Arnfred, S. M.; Lind, N. M.; Hansen, A. K.
Pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a measure of sensorimotor gating which has been frequently shown to be deficient in schizophrenic patients. In humans it is typically measured as the attenuation of the startle eye-blink reflex EMG when a startle eliciting noise is preceded...... by a weak white noise pre-pulse (PP), the interval between the PP and the startle noise stimulus (SNS) determining the degree of inhibition. Aiming at developing a new animal model of schizophrenia, we have investigated the acoustic startle eye-blink and PPI in 10 Göttingen minipigs. The stimuli......, and three other pigs did not have a startle response of a sufficient magnitude to demonstrate the PPI seen in the other six pigs at the expected PP intervals of 60, 120, and 220 ms. Maximal inhibition was seen at the 220 ms interval (mean PPI 58.6%, range -18.4 to 94.6%, N = 9). Most of the results...
Benke, Christoph; Blumenthal, Terry D; Modeß, Christiane; Hamm, Alfons O; Pané-Farré, Christiane A
The way in which the tendency to fear somatic arousal sensations (anxiety sensitivity), in interaction with the created expectations regarding arousal induction, might affect defensive responding to a symptom provocation challenge is not yet understood. The present study investigated the effect of anxiety sensitivity on autonomic arousal, startle eyeblink responses, and reported arousal and alertness to expected vs. unexpected caffeine consumption. To create a match/mismatch of expected and experienced arousal, high and low anxiety sensitive participants received caffeine vs. no drug either mixed in coffee (expectation of arousal induction) or in bitter lemon soda (no expectation of arousal induction) on four separate occasions. Autonomic arousal (heart rate, skin conductance level), respiration (end-tidal CO2, minute ventilation), defensive reflex responses (startle eyeblink), and reported arousal and alertness were recorded prior to, immediately and 30 min after beverage ingestion. Caffeine increased ventilation, autonomic arousal, and startle response magnitudes. Both groups showed comparable levels of autonomic and respiratory responses. The startle eyeblink responses were decreased when caffeine-induced arousal occurred unexpectedly, e.g., after administering caffeine in bitter lemon. This effect was more accentuated in high anxiety sensitive persons. Moreover, in high anxiety sensitive persons, the expectation of arousal (coffee consumption) led to higher subjective alertness when administering caffeine and increased arousal even if no drug was consumed. Unexpected symptom provocation leads to increased attention allocation toward feared arousal sensations in high anxiety sensitive persons. This finding broadens our understanding of modulatory mechanisms in defensive responding to bodily symptoms.
Blechert, Jens; Naumann, Eva; Schmitz, Julian; Herbert, Beate M; Tuschen-Caffier, Brunna
Many individuals restrict their food intake to prevent weight gain. This restriction has both homeostatic and hedonic effects but their relative contribution is currently unclear. To isolate hedonic effects of food restriction, we exposed regular chocolate eaters to one week of chocolate deprivation but otherwise regular eating. Before and after this hedonic deprivation, participants viewed images of chocolate and images of high-calorie but non-chocolate containing foods, while experiential, behavioral and eyeblink startle responses were measured. Compared to satiety, hedonic deprivation triggered increased chocolate wanting, liking, and chocolate consumption but also feelings of frustration and startle potentiation during the intertrial intervals. Deprivation was further characterized by startle inhibition during both chocolate and food images relative to the intertrial intervals. Individuals who responded with frustration to the manipulation and those who scored high on a questionnaire of impulsivity showed more relative startle inhibition. The results reveal the profound effects of hedonic deprivation on experiential, behavioral and attentional/appetitive response systems and underscore the role of individual differences and state variables for startle modulation. Implications for dieting research and practice as well as for eating and weight disorders are discussed.
Duval, Elizabeth R; Lovelace, Christopher T; Aarant, Justin; Filion, Diane L
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of both facial expression and face gender on startle eyeblink response patterns at varying lead intervals (300, 800, and 3500ms) indicative of attentional and emotional processes. We aimed to determine whether responses to affective faces map onto the Defense Cascade Model (Lang et al., 1997) to better understand the stages of processing during affective face viewing. At 300ms, there was an interaction between face expression and face gender with female happy and neutral faces and male angry faces producing inhibited startle. At 3500ms, there was a trend for facilitated startle during angry compared to neutral faces. These findings suggest that affective expressions are perceived differently in male and female faces, especially at short lead intervals. Future studies investigating face processing should take both face gender and expression into account. © 2013.
Full Text Available Eyeblinks, whether reflexive or voluntary, play an important role in protecting our vision. When viewing pictures, reflexive eyeblinks are known to be modulated by the emotional state induced thereby. More specifically, the hedonic valence (unpleasantness-pleasantness induced by the picture has been shown to have a linear relationship with the amplitude of a startle blink elicited during picture viewing. This effect has been attributed to congruence between an ongoing state and task demands: an unpleasant emotional state is assumed to bias our attention towards potentially harmful stimuli, such as startle tones. However, recent research suggests that the valence-specific modulation may not be limited to the sensory parts of the reflexive pathway related to startle responses. Here, we examined the effect of emotional picture viewing on voluntary (in response to a written command eyeblinks in adult humans. Emotional modulation of startle blinks was also evaluated. We found that when viewing unpleasant pictures, the amplitude of reflexive eyeblinks was augmented, but the amplitude of voluntary eyeblinks was unaffected. Nevertheless, the response latencies of voluntary eyeblinks were found to be delayed during the viewing of pleasant and unpleasant relative to neutral pictures. We conclude that these results support the theory that emotional experience augments sensory processing specific to potentially harmful stimuli. Further, the emotional state seems not to exert an effect on voluntarily elicited motor activity.
Full Text Available "nObjective:This study aimed to examine the effects of haloperidol and amphetamine on human startle response modulated by emotionally-toned film clips. "n "n Method:Sixty participants, in two groups (one receiving haloperidol and the other receiving amphetamine were tested using electromyography (EMG to measure eye-blink muscle (orbicular oculi while different emotions were induced by six 2-minute film clips. Results:An affective rating shows the negative and positive effects of the two drugs on emotional reactivity, neither amphetamine nor haloperidol had any impact on the modulation of the startle response. Conclusion: The methodological and theoretical aspects of the study and findings will be discussed.
Schicatano, E J; Blumenthal, T D
The present experiment tested the effects of caffeine on acoustic startle habituation during different attention tasks in which subjects either (a) attended to the acoustic startle stimulus (auditory attention; n = 9) (b) attended to a visual search task during presentation of acoustic startle stimuli (visual attention; n = 10), or (c) were given no specific instructions during acoustic startle testing (no attention; n = 9). Startle eyeblink responses were measured after subjects received either caffeine (1 mg/kg) or placebo. Caffeine significantly delayed response habituation in the no attention group and in the auditory attention group, but had no effect on habituation in the visual attention group. These data show that startle habituation can occur with minimal attention being directed to the acoustic startle stimulus, and that visual attention cancels the effects of caffeine on startle habituation.
Lass-Hennemann, Johanna; Deuter, Christian E; Kuehl, Linn K; Schulz, Andre; Blumenthal, Terry D; Schachinger, Hartmut
Cues of kinship are predicted to increase prosocial behavior due to the benefits of inclusive fitness, but to decrease approach motivation due to the potential costs of inbreeding. Previous studies have shown that facial resemblance, a putative cue of kinship, increases prosocial behavior. However, the effects of facial resemblance on mating preferences are equivocal, with some studies finding that facial resemblance decreases sexual attractiveness ratings, while other studies show that individuals choose mates partly on the basis of similarity. To further investigate this issue, a psychophysiological measure of affective processing, the startle response, was used in this study, assuming that differences in approach motivation to erotic pictures will modulate startle. Male volunteers (n = 30) viewed 30 pictures of erotic female nudes while startle eyeblink responses were elicited by acoustic noise probes. The female nude pictures were digitally altered so that the face either resembled the male participant or another participant, or were not altered. Non-nude neutral pictures were also included. Importantly, the digital alteration was undetected by the participants. Erotic pictures were rated as being pleasant and clearly reduced startle eyeblink magnitude as compared to neutral pictures. Participants showed greater startle inhibition to self-resembling than to other-resembling or non-manipulated female nude pictures, but subjective pleasure and arousal ratings did not differ among the three erotic picture categories. Our data suggest that visual facial resemblance of opposite-sex nudes increases approach motivation in men, and that this effect was not due to their conscious evaluation of the erotic stimuli.
Lafo, Jacob A; Mikos, Ania; Mangal, Paul C; Scott, Bonnie M; Trifilio, Erin; Okun, Michael S; Bowers, Dawn
Essential tremor is a highly prevalent movement disorder characterized by kinetic tremor and mild cognitive-executive changes. These features are commonly attributed to abnormal cerebellar changes, resulting in disruption of cerebellar-thalamo-cortical networks. Less attention has been paid to alterations in basic emotion processing in essential tremor, despite known cerebellar-limbic interconnectivity. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that a psychophysiologic index of emotional reactivity, the emotion modulated startle reflex, would be muted in individuals with essential tremor relative to controls. Participants included 19 essential tremor patients and 18 controls, who viewed standard sets of unpleasant, pleasant, and neutral pictures for six seconds each. During picture viewing, white noise bursts were binaurally presented to elicit startle eyeblinks measured over the orbicularis oculi. Consistent with past literature, controls' startle eyeblink responses were modulated according to picture valence (unpleasant > neutral > pleasant). In essential tremor participants, startle eyeblinks were not modulated by emotion. This modulation failure was not due to medication effects, nor was it due to abnormal appraisal of emotional picture content. Neuroanatomically, it remains unclear whether diminished startle modulation in essential tremor is secondary to aberrant cerebellar input to the amygdala, which is involved in priming the startle response in emotional contexts, or due to more direct disruption between the cerebellum and brainstem startle circuitry. If the former is correct, these findings may be the first to reveal dysregulation of emotional networks in essential tremor. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
De Pascalis, Vilfredo; Russo, Emanuela
A working model of the neurophysiology of hypnosis suggests that highly hypnotizable individuals (HHs) have more effective frontal attentional systems implementing control, monitoring performance, and inhibiting unwanted stimuli from conscious awareness, than low hypnotizable individuals (LHs). Recent studies, using prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the auditory startle reflex (ASR), suggest that HHs, in the waking condition, may show reduced sensory gating although they may selectively attend and disattend different stimuli. Using a within subject design and a strict subject selection procedure, in waking and hypnosis conditions we tested whether HHs compared to LHs showed a significantly lower inhibition of the ASR and startle-related brain activity in both time and intracerebral source localization domains. HHs, as compared to LH participants, exhibited (a) longer latency of the eyeblink startle reflex, (b) reduced N100 responses to startle stimuli, and (c) higher PPI of eyeblink startle and of the P200 and P300 waves. Hypnosis yielded smaller N100 waves to startle stimuli and greater PPI of this component than in the waking condition. sLORETA analysis revealed that, for the N100 (107 msec) elicited during startle trials, HHs had a smaller activation in the left parietal lobe (BA2/40) than LHs. Auditory pulses of pulse-with prepulse trials in HHs yielded less activity of the P300 (280 msec) wave than LHs, in the cingulate and posterior cingulate gyrus (BA23/31). The present results, on the whole, are in the opposite direction to PPI findings on hypnotizability previously reported in the literature. These results provide support to the neuropsychophysiological model that HHs have more effective sensory integration and gating (or filtering) of irrelevant stimuli than LHs.
Herbert, Cornelia; Kissler, Johanna
Valence-driven modulation of the startle reflex, that is larger eyeblinks during viewing of unpleasant pictures and inhibited blinks while viewing pleasant pictures, is well documented. The current study investigated, whether this motivational priming pattern also occurs during processing of unpleasant and pleasant words, and to what extent it is influenced by shallow vs. deep encoding of verbal stimuli. Emotional and neutral adjectives were presented for 5s, and the acoustically elicited startle eyeblink response was measured while subjects memorized the words by means of shallow or deep processing strategies. Results showed blink potentiation to unpleasant and blink inhibition to pleasant adjectives in subjects using shallow encoding strategies. In subjects using deep-encoding strategies, blinks were larger for pleasant than unpleasant or neutral adjectives. In line with this, free recall of pleasant words was also better in subjects who engaged in deep processing. The results suggest that motivational priming holds as long as processing is perceptual. However, during deep processing the startle reflex appears to represent a measure of "processing interrupt", facilitating blinks to those stimuli that are more deeply encoded. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Vilfredo De Pascalis
Full Text Available A working model of the neurophysiology of hypnosis suggests that highly hypnotizable individuals (HHs have more effective frontal attentional systems implementing control, monitoring performance, and inhibiting unwanted stimuli from conscious awareness, than low hypnotizable individuals (LHs. Recent studies, using prepulse inhibition (PPI of the auditory startle reflex (ASR, suggest that HHs, in the waking condition, may show reduced sensory gating although they may selectively attend and disattend different stimuli. Using a within subject design and a strict subject selection procedure, in waking and hypnosis conditions we tested whether HHs compared to LHs showed a significantly lower inhibition of the ASR and startle-related brain activity in both time and intracerebral source localization domains. HHs, as compared to LH participants, exhibited (a longer latency of the eyeblink startle reflex, (b reduced N100 responses to startle stimuli, and (c higher PPI of eyeblink startle and of the P200 and P300 waves. Hypnosis yielded smaller N100 waves to startle stimuli and greater PPI of this component than in the waking condition. sLORETA analysis revealed that, for the N100 (107 msec elicited during startle trials, HHs had a smaller activation in the left parietal lobe (BA2/40 than LHs. Auditory pulses of pulse-with prepulse trials in HHs yielded less activity of the P300 (280 msec wave than LHs, in the cingulate and posterior cingulate gyrus (BA23/31. The present results, on the whole, are in the opposite direction to PPI findings on hypnotizability previously reported in the literature. These results provide support to the neuropsychophysiological model that HHs have more effective sensory integration and gating (or filtering of irrelevant stimuli than LHs.
Full Text Available Startle eyeblink reflex is a valid non-invasive tool for studying attention, emotion and psychiatric disorders. In the absence of any experimental manipulation, the general (or baseline startle reflex shows a high inter-individual variability, which is often considered task-irrelevant and therefore normalized across participants. Unlike the above view, we hypothesized that greater general startle magnitude is related to participants’ higher anxiety level. 111 healthy young women, after completing the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, were randomly administered 10 acoustic white noise probes (50 ms, 100 dBA acoustic level while integrated EMG from left and right orbicularis oculi was recorded. Results showed that participants with greater state anxiety levels exhibited larger startle reflex magnitude from the left eye (r109=0.23, p<0.05. Furthermore, individuals who perceived the acoustic probe as more aversive reported the largest anxiety scores (r109=0.28, p<0.05 and had the largest eyeblinks, especially in the left eye (r109 = 0.34, p<0.001. Results suggest that general startle may represent a valid tool for studying the neural excitability underlying anxiety and emotional dysfunction in neurological and mental disorders.
King, Rosemary; Schaefer, Alexandre
Working memory (WM) processes are often thought to play an important role in the cognitive regulation of negative emotions. However, little is known about how they influence emotional processing. We report two experiments that tested whether a concurrent working memory task could modulate the emotional startle eyeblink effect, a well-known index of emotional processing. In both experiments, emotionally negative and neutral pictures were viewed in two conditions: a "cognitive load" (CL) condition, in which participants had to actively maintain information in working memory (WM) while viewing the pictures, and a control "no load" (NL) condition. Picture-viewing instructions were identical across CL and NL. In both experiments, results showed a significant reduction of the emotional modulation of the startle eyeblink reflex in the CL condition compared to the NL condition. These findings suggest that a concurrent WM task disrupts emotional processing even when participants are directing visual focus on emotionally relevant information. Copyright © 2010 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Horn, Claudia; Schaller, Jörg; Lautenbacher, Stefan
Experimental tonic pain has been assumed to equal clinical pain by triggering sizeable affective responses. A psycho-physiological indicator of defensive affective-motivational responses is the startle reflex. However, earlier studies have not provided unequivocal evidence for a potentiation of the startle reflex during tonic contact heat pain. The demonstration of modulating effects of pain on the startle reflex might require very intense tonic stimulation and investigation of subjects, who are particularly sensitive to startle potentiation by threatening cues. We investigated a sample of healthy subjects (N=20), who had shown pronounced startle amplitude potentiation in response to attack pictures. Noxious stimulation was provided by hand immersion into a hot water bath, which is a tonic pain model known for intense and summated stimulation. Modulation of the startle reflex was attempted by use of two stimulation intensities (42 °C, 46 °C) and one control condition (no stimulation). Even in these favorable conditions, we did not observe startle potentiation under painful stimulation in comparison to non-painful conditions although subjects reported to be experiencing moderate to high pain. Our findings indicate that tonic heat pain does not trigger defensive affective-motivational responses as measured by the startle reflex when it is applied in a predictable and thus non-threatening fashion. Future research should investigate the effects of manipulations of threat on startle responses to painful stimulation. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Dichter, Gabriel S.; Benning, Stephen D.; Holtzclaw, Tia N.; Bodfish, James W.
Eyeblink and postauricular reflexes to standardized affective images were examined in individuals without (n = 37) and with (n = 20) autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Affective reflex modulation in control participants replicated previous findings. The ASD group, however, showed anomalous reflex modulation patterns, despite similar self-report…
Levenson, Robert W.; Ekman, Paul; Ricard, Matthieu
The effects of two kinds of meditation (open presence and focused) on the facial and physiological aspects of the defensive response to an aversive startle stimulus were studied in a Buddhist monk with approximately 40 years of meditation experience. The participant was exposed to a 115 db, 100 ms acoustic startle stimulus under the two meditation conditions, a distraction condition (to control for cognitive and attentional load) and an unanticipated condition (startle presented without warning or instruction). A completely counterbalanced 24-trial single-subject design was used, with each condition repeated six times. Most aspects of the participant’s responses in the unanticipated condition did not differ from those of a comparison group of 12 age-matched male controls. Both kinds of meditation produced physiological and facial responses to the startle that were smaller than in the distraction condition. Within meditation conditions, open presence meditation produced smaller physiological and facial responses than focused meditation. These results from a single highly expert meditator indicate that these two kinds of meditation can differentially alter the magnitude of a primitive defensive response. PMID:22506498
Levenson, Robert W; Ekman, Paul; Ricard, Matthieu
The effects of two kinds of meditation (open presence and focused) on the facial and physiological aspects of the defensive response to an aversive startle stimulus were studied in a Buddhist monk with approximately 40 years of meditation experience. The participant was exposed to a 115-db, 100-ms acoustic startle stimulus under the 2 meditation conditions, a distraction condition (to control for cognitive and attentional load) and an unanticipated condition (startle presented without warning or instruction). A completely counterbalanced 24-trial, single-subject design was used, with each condition repeated 6 times. Most aspects of the participant's responses in the unanticipated condition did not differ from those of a comparison group of 12 age-matched male controls. Both kinds of meditation produced physiological and facial responses to the startle that were smaller than in the distraction condition. Within meditation conditions, open presence meditation produced smaller physiological and facial responses than focused meditation. These results from a single highly expert meditator indicate that these 2 kinds of meditation can differentially alter the magnitude of a primitive defensive response.
Mang, Daniel WH; Siegmund, Gunter P; Blouin, Jean-Sébastien
Whiplash injuries are the most common injuries following rear-end collisions. During a rear-end collision, the human muscle response consists of both a postural and a startle response that may exacerbate injury. However, most previous studies only assessed the presence of startle using data collected from the neck muscles and head/neck kinematics. The startle response also evokes a descending pattern of muscle recruitment and changes in autonomic activity. Here we examined the recruitment of axial and appendicular muscles along with autonomic responses to confirm whether these other features of a startle response were present during the first exposure to a whiplash perturbation. Ten subjects experienced a single whiplash perturbation while recording electromyography, electrocardiogram, and electrodermal responses. All subjects exhibited a descending pattern of muscle recruitment, and increasing heart rate and electrodermal responses following the collision. Our results provide further support that the startle response is a component of the response to whiplash collisions. PMID:24932015
Tijssen, M. A.; Voorkamp, L. M.; Padberg, G. W.; van Dijk, J. G.
BACKGROUND: Patients with hereditary hyperekplexia have excessive startle responses that are accompanied by transient stiffness and also continuous stiffness in infancy. A point of mutation has been identified for the major form of hereditary hyperekplexia in the gene encoding the alpha 1 subunit of
Tijssen, MAJ; Voorkamp, LM; Padberg, GW; vanDijk, JG
Background: Patients with hereditary hyperekplexia have excessive startle responses that are accompanied by transient stiffness and also continuous stiffness in infancy. A point of mutation has been identified for the major form of hereditary hyperekplexia in the gene encoding the alpha 1 subunit of
Xue, Angli; Wang, Hongcheng; Zhu, Jun
Startle behavior is important for survival, and abnormal startle responses are related to several neurological diseases. Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful system to investigate the genetic underpinnings of variation in startle behavior. Since mechanically induced, startle responses and environmental conditions can be readily quantified and precisely controlled. The 156 wild-derived fully sequenced lines of the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) were used to identify SNPs and transcripts associated with variation in startle behavior. The results validated highly significant effects of 33 quantitative trait SNPs (QTSs) and 81 quantitative trait transcripts (QTTs) directly associated with phenotypic variation of startle response. We also detected QTT variation controlled by 20 QTSs (tQTSs) and 73 transcripts (tQTTs). Association mapping based on genomic and transcriptomic data enabled us to construct a complex genetic network that underlies variation in startle behavior. Based on principles of evolutionary conservation, human orthologous genes could be superimposed on this network. This study provided both genetic and biological insights into the variation of startle response behavior of Drosophila melanogaster, and highlighted the importance of genetic network to understand the genetic architecture of complex traits.
Corr, Philip J; Kumari, Veena
An emerging literature associates increased dopaminergic neurotransmission with altered brain response to aversive stimuli in humans. The direction of the effect of dopamine on aversive motivation, however, remains unclear, with some studies reporting increased and others decreased amygdala activation to aversive stimuli following the administration of dopamine agonists. Potentiation of the startle response by aversive foreground stimuli provides an objective and directional measure of emotional reactivity and is considered useful as an index of the emotional effects of different drugs. We investigated the effects of two doses of D-amphetamine (5 and 10 mg), compared to placebo, for the first time to our knowledge, using the affect-startle paradigm. The study employed a between-subjects, double-blind design, with three conditions: 0 mg (placebo), and 5 and 10 mg D-amphetamine (initially n = 20/group; final sample: n = 18, placebo; n = 18, 5 mg; n = 16, 10 mg). After drug/placebo administration, startle responses (eyeblinks) to intermittent noise probes were measured during viewing of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant images. Participants' general and specific impulsivity and fear-related personality traits were also assessed. The three groups were comparable on personality traits. Only the placebo group showed significant startle potentiation by unpleasant, relative to neutral, images; this effect was absent in both 5- and 10-mg D-amphetamine groups (i.e. the same effect of D-amphetamine observed at different doses in different people). Our findings demonstrate a reduced aversive emotional response under D-amphetamine and may help to account for the known link between the use of psychostimulant drugs and antisocial behaviour.
Full Text Available A growing body of evidence suggests that the cerebellum is involved in both cognition and language. Abnormal cerebellar development may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD, autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, dyslexia, and specific language impairment. Performance in eyeblink conditioning, which depends on the cerebellum, can potentially be used to clarify the neural mechanisms underlying the cerebellar dysfunction in disorders like these. However, we must first understand how the performance develops in children who do not have a disorder. In this study we assessed the performance in eyeblink conditioning in 42 typically developing children between 6 and 11 years old as well as in 26 adults. Older children produced more conditioned eyeblink responses than younger children and adults produced more than children. In addition, females produced more conditioned eyeblink responses than males among both children and adults. These results highlight the importance of considering the influence of age and sex on the performance when studying eyeblink conditioning as a measure of cerebellar development.
Thanellou, Alexandra; Green, John T.
Reinstatement, the return of an extinguished conditioned response (CR) after reexposure to the unconditioned stimulus (US), and spontaneous recovery, the return of an extinguished CR with the passage of time, are two of four well-established phenomena which demonstrate that extinction does not erase the conditioned stimulus (CS)-US association. However, reinstatement of extinguished eyeblink CRs has never been demonstrated and spontaneous recovery of extinguished eyeblink CRs has not been systematically demonstrated in rodent eyeblink conditioning. In Experiment 1, US reexposure was administered 24 hours prior to a reinstatement test. In Experiment 2, US reexposure was administered 5 min prior to a reinstatement test. In Experiment 3, a long, discrete cue (a houselight), present in all phases of training and testing, served as a context within which each trial occurred to maximize context processing, which in other preparations has been shown to be required for reinstatement. In Experiment 4, an additional group was included that received footshock exposure, rather than US reexposure, between extinction and test, and contextual freezing was measured prior to test. Spontaneous recovery was robust in Experiments 3 and 4. In Experiment 4, context freezing was strong in a group given footshock exposure but not in a group given eyeshock US reexposure. There was no reinstatement observed in any experiment. With stimulus conditions that produce eyeblink conditioning and research designs that produce reinstatement in other forms of classical conditioning, we observed spontaneous recovery but not reinstatement of extinguished eyeblink CRs. This suggests that reinstatement, but not spontaneous recovery, is a preparation- or substrate-dependent phenomenon. PMID:21517145
Kronenbuerger, Martin; Gerwig, Marcus; Brol, Beate; Block, Frank; Timmann, Dagmar
Several lines of evidence point to an involvement of the olivo-cerebellar system in the pathogenesis of essential tremor (ET), with clinical signs of cerebellar dysfunction being present in some subjects in the advanced stage. Besides motor coordination, the cerebellum is critically involved in motor learning. Evidence of motor learning deficits would strengthen the hypothesis of olivo-cerebellar involvement in ET. Conditioning of the eyeblink reflex is a well-established paradigm to assess motor learning. Twenty-three ET subjects (13 males, 10 females; mean age 44.3 +/- 22.3 years, mean disease duration 17.4 +/- 17.3 years) and 23 age-matched healthy controls were studied on two consecutive days using a standard delay eyeblink conditioning protocol. Six ET subjects exhibited accompanying clinical signs of cerebellar dysfunction. Care was taken to examine subjects without medication affecting central nervous functioning. Seven ET subjects and three controls on low-dose beta-blocker treatments, which had no effect on eyeblink conditioning in animal studies, were allowed into the study. The ability to acquire conditioned eyeblink responses was significantly reduced in ET subjects compared with controls. Impairment of eyeblink conditioning was not due to low-dose beta-blocker medication. Additionally, acquisition of conditioned eyeblink response was reduced in ET subjects regardless of the presence of cerebellar signs in clinical examination. There were no differences in timing or extinction of conditioned responses between groups and conditioning deficits did not correlate with the degree of tremor or ataxia as rated by clinical scores. The findings of disordered eyeblink conditioning support the hypothesis that ET is caused by a functional disturbance of olivo-cerebellar circuits which may cause cerebellar dysfunction. In particular, results point to an involvement of the olivo-cerebellar system in early stages of ET.
Claassen, J; Mazilescu, L; Thieme, A; Bracha, V; Timmann, D
Context dependency of extinction is well known and has extensively been studied in fear conditioning, but has rarely been assessed in eyeblink conditioning. One way to demonstrate context dependency of extinction is the renewal effect. ABA paradigms are most commonly used to show the renewal effect of extinguished learned fear: if acquisition takes place in context A, and extinction takes place in context B (extinction phase), learned responses will recover in subsequent extinction trials presented in context A (renewal phase). The renewal effect of the visual threat eyeblink response (VTER), a conditioned eyeblink response, which is naturally acquired in early infancy, was examined in a total of 48 young and healthy participants with two experiments using an ABA paradigm. Twenty paired trials were performed in context A (baseline trials), followed by 50 extinction trials in context B (extinction phase) and 50 extinction trials in context A (renewal phase). In 24 participants, contexts A and B were two different rooms, and in the other 24 participants, two different background colors (orange and blue) and noises were used. To rule out spontaneous recovery, an AAA design was used for comparison. There were significant effects of extinction in both experiments. No significant renewal effects were observed. In experiment 2, however, extinction was significantly less using orange background during extinction compared to the blue background. The present findings suggest that extinction of conditioned eyeblinks depends on the physical context. Findings add to the animal literature that context can play a role in the acquisition of classically conditioned eyeblink responses. Future studies, however, need to be performed to confirm the present findings. Lack of renewal effect may be explained by the highly overlearned character of the VTER.
Starosciak, A K; Kalola, R P; Perkins, K P; Riley, J A; Saidel, W M
The startle response of Pantodon buchholzi, the African butterfly fish, is a complete or incomplete ballistic jump resulting from abduction of the pectoral fins. This study analyzed the neuromuscular basis for such a jump by recording in vivo electromyograms (emgs) from the muscles of abduction, the muscularis abductor superficialis (MAS) and the muscularis abductor profundus (MAP). The motor neurons innervating the MAS muscle were localized by retrograde transport of biocytin. The latency between stimulus and the evoked emg in the MAS was less than 5 ms; the latency of the MAP was about 6.5 ms. A single emg was recorded per jump. High speed video demonstrated that onset of a startle movement began within 10 ms of the onset of fin abduction. The emg associated with this movement is short (behavior occurring in the vertical plane. The MAS may act only in a startle response, whereas the MAP might have a role in other behaviors. Elicited jumping habituates after a single trial. Electrophysiological evidence is presented indicating that the innervating motor neurons are suppressed for seconds following a stimulus. The neurons innervating the MAS are located at the medullary-spinal cord junction and possess an average radius of approximately 17.9 mum. These fish have been historically described as 'fresh water' flying fish. As a single emg occurs per startle response, repetitive pectoral activity generating flying cannot be supported. Pantodon 'flight' is ballistic. Copyright 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Julia Dias Villas-Boas
Full Text Available Startle is a fast response elicited by sudden acoustic, tactile, or visual stimuli in a variety of animals and in humans. As the magnitude of startle response can be modulated by external and internal variables, it can be a useful tool to study reaction to stress. Our study evaluated whether acupuncture can change cardiac autonomic modulation (heart rate variability; and behavioural (reactivity and endocrine (cortisol levels parameters in response to startle. Brazilian Sport horses (n=6 were subjected to a model of startle in which an umbrella was abruptly opened near the horse. Before startle, the horses were subjected to a 20-minute session of acupuncture in acupoints GV1, HT7, GV20, and BL52 (ACUP and in nonpoints (NP or left undisturbed (CTL. For analysis of the heart rate variability, ultrashort-term (64 s heart rate series were interpolated (4 Hz and divided into 256-point segments and the spectra integrated into low (LF; 0.01–0.07 Hz; index of sympathetic modulation and high (HF; 0.07–0.50 Hz; index of parasympathetic modulation frequency bands. Acupuncture (ACUP changed the sympathovagal balance with a shift towards parasympathetic modulation, reducing the prompt startle-induced increase in LF/HF and reducing cortisol levels 30 min after startle. However, acupuncture elicited no changes in behavioural parameters.
Cornwell, Brian R; Heller, Randi; Biggs, Arter; Pine, Daniel S; Grillon, Christian
A detailed understanding of how individuals diagnosed with social anxiety disorder (SAD) respond physiologically under social-evaluative threat is lacking. Our aim was to isolate the specific components of public speaking that trigger fear in vulnerable individuals and best discriminate between SAD and healthy individuals. Sixteen individuals diagnosed with SAD (DSM-IV-TR criteria) and 16 healthy individuals were enrolled in the study from December 2005 to March 2008. Subjects were asked to prepare and deliver a short speech in a virtual reality (VR) environment. The VR environment simulated standing center stage before a live audience and allowed us to gradually introduce social cues during speech anticipation. Startle eye-blink responses were elicited periodically by white noise bursts presented during anticipation, speech delivery, and recovery in VR, as well as outside VR during an initial habituation phase, and startle reactivity was measured by electromyography. Subjects rated their distress at 4 timepoints in VR using a 0-10 scale, with anchors being "not distressed" to "highly distressed." State anxiety was measured before and after VR with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Individuals with SAD reported greater distress and state anxiety than healthy individuals across the entire procedure (P values attention toward participants (P attention as speech time approached. Potentiated startle under social-evaluative threat indexes SAD-related fear of negative evaluation. © Copyright 2011 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
Daum, I; Schugens, M M; Breitenstein, C; Topka, H; Spieker, S
Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) show impairments of a range of motor learning tasks, including tracking or serial reaction time task learning. Our study investigated whether such deficits would also be seen on a simple type of motor learning, classic conditioning of the eyeblink response. Medicated and unmediated patients with PD showed intact unconditioned eyeblink responses and significant learning across acquisition; the learning rates did not differ from those of healthy control subjects. The overall frequency of conditioned responses was significantly higher in the medicated patients with PD relative to control subjects, and there was also some evidence of facilitation in the unmedicated patients with PD. Conditioning of electrodermal and electrocortical responses was comparable in all groups. The findings are discussed in terms of enhanced excitability of brainstem pathways in PD and of the involvement of different neuronal circuits in different types of motor learning.
Stine, S M; Grillon, C G; Morgan, C A; Kosten, T R; Charney, D S; Krystal, J H
Brain noradrenergic systems have been shown to be altered in opioid dependence and to mediate aspects of opioid withdrawal. Pre-clinical and clinical studies by others have shown that yohimbine, which increases noradrenergic activity, also increases both baseline and fear enhancement of the magnitude of the acoustic startle response (ASR). In a separate report from this experiment, it was shown that yohimbine produced opioid withdrawal-like symptoms, including anxiety, in clinically stable methadone-maintained patients and also produced elevations in the norepinepherine (NE) metabolite, 3-methoxy-4 hydroxyphenethyleneglycol (MHPG), and cortisol serum levels. The current study reports the effects of intravenous yohimbine hydrochloride, 0.4 mg/kg versus saline (double-blind), on ASR magnitude, plasma MHPG, and cortisol levels in eight methadone-maintained patients and 13 healthy subjects in a double-blind fashion. Yohimbine increased startle magnitude in both groups. There was no basal (placebo day) difference between the startle response of the two groups, but methadone patients had a larger startle magnitude increase in response to yohimbine than healthy controls. Methadone-maintained patients had lower baseline plasma levels of MHPG and similar baseline plasma cortisol levels compared with normal subjects. Yohimbine caused significant elevation in cortisol and MHPG in both groups. Methadone-maintained subjects had higher elevations in cortisol levels and MHPG (methadone main effect) levels in response to yohimbine. However, when MHPG levels were corrected for baseline differences by analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), the yohimbine effect, but not the methadone effect remained statistically significant. These results are consistent with the previous report and support the hypothesis that abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and of noradrenergic mechanisms of stress response persist in opioid-agonist maintenance. The ASR effect extends the
Tatsukawa, Kyohei; Nakano, Tamami; Ishiguro, Hiroshi; Yoshikawa, Yuichiro
As the result of recent progress in technology of communication robot, robots are becoming an important social partner for humans. Behavioral synchrony is understood as an important factor in establishing good human-robot relationships. In this study, we hypothesized that biasing a human's attitude toward a robot changes the degree of synchrony between human and robot. We first examined whether eyeblinks were synchronized between a human and an android in face-to-face interaction and found that human listeners' eyeblinks were entrained to android speakers' eyeblinks. This eyeblink synchrony disappeared when the android speaker spoke while looking away from the human listeners but was enhanced when the human participants listened to the speaking android while touching the android's hand. These results suggest that eyeblink synchrony reflects a qualitative state in human-robot interactions.
Barker, Tyson V; Reeb-Sutherland, Bethany; Degnan, Kathryn A; Walker, Olga L; Chronis-Tuscano, Andrea; Henderson, Heather A; Pine, Daniel S; Fox, Nathan A
Behavioral inhibition (BI), a temperament characterized in early childhood by wariness and avoidance of novelty, is a risk factor for anxiety disorders. An enhanced startle response has been observed in adolescents characterized with BI in childhood, particularly when they also manifest concurrent symptoms of anxiety. However, no prior study has examined relations among BI, startle responsivity, and anxiety in a prospective manner. Data for the present study were from a longitudinal study of infant temperament. Maternal reports and observations of BI were assessed at ages 2 and 3. At age 7, participants completed a startle procedure, while electromyography was collected, where participants viewed different colors on a screen that were associated with either the delivery of an aversive stimulus (i.e., puff of air to the larynx; threat cue) or the absence of the aversive stimulus (i.e., safety cue). Parental reports of child anxiety were collected when children were 7 and 9 years of age. Results revealed that startle responses at age 7 moderated the relation between early BI and 9-year anxiety. These findings provide insight into one potential mechanism that may place behaviorally inhibited children at risk for anxiety. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Kaye, Jesse T; Bradford, Daniel E; Curtin, John J
The current study provides a comprehensive evaluation of critical psychometric properties of commonly used psychophysiology laboratory tasks/measures within the NIMH RDoC. Participants (N = 128) completed the no-shock, predictable shock, unpredictable shock (NPU) task, affective picture viewing task, and resting state task at two study visits separated by 1 week. We examined potentiation/modulation scores in NPU (predictable or unpredictable shock vs. no-shock) and affective picture viewing tasks (pleasant or unpleasant vs. neutral pictures) for startle and corrugator responses with two commonly used quantification methods. We quantified startle potentiation/modulation scores with raw and standardized responses. We quantified corrugator potentiation/modulation in the time and frequency domains. We quantified general startle reactivity in the resting state task as the mean raw startle response during the task. For these three tasks, two measures, and two quantification methods, we evaluated effect size robustness and stability, internal consistency (i.e., split-half reliability), and 1-week temporal stability. The psychometric properties of startle potentiation in the NPU task were good, but concerns were noted for corrugator potentiation in this task. Some concerns also were noted for the psychometric properties of both startle and corrugator modulation in the affective picture viewing task, in particular, for pleasant picture modulation. Psychometric properties of general startle reactivity in the resting state task were good. Some salient differences in the psychometric properties of the NPU and affective picture viewing tasks were observed within and across quantification methods. © 2016 The Authors. Psychophysiology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Herbert, Cornelia; Kübler, Andrea; Vögele, Claus
Body image disturbances are core symptoms of eating disorders (EDs). Recent evidence suggests that changes in body image may occur prior to ED onset and are not restricted to in-vivo exposure (e.g. mirror image), but also evident during presentation of abstract cues such as body shape and weight-related words. In the present study startle modulation, heart rate and subjective evaluations were examined during reading of body words and neutral words in 41 student female volunteers screened for risk of EDs. The aim was to determine if responses to body words are attributable to a general negativity bias regardless of ED risk or if activated, ED relevant negative body schemas facilitate priming of defensive responses. Heart rate and word ratings differed between body words and neutral words in the whole female sample, supporting a general processing bias for body weight and shape-related concepts in young women regardless of ED risk. Startle modulation was specifically related to eating disorder symptoms, as was indicated by significant positive correlations with self-reported body dissatisfaction. These results emphasize the relevance of examining body schema representations as a function of ED risk across different levels of responding. Peripheral-physiological measures such as the startle reflex could possibly be used as predictors of females' risk for developing EDs in the future.
Full Text Available Body image disturbances are core symptoms of eating disorders (EDs. Recent evidence suggests that changes in body image may occur prior to ED onset and are not restricted to in-vivo exposure (e.g. mirror image, but also evident during presentation of abstract cues such as body shape and weight-related words. In the present study startle modulation, heart rate and subjective evaluations were examined during reading of body words and neutral words in 41 student female volunteers screened for risk of EDs. The aim was to determine if responses to body words are attributable to a general negativity bias regardless of ED risk or if activated, ED relevant negative body schemas facilitate priming of defensive responses. Heart rate and word ratings differed between body words and neutral words in the whole female sample, supporting a general processing bias for body weight and shape-related concepts in young women regardless of ED risk. Startle modulation was specifically related to eating disorder symptoms, as was indicated by significant positive correlations with self-reported body dissatisfaction. These results emphasize the relevance of examining body schema representations as a function of ED risk across different levels of responding. Peripheral-physiological measures such as the startle reflex could possibly be used as predictors of females' risk for developing EDs in the future.
Herten, Nadja; Pomrehn, Dennis; Wolf, Oliver T
Previously, we observed enhanced long-term memory for objects used (central objects) by committee members in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) on the next day. In addition, startle responsivity was increased. However, response specificity to an odour involved in the stressful episode was lacking and recognition memory for the odour was poor. In the current experiments, immediate effects of the stressor on memory and startle responsivity were investigated. We hypothesised memory for central objects of the stressful episode and startle response specificity to an odour ambient during the TSST to be enhanced shortly after it, in contrast to the control condition (friendly TSST). Further, memory for this odour was also assumed to be increased in the stress group. We tested 70 male (35) and female participants using the TSST involving objects and an ambient odour. After stress induction, a startle paradigm including olfactory and visual stimuli was conducted. Indeed, memory for central objects was significantly enhanced in immediate aftermath of the stressor. Startle responsivity increased at a trend level, particularly with regard to the odour involved in the stressful episode. Moreover, the stress group descriptively tended towards a better recognition of the odour involved. The study shows that stress enhances memory for central aspects of a stressful situation before consolidation processes come into play. In addition, results preliminarily suggest that the impact of stress on startle responsivity increases in strength but decreases in specificity during the first 24h after stress exposure. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Peritraumatic dissociation, a state characterized by alteration in perception and reduced awareness of surroundings, is considered to be a risk factor for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. However, the predictive ability of peritraumatic dissociation is questioned for the inconsistent results in different time points of assessment. The startle reflex is an objective behavioral measurement of defensive response to abrupt and intense sensory stimulus of surroundings, with potential to be used as an assessment on the dissociative status in both humans and rodents. The present study examined the predictive effect of acoustic startle response (ASR in different time points around the traumatic event in an animal model of PTSD. The PTSD-like symptoms, including hyperarousal, avoidance, and contextual fear, were assessed 2-3 weeks post-trauma. The results showed that 1 the startle amplitude attenuated immediate after intense footshock in almost half of the stress animals, 2 the attenuated startle responses at 1 hour but not 24 hours after stress predicted the development of severe PTSD-like symptoms. These data indicate that the startle alteration at the immediate period after trauma, including 1 hour, is more important in PTSD prediction than 24 hours after trauma. Our study also suggests that the startle attenuation immediate after intense stress may serve as an objective measurement of peritraumatic dissociation in rats.
Grashow, Rachel; Miller, Mark W; McKinney, Ann; Nie, Linda H; Sparrow, David; Hu, Howard; Weisskopf, Marc G
Physiologically-based indicators of neural plasticity in humans could provide mechanistic insights into toxicant actions on learning in the brain, and perhaps prove more objective and sensitive measures of such effects than other methods. We explored the association between lead exposure and classical conditioning of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR)-a simple form of associative learning in the brain-in a population of elderly men. Fifty-one men from the VA Normative Aging Study with cumulative bone lead exposure measurements made with K-X-Ray-Fluorescence participated in a fear-conditioning protocol. The mean age of the men was 75.5years (standard deviation [sd]=5.9) and mean patella lead concentration was 22.7μg/g bone (sd=15.9). Baseline ASR eyeblink response decreased with age, but was not associated with subsequent conditioning. Among 37 men with valid responses at the end of the protocol, higher patella lead was associated with decreased awareness of the conditioning contingency (declarative learning; adjusted odds ratio [OR] per 20μg/g patella lead=0.91, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.84, 0.99, p=0.03). Eyeblink conditioning (non-declarative learning) was 0.44sd less (95% CI: -0.91, 0.02; p=0.06) per 20μg/g patella lead after adjustment. Each result was stronger when correcting for the interval between lead measurement and startle testing (awareness: OR=0.88, 95% CI: 0.78, 0.99, p=0.04; conditioning: -0.79sd less, 95% CI: -1.56, 0.03, p=0.04). This initial exploration suggests that lead exposure interferes with specific neural mechanisms of learning and offers the possibility that the ASR may provide a new approach to physiologically explore the effects of neurotoxicant exposures on neural mechanisms of learning in humans with a paradigm that is directly comparable to animal models. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
.... In two psychiatric disorders, the startle reflex is altered. Normally, the startle response is decreased appreciably when a low intensity sound stimulus is given shortly before the startle eliciting stimulus...
.... In addition, the startle response is increased during periods of anxiety. In this study, a system is described by which the acoustic startle response in marmoset monkeys may be recorded in a reliable way...
de Jong, Peter J.; Visser, Sylvia; Merckelbach, Harald
The present study explored two issues: (1) the predictive value of startle responses for treatment success and (2) the lateralization of affect-modulated startle responses. Approximately 40 days before behavioral treatment, monaural startle probes were presented to 20 women who were spider phobic
Rony H Salloum
Full Text Available There has been a recent surge of interest in the development of animal models of hyperacusis, a condition in which tolerance to sounds of moderate and high intensities is diminished. The reasons for this decreased tolerance are likely multifactorial, but some major factors that contribute to hyperacusis are increased loudness perception and heightened sensitivity and/or responsiveness to sound. Increased sound sensitivity is a symptom that sometimes develops in human subjects after acoustic insult and has recently been demonstrated in animals as evidenced by enhancement of the acoustic startle reflex following acoustic over-exposure. However, different laboratories have obtained conflicting results in this regard, with some studies reporting enhanced startle, others reporting weakened startle, and still others reporting little, if any, change in the amplitude of the acoustic startle reflex following noise exposure. In an effort to gain insight into these discrepancies, we conducted measures of acoustic startle responses (ASR in animals exposed to different levels of sound, and repeated such measures on consecutive days using a range of different startle stimuli. Since many studies combine measures of acoustic startle with measures of gap detection, we also tested ASR in two different acoustic contexts, one in which the startle amplitudes were tested in isolation, the other in which startle amplitudes were measured in the context of the gap detection test. The results reveal that the emergence of chronic hyperacusis-like enhancements of startle following noise exposure is highly reproducible but is dependent on the post-exposure thresholds, the time when the measures are performed and the context in which the ASR measures are obtained. These findings could explain many of the discrepancies that exist across studies and suggest guidelines for inducing in animals enhancements of the startle reflex that may be related to hyperacusis.
Full Text Available We have known for decades that social support is associated with positive health outcomes. And yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly understood. The link between social support and positive health outcomes is likely to depend on the neurophysiological regulatory mechanisms underlying reward and defensive reactions. The present study examines the hypothesis that emotional social support (love provides safety cues that activate the appetitive reward system and simultaneously inhibit defense reactions. Using the startle probe paradigm, 54 undergraduate students (24 men viewed black and white photographs of loved (romantic partner, father, mother, and best friend, neutral (unknown, and unpleasant (mutilated faces. Eye-blink startle, zygomatic major activity, heart rate, and skin conductance responses to the faces, together with subjective ratings of valence, arousal, and dominance, were obtained. Viewing loved faces induced a marked inhibition of the eye-blink startle response accompanied by a pattern of zygomatic, heart rate, skin conductance, and subjective changes indicative of an intense positive emotional response. Effects were similar for men and women, but the startle inhibition and the zygomatic response were larger in female participants. A comparison between the faces of the romantic partner and the parent who shares the partner's gender further suggests that this effect is not attributable to familiarity or arousal. We conclude that this inhibitory capacity may contribute to the health benefits associated with social support.
Guerra, Pedro; Sánchez-Adam, Alicia; Anllo-Vento, Lourdes; Ramírez, Isabel; Vila, Jaime
We have known for decades that social support is associated with positive health outcomes. And yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this association remain poorly understood. The link between social support and positive health outcomes is likely to depend on the neurophysiological regulatory mechanisms underlying reward and defensive reactions. The present study examines the hypothesis that emotional social support (love) provides safety cues that activate the appetitive reward system and simultaneously inhibit defense reactions. Using the startle probe paradigm, 54 undergraduate students (24 men) viewed black and white photographs of loved (romantic partner, father, mother, and best friend), neutral (unknown), and unpleasant (mutilated) faces. Eye-blink startle, zygomatic major activity, heart rate, and skin conductance responses to the faces, together with subjective ratings of valence, arousal, and dominance, were obtained. Viewing loved faces induced a marked inhibition of the eye-blink startle response accompanied by a pattern of zygomatic, heart rate, skin conductance, and subjective changes indicative of an intense positive emotional response. Effects were similar for men and women, but the startle inhibition and the zygomatic response were larger in female participants. A comparison between the faces of the romantic partner and the parent who shares the partner's gender further suggests that this effect is not attributable to familiarity or arousal. We conclude that this inhibitory capacity may contribute to the health benefits associated with social support.
Nakamura, Sadao; Saito, Yoshiaki; Ishiyama, Akihiko; Sugai, Kenji; Iso, Takashi; Inagaki, Masumi; Sasaki, Masayuki
To clarify the evolution of an augmented startle reflex in Tay-Sachs disease and compare the temporal relationship between this reflex and brainstem evoked potentials. Clinical and electrophysiological data from 3 patients with Tay-Sachs disease were retrospectively collected. The augmented startle reflex appeared between the age of 3 and 17 months and disappeared between the age of 4 and 6 years. Analysis of brainstem auditory evoked potentials revealed that poor segregation of peak I, but not peak III, coincided with the disappearance of the augmented startle reflex. A blink reflex with markedly high amplitude was observed in a patient with an augmented startle reflex. The correlation between the augmented startle reflex and the preservation of peak I but not peak III supports the theory that the superior olivary nucleus is dispensable for this reflex. The blink reflex with high amplitudes may represent augmented excitability of reticular formation at the pontine tegmentum in Tay-Sachs disease, where the pattern generators for the augmented startle and blink reflexes may functionally overlap. Copyright © 2014 The Japanese Society of Child Neurology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Loomans, Max M; Tulen, Joke H M; van Marle, Hjalmar J C
Most people who meet the diagnostic criteria for anti-social personality disorder (ASPD) do not meet the criteria for psychopathy. A differentiating feature is affective-interpersonal style. Eye blink startle reflex paradigms have been used to study affect. The aim of this study is to explore an eye blink startle paradigm as a means of distinguishing between men with both ASPD and psychopathy, and men with ASPD alone. One hundred and thirty-six men were recruited as follows: 31 patients with ASPD and a Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) score of 26 or more, 22 patients with ASPD and a PCL-R score of 25 or less, 50 forensic hospital employees and 33 general population men, none in the latter two groups having abnormal personality traits. Each was presented with 16 pleasant, 16 unpleasant and 16 neutral pictures. Acoustic probes were presented during each category at 300, 800, 1300 and 3800 milliseconds (ms) after picture onset. Eye blink response was measured by electromyography. Overall, both patient groups showed significantly smaller eye blink responses to the startle stimuli compared with the community controls. Both the latter and the ASPD group showed the expected increase in eye blink response at longer startle latencies to unpleasant pictures than pleasant pictures, but this was not present either in the group with psychopathy or in the forensic hospital employees. With increasing startle latency onset, eye blink amplitude increased significantly in both the healthy comparison groups and the ASPD group, but not in the group with psychopathy. We replicated eye blink startle modulation deficiencies among men with psychopathy. We confirmed that the psychopathy and ASPD groups could be distinguished by startle stimulus onset asynchrony, but this pattern was also seen in one healthy group - the forensic hospital employees. This suggests a case for more research with more diverse comparison groups and more differentiation of personality traits before drawing
Lee, Ka Hung; Chatila, Talal A; Ram, Rana A; Thompson, Richard F
The calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type IV (CaMKIV) is highly expressed in cerebellar cortical granule cells and deep nuclear neurons in the cerebellum. It mediates the phosphorylation and activation of the cAMP-dependent response element binding protein (CREB). In several paradigms CREB-dependent transcription is required for cellular events underlying long-term memory processes. Also, CaMKIV deficiency results in impaired long-term depression (LTD) induction in cerebellar cortex. To investigate the function of CaMKIV in the cerebellum, Wild-type (WT) and CaMKIV KO mice were tested with delay eyeblink conditioning. KO and WT mice did not differ in acquisition, but the KO mice showed a significantly lower conditioned response (CR) percentage than the WT mice in the retention testing and retraining period. The CR peak latencies for the two groups did not differ in acquisition but were shorter for the KO mice in the testing period. No significant differences were found between KO and WT mice in spontaneous eyeblink activity, auditory brainstem response (ABR) amplitudes, and tail-flick latency. The results suggest an important role for CaMKIV in long-term memory in the cerebellum. (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved.
Full Text Available A case of late onset sporadic startle syndrome in a patient with a right posterior fossa brain tumour is reported. The exaggerated startle response did not respond to treatment with clonazepam. In addition to anxiety and depression, the patient developed obsessive- compulsive symptoms which responded to behavioural therapy. The possible mechanisms for this unique pattern of symptoms are discussed.
Sánchez-García, M.; Zottoli, S. J.; Roberson, L.
Hypoxic zones have become more prevalent in marine ecosystems as a result of physical changes to the coastal zone, pollution and eutrophication, and are expected to increase in prevalence with climate change. While some studies have examined the behavioral effects of hypoxia on coastal fishes in temperate and sub-tropical zones, none have focused on tropical coastal zones. Behavioral changes may affect fish survival, predator-prey interactions and ultimately ecosystem structure. Through behavioral endpoints we evaluated the effects of non-lethal levels of hypoxia on estuarine fish collected from the tropical Condado Lagoon, San Juan P.R, in a laboratory setting. Two groups of 10 fishes were placed individually in a sound test chamber and oxygen concentrations were modulated from a pre-treatment at 100% oxygen to increasing levels of hypoxia (80, 70, & 60%), followed by a reversal treatment (100%) to test for recovery of pretreatment behavior. An abrupt sound stimulus was used to elicit a startle response, a quantifiable biological endpoint, while recording with a high speed camera. This approach can lend valuable insight into changes in the central nervous system and effects of anthropogenic inputs on tropical ecosystems at the individual- and population-level. We found that hypoxic conditions significantly decrease fish responsiveness; fish startled only half the time at 80% O2 and dropped as much as 61% at 60% O2. Additionally, responsiveness in reversal tests were significantly lower than under pre-treatment conditions. These results indicate that hypoxia may have long-term or possibly permanent effects, even under relatively mild hypoxia conditions common to tropical estuaries. Future work will aim to understand if the startle response can be regained after a hypoxic event.
Wright, Zachary; Patton, James L; Ravichandran, Venn
Recent work has shown that preplanned motor programs are released early from subcortical areas by the using a startling acoustic stimulus (SAS). Our question is whether this response might also contain a recently learned internal model, which draws on experience to predict and compensate for expected perturbations in a feedforward manner. Studies of adaptation to robotic forces have shown some evidence of this, but were potentially confounded by cocontraction caused by startle. We performed a new adaptation experiment using a visually distorted field that could not be confounded by cocontraction. We found that in all subjects that exhibited startle, the startle stimulus (1) reduced performance of the recently learned task (2) reduced after-effect magnitudes. Because startle reduced but did not eliminate the recall of learned control, we suggest that multiple neural centers (cortical and subcortical) are involved in such learning and adaptation, which can impact training areas such as piloting, teleoperation, sports, and rehabilitation. © 2011 IEEE
Smit, A E; van der Geest, J N; Vellema, M
with FRAXA. In the present behavioral study, long-term effects of deficiency of FMRP were investigated by examining the acquisition, savings and extinction of delay eyeblink conditioning in male individuals with FRAXA. In the acquisition experiment, subjects with FRAXA displayed a significantly poor...... of the FMRP affects cerebellar motor learning. The normal performance in the savings experiment and aberrant performance in the acquisition and extinction experiments of individuals with FRAXA suggest that different mechanisms underlie acquisition, savings and extinction of cerebellar motor learning....
Kelly Shadwick; Wei Sun
Gap induced pre-pulse inhibition (Gap-PPI) of acoustic startle reflex has been used as a measurement of tinnitus in animal models. However, whether this test is sensitive to detect tinnitus in humans is still unclear. Based on the testing procedure used in animal studies, a human subject testing method was formulated and conducted to investigate if a similar result could be found in tinnitus patients. Audiologic and tinnitus assessments and acoustic startle reflex measurements were performed on seven tinnitus subjects and nine age matched subjects without tinnitus. There was no significant difference found between the control and tinnitus group on the Gap-PPI across the frequencies evaluated. The amplitude of the startle response in the tinnitus group with normal hearing thresholds was significantly higher than the control group and those with tinnitus and hearing loss. This preliminary result suggests that hyperexcitability in the central auditory system may be involved in tinnitus. There was no correlation between hearing thresholds and the increased amplitude of startle response.
Brown, Kevin L.; Freeman, John H.
Eyeblink conditioning is a well-established model for studying the developmental neurobiology of associative learning and memory. However, age differences in extinction and subsequent reacquisition have yet to be studied using this model. The present study examined extinction and reacquisition of eyeblink conditioning in developing rats. In…
DeAngelis, A I; Needle, A R; Kaminski, T W; Royer, T R; Knight, C A; Swanik, C B
Growing evidence suggests that the nervous system contributes to non-contact knee ligament injury, but limited evidence has measured the effect of extrinsic events on joint stability. Following unanticipated events, the startle reflex leads to universal stiffening of the limbs, but no studies have investigated how an acoustic startle influences knee stiffness and muscle activation during a dynamic knee perturbation. Thirty-six individuals were tested for knee stiffness and muscle activation of the quadriceps and hamstrings. Subjects were seated and instructed to resist a 40-degree knee flexion perturbation from a relaxed state. During some trials, an acoustic startle (50 ms, 1000 Hz, 100 dB) was applied 100 ms prior to the perturbation. Knee stiffness, muscle amplitude, and timing were quantified across time, muscle, and startle conditions. The acoustic startle increased short-range (no startle: 0.044 ± 0.011 N·m/deg/kg; average startle: 0.047 ± 0.01 N·m/deg/kg) and total knee stiffness (no startle: 0.036 ± 0.01 N·m/deg/kg; first startle 0.027 ± 0.02 N·m/deg/kg). Additionally, the startle contributed to decreased [vastus medialis (VM): 13.76 ± 33.6%; vastus lateralis (VL): 6.72 ± 37.4%] but earlier (VM: 0.133 ± 0.17 s; VL: 0.124 ± 0.17 s) activation of the quadriceps muscles. The results of this study indicate that the startle response can significantly disrupt knee stiffness regulation required to maintain joint stability. Further studies should explore the role of unanticipated events on unintentional injury. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Chou, Chia-Ying; Marca, Roberto La; Steptoe, Andrew; Brewin, Chris R
The current study adopted the trauma film paradigm to examine potential moderators affecting heart rate (HR) as an indicator of peritraumatic psychological states and as a predictor of intrusive memories. We replicated previous findings that perifilm HR decreases predicted the development of intrusive images and further showed this effect to be specific to images rather than thoughts, and to detail rather than gist recognition memory. Moreover, a group of individuals showing both an atypical sudden reduction in HR after a startle stimulus and higher trait dissociation was identified. Only among these individuals was lower perifilm HR found to indicate higher state dissociation, fear, and anxiety, along with reduced vividness of intrusions. The current findings emphasize how peritraumatic physiological responses relate to emotional reactions and intrusive memory. The moderating role of individual difference in stress defense style was highlighted. PMID:24397333
Oristaglio, Jeff; West, Susan Hyman; Ghaffari, Manely; Lech, Melissa S.; Verma, Beeta R.; Harvey, John A.; Welsh, John P.; Malone, Richard P.
Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and age-matched typically-developing (TD) peers were tested on two forms of eyeblink conditioning (EBC), a Pavlovian associative learning paradigm where subjects learn to execute an appropriately-timed eyeblink in response to a previously neutral conditioning stimulus (CS). One version of the task, trace EBC, interposes a stimulus-free interval between the presentation of the CS and the unconditioned stimulus (US), a puff of air to the eye which causes subjects to blink. In delay EBC, the CS overlaps in time with the delivery of the US, usually with both stimuli terminating simultaneously. ASD children performed normally during trace EBC, exhibiting no differences from typically-developing (TD) subjects with regard to learning rate or the timing of the CR. However, when subsequently tested on delay EBC, subjects with ASD displayed abnormally-timed conditioned eye blinks that began earlier and peaked sooner than those of TD subjects, consistent with previous findings. The results suggest an impaired ability of children with ASD to properly time conditioned eye blinks which appears to be specific to delay EBC. We suggest that this deficit may reflect a dysfunction of cerebellar cortex in which increases in the intensity or duration of sensory input can temporarily disrupt the accuracy of motor timing over short temporal intervals. PMID:23769889
Hammer, Trine Bjørg; Oranje, Bob; Glenthoj, Birte Y
Schizophrenic patients exhibit impairments in filtering of sensory information, as can be assessed by use of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response and P50 suppression paradigms. In the treatment of negative symptoms or depressive syndromes during the course of schizophrenia...... as well as P50 suppression. No significant differences between the two treatments were observed on habituation of the acoustic startle reflex. Since sensory filtering is usually already reduced in patients with schizophrenia, the current results call for caution in the widespread use of dual......-acting antidepressants in the treatment of depressed or negative symptoms in these patients....
Horn-Hofmann, C; Lautenbacher, S
Previous studies have indicated that the startle reflex is potentiated by phasic, but not by tonic, heat pain, although the latter is seen as more strongly associated with emotional responses and more similar to clinical pain. The threat value of pain might be a decisive variable, which is not influenced alone by stimulus duration. This study aimed at comparing startle responses to tonic heat pain stimulation with varying degrees of threat. We hypothesized that the expectation of unpredictable temperature increases would evoke higher threat and thereby potentiate startle compared with the expectation of constant stimulation. Healthy, pain-free subjects (n = 40) underwent painful stimulation in two conditions (low/high threat) in balanced order. The only difference between the two conditions was that in the high-threat condition 50% of the trials were announced to include a short further noxious temperature increase at the end. Startle tones were presented prior to this temperature increase still in the phase of anticipation. We observed startle potentiation in the high-threat compared with the low-threat condition, but only in those participants who took part first in the high-threat condition. Habituation could not account for these findings, as we detected no significant decline of startle responses in the course of both conditions. Our results suggest that subjective threat might indeed be decisive for the action of pain on startle; the threat level appears not only influenced by actual expectations but also by previous experiences with pain as threatening or not. © 2014 European Pain Federation - EFIC®
Roebel, Amanda M.; MacLean, William E., Jr.
