development, empirical evidence in favor of this claim is lacking. We aim to investigate whether augmentative signs facilitate word learning for DHH children, children with SLI, and typically developing (TD) children. Whereas previous studies taught children new labels for familiar objects, the present study taught new labels for new objects. In our word learning experiment children were presented with pictures of imaginary creatures and pseudo words. Half of the words were accompanied by an augmentative pseudo sign. The children were tested for their receptive word knowledge. The DHH children benefitted significantly from augmentative signs, but the children with SLI and TD age-matched peers did not score significantly different on words from either the sign or no-sign condition. These results suggest that using Sign-Supported speech in classrooms of bimodal bilingual DHH children may support their spoken language development. The difference between earlier research findings and the present results may be caused by a difference in methodology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Episodic and semantic memory impairments in (very early Alzheimer’s disease: The diagnostic accuracy of paired-associate learning formats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline E.J. Spaan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Paired-associate learning (PAL paradigms measure memory processes sensitive to the medial temporal lobe, which shows atrophy in early Alzheimer’s disease (AD. PAL tests have not yet been standard clinical procedure, neither are semantic memory tests. In early AD, impairments are more subtle. A literature review indicates that standard neuropsychological tests may not measure these impairments accurately. Therefore, I constructed new episodic and semantic memory tests. I investigated the diagnostic accuracy of these tests in 37 amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI; of whom 21 had converted to AD at 1.3-year-follow-up, 43 early AD patients, and 80 non-demented controls. Main questions: (1 which tests best differentiate aMCI and AD from normal aging: most sensitively, most specifically?; (2 do PAL paradigms and/or semantic memory tests (fluency; naming contribute to this differentiation? A free recall (non-PAL test of unrelated words was most sensitive to aMCI and AD (91%, whereas a PAL-recognition-test (of semantically related word pairs of moderate association strength, including strongly related foils was most specific (96%. Stepwise logistic regression analysis showed that differentiation was improved by a subordinate semantic fluency test. I conclude that a combination of episodic and semantic memory components best predicts AD. Future research should focus on comparing semantic and visuospatial PAL tests.

  9. Conceptualizing Science Learning as a Collective Social Practice: Changing the Social Pedagogical Compass for a Child with Visual Impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fleer, Marilyn; March, Sue

    2015-01-01

    The international literature on science learning in inclusive settings has a long history, but it is generally very limited in scope. Few studies have been undertaken that draw upon a cultural-historical reading of inclusive pedagogy, and even less in the area of science education. In addition, we know next to nothing about the science learning of…

  10. Antiamnesic Effect of Broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) Leaves on Amyloid Beta (Aβ)1-42-Induced Learning and Memory Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Seon Kyeong; Ha, Jeong Su; Kim, Jong Min; Kang, Jin Yong; Lee, Du Sang; Guo, Tian Jiao; Lee, Uk; Kim, Dae-Ok; Heo, Ho Jin

    2016-05-04

    To examine the antiamnesic effects of broccoli (Brassica oleracea var. italica) leaves, we performed in vitro and in vivo tests on amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced neurotoxicity. The chloroform fraction from broccoli leaves (CBL) showed a remarkable neuronal cell-protective effect and an inhibition against acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The ameliorating effect of CBL on Aβ1-42-induced learning and memory impairment was evaluated by Y-maze, passive avoidance, and Morris water maze tests. The results indicated improving cognitive function in the CBL group. After the behavioral tests, antioxidant effects were detected by superoxide dismutase (SOD), oxidized glutathione (GSH)/total GSH, and malondialdehyde (MDA) assays, and inhibition against AChE was also presented in the brain. Finally, oxo-dihydroxy-octadecenoic acid (oxo-DHODE) and trihydroxy-octadecenoic acid (THODE) as main compounds were identified by quadrupole time-of-flight ultraperformance liquid chromatography (Q-TOF UPLC-MS) analysis. Therefore, our studies suggest that CBL could be used as a natural resource for ameliorating Aβ1-42-induced learning and memory impairment.

  11. Impairment of Rat Spatial Learning and Memory in a New Model of Cold Water-Induced Chronic Hypothermia: Implication for Alzheimer's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmadian-Attari, Mohammad Mahdi; Dargahi, Leila; Mosaddegh, Mahmoud; Kamalinejad, Mohammad; Khallaghi, Behzad; Noorbala, Fatemeh; Ahmadiani, Abolhassan

    2015-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a primary neurodegenerative disorder associated with progressive memory impairment. Recent studies suggest that hypothermia may contribute to the development and exacerbation of AD. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of chronic hypothermia on spatial learning and memory performance as well as brain immunohistochemical (IHC) and molecular changes. Four groups of male rats were placed in cold water (3.5 ± 0.5 °C) once a day for 1, 3, 6, and 14 days, four other groups were placed in warm water (32 °C) as the control groups to eliminate the effect of swimming stress, and one more group which comprised intact animals that were kept in a normothermic situation and had no swimming stress. Twenty-four hours after the last intervention, spatial learning and memory were assessed, using the modified Morris water maze. After the behavioral test, the rats' brains were removed for IHC and Western blotting. The results showed that memory retrieval is impaired after 14 days of cold water-induced hypothermia (CWH) (P memory through molecular mechanisms similar to those of AD. In conclusion, CWH may serve as an important model to assess the role of hypothermia in AD pathogenesis.

  12. Tong Luo Jiu Nao ameliorates Aβ1-40-induced cognitive impairment on adaptive behavior learning by modulating ERK/CaMKII/CREB signaling in the hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Zhe; Lu, Cong; Sun, Xiuping; Wang, Qiong; Chen, Shanguang; Li, Yinghui; Qu, Lina; Chen, Lingling; Bu, Lanlan; Liao, Duanfang; Liu, Xinmin

    2015-03-11

    Tong Luo Jiu Nao (TLJN), a modern formula of Chinese medicine extracts on the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, has been used to treat dementia. The present study aimed to investigate its ameliorating effects on Aβ1-40-induced cognitive impairment in rats using a series of novel reward-directed instrumental learning (RDIL) tasks, and to determine its possible mechanism of action. Rats were pretreated with TLJN extract (0.9 and 1.8 g/kg, p.o.) for 10 daysbefore surgery, and were trained to gain reward reinforcement by lever pressing at the meantime. Thereafter, rats received a bilateral microinjection of Aβ1-40 in CA1 regions of the hippocampus. Cognitive performance was evaluated with the goal directed (higher response ratio) and habit (visual signal discrimination and extinction) learning tasks, as well as on the levels of biochemical parameters and molecules. Our findings first demonstrated that TLJN can improve Aβ1-40-induced amnesia in RDIL via enhancing the comprehension of action-outcome association and the utilization of cue information to guide behavior. Then, its ameliorating effects should attribute to the modulation of ERK/CaMKII/CREB signaling in the hippocampus. TLJN can markedly enhance cognitions of Aβ1-40 microinjection animal model in adaptive behavioral tasks. It has the potential, possibly as complementary and alternative therapy, to prevent and/or delay the deterioration of cognitive impairment in AD.

  13. Rule induction performance in amnestic mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's dementia: examining the role of simple and biconditional rule learning processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterman, Joukje M; Heringa, Sophie M; Kessels, Roy P C; Biessels, Geert Jan; Koek, Huiberdina L; Maes, Joseph H R; van den Berg, Esther

    2017-04-01

    Rule induction tests such as the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test require executive control processes, but also the learning and memorization of simple stimulus-response rules. In this study, we examined the contribution of diminished learning and memorization of simple rules to complex rule induction test performance in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) or Alzheimer's dementia (AD). Twenty-six aMCI patients, 39 AD patients, and 32 control participants were included. A task was used in which the memory load and the complexity of the rules were independently manipulated. This task consisted of three conditions: a simple two-rule learning condition (Condition 1), a simple four-rule learning condition (inducing an increase in memory load, Condition 2), and a complex biconditional four-rule learning condition-inducing an increase in complexity and, hence, executive control load (Condition 3). Performance of AD patients declined disproportionately when the number of simple rules that had to be memorized increased (from Condition 1 to 2). An additional increment in complexity (from Condition 2 to 3) did not, however, disproportionately affect performance of the patients. Performance of the aMCI patients did not differ from that of the control participants. In the patient group, correlation analysis showed that memory performance correlated with Condition 1 performance, whereas executive task performance correlated with Condition 2 performance. These results indicate that the reduced learning and memorization of underlying task rules explains a significant part of the diminished complex rule induction performance commonly reported in AD, although results from the correlation analysis suggest involvement of executive control functions as well. Taken together, these findings suggest that care is needed when interpreting rule induction task performance in terms of executive function deficits in these patients.

  14. A Computer Based Software for Hearing Impaired Children's Speech Training and Learning Between Teacher and Parents in Taiwan

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hsiao, Ming-Liang

    2001-01-01

    .... In the future, we will use the network tuition model to assist the special education teachers in their teaching method. Using such an assistant system, we are sure of the improvement of the efficiency and efficacy for developing the language and speech ability of hearing impaired children.

  15. The Combination Design of Enabling Technologies in Group Learning: New Study Support Service for Visually Impaired University Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tangsri, Chatcai; Na-Takuatoong, Onjaree; Sophatsathit, Peraphon

    2013-01-01

    This article aims to show how the process of new service technology-based development improves the current study support service for visually impaired university students. Numerous studies have contributed to improving assisted aid technology such as screen readers, the development and the use of audiobooks, and technology that supports individual…

  16. Instructive Bilingualism: Can Bilingual Children with Specific Language Impairment Rely on One Language in Learning a Second One?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armon-Lotem, Sharon

    2010-01-01

    Only a decade ago, a very few researchers considered the study of language disorders in bilingual population worth pursuing. It was mostly argued that there were enough challenges in studying bilingualism, and even more challenges in the study of specific language impairment (SLI). So why complicate things and combine the two domains?

  17. Stimulation of the noradrenergic system during memory formation impairs extinction learning but not the disruption of reconsolidation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Soeter, M.; Kindt, M.

    2012-01-01

    The noradrenergic system plays a critical role in the ‘consolidation’ of emotional memory. If we are to target ‘reconsolidation’ in patients with anxiety disorders, the noradrenergic strengthening of fear memory should not impair the disruption of reconsolidation. In Experiment I, we addressed this

  18. Patterns of Cognitive Impairments among Heroin and Cocaine Users: The Association with Self-Reported Learning Disabilities and Infectious Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Severtson, Stevan G.; Hedden, Sarra L.; Martins, Silvia S.; Latimer, William W.