Previous research indicates that abnormal stereotyped movements are associated with central dopamine dysfunction and that eye-blink rate is a noninvasive, in vivo measure of dopamine function. We measured the spontaneous eye-blinking and stereotyped behavior of older adults with severe/profound mental retardation living in a state mental…
Kruis, Ayla; Slagter, Heleen A; Bachhuber, David R W; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine
A rapidly growing body of research suggests that meditation can change brain and cognitive functioning. Yet little is known about the neurochemical mechanisms underlying meditation-related changes in cognition. Here, we investigated the effects of meditation on spontaneous eyeblink rates (sEBR), a noninvasive peripheral correlate of striatal dopamine activity. Previous studies have shown a relationship between sEBR and cognitive functions such as mind wandering, cognitive flexibility, and attention-functions that are also affected by meditation. We therefore expected that long-term meditation practice would alter eyeblink activity. To test this, we recorded baseline sEBR and intereyeblink intervals (IEBI) in long-term meditators (LTM) and meditation-naive participants (MNP). We found that LTM not only blinked less frequently, but also showed a different eyeblink pattern than MNP. This pattern had good to high degree of consistency over three time points. Moreover, we examined the effects of an 8-week course of mindfulness-based stress reduction on sEBR and IEBI, compared to an active control group and a waitlist control group. No effect of short-term meditation practice was found. Finally, we investigated whether different types of meditation differentially alter eyeblink activity by measuring sEBR and IEBI after a full day of two kinds of meditation practices in the LTM. No effect of meditation type was found. Taken together, these findings may suggest either that individual difference in dopaminergic neurotransmission is a self-selection factor for meditation practice, or that long-term, but not short-term meditation practice induces stable changes in baseline striatal dopaminergic functioning. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Wright, Zachary A; Carlsen, Anthony N; MacKinnon, Colum D; Patton, James L
Recent work has shown that preplanned motor programs can be rapidly released via fast conducting pathways using a startling acoustic stimulus. Our question was whether the startle-elicited response might also release a recently learned internal model, which draws on experience to predict and compensate for expected perturbations in a feedforward manner. Our initial investigation using adaptation to robotically produced forces showed some evidence of this, but the results were potentially confounded by co-contraction caused by startle. In this study, we eliminated this confound by asking subjects to make reaching movements in the presence of a visual distortion. Results show that a startle stimulus (1) decreased performance of the recently learned task and (2) reduced after-effect magnitude. Since the recall of learned control was reduced, but not eliminated during startle trials, we suggest that multiple neural centers (cortical and subcortical) are involved in such learning and adaptation. These findings have implications for motor training in areas such as piloting, teleoperation, sports, and rehabilitation.
Bach, Dominik R
In many species, rapid defensive reflexes are paramount to escaping acute danger. These reflexes are modulated by the state of the environment. This is exemplified in fear-potentiated startle, a more vigorous startle response during conditioned anticipation of an unrelated threatening event. Extant explanations of this phenomenon build on descriptive models of underlying psychological states, or neural processes. Yet, they fail to predict invigorated startle during reward anticipation and ins...
Steinmetz, Adam B.; Freeman, John H.
Rats administered the cannabinoid agonist WIN55,212-2 or the antagonist SR141716A exhibit marked deficits during acquisition of delay eyeblink conditioning, as noted by Steinmetz and Freeman in an earlier study. However, the effects of these drugs on retention and extinction of eyeblink conditioning have not been assessed. The present study…
Tracy, Jo Anne; Thompson, Judith K; Krupa, David J; Thompson, Richard F
Electrical stimulation thresholds required to elicit eyeblinks with either pontine or cerebellar interpositus stimulation were measured before and after classical eyeblink conditioning with paired pontine stimulation (conditioned stimulus, CS) and corneal airpuff (unconditioned stimulus, US). Pontine stimulation thresholds dropped dramatically after training and returned to baseline levels following extinction, whereas interpositus thresholds and input-output functions remained stable across training sessions. Learning rate, magnitude of threshold change, and electrode placements were correlated. Pontine projection patterns to the cerebellum were confirmed with retrograde labeling techniques. These results add to the body of literature suggesting that the pons relays CS information to the cerebellum and provide further evidence of synaptic plasticity in the cerebellar network. 2013 APA, all rights reserved
Full Text Available Fear learning is thought to play an important role in panic disorder. Benign interoceptive sensations can become predictors (conditioned stimuli - CSs of massive fear when experienced in the context of an initial panic attack (unconditioned stimulus – US. The mere encounter of these CSs on a later moment can induce anxiety and fear, and precipitate a new panic attack. It has been suggested that fear learning to interoceptive cues would result in unpredictable panic. The present study aimed to investigate whether fear learning to an interoceptive CS is possible without declarative knowledge of the CS-US contingency. The CS consisted of mild breathlessness (or: dyspnea, the US was a suffocation experience. During acquisition, the experimental group received 6 presentations of mild breathlessness immediately followed by suffocation; for the control group both experiences were always separated by an intertrial interval. In the subsequent extinction phase, participants received 6 unreinforced presentations of the CS. Expectancy of the US was rated continuously and startle eyeblink EMG, skin conductance and respiration were measured. Declarative knowledge of the CS-US relationship was also assessed with a post-experimental questionnaire. At the end of acquisition, both groups displayed the same levels of US expectancy and skin conductance in response to the CS, but the experimental group showed a fear potentiated startle eyeblink and a different respiratory response to the CS compared to the control group. Further analyses on a subgroup of CS-US unaware participants confirmed the presence of startle eyeblink conditioning in the experimental group but not in the control group. Our findings suggest that interoceptive fear learning is not dependent on declarative knowledge of the CS-US relationship. The present interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm may serve as an ecologically valid laboratory model for unexpected panic attacks.
Lobarinas, Edward; Hayes, Sarah H.; Allman, Brian L.
In 2006, Turner and colleagues (Behav Neurosci, 120:188–195) introduced the gap-startle paradigm as a high-throughput method for tinnitus screening in rats. Under this paradigm, gap detection ability was assessed by determining the level of inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex produced by a short silent gap inserted in an otherwise continuous background sound prior to a loud startling stimulus. Animals with tinnitus were expected to show impaired gap detection ability (i.e., lack of inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex) if the background sound containing the gap was qualitatively similar to the tinnitus pitch. Thus, for the gap-startle paradigm to be a valid tool to screen for tinnitus, a robust startle response from which to inhibit must be present. Because recent studies have demonstrated that the acoustic startle reflex could be dramatically reduced following noise exposure, we endeavored to 1) modify the gap-startle paradigm to be more resilient in the presence of hearing loss, and 2) evaluate whether a reduction in startle reactivity could confound the interpretation of gap prepulse inhibition and lead to errors in screening for tinnitus. In the first experiment, the traditional broadband noise (BBN) startle stimulus was replaced by a bandpass noise in which the sound energy was concentrated in the lower frequencies (5–10 kHz) in order to maintain audibility of the startle stimulus after unilateral high frequency noise exposure (16 kHz). However, rats still showed a 57% reduction in startle amplitude to the bandpass noise post-noise exposure. A follow-up experiment on a separate group of rats with transiently-induced conductive hearing loss revealed that startle reactivity was better preserved when the BBN startle stimulus was replaced by a rapid airpuff to the back of the rats neck. Furthermore, it was found that transient unilateral conductive hearing loss, which was not likely to induce tinnitus, caused an impairment in gap prepulse inhibition
Janik Vincent M
Full Text Available Abstract Background Autonomous reflexes enable animals to respond quickly to potential threats, prevent injury and mediate fight or flight responses. Intense acoustic stimuli with sudden onsets elicit a startle reflex while stimuli of similar intensity but with longer rise times only cause a cardiac defence response. In laboratory settings, habituation appears to affect all of these reflexes so that the response amplitude generally decreases with repeated exposure to the stimulus. The startle reflex has become a model system for the study of the neural basis of simple learning processes and emotional processing and is often used as a diagnostic tool in medical applications. However, previous studies did not allow animals to avoid the stimulus and the evolutionary function and long-term behavioural consequences of repeated startling remain speculative. In this study we investigate the follow-up behaviour associated with the startle reflex in wild-captured animals using an experimental setup that allows individuals to exhibit avoidance behaviour. Results We present evidence that repeated elicitation of the acoustic startle reflex leads to rapid and pronounced sensitisation of sustained spatial avoidance behaviour in grey seals (Halichoerus grypus. Animals developed rapid flight responses, left the exposure pool and showed clear signs of fear conditioning. Once sensitised, seals even avoided a known food source that was close to the sound source. In contrast, animals exposed to non-startling (long rise time stimuli of the same maximum sound pressure habituated and flight responses waned or were absent from the beginning. The startle threshold of grey seals expressed in units of sensation levels was comparable to thresholds reported for other mammals (93 dB. Conclusions Our results demonstrate that the acoustic startle reflex plays a crucial role in mediating flight responses and strongly influences the motivational state of an animal beyond a short
Roy, Mathieu; Mailhot, Jean-Philippe; Gosselin, Nathalie; Paquette, Sébastien; Peretz, Isabelle
The issue of emotional feelings to music is the object of a classic debate in music psychology. Emotivists argue that emotions are really felt in response to music, whereas cognitivists believe that music is only representative of emotions. Psychophysiological recordings of emotional feelings to music might help to resolve the debate, but past studies have failed to show clear and consistent differences between musical excerpts of different emotional valence. Here, we compared the effects of pleasant and unpleasant musical excerpts on the startle eye blink reflex and associated body markers (such as the corrugator and zygomatic activity, skin conductance level and heart rate). The startle eye blink amplitude was larger and its latency was shorter during unpleasant compared with pleasant music, suggesting that the defensive emotional system was indeed modulated by music. Corrugator activity was also enhanced during unpleasant music, whereas skin conductance level was higher for pleasant excerpts. The startle reflex was the response that contributed the most in distinguishing pleasant and unpleasant music. Taken together, these results provide strong evidence that emotions were felt in response to music, supporting the emotivist stance.
Altman, Sarah E; Campbell, Miranda L; Nelson, Brady D; Faust, Julianne P; Shankman, Stewart A
Bulimia nervosa (BN) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) co-occur at greater rates than chance and may have shared mechanisms of dysfunction. One of these proposed mechanisms is a hyper-responsive aversive system as indicated by heightened startle response to aversive stimuli. The present study examined this hypothesis using 2 types of aversive stimuli: disorder specific (e.g., high-caloric food pictures for BN, contamination pictures for OCD) and nondisorder specific (e.g., knife). Temporal parameters of aversive responding were also examined by assessing startle response in anticipation of and following picture presentation. The sample consisted of 114 undergraduate women selected to have a broad range of BN and/or OCD symptomatology. OCD symptoms were associated with increased startle potentiation during the anticipation and presentation of contamination pictures, and BN symptoms were associated with increased startle potentiation during disorder-related contamination pictures (e.g., sink, toilet). BN symptoms were also associated with increased startle potentiation during and following the presentation of food pictures (though the former effect was only a trend). Additionally, the interaction of BN and OCD symptoms was associated with elevated startle responding during the presentation of contamination and threat stimuli. Overall, the present study provides evidence that BN and OCD symptoms are associated with heightened aversive responding to disorder-specific stimuli, and comorbid BN and OCD symptoms are associated with heightened aversive responding across disorder-specific and nonspecific aversive stimuli. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Tijssen, MAJ; Brown, P; Morris, HR; Lees, A
Three cases of late onset Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome are presented. The motor ties were mainly induced by an unexpected startling stimulus, but the startle reflex was not exaggerated. The ties developed after physical trauma or a period of undue emotional stress. Reflex ties may occur in
Tijssen, M. A.; Brown, P.; Morris, H. R.; Lees, A.
Three cases of late onset Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome are presented. The motor tics were mainly induced by an unexpected startling stimulus, but the startle reflex was not exaggerated. The tics developed after physical trauma or a period of undue emotional stress. Reflex tics may occur in
Campbell, Miranda L; Gorka, Stephanie M; McGowan, Sarah K; Nelson, Brady D; Sarapas, Casey; Katz, Andrea C; Robison-Andrew, E Jenna; Shankman, Stewart A
Individuals with anxiety disorders have previously demonstrated abnormal habituation to aversiveness over time. As anxiety sensitivity (AS), or an individuals' propensity to fear of anxiety-related sensations, has been shown to be a risk factor for anxiety disorders (particularly panic disorder), the present study examined whether AS was also associated with abnormal habituation. This association was examined in two independent samples of undergraduates (Ntotal=178). Habituation was operationalised as the reduction in startle response to multiple startle probes presented over 2.5 minutes and three definitions of this reduction were employed. Results indicated that individuals with higher levels of AS evidenced deficits in startle habituation, but the strength of this relationship was somewhat dependent on the definition of startle habituation, with the most robust definition being an analysis of participants' individual slopes across all nine blinks. The present findings suggest that startle habituation is a key mechanism underlying AS, and may help elucidate the role this risk factor plays in the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders.
Carlson, R.; Drummond, R.; Hammermeister, D.; Bradbury, S. [Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, MN (United States). Environmental Research Lab.
Simultaneous electrophysiological and behavioral studies were performed on juvenile Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to representative neurotoxic organic chemicals at sublethal concentrations. Non-invasive recordings were made of the electrical impulses generated within giant neuronal Mauthner cells, associated interneurons or motoneurons, and musculature, all of which initiate the startle or escape response in fish. Timing in milliseconds between these electrical sequelae was measured for each fish before and at 24 and 48 hours exposure to a chemical. Also noted was the number of startle responses to number of stimuli ratio (R/S). Other groups of medaka were fed to bluegills and consumption times recorded to assess their ability to escape predation. These results were compared to neurophysiological effect levels. Phenol, 2,4-dinitrophenol, chlorpyrifos, fenvalerate, and 1-octanol impaired the ability of medaka to escape predation at all concentrations. Medaka were more susceptible to predation in high concentrations of carbaryl and strychnine, but less susceptible at low concentrations, whereas the reverse was true for endosulfan. The variety of neurological effects detected at these concentrations suggest that different mechanisms may be responsible. Phenol and strychnine affected Mauthner cell to motoneuron transmission, chlorpyrifos and carbaryl showed neuromuscular effects, and R/S was affected by most chemicals. Although a variety of neurotoxic mechanisms were examined, the exposure threshold for significant effects for each specific compound was found to be consistent for both the neurophysiological and behavioral endpoints.
Bach, Dominik R
In many species, rapid defensive reflexes are paramount to escaping acute danger. These reflexes are modulated by the state of the environment. This is exemplified in fear-potentiated startle, a more vigorous startle response during conditioned anticipation of an unrelated threatening event. Extant explanations of this phenomenon build on descriptive models of underlying psychological states, or neural processes. Yet, they fail to predict invigorated startle during reward anticipation and instructed attention, and do not explain why startle reflex modulation evolved. Here, we fill this lacuna by developing a normative cost minimisation model based on Bayesian optimality principles. This model predicts the observed pattern of startle modification by rewards, punishments, instructed attention, and several other states. Moreover, the mathematical formalism furnishes predictions that can be tested experimentally. Comparing the model with existing data suggests a specific neural implementation of the underlying computations which yields close approximations to the optimal solution under most circumstances. This analysis puts startle modification into the framework of Bayesian decision theory and predictive coding, and illustrates the importance of an adaptive perspective to interpret defensive behaviour across species. Copyright © 2015 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.
Dreissen, Yasmine E. M.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.
Startle syndromes are paroxysmal and show stimulus sensitivity, placing them in the differential diagnosis of epileptic seizures. Startle syndromes form a heterogeneous group of disorders with three categories: hyperekplexia (HPX), stimulus-induced disorders, and neuropsychiatric syndromes. HPX is
Dreissen, Yasmine E. M.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.
Startle syndromes are paroxysmal and show stimulus sensitivity, placing them in the differential diagnosis of epileptic seizures. Startle syndromes form a heterogeneous group of disorders with three categories: hyperekplexia (HPX), stimulus-induced disorders, and neuropsychiatric syndromes. HPX is
O'Leary, T P; Shin, S; Fertan, E; Dingle, R N; Almuklass, A; Gunn, R K; Yu, Z; Wang, J; Brown, R E
Hearing dysfunction has been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) in humans, but there is little data on the auditory function of mouse models of AD. Furthermore, characterization of hearing ability in mouse models is needed to ensure that tests of cognition that use auditory stimuli are not confounded by hearing dysfunction. Therefore, we assessed acoustic startle response and pre-pulse inhibition in the double transgenic 5xFAD mouse model of AD from 3-4 to 16 months of age. The 5xFAD mice showed an age-related decline in acoustic startle as early as 3-4 months of age. We subsequently tested auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds at 4 and 13-14 months of age using tone bursts at frequencies of 2-32 kHz. The 5xFAD mice showed increased ABR thresholds for tone bursts between 8 and 32 kHz at 13-14 months of age. Finally, cochleae were extracted and basilar membranes were dissected to count hair cell loss across the cochlea. The 5xFAD mice showed significantly greater loss of both inner and outer hair cells at the apical and basal ends of the basilar membrane than wild-type mice at 15-16 months of age. These results indicate that the 5xFAD mouse model of AD shows age-related decreases in acoustic startle responses, which are at least partially due to age-related peripheral hearing loss. Therefore, we caution against the use of cognitive tests that rely on audition in 5xFAD mice over 3-4 months of age, without first confirming that performance is not confounded by hearing dysfunction. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd and International Behavioural and Neural Genetics Society.
Nokia, Miriam S; Wikgren, Jan
The relative power of the hippocampal theta-band ( approximately 6 Hz) activity (theta ratio) is thought to reflect a distinct neural state and has been shown to affect learning rate in classical eyeblink conditioning in rabbits. We sought to determine if the theta ratio is mostly related to the detection of the contingency between the stimuli used in conditioning or also to the learning of more complex inhibitory associations when a highly demanding delay discrimination-reversal eyeblink conditioning paradigm is used. A high hippocampal theta ratio was not only associated with a fast increase in conditioned responding in general but also correlated with slow emergence of discriminative responding due to sustained responding to the conditioned stimulus not paired with an unconditioned stimulus. The results indicate that the neural state reflected by the hippocampal theta ratio is specifically linked to forming associations between stimuli rather than to the learning of inhibitory associations needed for successful discrimination. This is in line with the view that the hippocampus is responsible for contingency detection in the early phase of learning in eyeblink conditioning. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Haerich, Paul; Eggers, Cara; Pecaut, Michael J
With the increased international emphasis on manned space exploration, there is a growing need to understand the impact of the spaceflight environment on health and behavior. One particularly important aspect of this environment is low-dose radiation. In the present studies, we first characterized the γ- and proton-irradiation dose effect on acoustic startle and pre-pulse inhibition behaviors in mice exposed to 0-5 Gy brain-localized irradiation, and assessed these effects 2 days later. Subsequently, we used 2 Gy to assess the time course of γ- and proton-radiation effects on startle reactivity 0-8 days after exposure. Exposures targeted the brain to minimize the impact of peripheral inflammation-induced sickness behavior. The effects of radiation on startle were subtle and acute. Radiation reduced the startle response at 2 and 5 Gy. Following a 2-Gy exposure, the response reached a minimum at the 2-day point. Proton and γ-ray exposures did not differ in their impact on startle. We found there were no effects of radiation on pre-pulse inhibition of the startle response.
Dackis, Melissa N.; Rogosch, Fred A.; Cicchetti, Dante
Child maltreatment is associated with disruptions in physiological arousal, emotion regulation, and defensive responses to cues of threat and distress, as well as increased risk for callous unemotional (CU) traits and externalizing behavior. Developmental models of callous unemotional (CU) traits have focused on biological and genetic risk factors that contribute to hypoarousal and antisocial behavior, but have focused less on environmental influences (Blair, 2004; Daversa, 2010; Hare, Frazell, & Cox, 1978; Krueger, 2000; Shirtcliff et al., 2009; Viding, Fontaine, & McCrory, 2012). The aim of the present investigation was to measure the independent and combined effects of child maltreatment and high CU trait on emotion-modulated startle (EMS) response in children. Participants consisted of 132 low-income maltreated (n = 60) and nonmaltreated (n = 72) children between 8–12 years old who attended a summer camp program. Acoustic startle response (ASR) was elicited in response to a 110-dB 50-ms probe while children viewed a slideshow of pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant IAPS images. Maltreatment status was assessed through examination of Department of Human Services records. CU traits were measured using counselor reports from the Inventory of Callous and Unemotional Traits (ICU; Frick, 2004), and conduct problems were measured using counselor and child self-report. We found no significant differences in emotion-modulated startle in the overall sample. However, significant differences in ASR by maltreatment status, maltreatment subtype, and level of CU traits were apparent. Results indicated differential physiological responses for maltreated and nonmaltreated children based on CU traits, including a pathway of hypoarousal for nonmaltreated/high CU children that differed markedly from a more normative physiological trajectory for maltreated/high CU children. Further, we found heightened ASR for emotionally and physically neglected children with high CU and elevated
Cornwell, Brian R; Johnson, Linda; Berardi, Luciano; Grillon, Christian
Startle reflex modification has become valuable to the study of fear and anxiety, but few studies have explored startle reactivity in socially threatening situations. Healthy participants ranging in trait social anxiety entered virtual reality (VR) that simulates standing center-stage in front of an audience to anticipate giving a speech and count backward. We measured startle and autonomic reactivity during anticipation of both tasks inside VR after a single baseline recording outside VR. Trait social anxiety, but not general trait anxiety, was positively correlated with startle before entering VR and most clearly during speech anticipation inside VR. Speech anticipation inside VR also elicited stronger physiologic responses relative to anticipation of counting. Under social-evaluative threat, startle reactivity showed robust relationships with fear of negative evaluation, a central aspect of social anxiety and clinical social phobia. Context-specific startle modification may be an endophenotype for subtypes of pathological anxiety.
De Pascalis, Vilfredo; Scacchia, Paolo
We evaluated the influence of hypnotizability, pain expectation, placebo analgesia in waking and hypnosis on tonic pain relief. We also investigated how placebo analgesia affects somatic responses (eye blink) and N100 and P200 waves of event-related potentials (ERPs) elicited by auditory startle probes. Although expectation plays an important role in placebo and hypnotic analgesia, the neural mechanisms underlying these treatments are still poorly understood. We used the cold cup test (CCT) to induce tonic pain in 53 healthy women. Placebo analgesia was initially produced by manipulation, in which the intensity of pain induced by the CCT was surreptitiously reduced after the administration of a sham analgesic cream. Participants were then tested in waking and hypnosis under three treatments: (1) resting (Baseline); (2) CCT-alone (Pain); and (3) CCT plus placebo cream for pain relief (Placebo). For each painful treatment, we assessed pain and distress ratings, eye blink responses, N100 and P200 amplitudes. We used LORETA analysis of N100 and P200 waves, as elicited by auditory startle, to identify cortical regions sensitive to pain reduction through placebo and hypnotic analgesia. Higher pain expectation was associated with higher pain reductions. In highly hypnotizable participants placebo treatment produced significant reductions of pain and distress perception in both waking and hypnosis condition. P200 wave, during placebo analgesia, was larger in the frontal left hemisphere while placebo analgesia, during hypnosis, involved the activity of the left hemisphere including the occipital region. These findings demonstrate that hypnosis and placebo analgesia are different processes of top-down regulation. Pain reduction was associated with larger EMG startle amplitudes, N100 and P200 responses, and enhanced activity within the frontal, parietal, and anterior and posterior cingulate gyres. LORETA results showed that placebo analgesia modulated pain-responsive areas
Sun, Wei; Doolittle, Lauren; Flowers, Elizabeth; Zhang, Chao; Wang, Qiuju
Prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle reflex (PPI), a well-established method for evaluating sensorimotor gating function, has been used to detect tinnitus in animal models. Reduced gap induced PPI (gap-PPI) was considered as a sign of tinnitus. The silent gap used in the test contains both onset and offset signals. Tinnitus may affect these cues differently. In this experiment, we studied the effects of a high dose of salicylate (250 mg/kg, i.p.), an inducer of reversible tinnitus and sensorineural hearing loss, on gap-PPI induced by three different gaps: an onset-gap with 0.1 ms onset and 25 ms offset time, an offset-gap with 25 ms onset and 0.1 ms offset time, and an onset-offset-gap with 0.1 ms onset and offset time. We found that the onset-gaps induced smaller inhibitions than the offset-gaps before salicylate treatment. The offset-gap induced PPI was significantly reduced 1-3h after salicylate treatment. However, the onset-gap caused a facilitation of startle response. These results suggest that salicylate induced reduction of gap-PPI was not only caused by the decrease of offset-gap induced PPI, but also by the facilitation induced by the onset-gap. Since the onset-gap induced PPI is caused by neural offset response, our results suggest that salicylate may cause a facilitation of neural response to an offset acoustical signal. Treatment of vigabatrin (60 mg/kg/day, 14 days), which elevates the GABA level in the brain, blocked the offset-gap induced PPI and onset-gap induced facilitation caused by salicylate. These results suggest that enhancing GABAergic activities can alleviate salicylate induced tinnitus. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Andreu-Sánchez, Celia; Martín-Pascual, Miguel Ángel; Gruart, Agnès; Delgado-García, José María
While movie edition creates a discontinuity in audio-visual works for narrative and economy-of-storytelling reasons, eyeblink creates a discontinuity in visual perception for protective and cognitive reasons. We were interested in analyzing eyeblink rate linked to cinematographic edition styles. We created three video stimuli with different editing styles and analyzed spontaneous blink rate in participants (N = 40). We were also interested in looking for different perceptive patterns in blink rate related to media professionalization. For that, of our participants, half (n = 20) were media professionals, and the other half were not. According to our results, MTV editing style inhibits eyeblinks more than Hollywood style and one-shot style. More interestingly, we obtained differences in visual perception related to media professionalization: we found that media professionals inhibit eyeblink rate substantially compared with non-media professionals, in any style of audio-visual edition.
Thomas, Laura E; Irwin, David E
In the present research, we investigated whether eyeblinks interfere with cognitive processing. In Experiment 1, the participants performed a partial-report iconic memory task in which a letter array was presented for 106 msec, followed 50, 150, or 750 msec later by a tone that cued recall of onerow of the array. At a cue delay of 50 msec between array offset and cue onset, letter report accuracy was lower when the participants blinked following array presentation than under no-blink conditions; the participants made more mislocation errors under blink conditions. This result suggests that blinking interferes with the binding of object identity and object position in iconic memory. Experiment 2 demonstrated that interference due to blinks was not due merely to changes in light intensity. Experiments 3 and 4 demonstrated that other motor responses did not interfere with iconic memory. We propose a new phenomenon, cognitive blink suppression, in which blinking inhibits cognitive processing. This phenomenon may be due to neural interference. Blinks reduce activation in area V1, which may interfere with the representation of information in iconic memory.
Buss, Claudia; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Class, Quetzal A; Gierczak, Matt; Pattillo, Carol; Glynn, Laura M; Sandman, Curt A
Despite the evidence for early fetal experience exerting programming influences on later neurological development and health risk, very few prospective studies of human fetal behavior have been reported. In a prospective longitudinal study, fetal nervous system maturation was serially assessed by monitoring fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in 191 maternal/fetal dyads. Responses were not detected at 26 weeks gestational age (GA). Sex-specific, age-characteristic changes in the FHR response to VAS were observed by 31 weeks' GA. Males showed larger responses and continued to exhibit maturational changes until 37 weeks' GA, females however, presented with a mature FHR startle response by 31 weeks' GA. The results indicate that there are different rates of maturation in the male and female fetuses that may have implications for sex-specific programming influences.
Tijssen, M. A.; Padberg, G. W.; van Dijk, J. G.
BACKGROUND: The major and minor forms of hereditary hyperekplexia (HE) are characterized by excessive startle responses, which are accompanied by transient stiffness only in major HE; patients with major HE also have continuous stiffness during infancy. A point mutation has been identified for major
Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN-lesioned mice develop conditioned responses (CR on delay eyeblink conditioning when a salient tone conditioned stimulus (CS is used, which suggests that the cerebellum potentially plays a role in more complicated cognitive functions. In the present study, we examined the role of DCN in tone frequency discrimination in the delay eyeblink-conditioning paradigm. In the first experiment, DCN-lesioned and sham-operated mice were subjected to standard simple eyeblink conditioning under low-frequency tone CS (LCS: 1 kHz, 80 dB or high-frequency tone CS (HCS: 10 kHz, 70 dB conditions. DCN-lesioned mice developed CR in both CS conditions as well as sham-operated mice. In the second experiment, DCN-lesioned and sham-operated mice were subjected to two-tone discrimination tasks, with LCS+ (or HCS+ paired with unconditioned stimulus (US, and HCS- (or LCS- without US. CR% in sham-operated mice increased in LCS+ (or HCS+ trials, regardless of tone frequency of CS, but not in HCS- (or LCS- trials. The results indicate that sham-operated mice can discriminate between LCS+ and HCS- (or HCS+ and LCS-. In contrast, DCN-lesioned mice showed high CR% in not only LCS+ (or HCS+ trials but also HCS- (or LCS- trials. The results indicate that DCN lesions impair the discrimination between tone frequency in eyeblink conditioning. Our results suggest that the cerebellum plays a pivotal role in the discrimination of tone frequency.
Schaeffer, M C
Vitamin B-6 deficient rats exhibit changes in behavior, sensory function, and other nervous system abnormalities such as convulsive seizures and motor disturbances. Sensorimotor reactivity was evaluated quantitatively by measuring auditory and tactile startle responses in 12 week old female Long-Evans rats fed a diet devoid of added vitamin B-6 (DEF) or a control diet, either ad lib (AL-CON) or pair-fed to deficient rats (PF-CON). Deficiency was confirmed with a tryptophan-load test administered to a separate group of rats fed simultaneously according to the same protocol. At week 18, body weight and feed efficiency were different among groups (p less than 0.001), and were lowest in DEF. Amplitude of response to both acoustic and tactile stimuli was depressed in DEF compared to both control groups, which generally did not differ in response. This effect was seen most dramatically in responses to the acoustic stimulus (p = 0.034), and especially to the first presentation (p = 0.017). Latency to maximum response was not affected by diet. Possible mechanisms for this nervous system abnormality, not previously reported in vitamin B-6 deficiency, are discussed.
Full Text Available Collective spectator communications such as oral presentations, movies, and storytelling performances are ubiquitous in human culture. This study investigated the effects of past viewing experiences and differences in expressive performance on an audience’s transportive experience into a created world of a storytelling performance. In the experiment, 60 participants (mean age = 34.12 yrs., SD = 13.18 yrs., range 18–63 yrs. were assigned to watch one of two videotaped performances that were played (1 in an orthodox way for frequent viewers and (2 in a modified way aimed at easier comprehension for first-time viewers. Eyeblink synchronization among participants was quantified by employing distance-based measurements of spike trains, Dspike and Dinterval (Victor & Purpura, 1997. The results indicated that even non-familiar participants’ eyeblinks were synchronized as the story progressed and that the effect of the viewing experience on transportation was weak. Rather, the results of a multiple regression analysis demonstrated that the degrees of transportation could be predicted by a retrospectively reported humor experience and higher real-time variability (i.e., logarithmic transformed standard deviation of inter blink intervals during a performance viewing. The results are discussed from the viewpoint in which the extent of eyeblink synchronization and eyeblink-rate variability acts as an index of the inner experience of audience members.
increase PPI, but dopamine agonists can have the opposite effect by reducing PPI. Fortunately, caffeine appears to have no significant effect on PPI...violent behavior, and sexual risk behavior. Landis, C., & Hunt, W.A. (1939). The Startle Pattern. New York: Farrar. An example of early research on
Silva, R. C. B.; Cruz, A. P. M.; Avanzi, V.; Landeira-Fernandez, J.; Brandão, M. L.
Ascending 5-HT projections from the median raphe nucleus (MRN), probably to the hippocampus, are implicated in the acquisition of contextual fear (background stimuli), as assessed by freezing behavior. Foreground cues like light, used as a conditioned stimulus (CS) in classical fear conditioning, also cause freezing through thalamic transmission to the amygdala. As the MRN projects to the hippocampus and amygdala, the role of this raphe nucleus in fear conditioning to explicit cues remains to be explained. Here we analyzed the behavior of rats with MRN electrolytic lesions in a contextual conditioning situation and in a fear-potentiated startle procedure. The animals received MRN electrolytic lesions either before or on the day after two consecutive training sessions in which they were submitted to 10 conditioning trials, each in an experimental chamber (same context) where they. received foot-shocks (0.6 mA, 1 sec) paired to a 4-sec light CS. Seven to ten days later, the animals were submitted to testing sessions for assessing conditioned fear when they were placed for five shocks, and the duration of contextual freezing was recorded. The animals were then submitted to a fear-potentiated startle in response to a 4-sec light-CS, followed by white noise (100 dB, 50 ms). Control rats (sham) tested in the same context showed more freezing than did rats with pre- or post-training MRN lesions. Startle was clearly potentiated in the presence of light CS in the sham-lesioned animals. Whereas pretraining lesions reduced both freezing and fear-potentiated startle, the post-training lesions reduced only freezing to context, without changing the fear-potentiated startle. In a second experiment, neurotoxic lesions of the MRN with local injections of N-methyl-D-aspartate or the activation of 5-HT1A somatodendritic auto-receptors of the MRN by microinjections of the 5-HT1A receptor agonist 8-hydroxy- 2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin (8-OH-DPAT) before the training sessions also
Hengesch, Xenia; Larra, Mauro F; Finke, Johannes B; Blumenthal, Terry D; Schächinger, Hartmut
Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) may influence stress and affective processing in adulthood. Animal and human studies show enhanced startle reflexivity in adult participants with ACE. This study examined the impact of one of the most common ACE, parental divorce, on startle reflexivity in adulthood. Affective modulation of acoustically-elicited startle eye blink was assessed in a group of 23 young adults with self-reported history of parental divorce, compared to an age- and sex-matched control group (n=18). Foreground pictures were either aversive (e.g. mutilation and injury), standard appetitive (e.g. erotic, recreational sport), or nurture pictures (e.g. related to early life, parental care), intermixed with neutral pictures (e.g. household objects), and organized in three valence blocks delivered in a balanced, pseudo-randomized sequence. During picture viewing startle eye blinks were elicited by binaural white noise bursts (50ms, 105 dB) via headphones and recorded at the left orbicularis oculi muscle via EMG. A significant interaction of group×picture valence (p=0.01) was observed. Contrast with controls revealed blunted startle responsiveness of the ACE group during presentation of aversive pictures, but enhanced startle during presentation of nurture-related pictures. No group differences were found during presentation of standard appetitive pictures. ACE participants rated nurture pictures as more arousing (p=0.02) than did control participants. Results suggest that divorce in childhood led to altered affective context information processing in early adulthood. When exposed to unpleasant (vs. neutral) pictures participants with ACE showed less startle potentiation than controls. Nurture context, however, potentiated startle in ACE participants, suggesting visual cuing to activate protective behavioral responses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ernst, Thomas M; Thürling, Markus; Müller, Sarah; Kahl, Fabian; Maderwald, Stefan; Schlamann, Marc; Boele, Henk-Jan; Koekkoek, Sebastiaan K E; Diedrichsen, Jörn; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Ladd, Mark E; Timmann, Dagmar
Classical delay eyeblink conditioning is likely the most commonly used paradigm to study cerebellar learning. As yet, few studies have focused on extinction and savings of conditioned eyeblink responses (CRs). Saving effects, which are reflected in a reacquisition after extinction that is faster than the initial acquisition, suggest that learned associations are at least partly preserved during extinction. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that acquisition-related plasticity is nihilated during extinction in the cerebellar cortex, but retained in the cerebellar nuclei, allowing for faster reacquisition. Changes of 7 T functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) signals were investigated in the cerebellar cortex and nuclei of young and healthy human subjects. Main effects of acquisition, extinction, and reacquisition against rest were calculated in conditioned stimulus-only trials. First-level β values were determined for a spherical region of interest (ROI) around the acquisition peak voxel in lobule VI, and dentate and interposed nuclei ipsilateral to the unconditioned stimulus. In the cerebellar cortex and nuclei, fMRI signals were significantly lower in extinction compared to acquisition and reacquisition, but not significantly different between acquisition and reacquisition. These findings are consistent with the theory of bidirectional learning in both the cerebellar cortex and nuclei. It cannot explain, however, why conditioned responses reappear almost immediately in reacquisition following extinction. Although the present data do not exclude that part of the initial memory remains in the cerebellum in extinction, future studies should also explore changes in extracerebellar regions as a potential substrate of saving effects. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3957-3974, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Marsden, Kurt C; Jain, Roshan A; Wolman, Marc A; Echeverry, Fabio A; Nelson, Jessica C; Hayer, Katharina E; Miltenberg, Ben; Pereda, Alberto E; Granato, Michael
Sensory experiences dynamically modify whether animals respond to a given stimulus, but it is unclear how innate behavioral thresholds are established. Here, we identify molecular and circuit-level mechanisms underlying the innate threshold of the zebrafish startle response. From a forward genetic screen, we isolated five mutant lines with reduced innate startle thresholds. Using whole-genome sequencing, we identify the causative mutation for one line to be in the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP)-interacting protein cyfip2. We show that cyfip2 acts independently of FMRP and that reactivation of cyfip2 restores the baseline threshold after phenotype onset. Finally, we show that cyfip2 regulates the innate startle threshold by reducing neural activity in a small group of excitatory hindbrain interneurons. Thus, we identify a selective set of genes critical to establishing an innate behavioral threshold and uncover a circuit-level role for cyfip2 in this process. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Allen, Michael Todd; Miller, Daniel P
Anxiety vulnerable individuals exhibit enhanced acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks as well as enhanced proactive interference from conditioned stimulus (CS) or unconditioned stimulus (US) alone pre-exposures (Holloway et al., 2012). US alone pre-exposures disrupt subsequent conditioned response (CR) acquisition to CS-US paired trials as compared to context pre-exposure controls. While Holloway et al. (2012) reported enhanced acquisition in high trait anxiety individuals in the context condition, anxiety vulnerability effects were not reported for the US alone pre-exposure group. It appears from the published data that there were no differences between high and low anxiety individuals in the US alone condition. In the work reported here, we sought to extend the findings of enhanced proactive interference with US alone pre-exposures to determine if the enhanced conditioning was disrupted by proactive interference procedures. We also were interested in the spontaneous eyeblinks during the pre-exposure phase of training. We categorized individuals as anxiety vulnerability or non-vulnerable individuals based scores on the Adult Measure of Behavioral Inhibition (AMBI). Sixty-six participants received 60 trials consisting of 30 US alone or context alone pre-exposures followed by 30 CS-US trials. US alone pre-exposures not only disrupted CR acquisition overall, but behaviorally inhibited (BI) individuals exhibited enhanced proactive interference as compared to non-inhibited (NI) individuals. In addition, US alone pre-exposures disrupted the enhanced acquisition observed in BI individuals as compared to NI individuals following context alone pre-exposures. Differences were also found in rates of spontaneous eyeblinks between BI and NI individuals during context pre-exposure. Our findings will be discussed in the light of the neural substrates of eyeblink conditioning as well as possible factors such as hypervigilance in the amygdala and hippocampal systems, and possible
Buss, Claudia; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Class, Quetzal A.; Gierczak, Matt; Pattillo, Carol; Glynn, Laura M.; Sandman, Curt A.
Despite the evidence for early fetal experience exerting programming influences on later neurological development and health risk, very few prospective studies of human fetal behavior have been reported. In a prospective longitudinal study, fetal nervous system maturation was serially assessed by monitoring fetal heart rate (FHR) responses to vibroacoustic stimulation (VAS) in 191 maternal/fetal dyads. Responses were not detected at 26 weeks gestational age (GA). Sex-specific, age-characteristic changes in the FHR response to VAS were observed by 31 weeks’ GA. Males showed larger responses and continued to exhibit maturational changes until 37 weeks’ GA, females however, presented with a mature FHR startle response by 31 weeks’ GA. The results indicate that there are different rates of maturation in the male and female fetus that may have implications for sex-specific programming influences. PMID:19726143
Reeb-Sutherland, Bethany C.; Fox, Nathan A.
Eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is a classical conditioning paradigm typically used to study the underlying neural processes of learning and memory. EBC has a well-defined neural circuitry, is non-invasive, and can be employed in human infants shortly after birth making it an ideal tool to use in both developing and special populations. In addition,…
Smith, C D; Lee, R B; Moran, A V; Sipos, M L
Chemical warfare nerve agents (CWNAs) are known to cause behavioral abnormalities in cases of human exposures and in animal models. The behavioral consequences of single exposures to CWNAs that cause observable toxic signs are particularly well characterized in animals; however, less is known regarding repeated smaller exposures that may or may not cause observable toxic signs. In the current study, guinea pigs were exposed to fractions (0.1, 0.2, or 0.4) of a medial lethal dose (LD50) of sarin, soman, or VX for two weeks. On each exposure day, and for a post-exposure period, acoustic startle response (ASR) was measured in each animal. Although relatively few studies use guinea pigs to measure behavior, this species is ideal for CWNA-related experiments because their levels of carboxylesterases closely mimic those of humans, unlike rats or mice. Results showed that the 0.4 LD50 doses of soman and VX transiently increased peak startle amplitude by the second week of injections, with amplitude returning to baseline by the second week post-exposure. Sarin also increased peak startle amplitude independent of week. Latencies to peak startle and PPI were affected by agent exposure but not consistently among the three agents. Most of the changes in startle responses returned to baseline following the cessation of exposures. These data suggest that doses of CWNAs not known to produce observable toxic signs in guinea pigs can affect behavior in the ASR paradigm. Further, these deficits are transient and usually return to baseline shortly after the end of a two-week exposure period. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Finley, Anna J; Crowell, Adrienne L; Harmon-Jones, Eddie; Schmeichel, Brandon J
Agreeable individuals report more intense withdrawal-oriented negative emotions across aversive situations. Two studies tested the hypothesis that self-regulatory depletion (i.e., ego depletion) moderates the relationship between trait Agreeableness and negative emotional responding. Ego depletion was manipulated using a writing task. Emotional responding was measured with startle eye-blink responses (Study 1, N = 71) and self-reported valence, arousal, and empathic concern (Study 2, N = 256) during emotional picture viewing. Trait Agreeableness was measured using a questionnaire. In Study 1, Agreeableness predicted especially large startle responses during aversive images and especially small startles during appetitive images. After exercising self-control, the relationship between startle magnitudes and Agreeableness decreased. In Study 2, Agreeableness predicted more empathic concern for aversive images, which in turn predicted heightened self-reported negative emotions. After exercising self-control, the relationship between Agreeableness and empathic concern decreased. Agreeable individuals exhibit heightened negative emotional responding. Ego depletion reduced the link between Agreeableness and negative emotional responding in Study 1 and moderated the indirect effect of Agreeableness on negative emotional responding via empathic concern in Study 2. Empathic concern appears to be a resource-intensive process underlying heightened responding to aversive stimuli among agreeable persons. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Fernandez-Del-Olmo, Miguel; Río-Rodríguez, Dan; Iglesias-Soler, Eliseo; Acero, Rafael M.
Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD) are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS); a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS); and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS). Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training. PMID:24489967
Full Text Available Fast reaction times and the ability to develop a high rate of force development (RFD are crucial for sports performance. However, little is known regarding the relationship between these parameters. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of auditory stimuli of different intensities on the performance of a concentric bench-press exercise. Concentric bench-presses were performed by thirteen trained subjects in response to three different conditions: a visual stimulus (VS; a visual stimulus accompanied by a non-startle auditory stimulus (AS; and a visual stimulus accompanied by a startle auditory stimulus (SS. Peak RFD, peak velocity, onset movement, movement duration and electromyography from pectoralis and tricep muscles were recorded. The SS condition induced an increase in the RFD and peak velocity and a reduction in the movement onset and duration, in comparison with the VS and AS condition. The onset activation of the pectoralis and tricep muscles was shorter for the SS than for the VS and AS conditions. These findings point out to specific enhancement effects of loud auditory stimulation on the rate of force development. This is of relevance since startle stimuli could be used to explore neural adaptations to resistance training.
Trivedi, Mehul A; Coover, Gary D
Pavlovian delay conditioning, in which a conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) co-terminate, is thought to reflect non-declarative memory. In contrast, trace conditioning, in which the CS and US are temporally separate, is thought to reflect declarative memory. Hippocampal lesions impair acquisition and expression of trace conditioning measured by the conditioned freezing and eyeblink responses, while having little effect on the acquisition of delay conditioning. Recent evidence suggests that lesions of the ventral hippocampus (VH) impair conditioned fear under conditions in which dorsal hippocampal (DH) lesions have little effect. In the present study, we examined the time-course of fear expression after delay and trace conditioning using the fear-potentiated startle (FPS) reflex, and the effects of pre- and post-training lesions to the VH and DH on trace-conditioned FPS. We found that both delay- and trace-conditioned rats displayed significant FPS near the end of the CS relative to the unpaired control group. In contrast, trace-conditioned rats displayed significant FPS throughout the duration of the trace interval, whereas FPS decayed rapidly to baseline after CS offset in delay-conditioned rats. In experiment 2, both DH and VH lesions were found to significantly reduce the overall magnitude of FPS compared to the control group, however, no differences were found between the DH and VH groups. These findings support a role for both the DH and VH in trace fear conditioning, and suggest that the greater effect of VH lesions on conditioned fear might be specific to certain measures of fear.
Full Text Available Emotionally traumatic experiences can lead to debilitating anxiety disorders, such as phobias and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD. Exposure to such experiences, however, is not sufficient to induce pathology, as only up to one quarter of people exposed to such events develop PTSD. These statistics, combined with findings that smaller hippocampal size prior to the trauma is associated with higher risk of developing PTSD, suggest that there are pre-disposing factors for such pathology. Because prospective studies in humans are limited and costly, investigating such pre-dispositions, and thus advancing understanding of the genesis of such pathologies, requires the use of animal models where predispositions are identified before the emotional trauma. Most existing animal models are retrospective: they classify subjects as those with or without a PTSD-like phenotype long after experiencing a traumatic event. Attempts to create prospective animal models have been largely unsuccessful.Here we report that individual predispositions to a PTSD-like phenotype, consisting of impaired rate and magnitude of extinction of an emotionally traumatic event coupled with long-lasting elevation of acoustic startle responses, can be revealed following exposure to a mild stressor, but before experiencing emotional trauma. We compare, in rats, the utility of several classification criteria and report that a combination of criteria based on acoustic startle responses and behavior in an anxiogenic environment is a reliable predictor of a PTSD-like phenotype.There are individual predispositions to developing impaired extinction and elevated acoustic startle that can be identified after exposure to a mildly stressful event, which by itself does not induce such a behavioral phenotype. The model presented here is a valuable tool for studying the etiology and pathophysiology of anxiety disorders and provides a platform for testing behavioral and pharmacological
Comasco, Erika; Gulinello, Maria; Hellgren, Charlotte; Skalkidou, Alkistis; Sylven, Sara; Sundström-Poromaa, Inger
The postpartum period is characterized by a post-withdrawal hormonal status, sleep deprivation, and susceptibility to affective disorders. Postpartum mothering involves automatic and attentional processes to screen out new external as well as internal stimuli. The present study investigated sensorimotor gating in relation to sleep duration, depression, as well as catecholaminergic and oxytocinergic genotypes in postpartum women. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex and startle reactivity were assessed two months postpartum in 141 healthy and 29 depressed women. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met, and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) rs237885 and rs53576 polymorphisms were genotyped, and data on sleep duration were collected. Short sleep duration (less than four hours in the preceding night) and postpartum depression were independently associated with lower PPI. Also, women with postpartum depression had higher startle reactivity in comparison with controls. The OXTR rs237885 genotype was related to PPI in an allele dose-dependent mode, with T/T healthy postpartum women carriers displaying the lowest PPI. Reduced sensorimotor gating was associated with sleep deprivation and depressive symptoms during the postpartum period. Individual neurophysiological vulnerability might be mediated by oxytocinergic genotype which relates to bonding and stress response. These findings implicate the putative relevance of lower PPI of the startle response as an objective physiological correlate of liability to postpartum depression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Genevsky, Alexander; Gard, David E
The affective startle modulation task has been an important measure in understanding physiological aspects of emotion and motivational responses. Research utilizing this method has relied primarily on a 'passive' viewing paradigm, which stands in contrast to everyday life where much of emotion and motivation involves some active choice or agency. The present study investigated the role of choice on the physiology of emotion. Eighty-four participants were randomized into 'choice' (n=44) or 'no-choice' (n=40) groups distinguished by the ability to choose between stimuli. EMG eye blink responses were recorded in both anticipation and stimulus viewing. Results indicated a significant attenuation of the startle magnitude in choice condition trials (relative to no-choice) across all picture categories and probe times. We interpret these findings as an indication that the act of choice may decrease one's defensive response, or conversely, lacking choice may heighten the defensive response. Implications for future research are discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Park, Paula E; Vendruscolo, Leandro F; Schlosburg, Joel E; Edwards, Scott; Schulteis, Gery; Koob, George F
Anxiety is one of the early symptoms of opioid withdrawal and contributes to continued drug use and relapse. The acoustic startle response (ASR) is a component of anxiety that has been shown to increase during opioid withdrawal in both humans and animals. We investigated the role of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and norepinephrine (NE), two key mediators of the brain stress system, on acute heroin withdrawal-potentiated ASR. Rats injected with heroin (2 mg/kg s.c.) displayed an increased ASR when tested 4 h after heroin treatment. A similar increase in ASR was found in rats 10-20 h into withdrawal from extended access (12 h) to i.v. heroin self-administration, a model that captures several aspects of heroin addiction in humans. Both the α 2 adrenergic receptor agonist clonidine (10 μg/kg s.c.) and CRF1 receptor antagonist N,N-bis(2-methoxyethyl)-3-(4-methoxy-2-methylphenyl)-2,5-dimethyl-pyrazolo[1,5-a] pyrimidin-7-amine (MPZP; 20 mg/kg s.c.) blocked heroin withdrawal-potentiated startle. To investigate the relationship between CRF1 and α 2 adrenergic receptors in the potentiation of the ASR, we tested the effect of MPZP on yohimbine (1.25 mg/kg s.c.)-potentiated startle and clonidine on CRF (2 μg i.c.v.)-potentiated startle. Clonidine blocked CRF-potentiated startle, whereas MPZP partially attenuated but did not reverse yohimbine-potentiated startle, suggesting that CRF may drive NE release to potentiate startle. These results suggest that CRF1 and α 2 receptors play an important role in the heightened anxiety-like behaviour observed during acute withdrawal from heroin, possibly via CRF inducing the release of NE in stress-related brain regions.
Parisi, Elizabeth A; Hajcak, Greg; Aneziris, Eleni; Nelson, Brady D
Anticipated emotional category and temporal predictability are key characteristics that have both been shown to impact psychophysiological indices of defensive motivation (e.g., the startle reflex). To date, research has primarily examined these features in isolation, and it is unclear whether they have additive or interactive effects on defensive motivation. In the present study, the startle reflex was measured in anticipation of low arousal neutral, moderate arousal pleasant, and high arousal unpleasant pictures that were presented with either predictable or unpredictable timing. Linear mixed-effects modeling was conducted to examine startle magnitude across time, and the intercept at the beginning and end of the task. Across the entire task, the anticipation of temporally unpredictable (relative to predictable) pictures and emotional (relative to neutral) pictures potentiated startle magnitude, but there was no interaction between the two features. However, examination of the intercept at the beginning of the task indicated a Predictability by Emotional Category interaction, such that temporal unpredictability enhanced startle potentiation in anticipation of unpleasant pictures only. Examination of the intercept at the end of the task indicated that the effects of predictability and emotional category on startle magnitude were largely diminished. The present study replicates previous reports demonstrating that emotional category and temporal predictability impact the startle reflex, and provides novel evidence suggesting an interactive effect on defensive motivation at the beginning of the task. This study also highlights the importance of examining the time course of the startle reflex. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Weidemann, Gabrielle; Best, Erin; Lee, Jessica C; Lovibond, Peter F.
Single-cue delay eyeblink conditioning is presented as a prototypical example of automatic, nonsymbolic learning that is carried out by subcortical circuits. However, it has been difficult to assess the role of cognition in single-cue conditioning because participants become aware of the simple stimulus contingency so quickly. In this experiment…
Jacqueline L Holloway
Full Text Available In classical conditioning, proactive interference may arise from experience with the conditioned stimulus (CS, the unconditional stimulus (US, or both, prior to their paired presentations. Interest in the application of proactive interference has extended to clinical populations as either a risk factor for disorders or as a secondary sign. Although the current literature is dense with comparisons of stimulus pre-exposure effects in animals, such comparisons are lacking in human subjects. As such, interpretation of proactive interference over studies as well as its generalization and utility in clinical research is limited. The present study was designed to assess eyeblink response acquisition after equal numbers of CS, US, and explicitly unpaired CS and US pre-exposures, as well as to evaluate how anxiety vulnerability might modulate proactive interference. In the current study, anxiety vulnerability was assessed using the State/Trait Anxiety Inventories as well as the adult and retrospective measures of behavioural inhibition (AMBI and RMBI, respectively. Participants were exposed to 1 of 4 possible pre-exposure contingencies: 30 CS, 30 US, 30 CS and 30 US explicitly unpaired pre-exposures, or context pre-exposure, immediately prior to standard delay training. Robust proactive interference was evident in all pre-exposure groups relative to context pre-exposure, independent of anxiety classification, with CR acquisition attenuated at similar rates. In addition, trait anxious individuals were found to have enhanced overall acquisition as well as greater proactive interference relative to non-vulnerable individuals. The findings suggest that anxiety vulnerable individuals learn implicit associations faster, an effect which persists after the introduction of new stimulus contingencies. This effect is not due to enhanced sensitivity to the US. Such differences would have implications for the development of anxiety psychopathology within a learning
Holloway, Jacqueline L; Trivedi, Payal; Myers, Catherine E; Servatius, Richard J
In classical conditioning, proactive interference may arise from experience with the conditioned stimulus (CS), the unconditional stimulus (US), or both, prior to their paired presentations. Interest in the application of proactive interference has extended to clinical populations as either a risk factor for disorders or as a secondary sign. Although the current literature is dense with comparisons of stimulus pre-exposure effects in animals, such comparisons are lacking in human subjects. As such, interpretation of proactive interference over studies as well as its generalization and utility in clinical research is limited. The present study was designed to assess eyeblink response acquisition after equal numbers of CS, US, and explicitly unpaired CS and US pre-exposures, as well as to evaluate how anxiety vulnerability might modulate proactive interference. In the current study, anxiety vulnerability was assessed using the State/Trait Anxiety Inventories as well as the adult and retrospective measures of behavioral inhibition (AMBI and RMBI, respectively). Participants were exposed to 1 of 4 possible pre-exposure contingencies: 30 CS, 30 US, 30 CS, and 30 US explicitly unpaired pre-exposures, or Context pre-exposure, immediately prior to standard delay training. Robust proactive interference was evident in all pre-exposure groups relative to Context pre-exposure, independent of anxiety classification, with CR acquisition attenuated at similar rates. In addition, trait anxious individuals were found to have enhanced overall acquisition as well as greater proactive interference relative to non-vulnerable individuals. The findings suggest that anxiety vulnerable individuals learn implicit associations faster, an effect which persists after the introduction of new stimulus contingencies. This effect is not due to enhanced sensitivity to the US. Such differences would have implications for the development of anxiety psychopathology within a learning framework.
Conzelmann, Annette; McGregor, Victoria; Pauli, Paul
Previous studies on emotion regulation of the startle reflex found an increase in startle amplitude from down-, to non-, to up-regulation for pleasant and unpleasant stimuli. We wanted to clarify whether this regulation effect remains stable for different picture categories within pleasant and unpleasant picture sets. We assessed startle amplitude of 31 participants during down-, non-, or up-regulation of feelings elicited by pleasant erotic and adventure and unpleasant victim and threat pictures. Startle amplitude was smaller during adventure and erotic compared to victim and threat pictures and increased from down-, to non-, to up-regulation independently of the picture category. Results indicate that the motivational priming effect on startle modulation elicited by different picture categories is independent of emotion regulation instructions. In addition, the emotion regulation effect is independent of motivational priming effects. © 2015 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Kastelein, R.A.; Steen, N.; Gransier, R.; Wensveen, P.J.; Jong, C.A.F. de
Mid-frequency and low-frequency sonar systems produce frequency-modulated sweeps which may affect harbor porpoises. To study the effect of sweeps on behavioral responses (specifically startle responses, which we define as sudden changes in swimming speed and/or direction), a harbor porpoise in a
Bakker, Mirte J.; van Dijk, J. Gert; Pramono, Astuti; Sutarni, Sri; Tijssen, Marina A. J.
The nature of culture-specific startles syndromes such as "Latah" in Indonesia and Malaysia is ill understood. Hypotheses concerning their origin include sociocultural behavior, psychiatric disorders, and neurological syndromes. The various disorders show striking similarities despite occurring in
Bakker, Mirte J.; van Dijk, J. Gert; Pramono, Astuti; Sutarni, Sri; Tijssen, Marina A. J.
The nature of culture-specific startles syndromes such as Latah in Indonesia and Malaysia is ill understood. Hypotheses concerning their origin include sociocultural behavior, psychiatric disorders, and neurological syndromes. The various disorders show striking similarities despite occurring in
Latham, Melissa D; Cook, Nina; Simmons, Julian G; Byrne, Michelle L; Kettle, Jonathan W L; Schwartz, Orli; Vijayakumar, Nandita; Whittle, Sarah; Allen, Nicholas B
Few studies have examined physiological correlates of emotional reactivity and regulation in adolescents, despite the occurrence in this group of significant developmental changes in emotional functioning. The current study employed multiple physiological measures (i.e., startle-elicited eyeblink and ERP, skin conductance, facial EMG) to assess the emotional reactivity and regulation of 113 early adolescents in response to valenced images. Reactivity was measured while participants viewed images, and regulation was measured when they were asked to discontinue or maintain their emotional reactions to the images. Adolescent participants did not exhibit fear-potentiated startle blink. However, they did display affect-consistent zygomatic and corrugator activity during reactivity, as well as inhibition of some of these facial patterns during regulation. Skin conductance demonstrated arousal dependent activity during reactivity, and overall decreases during regulation. These findings suggest that early adolescents display reactivity to valenced pictures, but not to startle probes. Psychophysiological patterns during emotion regulation indicate additional effort and/or attention during the regulation process. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fontan-Lozano, Angela; Troncoso, Julieta; Munera, Alejandro; Carrion, Angel Manuel; Delgado-Garcia, Jose Maria
We studied the effects of a selective lesion in rats, with 192-IgG-saporin, of the cholinergic neurons located in the medial septum/diagonal band (MSDB) complex on the acquisition of classical and instrumental conditioning paradigms. The MSDB lesion induced a marked deficit in the acquisition, but not in the retrieval, of eyeblink classical…
Heesink, Lieke; Kleber, Rolf; Häfner, Michael; van Bedaf, Laury; Eekhout, Iris; Geuze, Elbert
Anger and aggression are frequent problems in deployed military personnel. A lowered threshold of perceiving and responding to threat can trigger impulsive aggression. This can be indicated by an exaggerated startle response. Fifty-two veterans with anger and aggression problems (Anger group) and 50
Heesink, L.; Kleber, R.; Häfner, M.; Bedaf, L. van; Eekhout, I.; Geuze, E.
Anger and aggression are frequent problems in deployed military personnel. A lowered threshold of perceiving and responding to threat can trigger impulsive aggression. This can be indicated by an exaggerated startle response. Fifty-two veterans with anger and aggression problems (Anger group) and 50
Gómez, Nicolás Garófalo; Hamad, Ana Paula; Marinho, Murilo; Tavares, Igor M; Carrete, Henrique; Caboclo, Luís Otávio; Yacubian, Elza Márcia; Centeno, Ricardo
Startle epilepsy is a syndrome of reflex epilepsy in which the seizures are precipitated by a sudden and surprising, usually auditory, stimulus. We describe herein a girl who had been suffering with startle-induced seizures since 2 years of age. She had focal, tonic and tonic-clonic seizures, refractory to antiepileptic treatment. Daily tonic seizures led to very frequent falls and morbidity. Neurologically, she had no deficit. Interictal EEG showed slow waves and epileptiform discharges in central and fronto-central regions. Video-polygraphic recordings of seizures, triggered by stimuli, showed generalised symmetric tonic posturing with ictal EEG, characterised by an abrupt and diffuse electrodecremental pattern of fast activity, followed by alpha-theta rhythm superimposed by epileptic discharges predominantly over the vertex and anterior regions. Magnetic resonance imaging showed no abnormalities. Corpus callosotomy was performed when the patient was 17. Since surgery, the patient (one year follow-up) has remained seizure-free. Corpus callosotomy may be considered in patients with startle epilepsy and tonic seizures, in the absence of focal lesions amenable to surgery. [Published with video sequences].
Hackley, Steven A; Ren, Xi; Underwood, Amy; Valle-Inclán, Fernando
If the postauricular reflex (PAR) is to be used effectively in studies of emotion and attention, its sensitivity to basic modulatory effects such as prepulse inhibition and facilitation must be determined. Two experiments were carried out with healthy young adults to assess the effects of transient and sustained visual prestimuli on the pinna-flexion response to trains of startle probes. In the first experiment, participants passively viewed a small white square. It was displayed from 1,000 ms prior to onset of a train of noise bursts until the end of that train. Relative to no-prepulse control trials, PAR amplitude was inhibited, possibly due to the withdrawal of attentional resources from the auditory modality. In the second experiment, participants performed a visual oddball task in which irrelevant trains of startle probes followed most briefly displayed task stimuli (checkerboards). Prepulse inhibition was observed when a transient stimulus preceded the first probe at a lead time of 100 ms. Amplitude facilitation was observed at longer lead times. In addition to documenting the existence of prepulse inhibition and facilitation, the data suggest that the PAR is not elicited by visual stimuli, that temporal expectancy does not influence its amplitude or latency, and that this vestigial microreflex is resistant to habituation. Results are interpreted in light of a recent theory that the human PAR is a highly degraded pinna startle, in which the reflex arc no longer includes the startle center (nucleus reticularis pontis caudalis). © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Campolattaro, Matthew M.; Halverson, Hunter E.; Freeman, John H.
The neural pathways that convey conditioned stimulus (CS) information to the cerebellum during eyeblink conditioning have not been fully delineated. It is well established that pontine mossy fiber inputs to the cerebellum convey CS-related stimulation for different sensory modalities (e.g., auditory, visual, tactile). Less is known about the…
Frederiksen, Kristian Steen; Oranje, Bob; Wienberg, Malene
Sensorimotor gating is critical to normal brain functioning, and disruptions are associated with certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) (PPI) is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, of which evidence for a serotonergic...
Greba, Q; Gifkins, A; Kokkinidis, L
Considerable advances have been made in understanding the neurocircuitry underlying the acquisition and expression of Pavlovian conditioned fear responses. Within the complex cellular and molecular processes mediating fearfulness, amygdaloid dopamine (DA), originating from cells in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) of the midbrain, is thought to contribute to fear-motivated responding. Considering that blockade of DA D(2) receptors is a common mechanism of action for antipsychotic agents, we hypothesized that inhibition of D(2) receptors in the amygdala may be involved in the antiparanoid effects of these drugs. To assess the role of amygdaloid DA D(2) receptors in aversive emotionality, the D(2) receptor antagonist raclopride was infused into the amygdala prior to Pavlovian fear conditioning. Potentiated startle was used as a behavioral indicator of fear and anxiety. Classical fear conditioning and acoustic startle testing were conducted in a single session allowing for the concomitant assessment of shock reactivity with startle enhancement. Depending on dose, the results found conditioned fear acquisition and retention to be impaired following administration of raclopride into the amygdala. Additionally, the learning deficit was dissociated from shock detection and from fear expression assessed with the shock sensitization of acoustic startle. These findings further refine the known neural mechanisms of amygdala-based emotional learning and memory and were interpreted to suggest that, along with D(1) receptors, D(2) receptors in the amygdala may mediate the formation and the retention of newly-acquired fear associations.