    2012-01-01

    This study used data from six neuropsychological measures of executive function (EF) and general intellectual functioning (GIF) administered to 303 regular users of heroin and/or cocaine as indicators in a latent profile analysis (LPA). Results indicated the presence of three profiles: impaired GIF and EF profile (30.8%), intact GIF and EF profile…

  19. Impairment in explicit visuomotor sequence learning is related to loss of microstructural integrity of the corpus callosum in multiple sclerosis patients with minimal disability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonzano, L; Tacchino, A; Roccatagliata, L; Sormani, M P; Mancardi, G L; Bove, M

    2011-07-15

    Sequence learning can be investigated by serial reaction-time (SRT) paradigms. Explicit learning occurs when subjects have to recognize a test sequence and has been shown to activate the frontoparietal network in both contralateral and ipsilateral hemispheres. Thus, the left and right superior longitudinal fasciculi (SLF), connecting the intra-hemispheric frontoparietal circuits, could have a role in explicit unimanual visuomotor learning. Also, as both hemispheres are involved, we could hypothesize that the corpus callosum (CC) has a role in this process. Pathological damage in both SLF and CC has been detected in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS), and microstructural alterations can be quantified by Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI). In light of these findings, we inquired whether PwMS with minimal disability showed impairments in explicit visuomotor sequence learning and whether this could be due to loss of white matter integrity in these intra- and inter-hemispheric white matter pathways. Thus, we combined DTI analysis with a modified version of SRT task based on finger opposition movements in a group of PwMS with minimal disability. We found that the performance in explicit sequence learning was significantly reduced in these patients with respect to healthy subjects; the amount of sequence-specific learning was found to be more strongly correlated with fractional anisotropy (FA) in the CC (r=0.93) than in the left (r=0.28) and right SLF (r=0.27) (p for interaction=0.005 and 0.04 respectively). This finding suggests that an inter-hemispheric information exchange between the homologous areas is required to successfully accomplish the task and indirectly supports the role of the right (ipsilateral) hemisphere in explicit visuomotor learning. On the other hand, we found no significant correlation of the FA in the CC and in the SLFs with nonspecific learning (assessed when stimuli are randomly presented), supporting the hypothesis that inter

  20. Omega-3 fatty acids prevent LPS-induced passive avoidance learning and memory and CaMKII-α gene expression impairments in hippocampus of rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehkordi, Neda Gholamian; Noorbakhshnia, Maryam; Ghaedi, Kamran; Esmaeili, Abolghasem; Dabaghi, Mohammad

    2015-04-01

    Neuroinflammation is considered to be a major factor in several neurodegenerative diseases. Recently, the polyunsaturated fatty acid omega-3 has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects and might play an effective role in improving memory impairment due to inflammation. In order to test this, we stimulated neuroinflammation in an animal model and induced memory dysfunction as measured by reduced retention of passive avoidance learning (PAL) and altered expression of CaMKII-α, a gene known to be crucial for memory formation. We then investigated whether treatment with dietary omega-3 prevents inflammation-induced memory dysfunction in this model. Male wistar rats (200-220 g) were fed either a control diet or a diet containing omega-3 (400mg/kg, po) for 1 month prior. Rats then received injection of either saline or LPS (500 μg/kg, ip) and were subjected to the PAL acquisition task. The retention test was performed 24h later, and animals were sacrificed immediately. Hippocampi were dissected and stored at -80°C. Finally, TNF-α levels and CaMKII-α gene expression were measured by ELISA and qRT-PCR, respectively. We found that LPS treatment significantly impaired PAL and memory, increased TNF-α levels and impaired CaMKII-α gene expression. In control and LPS-injected animals, pre-treatment with omega-3 improved performance on the PAL task and increased CAMKII-α gene expression. Taken together, these data suggest that dietary omega-3 may improve cognitive function and provide a potential therapy for memory impairment due to neuroinflammation. Copyright © 2014 Institute of Pharmacology, Polish Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier Urban & Partner Sp. z o.o. All rights reserved.

  1. Systemic or Intra-Amygdala Infusion of the Benzodiazepine, Midazolam, Impairs Learning, but Facilitates Re-Learning to Inhibit Fear Responses in Extinction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hart, Genevra; Harris, Justin A.; Westbrook, R. Frederick

    2010-01-01

    A series of experiments used rats to study the effect of a systemic or intra-amygdala infusion of the benzodiazepine, midazolam, on learning and re-learning to inhibit context conditioned fear (freezing) responses. Rats were subjected to two context-conditioning episodes followed by extinction under drug or vehicle, or to two cycles of context…

  2. Protective effects of prescription n-3 fatty acids against impairment of spatial cognitive learning ability in amyloid β-infused rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hashimoto, Michio; Tozawa, Ryuichi; Katakura, Masanori; Shahdat, Hossain; Haque, Abdul Md; Tanabe, Yoko; Gamoh, Shuji; Shido, Osamu

    2011-07-01

    Deposition of amyloid β peptide (Aβ) into the brain causes cognitive impairment. We investigated whether prescription pre-administration of n-3 fatty acids improves cognitive learning ability in young rats and whether it protects against learning ability impairments in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease that was prepared by infusion of Aβ(1-40) into the cerebral ventricles of rats. Pre-administration of TAK-085 (highly purified and concentrated n-3 fatty acids containing eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester and docosahexaenoic acid ethyl ester) at 300 mg kg(-1) day(-1) for 12 weeks significantly reduced the number of reference memory errors in an 8-arm radial maze, suggesting that long-term administration of TAK-085 improves cognitive leaning ability in rats. After pre-administration, the control group was divided into the vehicle and Aβ-infused groups, whereas the TAK-085 pre-administration group was divided into the TAK-085 and TAK-085 + Aβ groups (TAK-085-pre-administered Aβ-infused rats). Aβ(1-40) or vehicle was infused into the cerebral ventricle using a mini osmotic pump. Pre-administration of TAK-085 to the Aβ-infused rats significantly suppressed the number of reference and working memory errors and decreased the levels of lipid peroxide and reactive oxygen species in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of Aβ-infused rats, suggesting that TAK-085 increases antioxidative defenses. The present study suggests that long-term administration of TAK-085 is a possible therapeutic agent for protecting against Alzheimer's disease-induced learning deficiencies. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011

  3. Evaluation Study of Pedagogical Methods and E - Learning Material via Web 2.0 for Hearing Impaired People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrettaros, John; Argiri, Katerina; Stavrou, Pilios; Hrissagis, Kostas; Drigas, Athanasios

    The primary goal of this paper is to study whether WEB 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, social networks and typical hypermedia as well as techniques such as lip - reading, video - sign language and learning activities are appropriate to use for learning purpose for deaf and hard of hearing people. In order to check the extent in which the choices mentioned above are compatible with the features of the specific group and maximize the learning results we designed an empirical study which will be presented below. The study was conducted in the context of SYNERGIA, a project of Leonardo da Vinci of Lifelong Learning Programme, in the section of MULTILATERAL PROJECTS TRANSFER OF INNOVATION, The evaluation was conducted on data that came up through questionnaire analysis.

  4. Early nutritional stress impairs development of a song-control brain region in both male and female juvenile song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) at the onset of song learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    MacDonald, Ian F; Kempster, Bethany; Zanette, Liana; MacDougall-Shackleton, Scott A

    2006-01-01

    Birdsong is a sexually selected trait and is often viewed as an indicator of male quality. The developmental stress hypothesis proposes a model by which song could be an indicator; the time during early development, when birds learn complex songs and/or local variants of song, is of rapid development and nutritional stress. Birds that cope best with this stress may better learn to produce the most effective songs. The developmental stress hypothesis predicts that early food restriction should impair development of song-control brain regions at the onset of song learning. We examined the effect of food restriction on song-control brain regions in fledgling (both sexes, 23–26 days old) song sparrows (Melospiza melodia). Food restriction selectively reduced HVC volume in both sexes. In addition, sex differences were evident in all three song-control regions. This study lends further support to a growing body of literature documenting a variety of behavioural, physiological and neural detriments in several songbird species resulting from early developmental stress. PMID:16959649

  5. Selective activation of M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptors reverses MK-801-induced behavioral impairments and enhances associative learning in rodents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bubser, Michael; Bridges, Thomas M; Dencker, Ditte

    2014-01-01

    Positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M4 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) represent a novel approach for the treatment of psychotic symptoms associated with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. We recently reported that the selective M4 PAM VU0152100 produced...... PAMs, enabling a more extensive characterization of M4 actions in rodent models. We used VU0467154 to test the hypothesis that selective potentiation of M4 receptor signaling could ameliorate the behavioral, cognitive, and neurochemical impairments induced by the noncompetitive NMDAR antagonist MK-801...

  6. Machine Learning classification of MRI features of Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment subjects to reduce the sample size in clinical trials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escudero, Javier; Zajicek, John P; Ifeachor, Emmanuel

    2011-01-01

    There is a need for objective tools to help clinicians to diagnose Alzheimer's Disease (AD) early and accurately and to conduct Clinical Trials (CTs) with fewer patients. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a promising AD biomarker but no single MRI feature is optimal for all disease stages. Machine Learning classification can address these challenges. In this study, we have investigated the classification of MRI features from AD, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and control subjects from ADNI with four techniques. The highest accuracy rates for the classification of controls against ADs and MCIs were 89.2% and 72.7%, respectively. Moreover, we used the classifiers to select AD and MCI subjects who are most likely to decline for inclusion in hypothetical CTs. Using the hippocampal volume as an outcome measure, we found that the required group sizes for the CTs were reduced from 197 to 117 AD patients and from 366 to 215 MCI subjects.

  7. Implantation of encapsulated glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-secreting cells prevents long-lasting learning impairment following neonatal hypoxic-ischemic brain insult in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsuragi, Shinji; Ikeda, Tomoaki; Date, Isao; Shingo, Tetsuro; Yasuhara, Takao; Mishima, Kenichi; Aoo, Naoya; Harada, Kazuhiko; Egashira, Nobuaki; Iwasaki, Katsunori; Fujiwara, Michihiro; Ikenoue, Tsuyomu

    2005-04-01

    Implantation of encapsulated glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-secreting cells into brain parenchyma reduces histological brain damage following hypoxic-ischemic stress in neonatal rats. We examined the effect of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factors on long-term learning and memory impairment and morphological changes up to 18 weeks after hypoxic-ischemic stress in neonatal rats. Baby hamster kidney cells were transfected with expression vector either including (glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-hypoxic-ischemic group; n = 10) or not including (control-hypoxic-ischemic group; n = 8) human glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor cDNA, encapsulated in semipermeable hollow fibers, and implanted into the left brain parenchyma of 7-day-old Wistar rats. Two days after implantation the rats received hypoxic-ischemic stress, and their behavior was then examined in several learning tasks: the 8-arm radial maze, choice reaction time, and water maze tasks, which examine short-term working memory, attention process, and long-term reference memory, respectively. The rats were killed 18 weeks after the hypoxic-ischemic insult for evaluation of brain damage. Two additional control groups were used: the control group (n = 15), which underwent no treatment, and the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor group (n = 6), which underwent implantation of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor capsule but did not undergo hypoxic-ischemic stress. The decrease in the size of the cerebral hemisphere was significantly less in the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-hypoxic-ischemic group, compared with the control-hypoxic-ischemic group, and improved performance was observed in all three tasks for the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-hypoxic-ischemic group: for the control-hypoxic-ischemic group versus the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor-hypoxic-ischemic group, respectively, in the 8-arm radial maze test, average

  8. Learning-talks in science museums: how a visually impaired person interprets the educational material at the museum of microbiology”

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Fernandes Bizerra

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available The processes of science communication and science education became especially important in the last quarter of the last century. Science museums, as non-formal spaces have an important role in amplifying and refining these processes. Being spaces open to the general public will be expected to develop programs that include all of its citizens. The Museum of Microbiology of the Butantan Institute has developed a series of activities and educational materials focusing on microorganisms that were designed to facilitate a closer integration of the visually impaired public with the scientific culture. In the present study, we sought to understand how visually deficient visitors interpreted the materials presented, determine the level of understanding that the use of these materials provided and study the significance attributed to them. Visually impaired visitors were interviewed during their interactions with the materials with the aid of an audio guide, and the talks generated were analyzed within interpretative categories. The most frequent category was “Strategic talk (Use” (11.8%, in which the visually deficient visitors gave their opinions concerning the uses of the Micro-Touch Program. Two other categories, “Affective talk (Pleasure” (10.2% and “Perceptual talk (Identification” (8.6% were also established. A combination of tactile and auditory tools was fundamental to solve problems and to the creation of visual representations that are important to constructing and understanding scientific concepts and to facilitate the organization of theoretical thought. We suggest here the necessity of elaborating activities contents that favors the establishment of conceptual talks and considering the previously acquired knowledge of visually impaired visitors during the design of displays, providing higher frequency of other learning talks

  9. Impaired spatial learning strategies and novel object recognition in mice haploinsufficient for the dual specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase-1A (Dyrk1A.