Ballard, Elizabeth D; Ionescu, Dawn F; Vande Voort, Jennifer L; Slonena, Elizabeth E; Franco-Chaves, Jose A; Zarate, Carlos A; Grillon, Christian
Suicide is a common reason for psychiatric emergency and morbidity, with few effective treatments. Anxiety symptoms have emerged as potential modifiable risk factors in the time before a suicide attempt, but few studies have been conducted using laboratory measures of fear and anxiety. We operationally defined fear and anxiety as increased startle reactivity during anticipation of predictable (fear-potentiated startle) and unpredictable (anxiety-potentiated startle) shock. We hypothesized that a lifetime history of suicide attempt (as compared to history of no suicide attempt) would be associated with increased fear-potentiated startle. A post-hoc analysis of fear- and anxiety-potentiated startle was conducted in 28 medication-free patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) divided according to suicide attempt history. The magnitude of fear-potentiated startle was increased in depressed patients with lifetime suicide attempts compared to those without a lifetime history of suicide attempt (F(1,26)=5.629, p=.025). There was no difference in anxiety-potentiated startle by suicide attempt history. This is a post-hoc analysis of previously analyzed patient data from a study of depressed inpatients. Further replication of the finding with a larger patient sample is indicated. Increased fear-potentiated startle in suicide attempters suggests the role of amygdala in depressed patients with a suicide attempt history. Findings highlight the importance of anxiety symptoms in the treatment of patients at increased suicide risk. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Sutton, S K; Davidson, R J; Donzella, B; Irwin, W; Dottl, D A
Separate, extended series of positive, negative, and neutral pictures were presented to 24 (12 men, 12 women) undergraduates. Each series was presented on a different day, with full counterbalancing of presentation orders. Affective state was measured using (a) orbicularis oculi activity in response to acoustic startle probes during picture presentation, (b) corrugator supercilii activity between and during picture presentation, and (c) changes in self-reports of positive and negative affect. Participants exhibited larger eyeblink reflex magnitudes when viewing negative than when viewing positive pictures. Corrugator activity was also greater during the negative than during the positive picture set, during both picture presentation and the period between pictures. Self-reports of negative affect increased in response to the negative picture set, and self-reports of positive affect were greatest following the positive picture set. These findings suggest that extended picture presentation is an effective method of manipulating affective state and further highlight the utility of startle probe and facial electromyographic measures in providing on-line readouts of affective state.
Gorka, S M; Lieberman, L; Klumpp, H; Kinney, K L; Kennedy, A E; Ajilore, O; Francis, J; Duffecy, J; Craske, M G; Nathan, J; Langenecker, S; Shankman, S A; Phan, K L
Heightened reactivity to unpredictable threat (U-threat) is a core individual difference factor underlying fear-based psychopathology. Little is known, however, about whether reactivity to U-threat is a stable marker of fear-based psychopathology or if it is malleable to treatment. The aim of the current study was to address this question by examining differences in reactivity to U-threat within patients before and after 12-weeks of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Participants included patients with principal fear (n = 22) and distress/misery disorders (n = 29), and a group of healthy controls (n = 21) assessed 12-weeks apart. A well-validated threat-of-shock task was used to probe reactivity to predictable (P-) and U-threat and startle eyeblink magnitude was recorded as an index of defensive responding. Across both assessments, individuals with fear-based disorders displayed greater startle magnitude to U-threat relative to healthy controls and distress/misery patients (who did not differ). From pre- to post-treatment, startle magnitude during U-threat decreased only within the fear patients who received CBT. Moreover, within fear patients, the magnitude of decline in startle to U-threat correlated with the magnitude of decline in fear symptoms. For the healthy controls, startle to U-threat across the two time points was highly reliable and stable. Together, these results indicate that startle to U-threat characterizes fear disorder patients and is malleable to treatment with CBT but not SSRIs within fear patients. Startle to U-threat may therefore reflect an objective, psychophysiological indicator of fear disorder status and CBT treatment response.
Burhans, Lauren B; Smith-Bell, Carrie A; Schreurs, Bernard G
Glutamatergic dysfunction is implicated in many neuropsychiatric conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Glutamate antagonists have shown some utility in treating PTSD symptoms, whereas glutamate agonists may facilitate cognitive behavioral therapy outcomes. We have developed an animal model of PTSD, based on conditioning of the rabbit's eyeblink response, that addresses two key features: conditioned responses (CRs) to cues associated with an aversive event and a form of conditioned hyperarousal referred to as conditioning-specific reflex modification (CRM). The optimal treatment to reduce both CRs and CRM is unpaired extinction. The goals of the study were to examine whether treatment with the N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor antagonist ketamine could reduce CRs and CRM, and whether the N-methyl-D-aspartate agonist D-cycloserine combined with unpaired extinction treatment could enhance the extinction of both. Administration of a single dose of subanesthetic ketamine had no significant immediate or delayed effect on CRs or CRM. Combining D-cycloserine with a single day of unpaired extinction facilitated extinction of CRs in the short term while having no impact on CRM. These results caution that treatments may improve one aspect of the PTSD symptomology while having no significant effects on other symptoms, stressing the importance of a multiple-treatment approach to PTSD and of animal models that address multiple symptoms.
Full Text Available The serotonin (5-HT and neuropeptide S (NPS systems are discussed as important genetic modulators of fear and sustained anxiety contributing to the etiology of anxiety disorders. Sustained anxiety is a crucial characteristic of most anxiety disorders which likely develops through context conditioning. This study investigated if and how genetic alterations of the 5-HT and the NPS systems as well as their interaction modulate contextual fear conditioning; specifically, function polymorphic variants in the genes coding for the 5-HT transporter (5HTT and the NPS receptor (NPSR1 were studied. A large group of healthy volunteers was therefore stratified for 5HTTLPR (S+ vs. LL carriers and NPSR1 rs324981 (T+ vs. AA carriers polymorphisms resulting in four genotype groups (S+/T+, S+/AA, LL/T+, LL/AA of 20 participants each. All participants underwent contextual fear conditioning and extinction using a virtual reality paradigm. During acquisition, one virtual office room (anxiety context, CXT+ was paired with an unpredictable electric stimulus (unconditioned stimulus, US, whereas another virtual office room was not paired with any US (safety context, CXT-. During extinction no US was administered. Anxiety responses were quantified by fear-potentiated startle and ratings. Most importantly, we found a gene × gene interaction on fear-potentiated startle. Only carriers of both risk alleles (S+/T+ exhibited higher startle responses in CXT+ compared to CXT-. In contrast, anxiety ratings were only influenced by the NPSR1 polymorphism with AA carriers showing higher anxiety ratings in CXT+ as compared to CXT-. Our results speak in favor of a two level account of fear conditioning with diverging effects on implicit vs. explicit fear responses. Contextual fear reflected in potentiated startle responses may be an endophenotype for anxiety disorders.
Friston, Karl; Herreros, Ivan
This letter offers a computational account of Pavlovian conditioning in the cerebellum based on active inference and predictive coding. Using eyeblink conditioning as a canonical paradigm, we formulate a minimal generative model that can account for spontaneous blinking, startle responses, and (delay or trace) conditioning. We then establish the face validity of the model using simulated responses to unconditioned and conditioned stimuli to reproduce the sorts of behavior that are observed empirically. The scheme's anatomical validity is then addressed by associating variables in the predictive coding scheme with nuclei and neuronal populations to match the (extrinsic and intrinsic) connectivity of the cerebellar (eyeblink conditioning) system. Finally, we try to establish predictive validity by reproducing selective failures of delay conditioning, trace conditioning, and extinction using (simulated and reversible) focal lesions. Although rather metaphorical, the ensuing scheme can account for a remarkable range of anatomical and neurophysiological aspects of cerebellar circuitry-and the specificity of lesion-deficit mappings that have been established experimentally. From a computational perspective, this work shows how conditioning or learning can be formulated in terms of minimizing variational free energy (or maximizing Bayesian model evidence) using exactly the same principles that underlie predictive coding in perception.
Rybalko, Natalia; Chumak, Tetyana; Bureš, Zbyněk; Popelář, Jiří; Šuta, Daniel; Syka, Josef
Roč. 286, jul 1 (2015), s. 212-221 ISSN 0166-4328 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP303/12/1347; GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0109 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : auditory system * rat * acoustic startle reflex * development * critical period * noise exposure Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.002, year: 2015
Michael Todd Allen
Full Text Available Anxiety vulnerable individuals exhibit enhanced acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks as well as enhanced proactive interference from CS or US alone pre-exposures (Holloway et al., 2012. US alone pre-exposures disrupt subsequent CR acquisition to CS-US paired trials as compared to context pre-exposure controls. While Holloway et al., (2012 reported enhanced acquisition in high trait anxiety individuals in the context condition, anxiety vulnerability effects were not reported for the US alone pre-exposure group. It appears from the published data that there were no differences between high and low anxiety individuals in the US alone condition. In the work reported here, we sought to extend the findings of enhanced proactive interference with US alone pre-exposures to determine if the enhanced conditioning was disrupted by proactive interference procedures. We also were interested in the spontaneous eyeblinks during the pre-exposure phase of training. We categorized individuals as anxiety vulnerability or non-vulnerable individuals based scores on the Adult Measure of Behavioural Inhibition (AMBI. Sixty six participants received 60 trials consisting of 30 US alone or context alone pre-exposures followed by 30 CS-US trials. US alone pre-exposures not only disrupted CR acquisition overall, but behaviorally inhibited (BI individuals exhibited enhanced proactive interference as compared to non-inhibited (NI individuals. In addition, US alone pre-exposures disrupted the enhanced acquisition observed in BI individuals as compared to NI individuals following context alone pre-exposures. Differences were also found in rates of spontaneous eyeblinks between BI and NI individuals during context pre-exposure. Our findings will be discussed in the light of the neural substrates of eyeblink conditioning as well as possible factors such as hypervigilance in the amygdala and hippocampal systems, and possible learned helplessness. Applications of these findings of
Karl Yngvar Dale
Full Text Available Karl Yngvar Dale1, Magne Arve Flaten1, Åke Elden1, Arne Holte21Department of Psychology, University of Tromsø, Norway; 2The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Department of Mental Health, Oslo, Norway and University of Oslo, NorwayAbstract: A group of persons with dissociative identity disorder (DID was compared with a group of persons with other dissociative disorders, and a group of nondiagnosed controls with regard to prepulse inhibition (PPI of the acoustic startle reflex. The findings suggest maladaptive attentional processes at a controlled level, but not at a preattentive automatic level, in persons with DID. The prepulse occupied more controlled attentional resources in the DID group compared with the other two groups. Preattentive automatic processing, on the other hand, was normal in the DID group. Moreover, startle reflexes did not habituate in the DID group. In conclusion, increased PPI and delayed habituation is consistent with increased vigilance in individuals with DID. The present findings of reduced habituation of startle reflexes and increased PPI in persons with DID suggest the operation of a voluntary process that directs attention away from unpleasant or threatening stimuli. Aberrant voluntary attentional processes may thus be a defining characteristic in DID.Keywords: dissociation, DID, PPI, startle, habituation
The present study employed auditory startle to simulate the principal components (unexpectedness, fear, and physiological arousal) that are common to many types of sudden emergencies and compared performance recovery following startle with recovery f...
Full Text Available Many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, have been associated with abnormalities in the function of the olfactory system and prepulse inhibition (PPI of the startle reflex. However, whether these two abnormalities are related is unclear. The present study was designed to determine whether inhibiting olfactory sensory input via the infusion of zinc sulfate (ZnE, 0.17 M, 0.5 ml into the olfactory naris disrupts PPI. Furthermore, lidocaine/MK801 was bilaterally microinjected into the olfactory bulb (OB to examine whether the blockade of olfactory sensory input impairs PPI. To identify the neural projections that connect the olfaction- and PPI-related areas of the CNS, trans-synaptic retrograde tracing using a recombinant pseudorabies virus (PRV was performed. Our results demonstrated that blocking olfactory sensory input altered olfaction-related behavior. At the functional level, we demonstrated that the inhibition of olfactory sensory input impaired PPI of the startle response subsequent to a decrease in c-fos expression in relevant brain regions. Furthermore, the results of a similar and more robust experiment indicated that blocking olfactory sensory input via the microinjection of lidocaine/MK801 into the OB impaired PPI. At the circuit level, based on trans-synaptic retrograde tracing using PRV, we demonstrated that a large portion of the labeled neurons in several regions of the olfactory cortices connected to the pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus (PPTg. Thus, these data suggest that the olfactory system participates in the regulation of PPI and plays a role in the effect of PPI on the startle response in rats.
Dale, Karl Yngvar; Flaten, Magne Arve; Elden, Åke; Holte, Arne
A group of persons with dissociative identity disorder (DID) was compared with a group of persons with other dissociative disorders, and a group of nondiagnosed controls with regard to prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle reflex. The findings suggest maladaptive attentional processes at a controlled level, but not at a preattentive automatic level, in persons with DID. The prepulse occupied more controlled attentional resources in the DID group compared with the other two groups. Preattentive automatic processing, on the other hand, was normal in the DID group. Moreover, startle reflexes did not habituate in the DID group. In conclusion, increased PPI and delayed habituation is consistent with increased vigilance in individuals with DID. The present findings of reduced habituation of startle reflexes and increased PPI in persons with DID suggest the operation of a voluntary process that directs attention away from unpleasant or threatening stimuli. Aberrant voluntary attentional processes may thus be a defining characteristic in DID. PMID:18830396
Kontur, P.J.; Fechter, L.D.
Manganese (Mn) can be neurotoxic when present in high concentrations. Neonatal animals show differential absorption, accumulation, and excretion of Mn relative to adults. If similar kinetic differences exist during gestation, then fetal animals may be susceptible to Mn neurotoxicity. The objective of this study was to examine maternal-fetal Mn transfer and the susceptibility of prenatal animals to Mn neurotoxicity. This was approached by studying the ability of Mn to cross the placenta and reach the fetal central nervous system using radiotracer and atomic absorption spectroscopy techniques. Manganese is thought to disrupt catecholamine neurotransmission in the central nervous system. This was examined in newborn rats by alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine induced catecholamine turnover and the development of the acoustic startle response. The results suggest that there are limits on fetal Mn accumulation under conditions of both normal and excessive dietary Mn levels. Manganese accumulation in the fetal brain after exposure to increased dietary Mn does not alter either dopamine or norepinephrine turnover or the development of the acoustic startle response. Excess Mn does not appear to be neurotoxic to fetal rats in spite of its limited accumulation in nervous tissue after gestational exposure
Rac-Lubashevsky, R.; Slagter, H.A.; Kessler, Y.
Effective working memory (WM) functioning depends on the gating process that regulates the balance between maintenance and updating of WM. The present study used the event-based eye-blink rate (ebEBR), which presumably reflects phasic striatal dopamine activity, to examine how the cognitive
Halverson, Hunter E.; Poremba, Amy; Freeman, John H.
Associative learning tasks commonly involve an auditory stimulus, which must be projected through the auditory system to the sites of memory induction for learning to occur. The cochlear nucleus (CN) projection to the pontine nuclei has been posited as the necessary auditory pathway for cerebellar learning, including eyeblink conditioning.…
Stojanov, Wendy; Karayanidis, Frini; Johnston, Patrick; Bailey, Andrew; Carr, Vaughan; Schall, Ulrich
Some neurochemical evidence as well as recent studies on molecular genetics suggest that pathologic gambling may be related to dysregulated dopamine neurotransmission. The current study examined sensory (motor) gating in pathologic gamblers as a putative measure of endogenous brain dopamine activity with prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle eye-blink response and the auditory P300 event-related potential. Seventeen pathologic gamblers and 21 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects were assessed. Both prepulse inhibition measures were recorded under passive listening and two-tone prepulse discrimination conditions. Compared to the control group, pathologic gamblers exhibited disrupted sensory (motor) gating on all measures of prepulse inhibition. Sensory motor gating deficits of eye-blink responses were most profound at 120-millisecond prepulse lead intervals in the passive listening task and at 240-millisecond prepulse lead intervals in the two-tone prepulse discrimination task. Sensory gating of P300 was also impaired in pathologic gamblers, particularly at 500-millisecond lead intervals, when performing the discrimination task on the prepulse. In the context of preclinical studies on the disruptive effects of dopamine agonists on prepulse inhibition, our findings suggest increased endogenous brain dopamine activity in pathologic gambling in line with previous neurobiological findings.
Hougaard, K.S.; Mandrup, Karen; Kjaer, S.L.
An increasing number of scientific studies indicate that maternal stress during pregnancy influences fetal development of the nervous system and thereby the behavioural phenotype. We have previously reported attenuated prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reaction in adult female rats derived...... paradigm of stressors affected the PPI response pattern in male rats. In prenatally manipulated males, the PPI response differed statistically significantly, depending on prior exposure to an episode of postnatal acute stress (blood sampling under restraint). In contrast, the PPI response in control males...... was unaffected by this postnatal experience. The present work supports the hypothesis that the maternal environment is a long-term determinant of phenotypic differences in sensitivity to stressors....
Rybalko, Natalia; Bureš, Zbyněk; Burianová, Jana; Popelář, Jiří; Poon, P. W. F.; Syka, Josef
Roč. 47, č. 12 (2012), s. 966-973 ISSN 0531-5565 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/1342; GA ČR(CZ) GBP304/12/G069; GA ČR(CZ) GCP303/11/J005 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50390512 Institutional support: RVO:68378041 Keywords : aging * acoustic startle response * prepulse inhibition Subject RIV: FH - Neurology Impact factor: 3.911, year: 2012
Halverson, Hunter E.; Hubbard, Erin M.; Freeman, John H.
The role of the cerebellum in eyeblink conditioning is well established. Less work has been done to identify the necessary conditioned stimulus (CS) pathways that project sensory information to the cerebellum. A possible visual CS pathway has been hypothesized that consists of parallel inputs to the pontine nuclei from the lateral geniculate…
Hoffmann, Loren C.; Cicchese, Joseph J.; Berry, Stephen D.
Neurobiological oscillations are regarded as essential to normal information processing, including coordination and timing of cells and assemblies within structures as well as in long feedback loops of distributed neural systems. The hippocampal theta rhythm is a 3–12 Hz oscillatory potential observed during cognitive processes ranging from spatial navigation to associative learning. The lower range, 3–7 Hz, can occur during immobility and depends upon the integrity of cholinergic forebrain systems. Several studies have shown that the amount of pre-training theta in the rabbit strongly predicts the acquisition rate of classical eyeblink conditioning and that impairment of this system substantially slows the rate of learning. Our lab has used a brain-computer interface (BCI) that delivers eyeblink conditioning trials contingent upon the explicit presence or absence of hippocampal theta. A behavioral benefit of theta-contingent training has been demonstrated in both delay and trace forms of the paradigm with a two- to four-fold increase in learning speed. This behavioral effect is accompanied by enhanced amplitude and synchrony of hippocampal local field potential (LFP)s, multi-unit excitation, and single-unit response patterns that depend on theta state. Additionally, training in the presence of hippocampal theta has led to increases in the salience of tone-induced unit firing patterns in the medial prefrontal cortex, followed by persistent multi-unit activity during the trace interval. In cerebellum, rhythmicity and precise synchrony of stimulus time-locked LFPs with those of hippocampus occur preferentially under the theta condition. Here we review these findings, integrate them into current models of hippocampal-dependent learning and suggest how improvement in our understanding of neurobiological oscillations is critical for theories of medial temporal lobe processes underlying intact and pathological learning. PMID:25918501
Hoffmann, Loren C; Cicchese, Joseph J; Berry, Stephen D
Neurobiological oscillations are regarded as essential to normal information processing, including coordination and timing of cells and assemblies within structures as well as in long feedback loops of distributed neural systems. The hippocampal theta rhythm is a 3-12 Hz oscillatory potential observed during cognitive processes ranging from spatial navigation to associative learning. The lower range, 3-7 Hz, can occur during immobility and depends upon the integrity of cholinergic forebrain systems. Several studies have shown that the amount of pre-training theta in the rabbit strongly predicts the acquisition rate of classical eyeblink conditioning and that impairment of this system substantially slows the rate of learning. Our lab has used a brain-computer interface (BCI) that delivers eyeblink conditioning trials contingent upon the explicit presence or absence of hippocampal theta. A behavioral benefit of theta-contingent training has been demonstrated in both delay and trace forms of the paradigm with a two- to four-fold increase in learning speed. This behavioral effect is accompanied by enhanced amplitude and synchrony of hippocampal local field potential (LFP)s, multi-unit excitation, and single-unit response patterns that depend on theta state. Additionally, training in the presence of hippocampal theta has led to increases in the salience of tone-induced unit firing patterns in the medial prefrontal cortex, followed by persistent multi-unit activity during the trace interval. In cerebellum, rhythmicity and precise synchrony of stimulus time-locked LFPs with those of hippocampus occur preferentially under the theta condition. Here we review these findings, integrate them into current models of hippocampal-dependent learning and suggest how improvement in our understanding of neurobiological oscillations is critical for theories of medial temporal lobe processes underlying intact and pathological learning.
Antonietti, Alberto; Casellato, Claudia; D'Angelo, Egidio; Pedrocchi, Alessandra
The cerebellum plays a critical role in sensorimotor control. However, how the specific circuits and plastic mechanisms of the cerebellum are engaged in closed-loop processing is still unclear. We developed an artificial sensorimotor control system embedding a detailed spiking cerebellar microcircuit with three bidirectional plasticity sites. This proved able to reproduce a cerebellar-driven associative paradigm, the eyeblink classical conditioning (EBCC), in which a precise time relationship between an unconditioned stimulus (US) and a conditioned stimulus (CS) is established. We challenged the spiking model to fit an experimental data set from human subjects. Two subsequent sessions of EBCC acquisition and extinction were recorded and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) was applied on the cerebellum to alter circuit function and plasticity. Evolutionary algorithms were used to find the near-optimal model parameters to reproduce the behaviors of subjects in the different sessions of the protocol. The main finding is that the optimized cerebellar model was able to learn to anticipate (predict) conditioned responses with accurate timing and success rate, demonstrating fast acquisition, memory stabilization, rapid extinction, and faster reacquisition as in EBCC in humans. The firing of Purkinje cells (PCs) and deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) changed during learning under the control of synaptic plasticity, which evolved at different rates, with a faster acquisition in the cerebellar cortex than in DCN synapses. Eventually, a reduced PC activity released DCN discharge just after the CS, precisely anticipating the US and causing the eyeblink. Moreover, a specific alteration in cortical plasticity explained the EBCC changes induced by cerebellar TMS in humans. In this paper, for the first time, it is shown how closed-loop simulations, using detailed cerebellar microcircuit models, can be successfully used to fit real experimental data sets. Thus, the changes of the
Lind, N. M.; Arnfred, S. M.; Hemmingsen, R. P.
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating. The dopamine receptor agonist-mediated disruption of PPI in rats is widely used as a model of the sensorimotor gating deficiencies demonstrated in schizophrenia patients. As a possible tool for valid......Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating. The dopamine receptor agonist-mediated disruption of PPI in rats is widely used as a model of the sensorimotor gating deficiencies demonstrated in schizophrenia patients. As a possible tool....../kg with a paradigm including two levels of prepulses (82 and 88dB) and a prepulse (PP) interval of 60 and 120ms. We found an average PPI of the startle reflex of 25.6% and both of the investigated PP intensities and PP intervals were equally effective in this PP-inhibitive paradigm. AMPH significantly disrupted PPI...... and, in spite of only the 0.5mg/kg dose proved statistically significant, the results indicate this to be dose-related. We have demonstrated the phenomenon of PPI of the startle reflex in landrace pigs and its disruption by d-amphetamine. Studies of sensorimotor gating defects could be a valuable...
van Rooij, Sanne J H; Cross, Dorthie; Stevens, Jennifer S; Vance, L Alexander; Kim, Ye Ji; Bradley, Bekh; Tottenham, Nim; Jovanovic, Tanja
Parental availability influences fear expression and learning across species, but the effect of maternal buffering on fear learning in humans is unknown. Here we investigated the effect of maternal availability during fear conditioning in a group of children (ages 8-10) and adolescents (ages 11-13) from a low-income population with a range of trauma exposure. Acoustic startle response data were collected to measure fear-potentiated startle (FPS) in 104 participants. A total of 62 participants were tested with the mother available and 42 when the mother was not in the testing room. We observed that maternal availability during fear conditioning interacted with age to affect FPS discrimination between CS+ and CS-. In line with previous findings suggesting an absence of maternal buffering in adolescents, fear discrimination was affected by maternal availability only in children. Second, we observed that the effect of maternal buffering on FPS discrimination in children was not influenced by maternally reported warmth. In conclusion, we demonstrated that maternal availability improved discrimination in children, regardless of the quality of the relationship. Adolescents discriminated irrespective of maternal status, suggesting that childhood may be a sensitive period for environmental influences on key processes such as learning of danger and safety signals.
Dubovicky, M; Paton, S; Morris, M; Mach, M; Lucot, J B
The present study investigated the effect of combined exposure of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and chronic shaker stress on acoustic startle responses (ASR), pre-pulse inhibition (PPI) and open field behavior of adult C57BL/6J mice. PB (10 mg kg(-1) day(-1) for 7 days) or saline was administered subcutaneously using osmotic Alzet minipumps implanted under the skin on the back of the mice. At the same time, the mice were exposed to 7 days of intermittent shaker stress. They were tested for ASR (100 dB and 120 dB stimuli) and PPI (70 dB + 100 dB and 70 dB + 120 dB) in the acoustic startle monitor system. The mice were assessed during the shaker stress on days 2 and 7 and 7, 14, 21 and 28 days after discontinuation of treatment. Separate groups of mice were tested in the open field in 15 min sessions on days 1, 3 and 6 during shaker stress and PB treatment. Exposure of mice to PB resulted in an exaggerated ASR, reduced PPI and non-significant decrease in locomotor activity. These behavioral changes were apparent only during exposure to PB. Repeated shaker stress did not have any effect on sensorimotor functions or open field behavior of mice. There was no prolonged or delayed effect of PB and/or stress on individual behavioral variables. The study found C57BL/6J mice to be behaviorally sensitive to PB treatment. (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Stevens, Elizabeth S; Weinberg, Anna; Nelson, Brady D; Meissel, Emily E E; Shankman, Stewart A
Attention-related abnormalities are key components of the abnormal defensive responding observed in panic disorder (PD). Although behavioral studies have found aberrant attentional biases towards threat in PD, psychophysiological studies have been mixed. Predictability of threat, an important feature of threat processing, may have contributed to these mixed findings. Additionally, anxiety sensitivity, a dimensional trait associated with PD, may yield stronger associations with cognitive processes than categorical diagnoses of PD. In this study, 171 participants with PD and/or depression and healthy controls completed a task that differentiated anticipation of predictable vs. unpredictable shocks, while startle eyeblink and event-related potentials (ERPs [N100, P300]) were recorded. In all participants, relative to the control condition, probe N100 was enhanced to both predictable and unpredictable threat, whereas P300 suppression was unique to predictable threat. Probe N100, but not P300, was associated with startle eyeblink during both threatening conditions, and was strongest for unpredictable threat. PD was not associated with ERPs, but anxiety sensitivity (physical concerns) was positively associated with probe N100 (indicating reduced responding) in the unpredictable condition independent of PD diagnosis. Vulnerability to panic-related psychopathology may be characterized by aberrant early processing of threat, which may be especially evident during anticipation of unpredictable threats. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Bakker, Mirte J; Boer, Frits; Benninga, Marc A; Koelman, Johannes H T M; Tijssen, Marina A J
To test the hypothesis that children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders have a general hypersensitivity for sensory stimuli. Auditory startle reflexes were assessed in 20 children classified according to Rome III classifications of abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders (13 irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], 7 functional abdominal pain syndrome; mean age, 12.4 years; 15 girls) and 23 control subjects (14 girls; mean age, 12.3 years) using a case-control design. The activity of 6 left-sided muscles and the sympathetic skin response were obtained by an electromyogram. We presented sudden loud noises to the subjects through headphones. Both the combined response of 6 muscles and the blink response proved to be significantly increased in patients with abdominal pain compared with control subjects. A significant increase of the sympathetic skin response was not found. Comorbid anxiety disorders (8 patients with abdominal pain) or Rome III subclassification did not significantly affect these results. This study demonstrates an objective hyperresponsivity to nongastrointestinal stimuli. Children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders may have a generalized hypersensitivity of the central nervous system. Copyright 2010 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.
Samuel Bautista Peña
Full Text Available The relaxed posture of the eyelids keeps the eyes closed, the eyes open is part of the active behavior in living organisms, the activity gives rise to the blinking eye, that for the majority goes unnoticed. You can classify several types of eyeblink, blinking is a response that participates in the facial expression of the emotions. The muscle of the eyelid is essentially involved in emotional responses, as shown during the surprise, fear, or startle. We have studied the eyeblinking linked to aversive events of short duration. We need to know what is happening with the blinking eye to aversive stimuli with longer duration. The forced swimming test (PNF, stimulation provides a sharp, intense and prolonged by 15 minutes. Then we assess the response of eye blinking under the effect of the aversive stimulation provided by the PNF. We used 10 type Wistar male rats experimentally naive, with a weight next to the 300 g were housed with boxes-individual room and free access to food and water. The response of blinking eye was defined as: the behavior of closing and opening in a short period that the eyelids cover the eyes of the rat. We used a modified procedure of the PNF in establishing as a criterion of time 15 minutes for each of the two trials. The first assay began to put the rat in the cylinder with water. The second assay was performed 24 hours after the first assay. The sessions were videotaped, of which the recordings were obtained. The graph shows us a process of change in the blinkin eye, this suggests to us that this is a eyeblinking emotional, which passes through: the surprise; anxiety; and something like depression. It is a complex of processes in which they are involved a variety of mechanisms. We compare our results with other researches of blinking. The descriptors process involved in the anxiety-depression, are at different levels and can go from its link with physiological states until the mechanisms at the biochemical level
Bakker, Mirte J.; Boer, Frits; Benninga, Marc A.; Koelman, Johannes H. T. M.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.
Objective To test the hypothesis that children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders have a general hypersensitivity for sensory stimuli. Study design Auditory startle reflexes were assessed in 20 children classified according to Rome III classifications of abdominal
Bakker, Mirte J.; Boer, Frits; Benninga, Marc A.; Koelman, Johannes H. T. M.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.
Objective To test the hypothesis that children with abdominal pain-related functional gastrointestinal disorders have a general hypersensitivity for sensory stimuli. Study design Auditory startle reflexes were assessed in 20 children classified according to Rome III classifications of abdominal
Jensen, Kristian S; Oranje, Bob; Wienberg, Malene
modulation is currently inconsistent. In a double-blind placebo-controlled crossover design, 18 healthy male volunteers received either placebo or a dose of 10 mg of escitalopram (SSRI), after which they were tested in both PPI and habituation of the startle reflex paradigms. No significant differences...... between the two treatments were observed on PPI, although escitalopram was found to significantly delay habituation of the ASR. In the current study, escitalopram was found to delay habituation, but it did not affect PPI in healthy male volunteers. As escitalopram is a highly specific SSRI, the results...
Nelson, Brady D.; Hajcak, Greg
There is growing evidence that heightened sensitivity to unpredictability is a core mechanism of anxiety disorders. In adults, multiple anxiety disorders have been associated with a heightened startle reflex in anticipation of unpredictable threat. Child and adolescent anxiety has been linked to an increased startle reflex across baseline, safety, and threat conditions. However, it is unclear whether anxiety in youth is related to the startle reflex as a function of threat predictability. In a sample of 90 8 to 14 year-old girls, the present study examined the association between anxiety symptom dimensions and startle potentiation during a no, predictable, and unpredictable threat task. Depression symptom dimensions were also examined given their high comorbidity with anxiety and mixed relationship with the startle reflex and sensitivity to unpredictability. To assess current symptoms, participants completed the self-report Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders and Children’s Depression Inventory. Results indicated that social phobia symptoms were associated with heightened startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat and attenuated startle potentiation in anticipation of predictable threat. Negative mood and negative self-esteem symptoms were associated with attenuated and heightened startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat, respectively. All results remained significant after controlling for the other symptom dimensions. The present study provides initial evidence that anxiety and depression symptom dimensions demonstrate unique associations with the startle reflex in anticipation of unpredictable threat in children and adolescents. PMID:27224989
Nelson, Brady D; Hajcak, Greg
There is growing evidence that heightened sensitivity to unpredictability is a core mechanism of anxiety disorders. In adults, multiple anxiety disorders have been associated with a heightened startle reflex in anticipation of unpredictable threat. Child and adolescent anxiety has been linked to an increased startle reflex across baseline, safety, and threat conditions. However, it is unclear whether anxiety in youth is related to the startle reflex as a function of threat predictability. In a sample of 90 8 to 14 year-old girls, the present study examined the association between anxiety symptom dimensions and startle potentiation during a no, predictable, and unpredictable threat task. Depression symptom dimensions were also examined given their high comorbidity with anxiety and mixed relationship with the startle reflex and sensitivity to unpredictability. To assess current symptoms, participants completed the self-report Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders and Children's Depression Inventory. Results indicated that social phobia symptoms were associated with heightened startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat and attenuated startle potentiation in anticipation of predictable threat. Negative mood and negative self-esteem symptoms were associated with attenuated and heightened startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat, respectively. All results remained significant after controlling for the other symptom dimensions. The present study provides initial evidence that anxiety and depression symptom dimensions demonstrate unique associations with the startle reflex in anticipation of unpredictable threat in children and adolescents.
Schreurs, Bernard G; Burhans, Lauren B
Not everyone exposed to trauma suffers flashbacks, bad dreams, numbing, fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, hyper-vigilance, hyperarousal, or an inability to cope, but those who do may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a major physical and mental health problem for military personnel and civilians exposed to trauma. There is still debate about the incidence and prevalence of PTSD especially among the military, but for those who are diagnosed, behavioral therapy and drug treatment strategies have proven to be less than effective. A number of these treatment strategies are based on rodent fear conditioning research and are capable of treating only some of the symptoms because the extinction of fear does not deal with the various forms of hyper-vigilance and hyperarousal experienced by people with PTSD. To help address this problem, we have developed a preclinical eyeblink classical conditioning model of PTSD in which conditioning and hyperarousal can both be extinguished. We review this model and discuss findings showing that unpaired stimulus presentations can be effective in reducing levels of conditioning and hyperarousal even when unconditioned stimulus intensity is reduced to the point where it is barely capable of eliciting a response. These procedures have direct implications for the treatment of PTSD and could be implemented in a virtual reality environment.
Vaidyanathan, Uma; Hall, Jason R.; Patrick, Christopher J.; Bernat, Edward M.
Prior research has demonstrated deficits in defensive reactivity (indexed by potentiation of the startle blink reflex) in psychopathic individuals. However, the basis of this association remains unclear, as diagnostic criteria for psychopathy encompass two distinct phenotypic components that may reflect differing neurobiological mechanisms – an affective-interpersonal component, and an antisocial deviance component. Likewise, the role of defensive response deficits in antisocial personality disorder (APD), a related but distinct syndrome, remains to be clarified. The current study examined affective priming deficits in relation to factors of psychopathy and symptoms of APD using startle reflex methods in 108 adult male prisoners. Deficits in blink reflex potentiation during aversive picture viewing were found in relation to the affective-interpersonal (Factor 1) component of psychopathy, and to a lesser extent in relation to the antisocial deviance (Factor 2) component of psychopathy and symptoms of APD—but only as a function of their overlap with affective-interpersonal features of psychopathy. These findings provide clear evidence that deficits in defensive reactivity are linked specifically to the affective-interpersonal features of psychopathy, and not the antisocial deviance features represented most strongly in APD. PMID:20973594
Blanch, Angel; Balada, Ferran; Aluja, Anton
This study analyzed the relationship of individual differences in personality with habituation in the acoustic startle response (ASR). Data from nine trials in ASR to white noise bursts and a personality questionnaire based on the alternative big five personality approach were modelled with a latent growth curve (LCM) including intercept and slope habituation growth factors. There was a negative correlation between the intercept and slope, indicating that individuals with higher initial ASR levels had also a more pronounced and faster decrease in the ASR. Contrary to expectations, Extraversion and Sensation Seeking did not relate with habituation in ASR. Neuroticism and Aggressiveness related asymmetrically with the habituation rate in ASR. Higher levels of Neuroticism were related with faster habituation, whereas higher levels of Aggressiveness were related with slower habituation. Further studies with the LCM should be undertaken to clarify in a greater extent the association of personality with habituation in ASR. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fournier, Philippe; Hébert, Sylvie
The gap-prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle (GPIAS) paradigm is the primary test used in animal research to identify gap detection thresholds and impairment. When a silent gap is presented shortly before a loud startling stimulus, the startle reflex is inhibited and the extent of inhibition is assumed to reflect detection. Here, we applied the same paradigm in humans. One hundred and fifty-seven normal-hearing participants were tested using one of five gap durations (5, 25, 50, 100, 200 ms) in one of the following two paradigms-gap-embedded in or gap-following-the continuous background noise. The duration-inhibition relationship was observable for both conditions but followed different patterns. In the gap-embedded paradigm, GPIAS increased significantly with gap duration up to 50 ms and then more slowly up to 200 ms (trend only). In contrast, in the gap-following paradigm, significant inhibition-different from 0--was observable only at gap durations from 50 to 200 ms. The finding that different patterns are found depending on gap position within the background noise is compatible with distinct mechanisms underlying each of the two paradigms. © 2016 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Parker, Krystal L; Andreasen, Nancy C; Liu, Dawei; Freeman, John H; O'Leary, Daniel S
Previous studies suggest that patients with schizophrenia exhibit dysfunctions in a widely distributed circuit-the cortico-cerebellar-thalamic-cortical circuit, or CCTCC-and that this may explain the multiple cognitive deficits observed in the disorder. This study uses positron emission tomography (PET) with O(15) H₂O to measure regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in response to a classic test of cerebellar function, the associative learning that occurs during eyeblink conditioning, in a sample of 20 unmedicated schizophrenia patients and 20 closely matched healthy controls. The PET paradigm examined three phases of acquisition and extinction (early, middle and late). The patients displayed impaired behavioral performance during both acquisition and extinction. The imaging data indicate that, compared to the control subjects, the patients displayed decreases in rCBF in all three components of the CCTCC during both acquisition and extinction. Specifically, patients had less rCBF in the middle and medial frontal lobes, anterior cerebellar lobules I/V and VI, as well as the thalamus during acquisition and although similar areas were found in the frontal lobe, ipsilateral cerebellar lobule IX showed consistently less activity in patients during extinction. Thus this study provides additional support for the hypothesis that patients with schizophrenia have a cognitive dysmetria--an inability to smoothly coordinate many different types of mental activity--that affects even a very basic cognitive task that taps into associative learning. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The P13 potential is the rodent equivalent of the P50 potential, which is an evoked response recorded at the vertex (Vx 50 msec following an auditory stimulus in humans. Both the P13 and P50 potentials are only present during waking and rapid eye movement (REM sleep, and are considered to be measures of level of arousal. The source of the P13 and P50 potentials appears to be the pedunculopontine nucleus (PPN, a brainstem nucleus with indirect ascending projections to the cortex through the intralaminar thalamus (ILT, mediating arousal, and descending inhibitory projections to the caudal pontine reticular formation (CPRF, which mediates the auditory startle response (SR. We tested the hypothesis that intracranial microinjection (ICM of glutamate (GLU or GLU receptor agonists will increase the activity of PPN neurons, resulting in an increased P13 potential response, and decreased SR due to inhibitory projections from the PPN to the CPRF, in freely moving animals. Cannulae were inserted into the PPN to inject neuroactive agents, screws were inserted into the Vx in order to record the P13 potential, and electrodes inserted into the dorsal nuchal muscle to record electromyograms (EMGs and SR amplitude. Our results showed that ICM of GLU into the PPN dose-dependently increased the amplitude of the P13 potential and decreased the amplitude of the SR. Similarly, ICM of NMDA or KA into the PPN increased the amplitude of the P13 potential. These findings indicate that glutamatergic input to the PPN plays a role in arousal control in vivo, and changes in glutamatergic input, or excitability of PPN neurons, could be implicated in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders with the common symptoms of hyperarousal and REM sleep dysregulation.
Franklin, Joseph C; Lee, Kent M; Hanna, Eleanor K; Prinstein, Mitchell J
Although pain itself induces negative affect, the removal (or offset) of pain induces a powerful state of relief. Despite being implicated in a wide range of psychological and behavioral phenomena, relief remains a poorly understood emotion. In particular, some theorists associate relief with increased positive affect, whereas others associate relief with diminished negative affect. In the present study, we examined the affective nature of relief in a pain-offset paradigm with psychophysiological measures that were specific to negative valence (startle eyeblink reactivity) and positive valence (startle postauricular reactivity). Results revealed that pain offset simultaneously stimulates positive affect and diminishes negative affect for at least several seconds. Results also indicated that pain intensity differentially affects the positive and negative valence aspects of relief. These findings clarify the affective nature of relief and provide insight into why people engage in both normal and abnormal behaviors associated with relief.
John P Welsh
Full Text Available Changes in the timing performance of conditioned responses (CRs acquired during trace and delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC are presented for diagnostic subgroups of children having autism spectrum disorder (ASD aged 6-15 years. Children diagnosed with autistic disorder (AD were analyzed separately from children diagnosed with either Asperger’s syndrome or Pervasive-developmental disorder not-otherwise-specified (Asp/PDD and compared to an age- and IQ-matched group of children that were typically developing (TD. Within-subject and between-groups contrasts in CR performance on sequential exposure to trace and delay EBC were analyzed to determine whether any differences would expose underlying functional heterogeneities of the cerebral and cerebellar systems in ASD subgroups. The EBC parameters measured were percentage CRs, CR onset latency, and CR peak latency. Neither AD nor Asp/PDD groups were impaired in CR acquisition during trace or delay EBC. AD and Asp/PDD both altered CR timing, but not always in the same way. Although the AD group showed normal CR timing during trace EBC, the Asp/PDD group showed a significant 27 and 28 ms increase in CR onset and peak latency, respectively, during trace EBC. In contrast, the direction of the timing change was opposite during delay EBC, during which the Asp/PDD group showed a significant 29 ms decrease in CR onset latency and the AD group showed a larger 77 ms decrease in CR onset latency. Only the AD group showed a decrease in CR peak latency during delay EBC, demonstrating another difference between AD and Asp/PDD. The difference in CR onset latency during delay EBC for both AD and Asp/PDD was due to an abnormal prevalence of early onset CRs that were intermixed with CRs having normal timing, as observed both in CR onset histograms and mean CR waveforms. In conclusion, significant heterogeneity in EBC performance was apparent within diagnostic groups, and this may indicate that EBC performance can
Madsen, Gitte Falcher; Bilenberg, Niels; Cantio, Cathriona
The relation between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and schizophrenia is a subject of intense debate and research due to evidence of common neurobiological pathways in the two disorders. The objective of this study was to explore whether deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex......, as usually seen in schizophrenic patients, can be replicated in a group of children with ASD in comparison with a group of matched neuro-typically developed (NTD) controls. An additional aim was to explore possible psychophysiological subgroups within our ASD sample. In a case-control design, 35 ASD patients...... and 40 matched NTD controls were tested in a psychophysiological test battery. The PPI of the acoustic startle reflex was analyzed in 18 ASD subjects and 34 NTD controls. Habituation and sensitization were analyzed in 23 ASD subjects and 39 NTD controls. In trials with less intense prestimuli (76 d...
McTeague, Lisa M; Lang, Peter J; Laplante, Marie-Claude; Cuthbert, Bruce N; Strauss, Cyd C; Bradley, Margaret M
Social phobia has been characterized as a disorder of exaggerated fear of social threat and heightened sensitivity to imagery of social failure. To assess the physiological basis of this description, social phobia patients (n=75) and demographically matched control participants (n=75) imagined neutral and fearful events while acoustic startle probes were occasionally presented and eye-blink responses (orbicularis occuli) recorded. Changes in heart rate, skin conductance level, and facial expressivity were also indexed. In addition to comparing control participants and social phobia patients, the influences of diagnostic subtype (circumscribed, generalized), comorbid depression, and chronicity were assessed. Patients exceeded control participants in startle reflex and autonomic responding during imagery of social threat, whereas the groups evinced commensurate reactivity to contents depicting commonly shared fears (survival threat). Individuals with circumscribed performance phobia were similar to control participants, with the exception of more robust reactions to idiographic, performance fear imagery. In contrast, generalized phobic patients were characterized by longer disorder chronicity and demonstrated heightened sensitivity to a broader range of fear contents. Those with generalized phobia plus comorbid depression showed attenuation of fear-potentiated startle and reported the most protracted social anxiety. Subtypes of social phobia can be objectively distinguished in patterns of physiological reactivity. Furthermore, subtypes vary systematically in chronicity and defensive engagement with the shortest disorder duration (circumscribed phobia) associated with the most robust and focal physiological reactivity, followed by broader defensive sensitivity in more chronic generalized phobia, and finally attenuation of the formerly exaggerated fear potentiation in the comorbidly depressed, the most chronic form.
Bernard G Schreurs
Full Text Available Not everyone exposed to trauma suffers flashbacks, bad dreams, numbing, fear, anxiety, sleeplessness, hyper-vigilance, hyperarousal, or an inability to cope, but those who do may suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD. PTSD is a major physical and mental health problem for military personnel and civilians exposed to trauma. There is still debate about the incidence and prevalence of PTSD especially among the military, but for those who are diagnosed, behavioral therapy and drug treatment strategies have proven to be less than effective. A number of these treatment strategies are based on rodent fear conditioning research and are capable of treating only some of the symptoms because the extinction of fear does not deal with the various forms of hyper-vigilance and hyperarousal experienced by people with PTSD. To help address this problem, we have developed a preclinical eyeblink classical conditioning model of PTSD in which conditioning and hyperarousal can both be extinguished. We review this model and discuss findings showing that unpaired stimulus presentations can be effective in reducing levels of conditioning and hyperarousal even when unconditioned stimulus intensity is reduced to the point where it is barely capable of eliciting a response. These procedures have direct implications for the treatment of PTSD and could be implemented in a virtual reality environment.
Thrasher, Cat; LoBue, Vanessa
In the current research, we sought to measure infants' physiological responses to snakes-one of the world's most widely feared stimuli-to examine whether they find snakes aversive or merely attention grabbing. Using a similar method to DeLoache and LoBue (Developmental Science, 2009, Vol. 12, pp. 201-207), 6- to 9-month-olds watched a series of multimodal (both auditory and visual) stimuli: a video of a snake (fear-relevant) or an elephant (non-fear-relevant) paired with either a fearful or happy auditory track. We measured physiological responses to the pairs of stimuli, including startle magnitude, latency to startle, and heart rate. Results suggest that snakes capture infants' attention; infants showed the fastest startle responses and lowest average heart rate to the snakes, especially when paired with a fearful voice. Unexpectedly, they also showed significantly reduced startle magnitude during this same snake video plus fearful voice combination. The results are discussed with respect to theoretical perspectives on fear acquisition. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Braff, D L; Geyer, M A; Swerdlow, N R
Since the mid-1970s, cross-species translational studies of prepulse inhibition (PPI) have increased at an astounding pace as the value of this neurobiologically informative measure has been optimized. PPI occurs when a relatively weak sensory event (the prepulse) is presented 30-500 ms before a strong startle-inducing stimulus, and reduces the magnitude of the startle response. In humans, PPI occurs in a robust, predictable manner when the prepulse and startling stimuli occur in either the same or different modalities (acoustic, visual, or cutaneous). This review covers three areas of interest in human PPI studies. First, we review the normal influences on PPI related to the underlying construct of sensori- (prepulse) motor (startle reflex) gating. Second, we review PPI studies in psychopathological disorders that form a family of gating disorders. Third, we review the relatively limited but interesting and rapidly expanding literature on pharmacological influences on PPI in humans. All studies identified by a computerized literature search that addressed the three topics of this review were compiled and evaluated. The principal studies were summarized in appropriate tables. The major influences on PPI as a measure of sensorimotor gating can be grouped into 11 domains. Most of these domains are similar across species, supporting the value of PPI studies in translational comparisons across species. The most prominent literature describing deficits in PPI in psychiatrically defined groups features schizophrenia-spectrum patients and their clinically unaffected relatives. These findings support the use of PPI as an endophenotype in genetic studies. Additional groups of psychopathologically disordered patients with neuropathology involving cortico-striato-pallido-pontine circuits exhibit poor gating of motor, sensory, or cognitive information and corresponding PPI deficits. These groups include patients with obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette's syndrome
Wright, Zachary A; Rogers, Mark W; MacKinnon, Colum D; Patton, James L
A well known and major component of movement control is the feedforward component, also known as the internal model. This model predicts and compensates for expected forces seen during a movement, based on recent experience, so that a well-learned task such as reaching to a target can be executed in a smooth straight manner. It has recently been shown that the state of preparation of planned movements can be tested using a startling acoustic stimulus (SAS). SAS, presented 500, 250 or 0 ms before the expected "go" cue resulted in the early release of the movement trajectory associated with the after-effects of the force field training (i.e. the internal model). In a typical motor adaptation experiment with a robot-applied force field, we tested if a SAS stimulus influences the size of after-effects that are typically seen. We found that in all subjects the after-effect magnitudes were significantly reduced when movements were released by SAS, although this effect was not further modulated by the timing of SAS. Reduced after-effects reveal at least partial existence of learned preparatory control, and identify startle effects that could influence performance in tasks such as piloting, teleoperation, and sports.
Allen, M T; Handy, J D; Blankenship, M R; Servatius, R J
Recent work has focused on a learning diathesis model in which specific personality factors such as behavioral inhibition (BI) may influence associative learning and in turn increase risk for the development of anxiety disorders. We have found in a series of studies that individuals self-reporting high levels of BI exhibit enhanced acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks. In the study reported here, hypotheses were extended to include distressed (Type D) personality which has been found to be related to BI. Type D personality is measured with the DS-14 scale which includes two subscales measuring negative affectivity (NA) and social inhibition (SI). We hypothesized that SI, which is similar to BI, would result in enhanced acquisition while the effect of NA is unclear. Eighty nine participants completed personality inventories including the Adult Measure of Behavioral Inhibition (AMBI) and DS-14. All participants received 60 acquisition trials with a 500 ms, 1000 Hz, tone CS and a co-terminating 50 ms, 5 psi corneal airpuff US. Participants received either 100% CS-US paired trials or a schedule of partial reinforcement where 50% US alone trials were intermixed into CS-US training. Acquisition of CRs did not differ between the two training protocols. Whereas BI was significantly related to Type D, SI, and NA, only BI and SI individuals exhibited enhanced acquisition of conditioned eyeblinks as compared to non-inhibited individuals. Personality factors now including social inhibition can be used to identify individuals who express enhanced associative learning which lends further support to a learning diathesis model of anxiety disorders. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fanti, Kostas A; Kyranides, Melina N; Georgiou, Giorgos; Petridou, Maria; Colins, Olivier F; Tuvblad, Catherine; Andershed, Henrik
The present study aimed to examine whether callous-unemotional, grandiose-manipulative, and impulsive-irresponsible dimensions of psychopathy are differentially related to various affective and physiological measures, assessed at baseline and in response to violent and erotic movie scenes. Data were collected from young adults (N = 101) at differential risk for psychopathic traits. Findings from regression analyses revealed a unique predictive contribution of grandiose-manipulative traits in particular to higher ratings of positive valence for violent scenes. Callous-unemotional traits were uniquely associated with lower levels of sympathy toward victims and lower ratings of fear and sadness during violent scenes. All three psychopathy dimensions and the total psychopathy scale showed negative zero-order correlations with heart rate at baseline, but regression analyses revealed that only grandiose manipulation was uniquely predictive of lower baseline heart rate. Grandiose manipulation was also significantly associated with lower baseline skin conductance. Regarding autonomic activity, findings resulted in a unique negative association between grandiose manipulation and heart rate activity in response to violent scenes. In contrast, the impulsive-irresponsible dimension was positively related with heart rate activity to violent scenes. Finally, findings revealed that only callous-unemotional traits were negatively associated with startle potentiation in response to violent scenes. No associations during erotic scenes were identified. These findings point to unique associations between the three assessed dimensions of psychopathy with physiological measures, indicating that grandiose manipulation is associated with hypoarousal, impulsive irresponsibility with hyperarousal, and callous-unemotional traits with low emotional and fear responses to violent scenes. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
Nelson, Brady D; Hajcak, Greg
Predictability is an important characteristic of threat that impacts defensive motivation and attentional engagement. Supporting research has primarily focused on actual threat (e.g., shocks), and it is unclear whether the predictability of less intense threat (e.g., unpleasant pictures) similarly affects motivation and attention. The present study utilized a within-subject design and examined defensive motivation (startle reflex and self-reported anxiety) and attention (probe N100 and P300) in anticipation of shocks and unpleasant pictures during a no, predictable, and unpredictable threat task. This study also examined the impact of predictability on the P300 to shocks and late positive potential (LPP) to unpleasant pictures. The startle reflex and self-reported anxiety were increased in anticipation of both types of threat relative to no threat. Furthermore, startle potentiation in anticipation of unpredictable threat was greater for shocks compared to unpleasant pictures, but there was no difference for predictable threat. The probe N100 was enhanced in anticipation of unpredictable threat relative to predictable threat and no threat, and the probe P300 was suppressed in anticipation of predictable and unpredictable threat relative to no threat. These effects did not differ between the shock and unpleasant picture trials. Finally, the P300 and early LPP component were increased in response to unpredictable relative to predictable shocks and unpleasant pictures, respectively. The present study suggests that the unpredictability of unpleasant pictures increases defensive motivation, but to a lesser degree relative to actual threat. Moreover, unpredictability enhances attentional engagement in anticipation of, and in reaction to, both types of threat. © 2017 Society for Psychophysiological Research.
W.L. den Ouden; G. Perry; S.M. Highstein; C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); S.K.E. Koekkoek (Bas)
textabstractClassical eye-blink conditioning in mutant mice can be used to study the molecular mechanisms underlying associative learning. To measure the kinetic and frequency domain properties of conditioned (tone - periorbital shock procedure) and unconditioned eyelid responses
Full Text Available Startle-induced locomotion is commonly used in Drosophila research to monitor locomotor reactivity and its progressive decline with age or under various neuropathological conditions. A widely used paradigm is startle-induced negative geotaxis (SING, in which flies entrapped in a narrow column react to a gentle mechanical shock by climbing rapidly upwards. Here we combined in vivo manipulation of neuronal activity and splitGFP reconstitution across cells to search for brain neurons and putative circuits that regulate this behavior. We show that the activity of specific clusters of dopaminergic neurons (DANs afferent to the mushroom bodies (MBs modulates SING, and that DAN-mediated SING regulation requires expression of the DA receptor Dop1R1/Dumb, but not Dop1R2/Damb, in intrinsic MB Kenyon cells (KCs. We confirmed our previous observation that activating the MB α'β', but not αβ, KCs decreased the SING response, and we identified further MB neurons implicated in SING control, including KCs of the γ lobe and two subtypes of MB output neurons (MBONs. We also observed that co-activating the αβ KCs antagonizes α'β' and γ KC-mediated SING modulation, suggesting the existence of subtle regulation mechanisms between the different MB lobes in locomotion control. Overall, this study contributes to an emerging picture of the brain circuits modulating locomotor reactivity in Drosophila that appear both to overlap and differ from those underlying associative learning and memory, sleep/wake state and stress-induced hyperactivity.
Patel, Nilam; Vytal, Katherine; Pavletic, Nevia; Stoodley, Catherine; Pine, Daniel S; Grillon, Christian; Ernst, Monique
Threat induces a state of sustained anxiety that can disrupt cognitive processing, and, reciprocally, cognitive processing can modulate an anxiety response to threat. These effects depend on the level of cognitive engagement, which itself varies as a function of task difficulty. In adults, we recently showed that induced anxiety impaired working memory accuracy at low and medium but not high load. Conversely, increasing the task load reduced the physiological correlates of anxiety (anxiety-potentiated startle). The present work examines such threat-cognition interactions as a function of age. We expected threat to more strongly impact working memory in younger individuals by virtue of putatively restricted cognitive resources and weaker emotion regulation. This was tested by examining the influence of age on the interaction of anxiety and working memory in 25 adolescents (10 to 17 years) and 25 adults (22 to 46 years). Working memory load was manipulated using a verbal n-back task. Anxiety was induced using the threat of an aversive loud scream and measured via eyeblink startle. Findings revealed that, in both age groups, accuracy was lower during threat than safe conditions at low and medium but not high load, and reaction times were faster during threat than safe conditions at high load but did not differ at other loads. Additionally, anxiety-potentiated startle was greater during low and medium than high load. Thus, the interactions of anxiety with working memory appear similar in adolescents and adults. Whether these similarities reflect common neural mechanisms would need to be assessed using functional neuroimaging. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Cosme, Danielle; Wiens, Stefan
As a form of attention, mindfulness is qualitatively receptive and non-reactive, and is thought to facilitate adaptive emotional responding. One suggested mechanism is that mindfulness facilitates disengagement from an affective stimulus and thereby decreases affective reactivity. However, mindfulness has been conceptualized as a state, intervention, and trait. Because evidence is mixed as to whether self-reported trait mindfulness decreases affective reactivity, we used a multi-method approach to study the relationship between individual differences in self-reported trait mindfulness and electrocortical, electrodermal, electromyographic, and self-reported responses to emotional pictures. Specifically, while participants (N = 51) passively viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant IAPS pictures, we recorded high-density (128 channels) electrocortical, electrodermal, and electromyographic data to the pictures as well as to acoustic startle probes presented during the pictures. Afterwards, participants rated their subjective valence and arousal while viewing the pictures again. If trait mindfulness spontaneously reduces general emotional reactivity, then for individuals reporting high rather than low mindfulness, response differences between emotional and neutral pictures would show relatively decreased early posterior negativity (EPN) and late positive potential (LPP) amplitudes, decreased skin conductance responses, and decreased subjective ratings for valence and arousal. High mindfulness would also be associated with decreased emotional modulation of startle eyeblink and P3 amplitudes. Although results showed clear effects of emotion on the dependent measures, in general, mindfulness did not moderate these effects. For most measures, effect sizes were small with rather narrow confidence intervals. These data do not support the hypothesis that individual differences in self-reported trait mindfulness are related to spontaneous emotional responses during picture
Full Text Available As a form of attention, mindfulness is qualitatively receptive and non-reactive, and is thought to facilitate adaptive emotional responding. One suggested mechanism is that mindfulness facilitates disengagement from an affective stimulus and thereby decreases affective reactivity. However, mindfulness has been conceptualized as a state, intervention, and trait. Because evidence is mixed as to whether self-reported trait mindfulness decreases affective reactivity, we used a multi-method approach to study the relationship between individual differences in self-reported trait mindfulness and electrocortical, electrodermal, electromyographic, and self-reported responses to emotional pictures. Specifically, while participants (N = 51 passively viewed pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant IAPS pictures, we recorded high-density (128 channels electrocortical, electrodermal, and electromyographic data to the pictures as well as to acoustic startle probes presented during the pictures. Afterwards, participants rated their subjective valence and arousal while viewing the pictures again. If trait mindfulness spontaneously reduces general emotional reactivity, then for individuals reporting high rather than low mindfulness, response differences between emotional and neutral pictures would show relatively decreased early posterior negativity (EPN and late positive potential (LPP amplitudes, decreased skin conductance responses, and decreased subjective ratings for valence and arousal. High mindfulness would also be associated with decreased emotional modulation of startle eyeblink and P3 amplitudes. Although results showed clear effects of emotion on the dependent measures, in general, mindfulness did not moderate these effects. For most measures, effect sizes were small with rather narrow confidence intervals. These data do not support the hypothesis that individual differences in self-reported trait mindfulness are related to spontaneous emotional responses
Full Text Available We describe a treatment alternative for intractable, startle-provoked, epileptic seizures in four children aged between 8 and 14. Three of the four children had symptomatic localization-related epilepsy. They all suffered from intractable epilepsy precipitated by sudden sounds. The fact that seizures tended to occur with high frequency – more than one seizure a day – had a clear impact on daily life. Clinical seizure pattern demonstrated asymmetric tonic posturing in all four children. Three children experienced several seizure types including focal seizure onset. All children had focal neurological signs or learning disabilities or a combination of both. Our noninvasive treatment method using psychoeducational counseling and sound generators was applied in four children, resulting in a seizure frequency reduction of ≥50% in two of them.
Moaddab, Mahsa; Dabrowska, Joanna
Oxytocin (OT) is a hypothalamic neuropeptide that modulates fear and anxiety-like behaviors. Dorsolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST dl ) plays a critical role in the regulation of fear and anxiety, and expresses high levels of OT receptor (OTR). However, the role of OTR neurotransmission within the BNST dl in mediating these behaviors is unknown. Here, we used adult male Sprague-Dawley rats to investigate the role of OTR neurotransmission in the BNST dl in the modulation of the acoustic startle response, as well as in the acquisition and consolidation of conditioned fear using fear potentiated startle (FPS) paradigm. Bilateral intra-BNST dl administration of OT (100 ng) did not affect the acquisition of conditioned fear response. However, intra-BNST dl administration of specific OTR antagonist (OTA), (d(CH 2 ) 5 1 , Tyr(Me) 2 , Thr 4 , Orn 8 , des-Gly-NH 2 9 )-vasotocin, (200 ng), prior to the fear conditioning session, impaired the acquisition of cued fear, without affecting a non-cued fear component of FPS. Neither OTA, nor OT affected baseline startle or shock reactivity during fear conditioning. Therefore, the observed impairment of cued fear after OTA infusion resulted from the specific effect on the formation of cued fear. In contrast to the acquisition, neither OTA nor OT affected the consolidation of FPS, when administered after the completion of fear conditioning session. Taken together, these results reveal the important role of OTR neurotransmission in the BNST dl in the formation of conditioned fear to a discrete cue. This study also highlights the role of the BNST dl in learning to discriminate between threatening and safe stimuli. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Landman, H.M.; Groen, E.L.; Paassen, M.M. van; Bronkhorst, A.W.; Mulder, M.