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    Glòria Arqué

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Pathogenic aneuploidies involve the concept of dosage-sensitive genes leading to over- and underexpression phenotypes. Monosomy 21 in human leads to mental retardation and skeletal, immune and respiratory function disturbances. Most of the human condition corresponds to partial monosomies suggesting that critical haploinsufficient genes may be responsible for the phenotypes. The DYRK1A gene is localized on the human chromosome 21q22.2 region, and has been proposed to participate in monosomy 21 phenotypes. It encodes a dual-specificity kinase involved in neuronal development and in adult brain physiology, but its possible role as critical haploinsufficient gene in cognitive function has not been explored. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used mice heterozygous for a Dyrk1A targeted mutation (Dyrk1A+/- to investigate the implication of this gene in the cognitive phenotypes of monosomy 21. Performance of Dyrk1A+/- mice was assayed 1/ in a navigational task using the standard hippocampally related version of the Morris water maze, 2/ in a swimming test designed to reveal potential kinesthetic and stress-related behavioral differences between control and heterozygous mice under two levels of aversiveness (25 degrees C and 17 degrees C and 3/ in a long-term novel object recognition task, sensitive to hippocampal damage. Dyrk1A+/- mice showed impairment in the development of spatial learning strategies in a hippocampally-dependent memory task, they were impaired in their novel object recognition ability and were more sensitive to aversive conditions in the swimming test than euploid control animals. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present results are clear examples where removal of a single gene has a profound effect on phenotype and indicate that haploinsufficiency of DYRK1A might contribute to an impairment of cognitive functions and stress coping behavior in human monosomy 21.

  10. Sequential Prediction of Literacy Achievement for Specific Learning Disabilities Contrasting in Impaired Levels of Language in Grades 4 to 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Elizabeth A.; Berninger, Virginia W.; Abbott, Robert D.

    2018-01-01

    Sequential regression was used to evaluate whether language-related working memory components uniquely predict reading and writing achievement beyond cognitive-linguistic translation for students in Grades 4 through 9 (N = 103) with specific learning disabilities (SLDs) in subword handwriting (dysgraphia, n = 25), word reading and spelling…

  11. Dorsolateral Striatal Lesions Impair Navigation Based on Landmark-Goal Vectors but Facilitate Spatial Learning Based on a "Cognitive Map"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosaki, Yutaka; Poulter, Steven L.; Austen, Joe M.; McGregor, Anthony

    2015-01-01

    In three experiments, the nature of the interaction between multiple memory systems in rats solving a variation of a spatial task in the water maze was investigated. Throughout training rats were able to find a submerged platform at a fixed distance and direction from an intramaze landmark by learning a landmark-goal vector. Extramaze cues were…

  12. Intermittent Voluntary Ethanol Drinking during Periadolescence Impairs Adult Spatial Learning after a Long Abstinence Period in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Ana; Garcia-Burgos, David; Manrique, Tatiana; Gonzalez, Felisa; Gallo, Milagros

    2011-01-01

    Although previous findings point to the long-term impact of ethanol exposure during periadolescence on hippocampal-dependent learning tasks, comparisons considering different onset and exposure periods during this developmental range of ages are still needed. The aim of this experiment was to determine whether intermittent voluntary chronic…

  13. Impaired Neurocognitive Functions Affect Social Learning Processes in Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder: Implications for Intervention

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Matthys, W.C.H.J.; Vanderschuren, L.J.M.J.; Schutter, D.J.L.G.; Lochman, J.E.

    2012-01-01

    In this review, a conceptualization of oppositional defiant (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) is presented according to which social learning processes in these disorders are affected by neurocognitive dysfunctions. Neurobiological studies in ODD and CD suggest that the ability to make associations

  14. Neuronal Nitric-Oxide Synthase Deficiency Impairs the Long-Term Memory of Olfactory Fear Learning and Increases Odor Generalization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavesi, Eloisa; Heldt, Scott A.; Fletcher, Max L.

    2013-01-01

    Experience-induced changes associated with odor learning are mediated by a number of signaling molecules, including nitric oxide (NO), which is predominantly synthesized by neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the brain. In the current study, we investigated the role of nNOS in the acquisition and retention of conditioned olfactory fear. Mice…

  15. Pre-weaning dietary iron deficiency impairs spatial learning and memory in the cognitive holeboard task in piglets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Antonides, Alexandra; Schoonderwoerd, Anne C; Scholz, Gabi; Berg, Brian M; Nordquist, Rebecca E|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/296303291; van der Staay, Franz Josef|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074262653

    2015-01-01

    Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in humans, affecting more than two billion people worldwide. Early-life iron deficiency can lead to irreversible deficits in learning and memory. The pig represents a promising model animal for studying such deficits, because of its

  16. Oral Language Impairments in Developmental Disorders Characterized by Language Strengths: A Comparison of Asperger Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disabilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stothers, M. E.; Cardy, J. Oram

    2012-01-01

    Asperger syndrome (AS) and nonverbal learning disabilities (NLD) are developmental disorders in which linguistic ability is reported to be stronger than in disorders from which they must be distinguished for diagnosis. Children and adults with AS and NLD share pragmatic weaknesses, atypical social behaviours, and some cognitive features. To date,…

  17. Portulaca oleracea L. prevents lipopolysaccharide-induced passive avoidance learning and memory and TNF-α impairments in hippocampus of rat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noorbakhshnia, Maryam; Karimi-Zandi, Leila

    2017-02-01

    There is a growing body of evidence that neuroinflammation can impair memory. It has been indicated that Portulaca oleracea Linn. (POL), possess anti-inflammatory activity and might improve memory disruption caused by inflammation. In this study the effect of pre-treatment with the hydro-alcoholic extract of POL on memory retrieval investigated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treated rats. Male Wistar rats (200-220g) received either a control diet or a diet containing of POL (400mg/kg, p.o.) for 14days. Then, they received injections of either saline or LPS (1mg/kg, i.p.). In all the experimental groups, 4h following the last injection, passive avoidance learning (PAL) and memory test was performed. The retention test was done 24h after the training and then the animals were sacrificed. Hippocampal TNF-α levels measured using ELISA as one criteria of LPS-induced neuroinflammation. The results indicated that LPS significantly impaired PAL and memory and increased TNF-α levels in hippocampus tissue. Pre-treatment with POL improved memory in control rats and prevented memory and TNF-α deterioration in LPS treated rats. Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the hydro-alcoholic extract of POL may improve memory deficits in LPS treated rats, possibly via inhibition of TNF-α and anti-inflammatory activity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Lithium chloride administration prevents spatial learning and memory impairment in repeated cerebral ischemia-reperfusion mice by depressing apoptosis and increasing BDNF expression in hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Mingyue; Jin, Wei; Zhao, Haifeng; Xiao, Yining; Jia, Yanqiu; Yin, Yu; Jiang, Xin; Xu, Jing; Meng, Nan; Lv, Peiyuan

    2015-09-15

    Lithium has been reported to have neuroprotective effects, but the preventive and treated role on cognition impairment and the underlying mechanisms have not been determined. In the present study, C57Bl/6 mice were subjected to repeated bilateral common carotid artery occlusion to induce the learning and memory deficits. 2 mmol/kg or 5 mmol/kg of lithium chloride (LiCl) was injected intraperitoneally per day before (for 7 days) or post (for 28 days) the operation. This repeated cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (IR) induced dynamic overexpression of ratio of Bcl-2/Bax and BDNF in hippocampus of mice. LiCl pretreatment and treatment significantly decreased the escape latency and increased the percentage of time that the mice spent in the target quadrant in Morris water maze. 2 mmol/kg LiCl evidently reversed the morphologic changes, up-regulated the survival neuron count and increased the BDNF gene and protein expression. 5 mmol/kg pre-LiCl significantly increased IR-stimulated reduce of Bcl-2/Bax and p-CREB/CREB. These results described suggest that pre-Li and Li treatment may induce a pronounced prevention on cognitive impairment. These effects may relay on the inhibition of apoptosis and increasing BDNF and p-CREB expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Comparative studies on the influence of ONK (N(5-hydroxynicotinoil) glutamic acid), piracetam and meclofenoxate on the learning- and memory-impairing effect of scopolamine, clonidine, and methergoline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voronina, T A; Garibova, T L; Trofimov, S S; Sopyev, Zh A; Petkov, V D; Lazarova, M B

    1991-01-01

    The effects of the new compound N(5-hydroxynicotinoil)glutamic acid (ONK) in comparison with the well-known nootropic drugs piracetam and meclofenoxate on cognitive functions impaired by scopolamine, clonidine or methergoline were examined in albino rats and mice. The changes in learning and memory were studied by the two-way active avoidance "shuttle-box", passive avoidance "step-down" in rats and passive avoidance "step-through" in mice. The present results showed that ONK (50 mg/kg) injected intraperitoneally (i. p.), piracetam (800 mg/kg) and meclofenoxate (100 mg/kg) administered orally once daily for 5 days before training completely antagonized the scopolamine-provoked amnesia in step-through-trained mice. ONK (50 mg/kg) administered i. p., piracetam (600 mg/kg) and meclofenoxate (100 mg/kg) administered orally once daily for 5 days before training abolished the memory-impairing effect of clonidine in shuttle-box-trained rats and the amnestic effect of methergoline in step-down trained rats. The observed antiamnestic effects of the nootropic drugs studied are probably realised through their influence on cholinergic, noradrenergic and serotoninergic neurotransmission. The favourable effect of ONK on cognition might be of interest for therapeutic practice.

  20. School based factors affecting learning of Kenyan sign language in primary schools for hearing impaired in Embu and Isiolo counties, Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel Muthomi Rwaimba

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This was a descriptive survey study design which sought to establish the school based factors that affect the learning of Kenyan Sign Language in primary schools for learners with hearing impairment in Embu and Isiolo counties in Kenya. The target population was all teachers teaching in primary schools for learners with hearing impairment in the two counties. From the selected schools, the study purposively and randomly sampled 2 head teachers and 8 teachers respectively. Interview guides were used to obtain data from the head teachers, questionnaires from teachers while observation schedules were used to obtain data on the general nature of the school environment. Quantitative data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics and tabulated in frequency tables, bar charts and pie charts while qualitative data were analyzed and presented in narrative form. The study findings revealed that all the sampled respondents had training in special needs education but only 25% had training in KSL as a subject. Basing on the findings the researcher recommends that the TSC should post only teachers trained in KSL to teach KSL among learners with HI and that the universities should introduce KSL as a teaching subject alongside other subjects like Mathematics, English and Kiswahili.

  1. Maternal docosahexaenoic acid feeding protects against impairment of learning and memory and oxidative stress in prenatally stressed rats: possible role of neuronal mitochondria metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Zhihui; Zou, Xuan; Jia, Haiqun; Li, Xuesen; Zhu, Zhongliang; Liu, Xuebo; Bucheli, Peter; Ballevre, Olivier; Hou, Yangfeng; Zhang, Weiguo; Wang, Junkaun; Chen, Yan; Liu, Jiankang

    2012-02-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3; DHA) is known to play a critical role in postnatal brain development. However, no study has been performed to investigate its preventive effect on prenatal stress-induced behavioral and molecular alterations in offspring. In the present study, rats were exposed to restraint stress on days 14-20 of pregnancy, three times a day, 2 hours each time; DHA was given at the doses of 100 and 300 mg/kg/day for two weeks. We showed that prenatal restraint stress caused (1) learning and memory impairment, (2) BDNF mRNA level decrease, (3) oxidative damage to proteins, (4) enhanced expression of nitric oxide synthase and apoptosis, and (5) abnormalities in mitochondrial metabolism that included changes in mitochondrial complexes I-V, and enhancement of expression of proteins involved in mitochondrial fusion/fission (Mfn-1, Mfn-2, Drp-1) and autophagy (Atg3, Atg7, Beclin-1, p-Akt, and p-mTOR) in the hippocampus of offspring. Besides the well-known role in child brain development, we reported the novel finding of DHA in protecting prenatal stress-induced cognitive dysfunction involving the modulation of mitochondrial function and dynamics. Maternal feeding of DHA significantly prevented prenatal stress-induced impairment of learning and memory and normalized the biomarkers of oxidative damage, apoptosis, and mitochondrial metabolism in the hippocampus of both male and female offspring. These results suggest that maternal feeding of DHA exerts preventive effects on prenatal stress-induced brain dysfunction and that modulation of mitochondrial metabolism may play critical role in DHA protection.

  2. Extract of Fructus Cannabis Ameliorates Learning and Memory Impairment Induced by D-Galactose in an Aging Rats Model

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    Ning-Yuan Chen

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Hempseed (Cannabis sativa L. has been used as a health food and folk medicine in China for centuries. In the present study, we sought to define the underlying mechanism by which the extract of Fructus Cannabis (EFC protects against memory impairment induced by D-galactose in rats. To accelerate aging and induce memory impairment in rats, D-galactose (400 mg/kg was injected intraperitoneally once daily for 14 weeks. EFC (200 and 400 mg/kg was simultaneously administered intragastrically once daily in an attempt to slow the aging process. We found that EFC significantly increased the activity of superoxide dismutase, while lowering levels of malondialdehyde in the hippocampus. Moreover, EFC dramatically elevated the organ indices of some organs, including the heart, the liver, the thymus, and the spleen. In addition, EFC improved the behavioral performance of rats treated with D-galactose in the Morris water maze. Furthermore, EFC inhibited the activation of astrocytes and remarkably attenuated phosphorylated tau and suppressed the expression of presenilin 1 in the brain of D-galactose-treated rats. These findings suggested that EFC exhibits beneficial effects on the cognition of aging rats probably by enhancing antioxidant capacity and anti-neuroinflammation, improving immune function, and modulating tau phosphorylation and presenilin expression.

  3. The chronology of age-related spatial learning impairment in two rat strains, as tested by the Barnes maze.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrett, Graham L; Bennie, Antoinette; Trieu, Jennifer; Ping, Sophie; Tsafoulis, Christine

    2009-06-01

    The Barnes maze offers advantages for cognitive aging studies, because of its relatively unstressful design and its modest physical demands. The authors therefore undertook a detailed chronological investigation of performance against age, for female Sprague-Dawley and male and female Dark Agouti rats. The trial duration was 10 days. Rats were tested at 6, 11, 14, 17, 20, and 26 months of age, but individual rats were tested at one age only. At 6 months of age, all rats reached the criterion. Sprague-Dawley rats performed best at this age. Impairment began at 14 months in Dark Agouti rats and continued to increase up to 26 months of age. Impairment was greater in Dark Agouti than Sprague-Dawley rats and was greater in females than males. At 26 months, 70% of Sprague-Dawley females reached criterion; of the Dark Agoutis, only 33% of females and 57% of males reached criterion. This study confirms the utility of the Barnes maze as a robust vehicle in aged rats. It also highlights major performance differences between strains and genders in aging rats. Copyright (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.

  4. Rhinal and Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Lesions Produce Selective Impairments in Object and Spatial Learning and Memory in Canines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christie, Lori-Ann; Saunders, Richard C.; Kowalska, Danuta, M.; MacKay, William A.; Head, Elizabeth; Cotman, Carl W.; Milgram, Norton W.

    2014-01-01

    To examine the effects of rhinal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex lesions on object and spatial recognition memory in canines, we used a protocol in which both an object (delayed non-matching to sample, or DNMS) and a spatial (delayed non-matching to position or DNMP) recognition task were administered daily. The tasks used similar procedures such that only the type of stimulus information to be remembered differed. Rhinal cortex (RC) lesions produced a selective deficit on the DNMS task, both in retention of the task rules at short delays and in object recognition memory. By contrast, performance on the DNMP task remained intact at both short and long delay intervals in RC animals. Subjects who received dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) lesions were impaired on a spatial task at a short, 5-sec delay, suggesting disrupted retention of the general task rules, however, this impairment was transient; long-term spatial memory performance was unaffected in dlPFC subjects. The present results provide support for the involvement of the RC in object, but not visuospatial, processing and recognition memory, whereas the dlPFC appears to mediate retention of a non-matching rule. These findings support theories of functional specialization within the medial temporal lobe and frontal cortex and suggest that rhinal and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices in canines are functionally similar to analogous regions in other mammals. PMID:18792072

  5. Protective effects of gastrodia elata on aluminium-chloride-induced learning impairments and alterations of amino acid neurotransmitter release in adult rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shuchang, He; Qiao, Niu; Piye, Niu; Mingwei, He; Xiaoshu, Sun; Feng, Shao; Sheng, Wang; Opler, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Purpose High brain levels of aluminum (Al) can be neurotoxic and cause learning and memory deficits. Gastrodia elata (GE) is a Chinese herb widely used for improving mental function in traditional Chinese medicine. We measured changes in Al-induced neurotransmitter alteration and performance on a learning and memory task to elucidate the mechanism of Al toxicity and to assess whether these alterations could be attenuated by GE. Methods Thirty-six adult, male rats were randomly divided into six groups. Four Al-exposed groups were given aluminum chloride at 5 mg/kg/day or 10 mg/kg/day (i.p.) for two months, with two of these groups (one for each dose of Al) receiving GE (0.4 g/kg, via oral intubation, with the GE powder mixed in the drinking water) while the other two groups received vehicle. A GE control group was given injections of saline plus GE and a saline control group was given injections of saline and with 3 injection days and one day off. A step-down test was used to measure learning and memory ability. Al concentrations in the neocortex were assayed with a graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Amino acid neurotransmitter levels in the neocortex were determined by high performance liquid chromatogram-fluorescence. Results Al-exposed rats showed impaired learning and memory ability as indicated by shorter step down latency and more retention errors. Cortical concentrations (mean ± SEM) of Al were: 56.22 ± 34.10 ng/g (wet weight) in the Saline control group; 172.87 ± 111.06 in the 5 mg/kg/dayAl group; 289.15 ± 102.55 in the 10mg Al group; 74.98 ± 19.00 in the GE control group; 232.55 ± 35.74 in 5 mg Al+GE group; and 291.35 ± 98.38 in 10 mg Al+GE group respectively. Al exposure produced a significant increase in cortical GABA levels. Gastrodia elata reduced learning and memory deficits without affecting brain Al levels. Conclusions Rats exposed to AlCl3 suffer from deficits in learning and memory, accompanied by increases in GABA levels

  6. The relationship between NMDA receptors and microwave-induced learning and memory impairment: a long-term observation on Wistar rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hui; Peng, Ruiyun; Zhao, Li; Wang, Shuiming; Gao, Yabing; Wang, Lifeng; Zuo, Hongyan; Dong, Ji; Xu, Xinping; Zhou, Hongmei; Su, Zhentao

    2015-03-01

    Abstract Purpose: To investigate whether high power microwave could cause continuous disorders to learning and memory in Wistar rats and to explore the underlying mechanisms. Eighty Wistar rats were exposed to a 2.856 GHz pulsed microwave source at a power density of 0 mW/cm(2) and 50 mW/cm(2) microwave for 6 min. The spatial memory ability, the structure of the hippocampus, contents of amino acids neurotransmitters in hippocampus and the expression of N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors (NMDAR) subunit 1, 2A and 2B (NR1, NR2A and NR2B) were detected at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 months after microwave exposure. Our results showed that the microwave-exposed rats showed consistent deficiencies in spatial learning and memory. The level of amino acid neurotransmitters also decreased after microwave radiation. The ratio of glutamate (Glu) and gammaaminobutyric acid (GABA) significantly decreased at 6 months. Besides, the hippocampus showed varying degrees of degeneration of neurons, increased postsynaptic density and blurred synaptic clefts in the exposure group. The NR1 and NR2B expression showed a significant decrease, especially the NR2B expression. This study indicated that the content of amino acids neurotransmitters, the expression of NMDAR subunits and the variation of hippocampal structure might contribute to the long-term cognitive impairment after microwave exposure.

  7. Interactive Book Reading to Accelerate Word Learning by Kindergarten Children With Specific Language Impairment: Identifying an Adequate Intensity and Variation in Treatment Response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkel, Holly L; Voelmle, Krista; Fierro, Veronica; Flake, Kelsey; Fleming, Kandace K; Romine, Rebecca Swinburne

    2017-01-01

    This study sought to identify an adequate intensity of interactive book reading for new word learning by children with specific language impairment (SLI) and to examine variability in treatment response. An escalation design adapted from nontoxic drug trials (Hunsberger, Rubinstein, Dancey, & Korn, 2005) was used in this Phase I/II preliminary clinical trial. A total of 27 kindergarten children with SLI were randomized to 1 of 4 intensities of interactive book reading: 12, 24, 36, or 48 exposures. Word learning was monitored through a definition task and a naming task. An intensity response curve was examined to identify the adequate intensity. Correlations and classification accuracy were used to examine variation in response to treatment relative to pretreatment and early treatment measures. Response to treatment improved as intensity increased from 12 to 24 to 36 exposures, and then no further improvements were observed as intensity increased to 48 exposures. There was variability in treatment response: Children with poor phonological awareness, low vocabulary, and/or poor nonword repetition were less likely to respond to treatment. The adequate intensity for this version of interactive book reading was 36 exposures, but further development of the treatment is needed to increase the benefit for children with SLI.

  8. Evidence-based practice guidelines for instructing individuals with neurogenic memory impairments: what have we learned in the past 20 years?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlhardt, Laurie A; Sohlberg, McKay Moore; Kennedy, Mary; Coelho, Carl; Ylvisaker, Mark; Turkstra, Lyn; Yorkston, Kathryn

    2008-06-01

    This article examines the instructional research literature pertinent to teaching procedures or information to individuals with acquired memory impairments due to brain injury or related conditions. The purpose is to evaluate the available evidence in order to generate practice guidelines for clinicians working in the field of cognitive rehabilitation. A systematic review of the instructional literature from 1986 to 2006 revealed 51 studies meeting search criteria. Studies were analysed and coded within the following four key domains: Population Sample, Intervention, Study Design, and Treatment Outcomes. Coding included 17 characteristics of the population sample; seven intervention parameters; five study design features; and five treatment outcome parameters. Interventions that were evaluated included systematic instructional techniques such as method of vanishing cues and errorless learning. The majority of the studies reported positive outcomes in favour of systematic instruction. However, issues related to the design and execution of effective instruction lack clarity and require further study. The interaction between the target learning objective and the individual learner profile is not well understood. The evidence review concludes with clinical recommendations based on the instructional literature and a call to clinicians to incorporate these methods into their practice to maximise patient outcomes.

  9. Electroacupuncture ameliorates spatial learning and memory impairment via attenuating NOX2-related oxidative stress in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease induced by Aβ1-42.