Objective: A conceptual model is proposed in order to explain pilot performance in surprising and startling situations. Background: Today’s debate around loss of control following in-flight events and the implementation of upset prevention and recovery training has highlighted the importance of
Full Text Available This review covers the effect of drugs affecting anxiety using four psychological procedures for inducing experimental anxiety applied to healthy volunteers and patients with anxiety disorders. The first is aversive conditioning of the skin conductance responses to tones. The second is simulated public speaking, which consists of speaking in front of a video camera, with anxiety being measured with psychometric scales. The third is the Stroop Color-Word test, in which words naming colors are painted in the same or in a different shade, the incongruence generating a cognitive conflict. The last test is a human version of a thoroughly studied animal model of anxiety, fear-potentiated startle, in which the eye-blink reflex to a loud noise is recorded. The evidence reviewed led to the conclusion that the aversive conditioning and potentiated startle tests are based on classical conditioning of anticipatory anxiety. Their sensitivity to benzodiazepine anxiolytics suggests that these models generate an emotional state related to generalized anxiety disorder. On the other hand, the increase in anxiety determined by simulated public speaking is resistant to benzodiazepines and sensitive to drugs affecting serotonergic neurotransmission. This pharmacological profile, together with epidemiological evidence indicating its widespread prevalence, suggests that the emotional state generated by public speaking represents a species-specific response that may be related to social phobia and panic disorder. Because of scant pharmacological data, the status of the Stroop Color-Word test remains uncertain. In spite of ethical and economic constraints, human experimental anxiety constitutes a valuable tool for the study of the pathophysiology of anxiety disorders.
Hawk, Larry W; Yartz, Andrew R; Pelham, William E; Lock, Thomas M
The present study investigated attentional modification of prepulse inhibition of startle among boys with and without attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Two hypotheses were tested: (1) whether ADHD is associated with diminished prepulse inhibition during attended prestimuli, but not ignored prestimuli, and (2) whether methylphenidate selectively increases prepulse inhibition to attended prestimuli among boys with ADHD. Participants were 17 boys with ADHD and 14 controls. Participants completed a tone discrimination task in each of two sessions separated by 1 week. ADHD boys were administered methylphenidate (0.3 mg/kg) in one session and placebo in the other session in a randomized, double-blind fashion. During each series of 72 tones (75 dB; half 1200-Hz, half 400-Hz), participants were paid to attend to one pitch and ignore the other. Bilateral eyeblink electromyogram startle responses were recorded in response to acoustic probes (50-ms, 102-dB white noise) presented following the onset of two-thirds of tones, and during one-third of intertrial intervals. Relative to controls, boys with ADHD exhibited diminished prepulse inhibition 120 ms after onset of attended but not ignored prestimuli following placebo administration. Methylphenidate selectively increased prepulse inhibition to attended prestimuli at 120 ms among boys with ADHD to a level comparable to that of controls, who did not receive methylphenidate. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that ADHD involves diminished selective attention and suggest that methylphenidate ameliorates the symptoms of ADHD, at least in part, by altering an early attentional mechanism.
Full Text Available Cognitive performance is defined as the ability to utilize knowledge, attention, memory, and working memory. In this study, we briefly discuss various markers that have been proposed to predict cognitive performance. Next, we develop a novel approach to characterize cognitive performance by analyzing eye-blink rate variability dynamics. Our findings are based on a sample of 24 subjects. The subjects were given a 5-min resting period prior to a 10-min IQ test. During both stages, eye blinks were recorded from Fp1 and Fp2 electrodes. We found that scale exponents estimated for blink rate variability during rest were correlated with subjects' performance on the subsequent IQ test. This surprising phenomenon could be explained by the person to person variation in concentrations of dopamine in PFC and accumulation of GABA in the visual cortex, as both neurotransmitters play a key role in cognitive processes and affect blinking. This study demonstrates the possibility that blink rate variability dynamics at rest carry information about cognitive performance and can be employed in the assessment of cognitive abilities without taking a test.
Lehtinen, Emilia K; Ucar, Ebru; Glenthøj, Birte Y
Prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI) is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating, which is demonstrated to be impaired in patients with schizophrenia. In addition, a disruption of the circadian rhythm together with blunted melatonin secretion is regularly found in patients...... with schizophrenia and it is theorized that these may contribute to their attentional deficits. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of acute melatonin on healthy human sensorimotor gating. Twenty-one healthy male volunteers were administered melatonin or placebo after which their levels of PPI were...... assessed. Melatonin significantly reduced startle magnitude and ratings of alertness, but did not influence PPI, nor sensitization and habituation. However, when taking baseline scores in consideration, melatonin significantly increased PPI in low scoring individuals while significantly decreasing...
Schmeltzer, Sarah N; Vollmer, Lauren L; Rush, Jennifer E; Weinert, Mychal; Dolgas, Charles M; Sah, Renu
Chronicity of trauma exposure plays an important role in the pathophysiology of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Thus, exposure to multiple traumas on a chronic scale leads to worse outcomes than acute events. The rationale for the current study was to investigate the effects of a single adverse event versus the same event on a background of chronic stress. We hypothesized that a history of chronic stress would lead to worse behavioral outcomes than a single event alone. Male rats (n = 14/group) were exposed to either a single traumatic event in the form of electric foot shocks (acute shock, AS), or to footshocks on a background of chronic stress (chronic variable stress-shock, CVS-S). PTSD-relevant behaviors (fear memory and acoustic startle responses) were measured following 7 d recovery. In line with our hypothesis, CVS-S elicited significant increases in fear acquisition and conditioning versus the AS group. Unexpectedly, CVS-S elicited reduced startle reactivity to an acoustic stimulus in comparison with the AS group. Significant increase in FosB/ΔFosB-like immunostaining was observed in the dentate gyrus, basolateral amygdala and medial prefrontal cortex of CVS-S rats. Assessments of neuropeptide Y (NPY), a stress-regulatory transmitter associated with chronic PTSD, revealed selective reduction in the hippocampus of CVS-S rats. Collectively, our data show that cumulative stress potentiates delayed fear memory and impacts defensive responding. Altered neuronal activation in forebrain limbic regions and reduced NPY may contribute to these phenomena. Our preclinical studies support clinical findings reporting worse PTSD outcomes stemming from cumulative traumatization in contrast to acute trauma.
neurones. Using gene knockdown and a dominant-negative GlyR α4aR278Q mutant, we found that GlyR α4a contributes to touch-evoked escape behaviors in zebrafish. Thus, although GlyR α4 is unlikely to be involved in human startle responses or disease states, this subtype may contribute to escape behaviors in other organisms.
Acevedo, Summer F.; Raber, Jacob
Methamphetamine (MA) use is a growing problem across the United States. Effects of MA include hyperactivity and increased anxiety. Using a mouse model system, we examined behavioral performance in the open field and elevated zero maze and shock-startle response of 12-month-old wild-type mice injected with MA once (1mg/kg) 30 min prior to behavioral testing. MA treatment resulted in behavioral sensitization in the open field, consistent with studies in younger mice. There was an increased activity in the elevated zero maze and an increased shock-startle response 30 and 60 min post-injection. Since histamine mediates some effects of MA in the brain, we assessed whether 12-month-old mice lacking histidine decarboxylase (Hdc−/−), the enzyme required to synthesize histamine, respond differently to MA than wild-type (Hdc+/+) mice. Compared to saline treatment, acute and repeated MA administration increased activity in the open field and measures of anxiety, though more so in Hdc−/− than Hdc+/+ mice. In the elevated zero maze, opposite effects of MA on activity and measures of anxiety were seen in Hdc+/+ mice. In contrast, MA similarly increased the shock-startle response in Hdc−/− and Hdc+/+ mice, compared to saline-treated genotype-matched mice. These results are similar to those in younger mice suggesting that the effects are not age-dependent. Overall, single or repeated MA treatment causes histamine-dependent changes in 12-month-old mice in the open field and elevated zero-maze, but not in the shock-startle response. PMID:21466792
Gillen, Michael William
Recent airline accidents point to a crew's failure to make correct and timely decisions following a sudden and unusual event that startled the crew. This study sought to determine if targeted training could augment decision making during a startle event. Following a startle event cognitive function is impaired for a short duration of time (30-90 seconds). In aviation, critical decisions are often required to be made during this brief, but critical, time frame. A total of 40 volunteer crews (80 individual pilots) were solicited from a global U.S. passenger airline. Crews were briefed that they would fly a profile in the simulator but were not made aware of what the profile would entail. The study participants were asked to complete a survey on their background and flying preferences. Every other crew received training on how to handle a startle event. The training consisted of a briefing and simulator practice. Crew members (subjects) were either presented a low altitude or high altitude scenario to fly in a full-flight simulator. The maneuver scenarios were analyzed using a series of one-way ANOVAs, t-tests and regression for the main effect of training on crew performance. The data indicated that the trained crews flew the maneuver profiles significantly better than the untrained crews and significantly better than the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) standards. Each scenario's sub factors were analyzed using regression to examine for specific predictors of performance. The results indicate that in the case of the high altitude profile, problem diagnosis was a significant factor, in the low altitude profile, time management was also a significant factor. These predicators can be useful in further targeting training. The study's findings suggest that targeted training can help crews manage a startle event, leading to a potential reduction of inflight loss of control accidents. The training was broad and intended to cover an
Bianchin, Marta; Angrilli, Alessandro
Gender differences in emotional responses have been investigated in two groups of students, 22 males and 21 females. Participants watched a set of sixty emotional standardized slides divided into pleasant, neutral and unpleasant, while Startle reflex, Evoked Potentials, Heart Rate, facial EMG and Skin Conductance were recorded. Startle reflex amplitude, an index modulated by amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex and sensitive to aversive emotional stimuli, was overall larger in women. In addition, startle emotion modulation was greater in women with respect to men. Slow Evoked Potentials (400-800 ms), a measure representing the cognitive component of the emotional response, revealed gender differences in the left prefrontal site, with women showing greater positivity to unpleasant compared with pleasant slides while men had greater positivity to pleasant vs. neutral slides. Women, compared with men, perceived all slides as less pleasant and reported greater arousal to unpleasant condition. Results are in line with known functional brain differences, at level of limbic and paralimbic structures, between men and women, and point to biologically grounded greater sensitivity and vulnerability of women to adverse/stressful events. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Rosen, M J; Levin, E C; Hoy, R R
In the obligatory reproductive dependence of a parasite on its host, the parasite must trade the benefit of 'outsourcing' functions like reproduction for the risk of assuming hazards associated with the host. In the present study, we report behavioral adaptations of a parasitic fly, Ormia ochracea, that resemble those of its cricket hosts. Ormia females home in on the male cricket's songs and deposit larvae, which burrow into the cricket, feed and emerge to pupate. Because male crickets call at night, gravid female Ormia in search of hosts are subject to bat predation, in much the same way as female crickets are when responding to male song. We show that Ormia has evolved the same evasive behavior as have crickets: an acoustic startle response to bat-like ultrasound that manifests clearly only during flight. Furthermore, like crickets, Ormia has a sharp response boundary between the frequencies of song and bat cries, resembling categorical perception first described in the context of human speech.
Full Text Available According to the emotion-context insensitivity (ECI hypothesis, major depressive disorder (MDD is associated with a diminished ability to react emotionally to positive stimuli and with blunting of defensive responses to threat. That defensive responses are blunted in MDD seems inconsistent with the conceptualization and diagnostic nosology of MDD. The present study tested the ECI hypothesis in MDD using a threat of shock paradigm. Twenty-eight patients with MDD (35.5±10.4 years were compared with 28 controls (35.1±7.4 years. Participants were exposed to three conditions: no shock, predictable shock, and unpredictable shock. Startle magnitude was used to assess defensive responses. Inconsistent with the ECI hypothesis, startle potentiation to predictable and unpredictable shock was not reduced in the MDD group. Rather, MDD patients showed elevated startle throughout testing as well as increased contextual anxiety during the placement of the shock electrodes and in the predictable condition. A regression analysis indicated that illness duration and Beck depression inventory scores explained 37% (p<.005 of the variance in patients' startle reactivity. MDD is not associated with emotional blunting but rather enhanced defensive reactivity during anticipation of harm. These results do not support a strong version of the ECI hypothesis. Understanding the nature of stimuli or situations that lead to blunted or enhanced defensive reactivity will provide better insight into dysfunctional emotional experience in MDD.
Grillon, Christian; Franco-Chaves, Jose A.; Mateus, Camilo F.; Ionescu, Dawn F.; Zarate, Carlos A.
According to the emotion-context insensitivity (ECI) hypothesis, major depressive disorder (MDD) is associated with a diminished ability to react emotionally to positive stimuli and with blunting of defensive responses to threat. That defensive responses are blunted in MDD seems inconsistent with the conceptualization and diagnostic nosology of MDD. The present study tested the ECI hypothesis in MDD using a threat of shock paradigm. Twenty-eight patients with MDD (35.5±10.4 years) were compared with 28 controls (35.1±7.4 years). Participants were exposed to three conditions: no shock, predictable shock, and unpredictable shock. Startle magnitude was used to assess defensive responses. Inconsistent with the ECI hypothesis, startle potentiation to predictable and unpredictable shock was not reduced in the MDD group. Rather, MDD patients showed elevated startle throughout testing as well as increased contextual anxiety during the placement of the shock electrodes and in the predictable condition. A regression analysis indicated that illness duration and Beck depression inventory scores explained 37% (p<.005) of the variance in patients’ startle reactivity. MDD is not associated with emotional blunting but rather enhanced defensive reactivity during anticipation of harm. These results do not support a strong version of the ECI hypothesis. Understanding the nature of stimuli or situations that lead to blunted or enhanced defensive reactivity will provide better insight into dysfunctional emotional experience in MDD. PMID:23951057
Bortolato, Marco; Frau, Roberto; Aru, Gian Nicola; Orrù, Marco; Gessa, Gian Luigi
Since baclofen, the prototypical GABA(B) receptor agonist, is known to reduce the activity of dopaminergic mesolimbic neurons, a putative antipsychotic property of this compound has been suggested, but the evidence for this is still controversial. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the effects of baclofen on the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response (ASR), a behavioral paradigm considered to be one of the most powerful tools for the evaluation of sensorimotor gating and for the screening of antipsychotics. We tested the effects of baclofen (1.25, 2.5, 5 and 10 mg/kg IP) in rats, per se and in co-treatment with some of the substances known to induce a robust reduction of PPI, such as apomorphine (0.25 mg/kg SC) and dizocilpine (0.1 mg/kg SC). Finally, in order to ascertain whether the effects of baclofen could be ascribed to its activity on GABA(B) receptors, we analyzed whether its action could be prevented by pretreatment with SCH 50911, a selective GABA(B) receptor antagonist (20 mg/kg IP). All the experiments were carried out using standard procedures for the assessment of PPI of the ASR. Baclofen per se produced no significant change in PPI parameters. Moreover, while no effect on apomorphine-mediated alterations in PPI parameters was observed, baclofen proved able to reverse dizocilpine-induced PPI disruption, and this effect was significantly prevented by SCH 50911. On the other hand, this last compound exhibited no effects per se at the same dose. These results indicate that GABA(B) receptors are implicated in the neurobiological circuitry accounting for glutamatergic action in sensorimotor gating, and therefore can be proposed as putative new targets in the pharmacological therapy of psychotic disorders. Further studies should be addressed to evaluate more closely the clinical efficacy of baclofen in this respect.
Baschnagel, Joseph S; Hawk, Larry W; Colder, Craig R; Richards, Jerry B
In humans, prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle is greater during attended prestimuli than it is during ignored prestimuli, whereas in rats, most work has focused on passive PPI, which does not require attention. In the work described in this article, researchers developed a paradigm to assess attentional modification of PPI in rats using motivationally salient prepulses. Water-deprived rats were either conditioned to attend to a conditioned stimulus (CS; 1-s, 7-dB increase in white noise) paired with water (CS(+) group), or they received uncorrelated presentations of white noise and water (CS0 group). After 10 conditioning sessions, startle probes (50 ms, 115 dB) were introduced, with the CS serving as a continuous prepulse. Three experiments examined PPI across a range of prepulse intensities (4-10 dB) and stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs; 30-960 ms). PPI was consistently reduced in the CS(+) group, particularly with a 10-dB prepulse and a 60-ms SOA. Thus, PPI in rats differed between attended and ignored prestimuli, but the effect was reversed in the results of research with humans. A fourth study eliminated the group difference by reversing the CS-water contingency. Methodological and motivational hypotheses regarding the current findings are discussed.
Regina E. McGlinchey
Full Text Available This study examined the performance of veterans and active duty personnel who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and/or Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF on a basic associative learning task. Eighty-eight individuals participated in this study. All received a comprehensive clinical evaluation to determine the presence and severity of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD and traumatic brain injury (TBI. The eyeblink conditioning task was composed of randomly intermixed delay and trace conditioned stimulus (CS and unconditioned stimulus (US pairs (acquisition followed by a series of CS only trials (extinction. Results revealed that those with a clinical diagnosis of PTSD or a diagnosis of PTSD with comorbid mTBI acquired delay and trace conditioned responses (CRs to levels and at rates similar to a deployed control group, thus suggesting intact basic associative learning. Differential extinction impairment was observed in the two clinical groups. Acquisition of CRs for both delay and trace conditioning, as well as extinction of trace CRs, was associated with alcoholic behavior across all participants. These findings help characterize the learning and memory function of individuals with PTSD and mTBI from OEF/OIF and raise the alarming possibility that the use of alcohol in this group may lead to more significant cognitive dysfunction.
Ferrari, A; Sghedoni, A; Alboresi, S; Pedroni, E; Lombardi, F
Recently authors have begun to emphasize the non-motor aspects of Cerebral Palsy and their influence on motor control and recovery prognosis. Much has been written about single clinical signs (i.e., startle reaction) but so far no definitions of the six perceptual signs presented in this study have appeared in literature. This study defines 6 signs (startle reaction, upper limbs in startle position, frequent eye blinking, posture freezing, averted eye gaze, grimacing) suggestive of perceptual disorders in children with cerebral palsy and measures agreement on sign recognition among independent observers and consistency of opinions over time. Observational study with both cross-sectional and prospective components. Fifty-six videos presented to observers in random order. Videos were taken from 19 children with a bilateral form of cerebral palsy referred to the Children Rehabilitation Unit in Reggio Emilia. Thirty-five rehabilitation professionals from all over Italy: 9 doctors and 26 physiotherapists. Measure of agreement among 35 independent observers was compiled from a sample of 56 videos. Interobserver reliability was determined using the K index of Fleiss and reliability intra-observer was calculated by the Spearman correlation index between ranks (rho - ρ). Percentage of agreement between observers and Gold Standard was used as criterion validity. Interobserver reliability was moderate for startle reaction, upper limb in startle position, adverted eye gaze and eye-blinking and fair for posture freezing and grimacing. Intraobserver reliability remained consistent over time. Criterion validity revealed very high agreement between independent observer evaluation and gold standard. Semiotics of perceptual disorders can be used as a specific and sensitive instrument in order to identify a new class of patients within existing heterogeneous clinical types of bilateral cerebral palsy forms and could help clinicians in identifying functional prognosis. To provide
Carlsen, Anthony N; Mackinnon, Colum D
In the present experiment, the temporal predictability of response time was systematically manipulated to examine its effect on the time course of motor pre-programming and release of the intended movement by an acoustic startle stimulus. Participants performed a ballistic right wrist extension task in four different temporal conditions: 1) a variable foreperiod simple RT task, 2) a fixed foreperiod simple RT task, 3) a low resolution countdown anticipation-timing task, and 4) a high resolution anticipation-timing task. For each task, a startling acoustic stimulus (124dB) was presented at several intervals prior to the "go" signal ("go" -150ms, -500ms, and -1500ms). Results from the startle trials showed that the time course of movement pre-programming was affected by the temporal uncertainty of the imperative "go" cue. These findings demonstrate that the resolution of the timing information regarding the response cue has a marked effect on the timing of movement preparation such that under conditions of low temporal resolution, participants plan the movement well in advance in accordance with the anticipated probability of onset of the cue, whereas movement preparation is delayed until less than 500ms prior to response time when continuous temporal information is provided. Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Stephanie E Tanninen
Full Text Available Memory in trace eyeblink conditioning is mediated by an inter-connected network that involves the hippocampus (HPC, several neocortical regions, and the cerebellum. This network reorganizes after learning as the center of the network shifts from the HPC to the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC. Despite the network reorganization, the lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC plays a stable role in expressing recently acquired HPC-dependent memory as well as remotely acquired mPFC-dependent memory. Entorhinal involvement in recent memory expression may be attributed to its previously proposed interactions with the HPC. In contrast, it remains unknown how the LEC participates in memory expression after the network disengages from the HPC. The present study tested the possibility that the LEC and mPFC functionally interact during remote memory expression by examining the impact of pharmacological inactivation of the LEC in one hemisphere and the mPFC in the contralateral hemisphere on memory expression in rats. Memory expression one day and one month after learning was significantly impaired after LEC-mPFC inactivation; however, the degree of impairment was comparable to that after unilateral LEC inactivation. Unilateral mPFC inactivation had no effect on recent or remote memory expression. These results suggest that the integrity of the LEC in both hemispheres is necessary for memory expression. Functional interactions between the LEC and mPFC should therefore be tested with an alternative design.
The tactile-stimulated startle response of tadpoles: acceleration performance and its relationship to the anatomy of wood frog (Rana sylvatica), bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), and American toad (Bufo americanus) tadpoles.
I described the tactile-stimulated startle response (TSR) of wood frog (Rana sylvatica), bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), and American toad (Bufo americanus) tadpoles. One purpose was to rank species in terms of maximum acceleration performance. Also, I tested whether anatomical indicators of performance potential were predictive of realized performance. TSRs were elicited in a laboratory setting, filmed at 250 Hz, and digitally analyzed. TSRs began with two, initial body curls during which tadpoles showed a broad spectrum of movement patterns. TSR performance was quantified by maximum linear acceleration and maximum rotational acceleration of the head/body, both of which tended to occur immediately upon initiation of motion ( wood frog > American toad. The species' rank order for the anatomical indicator of rotational acceleration potential was bullfrog > wood frog = American toad. Thus, the anatomical indicators roughly predicted the rank order of interspecific average performance. However, the anatomical indicators did not correlate with individual tadpole performance. Variability in behavioral patterns may obscure the connection between anatomy and performance. This is seen in the current lack of intraspecific correlation between a morphological indicator of acceleration capacity and acceleration performance.
Rice, Clinton; Ghorai, Jugal K; Zalewski, Kathryn; Weber, Daniel N
Lead (Pb(2+)) exposure continues to be an important concern for fish populations. Research is required to assess the long-term behavioral effects of low-level concentrations of Pb(2+) and the physiological mechanisms that control those behaviors. Newly fertilized zebrafish embryos (max) and escape time. With increasing exposure concentrations, a larger number of larvae failed to respond to even the initial tap and, for those that did respond, ceased responding earlier than control larvae. These differences were more pronounced at a frequency of 4 taps/s. (2) Response to a visual stimulus: Fish, exposed as embryos (2-24 hpf) to Pb(2+) (0-10 μM) were tested as adults under low light conditions (≈ 60 μW/m(2)) for visual responses to a rotating black bar. Visual responses were significantly degraded at Pb(2+) concentrations of 30 nM. These data suggest that zebrafish are viable models for short- and long-term sensorimotor deficits induced by acute, low-level developmental Pb(2+) exposures. Copyright Â© 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Paul C.P. Curtin
Full Text Available Prepulse inhibition (PPI is understood as an inhibitory process that attenuates sensory flow during early stages (20-1000ms of information processing. Here, we applied in vivo electrophysiology and pharmacology to determine if prepulse inhibition (PPI is mediated by glycine receptors (GlyRs and/or GABAA receptors (GABAARs in the goldfish auditory startle circuit. Specifically, we used selective antagonists to dissect the contributions of target receptors on sound-evoked postsynaptic potentials (PSPs recorded in the neurons that initiate startle, the Mauthner-cells (M-cell. We found that strychnine, a GlyR antagonist, disrupted a fast-activated (5 ms and rapidly (< 50ms decaying (feed-forward inhibitory process that disrupts PPI at 20 ms prepulse/pulse inter-stimulus intervals (ISI. Additionally we observed increases of the evoked postsynaptic potential (PSP peak amplitude (+87.43 ± 21.53%; N=9 and duration (+204 ± 48.91%, N=9. In contrast, treatment with bicuculline, a GABAAR antagonist, caused a general reduction in PPI across all tested ISIs (20-500 ms, essentially eliminating PPI at ISIs from 20-100 ms. Bicuculline also increased PSP peak amplitude (+133.8 ± 10.3%, N=5 and PSP duration (+284.95 ± 65.64%, N=5. Treatment with either antagonist also tonically increased post-synaptic excitability in the M-cells, reflected by an increase in the magnitude of antidromically-evoked action potentials (APs by 15.07 ± 3.21%, N=7 and 16.23 ± 7.08%, N=5 for strychnine and bicuculline, respectively. These results suggest that GABAARs and GlyRs are functionally segregated to short- and longer-lasting sound-evoked (phasic inhibitory processes that contribute to PPI, with the mediation of tonic inhibition by both receptor systems being critical for gain control within the M-cell startle circuit.
Aho, Vilma; Vainikka, Maija; Puttonen, Henri A J; Ikonen, Heidi M K; Salminen, Tiia; Panula, Pertti; Porkka-Heiskanen, Tarja; Wigren, Henna-Kaisa
Sleep-or sleep-like states-have been reported in adult and larval zebrafish using behavioural criteria. These reversible quiescent periods, displaying circadian rhythmicity, have been used in pharmacological, genetic and neuroanatomical studies of sleep-wake regulation. However, one of the important criteria for sleep, namely sleep homeostasis, has not been demonstrated unequivocally. To study rest homeostasis in zebrafish larvae, we rest-deprived 1-week-old larvae with a novel, ecologically relevant method: flow of water. Stereotyped startle responses to sensory stimuli were recorded after the rest deprivation to study arousal threshold using a high-speed camera, providing an appropriate time resolution to detect species-specific behavioural responses occurring in a millisecond time-scale. Rest-deprived larvae exhibited fewer startle responses than control larvae during the remaining dark phase and the beginning of the light phase, which can be interpreted as a sign of rest homeostasis-often used as equivalent of sleep homeostasis. To address sleep homeostasis further, we probed the adenosinergic system, which in mammals regulates sleep homeostasis. The adenosine A1 receptor agonist, cyclohexyladenosine, administered during the light period, decreased startle responses and increased immobility bouts, while the adenosine antagonist, caffeine, administered during the dark period, decreased immobility bouts. These results suggest that the regulation of sleep homeostasis in zebrafish larvae consists of the same elements as that of other species. © 2017 European Sleep Research Society.
Dalla, Christina; Shors, Tracey J
Males and females learn and remember differently at different times in their lives. These differences occur in most species, from invertebrates to humans. We review here sex differences as they occur in laboratory rodent species. We focus on classical and operant conditioning paradigms, including classical eyeblink conditioning, fear-conditioning, active avoidance and conditioned taste aversion. Sex differences have been reported during acquisition, retention and extinction in most of these paradigms. In general, females perform better than males in the classical eyeblink conditioning, in fear-potentiated startle and in most operant conditioning tasks, such as the active avoidance test. However, in the classical fear-conditioning paradigm, in certain lever-pressing paradigms and in the conditioned taste aversion, males outperform females or are more resistant to extinction. Most sex differences in conditioning are dependent on organizational effects of gonadal hormones during early development of the brain, in addition to modulation by activational effects during puberty and adulthood. Critically, sex differences in performance account for some of the reported effects on learning and these are discussed throughout the review. Because so many mental disorders are more prevalent in one sex than the other, it is important to consider sex differences in learning when applying animal models of learning for these disorders. Finally, we discuss how sex differences in learning continue to alter the brain throughout the lifespan. Thus, sex differences in learning are not only mediated by sex differences in the brain, but also contribute to them.
Cardona, Genís; Gómez, Marcelo; Quevedo, Lluïsa; Gispets, Joan
A study was designed to evaluate the efficacy of three different strategies aiming at increasing spontaneous eyeblink rate (SEBR) during computer use. A total of 12 subjects (5 female) with a mean age of 28.7 years were instructed to read a text presented on a computer display terminal during 15min. Four reading sessions (reference and three "blinking events" [BE]) were programmed in which SEBR was digitally recorded. "Blinking events" were based on either a slight distortion of the text characters or on the presentation of a white screen instead of the text, with or without accompanying blinking instructions. All BE had a duration of 20ms and occurred every 15s. Participants graded the intrusiveness of each BE configuration, and the number of lines participants read in each session was recorded. Data from 11 subjects was analysed. A statistically significant difference in SEBR was encountered between the experimental configuration consisting on a white screen plus blinking instructions (7.8 blinks/min) and both reference (5.2 blinks/min; p=0.049) and white screen without blinking instructions (4.8 blinks/min; p=0.038). All three BE had superior levels of intrusiveness than reference conditions, although the performance of participants (line count) was not compromised. The joint contribution of white screen and blinking instructions has been shown to result in a short term improvement in blinking rate in the present sample of non-dry eye computer users. Further work is necessary to improve the acceptance of any BE aiming at influencing SEBR. Copyright © 2014 British Contact Lens Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Background The Grin1 (glutamate receptor, ionotropic, NMDA1) gene expresses a subunit of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors that is considered to play an important role in excitatory neurotransmission, synaptic plasticity, and brain development. Grin1 is a candidate susceptibility gene for neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In our previous study, we examined an N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-generated mutant mouse strain (Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+) that has a non-synonymous mutation in Grin1. These mutant mice showed hyperactivity, increased novelty-seeking to objects, and abnormal social interactions. Therefore, Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ mice may serve as a potential animal model of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, other behavioral characteristics related to these disorders, such as working memory function and sensorimotor gating, have not been fully explored in these mutant mice. In this study, to further investigate the behavioral phenotypes of Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ mice, we subjected them to a comprehensive battery of behavioral tests. Results There was no significant difference in nociception between Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ and wild-type mice. The mutants did not display any abnormalities in the Porsolt forced swim and tail suspension tests. We confirmed the previous observations that the locomotor activity of these mutant mice increased in the open field and home cage activity tests. They displayed abnormal anxiety-like behaviors in the light/dark transition and the elevated plus maze tests. Both contextual and cued fear memory were severely deficient in the fear conditioning test. The mutant mice exhibited slightly impaired working memory in the eight-arm radial maze test. The startle amplitude was markedly decreased in Grin1Rgsc174/Grin1+ mice, whereas no significant differences between genotypes were detected in the prepulse inhibition (PPI) test. The mutant mice showed no obvious
Constantinou, Elena; Panayiotou, Georgia; Theodorou, Marios
Findings on alexithymic emotion difficulties have been inconsistent. We examined potential differences between alexithymic and control participants in general arousal, reactivity, facial and subjective expression, emotion labeling, and covariation between emotion response systems. A depth of processing intervention was introduced. Fifty-four participants (27 alexithymic), selected using the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20, completed an imagery experiment (imagining joy, fear and neutral scripts), under instructions for shallow or deep emotion processing. Heart rate, skin conductance, facial electromyography and startle reflex were recorded along with subjective ratings. Results indicated hypo-reactivity to emotion among high alexithymic individuals, smaller and slower startle responses, and low covariation between physiology and self-report. No deficits in facial expression, labeling and emotion ratings were identified. Deep processing was associated with increased physiological reactivity and lower perceived dominance and arousal in high alexithymia. Findings suggest a tendency for avoidance of intense, unpleasant emotions and less defensive action preparation in alexithymia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Prenatal immune challenge in rats: altered responses to dopaminergic and glutamatergic agents, prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle, and reduced route-based learning as a function of maternal body weight gain after prenatal exposure to poly IC.
Vorhees, Charles V; Graham, Devon L; Braun, Amanda A; Schaefer, Tori L; Skelton, Matthew R; Richtand, Neil M; Williams, Michael T
Prenatal maternal immune activation has been used to test the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Most of the data are in mouse models; far less is available for rats. We previously showed that maternal weight change in response to the immune activator polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (Poly IC) in rats differentially affects offspring. Therefore, we treated gravid Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats i.p. on embryonic day 14 with 8 mg/kg of Poly IC or Saline. The Poly IC group was divided into those that lost or gained the least weight, Poly IC (L), versus those that gained the most weight, Poly IC (H), following treatment. The study design controlled for litter size, litter sampling, sex distribution, and test experience. We found no effects of Poly IC on elevated zero maze, open-field activity, object burying, light-dark test, straight channel swimming, Morris water maze spatial acquisition, reversal, or shift navigation or spatial working or reference memory, or conditioned contextual or cued fear or latent inhibition. The Poly IC (H) group showed a significant decrease in the rate of route-based learning when visible cues were unavailable in the Cincinnati water maze and reduced prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle in females, but not males. The Poly IC (L) group exhibited altered responses to acute pharmacological challenges: exaggerated hyperactivity in response to (+)-amphetamine and an attenuated hyperactivity in response to MK-801. This model did not exhibit the cognitive, or latent inhibition deficits reported in Poly IC-treated rats but showed changes in response to drugs acting on neurotransmitter systems implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia (dopaminergic hyperfunction and glutamatergic hypofunction). Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Vollenweider, Franz X; Csomor, Philipp A; Knappe, Bernhard; Geyer, Mark A; Quednow, Boris B
Schizophrenia patients exhibit impairments in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response. Hallucinogenic 5-HT(2A) receptor agonists are used for animal models of schizophrenia because they mimic some symptoms of schizophrenia in humans and induce PPI deficits in animals. Nevertheless, one report indicates that the 5-HT(2A) receptor agonist psilocybin increases PPI in healthy humans. Hence, we investigated these inconsistent results by assessing the dose-dependent effects of psilocybin on PPI in healthy humans. Sixteen subjects each received placebo or 115, 215, and 315 microg/kg of psilocybin at 4-week intervals in a randomized and counterbalanced order. PPI at 30-, 60-, 120-, 240-, and 2000-ms interstimulus intervals (ISIs) was measured 90 and 165 min after drug intake, coinciding with the peak and post-peak effects of psilocybin. The effects of psilocybin on psychopathological core dimensions and sustained attention were assessed by the Altered States of Consciousness Rating Scale (5D-ASC) and the Frankfurt Attention Inventory (FAIR). Psilocybin dose-dependently reduced PPI at short (30 ms), had no effect at medium (60 ms), and increased PPI at long (120-2000 ms) ISIs, without affecting startle reactivity or habituation. Psilocybin dose-dependently impaired sustained attention and increased all 5D-ASC scores with exception of Auditory Alterations. Moreover, psilocybin-induced impairments in sustained attention performance were positively correlated with reduced PPI at the 30 ms ISI and not with the concomitant increases in PPI observed at long ISIs. These results confirm the psilocybin-induced increase in PPI at long ISIs and reveal that psilocybin also produces a decrease in PPI at short ISIs that is correlated with impaired attention and consistent with deficient PPI in schizophrenia.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Prepulse inhibition (PPI of the startle response is an important tool to investigate the biology of schizophrenia. PPI is usually observed by use of a startle reflex such as blinking following an intense sound. A similar phenomenon has not been reported for cortical responses. Results In 12 healthy subjects, change-related cortical activity in response to an abrupt increase of sound pressure by 5 dB above the background of 65 dB SPL (test stimulus was measured using magnetoencephalography. The test stimulus evoked a clear cortical response peaking at around 130 ms (Change-N1m. In Experiment 1, effects of the intensity of a prepulse (0.5 ~ 5 dB on the test response were examined using a paired stimulation paradigm. In Experiment 2, effects of the interval between the prepulse and test stimulus were examined using interstimulus intervals (ISIs of 50 ~ 350 ms. When the test stimulus was preceded by the prepulse, the Change-N1m was more strongly inhibited by a stronger prepulse (Experiment 1 and a shorter ISI prepulse (Experiment 2. In addition, the amplitude of the test Change-N1m correlated positively with both the amplitude of the prepulse-evoked response and the degree of inhibition, suggesting that subjects who are more sensitive to the auditory change are more strongly inhibited by the prepulse. Conclusions Since Change-N1m is easy to measure and control, it would be a valuable tool to investigate mechanisms of sensory gating or the biology of certain mental diseases such as schizophrenia.
Zaman, Jonas; Madden, Victoria J; Iven, Julie; Wiech, Katja; Weltens, Nathalie; Ly, Huynh Giao; Vlaeyen, Johan W S; Van Oudenhove, Lukas; Van Diest, Ilse
A growing body of research has identified fear of visceral sensations as a potential mechanism in the development and maintenance of visceral pain disorders. However, the extent to which such learned fear affects visceroception remains unclear. To address this question, we used a differential fear conditioning paradigm with nonpainful esophageal balloon distensions of 2 different intensities as conditioning stimuli (CSs). The experiment comprised of preacquisition, acquisition, and postacquisition phases during which participants categorized the CSs with respect to their intensity. The CS+ was always followed by a painful electrical stimulus (unconditioned stimulus) during the acquisition phase and in 60% of the trials during postacquisition. The second stimulus (CS-) was never associated with pain. Analyses of galvanic skin and startle eyeblink responses as physiological markers of successful conditioning showed increased fear responses to the CS+ compared with the CS-, but only in the group with the low-intensity stimulus as CS+. Computational modeling of response times and response accuracies revealed that differential fear learning affected perceptual decision-making about the intensities of visceral sensations such that sensations were more likely to be categorized as more intense. These results suggest that associative learning might indeed contribute to visceral hypersensitivity in functional gastrointestinal disorders. This study shows that associative fear learning biases intensity judgements of visceral sensations toward perceiving such sensations as more intense. Learning-induced alterations in visceroception might therefore contribute to the development or maintenance of visceral pain. Copyright © 2017 American Pain Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
In addition to the extensive evidence in animals, we previously showed that disrupting reconsolidation by noradrenergic blockade produced amnesia for the original fear response in humans. Interestingly, the declarative memory for the fear association remained intact. These results asked for a solid replication. Moreover, given the constructive nature of memories, the intact recollection of the fear association could eventually 'rebuild' the fear memory, resulting in the spontaneous recovery of the fear response. Yet, perseverance of the amnesic effects would have substantial clinical implications, as even the most effective treatments for psychiatric disorders display high percentages of relapse. Using a differential fear conditioning procedure in humans, we replicated our previous findings by showing that administering propranolol (40mg) prior to memory reactivation eliminated the startle fear response 24h later. But most importantly, this effect persisted at one month follow-up. Notably, the propranolol manipulation not only left the declarative memory for the acquired contingency untouched, but also skin conductance discrimination. In addition, a close association between declarative knowledge and skin conductance responses was found. These findings are in line with the supposed double dissociation of fear conditioning and declarative knowledge relative to the amygdala and hippocampus in humans. They support the view that skin conductance conditioning primarily reflects contingency learning, whereas the startle response is a rather specific measure of fear. Furthermore, the results indicate the absence of a causal link between the actual knowledge of a fear association and its fear response, even though they often operate in parallel. Interventions targeting the amygdalar fear memory may be essential in specifically and persistently dampening the emotional impact of fear. From a clinical and ethical perspective, disrupting reconsolidation points to promising
Longenecker, R J; Galazyuk, A V
Recently prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR) became a popular technique for tinnitus assessment in laboratory animals. This method confers a significant advantage over the previously used time-consuming behavioral approaches utilizing basic mechanisms of conditioning. Although this technique has been successfully used to assess tinnitus in different laboratory animals, many of the finer details of this methodology have not been described enough to be replicated, but are critical for tinnitus assessment. Here we provide detail description of key procedures and methodological issues that provide guidance for newcomers with the process of learning to correctly apply gap detection techniques for tinnitus assessment in laboratory animals. The major categories of these issues include: refinement of hardware for best performance, optimization of stimulus parameters, behavioral considerations, and identification of optimal strategies for data analysis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Tinnitus Neuroscience. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.
McGinnis, Ellen W; McGinnis, Ryan S; Muzik, Maria; Hruschak, Jessica; Lopez-Duran, Nestor L; Perkins, Noel C; Fitzgerald, Kate; Rosenblum, Katherine L
Temporal phases of threat response, including potential threat (anxiety), acute threat (startle, fear), and post-threat response modulation, have been identified as the underlying markers of anxiety disorders. Objective measures of response during these phases may help identify children at risk for anxiety; however, the complexity of current assessment techniques prevent their adoption in many research and clinical contexts. We propose an alternative technology, an inertial measurement unit (IMU), that enables noninvasive measurement of the movements associated with threat response, and test its ability to detect threat response phases in young children at a heightened risk for developing anxiety. We quantified the motion of 18 children (3-7 years old) during an anxiety-/fear-provoking behavioral task using an IMU. Specifically, measurements from a single IMU secured to the child's waist were used to extract root-mean-square acceleration and angular velocity in the horizontal and vertical directions, and tilt and yaw range of motion during each threat response phase. IMU measurements detected expected differences in child motion by threat phase. Additionally, potential threat motion was positively correlated to familial anxiety risk, startle range of motion was positively correlated with child internalizing symptoms, and response modulation motion was negatively correlated to familial anxiety risk. Results suggest differential theory-driven threat response phases and support previous literature connecting maternal child risk to anxiety with behavioral measures using more feasible objective methods. This is the first study demonstrating the utility of an IMU for characterizing the motion of young children to mark the phases of threat response modulation. The technique provides a novel and objective measure of threat response for mental health researchers.
Kim, Yong-Sik; Harry, G Jean; Kang, Hong Soon; Goulding, David; Wine, Rob N; Kissling, Grace E; Liao, Grace; Jetten, Anton M
Previously, deficiency in the expression of the nuclear orphan receptor TAK1 was found to be associated with delayed cerebellar granule cell migration and Purkinje cell maturation with a permanent deficit in foliation of lobules VI–VII, suggesting a role for TAK1 in cerebellum development. In this study, we confirm that TAK1-deficient (TAK1(−/−)) mice have a smaller cerebellum and exhibit a disruption of lobules VI–VII. We extended these studies and show that at postnatal day 7, TAK1(−/−) mice exhibit a delay in monolayer maturation of dysmorphic calbindin 28K-positive Purkinje cells. The astrocyte-specific glutamate transporter (GLAST) was expressed within Bergmann fibers and internal granule cell layer at significantly lower levels in the cerebellum of TAK1(−/−) mice. At PND21, Golgi-positive Purkinje cells in TAK1(−/−) mice displayed a smaller soma (18%) and shorter distance to first branch point (35%). Neuronal death was not observed in TAK1(−/−) mice at PND21; however, activated microglia were present in the cerebellum, suggestive of earlier cell death. These structural deficits in the cerebellum were not sufficient to alter motor strength, coordination, or activity levels; however, deficits in acoustic startle response, prepulse startle inhibition, and social interactions were observed. Reactions to a novel environment were inhibited in a light/dark chamber, open-field, and home-cage running wheel. TAK1(−/−) mice displayed a plateau in performance on the running wheel, suggesting a deficit in learning to coordinate performance on a motor task. These data indicate that TAK1 is an important transcriptional modulator of cerebellar development and neurodevelopmentally regulated behavior.
Chen, Zuyue; Parkkonen, Lauri; Wei, Jingkuan; Dong, Jin-Run; Ma, Yuanye; Carlson, Synnöve
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) refers to a decreased response to a startling stimulus when another weaker stimulus precedes it. Most PPI studies have focused on the physiological startle reflex and fewer have reported the PPI of cortical responses. We recorded local field potentials (LFPs) in four monkeys and investigated whether the PPI of auditory cortical responses (alpha, beta, and gamma oscillations and evoked potentials) can be demonstrated in the caudolateral belt of the superior temporal gyrus (STGcb). We also investigated whether the presence of a conspecific, which draws attention away from the auditory stimuli, affects the PPI of auditory cortical responses. The PPI paradigm consisted of Pulse-only and Prepulse + Pulse trials that were presented randomly while the monkey was alone (ALONE) and while another monkey was present in the same room (ACCOMP). The LFPs to the Pulse were significantly suppressed by the Prepulse thus, demonstrating PPI of cortical responses in the STGcb. The PPI-related inhibition of the N1 amplitude of the evoked responses and cortical oscillations to the Pulse were not affected by the presence of a conspecific. In contrast, gamma oscillations and the amplitude of the N1 response to Pulse-only were suppressed in the ACCOMP condition compared to the ALONE condition. These findings demonstrate PPI in the monkey STGcb and suggest that the PPI of auditory cortical responses in the monkey STGcb is a pre-attentive inhibitory process that is independent of attentional modulation.
Salem, Lise C; Hejl, Anne-Mette; Garde, Ellen
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response, a measure for sensorimotor gating, exhibits a relatively high inter-individual variability in elderly subjects. The aim of this study was to investigate whether white matter hyperintensities (WMH), frequently identified on cranial magnetic...... rated visually on craniel MRI FLAIR images using the Fazekas scale. WMH were identified in 70% of all subjects. The latency to peak of the startle response increased significantly with increasing WMH load, whereas the inhibition of the startle response (PPI) was neither significantly related...
Swerdlow, Neal R; Light, Gregory A; Sprock, Joyce; Calkins, Monica E; Green, Michael F; Greenwood, Tiffany A; Gur, Raquel E; Gur, Ruben C; Lazzeroni, Laura C; Nuechterlein, Keith H; Radant, Allen D; Ray, Amrita; Seidman, Larry J; Siever, Larry J; Silverman, Jeremy M; Stone, William S; Sugar, Catherine A; Tsuang, Debby W; Tsuang, Ming T; Turetsky, Bruce I; Braff, David L
Startle inhibition by weak prepulses (PPI) is studied to understand the biology of information processing in schizophrenia patients and healthy comparison subjects (HCS). The Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia (COGS) identified associations between PPI and single nucleotide polymorphisms in schizophrenia probands and unaffected relatives, and linkage analyses extended evidence for the genetics of PPI deficits in schizophrenia in the COGS-1 family study. These findings are being extended in a 5-site "COGS-2" study of 1800 patients and 1200 unrelated HCS to facilitate genetic analyses. We describe a planned interim analysis of COGS-2 PPI data. Eyeblink startle was measured in carefully screened HCS and schizophrenia patients (n=1402). Planned analyses of PPI (60 ms intervals) assessed effects of diagnosis, sex and test site, PPI-modifying effects of medications and smoking, and relationships between PPI and neurocognitive measures. 884 subjects met strict inclusion criteria. ANOVA of PPI revealed significant effects of diagnosis (p=0.0005) and sex (pschizophrenia PPI differences were greatest among patients not taking 2nd generation antipsychotics, and were independent of smoking status. Modest but significant relationships were detected between PPI and performance in specific neurocognitive measures. The COGS-2 multi-site study detects schizophrenia-related PPI deficits reported in single-site studies, including patterns related to diagnosis, prepulse interval, sex, medication and other neurocognitive measures. Site differences were detected and explored. The target COGS-2 schizophrenia "endophenotype" of reduced PPI should prove valuable for identifying and confirming schizophrenia risk genes in future analyses. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Frederico Dahne Kliemann
Full Text Available Os autores relatam o caso de um paciente apresentando crises de sobressalto provocadas por estímulos auditivos, sensitivos e visuais, sem crises epilépticas espontâneas nem retardo psicomotor. Estudam os aspectos clínicos e eletrencefalográficos e revisam a situação da entidade entre as assim chamadas epilepsias reflexas.The case of a patient presenting startle seizures provoked by acoustic, sensitive and visual stimuli who did not present spontaneous epileptic seizures and had no psychomotor retard is reported. The clinical and electroencephalographic aspects with special mention to the finding of exaggerated evoked potentials in the vertex are discussed. The situation of the disease among reflex epilepsies is revised.
Williams Michael T
Full Text Available Abstract Rationale Whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs exposure during adolescent brain development causes lasting effects remains unresolved. Objective Assess the effects of fluoxetine and paroxetine 60 days after adolescent exposure compared with when on-drug. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley littermates (41 litters were gavaged on postnatal days 33-53 with fluoxetine (3 or 10 mg/kg/day, paroxetine (3, 10 or, 17 mg/kg/day, or water; half were tested while on-drug (21 litters and half after 60 days off-drug (20 litters. Results The highest dose of the drugs reduced body weight gain during treatment that rebounded 1 week post-treatment. On-drug, no significant group differences were found on elevated plus maze time-in-open, zone entries, or latency to first open entry; however, the high dose of paroxetine significantly reduced head-dips (N = 20/group. No significant effects were found on-drug for acoustic startle response/prepulse inhibition (ASR/PPI although a trend (p Conclusions The data provide no evidence that fluoxetine or paroxetine have long-term adverse effects on the behaviors measured here after adolescent to young adult exposure.
Elden, Ake; Flaten, Magne A
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is assumed to index automatic and controlled processing. In three experiments (n= 32, 22, and 30) participants were asked to judge the duration of a prepulse in comparison with a stimulus presented 4000 ms before the prepulse. A distracter was presented simultaneously with the prepulse to increase the cognitive demands of the task. PPI was assessed at stimulus onset asynchronies (SOAs) of 30-150 ms, and 420 ms. The prepulse was either a tone (60 dB) or a tactile stimulus (21 kPa), and startle was elicited by 95 dB white noise. Directing attention to the prepulse increased PPI at SOAs of 60 ms and longer in all experiments, but the sensory modality to which attention was directed played only a minor role. We conclude that directing attention to both acoustic and tactile prepulses increased PPI.
Kavussanu, Maria; Willoughby, Adrian; Ring, Christopher
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of moral identity on physiological responses to affective pictures, namely, the startle blink reflex and pain-related evoked potential. Male (n = 48) and female (n = 46) athletes participating in contact team sports were randomly assigned to either a moral identity group or a non-moral identity group and viewed a series of unpleasant, neutral, and pleasant sport-specific pictures. During picture viewing, a noxious electrocutaneous stimulus was delivered as the startle probe and the startle blink and pain-related evoked potential were measured. Upon completion of physiological measures, participants reviewed the pictures and rated them for valence and arousal. ANOVAs revealed that participants in the moral identity group displayed larger startle blinks and smaller pain-related potentials than did those in the non-moral identity group across all picture valence categories. However, the difference in the magnitude of startle blinks between the moral and non-moral identity groups was larger in response to unpleasant than pleasant and neutral pictures. Our findings suggest that moral identity affects physiological responses to sport-specific affective pictures, thereby providing objective evidence for the link between moral identity and emotion in athletes.
Notaras, Michael J; Hill, Rachel A; Gogos, Joseph A; van den Buuse, Maarten
Reduced expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism, which results in deficient activity-dependent secretion of BDNF, is associated with clinical features of schizophrenia. We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on Prepulse Inhibition (PPI), a translational model of sensorimotor gating which is disrupted in schizophrenia. We utilized humanized BDNFVal66Met (hBDNFVal66Met) mice which have been modified to carry the Val66Met polymorphism, as well as express humanized BDNF in vivo. We also studied the long-term effect of chronic corticosterone (CORT) exposure in these animals as a model of history of stress. PPI was assessed at 30ms and 100ms interstimulus intervals (ISI). Analysis of PPI at the commonly used 100ms ISI identified that, irrespective of CORT treatment, the hBDNFVal/Met genotype was associated with significantly reduced PPI. In contrast, PPI was not different between hBDNFMet/Met and hBDNFVal/Val genotype mice. At the 30ms ISI, CORT treatment selectively disrupted sensorimotor gating of hBDNFVal/Met heterozygote mice but not hBDNFVal/Val or hBDNFMet/Met mice. Analysis of startle reactivity revealed that chronic CORT reduced startle reactivity of hBDNFVal/Val male mice by 51%. However, this was independent of the effect of CORT on PPI. In summary, we provide evidence of a distinct BDNFVal66Met heterozygote-specific phenotype using the sensorimotor gating endophenotype of schizophrenia. These data have important implications for clinical studies where, if possible, the BDNFVal/Met heterozygote genotype should be distinguished from the BDNFMet/Met genotype. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com.
Patricia A. Broderick
Full Text Available Cocaine is a psychostimulant in the pharmacological class of drugs called Local Anesthetics. Interestingly, cocaine is the only drug in this class that has a chemical formula comprised of a tropane ring and is, moreover, addictive. The correlation between tropane and addiction is well-studied. Another well-studied correlation is that between psychosis induced by cocaine and that psychosis endogenously present in the schizophrenic patient. Indeed, both of these psychoses exhibit much the same behavioral as well as neurochemical properties across species. Therefore, in order to study the link between schizophrenia and cocaine addiction, we used a behavioral paradigm called Acoustic Startle. We used this acoustic startle paradigm in female versus male Sprague-Dawley animals to discriminate possible sex differences in responses to startle. The startle method operates through auditory pathways in brain via a network of sensorimotor gating processes within auditory cortex, cochlear nuclei, inferior and superior colliculi, pontine reticular nuclei, in addition to mesocorticolimbic brain reward and nigrostriatal motor circuitries. This paper is the first to report sex differences to acoustic stimuli in Sprague-Dawley animals (Rattus norvegicus although such gender responses to acoustic startle have been reported in humans (Swerdlow et al. 1997 . The startle method monitors pre-pulse inhibition (PPI as a measure of the loss of sensorimotor gating in the brain's neuronal auditory network; auditory deficiencies can lead to sensory overload and subsequently cognitive dysfunction. Cocaine addicts and schizophrenic patients as well as cocaine treated animals are reported to exhibit symptoms of defective PPI (Geyer et al., 2001 . Key findings are: (a Cocaine significantly reduced PPI in both sexes. (b Females were significantly more sensitive than males; reduced PPI was greater in females than in males. (c Physiological saline had no effect on startle in
Amanda R Bolbecker
Full Text Available Evidence of cerebellar dysfunction in schizophrenia has mounted over the past several decades, emerging from neuroimaging, neuropathological, and behavioral studies. Consistent with these findings, cerebellar-dependent delay eyeblink conditioning (dEBC deficits have been identified in schizophrenia. While repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA is traditionally used to analyze dEBC data, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM more reliably describes change over time by accounting for the dependence in repeated measures data. This analysis approach is well suited to dEBC data analysis because it has less restrictive assumptions and allows unequal variances. The current study examined dEBC measured with electromyography in a single-cue tone paradigm in an age-matched sample of schizophrenia participants and healthy controls (N=56 per group using HLM. Subjects participated in 90 trials (10 blocks of dEBC, during which a 400 ms tone co-terminated with a 50 ms air puff delivered to the left eye. Each block also contained 1 tone-alone trial. The resulting block averages of dEBC data were fitted to a 3-parameter logistic model in HLM, revealing significant differences between schizophrenia and control groups on asymptote and inflection point, but not slope. These findings suggest that while the learning rate is not significantly different compared to controls, associative learning begins to level off later and a lower ultimate level of associative learning is achieved in schizophrenia. Given the large sample size in the present study, HLM may provide a more nuanced and definitive analysis of differences between schizophrenia and controls on dEBC.
Kehoe, E. James; Ludvig, Elliot A.; Sutton, Richard S.
The present experiment tested whether or not the time course of a conditioned eyeblink response, particularly its duration, would expand and contract, as the magnitude of the conditioned response (CR) changed massively during acquisition, extinction, and reacquisition. The CR duration remained largely constant throughout the experiment, while CR…
Farbry, John E., Jr.; Fields, James M.; Molino, John A.; Demiranda, Gwendolyn A.
A preliminary draft questionnaire concerning community response to sonic booms was developed. Interviews were conducted in two communities that had experienced supersonic overflights of the SR-71 airplane for several years. Even though the overflights had ceased about 6 months prior to the interviews, people clearly remembered hearing sonic booms. A total of 22 people living in central Utah and 23 people living along Idaho/Washington state border took part in these interviews. The draft questionnaire was constantly modified during the study in order to evaluate different versions. Questions were developed which related to annoyance, startle, sleep disturbance, building vibration, and building damage. Based on the data collected, a proposed community response survey response instrument was developed for application in a full-scale sonic boom study.
Full Text Available The acoustic startle reflex (ASR is a survival mechanism of alarm, which rapidly alerts the organism to a sudden loud auditory stimulus. In rats, the primary ASR circuit encompasses three serially connected structures: cochlear root neurons (CRNs, neurons in the caudal pontine reticular nucleus (PnC, and motoneurons in the medulla and spinal cord. It is well established that both CRNs and PnC neurons receive short-latency auditory inputs to mediate the ASR. Here, we investigated the anatomical origin and functional role of these inputs using a multidisciplinary approach that combines morphological, electrophysiological and behavioural techniques. Anterograde tracer injections into the cochlea suggest that CRNs somata and dendrites receive inputs depending, respectively, on their basal or apical cochlear origin. Confocal colocalization experiments demonstrated that these cochlear inputs are immunopositive for the vesicular glutamate transporter 1. Using extracellular recordings in vivo followed by subsequent tracer injections, we investigated the response of PnC neurons after contra-, ipsi-, and bilateral acoustic stimulation and identified the source of their auditory afferents. Our results showed that the binaural firing rate of PnC neurons was higher than the monaural, exhibiting higher spike discharges with contralateral than ipsilateral acoustic stimulations. Our histological analysis confirmed the CRNs as the principal source of short-latency acoustic inputs, and indicated that other areas of the cochlear nucleus complex are not likely to innervate PnC. Behaviourally, we observed a strong reduction of ASR amplitude in monaural earplugged rats that corresponds with the binaural summation process shown in our electrophysiological findings. Our study contributes to understand better the role of neuronal mechanisms in auditory alerting behaviours and provides strong evidence that the CRNs-PnC pathway mediates fast neurotransmission and binaural
Tijssen, MAJ; Vergouwe, MN; van Dijk, JG; Rees, M; Frants, RR; Brown, P
Hyperekplexia is a hereditary neurological disorder characterized by excessive startle responses. Within the disorder two clinical forms can be distinguished. The major form is characterized by continuous generalized stiffness in the first year of life and an exaggerated startle reflex, accompanied
Full Text Available The progress in the field of tinnitus largely depends on the development of a reliable tinnitus animal model. Recently a new method based on the acoustic startle reflex modification was introduced for tinnitus screening in laboratory animals. This method was enthusiastically adopted and now widely used by many scientists in the field due to its seeming simplicity and a number of advantages over the other methods of tinnitus assessment. Furthermore, this method opened an opportunity for tinnitus assessment in humans as well. Unfortunately multiple modifications of data collection and interpretation implemented in different labs make comparisons across studies very difficult. In addition, recent animal and human studies have challenged the original filling-in interpretation of the paradigm. Here we review the current literature to emphasize on the commonalities and differences in data collection and interpretation across laboratories that are using this method for tinnitus assessment. We also propose future research directions that could be taken in order to establish whether or not this method is warranted as an indicator of the presence of tinnitus.
Soeter, Marieke; Kindt, Merel
Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targeting the process of memory reconsolidation--n = 107. Testing included different phases across three consecutive days each separated by 24 h. Fear responding was measured by the eye-blink startle reflex. Disrupting the process of fear memory reconsolidation was manipulated by administering the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol HCl either before or after memory retrieval. Trait anxiety uniquely predicted the fear-reducing effects of disrupting memory reconsolidation: the higher the trait anxiety, the less fear reduction. Vulnerable individuals with the propensity to develop anxiety disorders may need higher dosages of propranolol HCl or more retrieval trials for targeting and changing fear memory. Our finding clearly demonstrates that we cannot simply translate observations from fundamental research on fear reduction in the average organism to clinical practice.
Salem, Lise C; Hejl, Anne-Mette; Garde, Ellen
resonance imaging (MRI) in elderly subjects with and without cognitive impairment, may contribute to variations in PPI. A passive acoustic PPI paradigm was applied in 92 human subjects (53 healthy and 39 patients with Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment) between 60 and 85years of age. WMH were...... rated visually on craniel MRI FLAIR images using the Fazekas scale. WMH were identified in 70% of all subjects. The latency to peak of the startle response increased significantly with increasing WMH load, whereas the inhibition of the startle response (PPI) was neither significantly related...... to the degree of WMH nor to cognitive performance. We conclude that the presence of WMH in the fronto-striatal brain circuit may affect the latency of the startle response, but not information processing in elderly subjects....
Vetrugno, Roberto; Mascalchi, Mario; Vella, Alessandra; Della Nave, Riccardo; Guerrini, Laura; Vattimo, Angelo; del Giudice, Emanuele Miraglia; Plazzi, Giuseppe; D'Angelo, Roberto; Greco, Giovanni; Montagna, Pasquale
To explore with neuroimaging techniques the anatomical and functional correlates of sporadic hyperekplexia. Two elderly women with sporadic hyperekplexia underwent neurophysiological assessment, MRI of the brain and proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) of the brainstem and frontal lobes. Regional cerebral blood flow was investigated with single photon emission tomography (SPECT) during evoked startles and at rest. Both patients showed excessively large and non-habituating startle responses. In both patients, MRI showed impingement of the brainstem by the vertebrobasilar artery, lack of frontal or brainstem abnormalities on 1H-MRS and hyperperfusion in the dorsal pons and cingulate cortex, and superior frontal gyrus at SPECT during evoked startles. In our patients with hyperekplexia, the vertebrobasilar arteries were found to impinge on the brainstem. Neurophysiological findings and neurofunctional imaging of evoked startles indicated a pontine origin of the movement disorder modulated by activation in cortical, especially frontal, areas. The neurofunctional correlates of evoked startles in human sporadic hyperekplexia are similar to those observed for the startle circuit in animals.
Chicoli, Amanda; Paley, Derek A.
Individuals in a group may obtain information from other group members about the environment, including the location of a food source or the presence of a predator. Here, we model how information spreads in a group using a susceptible-infected-removed epidemic model. We apply this model to a simulated shoal of fish using the motion dynamics of a coupled oscillator model, in order to test the biological hypothesis that polarized or aligned shoaling leads to faster and more accurate escape responses. The contributions of this study are the (i) application of a probabilistic model of epidemics to the study of collective animal behavior; (ii) testing the biological hypothesis that group cohesion improves predator escape; (iii) quantification of the effect of social cues on startle propagation; and (iv) investigation of the variation in response based on network connectivity. We find that when perfectly aligned individuals in a group are startled, there is a rapid escape by individuals that directly detect the threat, as well as by individuals responding to their neighbors. However, individuals that are not startled do not head away from the threat. In startled groups that are randomly oriented, there is a rapid, accurate response by individuals that directly detect the threat, followed by less accurate responses by individuals responding to neighbor cues. Over the simulation duration, however, even unstartled individuals head away from the threat. This study illustrates a potential speed-accuracy trade-off in the startle response of animal groups, in agreement with several previous experimental studies. Additionally, the model can be applied to a variety of group decision-making processes, including those involving higher-dimensional motion.