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    Wu, G; Li, L; Li, H-M; Zeng, Y; Wu, W-C

    2017-04-29

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive deterioration of cognition and memory, in which oxidative stress has been played a crucial role in the pathology of AD. Electroacupuncture (EA) is a widely used therapy based on traditional acupuncture combined with modern electrotherapy in Asia. The present study aimed to determine the effects of EA treatment on spatial learning and memory impairment, and to elucidate the status of NOX2-related oxidative stress in a rat model of Alzheimer's disease induced by Beta-amyloid1-42 (Aβ1-42). Fifty-six adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into four groups: sham, sham+EA, AD and AD+EA. The rats in Sham+EA and AD+EA groups were respectively administrated EA treatment at Baihui and yongquan acupoints, once a day for 30 min, lasting for 28 days. The spatial learning and memory functions were assessed by Morris water maze (MWM) test. The activities of total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), reactive oxygen species (ROS), malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG) were evaluated. Moreover, the neuronal injury was detected by Nissl staining. Meanwhile, the NeuN expression was examined in the hippocampus, the expression levels of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH)-oxidase2(NOX2) was detected by immunofluorescence staining and western blot. The results showed that EA treatment significantly improved spatial learning and memory impairment in rats induced by Aβ1-42. Concomitantly, EA treatment markedly restored T-AOC and attenuated the abnormal increase in levels of ROS, MDA and 8-OH-dG in the hippocampus of the AD rats. More notably, EA treatment also effectively ameliorated neuronal injury and counteracted the aberrant increase of NOX2 levels in the hippocampus of AD rats. Our findings suggested that EA is a potential strategy for the treatment of AD, and the possible mechanism is associated with the alleviation of neuronal injury

  10. Do children with specific language impairment and autism spectrum disorders benefit from the presence of orthography when learning new spoken words?

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    Ricketts, Jessie; Dockrell, Julie E; Patel, Nita; Charman, Tony; Lindsay, Geoff

    2015-06-01

    This experiment investigated whether children with specific language impairment (SLI), children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and typically developing children benefit from the incidental presence of orthography when learning new oral vocabulary items. Children with SLI, children with ASD, and typically developing children (n=27 per group) between 8 and 13 years of age were matched in triplets for age and nonverbal reasoning. Participants were taught 12 mappings between novel phonological strings and referents; half of these mappings were trained with orthography present and half were trained with orthography absent. Groups did not differ on the ability to learn new oral vocabulary, although there was some indication that children with ASD were slower than controls to identify newly learned items. During training, the ASD, SLI, and typically developing groups benefited from orthography to the same extent. In supplementary analyses, children with SLI were matched in pairs to an additional control group of younger typically developing children for nonword reading. Compared with younger controls, children with SLI showed equivalent oral vocabulary acquisition and benefit from orthography during training. Our findings are consistent with current theoretical accounts of how lexical entries are acquired and replicate previous studies that have shown orthographic facilitation for vocabulary acquisition in typically developing children and children with ASD. We demonstrate this effect in SLI for the first time. The study provides evidence that the presence of orthographic cues can support oral vocabulary acquisition, motivating intervention approaches (as well as standard classroom teaching) that emphasize the orthographic form. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. RanBP9 overexpression down-regulates phospho-cofilin, causes early synaptic deficits and impaired learning, and accelerates accumulation of amyloid plaques in the mouse brain.

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    Palavicini, Juan Pablo; Wang, Hongjie; Minond, Dmitriy; Bianchi, Elisabetta; Xu, Shaohua; Lakshmana, Madepalli K

    2014-01-01

    Loss of synaptic proteins and functional synapses in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) as well as transgenic mouse models expressing amyloid-β protein precursor is now well established. However, the earliest age at which such loss of synapses occurs, and whether known markers of AD progression accelerate functional deficits is completely unknown. We previously showed that RanBP9 overexpression leads to enhanced amyloid plaque burden in a mouse model of AD. In this study, we found significant reductions in the levels of synaptophysin and spinophilin, compared with wild-type controls, in both the cortex and the hippocampus of 5- and 6-month old but not 3- or 4-month old APΔE9/RanBP9 triple transgenic mice, and not in APΔE9 double transgenic mice, nor in RanBP9 single transgenic mice. Interestingly, amyloid plaque burden was also increased in the APΔE9/RanBP9 mice at 5-6 months. Consistent with these results, we found significant deficits in learning and memory in the APΔE9/RanBP9 mice at 5 and 6 month. These data suggest that increased amyloid plaques and accelerated learning and memory deficits and loss of synaptic proteins induced by RanBP9 are correlated. Most importantly, APΔE9/RanBP9 mice also showed significantly reduced levels of the phosphorylated form of cofilin in the hippocampus. Taken together these data suggest that RanBP9 overexpression down-regulates cofilin, causes early synaptic deficits and impaired learning, and accelerates accumulation of amyloid plaques in the mouse brain.

  12. Traumatic brain injury accelerates amyloid-β deposition and impairs spatial learning in the triple-transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shishido, Hajime; Kishimoto, Yasushi; Kawai, Nobuyuki; Toyota, Yasunori; Ueno, Masaki; Kubota, Takashi; Kirino, Yutaka; Tamiya, Takashi

    2016-08-26

    Several pathological and epidemiological studies have demonstrated a possible relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, the exact contribution of TBI to AD onset and progression is unclear. Hence, we examined AD-related histopathological changes and cognitive impairment after TBI in triple transgenic (3×Tg)-AD model mice. Five- to seven-month-old 3×Tg-AD model mice were subjected to either TBI by the weight-drop method or a sham treatment. In the 3×Tg-AD mice subjected to TBI, the spatial learning was not significantly different 7 days after TBI compared to that of the sham-treated 3×Tg-AD mice. However, 28 days after TBI, the 3×Tg-AD mice exhibited significantly lower spatial learning than the sham-treated 3×Tg-AD mice. Correspondingly, while a few amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques were observed in both sham-treated and TBI-treated 3×Tg-AD mouse hippocampus 7 days after TBI, the Aβ deposition was significantly greater in 3×Tg-AD mice 28 days after TBI. Thus, we demonstrated that TBI induced a significant increase in hippocampal Aβ deposition 28 days after TBI compared to that of the control animals, which was associated with worse spatial learning ability in 3×Tg-AD mice. The present study suggests that TBI could be a risk factor for accelerated AD progression, particularly when genetic and hereditary predispositions are involved. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The utility of the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (Chinese version for screening dementia and mild cognitive impairment in a Chinese population

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    Shi Jing

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT has been validated for detecting dementia in English-speaking populations. However, no studies have examined the Chinese version of the HVLT scale, and appropriate cut-off scores for dementia in the Chinese population remain unclear. Methods 631 subjects aged 60 and over were recruited at a memory clinic at Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing. Of these, 249 were classified as exhibiting normal cognition (NC, 134 were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI, 97 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (AD, 14 met the diagnosis for vascular dementia (VaD, and 50 were diagnosed with other types of dementia, including mixed dementia. The discriminative capacity of the HVLT total learning score, recognition score and total score were calculated to determine their sensitivity and specificity for detecting MCI, AD and other dementias, and various cut-off scores. Results HVLT scores were affected by age, education and sex. The HVLT total learning score exhibited an optimal balance between sensitivity and specificity using a cut-off score of 15.5 for distinguishing AD and other types of dementia from NC using the ROC curve, with sensitivity of 94.7% for distinguishing AD and all types of dementia, and specificity of 92.5% for detecting AD and 93.4% for detecting all types of dementias. We stratified the AD and MCI groups by age, and calculated the validity in each age group. In the 50–64 years age group, when the cutoff score was 18.5, the sensitivity of 0.955 and specificity of 0.921 were obtained for discriminating the NC and AD groups, and in the 65–80 years group, and optimal sensitivity and specificity values (0.948 and 0.925, respectively were obtained with a cutoff score of 14.5. When the cutoff score was 21.5 in HVLT total recall, an optimal balance was obtained between sensitivity and specificity (69.1% and 70.7%, respectively in distinguishing MCI from NC. Conclusion A cut

  14. Fluoride and arsenic exposure impairs learning and memory and decreases mGluR5 expression in the hippocampus and cortex in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Shoufang; Su, Jing; Yao, Sanqiao; Zhang, Yanshu; Cao, Fuyuan; Wang, Fei; Wang, Huihui; Li, Jun; Xi, Shuhua

    2014-01-01

    Fluoride and arsenic are two common inorganic contaminants in drinking water that are associated with impairment in child development and retarded intelligence. The present study was conducted to explore the effects on spatial learning, memory, glutamate levels, and group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) expression in the hippocampus and cortex after subchronic exposure to fluoride, arsenic, and a fluoride and arsenic combination in rats. Weaned male Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to four groups. The control rats drank tap water. Rats in the three exposure groups drank water with sodium fluoride (120 mg/L), sodium arsenite (70 mg/L), and a sodium fluoride (120 mg/L) and sodium arsenite (70 mg/L) combination for 3 months. Spatial learning and memory was measured in Morris water maze. mGluR1 and mGluR5 mRNA and protein expression in the hippocampus and cortex was detected using RT-PCR and Western blot, respectively. Compared with controls, learning and memory ability declined in rats that were exposed to fluoride and arsenic both alone and combined. Combined fluoride and arsenic exposure did not have a more pronounced effect on spatial learning and memory compared with arsenic and fluoride exposure alone. Compared with controls, glutamate levels decreased in the hippocampus and cortex of rats exposed to fluoride and combined fluoride and arsenic, and in cortex of arsenic-exposed rats. mGluR5 mRNA and protein expressions in the hippocampus and mGluR5 protein expression in the cortex decreased in rats exposed to arsenic alone. Interestingly, compared with fluoride and arsenic exposure alone, fluoride and arsenic combination decreased mGluR5 mRNA expression in the cortex and protein expression in the hippocampus, suggesting a synergistic effect of fluoride and arsenic. These data indicate that fluoride and arsenic, either alone or combined, can decrease learning and memory ability in rats. The mechanism may be associated with changes of glutamate level and

  15. The utility of the Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (Chinese version) for screening dementia and mild cognitive impairment in a Chinese population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jing; Tian, Jinzhou; Wei, Mingqing; Miao, Yingchun; Wang, Yongyan

    2012-11-07

    The Hopkins Verbal Learning Test (HVLT) has been validated for detecting dementia in English-speaking populations. However, no studies have examined the Chinese version of the HVLT scale, and appropriate cut-off scores for dementia in the Chinese population remain unclear. 631 subjects aged 60 and over were recruited at a memory clinic at Dongzhimen Hospital in Beijing. Of these, 249 were classified as exhibiting normal cognition (NC), 134 were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 97 were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 14 met the diagnosis for vascular dementia (VaD), and 50 were diagnosed with other types of dementia, including mixed dementia. The discriminative capacity of the HVLT total learning score, recognition score and total score were calculated to determine their sensitivity and specificity for detecting MCI, AD and other dementias, and various cut-off scores. HVLT scores were affected by age, education and sex. The HVLT total learning score exhibited an optimal balance between sensitivity and specificity using a cut-off score of 15.5 for distinguishing AD and other types of dementia from NC using the ROC curve, with sensitivity of 94.7% for distinguishing AD and all types of dementia, and specificity of 92.5% for detecting AD and 93.4% for detecting all types of dementias. We stratified the AD and MCI groups by age, and calculated the validity in each age group. In the 50-64 years age group, when the cutoff score was 18.5, the sensitivity of 0.955 and specificity of 0.921 were obtained for discriminating the NC and AD groups, and in the 65-80 years group, and optimal sensitivity and specificity values (0.948 and 0.925, respectively) were obtained with a cutoff score of 14.5. When the cutoff score was 21.5 in HVLT total recall, an optimal balance was obtained between sensitivity and specificity (69.1% and 70.7%, respectively) in distinguishing MCI from NC. A cut-off score of 15.5 in the HVLT total learning score led to high

  16. Transmission of stress-induced learning impairment and associated brain gene expression from parents to offspring in chickens.

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    Christina Lindqvist

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Stress influences many aspects of animal behaviour and is a major factor driving populations to adapt to changing living conditions, such as during domestication. Stress can affect offspring through non-genetic mechanisms, but recent research indicates that inherited epigenetic modifications of the genome could possibly also be involved. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Red junglefowl (RJF, ancestors of modern chickens and domesticated White Leghorn (WL chickens were raised in a stressful environment (unpredictable light-dark rhythm and control animals in similar pens, but on a 12/12 h light-dark rhythm. WL in both treatments had poorer spatial learning ability than RJF, and in both populations, stress caused a reduced ability to solve a spatial learning task. Offspring of stressed WL, but not RJF, raised without parental contact, had a reduced spatial learning ability compared to offspring of non-stressed animals in a similar test as that used for their parents. Offspring of stressed WL were also more competitive and grew faster than offspring of non-stressed parents. Using a whole-genome cDNA microarray, we found that in WL, the same changes in hypothalamic gene expression profile caused by stress in the parents were also found in the offspring. In offspring of stressed WL, at least 31 genes were up- or down-regulated in the hypothalamus and pituitary compared to offspring of non-stressed parents. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results suggest that, in WL the gene expression response to stress, as well as some behavioural stress responses, were transmitted across generations. The ability to transmit epigenetic information and behaviour modifications between generations may therefore have been favoured by domestication. The mechanisms involved remain to be investigated; epigenetic modifications could either have been inherited or acquired de novo in the specific egg environment. In both cases, this would offer a novel explanation to

  17. Abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells and impaired motor learning in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia mouse models.

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    Yokoi, Fumiaki; Dang, Mai T; Yang, Guang; Li, Jindong; Doroodchi, Atbin; Zhou, Tong; Li, Yuqing

    2012-02-01

    Myoclonus-dystonia (M-D) is a movement disorder characterized by myoclonic jerks with dystonia. DYT11 M-D is caused by mutations in SGCE which codes for ɛ-sarcoglycan. SGCE is maternally imprinted and paternally expressed. Abnormal nuclear envelope has been reported in mouse models of DYT1 generalized torsion dystonia. However, it is not known whether similar alterations occur in DYT11 M-D. We developed a mouse model of DYT11 M-D using paternally inherited Sgce heterozygous knockout (Sgce KO) mice and reported that they had myoclonus and motor coordination and learning deficits in the beam-walking test. However, the specific brain regions that contribute to these phenotypes have not been identified. Since ɛ-sarcoglycan is highly expressed in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, here we examined the nuclear envelope in these cells using a transmission electron microscope and found that they are abnormal in Sgce KO mice. Our results put DYT11 M-D in a growing family of nuclear envelopathies. To analyze the effect of loss of ɛ-sarcoglycan function in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, we produced paternally inherited cerebellar Purkinje cell-specific Sgce conditional knockout (Sgce pKO) mice. Sgce pKO mice showed motor learning deficits, while they did not show abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, robust motor deficits, or myoclonus. The results suggest that ɛ-sarcoglycan in the cerebellar Purkinje cells contributes to the motor learning, while loss of ɛ-sarcoglycan in other brain regions may contribute to nuclear envelope abnormality, myoclonus and motor coordination deficits. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Trim9 Deletion Alters the Morphogenesis of Developing and Adult-Born Hippocampal Neurons and Impairs Spatial Learning and Memory.

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    Winkle, Cortney C; Olsen, Reid H J; Kim, Hyojin; Moy, Sheryl S; Song, Juan; Gupton, Stephanie L

    2016-05-04

    During hippocampal development, newly born neurons migrate to appropriate destinations, extend axons, and ramify dendritic arbors to establish functional circuitry. These developmental stages are recapitulated in the dentate gyrus of the adult hippocampus, where neurons are continuously generated and subsequently incorporate into existing, local circuitry. Here we demonstrate that the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM9 regulates these developmental stages in embryonic and adult-born mouse hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo Embryonic hippocampal and adult-born dentate granule neurons lacking Trim9 exhibit several morphological defects, including excessive dendritic arborization. Although gross anatomy of the hippocampus was not detectably altered by Trim9 deletion, a significant number of Trim9(-/-) adult-born dentate neurons localized inappropriately. These morphological and localization defects of hippocampal neurons in Trim9(-/-) mice were associated with extreme deficits in spatial learning and memory, suggesting that TRIM9-directed neuronal morphogenesis may be involved in hippocampal-dependent behaviors. Appropriate generation and incorporation of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus are critical for spatial learning and memory and other hippocampal functions. Here we identify the brain-enriched E3 ubiquitin ligase TRIM9 as a novel regulator of embryonic and adult hippocampal neuron shape acquisition and hippocampal-dependent behaviors. Genetic deletion of Trim9 elevated dendritic arborization of hippocampal neurons in vitro and in vivo Adult-born dentate granule cells lacking Trim9 similarly exhibited excessive dendritic arborization and mislocalization of cell bodies in vivo These cellular defects were associated with severe deficits in spatial learning and memory. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/364940-19$15.00/0.

  19. Repeated Blockade of NMDA Receptors during Adolescence Impairs Reversal Learning and Disrupts GABAergic Interneurons in Rat Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jitao eLi

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Adolescence is of particular significance to schizophrenia, since psychosis onset typically occurs in this critical period. Based on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis of schizophrenia, in this study, we investigated whether and how repeated NMDA receptor blockade during adolescence would affect GABAergic interneurons in rat medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC and mPFC-mediated cognitive functions. Specifically, adolescent rats were subjected to intraperitoneal administration of MK-801 (0.1, 0.2, 0.4 mg/kg, a non-competitive NMDA receptor antagonist, for 14 days and then tested for reference memory and reversal learning in the water maze. The density of parvabumin (PV-, calbindin (CB- and calretinin (CR-positive neurons in mPFC were analyzed at either 24 hours or 7 days after drug cessation. We found that MK-801 treatment delayed reversal learning in the water maze without affecting initial acquisition. Strikingly, MK-801 treatment also significantly reduced the density of PV+ and CB+ neurons, and this effect persisted for 7 days after drug cessation at the dose of 0.2 mg/kg. We further demonstrated that the reduction in PV+ and CB+ neuron densities was ascribed to a downregulation of the expression levels of PV and CB, but not to neuronal death. These results parallel the behavioral and neuropathological changes of schizophrenia and provide evidence that adolescent NMDA receptors antagonism offers a useful tool for unraveling the etiology of the disease.

  20. Learning from the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study: summary of 5-year findings and implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ching, Teresa Y C; Dillon, Harvey; Leigh, Greg; Cupples, Linda

    2017-10-12

    This article summarises findings of the Longitudinal Outcomes of Children with Hearing Impairment (LOCHI) study, and discusses implications of the findings for research and clinical practice. A population-based study on outcomes of children with hearing loss. Evaluations were conducted at five years of age. Participants were 470 children born with hearing loss between 2002 and 2007 in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in Australia, and who first received amplification or cochlear implantation by three years of age. The earlier hearing aids or cochlear implants were fitted, the better the speech, language and functional performance outcomes. Better speech perception was also associated with better language and higher cognitive abilities. Better psychosocial development was associated with better language and functional performance. Higher maternal education level was also associated with better outcomes. Qualitative analyses of parental perspectives revealed the multiple facets of their involvement in intervention. The LOCHI study has shown that early fitting of hearing devices is key to achieving better speech, language and functional performance outcomes for children with hearing loss. The findings are discussed in relation to changes in clinical practice and directions for future research.

  1. Propofol Mitigates Learning and Memory Impairment After Electroconvulsive Shock in Depressed Rats by Inhibiting Autophagy in the Hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Hao, Xue-Chao; Luo, Jie; Lv, Feng; Wei, Ke; Min, Su

    2016-05-20

    BACKGROUND The present study explored the effects of propofol on hippocampal autophagy and synaptophysin in depression-model rats undergoing electroconvulsive shock (ECS). MATERIAL AND METHODS The rat depression model was established by exposing Sprague-Dawley rats to stress for 28 consecutive days. Forty rats were assigned randomly into the depression group (group D; no treatment), the ECS group (group E), the propofol group (group P), and the propofol + ECS group (group PE). Open field tests and sucrose preference tests were applied to evaluate the depression behavior; and Morris water maze tests were used to assess the learning and memory function of the rats. Western blotting was used to detect the expression of Beclin-1 and LC3-II/I; and ELISA was applied to assess the expression of synaptophysin. RESULTS Rats in group E and group PE scored higher in the open field and sucrose preference tests compared with those in group D. Furthermore, rats in group E also had a longer escape latency, a shorter space exploration time, and increased expression of Beclin-1, LC3-II/I, and synaptophysin. Compared with group E, rats in group PE possessed a shorter escape latency, a longer space exploration time, reduced expression of Beclin-1, LC3-II/I, and synaptophysin. CONCLUSIONS Propofol could inhibit excessive ECS-induced autophagy and synaptophysin overexpression in the hippocampus, thus protecting the learning and memory functions in depressed rats after ECS. The inhibitory effects of propofol on the overexpression of synaptophysin may result from its inhibitory effects on the excessive induction of autophagy.

  2. The effects of Nigella sativa extract on hypothyroidism-associated learning and memory impairment during neonatal and juvenile growth in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Farimah; Hosseini, Mahmoud; Shafei, Mohammad Naser; Soukhtanloo, Mohammad; Ghasemi, Simagol; Vafaee, Farzaneh; Zarepoor, Leila

    2017-01-01

    It has been shown that hypothyroidism-induced oxidative damage in brain tissue is involved in its adverse effects on learning and memory. Nigella sativa (N. sativa) has been suggested to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of hydroalcoholic extract of N. sativa on hypothyroidism-associated learning and memory impairment during neonatal and juvenile growth in rats. Thirty pregnant rats were kept in separate cages. After delivery, the mothers and their offspring were randomly divided into six groups including: (1) control, (2) PTU (propylthiouracil), (3) PTU-NS 100, (4) PTU-NS 200, (5) PTU-NS 400, and (6) PTU-Vit C (vitamin C). All dams except the control group received 0.005% PTU in their drinking water during lactation. Besides PTU, dams in groups 3, 4, 5, and 6 received 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg N. sativa extract, or 100 mg/kg Vit C, respectively. After lactation period, pups continued to receive same experimental treatment for the first 8 weeks of their life. Then, 10 male offspring of each group were randomly selected and assessed for the learning and memory abilities by using Morris water maze (MWM) and passive avoidance (PA) tests. Blood samples were collected for thyroxine assessment, animals were euthanized, and the brain tissues were removed and analyzed for total thiol groups and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations. PTU exposure significantly increased the time latency in MWM test, while reduced the time spent in target quadrant, and decreased the latency for entering the dark compartment in PA test. These effects were associated with significant reduction in serum thyroxine levels and brain levels of thiol groups, and significant elevation in hippocampal MDA. Administration of 400 mg/kg N. sativa extract and 100 mg/kg Vit C reduced the time latency, while increased the time spent in target quadrant compared to the PTU group in MWM test. Treatment by 100-400 mg/kg of N. sativa extract

  3. Impaired neurogenesis, learning and memory and low seizure threshold associated with loss of neural precursor cell survivin

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    Eisch Amelia

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Survivin is a unique member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP family in that it exhibits antiapoptotic properties and also promotes the cell cycle and mediates mitosis as a chromosome passenger protein. Survivin is highly expressed in neural precursor cells in the brain, yet its function there has not been elucidated. Results To examine the role of neural precursor cell survivin, we first showed that survivin is normally expressed in periventricular neurogenic regions in the embryo, becoming restricted postnatally to proliferating and migrating NPCs in the key neurogenic sites, the subventricular zone (SVZ and the subgranular zone (SGZ. We then used a conditional gene inactivation strategy to delete the survivin gene prenatally in those neurogenic regions. Lack of embryonic NPC survivin results in viable, fertile mice (SurvivinCamcre with reduced numbers of SVZ NPCs, absent rostral migratory stream, and olfactory bulb hypoplasia. The phenotype can be partially rescued, as intracerebroventricular gene delivery of survivin during embryonic development increases olfactory bulb neurogenesis, detected postnatally. SurvivinCamcre brains have fewer cortical inhibitory interneurons, contributing to enhanced sensitivity to seizures, and profound deficits in memory and learning. Conclusions The findings highlight the critical role that survivin plays during neural development, deficiencies of which dramatically impact on postnatal neural function.