Full Text Available The ability to identify predictors of aversive events allows organisms to appropriately respond to these events, and failure to acquire these fear contingencies can lead to maladaptive contextual anxiety. Recently, preclinical studies demonstrated that the corticotropin-releasing factor and serotonin systems are interactively involved in adaptive fear acquisition. Here, 150 healthy medication-free human subjects completed a cue and context fear conditioning procedure in a virtual reality environment. Fear potentiation of the eyeblink startle reflex (FPS was measured to assess both uninstructed fear acquisition and instructed fear expression. All participants were genotyped for polymorphisms located within regulatory regions of the corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1 - rs878886 and the serotonin transporter (5HTTLPR. These polymorphisms have previously been linked to panic disorder and anxious symptomology and personality, respectively. G-allele carriers of CRHR1 (rs878886 showed no acquisition of fear conditioned responses (FPS to the threat cue in the uninstructed phase, whereas fear acquisition was present in C/C homozygotes. Moreover, carrying the risk alleles of both rs878886 (G-allele and 5HTTLPR (short allele was associated with increased FPS to the threat context during this phase. After explicit instructions regarding the threat contingency were given, the cue FPS and context FPS normalized in all genotype groups. The present results indicate that genetic variability in the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1, especially in interaction with the 5HTTLPR, is involved in the acquisition of fear in humans. This translates prior animal findings to the human realm.
Sun, W.; Lu, J.; Stolzberg, D.; Gray, L.; Deng, A.; Lobarinas, E.; Salvi, R. J.
High doses of salicylate, the anti-inflammatory component of aspirin, induce transient tinnitus and hearing loss. Systemic injection of 250 mg/kg of salicylate, a dose that reliably induces tinnitus in rats, significantly reduced the sound evoked output of the rat cochlea. Paradoxically, salicylate significantly increased the amplitude of the sound-evoked field potential from the auditory cortex (AC) of conscious rats, but not the inferior colliculus (IC). When rats were anesthetized with isoflurane, which increases GABA-mediated inhibition, the salicylate-induced AC amplitude enhancement was abolished, whereas ketamine, which blocks N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors, further increased the salicylate-induced AC amplitude enhancement. Direct application of salicylate to the cochlea, however, reduced the response amplitude of the cochlea, IC and AC, suggesting the AC amplitude enhancement induced by systemic injection of salicylate does not originate from the cochlea. To identify a behavioral correlate of the salicylate-induced AC enhancement, the acoustic startle response was measured before and after salicylate treatment. Salicylate significantly increased the amplitude of the startle response. Collectively, these results suggest that high doses of salicylate increase the gain of the central auditory system, presumably by down-regulating GABA-mediated inhibition, leading to an exaggerated acoustic startle response. The enhanced startle response may be the behavioral correlate of hyperacusis that often accompanies tinnitus and hearing loss. Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of IBRO. PMID:19154777
Peter W Alderks
Full Text Available The ontogeny of hearing in fishes has become a major interest among bioacoustics researchers studying fish behavior and sensory ecology. Most fish begin to detect acoustic stimuli during the larval stage which can be important for navigation, predator avoidance and settlement, however relatively little is known about the hearing capabilities of larval fishes. We characterized the acoustically evoked behavioral response (AEBR in the plainfin midshipman fish, Porichthys notatus, and used this innate startle-like response to characterize this species' auditory capability during larval development. Age and size of larval midshipman were highly correlated (r(2 = 0.92. The AEBR was first observed in larvae at 1.4 cm TL. At a size ≥ 1.8 cm TL, all larvae responded to a broadband stimulus of 154 dB re1 µPa or -15.2 dB re 1 g (z-axis. Lowest AEBR thresholds were 140-150 dB re 1 µPa or -33 to -23 dB re 1 g for frequencies below 225 Hz. Larval fish with size ranges of 1.9-2.4 cm TL had significantly lower best evoked frequencies than the other tested size groups. We also investigated the development of the lateral line organ and its function in mediating the AEBR. The lateral line organ is likely involved in mediating the AEBR but not necessary to evoke the startle-like response. The midshipman auditory and lateral line systems are functional during early development when the larvae are in the nest and the auditory system appears to have similar tuning characteristics throughout all life history stages.
Alderks, Peter W; Sisneros, Joseph A
The ontogeny of hearing in fishes has become a major interest among bioacoustics researchers studying fish behavior and sensory ecology. Most fish begin to detect acoustic stimuli during the larval stage which can be important for navigation, predator avoidance and settlement, however relatively little is known about the hearing capabilities of larval fishes. We characterized the acoustically evoked behavioral response (AEBR) in the plainfin midshipman fish, Porichthys notatus, and used this innate startle-like response to characterize this species' auditory capability during larval development. Age and size of larval midshipman were highly correlated (r(2) = 0.92). The AEBR was first observed in larvae at 1.4 cm TL. At a size ≥ 1.8 cm TL, all larvae responded to a broadband stimulus of 154 dB re1 µPa or -15.2 dB re 1 g (z-axis). Lowest AEBR thresholds were 140-150 dB re 1 µPa or -33 to -23 dB re 1 g for frequencies below 225 Hz. Larval fish with size ranges of 1.9-2.4 cm TL had significantly lower best evoked frequencies than the other tested size groups. We also investigated the development of the lateral line organ and its function in mediating the AEBR. The lateral line organ is likely involved in mediating the AEBR but not necessary to evoke the startle-like response. The midshipman auditory and lateral line systems are functional during early development when the larvae are in the nest and the auditory system appears to have similar tuning characteristics throughout all life history stages.
Caes, Line; Vervoort, Tine; Trost, Zina; Goubert, Liesbet
Limited research has addressed processes underlying parents' empathic responses to their child's pain. The present study investigated the effects of parental catastrophizing, threatening information about the child's pain, and child pain expression upon parental emotional and behavioral responses to their child's pain. A total of 56 school children participated in a heat pain task consisting of 48 trials while being observed by 1 of their parents. Trials were preceded by a blue or yellow circle, signaling possible pain stimulation (i.e., pain signal) or no pain stimulation (i.e., safety signal). Parents received either neutral or threatening information regarding the heat stimulus. Parents' negative emotional responses when anticipating their child's pain were assessed using psychophysiological measures- i.e., fear-potentiated startle and corrugator EMG activity. Parental behavioral response to their child's pain (i.e., pain attending talk) was assessed during a 3-minute parent-child interaction that followed the pain task. The Child Facial Coding System (CFCS) was used to assess children's facial pain expression during the pain task. Results indicated that receiving threatening information was associated with a stronger parental corrugator EMG activity during pain signals in comparison with safety signals. The same pattern was found for parental fear-potentiated startle reflex, particularly when the child's facial pain expression was high. In addition, parents who reported high levels of catastrophizing thought about their child's pain engaged, in comparison with low-catastrophizing parents, in more pain-attending talk when they received threatening information. The findings are discussed in the context of affective-motivational theories of pain. Copyright Â© 2011 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Coleman, Seth W.
Distinct acoustic whistles are associated with the wing-beats of many doves, and are especially noticeable when doves ascend from the ground when startled. I thus hypothesized that these sounds may be used by flock-mates as cues of potential danger. To test this hypothesis, I compared the responses of mourning doves ( Zenaida macroura), northern cardinals ( Cardinalis cardinalis), and house sparrows ( Passer domesticus) to audio playbacks of dove ‘startle wing-whistles’, cardinal alarm calls, dove ‘nonstartle wing-whistles’, and sparrow ‘social chatter’. Following playbacks of startle wing-whistles and alarm calls, conspecifics and heterospecifics startled and increased vigilance more than after playbacks of other sounds. Also, the latency to return to feeding was greater following playbacks of startle wing-whistles and alarm calls than following playbacks of other sounds. These results suggest that both conspecifics and heterospecifics may attend to dove wing-whistles in decisions related to antipredator behaviors. Whether the sounds of dove wing-whistles are intentionally produced signals warrants further testing.
Fish that pass through a hydroelectric turbine may not be killed directly, but may nonetheless experience sublethal stresses that will increase their susceptibility to predators (indirect mortality). There is a need to develop reliable tests for indirect mortality so that the full consequences of passage through turbines (and other routes around a hydroelectric dam) can be assessed. We evaluated a new technique for assessing indirect mortality, based on a behavioral response to a startling stimulus (akin to perceiving an approaching predator). We compare this technique to the standard predator preference test. The behavioral response is a rapid movement commonly referred to as a startle response, escape response, or C-shape, based on the characteristic body position assumed by the fish. When viewed from above, a startled fish bends into a C-shape, then springs back and swims away in a direction different from its original orientation. This predator avoidance (escape) behavior can be compromised by sublethal stresses that temporarily stun or disorient the fish. We subjected striped shiners and fathead minnows to varying intensities of either turbulence (10-, 20- or 30-min) or 2-min exposures to a fish anesthetic (100 or 200 mg/L of tricaine methanesulfonate), and evaluated their subsequent behavior. Individual fish were given a startle stimulus and filmed with a high-speed video camera. Each fish was startled and filmed twice before being stressed, and then at 1-, 5-, 15-, and 30-min post-exposure. The resulting image files were analyzed for a variety of behavioral measures including: presence of a response, time to first reaction, duration of reaction, time to formation of maximum C-shape, time to completion of C-shape, and completeness of C-shape. The most immediate measure of potential changes in fish behavior was whether stressed fish exhibited a startle response. For striped shiners, the number of fish not responding to the stimulus was significantly different
Full Text Available One function of glucocorticoids is to restore homeostasis after an acute stress response by providing negative feedback to stress circuits in the brain. Loss of this negative feedback leads to elevated physiological stress and may contribute to depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. We investigated the early, developmental effects of glucocorticoid signaling deficits on stress physiology and related behaviors using a mutant zebrafish, grs357, with non-functional glucocorticoid receptors. These mutants are morphologically inconspicuous and adult-viable. A previous study of adult grs357 mutants showed loss of glucocorticoid-mediated negative feedback and elevated physiological and behavioral stress markers. Already at five days post-fertilization, mutant larvae had elevated whole body cortisol, increased expression of pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC, the precursor of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH, and failed to show normal suppression of stress markers after dexamethasone treatment. Mutant larvae had larger auditory-evoked startle responses compared to wildtype sibling controls (grwt, despite having lower spontaneous activity levels. Fluoxetine (Prozac treatment in mutants decreased startle responding and increased spontaneous activity, making them behaviorally similar to wildtype. This result mirrors known effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs in modifying glucocorticoid signaling and alleviating stress disorders in human patients. Our results suggest that larval grs357 zebrafish can be used to study behavioral, physiological and molecular aspects of stress disorders. Most importantly, interactions between glucocorticoid and serotonin signaling appear to be highly conserved among vertebrates, suggesting deep homologies at the neural circuit level and opening up new avenues for research into psychiatric conditions.
Yamada, S; Yamauchi, K; Hisatomi, S; Annoh, N; Tanaka, M
To evaluate the antipsychotic property of a sigma(1) receptor ligand, (R)-(+)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-¿4-(2-methoxyethyl)piperazin-1-yl¿ methyl-2-pyrrolidinone-L-tartrate (MS-377), an antagonistic effect of MS-377 on the disruption of prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle by apomorphine or phencyclidine (PCP) was investigated in rats. MS-377 antagonized the PCP-induced disruption of PPI. The ED(50) value of MS-377 for this effect was 0.66 mg/kg. In contrast, apomorphine-induced disruption of PPI was not attenuated by MS-377. These data indicate that the PCP-induced disruption of PPI in rats would be, at least partially, mediated by sigma receptors and MS-377 could be a novel anti-psychotic agent with clinical efficacy for the sensorimotor-gating deficit in schizophrenia.
Adamec, R; Muir, C; Grimes, M; Pearcey, K
The roles of beta-NER (beta-noradrenergic receptor), GR (glucocorticoid) and mineral corticoid receptors (MR) in the consolidation of anxiogenic effects of predator stress were studied. One minute after predator stress, different groups of rats were injected (ip) with vehicle, propranolol (beta-NER blocker, 5 and 10 mg/kg), mifepristone (RU486, GR blocker, 20 mg/kg), spironolactone (MR blocker, 50 mg/kg), propranolol (5 mg/kg) plus RU486 (20 mg/kg) or the anxiolytic, chloradiazepoxide (CPZ, 10 mg/kg). One week later, rodent anxiety was assessed in elevated plus maze, hole board, light/dark box, social interaction and acoustic startle. Considering all tests except startle, propranolol dose dependently blocked consolidation of lasting anxiogenic effects of predator stress in all tests. GR receptor block alone was ineffective. However, GR block in combination with an ineffective dose of propranolol did blocked consolidation of predator stress effects in all tests, suggesting a synergism between beta-NER and GR. Surprisingly, MR block prevented consolidation of anxiogenic effects in all tests except the light/dark box. CPZ post stress was ineffective against the anxiogenic impact of predator stress. Study of startle was complicated by the fact that anxiogenic effects of stress on startle amplitude manifested as both an increase and a decrease in startle amplitude. Suppression of startle occurred in stressed plus vehicle injected groups handled three times prior to predator stress. In contrast, stressed plus vehicle rats handled five times prior to predator stress showed increases in startle, as did all predator stressed only groups. Mechanisms of consolidation of the different startle responses appear to differ. CPZ post stress blocked startle suppression but not enhancement of startle. Propranolol post stress had no effect on either suppression or enhancement of startle. GR block alone post stress prevented suppression of startle, but not enhancement. In contrast
excessive prolonged alcohol intake . The study is underway; initial results are illustrated in Fig. 5. Rats which had chronically consumed liquid diet...subsequent alcohol intake and preference which are highly correlated with acoustic startle amplitude determined before the initial access to alcohol ...exhibiting high acoustic startle response (which is associated with increased anxiety- like behavior) develop increased subsequent alcohol intake and
Full Text Available Disrupting reconsolidation may be promising in the treatment of anxiety disorders but the fear-reducing effects are thus far solely demonstrated in the average organism. A relevant question is whether disrupting fear memory reconsolidation is less effective in individuals who are vulnerable to develop an anxiety disorder. By collapsing data from six previous human fear conditioning studies we tested whether trait anxiety was related to the fear-reducing effects of a pharmacological agent targeting the process of memory reconsolidation--n = 107. Testing included different phases across three consecutive days each separated by 24 h. Fear responding was measured by the eye-blink startle reflex. Disrupting the process of fear memory reconsolidation was manipulated by administering the β-adrenergic receptor antagonist propranolol HCl either before or after memory retrieval. Trait anxiety uniquely predicted the fear-reducing effects of disrupting memory reconsolidation: the higher the trait anxiety, the less fear reduction. Vulnerable individuals with the propensity to develop anxiety disorders may need higher dosages of propranolol HCl or more retrieval trials for targeting and changing fear memory. Our finding clearly demonstrates that we cannot simply translate observations from fundamental research on fear reduction in the average organism to clinical practice.
Preller, Katrin H; Ingold, Nina; Hulka, Lea M; Vonmoos, Matthias; Jenni, Daniela; Baumgartner, Markus R; Vollenweider, Franz X; Quednow, Boris B
Cocaine dependence has been associated with blunted dopamine and norepinephrine signaling, but it is unknown if recreational cocaine use is also associated with alterations of catecholamine systems. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response-a measure of sensorimotor gating-is highly sensitive for manipulations of the catecholamine system. Therefore, we investigated whether relatively pure recreational users (RCU) and dependent cocaine users (DCU) display alterations of PPI, startle reactivity, and habituation. Moreover, the influences of methylenedioxymethamphetamine and cannabis co-use, craving, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms on startle measures were examined. In 64 RCU, 29 DCU, and 66 stimulant-naïve control subjects, PPI of acoustic startle response, startle reactivity, habituation, ADHD symptoms, and cocaine craving were assessed. Drug use of all participants was controlled by hair and urine toxicologies. Both RCU and DCU showed increased PPI in comparison with control participants (Cohen's d=.38 and d=.67, respectively), while RCU and DCU did not differ in PPI measures (d=.12). No significant group differences were found in startle reactivity or habituation measures. In cocaine users, PPI was positively correlated with cumulative cocaine dose used, craving for cocaine, and ADHD symptoms. Users with a diagnosis of ADHD and strong craving symptoms displayed the highest PPI levels compared with control subjects (d=.78). The augmented PPI in RCU and DCU suggests that recreational use of cocaine is associated with altered catecholamine signaling, in particular if ADHD or craving symptoms are present. Finally, ADHD might be a critical risk factor for cocaine-induced changes of the catecholamine system. Copyright © 2013 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Impaired sensorimotor gating occurs in neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and can be measured using the prepulse inhibition (PPI paradigm of the acoustic startle response. This assay is frequently used to validate animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders and to explore the therapeutic potential of new drugs. The underlying neural network of PPI has been extensively studied with invasive methods and genetic modifications. However, its relevance for healthy untreated animals and the functional interplay between startle- and PPI-related areas during a PPI session is so far unknown. Therefore, we studied awake rats in a PPI paradigm, startle control and background noise control, combined with behavioral [18F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET. Subtractive analyses between conditions were used to identify brain regions involved in startle and PPI processing in well-hearing Black hooded rats. For correlative analysis with regard to the amount of PPI we also included hearing-impaired Lister hooded rats that startled more often, because their hearing threshold was just below the lowest prepulses. Metabolic imaging showed that the brain areas proposed for startle and PPI mediation are active during PPI paradigms in healthy untreated rats. More importantly, we show for the first time that the whole PPI modulation network is active during passive PPI sessions, where no selective attention to prepulse or startle stimulus is required. We conclude that this reflects ongoing monitoring of stimulus significance and constant adjustment of sensorimotor gating.
Steinmetz, Adam B.; Ng, Ka H.; Freeman, John H.
Amygdala lesions impair, but do not prevent, acquisition of cerebellum-dependent eyeblink conditioning suggesting that the amygdala modulates cerebellar learning. Two-factor theories of eyeblink conditioning posit that a fast-developing memory within the amygdala facilitates slower-developing memory within the cerebellum. The current study tested…
Avril Genene Holt
Full Text Available Animal models continue to improve our understanding of tinnitus pathogenesis and aid in development of new treatments. However, there are no diagnostic biomarkers for tinnitus-related pathophysiology for use in awake, freely moving animals. To address this disparity, two complementary methods were combined to examine reliable tinnitus models (rats repeatedly administered salicylate or exposed to a single noise event: inhibition of acoustic startle and manganese-enhanced MRI. Salicylate-induced tinnitus resulted in wide spread supernormal manganese uptake compared to noise-induced tinnitus. Neither model demonstrated significant differences in the auditory cortex. Only in the dorsal cortex of the inferior colliculus (DCIC did both models exhibit supernormal uptake. Therefore, abnormal membrane depolarization in the DCIC appears to be important in tinnitus-mediated activity. Our results provide the foundation for future studies correlating the severity and longevity of tinnitus with hearing loss and neuronal activity in specific brain regions and tools for evaluating treatment efficacy across paradigms.
Vorhees, Charles V; Morford, LaRonda R; Graham, Devon L; Skelton, Matthew R; Williams, Michael T
Whether selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) exposure during adolescent brain development causes lasting effects remains unresolved. Assess the effects of fluoxetine and paroxetine 60 days after adolescent exposure compared with when on-drug. Male Sprague-Dawley littermates (41 litters) were gavaged on postnatal days 33-53 with fluoxetine (3 or 10 mg/kg/day), paroxetine (3, 10 or, 17 mg/kg/day), or water; half were tested while on-drug (21 litters) and half after 60 days off-drug (20 litters). The highest dose of the drugs reduced body weight gain during treatment that rebounded 1 week post-treatment. On-drug, no significant group differences were found on elevated plus maze time-in-open, zone entries, or latency to first open entry; however, the high dose of paroxetine significantly reduced head-dips (N=20/group). No significant effects were found on-drug for acoustic startle response/prepulse inhibition (ASR/PPI) although a trend (pfluoxetine and paroxetine (N=20-21/group). No differences on immobility time were seen in the Porsolt forced swim test or in plasma corticosterone at the end of forced swim (N-19-21/group). Off-drug, no effects were seen in the elevated plus maze (N=16/group), ASR/PPI (N=20/group), forced swim (N=19-20/group), or plasma corticosterone (N=19/group). At the doses tested, fluoxetine and paroxetine induced minor effects with drug on-board but no residual, long-term adverse effects in rats 60 days after drug discontinuation. The data provide no evidence that fluoxetine or paroxetine have long-term adverse effects on the behaviors measured here after adolescent to young adult exposure.
Full Text Available Prepulse inhibition (PPI is a neuropsychological process during which a weak sensory stimulus (prepulse attenuates the motor response (startle reaction to a subsequent strong startling stimulus. It is measured as a surrogate marker of sensorimotor gating in patients suffering from neuropsychological diseases such as schizophrenia, as well as in corresponding animal models. A variety of studies has shown that PPI of the acoustical startle reaction comprises three brain circuitries for: i startle mediation, ii PPI mediation and iii modulation of PPI mediation. While anatomical connections and information flow in the startle and PPI mediation pathways are well known, spatial and temporal interactions of the numerous regions involved in PPI modulation are incompletely understood.We therefore combined [18F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron-emission-tomography (FDG-PET with PPI and resting state control paradigms in awake rats. A battery of subtractive, correlative as well as seed-based functional connectivity analyses revealed a default mode-like network (DMN active during resting state only. Furthermore, two functional networks were observed during PPI: Metabolic activity in the lateral circuitry was positively correlated with PPI effectiveness and involved the auditory system and emotional regions. The medial network was negatively correlated with PPI effectiveness, i.e. associated with startle, and recruited a spatial/cognitive network. Our study provides evidence for two distinct neuronal networks, whose continuous interplay determines PPI effectiveness in rats, probably by either protecting the prepulse or facilitating startle processing.Discovering similar networks affected in neuropsychological disorders may help to better understand mechanisms of sensorimotor gating deficits and provide new perspectives for therapeutic strategies.
Rohleder, Cathrin; Wiedermann, Dirk; Neumaier, Bernd; Drzezga, Alexander; Timmermann, Lars; Graf, Rudolf; Leweke, F Markus; Endepols, Heike
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is a neuropsychological process during which a weak sensory stimulus ("prepulse") attenuates the motor response ("startle reaction") to a subsequent strong startling stimulus. It is measured as a surrogate marker of sensorimotor gating in patients suffering from neuropsychological diseases such as schizophrenia, as well as in corresponding animal models. A variety of studies has shown that PPI of the acoustical startle reaction comprises three brain circuitries for: (i) startle mediation, (ii) PPI mediation, and (iii) modulation of PPI mediation. While anatomical connections and information flow in the startle and PPI mediation pathways are well known, spatial and temporal interactions of the numerous regions involved in PPI modulation are incompletely understood. We therefore combined [(18)F]fluoro-2-deoxyglucose positron-emission-tomography (FDG-PET) with PPI and resting state control paradigms in awake rats. A battery of subtractive, correlative as well as seed-based functional connectivity analyses revealed a default mode-like network (DMN) active during resting state only. Furthermore, two functional networks were observed during PPI: Metabolic activity in the lateral circuitry was positively correlated with PPI effectiveness and involved the auditory system and emotional regions. The medial network was negatively correlated with PPI effectiveness, i.e., associated with startle, and recruited a spatial/cognitive network. Our study provides evidence for two distinct neuronal networks, whose continuous interplay determines PPI effectiveness in rats, probably by either protecting the prepulse or facilitating startle processing. Discovering similar networks affected in neuropsychological disorders may help to better understand mechanisms of sensorimotor gating deficits and provide new perspectives for therapeutic strategies.
Lindquist, Derick H
Binge-like postnatal ethanol exposure produces significant damage throughout the brain in rats, including the cerebellum and hippocampus. In the current study, cue- and context-mediated Pavlovian conditioning were assessed in adult rats exposed to moderately low (3E; 3g/kg/day) or high (5E; 5g/kg/day) doses of ethanol across postnatal days 4-9. Ethanol-exposed and control groups were presented with 8 sessions of trace eyeblink conditioning followed by another 8 sessions of delay eyeblink conditioning, with an altered context presented over the last two sessions. Both forms of conditioning rely on the brainstem and cerebellum, while the more difficult trace conditioning also requires the hippocampus. The hippocampus is also needed to gate or modulate expression of the eyeblink conditioned response (CR) based on contextual cues. Results indicate that the ethanol-exposed rats were not significantly impaired in trace EBC relative to control subjects. In terms of CR topography, peak amplitude was significantly reduced by both doses of alcohol, whereas onset latency but not peak latency was significantly lengthened in the 5E rats across the latter half of delay EBC in the original training context. Neither dosage resulted in significant impairment in the contextual gating of the behavioral response, as revealed by similar decreases in CR production across all four treatment groups following introduction of the novel context. Results suggest ethanol-induced brainstem-cerebellar damage can account for the present results, independent of the putative disruption in hippocampal development and function proposed to occur following postnatal ethanol exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Pecaut, Michael J.; Haerich, Paul; Zuccarelli, Cara N.; Smith, Anna L.; Zendejas, Eric D.; Nelson, Gregory A.
Two experiments were carried out to investigate the consequences of exposure to proton radiation, such as might occur for astronauts during space flight. C57BL/6 mice were exposed, either with or without 15-g/cm2 aluminum shielding, to 0-, 3-, or 4-Gy proton irradiation mimicking features of a solar particle event. Irradiation produced transient direct deficits in open-field exploratory behavior and acoustic startle habituation. Rotorod performance at 18 rpm was impaired by exposure to proton radiation and was impaired at 26 rpm, but only for mice irradiated with shielding and at the 4-Gy dose. Long-term (>2 weeks) indirect deficits in open-field activity appeared as a result of impaired experiential encoding immediately following exposure. A 2-week recovery prior to testing decreased most of the direct effects of exposure, with only rotorod performance at 26 rpm being impaired. These results suggest that the performance deficits may have been mediated by radiation damage to hippocampal, cerebellar, and possibly, forebrain dopaminergic function.
Jia, Min; Smerin, Stanley E; Zhang, Lei; Xing, Guoqiang; Li, Xiaoxia; Benedek, David; Ursano, Robert; Li, He
Activation of glucocorticoid receptor signaling in the stress response to traumatic events has been implicated in the pathogenesis of stress-associated psychiatric disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Elevated startle response and hyperarousal are hallmarks of PTSD, and are generally considered to evince fear (DSM V). To further examine the efficacy of corticosterone in treating hyperarousal and elevated fear, the present study utilized a learned helplessness stress model in which rats are restrained and subjected to tail shock for three days. These stressed rats develop a delayed long-lasting exaggeration of the acoustic startle response (ASR) and retarded body weight growth, similar to symptoms of PTSD patients (Myers et al., 2005; Speed et al., 1989). We demonstrate that both pre-stress and post-stress administration of corticosterone (3 mg/kg/day) mitigates a subsequent exaggeration of the ASR measured 14 days after cessation of the stress protocol. Furthermore, the mitigating efficacy of pre-stress administration of corticosterone (3 mg/kg/day for three days) appeared to last significantly longer, up to 21 days after the cessation of the stress protocol, in comparison to that of post-stress administration of corticosterone. However, pre-stress administration of corticosterone at 0.3 mg/kg/day for three days did not mitigate stress-induced exaggeration of the ASR measured at both 14 and 21 days after the cessation of the stress protocol. In addition, pre-stress administration of corticosterone (3 mg/kg/day for three days) mitigates the retardation of body weight growth otherwise resulting from the stress protocol. Congruently, co-administration of the corticosterone antagonist RU486 (40 mg/kg/day for three days) with corticosterone (3 mg/kg/day) prior to stress diminished the mitigating efficacy of the exogenous corticosterone on exaggerated ASR and stress-retarded body weight. The relative efficacy of pre versus post administration of
McCormick, Mark I; Allan, Bridie J M
Invasive lionfish represent an unprecedented problem in the Caribbean basin, where they are causing major changes to foodwebs and habitats through their generalized predation on fishes and invertebrates. To ascertain what makes the red lionfish ( Pterois volitans ) such a formidable predator, we examined the reaction of a native damselfish prey, the whitetail damsel ( Pomacentrus chrysurus ), to a repeatable startle stimulus once they had been forewarned of the sight or smell of lionfish. Fast-start responses were compared with prey forewarned of a predatory rockcod ( Cephalopholis microprion ), a corallivorous butterflyfish ( Chaetodon trifasctiatus ) and experimental controls. Forewarning of the sight, smell or a combination of the two cues from a rockcod led to reduced escape latencies and higher response distances, speed and maximal speed compared with controls, suggesting that forewarning primed the prey and enabled a more effective escape response. In contrast, forewarning of lionfish did not affect the fast-start kinematics measured, which were the same as in the control and non-predatory butterflyfish treatments. Lionfish appear to be able to circumvent mechanisms commonly used by prey to identify predators and were misclassified as non-predatory, and this is likely to contribute to their success as predators.
Rudd, Kristen L; Alkon, Abbey; Yates, Tuppett M
This study examined children's parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) regulation, which was indexed by respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) during rest, reactivity, and recovery episodes, and sex as moderators of predicted relations between observed intrusive parenting and later observer-rated child behavior problems. Child-caregiver dyads (N=250; 50% girls; 46% Latino/a) completed a series of laboratory assessments yielding independent measures of intrusive parenting at age 4, PNS regulation at age 6, and child behavior problems at age 8. Results indicated that intrusive parenting was related to more internalizing problems among boys who showed low RSA reactivity (i.e., PNS withdrawal from pre-startle to startle challenge), but RSA reactivity did not moderate this relation among girls. Interestingly, RSA recovery (i.e., PNS activation from startle challenge to post-startle) moderated these relations differently for boys and girls. For girls with relatively low RSA post-startle (i.e., less recovery), intrusive parenting was positively related to both internalizing and externalizing problems. However, the reverse was true for boys, such that there was a significant positive relation between intrusive parenting and later externalizing problems among boys who evidenced relatively high RSA post-startle (i.e., more recovery). Findings provide evidence for the moderation of intrusive caregiving effects by children's PNS regulation while highlighting the differential patterning of these relations across distinct phases of the regulatory response and as a function of child sex. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Drummond, P D; Finch, P M; Skipworth, S; Blockey, P
To investigate the effect of sympathetic arousal on pain and vasomotor responses in healthy control subjects and patients with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), and to determine whether pain increases in patients with particular symptoms. In experiments 1 and 2, capsaicin was applied to the forearm of 24 healthy subjects to induce thermal hyperalgesia. Vascular responses were monitored and subjects rated thermal hyperalgesia before and after being startled (experiment 1), and before, during, and after mental arithmetic, breath holding, forehead cooling, the Valsalva maneuver, and a cold pressor test in experiment 2. In a third experiment, sensitivity to heat, cold, and mechanical stimulation was investigated in 61 patients with CRPS. Pain ratings and vascular and electrodermal responses were recorded after patients were startled and during forehead cooling. In experiment 1, thermal hyperalgesia decreased in healthy control subjects after they were startled, and digital blood vessels constricted symmetrically. In experiment 2, thermal hyperalgesia decreased during and after other forms of sympathetic arousal. However, in experiment 3, ratings of clinical pain increased during forehead cooling or after being startled in over 70% of patients with CRPS. Pain increased most consistently during forehead cooling in patients with cold allodynia or punctate allodynia. Digital blood vessels constricted more intensely on the symptomatic than the nonsymptomatic side in patients with CRPS during sympathetic arousal. Normal inhibitory influences on pain during sympathetic arousal are compromised in the majority of patients with CRPS. The augmented vasoconstrictor response in the symptomatic limb during sympathetic arousal is consistent with adrenergic supersensitivity. An adrenergic sensitivity in nociceptive afferents might contribute to pain and hyperalgesia during sympathetic arousal in certain patients with CRPS.
Hammer, Trine Bjørg; Oranje, Bob; Fagerlund, Birgitte
and is regarded as an endophenotype for schizophrenia. However, reports on the stability of PPI over a longer period of time are lacking, both for patients with schizophrenia and for healthy subjects. The current study examined 25 initially drug-naive, first-episode schizophrenia patients and 23 healthy matched...... not change in patients or controls. The present results show that PPI in drug-naive, first-episode schizophrenia patients can improve significantly over time. As PPI increased in patients over the same period that it decreased in controls, it is likely that the increase was caused by disease-related factors......Deficits in information processing appear to be core features in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) and habituation of the startle reflex are operational measures of early information processing. Impaired PPI in schizophrenia has been replicated in many studies...
Morgante, Fabio; Sorensen, Daniel A; Sørensen, Peter
Quantitative genetic models recognize the potential for genotype by environment interaction, whereby different genotypes have different plastic responses to changes in macro-environmental conditions. Recently, it has been recognized that micro-environmental plasticity (‘residual’ variance) may also...... be genetically variable. This study utilized the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) to accurately estimate the genetic variance of micro-environmental plasticity for chill coma recovery time and startle response. Estimates of broad sense heritabilities for both traits are substantial (from 0.51 to 0.......77), of the same order as the heritability at the level of the trait mean for startle response and even larger for chill coma recovery. Genome wide association analyses identified molecular variants (from 15 to 31 depending on the sex and the trait) associated with micro-environmental plasticity. These findings...
Armbruster, Diana; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Strobel, Alexander
Combined oral contraceptives (COC) are used by millions of women worldwide. Although findings are not entirely consistent, COC have been found to impact on brain function and, thus, to modulate affective processes. Here, we investigated electro-physiological responses to emotional stimuli in free cycling women in both the early follicular and late luteal phase as well as in COC users. Skin conductance response (SCR), startle reflex, corrugator and zygomaticus activity were assessed. COC users showed reduced overall startle magnitude and SCR amplitude, but heightened overall zygomaticus activity, although effect sizes were small. Thus, COC users displayed reduced physiological reactions indicating negative affect and enhanced physiological responses signifying positive affect. In free cycling women, endogenous 17β-estradiol levels were associated with fear potentiated startle in both cycle phases as well as with SCR and zygomaticus activity during the follicular phase. Testosterone was associated with corrugator and zygomaticus activity during the luteal phase, while progesterone levels correlated with corrugator activity in the follicular phase. To the contrary, in COC users, endogenous hormones were not associated with electro-physiological measures. The results further underscore the importance of considering COC use in psychophysiological studies on emotional processing. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Fatty acids are part of the structural matrix of cellular and subcellular membranes. Alterations in tissue fatty acid composition can affect nerve tissue function by altering membrane thickness or by changing properties of the lipid phase. In this study, the appearance of specific neurodevelopment responses was observed on rap pups whose dams were fed on varied dietary fatty acid composition. Three dietary treatments of corn oil, fish oil and reference meals were administered on these groups of pregnant dams. From postnatal day 5 to 30, littered pups were assessed daily for the appearance of neurodevelopmental reflexes based on the Smart- Dobbing method. The neurodevelopmental attributes of Righting reflex, Cliff avoidance, Negative geotaxis, Auditory startle, Vibrissa placing, Free-fall righting and Visual placing was observed in experimental pups between day 5 and 30. Tests were conducted between 1200 and 1400h. A 30 seconds time limit was employed in testing of the cliff-avoidance and negative-geotaxis appearance. The time appearance of auditory-startle and vibrissa-placing responses were significantly delayed (P and lt;0.05 in pups of dietary fish oil and ndash; fed dams than those of corn oil fed dams. The delay in auditory-startle response may be due to negative myelination of the auditory brainstem pathway.
Crosby, Emily B; Bailey, Jordan M; Oliveri, Anthony N; Levin, Edward D
Neonicotinoid insecticides are becoming more widely applied as organophosphate (OP) insecticides are decreasing in use. Because of their relative specificity to insect nicotinic receptors, they are thought to have reduced risk of neurotoxicity in vertebrates. However, there is scant published literature concerning the neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure of vertebrates to neonicotinoids. Using zebrafish, we investigated the neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure to imidacloprid, a prototypic neonicotinoid pesticide. Nicotine was also administered for comparison. Zebrafish were exposed via immersion in aqueous solutions containing 45 μM or 60 μM of imidacloprid or nicotine (or vehicle control) from 4h to 5d post fertilization. The functional effects of developmental exposure to both imidacloprid and nicotine were assessed in larvae using an activity assay and during adolescence and adulthood using a battery of neurobehavioral assays, including assessment of sensorimotor response and habituation in a tactile startle test, novel tank swimming, and shoaling behavior. In larvae, developmental imidacloprid exposure at both doses significantly decreased swimming activity. The 5D strains of zebrafish were more sensitive to both nicotine and imidacloprid than the AB* strain. In adolescent and adult fish, developmental exposure to imidacloprid significantly decreased novel tank exploration and increased sensorimotor response to startle stimuli. While nicotine did not affect novel tank swimming, it increased sensorimotor response to startle stimuli at the low dose. No effects of either compound were found on shoaling behavior or habituation to a startling stimulus. Early developmental exposure to imidacloprid has both early-life and persisting effects on neurobehavioral function in zebrafish. Its developmental neurotoxicity should be further investigated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Donald T. Warren
Full Text Available The threat of predation, and the prey’s response, are important drivers of community dynamics. Yet environmental temperature can have a significant effect on predation avoidance techniques such as fast-start performance observed in marine fishes. While it is known that temperature increases can influence performance and behaviour in the short-term, little is known about how species respond to extended exposure during development. We produced a startle response in two species of damselfish, the lemon damsel Pomacentrus moluccensis, and the Ambon damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis, by the repeated use of a drop stimulus. We show that the length of thermal exposure of juveniles to elevated temperature significantly affects this escape responses. Short-term (4d exposure to warmer temperature affected directionality and responsiveness for both species. After long-term (90d exposure, only P. moluccensis showed beneficial plasticity, with directionality returning to control levels. Responsiveness also decreased in both species, possibly to compensate for higher temperatures. There was no effect of temperature or length of exposure on latency to react, maximum swimming speed, or escape distance suggesting that the physical ability to escape was maintained. Evidence suggests that elevated temperature may impact some fish species through its effect on the behavioural responses while under threat rather than having a direct influence on their physical ability to perform an effective escape response.
Full Text Available StartReact is the acceleration of reaction time by a startling acoustic stimulus (SAS. The SAS is thought to release a pre-prepared motor program. Here, we investigated whether the StartReact effect is applicable to the very first trial in a series of repeated unpractised single-joint movements.Twenty healthy young subjects were instructed to perform a rapid ankle dorsiflexion movement in response to an imperative stimulus. Participants were divided in two groups of ten. Both groups performed 17 trials. In one group a SAS (116 dB was given in the first trial, whereas the other group received a non-startling sound (70 dB as the first imperative stimulus. In the remaining 16 trials, the SAS was given as the imperative stimulus in 25% of the trials in both groups. The same measurement was repeated one week later, but with the first-trial stimuli counterbalanced between groups.When a SAS was given in the very first trial, participants had significantly shorter onset latencies compared to first-trial responses to a non-startling stimulus. Succeeding trials were significantly faster compared to the first trial, both for trials with and without a SAS. However, the difference between the first and succeeding trials was significantly larger for responses to a non-startling stimulus compared to responses triggered by a SAS. SAS-induced acceleration in the first trial of the second session was similar to that in succeeding trials of session 1.The present results confirm that the StartReact phenomenon also applies to movements that have not yet been practiced in the experimental context. The excessive SAS-induced acceleration in the very first trial may be due to the absence of integration of novel context-specific information with the existing motor memory for movement execution. Our findings demonstrate that StartReact enables a rapid release of motor programs in the very first trial also without previous practice, which might provide a behavioural
Hattori, Shoai; Chen, Lillian; Weiss, Craig; Disterhoft, John F
A contentious point in memory research is whether or not the hippocampus plays a time-limited role in the consolidation of declarative memories. A widely held view is that declarative memories are initially encoded in the hippocampus, then transferred to the neocortex for long-term storage. Alternate views argue instead that the hippocampus continues to play a role in remote memory recall. These competing theories are largely based on human amnesic and animal lesion/inactivation studies. However, in vivo electrophysiological evidence supporting these views is scarce. Given that other studies examining the role of the hippocampus in remote memory retrieval using lesion and imaging techniques in human and animal models have provided mixed results, it would be particularly useful to gain insight at the in vivo electrophysiological level. Here we report hippocampal single-neuron and theta activity recorded longitudinally during acquisition and remote retrieval of trace eyeblink conditioning. Results from conditioned rabbits were compared to those obtained from yoked pseudo-conditioned control rabbits. Results reveal continued learning-specific hippocampal activity one month after initial acquisition of the task. Our findings yield insight into the normal physiological responses of the hippocampus during memory processes and provide compelling in vivo electrophysiological evidence that the hippocampus is involved in both acquisition and retrieval of consolidated memories. © 2014 The Authors Hippocampus Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Janse Van Rensburg, Kate; Elibero, Andrea; Kilpatrick, Marcus; Drobes, David J
Aerobic exercise can acutely reduce cigarette cravings during periods of nicotine deprivation. The primary aim of this study was to assess the differential effects of light and vigorous intensity aerobic exercise on cigarette cravings, subjective and physiological reactivity to smoking cues, and affect after overnight nicotine deprivation. A secondary aim was to examine cortisol change as a mediator of the effects of exercise on smoking motivation. 162 (55 female, 107 male) overnight nicotine-deprived smokers were randomized to one of three exercise conditions: light intensity, vigorous intensity, or a passive control condition. After each condition, participants engaged in a standardized cue reactivity assessment. Self-reported urges to smoke, affect, and salivary cortisol were assessed at baseline (i.e., before each condition), immediately after each condition, and after the cue reactivity assessment. Light and vigorous exercise significantly decreased urges to smoke and increased positive affect, relative to the control condition. In addition, those in the vigorous exercise condition demonstrated suppressed appetitive reactivity to smoking cues, as indexed by the startle eyeblink reflex. Although exercise intensity was associated with expected changes in cortisol concentration, these effects were not related to changes in craving or cue reactivity. Both light and vigorous exercise can reduce general cravings to smoke, whereas vigorous exercise appears especially well-suited for reducing appetitive reactions to cues that may precede smoking. Results did not support exercise-induced cortisol release as a mechanism for these effects. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
Gao, Jun Feng; Yang, Yong; Lin, Pan; Wang, Pei; Zheng, Chong Xun
Frequent occurrence of electrooculography (EOG) artifacts leads to serious problems in interpreting and analyzing the electroencephalogram (EEG). In this paper, a robust method is presented to automatically eliminate eye-movement and eye-blink artifacts from EEG signals. Independent Component Analysis (ICA) is used to decompose EEG signals into independent components. Moreover, the features of topographies and power spectral densities of those components are extracted to identify eye-movement artifact components, and a support vector machine (SVM) classifier is adopted because it has higher performance than several other classifiers. The classification results show that feature-extraction methods are unsuitable for identifying eye-blink artifact components, and then a novel peak detection algorithm of independent component (PDAIC) is proposed to identify eye-blink artifact components. Finally, the artifact removal method proposed here is evaluated by the comparisons of EEG data before and after artifact removal. The results indicate that the method proposed could remove EOG artifacts effectively from EEG signals with little distortion of the underlying brain signals.
Feifel, D.; Pang, Z.; Shilling, P.D.; Melendez, G.; Schreiber, R.; Button, D.
BACKGROUND Converging evidence has implicated endogenous neurotensin (NT) in the pathophysiology of brain processes relevant to schizophrenia. Prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI) is a measure of sensorimotor gating and considered to be of strong relevance to neuropsychiatric disorders associated with psychosis and cognitive dysfunction. Mice genetically engineered to not express NT display deficits in PPI that model the PPI deficits seen in schizophrenia patients. NT1 receptors have been most strongly implicated in mediating the psychosis relevant effects of NT such as attenuating PPI deficits. To investigate the role of NT1 receptors in the regulation of PPI, we measured baseline PPI in wildtype (WT) and NT1 knockout (KO) mice. We also tested the effects of amphetamine and dizocilpine, a dopamine agonist and NMDA antagonist, respectively, that reduce PPI as well as the NT1 selective receptor agonist, PD149163, known to increase PPI in rats. METHODS Baseline PPI and acoustic startle response were measured in WT and NT1 knockout KO mice. After baseline testing, mice were tested again after receiving intraperatoneal (IP) saline or one of three doses of amphetamine (1.0, 3.0 and 10.0 mg/kg), dizocilpine (0.3, 1.0 and 3.0 mg/kg) and PD149163 (0.5, 2.0 and 6.0 mg/kg) on separate test days. RESULTS Baseline PPI and acoustic startle response in NT1 KO mice were not significantly different from NT1 WT mice. WT and KO mice exhibited similar responses to the PPI-disrupting effects of dizocilpine and amphetamine. PD149163 significantly facilitated PPI (P < 0.004) and decreased the acoustic startle response (P < 0.001) in WT but not NT1 KO mice. CONCLUSIONS The data does not support the regulation of baseline PPI or the PPI disruptive effects of amphetamine or dizocilpine by endogenous NT acting at the NT1 receptor, although they support the antipsychotic potential of pharmacological activation of NT1 receptors by NT1 agonists. PMID:19596359
Webber, Emily S; Mankin, David E; McGraw, Justin J; Beckwith, Travis J; Cromwell, Howard C
Prepulse inhibition (PPI) is a measure of sensorimotor gating in diverse groups of animals including humans. Emotional states can influence PPI in humans both in typical subjects and in individuals with mental illness. Little is known about emotional regulation during PPI in rodents. We used ultrasonic vocalization recording to monitor emotional states in rats during PPI testing. We altered the predictability of the PPI trials to examine any alterations in gating and emotional regulation. We also examined PPI in animals selectively bred for high or low levels of 50kHz USV emission. Rats emitted high levels of 22kHz calls consistently throughout the PPI session. USVs were sensitive to prepulses during the PPI session similar to startle. USV rate was sensitive to predictability among the different levels tested and across repeated experiences. Startle and inhibition of startle were not affected by predictability in a similar manner. No significant differences for PPI or startle were found related to the different levels of predictability; however, there was a reduction in USV signals and an enhancement of PPI after repeated exposure. Animals selectively bred to emit high levels of USVs emitted significantly higher levels of USVs during the PPI session and a reduced ASR compared to the low and random selective lines. Overall, the results support the idea that PPI tests in rodents induce high levels of negative affect and that manipulating emotional styles of the animals alters the negative impact of the gating session as well as the intensity of the startle response. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Ferreira de Sá, Diana S; Schulz, André; Streit, Fabian E; Turner, Jonathan D; Oitzl, Melly S; Blumenthal, Terry D; Schächinger, Hartmut
Stress glucocorticoids and insulin are important endocrine regulators of energy homeostasis, but little is known about their central interaction on the reward-related processing of food cues. According to a balanced group design, healthy food deprived men received either 40IU intranasal insulin (n=13), 30mg oral cortisol (n=12), both (n=15), or placebo (n=14). Acoustic startle responsiveness was assessed during presentation of food and non-food pictures. Cortisol enhanced startle responsiveness during visual presentation of "high glycemic" food pictures, but not during presentation of neutral and pleasant non-food pictures. Insulin had no effect. Based on the "frustrative nonreward" model these results suggest that the reward value of high glycemic food items is specifically increased by cortisol. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Gard, Marja Germans; Kring, Ann M
Conventional wisdom holds that women are more "emotional" than men. However, research evidence suggests that sex differences in emotion are considerably more complex. The authors tested hypotheses about sex differences in the engagement of the approach and avoidance motivational systems thought to underpin emotional responses. The authors measured reported emotional experience and startle response magnitude both during the presentation and after the offset of emotional stimuli that engage these motivational systems to assess whether men and women differ in their patterns of immediate response to emotional stimuli and in their patterns of recovery from these responses. Our findings indicated that women were more experientially reactive to negative, but not positive, emotional pictures compared to men, and that women scored higher than men on measure of aversive motivational system sensitivity. Although both men and women exhibited potentiation of the startle response during the presentation of negative pictures relative to neutral pictures, only women continued to show this relative potentiation during the recovery period, indicating that women were continuing to engage the aversive motivational system after the offset of negative emotional pictures.
Bunce, Scott C; Harris, Jonathan D; Bixler, Edward O; Taylor, Megan; Muelly, Emilie; Deneke, Erin; Thompson, Kenneth W; Meyer, Roger E
There is growing evidence for a neuroadaptive model underlying vulnerability to relapse in opioid dependence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical measures hypothesized to mirror elements of allostatic dysregulation in patients dependent on prescription opioids at 2 time points after withdrawal, compared with healthy control participants. Recently withdrawn (n = 7) prescription opioid-dependent patients were compared with the patients in supervised residential care for 2 to 3 months (extended care; n = 7) and healthy controls (n = 7) using drug cue reactivity, affect-modulated startle response tasks, salivary cortisol, and 8 days of sleep actigraphy. Prefrontal cortex was monitored with functional near-infrared spectroscopy during the cue reactivity task. Startle response results indicated reduced hedonic response to natural rewards among patients recently withdrawn from opioids relative to extended care patients. The recently withdrawn patients showed increased activation to pill stimuli in right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex relative to extended care patients. Cortisol levels were elevated among recently withdrawn patients and intermediate for extended care relative to healthy controls. Actigraphy indicated disturbed sleep between recently withdrawn patients and extended care patients; extended care patients were similar to controls. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activation to drug and natural reward cues, startle responses to natural reward cues, day-time cortisol levels, time in bed, and total time spent sleeping were all correlated with the number of days since last drug use (ie, time in supervised residential treatment). These results suggest possible re-regulation of dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain reward systems in prescription opioid-dependent patients over the drug-free period in residential treatment.
Liu Yong; Wang Denggao; Zhang Guangbin; Zhou Wen; Yang Xuesen
Objective: To investigate the effects of microwave exposure on motor learning and Glutamate receptor 2(GluR2) phosphorylation in rat cerebellum. Methods: The rabbits were trained for seven days to form eye-blink conditioning, and then divided randomly into control and microwave exposure group (at hours 0,3,24 and 72 subgroups after exposure, respectively). The rabbits were accepted 90 mW/cm 2 microwave exposure for 30 minutes, and the rectal temperature were detected immediately after exposure and specific absorption rate (SAR) value were calculated. Eye-blink conditioning were detected immediately after exposure, and cerebellar GluR2 protein and GluR2 phosphorylation were detected with Western blotting. Results: Rectal temperature of rabbits were increased by 3.02 degree C after exposure, and SAR value was 8.74 W/kg. The eye-blink conditioning decreased significantly after exposure, and cerebellar GluR2 protein expression had no significant alteration but phosphorylation reduced significantly after exposure. Conclusions: 90 mW/cm 2 microwave exposure has injurious effects on cerebellar GluR2 phosphorylation and motor learning. (authors)
Falk, Tiago H; Guirgis, Mirna; Power, Sarah; Blain, Stefanie; Chau, Tom
In this work, the potential of using peripheral autonomic (PA) responses as control signals for body–machine interfaces that require no physical movement was investigated. Electrodermal activity, skin temperature, heart rate and respiration rate were collected from six participants and hidden Markov models (HMMs) were used to automatically detect when a subject was performing music imagery as opposed to being at rest. Experiments were performed under controlled silent conditions as well as in the presence of continuous and startle (e.g. door slamming) ambient noise. By developing subject-specific HMMs, music imagery was detected under silent conditions with the average sensitivity and specificity of 94.2% and 93.3%, respectively. In the presence of startle noise stimuli, the system sensitivity and specificity levels of 78.8% and 80.2% were attained, respectively. In environments corrupted by continuous ambient and startle noise, the system specificity further decreased to 75.9%. To improve the system robustness against environmental noise, a startle noise detection and compensation strategy were proposed. Once in place, performance levels were shown to be comparable to those observed in silence. The obtained results suggest that PA signals, combined with HMMs, can be useful tools for the development of body–machine interfaces that allow individuals with severe motor impairments to communicate and/or to interact with their environment
Muris, Peter; Jong, de Peter; Merckelbach, Harald; van Zuuren, Florence J.
The present study examined the effects of imposed monitoring and blunting coping strategies on emotional reactivity in 40 subjects who prepared themselves for upcoming neutral and aversive slides. Besides subjective indices, electrodermal measures and eye blink startle responses were used to
Tijssen, M. A.; Schoemaker, H. C.; Edelbroek, P. J.; Roos, R. A.; Cohen, A. F.; van Dijk, J. G.
Hyperekplexia is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a point mutation in the alpha1 subunit of the glycine receptor, characterized by excessive startle responses followed by temporary generalized stiffness. Clonazepam, effective in open case studies, potentiates, through unknown mechanisms, the
Tijssen, MAJ; Schoemaker, HC; Edelbroek, PJ; Roos, RAC; Cohen, AF; vanDijk, JG
Hyperekplexia is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a point mutation in the al subunit of the glycine receptor, characterized by excessive startle responses followed by temporary generalized stiffness. Clonazepam, effective in open case studies, potentiates, through unknown mechanisms, the
de Koning, Mariken B.; Bloemen, Oswald J. N.; van Duin, Esther D. A.; Booij, Jan; Abel, Kathryn M.; de Haan, Lieuwe; Linszen, Don H.; van Amelsvoort, Thérèse A. M. J.
Reduced prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response is thought to represent a robust biomarker in schizophrenia. Reduced PPI has been demonstrated in subjects at ultra high risk (UHR) for developing psychosis. Imaging studies report disruption of striatal dopaminergic
Berger, Joel I.; Coomber, Ben; Wells, Tobias T.; Wallace, Mark N.; Palmer, Alan R.
Tinnitus is often identified in animal models by using the gap prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle. Impaired gap detection following acoustic over-exposure (AOE) is thought to be caused by tinnitus “filling in” the gap, thus, reducing its salience. This presumably involves altered perception, and could conceivably be caused by changes at the level of the neocortex, i.e., cortical reorganization. Alternatively, reduced gap detection ability might reflect poorer temporal processing in the brainstem, caused by AOE; in which case, impaired gap detection would not be a reliable indicator of tinnitus. We tested the latter hypothesis by examining gap detection in inferior colliculus (IC) neurons following AOE. Seven of nine unilaterally noise-exposed guinea pigs exhibited behavioral evidence of tinnitus. In these tinnitus animals, neural gap detection thresholds (GDTs) in the IC significantly increased in response to broadband noise stimuli, but not to pure tones or narrow-band noise. In addition, when IC neurons were sub-divided according to temporal response profile (onset vs. sustained firing patterns), we found a significant increase in the proportion of onset-type responses after AOE. Importantly, however, GDTs were still considerably shorter than gap durations commonly used in objective behavioral tests for tinnitus. These data indicate that the neural changes observed in the IC are insufficient to explain deficits in behavioral gap detection that are commonly attributed to tinnitus. The subtle changes in IC neuron response profiles following AOE warrant further investigation. PMID:25346722
Full Text Available Trait anxiety is recognized as an individual risk factor for the development of anxiety disorders but the neurobiological mechanisms remain unknown. Here we test whether trait anxiety is associated with impaired fear inhibition utilizing the AX+/BX- conditional discrimination procedure that allows for the independent evaluation of startle fear potentiation and inhibition of fear. Sixty undergraduate students participated in the study--High Trait Anxious: n = 28 and Low Trait Anxious: n = 32. We replicated earlier findings that a transfer of conditioned inhibition for startle responses requires contingency awareness. However, contrary to the fear inhibition hypothesis, our data suggest that high trait anxious individuals show a normal fear inhibition of conditioned startle responding. Only at the cognitive level the high trait anxious individuals showed evidence for impaired inhibitory learning of the threat cue. Together with other findings where impaired fear inhibition was only observed in those PTSD patients who were either high on hyperarousal symptoms or with current anxiety symptoms, we question whether impaired fear inhibition is a biomarker for the development of anxiety disorders.
Holmgård, Christoffer; Yannakakis, Georgios; Martinez, Hector Perez
Computer games have recently shown promise as a diagnostic and treatment tool for psychiatric rehabilitation. This paper examines the potential of combining multiple modalities for detecting affective responses of patients interacting with a simulation built on game technology, aimed at the treat...
Siegmund, Gunter P
Literature-based review. To review the published data on occupant kinematic and neuromuscular responses during low-speed impacts and analyze how these data inform our understanding of whiplash injury. A stereotypical kinematic and neuromuscular response has been observed in human subjects exposed to rear-end impacts. Combined with various models of injury, these response data have been used to develop anti-whiplash seats that prevent whiplash injury in many, but not all, individuals exposed to a rear-end crash. Synthesis of the literature. Understanding of the occupant kinematics and neuromuscular responses, combined with data from various seat-related interventions, have shown that differential motion between the superior and inferior ends of the cervical spine is responsible for many whiplash injuries. The number of whiplash injuries not prevented by current anti-whiplash seats suggests than further work remains, possibly related to designing seats that respond dynamically to the occupant and collision properties. Neck muscles alter the head and neck kinematics during the interval in which injury likely occurs, even in initially relaxed occupants. It remains unclear whether muscle activation mitigates or exacerbates whiplash injury. If muscle activation mitigates injury, then advance warning could be used to help occupant tense their muscles before impact. Alternatively, if muscle activation exacerbates whiplash injury, then a loud preimpact sound that uncouples the startle and postural components of the muscle response could reduce peak muscle activation during a whiplash exposure. Our improved understanding of whiplash injury has led to anti-whiplash seats that have prevented many whiplash injuries. Further work remains to optimize these and possibly other systems to further reduce the number of whiplash injuries.
Maniscalco, James W; Zheng, Huiyuan; Gordon, Patrick J; Rinaman, Linda
Previous reports indicate that caloric restriction attenuates anxiety and other behavioral responses to acute stress, and blunts the ability of stress to increase anterior pituitary release of adrenocorticotropic hormone. Since hindbrain glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) neurons and noradrenergic prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP) neurons participate in behavioral and endocrine stress responses, and are sensitive to the metabolic state, we examined whether overnight food deprivation blunts stress-induced recruitment of these neurons and their downstream hypothalamic and limbic forebrain targets. A single overnight fast reduced anxiety-like behavior assessed in the elevated-plus maze and acoustic startle test, including marked attenuation of light-enhanced startle. Acute stress [i.e., 30 min restraint (RES) or 5 min elevated platform exposure] robustly activated c-Fos in GLP-1 and PrRP neurons in fed rats, but not in fasted rats. Fasting also significantly blunted the ability of acute stress to activate c-Fos expression within the anterior ventrolateral bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (vlBST). Acute RES stress suppressed dark-onset food intake in rats that were fed ad libitum, whereas central infusion of a GLP-1 receptor antagonist blocked RES-induced hypophagia, and reduced the ability of RES to activate PrRP and anterior vlBST neurons in ad libitum-fed rats. Thus, an overnight fast "silences" GLP-1 and PrRP neurons, and reduces both anxiety-like and hypophagic responses to acute stress. The partial mimicking of these fasting-induced effects in ad libitum-fed rats after GLP-1 receptor antagonism suggests a potential mechanism by which short-term negative energy balance attenuates neuroendocrine and behavioral responses to acute stress. The results from this study reveal a potential central mechanism for the "metabolic tuning" of stress responsiveness. A single overnight fast, which markedly reduces anxiety-like behavior in rats, reduces or blocks the ability of
de Fiebre, C M; Collins, A C
A classical (Mendelian) genetic analysis of responses to ethanol and nicotine was conducted in crosses derived from mouse lines which were selectively bred for differential duration of loss of the righting response (sleep-time) after ethanol. Dose-response curves for these mice, the long- and short-sleep mouse lines, as well as the derived F1, F2 and backcross (F1 x long-sleep and F1 x short-sleep) generations were generated for several measures of nicotine and ethanol sensitivity. Ethanol sensitivity was assessed using the sleep-time measure. Nicotine sensitivity was tested using a battery of behavioral and physiological tests which included measures of seizure activity, respiration rate, acoustic startle response, Y-maze activities (both crossing and rearing activities), heart rate and body temperature. The inheritance of sensitivities to both of these agents appears to be polygenic and inheritance can be explained primarily by additive genetic effects with some epistasis. Sensitivity to the ethanol sleep-time measure was genetically correlated with sensitivity to both nicotine-induced hypothermia and seizures; the correlation was greater between sleep-time and hypothermia. These data indicate that there is overlap in the genetic regulation of sensitivity to both ethanol and nicotine as measured by some, but not all, tests.
Greene, Nathaniel T; Anbuhl, Kelsey L; Ferber, Alexander T; DeGuzman, Marisa; Allen, Paul D; Tollin, Daniel J
Despite the common use of guinea pigs in investigations of the neural mechanisms of binaural and spatial hearing, their behavioral capabilities in spatial hearing tasks have surprisingly not been thoroughly investigated. To begin to fill this void, we tested the spatial hearing of adult male guinea pigs in several experiments using a paradigm based on the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the acoustic startle response. In the first experiment, we presented continuous broadband noise from one speaker location and switched to a second speaker location (the "prepulse") along the azimuth prior to presenting a brief, ∼110 dB SPL startle-eliciting stimulus. We found that the startle response amplitude was systematically reduced for larger changes in speaker swap angle (i.e., greater PPI), indicating that using the speaker "swap" paradigm is sufficient to assess stimulus detection of spatially separated sounds. In a second set of experiments, we swapped low- and high-pass noise across the midline to estimate their ability to utilize interaural time- and level-difference cues, respectively. The results reveal that guinea pigs can utilize both binaural cues to discriminate azimuthal sound sources. A third set of experiments examined spatial release from masking using a continuous broadband noise masker and a broadband chirp signal, both presented concurrently at various speaker locations. In general, animals displayed an increase in startle amplitude (i.e., lower PPI) when the masker was presented at speaker locations near that of the chirp signal, and reduced startle amplitudes (increased PPI) indicating lower detection thresholds when the noise was presented from more distant speaker locations. In summary, these results indicate that guinea pigs can: 1) discriminate changes in source location within a hemifield as well as across the midline, 2) discriminate sources of low- and high-pass sounds, demonstrating that they can effectively utilize both low-frequency interaural
Soto, José A; Levenson, Robert W; Ebling, Rachel
Ethnographic accounts suggest that emotions are moderated in Chinese cultures and expressed openly in Mexican cultures. The authors tested this notion by comparing subjective, behavioral, and physiological aspects of emotional responses to 3 (warned, unwarned, instructed to inhibit responding) aversive acoustic startle stimuli in 95 Chinese Americans and 64 Mexican Americans. Subjective reports were consistent with ethnographic accounts; Chinese Americans reported experiencing significantly less emotion than Mexican Americans across all 3 startle conditions. Evidence from a nonemotional task suggested that these differences were not artifacts of cultural differences in the use of rating scales. Few cultural differences were found in emotional behavior or physiology, suggesting that these aspects of emotion are less susceptible to cultural influence.
Lacoste, Alix M B; Schoppik, David; Robson, Drew N; Haesemeyer, Martin; Portugues, Ruben; Li, Jennifer M; Randlett, Owen; Wee, Caroline L; Engert, Florian; Schier, Alexander F
The Mauthner cell (M-cell) is a command-like neuron in teleost fish whose firing in response to aversive stimuli is correlated with short-latency escapes [1-3]. M-cells have been proposed as evolutionary ancestors of startle response neurons of the mammalian reticular formation , and studies of this circuit have uncovered important principles in neurobiology that generalize to more complex vertebrate models . The main excitatory input was thought to originate from multisensory afferents synapsing directly onto the M-cell dendrites . Here, we describe an additional, convergent pathway that is essential for the M-cell-mediated startle behavior in larval zebrafish. It is composed of excitatory interneurons called spiral fiber neurons, which project to the M-cell axon hillock. By in vivo calcium imaging, we found that spiral fiber neurons are active in response to aversive stimuli capable of eliciting escapes. Like M-cell ablations, bilateral ablations of spiral fiber neurons largely eliminate short-latency escapes. Unilateral spiral fiber neuron ablations shift the directionality of escapes and indicate that spiral fiber neurons excite the M-cell in a lateralized manner. Their optogenetic activation increases the probability of short-latency escapes, supporting the notion that spiral fiber neurons help activate M-cell-mediated startle behavior. These results reveal that spiral fiber neurons are essential for the function of the M-cell in response to sensory cues and suggest that convergent excitatory inputs that differ in their input location and timing ensure reliable activation of the M-cell, a feedforward excitatory motif that may extend to other neural circuits. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Damon G. Lamb
Full Text Available Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD is a reaction to trauma that results in a chronic perception of threat, precipitating mobilization of the autonomic nervous system, and may be reflected by chronic disinhibition of limbic structures. A common injury preceding PTSD in veterans is mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI. This may be due to the vulnerability of white matter in these networks and such damage may affect treatment response. We evaluated transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS, a non-invasive, low-risk approach that may alter the functions of the limbo-cortical and peripheral networks underlying the hyperarousal component of PTSD and thus improve patient health and well-being. In this single visit pilot study evaluating the impact of tVNS in 22 combat veterans, we used a between-subjects design in people with either PTSD with preceding mTBI or healthy controls. Participants were randomized into stimulation or sham groups and completed a posturally modulated autonomic assessment and emotionally modulated startle paradigm. The primary measures used were respiratory sinus arrhythmia (high-frequency heart rate variability during a tilt-table procedure derived from an electrocardiogram, and skin conductance changes in response to acoustic startle while viewing emotional images (International Affective Picture System. The stimulation was well tolerated and resulted in improvements in vagal tone and moderation of autonomic response to startle, consistent with modulation of autonomic state and response to stress in this population. Our results suggest that tVNS affects systems underlying emotional dysregulation in this population and, therefore, should be further evaluated and developed as a potential treatment tool for these patients.
Nakagawa, Kei; Inui, Koji; Yuge, Louis; Kakigi, Ryusuke
We previously demonstrated that auditory-evoked cortical responses were suppressed by a weak leading stimulus in a manner similar to the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle reflexes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether a similar phenomenon was present in the somatosensory system, and also whether this suppression reflected an inhibitory process. We recorded somatosensory-evoked magnetic fields following stimulation of the median nerve and evaluated the extent by which they were suppressed by inserting leading stimuli at an intensity of 2.5-, 1.5-, 1.1-, or 0.9-fold the sensory threshold (ST) in healthy participants (Experiment 1). The results obtained demonstrated that activity in the secondary somatosensory cortex in the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulated side (cSII) was significantly suppressed by a weak leading stimulus with the intensity larger than 1.1-fold ST. This result implied that the somatosensory system had an inhibitory process similar to that of PPI. We then presented two successive leading stimuli before the test stimulus, and compared the extent of suppression between the test stimulus-evoked responses and those obtained with the second prepulse alone and with two prepulses (first and second) (Experiment 2). When two prepulses were preceded, cSII responses to the second prepulse were suppressed by the first prepulse, whereas the ability of the second prepulse to suppress the test stimulus remained unchanged. These results suggested the presence of at least two individual pathways; response-generating and inhibitory pathways. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Clinical and neurobiological findings suggest that the cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system may be implicated in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia. We described that the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHR strain presents a schizophrenia behavioral phenotype that is specifically attenuated by antipsychotic drugs, and potentiated by proschizophrenia manipulations. Based on these findings, we have suggested this strain as an animal model of schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of cannabinoid drugs on the deficit of prepulse inhibition of startle (PPI, the main paradigm used to study sensorimotor gating impairment related to schizophrenia, presented by the SHR strain. The following drugs were used: 1 WIN55212,2 (cannabinoid agonist, 2 rimonabant (CB1 antagonist, 3 AM404 (anandamide uptake inhibitor, and 4 cannabidiol (indirect CB1/CB2 receptor antagonist, among other effects. Wistar rats (WR and SHRs were treated with vehicle or different doses of WIN55212 (0.3, 1 or 3 mg/kg, rimonabant (0.75, 1.5 or 3 mg/kg, AM404 (1, 5 or 10 mg/kg or cannabidiol (15, 30 or 60 mg/kg. Vehicle-treated SHRs showed a decreased PPI when compared to WRs. This PPI deficit was reversed by 1 mg/kg WIN and 30 mg/kg cannabidiol. Conversely, 0.75 mg/kg rimonabant decreased PPI in SHR strain, whereas AM404 did not modify it. Our results reinforce the role of the endocannabinoid system in the sensorimotor gating impairment related to schizophrenia, and point to cannabinoid drugs as potential therapeutic strategies.
Leuner, Benedetta; Waddell, Jaylyn; Gould, Elizabeth; Shors, Tracey J.
Some, but not all, types of learning and memory can influence neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. Trace eyeblink conditioning has been shown to enhance the survival of new neurons, whereas delay eyeblink conditioning has no such effect. The key difference between the two training procedures is that the conditioning stimuli are separated in time during trace but not delay conditioning. These findings raise the question of whether temporal discontiguity is necessary for enhancing the survival of new neurons. Here we used two approaches to test this hypothesis. First, we examined the influence of a delay conditioning task in which the duration of the conditioned stimulus (CS) was increased nearly twofold, a procedure that critically engages the hippocampus. Although the CS and unconditioned stimulus are contiguous, this very long delay conditioning procedure increased the number of new neurons that survived. Second, we examined the influence of learning the trace conditioned response (CR) after having acquired the CR during delay conditioning, a procedure that renders trace conditioning hippocampal-independent. In this case, trace conditioning did not enhance the survival of new neurons. Together, these results demonstrate that associative learning increases the survival of new neurons in the adult hippocampus, regardless of temporal contiguity. PMID:17192426
Chen, Hao; Wang, Yi-jie; Yang, Li; Sui, Jian-feng; Hu, Zhi-an; Hu, Bo
Associative learning is thought to require coordinated activities among distributed brain regions. For example, to direct behavior appropriately, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) must encode and maintain sensory information and then interact with the cerebellum during trace eyeblink conditioning (TEBC), a commonly-used associative learning model. However, the mechanisms by which these two distant areas interact remain elusive. By simultaneously recording local field potential (LFP) signals from the mPFC and the cerebellum in guinea pigs undergoing TEBC, we found that theta-frequency (5.0–12.0 Hz) oscillations in the mPFC and the cerebellum became strongly synchronized following presentation of auditory conditioned stimulus. Intriguingly, the conditioned eyeblink response (CR) with adaptive timing occurred preferentially in the trials where mPFC-cerebellum theta coherence was stronger. Moreover, both the mPFC-cerebellum theta coherence and the adaptive CR performance were impaired after the disruption of endogenous orexins in the cerebellum. Finally, association of the mPFC -cerebellum theta coherence with adaptive CR performance was time-limited occurring in the early stage of associative learning. These findings suggest that the mPFC and the cerebellum may act together to contribute to the adaptive performance of associative learning behavior by means of theta synchronization. PMID:26879632
Zhang, Lei; Li, Xiao-Xia; Hu, Xian-Zhang
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which regulates neuronal survival, growth differentiation, and synapse formation, is known to be associated with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the molecular mechanism for those mental disorders remains unknown. Studies have shown that BDNF is associated with PTSD risk and exaggerated startle reaction (a major arousal manifestation of PTSD) in United States military service members who were deployed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The frequency of the Met/Met in BDNF gene was greater among those with PTSD than those without PTSD. Among individuals who experienced fewer lifetime stressful events, the Met carriers have significantly higher total and startle scores on the PTSD Checklist than the Val/Val carriers. In addition, subjects with PTSD showed higher levels of BDNF in their peripheral blood plasma than the non-probable-PTSD controls. Increased BDNF levels and startle response were observed in both blood plasma and brain hippocampus by inescapable tail shock in rats. In this paper, we reviewed these data to discuss BDNF as a potential biomarker for PTSD risk and its possible roles in the onset of PTSD. PMID:27014593
Costine, Beth A; Oberlander, Joseph G; Davis, Matthew C; Penatti, Carlos A A; Porter, Donna M; Leaton, Robert N; Henderson, Leslie P
Summary In the past several decades, the therapeutic use of anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) has been overshadowed by illicit use of these drugs by elite athletes and a growing number of adolescents to enhance performance and body image. As with adults, AAS use by adolescents is associated with a range of behavioral effects, including increased anxiety and altered responses to stress. It has been suggested that adolescents, especially adolescent females, may be particularly susceptible to the effects of these steroids, but few experiments in animal models have been performed to test this assertion. Here we show that chronic exposure of adolescent female mice to a mixture of three commonly abused AAS (testosterone cypionate, nandrolone decanoate and methandrostenolone; 7.5 mg/kg/day for 5 days) significantly enhanced anxiety-like behavior as assessed by the acoustic startle response (ASR), but did not augment the fear-potentiated startle response (FPS) or alter sensorimotor gating as assessed by prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response (PPI). AAS treatment also significantly increased the levels of corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) mRNA and somal-associated CRF immunoreactivity in the central amygdala (CeA), as well as neuropil-associated immunoreactivity in the dorsal aspect of the anterolateral division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (dBnST). AAS treatment did not alter CRF receptor 1 or 2 mRNA in either the CeA or the dBnST; CRF immunoreactivity in the ventral BNST, the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) or the median eminence (ME); or peripheral levels of corticosterone. These results suggest that chronic AAS treatment of adolescent female mice may enhance generalized anxiety, but not sensorimotor gating or learned fear, via a mechanism that involves increased CRF-mediated signaling from CeA neurons projecting to the dBnST. PMID:20537804
Leer, Arne; Haesen, Kim; Vervliet, Bram
Extinction treatments decrease fear via repeated exposures to the conditioned stimulus (CS) and are associated with a return of fear. Alternatively, fear can be reduced via reductions in the perceived intensity of the unconditioned stimulus (US), e.g., through repeated exposures to the US. Promisingly, the few available studies show that repeated US exposures outperform standard extinction. US exposure treatments can decrease fear via two routes: (1) by weakening the CS-US association (extinction-like mechanism), and/or (2) by weakening the subjective US aversiveness (habituation-like mechanism). The current study further investigated the conditions under which US exposure treatment may reduce renewal, by adding a group in which CS-US pairings continued following fear acquisition. During acquisition, participants learned that one of two visual stimuli (CS+/CS-) predicted the occurrence of an aversive electrocutaneous stimulus (US). Next, the background context changed and participants received one of three interventions: repeated CS exposures, (2) repeated US exposures, or (3) continued CS-US pairings. Following repeated CS exposures, test presentations of the CSs in the original conditioning context revealed intact CS+/CS- differentiation in the fear-potentiated startle reflex, while the differentiation was abolished in the other two groups. Differential US expectancy ratings, on the other hand, were intact in all groups. Skin conductance data were inconclusive because standard context renewal following CS exposures did not occur. Unexpectedly, there was no evidence for a habituation-like process having taken place during US exposures or continued CS-US pairings. The results provide further evidence that US exposures outperform the standard extinction treatment and show that effects are similar when US exposures are part of CS-US pairings.
... economist of the World Bank and former chair of the US Presidential Council of Economic Advisors. Ben Turok interviewed him at the BRICS conference in Durban in November 2015. They spoke about US responses to the financial crisis, startling new thinking at the IMF, and options for South Africa's economic future.
Full Text Available Familial hyperekplexia, also called startle disease, is a rare neurological disorder characterized by excessive startle responses to noise or touch. It can be associated with serious injury from frequent falls, apnea spells, and aspiration pneumonia. Familial hyperekplexia has a heterogeneous genetic background with several identified causative genes; it demonstrates both dominant and recessive inheritance in the α1 subunit of the glycine receptor (GLRA1, the β subunit of the glycine receptor and the presynaptic sodium and chloride-dependent glycine transporter 2 genes. Clonazepam is an effective medical treatment for hyperekplexia. Here, we report genetically confirmed familial hyperekplexia patients presenting early adult cautious gait. Additionally, we review clinical features, mode of inheritance, ethnicity and the types and locations of mutations of previously reported hyperekplexia cases with a GLRA1 gene mutation.
Murphy, Dooley Joel
This extended abstract proposes a means of classifying the “residual affect” of vertigo, startles, and similar forms of innate, autonomic response easily triggered in and by immersive Virtual Reality (VR). Employing a formal–functionalist approach, I first summarise relevant work on cognition and...... and game emotion, then discuss how acute, involuntary responses to VR stimuli (1) necessarily feed into player experience and (2) correspond with existing categories for game emotion....
Krishnan, Balaji; Scott, Michael T; Pollandt, Sebastian; Schroeder, Bradley; Kurosky, Alexander; Shinnick-Gallagher, Patricia
Long-term memory (LTM) of fear stores activity dependent modifications that include changes in amygdala signaling. Previously, we identified an enhanced probability of release of glutamate mediated signaling to be important in rat fear potentiated startle (FPS), a well-established translational behavioral measure of fear. Here, we investigated short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in FPS involving metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) and associated downstream proteomic changes in the thalamic-lateral amygdala pathway (Th-LA). Aldolase A, an inhibitor of phospholipase D (PLD), expression was reduced, concurrent with significantly elevated PLD protein expression. Blocking the PLD-mGluR signaling significantly reduced PLD activity. While transmitter release probability increased in FPS, PLD-mGluR agonist and antagonist actions were occluded. In the unpaired group (UNP), blocking the PLD-mGluR increased while activating the receptor decreased transmitter release probability, consistent with decreased synaptic potentials during tetanic stimulation. FPS Post-tetanic potentiation (PTP) immediately following long-term potentiation (LTP) induction was significantly increased. Blocking PLD-mGluR signaling prevented PTP and reduced cumulative PTP probability but not LTP maintenance in both groups. These effects are similar to those mediated through mGluR7, which is co-immunoprecipitated with PLD in FPS. Lastly, blocking mGluR-PLD in the rat amygdala was sufficient to prevent behavioral expression of fear memory. Thus, our study in the Th-LA pathway provides the first evidence for PLD as an important target of mGluR signaling in amygdala fear-associated memory. Importantly, the PLD-mGluR provides a novel therapeutic target for treating maladaptive fear memories in posttraumatic stress and anxiety disorders. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Ivan eHerreros Alonso
Full Text Available Emulating the input-output functions performed by a brain structure opens the possibility for developing neuro-prosthetic systems that replace damaged neuronal circuits. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by replacing the cerebellar circuit responsible for the acquisition and extinction of motor memories. Specifically, we show that a rat can undergo acquisition, retention and extinction of the eye-blink reflex even though the biological circuit responsible for this task has been chemically inactivated via anesthesia. This is achieved by first developing a computational model of the cerebellar microcircuit involved in the acquisition of conditioned reflexes and training it with synthetic data generated based on physiological recordings. Secondly, the cerebellar model is interfaced with the brain of an anesthetized rat, connecting the model's inputs and outputs to afferent and efferent cerebellar structures. As a result, we show that the anesthetized rat, equipped with our neuro-prosthetic system, can be classically conditioned to the acquisition of an eye-blink response. However, non-stationarities in the recorded biological signals limit the performance of the cerebellar model. Thus, we introduce an updated cerebellar model and validate it with physiological recordings showing that learning becomes stable and reliable. The resulting system represents an important step towards replacing lost functions of the central nervous system via neuro-prosthetics, obtained by integrating a synthetic circuit with the afferent and efferent pathways of a damaged brain region. These results also embody an early example of science-based medicine, where on the one hand the neuro-prosthetic system directly validates a theory of cerebellar learning that informed the design of the system, and on the other one it takes a step towards the development of neuro-prostheses that could recover lost learning functions in animals and, in the longer term
Herreros, Ivan; Giovannucci, Andrea [Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems group (SPECS), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (Spain); Taub, Aryeh H.; Hogri, Roni; Magal, Ari [Psychobiology Research Unit, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv (Israel); Bamford, Sim [Physics Laboratory, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome (Italy); Prueckl, Robert [Guger Technologies OG, Graz (Austria); Verschure, Paul F. M. J., E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [Synthetic Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems group (SPECS), Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona (Spain); Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats, Barcelona (Spain)
Emulating the input–output functions performed by a brain structure opens the possibility for developing neuroprosthetic systems that replace damaged neuronal circuits. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by replacing the cerebellar circuit responsible for the acquisition and extinction of motor memories. Specifically, we show that a rat can undergo acquisition, retention, and extinction of the eye-blink reflex even though the biological circuit responsible for this task has been chemically inactivated via anesthesia. This is achieved by first developing a computational model of the cerebellar microcircuit involved in the acquisition of conditioned reflexes and training it with synthetic data generated based on physiological recordings. Secondly, the cerebellar model is interfaced with the brain of an anesthetized rat, connecting the model’s inputs and outputs to afferent and efferent cerebellar structures. As a result, we show that the anesthetized rat, equipped with our neuroprosthetic system, can be classically conditioned to the acquisition of an eye-blink response. However, non-stationarities in the recorded biological signals limit the performance of the cerebellar model. Thus, we introduce an updated cerebellar model and validate it with physiological recordings showing that learning becomes stable and reliable. The resulting system represents an important step toward replacing lost functions of the central nervous system via neuroprosthetics, obtained by integrating a synthetic circuit with the afferent and efferent pathways of a damaged brain region. These results also embody an early example of science-based medicine, where on the one hand the neuroprosthetic system directly validates a theory of cerebellar learning that informed the design of the system, and on the other one it takes a step toward the development of neuro-prostheses that could recover lost learning functions in animals and, in the longer term, humans.
Herreros, Ivan; Giovannucci, Andrea; Taub, Aryeh H.; Hogri, Roni; Magal, Ari; Bamford, Sim; Prueckl, Robert; Verschure, Paul F. M. J.
Emulating the input–output functions performed by a brain structure opens the possibility for developing neuroprosthetic systems that replace damaged neuronal circuits. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of this approach by replacing the cerebellar circuit responsible for the acquisition and extinction of motor memories. Specifically, we show that a rat can undergo acquisition, retention, and extinction of the eye-blink reflex even though the biological circuit responsible for this task has been chemically inactivated via anesthesia. This is achieved by first developing a computational model of the cerebellar microcircuit involved in the acquisition of conditioned reflexes and training it with synthetic data generated based on physiological recordings. Secondly, the cerebellar model is interfaced with the brain of an anesthetized rat, connecting the model’s inputs and outputs to afferent and efferent cerebellar structures. As a result, we show that the anesthetized rat, equipped with our neuroprosthetic system, can be classically conditioned to the acquisition of an eye-blink response. However, non-stationarities in the recorded biological signals limit the performance of the cerebellar model. Thus, we introduce an updated cerebellar model and validate it with physiological recordings showing that learning becomes stable and reliable. The resulting system represents an important step toward replacing lost functions of the central nervous system via neuroprosthetics, obtained by integrating a synthetic circuit with the afferent and efferent pathways of a damaged brain region. These results also embody an early example of science-based medicine, where on the one hand the neuroprosthetic system directly validates a theory of cerebellar learning that informed the design of the system, and on the other one it takes a step toward the development of neuro-prostheses that could recover lost learning functions in animals and, in the longer term, humans.
Zoladz, Phillip R; Conrad, Cheryl D; Fleshner, Monika; Diamond, David M
People who are exposed to horrific, life-threatening experiences are at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the symptoms of PTSD include persistent anxiety, exaggerated startle, cognitive impairments and increased sensitivity to yohimbine, an alpha(2)-adrenergic receptor antagonist. We have taken into account the conditions known to induce PTSD, as well as factors responsible for long-term maintenance of the disorder, to develop an animal model of PTSD. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered a total of 31 days of psychosocial stress, composed of acute and chronic components. The acute component was a 1-h stress session (immobilization during cat exposure), which occurred on Days 1 and 11. The chronic component was that on all 31 days the rats were given unstable housing conditions. We found that psychosocially stressed rats had reduced growth rate, reduced thymus weight, increased adrenal gland weight, increased anxiety, an exaggerated startle response, cognitive impairments, greater cardiovascular and corticosterone reactivity to an acute stressor and heightened responsivity to yohimbine. This work demonstrates the effectiveness of acute inescapable episodes of predator exposure administered in conjunction with daily social instability as an animal model of PTSD.
Nikaido, Yoshikazu; Yamada, Junko; Migita, Keisuke; Shiba, Yuko; Furukawa, Tomonori; Nakashima, Toshihiro; Ueno, Shinya
Several green leaf volatiles have anxiolytic/antidepressant properties and attenuate adrenocortical stress response in rodents. However, it remains unknown whether a mixture of cis-3-hexenol and trans-2-hexenal so-called 'green odor (GO)' affects fear-associated post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-like behavior. In the present study, fear memory of the initial conditioning stimulus was stably maintained by weekly presentation of conditioned tone. Examination of open field behavior, acoustic startle response, prepulse inhibition, and immobility in the forced swim test for 2 weeks after initial conditioning revealed that conditioned rats sustained anxiety, enhanced startle response, hypervigilance, depression-like behavior, and hypocortisolism, which is consistent with PTSD symptoms. Daily, not acute, GO presentation facilitated fear extinction and reduced PTSD-like behavioral and endocrinal responses. To further investigate the mechanism of effect of GO, we examined the effect of paroxetine (a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor), p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, an irreversible serotonin synthesis inhibitor), alone or in combination of GO on PTSD-like phenotype. The alleviative effects of GO were masked by simultaneous paroxetine administration. PCPA-induced serotonin depletion abolished the effects of GO. Our results suggest that daily GO presentation facilitates fear extinction and prevents development of PTSD-like symptoms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Wiseman, Richard J; Nakano, Tamami
Magicians use several techniques to deceive their audiences, including, for example, the misdirection of attention and verbal suggestion. We explored another potential stratagem, namely the relaxation of attention. Participants watched a video of a highly skilled magician whilst having their eye-blinks recorded. The timing of spontaneous eye-blinks was highly synchronized across participants. In addition, the synchronized blinks frequency occurred immediately after a seemingly impossible feat, and often coincided with actions that the magician wanted to conceal from the audience. Given that blinking is associated with the relaxation of attention, these findings suggest that blinking plays an important role in the perception of magic, and that magicians may utilize blinking and the relaxation of attention to hide certain secret actions.
Richard J. Wiseman
Full Text Available Magicians use several techniques to deceive their audiences, including, for example, the misdirection of attention and verbal suggestion. We explored another potential stratagem, namely the relaxation of attention. Participants watched a video of a highly skilled magician whilst having their eye-blinks recorded. The timing of spontaneous eye-blinks was highly synchronized across participants. In addition, the synchronized blinks frequency occurred immediately after a seemingly impossible feat, and often coincided with actions that the magician wanted to conceal from the audience. Given that blinking is associated with the relaxation of attention, these findings suggest that blinking plays an important role in the perception of magic, and that magicians may utilize blinking and the relaxation of attention to hide certain secret actions.
recently blinded individual without verbal notification (e.g., to tap his or her shoulder) can lead to a startle response as he or she can not perceive...34. WUtWt IM» 1 *• ,. .. ,„ List RtcoQWTtd °ftoflfi/n# male short a Figure 6: / eft , BrainPort® display showing stereo presentation of a
Jovanovic, Tanja; Nylocks, Karin Maria; Gamwell, Kaitlyn L; Smith, Ami; Davis, Telsie A; Norrholm, Seth Davin; Bradley, Bekh
Development of anxiety disorders is associated with neurobiological changes in areas that are a critical part of the fear neurocircuitry. Fear conditioning paradigms can offer insight into the mechanisms underlying the neurobiological ontogeny of anxiety. A small number of studies have focused on the effects of age and anxiety separately in school age children. The present study aimed to investigate these effects in 8-13 year old children with higher and lower trait anxiety. We examined differential fear conditioning and extinction using skin conductance responses and fear-potentiated startle in 60 children recruited from a low-income urban population. The results indicated that children under 10 years of age show poor discrimination of conditioned stimuli, and that anxiety increases fear responses during fear acquisition. After controlling for age and trauma exposure, fear-potentiated startle to the safety cue predicted child anxiety levels suggesting that impaired safety signal learning may be a risk factor for anxiety disorders in adulthood. Identifying risk phenotypes in children may provide opportunities for early intervention and prevention of illness. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
White, Stephen J; Briffa, Mark
Natural animal populations are increasingly exposed to human impacts on the environment, which could have consequences for their behaviour. Among these impacts is exposure to anthropogenic contaminants. Any environmental variable that influences internal state could impact behaviour across a number of levels: at the sample mean, at the level of among-individual differences in behaviour ('animal personality') and at the level of within-individual variation in behaviour (intra-individual variation, 'IIV'). Here we examined the effect of exposure to seawater-borne copper on the startle response behaviour of European hermit crabs, Pagurus bernhardus across these levels. Copper exposure rapidly led to longer startle responses on average, but did not lead to any change in repeatability indicating that individual differences were present and equally consistent in the presence and absence of copper. There was no strong evidence that copper exposure led to changes in IIV. Our data show that exposure to copper for 1 week produces sample mean level changes in the behaviour of hermit crabs. However, there is no evidence that this exposure led to changes in repeatability through feedback loops.
Full Text Available Previous studies were able to demonstrate different verbally stated affective responses to environments. In the present study we used objective measures of emotion. We examined startle reflex modulation as well as changes in heart rate and skin conductance while subjects virtually walked through six different areas of urban Paris using the StreetView tool of Google maps. Unknown to the subjects, these areas were selected based on their median real estate prices. First, we found that price highly correlated with subjective rating of pleasantness. In addition, relative startle amplitude differed significantly between the area with lowest versus highest median real estate price while no differences in heart rate and skin conductance were found across conditions. We conclude that interaction with environmental scenes does elicit emotional responses which can be objectively measured and quantified. Environments activate motivational and emotional brain circuits, which is in line with the notion of an evolutionary developed system of environmental preference. Results are discussed in the frame of environmental psychology and aesthetics.
ZHENG, YA-JUAN; DONG, YU-CHEN; ZHU, CHAO; ZHAO, MEI-SHENG
Eyelid conditioning, including delay eyelid conditioning and trace eyelid conditioning, has been used extensively to study neural structures and mechanisms of learning and memory as a form of associative learning. In the present study, microcurrent electrical stimulation was used to stimulate the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to induce delay eyelid conditioning in guinea pigs. The acquisition rate and relative latency of the conditioned eyelid response (CR) and the startle eyelid response (...
Blinch, Jarrod; Franks, Ian M; Carpenter, Mark G; Chua, Romeo
Movement preparation of bimanual asymmetric movements is longer than bimanual symmetric movements in choice reaction time conditions, even when movements are cued directly by illuminating the targets (Blinch et al. in Exp Brain Res 232(3):947-955, 2014). This bimanual asymmetric cost may be caused by increased processing demands on response programming, but this requires further investigation. The present experiment tested the demands on response programming for bimanual movements by temporally separating the preparation of each arm. This was achieved by precuing the target of one arm before the imperative stimulus. We asked: What was prepared in advance when one arm was precued? The answer to this question would suggest which process causes the bimanual asymmetric cost. Advance movement preparation was examined by comparing reaction times with and without a precue for the left target and by occasionally replacing the imperative stimulus with a loud, startling tone (120 dB). A startle tone releases whatever movement is prepared in advance with a much shorter reaction time than control trials (Carlsen et al. in Clin Neurophysiol 123(1):21-33, 2012). Participants made bimanual symmetric and asymmetric reaching movements in simple and 2-choice reaction time conditions and a condition with a precue for the left target. We found a bimanual asymmetric cost in 2-choice conditions, and the asymmetric cost was significantly smaller when the left target was precued. These results, and the results from startle trials, suggest (1) that the precued movement was not fully programmed but partially programmed before the imperative stimulus and (2) that the asymmetric cost was caused by increased processing demands on response programming. Overall, the results support the notion that bimanual movements are not the sum of two unimanual movements; instead, the two arms of a bimanual movement are unified into a functional unit. When one target is precued, this critical unification
Ardayfio, Paul; Kim, Kwang-Soo
Chronic hypercortisolemia is a hallmark of neuroendocrine and psychiatric disorders, such as Cushing's disease and depression. Whether cortisol directly contributes to the altered mood and anxiety symptoms seen in these diseases remains unclear. To address this, the authors have modeled hypercortisolemia by administering corticosterone in the drinking water of female Swiss Webster mice for 17 or 18 days (13 mg/kg). Light-dark emergence, startle habituation, and startle reactivity were measured. Chronic but not acute treatment with corticosterone increased the latency to emerge into the light compartment, an anxiogenic-like effect. Chronic corticosterone treatment did not affect startle habituation, but did reduce startle reactivity. This study suggests that chronic hypercortisolemia may contribute to anxiety-related behavior in patients with Cushing's disease and depression. ((c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Eugene, Andy R; Masiak, Jolanta
Selective Mutism is described as the inability to verbally express oneself in anxiety provoking social situations and may result in awkward social interactions in school-aged children. In this case-report we present the baseline electrophysiological neuroimaging results and after treatment with Sertraline for 6-weeks. A 20-channel EEG event-related potential recording was acquired during an internal voice task at baseline prior to the initiation of 50mg of Sertraline and then repeated 6-weeks after treatment with Sertraline. EEG signals were processed for movement, eye-blink, and muscle artifacts and ERP signal averaging was completed. ERPs were analyzed using Standard Low Resolution Brain Electromagnetic Tomography (sLORETA). At baseline, Sertraline increased the neuronal activation in the middle temporal gyrus and the anterior cingulate gyrus from baseline in the patient following 6-weeks of treatment. Our findings suggest that electrophysiological neuroimaging may provide a creative approach for personalizing medicine by providing insight to the pharmacodynamics of antidepressants.
Juven-Wetzler, Alzbeta; Cohen, Hagit; Kaplan, Zeev; Kohen, Avi; Porat, Oren; Zohar, Joseph
Clinical studies suggest that administration of ketamine hydrochloride-an antagonist at the N-methyl-d-aspartate ionophore-provides short-term amelioration for depressive symptoms. The effects of a brief course of ketamine given immediately following exposure to psychogenic stress on the behavioral stress responses were assessed in an animal model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Animals exposed to stress were treated 1h later with ketamine (0.5, 5, and 15 mg/kg) or vehicle for three days (N = 107). Outcome measures included behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM) and acoustic startle response (ASR) tests 30 days after initial exposure and freezing behavior upon exposure to a trauma-cue on day 31. Pre-set cut-off behavioral criteria classified exposed animals according to their EPM and ASR response-patterns into "extreme," "minimal," or "partial" behavioral response for analysis of prevalence rates of "PTSD-like behavior." Circulating corticosterone levels were assessed 20 min after injection of ketamine in exposed and unexposed animals (N = 62). The dexamethasone suppression test was used to assess negative feedback inhibition of the HPA axis. Prevalence rates of extremely-, partially-, or minimally-disrupted behavior demonstrated that ketamine administered immediately following stress exposure was ineffective in alleviating "PTSD-like behavior" at day 30 after exposure. Administration of ketamine was associated with increase in freezing behavior after exposure to a trauma-cue on day 31. Corticosterone levels were significantly suppressed by ketamine only in the exposed animals. Administration of ketamine immediately following trauma-exposure may not only be ineffective but actually detrimental in the long term. A disruption of the post-stress HPA-response has been raised as a contributing factor. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV controls activity-dependent gene transcription by regulating the activity of the cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB. This signaling pathway is involved in gating emotional responses in the CNS but previous studies did not address the potential roles of CaMKIV in discrete brain regions. In the present study, we aimed at specifically dissecting the role of CaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens of adult mice. Results We used recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV-mediated gene transfer of a dominant-negative CaMKIV variant (rAAV-dnCaMKIV to inhibit endogenous CaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens. rAAV-dnCaMKIV treated animals were subjected to a battery of tests including, prepulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response, open field, social interaction and anxiety-related behaviour. We found that basal locomotor activity in the open field, and prepulse inhibition or startle performance were unaltered in mice infected with rAAV-dnCaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens. However, anxiogenic effects were revealed in social interaction testing and the light/dark emergence test. Conclusion Our findings suggest a modulatory role of CaMKIV in the nucleus accumbens in anxiety-like behaviour but not sensorimotor gating.
Sánchez-González, Ana; Esnal, Aitor; Río-Álamos, Cristóbal; Oliveras, Ignasi; Cañete, Toni; Blázquez, Gloria; Tobeña, Adolf; Fernández-Teruel, Alberto
This study presents the first evaluation of the associations between responses in two paradigms related to schizophrenia in the genetically heterogeneous NIH-HS rat stock. NIH-HS rats are a stock of genetically heterogeneous animals that have been derived from eight different inbred strains. A rotational breeding schedule has been followed for more than eighty generations, leading to a high level of genetic recombination that makes the NIH-HS rats a unique tool for studying the genetic basis of (biological, behavioral, disease-related) complex traits. Previous work has dealt with the characterization of coping styles, cognitive and anxiety/fear-related profiles of NIH-HS rats. In the present study we have completed their characterization in two behavioral models, prepulse inhibition (PPI) and latent inhibition (LI) of the two-way active avoidance response, that appear to be related to schizophrenia or to schizophrenia-relevant symptoms. We have found that these rats display PPI for each of the four prepulse intensities tested, allowing their stratification in high, medium and low PPI subgroups. When testing these three subgroups for LI of two-way active avoidance acquisition it has been observed that the LowPPI and MediumPPI subgroups present impaired LI, which, along with the fact that the HighPPI group presents significant LI, allows us to hypothesize that responses in these two paradigms are somehow related and that selection of NIH-HS rats for Low vs HighPPI could make a promising animal model for the study of clusters of schizophrenia-relevant symptoms and their underlying neurobiological mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Turner, Jeremy G.; Brozoski, Thomas J.; Parrish, Jennifer L.; Bauer, Carol A.; Hughes, Larry F.; Caspary, Donald M.
Measuring tinnitus in laboratory animals is difficult, involving weeks or months of operant training. Preliminary data suggest that rapid screening for tinnitus in rats can be accomplished using an unconditioned acoustic startle reflex. In control animals, a gap in an otherwise constant acoustic background inhibits a subsequent startle response to a sound impulse. If, however, the background signal is qualitatively similar to the animal's tinnitus, poorer detection of the gap and less inhibition of the startle might be expected. Fourteen animals with putative tinnitus at 10 kHz and 13 control animals were tested for gap detection using three different background signals: broadband noise, and filtered bandpass noise centered either at 16 kHz (15.5-16.5 kHz) or at their suspected tinnitus locus of 10 kHz (9.5-10.5 kHz). As predicted, animals with evidence of tinnitus exhibited significantly worse gap detection at 10 kHz, and were not significantly different than control animals at 16 kHz and broadband noise. These results suggest a new methodology for rapidly detecting tinnitus in individual animals. Equipment donated by Hamilton-Kinder Inc Behavioral Testing Systems in the memory of SIU graduate Dorothy Jean Kinder (Walker). [Work supported by NIH grants AG023910-01 (JT), DC4830 (TB & CB), and DC00151 (DC).
Myer, Catherine E; Bryant, Deborah; DeLuca, John; Gluck, Mark A
In humans, anterograde amnesia can result from damage to the medial temporal (MT) lobes (including hippocampus), as well as to other brain areas such as basal forebrain. Results from animal classical conditioning studies suggest that there may be qualitative differences in the memory impairment following MT vs. basal forebrain damage. Specifically, delay eyeblink conditioning is spared after MT damage in animals and humans, but impaired in animals with basal forebrain damage. Recently, we have likewise shown delay eyeblink conditioning impairment in humans with amnesia following anterior communicating artery (ACoA) aneurysm rupture, which damages the basal forebrain. Another associative learning task, a computer-based concurrent visual discrimination, also appears to be spared in MT amnesia while ACoA amnesics are slower to learn the discriminations. Conversely, animal and computational models suggest that, even though MT amnesics may learn quickly, they may learn qualitatively differently from controls, and these differences may result in impaired transfer when familiar information is presented in novel combinations. Our initial data suggests such a two-phase learning and transfer task may provide a double dissociation between MT amnesics (spared initial learning but impaired transfer) and ACoA amnesics (slow initial learning but spared transfer). Together, these emerging data suggest that there are subtle but dissociable differences in the amnesic syndrome following damage to the MT lobes vs. basal forebrain, and that these differences may be most visible in non-declarative tasks such as eyeblink classical conditioning and simple associative learning.
Full Text Available Background: An increasingly used behavioral paradigm for the objective assessment of a possible tinnitus percept in animal models has been proposed by Turner and coworkers in 2006. It is based on gap-prepulse inhibition (PPI of the acoustic startle reflex (ASR and usually referred to as GPIAS. As it does not require conditioning it became the method of choice to study neuroplastic phenomena associated with the development of tinnitus.Objective: It is still controversial if GPIAS is really appropriate for tinnitus screening, as the hypothesis that a tinnitus percept impairs the gap detection ability (“filling-in interpretation” is still questioned. Furthermore, a wide range of criteria for positive tinnitus detection in GPIAS have been used across different laboratories and there still is no consensus on a best practice for statistical evaluation of GPIAS results. Current approaches are often based on simple averaging of measured PPI values and comparisons on a population level without the possibility to perform valid statistics on the level of the single animal.Methods: A total number of 32 animals were measured using the standard GPIAS paradigm with varying number of measurement repetitions. Based on this data further statistical considerations were performed.Results: We here present a new statistical approach to overcome the methodological limitations of GPIAS. In a first step we show that ASR amplitudes are not normally distributed. Next we estimate the distribution of the measured PPI values by exploiting the full combinatorial power of all measured ASR amplitudes. We demonstrate that the amplitude ratios (1-PPI are approximately lognormally distributed, allowing for parametrical testing of the logarithmized values and present a new statistical approach allowing for a valid and reliable statistical assessment of PPI changes in GPIAS.Conclusion: Based on our statistical approach we recommend using a constant criterion, which does not
Lisa Y. Maeng
Full Text Available Women are nearly twice as likely as men to suffer from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, indicating that many females are especially vulnerable to stressful life experience. A profound sex difference in the response to stress is also observed in laboratory animals. Acute exposure to an uncontrollable stressful event disrupts associative learning during classical eyeblink conditioning in female rats but enhances this same type of learning process in males. These sex differences in response to stress are dependent on neuronal activity in similar but also different brain regions. Neuronal activity in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala (BLA is necessary in both males and females. However, neuronal activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC during the stressor is necessary to modify learning in females but not in males. The mPFC is often divided into its prelimbic (PL and infralimbic (IL subregions, which differ both in structure and function. Through its connections to the BLA, we hypothesized that neuronal activity within the PL, but not IL, during the stressor is necessary to suppress learning in females. To test this hypothesis, either the PL or IL of adult female rats was bilaterally inactivated with GABAA agonist muscimol during acute inescapable swim stress. 24h later, all subjects were trained with classical eyeblink conditioning. Though stressed, females without neuronal activity in the PL learned well. In contrast, females with IL inactivation during the stressor did not learn well, behaving similar to stressed vehicle-treated females. These data suggest that exposure to a stressful event critically engages the PL, but not IL, to disrupt associative learning in females. Together with previous studies, these data indicate that the PL communicates with the BLA to suppress learning after a stressful experience in females. This circuit may be similarly engaged in women who become cognitively impaired after stressful
Levkovitz, Yechiel; Fenchel, Daphna; Kaplan, Zeev; Zohar, Joseph; Cohen, Hagit
We assessed the effects of minocycline, a tetracycline with anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and neuroprotective capacities, in an animal model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rats were exposed to psychogenic stress and treated 1h later with minocycline or saline. Behavioral measures included the elevated plus-maze (EPM) and acoustic startle response (ASR) 7 days post stress-exposure. One day after behavioral testing, animals were exposed to a trauma cue and freezing response was assessed. Local levels of cytokines interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the hippocampus, frontal cortex (FC) and hypothalamus were then examined. Minocycline attenuated anxious-like behaviors in stress-exposed rats. In addition, decreased levels of cytokines were measured in exposed rats treated with minocycline compared to their counterparts treated with saline. This study suggests a potential use of minocycline in preventing physiological and behavioral alternations resulting from acute exposure to psychological stress. As this is the first study to report beneficial outcomes for minocycline treatment in an animal model of PTSD, further investigations of the use of minocycline in stress-related conditions with emphasis on PTSD is needed. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
MEDICINE AND BIOMETRICS Thesis Advisor L~Ph.D. !""hfr’f NAVAL MEDICAL RESEARCH CENTER-ASIA Committee Member Eleanor S. i\\lie~calf, Ph D. Dean ii...profuse salivation , choreoathetosis, increased startle response, and terminal chronic seizures (71). The Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for...irritation, headache, dizziness, nausea, epigastric pain, vomiting, anorexia, fatigue, twitching muscles, salivation , fluid in lungs, runny nose, and
the effect of a variety of different modifiers to the startle response, from drugs to environmental conditions . It has repeatedly been seen that...in rats. J. Neurosci. 1999;19: 8696-8703. Maren,S. Neurobiology of Pavlovian fear conditioning . Annu. Rev. Neurosci. 2001;24: 897-931. Marmar,CR...stress can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other pathophysiological conditions . PTSD is characterized by a number of
Chen, Hao; Yang, Li; Xu, Yan; Wu, Guang-yan; Yao, Juan; Zhang, Jun; Zhu, Zhi-ru; Hu, Zhi-an; Sui, Jian-feng; Hu, Bo
Behavioral studies have demonstrated that both medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and cerebellum play critical roles in trace eyeblink conditioning. However, little is known regarding the mechanism by which the two brain regions interact. By use of electrical stimulation of the caudal mPFC as a conditioned stimulus, we show evidence that persistent outputs from the mPFC to cerebellum are necessary and sufficient for the acquisition and expression of a trace conditioned response (CR)-like response. Specifically, the persistent outputs of caudal mPFC are relayed to the cerebellum via the rostral part of lateral pontine nuclei. Moreover, interfering with persistent activity by blockade of the muscarinic Ach receptor in the caudal mPFC impairs the expression of learned trace CRs. These results suggest an important way for the caudal mPFC to interact with the cerebellum during associative motor learning.
Tamburro, Gabriella; Fiedler, Patrique; Stone, David; Haueisen, Jens
Background EEG may be affected by artefacts hindering the analysis of brain signals. Data-driven methods like independent component analysis (ICA) are successful approaches to remove artefacts from the EEG. However, the ICA-based methods developed so far are often affected by limitations, such as: the need for visual inspection of the separated independent components (subjectivity problem) and, in some cases, for the independent and simultaneous recording of the inspected artefacts to identify the artefactual independent components; a potentially heavy manipulation of the EEG signals; the use of linear classification methods; the use of simulated artefacts to validate the methods; no testing in dry electrode or high-density EEG datasets; applications limited to specific conditions and electrode layouts. Methods Our fingerprint method automatically identifies EEG ICs containing eyeblinks, eye movements, myogenic artefacts and cardiac interference by evaluating 14 temporal, spatial, spectral, and statistical features composing the IC fingerprint. Sixty-two real EEG datasets containing cued artefacts are recorded with wet and dry electrodes (128 wet and 97 dry channels). For each artefact, 10 nonlinear SVM classifiers are trained on fingerprints of expert-classified ICs. Training groups include randomly chosen wet and dry datasets decomposed in 80 ICs. The classifiers are tested on the IC-fingerprints of different datasets decomposed into 20, 50, or 80 ICs. The SVM performance is assessed in terms of accuracy, False Omission Rate (FOR), Hit Rate (HR), False Alarm Rate (FAR), and sensitivity (p). For each artefact, the quality of the artefact-free EEG reconstructed using the classification of the best SVM is assessed by visual inspection and SNR. Results The best SVM classifier for each artefact type achieved average accuracy of 1 (eyeblink), 0.98 (cardiac interference), and 0.97 (eye movement and myogenic artefact). Average classification sensitivity (p) was 1
Fenchel, Daphna; Levkovitz, Yechiel; Vainer, Ella; Kaplan, Zeev; Zohar, Joseph; Cohen, Hagit
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays a major role in the response to stress, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis are closely linked with the ability to inhibit the other. Testosterone, a product of the HPG, has many beneficial effects beyond its functions as a sex hormone including anti-anxiety properties. In this study we examined the effect of stress exposure on gonadal hormones, and their efficacy in modulating anxiety-like response in an animal model of PTSD. Male rats were exposed to predator scent stress, followed by analysis of brain expression of androgen receptor (AR) receptor and estrogen receptor α (ERα). The behavioral effects of immediate treatment with testosterone, testosterone receptor antagonist (flutamide) or vehicle were evaluated using the elevated plus-maze, acoustic startle response and trauma-cue response. Levels of circulating corticosterone and testosterone were also measured after treatment. The behavioral effects of delayed testosterone treatment were explored in the same manner. We report that animals whose behavior was extremely disrupted (EBR) selectively displayed significant down-regulation of AR and ERα in the hippocampus. Immediate treatment with flutamide or delayed treatment with testosterone significantly increased prevalence rates of minimal behavioral response (MBR) and decreased prevalence of EBR with favorable behavioral results. Testosterone levels were higher in control un-exposed animals, while corticosterone was higher in control exposed animals. This study suggests that gonadal steroid hormones are involved in the neurobiological response to predator scent stress and thus warrant further study as a potential therapeutic avenue for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Coppens, Evelien; van Paesschen, Wim; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu; Vansteenwegen, Debora
Animal research demonstrated that during fear conditioning the amygdala plays a central role in forming an association between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US). Lesion studies conducted in patients who underwent a unilateral anterior temporal lobe resection, however; yielded contradictory findings. To date, it remains unclear whether amygdala damage only affects fear-conditioned startle responding or impairs both the latter and fear-conditioned skin conductance responding (SCR). Moreover inconsistency exists regarding the preservation of contingency knowledge in amygdala-damaged patients. In the current study, a differential fear conditioning task was presented to a unilaterally amygdala-damaged patient group and a healthy control group, recording fear-potentiated startle responses along with SCRs. Retrospectively, the valence of the CSs and contingency awareness was assessed. Unlike the control group, unilaterally amygdala-damaged patients showed neither in their SCRs nor in their valence ratings an effect of fear conditioning. The startle data, however, yielded in none of the two test groups fear-conditioned responding. Finally, considerably fewer patients (37.5%) than controls (95%) acquired correct memory of the presented contingency. Based on these findings we concluded that the fear conditioning impairment in amygdala-damaged patients was not restricted to SCRs, but also affected valence ratings and memory of the presented contingency. A broader theory of the amygdala as relevance detector is proposed in order to account for the diverse neurological findings obtained so far.
Vanessa Anna Van Ast
Full Text Available At the core of anxiety disorders is the inability to use contextual information to modulate behavioral responses to potentially threatening events. Models of the pathogenesis of anxiety disorders incorporate stress and concomitant stress hormones as important vulnerability factors, while others emphasize sex as an important factor. However, translational basic research has not yet investigated the effects of stress hormones and sex on the ability to use contextual information to modulate responses to threat. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was threefold: first, we aimed at developing an experimental paradigm specifically capable of capturing contextual modulation of the expression of fear. Second, we tested whether cortisol would alter the contextualization of fear expression. Third, we aimed at assessing whether alterations in contextualization due to cortisol were different for men and women. Healthy participants (n = 42 received placebo or hydrocortisone (20 mg prior to undergoing a newly developed differential contextual fear conditioning paradigm. The results indicated that people rapidly acquire differential contextual modulation of the expression of fear, as measured by fear potentiated startle and skin conductance responses. In addition, cortisol impaired the contextualization of fear expression leading to increased fear generalization on fear potentiated startle data in women. The opposite pattern was found in men. Finally, as assessed by skin conductance responses, cortisol impaired differential conditioning in men. The results are in line with models suggesting heightened vulnerability in women for developing anxiety disorders after stressful events.
Xu, Tao; Xiao, Na; Zhai, Xiaolong; Kwan Chan, Pak; Tin, Chung
Damage to the brain, as a result of various medical conditions, impacts the everyday life of patients and there is still no complete cure to neurological disorders. Neuroprostheses that can functionally replace the damaged neural circuit have recently emerged as a possible solution to these problems. Here we describe the development of a real-time cerebellar neuroprosthetic system to substitute neural function in cerebellar circuitry for learning delay eyeblink conditioning (DEC). The system was empowered by a biologically realistic spiking neural network (SNN) model of the cerebellar neural circuit, which considers the neuronal population and anatomical connectivity of the network. The model simulated synaptic plasticity critical for learning DEC. This SNN model was carefully implemented on a field programmable gate array (FPGA) platform for real-time simulation. This hardware system was interfaced in in vivo experiments with anesthetized rats and it used neural spikes recorded online from the animal to learn and trigger conditioned eyeblink in the animal during training. This rat-FPGA hybrid system was able to process neuronal spikes in real-time with an embedded cerebellum model of ~10 000 neurons and reproduce learning of DEC with different inter-stimulus intervals. Our results validated that the system performance is physiologically relevant at both the neural (firing pattern) and behavioral (eyeblink pattern) levels. This integrated system provides the sufficient computation power for mimicking the cerebellar circuit in real-time. The system interacts with the biological system naturally at the spike level and can be generalized for including other neural components (neuron types and plasticity) and neural functions for potential neuroprosthetic applications.
Yıldırımlı, Gamze; Tosun, Ahmet
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) consists of a pattern of symptoms that include cognitive, affective, sensory and behavioral systems. In PTSD, the individual experiences disturbing emotions and sensations such as anxiety, panic, depression, anger, tension, high startle response and hyper-vigilance as a result of re-experiencing traumatic memories, flashbacks, attention difficulties, memory loss, nightmares and intrusive thoughts. To get rid of these emotions, he avoids all stimuli that r...
Mead, Hilary K.; Beauchaine, Theodore P.; Shannon, Katherine E.
Adaptation to violent environments across development involves a multitude of cascading effects spanning many levels of analysis from genes to behavior. In this review, we (a) examine the potentiating effects of violence on genetic vulnerabilities and the functioning of neurotransmitter systems in producing both internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, (b) consider the impact of violence on the developing human stress and startle responses, and (c) brain development including the hipp...
Jensen, Christian Gaden; Parker, Adrian
Studies of synchronous physiological responses to startle stimuli between monozygotic twins and other paired subjects have suffered from methodological flaws such as post-hoc specifications of "connectedness" criteria. The mechanisms that affect any such connectedness are unknown. With the logistic...... and financial support of a television company, we conducted a methodological pilot study with predefined objective hit criteria in which we used four pairs of twins with frequent experiences of connectedness....
or use of psychoactive drugs excluding antidepressants (‘‘Psychoactive’’). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072508.g003 Reward & Punishment in Veterans with... Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning in combat veterans with and without post-traumatic stress disorder. Integrative Physiolog- ical and Behavioral Science 38
Portugues, Ruben; Engert, Florian
We review visually guided behaviors in larval zebrafish and summarise what is known about the neural processing that results in these behaviors, paying particular attention to the progress made in the last 2 years. Using the examples of the optokinetic reflex, the optomotor response, prey tracking and the visual startle response, we illustrate how the larval zebrafish presents us with a very promising model vertebrate system that allows neurocientists to integrate functional and behavioral studies and from which we can expect illuminating insights in the near future. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Norrholm, Seth Davin; Jovanovic, Tanja; Gerardi, Maryrose; Breazeale, Kathryn G; Price, Matthew; Davis, Michael; Duncan, Erica; Ressler, Kerry J; Bradley, Bekh; Rizzo, Albert; Tuerk, Peter W; Rothbaum, Barbara O
Baseline cue-dependent physiological reactivity may serve as an objective measure of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. Additionally, prior animal model and psychological studies would suggest that subjects with greatest symptoms at baseline may have the greatest violation of expectancy to danger when undergoing exposure based psychotherapy; thus treatment approaches which enhanced the learning under these conditions would be optimal for those with maximal baseline cue-dependent reactivity. However methods to study this hypothesis objectively are lacking. Virtual reality (VR) methodologies have been successfully employed as an enhanced form of imaginal prolonged exposure therapy for the treatment of PTSD. Our goal was to examine the predictive nature of initial psychophysiological (e.g., startle, skin conductance, heart rate) and stress hormone responses (e.g., cortisol) during presentation of VR-based combat-related stimuli on PTSD treatment outcome. Combat veterans with PTSD underwent 6 weeks of VR exposure therapy combined with either d-cycloserine (DCS), alprazolam (ALP), or placebo (PBO). In the DCS group, startle response to VR scenes prior to initiation of treatment accounted for 76% of the variance in CAPS change scores, p < 0.001, in that higher responses predicted greater changes in symptom severity over time. Additionally, baseline cortisol reactivity was inversely associated with treatment response in the ALP group, p = 0.04. We propose that baseline cue-activated physiological measures will be sensitive to predicting patients' level of response to exposure therapy, in particular in the presence of enhancement (e.g., DCS). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Hoffman, Jay R; Ostfeld, Ishay; Kaplan, Zeev; Zohar, Joseph; Cohen, Hagit
This study examined the effects of endurance exercise on the behavioral response to stress and patterns of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and δ-opioid receptor (phospho-DOR) expression in the hippocampus. Animals ran on a treadmill at 15 m·min, 5 min·d gradually increasing to 20 min·d, 5 d·wk for 6 wk. After training, one group of animals was exposed to a predator scent stress (PSS) protocol for 10 min. Outcome measurements included behavior in an elevated plus-maze (EPM) and acoustic startle response (ASR) 7 d after exposure to stress. Immunohistochemical technique was used to detect the expression of the BDNF, NPY, and phospho-DOR in the hippocampus 8 d after exposure. Sedentary animals exposed to PSS were observed to have a greater incidence of extreme behavior responses including higher anxiety, less total activity in the EPM, and greater amplitude in the ASR than unexposed and/or trained animals. Exercise-trained animals exposed to PSS developed a resiliency to the stress, reflected by significantly greater total activity in the EPM, reduced anxiety, and reduced ASR compared to the sedentary, exposed animals. Exercise in the absence of stress significantly elevated the expression of BDNF and phospho-DOR, whereas exposure to PSS resulted in a significant decline in the expression of NPY, BDNF, and phospho-DOR. Trained animals that were exposed maintained expression of BDNF, NPY, and phospho-DOR in most subregions of the hippocampus. Results indicated that endurance training provided a mechanism to promote resilience and/or recovery from stress. In addition, exercise increased expression of BDNF, NPY, and DOR signaling in the hippocampus that was associated with the greater resiliency seen in the trained animals.
Genheimer, Hannah; Andreatta, Marta; Asan, Esther; Pauli, Paul
Since exposure therapy for anxiety disorders incorporates extinction of contextual anxiety, relapses may be due to reinstatement processes. Animal research demonstrated more stable extinction memory and less anxiety relapse due to vagus nerve stimulation (VNS). We report a valid human three-day context conditioning, extinction and return of anxiety protocol, which we used to examine effects of transcutaneous VNS (tVNS). Seventy-five healthy participants received electric stimuli (unconditioned stimuli, US) during acquisition (Day1) when guided through one virtual office (anxiety context, CTX+) but never in another (safety context, CTX-). During extinction (Day2), participants received tVNS, sham, or no stimulation and revisited both contexts without US delivery. On Day3, participants received three USs for reinstatement followed by a test phase. Successful acquisition, i.e. startle potentiation, lower valence, higher arousal, anxiety and contingency ratings in CTX+ versus CTX-, the disappearance of these effects during extinction, and successful reinstatement indicate validity of this paradigm. Interestingly, we found generalized reinstatement in startle responses and differential reinstatement in valence ratings. Altogether, our protocol serves as valid conditioning paradigm. Reinstatement effects indicate different anxiety networks underlying physiological versus verbal responses. However, tVNS did neither affect extinction nor reinstatement, which asks for validation and improvement of the stimulation protocol.
Burch, J B; de Fiebre, C M; Marks, M J; Collins, A C
Female DBA/2Ibg mice were treated chronically (21 days) with ethanol- or dextrin-containing liquid diets or infused chronically with nicotine (8 mg/kg/h) or saline for 10 days. The responses of these animals to challenge doses of ethanol (2.5 g/kg) or nicotine (1 or 2 mg/kg) were measured using a test battery consisting of respiration rate, acoustic startle response, Y-maze crosses and rears, heart rate and body temperature. Chronic ethanol-treated animals were tolerant to the effects elicited by a challenge dose of ethanol on four of the six measures and were cross-tolerant to nicotine's effects on the acoustic startle test. Chronic nicotine-treated animals were tolerant to nicotine's effects on five of the six measures and cross-tolerant to ethanol's effects on heart rate and body temperature. Thus, partial cross-tolerance between ethanol and nicotine exists. Chronic nicotine treatment resulted in significant increases in L-[3H]-nicotine binding in six of seven brain regions and in alpha-[125I]-bungarotoxin binding in three of seven brain regions. Chronic ethanol treatment failed to alter the binding of either ligand. Therefore, the cross-tolerance that develops between ethanol and nicotine is not totally dependent on alterations in the number of brain nicotinic receptors.
Full Text Available Predator stress is lastingly anxiogenic. Phosphorylation of CREB to pCREB (phosphorylated cyclic AMP response element binding protein is increased after predator stress in fear circuitry, including in the right lateral column of the PAG (periaqueductal gray. Predator stress also potentiates right but not left CeA-PAG (central amygdala-PAG transmission up to 12 days after stress. The present study explored the functional significance of pCREB changes by increasing CREB expression in non-predator stressed rats through viral vectoring, and assessing the behavioral, electrophysiological and pCREB expression changes in comparison with handled and predator stressed controls. Increasing CREB expression in right PAG was anxiogenic in the elevated plus maze, had no effect on risk assessment, and increased acoustic startle response while delaying startle habituation. Potentiation of the right but not left CeA-PAG pathway was also observed. pCREB expression was slightly elevated in the right lateral column of the PAG, while the dorsal and ventral columns were not affected. The findings of this study suggest that by increasing CREB and pCREB in the right lateral PAG, it is possible to produce rats that exhibit behavioral, brain, and molecular changes that closely resemble those seen in predator stressed rats.
Lee, Mei-Hua; Bodfish, James W; Lewis, Mark H; Newell, Karl M
This study investigated the mean rate and time-dependent sequential organization of spontaneous eye blinks in adults with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) and individuals from this group who were additionally categorized with stereotypic movement disorder (IDD+SMD). The mean blink rate was lower in the IDD+SMD group than the IDD group and both of these groups had a lower blink rate than a contrast group of healthy adults. In the IDD group the n to n+1 sequential organization over time of the eye-blink durations showed a stronger compensatory organization than the contrast group suggesting decreased complexity/dimensionality of eye-blink behavior. Very low blink rate (and thus insufficient time series data) precluded analysis of time-dependent sequential properties in the IDD+SMD group. These findings support the hypothesis that both IDD and SMD are associated with a reduction in the dimension and adaptability of movement behavior and that this may serve as a risk factor for the expression of abnormal movements.
Price, Matthew; Maples, Jessica L; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Heekin, Mary; Rothbaum, Barbara O
Outcome expectancy, or the degree to which a client believes that therapy will result in improvement, is related to improved treatment outcomes for multiple disorders. There is a paucity of research investigating this relation in regards to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Additionally, the bulk of the research on outcome expectancy and treatment outcomes has relied mostly on self-report outcome measures. The relation between outcome expectancy on self-report measures, clinician-rated measures, and two biological indices (fear-potentiated startle and cortisol reactivity) of PTSD symptoms was explored. The sample included combat veterans (N = 116) treated with virtual reality exposure therapy for PTSD. Results supported a negative association between outcome expectancy and both self-report and clinician-rated symptoms at the conclusion of treatment, but outcome expectancy was related to the magnitude of change during treatment for self-report measures only. Outcome expectancy was unrelated to biological measures of treatment response. These findings suggest that outcome expectancy may be related to patient and clinician perceptions of outcomes, but not biological indices of outcome for PTSD. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Mang, Daniel W H; Siegmund, Gunter P; Brown, Harrison J; Goonetilleke, Samanthi C; Blouin, Jean-Sébastien
Neck muscle responses after unexpected rear-end collisions consist of a stereotypical combination of postural and startle responses. Prior work using surface electromyography (EMG) has shown that the superficial neck muscle responses can be attenuated when a loud tone (105 dB) is presented 250 milliseconds before impact, but the accompanying response of the deeper multifidus muscles remains unknown. Quantifying this response in multifidus is important because this muscle attaches directly to the cervical facet capsule and can potentially increase the strain in the capsule during an impact and contribute to whiplash injury. To investigate if a loud preimpact tone decreases the cervical multifidus muscle response during rear-end perturbations. After approval by the University Clinical Ethics Review Board, human volunteers experienced a series of three whiplash-like perturbations. Twelve subjects with no history of neurologic disorders or whiplash injury were recruited to participate in this experiment. Bilateral indwelling EMG of multifidus at the C4 and C6 levels, surface EMG of sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and C4 paraspinals (PARAs), and kinematics of the head/neck were measured. Subjects experienced three whiplash-like perturbations (peak acceleration of 19.5 m/s(2)) preceded by either no tone or a loud tone (105 dB) presented 250 milliseconds before sled acceleration onset. The loud tone decreased the muscle activity of C6 multifidus (42%) and C4 PARAs (30%), but did not affect the C4 multifidus or SCM activity. Peak head kinematic responses (extension angle: 6%, retraction: 9%, linear forward acceleration: 9%, and angular acceleration in extension: 13%) were also decreased by the loud preimpact tone. The attenuation of peak C6 multifidus activity and head kinematic responses suggests that a loud preimpact tone may reduce the strain in the cervical facet capsule, which may reduce the risk of whiplash injury during rear-end collisions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc
Pronicka, Ewa; Ropacka-Lesiak, Mariola; Trubicka, Joanna
Recently, CLPB deficiency has been shown to cause a genetic syndrome with cataracts, neutropenia, and 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. Surprisingly, the neurological presentation ranges from completely unaffected to patients with virtual absence of development. Muscular hypo- and hypertonia, movement...... be considered in neonates with absence of voluntary movements, respiratory insufficiency and swallowing problems, especially if associated with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, neutropenia and cataracts. Being an important differential diagnosis of hyperekplexia (exaggerated startle responses), we advise performing...
Krogan, Nevan J.; Lippman, Scott; Agard, David A.; Ashworth, Alan; Ideker, Trey
Progress in DNA sequencing has revealed the startling complexity of cancer genomes, which typically carry thousands of somatic mutations. However, it remains unclear which are the key driver mutations or dependencies in a given cancer and how these influence pathogenesis and response to therapy. Although tumors of similar types and clinical outcomes can have patterns of mutations that are strikingly different, it is becoming apparent that these mutations recurrently hijack the same hallmark m...