  4. Learning an invented inflectional morpheme in Spanish by children with typical language skills and with specific language impairment (SLI).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R T

    2001-01-01

    Cross-linguistic research on SLI has suggested that how the disorder is manifested depends on the ambient language. For example, research on Italian indicates that SLI children do not present difficulties with verb inflection, when compared with MLU-matched peers. This pattern contrasts with what has been reported for English-speaking children. The present investigation sought to examine SLI children's use of inflectional morphology through a language teaching task similar to that used by Connell (1987) and Connell and Stone (1992). To address cross-linguistic differences, children were speakers of a language similar to Italian in its verb agreement paradigm. Sixteen Puerto Rican Spanish-speaking with SLI and 16 age-matched controls were taught a subject-verb agreement suffix that established the subject's gender. Half the children in each group were taught the new form via imitation. The rest of the participants were trained via a modeling procedure. Both comprehension and production of the target form were assessed. Results indicated significant differences across the SLI and typical groups for both comprehension and production of the inflectional morpheme, regardless of instructional strategy. These findings contradict what has been observed in previous studies on teaching an invented rule to children with SLI. They also suggest that inflectional morphology may be problematic even for children who are learning a morphologically rich language. The explanatory power of the process account and the linguistic account of SLI are explored as these pertain to the present findings, and suggestions for further research are discussed.

  5. Selective spatial working memory impairment in a group of children with mathematics learning disabilities and poor problem-solving skills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Passolunghi, Maria Chiara; Mammarella, Irene Cristina

    2012-01-01

    This study examines visual and spatial working memory skills in 35 third to fifth graders with both mathematics learning disabilities (MLD) and poor problem-solving skills and 35 of their peers with typical development (TD) on tasks involving both low and high attentional control. Results revealed that children with MLD, relative to TD children, failed spatial working memory tasks that had either low or high attentional demands but did not fail the visual tasks. In addition, children with MLD made more intrusion errors in the spatial working memory tasks requiring high attentional control than did their TD peers. Finally, as a post hoc analysis the sample of MLD was divided in two: children with severe MLD and children with low mathematical achievement. Results showed that only children with severe MLD failed in spatial working memory (WM) tasks if compared with children with low mathematical achievement and TD. The findings are discussed on the basis of their theoretical and clinical implications, in particular considering that children with MLD can benefit from spatial WM processes to solve arithmetic word problems, which involves the ability to both maintain and manipulate relevant information.

  6. Application of advanced machine learning methods on resting-state fMRI network for identification of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease.

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    Khazaee, Ali; Ebrahimzadeh, Ata; Babajani-Feremi, Abbas

    2016-09-01

    The study of brain networks by resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) is a promising method for identifying patients with dementia from healthy controls (HC). Using graph theory, different aspects of the brain network can be efficiently characterized by calculating measures of integration and segregation. In this study, we combined a graph theoretical approach with advanced machine learning methods to study the brain network in 89 patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 34 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), and 45 age-matched HC. The rs-fMRI connectivity matrix was constructed using a brain parcellation based on a 264 putative functional areas. Using the optimal features extracted from the graph measures, we were able to accurately classify three groups (i.e., HC, MCI, and AD) with accuracy of 88.4 %. We also investigated performance of our proposed method for a binary classification of a group (e.g., MCI) from two other groups (e.g., HC and AD). The classification accuracies for identifying HC from AD and MCI, AD from HC and MCI, and MCI from HC and AD, were 87.3, 97.5, and 72.0 %, respectively. In addition, results based on the parcellation of 264 regions were compared to that of the automated anatomical labeling atlas (AAL), consisted of 90 regions. The accuracy of classification of three groups using AAL was degraded to 83.2 %. Our results show that combining the graph measures with the machine learning approach, on the basis of the rs-fMRI connectivity analysis, may assist in diagnosis of AD and MCI.

  7. Antisense directed against PS-1 gene decreases brain oxidative markers in aged senescence accelerated mice (SAMP8) and reverses learning and memory impairment: a proteomics study

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    Fiorini, Ada; Sultana, Rukhsana; Förster, Sarah; Perluigi, Marzia; Cenini, Giovanna; Cini, Chiara; Cai, Jian; Klein, Jon B.; Farr, Susan A.; Niehoff, Michael L.; Morley, John E.; Kumar, Vijaya B.; Butterfield, D. Allan

    2013-01-01

    Amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) plays a central role in pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) through the induction of oxidative stress. This peptide is produced by proteolytic cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the action of β- and γ-secretases. Previous studies demonstrated that reduction of Aβ, using an antisense oligonucleotide (AO) directed against the Aβ region of APP, reduced oxidative stress-mediated damage and prevented or reverted cognitive deficits in senescence-accelerated prone mice (SAMP8), a useful animal model to investigate the events related to Aβ pathology and possibly to the early phase of AD. In the current study, aged SAMP8 were treated by AO directed against PS-1, a component of the γ-secretase complex, and tested for learning and memory in T-maze foot shock avoidance and novel object recognition. Brain tissue was collected to identify the decrease of oxidative stress and to evaluate the proteins that are differently expressed and oxidized after the reduction in free radical levels induced by Aβ. We used both expression proteomics and redox proteomics approaches. In brain of AO-treated mice a decrease of oxidative stress markers was found, and the proteins identified by proteomics as expressed differently or nitrated are involved in processes known to be impaired in AD. Our results suggest that the treatment with AO directed against PS-1 in old SAMP8 mice reverses learning and memory deficits and reduces Aβ-mediated oxidative stress with restoration to the normal condition and identifies possible pharmacological targets to combat this devastating dementing disease. PMID:23777706

  8. The combination of ethanol with mephedrone increases the signs of neurotoxicity and impairs neurogenesis and learning in adolescent CD-1 mice.

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    Ciudad-Roberts, Andrés; Duart-Castells, Leticia; Camarasa, Jorge; Pubill, David; Escubedo, Elena

    2016-02-15

    A new family of psychostimulants, under the name of cathinones, has broken into the market in the last decade. In light of the fact that around 95% of cathinone consumers have been reported to combine them with alcoholic drinks, we sought to study the consequences of the concomitant administration of ethanol on mephedrone -induced neurotoxicity. Adolescent male Swiss-CD1 mice were administered four times in one day, every 2h, with saline, mephedrone (25mg/kg), ethanol (2; 1.5; 1.5; 1g/kg) and their combination at a room temperature of 26±2°C. The combination with ethanol impaired mephedrone-induced decreases in dopamine transporter and tyrosine hydroxylase in the frontal cortex; and in serotonin transporter and tryptophan hydroxylase in the hippocampus by approximately 2-fold, 7days post-treatment. Furthermore, these decreases correlated with a 2-fold increase in lipid peroxidation, measured as concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA), 24h post-treatment, and were accompanied by changes in oxidative stress-related enzymes. Ethanol also notably potentiated mephedrone-induced negative effects on learning and memory, as well as hippocampal neurogenesis, measured through the Morris water maze (MWM) and 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine staining, respectively. These results are of special significance, since alcohol is widely co-abused with amphetamine derivatives such as mephedrone, especially during adolescence, a crucial stage in brain maturation. Given that the hippocampus is greatly involved in learning and memory processes, normal brain development in young adults could be affected with permanent behavioral consequences after this type of drug co-abuse. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. [Multilingualism and specific language impairment].

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    Arkkila, Eva; Smolander, Sini; Laasonen, Marja

    2013-01-01

    Specific language impairment is one of the most common developmental disturbances in childhood. With the increase of the foreign language population group an increasing number of children assimilating several languages and causing concern in language development attend clinical examinations. Knowledge of factors underlying the specific language impairment and the specific impairment in general, special features of language development of those learning several languages, as well as the assessment and support of the linguistic skills of a multilingual child is essential. The risk of long-term problems and marginalization is high for children having specific language impairment.

  10. Helicobacter pylori filtrate impairs spatial learning and memory in rats and increases β-amyloid by enhancing expression of presenilin-2

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    Xiu-Lian eWang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori infection is related with a high risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD, but the intrinsic link between H.pylori infection and AD development is still missing. In the present study, we explored the effect of H.pylori infection on cognitive function and β-amyloid production in rats. We found that intraperitoneal injection of H.pylori filtrate induced spatial learning and memory deficit in rats with a simultaneous retarded dendritic spine maturation in hippocampus. Injection of H.pylori filtrate significantly increased Aβ42 both in the hippocampus and cortex, together with an increased level of presenilin-2 (PS-2, one key component of γ-secretase involved in Aβ production. Incubation of H.pylori filtrate with N2a cells which over-express APP also resulted in increased PS-2 expression and Aβ42 overproduction. Injection of Escherichia coli (E.coli filtrate, another common intestinal bacterium, had no effect on cognitive function in rats and Aβ production in rats and cells. These data suggest a specific effect of H.pylori on cognition and Aβ production. We conclude that soluble surface fractions of H.pylori may promote Aβ42 formation by enhancing the activity of γ-secretase, thus induce cognitive impairment through interrupting the synaptic function.

  11. Lesions of the medial striatum in monkeys produce perseverative impairments during reversal learning similar to those produced by lesions of the orbitofrontal cortex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Hannah F; Robbins, Trevor W; Roberts, Angela C

    2008-10-22

    The ability to switch responding between two visual stimuli based on their changing relationship with reward is dependent on the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). OFC lesions in humans, monkeys, and rats disrupt performance on a common test of this ability, the visual serial discrimination reversal task. This finding is of particular significance to our understanding of psychiatric disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia, in which behavioral inflexibility is a prominent symptom. Although OFC dysfunction can occur in these disorders, there is considerable evidence for more widespread dysfunction within frontostriatal and frontoamygdalar circuitry. Because the contribution of these subcortical structures to behavioral flexibility is poorly understood, the present study compared the effects of excitotoxic lesions of the medial striatum (MS), amygdala, and OFC in the marmoset monkey on performance of the serial reversal task. All monkeys were able to learn a novel stimulus-reward association but, compared with both control and amygdala-lesioned monkeys, those with MS or OFC lesions showed a perseverative impairment in their ability to reverse this association. However, whereas both MS and OFC groups showed insensitivity to negative feedback, only OFC-lesioned monkeys showed insensitivity to positive feedback. These findings suggest that, for different reasons, both the MS and OFC support behavioral flexibility after changes in reward contingencies, and are consistent with the hypothesis that striatal and OFC dysfunction can contribute to pathological perseveration.