Song Lisheng; Chen Xingshi; Chen Meijuan; Tang Yunxiang; Wang Jijun; Zhang Mingdao; Lou Feiying
Backgorund Nicotine may improve schizophrenia patient's cognitive deficit symptoms.This study was to explore the chronic effects of smoking on prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI) and P50 in the patients with first-episode schizophrenia (FES).Methods The event-related potentials (ERP) recording and analysis instrument made by Brain Products,Germany,was used to detect PPI and P50 in 49 male FES patients (FES group,n=21 for smokers and n=28 for non-smokers) and 43 normal male controls (control group,n=19 for smokers and n=24 for non-smokers).Results Compared with normal controls,the FES group had prolonged PPI latency when elicited by single stronger stimulus (P ＜0.05); the FES group had prolonged PPI latency and increased PPI amplitude (P ＜0.05,0.01) when elicited by weak and strong stimuli.The FES group had lower PPI inhibition rate than normal controls (P ＜0.05).Compared with normal controls,the FES group had increased P50-S2 amplitude and increased amplitude ratio S2/S1 (both P ＜0.05).In the control group,the smokers had a tendency of increase in P50-S2 amplitude (P ＞0.05) and shorter P50-S2 latency (P ＜0.05) than the non-smokers.The smokers had higher PPI amplitude than the non-smokers (P ＜0.05).In the FES group,the smokers had higher P50-S1 amplitude,shorter P50-S2 latency,and higher amplitude ratio S2/S1 than the non-smokers (P ＜0.05,0.01).The smokers had higher PPI amplitude than the non-smokers (P ＜0.05).Conclusions There is obvious PPI and P50 deficits in schizophrenic patients.However,these deficits are relatively preserved in the smokers compared with the non-smokers,which suggests that long-term smoking might partially improve the sensory gating in schizophrenic patients.Whether this conclusion can be deduced to female patients requires further follow-ups.
Xu, Tao; Xiao, Na; Zhai, Xiaolong; Chan, Pak Kwan; Tin, Chung
Objective. Damage to the brain, as a result of various medical conditions, impacts the everyday life of patients and there is still no complete cure to neurological disorders. Neuroprostheses that can functionally replace the damaged neural circuit have recently emerged as a possible solution to these problems. Here we describe the development of a real-time cerebellar neuroprosthetic system to substitute neural function in cerebellar circuitry for learning delay eyeblink conditioning (DEC). Approach. The system was empowered by a biologically realistic spiking neural network (SNN) model of the cerebellar neural circuit, which considers the neuronal population and anatomical connectivity of the network. The model simulated synaptic plasticity critical for learning DEC. This SNN model was carefully implemented on a field programmable gate array (FPGA) platform for real-time simulation. This hardware system was interfaced in in vivo experiments with anesthetized rats and it used neural spikes recorded online from the animal to learn and trigger conditioned eyeblink in the animal during training. Main results. This rat-FPGA hybrid system was able to process neuronal spikes in real-time with an embedded cerebellum model of ~10 000 neurons and reproduce learning of DEC with different inter-stimulus intervals. Our results validated that the system performance is physiologically relevant at both the neural (firing pattern) and behavioral (eyeblink pattern) levels. Significance. This integrated system provides the sufficient computation power for mimicking the cerebellar circuit in real-time. The system interacts with the biological system naturally at the spike level and can be generalized for including other neural components (neuron types and plasticity) and neural functions for potential neuroprosthetic applications.
Nelson, Brady D; McGowan, Sarah Kate; Sarapas, Casey; Robison-Andrew, E Jenna; Altman, Sarah E; Campbell, Miranda L; Gorka, Stephanie M; Katz, Andrea C; Shankman, Stewart A
Two emotional/motivational constructs that have been posited to underlie anxiety and depressive disorders are heightened sensitivity to threat and reduced sensitivity to reward, respectively. It is unclear, though, whether these constructs are only epiphenomena or also connote risk for these disorders (and relatedly, whether they connote risk for separate disorders). Using family history of psychopathology as an indicator of risk, the present study examined whether biomarkers of sensitivity to threat (startle potentiation) and reward (frontal EEG asymmetry) were associated with similar or different familial liabilities. In addition, the present study examined whether these biomarkers were associated with risk independent of proband DSM-IV diagnosis. One-hundred and seventy-three individuals diagnosed with panic disorder (PD), early onset major depressive disorder (MDD), both (comorbids), or controls completed two laboratory paradigms assessing sensitivity to predictable/unpredictable threat (measured via startle response) and reward (measured via frontal EEG asymmetry during a gambling task). Results indicated that across all participants: (a) startle potentiation to unpredictable threat was associated with family history of PD (but not MDD); and (b) frontal EEG asymmetry while anticipating reward was associated with family history of MDD (but not PD). Additionally, both measures continued to be associated with family history of psychopathology after controlling for proband DSM-IV diagnosis. Results suggest that the proposed biomarkers of sensitivity to unpredictable threat and reward exhibit discriminant validity and may add to the predictive validity of the DSM-IV defined constructs of PD and MDD, respectively. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved.
de la Roche Jeanne
Full Text Available Abstract Background The mammalian neurological disorder hereditary hyperekplexia can be attributed to various mutations of strychnine sensitive glycine receptors. The clinical symptoms of “startle disease” predominantly occur in the newborn leading to convulsive hypertonia and an exaggerated startle response to unexpected mild stimuli. Amongst others, point mutations R271Q and R271L in the α1-subunit of strychnine sensitive glycine receptors show reduced glycine sensitivity and cause the clinical symptoms of hyperekplexia. Halogenation has been shown to be a crucial structural determinant for the potency of a phenolic compound to positively modulate glycine receptor function. The aim of this in vitro study was to characterize the effects of 4-chloropropofol (4-chloro-2,6-dimethylphenol at four glycine receptor mutations. Methods Glycine receptor subunits were expressed in HEK 293 cells and experiments were performed using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique. Results 4-chloropropofol exerted a positive allosteric modulatory effect in a low sub-nanomolar concentration range at the wild type receptor (EC50 value of 0.08 ± 0.02 nM and in a micromolar concentration range at the mutations (1.3 ± 0.6 μM, 0.1 ± 0.2 μM, 6.0 ± 2.3 μM and 55 ± 28 μM for R271Q, L, K and S267I, respectively. Conclusions 4-chloropropofol might be an effective compound for the activation of mutated glycine receptors in experimental models of startle disease.
Watanabe, Akiko; Toyota, Tomoko; Owada, Yuji; Hayashi, Takeshi; Iwayama, Yoshimi; Matsumata, Miho; Ishitsuka, Yuichi; Nakaya, Akihiro; Maekawa, Motoko; Ohnishi, Tetsuo; Arai, Ryoichi; Sakurai, Katsuyasu; Yamada, Kazuo; Kondo, Hisatake; Hashimoto, Kenji; Osumi, Noriko; Yoshikawa, Takeo
Deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) are a biological marker for schizophrenia. To unravel the mechanisms that control PPI, we performed quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis on 1,010 F2 mice derived by crossing C57BL/6 (B6) animals that show high PPI with C3H/He (C3) animals that show low PPI. We detected six major loci for PPI, six for the acoustic startle response, and four for latency to response peak, some of which were sex-dependent. A promising candidate on the Chromosome 10-QTL was Fabp7 (fatty acid binding protein 7, brain), a gene with functional links to the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor and expression in astrocytes. Fabp7-deficient mice showed decreased PPI and a shortened startle response latency, typical of the QTL's proposed effects. A quantitative complementation test supported Fabp7 as a potential PPI-QTL gene, particularly in male mice. Disruption of Fabp7 attenuated neurogenesis in vivo. Human FABP7 showed altered expression in schizophrenic brains and genetic association with schizophrenia, which were both evident in males when samples were divided by sex. These results suggest that FABP7 plays a novel and crucial role, linking the NMDA, neurodevelopmental, and glial theories of schizophrenia pathology and the PPI endophenotype, with larger or overt effects in males. We also discuss the results from the perspective of fetal programming. PMID:18001149
Full Text Available Deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI are a biological marker for schizophrenia. To unravel the mechanisms that control PPI, we performed quantitative trait loci (QTL analysis on 1,010 F2 mice derived by crossing C57BL/6 (B6 animals that show high PPI with C3H/He (C3 animals that show low PPI. We detected six major loci for PPI, six for the acoustic startle response, and four for latency to response peak, some of which were sex-dependent. A promising candidate on the Chromosome 10-QTL was Fabp7 (fatty acid binding protein 7, brain, a gene with functional links to the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA receptor and expression in astrocytes. Fabp7-deficient mice showed decreased PPI and a shortened startle response latency, typical of the QTL's proposed effects. A quantitative complementation test supported Fabp7 as a potential PPI-QTL gene, particularly in male mice. Disruption of Fabp7 attenuated neurogenesis in vivo. Human FABP7 showed altered expression in schizophrenic brains and genetic association with schizophrenia, which were both evident in males when samples were divided by sex. These results suggest that FABP7 plays a novel and crucial role, linking the NMDA, neurodevelopmental, and glial theories of schizophrenia pathology and the PPI endophenotype, with larger or overt effects in males. We also discuss the results from the perspective of fetal programming.
1988). Desert bighorn ewes with lambs show a stronger response than do groups of only rams, only ewes, or mixed groups of adults (Miller and Smith...1985). While all startle events may affect desert bighorns, those occurring during the lambing period (February-April) would represent the highest...35807 U.S. Army Pueblo Depot Activity SDSTE-PU-EE Pueblo, CO 81001-5000 U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range STEWS -EL-N White Sands, NM 88002-5076
Zoladz, Phillip R.; Conrad, Cheryl D.; Fleshner, Monika; Diamond, David M.
People who are exposed to horrific, life-threatening experiences are at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the symptoms of PTSD include persistent anxiety, exaggerated startle, cognitive impairments and increased sensitivity to yohimbine, an α2-adrenergic receptor antagonist. We have taken into account the conditions known to induce PTSD, as well as factors responsible for long-term maintenance of the disorder, to develop an animal model of PTSD. Adult male Spr...
with Korsakoffs syndrome and exhibiting severe amnesia was shown to have normal levels of eyeblink conditioning even though he had no recollection of...34isolation syndrome " of the sort described by Harlow et al.59 and others, which appears to be relatively unique to, or most pronounced in, the rhesus monkey
Kaye, Jesse T; Bradford, Daniel E; Magruder, Katherine P; Curtin, John J
Stressors clearly contribute to addiction etiology and relapse in humans, but our understanding of specific mechanisms remains limited. Rodent models of addiction offer the power, flexibility, and precision necessary to delineate the causal role and specific mechanisms through which stressors influence alcohol and other drug use. This review describes a program of research using startle potentiation to unpredictable stressors that is well positioned to translate between animal models and clinical research with humans on stress neuroadaptations in addiction. This research rests on a solid foundation provided by three separate pillars of evidence from (a) rodent behavioral neuroscience on stress neuroadaptations in addiction, (b) rodent affective neuroscience on startle potentiation, and (c) human addiction and affective science with startle potentiation. Rodent stress neuroadaptation models implicate adaptations in corticotropin-releasing factor and norepinephrine circuits within the central extended amygdala following chronic alcohol and other drug use that mediate anxious behaviors and stress-induced reinstatement among drug-dependent rodents. Basic affective neuroscience indicates that these same neural mechanisms are involved in startle potentiation to unpredictable stressors in particular (vs. predictable stressors). We believe that synthesis of these evidence bases should focus us on the role of unpredictable stressors in addiction etiology and relapse. Startle potentiation in unpredictable stressor tasks is proposed to provide an attractive and flexible test bed to encourage tight translation and reverse translation between animal models and human clinical research on stress neuroadaptations. Experimental therapeutics approaches focused on unpredictable stressors hold high promise to identify, repurpose, or refine pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for addiction.
Kaye, Jesse T.; Bradford, Daniel E.; Magruder, Katherine P.; Curtin, John J.
Stressors clearly contribute to addiction etiology and relapse in humans, but our understanding of specific mechanisms remains limited. Rodent models of addiction offer the power, flexibility, and precision necessary to delineate the causal role and specific mechanisms through which stressors influence alcohol and other drug use. This review describes a program of research using startle potentiation to unpredictable stressors that is well positioned to translate between animal models and clinical research with humans on stress neuroadaptations in addiction. This research rests on a solid foundation provided by three separate pillars of evidence from (a) rodent behavioral neuroscience on stress neuroadaptations in addiction, (b) rodent affective neuroscience on startle potentiation, and (c) human addiction and affective science with startle potentiation. Rodent stress neuroadaptation models implicate adaptations in corticotropin-releasing factor and norepinephrine circuits within the central extended amygdala following chronic alcohol and other drug use that mediate anxious behaviors and stress-induced reinstatement among drug-dependent rodents. Basic affective neuroscience indicates that these same neural mechanisms are involved in startle potentiation to unpredictable stressors in particular (vs. predictable stressors). We believe that synthesis of these evidence bases should focus us on the role of unpredictable stressors in addiction etiology and relapse. Startle potentiation in unpredictable stressor tasks is proposed to provide an attractive and flexible test bed to encourage tight translation and reverse translation between animal models and human clinical research on stress neuroadaptations. Experimental therapeutics approaches focused on unpredictable stressors hold high promise to identify, repurpose, or refine pharmacological and psychosocial interventions for addiction. PMID:28499100
Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin
Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of psychotherapeutic interventions. This
Thome, Janine; Koppe, Georgia; Hauschild, Sophie; Liebke, Lisa; Schmahl, Christian; Lis, Stefanie; Bohus, Martin
Background Dysfunctional fear responses play a central role in many mental disorders. New insights in learning and memory suggest that pharmacological and behavioural interventions during the reconsolidation of reactivated fear memories may increase the efficacy of therapeutic interventions. It has been proposed that interventions applied during reconsolidation may modify the original fear memory, and thus prevent the spontaneous recovery and reinstatement of the fear response. Methods We investigated whether pharmacological (propranolol) and behavioural (reappraisal, multisensory stimulation) interventions reduce fear memory, and prevent reinstatement of fear in comparison to a placebo control group. Eighty healthy female subjects underwent a differential fear conditioning procedure with three stimuli (CS). Two of these (CS+) were paired with an electric shock on day 1. On day 2, 20 subjects were pseudo-randomly assigned to either the propranolol or placebo condition, or underwent one of the two behavioural interventions after one of the two CS+ was reactivated. On day 3, all subjects underwent an extinction phase, followed by a reinstatement test. Dependent variables were US expectancy ratings, fear-potentiated startle, and skin conductance response. Results Differential fear responses to the reactivated and non-reactivated CS+ were observed only in the propranolol condition. Here, the non-reactivated CS+ evoked stronger fear-potentiated startle-responses compared to the placebo group. None of the interventions prevented the return of the extinguished fear response after re-exposure to the unconditioned stimulus. Conclusions Our data are in line with an increasing body of research stating that the occurrence of reconsolidation may be constrained by boundary conditions such as subtle differences in experimental manipulations and instructions. In conclusion, our findings do not support a beneficial effect in using reconsolidation processes to enhance effects of
gasoline , diesel fuel, and jet propulsion (JP) fuel (Staats, 1994). Millions of dollars are spent each year at petroleum contaminated sites for remediation...of locomotor activity and auditory startle reflex tests will be provided in the detailed technical report (in progress). Body Weights and Food...Olfactory Sensitization, Acoustic Startle, Prepulse Inhibition and Habituation, Total Locomotor Activity, Tail Flick Analgesia, and the Treadmill Test of
Brzozowska, Natalia I; Smith, Kristie L; Zhou, Cilla; Waters, Peter M; Cavalcante, Ligia Menezes; Abelev, Sarah V; Kuligowski, Michael; Clarke, David J; Todd, Stephanie M; Arnold, Jonathon C
P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is an ABC transporter expressed at the blood brain barrier and regulates the brain uptake of various xenobiotics and endogenous mediators including glucocorticoid hormones which are critically important to the stress response. Moreover, P-gp is expressed on microglia, the brain's immune cells, which are activated by stressors and have an emerging role in psychiatric disorders. We therefore hypothesised that germline P-gp deletion in mice might alter the behavioral and microglial response to stressors. Female P-gp knockout mice displayed an unusual, frantic anxiety response to intraperitoneal injection stress in the light-dark test. They also tended to display reduced conditioned fear responses compared to wild-type (WT) mice in a paradigm where a single electric foot-shock stressor was paired to a context. Foot-shock stress reduced social interaction and decreased microglia cell density in the amygdala which was not varied by P-gp genotype. Independently of stressor exposure, female P-gp deficient mice displayed increased depression-like behavior, idiosyncratic darting behavior, age-related social withdrawal and hyperactivity, facilitated sensorimotor gating and altered startle reactivity. In addition, P-gp deletion increased microglia cell density in the CA3 region of the hippocampus, and the microglial cells exhibited a reactive, hypo-ramified morphology. Further, female P-gp KO mice displayed increased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in the hippocampus. In conclusion, this research shows that germline P-gp deletion affected various behaviors of relevance to psychiatric conditions, and that altered microglial cell activity and enhanced GR expression in the hippocampus may play a role in mediating these behaviors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Lee, Keun Young; Jun, Hyun Ah; Jang, Pong Rheem; Lee, Keung Hee [Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Nagey, David A. [The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (United States)
The normal neonatal response to sound stimulus consists of a generalized paroxysmal startle reflex. We recently noted an increase in fetal movements, head turning, mouth opening, tongue protrusion, cheek motion, hand to head movement and fetal eye blinking subsequent to fetal vibroacoustic stimulation. These movements are thought to represent portions of a startle response. Evaluation of the fetal face is an essential part of routine sonographic examination and of a level II examination. The complexity of the face in combination with suboptimal positioning may make it difficult to obtain adequate images of the fetal mouth. The fetal mouth is especially difficult to examine if it remains closed. It appeared to us that approximately 50% of the time, fetuses may be seen touching their face and head with their hands. This action may make evaluation of the face more difficult because of the shadowing caused by the overlying bones of the hands. We hypothesized that if vibroacoustic stimulation brings about fetal mouth movement and opening and/or withdrawal of the fetal hand from the mouth, it may facilitate anatomic evaluation for cleft lip and palate. Sonographic examination of the fetal mouth is facilitated if the mouth is open or moving. This study was designed to determine whether acoustic stimulation of the fetus would cause it to move its mouth. 109 women with uncomplicated pregnancies between 20 and 39 weeks gestation consented.
Lee, Keun Young; Jun, Hyun Ah; Jang, Pong Rheem; Lee, Keung Hee; Nagey, David A.
The normal neonatal response to sound stimulus consists of a generalized paroxysmal startle reflex. We recently noted an increase in fetal movements, head turning, mouth opening, tongue protrusion, cheek motion, hand to head movement and fetal eye blinking subsequent to fetal vibroacoustic stimulation. These movements are thought to represent portions of a startle response. Evaluation of the fetal face is an essential part of routine sonographic examination and of a level II examination. The complexity of the face in combination with suboptimal positioning may make it difficult to obtain adequate images of the fetal mouth. The fetal mouth is especially difficult to examine if it remains closed. It appeared to us that approximately 50% of the time, fetuses may be seen touching their face and head with their hands. This action may make evaluation of the face more difficult because of the shadowing caused by the overlying bones of the hands. We hypothesized that if vibroacoustic stimulation brings about fetal mouth movement and opening and/or withdrawal of the fetal hand from the mouth, it may facilitate anatomic evaluation for cleft lip and palate. Sonographic examination of the fetal mouth is facilitated if the mouth is open or moving. This study was designed to determine whether acoustic stimulation of the fetus would cause it to move its mouth. 109 women with uncomplicated pregnancies between 20 and 39 weeks gestation consented.
Romano, Anthony G; Quinn, Jennifer L; Li, Luchuan; Dave, Kuldip D; Schindler, Emmanuelle A; Aloyo, Vincent J; Harvey, John A
Parenteral injections of d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), a serotonin 5-HT(2A) receptor agonist, enhance eyeblink conditioning. Another hallucinogen, (±)-1(2, 5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl)-2-aminopropane hydrochloride (DOI), was shown to elicit a 5-HT(2A)-mediated behavior (head bobs) after injection into the hippocampus, a structure known to mediate trace eyeblink conditioning. This study aims to determine if parenteral injections of the hallucinogens LSD, d,l-2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine, and 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine elicit the 5-HT(2A)-mediated behavior of head bobs and whether intrahippocampal injections of LSD would produce head bobs and enhance trace eyeblink conditioning. LSD was infused into the dorsal hippocampus just prior to each of eight conditioning sessions. One day after the last infusion of LSD, DOI was infused into the hippocampus to determine whether there had been a desensitization of the 5-HT(2A) receptor as measured by a decrease in DOI-elicited head bobs. Acute parenteral or intrahippocampal LSD elicited a 5-HT(2A) but not a 5-HT(2C)-mediated behavior, and chronic administration enhanced conditioned responding relative to vehicle controls. Rabbits that had been chronically infused with 3 or 10 nmol per side of LSD during Pavlovian conditioning and then infused with DOI demonstrated a smaller increase in head bobs relative to controls. LSD produced its enhancement of Pavlovian conditioning through an effect on 5-HT(2A) receptors located in the dorsal hippocampus. The slight, short-lived enhancement of learning produced by LSD appears to be due to the development of desensitization of the 5-HT(2A) receptor within the hippocampus as a result of repeated administration of its agonist (LSD).
Baijot, Simon; Slama, Hichem; Söderlund, Göran; Dan, Bernard; Deltenre, Paul; Colin, Cécile; Deconinck, Nicolas
Optimal stimulation theory and moderate brain arousal (MBA) model hypothesize that extra-task stimulation (e.g. white noise) could improve cognitive functions of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We investigate benefits of white noise on attention and inhibition in children with and without ADHD (7-12 years old), both at behavioral and at neurophysiological levels. Thirty children with and without ADHD performed a visual cued Go/Nogo task in two conditions (white noise or no-noise exposure), in which behavioral and P300 (mean amplitudes) data were analyzed. Spontaneous eye-blink rates were also recorded and participants went through neuropsychological assessment. Two separate analyses were conducted with each child separately assigned into two groups (1) ADHD or typically developing children (TDC), and (2) noise beneficiaries or non-beneficiaries according to the observed performance during the experiment. This latest categorization, based on a new index we called "Noise Benefits Index" (NBI), was proposed to determine a neuropsychological profile positively sensitive to noise. Noise exposure reduced omission rate in children with ADHD, who were no longer different from TDC. Eye-blink rate was higher in children with ADHD but was not modulated by white noise. NBI indicated a significant relationship between ADHD and noise benefit. Strong correlations were observed between noise benefit and neuropsychological weaknesses in vigilance and inhibition. Participants who benefited from noise had an increased Go P300 in the noise condition. The improvement of children with ADHD with white noise supports both optimal stimulation theory and MBA model. However, eye-blink rate results question the dopaminergic hypothesis in the latter. The NBI evidenced a profile positively sensitive to noise, related with ADHD, and associated with weaker cognitive control.
Godar, Sean C; Mosher, Laura J; Strathman, Hunter J; Gochi, Andrea M; Jones, Cori M; Fowler, Stephen C; Bortolato, Marco
The D1CT-7 mouse is one of the best known animal models of Tourette syndrome (TS), featuring spontaneous tic-like behaviours sensitive to standard TS therapies; these characteristics ensure a high face and predictive validity of this model, yet its construct validity remains elusive. To address this issue, we studied the responses of D1CT-7 mice to two critical components of TS pathophysiology: the exacerbation of tic-like behaviours in response to stress and the presence of sensorimotor gating deficits, which are thought to reflect the perceptual alterations causing the tics. D1CT-7 and wild-type (WT) littermates were subjected to a 20 min session of spatial confinement (SC) within an inescapable, 10 cm wide cylindrical enclosure. Changes in plasma corticosterone levels, tic-like behaviours and other spontaneous responses were measured. SC-exposed mice were also tested for the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response (a sensorimotor gating index) and other TS-related behaviours, including open-field locomotion, novel object exploration and social interaction and compared with non-confined counterparts. SC produced a marked increase in corticosterone concentrations in both D1CT-7 and WT mice. In D1CT-7, but not WT mice, SC exacerbated tic-like and digging behaviours, and triggered PPI deficits and aggressive responses. Conversely, SC did not modify locomotor activity or novel object exploration in D1CT-7 mice. Both tic-like behaviours and PPI impairments in SC-exposed D1CT-7 mice were inhibited by standard TS therapies and D1 dopamine receptor antagonism. These findings collectively support the translational and construct validity of D1CT-7 mice with respect to TS. This article is part of a themed section on Updating Neuropathology and Neuropharmacology of Monoaminergic Systems. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v173.13/issuetoc. © 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.
Maarten van den Buuse
Full Text Available Methamphetamine (Meth is a widely abused stimulant drug, but this abuse is associated with an increased risk of developing psychosis. In addition to its well-known action on brain dopamine, Meth also affects serotonergic (5-HT neurons. The aim of this study was to investigate this role in mice, which lack one of the main serotonin receptors, the 5-HT1A receptor, which has been implicated in both schizophrenia and Meth-induced psychosis. Male and female wild-type or 5-HT1A knockout (KO mice received daily treatment with increasing doses of methamphetamine from 6 to 9 weeks of age (1–4 mg/kg/day twice a day. At least 2 weeks after the last injection, the mice underwent a battery of behavioral tests focusing on psychosis-related behaviors, including Meth-induced hyperactivity, prepulse inhibition (PPI, social interaction, elevated plus maze (EPM, and Y-maze. Meth pretreatment resulted in significantly increased hyperlocomotion in response to an acute Meth challenge, but this effect was independent of genotype. Chronic Meth treatment resulted in decreased levels of anxiety in the EPM in both sexes, as well as increased startle responses in female mice only, again independent of genotype. 5-HT1A KO mice showed an increased locomotor response to acute Meth in both sexes, as well as increased PPI and decreased startle responses in female mice only, independent of Meth pretreatment. In conclusion, the effects of chronic Meth appear unaffected by the absence of the 5-HT1A receptor. These results do not support a role of the 5-HT1A receptor in Meth-induced psychosis.
Glenn, Daniel E; Acheson, Dean T; Geyer, Mark A; Nievergelt, Caroline M; Baker, Dewleen G; Risbrough, Victoria B
It is unknown how traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One potential mechanism is via alteration of fear-learning processes that could affect responses to trauma memories and cues. We utilized a prospective, longitudinal design to determine if TBI is associated with altered fear learning and extinction, and if fear processing mediates effects of TBI on PTSD symptom change. Eight hundred fifty two active-duty Marines and Navy Corpsmen were assessed before and after deployment. Assessments included TBI history, PTSD symptoms, combat trauma and deployment stress, and a fear-potentiated startle task of fear acquisition and extinction. Startle response and self-reported expectancy and anxiety served as measures of fear conditioning, and PTSD symptoms were measured with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Individuals endorsing "multiple hit" exposure (both deployment TBI and a prior TBI) showed the strongest fear acquisition and highest fear expression compared to groups without multiple hits. Extinction did not differ across groups. Endorsing a deployment TBI was associated with higher anxiety to the fear cue compared to those without deployment TBI. The association of deployment TBI with increased postdeployment PTSD symptoms was mediated by postdeployment fear expression when recent prior-TBI exposure was included as a moderator. TBI associations with increased response to threat cues and PTSD symptoms remained when controlling for deployment trauma and postdeployment PTSD diagnosis. Deployment TBI, and multiple-hit TBI in particular, are associated with increases in conditioned fear learning and expression that may contribute to risk for developing PTSD symptoms. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Full Text Available Despite mounting reports about the negative effects of chronic occupational stress on cognitive and emotional functions, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Recent findings from structural MRI raise the question whether this condition could be associated with a functional uncoupling of the limbic networks and an impaired modulation of emotional stress. To address this, 40 subjects suffering from burnout symptoms attributed to chronic occupational stress and 70 controls were investigated using resting state functional MRI. The participants' ability to up- regulate, down-regulate, and maintain emotion was evaluated by recording their acoustic startle response while viewing neutral and negatively loaded images. Functional connectivity was calculated from amygdala seed regions, using explorative linear correlation analysis. Stressed subjects were less capable of down-regulating negative emotion, but had normal acoustic startle responses when asked to up-regulate or maintain emotion and when no regulation was required. The functional connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex correlated with the ability to down-regulate negative emotion. This connectivity was significantly weaker in the burnout group, as was the amygdala connectivity with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the motor cortex, whereas connectivity from the amygdala to the cerebellum and the insular cortex were stronger. In subjects suffering from chronic occupational stress, the functional couplings within the emotion- and stress-processing limbic networks seem to be altered, and associated with a reduced ability to down-regulate the response to emotional stress, providing a biological substrate for a further facilitation of the stress condition.
Golkar, Armita; Johansson, Emilia; Kasahara, Maki; Osika, Walter; Perski, Aleksander; Savic, Ivanka
Despite mounting reports about the negative effects of chronic occupational stress on cognitive and emotional functions, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Recent findings from structural MRI raise the question whether this condition could be associated with a functional uncoupling of the limbic networks and an impaired modulation of emotional stress. To address this, 40 subjects suffering from burnout symptoms attributed to chronic occupational stress and 70 controls were investigated using resting state functional MRI. The participants' ability to up- regulate, down-regulate, and maintain emotion was evaluated by recording their acoustic startle response while viewing neutral and negatively loaded images. Functional connectivity was calculated from amygdala seed regions, using explorative linear correlation analysis. Stressed subjects were less capable of down-regulating negative emotion, but had normal acoustic startle responses when asked to up-regulate or maintain emotion and when no regulation was required. The functional connectivity between the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex correlated with the ability to down-regulate negative emotion. This connectivity was significantly weaker in the burnout group, as was the amygdala connectivity with the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the motor cortex, whereas connectivity from the amygdala to the cerebellum and the insular cortex were stronger. In subjects suffering from chronic occupational stress, the functional couplings within the emotion- and stress-processing limbic networks seem to be altered, and associated with a reduced ability to down-regulate the response to emotional stress, providing a biological substrate for a further facilitation of the stress condition. PMID:25184294
Kappel, Simon L; Looney, David; Mandic, Danilo P; Kidmose, Preben
A problem inherent to recording EEG is the interference arising from noise and artifacts. While in a laboratory environment, artifacts and interference can, to a large extent, be avoided or controlled, in real-life scenarios this is a challenge. Ear-EEG is a concept where EEG is acquired from electrodes in the ear. We present a characterization of physiological artifacts generated in a controlled environment for nine subjects. The influence of the artifacts was quantified in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) deterioration of the auditory steady-state response. Alpha band modulation was also studied in an open/closed eyes paradigm. Artifacts related to jaw muscle contractions were present all over the scalp and in the ear, with the highest SNR deteriorations in the gamma band. The SNR deterioration for jaw artifacts were in general higher in the ear compared to the scalp. Whereas eye-blinking did not influence the SNR in the ear, it was significant for all groups of scalps electrodes in the delta and theta bands. Eye movements resulted in statistical significant SNR deterioration in both frontal, temporal and ear electrodes. Recordings of alpha band modulation showed increased power and coherence of the EEG for ear and scalp electrodes in the closed-eyes periods. Ear-EEG is a method developed for unobtrusive and discreet recording over long periods of time and in real-life environments. This study investigated the influence of the most important types of physiological artifacts, and demonstrated that spontaneous activity, in terms of alpha band oscillations, could be recorded from the ear-EEG platform. In its present form ear-EEG was more prone to jaw related artifacts and less prone to eye-blinking artifacts compared to state-of-the-art scalp based systems.
Charles F. Mactutus
Full Text Available One clue regarding the basis of cocaine-induced deficits in attentional processing is provided by the clinical findings of changes in the infants’ startle response; observations buttressed by neurophysiological evidence of alterations in brainstem transmission time. Using the IV route of administration and doses that mimic the peak arterial levels of cocaine use in humans, the present study examined the effects of prenatal cocaine on auditory information processing via tests of the acoustic startle response (ASR, habituation, and prepulse inhibition (PPI in the offspring. Nulliparous Long-Evans female rats, implanted with an IV access port prior to breeding, were administered saline, 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 mg/kg/injection of cocaine HCL (COC from gestation day (GD8-20 (1x/day-GD8-14, 2x/day-GD15-20. COC had no significant effects on maternal/litter parameters or growth of the offspring. At 18-20 days of age, one male and one female, randomly selected from each litter displayed an increased ASR (>30% for males at 1.0 mg/kg and >30% for females at 3.0 mg/kg. When reassessed in adulthood (D90-100, a linear dose-response increase was noted on response amplitude. At both test ages, within-session habituation was retarded by prenatal cocaine treatment. Testing the females in diestrus vs. estrus did not alter the results. Prenatal cocaine altered the PPI response function across interstimulus interval (ISI and induced significant sex-dependent changes in response latency. Idazoxan, an alpha2-adrenergic receptor antagonist, significantly enhanced the ASR, but less enhancement was noted with increasing doses of prenatal cocaine. Thus, in utero exposure to cocaine, when delivered via a protocol designed to capture prominent features of recreational usage, causes persistent, if not permanent, alterations in auditory information processing, and suggests dysfunction of the central noradrenergic circuitry modulating, if not mediating, these responses.
Leite, Jorge; Carvalho, Sandra; Galdo-Alvarez, Santiago; Alves, Jorge; Sampaio, Adriana; Gonçalves, Oscar F
The present study analyses the modulatory effects of affective pictures in the early posterior negativity (EPN), the late positive potential (LPP) and the human startle response on both the peripheral (eye blink EMG) and central neurophysiological levels (Probe P3), during passive affective pictures viewing. The affective pictures categories were balanced in terms of valence (pleasant; unpleasant) and arousal (high; low). The data shows that EPN may be sensitive to specific stimulus characteristics (affective relevant pictures versus neutral pictures) associated with early stages of attentional processing. In later stages, the heightened attentional resource allocation as well as the motivated significance of the affective stimuli was found to elicit enhanced amplitudes of slow wave processes thought to be related to enhanced encoding, namely LPP,. Although pleasant low arousing pictures were effective in engaging the resources involved in the slow wave processes, the highly arousing affective stimuli (pleasant and unpleasant) were found to produce the largest enhancement of the LPP, suggesting that high arousing stimuli may are associated with increased motivational significance. Additionally the response to high arousing stimuli may be suggestive of increased motivational attention, given the heightened attentional allocation, as expressed in the P3 probe, especially for the pleasant pictures. The hedonic valence may then serve as a mediator of the attentional inhibition to the affective priming, potentiating or inhibiting a shift towards defensive activation, as measured by the startle reflex. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Predicting organismal phenotypes from genotype data is important for plant and animal breeding, medicine, and evolutionary biology. Genomic-based phenotype prediction has been applied for single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP genotyping platforms, but not using complete genome sequences. Here, we report genomic prediction for starvation stress resistance and startle response in Drosophila melanogaster, using ∼2.5 million SNPs determined by sequencing the Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel population of inbred lines. We constructed a genomic relationship matrix from the SNP data and used it in a genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP model. We assessed predictive ability as the correlation between predicted genetic values and observed phenotypes by cross-validation, and found a predictive ability of 0.239±0.008 (0.230±0.012 for starvation resistance (startle response. The predictive ability of BayesB, a Bayesian method with internal SNP selection, was not greater than GBLUP. Selection of the 5% SNPs with either the highest absolute effect or variance explained did not improve predictive ability. Predictive ability decreased only when fewer than 150,000 SNPs were used to construct the genomic relationship matrix. We hypothesize that predictive power in this population stems from the SNP-based modeling of the subtle relationship structure caused by long-range linkage disequilibrium and not from population structure or SNPs in linkage disequilibrium with causal variants. We discuss the implications of these results for genomic prediction in other organisms.
Catania, Kenneth C.
Background Aquatic tentacled snakes (Erpeton tentaculatus) can take advantage of their prey's escape response by startling fish with their body before striking. The feint usually startles fish toward the snake's approaching jaws. But when fish are oriented at a right angle to the jaws, the C-start escape response translates fish parallel to the snake's head. To exploit this latter response, snakes must predict the future location of the fish. Adult snakes can make this prediction. Is it learned, or are tentacled snakes born able to predict future fish behavior? Methods and Findings Laboratory-born, naïve snakes were investigated as they struck at fish. Trials were recorded at 250 or 500 frames per second. To prevent learning, snakes were placed in a water container with a clear transparency sheet or glass bottom. The chamber was placed over a channel in a separate aquarium with fish below. Thus snakes could see and strike at fish, without contact. The snake's body feint elicited C-starts in the fish below the transparency sheet, allowing strike accuracy to be quantified in relationship to the C-starts. When fish were oriented at a right angle to the jaws, naïve snakes biased their strikes to the future location of the escaping fish's head, such that the snake's jaws and the fish's translating head usually converged. Several different types of predictive strikes were observed. Conclusions The results show that some predators have adapted their nervous systems to directly compensate for the future behavior of prey in a sensory realm that usually requires learning. Instead of behavior selected during their lifetime, newborn tentacled snakes exhibit behavior that has been selected on a different scale—over many generations. Counter adaptations in fish are not expected, as tentacled snakes are rare predators exploiting fish responses that are usually adaptive. PMID:20585384
Full Text Available ObjectiveStartling acoustic stimulation (SAS, via activation of reticulospinal (RS pathways, has shown to increase muscle strength in healthy subjects. We hypothesized that, given RS hyperexcitability in stroke survivors, SAS could increase muscle strength in stroke survivors. The objective was to quantify the effect of SAS on maximal and sub-maximal voluntary elbow flexion on the contralesional (impaired side in stroke survivors as compared to ipsilesional (non-impaired side and healthy controls.DesignThirteen hemiparetic stroke survivors and 12 healthy subjects volunteered for this investigation. Acoustic stimulation was given at rest, during ballistic maximal and sustained sub-maximal isometric elbow contractions using low (80 dB and high intensity sound (105 dB. The effect of acoustic stimuli was evaluated from EMG and force recordings.ResultsPrevalence of acoustic startle reflex with shorter latency in the impaired biceps was greater as compared to the response in the non-impaired side of stroke subjects and in healthy subjects. Delivery of SAS resulted in earlier initiation of elbow flexion and greater peak torque in healthy subjects and in stroke subjects with spastic hemiplegia during maximal voluntary elbow flexion tasks. During sub-maximal elbow flexion tasks, SAS-induced force responses were slightly greater on the impaired side than the non-impaired side. However, no statistically significant difference was found in SAS-induced responses between impaired and non-impaired sides at maximal and sub-maximal elbow flexion tasks.ConclusionThe findings suggest RS hyperexcitability in stroke survivors with spastic hemiplegia. The results of similar SAS-induced responses between healthy and stroke subjects indicate that RS projections via acoustic stimulation are not likely to contribute to muscle strength for stroke survivors to a significant extent.
The Hubble Space Telescope has produced the most stunning images of the cosmos humanity has ever seen. It has transformed our understanding of the universe around us, revealing new information about its age and evolution, the life cycle of stars, and the very existence of black holes, among other startling discoveries. But it took an amazing amount of work and perseverance to get the first space telescope up and running. The Universe in a Mirror tells the story of this telescope and the visionaries responsible for its extraordinary accomplishments. Robert Zimmerman takes readers beh
Holly, M G
The following article shows a sensible and responsible interpretation of Kierkegaard's theory of sexuality in relation to the longest-range development of self, where self from this perspective will be called spirit. Since, for Kierkegaard, this longest-range development involved immortality and was construed by him from a religious perspective, the topics under consideration will necessarily have some relevance to the philosophy of religion. Mental health issues will figure prominently, too. In the process of working this out, I have found some startling and significant adumbrations of some of Freud's work.
Rønne, Maria Sode; Nielsen, Preben Berg; Mogensen, Christian Backer
Stiff baby syndrome (hyperekplexia) is a rare genetic disorder. The condition can easily be misdiagnosed as epilepsy or severe sepsis because of hypertonicity and seizure-like episodes and has an increased risk of severe apnoea and sudden infant death. Tapping of the nasal bridge inducing a start...... response is the clinical hallmark. We report cases of two sisters born with stiff baby syndrome with hypertonicity, exaggerated startle reaction and cyanosis. The syndrome has a good prognosis if treated with clonazepam and both cases were developmental normal after one year....
Full Text Available Omega-3 fatty acids are important for several neuronal and cognitive functions. Altered omega-3 fatty acid status has been implicated in reduced resistance to stress and mood disorders. We therefore evaluated the effects of repeated restraint stress (6 h/day for 21 days on adult rats fed omega-3 deficient, control or omega-3 enriched diets from conception. We measured body weight, plasma corticosterone and hippocampus glucocorticoid receptors and correlated these data with emotional and depression-like behaviour assessed by their open-field (OF activity, anxiety in the elevated-plus maze (EPM, the sucrose preference test and the startle response. We also determined their plasma and brain membrane lipid profiles by gas chromatography. Repeated restraint stress caused rats fed a control diet to lose weight. Their plasma corticosterone increased and they showed moderate behavioural changes, with increases only in grooming (OF test and entries into the open arms (EPM. Rats fed the omega-3 enriched diet had a lower stress-induced weight loss and plasma corticosterone peak, and reduced grooming. Rats chronically lacking omega-3 fatty acid exhibited an increased startle response, a stress-induced decrease in locomotor activity and exaggerated grooming. The brain omega-3 fatty acids increased as the dietary omega-3 fatty acids increased; diets containing preformed long-chain omega-3 fatty acid were better than diets containing the precursor alpha-linolenic acid. However, the restraint stress reduced the amounts of omega-3 incorporated. These data showed that the response to chronic restraint stress was modulated by the omega-3 fatty acid supply, a dietary deficiency was deleterious while enrichment protecting against stress.
Conzelmann, Annette; Woidich, Eva; Mucha, Ronald F; Weyers, Peter; Müller, Mathias; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Jacob, Christian P; Pauli, Paul
In line with the assumption that emotional-motivational deficits are one core dysfunction in ADHD, in one of our previous studies we observed a reduced reactivity towards pleasant pictures in adult ADHD patients as compared to controls. This was indicated by a lack of attenuation of the startle reflex specifically during pleasant pictures in ADHD patients. The first choice medical agents in ADHD, methylphenidate (MPH), is discussed to normalize these dysfunctions. However, experimental evidence in the sense of double-blind placebo-controlled study designs is lacking. Therefore, we investigated 61 adult ADHD patients twice, one time with placebo and one time with MPH with the same experimental design as in our study previously and assessed emotion processing during the presentation of pleasant, neutral and unpleasant pictures. We obtained startle reflex data as well as valence and arousal ratings in association with the pictures. As previously shown, ADHD patients showed a diminished startle attenuation during pleasant pictures while startle potentiation during unpleasant pictures was normal. Valence and arousal ratings unsuspiciously increased with increasing pleasantness and arousal of the pictures, respectively. There were no significant influences of MPH. The study replicates that ADHD patients show a reduced reactivity towards pleasant stimuli. MPH did not normalize this dysfunction. Possibly, MPH only influences emotions during more complex behavioural tasks that involve executive functions in adults with ADHD. Our results emphasize the importance for the use of double-blind placebo-controlled designs in psychopharmacological research.
Marquez , Armario , & Gelpi, 1988) consistent with a stress response . Restraint stress has been reported to increase the amplitude of sensory...and NE in the brain (Adell , Garcia- Marquez , Armario , & Gelpi , 1988) consistent with a stress response. Restraint stress has been reported t o...and non- reactive strains. Al coholism. Clinical and Experimental Research, ~(2), 170-174. Adell, A., Garcia - Marquez, C., Armario , A. , & Gelpi , E
Sargin, Derya; Botly, Leigh C P; Higgs, Gemma; Marsolais, Alexander; Frankland, Paul W; Egan, Sean E; Josselyn, Sheena A
It is well-known that Notch signaling plays a critical role in brain development and growing evidence implicates this signaling pathway in adult synaptic plasticity and memory formation. The Notch1 receptor is activated by two subclasses of ligands, Delta-like (including Dll1 and Dll4) and Jagged (including Jag1 and Jag2). Ligand-induced Notch1 receptor signaling is modulated by a family of Fringe proteins, including Lunatic fringe (Lfng). Although Dll1, Jag1 and Lfng are critical regulators of Notch signaling, their relative contribution to memory formation in the adult brain is unknown. To investigate the roles of these important components of Notch signaling in memory formation, we examined spatial and fear memory formation in adult mice with reduced expression of Dll1, Jag1, Lfng and Dll1 plus Lfng. We also examined motor activity, anxiety-like behavior and sensorimotor gating using the acoustic startle response in these mice. Of the lines of mutant mice tested, we found that only mice with reduced Jag1 expression (mice heterozygous for a null mutation in Jag1, Jag1(+/-)) showed a selective impairment in spatial memory formation. Importantly, all other behavior including open field activity, conditioned fear memory (both context and discrete cue), acoustic startle response and prepulse inhibition, was normal in this line of mice. These results provide the first in vivo evidence that Jag1-Notch signaling is critical for memory formation in the adult brain. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Mason, Georgia J; Veasey, Jake S
Animal welfare (sometimes termed "well-being") is about feelings - states such as "suffering" or "contentment" that we can infer but cannot measure directly. Welfare indices have been developed from two main sources: studies of suffering humans, and of research animals deliberately subjected to challenges known to affect emotional state. We briefly review the resulting indices here, and discuss how well they are understood for elephants, since objective welfare assessment should play a central role in evidence-based elephant management. We cover behavioral and cognitive responses (approach/avoidance; intention, redirected and displacement activities; vigilance/startle; warning signals; cognitive biases, apathy and depression-like changes; stereotypic behavior); physiological responses (sympathetic responses; corticosteroid output - often assayed non-invasively via urine, feces or even hair; other aspects of HPA function, e.g. adrenal hypertrophy); and the potential negative effects of prolonged stress on reproduction (e.g. reduced gametogenesis; low libido; elevated still-birth rates; poor maternal care) and health (e.g. poor wound-healing; enhanced disease rates; shortened lifespans). The best validated, most used welfare indices for elephants are corticosteroid outputs and stereotypic behavior. Indices suggested as valid, partially validated, and/or validated but not yet applied within zoos include: measures of preference/avoidance; displacement movements; vocal/postural signals of affective (emotional) state; startle/vigilance; apathy; salivary and urinary epinephrine; female acyclity; infant mortality rates; skin/foot infections; cardio-vascular disease; and premature adult death. Potentially useful indices that have not yet attracted any validation work in elephants include: operant responding and place preference tests; intention and vacuum movements; fear/stress pheromone release; cognitive biases; heart rate, pupil dilation and blood pressure
Khan, Muhammad Jawad; Hong, Keum-Shik
In this paper, a hybrid electroencephalography-functional near-infrared spectroscopy (EEG-fNIRS) scheme to decode eight active brain commands from the frontal brain region for brain-computer interface is presented. A total of eight commands are decoded by fNIRS, as positioned on the prefrontal cortex, and by EEG, around the frontal, parietal, and visual cortices. Mental arithmetic, mental counting, mental rotation, and word formation tasks are decoded with fNIRS, in which the selected features for classification and command generation are the peak, minimum, and mean ΔHbO values within a 2-s moving window. In the case of EEG, two eyeblinks, three eyeblinks, and eye movement in the up/down and left/right directions are used for four-command generation. The features in this case are the number of peaks and the mean of the EEG signal during 1 s window. We tested the generated commands on a quadcopter in an open space. An average accuracy of 75.6% was achieved with fNIRS for four-command decoding and 86% with EEG for another four-command decoding. The testing results show the possibility of controlling a quadcopter online and in real-time using eight commands from the prefrontal and frontal cortices via the proposed hybrid EEG-fNIRS interface.
Horn-Hofmann, Claudia; Priebe, Janosch A; Schaller, Jörg; Görlitz, Rüdiger; Lautenbacher, Stefan
In recent years the association of conditioned pain modulation (CPM) with trait fear and anxiety has become a hot topic in pain research due to the assumption that such variables may explain the low CPM efficiency in some individuals. However, empirical evidence concerning this association is still equivocal. Our study is the first to investigate the predictive power of fear and anxiety for CPM by using a well-established psycho-physiological measure of trait fear, i.e. startle potentiation, in addition to two self-report measures of pain-related trait anxiety. Forty healthy, pain-free participants (female: N = 20; age: M = 23.62 years) underwent two experimental blocks in counter-balanced order: (1) a startle paradigm with affective picture presentation and (2) a CPM procedure with hot water as conditioning stimulus (CS) and contact heat as test stimulus (TS). At the end of the experimental session, pain catastrophizing (PCS) and pain anxiety (PASS) were assessed. PCS score, PASS score and startle potentiation to threatening pictures were entered as predictors in a linear regression model with CPM magnitude as criterion. We were able to show an inhibitory CPM effect in our sample: pain ratings of the heat stimuli were significantly reduced during hot water immersion. However, CPM was neither predicted by self-report of pain-related anxiety nor by startle potentiation as psycho-physiological measure of trait fear. These results corroborate previous negative findings concerning the association between trait fear/anxiety and CPM efficiency and suggest that shifting the focus from trait to state measures might be promising.
Andrea De Cesarei
Full Text Available The activity of basic motivational systems is reflected in emotional responses to arousing stimuli, such as natural pictures. The manipulation of picture properties such as size or detail allows for investigation into the extent to which separate emotional reactions are similarly modulated by perceptual changes, or, rather, may subserve different functions. Pursuing this line of research, the present study examined the effects of two types of perceptual degradation, namely picture size reduction and blurring, on emotional responses. Both manipulations reduced picture relevance and dampened affective modulation of skin conductance, possibly because of a reduced action preparation in response to degraded or remote pictures. However, the affective modulation of the startle reflex did not vary with picture degradation, suggesting that the identification of these degraded affective cues activated the neural circuits mediating appetitive or defensive motivation.
PEST consisting of an approximate one-third oc- procedure described by Taylor and Creelman tave band centered at 800 Hz (cutoffs at 700 (1967...to some extent Taylor, M. M., and Creelman . C. D. (1967). PEST: Efficient estimates on probability functions. Journal of the performance disruption
Richard J Servatius
Full Text Available Exposure to lateral fluid percussion (LFP injury consistent with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI persistently attenuates acoustic startle responses (ASRs in rats. Here, we examined whether the experience of head trauma affects stress reactivity. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were matched for ASRs and randomly assigned to receive mTBI through LFP or experience a sham surgery (SHAM. ASRs were measured post injury days (PIDs 1, 3, 7, 14, 21 and 28. To assess neurosteroids, rats received a single 2.0 mA, 0.5 s foot shock on PID 34 (S34, PID 35 (S35, on both days (2S, or the experimental context (CON. Levels of the neurosteroids pregnenolone (PREG, allopregnanolone (ALLO, and androsterone (ANDRO were determined for the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum. For 2S rats, repeated blood samples were obtained at 15, 30 and 60 min post-stressor for determination of corticosterone (CORT levels after stress or context on PID 34. Similar to earlier work, ASRs were severely attenuated in mTBI rats without remission for 28 days after injury. No differences were observed between mTBI and SHAM rats in basal CORT, peak CORT levels or its recovery. In serum and brain, ANDRO levels were the most stress-sensitive. Stress-induced ANDRO elevations were greater than those in mTBI rats. As a positive allosteric modulator of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA receptors, increased brain ANDRO levels are expected to be anxiolytic. The impact of brain ANDRO elevations in the aftermath of mTBI on coping warrants further elaboration.
Full Text Available This study aimed to investigate whether interindividual differences in autonomic inhibitory control predict safety learning and fear extinction in an interoceptive fear conditioning paradigm. Data from a previously reported study (N = 40 were extended (N = 17 and re-analyzed to test whether healthy participants' resting heart rate variability (HRV - a proxy of cardiac vagal tone - predicts learning performance. The conditioned stimulus (CS was a slight sensation of breathlessness induced by a flow resistor, the unconditioned stimulus (US was an aversive short-lasting suffocation experience induced by a complete occlusion of the breathing circuitry. During acquisition, the paired group received 6 paired CS-US presentations; the control group received 6 explicitly unpaired CS-US presentations. In the extinction phase, both groups were exposed to 6 CS-only presentations. Measures included startle blink EMG, skin conductance responses (SCR and US-expectancy ratings. Resting HRV significantly predicted the startle blink EMG learning curves both during acquisition and extinction. In the unpaired group, higher levels of HRV at rest predicted safety learning to the CS during acquisition. In the paired group, higher levels of HRV were associated with better extinction. Our findings suggest that the strength or integrity of prefrontal inhibitory mechanisms involved in safety- and extinction learning can be indexed by HRV at rest.
Full Text Available Disorders involving dysfunctional sensory processing are characterized by an inability to filter sensory information, particularly simultaneously arriving multimodal inputs. We examined the effects of prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA, a teratogen linked to sensory dysfunction, on the behavior of juvenile and adult rats, and on the anatomy of the superior colliculus, a critical multisensory integration center in the brain. VPA-exposed rats showed deficits in colliculus-dependent behaviors including startle response, prepulse inhibition and nociceptive responses. Some deficits reversed with age. Stereological analyses revealed that colliculi of VPA-treated rats had significantly fewer parvalbumin-positive neurons, a subset of GABAergic cells. These results suggest that prenatal VPA treatment affects the development of the superior colliculus and leads to persistent anatomical changes evidenced by aberrant behavior in tasks that require sensory processing.
Sørensen, Peter; de los Campos, Gustavo; Morgante, Fabio
and others more volatile performance. Understanding the mechanisms responsible for environmental variability not only informs medical questions but is relevant in evolution and in agricultural science. In this work fully sequenced inbred lines of Drosophila melanogaster were analyzed to study the nature...... of genetic control of environmental variance for two quantitative traits: starvation resistance (SR) and startle response (SL). The evidence for genetic control of environmental variance is compelling for both traits. Sequence information is incorporated in random regression models to study the underlying...... genetic signals, which are shown to be different in the two traits. Genomic variance in sexual dimorphism was found for SR but not for SL. Indeed, the proportion of variance captured by sequence information and the contribution to this variance from four chromosome segments differ between sexes in SR...
Full Text Available Adolescence is a time of developmental changes and reorganization in the brain. It has been hypothesized that stress has a greater neurological impact on adolescents than on adults. However, scientific evidence in support of this hypothesis is still limited. We treated adolescent (4-week-old and adult (8-week-old rats with social instability stress for five weeks and compared the subsequent structural and functional changes to amygdala neurons. In the stress-free control condition, the adolescent group showed higher fear-potentiated startle responses, larger dendritic arborization, more proximal dendritic spine distribution and lower levels of truncated TrkB than the adult rats. Social instability stress exerted opposite effects on fear-potentiated startle responses in these two groups, i.e., the stress period appeared to hamper the performance in adolescents but improved it in adult rats. Furthermore, whilst the chronic social stress applied to adolescent rats reduced their dendritic field and spine density in basal and lateral amygdala neurons, the opposite stress effects on neuron morphology were observed in the adult rats. Moreover, stress in adolescence suppressed the amygdala expression of synaptic proteins, i.e., full-length TrkB and SNAP-25, whereas, in the adult rats, chronic stress enhanced full-length and truncated TrkB expressions in the amygdala. In summary, chronic social instability stress hinders amygdala neuron development in the adolescent brain, while mature neurons in the amygdala are capable of adapting to the stress. The stress induced age-dependent effects on the fear-potentiated memory may occur by altering the BDNF-TrkB signaling and neuroplasticity in the amygdala.
Lock, S.; Dalbey, W.; Schmoyer, R.; Griesemer, R.
Inhalation exposures were performed twice per week, for 13 weeks, to determine whether there was any potential toxicity to rats of comparatively low concentrations of a condensation aerosol from diesel fuel. Changes in breathing frequency and the response of animals to a loud sharp sound (startle response) were measured in selected animals prior to the start of the exposures, at various time points during the thirteen week exposure period, and at monthly intervals during the recovery period. Assays were performed on selected animals at the end of the exposure period, and again after the two month recovery period. Endpoints included pulmonary function tests, numbers of alveolar free cells, clinical chemistry, hematology, organ weights and histopathology. No mortalities were recorded during the exposure or recovery periods. Slight toxicity occurred at these low aerosol concentrations with the loss in body weight of all treated animals during the exposure period. During the exposure period there were also some slight changes in startle reflex, however, these were apparently acute effects, and there appeared to be no permanent CNS involvement as measured by this endpoint. Immediately post-exposure, the numbers of lavaged alveolar macrophages were slightly elevated in all aerosol exposed animals. Pulmonary function tests, pulmonary gas exchange and dynamic lung tests were all apparently unaffected by these low diesel fuel aerosol exposures. Changes in tissue weights in aerosol exposed animals were minor and the few histopathological lesions were randomly scattered amongst all groups included in this study and were more attributable to the age of the animals than any specific treatment group. No significant cumulative toxicity may be attributed to these diesel fuel aerosol exposures. 14 references, 1 figure, 42 tables.
Full Text Available During emotion perception, context is an important source of information. Whether contextual cues from modalities other than vision or audition influence the perception of social emotional information has not been investigated.Thus, the present study aimed at testing emotion perception and regulation in response to fearful facial expressions presented in the context of chemosensory stimuli derived from sweat of anxious individuals. In groups of high (HSA and low socially anxious (LSA participants we recorded the startle reflex (Experiment I, and analysed event-related potentials (ERPs; Experiment II while they viewed anxious facial expressions in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals and chemosensory control stimuli. Results revealed that N1/P1 and N170 amplitudes were larger while Late Positive Potential (LPP activity was smaller for facial expressions presented in the context of the anxiety and the chemosensory control stimulus as compared to facial expressions without a chemosensory context. Furthermore, HSA participants were highly sensitive to the contextual anxiety signals. They showed enhanced motivated attention allocation (LPP, Study II, as well as larger startle responses towards faces in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals than did LSA participants (Study I. Chemosensory context had no effect on emotion regulation, and both LSA and HSA participants showed effective emotion regulation (Study I and II. In conclusion, both anxiety and chemosensory sport context stimuli enhanced early attention allocation and structural encoding, but diminished motivated attention allocation to the facial expressions. The current results show that visual and chemosensory information is integrated on virtually all levels of stimulus processing and that socially anxious individuals might be especially sensitive to chemosensory contextual social information.
McTeague, Lisa M.; Lang, Peter J.
Guided by the diagnostic nosology, anxiety patients are expected to show defensive hyperarousal during affective challenge, irrespective of the principal phenotype. In the current study, patients representing the whole spectrum of anxiety disorders (i.e., specific phobia, social phobia, panic disorder with or without agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD)), and healthy community control participants, completed an imagery-based fear elicitation paradigm paralleling conventional intervention techniques. Participants imagined threatening and neutral narratives as physiological responses were recorded. Clear evidence emerged for exaggerated reactivity to clinically relevant imagery—most pronounced in startle reflex responding. However, defensive propensity varied across principal anxiety disorders. Disorders characterized by focal fear and impairment (e.g., specific phobia) showed robust fear potentiation. Conversely, for disorders of long-enduring, pervasive apprehension and avoidance with broad anxiety and depression comorbidity (e.g., PTSD secondary to cumulative trauma, GAD), startle responses were paradoxically diminished to all aversive contents. Patients whose expressed symptom profiles were intermediate between focal fearfulness and broad anxious-misery in both severity and chronicity exhibited a still heightened but more generalized physiological propensity to respond defensively. Importantly, this defensive physiological gradient—the inverse of self-reported distress—was evident not only between but also within disorders. These results highlight that fear circuitry could be dysregulated in chronic, pervasive anxiety, and preliminary functional neuroimaging findings suggest that deficient amygdala recruitment could underlie attenuated reflex responding. In summary, adaptive defensive engagement during imagery may be compromised by long-term dysphoria and stress—a phenomenon
Khan, Muhammad Jawad; Hong, Keum-Shik
In this paper, a hybrid electroencephalography–functional near-infrared spectroscopy (EEG–fNIRS) scheme to decode eight active brain commands from the frontal brain region for brain–computer interface is presented. A total of eight commands are decoded by fNIRS, as positioned on the prefrontal cortex, and by EEG, around the frontal, parietal, and visual cortices. Mental arithmetic, mental counting, mental rotation, and word formation tasks are decoded with fNIRS, in which the selected features for classification and command generation are the peak, minimum, and mean ΔHbO values within a 2-s moving window. In the case of EEG, two eyeblinks, three eyeblinks, and eye movement in the up/down and left/right directions are used for four-command generation. The features in this case are the number of peaks and the mean of the EEG signal during 1 s window. We tested the generated commands on a quadcopter in an open space. An average accuracy of 75.6% was achieved with fNIRS for four-command decoding and 86% with EEG for another four-command decoding. The testing results show the possibility of controlling a quadcopter online and in real-time using eight commands from the prefrontal and frontal cortices via the proposed hybrid EEG–fNIRS interface. PMID:28261084
Cohen, Hagit; Kozlovsky, Nitsan; Matar, Michael A; Kaplan, Zeev; Zohar, Joseph
Protein kinase M zeta (PKMzeta), a constitutively active isoform of protein kinase C, has been implicated in protein synthesis-dependent maintenance of long-term potentiation and memory storage in the brain. Recent studies reported that local application of ZIP, a membrane-permeant PKMzeta inhibitor, into the insular cortex (IC) of behaving rats abolished long-term memory of taste associations. This study assessed the long-term effects of local applications of ZIP microinjected immediately (1 h) or 10 days after predator scent stress exposure, in a controlled prospectively designed animal model for PTSD. Four brain structures known to be involved in memory processes and in anxiety were investigated: lateral ventricle (LV), dorsal hippocampus (DH), basolateral amygdala and IC. The outcome measures included behavior in an elevated plus maze and acoustic startle response 7 days after microinjection, and freezing behavior upon exposure to trauma-related cue 8 days after microinjection. Previously acquired/encoded memories associated with the IC were also assessed. Inactivation of PKMzeta in the LV or DH within 1h of exposure effectively reduced PTSD-like behavioral disruption and trauma cue response 8 days later. Inactivation of PKMzeta 10 days after exposure had equivalent effects only when administered in the IC. The effect was demonstrated to be specific for trauma memories, whereas previously acquired data were unaffected by the procedure. Predator scent related memories are located in different brain areas at different times beginning with an initial hippocampus-dependent consolidation process, and are eventually stored in the IC. These bring the IC to the forefront as a potential region of significance in processes related to traumatic stress-induced disorders. 2010 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP. All rights reserved.
Colum D MacKinnon
Full Text Available Voluntary movements are often preceded by a movement-related potential beginning as much as two seconds prior to the onset of movement. In light of evidence that motor actions can be prepared and initiated in less than 200 ms, the function of this early activity has remained enigmatic. We hypothesized that the movement-related potential reflects the state of preparation of the planned movement. This was tested by delivering a startling acoustic stimulus during the preparation phase of a load-release task. The cue to release the load was presented either 3.5 seconds after a warning cue (PREDICT condition or randomly between 4-12 seconds (REACT condition. Electroencephalographic, electromyographic and limb and load kinematic signals were recorded. In a subset of trials, a startle stimulus was delivered at -1500, -1000, -500, -250, -100 or 0 ms before the release cue. A contingent-negative variation (CNV waveform, with a late phase of slow-rising negativity beginning an average of 1459 ms prior to movement, was observed for the PREDICT condition but not the REACT condition. For both conditions, the startle stimulus frequently evoked the early and unintentional release of the load-release sequence. The incidence of release was significantly (p<0.001 correlated with the late phase of the CNV for the PREDICT condition but not the REACT condition. For the REACT condition, the incidence of movement release was subject-specific, constant across the preparation interval, and uncorrelated with cortical activity. The onset of movement release by the startle stimulus was significantly shorter (p<0.001 for the PREDICT compared to the REACT condition. These findings provide evidence that the late phase of the CNV reflects cortical activity mediating the progressive preparation and storage of the forthcoming movement and that during this phase an intense sensory stimulus can evoke early and unintentional release of the planned action.