  12. Early gamma oscillations during rapid auditory processing in children with a language-learning impairment: changes in neural mass activity after training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heim, Sabine; Keil, Andreas; Choudhury, Naseem; Thomas Friedman, Jennifer; Benasich, April A

    2013-04-01

    Children with language-learning impairment (LLI) have consistently shown difficulty with tasks requiring precise, rapid auditory processing. Remediation based on neural plasticity assumes that the temporal precision of neural coding can be improved by intensive training protocols. Here, we examined the extent to which early oscillatory responses in auditory cortex change after audio-visual training, using combined source modeling and time-frequency analysis of the human electroencephalogram (EEG). Twenty-one elementary school students diagnosed with LLI underwent the intervention for an average of 32 days. Pre- and post-training assessments included standardized language/literacy tests and EEG recordings in response to fast-rate tone doublets. Twelve children with typical language development were also tested twice, with no intervention given. Behaviorally, improvements on measures of language were observed in the LLI group following completion of training. During the first EEG assessment, we found reduced amplitude and phase-locking of early (45-75 ms) oscillations in the gamma-band range (29-52 Hz), specifically in the LLI group, for the second stimulus of the tone doublet. Amplitude reduction for the second tone was no longer evident for the LLI children post-intervention, although these children still exhibited attenuated phase-locking. Our findings suggest that specific aspects of inefficient sensory cortical processing in LLI are ameliorated after training. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Impaired Driving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impaired driving is dangerous. It's the cause of more than half of all car crashes. It means operating ... texting Having a medical condition which affects your driving For your safety and the safety of others, do not drive while impaired. Have someone else drive you or take public ...

  14. Lactobacillus casei-01 Facilitates the Ameliorative Effects of Proanthocyanidins Extracted from Lotus Seedpod on Learning and Memory Impairment in Scopolamine-Induced Amnesia Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Juan; Li, Shuyi; Sui, Yong; Wu, Qian; Li, Xiaopeng; Xie, Bijun; Zhang, Mingwei; Sun, Zhida

    2014-01-01

    Learning and memory abilities are associated with alterations in gut function. The two-way proanthocyanidins-microbiota interaction in vivo enhances the physiological activities of proanthocyanidins and promotes the regulation of gut function. Proanthocyanidins extracted from lotus seedpod (LSPC) have shown the memory-enhancing ability. However, there has been no literature about whether Lactobacillus casei-01 (LC) enhances the ameliorative effects of LSPC on learning and memory abilities. In this study, learning and memory abilities of scopolamine-induced amnesia mice were evaluated by Y-maze test after 20-day administration of LC (109 cfu/kg body weight (BW)), LSPC (low dose was 60 mg/kg BW (L-LSPC) and high dose was 90 mg/kg BW (H-LSPC)), or LSPC and LC combinations (L-LSPC+LC and H-LSPC+LC). Alterations in antioxidant defense ability and oxidative damage of brain, serum and colon, and brain cholinergic system were investigated as the possible mechanisms. As a result, the error times of H-LSPC+LC group were reduced by 41.59% and 68.75% relative to those of H-LSPC and LC groups respectively. LSPC and LC combinations ameliorated scopolamine-induced memory impairment by improving total antioxidant capacity (TAOC) level, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activities of brain, serum and colon, suppressing malondialdehyde (MDA) level of brain, serum and colon, and inhibiting brain acetylcholinesterase (AchE), myeloperoxidase, total nitric oxide synthase and neural nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) activities, and nNOS mRNA level. Moreover, LC facilitated the ameliorative effects of H-LSPC on GSH-Px activity of colon, TAOC level, GSH-Px activity and ratio of T-SOD to MDA of brain and serum, and the inhibitory effects of H-LSPC on serum MDA level, brain nNOS mRNA level and AchE activity. These results indicated that LC promoted the memory-enhancing effect of LSPC in scopolamine-induced amnesia mice. PMID:25396737

  15. A systematic review on ‘Foveal Crowding’ in visually impaired children and perceptual learning as a method to reduce Crowding

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Background This systematic review gives an overview of foveal crowding (the inability to recognize objects due to surrounding nearby contours in foveal vision) and possible interventions. Foveal crowding can have a major effect on reading rate and deciphering small pieces of information from busy visual scenes. Three specific groups experience more foveal crowding than adults with normal vision (NV): 1) children with NV, 2) visually impaired (VI) children and adults and 3) children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI). The extent and magnitude of foveal crowding as well as interventions aimed at reducing crowding were investigated in this review. The twofold goal of this review is : [A] to compare foveal crowding in children with NV, VI children and adults and CVI children and [B] to compare interventions to reduce crowding. Methods Three electronic databases were used to conduct the literature search: PubMed, PsycINFO (Ovid), and Cochrane. Additional studies were identified by contacting experts. Search terms included visual perception, contour interaction, crowding, crowded, and contour interactions. Results Children with normal vision show an extent of contour interaction over an area 1.5–3× as large as that seen in adults NV. The magnitude of contour interaction normally ranges between 1–2 lines on an acuity chart and this magnitude is even larger when stimuli are arranged in a circular configuration. Adults with congenital nystagmus (CN) show interaction areas that are 2× larger than those seen adults with NV. The magnitude of the crowding effect is also 2× as large in individuals with CN as in individuals with NV. Finally, children with CVI experience a magnitude of the crowding effect that is 3× the size of that experienced by adults with NV. Conclusions The methodological heterogeneity, the diversity in paradigms used to measure crowding, made it impossible to conduct a meta-analysis. This is the first systematic review to compare crowding ratios

  16. A systematic review on ‘Foveal Crowding’ in visually impaired children and perceptual learning as a method to reduce Crowding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huurneman Bianca

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This systematic review gives an overview of foveal crowding (the inability to recognize objects due to surrounding nearby contours in foveal vision and possible interventions. Foveal crowding can have a major effect on reading rate and deciphering small pieces of information from busy visual scenes. Three specific groups experience more foveal crowding than adults with normal vision (NV: 1 children with NV, 2 visually impaired (VI children and adults and 3 children with cerebral visual impairment (CVI. The extent and magnitude of foveal crowding as well as interventions aimed at reducing crowding were investigated in this review. The twofold goal of this review is : [A] to compare foveal crowding in children with NV, VI children and adults and CVI children and [B] to compare interventions to reduce crowding. Methods Three electronic databases were used to conduct the literature search: PubMed, PsycINFO (Ovid, and Cochrane. Additional studies were identified by contacting experts. Search terms included visual perception, contour interaction, crowding, crowded, and contour interactions. Results Children with normal vision show an extent of contour interaction over an area 1.5–3× as large as that seen in adults NV. The magnitude of contour interaction normally ranges between 1–2 lines on an acuity chart and this magnitude is even larger when stimuli are arranged in a circular configuration. Adults with congenital nystagmus (CN show interaction areas that are 2× larger than those seen adults with NV. The magnitude of the crowding effect is also 2× as large in individuals with CN as in individuals with NV. Finally, children with CVI experience a magnitude of the crowding effect that is 3× the size of that experienced by adults with NV. Conclusions The methodological heterogeneity, the diversity in paradigms used to measure crowding, made it impossible to conduct a meta-analysis. This is the first systematic review to

  17. Apolipoprotein E4 causes age- and sex-dependent impairments of hilar GABAergic interneurons and learning and memory deficits in mice.

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    Laura Leung

    Full Text Available Apolipoprotein (apo E4 is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD. ApoE4 has sex-dependent effects, whereby the risk of developing AD is higher in apoE4-expressing females than males. However, the mechanism underlying the sex difference, in relation to apoE4, is unknown. Previous findings indicate that apoE4 causes age-dependent impairments of hilar GABAergic interneurons in female mice, leading to learning and memory deficits. Here, we investigate whether the detrimental effects of apoE4 on hilar GABAergic interneurons are sex-dependent using apoE knock-in (KI mice across different ages. We found that in female apoE-KI mice, there was an age-dependent depletion of hilar GABAergic interneurons, whereby GAD67- or somatostatin-positive--but not NPY- or parvalbumin-positive-interneuron loss was exacerbated by apoE4. Loss of these neuronal populations was correlated with the severity of spatial learning deficits at 16 months of age in female apoE4-KI mice; however, this effect was not observed in female apoE3-KI mice. In contrast, we found an increase in the numbers of hilar GABAergic interneurons with advancing age in male apoE-KI mice, regardless of apoE genotype. Moreover, male apoE-KI mice showed a consistent ratio of hilar inhibitory GABAergic interneurons to excitatory mossy cells approximating 1.5 that is independent of apoE genotype and age, whereas female apoE-KI mice exhibited an age-dependent decrease in this ratio, which was exacerbated by apoE4. Interestingly, there are no apoE genotype effects on GABAergic interneurons in the CA1 and CA3 subregions of the hippocampus as well as the entorhinal and auditory cortexes. These findings suggest that the sex-dependent effects of apoE4 on developing AD is in part attributable to inherent sex-based differences in the numbers of hilar GABAergic interneurons, which is further modulated by apoE genotype.

  18. Egr-1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide administration into the olfactory bulb impairs olfactory learning in the greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx.

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    Ganesh, Ambigapathy; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Balamurugan, Krishnaswamy; Ragu Varman, Durairaj; Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel

    2012-08-30

    Postsynaptic densities (PSDs) contain proteins that regulate synaptic transmission. We examined two important examples of these, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and PSD-95, in regard to the functional role of early growth response gene-1 (egr-1) in regulation of olfactory learning in the greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx (family Pteropodidae). To test whether activation of egr-1 in the olfactory bulb (OB) is required for olfactory memory of these bats, bilaterally canulated individuals were infused with antisense (AS) or non-sense (NS)-oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) of egr-1, or with phosphate buffer saline (PBS), 2h before the olfactory training. Our results showed that behavioral training significantly up-regulates immediate early gene (IEG) EGR-1 and key synaptic proteins Synaptotagmin-1(SYT-1), CaMKII and PSD-95, and phosphorylation of CaMKII in the OB at the protein level per se. Subsequently, we observed that egr-1 antisense-ODN infusion in the OB impaired olfactory memory and down regulates the expression of CaMKII and PSD-95, and the phosphorylation of CaMKII but not SYT-1. In contrast, NS-ODN or PBS had no effect on the expression of the PSDs CaMKII or PSD-95, or on the phosphorylation of CaMKII. When the egr-1 NS-ODN was infused in the OB after training for the novel odor there was no effect on olfactory memory. These findings suggest that egr-1 control the activation of CaMKII and PSD-95 during the process of olfactory memory formation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Health-Related Quality of Life for Children and Adolescents with Specific Language Impairment: A Cohort Study by a Learning Disabilities Reference Center.

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    Gaëlle Hubert-Dibon

    Full Text Available To assess the health-related quality of life (HRQOL of children with specific language impairment (SLI.In a prospective sample at a Learning Disabilities Reference Center, proxy-rated HRQOL (KIDSCREEN-27 was assessed for children with SLI and unaffected children from January 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015. Quality of life predictors for children with SLI were evaluated by recording the length and number of speech therapy and psychotherapy sessions and the specific school organization that the children had participated in. The KIDSCREEN scores of the two groups were compared using nonparametric statistics.The questionnaires were completed by the parents of 67 children with SLI and 67 unaffected children. For children with SLI, the mean HRQOL scores were significantly lower for physical and psychological well-being, autonomy and parent relation, social support, and school environment compared to the reference group, controlling for age and parental education (β = -6.7 (-12.7;-.7 P = 0.03, β = -4.9 (-9.5;-.3 P = 0.04, β = -8.4 (-14.2;-2.6 P = 0.005, β = -11.6 (-19.5;-3.7 P = 0.004, β = -7.1(-12.4;-1.7 P = 0.010, respectively. Multivariate analyses in the group of children with SLI found that children who had undergone psychotherapy sessions or who had been enrolled in specific schooling programs had reduced HRQOL scores in social support and school environment and that children who were in a special class had higher scores in physical well-being.Children with SLI had significantly lower HRQOL scores as compared to unaffected chil