Olofsson, Martin; Eriksson, Stephan; Jakobsson, Sven; Wiklund, Christer
Background Many animals reduce the risk of being attacked by a predator through crypsis, masquerade or, alternatively, by advertising unprofitability by means of aposematic signalling. Behavioural attributes in prey employed after discovery, however, signify the importance of also having an effective secondary defence if a predator uncovers, or is immune to, the prey’s primary defence. In butterflies, as in most animals, secondary defence generally consists of escape flights. However, some butterfly species have evolved other means of secondary defence such as deimatic displays/startle displays. The European swallowtail, Papilio machaon, employs what appears to be a startle display by exposing its brightly coloured dorsal wing surface upon disturbance and, if the disturbance continues, by intermittently protracting and relaxing its wing muscles generating a jerky motion of the wings. This display appears directed towards predators but whether it is effective in intimidating predators so that they refrain from attacks has never been tested experimentally. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study we staged encounters between a passerine predator, the great tit, Parus major, and live and dead swallowtail butterflies in a two-choice experiment. Results showed that the dead butterfly was virtually always attacked before the live butterfly, and that it took four times longer before a bird attacked the live butterfly. When the live butterfly was approached by a bird this generally elicited the butterfly’s startle display, which usually caused the approaching bird to flee. We also performed a palatability test of the butterflies and results show that the great tits seemed to find them palatable. Conclusions/Significance We conclude that the swallowtail’s startle display of conspicuous coloration and jerky movements is an efficient secondary defence against small passerines. We also discuss under what conditions predator-prey systems are likely to aid the
Olofsson, Martin; Eriksson, Stephan; Jakobsson, Sven; Wiklund, Christer
Many animals reduce the risk of being attacked by a predator through crypsis, masquerade or, alternatively, by advertising unprofitability by means of aposematic signalling. Behavioural attributes in prey employed after discovery, however, signify the importance of also having an effective secondary defence if a predator uncovers, or is immune to, the prey's primary defence. In butterflies, as in most animals, secondary defence generally consists of escape flights. However, some butterfly species have evolved other means of secondary defence such as deimatic displays/startle displays. The European swallowtail, Papilio machaon, employs what appears to be a startle display by exposing its brightly coloured dorsal wing surface upon disturbance and, if the disturbance continues, by intermittently protracting and relaxing its wing muscles generating a jerky motion of the wings. This display appears directed towards predators but whether it is effective in intimidating predators so that they refrain from attacks has never been tested experimentally. In this study we staged encounters between a passerine predator, the great tit, Parus major, and live and dead swallowtail butterflies in a two-choice experiment. Results showed that the dead butterfly was virtually always attacked before the live butterfly, and that it took four times longer before a bird attacked the live butterfly. When the live butterfly was approached by a bird this generally elicited the butterfly's startle display, which usually caused the approaching bird to flee. We also performed a palatability test of the butterflies and results show that the great tits seemed to find them palatable. We conclude that the swallowtail's startle display of conspicuous coloration and jerky movements is an efficient secondary defence against small passerines. We also discuss under what conditions predator-prey systems are likely to aid the evolution of deimatic behaviours in harmless and palatable prey.
Full Text Available Many animals reduce the risk of being attacked by a predator through crypsis, masquerade or, alternatively, by advertising unprofitability by means of aposematic signalling. Behavioural attributes in prey employed after discovery, however, signify the importance of also having an effective secondary defence if a predator uncovers, or is immune to, the prey's primary defence. In butterflies, as in most animals, secondary defence generally consists of escape flights. However, some butterfly species have evolved other means of secondary defence such as deimatic displays/startle displays. The European swallowtail, Papilio machaon, employs what appears to be a startle display by exposing its brightly coloured dorsal wing surface upon disturbance and, if the disturbance continues, by intermittently protracting and relaxing its wing muscles generating a jerky motion of the wings. This display appears directed towards predators but whether it is effective in intimidating predators so that they refrain from attacks has never been tested experimentally.In this study we staged encounters between a passerine predator, the great tit, Parus major, and live and dead swallowtail butterflies in a two-choice experiment. Results showed that the dead butterfly was virtually always attacked before the live butterfly, and that it took four times longer before a bird attacked the live butterfly. When the live butterfly was approached by a bird this generally elicited the butterfly's startle display, which usually caused the approaching bird to flee. We also performed a palatability test of the butterflies and results show that the great tits seemed to find them palatable.We conclude that the swallowtail's startle display of conspicuous coloration and jerky movements is an efficient secondary defence against small passerines. We also discuss under what conditions predator-prey systems are likely to aid the evolution of deimatic behaviours in harmless and palatable prey.
Löwgren, Karolina; Bååth, Rasmus; Rasmussen, Anders; Boele, Henk-Jan; Koekkoek, Sebastiaan K E; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Hesslow, Germund
A growing body of evidence suggests that the cerebellum is involved in both cognition and language. Abnormal cerebellar development may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, dyslexia, and specific language
Löwgren, K. (Karolina); Bååth, R. (Rasmus); A. Rasmussen (Anders); H.J. Boele (Henk-Jan); S.K.E. Koekkoek (Bas); C.I. de Zeeuw (Chris); Hesslow, G. (Germund)
textabstractA growing body of evidence suggests that the cerebellum is involved in both cognition and language. Abnormal cerebellar development may contribute to neurodevelopmental disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, dyslexia, and
Hougaard, Karin; Andersen, Maibritt B; Hansen, Ase M
The aim of the present study was to elucidate whether prenatal chronic stress, in combination with exposure to a developmental neurotoxicant, would increase effects in the offspring compared with the effects of either exposure alone. Development and neurobehavioral effects were investigated...... in female offspring of pregnant rats (Mol:WIST) exposed to chronic mild stress (CMS) during gestational days (GD) 9-20, or 1500 ppm toluene, 6 h/day during gestational days 7-20, or a combination of the two. Prenatal CMS was associated with decreased thymic weight and increased auditory startle response....... The corticosterone response to restraint seemed modified by prenatal exposure to toluene. Lactational body weight was decreased in offsprings subjected to CMS, primarily due to effects in the combined exposure group. Cognitive function was investigated in the Morris water maze, and some indications of improved...
Hougaard, Karin; Andersen, Maibritt B; Kjaer, Sanna L
naïve at the time of ASR testing, whereas the other had been through blood sampling for assessment of the hormonal stress response to restraint, 3 months previously. Both prenatal CMS and dexamethasone increased ASR in the offspring compared to controls, but only in prenatally stressed offspring......Prenatal stress has been associated with a variety of alterations in the offspring. The presented observations suggest that rather than causing changes in the offspring per se, prenatal stress may increase the organism's vulnerability to aversive life events. Offspring of rat dams stressed...... of the acoustic startle response. Further, a single aversive life event showed capable of changing the reactivity of prenatally stressed offspring, whereas offspring of dams going through a less stressful gestation was largely unaffected by this event. This suggests that circumstances dating back to the very...
.... Two eminent scientists, Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, startled the world by challenging Darwin's cherished beliefs - proposing instead that once a species has evolved it rarely undergoes...
Sevenster, Dieuwke; Beckers, Tom; Kindt, Merel
Ample evidence suggests that consolidated memories, upon their retrieval, enter a labile state, in which they might be susceptible to change. It has been proposed that memory labilization allows for the integration of relevant information in the established memory trace (memory updating). Memory labilization and reconsolidation do not necessarily occur when a memory is being reactivated, but only when there is something to be learned during memory retrieval (prediction error). Thus, updating of a fear memory trace should not occur under retrieval conditions in which the outcome is fully predictable (no prediction error). Here, we addressed this issue, using a human differential fear conditioning procedure, by eliminating the very possibility of reinforcement of the reminder cue. A previously established fear memory (picture-shock pairings) was reactivated with shock-electrodes attached (Propranolol group, n=18) or unattached (Propranolol No-Shock Expectation group, n=19). We additionally tested a placebo-control group with the shock-electrodes attached (Placebo group, n=18). Reconsolidation was not triggered when nothing could be learned during the reminder trial, as noradrenergic blockade did not affect expression of the fear memory 24h later in the Propranolol No-Shock Expectation group. Only when the outcome of the retrieval cue was not fully predictable, propranolol, contrary to placebo, reduced the startle fear response and prevented the return of fear (reinstatement) the following day. In line with previous studies, skin conductance response and shock expectancies were not affected by propranolol. Remarkably, a double dissociation emerged between the emotional (startle response) and more cognitive expression (expectancies, SCR) of the fear memory. Our findings have important implications for reconsolidation blockade as treatment strategy for emotional disorders. First, fear reducing procedures that target the emotional component of fear memory do not
Walla, Peter; Brenner, Gerhard; Koller, Monika
With this study we wanted to test the hypothesis that individual like and dislike as occurring in relation to brand attitude can be objectively assessed. First, individuals rated common brands with respect to subjective preference. Then, they volunteered in an experiment during which their most liked and disliked brand names were visually presented while three different objective measures were taken. Participant's eye blinks as responses to acoustic startle probes were registered with electromyography (EMG) (i) and their skin conductance (ii) and their heart rate (iii) were recorded. We found significantly reduced eye blink amplitudes related to liked brand names compared to disliked brand names. This finding suggests that visual perception of liked brand names elicits higher degrees of pleasantness, more positive emotion and approach-oriented motivation than visual perception of disliked brand names. Also, skin conductance and heart rate were both reduced in case of liked versus disliked brand names. We conclude that all our physiological measures highlight emotion-related differences depending on the like and dislike toward individual brands. We suggest that objective measures should be used more frequently to quantify emotion-related aspects of brand attitude. In particular, there might be potential interest to introduce startle reflex modulation to measure emotion-related impact during product development, product design and various further fields relevant to marketing. Our findings are discussed in relation to the idea that self reported measures are most often cognitively polluted.
Golkar, Armita; Tjaden, Cathelijn; Kindt, Merel
Previous studies have suggested that fear memories can be updated when recalled, a process referred to as reconsolidation. Given the beneficial effects of model-based safety learning (i.e. vicarious extinction) in preventing the recovery of short-term fear memory, we examined whether consolidated long-term fear memories could be updated with safety learning accomplished through vicarious extinction learning initiated within the reconsolidation time-window. We assessed this in a final sample of 19 participants that underwent a three-day within-subject fear-conditioning design, using fear-potentiated startle as our primary index of fear learning. On day 1, two fear-relevant stimuli (reinforced CSs) were paired with shock (US) and a third stimulus served as a control (CS). On day 2, one of the two previously reinforced stimuli (the reminded CS) was presented once in order to reactivate the fear memory 10 min before vicarious extinction training was initiated for all CSs. The recovery of the fear memory was tested 24 h later. Vicarious extinction training conducted within the reconsolidation time window specifically prevented the recovery of the reactivated fear memory (p = 0.03), while leaving fear-potentiated startle responses to the non-reactivated cue intact (p = 0.62). These findings are relevant to both basic and clinical research, suggesting that a safe, non-invasive model-based exposure technique has the potential to enhance the efficiency and durability of anxiolytic therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Walla, Peter; Brenner, Gerhard; Koller, Monika
With this study we wanted to test the hypothesis that individual like and dislike as occurring in relation to brand attitude can be objectively assessed. First, individuals rated common brands with respect to subjective preference. Then, they volunteered in an experiment during which their most liked and disliked brand names were visually presented while three different objective measures were taken. Participant's eye blinks as responses to acoustic startle probes were registered with electromyography (EMG) (i) and their skin conductance (ii) and their heart rate (iii) were recorded. We found significantly reduced eye blink amplitudes related to liked brand names compared to disliked brand names. This finding suggests that visual perception of liked brand names elicits higher degrees of pleasantness, more positive emotion and approach-oriented motivation than visual perception of disliked brand names. Also, skin conductance and heart rate were both reduced in case of liked versus disliked brand names. We conclude that all our physiological measures highlight emotion-related differences depending on the like and dislike toward individual brands. We suggest that objective measures should be used more frequently to quantify emotion-related aspects of brand attitude. In particular, there might be potential interest to introduce startle reflex modulation to measure emotion-related impact during product development, product design and various further fields relevant to marketing. Our findings are discussed in relation to the idea that self reported measures are most often cognitively polluted. PMID:22073192
Ryan, S.G.; O' Connell, P. (Univ. of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (United States)); Dixon, M.J. (Univ. of Manchester (United Kingdom)); Nigro, M.A. (Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI (United States)); Kelts, K.A. (Black Hills Neurology, Rapid City, SD (United States)); Markand, O.N. (Indiana Univ., Indianopolis (United States)); Shiang, R.; Wasmuth, J.J. (Univ. of California, Irvine (United States)); Terry, J.C.
Hyperekplexia, or startle disease (STHE), is an autosomal dominant neurologic disorder characterized by muscular rigidity of central nervous system origin, particularly in the neonatal period, and by an exaggerated startle response to sudden, unexpected acoustic or tactile stimuli. STHE responds dramatically to the benzodiazepine drug clonazepam, which acts at gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABA-A) receptors. The STHE locus (STHE) was recently assigned to chromosome 5q, on the basis of tight linkage to the colony-stimulating factor 1-receptor (CSF1-R) locus in a single large family. The authors performed linkage analysis in the original and three additional STHE pedigrees with eight chromosome 5q microsatellite markers and placed several of the most closely linked markers on an existing radiation hybrid (RH) map of the region. The results provide strong evidence for genetic locus homogeneity and assign STHE to a 5.9-cM interval defined by CSF1-R and D5S379, which are separated by an RH map distance of 74 centirays (roughly 2.2-3.7 Mb). Two polymorphic markers (D5S119 and D5S209) lie within this region, but they could not be ordered with respect to STHE. RH mapping eliminated the candidate genes GABRA1 and GABRG2, which encode GABA-A receptor components, by showing that they are telomeric to the target region. 45 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.
Full Text Available With this study we wanted to test the hypothesis that individual like and dislike as occurring in relation to brand attitude can be objectively assessed. First, individuals rated common brands with respect to subjective preference. Then, they volunteered in an experiment during which their most liked and disliked brand names were visually presented while three different objective measures were taken. Participant's eye blinks as responses to acoustic startle probes were registered with electromyography (EMG (i and their skin conductance (ii and their heart rate (iii were recorded. We found significantly reduced eye blink amplitudes related to liked brand names compared to disliked brand names. This finding suggests that visual perception of liked brand names elicits higher degrees of pleasantness, more positive emotion and approach-oriented motivation than visual perception of disliked brand names. Also, skin conductance and heart rate were both reduced in case of liked versus disliked brand names. We conclude that all our physiological measures highlight emotion-related differences depending on the like and dislike toward individual brands. We suggest that objective measures should be used more frequently to quantify emotion-related aspects of brand attitude. In particular, there might be potential interest to introduce startle reflex modulation to measure emotion-related impact during product development, product design and various further fields relevant to marketing. Our findings are discussed in relation to the idea that self reported measures are most often cognitively polluted.
Bakshi, Vaishali P; Alsene, Karen M; Roseboom, Patrick H; Connors, Elenora E
A deficit in prepulse inhibition (PPI) can be one of the clinically observed features of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is seen long after the acute traumatic episode has terminated. Thus, reduced PPI may represent an enduring psychophysiological marker of this illness in some patients. PPI is an operational measure of sensorimotor gating and refers to the phenomenon in which a weak stimulus presented immediately before an intense startling stimulus inhibits the magnitude of the subsequent startle response. The effects of stress on PPI have been relatively understudied, and in particular, there is very little information on PPI effects of ethologically relevant psychological stressors. We aimed to develop a paradigm for evaluating stress-induced sensorimotor gating abnormalities by comparing the effects of a purely psychological stressor (predator exposure) to those of a nociceptive physical stressor (footshock) on PPI and baseline startle responses in rats over an extended period of time following stressor presentation. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed (within a protective cage) to ferrets for 5 min or left in their homecage and then tested for PPI immediately, 24 h, 48 h, and 9 days after the exposure. The effects of footshock were evaluated in a separate set of rats. The effects seen with stressor presentation were compared to those elicited by corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF; 0.5 and 3 μg/6 μl, intracerebroventricularly). Finally, the effects of these stressors and CRF administration on plasma corticosterone were measured. PPI was disrupted 24 h after ferret exposure; in contrast, footshock failed to affect PPI at any time. CRF mimicked the predator stress profile, with the lowdose producing a PPI deficit 24 h after infusion. Interestingly, the high dose also produced a PPI deficit 24 h after infusion, but with this dose, the PPI deficit was evident even 9d later. Plasma corticosterone levels were elevated acutely (before PPI deficits
Brozoski, Thomas J; Bauer, Carol A
Presented is a thematic review of animal tinnitus models from a functional perspective. Chronic tinnitus is a persistent subjective sound sensation, emergent typically after hearing loss. Although the sensation is experientially simple, it appears to have central a nervous system substrate of unexpected complexity that includes areas outside of those classically defined as auditory. Over the past 27 years animal models have significantly contributed to understanding tinnitus' complex neurophysiology. In that time, a diversity of models have been developed, each with its own strengths and limitations. None has clearly become a standard. Animal models trace their origin to the 1988 experiments of Jastreboff and colleagues. All subsequent models derive some of their features from those experiments. Common features include behavior-dependent psychophysical determination, acoustic conditions that contrast objective sound and silence, and inclusion of at least one normal-hearing control group. In the present review, animal models have been categorized as either interrogative or reflexive. Interrogative models use emitted behavior under voluntary control to indicate hearing. An example would be pressing a lever to obtain food in the presence of a particular sound. In this type of model animals are interrogated about their auditory sensations, analogous to asking a patient, "What do you hear?" These models require at least some training and motivation management, and reflect the perception of tinnitus. Reflexive models, in contrast, employ acoustic modulation of an auditory reflex, such as the acoustic startle response. An unexpected loud sound will elicit a reflexive motor response from many species, including humans. Although involuntary, acoustic startle can be modified by a lower-level preceding event, including a silent sound gap. Sound-gap modulation of acoustic startle appears to discriminate tinnitus in animals as well as humans, and requires no training or
Mead, Hilary K.; Beauchaine, Theodore P.; Shannon, Katherine E.
Adaptation to violent environments across development involves a multitude of cascading effects spanning many levels of analysis from genes to behavior. In this review, we (a) examine the potentiating effects of violence on genetic vulnerabilities and the functioning of neurotransmitter systems in producing both internalizing and externalizing psychopathology, (b) consider the impact of violence on the developing human stress and startle responses, and (c) brain development including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. This review integrates literature on the developmental effects of violence on rodents, non-human primates, and humans. Many neurobiological changes that are adaptive for survival in violent contexts become maladaptive in other environments, conferring life-long risk for psychopathology. PMID:20102643
A major goal of the work currently funded by the AFOSR is to determine to role of glutamate receptors in the amygdala in conditioned fear and to begin to determine brain areas involved in the inhibition of fear...
Ballinger, Elizabeth C.; Cordeiro, Lisa; Chavez, Alyssa D.; Hagerman, Randi J.; Hessl, David
Social avoidance and anxiety are prevalent in fragile X syndrome (FXS) and are potentially mediated by the amygdala, a brain region critical for social behavior. Unfortunately, functional brain resonance imaging investigation of the amygdala in FXS is limited by the difficulties experienced by intellectually impaired and anxious participants. We…
Racine, Sarah E; Hebert, Karen R; Benning, Stephen D
Eating disorders are associated with both negative and positive emotional reactions towards food. Individual eating disorder symptoms may relate to distinct emotional responses to food, which could necessitate tailored treatments based on symptom presentation. We examined associations between eating disorder symptoms and psychophysiological responses to food versus neutral images in 87 college students [mean (SD) age = 19.70 (2.09); mean (SD) body mass index = 23.25(2.77)]. Reflexive and facial electromyography measures tapping negative emotional reactivity (startle blink reflex) and appraisal (corrugator muscle response) as well as positive emotional reactivity (postauricular reflex) and appraisal (zygomaticus muscle response) were collected. Eating disorder cognitions correlated with more corrugator activity to food versus neutral images, indicating negative appraisals of food. Binge eating was associated with increased postauricular reflex reactivity to food versus neutral images, suggesting enhanced appetitive motivation to food. The combination of cognitive eating disorder symptoms and binge eating may result in motivational conflict towards food. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Full Text Available Dopamine (DA and noradrenaline (NA are important neurotransmitters, which are suggested to play a vital role in modulating the neural circuitry involved in the executive control of cognition. One way to investigate the functions of these neurotransmitter systems is to assess physiological indices of DA and NA transmission. Here we examined how variations of spontaneous eye-blink rate and pupil size, as indirect measures of DA and NA activity, respectively, are related to performance in a hallmark aspect of executive control: attentional set shifting. We used the Intra/Extradimensional Set Shifting Task, where participants have to choose between different compound stimuli while the stimulus-reward contingencies change periodically. During such rule shifts, participants have to refresh their attentional set while they reassess which stimulus-features are relevant. We found that both eye-blink rate (EBR and pupil size increased after rule shifts, when explorative processes are required to establish stimulus–reward contingencies. Furthermore, baseline pupil size was related to performance during the most difficult, extradimensional set shifting stage, whereas baseline EBR was associated with task performance prior to this stage. Our results support a range of neurobiological models suggesting that the activity of DA and NA neurotransmitter systems determines individual differences in executive functions (EF, possibly by regulating neurotransmission in prefrontal circuits. We also suggest that assessing specific, easily accessible indirect physiological markers, such as pupil size and blink rate, contributes to the comprehension of the relationship between neurotransmitter systems and EF.
Stone, David B; Tamburro, Gabriella; Fiedler, Patrique; Haueisen, Jens; Comani, Silvia
Data contamination due to physiological artifacts such as those generated by eyeblinks, eye movements, and muscle activity continues to be a central concern in the acquisition and analysis of electroencephalographic (EEG) data. This issue is further compounded in EEG sports science applications where the presence of artifacts is notoriously difficult to control because behaviors that generate these interferences are often the behaviors under investigation. Therefore, there is a need to develop effective and efficient methods to identify physiological artifacts in EEG recordings during sports applications so that they can be isolated from cerebral activity related to the activities of interest. We have developed an EEG artifact detection model, the Fingerprint Method, which identifies different spatial, temporal, spectral, and statistical features indicative of physiological artifacts and uses these features to automatically classify artifactual independent components in EEG based on a machine leaning approach. Here, we optimized our method using artifact-rich training data and a procedure to determine which features were best suited to identify eyeblinks, eye movements, and muscle artifacts. We then applied our model to an experimental dataset collected during endurance cycling. Results reveal that unique sets of features are suitable for the detection of distinct types of artifacts and that the Optimized Fingerprint Method was able to correctly identify over 90% of the artifactual components with physiological origin present in the experimental data. These results represent a significant advancement in the search for effective means to address artifact contamination in EEG sports science applications.
Neo, Yik Yaw; Parie, Lisa; Bakker, Frederique; Snelderwaard, Peter; Tudorache, Christian; Schaaf, Marcel; Slabbekoorn, Hans
Auditory sensitivity in fish serves various important functions, but also makes fish susceptible to noise pollution. Human-generated sounds may affect behavioral patterns of fish, both in natural conditions and in captivity. Fish are often kept for consumption in aquaculture, on display in zoos and hobby aquaria, and for medical sciences in research facilities, but little is known about the impact of ambient sounds in fish tanks. In this study, we conducted two indoor exposure experiments with zebrafish (Danio rerio). The first experiment demonstrated that exposure to moderate sound levels (112 dB re 1 μPa) can affect the swimming behavior of fish by changing group cohesion, swimming speed and swimming height. Effects were brief for both continuous and intermittent noise treatments. In the second experiment, fish could influence exposure to higher sound levels by swimming freely between an artificially noisy fish tank (120-140 dB re 1 μPa) and another with ambient noise levels (89 dB re 1 μPa). Despite initial startle responses, and a brief period in which many individuals in the noisy tank dived down to the bottom, there was no spatial avoidance or noise-dependent tank preference at all. The frequent exchange rate of about 60 fish passages per hour between tanks was not affected by continuous or intermittent exposures. In conclusion, small groups of captive zebrafish were able to detect sounds already at relatively low sound levels and adjust their behavior to it. Relatively high sound levels were at least at the on-set disturbing, but did not lead to spatial avoidance. Further research is needed to show whether zebrafish are not able to avoid noisy areas or just not bothered. Quantitatively, these data are not directly applicable to other fish species or other fish tanks, but they do indicate that sound exposure may affect fish behavior in any captive condition.
.... Foremost among the efforts in this vein is quantum information, which, largely on the basis of startling results on quantum teleportation and polynomial-time factoring, has evolved into a major scientific initiative...
Nonnekes, Jorik; de Kam, Digna; Geurts, Alexander C H; Weerdesteyn, Vivian; Bloem, Bastiaan R
Postural instability, one of the cardinal symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD), has devastating consequences for affected patients. Better strategies to prevent falls are needed, but this calls for an improved understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying postural instability. We must also improve our ability to timely identify patients at risk of falling. Dynamic posturography is a promising avenue to achieve these goals. The latest moveable platforms can deliver 'real-life' balance perturbations, permitting study of everyday fall circumstances. Dynamic posturography studies have shown that PD patients have fundamental problems in scaling their postural responses in accordance with the need of the actual balance task at hand. On-going studies evaluate the predictive ability of impaired posturography performance for daily life falls. We also review recent work aimed at exploring balance correcting steps in PD, and the presumed interaction between startle pathways and postural responses.
Alexandre Santos Brandão
Full Text Available Knowing that the driving task of a conventional wheelchair could be difficult or even impossible for impairment people, this work presents an overview of some strategies developed to aid these people. Within this context, a myoelectrical eye-blink and an iris tracking system to guide a robotic wheelchair are briefly described. Futhermore, some comments about EEG-based systems are also presented. Finally, it is presented a robotic wheelchair navigation system capable to reach a desired pose in a planar environment while avoiding static and dynamic obstacles.
Full Text Available Abstract Background Electrodermal reactions (EDRs can be attributed to many origins, including spontaneous fluctuations of electrodermal activity (EDA and stimuli such as deep inspirations, voluntary mental activity and startling events. In fields that use EDA as a measure of psychophysiological state, the fact that EDRs may be elicited from many different stimuli is often ignored. This study attempts to classify observed EDRs as voluntary (i.e., generated from intentional respiratory or mental activity or involuntary (i.e., generated from startling events or spontaneous electrodermal fluctuations. Methods Eight able-bodied participants were subjected to conditions that would cause a change in EDA: music imagery, startling noises, and deep inspirations. A user-centered cardiorespiratory classifier consisting of 1 an EDR detector, 2 a respiratory filter and 3 a cardiorespiratory filter was developed to automatically detect a participant's EDRs and to classify the origin of their stimulation as voluntary or involuntary. Results Detected EDRs were classified with a positive predictive value of 78%, a negative predictive value of 81% and an overall accuracy of 78%. Without the classifier, EDRs could only be correctly attributed as voluntary or involuntary with an accuracy of 50%. Conclusions The proposed classifier may enable investigators to form more accurate interpretations of electrodermal activity as a measure of an individual's psychophysiological state.
Cohen, Hagit; Zohar, Joseph; Matar, Michael A; Zeev, Kaplan; Loewenthal, Uri; Richter-Levin, Gal
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects about 20-30% of exposed individuals. Clinical studies of PTSD generally employ stringent criteria for inclusion in study populations, and yet in animal studies the data collection and analysis are generally expressed as a function of exposed vs nonexposed populations, regardless of individual variation in response. Prior data support an approach to animal models analogous to inclusion criteria in clinical studies. This series of studies sought to assess prevalence rates of maladaptive vs adaptive responses determined according to a more stringent approach to the concept of inclusion/exclusion criteria (cutoff behavioral criteria-CBC), consisting of two successive behavioral tests (elevated plus maze and acoustic startle response tests). The rats were exposed to stressors in two different paradigms; exposure to a predator and underwater trauma. The prevalence rates of maladaptive responses to stress in these two distinct models dropped over time from 90% in the acute phase to 25% enduring/maladaptive response at 7 days, to remain constant over 30 days. As setting the affected individuals apart from the unaffected approximates clinical studies, it might also help to clarify some of the pending issues in PTSD research.
... may startle at the unexpected bark of a dog nearby or seem soothed by the gentle whirring ... siblings laughing and playing. Baby rattles and musical mobiles and toys are other good ways to stimulate ...
Grunwald, Scott; Perrin, Mark
On October 6, 1973, the high Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, Egyptian troops stormed across the Suez Canal in a startling attack on their bitter Israeli rival, culminating a long period of frustration...
... head toward breast or bottle n Communicates through body language, fussing or crying, alert and engaged n Startles ... at least four weeks apart are recommended for children aged 6 months through 8 years of age ...
Broberg, Brian Villumsen; Oranje, Bob; Yding, Birte
of sensory information processing seen in schizophrenia patients, can be assessed by highly homologues methods in both humans and rodents, evident by the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the auditory startle response and the P50 (termed P1 here) suppression paradigms. Treatment with the NMDA receptor antagonist...... findings confirm measures of early information processing to show high resemblance between rodents and humans, and indicate that early postnatal PCP-treated rats show deficits in pre-attentional processing, which are distinct from those observed in schizophrenia patients.......The use of translational approaches to validate animal models is needed for the development of treatments that can effectively alleviate cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia, which are unsuccessfully treated by the current available therapies. Deficits in pre-attentive stages...
Bak, N; Mann, J; Fagerlund, B
and attention. Parameters from the PPI and P50 suppression paradigms were significantly associated with the distractor effects on strategy formation, cognitive inhibition and flexibility, visual short-term memory, and the level of subjective distraction. Subjectively reported distraction was significantly...... to the effect of distraction on strategy formation, cognitive inhibition and flexibility, as well as visual short term memory. Future studies should investigate if gating deficits affect the distractibility of the same specific cognitive functions in patients with schizophrenia....... with the P50 suppression and pre-pulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI) paradigms. Additionally, a neurocognitive test battery was administered in a cross-over design: with/without auditory distraction. Significant effects of distraction were found in response inhibition, and verbal working memory...
Philip L. Munday
Full Text Available Pioneering studies into the effects of elevated CO2 on the behaviour of reef fishes often tested high-CO2 reared fish using control water in the test arena. While subsequent studies using rearing treatment water (control or high CO2 in the test arena have confirmed the effects of high CO2 on a range of reef fish behaviours, a further investigation into the use of different test water in the experimental arena is warranted. Here, we used a fully factorial design to test the effect of rearing treatment water (control or high CO2 and experimental test water (control or high CO2 on antipredator responses of larval reef fishes. We tested antipredator behaviour in larval clownfish Amphiprion percula and ambon damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis, two species that have been used in previous high CO2 experiments. Specifically, we tested if: (1 using control or high CO2 water in a two channel flume influenced the response of larval clownfish to predator odour; and (2 using control or high CO2 water in the test arena influenced the escape response of larval damselfish to a startle stimulus. Finally, (3 because the effects of high CO2 on fish behaviour appear to be caused by altered function of the GABA-A neurotransmitter we tested if antipredator behaviours were restored in clownfish treated with a GABA antagonist (gabazine in high CO2 water. Larval clownfish reared from hatching in control water (496 µatm strongly avoided predator cue whereas larval clownfish reared from hatching in high CO2 (1,022 µatm were attracted to the predator cue, as has been reported in previous studies. There was no effect on fish responses of using either control or high CO2 water in the flume. Larval damselfish reared for four days in high CO2 (1,051 µatm exhibited a slower response to a startle stimulus and slower escape speed compared with fish reared in control conditions (464 µatm. There was no effect of test water on escape responses. Treatment of high-CO2 reared
Armario, Antonio; Escorihuela, Rosa M; Nadal, Roser
There is now considerable evidence for long-lasting sequels of stress. A single exposure to high intensity predominantly emotional stressors such as immobilisation in wooden-boards (IMO) induces long-term (days to weeks) desensitization of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response to the same (homotypic) stressor, whereas the response to novel (heterotypic) stressors was enhanced. In addition, long-lasting changes in behaviour have been described after a single exposure to brief or more prolonged sessions of shocks, predator, predator odour, underwater stress or a combination of three stressors on 1 day. The most consistent changes are reduced entries into the open arms of the elevated plus-maze and enhanced acoustic startle response, both reflecting enhanced anxiety. However, it is unclear whether there is any relationship between the intensity of the stressors, as evaluated by the main physiological indexes of stress (e.g. HPA axis), the putative traumatic experience they represent and their long-term behavioural consequences. This is particularly critical when trying to model post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), which demands a great effort to validate such putative models.
Marina R. Carpinelli
Full Text Available Canavan disease is a leukodystrophy caused by mutations in the ASPA gene. This gene encodes the enzyme that converts N-acetylaspartate into acetate and aspartic acid. In Canavan disease, spongiform encephalopathy of the brain causes progressive mental retardation, motor deficit and death. We have isolated a mouse with a novel ethylnitrosourea-induced mutation in Aspa. This mutant, named deaf14, carries a c.516T>A mutation that is predicted to cause a p.Y172X protein truncation. No full-length ASPA protein is produced in deaf14 brain and there is extensive spongy degeneration. Interestingly, we found that deaf14 mice have an attenuated startle in response to loud noise. The first auditory brainstem response peak has normal latency and amplitude but peaks II, III, IV and V have increased latency and decreased amplitude in deaf14 mice. Our work reveals a hitherto unappreciated pathology in a mouse model of Canavan disease, implying that auditory brainstem response testing could be used in diagnosis and to monitor the progression of this disease.
Halberstadt, Adam L
Serotonergic hallucinogens, such as (+)-lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin, and mescaline, are somewhat enigmatic substances. Although these drugs are derived from multiple chemical families, they all produce remarkably similar effects in animals and humans, and they show cross-tolerance. This article reviews the evidence demonstrating the serotonin 5-HT2A receptor is the primary site of hallucinogen action. The 5-HT2A receptor is responsible for mediating the effects of hallucinogens in human subjects, as well as in animal behavioral paradigms such as drug discrimination, head twitch response, prepulse inhibition of startle, exploratory behavior, and interval timing. Many recent clinical trials have yielded important new findings regarding the psychopharmacology of these substances. Furthermore, the use of modern imaging and electrophysiological techniques is beginning to help unravel how hallucinogens work in the brain. Evidence is also emerging that hallucinogens may possess therapeutic efficacy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Spiga, Ilaria; Aldred, Nicholas; Caldwell, Gary S
Anthropogenic noise is a significant pollutant of the world's oceans, affecting behavioural and physiological traits in a range of species, including anti-predator behaviours. Using the open field test, we investigated the effects of recordings of piling and drilling noise on the anti-predator behaviour of captive juvenile European seabass in response to a visual stimulus (a predatory mimic). The impulsive nature of piling noise triggered a reflexive startle response, which contrasted the behaviour elicited by the continuous drilling noise. When presented with the predatory mimic, fish exposed to both piling and drilling noise explored the experimental arena more extensively than control fish exposed to ambient noise. Fish under drilling and piling conditions also exhibited reduced predator inspection behaviour. Piling and drilling noise induced stress as measured by ventilation rate. This study provides further evidence that the behaviour and physiology of European seabass is significantly affected by exposure to elevated noise levels. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
The South African reader in using this book should bear in mind that there ... practice. This book does an admirable job in bringing the .... encouraged its use for these purposes locally. .... translator's error in confusing schrecken (startle, alarin).
and Koch2, the primary focus of attention at that time was the involvement of microbes in .... When Griffith was making the startling discovery described above, Avery had already .... decision awaiting more evidence. A life long bachelor, Avery.
Scholes, Kirsty E; Martin-Iverson, Mathew T
Controversy exists as to the cause of disturbed prepulse inhibition (PPI) in patients with schizophrenia. This study aimed to clarify the nature of PPI in schizophrenia using improved methodology. Startle and PPI were measured in 44 patients with schizophrenia and 32 controls across a range of startling stimulus intensities under two conditions, one while participants were attending to the auditory stimuli (ATTEND condition) and one while participants completed a visual task in order to ensure they were ignoring the auditory stimuli (IGNORE condition). Patients showed reduced PPI of R(MAX) (reflex capacity) and increased PPI of Hillslope (reflex efficacy) only under the INGORE condition, and failed to show the same pattern of attentional modulation of the reflex parameters as controls. In conclusion, disturbed PPI in schizophrenia appears to result from deficits in selective attention, rather than from preattentive dysfunction.
Nielsen, JB; Tijssen, MAJ; Hansen, NL; Crone, C; Petersen, NT; Brown, P; Van Dijk, JG; Rothwell, JC
Normal coordinated movement requires that the activity of antagonistic motoneurones may be depressed at appropriate times during the movement. Both glycinergic and GABAergic inhibitory mechanisms participate in this control. Patients with the major form of hyperekplexia (hereditary startle disease)
Anders, Silke; Eippert, Falk; Wiens, Stefan; Birbaumer, Niels; Lotze, Martin; Wildgruber, Dirk
Affective neuroscience has been strongly influenced by the view that a 'feeling' is the perception of somatic changes and has consequently often neglected the neural mechanisms that underlie the integration of somatic and other information in affective experience. Here, we investigate affective processing by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging in nine cortically blind patients. In these patients, unilateral postgeniculate lesions prevent primary cortical visual processing in part of the visual field which, as a result, becomes subjectively blind. Residual subcortical processing of visual information, however, is assumed to occur in the entire visual field. As we have reported earlier, these patients show significant startle reflex potentiation when a threat-related visual stimulus is shown in their blind visual field. Critically, this was associated with an increase of brain activity in somatosensory-related areas, and an increase in experienced negative affect. Here, we investigated the patients' response when the visual stimulus was shown in the sighted visual field, that is, when it was visible and cortically processed. Despite the fact that startle reflex potentiation was similar in the blind and sighted visual field, patients reported significantly less negative affect during stimulation of the sighted visual field. In other words, when the visual stimulus was visible and received full cortical processing, the patients' phenomenal experience of affect did not closely reflect somatic changes. This decoupling of phenomenal affective experience and somatic changes was associated with an increase of activity in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex and a decrease of affect-related somatosensory activity. Moreover, patients who showed stronger left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex activity tended to show a stronger decrease of affect-related somatosensory activity. Our findings show that similar affective somatic changes can be associated with
Full Text Available From the VGF precursor protein originate several low molecular weight peptides, whose distribution in the brain and blood circulation is not entirely known. Among the VGF peptides, those containing the N-terminus portion were altered in the cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF and hypothalamus of schizophrenia patients. “Hence, we aimed to better investigate the involvement of the VGF peptides in schizophrenia by studying their localization in the brain regions relevant for the disease, and revealing their possible modulations in response to certain neuronal alterations occurring in schizophrenia”. We produced antibodies against different VGF peptides encompassing the N-terminus, but also C-terminus-, TLQP-, GGGE- peptide sequences, and the so named NERP-3 and -4. These antibodies were used to carry out specific ELISA and immunolocalization studies while mass spectrometry (MS analysis was also performed to recognize the intact brain VGF fragments. We used a schizophrenia rat model, in which alterations in the prepulse inhibition (PPI of the acoustic startle response occurred after PCP treatment. In normal rats, all the VGF peptides studied were distributed in the brain areas examined including hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, accumbens and amygdaloid nuclei and also in the plasma. By liquid chromatography-high resolution mass, we identified different intact VGF peptide fragments, including those encompassing the N-terminus and the NERPs. PCP treatment caused behavioral changes that closely mimic schizophrenia, estimated by us as a disruption of PPI of the acoustic startle response. The PCP treatment also induced selective changes in the VGF peptide levels within certain brain areas. Indeed, an increase in VGF C-terminus and TLQP peptides was revealed in the prefrontal cortex (p < 0.01 where they were localized within parvoalbumin and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH containing neurons, respectively. Conversely, in the nucleus accumbens, PCP
Corr, Charles A.
Physician reports some impressions and reflections deriving from a visit in June of 1990 to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in southwestern Poland. Its themes are incongruity, horror, and moments when one encounters hitherto unexplored and startling terrain. (Author)
Dodds, Louise; Knight, Laura; Allen, Kate; Murrell, Joanna
To investigate the effect of postsurgical pain on the performance of horses in a novel object and auditory startle task. Prospective clinical study. Twenty horses undergoing different types of surgery and 16 control horses that did not undergo surgery. The interaction of 36 horses with novel objects and a response to an auditory stimulus were measured at two time points; the day before surgery (T1) and the day after surgery (T2) for surgical horses (G1), and at a similar time interval for control horses (G2). Pain and sedation were measured using simple descriptive scales at the time the tests were carried out. Total time or score attributed to each of the behavioural categories was compared between groups (G1 and G2) for each test and between tests (T1 and T2) for each group. The median (range) time spent interacting with novel objects was reduced in G1 from 58 (6-367) seconds in T1 to 12 (0-495) seconds in T2 (p=0.0005). In G2 the change in interaction time between T1 and T2 was not statistically significant. Median (range) total auditory score was 7 (3-12) and 10 (1-12) in G1 and G2, respectively, at T1, decreasing to 6 (0-10) in G1 after surgery and 9.5 (1-12) in G2 (p=0.0003 and p=0.94, respectively). There was a difference in total auditory score between G1 and G2 at T2 (p=0.0169), with the score being lower in G1 than G2. Postsurgical pain negatively impacts attention towards novel objects and causes a decreased responsiveness to an auditory startle test. In horses, tasks demanding attention may be useful as a biomarker of pain. Copyright © 2017 Association of Veterinary Anaesthetists and American College of Veterinary Anesthesia and Analgesia. All rights reserved.
Broberg, Brian Villumsen; Oranje, Bob; Yding, Birte
The use of translational approaches to validate animal models is needed for the development of treatments that can effectively alleviate cognitive impairments associated with schizophrenia, which are unsuccessfully treated by the current available therapies. Deficits in pre-attentive stages...... of sensory information processing seen in schizophrenia patients, can be assessed by highly homologues methods in both humans and rodents, evident by the prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the auditory startle response and the P50 (termed P1 here) suppression paradigms. Treatment with the NMDA receptor antagonist...... PCP on postnatal days 7, 9, and 11 reliably induce cognitive impairments resembling those presented by schizophrenia patients. Here we evaluate the potential of early postnatal PCP (20mg/kg) treatment in Lister Hooded rats to induce post-pubertal deficits in PPI and changes, such as reduced gating...
Schreurs, Bernard G; Smith-Bell, Carrie A; Burhans, Lauren B
Treatment for PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder) is rarely available immediately after trauma and often delayed for weeks or months after an event. In a rabbit eyeblink conditioning model of PTSD, we have previously shown that presentations of a tone conditioned stimulus (CS) and shock unconditioned stimulus (US) in an explicitly unpaired manner known as unpaired extinction is effective in reducing CS responding and US hyperarousal even if shock intensity is reduced eight-fold and elicits only minimal responding. Here we determined if delayed delivery of unpaired extinction would still be effective in extinguishing hyperarousal. Rabbits were tested for sensitivity to shock before CS-US pairings and after six days of unpaired extinction presented a day, a week or a month after CS-US pairings. Hyperarousal was extinguished a day and a week after conditioning but not after a month suggesting a significant delay in "treatment" can make hyperarousal persist. We next assessed if this persistence of hyperarousal was associative by comparing rabbits given CS-US pairings to those given explicitly unpaired CS and US presentations, measuring hyperarousal a day and a month later, followed by unpaired extinction and hyperarousal assessment. After four weeks, there was an increase in responding for all rabbits but only rabbits receiving CS-US pairings showed a significant increase in associatively-mediated hyperarousal. Importantly, both paired and unpaired groups showed increased levels of responding after unpaired extinction suggesting treatment delayed for too long may no longer be effective and could cause generalized hyperarousal. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jan 20, 2007 ... The news media played a crucial role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide: ... This book is a startling record of the dangerous influence that the media ... Health and Social Care (DHSC)—are partnering on a new initiative, aimed at ...
The startling success of Disney animation prompts the perspective for this essay, which explores both a political-economic and cultural studies approach. Understanding Disney animation helps clarify the intimate relationship between ideology and socio-economic practice, (Ricker, 1996; Wasko, 2001). Investigating the ...
9 mai 2011 ... Brazil — Mercury contamination in the Amazon. Brazilian and Canadian researchers seeking to find the source of mercury contamination in the Amazon came to a startling conclusion: agricultural p. View moreBrazil — Mercury contamination in the Amazon ...
Duits, Puck; Cath, Danielle C.; Heitland, Ivo; Baas, Johanna M. P.
Although impaired fear extinction has repeatedly been demonstrated in patients with anxiety disorders, little is known about whether these impairments persist after treatment. The current comparative exploratory study investigated fear extinction in 26 patients treated for their anxiety disorder in the years preceding the study as compared to 17 healthy control subjects. Fear-potentiated startle and subjective fear were measured in a cue and context fear conditioning paradigm within a virtual reality environment. Results indicated no differences in fear extinction between treated anxiety patients and control subjects. However, scores on the Beck Anxiety Inventory across all participants revealed impaired extinction of fear potentiated startle in subjects with high compared to low anxiety symptoms over the past week. Taken together, this exploratory study found no support for impaired fear extinction in treated anxiety patients, and implies that current anxiety symptoms rather than previous patient status determine the success of extinction. PMID:26955364
Rothbaum, Barbara Olasov; Price, Matthew; Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Gerardi, Maryrose; Dunlop, Boadie; Davis, Michael; Bradley, Bekh; Duncan, Erica J; Rizzo, Albert; Ressler, Kerry J
The authors examined the effectiveness of virtual reality exposure augmented with D-cycloserine or alprazolam, compared with placebo, in reducing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to military trauma. After an introductory session, five sessions of virtual reality exposure were augmented with D-cycloserine (50 mg) or alprazolam (0.25 mg) in a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial for 156 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans with PTSD. PTSD symptoms significantly improved from pre- to posttreatment across all conditions and were maintained at 3, 6, and 12 months. There were no overall differences in symptoms between D-cycloserine and placebo at any time. Alprazolam and placebo differed significantly on the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale score at posttreatment and PTSD diagnosis at 3 months posttreatment; the alprazolam group showed a higher rate of PTSD (82.8%) than the placebo group (47.8%). Between-session extinction learning was a treatment-specific enhancer of outcome for the D-cycloserine group only. At posttreatment, the D-cycloserine group had the lowest cortisol reactivity and smallest startle response during virtual reality scenes. A six-session virtual reality treatment was associated with reduction in PTSD diagnoses and symptoms in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, although there was no control condition for the virtual reality exposure. There was no advantage of D-cycloserine for PTSD symptoms in primary analyses. In secondary analyses, alprazolam impaired recovery and D-cycloserine enhanced virtual reality outcome in patients who demonstrated within-session learning. D-cycloserine augmentation reduced cortisol and startle reactivity more than did alprazolam or placebo, findings that are consistent with those in the animal literature.
Friemel, Chris M; Zimmer, Andreas; Schneider, Miriam
The endocannabinoid (ECB) system has emerged recently as a key mediator for reward processing. It is well known that cannabinoids affect appetitive learning processes and can induce reinforcing and rewarding effects. However, the involvement of the ECB system in hedonic aspects of reward-related behavior is not completely understood. With the present study, we investigated the modulatory role of the ECB system on hedonic perception, measured by the pleasure attenuated startle (PAS) paradigm for a palatable food reward. Here, a conditioned odor is thought to induce a pleasant affective state that attenuates an aversive reflex—the acoustic startle response. Modulatory effects of the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist SR1411716 and the cannabinoid agonist WIN 55 212-2 on PAS were examined in rats. PAS was also measured in CB1 receptor knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Pharmacological inhibition as well as the absence of CB1 receptors was found to reduce PAS, whereas WIN 55 212-2 administration increased PAS. Finally, presentation of a conditioned reward cue was found to induce striatal FosB/ΔFosB expression in WT mice, but not in KO mice, indicating a reduced stimulation of reward-related brain regions in conditioned KO mice by odor presentation. We here show that in addition to our previous studies in rats, PAS may also serve as a valuable and suitable measure to assess hedonic processing in mice. Our data further indicate that the ECB system, and in particular CB1 receptor signaling, appears to be highly important for the mediation of hedonic aspects of reward processing. PMID:24718372
Amodeo, Leslie R.; Greenfield, Venuz Y.; Humphrey, Danielle E.; Varela, Veronica; Pipkin, Joseph A.; Eaton, Shannon E.; Johnson, Jelesa D.; Plant, Christopher P.; Harmony, Zachary R.; Wang, Li; Crawford, Cynthia A.
Rationale The SSRI antidepressant fluoxetine is one of the few drugs that is effective at treating depression in adolescent humans. In contrast, the SSRI paroxetine has limited efficacy and is more at risk for inducing suicidal behavior. Objective The purpose of the present study was to more fully characterize the differential actions of paroxetine and fluoxetine. Methods In Experiment 1, male and female rats were injected with paroxetine (2.5 or 10 mg/kg), fluoxetine (10 mg/kg), or vehicle for 10 days starting on postnatal day (PD) 35, and affective behaviors were assessed using sucrose preference and elevated plus maze tasks. A separate set of rats were used to examine monoamine levels. In Experiment 2, rats were injected with paroxetine (2.5, 5 or 10 mg/kg), fluoxetine (5, 10 or 20 mg/kg), or vehicle during the same time frame as Experiment 1 and anxiety-like behaviors were measured using elevated plus maze, light/dark box, and acoustic startle. Results Repeated SSRI treatment failed to alter sucrose preference, although both paroxetine and fluoxetine reduced time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus maze and light compartment of the light/dark box. Paroxetine, but not fluoxetine, enhanced acoustic startle and interfered with habituation. Serotonin turnover was decreased by both acute and repeated fluoxetine treatment but unaltered by paroxetine administration. Discussion These results show that repeated treatment with paroxetine and fluoxetine has dissociable actions in adolescent rats. In particular, paroxetine, but not fluoxetine, increases acoustic startle at low doses and may increase sensitivity to environmental stressors. PMID:26141193
Full Text Available Rats reared under isolation conditions from weaning present a number of behavioral changes compared to animals reared under social conditions (group housing. These changes include deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI of the startle reflex to a loud sound. PPI refers to the reduction of the magnitude of the startle reflex when a relatively weak stimulus (the prepulse precedes by an appropriate time interval the intense startle-elicing stimulus (the pulse. PPI is useful for studying sensorimotor integration. The present study evaluated the effect of handling on the impairment of PPI induced by isolation-rearing. Male Wistar rats (N = 11-15/group were housed in groups (5 per cage and handled three times a week or isolated (housed individually since weaning (21 days for 10 weeks when they reach approximately 150 g. The isolated rats were divided into "minimally handled" animals (handled once a week for cleaning purposes only or "handled" animals (handled three times a week. This handling consisted of grasping the rat by the tail and moving it to a clean cage (approximately 5 s. A statistically significant reduction (52% in the PPI test was found only in the isolated group with minimal handling while no difference was seen between grouped animals and isolated handled animals. These results indicate that isolation rearing causes disruption in the PPI at adult age, which serves as an index of attention deficit. This change in the sensory processing of information induced by post-weaning isolation can be prevented by handling during the development of the animal.
Rosa, M L N M; Silva, R C B; Moura-de-Carvalho, F T; Brandão, M L; Guimarães, F S; Del Bel, E A
Rats reared under isolation conditions from weaning present a number of behavioral changes compared to animals reared under social conditions (group housing). These changes include deficits in prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle reflex to a loud sound. PPI refers to the reduction of the magnitude of the startle reflex when a relatively weak stimulus (the prepulse) precedes by an appropriate time interval the intense startle-elicing stimulus (the pulse). PPI is useful for studying sensorimotor integration. The present study evaluated the effect of handling on the impairment of PPI induced by isolation-rearing. Male Wistar rats (N = 11-15/group) were housed in groups (5 per cage and handled three times a week) or isolated (housed individually) since weaning (21 days) for 10 weeks when they reach approximately 150 g. The isolated rats were divided into "minimally handled" animals (handled once a week for cleaning purposes only) or "handled" animals (handled three times a week). This handling consisted of grasping the rat by the tail and moving it to a clean cage (approximately 5 s). A statistically significant reduction (52%) in the PPI test was found only in the isolated group with minimal handling while no difference was seen between grouped animals and isolated handled animals. These results indicate that isolation rearing causes disruption in the PPI at adult age, which serves as an index of attention deficit. This change in the sensory processing of information induced by post-weaning isolation can be prevented by handling during the development of the animal.
Yik Yaw (Errol eNeo
Full Text Available Auditory sensitivity in fish serves various important functions, but also makes fish susceptible to noise pollution. Human-generated sounds may affect behavioural patterns of fish, both in natural conditions and in captivity. Fish are often kept for consumption in aquaculture, on display in zoos and hobby aquaria, and for medical sciences in research facilities, but little is known about the impact of ambient sounds in fish tanks. In this study, we conducted two indoor exposure experiments with zebrafish (Danio rerio. The first experiment demonstrated that exposure to moderate sound levels (112 dB re 1 μPa can affect the swimming behaviour of fish by changing group cohesion, swimming speed and swimming height. Effects were brief for both continuous and intermittent noise treatments. In the second experiment, fish could influence exposure to higher sound levels by swimming freely between an artificially noisy fish tank (120-140 dB re 1 μPa and another with ambient noise levels (89 dB re 1 μPa. Despite initial startle responses, and a brief period in which many individuals in the noisy tank dived down to the bottom, there was no spatial avoidance or noise-dependent tank preference at all. The frequent exchange rate of about 60 fish passages per hour between tanks was not affected by continuous or intermittent exposures. In conclusion, small groups of captive zebrafish were able to detect sounds already at relatively low sound levels and adjust their behaviour to it. Relatively high sound levels were at least at the on-set disturbing, but did not lead to spatial avoidance. Further research is needed to show whether zebrafish are not able to avoid noisy areas or just not bothered. Quantitatively, these data are not directly applicable to other fish species or other fish tanks, but they do indicate that sound exposure may affect fish behaviour in any captive condition.
24 تشرين الأول (أكتوبر) 2013 ... To help bridge this gap, the Royal Scientific Society in Jordan (RSS) .... Last year, 16-year-old Aida made a startling discovery: as a young girl, ...
van Lent, L.G.G.; Sungur, H.; Kunneman, F.A.; van de Velde, B.; Das, E.
Background: In 2014, the world was startled by a sudden outbreak of Ebola. Although Ebola infections and deaths occurred almost exclusively in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, few potential Western cases, in particular, caused a great stir among the public in Western countries. Objective: This
Düring, Signe; Glenthøj, Birte Y; Andersen, Gitte Saltoft
It has been suggested that psychophysiological measures of sensory and sensorimotor gating, P50 gating and prepulse inhibition of the startle reflex (PPI), underlie core features of schizophrenia and are linked to dopaminergic pathways in the striatum and prefrontal cortex. In the present study, ...
Higher education and general studies in Nigeria: A philosophical investigation. ... Mgbakoigba: Journal of African Studies ... national policy on education on tertiary or higher education reveals a startling chasm of gap between the goals of the policy through General Studies Programme and their expected actualizations.
Reasoning that takes into account self-locating evidence in apparently plausible ways sometimes yields the startling conclusion that rational credences are such as if agents had bizarre causal powers. The present paper introduces a novel version of the Sleeping Beauty problem-Choosing Beauty-for
Arnaudova, Inna; Krypotos, Angelos-Miltiadis; Effting, Marieke; Kindt, Merel; Beckers, Tom
Individual differences in fear generalisation have been proposed to play a role in the aetiology and/or maintenance of anxiety disorders, but few data are available to directly support that claim. The research that is available has focused mostly on generalisation of peripheral and central physiological fear responses. Far less is known about the generalisation of avoidance, the behavioural component of fear. In two experiments, we evaluated how neuroticism, a known vulnerability factor for anxiety, modulates an array of fear responses, including avoidance tendencies, towards generalisation stimuli (GS). Participants underwent differential fear conditioning, in which one conditioned stimulus (CS+) was repeatedly paired with an aversive outcome (shock; unconditioned stimulus, US), whereas another was not (CS-). Fear generalisation was observed across measures in Experiment 1 (US expectancy and evaluative ratings) and Experiment 2 (US expectancy, evaluative ratings, skin conductance, startle responses, safety behaviours), with overall highest responding to the CS+, lowest to the CS- and intermediate responding to the GSs. Neuroticism had very little impact on fear generalisation (but did affect GS recognition rates in Experiment 1), in line with the idea that fear generalisation is largely an adaptive process.
Caride, Ezequiel Gomez
This article describes how different approaches to religion (institutional and cultural) lead to startlingly different conclusions when analyzing how religion shapes the republican citizen. Through a genealogical discourse analysis, I examine educational reports issued by Argentinean authorities in the early twentieth century that made the Jew out…
Discusses how separating undergraduate education into its two primary components--general education and the major--and then applying the perspective of a supermarket analogy leads to startling conclusions about possible transformations of the production and distribution system for higher education at the undergraduate level and for implementing…
Union, December 7, 198864 POST COLD WAR Columnist George Will referred to 1989 as the “most startling, interesting, promising, and consequential year...1919-1920); author and syndicated journalist for The New York Times (1910-1967); two time Pulitzer Prize Awardee (1958, 1962) Marshall, George C
Rousseau, a philosopher of history? The suggestion may startle those who know him as an enemy of history, the founder of Counter-Enlightenment who rejected his century's hope in progress and conjured quasi-utopias devoid of time. Alone, the political texts seem to justify this interpretation. Side
Sijbrandij, Marit; Olff, Miranda; Opmeer, Brent C.; Carlier, Ingrid V. E.; Gersons, Berthold P. R.
Background: This study examined the accuracy of the 17-item. Dutch version of the Davidson Trauma Scale (DTS) and the four-item SPAN (Startle, Physiological Arousal, Anger and Numbness) to detect survivors at risk for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) within the first 2 weeks after the trauma.
This book investigates the international controversy that erupted when two Utah scientists announced that they had achieved cold fusion in a test tube probing the motivations behind their startling assertion and its impact on the scientific community worldwide, and providing an overview of atomic fusion research
We report a genetic diversity study of Kherigarh cattle, a utility draught-purpose breed of India, currently declining at a startling rate, by use of microsatellite markers recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization. Microsatellite genotypes were derived, and allelic and genotypic frequencies, heterozygosities and ...
Brazilian and Canadian researchers seeking to find the source of mercury contamination in the Amazon came to a startling conclusion: agricultural practices rather than gold mining were most to blame. Supported by Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the research team is now working with ...
This meta-analysis of 58 resting baseline studies, 25 startle studies, 17 standardized trauma cue studies, and 22 idiographic trauma cue studies compared adults with and without posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on psychophysiological variables: facial electromyography (EMG), heart rate (HR), skin conductance (SC), and blood pressure.…
Lint, L.J.O.; Pennings, H.P.G.
In the recent process leading to the agreement on the digital versatile disc two product standards have been developed: one by Philips and Sony, and the other by Toshiba and Time Warner. Three actions in the process of standardization have startled business analysts. First, Matsushita's choice to
Full Text Available Although impaired fear extinction has repeatedly been demonstrated in patients with anxiety disorders, little is known about whether these impairments persist after treatment. The current comparative exploratory study investigated fear extinction in 26 patients treated for their anxiety disorder in the years preceding the study as compared to 17 healthy control subjects. Fear-potentiated startle and subjective fear were measured in a cue and context fear conditioning paradigm within a virtual reality environment. Results indicated no differences in fear extinction between treated anxiety patients and control subjects. However, scores on the Beck Anxiety Inventory across all participants revealed impaired extinction of fear potentiated startle in subjects with high compared to low anxiety symptoms over the past week. Taken together, this exploratory study found no support for impaired fear extinction in treated anxiety patients, and implies that current anxiety symptoms rather than previous patient status determine the success of extinction.
Full Text Available Previously, we found a patient with intractable motor tic disorder, a spectrum of Tourette syndrome (TS, responsive to the ground leaf juice of Clerodendrum inerme (CI. Here, we examined the effect of the ethanol extract of CI leaves (CI extract on animal behaviors mimicking TS, hyperlocomotion, and sensorimotor gating deficit. The latter is also observed in schizophrenic patients and can be reflected by a disruption of prepulse inhibition of acoustic startle response (PPI in animal models induced by methamphetamine and NMDA channel blockers (ketamine or MK-801, based on hyperdopaminergic and hypoglutamatergic hypotheses, respectively. CI extract (10–300 mg/kg, i.p. dose-dependently inhibited hyperlocomotion induced by methamphetamine (2 mg/kg, i.p. and PPI disruptions induced by methamphetamine, ketamine (30 mg/kg, i.p., and MK-801 (0.3 mg/kg, i.p. but did not affect spontaneous locomotor activity, rotarod performance, and grip force. These results suggest that CI extract can relieve hyperlocomotion and improve sensorimotor gating deficit, supporting the therapeutic potential of CI for TS and schizophrenia.
Cacciaglia, Raffaele; Krause-Utz, Annegret; Vogt, Miriam A; Schmahl, Christian; Flor, Herta; Gass, Peter
We investigated the effects of voluntary wheel running as model for intervention on the development of contextual fear and hyperarousal in a mouse model of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Physical exercise in general has been associated with improved hippocampus-dependent memory performance both in animals and humans. However, studies that have tried to link physical exercise and contextual conditioning in an animal model of PTSD, revealed mixed findings. Here we tested contextual fear conditioning, generalized fear response, acoustic startle response and emotionality in C57BL/6NCrl mice which had free access to a running wheel for 28 days, compared with control animals which did not run and mice which did not receive a shock during the conditioning phase. We found no significant effects of voluntary running on the above-mentioned variables, except for enhanced anxiety levels in the Dark-Light-Box and O-Maze tests of running mice. Our results suggest that running as a model for intervention does not ameliorate contextual aversive learning but has the potency to change emotional behaviours.
Zheng, Ya-Juan; Dong, Yu-Chen; Zhu, Chao; Zhao, Mei-Sheng
Eyelid conditioning, including delay eyelid conditioning and trace eyelid conditioning, has been used extensively to study neural structures and mechanisms of learning and memory as a form of associative learning. In the present study, microcurrent electrical stimulation was used to stimulate the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) to induce delay eyelid conditioning in guinea pigs. The acquisition rate and relative latency of the conditioned eyelid response (CR) and the startle eyelid response (SR) were analyzed. The mPFC sites in the guinea pigs were examined under a light microscope following Nissl staining. In addition, the expression of Fos protein in neurons was detected using immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. The results indicate